Whtnymllr’s Weblog

Profound musings of a High School Senior

The Rubik’s Cube and Philosophy September 10, 2008

Filed under: Philosophical Musings — whtnymllr @ 5:58 am
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On Sunday, I found a Rubik’s Cube on the desk of my mom’s home office. I don’t know how it got there or why I picked it up. For some reason it caught my eye. I was in a hurry to get to church–as usual, I had slept too long and was going to be late. I put it in my purse and rushed out the door. By the time I got home, I had forgotten it completely. When I emptied my purse and rediscovered the conundrum several hours later, I decided that I was going to solve it. I was not going to wait. I would not give up. I spent the next four and a half hours perusing such sites as the Rubik’s cube website and youtube.com in search of a mentor to help me in my quest. After coming oh so close to the end and having to start over in frustration four times, I managed to solve the stupid thing. I was (and still am) quite proud of myself. I had made it to the top of the mountain and the view from that vista was quite superb. What was I do to now? Well mix it up and solve it again of course! This time I used a slightly different method. I found a website (http://www.wrongway.org/cgi-bin/cube/cubexcgiin?!sel-6) that allowed me to input the current configuration on my cube and it would spit out the moves that would allow me to solve it. I didn’t look at the cube, but rather just followed the directions without looking at the cube. When I finished about a minute later, I was shocked to look down and see a solved cube in my hands. Rather than ecstasy, I felt disappointment. The view from my sunny vista became bland and uninteresting, the most obvious feature being the gigantic oil stained helipad right smack in the middle of it. Only the most experienced need use my trail now. My once pristine mountaintop paradise had been polluted by the incoming multitudes. How could I feel achievement after expending next to no effort?

One thing that I believe with all my heart is that life requires a full spectrum to be interesting. You can’t feel true happiness unless you have felt sadness; no light without dark; no goodness without evil. The second time I solved the cube had not been satisfying because there was no challenge whatsoever; I hadn’t even looked at it during the process. How could I derive the slightest satisfaction from something that had presented me no hardships? We work at things that challenge us or give us pleasure, not things that are easy or uninteresting. As humans, our time here on this earth is limited; every moment is precious. We should not try to fill our lives with pointless ventures that take as little time as possible, but rather slow down and take the time that it takes to derive true enjoyment from our lives.