Ed's talk: Aug 18, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Choosing Your Religion

"Because of most of us can't imagine a world without ourselves in it. But reflect on this: Did the world exist before you were born? Of course. Did you miss being alive before you were born? Of course not. By the same token you the world will go on after you are dead and you will not miss being alive."

Yes, what I wrote about, I believe is usually called "existential panic" and is a part of our human egoistic nature. We cannot imagine a world without us but that is exactly what we must face. Otherwise, we must posit a perfectly nonsensical afterlife or a belief in personal reincarnation.

Thinking in my own field, I imagine all those bad paintings of "THE GREAT COMPOSERS" in their imaginary parnassus calmly contemplating their accomplishments in each others' company.

Against this, I think of the somewhat familiar joke where they open Beethoven's tomb and find a little man tearing up music. When they ask "Maestro, what are you doing?" he replies "I'm decomposing!"
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