Let me show you how we, that is both you and me, are smothered in an infinity of physical stuff and information! We live on an ordinary rocky planet in a universe of about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,001 stars (ten with twenty-two zeros after it), most of which probably have planets. Our home universe is really big and every speck of it has gravity trying to pull the whole universe together. A second really big idea! We live on a planet that has had a total of about 100,000,000,000 human beings, each having lived on average about 30 years, and that equals very approximately 94,340,778,000,000,000,000 human thoughts. (100,000,000,000 humans x 30 years average x 31,446,926 seconds per year = 9.4340778 * 10 * 19 = 94,340,778,000,000,000,000 seconds, and we have about a thought per second.).
The idea that we have about one thought per second is based on my simple observation that I can look around and observe clearly about one individual object per second. So … my idea is that the sum total of human thoughts is about the number nine point four with about nineteen zeros after it. Very little of that thought has been recorded, but the sum of thought is like gravity in that we can’t pick out many of the individual events, but the collection of them totally affects our world. The sum of the gravity of the whole universe affects us, and the sum of human thought affects us in a similar way. Each of these two very different things affects our reality and makes us what we are.
Where are we to dip into this vast amount of physical reality and of human thought to find our functional reality? How can we find a form of reality that we can understand and use? Physical reality is relatively easy because it is predictable on the human level and we learn the basics in childhood. Human reality, based on the vast amount of thoughts and learning computed above, is vastly more difficult, and no one can come close to understanding what humanity knows. We as individuals can learn how to find and to understand what we need to know to live our lives, but that means we must somehow acquire the wisdom to know what we need to know. That is why we should seek to follow the Biblical advice and, “Get wisdom, then get understanding.” We need to cultivate the wisdom to look into the future to know what we need to understand. If we can see, even dimly, what needs to be learned we can then take a step in that direction, and thus be closer to what we need to learn, and what we need to do.
One thing is obvious: we need to see clearly where we are at right now and to look from here, right here, toward the direction we need to go. That requires looking into the future, and we have help with that because of the vast number of people who are with us and who have gone before us. We can quickly see from observing other people’s behavior what kinds of actions brought about the results we seek. That is helpful because it helps to refine our goals, and when our goals are clear and our actions are clear, it becomes easier to maintain our motivations to do what is necessary.
We find physical reality in the physical world and human reality in the human world.