Next: Science is now so complex that we can no longer ask What? We can now only wonder Why?

This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Monday, March 30, 2009

New York! Nyawk!

Heaven is my woman's love!!! That's been my position for the last decade or so. Now it's changed.
Heaven is my woman's love ..... in New York.

I don't understand why it took so long to realize that heaven needs a place as well as an emotion. That, of course is the problem with the notion of heaven held sacrosanct by a multitude of 21st century superstitious cults. I can buy into the concept of working towards a time of long term emotional bliss followed by the quiet bliss of death and happily call it 'Heaven on earth"; but to actually imagine that there may possibly be a 'place' somewhere out there and after the here and now is pushing it a bit, even in my book.

So keen are the high priests of the SM (Superstitious Movement) to ensure ongoing credibility for their Babelic towers of belief that they have on offer a million pound prize for anyone who manages in some way to contribute to the convergence of Science and Superstition. And, it seems that it does not take an awful lot to get it.
This year's winner of the Templeton Prize is Bernard D'Espagnat, 87, professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the University of Paris-Sud, well known for his work on quantum mechanics. D'Espagnat boasts an impressive scientific pedigree, having worked with Nobel laureates Louis de Broglie, Enrico Fermi and Niels Bohr.
But what exactly earned him the $14 million dollars?
Well, briefly, Bernard expouses that through science we can glimpse some basic structures of reality, but much of it remains an infinite, eternal mystery.

In his own words: "There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a 'veiled reality' that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly. In turn, contrary to those who claim that matter is the only reality, the possibility that other means, including spirituality, may also provide a window on ultimate reality cannot be ruled out, even by cogent scientific arguments."

What lets him off the hook for me is that it is clearly not him that has made the spurious leap from 'not ruling out' spiritual interpretations of truth, to the existance of a hyperethereal god.
He did, however, accept the money......

Well, what has this all to do with New York?

Coming from an urban South Africa and getting on a big SAA jet bound north-west is somewhat like having been told on arrival in Dante's Inferno, that you are the wrong guy, go home!
Don't get me wrong - My much loved homeland is not Hell, in fact looking at the early winter face of Table Mountain as I type this confirms again that this land is clearly a prime candidate for a geographical heaven. Take away Cape Town, all the people and the discontented winter and paradise just sits there waiting to be populated with a real Democracy home grown from the fresh seeds of Ubuntu and creative thinking...

The view from the plane window on final approach to the JF Kennedy International is one of prosaic swamps and painted ocean. Neat suburbs which compete for order with the long line of waiting jets, clearly not wanting to leave.

And so I arrived in the new country, not unlike a few million immigrants before me, full of confidence and forgetful of what I had left behind and the first thing I found was what I thought I had left behind - I was the only white person in the terminal building, well, that is until Ida arrived. She did not notice that particular fact, probably having flown in from Nairobi, but I had come from SA, whose airports are full of whitees.
That particular observation had no further purpose so on the skytrain we jumped and off the skytrain and on the overland and into the subway and out at Grand Central Station.

From this point on you are in heaven. If I was asked what heaven is like when I was a weeny beeny 5 year old I would have had an easy answer - "Like getting locked up in the biggest toy shop in the world and nobody knows! All night you are fed free cookies and coolies and nobody shouts at you the next day. When you walk home the next day, nobody steals your new toys, because everyone you meet seems to have had their own night in toy shop time.

OK, I know you saying that I am blind to the poverty and suffering in the ghetto, the misery of the absolutely wealthy and the decadence of the society. Yes! It's all an illusion. Just like heaven, one big illusion, but, for ten days and ten nights, it worked for me. In fact it worked so well for me that I am back in Dante's South Africa and all I can see is friendly people, beautiful places and sunshine. Like a good massage, Paradise has a way of putting stars in your eyes....for a while.
This is the secret of travel. Coming and going between home and foreign soil, one hovers in the emotion of delight and positivity, of seeing new things in old places and realizing dreams. A sort of rapid turnaround reincarnation.

So, here I am, back in my own little March 2009 corner of heaven, Cape Town, gazing at a remarkable Newspaper photo. Remarkable, because in the same week, the SA government refused the Dalai Llama a visa on the grounds that his being at a small local Peace conference would draw unnecessary attention away from the 1020 Soccer World cup hype. It turns out that it was really as a result of pressure from the Chinese government who probably said something like, "If you let that terrorist in we will not sell you any more ultra cheap T-shirts made with child labour....or rescind the fortune cookies we gave to Jacobus 2Headman Zuma.
One conspiracy theory doing the rounds in my head is that the SA government has found an ingenious way of having it's vetkoek and eating it. By adhering to the diplomatic (and fascist) dictates of the Chinese not so socialists and refusing the Llama chap a visa they have rocketed the Tibet cause sky high locally and internationally and the Dalai's name is now fully household! Whether the cronies at Luthuli house (whoops!...loyal members of the ANC) actually thought this one out in advance I will leave to you....

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