Friday, March 31, 2017

Beginnings and endings


We love thinking in terms of beginnings and endings, but as natural as that seems, it is possible such thinking is simply a habit — which is to say, it is something we no longer examine, or think worthy of examination. And so when we read or hear that God or the universe has no beginning, and may very well have no end, we scratch our heads and move on, or are stopped dead in our tracks, or we ascribe it to mystery, saying, Well, this is something we will never know or understand. And yet, whatever it is, we are a part of it, we are contained by it and fashioned by it, and we serve as cells in its great gray elegant workings. At the same time, we create it anew each moment with our outlooks, our beliefs, our thoughts, our daily habits, our desires, our backgrounds — our stories, if you will — our stories which come together to create a bigger story, most of which we agree upon, accepting that up is up and down is down, feeling quite comfortable with the notion that there is or isn’t a god, that there is but one universe or countless universes that run parallel. This is quite a lot for us cells to do, also preoccupied with moon shots and wars, the fight against cancer and other diseases, even as we rush about carrying the disease of ourselves, and our tremendously robust health, too. Still, how could it be, we wonder, that all of this has no beginning? — as if a god or gods bent on creation and an ever-expanding universe are bound by our tiny rules of logic. Yes, New York is where New York is, Oregon is where Oregon is, Australia, Australia, and so on, so be sure to catch your train or plane on time. And we are where, exactly? We are where God is, and if he isn’t, we are there too. And this is just the beginning. I love you.



9 comments:

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

This makes me think of Pascal's Wager.

William Michaelian said...

— which I’ve heard of, but am barely familiar with. I’ll do some digging....

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Please allow my paraphrase:

If you don't believe in God and there is no God, you lose nothing.
If you do believe in God and there is no God, you lose nothing.

If you don't believe in God and there is God, you gain nothing.
If you do believe in God and there is God, you win everything.

- Blaise Pascal


William Michaelian said...

Ah. Yes. Thanks. I glanced into it a bit. I know this much: I sound a whole hell of a lot more cheerful than Blaise. Just fooling myself, of course. No doubt I’m miserable and don’t know it. When that other shoe drops — look out!

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I speak as an anti-religion (read anti-human-understanding of Being) person. Hey, I give you hundreds of billions of galaxies, stars and planets when once we thought there was only one sun that circled only one planet. Who am I to make conclusions about Being? I am smaller than a bacterium on the surface of the Earth.

If there is a God, by definition, then how could humans ever comprehend it?

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Which is, I believe, precisely what you are saying.

William Michaelian said...

Am I? Or am I saying just the opposite? I’m inclined to think the latter. But let me sleep on it.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Hmmm. I will read this again (and more carefully).😇

William Michaelian said...

We feel our way. Perhaps today’s entry, “All work and all play,” should also be factored in. Or perhaps not. Thanks, Gary.