Sunday, January 08, 2012


I recall one summer morning in Pittsburgh, circa 1972; I had a dentist appointment at 10:30AM and so had to be up and out several hours earlier than I usually rose at that time of year. It seemed weird to me that the world was still carrying on every day in my absence. What were all these people doing up and about? Did this really happen every day? And if so, why?

I’m having a similar sort of experience this quarter as I show up at the bus stop around 7:15 in order to get to my 8:45 class; it’s still pitch dark at that time but these streets are full of fully-dressed human beings hurrying about on their ways to somewhere. I find it hard to believe that this has been happening on a daily basis all these many months or that it continues when I’m not around, sleeping peacefully, or more typically, lying in savasana at the end of my yoga practice.

I realize that this is a kind of solipicism, but, as a solipcist, why should I be bothered? After all, if that’s the case, anything I might be bothered by is just a product of my own mind, so I might as well ignore it.

On the other hand, suppose that the external world really does exist; that would do a better job of explaining why all those people from Tacoma get off the train just at the moment my bus arrives and clamor aboard, taking up all the good seats.

It’s not that I mind the early morning; as my daughter Mimi pointed out to me, a quarter to nine isn’t really all the early for your average school kid; she’s in class every day at 8:00 after all.

Still, I remain unconvinced that all the activity I observe during those AM hours is actually real; it seems equally possible that it’s some sort of dumbshow those stops when I’m asleep.


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