PONDERING INFINITY AND ETERNITY

Greetings from the mountain top…

One of the many duties of The Guru is being patient as students absorb lessons.

While many of my students stay on the mountain only a day or three, many remain for months and even years as they attempt to sort through the many lessons and absorb what is pertinent to their own journey or as they rise into ever increasing levels of understanding. A few have some serious Daddy issues and just need the attention along with constant games of naked Twister, but such are the burdens of a guru.

A student in particular, we shall call her Candy (not to be confused with The Guru’s favorite stripper of the same name), has been sitting with the concepts of infinity and eternity for many, many months and came to me recently to express her frustrations at comprehending these advanced notions. I tried to explain that many lessons take lifetimes to understand, but she was adamant that these particular lessons needed resolution in order for her to progress. Who was I to argue?

So I took her for a walk along the mountain top.

Eternal. Infinite. No beginning. No end. An endless forever.

Even with copious amounts of bad wine or good weed Candy has never been able to get a handle on those mind-boggling concepts. Endless. In all directions. Always was. Always will be.

I looked at her with a sympathetic grin. “It’s kinda tough for me, too.”

“Great,” she said. “The All-Knowing, All-Powerful Guru (the girl does have a way with words) has trouble with the concepts so what chance do I have?”

“Your Supreme Being, the one you refer to as God, wasn’t the first to exist,” I stated matter-of-factly.

She waited sensing answers coming to questions which would make eternity and infinity seem like basic multiplication (a two year learning process for her, by the way).

We walked in silence a very long time and, for once in her life, Candy remained silent sensing The Guru was trying to greatly simplify something not conducive to simplification.

“Do you remember the world before you could read?” I finally asked.

She nodded ‘yes.’ Reading, she told me once, seemed to her when she was six to be the talent of gods. Learn to read and the world and all its wonders would make sense.

“Do you remember how much work it took to learn to read?”

Boy did she. After her first day at school tears flowed because she still had not learned to read. Letters? Alphabet? Verbs? Nouns? What the…? She felt frustrated she said. Cheated! All she knew for certain was learning to read was going to be more difficult than expected.

“Once you learned to read, do you remember what happened next?” I asked.

She did. She read everything possible, from those biographies for kids that make all famous people seem perfect to books about dinosaurs, space travel, science fiction, magicians and fantasy worlds. So much to read!

“As you progressed, did your reading change?”

It did, indeed. Chemistry. Algebra. History. English. World cultures, Philosophy, Business. Erotica. So much to learn.

“And the more you learned?” I queried.

“The dumber I felt.” Candy is anything but dumb, but I understood what she meant.

“What about now?” I asked.

“All I know is that I know nothing,” she quoted Socrates.

I continued with her lesson, “If I could grant you the power to instantly know everything in every book ever written, would you be content?”

While wondering, in her selfish 20-something way, if she was about to be given the ultimate lottery ticket she saw a look of mischief in my eyes and knew the answer.

“No, I wouldn’t be satisfied.” An arched eyebrow told her to elaborate. “Even if I managed to read, absorb, and comprehend all of the knowledge here on earth I would want more because, at that point, I would understand how little is truly known.” An extremely curious person by nature, and an obsessive researcher of questions, Candy is continually frustrated by the fact that every new answer leads to new questions. It’s what keeps her on the mountain top month after month–well, that and the fact that The Guru is a provider of amazing orgasms. Her questions are endless – as are the answers. Infinite. “But you!” she cried out. “You know the answers! All of them!”

I admit to maybe having mentioned something about having all answers to all questions at one point, but even a guru has to be given a bit of latitude when lacy underwear is in the process of being removed.

“Your Supreme Being wasn’t the first,” I repeated.

She was speechless.

“To a fly,” I explained, “a dog’s lifespan is unfathomable. How does a being who lives only a few days grasp living ten or twenty years?”

“Ok,” she nodded, “I’m with you so far.”

“To a dog, a human’s life must seem magical. Seventy, 80, 100 years? Really?”

Candy nodded again. So far, so good.

“Even for humans there are life spans tough to comprehend. Sea turtles, parrots, trees…they can all live for centuries. Stars live hundreds of millions of years, yet they eventually die. Every single one of them.”

The math was beginning to overwhelm her (numbers are not her friend), but she kept up.

“Now imagine, if you can, a lifespan that when compared to a fly is a star. Could the fly ever begin to understand that even the star will eventually end? Or would it seem eternal? Infinite?” I paused and awaited a response.

She nodded, but her mind was quickly turning to Jell-O. “Are you saying,” she asked, “God will die? He isn’t eternal?”

“Yes…” was my only reply.

She waited.

And she waited.

From the look in her eyes I knew the next words would return her to the first day in school and she would feel totally gypped about the distance between her self and any true understanding. Such is the difficulty of a guru attempting to share highly advanced concepts with young students.

“Just say it,” she sighed.

“…and no,” I grinned.

She clinched her teeth, trying hard to be composed before responding. She failed. “Yes and no. God isn’t eternal and He is. Fine. Just fine!” She was frustrated. Angry, actually. But, as a great teacher does, I took no offense at her emotional outburst. Instead, The Guru was excited by her passion.

“God won’t live forever and He will,” she continued. “Great! How am I supposed to explain that to anyone without them thinking I’m dumber than my blonde roots already indicate?”

Again a grin. “How good are you at math?” I inquired.

She laughed out loud. First, being The Guru, I already knew the answer. Second, the answer was ‘lousy.’

“But you comprehend the basics.”

“Such as?” she asked cautiously. As mentioned, numbers have never been her friend. Just look at her bank account for confirmation. Hey, gurus can’t teach for free. Ass, gas, cash, or grass.

“The sum of the parts cannot be greater than the whole?”

“Yeh, sure,” she answered. “Otherwise you have more than the whole meaning you took parts from another whole.”

“Very good,” Again, a look of playful trouble in my eyes. “If I gave you one part of something…anything….and your entire life you knew only that one thing and had been taught it was everything – that it was the whole – would it mean any less to you if you learned it was only one part of something greater?”

Her head began spinning while pondering the question, sensing with dread where it was leading. “At first,” she finally answered, “I would feel quite mislead.”

“What about after you thought on it?” I leaned forward.

“I hope I’d come to realize there must be something amazingly special out there if my part was only one piece of the puzzle.”

The Guru smiled and started walking.

(to be continued tomorrow…don’t you just hate that shit?)

Peace out ya eternal freaks

2 Comments

Filed under Philosophy, religion

2 responses to “PONDERING INFINITY AND ETERNITY

  1. judy

    Ever have a “Why?” conversation with a 2-year-old? You answer her and she continually asks, “Why?” It gets pretty existential if you do your best to answer each “Why?”

    Best last line from a movie: “To God, there is no zero.” (from ‘The Incredible Shinking Man.’)

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