Saturday, July 14, 2012

the answer to everything

I have heard that scientists sometimes call water the closest thing available to "the universal solvent."

Emmanuel Kant, the German philosopher, once suggested approximately, "Act so that the maxim of your action may be taken as a universal law."

And along the shelves of spiritual and self-help books, "love" and "God" and "freedom" and "peace" and "compassion" and "enlightenment" extend enfolding arms ... this is the 'it' anyone might be seeking, the single answer to numberless questions, the solution to all of the equations of doubt and uncertainty and strife.

Everything ... where is the answer to everything, the unfailing joker in life's limitless deck, the assertion and response that brings surcease and understanding and a raking in of all the poker chips?

The longing, little and large, to wrap up situations or life in general ... what a strange and insistent proclivity. It is as if, because there are so many questions, there absolutely 'must' be an answer. Limitless questions ... the grains of sand in the Gobi, the drops of water in the oceans, the number of stars in the sky, the 'God particle' of matter, the number of forks in the kitchen drawer ... everything....

Limitless 'everything' seems to incite a determination to hold in the palm of the hand an answer that provokes no further questions ... a joker, a universal solvent, a touchstone of untroubled certainty, a perfect mom. Some may joke that the answer to everything is "42," but the smile has no staying power.

Strange to think that in the search for some unlimited something-or-other, the first and only response mechanism is to limit things. No one ever said that human beings had to be sensible in their heart-felt quests ... but still ... after a while ... really ... aren't "limited" and "unlimited" a bit tiring?

It's all utterly personal, of course (no religious fortune cookies or or philosophers or wise men need apply), but still, isn't being tired a bit tiring?

Limiting the unlimited, unlimiting the limited ... c'mere and I'll give you a big wet smacker!

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