22 Dec 2010

What's in a dream.

What's in a dream.
Written for those who can hang on to things unreal, who can be irrational, like the numbers I spoke of previously. Suppose we are someone called Pi - an irrational unvulgar and real person.
In this next phase of our quest for reality we look at dreams - and when is a dream so distant that we cannot believe in it anymore.
One thing I do firmly believe in though, is that beware what you dream - it will become reality one day - but does that apply to all dreams ?
There are many dreams and maybe they are all the same - what makes them different - why would they not all be the same.
Firstly we may almost safely say that reality and dreams are opposites, but we have tried to climb this slippery slope of opposites previously - so we cannot be too sure, but let's start out from that premise.
So, to come to dreams we need to know what reality is, before we can get to its opposite. We all know (quite erroneously) that something which exists is real, therefore something that does not exist cannot be real. It may surprise you that this view was held by scientists for thousands of years and it is still being held by them, and nothing is further from the truth than that.
If I may explain. Matter only exists when its speed is less than the speed of light. So, things that move faster than the speed of light cannot exist.
I cannot accept such a flawed statement. If I think of our far away stars, say one which is a thousand million light years away, it means I cannot think of it for a thousand million years, because nothing moves faster than light, but still I know I can think of it in one second. For me it exists in my thought, not in my dreams.
If it exists in my thought then it exists for me, or do you want me to go into thoughts of God, or tell me God is not real.
This slippery slope is now almost unclimbable, but still we need to try.
Is a thought and a dream then different ? I do not think so. What would make them different ?
The answer to all this is our warped, one-sided, false idea of reality. If we think reality is what we feel and see, then we live in a very limited world.
Reality does not depend on that we can feel and see, but in which frame or state we are in - and this is not technical. To become somewhat technical, we need to understand that there are different worlds for different creatures.
A creature living in Point Land (a domain where there are no dimensions) would only think of a point as reality. A creature living in Line Land (a domain where there is only one dimension) has no reality idea of a flat surface. A creature which lives in Flat Land has no reality concept of a sphere, and we who live so ignorantly in Cube Land, have no clear idea of what a super sphere is (a construct only real in four dimensions). So, we foolishly think creation's dimensions stopped with us. Just to make things difficult I will let you know that there are n (unlimted) dimensions in Hilbert Space.
Do I have your attention - please !!!
We cannot evaluate reality from our limited framework of only three dimensions. So, we cannot assess reality or pretend to know we know the difference between dreams and reality.
For us, the difference between reality and dreams are not definable even.
But shall I confuse you even more. If I dream that I dream - how far from our own reality would that be ? Like someone making a movie/film of a movie/film that is made of a fictional subject (say of aliens). How far must that fiction be removed from reality before it becomes a (pipe) dream.
If I come back to my previous conclusion about Nothing, I once again conclude that a dream is not Nothing, and that there is no such thing as Nothing - everything is something and therefore a reality, even if it seems real only in certain worlds.

17 Dec 2010

A visit to Berlin - An excellent blog by Roan - commented by Peekay

Berlin - by Roan Smit

How do I start to describe Berlin?

 If I was  a painter my pallet would be neutral - not dark, not light.  It would most probably be a pre-rennaisance theme -cold tones and hard lines, with the clean strokes of restoration and recovery, but only as a decorative motive.  It would be an unfinished work, as the top clean overlay of clear varnish would not be able to conceal the dark undertones working itself effortlessly to the surface.  There would be movement -slow, persistant movement of intense distraction -  a constant momentum - but it would only be seen by those standing still long enough to recognise it.

 As a sculptor, my medium would be a solid, bold work of hard concrete ( interlined with steel and barbed wire), laced with art-deco structures  in stone and steel. I might just ad the three-pointed joker's hat somewhere, but it would hardly be visible, and something would constantly try to conceal it.  My theme would capture all the emotions of a lover's loss, with all the futile attempts to find it again.

And if I could write?  No, my story would be to dark to read.  The intricate lines of pain and anger, intertwined with the sadness of a loss of love and hope would be to agonising to the reader, and the lack of a happy ending would leave the reader breathless, sad, and lonely - as if you had spent the day in one of the busiest cities of the world, your shoulders bruised as you forced your way through the crowds, your feet hurting while you searched for a ray of hope, warmth, love,  but found none ( even though the streets were lined with inviting love-escapes).

No matter how many love parades or gay celebrations - nothing could hide the hurting heart of a city marked with the deep scars of war and pain.  The years of bloodshed, tears and fear could never be washed away - and the stark reminders of a Check Point Charly and its relevant museums and shops and the remaining wall would always stand starkly above all else.  All the thousands of tourists gathered in rows, marched through the dark house of rememberance, taking foto's with youths dressed up in the military apparel of the time, are only there to be reminded of the cruelty of man toward man.  But do they see the lines engraved in the walls, made by the tears of the people that once lived and died there?  Do they feel the soul of a people hurting, as if caught in a cage, bounded by the chains of inhumanity?

I was there - and glad to have been - but I have left with a bit of the scar of Berlin on my mind.  And in my heart I know that it will always be a reminder of what still lies ahead for us - people will never change, and the signs of our behavour - one to another - will ever become another museum to show us just what we are............
Posted by The Times and Life of Roan at 6:01 AM

P.K.Odendaal made thiese comments :

What an accurate and moving description of Berlin in poetry and in prose - as well as the genial use of the artistic metaphor.

One thinks of the holocaust and the death of 55 million people in the war.

One also thinks of the almost total destruction of the German nation, their country and their infrastructure - in great part by themselves- during the last months of that unholy war.

One thinks of the total denial of this by the German nation (now and past) and by their leaders of the time.
It must have been the apex of human self destruction which necessarily follows human excellence - a syndrome within each of us - and it must have been the utlimate crime against humanity.

I might be permitted (with your leave) to look past the human folly of Mao Zedong and his Cultural Revolution for self preservation which ended in self destruction - almost on the same scale.

Let me however not look past the deliberate self destruction and human suffering of the Russian nation by Stalin and his cronies - also a normal antidote to the Russian victory over Germany.

I do not think one can really have pity and compassion with humantity if one has not visited Berlin.
It reminds me of the deep emotional piano piece (by Frans Lizst) - The Hungarian Rhapsody no. 3 - in which the conflict between hope and defeat is so well and emotionally portrayed. Fortunately, the piece ends with the truimph of the human spirit over adversity and depression.

Thus, the war was also ultimately a victory (at great price) over the evil of humankind.

And then in complete contracdiction, right next to Berlin, one finds one of the most exemplary feats of the human spirit in the Baroque Art and Architecture of Potsdam.

Such is the duality of life - and of the conflict of the human flesh against the human spirit. And, in line with that, the total denial of our own folly as individuals or as humankind.

Surely these are thoughts one has to consider and meditate on.

October 5, 2010 8:19 AM

15 Dec 2010

Our own insignificance - from Barlasch of the Guard.

There are quite a number of people who get through life without realising their own insignificance. Ninety-nine out of hundred persons signify nothing, and the hundreth is usually so absorbed in the message which he has been sent into the world to deliver, that he loses sight of the messenger altogether.
By a merciful dispensation of Providence we are permitted to bustle about in our own immediate little circle like an ant, running hither and thither with the sublime conceit of that insect. We pick up, as he does, a burden which on close inspection, will be found to be absolutely valueless, Something that somebody else has thrown away. We hoist it over obstructions while there is usually a short way round. We fret and sweat and fume. Then we drop the burden and rush off at a tangent to pick up another. We write letters to our friends explaining to them what we are about. We even indite diaries to be read by goodness knows whom, explaining to ourselves what we have been doing. Sometimes we find something that really looks valueable, and rush to our particular ant heap with it, while our neightbours pause and watch us. But they really do not care; and if the rumour of our discovery reach so far as the next ant-heap, the bustlers there are so indifferent, though a few may feel a passing pang of jealousy. They may perhaps remember our name, and will soon forget what we discovered - which is Fame. While we are falling over each other to attain this, and dying to tell each other what it feels like when we have it, or think we have it, let us pause for a moment and think ....