Maybe when you die it’s like a file being deleted. You don’t cease to exist suddenly, you just disappear from the world to be gradually overwritten by history, swallowed by space. Maybe a ghost is just a deleted file, an empty space-suit roaming around the universe without the dictates of physics.What words of comfort would you lend me if one day, in some corner of the galaxy you encounter my lonely deleted soul floating about somnolently, drifting slowly as a thin and greying cloud, shivering like a thin old man in the wind, and sobbing, sobbing at my monumental loneliness? I hope you will remind me that it will only be a matter of time, yes only a matter of time until the oxygen-free wind of ones and zeros will infiltrate my spacesuit, out here in this infinite tapestry of ones and zeros. And I’ll be drowned out by the noise of galactic explosions, and the blinding colors of supernovas. Overwritten by this holographic universe, gone and forgotten forever.
What phenomenon is someone trying to express when they say that something like finding a suitable relationship partner, or being heartbroken was ‘meant to be’? Of course every event that happens on the micro or macro-scale is ‘meant to be’, thanks to a long string of prior causes stretching back to the singularity at the Big Bang. Given that, what significance does the phrase ‘meant to be’ actually have? Meant to be by whom or what? News for you, the universe doesn’t give a damn about you. The universe doesn’t have a mind. It couldn’t possibly be any other way. Meaningless phrases like ‘meant to be’ are clearly just something we throw around to make ourselves or others feel a deeper sense of happiness or feel better when sad things occur like a breakup. For the latter usage why not just actually embrace determinism rather than delude yourself in the comfort of some imagined cosmic plan, in order to feel better?
Long before I met you,
Eternity already finished unfolding like a Persian carpet across the cosmos.
I look upon you for the first time, and simultaneously, dinosaurs roam the earth. I stop to think for a moment how great is my love for you, and you’ve already succumb to the pains of old age. I pen a love note for you, perennially an infant suckling your mother, and eternally dead and gone from this world forever, and forevermore staring at me at this moment. By the time we share our first kiss, the cosmos has already faded away, and any intelligent life form looking out there is concluding that their galaxy is the entire universe. But before they can finish their calculations, their species is long extinct, an ancient artifact of a spiral galaxy. At the same time that I will finish this rendition, a comet will strike the earth destroying all life, and simultaneously will occur the inception of hydrogen atoms. Why will you break my heart? Why did the Big Bang happen?
I search for something permanent in this transient, swiftly fleeting world, but each thing my mind manages to muster to is slowly transpiring before my eyes. All that remains is me. But even I am not permanent. Soon enough my brain’s circuitry will fizzle out, and so too ‘me’, this phenomenally unlikely coincidence of billions and billions of years of cosmic evolution will be annihilated, to be preceded by billions and billions of years of nothingness.
The most amazing thing about the world that I can think of, is that the only reason we even understand that our universe had a beginning, or that there are other galaxies besides our own, is because we happen to have evolved just in time to still be able see the rest of the universe retreating from us in all directions. Looking out into deep space is literally looking into a time machine. Many of the galaxies we see today are so far away, so many billions of light years away, that they may not even exist anymore. In other words, by the time the light from those galaxies reach us, most of the stars within it have probably already died. Those far-off ancient galaxies may have merged into different superclusters by now or been swallowed up by a super massive black hole, but we will never know. The most far off things we can see in the visible universe are steadily moving infinitely farther and farther away from us, and everything that surrounds them. If there is intelligent life in a trillion years that looks out at the cosmos, it’s only reasonable conclusion will be that it’s galaxy is the entire universe. The rest of the universe will have retreated so far away toward eternity by that time that it will be undetectable.