On gods and dogs

I do not know what a starting point should be. There are many famous bloggers and famous atheists. I’m not here to follow them or even to follow in their footsteps.

This blog is just about how I see and experience life. You don’t have to like it. As a matter of fact, I’m not writing this for you.

Today I worked, out in the heat. It’s hot here. Over 100 degrees. Say what you want about climate change, I just have to live in it, whatever it is. It has been hot here before but that is never any help. Sweat is sweat. I am building cabinets for my living room. They are not special, except that I’ve built them by hand. My father gave me a truck load of tools, so I have what I need to do the job. The heat makes it slow sometimes, but I soldier on. I find that when I’m building things I have time in my head to think. I know it’s hard to imagine that, but I do find time to think, so my mind wanders a bit while I’m physically toiling away. It is cathartic in a way to see the results of your efforts in front of you, yet disturbing to find that your mind has time to do other things while you are desperately worried about keeping all your fingers where they belong.

I stopped for a dinner break. A full stomach slowed my work a bit. In one of the moments that I was being slow I remembered a thought I had long ago. At one point I thought about how the number 5 might be considered some magical number. All mammals seem to have five digits on the end of each of their four limbs. Even dogs. I did say ‘seem to have’ rather than assert that they do. Just the same, it seems some kind of magic that so much life has 5 digits, whether in use or not. Religion does not explain this while evolution does. This was important to my personal journey.

Gerrrrrr, that’s not the point, but I suppose it helps explain my varying thoughts. At one point I noticed the dog’s water bowl was low. I have one of those water cooler style watering systems for the dogs. So I took the tank thing to the kitchen sink and began to fill it up with the sprayer hose. It takes a while so I was standing there and in a moment of clarity I heard the noises that it makes. A whine from the water being diverted to the sprayer hose, some drips as the faucet did not run fully dry, and the splashing sound as the sprayed water plummeted to the bottom of the tank. For some reason I thought about each sound. Each is comprised of pressure waves that end up being sounds to my ears. Then with no announcement and great precision the physics and the math of each sound event swarmed in my head. The sounds almost appeared to be visible math formulas floating toward me. I did not understand them, but I perceived  then as the physics that work together to make the sounds. Yes, that was confusing, but imagine seeing the math for the physics of the sound that you hear and you will understand. No, I was not high. Synesthasia of a sort I suppose, but I think maybe all people see these from time to time. It was not long before I could see the physical action of each drop of water being forced through tubes and pipes, and then the math symbols for each drop of water as it moved along the path. It was sort of like the movie “the Matrix” when they are looking at the matrix on a screen. A bunch of passing symbols.

That is when it hit me. My dogs are afraid of thunder and lightning. They do not understand what it is. I do. I see the symbols in the air when it happens and I ‘enjoy’ watching thunderstorms. In my mind’s eye I can see the the electric charges building, then erupting with an explosion of plasma as the light begins to streak across the sky. I can see the pressure waves build as it moves faster; the boom as it explodes around the streak to create the thunder ‘bang’. I find even the simple knowledge of what is happening exciting even when I cannot actually watch all these things. My dogs, on the other hand, they don’t have that knowledge. They feel threatened, and behave as though they are threatened. I see it as my duty to calm them, try to communicate to them that it is no harm to them. It is nothing… even though it might at some point be harm to them. This feeling of responsibility to them made me think. I thought how comforting it must have been when the first person told others that there is a person in the sky controlling those bolts of light and they only harm bad people. I wonder how easy it would be to ally with a person who could explain the world in a way that made sense? Science tells me why things happen while religion tell me that god is punishing people with storms.

My dogs are happy and healthy. I do not know how to make them understand lightening. I can make them feel and behave more calmly. They do not cower from it. I didn’t even have to tell them there is a man in the sky… just that it is okay and that we’ll be okay. Next up: hot air balloons.

  1. October 31st, 2011

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