Matter of Perception

Okay, no cute stuff, let’s just get right to it—matter (us and everyTHING around us) can’t seem to get over its time handicap (we’re here and then we’re not here). This is a problem that peoples all over the world struggle, have struggled and will continue to struggle with. As long as there is an inevitable end, no matter how far away it may be, the fear of death will remain. This fear and our uncertainty about what follows our last breath dominates our thoughts, art, politics and religions (especially religion). The finiteness of our moment here terrifies us. It’s not fair that we have to die while other people, other creatures and other things continue to exist. Ironically, and mind-twistingly, it is matter (us!) that’s causing this problem. Without matter there is no perception of time.


Without matter space doesn’t exist (it’s like that whole tree falling in the woods bit). In order to even imagine a matterless space you must place yourself there. And while you sit there, enjoying your ‘only thing in space’ fantasy, your time is passing: your heart is beating, your blood is flowing, your lungs are expanding and contracting. You are living and dying at the same time. This is the fate of all matter. It lives and dies simultaneously. So in a way we are never really born and we never really die because we don’t really exist. Don’t worry, I’ll explain, but the explanation is going to both make sense and be madly confusing. If you’re not a big fan of headaches I suggest you not read any further. Actually, you shouldn’t have even read this far. Sorry.

Everything that we are is composed of particulate matter—our thoughts, desires, features—just every damn thing (the human ‘thing’ is also a particle). This particulate matter existed before it merged to make us and will exist once we break apart—as it always was it always will be (wait a minute*). This always was always will be phenomenon is what links all matter. The nature of how matter forms and breaks down may be different, but the fact that all matter does so is the same. Think of it like a dunk contest—the competitors may twist and contort their bodies in all sorts of different ways as they fly through the air but the unifying physical goal of each dunker is to slam the ball through the hoop. Now imagine all of the dunkers performing the same exact dunk. Wouldn’t be much of a contest, would it? In order for the contest to ‘exist’ the judges need a range of relatively diverse dunks to compare and contrast. The only way one dunk can be perceived to be better than another is for another to exist. In other words, the contrasting dunks create a relationship. That relationship is the contest.

The relationship between particles is what creates densities like you, me and everything around us. But what creates the relationship? What ‘inspires’ the particle merger? Why are we this shape? Why is a rock that shape? Or water? Or sand? Or our thoughts? Well, maybe these shapes exist simply because infinite space allows for all things to be possible—tangible densities like ourselves, rocks, hammerhead sharks, fire, laptops; and intangible densities like thoughts, dreams, wonder, inspiration and even love.

Those skeptical of evolution often say things like, “Well, if we evolved from apes why aren’t dolphins evolving into bats? Why did evolution stop?” Evolution did not stop. It is a process of constant creation. It only seems as if nothing is happening because we cannot perceive the changes due to the relative speed (not time, I’ll explain later) in which we are aware of our own denseness. The speed of our awareness is much faster than the speed of extreme change (that ape to human stuff). Interestingly, not all extreme changes are slow, there are quite a few that occur relatively quickly; like how we go from this to this or how volcanoes create new land overnight or how butterflies go from grounded creatures to flying ones. Perhaps we do not view these events as ‘proof’ of evolution because we consider such changes to be recurring life cycles. But evolution is not a linear game, it is infinitely multidimensionally cyclical. Changes are being gradually made during these infinitely diverse cycles.

This moment we call reality is actually more of an intense awareness of density than it is ‘absolutely’ real. In other words: Reality is nothing but a moment of incredibly dense perception. We consider this state of being real because we can feel it, taste it, touch it and hear it; all at once sometimes. Now here’s the question: When do we first become aware of our denseness and when do we lose awareness? Is our first memory the moment we became aware that we are here? Is death the moment we become unaware? There really is no way to know. All we know is that we are here now.

Please excuse me…

I need to pause for a moment…

Things are getting a little too dense. I need some space…

Maybe some music will help. Yes, my music. Yes, I’m shameless…

Okay, that’s better. Now let’s get back to the madness…

Life is nothing but a series of right nows. Just peep what’s going on right now, I mean right now, like this very moment; I am writing this article right now and you are reading it right now. But there is something different about our respective perceptions of right now: To you I wrote this article in the past and to me you are reading it in the future.

But get this…

The past, present and future actually exist simultaneously. The link between these three moments is right now!!! Right now binds together the particulate past, the dense present and coalescing-into-existence future. And right now is everywhere. It’s here, it’s on Jupiter, Neptune, an asteroid, a star, some distant planet made of diamonds, even our dreams. But if right now exists all around us why does this right now seem so dense? Also, what exactly is this right now? Is it this year, this month, this day, this hour, this minute, this second? Is it a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a second? In other words: What is the densest particle of right now???!!!

All of ’em!!! Every last moment is the densest moment. Remember, they’re all tied together by right now!!! It’s an infinite density!!! It’s forever!!! I don’t just mean it lasts forever, I mean it is forever!!!

When you let a pot of water boil until all of the water evaporates the water does not become ‘less’ dense, it becomes ‘differently’ dense. It expands into space and the ‘amount’ of its density remains the same. You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about water. Well, water vapor and ‘time vapor’ behave the same way. The nature of the water’s density changes, but the ‘thingness’ of the water remains the same (the link). Damn it. This is probably making zero sense to you right now. And I have the nerve to whine about no one reading this shit. I’m about two theoretically non-existent seconds away from…

Don’t worry, I’m not going to perform a home lobotomy. Knowing me, I’d probably mess up and take out an eye. But damn, I’m really trying to be pithy, enlightening, but these posts always end up convoluted, longwin—

Oh! The speed thing! I forgot to explain how the speed of perception works.

In earlier, much messier posts (I know, hard to believe anything could be more disjointed than this) I described lengths of time as measurements of the distance matter travels through space and specific dates and times as markers of the points in space where matter temporarily** resides. In other words, time represents the speed at which we perceive the infinite right now. And when you consider that this moment is occurring all around us in 360 never-ending degrees those many points of temporary residence merge into one because theoretically every bit of matter, no matter how small or how big (from photons to black holes), occupies the center of space. Also, big and small become irrelevant, space obliterates concepts like time and size—all that’s left is relativity. Just matter perceiving matter. Yes, I know, you could have gleaned that from the title alone. You didn’t need my blathering. I’m terribly sorry for wasting your time. I’m sure there are a hundred other better things you could be doing…right now.

*I know I said (and have always said) that matter does not break down to absolutely nothing, but what if space is created by matter doing just that? Think of space as a kind of compost heap. We chuck all sorts of diverse matter into compost heaps, but it all turns into particulate matter, dark particulate matter. But if space is matter wouldn’t that mean that matter came before space? Well, think back to the bit at the top of this post where I was describing how space doesn’t exist without matter to perceive it.

**Since matter doesn’t permanently park itself in space, the points it occupies are changing constantly. Earlier in this post I asked: What exactly is this right now? A similar question can be asked about points in space: What exactly is the point we are currently occupying right now? It is an impossible question to answer as we do not stop moving through space. The only thing we can do to get an ‘ relative idea’ of ‘place’ is to ‘relate’ ourselves to other matter…

Solar System



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