Jumping into rivers

Myths exist to ‘explain the inexplicable’, and insofar as we believe that existence is potentially explicable we are supporting an epic myth – namely that we can define the greater fact of existence from a lesser perspective that subsists as a part of it.

Ultimately, there is a paradox at the heart of all explanation which leaves us with two strands of logic appertaining to things as they are and are not: observable and unobservable, definitive and indefinite, one thing and another – explicable and inexplicable.

The ancients knew of this as the paradox of change: that it is logically possible to explain why Achilles cannot beat a tortoise in a race, or how an arrow cannot move through the air, or that we cannot step into the same river twice.

As things currently stand, we explain the process of change as a transition from what was to what is, because this is the observable component of the reality.  But the flow of change is not something we can capture analytically.

So it is because we know we exist biologically that we say biology is the cause of our existence, but it doesn’t explain the ‘biological changes’ that place us in the elevated state of being able to observe biology – to wrestle with the fact that biology is and is not explaining itself.

Mike Laidler

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