The End From The Beginning
Years ago Scott Adams wrote a book called God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment. I first came across the book in ebook format in the late 90’s. It took several years for it to actually get published, prior to this he had to push the book out for free to anyone that was interested. This is the same Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. But God’s Debris isn’t a satirical work based cartoon. It’s a complete departure from his other works and ventures into the world of philosophy.
I’ll throw up a spoiler alert here. If you haven’t read the book and want to, jump out now, feel free, I’m basically going to give away the punch line.
The book proffers the idea that we are all God’s Debris. More specifically God got bored of being all powerful and all knowing and everything, so he blew himself up. Instead of this being considered a suicide attempt, it was more of an expansion mixed with amnesia. As a now separated entity he forgot himself and became the whole of the universe.
I’ve always liked this idea since the first time I read it. There are several powerful implications in this philosophy.
The first and most striking for me is that idea that we can’t lose connection with God. We are God. More specifically we are all pieces of God both in our physical form and our consciousness. We cannot lose our connection to ourselves. I have always liked the idea that our contact with God only appears limited because we do not recognize it. We do not need to reach out to God. We need to become aware of our true nature.
It also lends credence to the biblical concept that we were all made in his image. Each a piece of the puzzle that is God. When the pieces are all put back together, they would make the ‘image’ of God. This too makes more sense than the idea that God is a two legged hominid and we were made to look like him.
I’ve also had a challenge with the idea that there is an entity that knows the end from the beginning. It appears to devalue our human experience. If it was all seen at the beginning, the pain, the pleasure, the cosmic war, the betrayal, it seems rather sadistic to follow through with creating it. The process of acting out this play where the suffering is so profound seems to devalue the love of the entity that created it. If you know something will end in fire, aren’t you ultimately responsible when you light the match?
As I’ve gotten older and learned to appreciate re-runs, I can say that I do find value in experiencing something again even when I already know how it ends. When you’re connecting with the growth of the characters and caring about how they deal with the situations around them, then there is interest and value in watching a story unfold, even when you know how it will end.
Often these philosophical paradoxes are simply met with the answer “I don’t know.” Just because an idea sits well with me doesn’t make it true. Just because an idea disagrees with me doesn’t make it false. In the end, the universe is, what the universe is, it doesn’t pause and wait for me to agree with it. But perhaps I have already agreed with the nature of the universe. Perhaps I even condoned and conceived it’s nuances before it all began, and then I chose to forget. Perhaps I should replace the phrase “I don’t know” with “I have chosen to forget.”