2. Being

The Earth: Music, Walls, Eyes and Ears.

Someone or something, god or some form of quantum intention went to a great deal of trouble to bring humanity to this state of sentient development. Based on my experience in conversations with many very intelligent people, it seems (since at the time I did not know what questions to ask), our arriving on a planet such as this, with bodies of infinite flexibility, minds of amazing capability but above all with sentience, the ability to experience is generally not understood or appreciated.

I call my collection of photography The Hidden World of the Nearby because I found virtually all of my images on roadsides and in parking lots and in twenty-eight years never once met someone photographing alongside me. And I asked myself, what is nearest to me that is hidden yet I am not aware of it, and I decided it was the experience of life, especially seeing.

This takes a bit of pondering. The input to your brain is two approximately 1/2" images on your retinas. These combine with your experience of hearing and touch to create what you are seeing, in three dimensions, all color, texture, position, movement. Close your eyes and it disappears, and no one has a clue how this experience happens in your head. Hearing same thing, except two ear drums, still pretty small.

The best experience here is a good seat in a great concert hall with a great conductor, soloist, composer and orchestra. Here is a link. I hope you have good Bose speakers connected to your computer and set the internet for full screen. This, in my experience is as good as it gets. It is worth pondering what has gone into creating this sound (and the images). Every person involved has devoted their lives to their art, including the instrument makers, players and teachers, concert hall designers and Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest condutors, the Music VerinSalle, probably the best concert hall in the world, and the Vienna Philharmonic, quite possibly the best orchestra in the world. And being a pianist of modest skill I nevertheless recognize Kristian Zimerman as one of the very finest pianists. I know his interpretations of music I play and they are incomparable. And, of course, Beethoven. (click on Beethoven; sorry for the commercial)BEETHOVEN

In classical music Beethoven joined music of the classical period (Mozart, Haydn) to the music of the romantic period. His body of work: symphonies, piano concerti, string quartets, solo piano music virtually defined the genres. If you say “symphony” you think of Beethoven. And in my mind he wrote the single greatest and most important note in the history of classical music. The first note of the 3rd symphony marks the beginning of a new musical era. I include a sample of that also.

You ask, of course, what does this have to do with the climate. Well, the climate is the life of the earth. The earth gave us life, and I feel I need to put a stake in the ground on the top of the highest peak and declare: here is where the earth took us. Then I cry because we betrayed it and because so few of us appreciate it. And this is only one of many peaks.

What is humanity like.

I will show you below my calculation putting the probability at one in one hundred trillion. And a scientist of evolution happened to come up with the same number. But we do not study this so these seems like strange questions.

If you ask what is the most glorious part of existance, it will turn out to be that which is closest to you: something called sentience, your own experiences of seeing and hearing and what we see and hear. Sentience is inexplicable by science. It is not included in the most arcane “theories of everything.” I call it the Fifth Force to supplement the four forces of physics. And I will give you some examples to listen to and to look at.

Since I became aware of global warming and began suffering from a depression that will never go away, I have joked, when working two years almost night and day on this website, that I was trying to save the world. I could hardly thing of anything more ludriculous. Will the collosal failures of humanity and the place that has brought us to, I no longer think it is ludicrous.

There mave been more drafts and revisions and rethinkings and reading than I could imagine. And although I think we have flown our plane into a box canyon*, my purpose has been to approach as grim a reality as humanity has every faced, as clearly as I am able.

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