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Sunday, June 14, 2015

MY LIFE AS A DOT


Ever thought that your life may be not dissimilar to a dot in a painting? A pointillist painting of the universe and just as variegated and vast. Or of you getting out of bed in the morning, since that's what you do everyday in this humdrum thing called life. If you haven't, I mean considered the meaning of existence and your purpose in the grand scheme, then you're too busy.

Put your phone down, stop watching the tube and massaging your genitals, and contrary to what Budweiser says, ask why. (Like why follow Bud anyway when their product tastes like watered down piss.) I'm not asking you to write about your astonishing revelations about the nature of Absolute Reality and its relation to this cosmic dream. For that, there's me. You're welcome.


But your individual life may be very much like a dot, or if you prefer a note in a symphony, the symphony of manifest existence. What's wrong with being a measly little note? On its own whole and melodious, each D and G and A and E, and as a part of a larger work, such as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in which each chord has its place, your life, with its petty cares and worries, its triumphs and tragedies, is not only irreplaceable but an absolutely necessary part of the masterpiece that is the manifest world. 


Maybe it will help if we put your place in the cosmos in an even larger perspective by taking a cue from popular media, as I often do. In the movie Transcendence, Johnny Depp plays Dr. Will Caster, a scientist who on his death-bed has his brain uploaded onto a computer so that he can live forever. This version of him, though disembodied (for most of the film) can partake of the computer's superhuman processing speed, thus he becomes a greatly enhanced version of his flesh and blood former self. He has his memories, but added to this individuality is the entire contents of the world wide web.


Each brain, as a bundle of neurons wired together, is unique. Like snowflakes, no two cerebra are exactly alike. You have neurons and neuronal connections for each memory, grand or base (I have one for that time a kid peed on my head at the park when I was six, and another for when I hit my first Little League home run in the sixth grade), and connections for every talent from tying a cherry stem with your tongue to juggling and playing Beethoven's Ninth and doing the splits while having sex, as well as hitting that home run I remember so fondly.

Your brain is an imprint of your entire existence. The house you build, synapse by synapse, and then live in, or which lives on you. And as the expression "to see one's life flash before one's eyes" seems to indicate, it is the accumulated images and experiences captured by our mind's eye, the brain, which we relive, at the moment of death, or during a psychedelic trip or what have you, in a process analogous to going through a photo album, or in today's world, swiping through your iPhone.

Now, when each person dies, that unique snowflake-like imprint, world view, set of experiences, talents, agonies and ecstasies, dies with them. At least so far as we know, and until Depp's fictional future becomes our present, for now. But does it?

Imagine a universal hall of records. Imagine if like Caster's brain, each person's particular neuronal imprint, was uploaded at death into a vast mainframe that included the contents of every other brain of every other individual ever existing on this planet. Talk about a supercomputer, a superhuman, a superbeing, just plain super. Dare I say God?

Such a being, equipped with the totality of experiences and talents ever occurring, comes close to serving as a workable definition for God. For God, in the manifest sense, is the sum total of every individual who has ever lived, lives, and will live. God is being built with each thought and experience, from the asinine to the sublime. 

I must point out however that in this analogy God may not be very good at math. Neuronal connections are strengthened as skills increase, and in the real world most people are stuck at simple arithmetic. Disagree? Do you know the difference between multiplying 4,000 by 1/4 and dividing 4,000 by 1/4? Then you are one of the few, because most people don't. (Hint: the difference between the two is 15,000.) 

What most people do know is Katy Perry, who with over 70 million Twitter followers is the world's most popular gal. So it is safe to bet that God as the sum total of individual proclivities would certainly know by heart the words to Teenage Dream, my favorite. He'd probably do a mighty karaoke rendition too, which I can't because I'm tone deaf. But she's so hot though! I don't go much for divorcees but for her I'd make an exception. Rare is the girl who can look this good just out of bed. Katy if you're listening, I'm available.

 
My point is, your individual life, like the symphonic note and the impressionist's dot, makes up an indispensable part of all that is. In living it, you are adding to God. Keep that in mind next time you hum along, whether to Ludwig or to Ludo, or like me, off-key to Katy Perry, my teenage dream who by the way is thirty. But who's counting. Baby I will wait for you. You can hum that one, too.


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