Reality A Description
A Million Different Things
My book of short essays, called "meditations," from which this was lifted.
Reality In Action
When I wrote this section, Reality A Description, as an early piece in my next book, I started with the notion that reality is a kind of fluid, a lubricant for itself, all things everywhere in motion.
Viscosities change. Speeds change. Degrees of intermingling change.
Pause it never does.
We will never see reality take a breather because, if it does, it will collapse instantly into extinction.
It’s gone and you with it.
No post game analysis or finger-pointing.
Reality A Description
Motion is an integral action that forces definitions to declare themselves within all matter, sort of like a convention where everyone has a different favorite candidate but has to vote anyway, creating a universal tie.
The television networks can’t even break for commercials. There are as many balloons as not-balloons. The anchors have a terrible time, and the commentators sound like idiots.
Without definition, it can’t be matter.
Rules are rules. Without matter, no reality.
Simple, yes? How about this?
Matter itself is illusion. Actually, it’s more like magic, and tracing the implications of that magic, such as why it occurs at all, is another theme of this book.
In case that wasn’t clear, we’re talking about God or not-God here.
For most, it’s profoundly unsatisfying to know that there is ultimately nothing to hold onto.
There is no rock on which to anchor yourself, which is why religion and myth are so successful in offering one. As if the proselytizers owned it.
We evolved belief systems because they make us feel better when the truth seems impossible. We are told that belief in (usually) God demands faith.
In reality, it demands separation and a reliable set of brakes. God is disinterested in comforting beliefs that deny what we know. How could It be otherwise?
And God demands only knowing.
“For that is the truth of it,” as Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler acknowledges as he prays over the body of Ilya Gruner, “that we know, we know.”
Let's use that proper noun, God, for convenience.
We have to have some point of reference, but please discard any ideas about old, ornery white men on thrones in which gravity is optional. Throw out any image or gender of any kind. The creator of gender can’t have one, obviously.
Dismiss kindly spirits who dispatch angels to aid us in our grief. Cart out with the garbage the maker of rights and wrongs, the arbiter of morals or taste.
Let go of the angelic hand.
It’s not that these are less than true. It’s that they are merely references, none complete in itself, and while it’s always helpful to observe signposts, it’s more important to not lose sight of what they are, indicators.
Arrows point toward a larger presence. In this case, much larger, the signposts becoming mere dwarfs.
Reality A Description
Reality, I suppose, is a term much more easily left out of the conversation. Nobody knows what it is, although we are always immersed in it.
Reality is everywhere and everything, the thing itself.
On a small scale, we all know what it’s like to step back and have an objective look at a container, a subject or a challenge. The cliché, thinking outside the box, feels natural.
But reality is a box out of which we can never step, even for a curbside smoke.
Reality permeates, boundlessly energetic.
It’s essence trickles down from the wing of a bird to an unobservable point of energy and ramps back up to infiltrate what we observe as a universe. It does so in steps so tiny and powerful, human brains of this millennia will never see them.
They are so small, you can’t even honestly call them steps.
When we talk about mountains, moons, cells, even quanta, we are talking only about chunks of reality identifiable with the limited tools evolution has given us.
We aren’t talking about reality itself because reality can’t be isolated or be made up of parts.
Reality is the ever-changing fluid we’ve adapted to by creating our own symbolic version. Symbolic versions are allowed to have parts, making them both very convenient and not truthful.
Our minds are creation’s greatest tool for awareness, but they can safely be compared to the first aquatic creature that struggled ashore in evolution’s March into complexity.
They have a long beach full of dangers to cross before sprouting wings, let alone inaugurate tools to compensate for their shortcomings. Our tools always tell us where our brains are going.
Tools never deviate too much from the base or they become useless, unable to continue as prototypes for evolution.
Reality is God’s own splash into what we’d otherwise call nothingness.
(As we’re only beginning to get a handle on reality, imagine how tough to define nothingness is going to be.)
Splashed into space was a composition of rhythmic energy, vibrations everywhere.
Jackson Pollack got close to that moment. Ineffable knowing might even have drove him crazy.
In the initial outburst of rhythmic energy, complete itself, variations erupted into clumps of the cosmos, representations what we call matter. Density and heat differentiated into the variations we know as color, taste, sound and temperature.
God has no limits.
The universe expanded with infinite variation.
Eventually, life sucked together enough functional parts to make something new.
Fluids can’t pause. Life kept moving, definitions swelling, until finally we have you, here, now, looking at or listening to this book.
The only mistake you can ever make is in forgetting you were and are some of that initial splash. You are the splash becoming aware of itself.
You’re not alone. You imagine extrasensory perception or the wholeness of conscious awareness being shared. Reality is ripe with these things. How could it not be?
If reality has no holes, you can never escape or stumble into one. You might as well become aware and claim some of the fun.
Imagine you’re a single young man at a party. The room is densely populated with attractive women. Your only dilemma is over which one to ask.
But you must ask, that’s the thing. The alternative is sloth and infectious disinterest. Inoculate yourself with indefatigable interest.
Make choice after choice after choice. On purpose.
About God, The Great Adventure
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© 2010 David Stone
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