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Existential dialogue 35: determinism in the world

Existential dialogue 35: determinism in the world

Determinism in the world

Determinism in the world / The departure of Baruch, Socrates and Emilies

A dialogue between Socrates the stick and Baruch the heron. Socrates knows he does not know anything and this leads him to ask many questions. He then carefully examines the answers. Baruch spends a lot of time still and this allows him to understand that everyone is unique and particular but nevertheless in relation with others and the universe.

Socrates: Baruch, Baruch, are you here?

Baruch: I’m coming, Socrates, I’m coming, I was thinking about what Heronne told me in her letter.

Socrates: is everything fine?

Baruch: no, she can’t come, her father is sick and she wants to stay in the South to take care of him.

Socrates: so what are you going to do?

Baruch: I’ll go and be with her but it’s not a very good time to make the trip in this direction.

Socrates: in relation to winds, food along the way, places to rest?

Baruch: yes, that’s what concerns me.

Socrates: yet Heronne had decided to come so it must be doable.

Baruch: sure, it is also that I was thinking of building a heronry here with her and I was already looking for suitable places to settle down but all of a sudden, I have to change my plans. I need time to adapt.

Socrates: I understand, life is often made up of the unexpected. My plans have changed too, but before I tell you about them, I hope you’ll still be around when Baguette and I get married. You are invited and that’s why I was looking for you.

Baruch: when is it planned ?

Socrates: at the next full moon; if the sky is clear, it will give us a beautiful light.

Baruch: then I will come as I’ll still be around. And your second news?

Socrates: after the wedding, we will move to the west.

Baruch: you too are leaving the domain! Things are moving fast and changes are multiplying! You know that Aurelius is leaving too?

Socrates: yes, he is going to a workshop.

Baruch: but who knows if he will come back. Like us by the way … I’m a little sad about that, although I know it is inevitable and certainly positive.

Socrates: the mind would like to be freed from change in order to suffer less but change is a law of the world.

Baruch: yes, this is how it evolves and creates new orders but we are its toys and this is what sometimes makes us suffer. Unless of course we accept the change with fervor, in which case we get our freedom back.

Socrates: the freedom to choose rather than to suffer, you are right, even though what can still upset us is the refusal that others sometimes direct to our ideas when they think they are questioning theirs.

Baruch: yet the status quo is not acceptable despite what they would like.

Socrates: it may be that its possibility exists only to force us to choose what we think is the right way.

Baruch: that said, tell me, why are you going west?

Socrates: to set up a project that the Emilies put in my mind. As it turns out, Baguette endorsed it without hesitation, and she has family in Utah who has already started the same business. It will be easier to partner with them.

Baruch: the Emilies will be leaving too! What a void it will create around the ponds, but this is how things go: isolated facts that appear in the distance then suddenly come together and create opportunities. An implacable but often invisible determinism.

Socrates: the Emilies will reproduce here however, I planted a few of them on your advice.

Baruch: then they must be happy and that certainly explains why they are ready to devote themselves to other projects. Which actually consists of what?

Socrates: making and selling calls.

Baruch: for hunters?!

Socrates: no, for bird lovers. We will specialize in rare species and those that do not interest hunters.

Baruch: and the song of the heron, will you offer it?

Socrates: I don’t know yet but if we do, we will go and see you to make sure it’s realistic!

Baruch: with pleasure Socrates, with pleasure. Even without that, you know that you will always be welcome where I am, with or without questions for me!

Socrates: questions for you, I will always have some so you will probably see me regularly.


Why don’t things stay as they are?

For Baruch, this is linked to a determinism at work in the world. A seemingly distant event brings about changes that end up affecting us without our choosing, Our freedom is to embrace this change for the novelty it brings.

For Socrates, change is a law of world that allows it to evolve. Our mind is affected but it cannot do anything about it. This change sometimes puts us in conflict with those who do not see the need for it, but the status quo is not a tenable choice because it puts us in a situation of awkwardness.

Possible discussions?

Knowing and understanding everything, is it desirable?

Is change synonymous with life?


Want to think a little more? See, for example, Chaos, making a new science (with description of the butterfly effect) explained in a simple way by Gleick.

Want to contribute to these dialogues? Write your comments and questions below.

Want to know more about the tastes of Socrates and Baruch ? Their favorite books are in the domain library.


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