Excruciatingly Large Things

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Seven Reasons Why 'You' Don't Exist...

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Compared to the Cosmos

by Brian Hines
Church of the Churchless

Like you, my goal every day is to make something of myself. A successful, knowing, active, loving, happy thing. The problem is, on the scale of the universe the value of each of us is vanishingly close to zero. Rounded off to any reasonable number of decimal places, we’re nothing.

We are small. Very, very small. Check it out for yourself. Each of us is one of six billion people on a planet circling one of 200 billion or so stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of 100 billion or so galaxies in the observable universe, which many physicists believe is but one of a near-infinity of alternative realities in the multiverse.

Well, on the positive side this means that my problems also are nothing. However, being totally nothing never has been high on my life’s to-do list. Like the cartoonist said, “No, I don’t want to live forever, but I damn sure don’t want to be dead forever, either.” So here’s my recommended approach to the Being Next to Nothing problem:

Forget about being something more. Become something less. A lot less. Janis Joplin, along with countless mystics, tells it like it is: “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

There’s a big world to explore between us and absolute Nothing. Take this trip down to quantum spacetime foam. And beyond. That’s easy to do in virtual reality. The trick is making it happen in real reality. It’s the adventure of a lifetime, the only thing for a nothing to do, really.

Just watch out for the Total Perspective Vortex that Douglas Adams warned about. It’ll blow your mind. Which, given the anxious, confused state of my own psyche, I consider to be a good thing...

Explore the themes of nothingness and oneness further in my book about the life of Plotinus, 'Return to the One'.

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Written by

Brian Hines
Church of the Churchless


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