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Happiness is a state of mind, someone said, and the humanity gladly clung onto the sticky narrative ever since.
Humans are too complicated, but they admire a simplified explanation of things which are intricate and incomprehensible.
The undying longing to find an easy to understand, non-complicated answers readily understood by the same mind, where happiness exists, propelled many of our fellow beings to continue exploring until they reached the most basic version of anything.
‘What is the universe composed of, someone asked?
‘Matter’ came the answer.
And what’s matter composed off, the questioner shot back, prompting an entire body of research with ‘atoms’ coming as the answer.
The questioner continued till we finally set up ‘Large Hadron Collider’ and realized the fundamental particle is too complicated. It’s ephemeral, exits for a nanosecond, and even more challenging to capture.
‘Let’s stop at the God’s particle, Higgs Boson, it’s easier,’ the mind requested.
And so, the scientists are continuing with their research, we the simpletons are happier to tell each other, we all are made up of Higgs Boson, the god particle at the elementary level.
How true is that?
It depends on how strongly we believe in the explanation provided by someone we look up to, the knowledgeable ones, the scientists, and at times the media. However, the last one is losing its credibility too fast.
When Quantum physics came into existence, some thought its pseudo-science.
‘Why can’t they give us an answer in a clear ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’, why does there has to be an intermediate state of ‘Maybe.’
I am not comfortable with that, the ‘happy mind’ retorted.
Heisenberg must have been thinking and working against his own happy mind when he came up with his idea of ‘uncertainty’, which even he knew will be challenging to establish, and even more challenging to publish.
A science magazine will obviously not be keen to tell the world, ‘they are not sure,’ the article may be or may not be scientifically robust or correct.
But, somehow, it has become one of the stickiest theories in science, my personal favourite as well. Even though Einstein wasn’t sure if this was correct when he (in)famously quoted, ‘God doesn’t play dice.’
Well, like numerous quotes incorrectly attributed to him, I hope this too wasn’t his.
So, we are back to square one. On the one hand, the ‘human mind’ craves certainty, it yearns for an absolute answer, something which is simple as well, but Heisenberg seemed to have changed that thought.
He proved that even the ‘Happy human mind’ could grasp ambivalence and live with a theory that may not be as elegant as Einstein’s theory of light and mass (E=mc2).
So, are we really that fussy?
Do we really crave simplicity, certainty?
Or, it’s all just a ploy of the mind to force us to continue exploring, to keep using our curiosity, to be forever in a learning state.
But what about absolute answers?
Don’t they still bother us?
Yes, they do. The uncertainty is everywhere around us. The year which just ended could easily be termed as –
‘The Glorious Year of Uncertainty’
And we all hated it, barring a few maybe. So, can we say, we crave certainty, but confusion or ambiguity is like a pickle which makes the meal interesting, but too much of it is something no one is keen to eat?
A little here and a little, there is more than enough. The meal should comprise what fills my stomach, not what piques my taste buds only.
So, on that indeterminate note, I wish all of you a very sparkling new year. Hope this becomes ‘Certainly’ a year of outstanding achievement for every one of you.
A common question about 2020…
Am I happy the year is over?
Yes, No, Maybe….
I am not sure 😊