Really, is that true?
As background, I had lunch on Friday with a long time friend and fellow motorcycle lover, Pete Mathews. He had just finished reading one of my favorite books, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. I mentioned to him some time ago it was a great book and he should read it some time. As I worked on the build of my 1975 R7/6 into an “S” model, I also wrote about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Rebuilding, because I found myself living quite a number of the examples of “gumption traps”, which lower quality quickly, that Pirsig describes in his book.
Pete was … “captured” is the word … by the scope and premise of the book and the life of Mr. Pirsig. I mentioned that I had reread it about eight times since I bought the book in 1975. He asked, “Why?”, and I had to stop and think about that question. I said something to the affect that I reread it when things got too fragmented and confusing and I needed to revisit the cohesive beauty of Pirsig’s world view. The book was written in the early 1970’s at a time when the country was very fragmented, and in part, Pirsig wrote the book to illustrate a way to remove that fragmentation and the needless animosity and misunderstanding it fostered. I felt that Prisig wrote the book so he could focus on the question of what can unify technology and its adherents with the arts and their adherents. He came up with a simple “grand unified theory”, which is quality and its pursuit.
As an aside, I suspect Pirsig believed that as the pursuit of quality unifies art and technology, it also unifies the individual and keeps him sane. He himself achieves a unification after he went insane, partly due to electroshock therapy and partly due to the his refusal to stop pursuing quality. For the rest of the story, you should read the book.
Now, I want to offer a demonstration, if not prove, that everything is, and always has been, connected. That’s part of what Pirsig wrote about, the connection of seemingly disparate things by discovering easily overlooked connections.
Let’s start at the beginning, The Big Bang, as science has pretty convincing shown, was the start of it all. You will find that the Big Bang is a point – literally – and as such, contains everything that is evident (and not so evident) in the universe. For the not so evident part, look into the subject of Dark Matter and Dark Energy (not related), both of which were “not evident” until recently. If the Big Bang contains everything, then at the moment of the Big Bang, there was only one thing, the point. Since then, and from that point, in both time and space, all the diversity of the universe evolved, including you.
Hmm … So Everything WAS connected at the FIRST moment of the Big Bang.
Now, let’s move from the Big Bang, where quantum physics and cosmology are unified, to living things: to be specific, YOU and only YOU. Let me ask a simple question, “What is reality”? That question and it’s answer, of course, is not something entirely within the realm of science, but bridges over into metaphysics, philosophy and religion. There are paradoxes and conundrums deep within that question, and Pirsig digs into them to a certain extent in his book.
One view, which I am growing to accept, is that reality can not be defined as something distinct from your existence. Without your existence, there is no reality. Said differently, YOU connect everything together based on how your brain creates patterns out of the simulus it constantly receives. The system that you call reality always consists of the world around you AND more specifically YOU, and YOUR brain’s mental patterns: its all inseparable.
Trying to separate YOU from the rest of reality introduces the conundrums and paradoxes I referred to a moment ago. Pirsig shows in his book that when you artificially separate things: for example separating YOU from what you are working on, such as a motorcycle; or separating art from technology; then you miss out on quality, which is what connects YOU with everything you do. And, should you create two realities, one for the world around you and another one for YOU, well, that way lies true mental insanity, at least it was the start of his insanity.
Hmm — so Everything IS connected, at this very moment, by YOU.
Now, I said that everything WAS connected at the Big Bang which contained all time, space and everything within it, including YOU. I also said that at this moment, everything IS connected by YOU, your brain and its patterns. The Big Bang started it all, YOU are a part of it all, and YOU are what defines the present moment. Therefore, everything is connected, and has been, for all space and time.
Ipso Facto, Everything is Connected.
What do you think?