My Toothbrush

My Toothbrush

This morning, I got up and walked in the bathroom, as usual, and noticed something rather strange and wonderful.

My toothbrush was in exactly the same position that I left it in 8 hours previously.

EXACTLY!

The angle was the same, it stuck out of the cup exactly the same number of centimeters.

Now, this may seem rather mundane and normal to you, until you consider some of the following realities.

 

Me and my toothbrush were separated by about 15 ft for over 8 hours, on the surface of a spinning globe that is rotating at a rate of somewhere around 1040 mph. Think about how hard it is for two Navy Blue Angel jets to fly that close together for 10 or 20 seconds at around 600 mph without clipping a wing and ending up a rubble of burning titanium. These things are piloted by men who are awake and have years of practice! And then, this globe, which we call earth, is spinning around a larger celestial body which is a medium sized little star out on the edge of a sort of pipsqueak little galaxy we know as the Milky Way, and this rotation around the sun is somewhere in the neighborhood of 67,000 miles per hour. I won’t bother with km conversions because that’s just way too pedantic.

The Solar System’s path through Milky Way Galaxy

This little star we call, rather dramatically, The Sun, is in motion away from the center of the Milky Way at a velocity that makes it our beloved Sun look less than a dust mote in comparison, and this thing is moving around at approximately 513,874 mph. And then this Milky Way galaxy is being flung out from the center of something which is too far away for humans to find out what it is because its beyond the scope of our ability to see with any device we’ve invented (so far,) not to mention going there in any conceivable spacecraft that may be dreamed up by even the most talented Hollywood screenwriter, including  Dr. Spock and the whole lot.  This velocity of this unknown entity, in relation to some other arbitrary stationary point, around 2,571,600 mph.

Detail, from the Album cover of “In The Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson

Then, of course, there’s that expansion of the universe thing going on, which means that we’re moving away from everything else that we can see in the night sky at a rate of around 158,822 mph., most of which are not stars actually but other galaxies that are so far away they look like stars. which, you’d think would mean there are fewer stars every night. But there are a lot of them. It’s complicated.

If you start thinking about the notion of infinity, which means everything going on forever in every direction and dimension including time, infinity math means that everything that happens or every possibility we can conceive of has an infinite number of possibilities of actually happening somewhere, because 5 x infinity is just as infinite as 5×10 to the trillion, billionth power times infinity, give or take a little bit of infinity, which is, when you think about it, a pretty absurd concept.

Reality just goes on and on, in every direction. It always has and it always will. Sorry to burst any bubbles with that little tidbit. But its just math, in itself another imaginary construct we use to create these lame, 2-dimensional metaphors to enable our minds to conceive of things that exist in 3 or 4 or infinite numbers of other dimensions.

To show you how powerful thinking in these kinds of metaphors can be, consider Albert Einstein.  Albert was really good at metaphorical visualization, and a pretty good physicist to boot. So good, in fact, that one day in his imagination he conjured up the idea of a potential release of energy from splitting an atom that would be far greater than anything mankind had ever witnessed. Then, he wrote a paper about it, which the War Department found very interesting.  This scared the living shit out of Einstein, causing him to call the President of The United States in the middle of the night and plead with him to forget everything he had ever said because there was a distinct possibility that this weapon that they were wanting to make could end all life on earth so don’t do it,  for Gods sake.

Fat Man. The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima

Of course, nobody listened to Mr. Einstein. The US military was just happy as pigs in shit at the idea of an “ultimate weapon”, because there really were some insane dudes slaughtering people right and left on three or four continents at the time and it was getting ridiculous and had to be stopped. Ignoring the pleadings of the good pacifist Einstein and other concerned scientists, the President found some other scientists that weren’t so squeamish, Mr. Teller and Mr. Oppenheimer,  to build the thing. They figured, what’s the worst thing that can happen if we just make one or two little bombs and drop them on this smarty pants son of a bitch in Japan?

Hirohito on his Imperial stallion Shirayuki. Entered on horseback. Exited via H-Bomb.

And before you knew it we were blowing up Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incinerating a about 155,000 thousand human beings in an instant (well, two instants, to be exact.) All due to the active imaginations of a few scientists.

And now, there are thousands of these ultimate weapons stacked up like cordwood in the arsenals of 8 or 9 countries. It is just too horrific to conceive of, even today, that this sort of power is in the hands of mere mortals who are so ill-equipped emotionally and physically to control this kind of power.

1952 FILE PHOTO – The mushroom cloud of the first test of a hydrogen bomb, “Ivy Mike”, as photographed on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, in 1952, by a member of the United States Air Force’s Lookout Mountain 1352d Photographic Squadron.

If we actually make it past this horrible discovery without destroying every living thing on this little orb, it is going to be miraculous. We have a shot at it, but then again it all might go up in smoke and all our petty little wars, ridiculous religious differences, and nationalistic jealousies will cease to exist like a failing light bulb in Thomas Edison’s lab before he tried tungsten.

Earth. How long will we live here?

If there is some more advanced civilization watching our progress, they’ll probably chuckle, and say,

“Good try, Earthlings, but you just didn’t pass muster. Neeeeeext?”

I’m sorry if you have a headache now.  But just remember tomorrow, when you get up and your toothbrush is still where you left it, how amazing and wonderful reality is. And how possible it is that absolutely anything can happen, at any time, and at any place, and it’s just as likely to happen as not to happen.

Ok, go to bed. You don’t want to think about this anymore. Just remember. Love is the only reality. Everything else is an illusion.

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