Stephen Hawking’s grasp of our universe was undoubtedly genius and hopefully, his loss is not an omen of the future, as our society withdraws more and more from inquiry and critical thinking. That being said, I’d like to apply my own concerning Hawking’s search for a unifying theory. A super-theory that would unify the hard sciences—reveal the full machinery of existence. It’s impossible. The search presumes an absolute, an ultimate, it’s the same mistakes religion makes. The endless hunt for the “origin”, the first dot with which we might complete the picture. There is no beginning or end, and no way of knowing. Even if so, what does it matter? It doesn’t change the fact that our cells divided themselves into existence, and they’ll divide themselves out. Until this planet looks like Mars, or worse: a starless frozen rock.
There’s never been a problem that couldn’t be solved by imagining a world void of humans.
“Why?” – what a waste of time. Any answer that proceeds it is just as meaningless as the question itself. The word works, yes, but it’s incomplete, it needs something between the h and y, even if it’s just space: wh y. That’s almost better. It’s ceased its lies and reveals its emptiness.
That place where fog kisses sea,
the fading tail of a falling star,
I’m given up my name,
the definition, the decay!
If meaning is mourning then I am jubilant,
I’m all binding without a word,
The love-song particle beams at wave.
Saturn’s ring on god’s cold hand,
the skeleton’s rattle,
pencil notes in ancient history books.
White noise, window panes, seashell whispers.
I’ve made myself a ghost so I can live.
X posted a ridiculous remark on my last essay about how much God seems to enjoy killing kids, Easter. Invoking freewill as their faith-fixer, claiming more or less that God wasn’t responsible for the people he kills—it’s the people’s fault for sinning. An argument that begins with victim blaming isn’t normally something I bother with, but I can’t pass up an opportunity challenge freewill.
It’s not fair to discuss this without bringing up fate. Arguments about “fate vs. freewill” have always itched under my skin, yet for the longest time I lacked the words to articulate what really bothered me and now I think I finally have them.
Would anyone be miserable or suffering, hungry, poor, sick, lonely, tired, overworked, if they could just not be so? Pull themselves up by the bootstraps, as the overused idiom goes. Do we freewill our way into welfare, war, hospital beds and heart transplants, prison, Ohio? No, we’re born into nuanced circumstances which largely dictate the short time we get to experience on this planet.
Fate is just a lazy excuse, it’s useless otherwise. “That’s just the way it is,” “we’re all gonna die anyway,” “why try?” The only people who can say that and mean it happen to be dying quite a bit quicker than a lot of us, and they usually don’t have that attitude about it. But there’s more to fate than just our ultimate one. Let’s say I win the lottery, was I destined to win $500 from a scratch-it? If yes, this implies that there is some meaning or purpose behind my luck though in truth it there is absolutely none.
Any morsel of truth or usefulness is found between the two, the “vs.”. It is the deep dreadful waters of chaos, whose waves lead us in dance to phantom music, dead space clicks, electrons bouncing off a satellite receiver. Vs. rouses us from binary constructs, comfort, ease, and offers us a lens through which we can enjoy the symphony of ideas at odds, bloodying each other’s faces for as long as we persist.
Easter is my annual reminder that Christianity borders on child-death cult, and this year it very appropriately fell on April Fool’s Day. I don’t say this to ‘rouse strong emotions, any casual reading of the Bible will have you mulling over death as it’s mentioned or referenced over 400 times in the English Standard Version. God didn’t fuck around when it came to killing, most of the Old Testament can be summed up in this verse: “Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Genesis opens with mind-games for the first humans, God pit Adam and Eve’s children against each other resulting in Abel’s death. Later, God could only be truly satisfied with Abraham after confirming his willingness to kill his only son. Reminds me of the plagues of Egypt, the climax being, again, the death of the firstborn sons. The second part of the Bible continues the same uninspired story. After Jesus is born, Herod, a ruler at the time, wanted to kill baby Jesus, but couldn’t locate him, “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.” The next 30 years are a Scooby-Doo mystery and the narrative returns when Jesus begins to build his holy entourage. God of the New Testament isn’t about killing everything that opposes Him, just the few who really like Him, mainly His son. But rather than force another cliche death of firstborn, there’s a twist: Christ 2.0. Had Jesus simply stayed dead, it would have been meaningful. As some of the Bible attempts to convey, Jesus gave his life for our salvation, but he rose three days later, and dying and coming back to life isn’t a sacrifice–it’s a magic trick–no different from pulling a chocolate rabbit out of a hat or sawing someone in half. If you can’t die, where then is the sacrifice? So much for salvation. All that’s left is a history of God-sanctioned death and a group of passionate followers, which to me, explains a lot of modern problems.
Men, we are the product of a society that, largely still, says it’s okay to coerce, harass, pressure and make women feel generally uncomfortable or afraid—but that’s not an excuse. This is the year the other half of the population takes back the power we’ve withheld in both passive and aggressive ways. As men, we can either acknowledge that, apologize and change how we treat women, or we can all die off. If we can’t give basic respect to each other, or better still, elevate others despite their gender, then we’re certainly not going to save our planet.
The French Revolution began with regressive tax reformation that burdened workers and lower classes. A few years later those workers guillotined Louis XVI. Forgive me for being heavyhanded. But, what does it take to get a very small group of assholes, who have all the money, to indulge a fucking history book?
Lately, I’ve made a much more conscious effort to treat people better. Not because it’s the holidays or to walk some “higher road”—I started thinking about how I treat people and why. I found myself running a marathon of thoughts. Decades of circumstances all dancing seamlessly, selfishly, and vastly out of my control. So it goes for us all, gears, pins, springs, dials, and hands in a clock without numbers, and in this I find the patience to treat others, and myself, well.