Comments 2

How, and Why…

Ultimately, there’s no difference between asking ‘how’ something works, and ‘why’ something works. The ‘rules’ by which existence operates are in place; and (really) at our current position in the scheme of things, the ‘why’ of it can only be explored by first explaining ‘how’.

The ‘how’ of the universe simply exists.
‘How’ was not instituted after consultation with a focus group.
No central committee had a go at the rules, at which time they were posted for public comment.
No one gets a voice on ‘how’, nor is it subject to a recall vote.
It’s up to us to discover that ‘how’, to the best of our ability.

Still… ‘why’ isn’t a question you can profitably ask from within the experiment.
The bacteria in the petri dish doesn’t bother itself with questions of ‘why am I here?’
And if it does, it’s not a question for which bacteria is capable of understanding even the communication of an answer, much less the content of that answer.
Perhaps, when we’ve learned to communicate with bacteria, in such a way that it can understand what we’re saying, we’ll have come far along the path to answering the question of ‘why’ for ourselves.

What arrogant little mice we’ve become, so sure of ourselves, chasing down every scrap of cheese in our self-imposed mazes – all while looking for some great Lab Assistant in the sky, and demanding he tell us ‘why’. And never standing still long enough to even ascertain if a Lab Assistant is speaking, much less trying to understand what’s being said.

It would be so much more beneficial to limit ourselves to the ‘how’ of things – for there are more than enough of those to occupy ourselves with.
Ask not ‘why am I alive’ – ask rather ‘how am I to live’.
That answer has been laid out many times; long ago and far away.

The ‘why’ proves ever elusive, and changing, even amongst those of ourselves we think we know the best.
We can never truly know what passes for ‘why’, even here on earth.
I, myself, rarely know ‘why’ I do anything in any given day.

What unmitigated hubris – to demand of the universe an answer to the question I will not even ask of myself… 

EJ Liederstein



    • … or maybe that we ask ‘how’ is why we are the way we are… or were.
      Or maybe we should be asking ‘where’ we are, as a society.
      But the people who are stuck on ‘who’ would just get all uppity.
      Wait… what?!?


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