. . . In which the only constant is change, where even Einstein’s constant of the speed of light turns out not to be such a constant, after all. And these pages are realitynow2012, because my reality today is different from yesterday’s, and tomorrow’s will be different again.
This suggests it is linear, going from A to Z, and never back again. But my past is part of my present, just as my hopes and expectations of the future are in my heart and mind, here and now. Time is a function of the human mind. We need no time machines to visit past and future. We are there already.
This multiplicity of realities, these workS in progress, does (do?) not exist in two dimensions (note how the grammatical limitations of tense and number confuse us, so “does” is as ungrammatical as “do” in the context of this sentence).
But since my reality is certainly different from yours, it’s not linear. It’s more like a three-dimensional chess board, in which the Queen (whom the Bible calls wisdom) can move from any position on any board to any other position on any other board, and the King (that’s you, or me, or anyone else) can only be checked, not taken.
Of course, like all analogies, it breaks down if you take it to extremes. Then the pieces fall off the board(s) like the cards in Alice’s Wonderland.
And everything stated above is at the same time true and not true, since contradiction, like change, is another constant.
People who call themselves Marxists (a description Marx refused to apply to himself) tell themselves that dialectics was invented by Marx and Engels, but it is as old as the Socratic dialogues of Plato, old as the rabbinical method employed by Jesus, when he urged his followers with two cloaks to sell one and buy a sword, then declaring when he was arrested in Gethsemane that whoever lived by the sword would die by the sword.
But contradiction is as old as life itself. A baby learns to walk by falling over, we begin to die at the moment of birth (or perhaps at our very conception), we get it right by getting it wrong. People who never make mistakes never make anything, as the old saying goes.
As Walt Whitman said: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” Or Bernard Shaw: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
But as the old hymn puts it: “Everything changes but God changes not.” All our realities are contained within (or without) a greater, non-contingent reality we identify with the three-letter acronym G-O-D, a reality ungoverned by our conceptions and beliefs. That is why the atheist is closer to God than believers who think they KNOW what God requires of them.
So welcome to my worlds. Worlds where the possible is limited only by our imagination.
George Bernard Shaw
For more quotes on the possible and the impossible, from St Francis of Assisi to Steven Spielberg, go to 50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility.