Friday, January 27, 2017

One Hundred and Twelve

But none of this matters.

Freud and Marx, science and art, all the things to which I’ve given my attention all my life, don’t matter. We all know now that all the things to which we used to give our attention, and used to call civilization, don’t matter. We created those things to keep us from thinking about the things that do matter.

Scientists say that what matters most to them, the question they all ask, is why there is something rather than nothing. They should ask instead why there’s something and nothing.

This world, which seems to us to consist of things, really consists almost, but not entirely, of nothing. All the things that seem to our eyes solid are really only a few particles swimming in a sea of nothing. Even those particles aren’t what we call things, but only loci or foci in fields of force, waves of energy.

Einstein said mass is the form energy takes when a particle is at rest. Now scientists say particles are never at rest. They’re always in motion, and what we call mass is only one form of motion.

A particle’s motion varies according to its frame of reference. Not things, but the nothing from which all things rise, is real.
But understanding this doesn’t matter. Philosophers, Marx said, have always tried to understand the world, but what matters is to change it.

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