Monday, September 14, 2009

Beyond Basics 9/15/09

Climb out of the cellar of literalism, up the steps of metaphor and into the fresh air of reason and revelation.

DB - The Vagabond
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Join me for a time.
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According to NASA the space shuttle Discovery reentered the Earth's atmosphere going 25 times the speed of sound. I find it very difficult to wrap my 20th Century mind around such a fact. I can't imagine anything going that fast. If something passed me at that speed would I even see it?

I remember reading somewhere that when the automobiles were first being produced some pseudo scientist proclaimed that the human body could never travel faster than 8 miles an hour and survive. (Someone ought to collect and publish all the remarks made through the years about things that could never happen.)

No doubt someday, possibly very soon, scientists will discover how to move faster than the speed of light. ("Nah. It'll never happen. The human body would disintegrate.") And when that becomes a mode of travel our whole concepts of time and space will go through a profound and amazing reinterpretation.

The mentality to accommodate such a reinterpretation is already in place. Almost all, and perhaps all, of the phenomena of life begin somewhere in the human imagination I think it was Einstein who said that reason will take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.

What would conquering the speed of light do for us? Imagine being in two different places at the same time. I wrote a story about that. Imagine two events, one past, one future happening in the same place at once. Imagine being in one place and in a totally different place at the same moment.

Never mind that. That's too literal. Imagine that time and space as we know it cease to exist at all. (Vagabond, you've lost your mind.) Some philosophers have averred that the whole concepts of time and space were products of the human imagination in the first place.

Well what if they are? What if the marriage of time and space is just a trope, an allegory, a device to explain to ourselves the repetitions and changes that we think we see? Things are seldom what they seem. Our lives are filled with myths and mirages. It is comfortable in the cellar of literalism, Climbing up through the steps of metaphor takes an effort. But until we recognize that one thing is meant to symbolize another and that it's the other the needs to be revealed we'll be stuck at the bottom and never climb the stairs.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
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May angels play in your bird bath.
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really think society could have benefited more, from you, because of being your own individual, not just acting. That is the point. Your attitude, is most pleasant and healing. How you approach life is to be valued, for all, to carry on to the next. Most youth, think the older generations want to control them. From what we are being taught and showed, it can be true. However, the special ones that can have a special message, won't be herd. So something is wrong here. Spirit should be embraced, to value it, and to not give it up or loose it. No matter what life throws at ya. So, I commend you ! Bless you,

Beth said...

You're making my brain hurt again, D! ;) Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I agree that we may never be able to conquer the speed of light, but I think the next century will have just as many fantastic changes as the last 100 years.