Niels Bohr (1885-1962), one of the twentieth century's most distinguished scientific thinkers, once offered the following opinion:
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
Reality. What is real?
Many years ago I had a friend - quite firm in this materialist and atheistic opinion - who would surprise me from time to time with his outburst that "we and the universe may all be contained inside the pus in a zit on an old woman's nose." His version of open-mindedness.
Not that he seriously entertained such a thought, I truly don't believe, but he was deeply into quantum theory and helped introduce me to this strange attempt to determine what may or may not be real. We used to get together on weekends and drink and discuss such things and life in general. At the time I was in my Deistic phase, having abandoned my Christian fundamentalism. Our conversations were lively and mostly fruitless. In the end we agreed that reality was a bit more complex that our puny minds. Still, we had fun.
But what if "all this" is only a dream (some might suggest a nightmare) and all of us are sleeping in this same dream?
Like a dream, sometimes life makes sense and other times not so much. Thinkers have come up with all kinds of models for understanding reality, and none without its share of weaknesses. The more committed we become to one model or another, the more we tend to dismiss alternative views as delusions and those who hold these alternate views as deluded.
I clearly see organization when I look at the cosmos, but the telos (end purpose) seems unclear, perhaps even bizarre and pointless. I get frustrated. I doubt myself and doubt others. I wonder if anyone of us can be trusted in our attempts to make sense of things. Does it matter in the end whether we figure it all out?
Taking part seems to be more important that figuring it all out. Still, I wonder. I still have some definite opinions about things, but I sure do hold them less tightly than ever before.
It's at these times when I'm low in spirit that the nonsensical or hard to understand bothers me most. I guess I crave simple things. And I wish life was simple enough to be understood. (Sigh.)