Home Pharos Fiction Site Map Updates Search

 

                                                                                                                        Back Next

Halexandria Foundation
Communications
Sacred Mathematics
Connective Physics
Synthesis
Chronicles of Earth
Justice, Order, and Law
Daath
Extraterrestrial Life
Creating Reality
Tree of Life

What's the Point?

New - 20 July 2011 

In his Discworld series, Terry Pratchett -- a prolific author with an astute understanding of human nature -- has written some 39 novels of a mad, chaotic world... and with some astounding similarities to our own more rounded world (aka the Earth). Discworld also incorporates as one of its endearing (for obvious reasons), indearing, main characters: an anthropomorphic personification, Death. Not surprisingly, Death is a seven-foot tall skeleton of polished bone, in whose eye sockets there are tiny points of light (usually blue), and who always speaks in CAPITAL LETTERS. He also has an adopted grand-daughter, Susan, who tends to be wise beyond her years. In Hogswatch (a parody of Christmas on Earth), they have the following conversation:

“All right,” said Susan. I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.”
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little...”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.”
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET -- Death waved a hand -- AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME... SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.”
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point...”
MY POINT EXACTLY.”

As was pointed out by A. S. Byatt in the London Times:

“Pratchett’s alternative universe is unfailingly inventive, farcical, and dark... Anything in a Pratchett story is capable of being transformed into something else -- from a joke to a profound observation, from a fact of our social world to pure and lively fantasy... Pratchett too requires us to think... He may write benign comedy, but he knows how horribly complicated and exciting the universe is...”

On this basis, one might be tempted to ask if Death has in fact somehow encapsulated the human condition in that being human is believing in fantasies... little and big lies... or else... What’s the point?

What indeed is the point?

Of course, this is the fundamental question of life, the universe, and everything. And it is quite possible that the answer might be 42.[*]

Alternatively, the answer might be notably more profound...

OR the “answer” is that THERE IS NO POINT... in other words, there’s just no rational or irrational reason, no purpose, no destiny. Possibly an alien being dropped ketchup from his Fluss-burger and it inadvertently fell on a pomegranate seed, and from this low probability occurrence, evolved the universe as we know it. There was never a plan, just a strange juxtaposition of random, rare events.

As for the “answer”: Yes, there is a point, and that point is...

Well... we could go on and on for a long time on that one.

For example, one of the big favorites stems around “The Fall” and its inevitable sequel “The Return to Grace."

Of course, one might have to ask what’s so friggin’ good about “Grace”... particularly if that state of Grace allows for falls, descents from upon high, and other fear of heights scenarios? And yet, we still get bits like:

"The Overall Motivation for the entire chain of sequences would be a striving towards Unity. As you well know, such is the central idea of all major tenets who've grappled with this notion, from the Kaballah to the Tibetans - that "everything" began with a Separation, the Big Bang, and since then the movement is to unify it all again. Before that happens, all them stages have to be passed. So a human enlightenment would be merely a path to the next stage, and there are more beyond. To keep things interesting in the long run, as it were. (:-)" [1] 

Yes... but what's in it for me!?   I might be willing to admit to the human experience being pretty well exhausted... but must one give up all individuality to move on?  I notice this was not true in the movie, Defending Your LIfe... which I would very much like to think is an accurate and highly reliable documentary of what lies beyond. This is because of the fact that in the Movie, one moved on in accordance with the degree to which they have given up fear. 

There is a lot to be said in support of such a philosophy. So... What’s the point? Lose the fear.

The "overall movement" is said to be towards unity, but we as individuals are still a very long way from that. There are many stages to pass through before that final goal is achieved, and I'm sure that what we consider "individuality" will be well-preserved in many subsequent worlds and incarnations. What exactly IS individuality is another matter - because for us in these bodies it means mostly "privacy", where another body doesn't physically invade the space of my own. It could mean something else entirely with other bodies (say more gelatinous), or with no bodies at all.
 
My feeling is that we will preserve these very same bodies in the "next stage", as I think we're just barely learning how to utilize them fully with mental techniques. There will probably be small improvements, like the need to breathe. I believe (or at least I like to...) that Leary predicted the next stage of the body with his SMI(2)LE theory - Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, Life Extension. I guess we'll see, hehe. As for bowel-movements - forget it. That old entropy-seeking device will go out as soon as the need for food stops, which is of course also a must. A more efficient body would recycle all waste, rather than disposing of it as fertilizer for later food. [1]

It's always struck me as... well... silly... that there had to be a "Fall"... instead of simply a decision to participate in a grand drama, full of sound, fury, and popcorn (even possibly extending over several lifetimes).  So why do these profound explanations for human incarnations have to be the result of a mistake, a demonstration of our false pride, hubris, ego, id, or just idiocy?

Also, what's so all-fired cool about "unity".  Diversity is where you get the action, the blood-circulating drama of conflict and resolution, the reasons to try something new and interesting.  In Diversity is the Extension of the Universe. (I.e., a means for the Universe to Increase without Limit.)  On the other hand... In Unity is the Stop Change Syndrome -- let's not make any effort to learn anything new or to experience the truly astounding, awesome possibilities. Meanwhile, Unity’s second cousin, Conservatism, is often just about conserving one’s energy. Don’t rock the boat. Go back to sleep. What was good for my Daddy...

The religious motivation toward unity is really, in my exalted, superior opinion (I loath that "humble opinion" jazz)... just another means of attempting to exercise control over the wonderful diversity of humanity.  In Unity circles, we must all wait for everyone to join and reach our exalted position, catch-up so to speak... instead of doing what we suddenly conjure up as a really cool adventure.  The "Fall" is just more of the "guilt traps (and/or trips)" and the alleged "failings of humans" designed to control us.  We've all been bad, and we must now bust our behinds to recover what was, quite possibly, not all that freaking cool to begin with.

As for the SMI(2)LE Theory... I LIKE IT! 

However, in this regard, I suspect I much prefer the mode described in Multiple Choice.  At one point, our hero is an energy packet wandering about the universe, taking in all the spectacular sights of a Universe on serious acid, and then descends to a planet and takes on a humanoid form.  He is immediately revered as a god... but when he sees the same-old, same-old bit about religion, religious wars, and the associated barn-carpeting -- and when he is disgusted thereby -- our hero (he is, in fact, our hero) takes off and heads elsewhere. Of course, his departure is something which the priests undoubtedly preferred: The idea of having an actual god in residence would likely really cramp their style. 

In any case, the only way to fly [pardon the pun] is as an energy being with momentary moments in matters of being human, Riwanian, or whatever... just for the entertainment possibilities.

There is also a personal favorite, the slightly modified Theory:  LAUGH...     Light-being... Awesome... Unlimited... God-like... Hero.

*********

But is it RIGHTNESS?

In lieu of replicating the philosophical libraries of the world, or by selecting one or more answers in the kind of multiple choice quizzes that has some real consequences... it might be intriguing to answer the question that is somewhat more definitive.

Why exactly, do humans got to believe in SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE?

For starters, what is the alternative? Consider, for one, the idea that there is no RIGHTNESS.

Now, there's a concept with implications! If in fact, there is no RIGHTNESS, then there is no right or wrong. As per one tradition, the so-called “god” that created good, also created evil [Isaiah 45:7], and therefore there is no notable distinction between the two as far as following the dictates of this same “God”. Being or doing wrong is in essence the same as being or doing good. The only difference is priest inspired.

Curiously, a lack of RIGHTNESS implies the distinct possibility that there is in fact no duality.

Furthermore, if there is no RIGHTNESS, then there are no limits or boundaries on what is “permissible”.

Survival of the fittest becomes simply a randomized law of the jungle. And if you’re not feeling particularly “fit” right now, then according to our friend Death, “TOUGH. GET FIT... OR I’LL BE SEEING YOU SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.”

Survival of the fittest is one of those aspects of the universe for which there is little argument... or any argument that is not pretty much pointless. It just is. It’s demonstrable on a daily basis. There’s really no way around it... or is there?

There are, for example, subtleties. Joining complementary forces among individuals can increase the overall survival fitness of a group. (You can even have some decidedly “less fit” individuals... but who either have valuable talents in one form or another, or have found a way to benefit others as an object to be provided for.)

Joining forces also has the implication that cooperation implies compromise, and thus a societal order must evolve in order to efficiently join said forces. Such an order might then include a proposed consensus on what exactly constitutes RIGHTNESS, just in order to maintain order, control, and... incidentally... allow for the fittest to benefit thereby, and without all that messy blood and guts spilt everywhere.

*****

So... what’s the point? In some worlds, it’s the decimal at the end of the seven figure salary check. For the more scientific, it’s the infinitesimal point that incorporates an extra six dimensions of space for superstrings. And finally, it’s also the traditional designator of the end of a sentence... i.e.... “.”

And perhaps... those possibilities are enough.

What?

You were, perhaps, expecting a really dramatic and profound ending... despite the fact that the essay began with a fictional Death character, one with a very unique sense of humor? What would be the point in that?

NUF SAID!

________________________

References:

[1] Sol, private communication, July 2011.

 

World War III... and Other Entertaining Prognostications

Forward to:

Elenin, 2005 YU55, and 11/11/11

Eris, Strife and Discord

The Fifth Amendment

The Gang in Blue

Long Range Planning

 

 

               

                                                                                      The Library of ialexandriah       

2003 Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved                     [Feedback]    

                                                                                                            Back Next