ᴵᴺ LIEU ᴏғ RHYME ᴏʀ REASON: ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ LOGIC ɢᴏᴇs ᴛᴏ DIE

(Animation by Dualvoidanima)

There is and always has been an ordinance of belief in effect upon this world. Anywhere and everywhere that mankind goes, his beliefs too, go with him, along with the repercussions associated with said belief. Some beliefs are more palatable than others, some can be proven with various practices, but a great many beliefs are enforced/controlled by popular opinion (or the manipulation/distortion of such). Some things, even if someone sees it with their own eyes, hears it with their own ears, they will doubt the event ever occurred at all. Believing rather, that they were deceived, that their memory is somehow erroneous, a spell of madness temporarily took hold of them, nullifying their senses. The ordinance, must not be questioned, this universe is governed by a set of rules and those rules cannot be broken. Until of course, “the universe,” chooses to behave quite altogether different, changing the rules of engagement entirely.

Our experiences with this world, this reality, go on to shape and mould us in a multitude of ways that we can barely imagine. Our imaginations, too, anchored to this very same existential experience. Somehow, somewhere, somewhen a singular event unfolds, that defies all logic and reason. A singular event that by all rights, by the laws of physics, the laws of nature as they are understood, should not be possible to have ever occurred at all. An event where the rules of logic and physics are effectively broken. What are the repercussions upon the individual(s) to witness one such event? Let alone, a lifetime of such events?

One thing is clear: strangeness, it seems, begets strangeness.

I noticed the screen of my phone illuminate before the sound of the call began, upon answering, an old familiar voice said, “surely we’re not the only ones who still remember what happened?” Flickers of memory cascaded through my mind’s eye, the dust rising over the road as the frill-neck lizard chased after me, hissing, all the way home from school. The mute little girl riding on the back of her German-shepherd, an uncannily gentle creature that would later be murdered by one of the many insidious characters of that time and place. The bizarre inkblot-like formation the spilled blood made as it pooled over the cement as they relentlessly tortured the albino boy. It all seemed like strange details in some obscure work of fiction now. “It was an unusual time, looking back, it’s sort of like trying to remember a dream,” I replied. “Or a nightmare, probably better off forgotten,” the voice said.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

I shuffled the deck, without looking at the cards. Splitting the deck, I turned over one of the cards. “Four of hearts,” she said, I looked down and smiled. “I wonder what’s the record for guessing cards right, this many times in a row,” I wondered aloud. My grandmother’s voice spoke from across the room, “but she isn’t guessing.”

Three people were seated at a restaurant awaiting their meal. Of the three beverages delivered to the table, one was a can of coke cola, tiny beads of liquid perspiring down the chilled aluminum can. Throughout the exchange of general chit-chat one individual’s attention was drawn to the can as it began to slowly spin 360 degrees. Immediately all three individuals looked at the can and inspected underneath the table, laughing and dumbstruck by the seemingly odd behavior of physics unfolding before them. As they slid their chairs back from the table, their eyes fixated on the can, the can then slowly slid/moved (itself?) approximately 30 cm along the table, before coming to a halt. A young waitress approached the table and asked, “am I crazy or was that coke just moving?” Another patron added, “the table must be uneven, it looked like that from over here too.” There was shock, there was laughter, there was speculation, but then the nattering, the general chit-chat returned. Years later, a doubtful anecdote, at best, a mere question mark remains. There has to be a logical explanation, even if one cannot fathom what that explanation actually is.

A maintenance electrician arrives on site, parking where he always does, every morning. He exits his vehicle and prepares himself a coffee, as he does every day. He returns to his vehicle to sit in the driver seat to consume it. While drinking his beverage, sat in his vehicle he notices a familiar face in the distance, an old work mate he had not seen in years. Making his way toward this individual, he drops his coffee and falls to his knees with the concussive blast of a high pressure explosion. As the ringing in his ears subsides and he shakes the scolding hot coffee off of his hands, he looks back to his vehicle, specifically the front driver’s seat. The windscreen shattered, piping protruding through the metal frame of the vehicle, having burst through the driver’s head rest. The electrician observed visibly shaken upon the inspection of his vehicle, quickly coming to the conclusion that this old acquaintance he intended to catch up with, had inadvertently saved his life. So the tradesman began asking, where is this person, where is he. But he is reminded that he’s in shock, and not to worry about it. Later discovering that not only was the person he thought he had seen not on site that day, he had not been on any site for years, he had died in a workplace accident several years earlier. The question mark haunts this individual still.

Tragedy, she told me, echoes through time, sending shock-waves through memory, through generations, through worlds that cascade into oblivion. It would be another two decades before she would explain just how tragic certain events truly were, but the truth, it seems, found its way into my understanding long before it needed to be spoken. Wandering the abandoned asylum as a child, what I assumed were merely conjurations of my mind, the kind of stories that unfold in thought, were events that actually transpired in that abysmal place, to relatives that I never knew. Now, a memory of a memory, there is no meaning, there is no clarity or closure, merely a question mark, contributing to an ever estranged relationship with reality itself.

I was awoken in the middle of the night by a phone call, I didn’t recognize the number or even the area code. I could hear the familiar sounds heard within the carriage of a train, moving along the tracks. I could hear unintelligible voices in the background, it didn’t sound English. Then what sounded like a female voice saying, “Kappa… Kappa… Kappa.” I replied, “Hello, who is this?” I could hear the sounds of a train a moment longer, then they hung up. This went on for months, happening one night every few weeks, usually after midnight. It became apparent to me, that the word Kappa, 河童 in Japanese meant ‘river-child’, an amphibious yōkai, a creature of folklore. That didn’t give any sense to the purpose or nature of the continual prank call. Some years later, while traveling Japan during one of the many train trips taken, I had an eerily familiar feeling, as I listened to the sounds of the train clunking over the tracks, and just as I anticipated it, I heard a woman somewhere in the carriage say what I knew would be said, “Kappa… Kappa… Kappa.” I struggled to get out of my seat, by the luggage and other passengers, looking around for anyone holding a phone. But no one was, and the passengers looked concerned and uneasy as I investigated them with a glare. So I returned to my seat and the weight of the question mark grew heavier.

The ancients knew it best, there was good, there was evil, but most of all there was the in-between, the tricksters, the deceivers. These elusive beings that left all those who crossed-paths with them scratching their heads. Forgotten by the modern world. Their will was intangible, there was no rhyme or reason, it dumbfounded mortal men that gods, fay, beings of great power would toy with the lives of so many, to achieve, seemingly nothing. Yet in their mischief, in their tricks and games, theirs was the greatest gift of all. It was always a display of triviality, a literal example of nonsense, leading us both metaphorically and literally down the garden path. Exposing us to unbelievable spectacles that many might call paranormal or supernatural, in an effort to unveil what lay before us, that consumes our existence from the moment we are born to the second that we die. The ordinance of belief, alike our reality as we understand it is not rigid, indestructible or impervious to challenge.

ᴬ PORTAL ᵀᴼ ᴬᴺᴼᵀᴴᴱᴿ DIMENSION

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

I was falling asleep on a train, drifting in and out of consciousness. The cascading droplets of rain against the glass would momentarily catch my eye. The realest, truest thing in the world to me, in that moment, was the cold of the glass against the side of my forehead, the ice-cold collision came with the words of my inner-monologue, reminding me “don’t fall asleep”.

With each thud of my skull against the train window, with each jolt to my slipping consciousness, I found myself remembering, reliving similar moments. Different trains, different destinations, different times, different understandings of self. The blur of the outside world and the cascading droplets, rushing and colliding down and across the glass. Like the water droplets that form as one when they collide, when memories are so similar, the mind (under certain circumstances) might momentarily lose its bearing on exactly where, when, or (in some extreme cases) even who it is. A cascade of consciousness, altering, questioning the perceivable reality.

It’s like waking up in the middle of the night, and not knowing where you are. You’ve changed houses, changed beds multiple times but the subconscious mind can be caught off guard. Driving for five hours, with almost no recollection of how you actually got to your destination. For one moment, it’s as though a former self, by some miraculous means has taken the helm of a future/current self, bewildered by the changes that have come to pass. Until better senses return and you are living in the moment, once more (some of these experiences can be caused by serious conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Amnesia).

In my experience of human cognition, the mind doesn’t always want to live in the moment. Sometimes it seeks to traverse memories past, conjure events yet to come, or entertain some things that may never unfold in this reality. At this juncture in my existence, I’ve forgotten a great many details from my own life, let countless memories slip through the cracks of time. Even some of the chaotic, (relatively) cataclysmic moments, carelessly discarded. Yet strangely, sometimes I truly wonder, am I still falling asleep on that train to god-knows-where, soon to come to my senses, when my head next collides against the glass?

The ghost of a former self perpetually drifting in and out of consciousness?

Are we all essentially amalgamations of our many former selves?

To illustrate my point, you might ask yourself the following question:

Where are you right now? At this very moment?

You might tell yourself a geographical location, along with a juncture in time. But the relative geographical location, is fixed upon a planet that is moving (Earth orbits the sun at approximately 67,000 mph/107,000 km/h. 365 days for a full orbit. The sun and the solar system appear to be moving at 200 kilometers per second, or at an average speed of 448,000 mph/720,000 km/h —Space.com). The time you refer to, is also quite relative to where you are in this entropic universe. In fact, the relative time it’s taken to read to this point, the answer originally proposed, has already drastically changed.

Then there is the philosophical element, when asked where and when you are, your future self perpetually shed to join the amassing former selves, as every moment passes. Are the former selves, which for all of us, inevitably outnumber the current self, merely doomed to be lost to oblivion for all eternity? Outside of memory, outside of the physical implications, the footprints left behind, does/can anything truly last forever? Or is everyone, everything we’ve ever known like the particles of chalk temporarily marked on a blackboard, inevitably wiped astray?

As previously suggested in ᴛʜᴇ ILLUSION ᴏғ TIME, ᵀᴴᴱ WORMHOLE ᴬᴺᴰ ᵀᴴᴱ TIME PARADOX, TIME TRAVEL ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ 2ɴᴅ ʟᴀᴡ ᴏғ THERMODYNAMICS, I’ve slowly found myself veering further and further away from such an absolute, ultimately universal declaration.

So putting philosophy aside, putting psychology aside, removing the concept of a former-self “theoretically” returning (purely in the mind), due to some memory impairment etc. Is the past, the physical elements comprising what we consider to be a “past reality”, including our former selves, truly lost to oblivion?

Theoretically, no.

“Approximately 13.8 billion years ago, our comprehensible universe in its entirety existed in a fraction of time and space many, many times smaller than a single atom. Some have theorized the existence of parallel universes, a direct ‘shadow universe’ (connected/veiling our own and connected by gravity since and attributing to the beginning of our universe) and an entire multiverse linking/spawning universes and or dimensions. One theorized means of connecting two isolated points in space and time, universes, or junctures throughout the multiverse are naturally occurring ‘wormholes’.”

ᵀᴴᴱ WORMHOLE ᴬᴺᴰ ᵀᴴᴱ TIME PARADOX

Theoretically, it would only take one single accessible ‘wormhole’ (located anywhere in this universe), even if it was only stable for a fraction of a second, for a highly technologically advanced being/machine to potentially have access to every single second of this universe, not excluding every moment that ever passed comprising the history of this planet (and your entire lifetime). If you could successfully get back to a starting point, the natural linear progression of the passing of time could be replayed over and over to access a certain event in history.

Such a wormhole could be a connection of time and space within this universe from the distant future, to the distant past (formation of earth). Or it could be a wormhole/portal naturally forming or technologically created connecting this universe (prior the formation of earth) to another dimension, where time as we understand it, may not exist.

The existence of inter-dimensional “portals” that have a constant or fixed entry point connected to a momentary conjuration in our universes history that collapsed in seconds, would still be a theoretical fixed portal to a very specific juncture in time (though problems would arise, if multiple objects arrive/exit at the narrow window of time output).

A highly advanced being/machine (some speculating UFOs to be traveling through time and dimensions, not just our atmosphere or space) may at some stage (or currently) possess the capability of creating dimensional portals at will, to travel through both dimensions and what we perceive as time relative to this universe (and beyond).

Immediately, traversing both dimensions and time would cause all kinds of theoretical temporal paradoxes to arise. The grandfather paradox, does an action committed by a (future) time traveling entity in the past, change the future from whence the traveler came? Does the Multiverse theory, allow for the possibility of so many (infinite) variations of universes/dimensions indistinguishably close to our own, that every single conceivable variation, is playing out in unison?

It’s so far removed from our understanding of time and reality, we come up with all sorts of answers to the paradox. If you travel back in time and assassinate yourself as a child, some might suggest you would immediately “vanish” or cease to be. But the physical being that committed the murder had to exist for the murder to take place. Perhaps, if time is a linear structure, played out like a game of chess, going backwards, every single time, has consequences that ultimately change the version of reality the time traveler left. Ultimately changing the arrangement of the pieces on the (shared) board. Meaning, while the individual entity of matter, and instrument of time alteration is unscathed in the past (now relative present), the future/time-line from whence the traveler came, no longer exists (connected to the current linear trajectory of time).

Aside from theoretically disconnected dimensions of the multiverse, there is also suggestions of a theoretical shadow universe/mirror universe, intrinsically linked with our own:

“If mirror matter is present in the universe with sufficient abundance then its gravitational effects can be detected. Because mirror matter is analogous to ordinary matter, it is then to be expected that a fraction of the mirror matter exists in the form of mirror galaxies, mirror stars, mirror planets etc. These objects can be detected using gravitational microlensing. One would also expect that some fraction of stars have mirror objects as their companion. In such cases one should be able to detect periodic Doppler shifts in the spectrum of the star.There are some hints that such effects may already have been observed.”

—R. N. Mohapatra, Vigdor L. Teplitz “Mirror matter MACHOs”, 1999

Right now, this very second, whenever that second may be, when whoever you are might be reading this. Is there currently, within this universe, a portal (naturally formed, or synthetically created) that leads to another dimension?

There isn’t currently, an authority on this Earth that could in all honesty give you a definitive answer to that question. But perhaps you could search yourself for the answer, in the form of yet another question.

Is there a limitation fixed upon infinity?

ᴀ CONTROVERSIAL COSMOGENIC ᴛʜᴇᴏʀʏ

(Animation from Doze Studio, GIPHY.com)

Some thoughts are more easily entertained than others. The mere notion of a thought exercise like this (and in the end, that’s all it is) is quite offensive to a great many people. In this instance, I’m using the word “cosmogenic” purely in a religious faith sense, not scientifically (though I’m sure some scientists could be offended by this topic also, why not). In some parts of the world (historically and to this day), to openly discuss the kind of things that I’m about to, is a punishable offense, in some cases, with death. But why? What is faith worth, if it can never be tested? Is the “truth” so fragile that something as seemingly inconsequential as an idea able to cause cracks in the façade? In my own experience, the truly devout and faithful of varying religions are often quite willing to engage in religious discussion. Because their foundation of belief has been tested time and time again, solidifying their faith.

So what is this controversial cosmogenic theory?

To put it as simply as possible, it is the notion that all belief acquired in this version of existence is and always was a trap. A trap, deviously set to act as a perpetual anchor, to keep the fractured shards of a consciousness that have lost their means to perceive beyond their prison, locked within their cell. Kept in a constant state of stupor, emotion, attachment merely bars the captives learn to love. They head toward the light, they seek nirvana, they reincarnate, they believe nothing beyond the physical world could exist. All of these roads, as different as they seem, lead back to the same place. Here.

For most cosmogenic theories, consisting of an all powerful creator, monotheistic or vast pantheons of deities, it’s almost expected of all concepts pertaining to the nature of our existence to bear one or two key commonalities. The creator is just and worthy of adoration and our living state is a gift or something to be celebrated/appreciated. For a cosmogenic theory to be controversial, those two key commonalities are abandoned.

As far as I’m aware, there isn’t an established religion in existence that proposes a view similar to what I’m getting at here. Some people might say, to suggest the creator and the nature of our existence to be purposefully misleading and insidious, would be a sect of Satanism. When, that isn’t accurate, because Satanism (among other things) perpetuates vices such as pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, and wrath. The seven deadly sins put mortal life, self-indulgence on a pedestal, effectively anchoring Satanists.

The crux of this theory (which I have heard put forward in various fashions many different times in my life, I’m not claiming that I came up with this) is that in a time and place, where there was/is no time or place, there was consciousness. This consciousness, though a unified singularity, had the means to produce infinite versions of itself, life begets life. Only through slight fractures of consciousness and lapses of awareness could individual “entities” introduce new stimulus for one another to experience. Perspective is linked to personality, similarly discussed when referring to artificial intelligence, and the concept of a hive mind.

It’s possible that there was a time when shards of consciousness built intricate universes and dimensions for one another to experience freely, to come and go as they please, having the capacity to know infinite beyond said dimension. But there is every possibility (in regards to this presumably FICTITIOUS theory) that for whatever reason, one shard of consciousness had something different in mind. One shard of consciousness, deceived the others, in their great numbers, compelling them to experience something entirely different. Something that would change them forever.

Arising on earth, with no memory of where they came from or what they were, compelled to the demands of mortality, to eat, to sleep, to procreate. The reality so very compelling and vast, they lived and died and were born anew. Over and over and over again, enforcing the process of life and death, but willfully returning, losing their memory of the cycle with every birth (in some rare instances, vague memories remaining).

Beings desiring to see loved ones, due to the bonds they made in their mortal existence, utterly unaware that their mothers, their fathers, their husbands, their wives are/were all really a part of them once. Your best friend, your worst enemy, someone who has absolutely nothing in common with you, is you. On a scale of “you”, you cannot even comprehend, not anymore. Dreams, nightmares, races, genders, nations, love, hate merely devices to keep you invested, to keep you playing the game, over and over again.

For what reason?

One might suggest all kinds of nefarious reasons to effectively enslave billions into a prison they cannot even perceive. Maybe an archaic part of the collective consciousness grew to hate itself, and wanted to imprison the shards that it despised? Maybe this one entity, this one shard of consciousness developed an ego where it desired superiority over the other shards of consciousness? Most likely however, it is done so for the same reasons the consciousness may have fractured in the first place, and stimuli was originally introduced. To experience, to learn, to grow. Maybe this isn’t even the first time it’s taken place, perhaps this is one of the shorter stints that it has even occurred?

Perhaps once even YOU did a similar thing, for a period longer than this solar system has existed?

The premise of a faith like this, if it did exist, would be, be kind to one another, because essentially you are your neighbor. Then it would be to lose value in all things, if you desire to transcend beyond the prison walls, much like reaching enlightenment in Buddhism. Though the moment you consider it nirvana as you imagine nirvana rooted in anything conceptually tied to this reality, you’re back to square one.

Versions of “Heaven” and “Hell” may even be the attic and the basement connected to this reality and overall theory.

Ultimately, the question to ask yourself after considering this theory would be, would you want out?

If you do desire to leave, say “¡Adiós Amigos! 1, 2, 3!” aloud.

…Nothing?

Oh well, it was worth a try.

ᵀᴴᴱ GOLDEN RATIO φ

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

\varphi ={1+{\sqrt {5}} \over 2}

or

1.6180339887498948482045868343656381177203091798057628621354486227052604628189024497072072041893911374847540880753868917521266338622235369317931800607667263544333890865959395829056383226613199282902678806752087668925017116962070322210432162695486262963136144381497587012203408058879544547492461856953648644492410443207713449470495658467885098743394422125448770664780915884607499887124007652170575179788341662562494075890697040002812104276217711177780531531714101170466659914669798731761356006708748071013179523689427521948435305678300228785699782977834784587822891109762500302696156170025046433824377648610283831268330372429267526311653392473167111211588186385133162038400522216579128667529465490681131715993432359734949850904094762132229810172610705961164562990981629055520852479035240602017279974717534277759277862561943208275051312181562855122248093947123414517022373580577278616008688382952304592647878017889921990270776903895321968198615143780314997411069260886742962267575605231727775203536139362107673893764556060605921658946675955190040055590895022953094231248235521221241544400647034056573479766397239494994658457887303962309037503399385621024236902513868041457799569812244574717803417312645322041639723213404444948730231541767689375210306873788034417009395440962795589867872320951242689355730970450959568440175551988192180206405290551893494759260073485228210108819464454422231889131929468962200230144377026992300780308526118075451928877050210968424936271359251876077788466583615023891349333312231053392321362431926372891067050339928226526355620902979864247275977256550861548754357482647181414512700060238901620777322449943530889990950168032811219432048196438767586331479857191139781539780747615077221175082694586393204565209896985556781410696837288405874610337810544439094368358358138113116899385557697548414914453415091295407005019477548616307542264172939468036731980586183391832859913039607201445595044977921207612478564591616083705949878600697018940988640076443617093341727091914336501371576601148038143062623805143211734815100559013456101180079050638142152709308588092875703450507808145458819906336129827981411745339273120809289727922213298064294687824274874017450554067787570832373109759151177629784432847479081765180977872684161176325038612112914368343767023503711163307258698832587103363222381098090121101989917684149175123313401527338438372345009347860497929459915822012581045982309255287212413704361491020547185549611808764265765110605458814756044317847985845397312863016254487611485202170644041116607669505977578325703951108782308271064789390211156910392768384538633332156582965977310343603232254574363720412440640888267375843395367959312322134373209957498894699565647360072959998391288103197426312517971414320123112795518947781726914158911779919564812558001845506563295285985910009086218029775637892599916499464281930222935523466747593269516542140210913630181947227078901220872873617073486499981562554728113734798716569527489008144384053274837813782466917444229634914708157007352545707089772675469343822619546861533120953357923801460927351021011919021836067509730895752895774681422954339438549315533963038072916917584610146099505506480367930414723657203986007355076090231731250161320484358364817704848181099160244252327167219018933459637860878752870173935930301335901123710239171265904702634940283076687674363865132710628032317406931733448234356453185058135310854973335075996677871244905836367541328908624063245639535721252426117027802865604323494283730172557440583727826799603173936401328762770124367983114464369476705312724924104716700138247831286565064934341803900410178053395058772458665575522939158239708417729833728231152569260929959422400005606266786743579239724540848176519734362652689448885527202747787473359835367277614075917120513269344837529916499809360246178442675727767900191919070380522046123248239132610432719168451230602362789354543246176997575368904176365025478513824631465833638337602357789926729886321618583959036399818384582764491245980937043055559613797343261348304949496868108953569634828178128862536460842033946538194419457142666823718394918323709085748502665680398974406621053603064002608171126659954199368731609457228881092077882277203636684481532561728411769097926666552238468831137185299192163190520156863122282071559987646842355205928537175780765605036773130975191223973887224682580571597445740484298780735221598426676625780770620194304005425501583125030175340941171910192989038447250332988024501436796844169479595453045910313811621870456799786636617460595700034459701135251813460065655352034788811741499412748264152135567763940390710387088182338068033500380468001748082205910968442026446402187705340100318028816644153091393948156403192822785482414510503188825189970074862287942155895742820216657062188090578088050324676991297287210387073697406435667458920258656573978560859566534107036...

Is it possible that a ratio could exist, which is geometrically applicable to countless formations across the natural world? An almost blueprint-like commonality in design, spanning across the perceivable universe?

The short answer to that question, is yes, sort of.

Physical dimensions allegedly applicable to this “golden ratio” range from the shell of a snail, to the shell of a nautilus (most logarithmic spirals are linked to the golden ratio, regardless of accuracy), to the tail of a seahorse, to the formation of a rams horn. The proportions of human limbs, the formation of cyclones and even the celestial alignments of galaxies millions of light years away. (There is no shortage of alleged examples of the golden ratio.)

Some have claimed that this reoccurring ratio found throughout the universe is a mathematical sign of the divine. That the mere existence of such a reoccurring pattern behind what many would assume to be utterly random, defies their preconceptions of what is logical. That the very thought that the same 1:1.6 ratio that is found from the tip of a humans head, to their belly button, then down to their feet could be found in the circular dispersion of seeds on the face of a sunflower: to many, that seems absolutely irrational.

Irrationality, however, may be precisely why this occurs.

Irrational Numbers: (of a number, quantity, or expression) not expressible as a ratio of two integers, and having an infinite and non-recurring expansion when expressed as a decimal. Examples of irrational numbers are the number π and the square root of 2. —Oxford Dictionary

Imagine you have a spinning wheel, with a flat white circular front. You mark a dot in the center of the wheel. You could mark this wheel to show segments displaying the degrees of revolution. As seen below:

If you were to start at the point marked 90° and rotate the wheel exactly 90° clockwise, the part of the wheel marked 180° would now be centered at the top. Another 90°, the point marked 270°, and once more, finally, the point marked 360°. Doing this over and over again, regardless of how many times you do it, you will always land on those 4 specific points marked on the circle.

Again, if you instead turned the wheel 1°, starting at 90°, you would first land on 91°, 92°, 93° and so on. In all, making 360 1° turns until arriving once more at the starting point marked 90°.

But what would happen if instead of moving 90° each rotation, you moved φ, which could be expressed as 360°/1.618… which is equal to = ~222.5°

Unlike the original 90° rotations, always arriving at the same 4 specific points, over and over again, with these ~222.5° rotations, we notice something interesting occur. These much wider gaps, are far less likely to overlap, almost resistant to the notion. Time after time, with each rotation, off-centering from the last. Due to the nature of the irrational number, converted into ~222.5°

Even the leaves of a plant apply this formula to the directions in which they grow, because if they can systematically stagger their leaves not to overlap, they can absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.

The problem for many of us, when we find this Golden Ratio in all sorts of places, we immediately assume this formula, this ratio was taken into consideration at the formation/design of whatever we’re looking at in the natural world. When in actuality, what we are looking at, is as close as we can currently perceive, to what could be regarded as perfect mathematical irrationality.

The Golden Ratio appears on the face of a sunflower in the arrangement of its seeds, because evolution discovered the optimum means to distribute seeds, which happens to be perfect mathematical irrationality. The leaves of a plant grow in the formation of the Golden Ratio, because evolutionary, those which stumbled upon (through genetic deviations) the formation received the most sunlight and were the most successful in reproducing themselves. The process could only refine itself, further and further with time and natural selection.

It is generally regarded (with varying accuracy and significance) that the Golden Ratio appears in physics, chemistry, biology and even (controversially) the topology of space-time. Are we simply conflating perceivable irrationality, of unrelated data due to broad similarities of dispersal/proportional arrangements? (due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle) Or is the Golden Ratio far more intrinsically linked with the nature of our universe than we currently understand?

ᴛʜᴇ ARCHETYPAL MONSTER ᴏғ HUMAN IMAGINATION

(Animated by Jared D. Weiss)

Torches and pitchforks clutched tightly in hand, the frenzied mob reach the pinnacle of the great cliff summit. The lumbering brute they have driven here cowers and recoils from the countless looming forks and flames. The creature wails with anguish before its gaze is momentarily drawn to the seemingly all-encompassing ocean below, and beyond. A grim realization dawns, here where the land meets the sea. The end of the line has been met, as the waves relentlessly break against the jagged rocks so far below.

One or two fiery and frantic lunges later, the aroma of singed flesh is swiftly consumed by the smell of the ocean, frightened, confused, the creature falters, losing its footing. He falls, driven over the edge. His shrieks and wails softening as his deformed limbs flail fearfully, the crowd cheer and applaud his fateful descent. Until finally, a peculiar corpse lay in bloody ruin, waiting to be claimed by the clutches of the sea.

Only some are not rejoicing. For even those who aid in the slaying of monsters know all too well, that “there but for the grace of God go we”. A mere turn of fate decides who shall hold the torch and pitchfork and who shall be scorned and shunned, as the monster.

Unbeknownst to most, is that the greatest monster of all, does not lurk in the shadowy deep places of this world, nor is it lying dead at the oceans grip. The greatest and most triumphant monster is the mob, the cruelty that lurks in the heart of every man, woman and child, waiting ever patiently to be awoken.

“Monster derives from the Latin Monstrum, itself derived ultimately from the verb moneo (“to remind, warn, instruct, or foretell”), and denotes anything “strange or singular, contrary to the usual course of nature, by which the gods give notice of evil,” “a strange, unnatural, hideous person, animal, or thing,” or any “monstrous or unusual thing, circumstance, or adventure.”

—Joseph Esmond Riddle, 1870

But what is the archetypal monster of our collective human imagination?

As you may have already noticed, there are a great many similarities among the monsters of mythology and literature. These traits and commonalities, across numerous cultures say a great deal more about human nature than they do about fictional beings.

In the Greek mythological stories of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, the creature’s origin came about by Poseidon using magic to cause Queen Pasiphaë (Wife of King Minos of Crete) to mate with a white bull. The offspring hybrid creature is so unruly and ferocious, the artificer Daedalus is tasked with constructing the Labyrinth to keep the Minotaur effectively segregated from society. Some variations of the myth note that seven young men and seven young women would be lowered into the Labyrinth as offerings from the Athenians to Crete. Despite this unfortunate origin and abysmal existence, the Minotaur is eventually slain by the hero, Theseus.

There are countless meanings, metaphors behind the legends but antiquity had little sympathy for beasts, outcasts or anyone who didn’t conform to the popular governing way of life. Some have suggested that the Minotaur, symbolized the act of unethical forced tribute/extortion. That the monster was an evil emphasis of the sigil of Crete, the embodiment of a nation’s (perceived) injustice. Personified as some monstrous creature, because ultimately, that is easier to hate. If you were beautiful and graceful, you had the blessing of the gods. If you were ugly, deformed, then you bore their hatred, their curse and you were a living reminder of a god’s malice towards those they did not favor.

Across vast periods of time and all around the world, it seems as though these basic principles can be applied to countless monsters of stories, myth and legend. The Judeo-Christian Demon, Oni (Demon of Japan), Ogres & Trolls, Goblins, Witches & Warlocks, Godzilla, The Kraken, The Werewolf, The Beast of Gévaudan, Frankenstein’s Monster(s), Dracula, Nosferatu, Count Orlok, Chupacabra, Zombies. The list could go on and on.

Some of the primary traits required to constitute the archetypal monster are:

⦿   Power. Be it great strength, secret knowledge, magic, the monster is in possession of something that threatens the desired state of the group that fear/despise/resist it.

⦿   Isolation. By a variety of means, the monster is capable of sustaining its existence either without the aid of the group that fear/despise/resist it. Alternatively, by a means that results in harming that group (feeding on them), or implicating their quality of life for the worst. Restricting their access to some place, or desired outcome (example: Smaug, the DragonThe Hobbit).

⦿   Chaos. There can be no harmonious co-existence of the monster and those who fear/despise/resist it. The reputation of the monster grows and grows until it reaches a state of heightened notoriety. Only once the belief of the monster’s existence and its indisputable undesirable nature is clear, will a “champion of the people” set out to “slay the dragon”.

Ultimately, a monster is not truly a monster until it is called so. The title of monster, is not so much a physical, psychological or metaphorical description, but rather a means to facilitate the destruction of whomsoever/whatsoever the title befalls. It is saying this being is not worthy of empathy. This creature is condemned, it is morally irredeemable and for all intents and purposes, lost from human decency. It brings mayhem and suffering wherever it should go and only through its destruction, will peace ever be achieved.

Once you can convince enough people that someone or something is a monster, they will set out against it, and eventually rejoice in its destruction. That is precisely how the most ferocious monsters of all, have held dominion over this world for thousands and thousands of years. Unfortunately, despite how enticing it is to simplify morality and the complexities of good and evil, no matter the justification, no living being is undeserving of empathy. In the end, only through empathy and a willingness to look at the bigger picture, will this archetypal monster of our collective imagination truly be slain.

ᴛʜᴇ DRAKE EQUATION ᴀɴᴅ ABIOGENESIS

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

What is the meaning of Life? Many cringe and recoil at the mere mention of such an inquiry. Some of us ponder this question aloud during the naivety of youth, but as we grow older, this, like many other subjects become private and scarcely mentioned. Not because the question in itself is offensive, but we know all too well where this seemingly futile train of thought leads. Befuddlement, doubt, in lieu of some religious footing or adequate distraction, this can be the birthplace of nihilistic thought. It can seem as though there just isn’t any rhyme or reason to anything, merely a perpetual struggle of chaotic forces, seemingly meaningless events leading to meaningless outcomes and so on and so forth, for a meaningless eternity. So how could anything possibly matter, even in the slightest?

The innumerable species that have been wiped out entirely from our planet, many of which unknown to us, did they “mean” anything? The (approximately) 110 billion homo sapiens almost identical to us that have lived and died already, did they “mean” anything? The difficult part about the question “what is the meaning of life?” is that we don’t truly understand what life is. Yes, we know its characteristics, its commonalities (on this planet) but what do we really know about the nature of all life on this world? It simply wants to survive, it wants to procreate, a constant struggle of the individual to leave a common legacy behind. The simultaneously ugly and beautiful struggle, the failures, the successes, what is it all leading toward?

Is the struggle of life some complex form of entropy, disorder, working towards equilibrium? Is the fabled concept of the “supreme being” the embodiment of an achieved “equilibrium” of life? The final balance of all living chaos?

In 1961, Dr. Frank Drake came up with a theoretical equation to estimate the probability of communicative extraterrestrial civilizations within our Milky Way Galaxy. The equation is as follows:

N = R∗ · fp · ne · fl · fi · fc · L

N = Number of probable civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.

R∗ = Average rate of star formation in the Milky Way Galaxy.

fp = Fraction of formed stars that are orbited by planet(s).

ne = Average number of planets capable of supporting life (as we understand it) per star, that is orbited by planet(s).

fl = Fraction of planets that could support life (as we understand it) that actually do develop life at some stage.

fi = Fraction of planets that develop life that lead to the evolution/existence of intelligent life capable of creating primitive civilization.

fc = Fraction of developed civilizations that become technologically advanced enough to release detectable signs of their existence into space (signal broadcast, etc).

L = Length of time such detectable signals, signs are capable of being received to interpret the civilizations existence (past or present).

In the very least likely scenario, when applying doubtful estimations, N can equal a value much less than 1. Suggesting that outside of earth, there is no intelligent life accompanying us in our galaxy. In some of the most optimistic of estimations however, the estimated number of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy can be in the vicinity of: 27, 000, 000 (assuming there are approximately 300 billion stars).

Despite these estimations using values based heavily on assumption, having a difference of below zero and over 27 million there is one crucial flaw to the concept of the equation. It relies almost entirely on the belief that all life as we understand it, arises from abiogenesis. The process by which life arises from inorganic/non-living matter.

Even if we were to look back, to the generally scientifically accepted age, 3.6 billion years ago when the last (known) universal common ancestor (LUCA) “spawned into existence”, a single-celled organism that seemingly appeared from a primordial cocktail. We don’t definitively know that LUCA came about from abiogenesis. We also don’t actually know (at this time) if abiogenesis has any real basis in reality. One of the reasons some doubt abiogenesis is that no one has ever successfully replicated the process to create life from matter. Some suggesting that the origin of life was an accident that took millions of years to occur, under very specific conditions. If abiogenesis isn’t the answer to our origin, then (outside of religious claims) we really don’t know how life began or even what it truly is. If it didn’t begin on this world, then where might life have come from in the beginning and why/how was it brought here in the first place?

Life wants to go on, thus far, it has succeeded. Life adapts, life learns from its mistakes. Life prioritizes procreation above all else, constantly looking to a future beyond the horizon. Life begets life. There are all sorts of theories why life “impregnates” a planet, a solar system, a galaxy or universe at large. Perhaps to be the designated custodians of time and space, for what purpose or from what origin is anyone’s guess.

As much as it may pain some to hear it, we often fail to realize how incredibly small we are in the grand scheme of things. You and I, everyone we’ve ever known, we all make up a minute fraction of a single tooth on a very, very small cogwheel. This cog, in turn spins another cog, and so on and so forth, to form a “machine” that we on the tooth of our cog may always struggle to comprehend. But the mere fact that we cannot perceive or even understand the nature of a system, doesn’t mean the system does not exist, serves a purpose or even has a will of its own.

Are we capable of understanding the will of a universe? We don’t even know the shape of the universe we find ourselves within. We also don’t quite understand what is beyond our universe, if anything at all. Will our universe always expand freely? Will a time come when the sentient “living” beings are required to overcome very real threats that could destabilize the entirety of space and time as we perceive it? The once seemingly primitive and dormant forms of life becoming antibodies (so to speak) and protectors of the “universe” the reality/dimension that holds the soul potential to give existence to everything we can comprehend. The desperate struggle of existence only on a much grander scale?

It’s possible the answers lie beyond the physical reality entirely. But the problem isn’t a lack of meaning, but rather the infinite possibilities as to what and why things are the way they are that leave us wondering. The belief that there is no meaning and everything that ever has or will happen is merely the work of chance alone, is quite a simple and somewhat lazy explanation. Because chance alone suggests that life as we know it is inevitable and inescapable, it is only a matter of time. A matter of rolling the dice under the right conditions. It implies that the existence of “life” is part of the “natural order” of the universe. Which means the meaning of life is integral to the meaning of the universe itself. Which brings us to the question that is connected to “what is the meaning of life?” and “what is the meaning of the universe?”, which is “what is the meaning of consciousness?”

This reality/dimension, in all it’s conceivable (and inconceivable) totality, what would there be in lieu of its existence? Virtually all of our answers involve something already existing to cause something else. The Big Bang requires the existence of mass and energy. Even in religion, God (or gods) create the universe, humanity etc, but where did God(s) come from? How did “something” come from “nothingness”? Even if you start with a blank canvas, where did the blank canvas come from? What was there before God(s)? Where did the first particle of matter come from?

This, much more complex, all-encompassing question is no doubt intrinsically linked with the meaning of the universe. However, just like the limits of our physical universe and how we cannot perceive what is beyond it, this knowledge, as far as I can tell, goes beyond the limits of our consciousness. But perhaps, one day, that will change.

ᴛʜᴇ SEEKER’S ᴡᴀʏ

(Illustrated by Maurice Dessertenne, c. 1900)

In the year 1886, Friedrich Nietzsche warned that, “he who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” There are many ways to interpret this statement, one interpretation is that in order to face a monster, you yourself must become something monstrous. Even in it’s simplest symbolic form, the monster is a creature not to be trifled with, lurking in the darkness of some foreboding cavern. In order to best this foe, the “hero” spends a great deal of time in the deep, dark places of the world, where no decent person would ever want to go. The (hero or more accurately) adversary to the monster has a greater insight into the monster’s world than any other. Once besting the monster, often covered in blood, standing before some grotesque remains of the slain beast, the hero could take up mantle as the new monstrous tyrant to replace the old. Often, metaphorically, this is exactly what occurs. Maybe power corrupts, or it reveals what was always there, laying dormant. Regardless, the sentiment is the same, be careful with the monsters you attempt to tackle, because the fight (for better or worse) can/will change you forever.

What the “monster” is to someone, could be virtually anything. There have been instances where an individual has become obsessed with the realization of some “truth”. Perhaps, the understanding of an advanced mathematical concept. The concept, in itself is so difficult to comprehend, it is essentially (to most) an enigma. Whether or not the equation is solved or even eventually understood, the obsession can lead to different forms of psychological deviations and disorders. Thus digging too deep into an unsolvable enigma, you risk losing a part of who you are and becoming something of an enigma yourself.

“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” When we gaze into the abyss, the all consuming darkness, what we see (or more accurately don’t see) is the unknown, a manifestation of fear and uncertainty. So when we stare into the unknown, we are actually peering into ourselves. The darkness, as a metaphorical consciousness is staring into who we are, as a summation of all we fear lurking beneath the endless veil of shadow.

The seeker needs to realize the implications of self on the understanding of the unknown. The darkness may seem alive, but it may be alive with your fears and nothing more. Unfortunately, no one in is incorruptible, there’s always a possibility emotions like fear can contort our perception. Alternatively, someone who initially goes searching for truth and does not find it, can eventually live to become a liar. Claiming they found a truth that never existed in the first place. Becoming exactly what they set out to find, something utterly false.

It is possible that the loss of self (to varying degrees) is inevitable with the realization of certain truths. But that in itself may be part and parcel to the way of the seeker. If (for whatever reason) you consider yourself a seeker, what is the price you would be willing to pay to find that which you seek? If knowing everything meant losing everything, would you consider that a fair trade? Seek and you shall find, but what you find and the validity of said finding(s), depends entirely on you.

ᴀ LETTER ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ LOST

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

It’s always just out of reach. Isn’t it? Every day the search begins anew. Every night you lament the fact that you could not find “it”, yet again. But you’ll continue to try again tomorrow, as you always do, as long as you draw breath, until the end of your days if need be. What is “it”, you might ask? Well, “it” can be as difficult to describe as “it” is to comprehend. Some mistakenly call it happiness, but it’s not that simple. You’ve no doubt figured that much out already. Happiness comes and goes, a relative thing, not absolute. If happiness were absolute, it would become meaningless. It would set a new standard for normality. Happiness, like sadness, pain, they serve a purpose, but “it” is far beyond fleeting emotion.

The concept of “it” then further develops, usually growing to be seen as though it must be a sense of purpose. A meaning to exist, a life’s pursuit, something to pour years of passion and devotion into. A vast and growing collection of efforts. This could be anything, entirely self-serving like the acquirement of funds or things, boundless generosity towards others. Finding love, having children, creating a sense of stability and security, could any of this be “it”?

Maybe it’s health and general well-being. Maybe it’s spirituality and/or religion. Maybe it’s keeping busy, using time wisely or even just being entertained. Maybe it’s traveling the world, luxury and/or accumulating a vast cornucopia of experiences the average person never lives. Maybe it’s constantly striving, then reaching the very pinnacle of success, being better than everyone around you? Ask anyone that ever got there, and they’ll tell that’s not “it”.

When it comes down to it, in the end, for most of us, enough, is never enough. So, we carry on. Like ships traversing seas, “it” is all too often the wind in our sails. Utterly misunderstood, yet it guides and shapes the course of our lives.

Is that what “it” is? An insatiable yearning, a burning desire without end, the curse and doom of Mankind? Is there really an abyss in all of us, an endless oblivion, a void. An ultimately unrewarding driving force, so we may wander this world, searching for whatever “it” is, forever hoping to quench the fire, but nothing ever will, it merely feeds “it”.

The Ancient Greek word Aithôn, means “burning”, it was also one of the variations of the names of Erysichthon of Thessaly. Of all the Greek mythos, there isn’t a tale quite like that of Erysichthon. In it’s simplest explanation, Erysichthon wanted to fell every single tree in a sacred grove. When no one would do his bidding, he decided he would do it himself. Upon cutting down one of the sacred trees, Erysichthon unwittingly killed a Dryad, one of the spirits of the forest. For his insatiable self serving and destructive ways Erysichthon was cursed with a hunger that would never be satisfied. Inevitably, the story ends with Erysichthon, having depleted all the food sources he could acquire, slowly devouring himself, piece by piece, to a gruesome death. In a very literal sense, his greed consumed him.

So where does this leave us? Does “it” have to be this way?

Over a decade ago, it was a lifelong dream of mine to stand on the top of Mt. Fuji and look out over the sea of clouds (うんかい) and marvel at its splendor. After the euphoric high rapidly dissipated, while still standing at the top of the mountain, I began to think “well, now what?” It’s funny, I based the entire trip around that one goal but looking back the memory isn’t even clear anymore. The clearest memories are the ones that always stick out to me, the moments where something happens that you couldn’t have predicted would ever occur.

One of these anomalies, was on a train. I was eating barley sugars (a type of rock candy), when I noticed the toddler on the other side of his mother next to me, seemed intrigued by what I was eating. So I offered him one (through his mother) and he ate it. But the mother seemed as though she might want one also, so I offered her one too and she took it. The old man across from me was intently watching the exchange, so I offered him one and he took it. Then he wanted one for his wife. This eventually carried on with every passenger in view. Not one single person refused a barley sugar, I gave out dozens, I emptied an entire bag of cheap brandless barley sugars. To this day, it still strikes me as odd, this train carriage where for whatever reason all these people were grinning at me, seemingly grateful for this trivial gesture. Were they all just not refusing to be polite? I wouldn’t eat anything from someone who looks as suspicious as I do. We were all going to different places, with different worries, but for a brief time, there was a cordial pleasant moment that I doubt anyone foresaw occurring.

It took me awhile to figure out why that experience meant anything to me and I think it applies to a philosophy that encompasses everything in this life. Where you came from and where you’re going are actually quite inconsequential details, in the grand scheme of things. Just like the dates 1912-1996, do you think those dates mean anything to that deceased 84 year old? The – between the dates, is everything. It’s the life that was lived, it’s who that person was and it’s the journey.

I had quite a few friends who died far too young, but most of them were the kind of characters that lived in the moment, quick to laugh, even quicker to forgive, those are the ones I grieve the least. Because in their extremely short lives they lived more than many who grow to be quite old. Making the same mistakes over and over again, while their features contort and their hair turns white.

“It” drives the billionaire to keep making his billions, just as “it” drives the junkie to crave high after high. “It” will always implicate you, but whether you let that implication be positive or negative is entirely up to you.

Don’t be a slave to “it”, don’t worry about yesterday and live constantly for tomorrow, seeking “it” until the ends of the earth. Because “it” is really just a small part of “this”, and “this” is a journey. We’re all on it right now, just as I was on that train, all those years ago. You can let the moment pass into nothing while you’re fixated on what you want, or where you want to be, or you could open up a bag of barley sugars and enjoy the ride?

ᴛʜᴇ OBSERVER EFFECT ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ PARANORMAL

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

In physics, the observer effect theory suggests that the mere observation of an event in some way inevitably changes or implicates the event. The concept of the observer effect can often hold true even in a very broad sense. For instance, to measure the electrical resistance of a wire, we apply a current to it, to learn how it resists the current, in ohms (Ω). However, through the application of a current, we increase the heat of the wire and thus the resistance of the wire can increase beyond its natural state resistance. Altering the measurement to some degree.

Another way of explaining the observer effect, is that in order to observe something in its natural state, you (to varying degrees) corrupt/alter its state from what it would have been otherwise (without your interference). So the second you shine a light on something (regardless of what type of light it is, infrared, UV, etc) in order to see it, you’ve already made a foreign implication that has arguably corrupted the observation (more than likely to a minute degree). If you enter an environment bringing with you unfamiliar sounds, smells and visuals, the flora/fauna of the environment are going to react accordingly.

The observer effect is also regularly seen in day to day life whenever anyone holds up a camera, to either record a video or take a photograph. The instant most people are aware the moment is being recorded they often change their behavior (degrees varying, depending on the individual), to better cultivate a representation of themselves they wish to be stored and frozen in time. People often don smiles and cheerful expressions, striking poses. Even someone that isn’t directly with a group of people being photographed will act slightly different to their normal behavior if they’re aware that their presence is being recorded in some way.

So what would happen if you were trying to observe something that somehow, the moment you tried to observe, it always knew? Despite your best efforts, this being was always one step ahead. It didn’t want to be observed, at any cost. This isn’t a new theory, many people that subscribe to the belief in the existence of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yetis believe that hiding from Mankind was and is key to the species survival. Suggesting they were possibly a different evolutionary branch of the Australopithecus (or some other common primate ancestor), who unlike our species and its desperate dependency to technological advancement, they favored literally becoming “one with nature”. The can hear and smell us from miles away. A foreign object like a camera left recording in the woods, looks and smells unfamiliar, so they stay so far from it it never registers their presence. So as far as we’re concerned, they don’t exist and that’s how they like it. Of course, the other possibility, is that they don’t actually exist at all.

The same principal could be applied to the Unidentified Flying Object (piloted by extraterrestrial beings). If an advanced alien race existed, it would be capable of interstellar travel and likely have access to technology we couldn’t even imagine. Means of observing us with eerie precision. Maybe they can look at us through instruments from thousands of miles away (even through walls)? Maybe they can pick up sound frequencies and listen to our hearts beat? Maybe they can even read our thoughts? Maybe they’re aware where and when you’re looking up into the sky and wondering if they exist at all. In most instances they successfully observe us while we remain utterly oblivious. But through slight errors throughout the ages, they’ve experienced their own observer effect on us. Which, if there is validity to the claims and they are connected to advanced alien life, me sitting here writing this text is a result of their observation. My otherwise natural behavior has been implicated by their attempt to observe the human race.

One last example of a paranormal phenomenon that could theoretically be effected by the observer effect is the behavior/appearance of poltergeist. Most ghost sightings seem to share certain similarities. More often than not after relocating or spending time in an unfamiliar place. In most instances when an individual is alone and under a certain amount of duress. No one can actually explain what a ghost is or prove they truly exist. It could be possible, if an incorporeal being did exist, that it connected or portrayed itself to someone through a sort of psychic connection more so than a physical tangible one. The link could be extremely weak and precarious in some instances, stronger and more volatile in others (resulting in sounds, movement, frequent sightings). But then when foreign parties arrive to observe the phenomenon, everything stops. The mere presence of others, and the implications that accompany them could create an observer effect that results in a total lack of paranormal activity.

It’s this seemingly delicate and temperamental nature of the most rare or paranormal phenomenon that leads many to discard the possibility of it ever occurring at all. But just because something is highly unpredictable, nigh undetectable and virtually impossible to observe doesn’t definitively prove that it doesn’t exist.

ᴛʜᴇ LENS ᴛʜᴀᴛ CHANGES WORLDS

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

—C. S. Lewis

Visualize, if you a can, a stranger.

Maybe they’re walking toward you on a street you’ve traveled many times before?

What does their face look like? What are they wearing? How old are they?

Try to hold that image in your mind.

They say all strangers look alike, but that isn’t actually true, is it? You’re a stranger, I’m a stranger. We’re all utterly unfamiliar to the vast majority of fellow homo sapiens scattered around this planet. How we imagine a fictitious stranger, can reveal a great deal about ourselves, our society at large. For instance, if you imagined an intimidating and seemingly menacing stranger, leering at you as you pass one another. For whatever reason (justified or not), you have cultivated a negative representation of a variable that could have been anything, it was up to you. So why then, did you create this specific depiction?

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law). Throughout the course of your existence, whether you like it or not, every experience impacts you in some way. A momentary childhood interaction with an aggressive dog (for some) is enough to lead to a lifetime fearing them. In fact that can be a common cause for cynophobia (fear of dogs).

A single event can reshape our entire worldview. The shop attendant knows that robberies often take place, but it isn’t until he/she is staring down the barrel of a gun that they truly comprehend the reality and seriousness of the crime. It’s these experiences (along with other factors) that shape our choices, form our judgements.

Even now, how you respond to this article of text, is based on how it appeals to your taste. If you have read something covering the same topic, which was simpler to understand, more insightful, then your opinion of my attempt would be justifiably low. Alternatively, it could strike all the right chords with someone else. The subject could also bore, offend, annoy, make some people sad, some happy. The possibilities for interpretation are as numerous as there are people.

We can attempt to be objective in our interpretation of the world around us, but it appears that our subjective worldview is often the dominant and default setting in our day to day lives. Which overall, is a good thing. Having different views, different opinions is paramount for the survival (and quality of life) of our species. Otherwise we face stagnation. The exploration of thought should never be restricted to some set standard. Often the most memorable things in our lives, are the shocking things that no one expected, because they deviate so far from the norm. Unhindered thought evolves and adapts to a changing world. After all, change is the only certainty.

We can all appreciate the value of perspective when it comes to the viewing of a performance or sporting event. Generally, the closer you are to the event, the more you will witness and enjoy. As opposed to those who are further away, whose seating in some instances is sold at a reduced price, due to the visual and audible losses.

Consider this hypothetical scenario:

Five individuals could walk down the same street, yet embark on five separate journeys. One woman notices the scattered rubbish lining the street, she hates filth. One man catches a glimmer of something shining on the ground, he’s pleased to have found a coin. One woman, stumbles and feels momentarily embarrassed. The woman behind her, tries not to laugh. Lastly, a blind woman cautiously makes her way through the crowd, she hasn’t left her home in some time, but she must force herself to face the unforeseeable mayhem, so she pushes herself to do so.

Anger, Contentment, Embarrassment, Amusement and Heroism. These five could be five out of a tide of five hundred that travel the same street in the course of an hour. Each with their own interpretation of the world around them. Their own view of the world, themselves and the things that matter.

Understanding how your own experience is effected by the things that directly implicate you is a useful tool in better coping with the changing vicissitudes that life hurls at you. Like for instance the common belief that many individuals hold (for countless varying reasons) leading them to believe strangers dislike them. Partly due to something known commonly in the modern world that in lack of a better description has been termed “resting bitch face”. Where the default facial expression of an individual is seemingly displeased. Leading others to express a cold expression back at them, perpetuating a cycle of defensive and cold individuals. To break this cycle, you need only smile at a stranger and in the majority of interactions, the stranger will immediately smile back at you.

So many people are purely receptive to their environment and others, they fail to realize that the lack of engagement in itself is an outward projection. Often shy and aloof individuals can be interpreted as rude, arrogant or dismissive due to their wilful segregation from others.

There is a great deal of power in perception. If you can somehow empathize with an individual and present an understanding of their perception, they will value you above others. All human beings have an innate desire to be understood. It’s a common romantic trope that an ideal partner knows what their spouse truly desires, even if they verbally fervently deny it. Most commonly seen when someone says that they’re “O.K” but their body-language, behavior etc says otherwise. Perception (along with a level of care) determines whether you would leave it at the verbal cue or pursue the perceived dissatisfaction.

So when you feel as though you’ve had a bad day, rather than leave that assessment as it stands, why not wonder why? What made the day a “bad” day? Things not going your way or being simple is only enough to upset or annoy you if you deem it to be. It’s the same sentiment people have when they hold a grudge against the world. It’s estimated that if you live to 80 years old, you may have a brief meeting with around 100, 000 other human beings.

At the time of writing this, there are approximately 7,346,235,000 people on this planet. So it could be estimated that most people will meet less than 0.001361% of the world population. Yet through the news, media and their own experience they believe they have a perfectly rendered opinion of humanity at large.

So when it comes down to it, if you could adapt your perspective, what sort of world would you be capable of seeing? Would you lead a happier life? Or is your current perspective just too convenient?