Skip to main content
Sep 1, 2014

"I am an aerodynamicist. I ask myself, by subscribing to aerodynamicism and providing mechanical explanations devoid of conscience, am I committing a murder against air? What if the air's motion is the embodiment of conscious acts with feelings?"

Have you ever thought of the mechanics of a murder? Yes, the mechanics of a murder! Given an object with 50 grams of mass at point A, with a velocity of 400 m/s, the time it takes to reach point B, which is 4 meters away, is approximately 10 milliseconds. When this mass reaches point B, it contacts a surface that can sustain a maximum of 90 m/s2 acceleration. Because the momentum of the 50 gram object is high enough to overcome this limit, it penetrates this surface. As it cuts through the target object, its kinetic energy is converted to heat. Eventually, the 50 gram object comes to a stop, but the path it has opened now becomes filled with a red-colored, non-Newtonian fluid whose density is 1060 kg/m3 and whose viscosity is 3.5 x 10-3 Pa.s. When this fluid flow stops due to a process called agglutination, or commonly known as clotting, the whole system achieves a steady-state behavior, i.e. all motions come to a halt.

"All motions come to a halt": that is death. This explanation could be the murder of your parent who was assassinated while working for the good of your country, or your family members who were martyred during a war. And this scientific picture made of dead words cannot portray the love and sorrow gushing out of your eyes. But I can tell you where your love and sorrow can be found.

Loving means being vulnerable, and you know why? Because when you love someone, their presence stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the hormone that lowers the threshold of feeling pleasure and pain, thus you feel pleased and hurt more easily. Your emotional devastation is nothing but an accumulation of dopamine in your brain. Just wait until it diffuses completely. As the common wisdom says: time heals everything.

Loving also means bonding, and you know why? Because when you love someone, their presence stimulates the release of oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin is the hormone that accompanies the feeling of serenity while with your loved one. It also functions in pair bonding and fidelity. The terror in your mind and the brokenness in your soul in the aftermath of your loss is only a hunger for oxytocin.

What did you say? My explanations would not console you? See a psychiatrist and take some pills to balance your hormone levels. Don't worry. Everything is going to be all right.

That's Enough!

I cannot take it anymore. I can't go on with my life when one side of my being is tortured by the other. Did you, too, feel tormented by the explanations I just told you? These words are coming from the cold chamber of science, where all emotions are to be kept dead-frozen. Isn't it a murder in itself?

I am an aerodynamicist. Calling myself an aerodynamicist recalls an ideology that hasn't been named, that doesn't exist in encyclopedias: aerodynamicism. Aerodynamicism has its own dogmas, rules, methods. It tells you that air is just another fluid whose behavior can be studied through mathematics and experiments. So, I ask myself, by subscribing to aerodynamicism and providing mechanical explanations devoid of conscience, am I committing a murder against air? What if the air's motion is the embodiment of conscious acts with feelings?

Perhaps I should listen to the air itself, instead of what others say about it. Maybe I should at least give air a chance to show me that it is actually alive, that it has emotions. So I stand atop a hill overlooking a bay. I keep silent, and try to remove the scientific knowledge that is clogging my ears. And I start hearing something:

It is the wind. As the air approaches my body, it slows down, forms a stationary layer right around my torso. Around this layer, it paces gradually towards my back. Behind my arms, it forms small vortices that are shed along with the wind. What I am hearing is actually the sound of the friction between my ear and the air. And the whistling sound is the vortex-shedding triggered by the separation of the air's flow from the body's surface. Hey, hey, hey... I thought I was listening to the air! This is not air! This is my self, forging mechanical shapes and passing them off as if they belong to air. If air has feelings, it must be very disappointed by my hypocritical pose of listening. I just invited it into my lungs for an intimate conversation, but I aborted that conversation with my scientific thoughts.

I should apologize. With my eyes closed and arms wide open, I allow my whole being to be embraced by air. "I am sorry. I hope I did not hurt your feelings. Are you crying?"

"Crying only ends with the act of shedding tears, but it starts long before when someone hurts the love inherent in creation. I am crying. I want to shed my tears, each like a galaxy, to the expanse of the universe till the end of time. Isn't there someone out there to hear me?"

"Why do you feel so alone?"

"I feel alone because I am different. Although I visit many people and many places every day, it is a very routine interaction going on between me and everything else: mundane tasks to be performed without intimacy. Like the two parties in a business. Once the mutual interests are delivered, the relationship is over. No loyalty, no love. I imagine myself like a chunk of meat going through a meat grinder. This is a meaningless, merciless flow where your identity or existence means nothing special. So, why would I talk to those people about my private world anyway? Instead, just a few words about the weather..."

"I wish I could do something for you!"

"The Creator didn't give me eyes so that I would embrace everyone, good or bad; so that every individual in this world is cared for. So, I would like to become friends and feel the warmth of their presence. Often I ask myself when they are going to notice that I am offering my love by hugging them. At least, I wish they saw my tears upon my separation from them..."

At first, I didn't consider air as a living being! But now, I was learning that air was hugging me! And it was crying, too? Could the mechanical explanations be blinding me towards the reality behind the observations? If that were the case, the flow separation and vortex shedding were actually manifestations of melancholy. How is it possible that I am so distant to someone that is so close to me? My turbulence inside exhibited itself as a silence outside. At least, so, I thought. But I couldn't be further from reality.

"I am used to this kind of silence. Despite their nonchalance towards me, I still care a lot about people. And using the subtle clues in their words and voices, I can penetrate into their psyche."

Someone who knows me better than I? And I can't even see that someone! When and how have I become its focus of attention?

"With their first breaths and cries in life, I start observing them from within."

From within?

"With every breath, I become part of their souls, and with every utterance, I become part of their connections. Sometimes, I feel their inner pains through the trembling in their voices; the pains that they are ardently hiding even from themselves. As I leave them in that state, I break into a thousand pieces. But, the Creator made me invisible. So, none of what I learn about them is revealed to the eyes of strangers. Thus, I make a reticent confidant."

I was totally conquered by these words. I found myself whispering "Not just reticent! You are a reticent and affectionate companion that anyone would like to have."

"People live by breathing, and I breathe by loving; loving even if there is no reciprocity. As life goes on, I think about new people to be relieved of their pain, even if they won't take me as one among them..."

"I love you air, I love you..."