12 May 2016

Primacy, happenstance, cognizance

The idea of an evolving creature… I wonder: was it a bigger brain that said, “I need a more agile mouth to help me articulate my new thoughts,” or did the tongue come first, making advanced noises, which stimulated the brain to grow up to match them? Or was it a fortuitously simultaneous freak—what some might call “divine fiat”? And why does this matter, this question of chicken-or-egg? For me, it’s another manifestation of the desire to be elsewhere.

I crave strangeness, yet I prefer it to be couched in the safety of home.

But what’s the most important aspect of life? I say: Friendship. That’s a general answer; however, speaking personally (the way that one might tell one’s favorite color), I say: Language. I was a lonely child, and now I’m a lonely adult; so I spend a lot of time imagining, thinking for no purpose other than to revel in the variability of the meditations. I like to let thoughts wander. It’s a proclivity that could make me into a solipsist, but my love of language is a way (I hope) of making communal what would otherwise be solitary.

Usually I write these journal entries immediately after I awake in the morning, before the first light, before I’ve breakfasted, before I’ve seen the news (the bad news, I should specify; for there’s nothing new under the sun, and all is vanity); so I’m constantly worried that I’ll pen some random whim that ends up coinciding with actual events, like speculating about the arrival of extraterrestrials on the very day that extraterrestrials arrive: in that case, I fear, the product of my fancy’s creative power will be seen as a mere restatement of reality. So, to be clear: I write in a journal, but I’m not a journalist.

Yet could it be that everything has indeed changed since our parents’ heyday?

When I’m “fully conscious,” I perceive the world as it were passively (perception is never entirely passive, that’s why I include the proviso “as it were”); whereas, when I’m drifting near to sleep although not yet slumbering, my perception of the world is less dutiful, less of a “taking-of-orders-from-reality” and more of a “waltz-with-reality.” This semi-lucid state is the origin of all ghosts, devils, and poetry—that’s what I think. But that’s not the only reason that God is rarely seen at business meetings.

And where are all the scientists? I frequently hear of them, but I never do meet any. Or, when I meet a scientist, the phenomenon always turns out to be a human. Scientists are supposed to have a particular look: they all are required by law to share the same stylist. Electrified hair, white smock, safety goggles. They should have a glow about them.

Science impresses me because it’s a boring pursuit that often wields vast power. It causes explosions, which in turn cause fear; and sometimes science even helps people. But we locals hear tall tales about rival scientists destroying each other’s laboratories due to professional jealousy. Also, much scientific work necessitates financing; and, as the saying goes: Wherever there’s money, there’s sure to be trouble.

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