OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS I have been asking myself 'Why am I writing a blog?" I have also wondered what I have accomplished by spending time, almost daily for the last twelve months, in the bloggisphere.
To answer the first question I am resurrecting my very first blog:
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 sev71enty-one 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; and then there is the Tea Party. 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.
To answer the second question, this blog really hasn't accomplished anything for me other than a chance for me to actually publish something; though, I think the act of writing has probably been cathartic for me and having been read is a real bonus (and I thank those of you that check in on me for that.) In the scheme of things,however, this blog has become an obligation and has tended to cut back on my reading of real books - an avocation I greatly value.
So where does that leave me? The question is still unanswered: IS THE HOOKEY POOKEY REALLY WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT?
You honestly don't ponder your mortality until the end is forseeable; and then you tend to take stock of who you are and where you have been. For me, life has been a blast - I have crammed at least two lifetimes of adventure and accomplishment into my seventy-one years. If it is true that your life flashes before your eyes at the moment of death, then mine will be a double feature.
Don't get me wrong; for the moment I am still healthy (just old.) I ride my motorcycle, make love to my young wife, eat what I want, drink beer and wine and whiskey, and enjoy the outdoors.
BUT, I live in the woods and I was sitting outside the other night at sundown and marveling at the sky above the dark spruce trees: the background ranged from light blue to dark purple with florescent clouds in shades from pink to orange; I listening to the sound of the first cries of night birds; and I deeply felt that it has been a wonderful privilege to have spent a brief existence on this beautiful planet.
It will come to an end for me , as it will for you, and eventually for the universe. And is there meaning for our existence? I would have to say no - but we are fortunate to have been here.
My advise: don't get to hung up on all the annoyances created by the cretins of our race - sit outside and watch a sunset and realize that life is not about nationalism, politics or religion, but about a chance to live in and enjoy a brief moment in time.
Just put your right foot out
Put your right foot in
Put your right foot out
And shake it all about
Do the Hookey Pookey
And turn yourself around
That's what it's all about.
I will occasionally post if there is something worth saying.
In the mean time, there is coffee when the whiskeys gone, but there is whiskey for tonight. - (Dave Mallet)