Back in the Stocks: A Short Treatise on Thought and Eternity (Part I of II)

“My hair is really starting to thin on top,” I say to myself as I’m tiredly leaning over the sink, having already noticed my “crow’s feet.” “My nads are hanging down further,” yet another indication of my age, I think. “And why is the hum of that vent so pleasing when taking a dump and you just woke up?” These are natural thoughts, along with: “This mouthwash tastes good! Why haven’t I been buying it all this time?” There are no right or wrong thoughts in the downtime of the bathroom, looking at the dried toothpaste stuck to the rim of the sink and those few stray hairs from the clipper still lying around. Just as surely as you are staring at that same oddly cut-off floral design on the wallpaper while doing “number two,” you are contemplating what it all means and why you should get up in the morning in the first place.

Thinking is the albatross of mankind’s daily endeavors. Without it, you would be happier than you would or could ever be. A three-toed sloth is much happier than you right now...

"We don't care about Higgs Boson, dickwad!"
You can’t disagree there. If you are reading this blog, the same amount of calories you spend in noticing yourself in the mirror you spend mulling over what it all means and why you should labor to make your and everyone else’s life better. And without the help of drugs like the Bible, the conclusion you come to is that it all means nothing. Or, it means whatever you want it to mean in meaning ultimately nothing.

As a non-scientist, I am free to speculate on origins outside of the confines of accepted cosmological models, and that is what I will liberally be doing in these two articles. Scientists shy away from doing so. There is this trepidation in the scientific community to disagree with said models and just openly explore what might someday be considered true, or to revisit older discredited theories. This is regrettable. But I have no such fears. And as an atheist, I don’t have to understand much about cosmology or any branch of science to accept that the universe – the multiverse(s) and all that can be said to exist in any form or fashion – is all that is, has been, or ever will be. Nothing can be given to it and nothing taken from it. It will expand and collapse (or freeze or burn), and do whatever else it might, but it will always be (and no, I don’t care what your thoughts are on a so-called big chill or crunch or what you read in the latest Scientific American). Again, I won’t be afraid to speculate. And for the record, it makes no sense whatever to refer to things “outside” of the universe like I believed in my religious days. I have to accept that only things in a tangible, verifiable reality that can be examined can be said to exist.

So, in front of that same mirror, I think on what has been a fact to me since I defected from the ministry—that the universe, being composed entirely of matter in motion, is just a dancing series of sub-quark-sized particles of some sort or another, and these particles do nothing but dance, regardless of their place. These particles dance to a song I cannot hear or understand, and they dance in ways that cannot now be made sense of, and they certainly don’t dance to a happy song. All physics has ever done is deepen this maddening mystery as I climb further and further down the well and scuff my shoes on the slippery, mossy rocks of asking: “What is beneath it all?”

The puzzle never gets clearer. The pieces get put together, but the picture keeps getting bigger and bigger as surely as we go smaller and smaller. And still, nothing makes sense. You can think about it until you get so depressed that you get drunk and find yourself hysterically laughing at a dumped-out box of Vanilla Wafers or taking a bath in the boos you nearly drowned in...

Pictured: The result of the quest for answers. 
Or, you can get God and say that the reason for all is GOD...or “gwtadk” or whatever the hell letters you want to throw together to make you feel special and meaningful as you create a more powerful version of yourself.

I used to think when trying to figure out the existence of God that if he existed, his only disability would be establishing himself a purpose and that he created us so that we could have the purpose that he never could. Maybe, if a deity exists, it’s his one super-weakness and he created us to live through. Even in his omniscience, he can’t know what it is like to not know or to possess a purpose, but we can—and he can through us. He’s miserably depressed, but not us because we have him, GOD! But this simply fails to satisfy. The position doesn’t sync with the true omni-independent nature of God.

The problem is that God’s atheist children can adjust their minds to see things like God sees things (God, after all, is an atheist because he believes in no one higher than himself and worships or believes in no god at all). So, if God somehow defies logic and exists, the almighty must get drunk on the seventh day of every week on the best cosmic beer you can have.

But I can tell you what makes perfect sense of all this madness; the key to understanding life is to accept that we are all tiny little nuclei in cells in the black blood of some cosmic super-being. Let’s call him The Taskmaster. Maybe the galaxies are like organs or something and the planets are the cells. The crusts are membranes. You get that this is an analogy, but the sad part is that cells of any kind die and change, and when galaxies and suns die, the universe would care actually more about them than us (small and insignificant as we are to even the dimmest and smallest stars, or heck, even asteroids). We care more about the removal of dead skin cells from our faces or legs in shaving than the universe does or would about us (because at least we want to get rid of those cells to avoid stinking). Just sayin’.

But when any given cell is alive, it has its job to do. We reproduce and somehow balance out the forces of the larger organism. Or maybe humankind is the cancer in the dying and uncomfortable cosmos. I tend to think the latter, but it doesn’t matter. We aren’t meant to question things, just to do what comes natural. So, we do what comes natural; we satisfy our bodies, and in so doing, seek to satisfy our minds; we feel so important in our own perceived purposes, and maybe that’s necessary to move on. I wonder if any of our Granule cells ask why they bother to do what they do? Maybe just one says: “Ya know, this sucks! I quit! What’s the point? I’m doing my own thing!” Maybe it happens (I think we call that cancer).

But some of us go so far as to think that life is all about us and that a dead Jew was raised by a deity who once commanded heads to be hung to appease his wrath (Numbers 25:1-7) and that this is why the universe – and moons and planets and stars and black holes and quasars – exist in the first place! As amazing as any mystery of the universe is, the mystery of how anyone can be so self-important to think that this could be true is even bigger.



When not reviewing movies or pissing in believers' Cheerios, Joe E. Holman can be found at his website,