.ll 72
.fo off
.co on 
.ce ((Editor's comments in double parenthesis - Homer))
 
.ce ADR - 466
.ce
 
.ce Copyright (C) Homer Wilson Smith
.ce Redistribution rights granted for non commercial purposes
 
======================================================================== 247
Date:         Wed, 20 Sep 89 10:46:01 EDT
From:         Homer 
To:           adore-l@ualtavm


         Perfect Worlds and the Best of all Possible Universes.


     Everyone, *EVERYONE*, even those that say they didn't, spent a
lot of time as a kid trying to come up with a DESIRABLE theory of the
universe.

     A theory that they could adore and be willing to live and operate
in.

     As experiences came in, mostly bad ones, they had to change their
view of the universe, God, and people, to include worse and worse
happenings, until they gave up on creating or believing in a perfectly
desirable universe.

     As adults when we approach this problem for a second generation
look we are faced with the enormity of our suffering and the suffering
of others.  This includes the necessity to work to be useful to others
who may be less than useful to us, and with the fact that in the end
we all just die anyway.  Dying is a loss to us and its a loss to those
who love us.

     Life's a bitch.  You suffer and then you die.

     Thus when you bring up the subject of trying to devise a theory
of the universe that makes this the best possible universe you have to
contend with the obvious fact that in present time this universe is
about as bad as it gets.  How therefore could one ever come up with a
theory that said this universe was the BEST of all possible universes?

     About the best that anyone has ever done on this subject are the
Christians who say that when you die you get to go to Heaven forever
and you can forget this life.

     You think some Christian is going to still be reminiscing about
this life on Earth 3 million years after he gets to Heaven?  Of course
not.  Therefore in Heaven you will be in the best of all possible
universes and that will make up for ever having had to be here, in the
first place.

     This of course is silly.  People who believe this just get re
born life after forgetful life, each time just SURE they are going to
Heaven forever when they die.

     Cute but real dumb.

     I guess they figure they will not only be able to forget this
place after they get to Heaven but after a while they will also
forgive God for having put them through such a cruel test of their
Free Wills on Earth before giving them their Just Reward in Heaven.  I
mean GOD never went through such a test.  But hell, they'll be happy
just to be there, they aren't going to make any waves.

     However even honest Christians will admit that this is not the
best of all possible worlds and certainly not how THEY would have made
things if THEY had been God.  They admit though that the world IS as
GOD made it and although they would have made it differently, they
have no choice about it and must do.

     These Christians do not like the concept of Hell nor a God who
would create creatures knowing some would end up in Hell FOREVER, and
they plan on taking God to task for it one day, but they none the less
believe it to be true because the wood pulp through the printing press
SAYS its true.

     Can you imagine forming your world view based on something that
came out of a printing press on Earth?  Why not go all the way and
base it on the National Enquirer?

     We are not sure if these types will get mercy, but they sure
deserve it for their loyalty.

     So the problem of figuring out how this universe could be the
best of all possible worlds is one frought with much apathy with most
people.  By this universe I don't mean just this tiny little pocket of
space/time that we live in, I mean the entirety of all existances
everywhere which could include other universes, even Heavens and Hells
(temporary hells, to hold the 'Hell is forever' types until they give
it up) and possibly Immortal spiritual beings as well.

     So the first thing we must admit is that if we live once and die
as the meatballs say, then there is no way this could be the best of
all possible universes.  I mean if YOU were God, would you make it that
everyone dies forever after a while including YOU.  No of course not.

     So the first condition that would have to be true if this were
the best of all possible universes is that we at least get to live
forever now that we exist.  Probably though that would just be a good
universe, I personally would want a true Bi-Directional Immortality in
MY best universe.

     Bi-Directional Immortality means that you have always existed,
and always will exist, that you were not created and can not be
uncreated and that you are a fundamental part of what ever does exist.
In other words you have a right to be here, because YOU ARE what is
here.

     The next thing I would look into is the matter of how much say-so
I had in what happened to me.  Of course if nothing but good things
happened to me then maybe I would not care what caused it or what
started it.  Hell I would love to be plugged into one gigantic eternal
orgasm machine to be filled with pleasure forever for free.  That
would certainly be better than going to work at Cornell every morning.

     However again we must discriminate between a merely GOOD
universe, from a BEST universe.  Certainly it should be an option to
get plugged into some sort of eternal pleasure source in our best of
all possible universes, but it would be a nice touch if I could CHOSE
to plug in when I wanted and chose to unplug and go to sleep when I
wanted.

     I admit that is merely icing on the cake but we are talking about
the BEST of all possible universes, not just a damn good one.

     Perfection is no small matter in this game of devising a theory.

     Now of course we have one small problem.  Namely, this large
pimple we find in our universe called our present life.  Its one thing
to build a perfect universe from scratch as the best of all possible
universes, it is quite another to build one around a cess pool that
already exists.  We don't want to indulge in any escapism here.  That
would just leave us open to insults from the meatball jackals who
await at every turn.

     Their suffering is significant evidence against any theory we
might devise and they charge us with religious escapism anyhow.

     Their suffering IS real, just as is yours.

     Thus any theory we devise that says that this is the best of all
possible universes must take into account not only YOUR suffering but
everyone elses too, and must be satisfactory to THEM.

     For example, the Christians are always telling me God is good,
but they have not seen MY LIFE.  From my point of view God is an
asshole.  THEIR theories of how this is the best of all possible
universes do not cut the grade with my experience of pain.

     If you come up with a theory that purports to explain another's
pain, if you fail to satisfy their sense of justice, they will surely
take to nailing you to a Cross to prove to you that your own theory
does not account for your own pain much less theirs, and that you
should shut up until you have something better to propose.

     So before we could go any farther we would have to ask one
searing question, is it still possible that this pit we call life
could somehow be part of a larger universe that IS the best of all
possible universes?  I don't mean that this universe is somehow an
EXCEPTION to the otherwise reigning perfection, but that indeed the
reigning perfection would not be complete WITHOUT this universe of
pain and suffering and daily crucifixions at a dime a dozen.

     Well the first thing I would bring up is the small matter of
choice.  It might be fine (if not perfect) to find my self plugged in
willy nilly to a pleasure machine for all of eternity, but it
certainly goes against my grain to wake up to find my self plugged
into a PAIN machine for even a while.

     Therefore if this is the best of all possible universes, SINCE
THERE IS AN AWFUL LOT OF PAIN, I would have to insist that I had some
choice in the matter of being here and that I knew what I was getting
into when I came here and that I approved of it with some measure of
perfection and appreciation.

     It would be necessary that I was aware that this universe was the
best of all possible universes, and that I was entering a dangerous
forbidden zone where in I would lose my awareness that this was the
best of all possible universes and that THIS WAS PART OF THE FACT THAT
THIS WAS THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE UNIVERSES that I could do this.

     Yes, but who needs Nightmares, you say?

     Well for one, maybe we don't NEED them, maybe we CAN just spend
eternity on the beaches of some eternal Tripoli twiddling our thumbs
and dipping our toes in the sparkling waters of the sea.

     Maybe we would never ever get bored with this either.  That would
be a great universe no?

     But maybe there just also happens to be this other place.  This
place.  Probably got a sign above the entrace saying 'HELL' or
'DANTE'S INFERNO' or some such thing, '$5.00 admission.' 'No one under
4 eternities old admitted.' You know, real X rated, sex, violence,
drugs, rock and roll, greed and avarice, war, gratuitous fear, etc.
Just what you don't want your kids to see.  But just what they are
dying to get into.

     Maybe all the younger adolescent spirits are sneaking into this
place because all the adults wont let them in.  You know how it is.

     Well ok, that sounds good doesn't it?  Hell on Wheels, and the
price is right.  But what happens if I want to get up to leave, or go
to the bathroom to take a pee or puke?

     Well consider real life.  In most movie theatres you can just get
up and walk out.  But if you are on the Snake Roller Coaster ride you
are lucky to be able to stumble away when they decide to let you out.

     But that's unfair you cry.  Perhaps, but you PAID for the
priviledge.  If people could stop and get off a roller coaster any
time they wanted it wouldn't be any fun for anyone now would it.  And
there ARE other rides that you CAN stop when you want and just get
off.  And there are LOTS of movie theatres where you can just walk out
when ever you want.  Boring as hell, every last one of them.  You've
DONE all that.

     So perhaps our present state is more like a roller coaster ride
and you just don't quite remember how the hell you got on, but you
sure as hell are figuring that if you ever do get off you are gonna
remember this one FOREVER and avoid it like the plague in the future.
Hey that would make a great name for a roller coaster ride now
wouldn't it.  THE PLAGUE.

     So the DESIRABILITY factor is important when analysing this
universe and how it fits into a bigger whole, and why you can't
remember a damn thing.  
 
     You can't you know.

     You won't ever be able to get out of this place until you figure
it out.  That's because the place you are trying to get out TO is
PERFECT.  So is this place.  But it don't look like it from here.  But
it DOES look like it from there.

     But that's what this place IS.  A place where it don't look like
it's perfect.  But that's perfect, see?

     The way IN is the way OUT.  
 
     Dig it and don't leave it.  
 
     That's because the effort to come IN, assumes that you are OUT.
Since Will is cause and what you think comes to be, if you do it right
it tends to work.

     Remember that the place you are trying to get OUT TO is NOT a
place where you would never ever COME IN FROM.  Its the place you were
in BEFORE you came in, and where not only were you willing to come in,
but you god damn well snuck through all the doors and around all the
guards and people admonishing you not to go in because you were too
young and innocent.

     When you can duplicate the attitude you had coming in, you will
be able to get out.  In fact you WILL be out because that attitude IS
out.

     And if that ain't wisdom, I don't know what is.

 Homer               adore-l@ualtavm      9/20/89 No subject