At this very moment you
are reading. You are consciously/unconsciously processing the linguistic information
, making your brain shift through various pulsating neural states
. The Grand Cosmological Freak Out
occurs when you realize the mechanics and the limitations to the process of being an intelligence. For example, the question of conscious decion making.
Do you make decisions or are you predetermined? If your answer is that you do indeed make decisions, then how do you make these decisions? Do you decide to decide? And then decide to decide to decide? Our conscious impulse eventually appears to be an illusion of free will, sort of guiding us through life on a string that we appear to be pulling.
Then there is the problem of language. We all make the transition from a zygote to baby and then we have a seemingly blank canvas of neurons on to which we imprint ourselves. How do we develop from something resembling a fish to an intelligent creature? Our childhood functions as our neural programming phase where we are subjected to constant trainging of our neural nets. This process can be summarized as a feedback loop where our specially grown clusters of neurons (in conjunction with our bodily functions and heartbeat) recieve disctrete (read: computable) information via language and sensory data, and the feedback is both physical, social, and emotional from our environment and fellow human beings. This process never stops until death.
The problems inherent in language are the way that anything is completely fallible. These problems are closely correlated with the limitations of computational systems (incompleteness). Everything we try to express (truth, beauty) finds its root at how we were originally programmed to understand that expression. In other words, everything we use to describe our universe, numbers and letters, while paralleling natural processes quite closely, eventually break down into nonsense and become unsolveable.
Not to be too mystical, but The Grand Cosmological Freak Out occurs when you realize that being a human forces you to be confronted with inherent paradox at every step. The reactions to it have largely been expressed by humanity already, the western tendency to pick apart and subject to generalized principles, the dogmatic approach of attributing things to some cosmic force greater than ourselves (sometimes given human characteristics, ie GOD), the eastern tradition of embracing the paradox and shunning intellectual reasoning (ie Zen).
My personal reaction to it is to question everything that says it knows what it's talking about, keep a sense of humor, and hold a deep reverence and awe at every single snippet of the universe. Of course, what's a snippet? What's a universe? What is everything!? Sigh.