Monday, 11 May 2009

Living At The Speed Of Light

We interrupt this program for a brief, important mind bender....

Here we gooooo.....!

Jumping. Mentally and bodily. Metaphysically, spiritually, philosophically. Present to past to future. Sideways to an alternate present along the same world lines. Diagonally to an other-worldly present. Sliding along the z-axis. Discovering a new axis--the hidden dimension.

And still, as my body turns to energy, silently exploding every molecule as I become bright and unreal, still some semblance, some of the essence of me is maintained and, at some distant point, reforms as matter once again. How is it I can remain the me that is the essence of my mental and emotional configuration?

I ask you to consider what dies when your "life" is over. Your body is still made up of essentially the same amount of matter at the moment of your death as it was in the moments before. But the electrodes the emergency crew pasted to your heart and brain are no longer registering an energy signal. The energy that resides in you, the energy fueled by the chemical reactions of eating and breathing, conducted by the water coursing through your cells, has been released. Where does it go? Now there's a more pertinent question.

And if it is energy that makes you alive, then wouldn't all of the matter in your body turning into pure energy make you even more alive? Turn you into a god?

Perhaps gods ride the energy waves that pass through space, electromagnetic radiation constantly on the move, bent only to the will of deep gravity wells, black holes. Ahhh. Perhaps THAT is hell. Enter, the w-axis!

E = mc2. If matter accelerated to the speed of light becomes pure energy, would pure energy slowed to the speed of molecular vibrations become matter once again? And what form does that matter take? Does the slowing energy decide for itself? The angel Maroni--from blinding light to anthropogenesis. Zeus in the form of a swan or a golden shower. Shiva and Krishna and the many forms of the Hindu "pantheon". Fairies and djinn and bunyips. An immaculate conception. The crazy diversity of religious, mythic, and fairytale forms from every culture. All of them energy, once—light that learned to slow itself down and Become.

And if that god-like energy decides to travel away from Earth, what does it become in other places? Are the forms taken limited by the physical environment in which they find themselves? Do they become bacteria under the ice on Mars? Minerals on a comet? Solar flares and sunspots? Dust and dark matter?

How does matter accelerate to the speed of light? And, more intriguingly, how does it slow down, again?

Pressing the brakes.

This is why I love geography. It is a subject that draws from every other field and looks at the world as a whole, from a spatial perspective. It is a holistic subject, by nature. And it has made me look at the interconnectedness of everything in ways I might not otherwise have considered. The philosophical underpinnings of science. The scientific basis for religion. The religious nature of household plumbing. It all fits together.

In a similar way, so do we. You and your body, me and mine. You and I. After all, you’re here now, aren’t you? Sharing the interlocking pieces of life with me as I write and you read. For that, I send my thanks across the ether. Step into the sunlight and catch the vibe.

Ah, here we are. Pulling into the station. Please keep all appendages inside until the ride has come to a full and complete stop.

Thank you for riding, Lighties and Glowingmen.

And now, back to your regularly-scheduled program...

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