Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Reality, Power, Death, Truth

What is ``real''? Anything, any entity, that is repeatable. Something that takes place only once, cannot be real, or at least, we cannot establish its reality.

What is ``power''? A sustainable influence. In that sense, power is real influence.

Sustained lack of power corresponds to death. Therefore, death is real lack-of-power. And, hence, life is real power.

We cannot be sure that every entity in our world is repeatable and hence real. Therefore, truth must contain both real and unreal.

I picture the world similar to Cosmo, with the empty space corresponding to unreal and the celestial bodies corresponding to real. I suspect that the world is completely dominated by unreal.

We have no direct way of understanding what is unreal, except by projecting it onto something real.

We have very serious limits on our understanding of the world, especially when we limit ourselves to scientific methods of inquiry.

Quotes from another John Burdett novel, ``Bangkok Haunts,''  that I started a few days ago, but as usual I'm reading it very slowly:

``The dirt poor don't actually have selves to destroy. When they get a little power, they know it's only for a moment. They have no practice in preparing for the future. They generally don't believe they have one.''

``For the poor, birth is the primary disaster: owning a body that has to be fed and sheltered and looked after, along with the drive to reproduce, to continue. Everything else is kid stuff, including death.'' ---pp.18-19, Bangkok HauntsJohn Burdett

``Even dead, that woman has the power to turn your world upside down.''

I take a couple of beats to absorb that penetrating observation. ``Not only mine. The FBI isn't exactly naive, but she's in shock. It's what it does to your faith in life. Makes it that much harder to get up in the morning. You don't want to believe it, but it's hard to ignore the evidence.'' ---p. 21,  Bangkok HauntsJohn Burdett

PS [2017-08-06] -- I am reading a detective novel by Stuart Neville, ``So Say the Fallen,'' and liked it very much so far.

McKay closed the vestry door behind him, leaned his forehead against the wood.
Shakes erupted out from his core, to his hands, to his legs. His knees buckled and he collapsed into the door, then staggered across to the desk beneath the window.
A good man.
The words clawed at him.
``I am not,'' he whispered. ``I am not.''
A good man.
Maybe once. But not now.
I killed a man so I could have his wife.
Go back out. Go back out and tell her.
Tell her there is no God, that she is praying to air and stone and glass and nothing else.
Tell her this good man is a killer who deserves hellfire for his sin.
But McKay went nowhere. Instead he remained at the desk, wishing he had a God to pray to. ---p. 113, So Say the Fallen, Stuart Neville

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