Friday, May 13, 2011

Secret #13: How Does the World End?

Stories about the end of the world have never made sense to me.  The end of humanity?  Sure.  If humans disappeared from this planet, we wouldn't be the first species to go extinct.  But the whole world ending?  That's a very different event and the concept instantly brings a very important question to life.

When we talk about "the end," are we referring to the end of the world or just the end of the current human experience?  It seems as if so many of our religions look at the world around us and say, "God created man and that's all that really matters."  As a traditionally trained shaman, I look around and think, "Spirit created EVERYTHING."

Ending the human experience is a pretty simple task.  A severe global pandemic would do the trick.  If a massive electromagnetic pulse fried all electronics planet-wide, it would utterly change the human world.  I've heard all the arguments - from the return of a messiah to the spontaneous evolution of human DNA - but each holds the same challenge for me.  Under nearly every scenario presented by any religion, all of creation is reduced to a prop in a play about Man.  If you're The Creator, why even bother with a lush, beautiful, expansive world if the only thing on it that matters to you is a single species?  We live on this amazing planet where we're outnumbered by other species by millions to one - and yet we assume it is somehow all about us.

I personally find that perspective very hard to embrace.

To extend this concept out even farther, even if we include all life on Earth, we're still not extending the idea far enough.  In this incredibly vast universe, we're saying, "This is the only planet that is important."  If we're creating an event that is truly the end of everything - then it needs to be the end of every bit of reality we're aware of and all the pieces we've never imagined.

Since that isn't complicated enough on its own, because we live in a material universe the end also needs to follow the laws of physical reality.  It's a fairly straightforward concept.  I can create all of the rocks I want to from thought and energy and throw them at you all day long.  In the end, it's the repetitive nature of me going through the motions of throwing those rocks that will annoy you, not the "spirit rocks" themselves.  If I pick up a physical rock and throw it at you, however, it will have a significant impact on your material body.  In much the same way, the end of reality would have to unfold in harmony with existing physical laws.

The questions before us becomes, "When we talk about the end of the world, is it the end of the human experience or the end of all reality?" and, "If the even must follow existing natural laws, how does the the world end?"

In my second novel, The Awakening (now available), the characters wrestle with the scale of this question.
It was the Indian woman who spoke, her voice soft and even.  "Imagine that you live in a world that can be symbolized by a sack of rice," she began.  "The galaxies, the planets – all of known reality is symbolized by the grains of rice.  The fabric of the sack represents the borders of our universe." 
Drew nodded, signaling that he understood. 
"Now imagine that a small tear appeared in the side of the sack, that some of the rice poured out onto the storeroom floor.  That spilled rice, symbolizing all of reality, believed that it was alone, that it was reality." 
"The spill is our world, isn't it?" the young man asked, his voice quiet and still. 
The Indian woman slowly nodded.  "But not just our world, Drew.  Our reality.  It's a scale that we can scarcely understand, but that scale is dwarfed by the realm our universe came from." 
"So our entire existence is a mistake?" he demanded. 
The scholar slowly shook her head.  "It's likely a rare but natural phenomena, Drew." 
The young man uncomfortably rubbed the back of his neck.  "So is there just one sack of rice in the storehouse?" he asked.  "Or is it just one of many?" 
Matthias grinned.  "That's the question, isn't it?" 
Drew answered with a slow shake of his head.  "No, it's not," he said with an air of finality.  "The question is, when the farmer comes into the storeroom, what does he do with the spilled rice?" 
The room was silent. 
"Does he put it back into the sack," Drew continued, unable to stop the flow of words, "or is the rice now considered soiled and the farmer decides that it can only be thrown away?"
The Awakening (May 13, 2011) sets the stage for A Tide of Shadows (May 2012), which in turn builds to the climax found in Days of the Fallen (May 2013).  You can read the first three chapters online for free.

The Awakening is available in both paperback and ebook ($0.99 Kindle | $0.99 Nook | $0.99 ebook) formats.  Autographed editions of the paperback can be purchased directly from me for $15, which includes shipping via USPS Priority Mail.

Secret One: Aleph (May 1st)
Secret Two: The End (May 2nd)
Secret Three: Angels (May 3rd)
Secret Four: The Bloodline (May 4th)
Secret Five: Heaven and Hell (May 5th)
Secret Six: What Does God Look Like? (May 6th)
Secret Seven:  Working Miracles (May 7th)
Secret Eight: The Four Horsemen (May 8th)
Secret Nine: Small Town Mysteries (May 9th)
Secret Ten: Photographing the Paranormal (May 10th)
Secret Eleven: Blood on the Threshold (May 11th)
Secret Twelve: Find the Thread (May 12th)
Secret Thirteen: How Does the World End? (May 13th)

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo! Happy Friday the 13th! ^.^