Wednesday, August 17, 2011


If human life was wiped off the face of the earth it would make no difference to the universe.  It would go on exactly as before, the various heavenly bodies charting their precise metronomic paths across eternal and infinite space.  If all life was wiped off the earth it would still make no difference to the universe.  If the earth was destroyed, shattered into tiny bits and ejected into meteoric trajectories traversing the far corners of the galaxy, it would still make no difference.  No difference at all.  Nothing would change.  The vastness of space would remain unruffled.  If the solar system were destroyed, the sun collapsed into itself, the size of a football field, the planets crushed into it, it would barely disturb the immediate neighbourhood: perhaps somewhat like thunder rolling in the near distance of your house.  Any place even fifty miles away only sees the flashes of occasional lightning.  Places at a cosmic equivalent of this distance would only notice the phenomenon if they were looking up, and may even need specialised instruments to discover the event.  Like we need special instruments to “view” supernovae and black holes. 

Billions of years of existence, millions of years of life, hundreds of thousands of years of human “development” wiped out in a flash and no one to see, to lament, to mourn and to remember.  No archaeological remains to prove that the earth had existed, teeming with life, with differences, with love, with strife.  No trace of the poetic masterpieces or the paintings or sculptures, the haunting ragas, the gripping prose, or the masterful tracts of reasoned conviction left for subsequent discovery. 

Do you mean to say that we can be erased so totally?  Is death then put in place in order to prepare us for that ultimate disappearance?  Is this the mystery of life?  Is this Maya?  The illusion of overwhelming importance, of centrality, of existence - even - in the face of absolute indifference.  If no one and nothing will acknowledge that we existed then how can we be certain that we do?