A Continuous Quest In An Ever Changing Universe

The universe is in constant flux and transformation. A moment by moment displacement and reformation.

The universe is everything which is known and experienced, and much more. Even the most knowledgeable among humanity regarding the happenings of our ever expanding universe are merely as a child on the beach looking across the ocean as far as one’s vision might allow. If we only knew what we don’t know, perhaps our ignorance would overwhelm our confidence.

Our concept of reality is limited in scope and to certain specifics. What we know amounts to perceptions as defined by our instincts and our experiences. Our instincts are innate, our experiences are an expanded context of the function of those instincts within the framework of the natural principles of the universe.

Our lives are a moment by moment quest for comfort. An instinctive effort from birth to death. The specifics as to how we achieve that ever elusive goal are limited to the framework of certain seemingly consistent principles within the context of the physical universe.

Our natural instinctive aversion to discomfort is complemented by a secondary instinctive sensitivity for the suffering of others. In fact, we become distressed and therefore internally uncomfortable at the mere sound of the suffering of any other sentient being.

Our instinctive aversion to suffering then seems to not only serve as a means of self preservation, but likewise as a basis for social interaction. Such seems to be the most fundamental principle of our very being as sentient beings within the the context of the constant flux and transformation of our niche of the known universe.

Advertisements

The Universe and Me

Every day I observe life, death, and birth.
Everyday I read of each in the local paper (or my Facebook timeline).

Everyday people are born.
Everyday people die.
Everyday people experience being.

Everyday things happen which involve suffering and sadness.
Everyday things happen which involve jubilation and joy.

The tree is the product of the seed.
The seed is the product of the tree.

Certain trees provide sustenance for my existence.
A falling tree can end my existence.

A soft breeze can make me comfortable.
Violent wind can be the source of my death.

Water consumed can sustain my being.
Water consumed can kill me.

The effects of sunshine on my skin can comfort me.
The effects of sunshine on my skin can kill me.

The tree does not care about my well being, yet can provide me shade or sustenance.
The wind does not care about my well being, yet can be a source of energy for my comfort.

Water does not care, yet without such I would die.
The sunshine does not care, yet without such I would die.

The universe does not care about my well being.
Yet, the universe is the source of my very being.

No hard feelings Universe for the hardships of being.
Thanks just the same for being the source of my being.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

But For The Grace of an Impersonal Reality

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity.

I do not mean this as a slander.
I do not mean this as an insult.
I do not mean this as an attack.

I mean this is an assessment.
An assessment based upon reason relative to natural reality.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity in the light of a Universe which is indifferent and impersonal.

Nature is reality.

Nature does not care.
Nature does not give a damn about the wellbeing of even a single sentient being.
Nature is indifferent as to outcome and effect.

Nature does not bend the lightning bolt so as to avoid striking the fool standing in the water holding an antenna in his bare hands.

Nature does not alter the natural effects of water in human lungs when the baby falls into the swimming pool.

Nature does not redirect the tornado so as to avoid killing the masses whose unlucky lot is to be in its path.

Nature does not favor the side of the block whose houses are spared when several houses across the street are destroyed and several people are killed by the same tornado.

Nature is impersonal reality.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity in the light of the fact that there is a natural reason for everything.

When I was 15, I was traveling with my sisters and a friend in a car which was struck by a train. The car was an AMC Gremlin. Now, the AMC Gremlin was a popular hatchback in those days which was known for efficient fuel consumption. In general a fine piece of machinery. However; the AMC Gremlin did not as a general rule hold up well against trains. At least ours did not.

Now, there were four of us in the car. My younger sister was thrown out the back window. The rest of us were suspended upside down in the car after several rolls in the middle of a 6 lane road. No other cars were struck by our car even though we were in the middle lane of traffic. It was 3:45PM on a school day, we were less than a mile from the High School that had only recently released classes.

As to injuries; everyone was shook up. The front seat occupants were fairly banged up, my younger sister cut her arm, and I had a sore neck for a couple of days. We were all taken to the ER at the local hospital, but I don’t recall anyone staying the night (I know for certain I did not).

Other than the AMC Gremlin, everyone survived.

Were we; the four occupants of the AMC Gremlin which was struck by the train on Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas at 3:45PM on May 12, 1976; lucky to walk away from the mishap alive?

You damn right we were lucky. We all could have been killed.

Was it a miracle that no one was killed in the mishap? Of course not.

Was God watching over us that day?

If God were watching over we; the four occupants of the AMC Gremlin which was struck by the train that day, then why the hell did the train hit us in the first place?

Furthermore, what about those people who have died as a result of injuries sustained from being in cars which was struck by trains. Was God not watching over them?

Here is what happened at 3:45PM on May 12, 1976 on Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas when our AMC Gremlin was struck and flipped by a train:

The driver was traveling at a certain rate of speed so that, when the driver pressed the brakes upon hearing the train whistle; the effect was such that the car stopped with the right fender and the right front wheel over the railroad tracks. (Bummer!)

The circumstances were furthermore such that all mechanical factors relative to maintaining the ongoing operation of the vehicle momentarily failed. In other words, the damn vehicle stalled on the tracks! (Another bummer!)

The speed of the oncoming train was such that the Engineer was unable to stop the locomotive before the driver of the AMC Gremlin was able to restart the car. In other words, KABOOM!! (REALLY a bummer!)

Then the train slid the vehicle through the empty lane to the vehicle’s left, whereupon after hitting the curb, the vehicle dislodged from the train, and rolled over once, then came to a stop upside down. As I mentioned earlier, my younger sister involuntarily exited the rear through the hatchback, and the rest of us had a momentary upside view of our surroundings.

Now, having reviewed the events of that memorable day (I still contact my sisters each May 12 to wish them a “Happy Choo-Choo Day”), I would like to point out the obvious yet oftentimes overlooked reality of such circumstances:

The obvious yet oftentimes overlooked reality being that there is a natural explanation for everything that happened that day.

There was no evidence of a miracle that spared my life that day.

I feel lucky to be alive today in the light of the events of that afternoon, but nothing took place that day that is not explainable by sheer physics. In that regard, the AMC Gremlin came out a loser; because the laws of physics do not allow a Gremlin much defense against the effect of being hit by an oncoming train.

But the laws of physics are such, and the circumstances relative to physics in the course of the wreck was such, that we four occupants were not injured beyond repair. (Would that the AMC Gremlin were so lucky)

Furthermore, there is no reason to doubt that were ALL circumstances identical, and were the occurrence to be repeated, that the outcome would be the same right down to the damage done to the car and the injuries sustained by we; the four occupants of the totalled car.

Such is physics.
Such is natural reality.

There is always a natural explanation for everything.

And, since I did survive a “close call”, I am grateful to have walked away from the wreck itself.

But I don’t thank God.
Nor would I blame God had any of the other three occupants of the vehicle that day perished in the mishap.

If I were to thank any “one” for walking away alive that day, I would thank Nature.

But why should I thank Nature?

Nature is impersonal
Nature does not care one way or the other whether I walked away from that wreck alive or not.
Nature is not happy that I survived.
Nature would not mourn if I had perished painfully as a result of the wreck that day.
Nature is impersonal.

And so I live with this reality:

I survived a close call on May 12, 1976.

And I am glad that I did survive that day. But there is no one to thank. Just as there is no one to blame.

It was what it was.
And it is what it is.

Such is the natural reality of living in an impersonal universe.

Dave Henderson

On Natural Intelligent Life Forms

The highest form of natural intelligence known to the human being is the human being.

Yet, just how limited is our knowledge as to natural life elsewhere?  How can we even assess the limits of our own knowledge of all that is?

Perhaps human beings are the pinnacle of natural intelligence.

Perhaps.

The Intrigue of the Limitless

The nature of the universe intrigues me.  As do theories related to the same.  It interests me that most religions are based upon theories of the universe which predate modern science.  Which leads me to question whether there would even be such a concept as religion had the knowledge which is available to to us now been available to those who initiated religious theories to explain the unknown way back then.  I am even further intrigued by the limits of our knowledge today even in light of the advances of modern science. It seems to me that nobody knows for certain the limits of either space or time.  Which perhaps intrigues me the most.