[FutureBuddha (Hunches VI)] 10 Amazing Lucky Breaks Leading to You

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  • Jundo
    Originally posted by Kaitan
    I read a book called "the dictionary of obscure sorrows" the author came up with the word:

    n. a feeling of quiet amazement that you exist at all; a sense of gratitude that you were even born in the first place, that you somehow emerged alive and breathing despite all odds, having won an unbroken streak of reproductive lotteries that stretches all the way back to the beginning of life itself.

    Spanish suerte , luck + fuerza, force. Pronounced "soo-wair-zuh."


    stlah, Kaitan

    Gassho, J


    Leave a comment:

  • Kaitan
    I read a book called "the dictionary of obscure sorrows" the author came up with the word:

    n. a feeling of quiet amazement that you exist at all; a sense of gratitude that you were even born in the first place, that you somehow emerged alive and breathing despite all odds, having won an unbroken streak of reproductive lotteries that stretches all the way back to the beginning of life itself.

    Spanish suerte , luck + fuerza, force. Pronounced "soo-wair-zuh."


    stlah, Kaitan

    Leave a comment:

  • [FutureBuddha (Hunches VI)] 10 Amazing Lucky Breaks Leading to You

    Here are 10 AMAZING HAPPENSTANCES AND ASTOUNDING BREAKS which apparently (given your personal, current experience of being alive, reading these words) led to your being alive, reading these words.

    I pick only "10" such factors but, examined more closely, each is itself a vast set containing within an intricate web of myriad physical, astronomical, chemical, biological, historical and other causational factors and events which (if we uphold our present understanding of how this universe works) were each and all indispensable to your personal birth and current life (e.g., the "evolution" of species includes every twist and turn of life development, from the appearance of first life on Earth through the evolution of complex bodies, then human complex bodies, leading to the complex human brain, all lined up along a twisting path, without a single missed part or process throughout the last 3.5 billion years if necessary to support your current life now. Without any one among those developments, you would not be alive now as this self-aware human you that, I assume, you find yourself being.) According to our present understanding of how things happen in the universe, such happened-to-happenings are pushed along by great storms of chaos, fed by complex and apparently unplanned interactions among disparate phenomena, spiced by a healthy dose of random chance (e.g., as found in the millions of serendipitous sexings in your personal filigree of pedigree, the tangled mesh of ancestors each having to mature, meet and mate while not yet some predator's meat on a plate, all within very narrow windows of time without any one of which conjugal comings together you would seemingly not be here as their descendant, marveling at the constant copulatory coincidences.) Countless a priori links stretching back through time, to the beginning of time, had to be "just so" for you to be just so, pondering your present pondering on this side of the chain in time.

    It is my suggestion in posting this list that (1) at a certain point, the labyrinth of fortuities and coincidences becomes so ridiculously fortuitous and coincidental that one might begin to suspect a "fix is in," that the "dice are somehow loaded," for sometimes the dice are in fact loaded (even if the nature of the possible cheat is not yet fully recognized or understood), and (2) while any thing or being in the universe might think likewise about itself if inclined to ponder the question, the fact that the thing or being pondering the question is not just some thing or being ... but you yourself, this one, consciously and subjectively reflecting right now on your-own-you-ness (something which should justifiably be personally surprising to you in light of the incalculable, alternative ways whereby, given our present conceptions regarding the wild past, it seems that it was ... when viewed from each and every point in time prior to your conception ... immeasurably more likely that there should be no "you" at all existing now to be surprised) ... is enough to tip the balance of the rational into the ridiculous. I believe that we might consider it not unreasonable to posit some possible, special mechanism or process bringing about such an outlandish outcome, to be tested for, confirmed or falsified. Furthermore, your own existence has scientific predictive power, i.e., if there is an as yet undiscovered a priori factor required as indispensable for your life to be your life now (e.g., some as yet unknown property of a particular particle, some most precise strength of a force of nature, some needed evolutionary mechanism, some historical event), then we can surmise the existence of, and test for, that factor and, upon searching, are very likely to find it to have been just so, all based on little more than your being here as proof of its necessity (i.e., if your life right now absolutely depends on some quark having a most finely balanced but as yet unknown spin X and not Y, then that quark will be found to have that most finely balanced spin X and not Y, predicted merely by your life needing X and not Y):

    -1- The various, so-called "anthropic" constants of the basic universe, each to be found within a narrow range of strengths and parameters, all needed for the appearance of sufficient matter in our universe, as well as for all later and higher emergent properties of physics, chemistry and biology dependent upon them. These "finely tuned" (often to unexplained, extremely narrow ranges by many powers of 10) forces and factors include, among a long list of other candidates, (1) the "gravitational constant," which determines the strength of gravity and, if lower, would have been insufficient to allow thermonuclear fusion (i.e. stars would not shine) and, if higher, would have been too attractive (stars would burn too fast), (2) the "strong force coupling constant" which holds particles together in the nucleus of atoms and, if weaker, would leave hydrogen as the only element in the universe and, if stronger, would lead to an over-abundance of heavier atoms, plus alter in ways forbidding to complex life the radioactive decay which heats the core of Earth, (3) the "electromagnetic coupling constant" which might have been at levels too weak to hold electrons in their orbits, or too strong to allow electrons to bond with other atoms, thus preventing the formation of molecules. Seemingly, each could have been quite otherwise, along a wide range of possibilities. There are many others, such as the mystery of "symmetry breaking" whereby matter and anti-matter in the very early universe "cancelled out" in just the proportion called for to allow matter in quantities, not too much nor too little, required for the formation of stars, planets and, ultimately, us.

    -2- The existence of the many elements of the periodic table, all but the very simplest via forging in stars and stellar explosions, possessing the particular atomic properties to form the long list of molecules exhibiting the particular emergent properties (properties themselves emerging in combinations formed among those molecules) that make possible (and are) our own bodies (composed of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and the others), not to mention the molecules needed for the longer list of things on this planet upon which we depend (including the planet itself).

    -3- For you to be this "you," you require this particular planet "Earth," with its life conducive and peculiar characteristics, which globe happens to exist in the narrow "Goldilocks Zone" of a solar system encircling a most finely balanced and light/life giving sun, which planet also sustains (at least for the last 4 billion years as necessary for the arising of life upon it, and hopefully to continue for awhile) the range of temperature and climates, atmospheric chemical constituents, plate tectonics, dry land and water, moon induced tides, shielding from solar radiation and general stability to allow the appearance of life, complex life, dry land life, mammals and men which ... while it may likewise happen countless places in the universe ... apparently does not happen on every planet, let alone in the cold and barren space in between the planets and, furthermore, for us to be us, needed to happen on this very planet because this is our one and only home, the very planet that we need in order to be we (although, we may imagine, things could have gone very differently). In other words, it is unlikely you would or could have been born on Jupiter, let alone in the nearly barren space which is most of the cosmos, or really anywhere but here. Given your present experience of what it means to be "you," and our present understanding of what an individual is, would it still be "you" if merely a life form with identical DNA, and the same phone number and taste in shoes, but born on some "Other Earth" light years away? (Certainly, if such a "you" exists right now somewhere, you don't feel like that person. You only feel like this "you" here. Thus, for "this you" to be "this you" ... the "you" you should be most worried about ... your "this Earth" needed to exist so nicely, not some other.)

    For purposes of the foregoing assertion, and those which follow, I assume (and hope you will agree) that "you" (the particular, self-aware you now reading these words) are the "you" to be concerned about, and not anybody else who might resemble you (based on your personal, unique sense of yourself as "yourself," combined with our current scientific and philosophical conception of human life's biological conception as occurring at only one place and one time to one person from one set of parents.) In other words, even if there were some identical "you" or "you-ish" you-a-like located elsewhere, or even great numbers of them scattered through the cosmos (blokes who, in our current understanding, would be only at most look-alike "you's" because not born to your very particular parents in a very particular timeline of events, in one particular place), then any such someone's existence would do little to explain your current existence experiencing "you" right now. How did "this you" come to experience being "this you" (despite the apparent unlikelihood in this place) even if some alternative "you" is periodically born on a twin "Earth" in this or another galaxy or even within some parallel cosmos? Another "you" somewhere, even if infinite "you's," would not do very much to explain this present "you" that you are experiencing right here and now (the only one we ... you most of all ... are really concerned about, and which seemingly did not need to be on this planet, in this universe, right now, given all that appears to have been required for that.)

    -4- Let us celebrate the good fortune that the process of "evolution" is not only possible in the universe, but commenced on this planet with the exact timing, twists and turns, to move from the simplest life to mammals (alas, condolences to the dinosaurs) to human life and a bodily form possessing the particular structure of organs, including sense organs and brain, to allow "you" to be "you" (not some simpler or other creature which would be incapable of your present self-awareness of "you" as "you," let alone no creature at all thus resulting in no awareness at all), for it seems that in its fantastic diversity, evolution could have wandered off toward any number of species, in water, on land, in the air, but no "humans" at all, thus no very particular human whom you know as "you."

    -5- Please pat yourself on the back in gratitude for the happenstance of a human body, an orchestra of harmonizing organs, structured so delicately yet resiliently, so as to sustain a life and its living brain that is housed within its thick skull for some years and, specifically, has granted you so far the number of years to have allowed this body and brain to be reading these words right now, reflecting on the beautiful balances of the human body.

    -6- Your brain should now consider the fact of a brain, with accompanying sense organs, and a neo-cortex as part of that brain, of sufficient complexity to allow your self-awareness of your "you-ness," able to cogitate and reflect back on all the events of 13.7 billion years of universal history seemingly necessary for you to have arrived here, thinking within this brain. I would suppose that, had we only an insect-like brain, a mouse-like brain, a monkey brain or any brain structure very different for what it is, it would support some mere shadow of a self-aware human "you" at best. That seems like a "no brainer!" (I very much recommend an amazing interview with a noted researcher on human brain structure, fetal development and evolution: https://lexfridman.com/paola-arlotta/)

    -7- You are, in a sense, the environment of this planet come alive in its own reflection, given that a variety of environmental factors in this universe (generally) and on this planet (specifically) are necessary, not only to physically and chemically allow a complex body (e.g., oxygen is required to allow the chemical processes within the living cell), but also function as the triggers to cause you to be a conglomeration of "mirror reactions" to those factors in such a way that your "self-ness" arises and exists: For example, because there exist photons and light of certain frequencies allowing color and other luminescent properties sufficient to have triggered eyes to have evolved in response, plus our visual cortex to process the light into internal images, we can see. Likewise for our other senses (such as hearing adapted to sound waves, touch leading to inner modeling of the subjective feel and dimensions of things encountered, taste and smell as interpretive of the chemical properties of things encountered) without which you would be truly "senseless," blind in all ways to your environment (no sight, sound, feeling, dimensions, external sensations of any kind), thus unable to form a sense of "yourself" as someone alive in a world, an individual somehow within the world yet separate from that world. You would truly be lost in a formless black void, thus perhaps no "you" at all. Even if nonetheless conscious, there would be no demarcation of you from anything else, for no anything else sensed. Thus, I propose, whatever would be experienced would be very much unlike this you that now knows itself as "you" because there would be missing any "not you" external needed to give the internal experience shape.

    -8- Seemingly, human history had to wind around, more or less, in the narrow directions it did, with events occurring close to the pace and places that they did, in order for you to be "you." In other words, for example, if Columbus had failed to discover America in 1492 whereupon, some 400 years later, your Chinese grandmother and Irish grandfather (insert your own country and family history) had not met, married and mated by good fortune after both immigrating to New York City, you would apparently not be here now, a student of history. Alas, this truth seems to include, not only the peaceful events of world history, but also untold plagues, wars, rapes, pogroms, pillagings, earthquakes and other natural or man-made calamities of history that form part of the chain of events. (Again, condolences to the dinosaurs, but we surviving mammals should be grateful for the meteor's fall. Likewise for all the struggle, death, "barely held on" survival and other times of suffering since.) Your Irish grandfather might not have come but for a famine of potatoes, nor Columbus except as the indirect outcome of European population changes brought about by the Black Death. Seemingly, the "historical highway to human and to you" has included its share of drama and tragedy in winding around to your personal entrance ramp. Nonetheless, not a single meteor, plague causing microbe, marching horde or timely tsunami ... not to mention all the required more pleasant events too ... not one, not in thousands, millions then billions of years ... was ever missed if needed for you right now. No course of history, even once, hung a left turn if a right turn was needed for you (as proven simply by your being right here now), nor was it even a second late if needing to happen in that second and not a moment earlier or later. Oh, yes, maybe many chains of falling dominoes might have resulted in the same outcome (grandma and grandpa might have met in Paris rather than NYC even were the potatoes fine; Ponce de León could have discovered America, or Columbus but a few months later), but seemingly so many many more directions in world history would have resulted in Gramps and Grannie never meeting at all anywhere ... thus, no you at all ... and likewise the same can be said for every other a priori world historical necessity as a link in the chain leading to you.

    -9- Not only world history, but your own most personal family history, including the most intimate and private sexual circus within that family history, happened just right for you. As proven by your own heartbeat right now, every single ancestor in your genetic chain survived and thrived just long enough to pass its share of DNA on to the next generation (not a single fish or mouse or Cro Magnon or Mongolian horseman in your family tree ever was eaten by a predator, slain by an enemy or fell off a cliff before having a chance to mate, as proven by your being here, 'ol mate), each and all "getting it on" with the particular sexual partner also now in your DNA, and on the particular day with the particular egg and the particular sperm to have led to all your other genetic ancestors, and on and on until you and your beating heart. The most proximate case is one's own parents who, for example (if I may borrow from my own life as representative) happened to be a bit tipsy (but, fortunately, not too tired and tipsy), after a night out on the town while visiting Chicago in the winter of 1959, having recently married after dad's first wife succumbed to cancer, wanting to keep warm in a chilly hotel room, forgetting the birth control in a bag accidently left in a taxi (their plan being not to have kids), suddenly deciding not to watch a Cary Grant movie on the TV instead (mom, a big Cary fan, was stirred by a love scene ... and so, I seem to owe my very existence to Mr. Grant), doing the act ... whereupon, anywhere from 80 to 300 million sperm set sail, one crossed the finish line and ... the rest is history (although that was followed by a decision to keep the baby, a near miscarriage, plus survival of various potentially deadly childhood illnesses and a serious car accident.) Now repeat equivalent stories back through the billions of ancestor impregnatings covering 12,000 or so generations of Homo Sapien to date, and continue for whatever ancestors came before right down to the tidal pool where earth-life first began. In any case I am here and, more importantly for you ... something likewise is true for you.

    -10- I hope you are aware of the amazing fact that "self-awareness" is possible at all, to wit, there is something strange in the situation you find yourself in whereby (not only are there some alive bodies in the universe, and not only is there our particular human kind of alive body one of which has your particular genetic structure, including brain structure, that is now occupying the physical space which you occupy, but that) this particular alive body where you sit possesses any conscious self-awareness, let alone this particular "self-aware" as you ... not as somebody, or someone else, or an "alternative you" that is not really this very "you" feeling like "you" but not "this you" ... but rather, turns out to be this current "you" who is self-aware, most subjectively, of this immediate experience of being "you." In other words, why need you be the "you" feeling like you at all, rather than this body you now feel as if you are occupying instead containing some other self-aware "you," but not "you" you, or somebody else, or just an automaton or no one? In fact, could not the universe have gotten along just fine with no "you" at all anywhere, or just some copy of you to fill the same space or same body, rather than this very "you" here and now? After all, who really needs "you?" Sorry, but frankly, you seem rather disposable (at least to me, as I am sure you feel differently about yourself.)

    So, all that is what has gone into you being "you" right here and now, rather than not existing or there instead being something or somebody very "un-you." Seemingly, it did not have to turn out as it did if our current view of the twists and turns of physics, chemistry, biology, history and "doing the dirty" are all correct. Yet, here you are. The Big Bang rolled right to your door ... with a lot of meteors banging, hungry jaws banging, guns banging and ancestors banging in between.

    Most of us seem to take for granted the far-fetched fact of our now looking out from our own face.

    I would advise you to change that attitude.

    As well, if finding oneself alive, mysteriously, in the middle of the cosmos on a cozy little planet ... I would advise you to live, and keep doing so as long as the universe will continue to allow.

    And, furthermore, if alive to live ... live gently, beautifully, gracefully, lovingly ... welcoming and appreciative of this life. The past is done, but tomorrow is rather open.

    Even though the past may have included its wars and wrongs, much anger, greed and pain, remember that the future need not.


    Today’s '10 Amazing Lucky Breaks Leading to You' post builds on my previous essays, entitled "Further Hunches" (LINK) and "Even Further Hunches" (LINK) and "Yet Even Further Hunches" (LINK), Still Yet Even Further Hunches (LINK) and Still Yet Even MORE Further Hunches (LINK). If you don't buy the wild notions I toss out there, you surely won't catch what I'm pitching today. The premises of those essays can be summarized as follows (you can read the rest at the foregoing links):

    • There is something special, deserving special explanation, about the fact that, in a seemingly wild and largely random universe, you find yourself to be a self-aware being able now to imagine and contemplate any point in time in the history of this universe, beginning from a moment after the Big Bang, continuing on through 13.7 billion years to the moment of your conception when, according to our currently accepted notions of physics, chemistry, stellar and planetary development, biology and evolution, the intricate sequence of events headed in precisely a direction necessary for your eventual existence despite the seemingly far greater likelihood time-and-time again that any single event amid the ages-long unbroken chain could, it would be thought, have turned in another direction among the vast set of directions which would have foreclosed your eventual existence, all as proven by the simple fact that here you are, alive and pondering your existence and all it required.

    • Although the same unlikelihood could be claimed for any sentient being, creature or thing that has come into existence at this now current moment of universal history, the fact that the contemplator is not just someone or some creature or something, but rather, you yourself now subjectively contemplating your own personal fortune is a special phenomenon deserving special explanation.

    • You are not the winner of a single lottery (something not particularly amazing), but the always and each-and-every time winner after winner of a string of constant lotteries within lotteries, one after the other in sequence and often entwined in complex parallel, stretching through all time from cosmic expansion to sperm meets egg, which unbroken chain of a googol of wins resulted in you, no step skipped or tripped over, bar none, not a single miss as proven conclusively just by your present contemplation of the most personal outcome.

    • This outcome, if more than brute fact, may point to a mechanism, as yet unknown but open to conjecture, which has served to weight nature’s dice, tilt the roulette wheel, limit the possible results, fix the game. If such a mechanism exists, it need not always remain unknown, its nature can be the subject of theory and, hopefully, testing and demonstration.

    • Though beings identical to you, or extremely close, may have appeared time and again in an infinite universe or ensemble of universes where like circumstances endlessly happen, their existence would not explain your existence, here and now, in this place and timeline where you apparently need to find yourself to be this you right here and now. The others might be doppelgängers or twins, but that would be different from this very you which you need right now in order to be experiencing you.

    • While Buddhism is generally not concerned with "where we all came from," being content in guiding us to Liberation here and now however we got here, Buddhism also does not forbid our investigating such matters. In fact, Buddhism is based on certain suppositions about reality, our deep connection and inter-identity with the universe, and even a "built in" system of ethics/Karma, which overlaps with many of my speculations.
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-28-2024, 02:13 AM.