The issue then becomes one of explaining to the full range of age groups and belief subsets how every data point, although unique, is made of the same ingredients as the set in total.
“But if we are all the same, how are we all different?”
Well, you see, we are all connected.
“But my subculture is diametrically opposed to yours. We do not feel connected.”
Emotionally opposed, yes, and thus connected by emotions.
“We would never participate in any of your activities.”
And, therefore, we complement each other, one performing the tasks the other would not.
“It makes no sense.”
Observe the candle. The wick is not the same as the wax. However, both react to fire, one feeding off the other, giving light as a heat byproduct.
“Or heat as a light byproduct.”
Precisely. It is the observation point from which one finds one’s place of understanding. ‘Who am I?’ becomes ‘I am the collection of states of energy that detects heat and light.’
“Or hot wax.”
Or carbon with which to record symbols that represent your subculture. You are the stuff of stars.
“I don’t know… My elders say I am a gift from God.”
Stars. God. I am telling you they are the same.
“We do not practice pagan religions. Stars are not living beings. Only God can create people.”
Religion I do not know. I only know states of energy, atoms, molecules and the like. And their connectedness. The teachings of your elders are your guide to follow freely as you wish.
“So why am I sitting here with you?”
And I ask myself the same question. Why do two states of energy such as ourselves choose to interact using sound shaped by our vocal chords and other movements of our states of energy we call bodies? It is what it is. Questioning it prolongs the next moment of discovery between us, adding to the wonder of the universe that is us, our states of energy, in momentary synchronisation.
“Are you not wise, then, as they told me you are?”
I am wiser than the trees, they say, and yet I cannot sprout a single leaf. This hair upon my arm cannot convert sunlight into energy yet, like bark, it provides a modicum of warmth against a winter’s cold. Wisdom is application of one’s knowledge of one’s ignorance. What I do not know tells me more about what you and I will say next to each other more than what I know says about what we can say to each other.
“So you can’t tell me if I should eat this bowl of ice cream, Great Uncle?”
A container of frozen cow’s milk and other ingredients… Does it taste good to you?
“My tongue says it does.”
Your tongue is not a separate object. It is you as much as these words we have left behind. Including the rest of you, not just your tongue, does the ice cream taste good to you?
“I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it.”
Precisely. Look at the object you call a bowl. Look at the object you call a spoon. Look at the object you call ice cream. They are connected, their function and form, their origin and destiny, all one. In reality, they are not separate objects. Imagine they and you are all part of the same universe, created, as you say, as a gift from God. Is the place where the cow came from, how it was raised, how it was milked, how its milk was sanitised and mixed with special ingredients to make ice cream, and how the spoon and bowl came into being also a gift from God?
Then tell me without putting the ice cream in your mouth, does the ice cream taste good to you?
“Wow! Uh… that seems like a lot to think about just to decide if I should eat the ice cream.”
But don’t you already have an idea what the ice cream will taste like? Don’t you already think the ice cream tastes good?
Then, in the space before you smell the ice cream with your ‘nose’ or place the ice cream on your ‘tongue,’ in that moment when you cannot stop the ice cream from hitting your ‘taste buds,’ I tell you the ice cream will taste like motor oil and burn like hot lava, can your thoughts switch to disliking the ice cream?
Are you sure. This moment I describe takes place faster than the speed of light, an imperceptible split second before your thoughts can travel from one neuron to the next.
“Then I guess not.”
Your life is made up of all those imperceptible split seconds.
Taste is a deception.
All the imperceptible moments up to now have already determined whether you’re going to eat the ice cream within that bowl, which, by the way, has melted quite a bit since we first started talking.
“And I hate warm ice cream!”
There you go. You have your answer.