Hello everyone I hope this weeks blog post finds you well. Today’s article is well surmised by the title. I personally often tout “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing” (Socrates) and I try to live my life as though I have no facts only concepts that make more sense than other less substantiated ones.
However, in my trip I keep experiencing odd occurrences, strange serendipities and choreographed coincidences that make me think maybe I do know something!
(Maybe it isn’t all pointless…)
I would like to preface this post by encouraging you to utilize a Carl Sagian like healthy scepticism. I would also like to briefly discuss my “stained glass paradox” and admit that we as a species tend to look for patterns and/or meaning. This trait has spurred us forward in terms of our understanding of the world but often causes us to see patterns that might not be there.
(Sorry stock Asian guy don’t let you own fear of mortality get the best of your intellect. I aptly refer to death as “the dreamless sleep” poetic but grim!)
Dion’s “stained glass paradox”. Say one morning you were thinking about how cool stained glass is and then, during the rest of your day, everywhere you look, there is stained glass windows. You may conclude that potentially your very thinking about stained glass created the pattern of your recent interaction with it.
However, it is also possible that the stained glass had always been there and that your brain just glossed over the data, but because of your recent focus on it, your brain identified it rather than glossing over it. To my understanding we only process a small fragment of the absurd amount of information our senses intake. The brain cannot process it all. So, it fills in the gaps with what it expects should be there, based on previous patterns and experiences. The paradox for me is I believe that it is both and neither, like the double slit experiment.
(“Not this shit again and in cartoon form…”)
I can best surmise this in a personal experience that happened to me a few years ago. At the time I would always walk around a mall to get to a bar my friend worked at. One day someone began to lead me towards the middle of the mall rather than walking around it. He informed me that there was a nice alley that cut directly through the mall and went straight to the bar.
I informed him that this was entirely not the case and would be happy to prove him wrong. And thus we walked. As we approached I could clearly see that there was a wall where his “supposed” alley was. And it as not until I was 20 feet away from the wall that all of a sudden a large gap appeared. I realized my brain was so determined there was a wall, that it created one. The wall literally disappeared and “poof” there was the alley (like mashing space bar in Wolfenstein and finding a secret room). It was a very cool and humbling experience that changed my perception greatly.
(“I am going to space bar all the walls, also a lot of the readers are older relative who won’t get this reference”)
Since we have now clarified that I am fallible and apparently should get my eye sight checked, I would now like to delve into the “coding of reality”. Something I don’t feel truly capable of addressing and thus I will supplement this article with a number of videos. Let’s start with the work of James Gates.
(long one for the real keener’s!)
Follow that up with another grey matter tickler.
Wheeoouufff… now that you made it through that stuff that might have rocked your brain meat, onto my own weird experiences.
The first experience happened to me 2 years ago and I call it my “matrix moment”. I had a partners whose mother I always wanted to meet but she was never comfortable introducing the two of us. Me and this lovely lady parted ways and she married a friend of mine. They are both nice people and I wish them well but this situation caused a bit of a rift.
Anywho I was in the lower mainland and was taking the sky train out to Surrey to meet my good friend Jason. I was running a little early and decided to go into Metro town. Metro town is not a place I usually frequent so this was an odd occurrence in itself. While I was fumbling through a mall information stand this girl with a thick Eastern European accent asked me “is there something you are looking for”. It seemed like a normal enough question but caught me off guard. I immediately felt “a disturbance in the force”.
(“I sense a great disturbance in the force”. What you are sensing there Obi Wan is George Lucas creating Jar Jar Binks, god I hope Disney does a better job!)
Just as that feeling hit, a hand grabbed my shoulder and low and behold it was my ex partner doing wedding shopping with her mom. The very person I had always wanted to meet. We had a quick visit we exchanged pleasantries and I told her mom how much I valued her daughter and how highly I thought of her. I wished them well, congratulated her on the wedding and headed on my disoriented way. Now for those of you who have gone to giant stupid malls the chances of finding someone who you know is there is slim enough, so this rendezvous was particularly unlikely. I had the feeling this was “meant” to happen and it seemed like the relationship had finally come full circle to closure. The oddest part was as I walked out of the building the hum of the people and the very universe itself seemed to be doing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTrjC1wZLlE.
Though I can never truly express this surreal experience the feeling of seeing and feeling the coding of reality has stuck with me. (Though as addressed earlier it could be my flawed monkey brain searching for purpose in a potentially pointless universe). However these last few months have had so many of the right people and the right things show up at just the right time, that the feeling a coded universe has begun to be a common experience for me.
Here are my top 5 experiences that made me question the very nature of reality and me left me saying, weird…:
1) The Book – I asked my dad to give me one book to read on my bike adventure. After much deliberation he gave me One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabrial Garcia Marquez. I would love to read some of the stuff he has written in the last month but unfortunately he died the day I received the book, weird…
(This Star Wars reference doesn’t work but his stupid monkey brain was still thinking about it because of the previous picture)
2) The Other Book – I was having a very down day while in Banff. I was lying on my aunt and uncles couch with no ambitions to do much of anything. And a random book caught my eye it was called The Life You Were Born to Live. I began reading the dust jacket and it sounded like total hogwash, however the author had written another book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior that a number of people I greatly respect, hold in high regard. So I began to thumb through it.
The book is a variation on numerology something I put very little stock in. However the author emphasized that on the surface the system didn’t add up but in application it was uncanny. So I did my calculations and began reading the appropriate chapters for my numbers. Now the shit that was written was an unnervingly accurate description of my life. It made me feel both empowered and very uncomfortable. This one gets a little weirder, the same day I read the book I was texted by a person looking for a host through Warmshowers, I told them I was currently travelling but that my family would be happy to host them. It turns out that her visit was a perfect fit for both her and my family. And the weirdest part she had the EXACT same experience with the EXACT same book only a week earlier! We both said “weird”…
(“Whoa, that is weird, also this reference makes more sense that the last Star Wars one”)
3) Bill Hick – Mr Hicks is a pretty well know comedian who passed away a number of years ago however his comedy still “stands up”, ha nice play on words Dion! Anyway we were talking about him all night one night while at a dance in Vancouver. And low and behold at the end of the night the closing song was a mash up to Bill Hicks talking about life is a ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0 . It was really energizing for me and also it was weird…
4) John Cleese – As you all know I am diligently working to become a stand up comedian myself. And it has come with a number of challenges however, again the right people at the right time keep me fuelled and moving forward. One of these was John Cleese whom after a recent divorce has been forced to tour again. With significant effort and a well written Kijiji post I managed to snag my dad and I tickets to the hottest show in town. So with a ridiculous amount of glee we completed a father son dream of seeing John Cleese. Whom shared with the audience that it had been a huge stroke of luck that created Monty Python and that despite what talent you have without the right break many would have never gotten a chance to show their talents. This was a big discovery for me and it was from a father of modern comedy a man I very much respect but the timing still made it feel too, weird…
(“Hi I’m comedy legend John Cleese and I did not authorize the use of my face for this mediocre blog.”)
5) The bumblebee – The bee has been something I have really felt connected to. Last year I got to pet one that was collecting pollen in our greenhouse. They are the little gardeners of the planet, tirelessly working away to ensure natures garden is able to grow. Recently a friend was kind enough to surprise me with a painting of a bumblebee for my 28th birthday. The weird part was that the bumblebee she had just created seemed so familiar, it seemed like I had seen it before. That was impossible though as it was a newly created image pulled from the recesses of her imagination and thus I pushed it off as me “searching for meaning in a potentially meaningless world”. However that same bumblebee showed up again a few days ago. The same night I connected with a person here in Saskatoon whom I spent literally 40 hours talking to in the last 3 days. Again it was weird…
(it felt like this scene from the Matrix)
Man The Matrix is a good movie! And for me right now it’s an even more intriguing concept. I considered myself an atheist for a long time but I realized making a claim there is no god, is just as arrogant as claiming there one! Thus I now do the biggest cop-out in philosophy and go with I am an agnostic.
However this pendulum seems to still be swinging. Videos such as this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU and the realizations that come with them, have made my monkey brain want to claim that there is an order to the universe and in turn potentially a purpose. Either way I hope you enjoyed my guide to knowing nothing and in the end are just as confused as me!
Well time to quickly touch on the easy to grasp concrete occurrences of my last week. I have been in Saskatoon for almost a week and coincidently I arrived for jazz festival. I managed to catch a number of awesome shows, such as Delhi 2 Dubai and the very talented 5 Alarm Funk, twice!
Last Thursday I also set a new personal best, biking 283kms in one day. The weather was great with no head wind and I got a little help from my good friend Timothy Leary.
(“The potential of this happening is probably why he isn’t making a direct reference.”)
Saskatoon is a kick ass city and weather has been amazing here. I managed to network with the local bike co-op and have volunteered a number of hours helping numerous people get access to affordable bikes. Even found some bikes in my friends back yard that needed some serious tlc, I spent a few hours fixing them and found out they belonged to one of their room-mates brothers who didn’t have the money to get them fixed. He was ecstatic to find out some random dude came by and fix them.
(“That’s how I roll…”)
The best biking experience occurred today while I was working at the co-op. A young first nations kid named Glen came in and offered to help me get some bikes running. The two of us worked away for 5 or so hours and I really enjoyed getting to mentor him in bike maintenance. Saskatoon is very similar to Williams Lake in that there are a lot of disillusioned youth, especially first nations youth. They are an untapped pool of potential that just need an outlet. Glen and I will work together again tomorrow and I think this young man is going to help his community greatly as he follows his passions of helping people get biking!
My time in Saskatoon did culminate with meeting a particularly charming young lady. The two of us really resonated and just couldn’t stop talking, sharing, laughing and even writing jokes together. On a super cool note she flew out this morning to her new temporary home in Quebec. The cool note being, I get to meet up with her again later in the trip! Weird…
Also I met her through talking to a random girl in a coffee shop. When I told her about my adventure she said I should text her friend Nicole who’s also into comedy.
Was it all just a coincidence? Is there some order to the universe? How much do our actions and thoughts effect the outcome!!!!!!!!????????????
(“How the fuck should I know, I’m just a baby I don’t even understand object permanence. Maybe that Leary dude has some answers?”)
Thanks for reading,