Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Theory of Life and Death and Writing

This is my theory. It is unproven. It is not dogmatic. It is not based on any religious theory. It makes semi-logical assumptions. It speculates about life and death. And, for me, about why writers write.

Zero is the moment of birth. The Positive Finite Years begin at birth. These are the years of knowing. We learn how to live. We become self-aware. We become other-aware.

Then, we die.

The Negative Infinity Years are the years of not knowing. They are the ultimate unknown. We do not know them. We are not self-aware. Nor are we aware of anything. Death erases knowing.

But, let's go back. Here's what we know about the Positive Finite Years:

We must survive. As part of survival, we must learn skills. We must work. We must learn to interact, to be with others. There is suffering involved. There is love. We must process pain and rejection while also experiencing joy and the mystery of the unknown, aware that these years are precious and finite.

Here's what we know about the Negative Infinity:

In the Infinity, we are not required to survive. We do not need people or skills. There is no suffering. There is no love. We are not required to process pain or contemplate mystery. These years go on unendingly.

Expressed in another way:

Finite Years = Survival + Suffering + Love
Infinite Years = No survival + No Suffering + No Love

Which is nirvana?

Fear plays a factor. We FEAR in the Finite Years. We fear everything:

  • lack of resources
  • bodily harm
  • betrayal
  • rejection
  • success
  • failure
  • the unknown

But, there is no fear in the Infinite Years.

How do we take fear out of the Finite Years?
Some use dogma and creeds, hence religion.
Some use reason, hence intellect.
Some use science, hence research.

Our blindspot is always fear.
Fear, I believe, can be defeated by wonder.

What if ... ?
Wonder is our asking, what if?

What if ... we lived forever?
What if ... no one ever starved?
What if ... racism didn't exist?
What if ... I could play the piano?
What if ... we could travel in space?
What if ... my neighbor and I got along?
What if ... there is life on another planet?
What if ... the Infinite Negative doesn't exist?

What ifs take away some of the unknowing and fear and replace it with wonder. I know I must use my mind now. I must maximize the what ifs. And I do this, partly, by writing. I write by asking what ifs. Not large, existential questions, like in this post, but smaller questions. What if one person loved another in this story? What if it didn't work out? And, then again, what if it did?