I have been re-reading Master & Margarita. In fact I have been doing a lot more reading lately – & writing. Reaching the Age of 65 has been a renaissance for me.
There is no rhyme or reason behind this. There is no rhyme or reason behind life. The truth is that poets, philosophers, religious people, priests & so on, some scientists even expend a great of time & trouble trying to work out the meaning of life. But life has no meaning. We may or not be alone in the universe. But we may be. Why is there life in this tiny little backwater of the universe? What we laughingly (well some of us think it is funny) call intelligent life.
Why does intelligent life reproduce itself when it is obvious to even the most tiny brained person that life isn’t worth living?
I can never quite understand why people have children. They have them & then don’t want them. They are too much trouble. Myself, I was sent to boarding school when I was 8. I had a miserable time. During the entire 10 years I was at boarding school, I was miserable & unhappy, desperately unhappy for 99.99% of the time. In fact I missed my parents a great deal. But I don’t think they missed me.
Wars, famine, man’s inhumanity to man, massive egos crashing into each other. People are unhappy most of the time. Life is interspersed with little periods of happiness. These periods of happiness often involve disadvantages to other people. Disruptive social systems, massive egos crashing into each other. The search for happiness leads to the means to an end theory in which great cruelty is committed on the basis that all will be well in the end as the means to an end. The you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs theory.
On the whole I dislike religion. But bits of it are ok. Buddhism I like without believing all that much of it. The Buddha (the Buddha Gautama that is, there have been lots of Buddhas or enlightened beings) said that the reason people are unhappy is that they want what they cannot have. According to Buddhism, people suffer because of, greed, hatred & delusion. The aim & object of Buddhism is enlightenment. It is not happiness, it is contentment. There have been some idyllic Buddhist societies, Ladakh & Kanskar for example, places where the people don’t have much in the way of material goods.
We hear so much nonsense about man being a special species that just has to explore, other continents other planets, space etc. It is utter nonsense. Life is life & that is all it is…we are not marching into a better future, at least not until man learns to live with his fellow man in peace & harmony. Man is not innately or intrinsically evil. It is the World, the society or as it is called today civil society that makes men mad. The majority of soldiers in the US & British armies in World War II didn’t kill anybody simply because they realised that it is wrong to kill, even in war. The US army has special training now to turn men into machines who kill without compunction. War is wrong. It is the most wrong thing there is. It takes the planet & the human race the instigators of war decades to recover if indeed it does ever recover.
Christians talk about the New Jerusalem. But there is no New Jerusalem. There is only the New Hell. The hell that societies create & then bring children into, the World, to suffer in. When children are brought into the world we are all supposed to go ga ga ga. I don’t know why. There are too many people in the World as it is & who knows what it is they will grow to be like, how happy they will, how good or bad they will be.
Martin Rees has been much castigated for accepting a prize for a million pounds. It is the Templeton prize. Somebody whose last name was Templeton set up a prize to be awarded to people who found some link between science & religion. In fact there are plenty of links. They both involve huge leaps of faith, they both ask us to believe things which cannot be proved. Both science & religion have elements of mumbo jumbo. The big bang I surmise is the theory for the creation of the universe because nothing else really makes sense. Which I suppose is the same argument which creationists put forward. It was a surprise to me to learn that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe. Well, are they? That is a surprise. If they are, well, surely that is an argument in favour of religion. I had always imagined that the laws of physics would vary, that they would be chaotic & unpredictable, just like the working of the universe. One way or the other the laws of physics neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. A real argument (there are many) against the existence of God is why? Why would he want to create such a chaotic universe? And anyway surely the universe is too big to have been created by a single being even if his name is The Most High?
Personally I am disappointed that Martin Rees has accepted this prize because apparently he is not a believer. But a million pounds is a million pounds. You can’t blame him. Not many people would completely turn down that sort of money unless they are both extremely rich & the source is well…definitely very bad. Consider the Nobel Prize, the most sought after prize in the various fields in which it is awarded. Alfred Nobel was a manufacturer of dynamite but nobody seems to question people who accept the Nobel prize. I am not quite sure why Martin Rees has been given the prize. But there are undoubtedly connections between science & religion. Apart from anything else, science is the new religion. When some people talk about science, their eyes shine as though they have just seen God & they have the look of the truly devout. Partly it is the wish to conform that makes people so evangelistically pro science & anti religion. Science is the new orthodoxy. Martin Rees has said that he sometimes goes to church & enjoys himself there when he does. I know the feeling. When I am in church I sometimes believe, when I am in the cinema I can believe in the characters in the film. When I am reading a novel I can believe in the characters.
Put it this way, if placing Buddhas around the room, if meditating & directing our thoughts towards peace does anything to help bring about peace, why not? People, illogical as it may appear, do pray for peace. It doesn’t actually do any harm, does it? People like Dawkins opine that religion harms people because it isn’t true. But scientists expect people to believe lots of things that are not only hard to believe but also not relevant to anything on our planet even if they are true. What are scientists talking about when they talk about a parallel universe? I am not sure what it is they are talking about but I am pretty certain that it isn’t true.
So why do people continue to propagate? Homo Sapiens is just supposed to be so wonderful. In the Bible it says that God has given man dominion over the other species. People talk about natural feelings or something or is it natural instinct? Maybe so. But in that case artificial insemination certainly isn’t natural. Neither is driving a car. All manner of things the human race does these days aren’t natural. Think about some of the ways people end up. They end up in prison, in jobs they hate, in disastrous marriages, they find themselves in war zones, they don’t have enough to eat, they acquire incurable diseases. They end up in accidents causing irrevocable physical damage to themselves & sometimes to others. People have to endure all sorts of horrible situations. There are many suicides in the World. Every time someone is murdered, they seem to have been the wonderful person that ever lived. Criminals who commit atrocious acts are always said by some to be lovely people who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Don’t we just know that it is hardly ever true?
Most people suffer all the time & most people are unhappy most of the time.