I've been inspired by an old grammar-school sentence, "That which is, is.   That which isn't, isn't."   You present it without punctuation or capitalization to someone and vu has to guess its meaning.   The meaning is a profound declaration about how people view the world.   I would like to expand on it.

Objects that exist are real to objects that exist.   Objects that don't exist are not real to objects that exist.   Objects that exist are not real to objects that don't exist.   So we can deduce, objects that don't exist are real to objects that don't exist.   This points out the arbitrariness of existence.   People assume that things they can't see don't exist.   But that assumption implies we also don't exist.   Indeed, assuming existence or non-existence can only be arbitrary.

So what does this mean?   Well imagine this conversation which opens with you and I sitting and talking in a room:

me: Do you see the pink sheep running around?

you: Of course not, pink sheep aren't real!

me: Yes, but they are real to the other pink sheep that are running around.   You just can't see them because, well, you're not a pink sheep.

you: Well fine, maybe pink sheep could exist, but you still haven't prooved that pink sheep actually do exist.

me: Well you haven't prooved to me that pink sheep don't exist!   You see, you assumed from the outset that pink sheep don't exist.   And suddenly it was my job to find proof that the sheep exist.   And if I didn't find proof then somehow that would proove your own assumption that they don't exist.   Fine, well then let's play a game.   I'll assume that the pink sheep do exist, and in the tradition of science I want you to find the proof that they don't exist!

you: That's easy, the pink sheep don't exist because I can't see them.

me: Well the sheep can't see you either.   Does that mean you don't exist?

you: So what if they can't see me.   That's just because they don't exist!

me: But wait, remember that we're assuming they do exist here.   And you've gotta proove they don't exist.   And you're proof, if you come up with one, can't rest on the assumption that the sheep don't exist.   That would just be a cyclical argument.

you: Fine, well maybe I can't proove that pink sheep exist, but that doesn't proove that they do exist!

me: That's exactly my point.   If you come at it from the god perspective, you can't proove the sheep exist one way or another.   As a human, the best you can hope to do is make an assumption that is more or less useful to you.

you: Well then I guess I assume that only things I can see are real, or detect with my senses I mean.

me: Well that's pretty good, but what about radio broadcasts?   You can't see them but they're real too aren't they?

you: Hmm... ahh... I know that radio broadcasts are real because I can see the results if I listen in on a radio.   Plus I can produce a radio broadcast with a transmitter.   So even though I can't see the actual radio waves, I know they must be real because I can see the results.

me: I see.   Let me ask you this though.   If you went back 200 years in the past and claimed to people then that there are invisible objects called radio waves going through the air, what would they think of you?

you: Well they'd think I was crazy.

me: But you know full well that radio waves are real!   What gives?

you: Well, maybe if I could make a transmitter and a radio they could see for themselves that radio waves are real.

me: So even though radio waves are real, no one would think they are real until they can actually see the results.   Right?

you: Right.

me: So how much faith can you put in your own assumption that what you can't see isn't real?

you: I guess not much.   But wait a minute.   There's a difference between your pink sheep and radio waves.   Even though humans can't see radio waves, there are in fact physical waves of energy that are radio waves.   But even if you could detect your pink sheep somehow, they still wouldn't be physical in any sense.

me: Heh... I'll tell you right now that that attitude is simply the result of brainwashing from certain veins of modern science.

you: Oh really?

me: Think about it.   How do you know that this table is physically real, that there's some real substance in it?

you: Well I can see it, and it stops my hand when I touch it.   I can even hear it if I hit it.

me: Right, well those are all just effects aren't they?

you: Effects?

me: Ya, you are able to tell the table is real because of the effects it produces.

you: So what's the problem with that?

me: Well let me ask you this.   Native American witch doctors used to prescribe smokes and sweat baths to get rid of bad spirits and take in good spirits.   But today we know that spirits aren't real, that they're superstition, right?

you: I know I'll regret saying this, but right.

me: It might surprise you to learn then that the Native Americans thought the spirits were real.   If you asked them why they thought they were real they would give you a bunch of effects as proof.   Here, let me teleport in a Native American from 500 years ago so he can tell you.

Native American: Hello guys, what can I help you with?

you: How do you know spirits are real?

Native American: Well, first off, when someone has an sadness spirit in them, you can see that they are sad.   They do sad things.   Plus if that sadness spirit is removed during a ritual the person becomes happy again.   It only makes sense that the sadness spirit must have been there.

you: Hmm... well maybe you can see some of the effects of the spirit.   But you can't actually see it.   I mean, there is no physical substance that it is made of is there?

me: But that's just the point isn't it?   You see effects of the table and assume there is some table matter causing the effects.   The Native American is just doing the same.   He sees the effects of the spirit and assumes some spirit matter is there.

you: Well I have a much more rational explaination.   The guy got sad because he was bored with life.   Then the ritual made him happy just because he expected it to, what science calls the placebo effect.

Native American: Bah!   The placebo effect is just a superstition.   How do you know the placebo effect is real?

you: Well expiriments have shown that if you give a pill to someone they get better even if the pill is just sugar.   Vu gets better because vu expects to.

Native American: Yes, yes, we know all about that.   But you're wrong, it's not caused by the placebo effect, its caused by spirits.   Some spirits work in your head, some in your body.

you: Hmm... I think I'm beginning to see the point.   Wow, spirits are just as real as physical matter or the placebo effect.   It's almost like if you believe something is real, then you start seeing the effects of it, and that just confirms your belief that it is real!

me: Right, I'll teleport the Native American back home then.

Native American: See ya earlier guys.

you: But wait, not everything can be real.   Isn't it possible to believe something that doesn't produce the effects to back it up?   Let's say someone thinks if vu closes one eye for an hour then a pile of money will appear in front of vu.   After it doesn't work twenty time in a row, you'd think vu'd catch on.

me: You'd think, wouldn't you.   But really that just confirms that you have to choose beliefs that are useful to you.   The person you're talking about has choosen a really unuseful belief since the money will never appear.   But people have done some stupid things in the past.   Doctors once thought blood letting was the solution to most sicknesses, but doctors today believe blood letting decidedly made the patient sicker.

you: I guess another example would be the whole witch craze that happened not too long ago.

me: Right, today we believe there is no such thing as witches.   But back then, they believed there was.   Even after thousands of innocent women died, people didn't catch on.   People's belief was stronger than reality.

you: Hmm... well anyway, I kinda feel like we're diverging a little here.   How is all this going to help me?

me: Once you understand how things become real, you can create whatever you want from thin air!

you: What?!

me: I'm only half kidding.   Remember how people thought radio waves weren't real until someone invented a radio and a transmitter?   Well, if you say that the people exist, and the radio waves don't exist, then the radio and the transmitter are like a conduit between that which exists and that which doesn't.

you: Are you suggesting then that you could make a conduit between the pink sheep and us too?

me: Boy that's a tough one.   I guess I would have to be wouldn't I.   But how would you do that?   You would need a device which could show you the effects of the pink sheep, a pink-sheep detector.   But before you could do that, you would need to know what pink sheep do in the first place!

you: Well regular sheep don't do much but sit there and make sounds.

me: Then everytime someone hiccups, we'll say that happened because a pink sheep was in the room.   Hmm, I have the feeling there is something more here.   I'm going to go think about it and get back to you ok?

you: Ok, see you later...

John LeFlohic
February 25, 1999