The universe, the cities, the souls, times come and past, the big picture of it all, its fortune and fate, happenstance and chance coiling through the airwaves, weaving in and out throughout the corridors and shores and floors… We call it existence, and it’s big, really big.
History’s timeline is like a long path, and we here represent the spot on that trail that time is currently manifested as. The stars in the background are the only imprint remaining that spans history’s trail of mementos, like Dachau death marches and Choctaw trails. Even relics continue the slide as they slowly fade, mountains of their days, now chiseled away by time’s currents.
It’s all wild, legendary, mythical, incredible, and ours – each one of ours. There are worlds of complex mechanisms inside atoms, inside cells, inside creatures, inside ecosystems, on planets, in galaxies, and on and on, leaving us wondering if it really could be like an endless fractal in both directions, and desperate for a chance to know. The long, arduous labors of our prokaryotic precursors are now beginning to bud curious new transhuman fruit. Each one of us materializes on the timeline of humanity, like rickety roller coasters set up on temporary take-down stages for traveling theater, just hoping to stay on the tracks. We have conquered a planet under these circumstances. Like Alexander the Great crossing countries atop Bucephalus, we ride through the universe atop the planet Earth, trying to keep our grip on the reins while we hop from stage to stage.
Not even a percent of a percent of this territory is mapped. What does that mean for all that is outside of the speck of light we are in so far? Trillions upon trillions upon trillions of lives and scenarios are interacting and going down around us every day. You might see an ant fighting with a mutant form of a June bug and be able to contemplate their struggle, but miss the fact that this mutation will soon change the landscape of the area in profound ways. You might just dirt-bike right over the top of them without ever even contemplating that, all the while thinking about the prospects of a ranch-style house in this area and the philosophy of a progressive struggle in a capitalist climate. All this occurs while unknowns surround us. Maybe an unfathomable machine is being created on a planet whose distance we can’t conceive, illuminating answers we never dreamt possible. Maybe an amazingly complex civilization is at its height. Perhaps there are other dimensions with wonders that would blow our minds while they’re blowing our minds.
The poorest among the industrialized citizens today still have their “junky” cars, and stereos, lighters, cell phones, watches (scratch that, clocks are on cell phones now), 3 TVs with “only” 8 basic channels, “old” computers and “slow” internet connections, FDA-tested food, state-of-the-art health technology with emergency transport, malls and restaurants just down the street, the freedom to fly anywhere in the world after a few weeks’ saving, and so many other things. These are our poorest people. They are richer than the richest kings and queens of old. In the same kind of way that the poorest among us today have many times more than the richest kings and queens of centuries ago, so will the poorest of us in a post-definite lifespan world be richer than the richest Forbes List billionaire among us today.
Think of the ancient history: the richest of the kings and queens with the golden thrones, crowns, everything jewel-encrusted, exotic animals, limitless concubines, slaves, best fish tank, singing canaries, speedy buggies, salted turnips, and best open-hole bathroom that money could buy. What is that money worth to them now? Time is money, and if you don’t have any, then you’re dead broke.
Some of these ancients remain with us as mummies today. Now there’s an interesting collision of worlds. Those who could still be here, who want to be here, gave it their best shot, and are still here, now in rags begging for us to come up with a solution to bring them back to life. It was a nice try. Their notions lived on in the DNA of their progeny, working it out, better and better, building the tools and emerging today among us as cryonics, a surer form of mummification. We don’t have the cures or the salves for the mummies, but you still have a shot. You are them; you are the same people, the same blood; you are the ancients, but the future can still be theirs/yours. 1,000 BC, 2,100 AD – it’s all ancient history to the people of 45,000 AD.
We know what is going on in parts of this place we are in, but what about everywhere else? What about how it all interacts? What it all means as a whole? Do we think we can guess what is going on everywhere? We can hardly ever even guess who the culprit is in a typical television murder mystery. Can we even guess what is going on in all the buildings of one single town? Some of those points of light in the nighttime sky are entire galaxies unto themselves. Some of them are entire universes. That space between might not end.
This paper could be expanded to fill libraries with volumes on the limitless and profound, mind-blowing, unencapsulatable nature of it. No, libraries are filled with volumes on exactly that, and even those haven’t begun to scratch the surface of what it means to exist.
So here we are, pioneers on time’s trail, the precursors, surviving caravans retooling for a star trek. What does the big picture of existence have in store for us on the trail ahead?