The end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

I’m continuing my reading of Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.” One of Tolle’s contentions is that the ego (that ethereal ball of self-interested consciousness living within us) is very invested in “forms.” Forms could be objects the ego uses to define itself, like “Look at my fine collection of Peruvian Death Masks.” Or the forms could be non-material thoughts or stories the ego uses to define itself, like, “Let me now bore you with my exhaustive knowledge of 13th century castle building techniques.” The point being that our egos are dependent on these forms to build them/us up.

The problem being that all these forms eventually decay. Your “stuff” will eventually break down. Your knowledge and ideas will certainly die when you die if not before (e.g. when you get Alzheimer’s/demetia etc.) So to be dependent on this stuff for happiness is a recipe for disappointment. This is all pretty standard Buddhist type philosophy, though Tolle has a nice little anecdote. He describes how he and a friend discovered a burnt out husk of a house in a nature reserve…

As we approached the property, long overgrown with trees and all kinds of magnificent plants, there was a sign by the side of the trail put there by the park authorities. It read: DANGER. ALL STRUCTURES ARE UNSTABLE. I said to my friend, “That’s a profound sutra [sacred scripture.]” And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you.”

If that’s Tolle’s reaction to an old house, he’d probably get a real kick out of this headline from today. Cosmos may be ‘inherently unstable’

Scientists say they may be able to determine the eventual fate of the cosmos as they probe the properties of the Higgs boson.

A concept known as vacuum instability could result, billions of years from now, in a new universe opening up in the present one and replacing it.

“What happens is you get just a quantum fluctuation that makes a tiny bubble of the vacuum the Universe really wants to be in. And because it’s a lower-energy state, this bubble will then expand, basically at the speed of light, and sweep everything before it,” the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory theoretician told BBC News.

But don’t fret.

It was not something we need worry about, he said. The Sun and the Earth will be long gone by this time.

Just knowing a quantum bubble is gong to eradicate the universe as we know it makes me feel peaceful already.

1 Response to “The end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)”

  1. John Saleeby

    That’s what bugged me about that broken down Cruise Ship last week. Hey! Don’t people know that ANYTHING can fuckin’ happen when you go sailing around in the middle of the ocean? Shit, haven’t they seen “Titanic”?

    Fred Stoller is posting a picture of a Beagle a friend of his found trying to cross Wilshire “Is This Your Dog?”. Fred is a Good Dude.