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After the Golden Age by Alvin Schwartz
Giving a glimpse into the formative years of comics and beyond.

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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 08/02/2004
Vol. 2, #134

Chickens and eggs, mothers and daughters, light waves revealed by the Hubbell telescope coming from millions of years ago, all of this, if looked at carefully, along with a whole host of causes and effects, should provide us with a very enlightening view of time itself. Thus if we ask which came first, the chicken or the egg, we find that we are dealing with a whole entity, or a relationship between various aspects of experience.

Let's take it from another point of view. There is no past without a present to observe it. There is no future without a past to establish it. All these apparently different states, eggs, chickens, pasts, futures, causes, effects are so integrally necessary to the existence of each other that they are, in effect, one thing.

Just a quick look at this from another angle. The chicken doesn't cause the egg anymore than the egg causes the chicken. They are facets of the same thing.A relationship. Similarly, the past and future. They are locked together so completely that they are no more than the same thing expressed from different vantage points. Time past is time future and it's all in this present.

In the end, this means you can't really predict any future from its past since they are one within the other. And our common notions of past and future are merely the cultural expectations that we share at the moment. An infinite number of other probabilities is equally available. And every probable outcome of any event is expressed as the physicist Hugh Everett insists in some parallel universe.

It would seem, however, the term "universe" gives this assertion an awesome weight that overshadows its simple meaning. I would suggest that every event is, in that sense a universe. Worlds grow out of single thoughts, the exchanges between past and future, chickens and eggs are such that the past not only influences the future, but the future the past. There is a constant and ongoing swirl and interplay as creation proceeds with its acts of division and the divided elements regroup to reform the whole, all happening at once!

In some scientific circles, since the arrival among us of quantum theory, this stuff is all old hat. Not that everyone agrees with all of it or, if they do, they're not necessarily agreeing about the same thing.

So now, you might ask, what is this column all about?

My dear friends and readers, I have just given you a glimpse of the Path Without Form. Each one of you, not always realizing it, has been creating his or her own world, and reshaping it in the mix of unending creation. Most of you are not aware of all this and yet you couldn't even be here reading this column without having established, changed, shaped and reshaped a variety of reference points from which to deal with my words.

I write, you read and respond in one way and another and so we continue to create and reshape the world. Many of us do so without giving it too much thought. In the life structure you've built, there are things to be done and ways of doing them that are solid enough to function within until and unless, which happens more often than you think, it's necessary to step back and reshape the whole thing. I write this from the vantage point of one who knows it can be done and who offers assurance to you that it's possible for you too when the path you're on fades out, grows dim, seems to take a turn in disaccord with your hopes and dreams. In the end, all such paths seem to fade and need to be reconstituted. You need only think of the infinite plasticity of your existence and the pressures that confine you to a waning path can be dissipated like smoke.

Is it all smoke then? Not at all. Nothing is fixed. You are the chicken, the egg, the past, the future, the creator and the creation. Dream up a sturdier path. Follow your true intention. Since you've already done that often, do it now in fuller awareness.


<< 07/26/2004 | 08/02/2004 | 08/09/2004 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Round Table.

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