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The Hidden World of the Nearby

The Bottom Line


Explained? Perhaps.

I wish I knew.

Part I.

This site was supposed to show off some landscape photographs. But as time went by my awareness of the rest of the world increased a bit and I spent two years trying to address climate change. Then Donald Trump came along, and the roof kind of fell in. I began reading more and thinking more and linking back to a lifetime of thinking about life. Do I think I understand it? Partly yes, ultimately no.

Why does this blob of gray matter between my ears make me want to take the picture above; make me like it; enable me to experience it which takes more brain power than we can understand. Why am I here? Why is anyone here? Why do some of us treat the rest of us so badly? Why are religions sometimes helpful, and sometimes murderous? Why does the universe exist? Why is there something rather than nothing?

Ah! That is the big one? Why do we exist? Big one too. But if there is anything that stays with me it is a giant conundrum: If all the planets and stars and black holes existed but there were NO sentient beings to experience them, anything and everything about them including their existence would be irrelevant. Moot as the lawyers say. Nothing could be said about any of it because there would be no one or nothing to say amything. Poof! So that means, and I mean this seriously, (very seriously) the Universe needs Us in order to exist. Not just to have meaning but for anything about the universe to have any meaning, it needs us.

End of Part I.

Part II.

We need the universe in order for us to exist. Yes. Absolutely. No questions. Is this circular reasoning? If it is, it is necessary circular reasoning. It is not possible to imagine a non-existing universe because whatever did the imagining would have to exist. Period. So its got us and we have it. Existence is necessary.

End of Part II.

Part III.

So this universe must have sentient beings. Now there may be all kinds of sentience but we only know of one kind and that happens between our ears.

(Oh, yes. By the way, if you want to blame this on god then god has to be part of the universe and so god had to have created him/her/it self. In my book god is a convenient name for a cause that is only a name.)

So then the question is what kind of sentient beings are we? Ants? Bacteria? (no, no nerve cells) Chimps? I guess so. They won’t know what sentience means but they will know they exist, I guess.

So I think it boils down to fully conscious, intellectually capable, aware and experiencing beings. You and me (I think). And a few billion others.

Part IV.

What are we like? Well for all intents and purposes we are globes of gray matter riding around on trunks with two legs, two arms, two eyes and two ears (except for me; only one working ear) and each of these globes carries inside it a bunch of what we call “feelings” which is our way of saying we are sentient, we are experiencing all sorts of things. Sight, sound, smell, touch, and we do what I am doing, while experiencing that we are thinking about them and that affects our experience and all that thinking leads to...everything there is that has happened since we came on the scene. From Mickey Mouse and Star Wars to quantum physics, the H-bomb, Beethoven’s symphonies, marriage, children, love, hate, intelligence, stupidity and everything in between all of which we but in a big kettle and stir. It’s called Life (with a capital L).

Part V.

What’s next?

Well I hope Texas warms up and some sense is knocked into the heads of a few people; I hope to print more pictures; I hope Amelia (our granddaughter) has a great life; I hope we get emissions down to zero and save the planet. And, IF this is the only planet in the universe with sentient life on it, and we start a nuclear war that fries everything completely so sentience is nuked, is there still a universe? Good question, except there is no one to ask.

One more thing. This means (I think) there had to be something sentient around for the universe to be born.

I quit.

Finis.

Hope you like my pictures.

Whoops! Forgot why I started this.

Part VI.

Why don’t we get along?

It seems there are two kinds of us. Those that are in it for ourselves and a closed group (politics, religion, etc.) and those who are in it to reach out: artists, musicians, scientists, socialists, helpers, etc. At least that ts how it seems to break out and a consequence is that money and power flow to the first group unless something stops it and that is often/usually/always? violence.

To me...it is a question of not jumping to a conclusion until you know something called truth. That is part one. Part two is recognizing that we all carry mostly the same genes and none of us should think of ourselves as having privileges that others do not have. And that the world’s most powerful religion, the free market, contains NO inherent justice and as a consequence that is where the money and power flow to and the rest of humanity suffers.

Part VII.

Why?

I will take a guess.

We are all born out of oblivion. Until someone or something nurtures (teaches) us we have no idea what is going on and depending on what we are taught we become like anyone that has existed (keeping nature as well as nurture in mind). So nurture is one of the keys, and what is it a key to.

I conjecture that at bottom (you may have to look very hard) we are all scared (pardon the expression, but sometimes only vile words do the job) shitless. We may be Christians, glorying in the coming of the end times or looking forward to streets paved with gold or we may have found the Buddhist version of nothingness. In either case fear is the driver and it can drive us in any direction that helps us deal with it. So there is shock and awe, there is faithfulness to our gods (which we may decide requires us to kill the unfaithful) or it may mean that we can identify with others. It is called reciprocity and it could mean a billionaire donating all he/she has to charity or a cleaning lady feeling pity for the harried frightened of failure executive.

It does mean that we do not know much about truth, science, the universe or that we are all Africans and white is not something added but something subtracted. As we migrated from Africa north we had to loose our melanin to keep our vitamin D which we need to live. But my, what a convenient way for a dumbass to look down on anyone who isn’t tending towards pink.

Part VIII.

In general (lots of exceptions) artists and scientists are looking to learn truth and so may have a bias, well, that I like, being somewhat of both. But I might generalize, if you have a life with purpose and can put yourself in another’s shoes I declare that is a good thing.



Below our grandeaughter Amelia, a bit over 3 photographed with my Sony A7RII. About 180 images and NO editing.

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