Sunday, August 22, 2010
Ol Buzzard's Introduction
Physicist speak of the beginning of creation as the Big Bang, a time when an indescribably dense point of nothingness explodes, throwing out matter which creates an expanding universe. I suppose we could describe the end of creation as the Big Suck. This would be a time when all matter returns in upon itself, forming a gigantic black hole and finally shrinks again to some minuscule point of nothingness.
The time of the Big Suck is really not far away. As a matter of fact, I have come to believe it is at the end of MY foreseeable future. You see, this is the way it works: It's like Schrodinger's cat. When I die, you people are gone - there is nothing left. If I can't see you, you don't exist. My death is the Big Suck. As my reality shrinks like a heavy star into a cognitive black hole from which nothing returns, so goes creation. You're snuffed. Time and space converge into nothing.
It isn't anything to get concerned about, because nothing is the natural state of things. String theory speaks of many dimensions so our little time space continuum is like a fart bubble in the ocean - insignificant and brief in cosmic time.
With this entire heavy nothingness in our foreseeable future you might wonder why I feel the need to sit down and write my take on this paltry existence that we call human life. The only explanation I can offer is because I have an orderly mind. I plan before I act; I weigh consequences and look at contingencies. I even make a list and keep a diary. Therefore it follows, as the night the day, that I feel the need to place my sev70enty years on this earth into some sort of order by cataloging my observations and experiences.
Franz Kafka said that the meaning of life is that it stops. Monty Python said that the meaning of life is - there is no meaning of life. Victor Emil Frank said the meaning of life is suffering. Abraham Maslow said it is experience. Then, if you really want to cloud the water, you throw religion into the mix. It's confusing.
My favorite explanation comes from Buddhism Plain and Simple, by Steve Hagen (thank you Steve.) Steve poses the question that perhaps we are intelligent creatures living in a meaningless world. The answer, of course, is yes... to the meaningless world.
However, I find it a real stretch to imagine any life-form that could twice elect George W. as the leader of the free world, as intelligent. If you have illusions of man as an intelligent creature just attend a Pentecostal church meeting in Kentucky or West Virginia where they pass around the poisonous snakes; or, check out the glazed looks on the faces of the congregation of any television evangelical program; tune into any political convention; go into the Bible belt and talk about the origins of mankind; or, watch young Arabs throwing rocks at Israeli soldier armed with automatic weapons. Suicide bombers, war and genocide - the list can go on and on. Can we link intelligence with our species? I think not.
Where am I going with this? Hell, I don't know. My intention is to look at all the aspects of human existence that came into being with my birth and will demise with my demise. I feel, because I see my own demise as imminent, I have the enlightened detachment described by the Buddha: the ability to view existence from an empty space, a place without prejudice, religion conviction, or political correctness. In other words: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...I'll call it a duck.
In case anyone is interested - I plan to post weekly.