The fast lane


‘Beep, beep…bbbeeeppp!’ If you’ve travelled to India, you’ll recognise this sound. I’m telling you, Indian drivers are more sonar than bats are! And ‘beep’ is just the start; lorry drivers have spent hours perfecting the art of much more elaborate horn tones.

We’ve all been in this situation, haven’t we? I can’t speak for ladies, because I’m stuck in this male body for now, but here’s the thing…you get the new car…then what happens? I mean, I was living in Glasgow some years ago, and was never known for being too wild. Ok, perhaps after a few coffees I might start getting a bit frisky with the DNA electrophoresis, but I was a pretty ordinary chap. But then, for the first time in my life…I got a new car.

After a few weeks of getting a feel for my new VW friend (the carwash novelty took 6 months to wear off), I found myself sometimes ‘just cruisin‘ the sparsely populated Byres Road of the West End…’oh, there’s a slightly larger group of people accumulating at Iceland…get the tunes on and the window down.’ I look back and laugh because I really did adopt a different persona whilst driving.

I have to share something with you…I went for a wander earlier at lunch time, and I had to hide my ‘cringy face’ as I passed by the gym…one guy with a fresh new haircut was really letting the old school garage rip. I just felt for him, you know. We’ve all been there guys. Dude, just chill.

So, this post has got something to do with consciousness by the way…the question is, what are we doing when we’re ‘acting up’ in our new BMW? Actually, all that’s happening is that we’re in a piece of metal and pushing our foot on a rubber thing, that makes the big piece of metal move by a complicated mechanism that we don’t really care too much about. But that’s not all folks…

Even if you’re in a tiny banger of a car, subconsciously you’ll still be making value judgments, such as ‘I don’t care about material things.’ Or let’s say you’ve got a big SUV family car like in meet the fockers…sometimes it screams, ‘don’t mess with my kids!’ You see, we just want the feeling of associating with certain qualities that are somehow attached to that specific piece- and shape of metal…often we don’t care how it works (and if we do, we get a kick of knowing we know’).

Two questions for you:

  1. Did you create your body?
  2. Do you know how it works?

Interesting hey…by the way, if you answered ‘yes’ to question 2, please make an atom, then a functioning cellular organism (from ‘scratch’…and whatever ‘scratch’ might be is up to you to find out)…then come back to me. For everyone else who answered ‘no’ to both questions, let’s investigate a bit further into this.

We possess bodies which we move about all the time…Richard Dawkins calls us ‘lumbering robots.’ But hold on, are you moving it? And if so, who is that person? Where are you in the body? Crazy to think about this, hey!

In the car analogy, you, the driver, are merely desiring to move, and so put your foot on the pedal and turn a wheel. Could it be that the same is happening in your body?…that is, you are desiring to do stuff, and then your body moves.

This might all sound a bit complicated, but my point is simple…in life, do the mechanistic parts of the body cause us to move, to think etc? In this case, there would be no you, but just an illusion somehow…or, is it the case that the actual driver of the body, you, desires to use this machine called ‘the body’ in order to try and fulfil our life goals?

I’m not saying that we have the power as conscious entities to make our bodies operate, but the analogy carries in that the machine is already in place…we are born into it. Then we try to have some fun in it the best we can, just like the boy racer who’s got his window down and pumping out old school garage tracks. But here’s the clincher…you didn’t create your body, so why have you got that one, specifically? Based on your life habits, is there another body that would now be better suited for you to enjoy in? Welcome to the world of karma and transmigration of the atma (self). After all, if you love chowing down on dead meat, it would be much more exhilarating and gratifying to have a cat or dog body.

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” — George Carlin

Ryan's a scientist with an interest in explaining the unexplainable. After all, that’s what gets scientists going. He loves talking about the mysterious nature of the universe, and how it is that life ‘just works!’ Isn’t it amazing that you don’t have to bark orders at your leg to move every time you walk, or that you need not constantly panic that you haven't made your heart beat for a while? His writings delve into the question of ‘what is consciousness’, from scientific and philosophical perspectives, and get everyone's brain buds jumping around with excitement at the possibility of a future science that knows no bounds.

Discussion1 Comment

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.