Some messages sent us may be heavy enough to require light wrapping. Perhaps Nietzsche was alluding to something along those lines when he said that thoughts that move the world enter on dove’s feet. At any rate, in order not to overwhelm us, some serious messages may need to present themselves to us in mild forms. Similarly, the message itself, however weighty at its initial delivery, may finally turn out truly to be comedic, once the difficult labor of bearing it to term is finally accomplished, and the message fully received.
However that may be, I hope that readers will find the following, relatively short post at least a bit amusing, even though its underlying intention is serious. After all, even a crooked finger can still point to the moon.
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Our Universal Trauma
I wonder what in the world–or out of it, for that matter–the Big Bang was trying to tell us. Or, rather, what it apparently is still trying to tell us, since, if the cosmologists are to be believed, it’s still banging away at us with all the force of its initial explosion, from the very fringes of space itself—fringes, in fact, so unimaginably far away from us that the flash the Big Bang made eons ago when it first went off has still just begun to make its way to us across all the light-years involved. In fact, since those fringes are so far away, the blast of light from the Big Bang may never even reach us at all, before the Big Bang finally goes bust, and the whole shebang ends in ice (some say in fire, of course). We might not ever see so much as a twinkle–let alone ever hear so much as a whimper.
But since we came from the Big Bang itself, sent by the Big Bang itself into the most unimaginable distance from where it first flashed out and sounded off—sent underway into that unimaginable distance in less that an equally unimaginable split of a split of a split of a second after it first went off—and since we ever since have continued to carry the marks of that origin with us and on us and in us, as it were, we must ourselves be in some way carrying in ourselves the very same message the Big Bang was trying to deliver, by going off with such a bang to begin with.
We must already be carrying that message ourselves, somehow encoded in our very genes. So if we could just break our own code, we’d get the message now, and wouldn’t have to wait around any longer for it to be delivered again.
What’s more, it now occurs to me, just how the world does end, whether it be by fire or by ice, with either a bang or a whimper, makes no real difference one way or the other. At least it doesn’t make any difference at all with regard to whatever it was, is, and ever will be that the Big Bang’s been banging and bursting away so noisily and flashily all this while trying to tell us.
If, once the Big Bang has finally managed to bang itself out and goes bust, it does what many learned cosmologists say it will do at that point, and just shuts up forever and stops all the razzle and dazzle, freezing everything into the absolute iciness of absolute zero, where even all molecular action ceases and everything everywhere forever more freezes, so what? It still will already have said everything it had to say—whatever that may be. In fact, it already said all it had to say when it first sounded off and flashed out in the first place. Whenever—if ever—it finally quiets down to give everyone a little rest, it won’t have left anything more to be said. It will have nothing left over to add, having already said all it will ever have to say way back when it first started sounding off so showily.
So just let it shut up, as some say it will, at the very final end of its bang, when the last ding-dong of doom finally dings its last–or any time before that, whenever it wants, for that matter–since it’s already long ago said all it really has to say. Just let it shut up, already, and at last give us some peace! Who cares?
Same way: Suppose instead that once the Big Bang finally, after an infinity of time, finishes its endless noise-making, and finally exhausts all of its all-but-inexhaustible fire-power, the whole noisy, flashy process just regains all its strength as everything collapses back together again, and then just lets loose again with yet another horrendous blast in The Next Big Bang. Suppose the whole thing just keeps on doing that over and over, repeating itself again and again forever, throughout all endless time till hell itself freezes over–and even forever thereafter, in a Nietzschean Eternal Recurrence of the Same? Well, just let that endless series of Big Bangs keep banging away, repeating itself endlessly, like a stuck cosmic record, as the “oscillating universe” advocates among our learned cosmological associates would have it. So what? So be it, if that’s what’s to be so. Because no matter how long it keeps droning on, repeating monotonously over and over and over again to infinity whatever sentence it’s been uttering all along from the very beginning, if ever there was a beginning to begin with, that sentence is still just the same old sentence saying the same old thing. So once again: Who cares?
For that matter, whatever sentence the Big Bang has been uttering, however loudly, for however long, what the sentence says would still be true, if it’s true, even if the Big Banger eventually, at time’s very end, stopped banging its silly sentence, having at last banged itself out. Whatever that sentence says, that’s still there to be said, just as it always has been, since forever before any Big Bang banged it out in the first place. The message does not depend on its delivery to be the message it’s always been, does it?
So in that sense, even if the Big Bang had never happened, never bothered to begin the whole universe, and there had never been anything but nothing at all, the same message that the whole long sentence of the universe from Big Bang to Final Bust and/or Re-Bang to Re-Bust to all eternity would have pronounced, had the Big Bang ever happened, would still be just what it is, waiting with infinite patience, but with no concern at all about whether it ever got uttered or not. What would it care?
So why should we? As Bill Murray said in his old movie, Meatballs: “It just doesn’t matter!”
Big Bang? Big deal!