52 Times Around

I woke at 6:44  this morning.  Saturday birthdays are the best. Just lie in bed, and think about things.  Fifty two years old and what have I learned?

I exist.

I guess that is pretty self-evident, but maybe we are all living in the Matrix and existence is an illusion.  If we are, great, because it is one interesting illusion.  But lacking evidence to the contrary I believe I exist here, and now.

I am conscious.

Big whoop.  So is my cat.

I am self-aware.

This narrows things down quite a bit. The mirror test has shown that only a handful of animals in the world seem to be self aware. I am not surprised that great apes and dolphins are self aware.  Magpies surprised me.

I can express my thoughts and feelings in language and words.

OK., maybe those squeaky dolphins are talking to each other, but until I see one post on Facebook I am claiming that the ability to express ourselves is what sets humans apart.

Beyond that, my knowledge becomes a little dicey.  Sure, I know that Star Trek is way better science fiction than Star Wars could ever hope to be.  Or that a well crafted English bitter is the most sublime and satisfying beverage ever created by man.  But really, what do I know?

I look at the world around me, look at a beautiful sunset, gaze through the lens of a telescope and recognize that the universe is one magical place.  Not Harry Potter magical, but magical in the sense of watching a conjurer execute a well designed feat of magic.  You see the trick and watch in amazement, and you say to yourself  ‘how did he do that?”.  There is an explanation, but you don’t know what it is. For me, knowing that an explanation exists fails to diminish my joy in watching the trick.

The world is a lot like that.  Sure, a full explanation of the trick of the universe does not exist, but that also does not mean it is unexplainable.  And just like a magic show, I can say “I don’t know” and still be fully satisfied.  Sure, when I get home from the show I might do a google search and try to find out how the trick was done.  Similarly, in life I can look at the universe and say “I don’t know” and not be scared or embarrassed – but all the while trying to learn a bit more and figure out the trick.

Some argue that as a magic trick must have a conjurer to execute it, so must the universe.  All I know is that when I go to a magic show the magician introduces himself before he begins the show.  If the universe has a conjurer, it has not offered me an introduction, it has only allowed me to see the trick.  I guess almost all cultures in history have claimed knowledge of the supreme conjurer or conjurers.  I have found all of these explanations lacking.  When I examine the evidence, I find these conjurers not to be the supreme conjurer, but merely a reflection of what the culture envisioned the conjurer must be.

So I will continue my search for the explanation of the ultimate trick of the universe for as many more times around the sun as this trick may last.  And I will never be afraid to say “I don’t know”.

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  • rococonnor  On February 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I like your definition of ageing – becoming more comfortable with the ‘I don’t know’ and not being discouraged or embarassed by it. Would agree!

    Having explored the external world quite a bit – the place in which we exist (the greatest beer and best sci-fi!), my daily question has become: who is the ‘I’ in ‘I exist’?

    Live long and fret little.

  • littleboybrew  On February 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    roco: perhaps that is the biggest mystery of all. That said, the more it is studied, the more the evidence suggests that our consciousness and sense of place is just a function of our brains. And since humans have the biggest and baddest brains of all, we get to have Facebook and the dolphins do not.

  • linda  On February 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Sounds like a lot of hooie to me………

  • littleboybrew  On February 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm


    Never made any claims to the contrary.

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