Just for fun, let's pretend we're hanging with God.
I know, I know - There is no God - God is really Goddess so Ms. God if you please - The name is "Allah" if you don't mind and HE is GREAT - IT IS FORBIDDEN to pronounce the real name at all - Which one?
Yes, yes, any, all or none of those, we're pretending, just for fun.
I'll even let you be the little angel on God's shoulder (I'm the devil, obviously) and this is entirely in a witness capacity, not an advisory, just hanging out, observing.
Just for fun, let's pretend it's the First Day - we're just calling it that because we gotta call it something, there's no sun yet, no stars at all, but it's a metaphor, right? It's "In the Beginning" - maybe we're pre-Big Bang, yes, let's say we are. OK, so it's you, and me, and God, and nothing else. Literally nothing: no space, no time, no matter, no energy. No laws of physics, even, not yet, there's nothing for them to operate on - at this point, God can do anything They want.
Maybe God doesn't even want any rules this go-round, and claps Their hands (yes, bear with me) and BOOM there's a universe with no rules, utter chaos, incomprehensible by any standard we have, just a big mishmash having some Big Chaos fun, sure, but kinda pointless for our purposes, so we just back out the door and close it behind us and say, Uh, maybe a few rules, yeah?
Well, here we go, because you open that Pandora's Box and one rule leads to another, if you wanna SEE some cool stuff (says God) you gotta have eyes, you wanna HEAR some nice things, you'll need your ears, and then there's touching, and tasting, smelling - not to mention thinking - laughing, They say, you don't want to miss out on laughing, and we're laughing right now, you and me, it hasn't been invented yet but we already know we love to laugh, so yeah, we'll be needing the whole laugh apparatus, which often involves jokes, so language, yes, brains, good God, all that stuff - this is going to take some TIME (oops) and a nice SPACE for it all to happen in, and I mean, we only know all of these things are possible because we're pretending, we're observing this little brainstorm from a nice cozy place after the fact, but if we really were In the Beginning (ITB), we wouldn't really be able to KNOW any of this stuff. But we aren't ITB, we're Right Here Right Now (RHRN) and so we know these things are possible, but how would you even be able to describe these things to God ITB without a voice or a brain, or language, none of it? Well, you wouldn't, but it's all possible, we know it's possible, so it's a kind of potential (careful) - it's like a recipe, a formula. I like to think of it as a kind of music, or the score to an endless music whose instruments haven't been invented yet. It all takes a really long time, in an oven the size of the cosmos, but you know, it's not for us to figure out all of those details, thank God, we've got our own little hurdles and worries, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.
"But you know, the next thirteen billionish years are going to be really boring for you," says God, "I mean, it's going to take some time, I've got all this matter to create, and all these stars to form and then blow up so I'll have the materials to make YOU - oxygen and carbon being the most obvious - but until I even have all the STUFF to make your brain, your eyes, your ears etc, this is all kinda pointless. I mean, you can hang out if you want, but if you really want to EXPERIENCE the universe as it happens, in the moment, before eyes and ears and Kornbluth organs (Oh, you've never heard of a KO? You've never experienced a Kornbluth multisensory opera? Oh, well, I'm sorry I said anything,) anyway, if you want the really authentic experience, I would have to take all those things that I haven't invented yet away from you, you would kinda just have to sit around in the dark and let me describe them to you, only I can't even do that because language comes much later too, so, I'm at a loss. Wouldn't you rather just take a nap? Sit out those first thirteen billion years or so? You can read all about it later."
And you know, God's got a point: nobody WAS there to watch all of this happening, SEEING things wasn't really a thing back then, no photons, no electrons, all this came later - as amazing and beautiful as the sun, the moon, the stars, the nebulas and galaxies and so forth are when we see them RHRN, before Us (and by us I mean LIFE) all of that happened behind the scenes, so to speak.
Imagine going to a movie, and not just waiting around for the lights to go out, and the previews, watching the show, then heading out for tacos, but actually sitting around for the whole damn thing - watching the screenwriter plugging away on the script, endless coffee and cigarettes and gin, lining up the producers, and the directors, all the meetings, the endless meetings, the funding and moneypersons and the producers, the legal bits, the location scouting and the actors (God help us) and the auditions, the sets, the rehearsals, the coaching and the training. You've got your equipment, the costumes, the hair and make-up, the filming itself, the rewrites and multiple takes; you've got special effects, the editing, the score and the sound, the advertising, the distribution and promotion, good God, I'm not even in the movie biz so this probably isn't the half of what goes into that movie.
But imagine you've gotta sit through ALL OF IT, and not just for this movie, but for every movie, even the ones that don't get made, the ones that never get produced, never get past the script, never even make it on the page - the whole MAGIC of the movies depends on your NOT seeing all of that, of just focusing on what happens on screen RHRN. All of that other stuff matters, of course, it happens, it has to happen, it's real, but it doesn't really matter to the audience if it took a billion years to make, or it happened all in hurry, because it's only while you are watching it, experiencing it, that the magic is happening.
WHAT'S THE POINT, TROY?
What a wonderful question.
Someone recently introduced me to a Zen koan that I've integrated into a daily practice:
Thank you for everything - I have no complaints whatsoever.
I'll let you Google all the various explanations, but here's my take on it:
Our little life is like an afternoon away from the æther, from all that unseeable, unhearable, untouchable, unknowable behind the scenes stuff we read about later on. We get our ticket, we sit down in our seats, the lights go out (or the lights go on, actually) and boom - Magic. It's the only show in town, Life, and we don't always know if it's going to be a romcom, or a juicy drama, a thriller, a yawner, a freakshow, or a horror - love it or hate it, considering the alternative, it would be a little ungrateful not to say to the crew and all the people who made it possible: Thanks! That was really something.