Thursday, 5 February 2015

On a Paradox and Another Planet.

I was sitting by the fire listening to the popping of gas in the burning coal, and found myself asking ‘is that reality?’ I watched the meandering tongues of flame occasionally give way to purposeful plumes of smoke, and wondered whether that was reality. I felt the heat on my face and contrasted it with the chill air in the unheated kitchen. ‘Is that reality?’ And then it occurred to me that the question is a pointless one to ask, since you need to know the answer before you can define the word and know what you’re asking. That seemed to me typical of the unsolvable paradoxes you always come up against when you ask deep and damn fool questions like ‘what is reality?’ Oh well, just carry on regardless then.

(Actually, I still seriously suspect that if you insist on asking the question anyway, you need to be looking for the answer in the abstract not the phenomenal. But what would I know?)

*  *  *

I asked my friend Leila once, when she was in the advanced stages of her medical training: ‘What do you think happens when we die?’ She replied:

‘Our energy escapes and flies off to mingle with the cosmic soup.’

‘Does that include consciousness?’

She didn’t know.

*  *  *

And I felt a growing conviction today that we HSP types are not exclusively descended from early hominids like everybody else, but from something different which came here from another planet. Seriously.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found out via 23andme that I'm about as Neanderthal as a modern human can be. Could that explain my (and your) HSP? Is that why they died out? They did have larger brains. Perhaps they possessed a highly sensitive brain area absent in other hominids?

Hope you are well Jeff,

n.

JJ Beazley said...

That’s an interesting theory, Nancy. I never knew that about Neanderthals having bigger brains. Must read up on them. And it must be quite a show stopper to be able to say ‘I’m part Neanderthal, you know. We’re different than you ordinary homo sapiens.’ I remember Maddie making light hearted reference to it once.

I seem to be reasonably well physically, thank you. Mentally is another story. My present situation does not suit an HSP type AT ALL, and I can’t find a way out of it yet. There are times when I feel like just dying out…

Hope you're all well too.

Anonymous said...

Well, you're part Neanderthal too. Only pure Africans have no Neanderthal DNA. And no dying out!
We're all well, thanks, just snowed in.
n.

JJ Beazley said...

Well, I took a look at some images of Neanderthals and decided I have a Neanderthal head but a human nose. I suppose the head's the important bit. And as an aside, I'm currently reading VS Naipaul's 'A Bend in the River,' which throws some interesting light on Africa and Africans at the time when European colonialism was waning.

I don't envy you being snowed in. Horrible stuff. But I see the dedicated and determined daughter is still managing to make it out east. Please say 'hello.' I thought about her the other day when I was watching something historical on the TV. Well, you would, wouldn't you?