I had a recurring dream as a child that, at the time, I thought was either driving me into madness or would last unto infinity and the dream would never end. Maybe that’s one and the same, but whatever.
The dream was of a man in what seemed to be a laboratory. He wore purple robes and he was rummaging through his desk for something. An Igor-like assistant in ragged black clothes would come in and ask him if had found it yet. The man in purple would scowl and then cross over to another desk and dive into that, pushing things aside and tossing trash out in a mad search for whatever it was.
Eventually he pulls out the object: a strange, batarang-shaped, slender thing. He declares, “I have it! Come, Igor, let us watch it again!!” Apparently the slim batarang was a futuristic DVD that my 1988 self had dreamed up, whatever. The man inserts the batarang-disc into a player. The view of the dream goes from 3rd person to 1st person as the man in purple as I see static on a television screen and a picture begins to fade in. The picture is of a man in what seemed to be a laboratory. He wore purple robes…
This picture would loop endlessly as part of the dream. No, my parents did not lace my Count Chocula with LSD. During the dream, I would be almost overwhelmed with a panic that I’d gone crazy and this sensation would never end.
This is what I imagine being a scientist researching the Higgs-Boson particle feels like. The building blocks of the universe, all matter, everything that was and will be – you’re trying to get a glimpse of all of that, yet I should think that someone would ask the next question: what is holding the Higgs-Boson particles together?
If you keep breaking down the pieces, you should be able to find a smaller part that makes up the bigger, correct? A person is made of cells. Cells are made of atoms. Atoms are held together by protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons are made of quarks. And so on and so on.
I don’t want to sound negative or defeatist by the discovery of the building blocks of life, but doesn’t that have to be made up of something else, too? For the most part, quantum physics is beyond my ken, but the search to find the little pieces seems to me to be the same kind of search that adventurers, astronomers, and explorers have taken the path of for centuries: obsession. Ahab & the white whale or Poe’s Montressor & his lust for revenge are no less a quest with obsession than finding this piece.
The good thing, however, is that I share the sentiments of Dustin Hoffman’s character in I ❤ Huckabees, as seen here:
What I want to hear in the future, then, is what the building blocks of dreams and thoughts are made of – are the neural synapse firings and electrical activity in the brain all that compose a thought? Are dreams made of a different matter or antimatter?
Sorry, that’s more questions than answers. 🙂