Cold is the absence of heat

When I woke up yesterday morning it was 10 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale. That is 80 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it was for me a week ago. That’s not cool! Not cool at all. It is down right sucky! I’ve been thinking a lot about the cold lately. It’s kind of hard to think about anything else, but then I remembered, there is no such thing as cold!

No! Seriously, cold is not really a thing. I’m not talking in an existential sense or in some new-agey mind over matter way of thinking. I’m talking science. I’m talking fact and the fact is that cold does not exist. The world which we have created in our minds is a dualistic world of good against evil but in this case there is no duality. What we perceive as cold is not really cold at all, it is merely the existence of less heat than our bodies would like.

Heat is real. Heat is thermal energy. With more thermal energy, temperature rises; with less thermal energy, temperature falls. At the temperature of −459.67° Fahrenheit or −273.15° Celsius there is no thermal energy. This is called absolute zero and it cannot get any cooler. Icecubes and refrigerators do not cool things by adding “cold energy”, they merely displace heat lowering the temperature.

The same is true for light and dark. There is no such thing as dark, it is merely the absence of light. This is not just a semantic argument. I know what people mean when they say, “It’s really dark in here.”, but that doesn’t make it any more true. We walk around everyday, going about our business, happy as clams believing in this thing called darkness but it is not real. It’s a delusion. And people call me crazy!

But enough fun and games; how about something a little more serious?  What about life and death? I’m not asking a spiritual question about life after death where we are united with all our friends and family who have gone before us and everything is beautiful with clouds and angels and cherubs with harps. I’m asking a real world fact based question with spiritual and philosophical implications.

That fact is, there is no such thing as death. What we call death is merely the absence of life. There is no “death force” to fight against. We can’t fight death because death does not exist. We talk about dying like it is a real thing but the fact is no one dies, we simply lose our life and this is coming from someone who very nearly lost his on multiple occasions. Life is really all we have. We can have more of it or less of it but if we seek death or fight death we are wasting our life energy because death does not exist. Death, like cold or dark is a figment of our delusional minds.

So how about that spiritual question? What about the ultimate duality of good versus evil? As we look around the world it is pretty easy to find examples of evil, but what if this too is a delusion? What if what we perceive as evil is really just the absence of good?

I don’t think that there is a way to definitively answer this question. I don’t think that there is any way to prove the existence or nonexistence of evil, and I don’t see many scientists out there testing the theory. This really is a spiritual question but spiritually we can find an answer. What if we assume that there is no such thing as evil, how would life be different? What if we dealt with what we call evil the same way we deal with what we call cold or dark? What if the only way to  eradicate evil was by providing and protecting good? What if we stopped fighting hate with more hate and accepted that love is the only power we have?

I’m not claiming to have the answer to whether evil exists or not but when I look at the world as it is and try to understand it in the absence of evil, I come up with better solutions. Life is better when I stop expending energy trying to fight evil and focus on doing good. Just as it is when I stop expending energy trying to fight the cold as instead seek heat or when I stop fighting the darkness and instead seek light. Life cannot be lived by fighting death, only by seeking life.

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My therapy session

I arrived for my 2:30pm therapy session about 10 minutes late and discovered that my therapist had double booked and was already seeing someone. No big deal. This shit happened. It’s happened before. I’ve missed appointments before too. No one’s perfect. Anyway, if I had seen my therapist today it probably would have gone something like this:

My therapist would begin with his typical opening line, “So, how are you doing?”

“I feel like no one understands me, no one really gets who I am.”

To which he would reply, “How does that make you feel?”

“I feel sad. I feel lonely. It makes me feel completely alone in this world.”

“Do you really think that you are completely alone?”

“No, I don’t. I know I have people in my life. I know that I am not alone in feeling alone. In the broadest sense I feel connected to everyone on the planet. But what I want is for someone to really get me and I don’t feel like that will ever happen. I don’t think that it is possible. Not just because I’m not sure I even get me but because I don’t think that I am living in the same reality and anyone else. I don’t think anyone is living in the same reality as anyone else.”

Confused or intrigued, my therapist would ask, “What do you mean by that?”

“I think that they way we experience reality is an innerpersonal experience. That is to say that everyone experiences it differently. Of course I’ve had times where I feel like I am having a shared experience with another person but it’s probably a delusion.”

“You think that you are having delusions?”

“I think everyone is having delusions. I think that most of what we take for granted as being real is really just a shared delusion. Our entire economic system is a delusion. Our system of laws and government are a delusion. They only work to the extent that people believe they are real.”

“Do you mean delusion or illusion?”

“I don’t think it matters. I know that mental illness is real and that delusions are a symptom of mental illness but I’m not talking about that. I’m also not saying that delusions are the antithesis of reality. They are part of what makes up our reality. I’m just realizing that much of what we collectively call  reality is really just what we believe to be real and may not actually be a shared experience at all.”

At this point I’m sure that my therapist would have some pithy joke or ancient parable to share.

I would come back with, “I remember seeing this t-shirt that said, ‘reality is for people who can’t handle drugs’. I always thought it was funny because it was a play on the anti-drug campaign that stated that ‘drugs are for people who can’t handle reality’. I’m now understanding that concept in a completely different way. Many of the people I consider to have the best grip on reality are people who have done a lot of drugs. I’m mostly talking about hallucinogens but any drug can have this effect. Drugs, by definition are mind-altering chemicals. I think that we have to alter our mindset in order to see what is really real. I think that our brains are programmed to make sense of the world but the reality is that there is so much more going on than we can possibly understand. Our brains are programmed to see safety, consistency, connection and order even in places where they don’t actually exist.”

My therapist would probably have some words of caution about doing hallucinogens, “I’m not opposed to hallucinogenic drugs per se. There has been some interesting research into their ability to raise consciousness but they do pose some risks as well. You sometimes have a tendency go to extremes and if you are going to experiment with hallucinogens I would just want you to be careful.”

“Oh no. I’m pretty reluctant to take hallucinogenic drugs. I feel like I am about as conscious and aware as I can handle for the time being. What really gets under my skin though, is the attitude that people who drink or do drugs are escaping reality…as if that’s even possible. And it’s not just the hypocrisy that most people who espouse these attitudes drink alcohol or caffeine or are medicated or are addicted to money or power any number of things. It’s that they have deluded themselves into to believing that they have the foggiest idea what reality is. No one person really knows what is going on. Perhaps, collectively, as a people we have some idea but the hubris exhibited by people who think that they get it is beyond me. I’m not trying to understand it all. I’m just trying to do my part. I’ll let other people do the drugs and they can report back to me what they have learned.”

“So, how have things been going otherwise?”

“Oh, I’ve been busy, busy, busy. I went out to Chicago last weekend for a friend’s wedding. I saw a lot of other friends and had a great experience. I’m dealing with a conflict with my best friend. I tried to get together with her Wednesday and Thursday but I don’t think she’s ready to talk. I’m comfortable giving her all the time she needs. I have confidence that we will work through it. I took my son back to Morris on Friday. We moved him into his very first apartment. My daughter went to an LGBT prom on Friday night and had an amazing time. From 8pm Friday night until 8pm Sunday I did almost nothing but drive pedicab. I probably got 8 hours of sleep the whole time but I love it and I can do it which is amazing. I spend last night with a friend and her boyfriend out in the suburbs. We didn’t get to talk much last much last night but had a great conversation this morning.”

If there was still time on the clock he probably would have asked me about my relationships and sex life. That is something I want to write about but it will have to wait for another day.

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