Friday, March 29, 2013

The transformational nature of matter

Definition of TRANSFORM
a : to change in composition or structure
b : to change the outward form or appearance of
c : to change in character or condition : convert

Definition of MATTER
a : the substance of which a physical object is composed
b : material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy

Image courtesy Cellar Door Films - WANA Commons

 I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the transformational nature of matter.

Not thinking in an Einstein-ian sort of way, or even a Sheldon-ian (Cooper) sort of way... more like thinking about stuff and such in layman’s terms in general and as a writer in particular.

See we live in a sort of self contained bubble called the Earth (in a microcosmic sort of way) and also in the galaxy and the universe (in a macrocosmic sort of way). All matter, every single thing that was ever created or will ever be combined to create what we as puny humans will call a “new creation” have and always will have existed in this contained structure.

In summary, there is nothing new under the sun.

So, if there is nothing new since the original creation, and there will be nothing new ever again, what’s going on? How is anything EVER made? How are we born?

Into this comes the idea of “TRANSFORMATION”.

Image courtesy Cellar Door Films - WANA Commons

Matter exists. Period. All that we see, feel , hear, smell... all these things are matter. At the point that we first encounter a thing it has already gone through whatever process was necessary to combine its material substance into some sort of corporeal existence with which we can interact.

Take water.

Combine enough “H” and a little “O” and you got the wonderful wet-the-whistle liquid they say is required for life.

But turn around. Look away for a while.

Now, look back. If the temperature has dropped enough that water you thought you had seen is not longer there. It has changed. It has “TRANSFORMED” into ICE.

Now look away and look back a little later.

If the temperature has changed enough in the other direction that ICE is now VAPOR!

Incredible, right? Three totally different states for what we had thought was just one type of matter that could never ever possibly change into another state.

But it did.

It transformed, and if we were patient enough we could watch the transformation right before our very eyes.
But... did the individual components of that matter ever at any point get totally destroyed?

Yes, some. But not all. Never.

And even in the “destruction” of the matter, there really is not utter and complete destruction. In fact, there was actually a little bit more of that strange “transformation” going on.

Freeze it, boil it, heck you can even take it apart using electrolysis... but it’s still there.

So what does that say about us? We humans?

We are at first two totally separate components. Sperm and egg.

But add those two together under just the right conditions and we get the miracle of “CONCEPTION”.

Now that is one heck of a transformation.

And it doesn’t stop there. We’re born, we grow, we learn, we mate, we live and then... we die.

What then?

What comes after the greatest transformation ever?


It’s amazing to think that we are allowed to live in this world, this bubble, this hothouse that gives us all that we need to live for what is comparably a very short period of time.

But once we are done with this place, when this place can no longer sustain our ever transformational needs, we will GO ON. We will be moved to a new location, leaving behind these earthly trappings.

But... to where?

Where is this next place? That is THE question, isn’t it?

For me, as a human... when the time comes, that is... I will be very anxious to find out.

For me as a writer, these ideas are what drive me to write, these existential musings and imaginings of what is and what is to come. The idea of TRANSFORMATION.

What drives you?



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