A couple of months ago, I signed up to receive a weekly email from the BBC website. It's called "If You Only Read Six Things This Week ..." and it provides links to intriguing articles on events and ideas that I'd probably not encounter otherwise.
Last week's links included a fascinating discussion on the idea that we could be living in a simulated world where nothing is real, even though it feels real to us, along with the question of whether it matters if it's real or not. The piece is titled "We might live in a computer program, but it may not matter," and was a good read. If you're interested in that sort of thing, you may enjoy it as well.
My grandfather thought about a similar concept around fifty years ago. He always talked to my brother and me as if we were adults, and during one visit when I was about ten years old he speculated about the possibility that the earth was merely a project on the mantelpiece of a vast being who, from time to time, peeked in on us to see how the experiment was going.
I've thought about that idea many times since. I don't know if it was an original thought or whether he simply read about it and wanted to share it. But it tickles my fancy to think that he was wondering about those things so many years ago, and that I've run into the concept again.
"What if none of this is real?"
As long as we feel it's real, does it matter? Pain still hurts, and joy still uplifts.
I watched the cloud formations in the video below shortly after I'd read the BBC article. This seems like a good time to share them. Note the banks of white clouds that hardly move, and the grey puffy clouds that travel along at a good clip. It was a windy day along the river, raw and refreshing, and it made me feel connected to the world and beyond. Illusion or not, I was happy.
You may wish to leave the sound off, as the only audio is wind noise. On the other hand, it does add to the ambience, making the video, on the whole, only slightly less boring than watching paint dry :)
And a photo of the same thing, for those who don't "do" videos; you can see the two layers of clouds, white and grey, the leaves bent by the wind, and the ripples on the water:
This was too far for me to walk, so I drove to the trail and hobbled to the lookout shelter. Illusion or not, my hip still hurt! (Update: since then, my physio person and I have made inroads on my issues - turns out my back is involved, and as that resolves, my pain is greatly decreased. Illusion of joy! and it's pretty nice, I have to say.)
Do you have a place where you connect with nature? What kind of weather makes you feel alive?
Happy weekend, folks!