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Article > Through the looking-glass
Description :: Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all. This is a serious question, my dear ...
In a recent discussion with Ensis, a parallel was drawn between postmodernism and predestination. The same, however, will likely be true of many other things: they all provide us with a sense of understanding that which lies beyond the horizon, outside the box, in the mind of the dreamer.

Postmodernism proposes to let us assume that, regardless of whether or not there is, in fact, a universal truth, it matters not. We have no guaranteed access to it, nor even to a guarantee that what we have in our hands is not, in fact, absolute truth. Postmodernism is the doubt of perception, extending even to our faculty -- yet do we let this trouble us? Only for a moment, I would say: even if it is a dream, is it not a beautiful dream, one we should play with, live? Rather than be paralyzed by fear, we simply keep living as if we had never stumbled across this assumption, while still holding it dear.

Predestination, which might even be confirmed through our great feats of science, is the assumption that the universe moves forward along a single path; no choices are left to be made, all dice have been rolled, all possibilities have been removed except for one. Those thoughts, those dreams in your mind are not entirely your own: though they may define you, you don't exactly have control over them. Do you sense that, like postmodernism, there is a certain doublespeak here? Does the fact that a character in a book seems to make a choice mean they have made a choice? Yet this concept does not paralyze those who believe in predestination: they still use the same words anyone else would use when it comes to choices, possibilities, and the future. Though the future may be predetermined, we do not know it, nor do we claim to have any way of knowing it. Indeed, if the universe is in fact bound entirely to deterministic physical laws, could we simulate the universe and know the result any faster than the universe itself would move forward? Wether or not our choices are our own, our thoughts prewritten, or accidents unavoidable, we continue to live our lives, oblivious. We take part in the great play, the great act of life, and we feel it all as our own! We dance in the wind, we love, we hate, we cry. The best actors will make a story come to life -- and we are the greatest actors.

Whether we believe that the world is held up by Atlas, atoms directed by the hand of God, or the fate of the universe decided by entirely impartial actions and reactions, the result is the same. Bound by our knowledge, our perceptions, we remain prisoners of a simpler world view. Our attempts to jump outside of our world, to see it all at once, fail. And like Alice, we are left wondering who dreamt whom -- but the answer matters little. Let us enjoy our world!

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Owned by Unordained - Created on 11/03/2003 - Last edited later the same day

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