|Niagara Falls has (not really) frozen solid!!!!|
I distinctly remember that in one of these discussions, we began talking about alternative realities.
Someone started talking about life on another planet, where say, life did not require oxygen or the common house fly ruled. My classmates would latch on, describing the alternative reality with terms, structures and ideologies that are common to our own world, assuming that they would be universally applied to a reality that was fundamentally different.
This bothered me to no end. "If a common house fly ruled all life, there is no way we would have been able to begin thinking about, let alone, manufacturing a fly swatter," I retorted.
"Even if such a reality were scientifically feasible, there would be fly police and fly surveillance and fly detention centres and fly miseducation institutes to teach us to worship flies instead of killing them. . .but that's STILL assuming that life would progress much as it has on earth. For flies to have become rulers, vastly different environmental circumstances would be required, first of all. Flies use entirely different communication mechanisms and organize themselves in entirely different ways than humans do. Without a deep understanding of the common housefly and it's desires, motivations, and organizational tendencies, it is very difficult to say how a fly-ruled-reality would play out. . .that is, if we're actually considering alternate realities and not just trying to make a cool scifi novel or comic. . .which I admit, would probably be more fun!"
"An alternate reality where flies rule is simply incomprehensible to us. So many interacting factors would have to come together to create this reality that we can't even begin to understand it!"
Alternate realities, are all theoretical, anyway. We only just may be able to get a glimpse of insight into whether or not parallel universes exist with the Hadron Collider back online. . .or back on time (and space)! But parallel universes are really only debatable philosophically.
Today when I was driving around Niagara Falls with my mom and son I almost thought I could see Niagara Falls as if I was a tourist. There were a few brief moments where I was almost able to see through new eyes.
These moments were fleeting. I think it must be nearly impossible to have a comparative opinion about the place you were born and raised. If I had come from Japan or India or Nigeria, I could imagine what I might think of Niagara Falls. A beautiful vacation spot--like the many I have witnessed in other parts of the world. But since I am from Niagara Falls, the spectacle is forever coupled with my entire life growing up here. Instead of seeing Niagara Falls in it's pristine natural beauty, the view is forever marred by that crappy first job I had in the Skylon tower and the summers that were spent behind the scenes in whatever restaurants would hire me. I am reminded of that time I went up the service elevator and hung out in the unfinished Hilton Penthouse and an ex-boyfriend who bragged about throwing opened containers of cream at tourists on Clifton Hill. I remember a brief conversation with a too skinny stripper who had stepped out onto main street for a smoke and a friend who had lived in an apartment above the same strip club and told me about how he was once warned that he was pissing off the Hell's Angels with his ecstasy sales and house parties.
Growing up in a tourist town makes you forever an insider and an outsider. It kind of spoils the illusion of things. . .
Maybe there is an alternate reality somewhere in which beautiful things are just beautiful. Maybe there is no time and things can not blossom or progress or diminish. Maybe the word ephemeral is incomprehensible to the minds or senses or whatever cognitive mechanisms are employed by such a place's inhabitants. But can that be real beauty? Would inhabitants (if there were any) be able to acknowledge it? Can beauty exist in a vacuum? Would such a reality necessitate an opposite alternative reality?
If it were possible to enter a parallel universe and stick around for long enough to study what it was like, all of our studying would still come with the baggage attached to our current experience of life on Earth. . .and this would probably be a great injustice. When we are self interested and only see that which may be beneficial for us, we miss the bigger picture--a picture that may provide great insight and wonder, expanding our consciousness and humanity. Instead we impose what we know in all of it's ugliness so what we want can be ours. Our tendency has been to humiliate, assimilate, murder and steal. What could be gained instead if we opened our minds and observed?