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Later, babe . . . - Hurtling Butt-First Through Time [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

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Later, babe . . . [May. 26th, 2016|12:59 am]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
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I was trying to 'splain at some people how until you can say with certainty where God came from or how the Big Bang occurred, you really can't say anything about who we are, why we are or what we're doing here.  Until we know how we are here, there can be no "why" we are here.  They of course skip over the "how" part cause it's hard and thorny and insoluble.

I likened their stance to standing on a ladder that goes higher than you can see and disappears into a murky fog below you.  They are perfectly happy taking the ladder for granted, "No, we can't see what it's resting on or if it's resting on anything, but that's not the important part.  The important part is to deepen our understanding of these few rungs that we're standing on and clinging to."  I tend to think that until you understand what the ladder is resting on, you cannot say you understand anything else about it, no matter how "deep" and detailed your analysis.  But, be that as it may, it reminded me of a time I was on a real ladder, a wooden one, that I could not see the top of and, the bottom of which spiraled into oblivion below me.

A friend of mine and I were exploring old mine shafts around Mineral Creek, New Mexico.  These shafts went horizontally into the rock face of a mountain on different levels.  Drilled into the top of the mountain in a few places were vertical shafts connecting all of the horizontal ones, presumably for ventilation.  In these vertical shafts, which were large enough for a grown man to move up and down in without skinning his elbows, were wooden ladders affixed to the wall of the shaft.  Being an old mining operation, the ladders were well built and securely fastened, but they tended to sort of spiral because a lot of attention had not been paid to keeping them perfectly straight up and down.  That didn't seem to be a problem.  The scary part was that, this deep inside the mountain, it was pitch black without a flashlight.  Thankfully, we had a few with us or we never would have made it to the back of the mine where the ventilation shafts were.  But after we'd climbed a couple hundred feet up the ladder, if you shown your flashlight down, the ladder would just spiral away into blackness and the same if you shined it upward.  This wasn't as scary as it might sound because every twenty, thirty or forty feet you could get off the ladder and wander down a horizontal tunnel that we assumed eventually led outside (there would have been no other way to create them).  We eventually saw light getting in from the top where the shaft came out of the top of the mountain.  Unfortunately, at the very top part of the shaft that was exposed to the weather, the wooden ladder had rotted and water had seeped into the surrounding rock and frozen, making it crumbly and treacherous.  So, we just backed down to the last horizontal get-off we had passed and went out that way.

The point is the sensation of being on the ladder in the air shaft and watching it spiral away into pitch blackness in both directions.  I've been there, done that, for realsies.  However, in that instance, I knew where the ladder started and I found out where it went and it was attached to the rock wall by someone who knew a lot more about rock wall anchors than I did.

For whatever any of this is worth . . .
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