Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Our World Finally Coming To End Of Days?

First of all, notwithstanding the recent flurry of concern and many people being all a-Twitter over passing yet another milestone for the end-game scenario, humankind still remains reasonably intact.

Or in this case, we were supposed to be merely judged on May 21st; I guess probably unworthy and our ultimate demise is postponed until later in October of this year. Although this recent "scare", received scant notice by most people, the issue of the-end-of-the-world theme continues to loom over mankind.

Why do we continue to flinch every time someone with any scrap of a credential utters the equivalent of yelling "fire" in a crowded movie house? Hopefully we haven't been reduced to imagining some giant ticking clock somewhere in the heavens, counting down the precious seconds of our remaining existence on Earth - have we?

How about a bit of fresh air?

I propose another possibility entirely. And I welcome the usual backlash from the left and right to offer a startlingly simple alternative to the world coming to an end yet again. Maybe we're thinking about this from the wrong perspective entirely. Certainly we need to give up the idea once and for all that the universe revolves around the plight of one small planet, drifting around in the back alleys of a rather smallish galaxy we lovingly refer to as the Milky Way.

So try this one on for a few minutes and see if this sounds a little more inviting. If Life really is, as many people already believe, a perpetual existence that doesn't really end, why not a universe as a grand stage for entertainment, enrichment; a feast for the senses and an eternity in which to wile away one’s time in various pursuits? Sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? Isn’t that a passable definition for paradise?

We may someday come to realize that the real mystery of our universe is not so mysterious at all. That it may not even be the first Universe, or the only one. We may find we are merely one in an infinite score of universes bobbing about like bright little soap bubbles amidst the endless blackness of the void beyond.

Perhaps ours is part of a larger evolutionary track; one of a series of universes created in a continuing effort to perfect its form and purpose. And that purpose may be simply to provide an infinite number of possibilities for living beings to play out, adventures to experience, and challenges to overcome.

Aren’t we doing just that on a smaller scale in our small corner of the galaxy? Sometimes we forget in the daily press of earning a living and paying bills, mowing the lawn and changing diapers, that Life is supposed to be a grand adventure. That the real thrill of living is conquering our fears, falling in love, climbing mountains, exploring our dreams and helping others to realize theirs.

We live in a microcosm here on Earth compared to the universe around us. But I propose it is not fundamentally different from what we will one day discover beyond our present perception. There are other planets, other civilizations, some perhaps isolated like ours; while others may dwell in planetary systems teeming with Life.

There are no doubt civilizations much more primitive than that of Earth and others sophisticated beyond our present imagination. And yet someday, we will see that they are doing and living Life much the same as we are (another good reason to make the Universe very large so we can't see over our neighbor's fence perhaps?).

Someday we may scientifically prove this proposition once and for all: that Life, the elemental force and energy that founds our existence as humans, is also the creator of the grand stage, a universe of boundless possibilities in which to act out our fantasies. For we all know that once a stage exists, it begs for a cast of characters in which to enact a story and to bring that story to Life.

The characters and plot, once just a figment of imagination, become a created world that suspends other reality for the duration. This is Life the playwright, the stage builder, the director, actor and even the audience. After all, every play must have an audience. But where is this audience?

It’s time to return to the beginning, for the mystery of the spectators begins there and it is a wondrous story that is as fascinating in its complexity as it is obvious in its simplicity. One of the most amazing things about the history of Life in our Universe, in that horrific span of time that has ensued from the beginning up to the present day, is that Life has been doing the same things all along the way.

For humans, the path from the beginning to present appears inconceivably long. Yet for an immortal being, eternity is less than the blink of an eye. Time is after all, just another consideration of movement within a physical plane. Outside that reference time simply vanishes.

However, the difficulty with pondering eternity is that humans are inherently linear in their thinking. Human bodies are composed of matter and as such they must comply with the laws of the physical universe. Time is one of those laws. Time by its very nature is linear and segmented by regular events.

Life in its native state, when not in contact with the physical universe, has no sense or even concept of time, especially as defined by the Earth moving around the Sun. Therefore the linear passing of time, even from the formation of our universe to its ultimate demise would be virtually imperceptible to an immortal being. So in effect, the time equation would be near zero duration in comparison to time defined within our universe.

Why is this important? Because I believe it is the source of the mythology we know as heaven, in Western religion, “Nirvana” in Eastern Hindu religion, etc. That eventual paradise, which some religions predict will be realized after the “end of days” or “final judgment”; it is supposed to be the net result of Life in the physical plane. It may very well be that Life returns to a state of wholeness, retreating from all the isolated individual identities it has created and inhabited and revels in the combined experiences accumulated over time within our Universe.

At the moment the universe collapses back in on itself (one proposed scenario known as the Big Crunch), ceasing to exist; the physical plane will then disappear. Therefore any individuation of Life ceases to exist at that moment. There may ensue a period of time, figuratively speaking, where Life exists in an exquisite state of rapture brought on by the boundless volume of sensation amassed over eons of time, through the shared experiences of countless individual existences, made whole again at long last.

The idea of some religions describing an eventual return to God and dwelling in a blissful paradise appears to be quite likely, if considered in this new context. So in effect, we would be like actors coming together, feverishly reading our reviews after an exquisite opening night play on Broadway.

As you can see, living various existences has short-term reward paid in adventure, as well as a big payoff at the grand finale. At some point, a new cycle begins, a new Universe is created and Life splits off in a variety of directions once more to assume an infinite number of new roles and existences. It may be essential to have a “Supreme Being” or other such a major-domo in charge of the production.

However, a certain cloaking event is probably a routine part of the re-immersion into the physical plane. In other words, Life must forgo the cognizance of, among other things, its native state of immortality, omnipresence and omnipotence to merely playing The Game of human, or other such lowly Life forms. Otherwise, its not really sporting, is it?

Certainly, it would not be as much fun. For if you have ever read the story of The Prince and the Pauper, you would know the moral of the story was that the Prince yearned to shed the lavish excess of royalty for the simple Life of a pauper. The reverse was of course true for the pauper. Why? Because given enough time any condition of existence can become oppressive – even a most opulent one.

In the final balance, Life is a game that must have challenge, to be a game worth playing. There is no challenge if you always win or lose. In The Game of Life versus the challenges of a physical universe, the role of God is boring without fielding vulnerable lower Life forms as players against each other, with the laws and environment of the universe serving as the rules and the arena.

Or, forget being God, let everyone jump into the action and meet back at the clubhouse to brag and cheer after The Game is over. Either scenario works. And, more than probably, both scenarios have been employed over the course of giga-annums . And, an interesting irony has been the complete full circle of humans now trying to understand God and the puzzle over Life after death. If there is indeed one being devoted to the role of Supreme Being in our Universe, he would surely be amused by that if nothing else.

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