Life The Universe And Everything ~ Yes but why?
A small boy was alone on a bridle path on a warm day, when he picked up a stone from the dark earth at his feet and wondered, “Why is the stone a stone?” The revelation of absolute questionability was such a powerful moment in my little life, that I can recall this chap in his scene in the minutest detail more than sixty years later.
From the time I began to reflect with self-awareness on the big questions of Life The Universe And So On, up till quite recently, it amused and inspired and blissed me to bump up against the great unknowables.
A recent BBC Radio 4 programme assembled a small group of Far Out Pure Mathematicians.
I had been trundling towards a belief that the entirety of Everything is Maths. The arise into form from formlessness? Why, look no further it is maths!
Then it was one matter of fact comment by one erudite studio guest, and I am begorragh’d if I can recall who, which released me from a lifetime of amusing, inspiring, but essentially fruitless questing.
What the mathematician said showed that the study of mathematics in all its various disciplines is infinitely complex to the extent there can never be any one person or group for whom the limits of our comprehension can ever become visible. Or words to that effect.
With due respect to generations of questers, including the billions invested on CERN and the Hubble and the like, Life The Universe And Everything is in my view to be acknowledged as absolutely – and I mean to use that word in its most pure abstract and controversial definition – forever unknowable.
I believe today that the joke is that there is no answer.
There never was and never will be any answer. Not only no answer to any of the great big questions, but the unattainability of any answer is the very locus, the epicenter, where the answer, or as it could be more accurately called, the resolution may reside.
The painting of the Zen Circle is one way of approaching the unknowable. The equal and opposite way is the meditation on not painting the Zen Circle. One is incomplete when the other is not present .
This allows me to “get on with” Life. Just because I can put a “Why” at the front of a sentence, does not necessarily mean there has to be an answer. The Zen master’s ‘Koan’ is often the most intractable unanswerable, yet most revelatory of all possible questions.
What a sense of relief I feel when I shrug off the scratchy distraction of the perpetual “why?”.
Now I can stride out and fully concentrate on the joyous juicy moments of this my shared life, and I can love to live it with ever greater depth and breadth.
~ ~ Love is present EveryNow