When we're a wake
Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash Pun by Mike Wolf on Hangouts
For reasons that I think will be fun to figure out, this pun delights me.
Q: When does water reach the highest level of consciousness?
A: When it’s a wake.
I am the creator by some reckoning, and the pride of authorship explains my delight.
But that’s not true.
I was there, and I can tell you that’s not what happened.
I have no pride in authorship—only delight in the pun’s existence.
How it happened
I’ll start this story at the moment when the idea that a pun using “awake” and “a wake” might be funny appeared.
Where did that idea come from? I don’t know. It was just there. It appeared in consciousness, like everything else, as if by magic.
So I had this idea—this intention to make a pun. The punch line was clear in mind: “When it’s a wake.” And an old joke appeared in consciousness: “When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar.”
So the pattern that arose was, “When is some kind of water not that kind of water.” But nothing good appeared. Then a meta idea about the consciousness of water appeared.
Specific ideas matching that meta idea appeared, and I—or my mind—said “no” repeatedly. Until the one that’s written appeared and got a “yes.”
So that’s how it happened.
A more comprehensive story
But how did that initial idea appear? And where did the desire to turn that intention into a pun instance originate? And what produced the mechanism that did the work? To answer those questions, we need to start earlier.
13.75 billion years ago, the universe exploded into existence. It was the Big Bang.
For about 9.25 billion years, the matter in the universe evolved. It started as almost pure hydrogen with a bit of helium. Eventually, it cooled enough to make stars. Then, after billions of years, they went nova and produced all the elements needed to make our sun and the other things that go around our sun, including the planet where I’m writing this. And eventually me.
It took some time.
Once the planet was formed, it took a few billion years to cool enough for life to appear. And then it took about 3.75 billion years of biological evolution to get to me.
Biological evolution is tough. It’s hard for the survivors and deadly for the rest. Along the way, there’s pain and suffering and death. But eventually, I was born and began to evolve.
It took more than 76 additional years of evolution for that pun to appear. It would probably not have arisen but for an evolving interest in meditation and the evolution of a small community of people who would appreciate the intended pun once it appeared.
Why would they appreciate it?
Why would I think that they would?
The answer to this—and all other questions—is the same: 13.75 billion years ago, the universe exploded into existence, and…it’s how the universe evolved.
I enjoy that pun. As soon as it appeared, it filled me with delight.
In some sense, it makes no sense. It’s not a great work of art.
Yet, I believe that it pleases me nearly as much as anything I have ever created would please me.
The mysteries and the magic
So these are all mysteries.
How did the intention appear?
How did the pun appear?
How did I know that others would like it?
Where does all this come from?
What is making my fingers type this sentence?
It all just appears. As if by magic. By a miracle.
I live in a universe filled with magic and miracles.
Your very existence is a miracle, and so is mine.
Quantum information is conserved. That pun must have been inherent in the quantum wave function of the universe after the big bang, which evolved until the pun manifested itself.
The purposes of the universe
Yesterday the universe fulfilled one of its purposes: that pun appeared.
Today it fulfilled another purpose: this post appeared.
Was it worth it?
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