Mortality as Paradox

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Mortality as Paradox

Mortality is paradox: “I am aware that I will become unaware.” You can say it but never understand it. Time is paradox: if one could fully isolate a moment there would be no given continuity from before to the next, all identity, including the percipient’s, would dissolve. And how brief or long can a moment be? So we must impose an identity and invent ourselves — but “who” imposes or invents anything when we vanish? There are many angels-on-a pin paradoxes in the history of logic. They are still separating mathematic and imaginary mustard seeds now, tossing rice at the frozen marriages of the mutually exclusive, but the puzzlement is no longer academic when it comes to our life. Zeno’s paradox, Kant’s antinomies, even Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, all the great and manufactured “problems” are like invisible chess games yet — do we really have time to play? When logic leads to its violation a plume of intuition escapes as in a noiseless explosion but without heat or fire — or are the fireworks then their tracers our dreams? The collision is our expectation meeting the mystery when the imagination’s arc ends as it begins in awe: the incept-flame of novelty. Children and the wise have this in common: they honor the unknown but love the light more than the space between stars.

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