Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Hopes fail. An end comes. We have only a little time to wait now.”

The condemned don't scour the countryside for the most comfortable noose. In similar fashion, I'm not expending any more time or money on finding the cheapest gasoline (bang-bang). Is the money I might save even worth the effort? I can take that $2.88 at the end of the month and, what, put it towards a book on nihilism?

The rising prices have been attributed to ongoing unrest in places like Libya, which is ironic. People are clamoring for liberty and apparently choking the alleged land of it in the process. So, render unto the House of Saud what is the House of Saud's and, should you have anything left over, give to God what is God's.

While we're on the Creator, a friend and I were communicating recently about all things eschatological. CNN might as well be a "2012" trailer and it got me thinking: assuming the Book of Revelation does contain valid insight into the end of our age, where do we stand on the timeline? Just as the infamous Doomsday Clock portrays our proximity to nuclear annihilation, there should be a real-time plotter for Armageddon. But what of the Torah, Qur'an, Gita, et al?

Zack Hemsey's "Mind Heist" makes even the most mundane task a heart-pounding tour-de-force. This morning alone, I've vacuumed, emptied the dishwasher, dusted and changed the sheets with unbelievable urgency and aplomb.

A light no brighter than Stephen Hawking weighed in on time travel. How did I miss this? In an interesting twist, he claims that sojourners may only go forward: 
"He dismissed the idea of traveling backwards through time, saying doing so would violate a fundamental rule that cause comes before effect and that such an act could allow people to make themselves impossible, such as if a person traveled back in time and shot thir (sic) former self."
Scott Warren should make every attempt to go back in time and re-write this paragraph. But I digress. While retro-chronality may violate the laws of known physics, I'll ignorantly maintain that it's still possible. Bear with me, this is going to be a doozie:

Here Hawking acknowledges the possibility of a cyclic universe, thereby questioning any linear notions of spacetime. This concept from Princeton's Center for Theoretical Science really got me thinking:
"The big bang is not a beginning of time, but rather a transition to an earlier phase of evolution."
The Great Architect of The Universe said in Genesis, "I am the Alpha and the Omega." The beginning, therefore, is the end, and vice-versa. Check out at this presentation by Dr. Paul J. Steinhardt - it's the same concept. Look at things we already know and observe: Our orbit around the sun, the moon's orbit around us, the subsequent ebb and flow of the tides, our seasons, our Circadian rhythms and cellular cycles. This roundabout nature of life is incontrovertible. Why would what lies beyond suddenly defy this? Hermes Trismegistus nailed it when he stated, "As above, so below." 

I recall my Father asking me once on a long drive, "How far can you walk into the woods?" After much head scratching and counter-questioning, the obvious answer finally came: "Halfway." One step further and you're walking out, right? So, looking at the universe as the aforementioned cyclical "loop", and knowing that space and time are one, how far can you go around before you start to return?

In Hawking's example, massive ships traveling through spacetime at nearly the speed of light would carry people into the future at a rate of 1 ship day:1 Earth year. But once they reach the farthest point on the cycle and go into the "turn", would they then start traveling back in time? This gives me pause. All things being equal, would they simply return to Earth at the precise moment they were leaving? How awkward. Like driving all over the state to find the cheapest gas, it would be a monumental exercise in futility.

For the sake of argument, I'm going to be entirely unscientific and insert an 'X' factor. Let's presume the travelers do return to Earth, but long before they left. Why? I don't know, and I hate math. I'm a history/literature guy -  just go with it.

Our time travelers return in 4000 BC to an area known today as Iraq. Its hunters and gatherers are understandably impressed, and their civilization experiences a sudden explosion in the arts and sciences. The latter-day humans are hailed as gods, and why not? They've descended from the sky in a flaming chariot bearing knowledge of medicine, agriculture, architecture, astronomy and countless other "mysteries".

Just look at the changes within our generation alone. Imagine someone handing you an iPhone in 1981. How would you have reacted? Of course neolithic man thought these men gods! But what if they were one in the same, merely at different stages of human potential?

What really gets me thinking is that this is all part of recorded Sumerian history. The visitors were called "Annunaki", which meant, "those who came down from the heavens". Relics from the period depict... well, you be the judge.

Mesopotamia. Sumeria. Iraq. The fertile crescent. The Tigres and Euphrates. There was also a garden there, per Genesis. Why does everything seem to come back to this one spot (and to the Templars, per Eco)? What if future travelers do (did?) find a way around that pesky Physics and go backwards in time? We'd be our own self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you knew a tsunami was coming to wipe out the human race - and therefore your future existence - wouldn't you feel obligated? Even Hawking touches on this in the article above when he states,
"Theoretically, such a space ship would allow the crew to repopulate the earth if they found our species had become extinct during their flight."
Our future is our past. Our past, our future. It's all cyclical. Our bodies, the world in which we reside and everything else in it (yes, even the @#$% Mets). My favorite modern-day depiction of this is the Wachowski Brothers destroying their Zion six times (ergo, vis-a-vis, concordantly).

My mind wanders to Enoch and Elijah, to Noah and Gilgamesh. On this day in which the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated - the same Jesus who said we are fully capable of doing everything and more - let's close with His own words: