Just when you were sure you had it right, along comes Qualm, that down spinning nagging Quark. There is no absolute certainty when Qualm is around. It may be too much to suggest that Qualm is the origin of the uncertainty principle, but there is a hint of apprehension, a feeling of faintness, an ounce of uneasiness and even a smidgin of scruples of conscience, when that Quark appears.

Of course there are those in the cosmos who definitely deny that they have any Qualms at all. There are those who are morally superior, the holier-than-thou types, who know they are right and are keen to let you know they are always right. And there are the amoral who do not accept there is a right or a wrong for that matter. So what is there to feel uneasy about? Live, love, laugh at the ludicrous laws of the universe.

But Qualm has an important role to play in the making of meaning. With a Qualm there is an opportunity to pause, peruse the problem again, and check if the charted course is the correct one to take. Over confidence can end in catastrophe, and Qualm can help to prevent that particular possibility.

It is not an easy experience, having a Qualm. Some may feel momentary sickness, others are mired in a more morbid mood. When there are many Qualms it has gone beyond butterflies in the stomach, it is a case of existential dread.

But without a Qualm there could be chaos, confusion, complete conformity to cosmic control. Perhaps, then, Qualm is the gentle guidance of the prime principle of comic kindness. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’. Before you leap into the unknown, look, listen and learn how what you do may affect others. Qualm allows the possibility of doubt – perhaps this may be wrong – perhaps it could be a mistake. Perhaps Descartes might have said, “I have a Qualm, therefore, I am.”

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