Illusionary Tales

Hello all and good evening.

The experience of NaNoWriMo has been well so far, I would say. Putting myself into the shoes of a character I would never dare to embody brings out conflicting emotions within me. My characters are always an extension of myself, no matter how ridiculous, no matter how fantastical, and pertaining to this one particular character in general that’s a little disturbing. I love having the ability to create falsity in a world bent on “reality” and still have it relevant and meaningful.

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I wrote a stage-play for my English class and used that idea as the basis of this month’s novel. I didn’t start until yesterday, so I have a bit of catching up to do but I think I can manage. I write in my head when I’m not writing on my computer.

But taking part in writing about something that twists and bends reality got me thinking a little more about reality. It got me thinking about quantum mechanics and multiverses and the idea of Synchronicity–that’s basically the “scientific” or at least “textbook definition” version of what many indigenous tribes and people have known for years: there are no coincidences without meaning; you are the universe and your belief creates your reality.

As I thought of this, a notification popped up on my second cell phone. A new article came out in regards to illusions, reality, and consciousness. This article, which you can read here, talks mainly about how rather than thinking of death as an end (which it probably is not), we could more logically think about it as a transfer of energy.

Now, I realize I’m crazy–or at least I’m supposed to be. But I’ll summarize this article and we can think about this.

We have very limited range of observations of the universe, compared to what’s probably out there. However, each observation we do have comes with different probability. The possible observations we do have each correspond to different universes in multiverse or “many-worlds” theory.

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In that case, there could be an infinite number of universes and “everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe”.

Hmm.

I can’t refute that as a hypothetical possibility. In fact, anyone who does is much too solidified on the idea that our understandings of physics is the only possible understanding of physics. That arrogance, to me, would defy the very core of something like Quantum Mechanics.

Now, let’s get into the idea of death.

Every possible universe would exist simultaneously: there is no end and no beginning, everything loops. Rather than thinking of the big bang as the “beginning of the universe”, as I was taught in elementary school, I often thought of it more as both the beginning and the end. I didn’t tell my teachers that. I also used to doubt the theory of Pangaea but that’s another story for another time.

At any rate, consciousness makes us aware of who we are, and perhaps creates the physical things we experience. Without consciousness, would anything physical exist in relation to us? No. Than how could we conclude it exists at all?

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Our bodies also thrive on energy. So does our mind. I’m pretty sure ATP, the transfer of it, and the real substance of it is still a mystery to the medical world. We know that it’s part of the energy process in the body, but that’s about all we know. Correct me if I’m wrong; it’s something I remember learning from a professor a while back.

That being said, if our body is fueled by something as enigmatic as energy, something we can only define as “the capacity to do work”, something we’ve never seen and will never physically see, something that can never be created or destroyed per our laws of physics, how would death make logic sense? The energy of ourselves can’t cease and poof out of existence. It has to transfer somewhere.

You could probably make several arguments of this. Perhaps our laws of physics are completely bonkers and there is a way to destroy or create energy. Perhaps some of the energy is transferred into the decomposition process. Perhaps this, perhaps that. If you have an argument I’d love to hear it. I’m sure there are many. 

double-slit-experimentIn the article, they also talk about the double slit experiment. I feel this is something a lot of these “exotic” science websites speak about and I wonder how much they really know about it. But essentially, when observed a subatomic particle will slip through individual slits of a barrier and create an interference pattern that hits like a solid through one slit at a time on the area that measures the impacts of the particles. If you don’t observe them, they behave like a wave and pass through both slits at the same time. Conclusion? Reality is impacted by our consciousness.

And How could death exist in a universe, or many universes, or space in general, when time, when the distinction of the past, the present, and the future does not exist past our man-made definitions of them?

I hate when people say “time-change” in regards to daylight savings. You’re changing your clocks. Your clocks. Not time.

Could death perhaps be a case of yet another loop? In Daoism, yin-yang is simply a representation of the connection of everything. You cannot have good without bad or bad without good. They exist because of each other and they could not exist separately without each other. As humans, we certainly haven’t found a way to live without dying, or dying without first having lived, and perhaps our death is our life. Perhaps they’re one in the same.

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The point is nothing is what it seems. The deeper we reveal in the world of physics, the greater we theorize, the more I’m convinced our discrepancies in reality that get rode off as “lunacy”, as “unreality”, are more real than previously believed. It’s real because it’s a perception of our consciousness and the perception of our consciousness is the only reality we really know.

For a doctor to sit there and tell me something I hear, something I see, something I smell, is not real is illogical. It is real. It’s real until I don’t perceive it any longer.

My first argument against myself would be: well, what about tumors? What about tumors or other physical things that create things that aren’t there, sounds, smells, e.t.c. I’ve thought about this more often than I’d like to admit and the answer I’ve come up with is that removing the tumor and having the perceptions disappear doesn’t say anything about their reality when the reality we live in isn’t even confirmed. If something is an illusion within an illusion, how could we claim one unreal and the other real?

Just some things I think about on a daily basis. Back to writing.

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I Wonder . . .

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One of humankind’s greatest assets: our ability to wonder.

The best thing about wonderment is that it’s free. It’s free and anyone can utilize it. All you need is a little curiosity, a little motivation. The best thing about curiosity is you don’t have to be the brightest mind in the history of bright minds to embrace it.

There’s this odd phenomena across the globe causing people to think intelligence is truly quantifiable. It’s leaking into neuroscience as well, as they attempt to quantify consciousness.

How do you see yourself, anyway? Do you see yourself as someone who is curious? Who is playful? Who is open-minded? Smart? Unfortunate? Disturbed? Dumb? How much of how you see yourself does the world see?

I didn’t know I was smart until I knew I was smart. And I knew I was smart when I gave myself a chance to show myself what I could do.

shutterstock_56110372It’s a shame, I think, that we often get caught up in the idea of competition. It fuels our ego when we win and (for some) motivates better from us when we lose. Sometimes it motivates us to the point of self destruction. Sometimes we get so busy scrambling up a ladder that we don’t realize the top disappears into the clouds. And then we pause our thoughts and see the others climbing up their ladders ahead of us, all around us, and we see their success as a reflection of our failure. Then we start climbing down and we hide. We hide and we look up at the others and we remind ourselves we’re not them.

We get the sense that our struggle is also a reflection of failure. We get the sense that because we can’t compete with them, we have no right to compete at all. We miss the fact that we haven’t been competing with anyone but ourselves.

I speak on this as a smart person, formally labeled dumb. I speak on this as a person with so many ideas, so much curiosity, who wasted so much time ignoring both of those things trying to find a logical reason for why I failed in so many areas of life. Putting an algorithm on life is like trying to capture a wasp in flight on the tip of a sewing needle.

About 50 people, online and in the real world, have asked me over these last few months why in the peanuts-lucy-psychiatristworld I would ever want to go into something like Psychiatry. Some people call it a pseudoscience, some people call it corruption, some people say it kills, some people say it saves, some people call it medicine. I disagree with no one and I agree with no one. It’s whatever you want it to be.

It’s man attempting to fix what doesn’t need to be fixed.

It’s, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s words, “the sad confession, and continual exemplification of the short-comings of the composite man–the spirit burthened with clay and working in matter–and of the despair that assails the higher nature, at finding itself so miserably thwarted by the earthly part”.

It’s this consistent belief that we can one day have a power over nature that nature could never fathom to have over us. It’s the idea that because we have this incredible gift to wonder, to be curious, to create, to calculate, to consider, that we should separate ourselves from something as simple as natural simplicity. It’s a portion of the arrogance of man.

If anyone was wondering, that’s my definition of Psychiatry.

You don’t have to be smart to be a psychiatrist. It would help, but it’s not necessary. Hell, you don’t even have to know anything about neuroscience or psychology to be a psychiatrist.

We have this weird impression in society that because someone obtains something like a medical degree, they are smart. Because we have this impression of them, we trust their advice more often than we would trust the advice of someone off the street. Sometimes we even refrain from asking questions because we might feel stupid, or because we’re not sure if it’s the “right” thing to ask.

That disturbs me. It disturbs me because that’s squandering curiosity. And to squander curiosity, especially when it involves your own health, your own body, your own mind, and your own future, should be a hate crime.

I would hate to perpetuate fear and suspiciousness. But I would hate more so to perpetuate submissiveness. 

quantum_mechanicsLittle known fact: before I chose this career path, I had my eyes set on a doctorate in physics. Theoretical and particle physics blew my mind; they always will. I spent countless hours in high school reading books about entanglement, and dark matter, and light, and gravity, and multiverse theory, and string theory, and although I hadn’t the slightly clue what the math equations in the quantum mechanics books meant, I knew it was something generations of curious people had been working on for some time now and that, to me, was something to admire much more than Justin Beiber, Bieber, Beaver, whatever.

I recognized that much of the math was only proving what hundreds of Native and indigenous people all over the place, including China, had been saying since they had the ability to tell stories. That, to me, was something else to admire: the merge between spiritual and scientific.

There are so many things in this world and so many more things outside of this world. It’s a crime to lock yourself inside of a box in your mind and focus so much on hurt, and pain, and struggle, that you keep yourself from looking up at the sky at night. It’s a shame that we trap our minds on Earth with our bodies.

Wonder! Create! Be curious! If someone calls you crazy for it, take it as a compliment: it seems only the crazy ones find meaning in the meaningless, and that’s pretty impressive.

Why psychiatry then? To remind people there are so many things in life to wonder about, to worry about, to obsessive about, and your sanity shouldn’t be one of them.