Life.

sun

Friedrich Nietzsche, The gay science

Book one – 26

What is life? Life-that is: continually shedding something that wants to die. Life-that is: being cruel and inexorable against everything about us that is growing old and weak-and not only about us. Life-that is, then: being without reverence for those who are dying, who are wretched, who are ancient? Constantly being a murderer? -And yet old Moses said: “Thou shalt not kill.”

Life for us human beings starts somewhere around the time we start to remember.

According to the Wiki page life is defined as: Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have died), or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate.

As far as we know we humans are the only beings that know that they are alive apposed to dead. We sing about it, write poems praising it and can have long conversations about it. Life for me is our capability to remember and think about these memories. Do you really live if you don’t know what happened a minute ago or don’t know who you are looking in the mirror, would life not be a mere stream of impressions that disappear if you cannot appreciate them afterwards?

So, life for me starts somewhere around the time you start to remember. Maybe somewhere around your second birthday you have some continues moments, I’m no expert in these things. I get some flashes of old memories when I see old pictures, but it can be flashbacks from earlier times when I have seen these same pictures, hard to tell, but I have memories from my youth and you only have to ask my mother how much of life I questioned.

Memories are necessary for life, but memories are also unreliable, memories die on you constantly. Memories deceive you, lure you away from your path. Memories are like our lives as they are life.

Day 886, communication.

Day 886-1

 

Delicate armor

layered to embrace a flower

to spring in autumn.

 


Definition of communication: The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. (Oxford dictionary)

If I ask for a sandwich with cheese to a person who speaks English and knows what bread and cheese is, they can probably make me that sandwich. In this case we had good communication and in these kinds of cases it’s no problem of talking about communication.  If one of them doesn’t speak English we might still have communication in a formal way but it’s far from successful if the sandwich with cheese never appears.

Wikipedia defines communication better than the Oxford dictionary I think: Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.

The part “mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.” Is important in my opinion. Can you communicate about the taste of red wine with someone who only tasted water before? How do you convey the different taste sensation in wine to someone that cannot recollect does tastes and experiences? If you never tasted bitter, how can someone explain that to you. If I start talking about lice there is a chance you start scratching your head even if you never had them, it’s just that you know that they are itchy from hearsay. If you never heard of lice you would not have that same itchy sensation.

A lack of experience can hamper in clear communication. A daughter explains how a computer works to her Grandfather is like seeing two people talking different languages, can you talk of communication in such a case? A Syrian refugee talking about war to a westerner in a safe place, is that communication?  Black people feeling unsafe, woman on the work floor a veteran after the war. Maybe we al fit in our own unique little box of circumstances that prevents us from real communication with each other.

Communication doesn’t stop when the words leave your mouth, or the letter is sent.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw

 

 

Day 884, free will.

Day 884-1

Wondering alone

starlight brightens the shadows

stirred in my mind.

 


Free will.

Why do we feel free, unbounded when we make choices? What is it that moves our arm if we want to pick something up? Is it a soul or matter that gives us our identity? This is what we call the mind–body problem and it is still not satisfactory resolved.

Most people in this world believe that we have a soul and that the soul is you and makes the decisions separated from the physical body. The problem with a nonphysical soul is the way it interacts with our physical body, so it(you) can control what you do like making you walk and let you pick up things.  Many philosophers have sought for solutions and others tried to find for a physical place in our body where the soul makes contact with our body, without success.

I am not in a position to disqualify the idea that we have a soul but the chance that we have one is minute if you look at all the knowledge we have now. The consensus between a wide variety of scientist is that our identity originates in the brain and disappears when we die.  What chemicals, hormones and fluids are involved is now topic for debate between scientist but the rest of the world ignores this problem or dismisses it.

But imagine what it means for the world if we all believe that its over when we die, and religion is something you study in the history books.

Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the causes by which they are conditioned. Their idea of freedom, therefore, is simply their ignorance of any cause for their actions. As for their saying that human actions depend on the will, this is a mere phrase without any idea to correspond thereto.

Men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.

Baruch Spinoza

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