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I think I understand, but what is that understanding – really? It is obvious that I perceive only a tiny bit of what is around me and what is in me; what is inside that I have been calling my zombie and the rest engulfing me is oblivion. And there are huge abysses of oblivion in the past and possibly even vaster oblivions in the  future. I am immersed in oblivion in every direction of time, space, matter and energy, say the string theorists, and there may be even more dimensions out there, and each of these is an unknown oblivion to me. There may be several extra, unobservable dimensions beyond those even dreamed of by the most speculative hyper-brained weirdos. It is like Donald Rumsfeld’s “as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” And, “There’s another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist.”

The problem is that the unknown unknowns are bigger by a little bit than what we do know; probably, to put a number on it, it’s beyond 10^{10^{100}}. That is the number ten with scads of zeros after it. Or just writing zeros until you get tired. That is commonly called a googolplex, but it is a silly number to replace what used to be called infinity, and that was defined by some as only an unknowable large number, or perhaps only a number larger than you needed to measure. The point is that the unknowns, the oblivions, are bigger than our awareness can possibly comprehend.

So, what’s the problem? The problem is – that with so much unknown and unknowable stuff surrounding our every thought and action, how can we possibly cope in a reasonable way and live purposeful and comfortable lives? As it works out, the answer is easy, because all of that unknowable oblivion stuff behaves in a perfectly predictable way; at least it does so in the dimensions we live our lives within. We don’t need to worry over much about the Big Bang or the Big Crunch because neither of those things will have the slightest impact upon our lives, or at least nothing that we have any possible influence upon; and if we don’t have any influence there is no reason to worry about it or even to think about it.

We humans, at least some of us, have had the privilege to think as we please for several hundred years. We could even choose who the ministers of our religious training would be, and the meaning of those terms was even defined by our group, and if we didn’t like what they said we could find another minister more to our liking. This was the trend of the law beginning with the Act of Religious Tolerance and Freedom of Conscience, issued in 1568 by King John II of Hungary. On page 258 of Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi we find:

“In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like it, well, if not, no one shall compel them for their souls would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve”.

With those freedoms came the responsibility and annoyance of having to think for ourselves, and the pain of suffering and not knowing what the absolute truth really was, as was formerly the case, when our preachers simply told the truth and we had no access to the underlying thoughts. Life was easier then, when we knew the truth, but the problem was that the truth given to us didn’t correspond to reality very well because it was a made-up truth – it was a lie.

Igor – Is there a single thought or word you couldn’t have written? Do it!

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