I woke up at 3AM, probably right after a post-midnight midsummer thundershower fell to refresh the city.
I woke up, thinking that I slept a whole night, only to find the skies still dark, and the alarm clock on my bedside desk pointing well before 7:30AM.
I woke up feeling distraught. The first thought that brought me back to the reasonable world was that eternity can be so long, so short, yet had no meaning if you didn't see both the beginning nor end of it. I might've slept only two hours, but the architecture of a good night of sleep is such that its exit is exactly the same as that of a long nap, because you only remember the last REM state.
And so, I only remember the last REM state. I could've slept a million years. and yet it will only be a single REM state.
In my theory of the universe, us humans fit in as the expression of vibrating strings. It is, for me, the best I can make of my belief in reasonable thinking, in the resulting sum of our scientific knowledge, mixing pure concepts of the physico-chemical world. We are bits of information, nucleic acids, proteins maybe, but also of more abstract things like culture; and all this is simplified to maybe a concatenated string, bathing in a set of universal constants, and we find ourselves to exist as a distinct string for only a fraction of the time the universe "lasts".
And the string vibrates, or "lives". It fights for its survival, but knows that as a whole, it will expire after a limited amount of time and will never be expressed again as an entity (1) until the end of the universe or something. But bits of itself can be transmitted down to children strings. They can be to our children in the strict sense, but it can also be one's intellectual work (culture, scientific knowledge, etc). But for all that to happen, the string has to vibrate.
Notes: (1) I guess that reincarnation would be a sort of illusion that a string, by chance, gets repeated after a certain amount of time.
Extra notes: there was a day this week when I didn't sleep the night before and was awake enough to read the Economist on the bus bound home, and I couldn't help myself but parse dollar values as PHP variables, and understand an article about Lieberman and his appeal to a centre-right electorate as "lieberman($argv)".
Extra extra notes: to be taken with a grain of salt. I simply feel as if I needed to be more aware of who I was, and how I fit in this universe, and how I could deal with eternity, if it were to come very soon if on one morning I lacked sleep and fell victim to some very stupid accident. It happened previously, where I almost got killed by a car speeding down a slope, like at the corner of Pine and University, where the circulation lights can be extremely treacherous. I fear that death can come this swiftly, unexpectedly, and ultimately the result of something very very stupid.
Extra ... notes: i suppose that to live means being fearful enough for the sake of self-preservation. Can't really elaborate more.
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