Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Functional Infinities

In Plato at the Googleplex, Goldstein talks about a revelation her pediatrician neighbor had on her front porch one day. Distraught at all the time he wouldn't exist in, he decided instead that time without him didn't exist.

Well, he's welcome to believe that, I suppose. The whole thing just reminded me of a personal revelation I once had, one that's very much the opposite of his.

See, everything ends. That's the truth, best we can tell. Continents drift apart. Mountains wear down. Stars burn out and die. It's sad. I, at least, thought it was sad. Distressing, even. And then I realized I wouldn't be there to see it happen.

Look, it doesn't take rewriting the laws of the universe to say that, for me, that mountain will be there forever. It's not going to be around for all time, but it might as well be from my perspective. And everyone has these, these functional infinities. Try and count them. You can't! They are all the stars in the sky. There are, for everyone who has lived, will ever live, unchanging things to match the changing.

As much as we need change, as much as we need growth and development and newness, it is a beautiful comfort to be able to say, "I'll never live in a universe without Saturn's rings".

They'll disappear eventually, you know!

It's worth living in the now, no matter what now you live in. It is good to be in the middle of something awesome, and you can always find something awesome to be in the middle of.

Maybe that doesn't work for you. Perhaps it's but a small comfort. That's alright. For me, though . . . well, I wouldn't trade my infinities for a full stop. I wouldn't dream of it. It wouldn't be a fair swap.

1 comment:

  1. This all boils down to existentialism. I think that it would be a fair statement to say that the world that you know, the one that you perceive, the world that you recognize as real, began existing when you were born and as it changes throughout your life, it will end when you die. To believe that the objective universe only exists while one exists would be solipsistic. I, personally, choose to believe that you are indeed a separate entity from me who exists and sees the world in a distinguished manner than I.