Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The subtle line of rhapsodic existence:a quantum-narrative Odissey

The concept of existence should be stated as the best known. Indeed if you don't know to exist, it's difficult to know anything in general...This simple but crucial element of ...knowledge narrative, entail another thing: keeping on in staying existent... You can jump in and out from existence. 
Well unless you're an electron... Clearly we are too big to be in a probabilistic state rather than in one precise, deterministic location. Or better, we are so big that our wave length is very slow ( in this context a grain of sand or a planet are more or less in the same league of size...). One could speculate that we are indeed jumping in and out of existence but given our slow pace, you can neglect the “fluctuation in non existence”. Or even better, our perception (and all the mesocosmic related observations) can ignore the dance on the line of non existence.

Now follow your story, the story of your personal identity. It's just our bizarre way of speaking that can make you thinking that your identity exists...Your identity is more likely to be a collection of stories implemented in our body (in your brain and nervous system) in order to do marvellous thing like walking in different kind of terrain, writing, practicing kung fu, practicing watching on tv others practicing kung fu... Your precious personal identity is a store of episodes, including capacity to manipulate episodes (it's an “episode” itself). The most important episode, the most marvellous story ever told, is actually the consistency of the collection of the episodes. In other words, the persistence of the episode, in which there is a character unifying the collection of episodes. Ok , in even other words, the story you are, the story that you are telling to listen and tell the story you are.
The capacity of persistence is unique (to our knowledge) in our species, but this doesn't entail every single occurrence of the persistence is unique... Every human beings is endowed with persistence, the general capacity to assemble stories. We tend to tell stories and to collect story; our activity is made possible if the aggregating activity produces a character, a hero,a personal identity, an author.

Would you consider Hamlet, Ulysses, Don Quixote or James Bond “existent”? Are they “suffering”? Or are they“enjoying” a situation? What is making “real” their experience? We are acting on the stage we created. We are the authors of our characters. But “we” is a plural way to identity who? For sure, we are the inventors of the stories we live in, but you are not more the author of your story than Hamlet of his lines. It's a collective practice, a reflexive storytelling. In rhyme.Sometimes dissonant.
Your body and brain exist for sure. I mean, if speaking is meaningful, they are the criteria to give existence its meaning. But your identity is not more stable than an electron fluctuating on the line of non existence. It's the dissonant narration that we are composing, aggregating stories with the help of the persistence capacity. A bit like assembling poems and interpreting them.

You know, in ancient Greece, with the only technology of memory (and a decent dose of good taste in language), the ancient bards were singing every time different stories, from a huge collection of different bases. The Iliad and Odyssey are just one example of what a single bard in one occasion could do. Magnificent story, wonderful character and in fact, just the improvisation of a creative singer. It is called rhapsody the story assembling. And it's our way to dance on the line of non existence.

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