The question of reality and its essence has been a part of my daily thought process even from my earliest memories as a child. I remember falling head-over-heels in love with the night sky, instantaneously rapt with the most overwhelming reverence; slipping into a trance-like state as my eyes devoured each and every cosmic sight before me, mesmerized and spellbound by the vast silence of these tangibly intangible beams of light connecting my own tiny mortal existence to their own infinite nature. I reveled in the majesty of these moments. They were purity; beauty; magic. I can still step right inside the memories as if they happened yesterday. Camping in the middle of nowhere, lying on the edge of a mysterious and omnipotent body of water, alive with the electrical currents of imagination and wonder pulsing through my veins. I was wildly perplexed by God, and His infinity. It was a place with no “edges” whatsoever; no ends, no real corners, no ceilings or bottoms or fronts or backs or sides and not even a center. No ins or outs or reference points; just everything, everywhere, forever stretching itself into its own abyss. I was consumed by a bitter-sweet sadness and an incomprehensible awe just thinking about all of the unknowable mysteries that would forever be so far away from where I was. My desire was ferocious. I longed desperately to see every single star up close and personal, to dance in all of their glorious light alongside all of the other endless celestial bodies floating rhythmically through space and time.
I’ve always found such unspeakable depth and meaningfulness in these questions:
If there are stars infinitely far away from me, in some eternal and unexplorable part of the universe, are they absolutely, physically real? Or are they only real hypothetically? These random kind of curiosities flooded my thinking nonstop. They still do.
And then there are the more common circle-jerks:
If a tree falls in the woods but no one is around to hear it, does it actually make a sound?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Most people shrug their shoulders, offer “conundrum” as a satisfactory answer, and move about their business.
I hear these questions and my soul vibrates with excitement. Literally. Much like an electric wire hanging above your house; my synapses take off in a sudden stampede and I’m transformed into sheer voltage, dangerously alive within the intellectual stimulation of it all.
I’ve unintentionally devoted most of my life to exploring which kind of answers are actually relevant, researching my ‘brains out’ in search of some historically documented suggestion of philosophical truth that actually registered within my heart without creating deeper questions. I wound up less certain and more perplexed than I was at the start. My academic journeys in college at the sophomore level all began with every single one of my philosophy professors prefacing their commitment to my education with the same disclaimer: “If you’re looking for answers, philosophy isn’t for you. There’s a legitimate reason all the same questions are still being asked. Get out now while you still have a chance.” My professors on the junior and senior level began their semesters much the same way, but ironically presented a new enigmatic dilemma: “If you’re STILL a philosophy major, and you aren’t independently wealthy or clinically mentally ill, you haven’t got much common sense. People don’t get paid to sit around and think all day. Unless you plan to teach it. And if you actually hope to do what I do, you’d better have some answers because the questions are centuries old now and there’s no new way of asking them. Don’t waste your time, or anyone else’s.”
But just like the seven remaining colleagues of mine still majoring in Philosophy at the near end of our undergraduate experience, I was doomed from the start. I had no other option, honestly. I took a sophomore year professor’s advice and became a pre-med student for one full semester. Surprisingly, medicine seemed to come fairly naturally to me. I loved learning about anatomy and physiology, nutrition, biology, physics, chemistry, etc. Science struck a chord in my soul as beautifully as spirituality. But I could never escape the growing sensation that I would soon become a caterpillar whose cocoon had been stripped off. My soul felt stagnant. No matter how much information I crammed into the dusty recesses of my brain, I had no sincere and lasting desire to utilize it in the real world. I felt like a chef with no spoon. A mother with no womb. Nostalgia was taking root in my spirit as if I had gone through some terrible kind of break up. I had to return to the place I belonged.
My birth was the beginning of my own personal quest for the “Origin of Species” …on a metaphysical level. I couldn’t help myself. I was born to trump Darwin. I popped out of my mother’s belly talking to myself, debating the unanswerable curiosities in space, time, and the very nature of “being.” Ask her. She’ll tell you. I drove her half-mad with my insanely boring and endless thoughts about anything and everything. All the time. And my passionate love of the words I would discover to express these constant streams of consciousness were enough to force her eyes into a permanently crossed and rolled position. I distinctly remember the first time she read one of my poems… It wasn’t a joyful experience. Mind you, I was eleven years old with a sudden fascination with thinness and starvation, a lonely little bookworm with too many questions for her feigned interest to allow, and the poem was quite ridiculous in nature. Having never been exposed to real-life bottom-level poverty, and having only my imagination to go on, I spontaneously undertook the grand task of writing a poem from a homeless and terminally ill war veteran’s point of view. I cringe even now, just thinking about it. I will never forget its painful, almost violent awkwardness. For what I lacked in poise, I definitely made up for in imagination. (Clears throat.) And yes, it was truly that bad.
Anyway, Mom couldn’t take it anymore. My Grammy was trying to brag about this Nonsense Sonnet because she was floored by the nature of the content. She remained masterfully composed about its most atrocious form and delivery (God bless her). She insisted to my mother, “Will you just read it already? It’s important that you nurture this creative ability in your daughter. Even if it irritates you, she needs to be encouraged. She’s only in sixth grade! She has a gift. (…uh…) And every talent must be practiced. She must be motivated and inspired to develop her skill.” My mom snatched that spiral notebook right out of her hands and without even taking a breath said, “Are you kidding me? Did you actually READ this? It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. She is ELEVEN YEARS OLD, MOM. What child writes poems about dying bums on the street in SIXTH GRADE? I can’t pretend her sudden interest in darkness and despair is talent. What does she even know about that stuff, seriously? She’s never been on the street and she hasn’t even seen an actual homeless person in her entire life, and if you think she needs positive reinforcement, fine. YOU give it to her. Just leave me out of it. It’s weird.”
I love my mom. This is the same woman who reacted to my decision to attend an Ivy League University (without scholarships or grants or savings of any kind) with, “Have you completely lost your mind? What do you plan to major in?” (…silence…) …”Uhmmm… Well, I’m actually double majoring…” Suddenly I understood what “deafening silence” meant. Her voice grew shrill. “You’re joking, right? We’re past April Fool’s Day Brandy. Please tell me it’s Business or Law, or something that will actually get you out of debt before you plan to retire.” (…crickets chirping…) “No mom. It’s …um… Psychology. And… Flosfy…” I was cornered. No way out of it now. “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?,” she says, her teeth clenched down like a sudden case of lock-jaw. I couldn’t run from it. “Philosophy, mom. Psychology and Philosophy. And yes, I know you think it’s stupid and I know you won’t understand but this is what is right for me.”
It took my mom almost a year to get over it. Disbelief, complete lack of faith in my plan, and an honest sadness for what she thought was my lack of better judgement. She found her own way to some form of peace (I wouldn’t call it acceptance, but it was at least better than the former.)
Now we skip ahead five fruitless years or so from my university studies. And into my world walks Quantum Physics, exploding before me with light-speed and sonic-sound, romancing my innermost soul, setting my ideas in a PURPOSEFUL motion. For the first time, I was completely set free from those once harrowing and circular thought processes. Those classic philosophic questions only presented more questions with questions for answers, wrapping themselves tightly around and around and around each other as if stamping out the infinity symbol itself, over and over and over, back and forth, in and out, with quickening velocity in the very opposite direction of the truth — and its inherent answers — of which I had spent my curious life pursuing. Well, that trivial and all-consuming pursuit wasn’t in vain after all. My mom was justified to feel disappointed and concerned. I won’t deny that. But it feels quite vindicating to discover resolution for all of those years, all of those questions, all of those incomprehensible student loans and 20 credit-hour semesters while working a full time job, all of those massive elephants in the room every time I mentioned what exactly I planned to do with my life… (For clarification, refer back to the title of this post.)
Suffice it to say, I am confident that every one of those brilliant professors possessed some certain variation and degree of lunacy. I find encouragement and remorse resting in equal proportion at the center of this epiphany.
(Note: If you aren’t much of a philosopher and your eyes haven’t glazed over by now, congratulations. You are hereby endowed with the Honorary Conundrum Award. Quite the achievement! Way to go.)
It’s hard to pay attention to mindless semantics, unless your mind is like mine. Not mindless, really. I see it as mind-more-ful of the universe and all of its mystery, and how that mystery manifests itself even on the microscopic levels of life, energy, motion, space, and time. It’s a brain perfectly plagued with fascination of relativity, cellular functions, intellectual synapses, spiritual implications, frequencies, hypotheticals, energy fields, anatomic processes, dimensions, physics, and all of the other things most people seldom apply to their daily mentality, and yet implicitly could not exist without. Irony, doubled over.
Quantum physics is my heartbeat. It’s yours too. You probably just don’t know it. It quite simply brings science and religion face to face, and proves that, well… They’re both wrong. And they’re also both right. They are not what we have always been taught they were, the classic argument of “evolution versus creation”. If you took quantum physics and broke it down, and then took several long and strange tangents, you would find religion deep down on one end, and science on another. In a world without the greater truth of quantum physics, science and religion are forced to mimic each other’s complete absurdity like a child taunting a lion in a cage at the zoo. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, you can’t get me.
Oh yes, I can. Both win. Both lose.
Quantum physics is to science what God is to religion. Unknowable. Unfathomable. Seemingly synonymous, but in reality (ha) the two are truthfully diabolically opposed.
Science and religion are built on unanswered variables, and unanswered prayers, and neither possesses any room for the possibility of a greater truth (and by truth here I mean valid, factual evidence and explanation of the greater simplicities of our existence). 😉 But if everybody would just simmer down and chill out and listen to what’s happening on a MOLECULAR LEVEL, we would all quickly realize the truths of our universe on a MACRO level.
The universe is best understood by the molecules that combine to form the particles of matter within it.
Science and religion both run from that. Disagree all you want, but I hold it to be self-evident. Seriously. Religion scampers off into the woods to hide from any discussion about cell composition, periodic elements, and how our very own bodies are made of the very same stuff as those beautiful stars in our sky. It scares religion because it pushes boundaries. And even greater, it asks questions that religion isn’t suited — or maybe willing — to answer.
Science is a dog with its tail between its legs, the moment anybody tries to address the fact that we have discovered the existence of thirteen dimensions in space and time (the universe isn’t 3D, and it’s not 4D either), and there is SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE of an OBSERVABLE IMPACT words and thoughts have over reality, specifically evident in the cellular structure of a molecule (see link below regarding Dr. Emoto’s water molecule photography and the irrefutable effect thoughts have over the water molecule’s structure. Fair warning: be prepared with an extra pair of under-britches before you click the link. This stuff is so mind-blowing you will literally pee your pants).
Science cannot accept what it cannot define. It seeks out boundaries and laws, just like religion, to cling to when the winds of possibility and supernatural phenomenon rush in on top of them.
The quantum function of life is so incredibly simple, and yet so incredibly complex. It is the touché, pussycat, in the face of those cowardly lions. It knocks our socks off and turns our brains on and nobody is really prepared to feel its magnitude, or its momentum. Unless (like me) you’ve spent every moment of your meager existence climbing the walls of accepted scientific and spiritual truth so that you could truly find your way out of the lies and voyage into the truths that these two fields somehow seem to avoid… People like me exist in a perpetual frequency of excitement. Complete eagerness and WOW-type emotion, because this stuff is real. It isn’t hypothetical; it’s tangible and test-able and prove-able… And it simply MAKES SENSE.
It’s controversial for basic reasons. Primarily, it reveals every single last weakness in every single last hypothesis we have built our collective consciousness around. It presents even deeper ways of interpreting reality, ways that humankind has never indulged within the scope of intellectual and spiritual pursuit.
If you’ve never been exposed to quantum physics and you’re not quite sure what on earth I’m talking about, it’s not as complicated as rocket science and it’s actually much easier to comprehend than any other scientific field of study. In a very brief summation, it is the study of how PERCEPTION creates REALITY. And if you think that sounds like a bunch of nonsense, I urge you to watch the independent film “What the Bleep Do We Know?!”
…It will completely change your life.
As a mother and a woman madly in love with Jesus Christ, an old soul and an open mind and an overly-intellectual but free-spirited thinker, I know like I know like I know that there is a reason you read this post today. My ideas of what those reasons are might differ greatly from what the reasons mean to you, but I’m glad you rode the brainwave with me. Now follow wherever it leads you.
For another great post on this topic, check out LizNewberry7 and the incredible range of comments, perspectives, and ideas her blog inspired: http://awomeninherthirties.com/2012/08/08/can-you-solve-the-puzzle/