Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I don't know if anyone else gets "enlightenment"-grade feelings from the most mundane of thoughts and observations. One that recurs in my life is the simple thought that at any one moment a billion things are happening. A million thoughts are thought by a million people. Just because one's brain cannot even remotely capture these things or understand their simultaneous ramifications, they still happen.

In the same way, things that change inperceptibly also cause those enlightened moments. Just before, a picture that had been stuck to my wall fell off. It had been held there by bluetak for weeks. But obviously, day-after-day, the stickiness to the wall or to the back of the picture gave a little, perhaps the paint on the wall loosened and then only now it came of. Just like the build up of an earthquake along a fault-line.

The imperceptible change illusion use to be part of my wishes. You would get a new pot of runny honey and take some of the top, it smooths out, and it appears nothing has left it. So perhaps I have the bottomless cup... But no matter whether it was a box of popcorn or a bar of soap, even if it appears to get no smaller, it is smaller.


tim said...

i understand and agree. here's a common one: walking/driving past a person on a sidewalk/road. two lives have quietly crossed. one moment, and there was so little energy. but it happened! oooh, it gets me.

James said...

The imperceptible change phenomenon is associated with things measured continuously (as opposed to discretely). At least with your bar of soap, you know how much is left at any one time, and can plan to buy more soap. Imagine if the bar of soap only went from completely whole to completely run out in an instant (say, a week after you started using it). That would freak me out!