I appreciate the view that the universe is a collection of random events and probabilities; that the universe itself is a random event. There’s something, though, that I recognized as a kid, but couldn’t put into words then. (It’s not that easy to state even now.)
Of all the quadrillions of interactions between particles and forces and waves in the world, why is it that some of them register? I am aware of things that happen and have happened, but why am I aware of them?
Why do they register with me? Why is there an “I” to know events? What is it?
A near-eternity of events transpires in the universe, and I am aware of almost zero of them. But I am aware of an absurdly minute piece of them. Why? Why is there something here to observe anything? And what the Hell is it?
When I ask “why” here, I’m not just posing a philosophical question. I’m asking: what is the mechanism by which anything at all is observed and remembered, and where does it come from?
You can put atoms together all day long without making something that has awareness of its surroundings and learns from its experiences. Awareness is its own proof of something deeper than the material—call it what you want.
(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)