You’re just another average guy. Working hard. Trying to enjoy your weekends. All the while wondering what all of this is for. Feeling that what you’re doing seems to make no difference. That at a cosmic level, your life is a joke.
On one such sleepy afternoon, you drift off into a semi-conscious sleep where you’re suddenly aware of a powerful presence. You don’t need to ask him who he is. You already know.
You jump straight to the question that’s been bothering you for so long. Expecting a grand revelation, you ask
“What is the purpose of my life?”
“My amusement.” Says God matter-of-factly.
That is so anti-climatic that you are stupefied. Your whole life was a joke, after all.
“Bet you didn’t expect that, eh? You see, I wanted to have fun. And one of the biggest joys in life is that of creation. I should know, since I’ve been creating dust, light and matter for quite a while. I’d create a ball of dirt and have it explode into fireworks. To tell light and heat how to behave, I had to create Electromagnetic laws and Thermodynamics.
“You created light, dust and laws of physics for fun?” you ask incredulously.
“Yeah, but pretty soon, I got tired of that. There isn’t much fun in creating something simple. Things become interesting when they are complicated. So I created a few balls of light and left them alone to see what they’d do. But they didn’t do anything because there weren’t any forces to move them. To make them do something I had to invent Gravity and the laws of motion.
“For variety, I created a few billion variations of stars and clumped them into galaxies to look pretty. Gravity would keep pulling everything together into a single larger star. So I had to put them in motion. I had to make the stars massive otherwise they’d fizzle out too soon.
“But that got too monotonous so I threw in a few mud balls. I made each planets run around its star so that they wouldn’t get pulled in. I couldn’t make any planet too large because its own gravity would make it collapse into itself and turn it into a star. I could have prevented that with exceptions to gravity, but I didn’t want to break my own laws. Besides, this was getting interesting.
“I threw in a few rocks to the party. I made sure these Asteroids had different shapes to add a little variety. I sprinkled this celestial painting with a few ice fragments that created varying length tails when they neared stars. To make the system stable, I created the law of conservation of Mass-Energy. And just for the heck of it, I made a few stars so massive that even light couldn’t escape them.
You asked, “And then you created life?”
“Patience, dude. I’ve barely begun.
“To add in a bit of unpredictability, I made sub-atomic particles a bit random. That randomness trickled upwards. That also made sure that any organism I created couldn’t take control of the world. That would kill the spontaneity of it.
“Now I thought I’d add some details. I did some landscaping and created a few robots to inhabit the planets. But they’d just do what I programmed them to. That got drab pretty soon. So I thought, instead of me designing everything, why don’t I let life evolve on its own?
“To make life evolve on its own, I threw a few bolts of lightning at the chemicals present in a few planets to create structures that would replicate themselves to a high degree of fidelity in the most case, but once in a while do it with errors that would introduce variation in the population of structures.
“It turns out, that that was all that I needed to do to kick start life. These replicators took care of the rest. Those that were better at replicating and surviving became more numerous and those that weren’t, perished. Thus began natural selection.
“As time went on, their processes became more complicated. To make sure the intermediate products of the long chemical chain reactions didn’t float away, a sheath began to form. That was how the cell developed.
“Then cells started to group together and specialize. That led to multi cellular organisms. The cells started to form simple, then complex organs housed within a single body. They competed with other bodies of their own kind and preyed on or were preyed upon by other bodies. This competition resulted directly from the conservation of Mass-Energy. Since resources were limited, the organisms had to fight for them.
“The mechanisms that they developed to do this were quite varied. Some used locomotion, some protective covering, some toxic chemicals. Some just turned around and fought.
Over millions of years these organisms evolved into complicated animals and plants .”
In animals, co-operation started to appear among the same species. Like in deer. Co-operation even started to appear between plants and animals. Like in the case of bees and flowers. Animals came up with their own hierarchies and social rules for living together and reproducing.
“What were you doing all this while?”, you asked.
“Me? I was sitting on my sofa and munching popcorn watching all of this. It was fascinating.
“There was one species of monkey that started to develop a higher order of consciousness. It could imagine. That led to the creation of tools. To use the tools it started to move on two legs instead of four. It developed speech and then writing. That led to a different kind of evolution. That of ideas and concepts.
“Some of those concepts helped the species progress. Farming, Architecture, Textile and later on Medicine, Economics and Science. But there were some ideas that held them back. The concept of desire as sin and the upholding of blind faith were quite detrimental to well-being.
Religion started off as an awe of creation. Then it took on the responsibility of ensuring people are nice to each other. A carrot named heaven and a stick named hell were created to enforce this behavior. What started off as an attempt to establish peace and harmony, degenerated into dogmatism. The rationality in the sciences that led to progress was thrown out of the window.
Humans even developed silly ideas about me and used my name to control and kill each other. That a species evolved to the point where they could conceive of me was incredible. That they could come this far and end up being absolutely wrong about me is even more incredible. It’s amusing to think that scientists are closer to understanding me than the religious folks are.
“Why are you telling me all this?” you said.
“I want to test my hypothesis: That even if humans were told the Truth, they’d not accept it. The Truth that God isn’t a punisher of sins or granter of wishes. God’s just an engineer. But humans are so blinded by faith that even if someone comes along speaking sense, they ironically, will call him delusional”
That wakes you up from your reverie. So much happened in the past few minutes. But your life, is still, a joke.