State of the Nation

State of the Nation 150 150 Ben Coker

State of the Nation

This message marks 5 years of weekly insights. Every week I’ve committed my thoughts, ideas and inspirations to ‘paper’ and asked you to be my witness.

Thank you so much for your continuing interest in what I have to say. As you’re still here I guess it must be of some interest!

Look out for some changes to the format from next week, probably shorter, possibly a little more frequent and potentially a slight change in tone and emphasis.

We shall both see as I’m not really quite sure yet what it’s going to look like!

I’ve been thinking, as I’m wont to do, about ‘stuff’.

About ‘things’ – primarily three-dimensional things – and I’ve come to the ‘conclusion’ that things are in one, perhaps more, of three ‘states’.

There may also be a fourth ‘state’ to cater for things that aren’t three dimensional such as thoughts, concepts, ideas and images.

Consider three dimensional objects – anything from a continent to a simple molecule or an atom.

I would say these are in a state of ‘existence’ – they have size and shape, they are three dimensional, you can pick them up, travel across them, sit on them, drink out of them.

Some people might describe them as ‘inanimate objects’, which indeed is what they are as one of the key things about them is they have all, at some time or another, been ‘made’.

Somehow, they have been constructed, created, out of pure energy aggregating in a random, natural or directed way.

Every ‘thing’ is composed of energy in space and it’s the arrangement of those two and the particular vibrational properties of the energy which cause the object concerned to exist.

The important reality to understand here is they cannot create themselves, the energy and space are directed according to natural patterns (related to the periodic table of the elements) or just at random, or, put together, created or replicated by a ‘thing’ which is in a higher ‘state’.

These ‘higher’ things have a peculiar property. They can replicate themselves. These objects are called ‘living things’.

A rock, a wine glass, a virus, a cheese sandwich, exists – but it doesn’t have the capability of replicating itself – a living thing has to do it.

The way a living thing reproduces or replicates itself is by following a set of instructions and in the same way, it replicates other things by following instructions.

Before I explain this further I need to go on to the third state of existence.

Being – or be-ing

A ‘living being’ is rather more than just a third dimensional living thing. It has a fourth dimensional element to it.

The dimension of thought.

You see, as living beings, or more exactly ‘human’ beings (there is much evidence that other forms of life have fourth dimensional attributes as well) you and I, unlike simple living things, can create our own instructions for ‘making’ or replicating third dimensional objects.

We don’t have the capability of creating other living things except by exploiting their own reproductive attributes, well, at least, not as yet, but we can replicate wine glasses and cheese sandwiches – according to the instructions we’ve worked out.

There are some curious anomalies, one at least, in this framework. There are some non-living objects which contain within them the instructions allowing living things to replicate them. These are what we call viruses.

It’s true also that some living things contain the instructions for other living things to replicate them, but they can, as a definition of life, do it by themselves.

Now this is where ‘being’ becomes important.

As beings, you and I have a choice.

We can choose what we wish to replicate and what we don’t. We can choose how much of something we replicate.

We can even choose to what standard we replicate something.

Just because we have the instructions, we don’t have to follow them, and we don’t have to follow them exclusively.

We know how to make cheese sandwiches, but we don’t make them all exactly the same, and we don’t spend every waking moment making cheese sandwiches just because we can.

We choose.

If we don’t want, need or desire more of something, then we don’t make it. If we only want ten of something, we only make ten.

If we followed the logic of ‘we have the instructions, we must keep making these things’, the world would long since have been covered with Swedish bookcases!

The only thing is, we must believe we have a choice. If we don’t believe we don’t have to replicate something just because we have the instructions, or if we do believe we have no alternative but to replicate it, then we will.

And like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice we will be overwhelmed.