Imaginary Brazilian Revolution

Brazil is a state of carefree serenity. Brazil is attained by forsaking sanity.

Return . . . I will . . . to old . . . Brazil.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Bliss of the Absurd

It's come to my attention lately that we are enchained by the labels of what we call reality. The area of study that has been instrumental in my theories of chaos is "string theory," the theory that all matter is eternal outward and inward, infinitely and infinitesmally. Check out the wikipedia about string theory, or check out Basically, all matter is composed of things called super-strings, little pieces of matter a about one billion billion times smaller than a proton, far too small for silly human machinery to detect.

Tyler is in the process of recovering from a broken heart. I've been literally shattered this past few weeks due to the demise of a relationship that was quite lovely for quite some time. In the midst of this, I've discovered this theory. All matter, whether it be animal fecal matter or human eyeballs or refined plutonium, is composed of the same fundamental elements, and all of those elemental strings are only different because they are situated at different frequencies and vibrations. Initially this discovery, coincidentally with the break-up, created within me an existentialist. I was Sartre or Hegel for an entire day. At work, as a Customer Service Manager mind you, I spoke at length to customers and subordinate employees and co-equal middle management retards about the reality of our impending doom, about death stalking us at every meander of life. Whenever any problems arose, I would reply, "Does it really matter?" And it didn't. For an entire day it DID NOT matter. Customers were frightened. Associates, already acknowledging me as a fount of absurdity, were less startled but still concerned for my sanity. One associate even advised another, "Don't talk to Tyler today. He'll just talk about death." That really happened. The way I was thinking, if I am the same as everything else, nothing is really real, and imminent death makes life laughable and absurd.

But now, after a few days to reason out my personal philosophies concerning the discovery, I have decided that I *am* the same as everything else, nothing really is real, and imminent death indeed makes life laughable and absurd: how beautiful! If we're all going to die anyway, we may as well love ourselves, we may as well love life, we may as well love every person we meet. All we really have are these moments we perceive. Therefore, it is our duty to our own souls to treat every moment as if it is the most sacred moment we've ever had the opportunity to experience. It is our duty to treat every stranger as if they are the most sacred person we've ever encountered. And while it is true that everything is chaos, that we are composed of infinitesmal vibrating strings, and that there is nothing we are going to do to escape eventual death, it is also true that this specific coagulated mass of vibrating strings known by some as my hand, has been given its very own serving of divine energy, and has been given the divine mandate to manipulate the tiny strings around it into aesthetic splendour.

Note: My roommate just read my rant and called it "new agey." EFF THAT! It is not.


At 2/28/2006 8:38 PM, Blogger Lyman said...

I'm not convinced of string theory. It seems to be every great scientists dream to find a "theory of everything" and so far this seems to be in its early stages of proof. Unless they can find a way of detecting the strings, It may be a while before it is widely accepted, not just "popular." Tom had a good point about atoms and such, but I will let the professor tell you about that. But the real reason you were even talking about the string theory is that you broke up with you girlfriend. It must be a little different for you than it was for me. I just played a lot of basketball and listened to some sad songs. If you are looking up scientific theories, then it can't be all bad! I'm glad to be out of the dating scene. (I think Tom would agree).I don't have much advice for you other than learn from the experience, and find someone else. There are lots of fish in the sea and blah...blah...blah...
Back to the science crap. In "A Brief History of Time"(a great documentary by the way)Stephen Hawking says that just because the "Big Bang" theory may be true, it doesn't mean there isn't a God, it just means that we have narrowed the time to which He created the universe.(Or something to that effect.) I would think that a lot of science isn't discrediting God, I just think several people on both sides are so against each other that they can't cooperate. There are things in science that would actually move towards proof of a God if interpreted correctly. I also know that God doesn't hate science. Can't we all just get along...

At 2/28/2006 8:42 PM, Blogger Lyman said...

By the way, that is a bunch of "New Age" crap!!

At 2/28/2006 9:00 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I'm convinced that physics is not real. I think the string theory is just something physics professors came up with so that the deans would think they were keeping busy. The dean doesn't know what the crap they're talking about, so he figures they must be advancing science some way or another and he keeps giving them paychecks. Meanwhile, Stephen Hawking, who is not really disabled, is scooting on a Segway around his mansion (which he paid for with royalties from his time goes backwards in a black hole B.S.), going from one Holodeck (you know--Star Trek) to another reenacting scenes from the original Battlestar Gallactica, all the while oblivious to the Mormon theology undergirding the whole thing.

Incidentally, you don't need to go down to something so fundamental and imaginary as strings before you reach the highest common denominator of all matter. You, dog poo, refined plutonium, and Jessica Simpson's bad breath are all made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. And you are real. If you weren't real you wouldn't be able to question your own reality. Would you?

At 2/28/2006 9:34 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Lyman speaks! Some cosmic force was in play because we were typing our comments at exactly the same time. Whoa, dude!

Yeah, Lyman, I gave Tyler my perspective on dating. It's kind of cheesy, but I find the initial steps of a progressing relationship, you know, the first touches and looks and kisses that indicate that feelings are reciprocal, to be so thrilling and beautiful that I envy Tyler in a sense. At the same time, though, the frustration and pain of regressing relationships is hell. So I don't envy Tyler. All in all, I'm glad I'm out of the dating scene because the stability and joys of marriage and family make up for the lack of thrills and excitement.

About science and God, Stephen Jay Gould put forth a well-known but widely-maligned philosphy about the relationship between science and religion called non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA). I like NOMA. It essentially says that the realms (magisteria) of science and religion are entirely separate and independent (non-overlapping). Science is the study of how the physical universe functions and the physical laws and principles that govern the universe. Religion is a system of beliefs that defines morals, values, and purpose in life. If religion and science stay within their realms (magisteria) then there is no conflict between the two. For example, religions have encroached into the realm of science by asserting that the earth is 6000 years old and that evolution can't be true. Overly rigid reading of the Bible and overly rigid conceptions of God lead religionists to feel threatened when science proves that the earth is billions of years old and that evolution has been happening throughout the history of life on earth. So they fight and resist and call names and so on. Similarly, some scientists encroach into the realm of religion by saying that since evolution happens God does not or cannot exist when science itself has inherent limitations that prevent such an assertion from being proven. If everybody stays in their realm, everybody will get along.

Of course, this can be problematic for us religious folk because the Bible itself, if read literally, encroaches into the realm of science. It's easy, though, to overcome this problem by not reading the Bible entirely literally. Mormons aren't obliged to believe that the creation account is literal. We know God didn't create the earth in six days. I think what's important is to look for spiritual truth and not worry about what the Bible has to say about things that belong in the realm of science. For example, the main truth to learn from the account of Noah is not that the whole entire earth was covered with water within a few thousand years ago, but that God teaches us through prophets and if we heed their words we'll be spiritually safe. In fact, that's what I taught in primary last week.

Dang I'm long winded.


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