I believe in a lot of things, but the last thing I’ll ever believe is that there will be an end to belief. There are no endings. Sure I will stop writing this essay. You will stop reading this essay. But some day, neither of us will be reading or writing, but it won’t be the end of reading or writing. It’s a recurring theme in most religious and spiritual sects that the ethereal aspect of humanity will continue living in spite if its body’s decay. If you are not spiritual, the ideas, culture, and history being passed on that won’t die like we do. Even if you’re some depraved Freudian who believes none of the above will necessarily survive, at least your genes and organic matter will survive in some way to maintain future life.

Whatever seems to end, there is a force at work behind it that will last longer. The recursion stretches infinitely. A good example of recursion is holding a mirror in front of another mirror or looking closely at a box of “Land O’ Lakes”. More pertinently, this paragraph may soon end, but the paper will keep going. This paper may eventually run out of words, but the author will write more. The author may grow tired of writing, but his works will continue to inspire. He may write until his death, but the ideas gave the words meaning will persist. The readership may lose interest in the truth, but the reality will be despite what its observers think of it.

I’m a moral objectivist. For every wrong decision, there is a right one. A few views on right and wrong deal with things revolving around other things, like planets, moons, and stars. Is what is morally right revolve around what we think, or must what we think revolve around what is right? The latter is called relativism.

If heavenly bodies were sentient, moving in whatever way seemed okay at the time. Imagine how zany and erratic the universe would be. They would be more like electrons zipping around protons than planets around a star. I don’t think this question should ever sink into the “you believe that, and I’ll believe this” cliché. The sun didn’t revolve around the earth because people thought it did. But imagine sentient planets moving in an orderly fashion because we live on one? They aren’t, but it wouldn’t negate the integrity of the choice that they move one way instead of another. The earth moving like an electron would be disastrous. That’s how the universe would work if that were the case. How things could and would work under certain circumstances are ever present.

I stated earlier “for every wrong decision, there is a right one.”   The decisions never end, but the sentence about them ended with “right one.” Ending on a good note, even though there are still more things to be said. Even if our heroes maintained a successful, fulfilling marriage and lived “happily ever after”, it’s not “the end” by the narrator’s own admission. The events must have played out for his statement to be true, but we don’t see them. This is especially true if this dream marriage included children in the equation, not to mention the eventual funeral. What is the consequence of their lives on the one closest to them? As you can see, “The End” is merely a statement of “narrative cut-off point.” No autobiographer’s life ends on the last page of his or her book.

Don’t think it pessimistic that I say, “There are no happy endings.” It means there are no bad endings either, just happy times and sad times. I watched To Kill A Mockingbird and thought there would be a sad ending after a series of events resulting in tragedy. But the play did not end at that moment, the play went on, and the curtains closed with smiles across the characters faces. It didn’t negate the unpleasant turn of events that transpired before, but on the other side, a sad finish doesn’t negate any joyous events. It put’s Romeo and Juliet in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

“To Be Continued” is the state of the universe. It will go on without you or me. It’s not a cop-out; it’s honesty. Our appreciation of literature demands a sense of finality, but that sense will ultimately be an illusion. The TRUE cop out satisfy’s how people want to see the world, where the truth brazenly challenges it. That’s probably another reason why I love superhero comics so much. Even if a character is retroactively removed from existence, they STILL made a difference, especially in future writer’s minds.

If you’ve read or seen V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, then you may be familiar with the quote, “Beneath this mask is more than flesh. There’s an idea. And ideas are bulletproof.” It’s true that things only change rather than die. It only feels like death because we attach our emotional well being on how things are at a time. If the law of change applies to everything including ideas, then there is no need to panic if you failed to write down a now forgotten, really cool idea. It will inevitably spring up somewhere else.

There was an essay that was a prelude to this one. An “aborted” rough draft, if you will. You’ll probably never read him. He was shorter than this one. He lacked focus. He didn’t know what he would amount to, if anything. But his incomplete existence carried weight in the world, and the lives of the few it touched. This “I Believe” essay wouldn’t be the same as it is today if it wasn’t for him. He gave this piece something it can assuredly say it believes in. It will not be forgotten, even if the file is deleted, and the only tangible copy is shredded.

Advertisements