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Reality can be understood as an infinite congress of improbabilities; parades of them, intersecting at all angles; improbabilities shaking hands quickly and then moving on to their new improbable partners and eagerly shaking hands again.
How do you do? Pleased to meet you. I’m unlikely and yet I happened too.
It’s indicative of the vastnesses we need to speak of when discussing the universe that we can say an event is both unlikely and inevitable at once.
It’s not likely to happen and also it must.
A handmade maxim I keep in my back pocket goes like this: EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR EXISTENCE IS STATISTICALLY IMPROBABLE
And they are. The moments, I mean. The maxim’s purpose is to remind me to be grateful. It’s a choice I’m making.
The moments are the moments but how I receive them is my choice, or at least I feel like it’s my choice. It might well be that the agency I feel is a farce, that I’m biologically incapable of doing otherwise or that my worldview and actions funded thereof are artificially derived from the environment, that I’m a wound infected by the worm of contemporary culture and that’s fine. I’m okay with that. It doesn’t jibe with my experience. But I’m not going to pretend that anecdotal evidence is sufficient to counter the arguments.
And also I don’t care.
I’m not in a position to influence those things. I seem to be in a position to control my attitude and that’ll do.
I recommend gratitude. Not only because science demonstrates how miraculous (and yes, inevitable) it is that we are here, that we exist, and thus seems to suggest it as a reasonable attitude, but also because I feel like to live otherwise is a kind of blindness. It’s like swallowing your food without chewing.
Gratitude fosters mindfulness, and without mindfulness, human life is a dark slip-n-slide at night. A short, wet carnival ride which ends in death and offers no refund.
These are silly metaphors—the point is you are going to die. You are going to return one day to the nothingness, from which, by all rights, you should have never escaped.
These are stolen moments and you’re a criminal and I’m a criminal and here we all are. Now.