Oct 20, 2005

Cogito, Ergo Est

I think, therefore you am.

I was laughing at the public radio DJ this morning (do they have DJ's or are they called 'announcers?') when he said something about a 'think tank.' I called across to Vulgar Wizard that I needed to be in a think tank, because that sounded like fun, at least until your skin gets all wrinkly, and I started wondering to myself if someone could pee in a think tank, and if so would that somehow pollute everyone else's mind. VW told me that I was a think tank all by myself, because all I do is think.

You know, she's right. I often feel like my mind is a dog in a room full of huge, tough bones. The dog, overjoyed, runs from bone to bone, gnawing and gnashing for all he's worth, here some, then there some, and then to another for a while, but never really getting through any of them. And that's fine, because I like Life to have a few mysteries. Or a lot.

I was thinking this morning about a lot of things, but one of the bones that my hound dog seized on was the argument of Predestination vs Free Will. Are we truly creatures of free will, able to do exactly what and whither we will, unfettered by Fate, or are we all predestined, our paths laid out before us, and we're just automata on tracks, headed to whatever we're destined to face? And if so, can we hop tracks?

I've always been more of a free will sort, but there are times when I think (and yes, hope) that Fate has something in store for me, that somehow the obstacles will be cleared and in the end it'll all work out and I'll live happily ever after to a ripe old age and etc etc. It's hard to imagine that we're all just running on tracks, that everything we do or say has been scripted, or even to believe in a free-form version, where even though we can do and say what we will, we still have a certain place and a certain time that we will be, irregardless of our 'decisions.' You know what I mean; the scene in the war movie where the old grizzled sergeant is squatting in a foxhole telling a handful of privates that there's a bullet out there with your name on it, and when your number is called it'll find you, and then a German hand grenade falls in the foxhole and some brave extra falls on it and saves his buddies who are all stars and they go on to win various awards for their Outstanding Male Roles In A Stereotypical Drama.

I dodged a ticket the other morning. I was speeding just a little bit, and a Sheriff's deputy was hiding in the fog in his white car and I didn't notice him until it was too late. I sweet-talked my way out of the ticket, but I had to wonder one thing: if I had taken a different route that morning, would the cop have been hiding on the alternate route and I would have still had to talk my way out of a 50-in-a-25-zone, or would he have been sitting back there at the other road, hiding in the fog catching other people, and my last-second decision to take an alternate route had changed everything?

And what about this butterfly I stepped on while hunting dinosaurs thirty million years in the past?


Anonymous said...

On the free will/predestination topic - I like to think of it as a combination of both. Kinda like a move after it's filmed. You had the chance to change the plot when you were the director, but now that it's released, no matter how much you yell at the screen, the horror movie chick still runs upstairs. Maybe after I die, I can do one of those re-releases 20 years later. Hmmmmm

Irrelephant said...

I'm still undecided...gonna have to see what happens in the next decade or so to be able to make an informed decision. *lol* Yeah, about that.