Thursday, May 19

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

The Milky Way Over the French AlpsCredit & Copyright: Marc Sylvestre (Universia)

…so passes away the glory of the world. Defining reality to me to us and to everyone. Something is not right as always, something changes for the better or worst, most of the time beyond our control. What glory had the world? What glory did we loose then?

Why do we refer to the past as the glory years? The century of invention. Before that the century of renaissance. No coincidence that the best scientists died long ago. Stephen Hawking could be the only living legend, a superstar scientist only of his challenged existence and not because of the science he preaches. Einstein, until today, dead or alive, do command the same title and glory. About 0.0001% of the world understands astrophysics. 0.00001% percent has the qualification and experience to teach quantum mechanics. 0.000001% of humans identify with the theory of relativity. And this entire field gathers into one faculty that signifies the forces that govern the universe. Physics. Dynamics.

He: Do you love me?
She: Love? You mean now?
He: Well yes. It’s about time.
She: But it’s been only 2 years.
He: Two years is not enough? I understand you, I feel you.
She: Feel? As in touch?
He: Why must you break everything into observations, shallow judgments?
She: {laughs}
He: Empirical evidence against future heartbreak?
She: What!
He: So that you can elaborate to the moderator when you sign the divorce letters.
She: Stop it! I haven’t even answered your question. And now were already married?
He: So, do you love me? It’s a request by the way, not a question.
She: It depends then. We have to analyze this relationship further.
He: Arrrghh! She’s a scientist now!

So we had about 2 hours of power outage. And all this poured out of my head. Maybe it’s because the 50 Hz electric buzz doesn’t exist now. For a while at least. So I lie there, beside the balcony, looking at the sky. Not that its warm, the nights cold, but I don’t want to sleep in the room. Somehow this few hours, without power, has brought some spark of genius into me. So back to the balcony, the thin comforter over a very cold marble floor. And I watched that solitary star. And a real live firefly. All this while I wrote poems and stories of firefly not realizing its been ages since I’ve seen one. And it flew away, into the dead night and the star slowly drifts past. As the hour passed by, it moves about a parsec or something. So the earth does revolve then. Were alive! I wonder what star it is. A solitary star, it could be Sirius or Alpha Centuri. Maybe it’s the Barnards star.

He: And the silence means?
She: If, IF I say yes, what’s in it for me?
He: About a billion bucks, a mansion in Spain and all the food you can eat.
She: That’s all? You are a boring guy. Maybe you know too much.
He: Ok so I’m a mad genius. But I desperately need love.
She: To prove something then? To someone?
He: Maybe. Hey look at the sky, aint it beautiful?
She: Don’t change the topic!
He: Ok, I’ve been lonely for too long. Being alone is not good for the heart.
She: Are you dying? You have a terminal disease and you want to die peacefully?
He: Honestly, please stop reading those sappy novels. Do science fiction sometime.
She: Science fiction is dark. They paint an ugly future.

So what does astrophysics says about stars? That our solar system is something unique. Stars often exist in pairs. The sun is an exception. Not many lone stars out there. Sol must have drifted away from some other system then. And looking at the sky, when will we ever travel to another star? In about 100 years. The worlds too political to come up with the resources to build a viable mission that would take 10 to 20 years to reach the closest star. And then I realize why I love science fiction. I’ve been to the stars. Many times before. Ive met other intelligence. Ive seen worlds, star ships, space battles. I feel rich, happy to know that I know things that others don’t know. Why does this genre attract so little readers but then sci-fi movies makes tones of money? Money Talk reported that the Star Wars franchise is worth about 20 billion dollars. More money that the GDP of a dozen nations. Does this story signify glory then?

He: Somehow I think this night won’t last long.
She: In case you don’t realize, its 3 am now. We have about 3 hours till sunrise.
He: It would be romantic then. Should we wait?
She: Romantic if youre with a lover. Not a friend.
He: Since when does a friend become so underrated?
She: Since you mentioned the word ‘love’ and ‘me’ and ‘do’ and ‘you’.
He: And why is it bitter then? Do you love me?
She: Why? Why now? Do you want me to love you?
He: Why? There is no answer to the question of why.

Amazing how one single word: Why, doesn’t have a real answer. Its just loops waiting for that illusive end. So not the Pi, not some hyped mathematical solution will reveal the answer to the universe. The answer of existence lies in why. Once we know the answer to why, then we know God. But why create such an unbreakable mystery to solve? Maybe not to let us stay idle. And it will go on forever then. Maybe the answer is in us. Psychoanalysis. A Freudian nightmare let loose on unsuspecting souls who opted for the rebirth rather than the nether world, or heaven. Somehow, people detested Freud and his theories. Of incest, of animal instincts in humans, of repressed emotions, the great Oedipus complex. And surprisingly, he’s having the last laugh now; the earth stinks of vile sexual relationship, of rapes, of sex. Where is God then now?

She: Ok, yes, yes I do.
He: You do what?
She: Duh!
He: You love me then?
She: Yes, the nights too beautiful to let go. I want this to be a memory not to forget.
He: I’m happy. But somehow, deep inside me, I sense hate. Depression.
She: You don’t love me then now?
He: It’s a circle. I asked, you said yes, and I said no?!
She: It’s not that easy.
He: What is? What is not easy then?
She: Love. It’s just a social contract. You can never let go of your own world.
He: You mean sacrifice? Sacrifice for love?
She: Yes. And more. There can’t be two people together forever. A third will interfere.
He: What if we die then? We will be together. Peace.
She: A solution or a choice?

Death is indeed a choice. Liberation from the corrupt world. A quick solution from pain and hurt. Some love is not easy to let go. Some relationships are too strong to break. Bonds of friendship, of siblings or parents. Who do we love then? God? Why do some religion teach us to fear God when God itself is created to diffuse fear and suffering from people. A creation that many die for protecting. Honestly, would man die fighting for some supernatural existence that doesn’t interfere to stop calamity and destruction to the very earth it created? Or does man die fighting for his own creation? Of the concept of God that has all the powers to magically elevate suffering to a select group of humans. What ugly creation causes waves of death if not of men? God is a state of mind. The future will have no God.

He: It’s not a solution. But it is a choice. This means we don’t have to talk about it.
She: I feel happy now. I feel your touch.
He: But I haven’t touched you.
She: You don’t comprehend love, and you want it?
He: Like I said, I need it. Maybe it will take a while.
She: Hope that while will be soon.
He: Definitely. Do you believe in fate? Of destiny?
She: It depends on who created fate. God maybe?
He: I refuse the idea of God but I believe in fate and destiny.
She: If you believe in fate then you have to believe in God.
He: I don’t believe in God more than as an artifact of the cultural evolution of humans.
She: Hey! Youre getting too industrial, too hypothetical.
He: It’s true then; if you understand the mechanics then it’s true. It must be.
She: So love is the higher intelligence? The force that binds the universe?
He: That’s original. I’ll have to look into it.
She: ET loves ET? It’s hard to imagine where all those tentacles go when they hug.
He: Stop reading commercial sci-fi novels. Read some Baxter or Asimov.
She: So ET doesn’t feel love? The force of the universe?
He: I think love is another human artifact. A newer artifact, unlike the ancient relic of religion.
She: That makes it extra special then. Something so beautiful but limited.
He: Love?
She: Yes, love.
He: Maybe.

Ultimately were just like any other animals on earth. Were fighting for the survival of the species. Maybe we’ve gone beyond it but then we had the intelligence and the intuition of survival. Still the same earth doesn’t know politics. It doesn’t do racism or economics. When time comes to retune the system, it has its own ways. Will we survive beyond this century? The glory of humans should be written in the stars. In a century or two unless we sail in space, then the Carter catastrophe will come true. Mutual annihilation. Where and when will it start? An economic logic portrays how China eats up the world resources and in little time becomes the biggest polluters. A collective hive mind drives the people who remain under the oppression of communism into efficient workers who continue to collect and provide for the queen bee of the republic. A small provocation by the other superpower will eventually result in nuclear war that involves China, Russia and America leaving the rest of the world at peril. Attempts by France, Britain and India to launch its crude, fragile nuclear arsenal leads to many localized obliteration. Its hard to understand India who had the upper hand in nuclear technology in the early 60’s would fall under the pressure of corrupt politics that eventually leads to China developing its arsenal first and claiming the lucrative veto seat in the UN. So maybe, the key is with China and worst, the rest of the world are powerless against it. A move to stem its power will only lead to total destruction or maybe a mass exodus of its population that seeks better life elsewhere. Both are bad. I think in 20 years, we will come to grasp the true economics and dynamics of the world forces. May we live to write future history?

She: It’s too cold here.
He: The world? Yes it is.
She: Not the world! I mean here, where we’re sitting.
He: The world is cold too. It has a superior significance.
She: Ok! I dropped enough hints. I need warmth here. A hug maybe?
He: Oh! Ok. Come here…
She: You can’t describe hug in words?
He: I tried, it’s hard, it’s personal, and so I don’t know how to share this with the readers.
She: I love you.
He: I never stopped.

* Another experiment with forms. I love to write. I want to write. I hate this gamble I’m living now, its slow, its taxing, and its heading nowhere. How to write and make a living? How to do a coup like the Da Vinci Code? After all it’s written by an expert arts researcher. Thus continues the never ending fight between the arts and science. While science comes out with intelligent unique accounts of the universe, arts commercialize the very existence of humans. Da Vinci Code is another page turner, a thrill ride with substance but little maturity in writing. Something similar to Harry Potter. But both works made hundreds of millions of people read. They made children tune out from television and turn pages. Something science and science fiction as a genre fails to do simply because it’s too intelligent and too advanced for the people.
* This writing title ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ follows the life style of humans dwelling in anxiety, and alienation of man in a century that moves too fast. An unpopular premise explored by Franz Kafka the legendary German language writer. I find my life similar to that of Kafka. His stories resemble his personal life and his maturity into the crude world of late 19th and early 20th century. I loved the genius authoring of ‘The Metamorphosis’ that describes a man who woke up from sleep as a giant insect and how his family and social group reacted to the change until he eventually dies from neglect and despair.
* I hope this would be the last post for this week, and I sincerely hope I get a lot of comments. I can’t relatively figure on why some Bloggers get a million hits per day while I get a dozen or so who doesn’t leave comments! Somehow I figure the Desi Bloggers communities are very selective in spending their time. And I find it amusing every time I write, say or hear the word Desi (which means Indians I guess) because the very first exposure of the word for me came from some pornography websites. Ill use Indian Bloggers from now on. All said, have a great weekend folks!

- Gp 2005-


Maran said...

Wah-lau damm long post man :-)

Ramses said...



it rains around the world sleep welcomes the dream, and  enigmatic souls awaken along the eternal shores of destiny