Is it me, or has The Nothing come for more and more of us, lately?

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What is it? Well, we call a lot of things natural to sell a product. We’re fairly certain we all came about through natural processes. What would qualify for supernatural then, if this just means something wasn’t produced by “nature?” The human mind is natural, but we don’t call manipulation of chemicals into pharmaceuticals natural. What, then, of any incursion by a mind into natural processes?

I’d call the naturally set physical constants, the ones that made life, you and me, possible, a little unnatural. (Rave) Science says it would take infinite universes to make us possible. (Guth) What’s really “super,” then. Nothing? Nothing, if you ask me, is pretty spectacular. It came up with all those universes, you, me, the physical constants, your mind. Funny, not many are amazed by this. We take a lot for granted. Like everything.

I’m going to make a radical suggestion and propose that this is a little myopic. Our perception of our position in our little universe here doesn’t match too well with the reality, usually. What I am proposing is that, possibly, it’s a tiny bit miraculous that nothing became something, and a very particular something, something that was able to craft a human mind, a human life. Isn’t that the least bit spectacular? Scientists and philosophers agree that it is, but many spend their time thinking, using that mind, to refute that very thought that is both obvious, and yet also their last big, profound thought on why it’s just not that amazing.

You’ll hear, “The universe has come up with a way to observe itself, through us,” or, “Isn’t it enough that we’re all a part of this awesome cosmos that allows us to exist.” (Cox) In other words, yes, we’re a fantastic, ridiculously astounding feat of fate’s engineering, but isn’t it enough just to know we’re lucky to be a part of the natural processes (of mindless, uninspired, random nothingness) that made us, for no good reason at all. Ew. No, thank you, it’s not.

Couldn’t we at least start from a small assent to the comically profound weirdness of our existence at all? If you have the slightest curiosity beyond, “Wow, look at us, we’re kind of amazing given that we’re a product of random chance,” then you might wonder, just maybe, what tipped those random scales to, “Unbelievably extraordinary cosmic expanse sustaining life on the point of a needle.”

Could we just once take a deep breath and consider that it might be something “unnatural?” I’m going to leave this here, for now… Once, a philosophical question was asked whether a mind like ours could ever just pop into existence. (Boltzmann) This was asked by the same physicist that discovered one of those very numerous constants that hold you, me, and this universe together. The question itself revolved around his area of study, statistical mechanics, but it’s the answer to it that continues, like his constant, to drive forward solutions to countless new questions.

The answer is, yes, there’s a very low probability that, no matter how vanishingly small, a brain could just “happen.” You might have heard “Whatever can happen will eventually happen.” So, did it? Or, did it take eons of time, infinite universes, and ridiculously extraordinary luck, to make us? If you think about it, these are the same question. We happened because we could happen, but why? It’s this question I leave here. What mind are you curious about, the one that took infinity and forever to make, or one that existed from the beginning, and thought of us, and all we see, and decided it was good enough to give us a shot?

Stay curious.

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