This paper is not a scientific paper or even a religious one; it is in essence a prose of logic – a tool to help you to understand understanding (I know it may seem ridiculous; however, please bear with it). This piece is in fact highly hypocritical as you will become aware of later, but once you can look past that you can take your first peek at the great summit that will begin to loom larger.
“Anything that happens, happens”
Indeed, if you can accept this then you are half way to understanding understandment (it’s not a word yet). To contemplate the very idea of complete randomness is notoriously difficult, due to its complete contempt for order. Some may never understand; others may only conceive of it in its simplest form. So this is a short lesson, but an unbelievably important one, as it details understanding how to understand (these kind of lines could get tedious). All events are coincidences, sheer chance; there is no predetermination, no godly plan, no end goal – just random stuff randomly coming together to randomly create more random stuff. Just because we think we can see patterns, (like evolution) it does not mean they are intentional.
Now we must move onto the main portion of this proverbial meal. To truly understand one must try not to understand. This thought chain can rather easily be shown to at least have a shred of creditability when you look at the Buddhist ideas of meditation. To become truly enlightened one has to remove one’s self from thought completely. Enlightenment is merely complete understanding and thought is merely trying to understand something.
Think of it as a scale – at the top complete lack of understanding, in the middle partial understanding and at the bottom complete understanding. On that same scale add at the top trying to understand everything, in the middle focusing on specifics to try to understand and at the bottom not trying to understand at all. Why do we study certain subjects? Because we want to understand them better (at least, that should be the motive). And how does focusing on one subject help us to understand it? By focusing on that subject alone you remove all the other shit from your mind, meaning you are trying to understand a smaller amount of stuff. Whereas before you were trying to understand German, Chemistry, Biology, English, dinner, women, art, poetry etc. you are now only trying to understand one of them, say Chemistry. You have moved down the scale toward the bottom, because as you try to understand less you actually understand more. If you therefore carry on with that logic complete understanding will occur only when you try to understand nothing.
Life, the sciences, literature, art and music – these are in fact models which we use to help us understand things. Our senses allow us to hone in on certain things and allow us to try and understand less. Sciences narrow things down to constituent parts which allows for greater understanding as less is trying to be understood. Now I may be drifting off a little as the night takes its toll but there is a little more to this complete understanding than just knowing how something completely works. For I believe the universe (let it be known as understanding from now on) is completely interconnected with itself and all that lingers within it, around it or on it. So if everything is connected to everything else we cannot understand one thing specifically because as soon as we understand that one part of understanding completely we instantly understand the rest of it completely. Hence the more we understand the less we can understand about. Just like your progression through school. As you continue along your school education you begin to specialise and focus more and more; this allows you to shed the number of subjects which you need to understand. So, at this extreme you would understand the most about the least amount of things. Like a pyramid, as you climb up there is less pyramid to understand about, but when you reach the top there is no pyramid to understand about only the entire pyramid which you can completely see and understand as a whole.
As you go up, you can see less of the pyramid above you. The pyramid represents the amount to be understood. So, at the top, when there is no pyramid left, you are trying to understand less. Also, as you go up the pyramid, you can see more behind you. Here the pyramid behind represents your understanding.
“I think the idea of art kills creativity”
The piece above was inspired by a great author – a man who opened my eyes to such a great extent that I can no longer close them. That author is one Douglas Adams – creator of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Dirk Gently and many brilliantly witty articles for The Independent and Mac User magazine. He exposed me to beauty and comedy which has now left its everlasting mark on my very self and soul. He is the man who originally used “anything that happens, happens” (from his 1993 book Mostly Harmless) which did have a profound effect upon me even if I didn’t realise at the time. He genuinely inspired me, and the ability of inspiration is, I think, the greatest achievement any man can boast. His other great achievement was to create the most outstanding character ever; Marvin the robot. Hopefully, if you have never experienced his work you will endeavour to do so from this point onwards.
This is an original Hashmark Article by Luke Dedominicis, written in early 2006.