Sunday, March 6, 2016

No man ever steps in the same river twice – Heraclitus

No one wakes up being exactly the same person who went to sleep. The brain does what it has to do.  In the morning, dreams have done whatever dreams do. Cells were born, and cells died. Memories were embedded, others disintegrated or were relegated to he deepest recesses of our gray matter.

To Heraclitus’ point that a flowing river is always changing, and that the water whirling around your feet a split second ago has gone down stream. It is a constant theme in all things, perhaps the only constant, possibly. The heavens aren’t arranged as they were a few microseconds ago.  The world — the universe all in constant change — is never the same place. It is not only without a conceivable beginning and an end, it is without permanent form, and likely without purpose at least as we understand the word.

As humans we are struggling with the notion of time.  And we have become devoutly curious about dimensions we, as humans, now believe exist, but cannot perceive.

We can understand more of the endless processes, and that seems to be desirable for our curious species to the extent our organism’s capability allows. Organisms act and are acted upon accordingly. We can explore and record what we discover, develop theories and prove some of them at least for now — if the word “prove” is adequate and “now” is accurate.  But we cannot be sure that our perceptions are the only perceptions that can be made.  Or whether they mean anything at all.

I remember, as a child wondering about those we inappropriately said were living in the loony bins.  I wondered if they knew something most of us didn't, saw things we were unable to see, maybe even lived in a dimension we could not conceive. Certainly some of our greatest artists and scientists colored way outside the lines.  I have always questioned and still question the idea of “normal.” Being normal doesn’t lead to invention, rather convention.

I think about this now because, while I’m definitely not the oldest person on the planet, my increasing investment in the Golden Years has placed me in greater proximity to some of the side effects of old age – senility, dementia, and inertia. Of course, there is the other hand — acceptance, an odd and at times irritating (to others) patience, and a deeper appreciation of dark humor.


Kim Messick said...

Hi Ronald--- Just a quick note to say that I hope you're happy in your new Palm Springs digs. I'm getting caught up on your blog after an extended absence while completing some writing projects. All the best and please--- keep writing and posting!

Kim Messick

Ronald Tierney said...

Many thanks, Kim. I enjoy your blog.

Kim Messick said...

Thanks Ronald! I consider that high praise coming from you.