The Japanese artist Hokusai painted the 36 views of Fuji in the early 1820s. Under the Wave off Kanagawa is his best known work. I recently went to the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and saw The Great Wave, and the other works.

What is there about the Great Wave that fascinates us? I know I have a internal dialogue when I gaze at it, mainly about the wave, its height and force and movement. Fuji is almost incidental. The boat with the fishermen is also hard to see but important. The wave and the fishermen are fighting each other, with Fuji as a distant, silent witness.

What is this internal sense in me that tells the story of the conflict between the boat and the wave? It is what distinguishes me from every other animal — my storytelling ability, my sense of the meaning of things. What will I do with this storytelling, meaning recognition capability? Is that an important question? Who can answer it? How will I know that they are telling the truth? How do I know that I am telling the truth?

Add your own questions please.

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