January 31, 2006

do be do be do


According to shamanism the universe is filled with heavenly bodies peopled by spiritual beings. The world is like a saucer, with a hole in the middle leading to the Netherlands. The earth is supported on the back of a colossal monster whose movement causes earthquakes. The earth has a navel upon which stands the cosmic tree.

According to Jainism the world is eternal and uncreated, and reality has five basic elements: soul, matter, space, the principles of motion and the ceasation of motion. The Digambaras add a sixth element, time.

20th century cosmology tells us that the universe is in a dynamic state, continually expanding since the big bang 15 billion years ago. No-one can say whether it will collapse or continue to expand.

The spatial geometry of the Einstein-de Sitter universe is Euclidean, but space-time is not globally flat.

Main course

I am living in a parallel universe, in the sense that I am moving in the same direction as all of you but I am displaced geographically, linguistically and (not-so-much-but-even-so) culturally. And what fun it is in my universe! There are so many things that are different, and some that are the same. For example, in my universe there is universal medical care, curbside recycling, great public transportation (when I'm not complaining about it), no billboards and much less advertising in general, green belts, bike paths and parks (everywhere! No kidding!), and you have to work really hard at it not to have a place to live. How much would you pay for this in ordinary stores!? But wait, that's not all. We also have really stupid politicians and irritating telemarketers. Taxes are high and the winters are long, dark and wet.

Linguistically I never talk with native speakers of English. This may be an advantage because it has helped me to pare down my language, focusing on the message instead of the means, and forced me to give up irritating cliches and ephemeral catch phrases.

The phenomenon is general-- everyone lives in their own universe. You are what you choose to eat, hear, see, think, love, do. What is the common direction?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Web Counter
Web Site Counter

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]