In Douglas Adams’ five-book trilogy, Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, a tale is told of a great computer, a computer so fantastic and immense that it attracted its own cult, its own priesthood (for maintenance). The sole goal of the computer, upon which it had spent thousands of years, was to find the Ultimate Answer.
After eons of thought, data collection, and deliberations, the computer finally announced that it had come to a final conclusion in its deliberations. It then proceeded to note to the expectant priests and high priest, “you’re not going to like the Answer.”
For the Ultimate Answer was... “42”.
The computer also announced that it must now begin a search for the Ultimate Question!
Vibrating in a void, twisting and turning,
Superstrings form loops, spirals and geometries,
Creating an all-encompassing illusion of matter.
Fluctuations driven by an adagio violin,
Reach out through an ether of acoustic medium,
To remind a lonely consciousness of its origins.
From whence did these dreams derive?
A Queen, with the wings of avenging angels,
Stands atop a defeated papist, purple dragon,
A bloody spear in one hand, a serpent in another.
Think on the imagination eliciting such a vision,
The dreams manifesting the underlying plot,
The motivation becoming its prime mover.
How are these thoughts anything but illusion?
An immense, unimaginable universe shrouds itself
In astounding complexity and magnificent simplicity,
Forming a paradoxial paradigm of infinite parallels.
Wonder and Beauty created inadvertently,
By thoughts directed toward survival and gains.
The universe must laugh aloud at the irony.
Why do such creating consciousnesses even exist?
Perhaps, the beauty, the mysteries, the glory of it all,
Lie in the joy of the quest, the discovery of life
Infinitely complex, created by an infinity of minds.
Searching for the incomprehensible final answer,
Lost in the darkness, illuminated by the light,
We know the futility, but relish the journey.
What in all creation can it mean?
Moments of silence penetrate the sound and fury,
The significance, the drama... lost in the fog,
The very nature of why veiled in golden linings.
What is known is but a dream of illusion,
What is certain is but grist for the humor mill,
What delights are to be had, is the dharma.
The answers may merely be love, hope, joy, and... 42.
Great minds now believe that the Ultimate Question is:
“What is 6 times 7?”
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]