Beginning | Ending

You might think these two concepts need no explanation. But they do because the meaning of these words depends on how we use them. They can be misused and cause confusion if we don’t realize that their precise meaning depends on the viewpoint.

For example: if we are discussing sleep. At one point we are awake and at another point we are asleep. And in between these two different states there is a point of transition which may be faster or slower. At one point sleeping ends and waking begins. So the same point. the same moment, can be described as both an ending and a beginning. The ending of sleep is the beginning of awaking. The ending of awaking is the beginning of sleeping. We can give two apparently opposite names to the same state of affairs.

If however we are discussing the sleep itself, then the sleep has a beginning, a duration and an ending, this ending being the beginning of reawaking.

You might be thinking, so what? You may think that in practical daily life it doesn’t matter if we use these concepts imprecisely. But it poses very difficult philosophical and scientific questions when applied to enquiries such as “the beginning of the Universe is the ending of what?”.... Or “when you as a person ends, what is that the beginning of?”.....

We are stuck for answers. So the key issue is: are there beginnings that are not the endings of something else? And are there endings which are not the beginnings of something else?

Or must every beginning be an end to something? And must every end be also the beginning of something.

If so, we can relax more and live with considerably less tension.

Last edited by admin .
Page last modified on Wednesday 11 of June, 2008 [12:59:12 UTC].

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