Apr 4, 2013

Within Human Limitations

My brain and my sister's brain work in completely two different directions. She is smart in things I am completely lacking, and I understand concepts that aren't her forte. She's not very interested in philosophy, she's much more practical in her thinking, but people's brains work sometimes in ways that they aren't conscious about, and she did say something very beautiful the other day, that got me thinking, about my dog being happy of being a dog.

Allow me to explain: My mother, who has recently in the last year discovered that she loves dogs, or at least, she loves our dog, despite being completely against them her whole life, pities him sometimes, thinking that he doesn't get much out of life because he's not human. And that is what she was saying the other day when the three of us were hanging out; she said that she pities Yuki, our puppy, who was snoozing in the corner of the room, because he couldn't understand what we were saying or doing, or basically, just because he wasn't human. And my sister in that moment, uttered something very clever, about how we shouldn't pity him, because to the dog being a dog and doing dog things is great and enough.

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of human knowledge and human perception of reality being obviously limited, and with my thirst for knowledge, despite my procrastination tendencies into acquiring it, is saddened by the limitations of the three dimensions and the limitations of our human perspective. Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is one of the most brilliant minds alive, as I cannot really use the word of our generation, regarding the age difference between me and him, was explaining in a science blog interview for the Huffington Post, with the nerdist Cara Santa Maria, about the idea of the fourth dimension, and other dimensions. He explained how the easy way to understand the idea of other dimensions beyond our human understanding, is by seeing things at a lower level. Basically an insect that cannot fly, confined in a two dimensional space, in a square shaped prison, is walking around the confined area, going towards the wall, being unable to cross it, and than going back and towards the other walls, but still confined. If that insect were to see above, and if that insect were to be able to fly, it would pretty much discover the third dimension. But the insect doesn't, the insect cannot. This very simple experiment of thought, serves to show us, that we are limited in our perception of reality, and the way we are made, we are unable to perceive beyond what our human DNA entitles us to perceive. Aliens can perhaps perceive much more, other dimensions, and they can see much more beyond. To aliens we could be a lower species he was saying, and not worthy of being considered intelligent, as we like to call ourselves, and than not even the smartest human is worthy to have a conversation with. As a matter of fact Tyson was explaining, the difference in DNA, between us and chimps, is very little, we share most of the genetic code, and than there is a slight difference, but this slight difference makes all the difference that makes us capable of music, poetry, philosophy, science, etc. A very slight difference between us and aliens, who knows what other talents, or what other activities, and capabilities that we cannot even begin to understand, can a slight difference make happen in evolved humans, or aliens. I was loving this way of thinking as I was watching the tv show Fringe those days, where some evolved humans of the future could walk through time, and some even more evolved humans, could see beyond different timelines.

When I was hearing all the above, at first I felt quite saddened about our limitations, and the fact that we cannot ever, ever, ever understand beyond our limitations, and we cannot communicate with a species of higher intelligence than us. We can barely make a simple conversation with people like Tyson who have higher levels of IQ than the rest of us, and can understand concepts the human with average intelligence can't, let alone a whole different species, that is more intelligent than us, as much as we are more intelligent than chimps. But than I realized that in this universe so vast and big, that probably isn't the only universe, that we can see only in very small percentage of it, if you can actually have a percentage on something infinite, has many more intelligent species that are higher in intelligence than others, and so on. What I am responsible of, is understanding and comprehending the universe around me, within my limitations, be that of DNA, and/or of intelligence. Within these limitations I have thousands of lifetimes worth of exploration, and I should be happy about the great gifts of poetry, music, art, science and philosophy I can enjoy.

The practical mind of my sister, had quite simply reached the conclusion, that I had to walk around the world through China to get it, that the dog is a dog, and the human is a human, and the higher intelligent alien species is an alien, and we are happy within our limitations. We don't feel sad because we cannot do the things we do not even know they exist. What the hell does a dog know about philosophy, doesn't make him unhappy. He likes to chew his bone, sniff the world around him, and pee in as many bushes as possible, and that makes him happy. Just because he cannot watch an episode of the Voice on tv, doesn't mean that he is sorry that he cannot comprehend what his human friend can. He just doesn't know about it.

On a broader perspective, what this got me thinking is about everything transcendental, and especially about what humans like to call God. We cannot perceive God, and yet we have created such a mystical being to be able to comprehend what's in the shadow beyond the light, what's beyond the cave of human thought. There will always be God, or something like God, for as long as humans are limited in their perceptions, and humans, just like every other creature, every other existence will always be limited. That's how the universe was built. Water will always be made of two hydrogens and one oxygen, and that is how the universe is built. with formulas, with codes, with limits of "identity". We are all programmed, built a certain way, and we are what we are within ourselves. If death transforms us into something else in a different dimension, we as humans cannot know anything about it, and as something else that we will be transformed in, will not care about being human anymore, we will in fact not be humans anymore. We cannot care, about what's beyond. What we need to care about is within our limitations of perception. Of course, rationally, and step by step, we will explore to overpass as many limitations as possible, but we cannot jump the shark and think about things we cannot perceive, beyond human reason.

Believing in God, is probably a good healing method for some, but I would recommend to people, to believe in things they can see, touch, smell, taste, hear, because these are the senses we were given. And maybe we have other senses that we will discover in next generations, and maybe we will be able to have a sixth and a seventh eye into another dimension, but for now, let's focus in what we can really perceive, and stop worrying about what we were, and what we will become, in an afterlife. Life is here, in this planet, in three dimensions, in the now. It is not in the past and it is not in the future. Life for us is within these three walls of the tree dimensions, and we cannot travel through time, and we cannot go to a dimension of heaven, or hell, or purgatory or whatever. We are here, now, at this moment, at this place, within these walls. Let the journey of our existence take its course, and let us not worry about the beyond. Everything will happen as it was supposed to happen. We are too tiny to take on the world and the universe, and the all-existence. Let us focus in what's on our hands, rather than speculate nonsense about things that aren't within our knowledge, or our control. Imagination, yes, is more important than knowledge, as it allows us to travel to lands that are beyond what we've conquered, but let us not let our imagination take over us, making us lose perspective. Let us use imagination as a way to explore the beyond, not as a way to lose ourselves in the beyond.

My dog is happy to be a dog. And I am happy to be a human. And you know why? Because frankly, I do not know otherwise. I don't have a God. I don't worry about death. I don't worry about the future, about the past, or about more intelligent species. I don't even worry about all the smells my dog can smell that I can't. What I worry about is within my DNA, within my brain, within my capabilities, and that is a lot of free space. Even though I am in jail, it is a jail so vast, I can walk for thousands and millions of lifetimes and not be able to cross it, so in the end, this jail, to me, is some sort of freedom. Let us be humans, and let us stop worrying about Gods and about the afterlife. Life is already too busy to worry about other things.

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