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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Sagan’

Who Says the Words?

“Who says words with my mouth?” This is probably the most profound question for introflective thought I’ve ever heard. It was posed to me through an ancient poem written by a 13th Century Persian poet, the Sufi philosopher Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, more commonly referred to as just Rumi today.

I heard this question, and I thought to myself, ‘Ok! I’ll play your silly game. Who does say words with my mouth?’ I shut my eyes, and went looking. I quickly found the mechanism for saying the words, but not the director. My modest and humble knowledge of brain housing group function and physiology assisted me in finding where the words were stored, but I didn’t find who strung the words together. I looked deeper.

I found myself standing on the stage of my mind. ‘You big dummy!’ I said to myself standing on the stage of my mind, ‘You are the one who says words with your mouth.’ However, if I am standing on the stage of my own mind talking to myself, then to whom is the me standing on the stage of my talking? This started a descending spiral of antilogic which I quickly abandoned.

Who does say words with my mouth? Who does see things with my eyes? Who does taste things with my tongue, and who feels things with my fingers? The mechanism The – I – That – Is – Me occupies perceives them, interprets them, and stores them in memory. These are all superficial functions. Where is the observer? I never did find The – I – That – Is – Me.

My own speculation is that the Observer is Consciousness. I also speculate that Consciousness is one of the Basic Constructs of the Cosmos, the others being Time, Space, Matter, and Energy. We all know that Humans, like everything else we discern, are made up of Matter, propelled by Energy, occupying Space, in Time. Consciousness is a little harder on which to grasp as it is that which actually does the discerning.

Carl Sagan proposed that Mankind is a mechanism for the Cosmos to gaze back on its self. I, myself, adhere to that proposal … and I’m really glad my own, particular belief system lacks the dogmatic restrictions which would prevent me from exploring the minds of ancient Sufi poets, and modern Atheist scientists.

I’ve provided a nice, jazzy, multi – media, Modern English interpretation of the poem Who Says Words with My Mouth? by Rumi for your enjoyment, below. And, just remember, you are spectacular.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y8YSw7fUWw]

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Exit Stage Right

I’ve contemplated death Platonically, as an academic exercise.  To study death otherwise would be a waste of time, as one could not publish their conclusions.

Brian Reed with a camel in Iraq.In my personal life, I’ve recently had an event that caused me to revisit my contemplations on the subject.  This is a picture of my cousin, Brian Reed.  Brian was an adventurous man who died tragically in a motorcycle accident just a day or so ago.

This blog post is dedicated to the memory of my comrade and cousin Brian.   As such, it is also a venue to shamelessly garner sympathy for the loss of Brian from as broad an audience as possible.

Carl Sagan said that the purpose of Humanity is to be a venue for the Cosmos to examine Its Self.  Somewhere in my study of religion I came across an ancient Christian text that proclaims it is the nature of Humanity to seek God … I can’t seem to find this passage again, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was written.  Though the two expressions use different verbiage and are from divergent camps on the subject, they say the same thing.  In any event, using the criteria that Humans are intended to be vessels for experiences, Brian was an expert practitioner of Humanity.

This is what I came up with.

The human is comprised primarily of two distinct  rudiments, matter and consciousness.  Time, Space, nor Energy are directly discussed at this juncture, as they impact the subject matter to a much lesser degree. Matter is very easily discernible, to the extent that most of us come to believe that matter is all we are.  On the other hand, consciousness is so ethereal that it is undelineateable scientifically … yet we experience physically through consciousness.  Life is the state of consciousness and matter becoming a team.

There comes a point to all of us when the body sustains wear and damage to the extent that matter is no longer able to retain consciousness, and consciousness is no longer able to sustain matter.   The team is forced to dissolve, and the constituents go their separate ways.

The fate of our matter after death is obvious.  After death our physical being is recycled by nature  … “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  The very atoms of which we are made then have the bragging rights to a most spectacular adventure.

The fate of our consciousness is far less obvious.  The question of the disposition of our consciousness after death has been a subject of debate and speculation for thousands, and thousands of years.  I don’t think anyone really knows, and I won’t even pretend that I have a definitive answer.  However, it seems logical to me that if our matter is assimilated back into the infinite store of Cosmic matter, it must be so with our consciousness.  I believe that our consciousness is absorbed by the infinite consciousness of the Cosmos.  I also believe that whatever ethereal construct of which our consciousness is made then has bragging rights to a most spectacular adventure.

Till next time, remember, you are yourself spectacular, and, if I had my druthers, I druther you didn’t run with scissors, nor ride motorcycles.

Gods Cake and Carl Sagan

My brother sent me this as an email.  I thought it very wise, and appropriate to this blog.  I wish I knew who wrote it.

Gods Cake

CakeSometimes we wonder, “What did I do to deserve this?” or “Why did God have to do this to me?”

Here is a wonderful explanation! A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck” says her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?” “Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! ”

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well eat the cake.

Carl Sagan proposed that mankind is a mechanism, or organ, for the Cosmos to gaze back on its self.  This is an important Cosmic function, otherwise it wouldn’t be … Mother Nature is a frugal manager.

To keep us gazing back, we are blessed with the capacity to enjoy the Cosmos … and we should endeavor to enjoy the Cosmos.  However, we humans often forget that we are still pieces parts of the Cosmos.   Though we are special, we are not that special.  We are still subject to the laws of nature, and nature has its own agenda.  Even the mighty star has problems … try going through a super nova.

To every thing, there is a reason.  Life is a cobble stone road we’re laying, and not all the bricks we lay can be perfect … some of them can be down right ugly.  Yet, they still serve their purpose, and are part of the whole.  The important thing is to learn from the ugly bricks, strike your line for the next row, and keep moving forward.  It all works out in the end.

Thanks for reading.  Till next time, keep the good thoughts in your head, and the bad thoughts out, and remember, you are special.

P.S.  Incidentally, this is what Earth looks like from out past Pluto, at a distance of six billion kilometers.

This is what Earth looks like out past Pluto, at six billion kilometers.

Earth from out past Pluto, at six billion kilometers. Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot