Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Stop Sending Us Messages," By The Universe

Crab Nebula, here. I just wanted to tell you you can stop wasting time pestering me and the rest of the universe. Stop sending us messages. Stop "just putting something out there." Quit it with the "positive energy." Do not transmit, leave, or communicate anything to us ever again. Whatever it is, is just getting lost. I would say it's cluttering up the place, but we've got so much room it sort of doesn't matter.

This is the universe we're talking about, okay? We don't care if you find someone who loves you, or get a new job, or keep your current job, or whatever chump-change projects you've got going on. We're like Mr. Spock, the island of Manhattan, honey badger, and 15 of your coldest exes lumped together and multiplied by 93 billion. We do not care.

I could understand if you wanted to conceptualize some kind of anthropomorphic deity and then hassle it with your problems - I mean, you'd have to grapple with the burden of evidence, the vaguaries of revelation, and the problem of evil, but at least you'd be going somewhere. But to just sort of blurt out some whiny plea to what you admit is a massive, inanimate object full of gas and dust... Well, that is pathetic. It's philosophically incoherent. It's theologically lazy. I could go on, but my outer ring is expanding at half the speed of light, and at my core is a neutron star rotating 30 times a second and beaming huge jets of intense energy. I have stuff to do, you know?

The universe has no answer, no specific message for you. It is impossibly ancient and dark and beautiful and washed clean of mercy. The stars of the night sky form no symbols in any language. And they are moving away from you, gathering speed. Long after you and everyone you know are dead they will turn off, one by one, and everything will be completely black and cold forever. Whether you lose twenty pounds honestly doesn't matter to us.

(Public domain photo by NASA, ESA, and J. Hester and A. Loll of Arizona State University. Take a moment to click on the hyperlink above and see more of the photos. They are amazing.)

2 comments:

  1. That last paragraph is just beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I wanted it to echo the last sentences of Camus's The Stranger, which I'd always loved:

      "It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I’d been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration. "

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