My mind always has wandered in strange directions. I was born curious, wanting to know everything about everything, so it’s no wonder that I became a philosopher of sorts. I’m alone in all my family with this trait, though. The rest of them had absolutely no use for it, they were all only concerned with the here and now.
My brother and I worked for our father at a truck body repair shop, and after work on Fridays we would sometimes go to the coctail lounge down at the corner and suck up a few. My brother and I would engage in conversation and I’d count his drinks. After he’d downed his third, I’d gently steer the conversation onto a philosophical topic, and it usually took him a couple more drinks before he figured out that I had him deep into some very esoteric subject.
Then it would be “Dammit, you’re talking that philosophy crap to me again”. I’d laugh and head home then, since I’d only had a couple drinks over this whole time and was still sober.
So you see, philosophy, properly applied, can be fun.
Today being Thanksgiving, I was thinking about life while someone on TV was harping away in the background about their rights, and it occurred to me that none of us have any rights at all. We think we have the “Right to Life, Liberty etcetera, but we don’t. We really have no more right to live than an ant. Maybe that’s where my sense of humility comes from. Life is completely uncertain and very fragile and is such a wonderful thing to partake in. We are all lucky to be alive. I was born in the most prosperous and free nation among all those that humans have brought into being, born white, male, healthy and with a good mind. Well, not born healthy but I worked my way into excellent health. It was latent in my body, I just had to bring it out. But what a piece of luck! Free, white and American! Even if I was born poor, stupid and Somalian, still, what a gift, to live.
So if you’re into the traditional Thanksgiving mode, you might give thanks first for being able to draw breath and say “thank you”. You are an accident, a chance occurrence, and you have the gift of conscious awareness. That’s something to be grateful for.
Here’s the real philoscophy of life for you, if you thought that last was it. That was just a starter, the mashed potatos and gravy. Here comes the turkey:
Imagine a flat, calm ocean, a water world with no wind. Tiny bubbles arise from the deep by the millions all over the globe and as they rise, they expand, and when they reach the surface, there they float, bubbles of all sizes from the microscopic to the huge.
Some of the bubbles last a very long time compared to others, especially the really tiny ones, which come and go so fast it’s like carbonated water fizzing away. The ocean, the water, that forms all these bubbles, is Life, and though all the bubbles may look different, they are all formed by the same thing, because all life is one life, just as all water is one water.
When they collapse back into the ocean again, they simply merge with their source, to become part of the millions of new bubbles, constantly forming and collapsing back into their original nature.
One drop of water is all drops of water, water evaporates and falls as rain, becomes rivers, is pulled from wells, flows out of taps and peoples eyes, and merges again with all the other water.
And so does Life.
The physicists call it the Law of Conservation of Energy. Energy never goes away or dies out, it simply changes form. Electric energy heats a light bulb filament, which then gives off light along with heat. The light either travels into space or meets some object and is converted to heat or movement. The heat is abosrbed by the air and is converted to motion as the air rises. And so on. No energy ever dies out, it just keeps changing to some other form.
Life is an energy form.