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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The End of Days

This phrase, appearing in Revelations, has a deeply mordant edge to it because of its sheer poetic finality. Watching a programme about the battle between dark matter and dark energy led me to the speculation that it is no wonder some people find life intolerable and top themselves.

You see, it appears (in our latest scientific theorising) that dark matter keeps everything together like an all-pervasive glue, from the atoms in our bodies to the great galaxies of space. We are formed in it and then it supports us in an invisible miasma of togetherness. BUT, as in action comics, if Dark Matter is our saviour, Dark Energy will have none of it and seeks to tear everything apart. They call it The Big Rip. Currently, computer models show that the universe will break down, not in shreds but in sub-atomic particles.

It got me wondering about the stability of our psyches. We live and then we die. That’s painful enough and we invent all sorts of thinking to handle it positively (God, heaven, reincarnation and the rest) and those of us who have kids take comfort in our genealogical line heading off to infinity. Not in this universe. Even the sub-particles of God will succumb to the disintegration of Existence, He being a human construct and thought itself not surviving, even if science fiction suggests it might one day disengage from its physical home.

So, what is the point of being ‘alive’ when we discover the bus we are on is the number 13 and humanity is on the road to nowhere?

I suppose I gravitate towards Zen Buddhism because it acknowledges this in its maxim of living within the moment. That is all there is.


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