Some may think these scenes are beautiful.
But would these be beautiful scenes if there were no one to observe these? Without consciousness, sentience, perhaps beauty is empty and meaningless. In a human context, inner beauty can exist even when no other humans recognize it or appreciate it.
While finishing up my undergraduate studies at university, I took a philosophy course (or class) that dealt with beauty and art. There were diverse arguments or postulates that our perception and appreciation of beauty were, or could be, either objective or subjective. One could take his or her pick of which position to adopt. Such over thinking seems to be characteristic of the West since the times of ancient Greeks. In the East, with a touch of zen, the direct perception of beauty would simply be experienced, enjoyed and savored in the immediacy of the moment.
Here, at land’s end in San Francisco last Sunday, we capture this scene of overcast sky, trees and sea.
There is an idea that we as individuals may be a part of a larger conscious entity that is simultaneously living multiple lives in different realities, or on different planes of existence or different dimensions. This raises the possibility of multiple versions or editions of ourselves. One may wonder what the purpose of such multiple lives might be. Perhaps the more rapid harvesting of the lessons gained from diverse experiences for the “over mind” is the purpose.
How do we explain consciousness?
Philosophy really cannot help us. All philosophy can do is to assert that consciousness is logically plausible; but that does not explain how or why consciousness arises or exists or persists through time.
What about science?
“There is no God.” – is a statement of faith, not of science. Really, the statement is an assertion.
People who self identify as atheists often think that science supports their chosen position or is “on their side”. True, many in the scientific community are atheists and others say they are agnostic. And, that is the danger. Those people of science have much prestige and command much respect in today’s world. Yet, science has its limitations. (Gasp) Yes, it really does have limitations albeit you rarely hear such talk from those in science.
I wake up in the night. My heart is pounding in my chest. My breathing is short and quick. I can feel the blood coursing in my ears. It feels as though a freight train slamming through the metal diamonds at a rail crossing is in my head.
Let’s discuss death and the primal fear of it that we humans cling to.
When we are young, we have so much hope and optimism. There is much novelty in life that excites, entices, and seduces us. We have dreams of happiness and success. We envision our efforts and sacrifices bearing much fruit in the future. This youthful hope and optimism become harder to maintain when we are older. Our zest for life is tested over the years as the process of living is itself an ongoing struggle.
Our feature image is of floor tiles in a fast food restaurant’s eating area in Las Vegas.
The ends justifies the means, you say?
I think not.
The above image is of the statue of the Buddha in Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden in early summer morning light.