A Brief History of Time

bang

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…

truck

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.

16 thoughts on “A Brief History of Time

  1. I love the term ‘a yawn in the void’ for the beginning of all things! Nothingness is one of my favourite things to contemplate, though it doesn’t exactly lend itself to the process. Another really well written post that was a joy to read (but also a reminder that we are all in the hands of chaos).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! I also enjoy the contemplation of nothingness. It’s fun and unnerving, like a mental cliff jump. Some people pass their weekends watching football. Others go out back behind the shed and try to become nothing. Different strokes for different folks…and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like the notion of contemplating nothingness to be a paradox – to contemplate something is to think about it, and yet nothingness is not an “it” to be thought about: it is exactly the opposite of an “it”. Nothingness is the lack of an “it”, and only ever exists when not thought about at all. My brain hurts, but you’ve described it quite nicely- a mental cliff jump indeed. Like staring down the barrel of a very dark gun.
        I remember as a child I used to close my eyes and think about the possibility that heaven didn’t exist, that after death there was nothing at all. I would try to imagine this void, this lack of consciousness, and the thought would bring me to tears. Strange, how things change.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read a quote somewhere over the last few days but I can’t find it now. It was something like ‘god does not exist to make things better or worse for us, only to make things increasingly ironic.’ You can replace the word ‘god’ with ‘universe’ or ‘holy void’ or ‘holy chao’ and it is still relevant 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My God Paul, I love the absolute shit out of your brain. You are so intelligent and such a phenomenally gifted writer – each post you write blows me away. Honestly, this is brilliant (almost too advanced for my pea-brain to handle), but I totally get it. I really do! Evolution has brought us here, and now we are all praying that stupid son of a bitch sitting in that truck doesn’t ruin it all! Pretty sure that not once, ever, even for a second, he looks around and appreciates the magnificence of the universe. He is unenlightened and selfish, and that is why we are all in trouble. Great post Paul!! As usual. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. I feel the need to reiterate that you are the diametric opposite of “pea-brained”. Your wonderful, hilarious, uplifting writing always has the simultaneous effects of giving me a new perspective on things and humbling me with its perfect combination of humanity and profundity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Paul, I meant every word. You make me feel illiterate sometimes because you are just THAT good! Ha! Your perspective is one that I welcome in my life, and am so thankful for. I am not only learning from you how to become a better writer, but a better person. So please keep doing what you are doing – I appreciate it so much! And now let me say that this is one of the nicest things anyone has said to me. Ever. I am honoured that you feel this way about the words I have written and that they offer you a new perspective as well. I mean, wow. It’s really all I can say. And of course, thank you!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent rambling! I did not see that coming. Interesting how the concept of nothingness is contemplated in such a beautiful and existential manner only to be juxtaposed with the moral abyss in which we currently find ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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