Metanoia:The Meaning of Life
- 1 Part One
- 1.1 "People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed."-Friedrich Nietzche
- 1.2 "You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing."-Richard Feynman
- 1.3 "I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs and different degrees on certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure about anything."-Richard Feynman
- 1.4 "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."-Carl Jung
- 2 Part Two
So wow, that heading looks HUGE! If you told me two and a half years ago that I’d be writing this book, I’d laugh in your face and spit in your food. The times they are a-changin; as Bob Dylan once said. If you told any of my teachers at school that I was going to write about it they would laugh hysterically. Well I hope they would, ‘cos I know I would have; and that’s just about the idea that I’d be writing a book... let alone on the meaning of life.
We all know it’s so ridiculous to say you’ve figured out the meaning of life. So ridiculous; but I honestly think I’ve figured it all out. I’m writing this with the biggest grin. It’s so utterly ridiculous. Why’s has this happened to me? Seriously it seems so obvious to me now, it seems like this is the shit they should have come up with ages ago. Yet humanity is apparently just as stupid as I am.
So one night I was listening to Netsky’s performance of Drum ‘n Bass music on the BBC (British Broadcasting Commission): Pete Tong’s essential mix show in late 2010. A ripper of a set too; oh yup, I like drum and bass. I love the sound of pots and pans falling down stairs. Don’t know why I like it, I don’t really dig dance music, but drum ‘n bass: I’m in love with it. Especially liquid DnB, get it into my veins! I love it at the moment.
Also at this time, I was looking at a magazine on handguns and it was fairly late, or fairly early depending on the way you’re looking at it. Probably thinking ‘BANG!’ every time I flipped the page, have I told you about shooting? I love it, and you don’t need to kill anything to enjoy it. Enough said about that, ‘cos I’m fairly certain I mentioned it before in this rambling.
Anyways it got to about 40 minutes into it, and then a dude starts singing “There’s two sides to every situation”, and I was thinking about it and was like ‘yeah! There are two sides to every situation’. Thinking about arguments I had, and people I loved and all that junk. You know, there are two sides to every conflict right? This is because otherwise it wouldn’t be a conflict.
And then a chick starts singing “Do you believe what you see? Motionless wheel, nothing is real. Wasting like time, in the waiting line”; All of a sudden it all clicked with me, it’s all just time! Fuck me! It’s all just time!! [don’t worry I’ll come back and explain] and with that I jumped around my abode [home] like a fully crazy person. Yelling YES! IT’S TIME! Wow! WOW! Jumping around on my couches and shit like a seven year old. The feeling of problem solved was upon me. Of course I was thinking of the physics of it all. How it relates to dark matter, and dark energy and all that stuff.
Anyway whilst I was in my crazed running around the next song started with a dude singing “It’s the un-definable. Something, it’s in every one of us, waiting. What is it?” and I was like ‘ITS ALL FRIKKIN TIME!’. Anyway I thought that was funny, just coincidence though. So now I had a problem. How was I going to explain it to physicists? As my maths skills, well, aren’t the best. Hmm old problems solved, new problems created. Funny how life is like that, aigh?
Anyway I went to bed excited that night, really excited. You guessed it, I slept like a baby. A baby that doesn’t cry every couple of hours or so. The next morning I awoke only to be thinking ‘that can’t be right’. However the thought of ‘it must be right’ over weighed it. Yet I knew the easiest person to fool was yourself and how was I meant to explain it too anyone? I just didn’t know these things. You probably still don’t know what I’m on about, but just hold on with me.
So after my this, I first tried to explain it to my friends. Most of who thought I was an idiot, which is probably true. So who can blame them. I also joked with Aura (one of my friends) about it being everything, the table, the chair, your arm, your consciousness… and then I said: it’s the meaning of life. Trying to get a laugh outta her. Yet then I thought about it, and thought shit, that’s true. Well fuck me.
So later on that week I was talking to Stella about it. So she was the one that opened up that philosophy bucket in my brain and alerted me to Rene Descartes theory that all we are is beliefs. Remember how I was saying shit about Rene Descartes before. He almost had it in his grasp; just a little further mate and you might have been a genius instead of a underarchiving drop kick in the scientific world. Yet alas, things are the way they are. For what it’s worth thank you Descartes for your input or this book would have never happened.
"People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed."
‘So please captain Kays, stop the boat. Please tell us what you mean when you say it’s all just time?’ I hear you saying; well it’s quite simple, but, very complicated to teach to people that have lived their life believing in whatever it is they believe life is about, but it’s fairly simple when you think about it I promise you. If you choose to believe it, that’s your own fault, not mine. I believe it too be true, but with no scientific evidence it’s a little hash to convince you it’s true (unlike religions). It is fairly believable tho; way more believable than the common religions, and ‘better’ for the world to teach to your kids this rather than there is some bloke in the sky that watches over them. Yet what would I know? I’m not dead yet, so just hear me out.
So the meaning of life is to have your time. It don’t matter how you live it, that is up to your time to decide. I think I’ll explain it from a physics side before I get into the more ‘swallowable’ philosophy side of things and then we’ll get to the point: we’ve all know it all along, but we haven’t known it. If that makes sense, I’ll come back to this point you can be sure of it.
"You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing."
So the physics of it, I originally thought that this would be fairly hard to explain. Yet it seems so easy now. So without further ado, let’s get stuck it too the physics of it all. Yes I know, none of this is scientific, it’s just my thoughts. Yet where does science come from? All it is, is a collection of thoughts that have been either proven or disproven. This is just my thoughts, and I invite scientists everywhere to take a look at them. Just so you know, there was a point in my life where I didn’t really think there was ‘time’ as such. So I’m completely reversible on this, but for my current views [and I can’t see them changing for quite a while]: it’s all just the evolution of time.
So what’s the physics you talk of. Alright, we’ll start this with Alberto Einstein’s theory that time and space are intertwined. Hopefully we’ll get rid of space all together; just what the ancient Greek philosophers where aiming at. Funny how it’s done a full 360 over the last couple of thousand years.
Alright so Einstein if you can remember proposed that things experience of time changes on your reference point. E.g. If you are on the space station your time is slightly slower than us earthlings, here on earth. This really doesn’t amount to much, in fact if you stayed up there for about a year, it would mean you’re about 9 milliseconds younger than all of us stuck here on the earth. Whilst that took ‘time’ out of the equation for many physicists, thinking it was just another ‘observer effect’. It turns out, that’s completely wrong; it should have gone the other way. I’ll explain.
All right so what am I saying? It’s just the evolution of time that keeps us on the ‘ground’. Let me explain gravity. Things want to be together. Relationships, husbands and wifes, people and their kittehs. Everything has this desire. This desire is not only emotional but also physical, and for the most part, it’s called gravity. Gravity keeps us on the earth, it keeps the moon orbiting the earth, and it keeps earth orbiting the sun. It also keeps the sun orbiting the super massive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. It’s fairly much universal, if you have mass, you have a gravity. The earth has way more mass (and thus gravity) than you personally do. This is the reason that when you jump it doesn’t [really] wobble the earth. It’s just your gravity is miniscule compared to the earths. So while you jump the earth is being pulled towards you, it is very, very slight and the dude standing next to you; won’t even notice it.
You see, this was all fine and dandy while it was space and time, and they could calculate all of it. Excellent, problem solved… well not quite, you see the orbit of mercury was out of kilter, it would speed up and slow down thru observations. They could not figure out why this was happening. In comes Einstein who thought about it (and I quite frankly have no idea how he came up with this, pure genius, really). Because the sun was between us and mercury for half of its trip, that caused the light to bend a tiny bit relative to us, giving the illusion that it was speeding up and slowing down.
Einstein’s space-time theory is all about relativity, and it is pretty much spot on. It’s all relative to the observer. This is why most people in this field of expertise [physicists] what to ‘get rid’ of time, which is what I originally thought too, but they are going about it the wrong way... No, no, dig up stupid! Well that’s my thought these days, but I once apon a time, I thought what they were doing was right. Sniff, sniff; do you smell that? I think a change of perspective is coming. Well I can hope anyway.
So come with me as we enter the weird world of quantum mechanics, and with us on this quest is the wonderful Mr, Dr, Sir, whatever Schrödinger. The man who summed up quantum mechanics by putting his kitteh in a box. So what was it Dr Schrödinger point is his famous cat experiment? Do you remember? Well the point of it was that without observing it, the cat in the box was both dead and alive at the same time. When it was observed it’s ‘wave-form’ (eg both dead and alive versions of the kitteh) collapsed and it is either dead or alive, but when it wasn’t observed: it is either dead or alive. This really puzzles physicists, but they’ve got all the information figured out currently by predicting the ‘odds’ that any event will occur. Quantum: Have I mentioned I like the word quantum, it sparks the dreams of my inner child.
They are fairly good at predicting these probabilities. Great even, considering its just probabilities. Yet, that’s what makes us, well, us. At an atomic scale anyways. Probabilities condensed into what we call reality. That’s amazing to think about isn’t it? These physicists think about it all too often with their string theories and the such. They throw on extradimensions until our universe makes sense, but I say throw away these dimensions until you are left with one: Time. The only true one, it makes sense to me anyways, stick with me.
Come back here Schrödinger, and bring your kitteh with you and it’s box too. So what’s going on here? You do remember the cat in the box right and how it’s in a super-position (being both alive and dead at the same time) when it’s in the box, it’s only when we observe it that it is either alive or dead. Quite the issue, because we all know that the cat is either alive or dead. Yet until it is observed, it is in fact both.
Well as puzzling as it seems, it is true. Yet the evolution of time explains this so well it scares me a little bit. I suppose at this stage I should go into the fact that all the ‘sciences’ use time to describe everything, but that would wreck the flow of the story so I’ll get into that later on. So anyways, the evolution of time; and our kitteh in the box.
So once again, we’ll grab the cat and put him into his box. (We all remember that there is also a radioactive source in there, a detector of radiation hooked up to a hammer, and a vial of poison.. we all remember this yeah? If not go back and read the bit on physics I’m pretty sure it’s in there). So cat in box, box sealed. Yet in this thought experiment [which I’m going to name ‘KPs kitteh’] we’ll also put a clock in there, so when the radioactive substance gets detected, not only does a hammer smash the vial, but also the clock starts.
Now, let’s say that in the hour that the cat has a 50:50 chance of surviving. Yet unfortunately, fifteen minutes into it, the substance decays. The detector picks this up, that starts the clock, and also releases the hammer (which unfortunately for the kitteh was placed correctly) that hits that dreadful vial of poison. Then we know the rest of it because I don’t wanna get involved with that. Dead kitteh. Therefore the point I’m trying to make is that for the next 45 minutes it is going to be a dead kitteh. Yet for us on the outside of the box, it is constantly in a state of either alive or dead until it is checked.
You are not able to back track time, yet the evolution of time explains what is happening. Alright so stick with me here because, it’s going to make sense. So start the timer, at the beginning we stuck a cat in a box this is the reason that when we open the box, there is a cat either dead or alive inside. Not a basket of fruit or an elephant or whatever. That would be illogical right? We’ll not in a quantum blob, then it could be anything and everything. Yet, that is not what we have: we have a cat and poison and shit in there. Therefore no matter what, we’ll still have all the ingredients we put in. The only thing that can change, is the outcome of it.
It’s still going to be a cat in the box either way, it’s the outcome (the cat being dead or alive) of it that we don’t know until we open the box. Remember what I said before? The act of observation changes the result. Well that wasn’t me, that was Doc Schrödinger, one of the pioneers of quantum theory. This is a super advanced leaf of physics which, in case you don’t know, hangs off the science branch of the tree of life. So you think he’d know his shit.
Before I get into the philosophy of what I’m saying, which ties is quite nice nicely to all this. I know physics and philosophy don’t go together I hear you say, but please do stick with me here as we go deeper into this cove. So the kitteh, actually I might come back to the kitteh after we get to the philosophy of it all. After all that’s the real aim of this book: to create a philosophy. Nothing more. A lot like the hypothesis in a science experiment: very often it’s wrong, but it seems logical.
So let’s get stuck into the philosophy of the evolution of time. This one will be a bit more intense for you to follow, not so much the physics with all its maths and shit. Which I will touch on if you’re interested later on in this. Yet as I’m no maths professor I don’t know if it’s right, but it seems right. Anyway I’ll get to that later.
So this example doesn’t fit everyone, but even the people that it doesn’t fit I’m sure will get my point. So you know who your mother is, right? Well have you had a DNA test to check that, or do you just know it’s your mother? She might look like you, or do similar things to you. Yet you’re not going to change your view on who your mother is right? That’s alright, I haven’t had a DNA test either to prove to me who my mother is; and I’m fairly certain she is my mother. Yet that’s my point, it’s all just beliefs.
Everything you ever learnt is a belief. You believe the sun will rise again tomorrow. You believe we are on this planet. You believe that god exists. You believe you know who your mother is. Beliefs are a funny thing. There are people willing to die for their beliefs; and I kinda get where they are coming from; because I’m a die-hard fan of my beliefs too, I’m not sure how die-hard I am tho. I suppose that would require some kind of test that I’m not going to be a part of to find out. Yet I could tell you now, I probably would die for it. If push came to shove, if it we’re to believe in my beliefs or your beliefs. I’m going to chose mine every time.
"I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs and different degrees on certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure about anything."
So what am I getting at here? Nothing can ever be proved. Alright follow me this way to the deepest, darkest and possibly the most scariest [depends how you look at it] place we’ll visit on this trip. John Lennon [I think it was him] once said something about this. It went a little like this: ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream; a dream you dream together is reality’. Yeah he was a hippie too, but I don’t think we should hold that against him. The reality of what he’s saying really kicked into me after knowing the meaning of life. Like a lot of the ‘we are all one’ bullshit that I’m on about, I used to think that was so silly [like most of you probably do now] but now... now I get it. I’m on the same page as the artists and philosophers. It’s just the other side of the same coin to all you scientists and what not. It’s not some other dimension.
So the problem Descartes was having… you all remember Descartes don’t you? He was that French philosopher dude that I mentioned about earlier, you know, the really smart dude who cops so much shit for being an idiot; for saying something that for the next few hundred years would make him seem really stupid. Yet he was pretty much on the money. Silly society, but how where we meant to know? I’ll get too that in a second. I really hope I’m not going thru this too quickly, I want you to understand it on your first reading. Not like fight club which you have to read thousands of times if you want to get everything out of it.
So Descartes problem was simple. He knew that all our sensors could lie to us, phantom limbs, visual hallucinations (this includes seeing something out of the corner of your eye that wasn’t what you thought it was), auditory hallucinations, anaesthetics: so you don’t feel pain. Those weird berries that make your taste buds go all funny; and sweet becomes sour. Yet anyway what Descartes ended up noticing was that everything you ever knew was a belief: everything. He couldn’t prove shit too himself. This left him puzzled for a while, and it would. He ended up with ‘I think therefore I am’. Indeed it is pretty idiotic when you think about it.
Yet I do believe he was almost there, he could almost grasp it; but alas he didn’t. I think what he meant to say was ‘I perceive time, therefore I am time’. When you think about it, it is the only truth, if everything else is beliefs, then time is the only think you can say for certain exists. Because it involves you and you are it. Just like Descartes ‘I think therefore I am’ mantra. If you think about it that’s all you are: time.
Every experience you’ve had involves time. Every; and this includes your dreams. You could be running around on the moon. You could be a platypus swimming round, or a junkie on a trip. You could be having an out of body experience. You could even be a mountain. Together we are experiencing the evolution of time. Do you see it now; it’s all the evolution of time? There are times to have beliefs, and times to lose beliefs. Yet that’s all any of us have: time to believe. Using your past to make decisions about your future.
All your emotions, all that you feel; anger, passion, hate and love. It’s all just time, your time to feel angry, your time to feel passion, your time to hate and your time to love. It could change at any point in your time. I used to like the group ‘Aqua’ as a kid, and now I’m older and there isn’t much I don’t hate about them. The times they are a changin’ as Bob Dylan said: and I like it. I like the fact that I don’t like Aqua any more, but I also love them for the memories they helped create.
Just like I love Mr Rosenhein; he was my maths teacher in the final few years at school, and a bloody awful one at that. Yet without him, I probably would have never stood up to authority like the way I do today. So thank you Mr Rosenhein, you’ve shown me what I can do and I will continue to fuck up so many consciously incorrect institutions as possible. Thanks for that.
You see, I take it all as a learning experience. When Clare smashed my heart, although I was sad to let her go, I was happy for I knew the time we spent together was special; even if in the end it was just me that thought it was special. A kinda bitter sweet romance with the universe. Life, it gives you ups and downs; and it’s how you take it that matters, and it only matters to you, so why wouldn’t you try to find the happiest solution available? Just sayin’
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
Well I wanna go back to Schrödinger’s kitteh, and quantum mechanics for a second, now that we’ve covered the philosophy of it all. So Schrödinger said that the act of observation changes the result. So in his box, the cat is dead and alive at the same time. A 50:50 chance of being either dead or alive, and until it is seen: it is both. The evolution of time is a bit similar to that, but doesn’t require extra dimensions and all that stuff to make it work logically.
Remember what I said before about it being the simplest answer, well follow with me here, it’s a bit more complicated than this but we’re gonna take it from the philosophy stand point because, well it’s easier to understand. This includes that ‘we are one’ crap. I hate saying that I sound like an artsy-fartsy philosopher; yet it’s true so we just have to deal with it I guess.
Alright so there is a cat in a box, I just love saying that and talking physics at the same time. Gives me a chuckle. Anyways there is a cat in a box, and without knowing it’s time; it is uncertain. It is both alive and dead at the same time. So when it is observed, the cats time and your time meet up and intertwine; and the result is that it’s alive or dead. Do you get me? I hope so. Cos it’s a lot more complicated than that there, but that’s pretty much the jist of the whole thing. It all boils down to time.
Like dark energy, and dark matter; my thoughts on these ones... Considering it’s all just time, what makes me so sure? I’m going to throw a bit of maths in here. I hope you can handle it, but if not just carry on to the next part. No big loss. I don’t think I’ve talked about Max Planck, or Werner Heisenberg in this book. Probably because they’re physics is a bit too over the top to think about, let alone write about in this book.
Anyways Heisenberg was the dude that said the more you know about where something is, the less you can know about its speed. You see now why I didn’t mention it; it gets a bit, well, deep. Too deep for us is this book, as I keep saying, if any of this interests you: look it up yourself! I’m not going to stop you, unlike religion. Evolve people!
So Heisenberg said that there is always an uncertainty in the results. Matter of fact, he came up with a formula to figure out how much he was uncertain by. Pretty cleaver hey? So using this thing called the Planck constant, dreamed up by Max Planck [and in theory, it works] it is, well the smallest amount of space (e.g. like a pixel world of your computer screen, to move something one pixel turns off one pixel and turns another pixel on). 𝜎𝑥𝜎𝑝 ≥ ℏ/2 was the equation Heisenberg figured out. Where 𝜎𝑥 is the location, and 𝜎𝑝 is its momentum. The h with the little bar going thru it (ℏ) is the reduced Planck constant, and the number 2 is two times one, pretty simple hey? And the ≥ means (BIGGER) ≥ (or EQUIL too).
I know this is a bit too technical for some people. Yet this is the reason I’m writing this book, and it might be wrong. Anyway it seems so obvious even I hit my precious face with the palm of my hand when I figured it out. Who knows why all those physicists missed it for the last however many years it’s been. Fuck our stupidity amazes me sometimes; just like our intelligence astounds me sometimes. Ups and downs.
Just like figuring out the meaning of life you’d think I was smart right? Nup, I just have my moments of intelligence in amongst the sea of stupid shit that goes on in my head. Like the other day when I was driving my good mate Eli home, pulled into a service station for Eli to grab a drink or whatever. I stayed in my car. While he was in there, I could smell petrol, you know that smell just before you light a bonfire... It smelt like that, so I got out of my car to check its fuel tank wasn’t leaking when BAM! We’re in a service station. Ok, that probably explains the fuel smell. Get back in my car feeling like a real idiot. Ups and downs. We can’t all be perfect all of the time.
So anyway, let’s take a look up and out at the stars. No through your eyes, well maybe if you’re a frog or something, but not with our puney human eyes. For this exercise we’ll need the best telescope going around, because we want to photograph the most distance galaxies. So we turn the telescope around and take a photo of the most distant galaxy, and what do we see? It’s moving away from us. While I’m not going into red-shift in this book, way too complicated and unnecessary. Yet trust me, it’s moving away from us.
Matter of fact, due to the effects of gravity everything should be coming towards us. So what’s happening here? Well truth is, they are not really sure. Yet they have a name for this: Dark energy. No it’s not called dark because it is evil, it is called dark because we know nothing about it. Also it’s cousin, dark matter. Which is why galaxies stick together. Both of which we know nothing about. Yet there are a few things we can figure out, like the expansion rate of the universe is one of them. Erwin Hubble had a go at this, and it ended up being called ‘the hubble constant’ or H0. It equals round about 2.3x10-18.
Interesting all this stuff isn’t it. Now where gonna let Heisenberg and Einstein into a ring. Quantum physics verse Newtonian physics. Hopefully: they’ll both win somehow. I actually know they do, and that makes me fairly happy it does. So where gonna take those two points we used before, one that we pointed our telescope at before, and the other one our position.
Matter of fact it’s a pretty big universe isn’t it. Think about it. To think you thought the 100meter walk to go grab a coffee was far. You good sir, just like me, and Neil Armstrong have travelled nowhere in the scheme of things. Even when you measure the millions of miles you’ve travelled on spaceship earth sitting still. It is still nowhere in the scheme of things. Pretty cool to think about really isn’t it? Well I think so anyways.
So we’ll take Einstein’s great idea here, you all know the one. E=mc2. We all know what that stands for don’t we? If we don’t go back to the start of this book and try again. You’ll get there eventually. You also know how you’re the centre of the universe right? Aka. The distance you can see is the same in all directions. Ain’t no stopping that. It’s just what’s available to us.
So what I figured out was: ((ℏ/2)𝑐2)/2 = Dark Energy. Because you know exactly where the light is coming from, you cannot tell its momentum. That’s the ℏ2 part, the ‘You can’t tell’ part of quantum mechanics. Put that in instead of mass into Einstein’s genius e=mc2, and then divide it by two, because we are at the centre of the visible universe. And what do you get? 2.3695x10-18. Have you seen this before? You sure have. It is the Hubble constant. The speed that the universe is accelerating away from us.
That formula was enough for me to get off my arse and write this book. It all seems so easy now, but that took weeks to come up with. I knew it was there tho. I also know there is a lot more there that will prove my theory. Yet, I can’t really be arsed spending my time doing the maths behind it. Hopefully some university student will somewhere at sometime. Go them. But you know, I was full of self-doubt until I had some bit of evidence in my hand. You silly physicists still don’t know what your own formulas produce. If I could figure this out, I bet you guys could figure out other way more important things.
Now I got that out I feel I have earnt (worked hard for) the right to ramble for a bit. I’ll try to keep it on topic though. I’m pretty sure I will have convinced some of you. Others will take what they’ve learnt here and think about it, and hopefully come up with the same thing. Some of you will never believe me. That’s fine, I’m cool with that. I got my time and you got yours. That’s the cool thing about this theory. Everyone’s involved, even if they can’t see it. I don’t wanna start a war, I just let them live in peace.