An improvement on the theories of Stephen Hawking
The mind cannot fathom nothingness. It tends to equate it with blackness, which is something, or emptiness, which is the essence and source of everything. By bringing the Eastern notion of emptiness into the conversation, nothingness paradoxically fades into nothingness as the reason for its unfathomability becomes clear. However, before the limitless potential of emptiness expressed itself in myriad lifeforms big and small, those lives experienced nothingness by virtue of the fact that they didn’t exist and hence were incapable of experience, even that of nothingness.
A yawn in the void, a Bang, a whimper, an expansion.
Spirograph patterns of symmetrically arranged stars coalesce into galaxies; nuclear reactors toss sediment into orbit around themselves: planets, moons, meteors — each massive body glued to its rotating corner of the Universe by gravity.
Blast furnace heat rips from craters on a small round rock. Thick streams of molten lava cool and solidify into an uneven topography. A billion year bombardment of rocks and ice from above delivers the raw materials that disperse and combine to form oceans, rivers, atmosphere and strangest of all, life.
Root systems suck at the teet of the planet, feeding, growing, limbs expanding, joining hands until a dense canopy obscures the sunlight from the forest floor that gathers cast off leaves and bark into an amorphous organic blanket.
Below the glistening surfaces of seas, lakes and ponds, imperceptible bacteria swim and swirl, join forces, grow, morph, evolve and adapt. Pores become gills become lungs engender limbs and the journey begins.
The clumsy crabwalk wobbles into four-legged stability. Some take wing, others head for the trees and establish primate communities, hierarchies and social norms on land masses that continue to fissure, split, crash and occasionally float away. A few crane their necks toward the heavens until they stand upright and learn to ponder the meaning of the chaotic magnificence all around.
Crude communication engenders language. Language engenders commerce. Commerce transforms lifestyles of fight or flight into cooperative enterprises yielding plentiful food supplies and an exchange of ideas. Ideas become philosophies become religions become warring factions of the wise and the ignorant. Jesus teaches unconditional love to the West. Buddha teaches unconditional love to the East. Many hear, few understand, but all choose a side.
Discovery runs riot. Fire, wheel, the written word, aqueducts, electricity, steam, transistors, locomotion, automation, the sum total of humanity’s knowledge on a microchip. Science and spirituality join hands creating a road map of perfect wisdom for intrepid travelers, while others live in the comfort of frivolity from those selfsame efforts. Another millennium turns and man finds himself living in a future whose attributes bear no resemblance to his primordial home. His possibilities are limitless. And then…
Vroom vroom! The leader of the free world plays truck driver on the front lawn of the White House while his country descends into chaos, creating an existential threat to every living thing upon the beautiful, blue ancient rock orbiting its sun. “Look, Ma, I’m driving a big ol’ truck! Beep beep!”
The sum total of evolution’s efforts; the end result of 13.8 billion years of creation. Wisdom may not be the essence of the Universe, after all. In retrospect, viewing Universal history as nothing more than a long, strange saga of a bunch of colliding rocks makes much more sense.