Aurora Borealis – a 100 word story
The northern lights wanted to play with the sky, but it was not feeling that playful, so they descended the earth and tried to play with the trees instead. The trees became tired since the lights were too fast for them so the lights had to let them go. They tried to play with the earth instead but it was too hard and dry. As the lights began ascending the sky, a bird started singing to them. That delighted the lights so they started singing themselves. You might still hear them singing to this day if you listen very carefully.
Hi there and thanks for stopping by. I’m Guy, and you’re listening to my surreal sketchbook of reality.
Episode 12, The Lights Were Too Fast
Sentience is your sense of self, the knowledge you exist. Consciousness is the idea of being awake and in the real world. This episode Is a semi-philosophical look at sentience, consciousness and the interaction between them. I’m not a professional philosopher by any means and my approach can be quite absurd, illogical and not at all that serious, so – you’ve been warned. Do not take this podcast too seriously. If you tend to take things too seriously, this might not be the podcast for you. Seriously. I mean it. Find another podcast to listen to.
You’re still here? Good. Let’s talk about sentience and consciousness. You know you exist, at least you think you do. You can see and feel your own body through your senses and you are aware of your own thoughts. Your senses might not be as reliable as you think (and we’ve seen that on previous episodes) but you spent enough time with yourself to know there’s definitely something there. There is a “you,” isn’t there? It’s not as clear cut as it seems. It would be easier if your consciousness was continuous, but it isn’t. Your mind is prone to wander off in a daydream and in sleep, it seems to be somewhere else entirely.
Dreams are like a break in consciousness. Even in dreams, you seem to be self-aware of your existence, but when you wake up, none of it seems real anymore, sometimes including your dream self. The state of consciousness in the dream state is so different than the waking state of consciousness, that you can start questioning which is the real state of consciousness. While it is a common conception that the waking state is the real state of consciousness, that is a hard thing to prove. We just take it for granted, but then, how real is real? How about someone who has lost consciousness completely and is stuck in a constant state of dream? Is his reality less real than our reality? How can you be sure that you are actually in a conscious state? I’ve been dreaming of taking a break. I’ll be right back.
The Red Yak of Destiny – a 100 word story
The Red Yak of Destiny is an understanding god. When we need crops for the winter, he gives us crops. When we battle with the Twotelgloo tribe, we win. Last summer, I went and asked The Red Yak of Destiny for a son, but instead, he gave me a daughter. I got angry at him. I went back to him and said: “you gave me a daughter when I asked for a son.” He just smiled and asked me to bring my wife. Next summer I had two sons. Sure, they have long red fur and horns, but they’re mine.
Welcome back. You are aware of yourself even when you are inside a dream. You can think, though your thoughts may be scattered and disorganized. Your sentient dream state is different, surreal. In fact, surrealism was originally inspired by dreams. In dreams, the disjointed nature of thought is more obvious than in the wakening state, but your everyday thought is sometimes just as disorganized as your dream thoughts. Thoughts wander from one topic to another and your awareness of your surroundings sometimes conflicts with your preoccupation with your inner turmoil.
You do know you exist, even if your thoughts are sometimes random and your consciousness is questionable. In fact, you can’t really know for sure if you’re conscious. Knowing that you exist, your own sentience can be summed up in a single sentence, I think therefore I am, even though I might be unconscious. That way, sentience, and self-awareness might exist even without consciousness. This whole existence of yours might actually, be an ongoing dream. This concludes episode 12 of this podcast. Close the door on your way out and don’t forget – I’m just a figment of your imagination.