Saturday, 9 August 2014

Global Amnesia

We all forget things, sometimes. Usually it doesn’t matter. There is no permanent damage. After all, in this reality, nothing is permanent. So, we don’t really care. We can always make it up later. When it’s more convenient, at another time.
At least, we think so.
But there is a major problem caused by our inability to remember. Somewhere or some-when in the murky past a global amnesia swept the whole world. We all, or at least the vast majority of us, forgot that we are all actors on a stage created for the sole purpose of accommodating a whole parade of roles, which we, actors, are to perform. How good actors we were would determine if we’d move into another role, or repeat the same or similar part until we got it reasonably right.
Shakespeare was right when he said that…

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;

Shall we enact a diversity of roles for forever? Is this all we are, actors so poor in our craft that we have to repeat our roles ad nauseam?
It seems that, as always, it’s our choice. Yet, well, not altogether. The problem is that we can kill our bodies, but we cannot kill that within us that is immortal. No, not the soul, or at least that which in the scriptures is translated as ‘soul’. Soul is just a storage device. It is an accumulation of experiences of the past. But what we cannot kill is the disembodied, intangible, consciousness that uses that storehouse of experiences derived from the roles we played in the past to advance its own self-awareness.
And this we mustn’t forget. At least, not again.
We are not our bodies, nor are we the roles we play. We shouldn’t say, “I am” a doctor, or an engineer, let alone a politician. We should say that all three are no more than roles we play in order to acquire experience to perform better the infinite number of roles that we are still to play.
Infinite number.
This is neither religion nor science. This is just an observation of the behaviour of people over ages. Many ages. Religion, according to Richard Feynman, is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt. No doubt, he’s right—even though it sounds religious. Can one have faith in Feynman? Or should we doubt his knowledge. After all, he got the Nobel Prize for Physics. On the other hand Barak Obama got one for ‘Peace’! Can we believe or trust either? We can, providing we remember Richard Feynman’s other admonition. He also warned us that:

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

Perhaps this applies to both faith and knowledge. To both, science and religion. And… to politics. 

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  1. Bravo,bravo, bravo! Incidentally the entire subject of the current novel in process! A cast of players conscripted to another purpose. This gives a Sunday boost to solitude.

    1. Much appreciated. Regrettably millions milling to catch a glimpse of my mental regurgitations (acrobatics, peregrinations? I hate writing in a foreign language…) do not share your applause. At least Dr. Dawkins will be pleased that I admire him so much…

      And thanks, again, for spreading the word. I'm so busy writing that I need all the help I can get. Good luck with your novel. Poetry once more? Way over my had. Isn't writing fun???

  2. Thanks Philippa for leading me here again. This chimes, always has. Faith and doubt need each other for life to flow. Fazal Inayat Khan in his article 'Western Sufism' expressed it like this:
    'With faith one attains and realises peace and harmony. With doubt one destroys and gains freedom to move onwards.'