Sunday, March 11, 2012

Green Isn't

Letter to Christa
Green Isn't
C L I C K     T O     E N L A R G E

The world isn’t as your eyes and ears tell you.  Existence is beyond our imagination without the interpretation of our own biology.  What we believe to be first hand fact is, in reality, our subjective interpretation.  The physical realm is most likely as our scientific instruments suggest, but its perception varies, depending on the survival needs of the particular life form.  The tree outside probably has green leaves in summer.  The sound of thunder can be startling.  Sugar is sweet.  Those seem basic facts describing our world.  Yet none of these phenomenon exist outside biology.  They are all subjective, mental interpretations enabling us to know an existence that would otherwise be beyond our understanding.  Without our senses we would have no reason to assume we exist – or should we want to.  In fact, can we not hypothesize and say death may be a form of existence robbed of the ability to perceive?  Our body’s enable us to interact with the physical realm.  Whatever conceivably survives the wearing out of this mechanism is left without the means to know physical existence.  It’s cut adrift.  The senses are gone, and the brain is unavailable for mental thought.  Of course, existence transcending one’s physical identity is left for conjecture alone.  Our essential, nonphysical being has yet to register on any apparatus constructed for science.  We are more evanescent than Higgs boson, the God Particle, in that regard. 

We think of our senses as being our eyes, ears, the touch of our skin as well as our ability to taste food and smell cookies baking in the oven.  It’s true they are all receptors, sending simple nerve impulses to their own, corresponding specialized portion of the brain.  That message alone, though, is like the zeros and ones that make up computer information.  It’s meaningless data without interpretation.  The brain receives rudimentary impulses and manifests light in an existence devoid of this appreciation.  The mind not only fabricates sound, it editorializes the experience, lending it emotional value.  The same can be said of all our senses.  We seek sweetness and salt because they have biological benefits.  We avoid putrefied meat because the smell is unpleasant, instinctively warning us away from its sickly contents.  Another form of animal may thrive on this meal and the smell entices it to have its fill of this ghastly road kill rotting in the sun.  In many instances, involving all of our senses, our biological minds use the sensation of pleasure to encourage activities benefiting life and creates for us a feeling of revulsion for that which endangers our existence.  The mind does what it can to find order and meaning in a physical realm that provides only the raw basis for existence… whatever that turns out being.  Yet from this environment, revealing no sign for concern of any kind, comes life.  Life responds, acknowledging existence.  Life protects life, valuing its separateness from that being absent of life.  From life comes consciousness.  We are probably the best representative of conscious life on this planet.  We want always to know and we investigate most everything.  We have questions for what is knowable and we wonder over thoughts having no possible answer.  We invent instruments that enable us to slip beyond the deceptive veil of our biological sense.  We create the language of math because words alone are incapable of portraying the world we come to know.  Existence that avails itself to our minds seems best explained with the tools of logic and reason.  How fortunate for us our minds have that ability.  Chances are good, though, that we are not complete for the task of knowing, comprehending, all that there is to know.  Our biological brains, honed on survival based reasoning skills, couldn’t anticipate the ambition of our quest.  The brain’s limitation won’t stop us.  We’re already finding ways to enhance our biological potential.  We’ll tamper with our minds.  Our curiosity will be too great to do otherwise.  We will undoubtedly lose some of our humanity in the process.  We will take that risk because the human’s nature is to risk its own existence in the desire to know more and to be more.  We’ve known that about ourselves since ancient times.  It is the temptation of the Tree of Knowledge.  The Garden of Eden seems never enough.  What put that seed in our brain?  Is there somewhere in this realm of matter and energy an inherent need for Existence to find a way to look back onto itself?  The mechanism of life may well be purely physical but how do we explain consciousness?  How do we explain the desire of our consciousness to know what it is we have no need for knowing?  We’ll find the Higgs boson and describe how it creates the physics of mass.  The question remains, though, what is in the nature of the atom that sent us on this search in the first place?  


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