> From this.

There is so much you take for granted, that if you wrote them down, surely they would fill all the books in the world. What I take for granted, they would fill a few less, because I have pondered such a thing as not to take the barest functioning of anything for granted. (Work is magic, remember?) The reason for that being one of those cases of where the curse is the blessing; but that sidenote notwithstanding, just like a fish doesn’t know what water is, you generally don’t understand just how much you should really, really be thankful for. For example, we can take just one of our senses, and just one aspect of that sense: seeing color.

In The Color Purple is written how God gave us the delight of the eponymous color purple, and well should we be in wonderment about such a thing. But take the least of all colors, if any can be said to be; perhaps beige: and see how fantastic it is that we can have light that has an emotion (such is color), and that we can experience it. The fact that there are three primary colors that must mix in a particular way to give you that particular shade. That there is a medium through which that color, over there, can travel the distance to meet your eyes. How your eyes can perceive color at all, and that we sense its particularity by countless firings of neurons that make up conscious thought. That light travels and is not stationary. That distance is traversable. That time ticks forward to let things happen… Do you yet see that there are numberless things that make up the least of any experience?

When we try to examine why things are as they are, in the noble pursuits of science, we try and take one by one thing less as an assumption. We try and explain why something happens, and we take one less thing for granted. (We cannot explain yet why it is we can explain things, however. More on that later.) If you are careful in the chain you follow, you can always, at any level, ask why a certain thing is a certain way instead of some other way. It appears that such lines of questioning can be infinite. So, what does it mean, then, to ask indeed, “What if it keeps going?” I say, if it does keep going, and going, then ultimately, what we have is a transcendent phenomenon; and only if it ever does stop dead in that chain of “why” somewhere, is the universe, is creation, ultimately meaningless. And seeing all these reasons, that go on and on and on: we take all but an infinitesimal of them as given, as part of the system, not brought to mind… and there is a reason for that.

With even worlds enough and time, we will never be able to answer it all, especially if it is true that we can always ask why. This is not to say that science is without use; on the contrary, this means science will always be of use. Always to discover why something is as it is, if there always is a reason. But it speaks instead of more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy… We have the barest toehold on what things are, why things are, how they came to be and how their future will progress. And we cannot but take the sum of the great masses of reasons for granted, except for the shallowest of scratches: for we are mere mortal frailty, none of us capable of gathering to mind the sublime coherence of all rationale, dive the timeless depths of meaning held in even a single color, unreflected — the most normal thing in the world.

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