Thursday, February 21, 2013

Schrodinger's Cat

I never like to take shocking, TMZ type current events and twist them into writing points for the blog but this Mindy McCready tragedy has weighed heavily upon me.  And the reason I'm writing about it now is that, as I am about to publish Chapter 3 and then 4 of 'The Rock' over the coming weeks, it hits a little too close to home.  

Schrodinger's Cat is a paradox in quantum mechanics proposed in the 1930's by people way smarter than me but it somehow seems oddly and unshakably applicable to my thinking tonight.  

The crux of the theorem, at least from a philosophical/non-mathematic perspective is that if you put a cat in a sealed box, it exists in a state of neither being alive or dead until you open the box.  

What I've taken it to mean in my own life is this.  All of us have good and evil within us; creativity and destruction; the sacred and profane; beauty and sorrow; hope and heroism but desperation and despair as well.  And I'm not sure that we really get to choose which state we'll be in when the box is opened.  

But what I do know is if we're in the later state not the former, what we don't get to do is take anyone down with us.  

The tipping point for me was reading an article about how, when Ms. McCready murdered her dog before she took her own life, it was not an act of malice.  And though I'm sure it's just a sad attempt of spin control from the PR machine, do they really think we're that daft and easily persuaded?       

Did you know that human beings are the only species on the planet that can choose not to live?  We're the only ones who can willfully and deliberately kill ourselves, the lemming myth and others aside.  

But we're also the only species that, when death is certain and the box is totally open, possess the desire to damn others to our fate.  And therein lies the real tragedy. 

Don't believe me?  Mortally injure a member of a pride, a flock, a rafter, a lodge, a gaggle, or a herd and see if, in their dying breath, they try to take others down with them.  

I'm no philosopher, no mathematician, sociologist or historian and I don't know when in our evolutionary arc we lost our sense of community but lookit, if you're going down, goddamnit, don't take your dog... or your cat... with you.




Anonymous said...

Interesting you of all people would judge what takes a person down, and what doesn't. What should, and what shouldn't. And once again your wisdom, that you so eloquently espouse, comes down to the life or, in this case, the death of a companion animal. In this tragedy, forget the parents, the children, did you hear about the dog? No personal attack intended, but you have lost little compared to many. Count your blessings.

Anonymous said...

Her murdering of her dog angered me too. The solution? Make arrangements ahead of time for the re-homing of your companions. OK, it was suicide. But most people contemplate suicide long before they do it. If you are terminally ill, you make arrangements for your animals. Suicide is the most terminal illness one can suffer from. Did she think she was acting selflessly because she didn't want to imagine her dog left in a shelter? Did she think the dog would be waiting for her on the 'other side'? I can understand if the animal were ancient or ill and could not survive in another home. Then have it given rest in a humane way. But to destroy a life that had the potential to live on and enjoy life? That, to me, seems the height of selfishness, even beyond her own suicide.

Anonymous said...

I agree!