Monday, February 20, 2017


We have heard of the five W's and 1 H:

  1. What

  2. When

  3. Where

  4. Who

  5. Why

  6. And How

These are the English interrogatives and Wikipedia labels them a formula for getting a complete story about something.

I was surprised by Ezra Bayda's explanation of the power of What to focus attention on the current moment.  I have been watching for abstractions of thought and imagination, facing the fact that honor, duty, yesterday's experiences and what is likely to happen tomorrow are all abstractions, often helpful, maybe essential to human operations but still not real in the same sense that this desk is real.  

You may be familiar with "The Power of Now" and Eckhart Tolle's emphasis on the value of being present in the now.  So, when?  Now!  Sometimes.  But when my greatgrandson wants to know "When will I be an adult?", we kick the concept of adult around a bit, do a calculation and try to indicate a time in the future.

You know that is what they say dogs always answer to the question "What time is it?" "Now!"  But my greatgrandson has dreams and plans to be accomplished in the future and refuses to live like a dog.  (Probably couldn't if he wanted to, too bright, too spirited, too intelligent, too inquisitive, too language-conscious.)  He may develop some tools for stepping out of the imaginary flow of time, as Yogi Berra did:

Manager: What time is it?

Yogi: You mean now?

He may study scales of measurement and conclude that this is 2017 on a time scale with an arbitrary zero point, approximately the year of the birth of Jesus.  He may find that there are something like 60 calendars in use in different places and that we don't really know when When started.  

So, when?

When I tell you to

When hell freezes over

In 20 minutes

Next year at this time

How many times do I have to tell you?

Let me get back to you on that

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