8 May 2014

The Conversation

'I don't believe it is possible to say anything that has not already been said.'

'Oh? How about Bedornywobblespiemajabbits with a squirlytabbletoo?'

'Ah... well I don't believe that it is possible to say anything meaningful that has not already been said, even though the precise words may differ.'

'Hmm.... So what should we talk about? What should we do?'

'I really don't know.'

'Why should we bother?'

'I don't know that too.'

'You mean either?'


'Well squirlytabbletoo.'

'And squirlytabbletoo to you too.'

'Hmm... Another drink could be a good idea, in the absence of a better one?'

'Please' ...

'There are the those who say that every possible thing always happens and we just experience one possibility, although an almost infinite and ever increasing number of other versions of us experience all of the alternatives.'

'I know. So they'd say that in some version of reality everyone in my street has just run naked from their doors screaming 'Yumple is a Bumbler'?'

'Some professional quantum physicists would say so.'

'And in another version of reality the naked ones are screaming 'Yumple is a Bop'?'

'Serious thinkers do say so, although not in such specific terms...'

'And in other versions of reality the naked nutter neighbours are all saying each of these things but with saucepans on their heads, while at the very same instant in Italy the Pope has just stood up and said, 'Stuff this for a game of soldiers I'm going to become a drag queen,' while hopping on his left leg, oh, but on his right leg in yet another version of, eh... reality?'

'They are not joking, these quantum theorists, you know.'

'And in another...'

'Yes, yes, I get the idea.'

'It's nonsense isn't it?'

'Some clever people would not say so. Professor people.'

'Some clever professor people are mad.'

'Perhaps, but in some versions of reality they are considered sane.'


'Damn fine, this drink' ...

'So what are you going to do next?'


'Ah... still being silly playing around with the crazy old Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics are you?'

'Some of me are.'

'Oh, just stop it, you're becoming irritating.'

'Many of me have stopped it, just not this one.'

'Stop it.'


'Thank goodness for that. So are you going to keep writing?'

'Yes and no.'

'Stop it!'

'You'll just have to see which version of the universe you end up in, won't you? With me, writing, or not writing, writing rubbish, or writing quality,... Anyway, as for me, I'll be seeking out the versions of existence where I can find some sort of peace and contentment, that's all.'

'You? Which one of you?'

'Now you stop it.'

'Well good luck.'

'Yes good luck. To us all.'

'If luck has anything to do with it.'

'Or fate?'

'Or chance?'

'Or freedom?'

'Nobody knows, eh?'

'Nope. Nobody. Not a single one of them.'

'Or us.'

'I feel a bit squiffy.'

'So do I.'

'Another drink?'

'Please.' ...

'Why do you keep banging on about all the things we don't know?'

'Because we don't know so many things, yet so many people are so certain of so many things.'

'Like they know there is a God?'

'Which they don't know.'

'Or they know what an electron is?'

'Which they don't know.'

'Or they know how life began?'

'Which they don't know.'

'Or even where in the universe it began?'

'Which they don't know.'

'Or actually anything about what the matter and energy in the universe actually is?'

'Which they don't know anything about, really, ultimately, deep down. Or why it is... They don't know that too.'

'You mean either.'

'Or the nature of consciousness?'

'Which they don't know.'

'Or whether or not we have freewill?'

'Which they don't know.'

'But things fall downwards rather than up, don't they?'

'Ah yes, in the absence of intervention.'

'And aircraft fly thanks to our knowledge of engineering?'

'Oh yes.'

'And they know how to make computers work, don't they?'

'Indeed they do, which totally baffles me... but some people do.'

'And anaesthetics are good, aren't they?'

'Oh yes.'

'So it's all quite useful then, this science and engineering and medicine?'


'That's a good word.'

'Thank you.'

'But we don't really know what anything really is, deep down, or why it is there, or how life began, or what a conscious mind is, or whether there is a God, or Gods, or other manner of Interveners or if we are truly free?'

'Interveners? That's a good word.'

'I made it up.'

'But we should be a bit more humble, eh?'

'But so many people feel they have to adopt a position. They just have to have an opinion. They can't bear to admit that they just don't know.'

'And why do you think that is?'

'Because adopting a view, whether right or wrong, may have been a good survival and mental stability strategy throughout evolution, perhaps?'

'Do you think so?'

'I don't know.'

'Ha ha! Red wine time now?'

'Oh yes.' ...

'Anyway... It is what it is and we are what we are.'

'But did we have to be? Did we have any choice, really? Do we?'

'Oh, there you go again. Stop it.'

'Can I?'

'Just stop it.'   ...

Have you stopped at last?'

'I don't know.'

'Oh deary, deary, me...'

'Fate, chance or freedom, eh?'

'Or some complex mixture of the three?'

'And to not be, or, instead, to be?'

'We'll see.'

'Well, we'll not be... soon enough.'

'But some say we'll be forever...'

'And forever... and forever... with no Amen.'

'And if that were so I think that every day I would begin just thinking, oh no, not again.'

'And then?'

'The same again... again... again...'


'Worse than death.'

'Other than, perhaps, just death again, and death again, and death again...'

'Oh... But no. I'll go... I think.'

'You'll go and not think, don't you mean?'

'Ah yes that's true, back to being nothing.'

'Where, before, we all have been.'

'Well, not been. Just have not been. You can't be nothing.'

'No. I suppose not, so...'


'Oh... I don't know.'

'Just go.'

'To where?'

'To nowhere.'

'Can one to nowhere go, though?'

'I just don't know.'


'The same again?'

'Please, and perhaps again and again, and again...' ...

'So what did you do today?'

'Well... when I awakened back into this mystery of consciousness I was depressed.'

'Do you have to be so damn wordy all the time?'

'Well I woke up depressed.'

'So what did you do about that?'

'I stayed in bed, drifting into and out of the mystery of sleep, pondering the nature of it all and...'

'Yes, yes, yes... So you stayed in bed.'


'And did that help?'


'So what did you do then?'

'Remained in bed, depressed.'


'Until eventually I dragged myself into a warm bath.'

'And did that help?'


'And then?'

'And then I forced myself up, and out...'

'Feeling depressed?'

'Yes, until I found something needing done, and so I started to do it, reluctantly, on a computer, at a desk.'


'And then I began to feel better, and quite cheerful, and optimistic even, as I did these things that needed to be done and talked to people and exchanged opinions and ideas about things.'

'Did you get a lot done?'

'Quite a lot.'

'And now?'

'I feel okay really, but I am fearful of awakening tomorrow morning and feeling depressed.'

'And if you do, what will you then do?'

'Stay in bed and be depressed, probably.'

'You never learn really, do you?'

'Not really.'

'You're a bit of an idiot really, aren't you?'

'Oh yes.'

'And do you not have anything cheerful, or funny to say? You're almost making me depressed.'

'Ah... Cheerful... Funny... Next time, perhaps.'

'I could manage another drink now.'

'Me too.' ...

 'Well... Sunshine? Surely sunshine makes you happy?'




'Eh... Being in green countryside on a warm day?'


'With or without a silly wee white ball to hit...'


'Laughing with friends.'


'Maybe over a pint or two.'



'Nothing else? Good food? Films? Novels?'

'Oh... Food's okay, I suppose, but more of a requirement than fun for me. Films don't interest me much these days. They're all so crap and fake and implausible. Novels? Well, they're all just made up nonsense mostly...'

'So... Sunshine, sex, greenery, laughing and maybe a pint or two... Is that the sum total of things to be cheerful about for you?'

'It's all that comes to mind right now...'

'What about all the rest of it? The rest of life? All of your existence?'

'Mostly just a chore to be tolerated really...'

'While waiting on the sunshine and sex and greenery and laughing and maybe a pint or two?'

'Yes, and if they all came at the same time that would be worth the wait.'

'Have they ever?'

'Eh... Let me think... Four of the five have, I think. If I'd had a pint in my hand I would have spilled it...'

'Ah well... Still something to live for eh? Still a challenge out there for you to go for the five star treat.'

'Oh... and writing rubbish.'

'What about it?'

'I like that too.'

'So how are you feeling right now?'

'Quite positive actually.'

'You bloody joking?'

'No. I think I've been getting things into a more appropriate perspective and have been remembering that the future can be an opportunity to develop rather than necessarily an abyss of disasters to fear.'

'You’ve been on the booze of course...'

'And some people offered me praise today and I accepted it at face value rather than wondering what they were scheming, and that was before the booze.'

'Ah, it must be the happy pills then. What ones are you on?'

'Not on any at all. I've just been managing to unload all of my exaggerated troubles off of my back and remember that the past has gone, and it can't be changed anyway, but I may have some ability to shape some of what is yet to come, and it might not all be bad. What a thought eh? Some of it might even turn out to be okay, or even... just even... quite good.'

'You really are joking me, aren't you?'

'No. I'm just looking forward to tomorrow now.'

'You're drunk. And feeling quite happy?'

'Reasonably so... Quite content and positive, at least.'

'In this world? In this life? In this damn universe? You must be bleedin' mad!'

'Yes indeed... I think that's the secret isn't it?'

'Ah... Yes... Keep it up lad. You keep it up.'







Elephant's Child said...

Sometimes wine o'clock is truly helpful.
Other times, not so much.
Another bloody uncertainty. Will it help? Yes, unless it doesn't.
Hope begins in the dark...

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Tea o'clock is better, actually, usually, I find, and less likely to get me into trouble.

Claude said...

Zut alors! Une autre conversation á la Sartre. Le monde en a marre. Parlons de la pluie et du beau temps. Ou taisons-nous!

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

It is raining Claude, here now, but always somewhere, thankfully, for it refreshes the world, which is never tired, although some of the people on it are, and some are even tired of me.

Claude said...

Wonderful! Your understanding of French is really good, Andrew. Félicitations!

My mother always punished me when I said ZUT. It's not such a bad word. And I thought it would be a new one for your part of the world. Much better than SAPERLIPOPETTE.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

I can make sense of written French fairly well Claude, having achieved a Higher school qualification in it many years ago, but as spoken it flows way too fast for me and my attempts to speak it usually end up in a terrible tangle, other than basic survival level phrases sufficient to get me around Brussels and Paris when I used to visit on business. If I was lucky enough to have a reason to spend a year or so in the South of France I'd probably pick conversation up quite quickly, but that seems unlikely.

Claude said...

If you would come from the South of France, we, in Quebec, would understand but not speak your French. And you would even be more mixed up than you are now.

It's already great that you could catch the meaning of my nonsense comment.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

And great that you can catch the meaning of my nonsense comments - thousands upon thousands of words of them, so far :)