“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” [Arthur C. Clarke, “How Science Will Revolutionize the Twenty-First Century” (1999) by Michio Kaku, p. 295
Some believe that sound has a divine source, that it is the primal force of creation and maybe even the source of all things. There is some substantial anthropological culture to back up this view, and it is fun to gather seemingly disparate threads that link the hems of ancient religions some living, some dead.
This idea that ‘somehow’ there is unity and purpose – coupled with the notion that nothing has any meaning are both equally alarming in their implications. How this effects you depends on how you look at things. Either realisation can result in inertia. One brought on by fear the other – laziness. Either way you must own your realisation and try to exist dynamically with your framework of choice.
So what are the threads that bind us? Some random force or a wave of meaning that is refined and merely beyond our senses? Or is the answer somewhere in between? We often look for extremes to define ourselves when more prosaic imagery would no doubt suffice. There is nothing wrong with simplicity. After all it is not the big words that are difficult – but the small ones. People can use big words all day, without the dust that lays on their brain being disturbed by the slightest pulse of movement. It’s the small words that challenge us.
More and more technology engages our senses in amazing ways, but still leaves us doubting them. Too often in this age when we encounter the miraculous (if we are fortunate enough) we treat it with the skeptical distain that we now harbour for the myriad wonders of our age. We may have gone to the moon, or not, I can talk to a friend on the other side of the planet in real time, both are miracles of different character. We are no longer moved by miracles and we now expect them, they are our due. Most now have shiny corporate logos, I await the day when we have apparitions in Lourdes brought to us by Apple.
So have all miracles been devalued to the common place? We are dedicated now to growth at any cost. All modern miracles must support this paradigm or they are seditious. Our continued expectation of an even greater tomorrow means that we will happily sacrifice our present for the hope of some great future. Our oil hungry modern world is a vampire of profligacy and speculation. We not only dig up paradise and pave it, but expect the very act of parking our cars to be an equivalent transcendent experience.
We expect so much now in this time of material strength that we cannot remember the darkness. Over time we take this new happiness to be some deserved solid state – it is anything but. Those who have Gods will thank them for the blessings in their lives, others the blind gene pool that spun their world. Is either view superior? Shall we say one or both are fools? Who is to say one is deluded by seeing the divine in a spiders web? Or another peering through the night sky or viewing a microscopic universe – believing that the sum total of everything is nothing, isn’t? Who is to say that one view is in shadow and the other in sunlight? Maybe desire colours our view more than we can realise, so we may be measured more by the quality of our aspiration than by the quality of our Gods.