The Objective Reality of the Universe – Matt O’Dowd

I think the important thing is not to confuse the idea that we have a subjective experience of the universe, and that “that” subjective experience isn’t the universe – it’s a different thing to the actual universe. But nonetheless the universe remains consistent, our subjective experience of the universe matches other people’s subjective experience of the universe, we can all make measurements that agree with each other. And that gives us confidence that there is something objectively real without knowing what it is.

– Answering a question in Is Our Map of The Universe Accurate? with Matt O’Dowd on StarTalk (Youtube)

Reflection XXXX

What is man but the imperfect blending of carnal beast, and divine reason: two natures made to form one being. The instinct to smell, to feel, to hear and see and taste the world around us – to snap to action. The mind to see what is unseeable, the forces and forms that exist beyond that which can be detected by powerful but limited senses – to name these fundamental things, and comprehend and apply them.

And yet the foolishness we exhibit when we easily forget what we are.

Reflection XXXIX

Opphøyer deg selv ikke til en større nivå. I stede kjenner hva er verdien din. Kjenner at du, sånn alle andre skapninger i jorden, har en del av guds hellige ånd, en del av hans essene. Vi er sammen, med alle andre ting som har liv, sammen er vi vakre. Vi er ikke gud, men vi har gud i oss, selv hvis du tror eller forstår ikke hva gud er, for gud er mysteriøs å tilå kjenner gud er lange på avstand av oss.

Kuben

Så var jeg der, i midten av ørkenen, skal et sted, kanskje ingensted. Vindet var styrk og i store vindkaster blåste sand tvers ansiket mitt, men jeg var rolig, for det er hvor jeg burde bli. Da skjedde jeg opp på en kube, som ligger i midten av ørkenen. Det var små, større enn handen min, og skapt fra noe metall, some bronse eller wolfram. Skrivet på det var ord, men jeg kunne ikke ler dem, selv hvis de virket så fortrolig.

Da så jeg en hull, bak og på høyre, i det var en tre stige som går ned. Plutselig så jeg en hest, føran meg, ved siden av hullen, med en enkel sal. Ingen pakker og baggasjer, ingen rustning, verken gamle, eller nye. Forskjellig, som hvis det var mer om hesten enn jeg kunne se. Hvordan hadde jeg ikke sett det før? Noe uvanlige skjer her. Og da, plutselig, var blomster, alle rundt meg, kommer inn fra avstand, blomstering som ringen strammet. Tusen om tusen blomster, sånn langt som jeg kan se, og forsatt kunne jeg se sanddyner på avstand, sånn store fjell rundt meg.

Og så til slutt, på avstand, over sanddyner, dukket opp en styrk storm. Det stormet inn, men jeg var ikke redd. For rundt meg, og hullen med stige, hesten og kuben, og under oss var sand, sånn det var før og det hadde ikke endre. Bare bortenfor begynt blomstene, og jeg følt stormen ville ikke skad meg. Her var jeg med meg selv. Og selv om alt rundt meg var større, alt var ment å bli oppdaget.

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I refleksjon av kuben test – en japansk psykology spill

Reflection XXXVII

For alle tiden hadde jeg bruked, jeg har lært å så litt. Jeg kunne ikke fortelle eller sjå selv den mest grunnleggende av tankene mine. Hvordan kan jeg forklare til noe hva jeg tenke når jeg kjenner ikke hva er rett og sant? Alle er spørsmål for meg selv, og der er ikke svarer å finne. Hvem er Gud, hvem er oss? Hva er viktig? Vi må alle liv og dø, det er alle jeg vet. Kanskje søken til sannhet er meningsløst.

Tretti og jeg er her nå. Hva har jeg? Jeg har kjærlighet. Til meg jeg tro det er nok.

The older I get, the less I know

The older I get, the less I want to say. I can’t help but think of the opening lines to “Crusades” by August Burns Red: “I use to be so young, and invincible. The mistakes of my youth are finally catching up to me. The face that stares back in the mirror should carry nothing but pride.” I echo those feelings and in my brief time here, I feel like I’m so much less certain about things than I was when I was slightly younger. I was more certain about my views on faith, on goodness, on honour, on just about everything. I thought I knew what was true, black, white and grey. I wrote more often, thinking I was putting out salient observations about the nature of it all. Now I look back, and it all seems so much more complicated than what my younger self thought.

The older I get, the less I want to say. “It’s Not Enough” by Dustin Kensrue outlines so many life accomplishments, many laudable, many that I have so desperately desired – and yet it seems to suggest that none of these things are enough to “make me whole.” What is important and worthwhile? Family? Friends? Connection? Service? Honour? Wisdom? Happiness? Peace? Having abandoned so much of these in my own ways, by various life decisions and by leaving home, I question at my core what makes for a good life. As I reflect on my decisions and on how they have shaped me, I honestly wonder if I have done more harm than good to myself, and if that even matters.

The older I get, the less I want to say. One of the fundamental purposes of writing this blog was so that I could leave something, some record or tracking of my thoughts and reflections for my offspring, that they might understand me better, or at least see how I got to where I am – and judge for themselves whether I was right or wrong. And yet, I confess that I do not know if that shall ever come to pass. And then I question as well if that matters, whether I should continue to write, and to what ends.

The older I get, the less I know. And yet like a broken record, I remain fairly certain that love is the key, and that it is the right driving force. You can’t necessarily learn things through love, as it will never teach you what happens at the center of a star, what lies at the bottom of the sea, or what the fabric of ultimate reality is. But properly exercised, love can direct you to do the best, perhaps the most worthwhile things with your time here. It’s too bad that the older I get, the more I realize that love is something I know very little about.

Reflection XXXVI

It is not enough to do or say one thing, and inside feel something completely different. If you do this you inject poison into your own heart, and you become false to yourself and to others. Control will be lost, and yourself destroyed.

Rather if you think it important to do something other than what is natural to you, for a good that you know, appreciate and cherish, then commit to it and use the reason of your directing mind to calm your heart, over and over till it is still again, lest it be like a cornered animal – frightened, aggressive and lashing out.