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The End and the Beginning

What is my myth about the origin and end of life and all things? My mythology is that of modern science. A thousand years from now it may sound as silly and antiquated as the biblical miracles do to my ears now, but that’s OK. It’s the best I can do for now. The story of origins that best captures my imagination is Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Who knows what happened before the so-called Big Bang? Another universe? Parallel universes? Time itself was created? Because of the way our universe works (according to our laws of physics), energy/matter (really one in the same) does not expand or contract or interact evenly; it clumps for a time, then breaks up. Some forces pull things together, other forces pull them apart. Galaxies are clumps: so are suns, planets, mountains, people, and governments. We hold together for a time, then we dissipate: our bits and pieces being infinitely recycled to create another clump. The universe—and we—are ever creating anew. I don’t believe that there’s any supernatural intelligence behind it all: no God or gods, no angels or demons, no goal or direction or ultimate meaning. Meaning is created by each individual or clump of individuals. To a dog, belly rubs and doggy treats have great value and meaning. To me, my life means more—is of greater value—when I’m doing the things I’m good at, the things I love to do, and am appreciated for it by those whom I value: when I’m teaching kids, creating a movie, designing a home, playing music with Mom or golf with Dad, backpacking or sailing with friends. If there is a “greater purpose,” it is the communal hope for peace and love and the elimination of poverty and violence. Impossible? Not at all when your population is low enough to live in harmony with the land and local resources, when the economy is based on cooperation instead of competition, and when the very old, very young and the occasional misfit are all valued, enfolded in community, and expected to contribute what they can from their first day till their last. Unrealistic? Utopian? Read Helena Norberg-Hodge’s Ancient Futures. But until we achieve such a diverse flowering of local (bioregional) communities and economies—guarded by global oversight—we will never reach what the religions call the messianic age or heaven on earth. And it is toward that end—and beginning—that I would like to dedicate the remainder of my days until this clump known as Jonathan Peter Andreas also dissolves—providing the bits and pieces for the universe’s next creation.

© 2009 Jon Andreas. All rights reserved. Written 4 December 2009