THE MEANING OF LIFE
“Life,” sayeth The Sage sagely, “is a pond overflowing with tadpoles—”
“Tadpoles?” I whisper. This time he’s caught me in Starbucks again. The last time I got caught apparently talking to myself I had to convince an awesome amount of nice people in white coats that I wasn’t dangerous.
“—pollywogs then. Little wannabe froglet things that haven’t made the grade yet.”
Damn. He’s in a philosophical mood—if I’d known I would’ve ordered two buckets of coffee instead of just the one. Taiho on the doughnut this time, hard luck, I’m on a diet.
“So life is metamorphosis?” Butterflies turning into eggs and caterpillars and things I can accept as a fact of existence—but as the reason for it? Naaa …
“Who says there has to be a reason?”
He’s got me there. Who indeed? Does the universe have to have a purpose?
Bugger. I hate it when anyone other than me uses big words, but he’s got a good point. I think.
“—the entirely human trait to attribute human characteristics to things you can’t otherwise explain or understand. You project the name of Thor onto the phenomenon of thunder, for example. The raging of the sea is Poseidon turning over in bed and such.”
“So for the universe to have a purpose must then presuppose someone or something to formulate that purpose before the beginning—”
Oh. God. Gods. Goddesses, godlets; why didn’t he say so befor—
“No. For God to have a purpose someone or something must have imbued Him with that purpose, and given Him the powers requisite to the creation of the means of achieving that purpose/those purposes—”
“So that means a Goddier God created God?”
“If the universe has to have a purpose and a Creator, yes.”
“But~!” I feel my eyes lighting up like foglamps, it’s not often he leaves a loophole and as always I dive in headfirst with both feet. “But that leads to an infinite regression of ever Goddier gods going backwards into the past, creating endless gods?”
“True. So why not just use Ockham’s Razor?”
Occam’s good ol’ ever dependable razor, the simplest answer as the best. Why not? The simplest in this instance being that the universe is and always was in existence—
“In one form or another, Lad. Sometimes as bits scattered all over the place, at other times as a very singular cosmic egg. Don’t ask me—”
A purposeless universe in all its connotations I can accept, an eternal chain of ever more supreme deities hard at work creating each other from nothing I can’t. Occam’s Razor it is … oops, hold on a moment—
“Does the universe exist then, if there’s no-one here to observe it? No consciousness of any kind to actualise it?”
“Does the apple fall far from the tree, Lad? Oops, sorry, wrong metaphor … does that blasted tree falling in the forest—”
“Make any noise if there’s no ears around to hear it? Yes! … Er …
- of course it does
- or, at least it sets up all the conditions that we call noise
Yes. No. Dammit, I hate him—
“Anthropomorphism, Lad. As an all-purpose all-round solution to human ills you just can’t beat it. And it sure beats having to think!”
He’s disappearing himself. He always does that, slips me a crippler then fades out whilst my train of thought is still boarding at the station. Too late I think to check the coffee mug and as always he’s scuppered the lot without me being any the wiser. Or maybe not, I have a sudden Zen enlightenment and laugh out loud. The meaning of life?
… … coffee~!