Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Who and what are we? Where did we come from, and where are we going? What is the meaning of life? --There seem to be more questions than answers, but, if you want to know who you are, try writing down a list of questions on one side of a ledger and your best answers opposite them on the other side. How you write your list, and what you put in it, will reveal a lot about who you are. If you want to try this exercise, and you are serious about it, please stop reading now, and start writing your list of questions and answers before you read any farther. After you have gone as far as you can go with your list, then come back and read the rest of this post.

Caution: If you peek ahead before writing your list, you will jeopardize the integrity of the exercise because that will contaminate the question of who you are, with who you want to be.

Huh-uh, No-No! No Peeking!

What does your list and how you write it, say about you? I think, regarding questions and answers, most people fall into one of two categories: thinkers or doers. If you write every question you can think of before you write any answers, and the list is still incomplete, you are a thinker. If you write only the questions that you think are important, and write at least some answers as you go, you are a doer.

The difference between thinkers and doers is profound: It’s the difference between a theorist and a pragmatist, a philosopher and an engineer, an idealist and a realist, an optimist and a pessimist, a Plato and an Archimedes. If you are a Big-Bang Theory fan (the TV series, not the scientific theory), Sheldon is the thinker and Penny is the doer. Caution: you should refrain from judging one of these modes of questioning and answering as good or bad, because the world needs both. For example, architects are thinkers, while carpenters, plumbers and electricians are doers, planners are thinkers, and those who implement the plans are doers.

Of course, as with any psychological categorization, almost no one is one hundred percent thinker or one hundred percent doer, most of us are a mixture of both, and then there are a few who are neither. They are called politicians.

The extreme thinker, in addition to thinking about things, thinks about thinking. As Penny would put it, “Good grief! Jibber-jabber about jibber-jabber!” The extreme doer does, does and re-does just for the joy of doing. As Sheldon would put it: “One should stay far away as possible from, and out of the way of anyone who is so afflicted!”

So, do you want to see my list?  --I thought you’d never ask!

Q: Why is there something rather than nothing? A: Because by definition, nothing does not exist.

Q: Are there questions that have no answer? A: Probably. And this may be one of them.  

Q: Are there answers for which there are no questions? A: Yes, and here are two of them: your consciousness, and the universe.

Q: Can there ever be a theory of everything? A: No. Because a theory of everything must have everything in it, otherwise it is not a theory of everything, and if a theory has everything in it, it is identical with reality, and is therefore not a theory.

Of course, this is just the beginning of my list, and in case you are wondering, I wrote my questions first, and then came back and started writing the answers, and no, I haven’t finished my list of questions yet either. Also, I could write a paragraph or two, --maybe a book-- about each of my question and answers. And, before you say it, yes, Penny, it is “jibber-jabber about jibber-jabber!”

No comments:

Post a Comment