Imagine there’s no Easter Bunny. (I wonder if you can)

Brother Kenny,

I am so sorry to hear you are ill; I myself have been suffering a bout of something which has made a difficult week that much more nasty. I felt so lousy this morning that I simply had to forget about going to the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum. I’m running a fever and coughing up all manner of phlegm so it would be irresponsibly stupid to go to a public event and spread my sickness. I am tremendously disappointed but as I had no one to go with me that sort of clinched the deal. Sitting shivering in the rain by myself just wasn’t something I was up for today. However, your response to yesterday’s post very nearly makes up for all of this.

The two questions you asked were exactly the ones I had foremost in my mind . I actually rewrote that little post several times ( it’s shocking but true. Things posted here have occasionally been sweated over.) because I was struggling with those very ideas and you have made my day by telling me that you see the same thing I do. When one is speaking abstractly it helps to know that a sane person groks them; I am deeply grateful for your stimulating intellectual resonance.

While WWI seems inevitable in retrospect, like any other human event it was the result of human choices, not natural forces. While it is true that at that particular moment the political, economic and social dynamics were primed for it to happen, it required an event as dramatic as the murder of the Archduke and his wife Sophie to trigger it. One of the things Archduke Ferdinand was intending to do was to repeal some of the repressive measures on the Serbians. The Black Hand wanted to kill him because they wanted to forment a full blown independence movement for Serbia which wouldn’t have gone anywhere if the people didn’t feel they were getting a bad deal under Austria. If he hadn’t gone to the deli, the spark that started WWI wasn’t going to come from that corner of Europe any time soon.

So perhaps the spark comes from somewhere else, a little while later. That’s fine, but things will inevitably play out differently in various small ways, and it’s those small events that will have large repercussions. Germany probably would still have lost, but then Hitler may not have survived the gas attack that gave him so much time to brood in the hospital where he discovered his purpose in life was to ‘save’ Germany. Perhaps he wouldn’t have been attacked by the gas at all. In any case, it’s highly unlikely that there are dopplegangers of us in any of the alternate universes where Princip didn’t go to Schiller’s Deli; the odds of the same exact spermatozoans finding the same ovas that made us in a world that has been reshuffled is incredibly unlikely.

Does that make sense?

Now, as to your other idea. Atoms are not really little solid particles but rather clouds of possibility and chance, in the same way that light is both a wave and a particle. It’s very difficult for us to understand from our perspective, but what it means is that in the realm of the most basic elements of the universe, everything is fuzzy and smudged. When one quality of atomic function is measured with high precision, the other qualities become increasingly uncertain. A photon takes every single conceivable path to it’s destination; this is not a matter of theory but an observable phenomena.  All things are possible, with God, right? Well, it’s true. All possible universes do exist; the perspective from outside of them would be able to perceive all of them. Think of our entire universe from begining to end as a tapestry woven of a single thread; now imagine that tapestry hanging in a warehouse full of tapestries. That perspective sees the future and the past and the present in the same way you can skip ahead to the end of a book or a movie. Meanwhile, we are the characters in the book, trapped on the page and left only with foreshadowing to discern our fates. It’s only when we realize our situations that we can actually begin to make choices that do anything beyond carry us through to our inevitable ends.

I want to say more but I’d like to hear what you say first. Then I’ll explain the title of this post.

One Response to “Imagine there’s no Easter Bunny. (I wonder if you can)”

  1. well besides the John Lennon reference, I’m not quite sure… Perhaps another read through when i’m feeling better, which i am a bit actually, thanks. I’ll paste it into a READABLE typeface, (sorry, old and sick…) and I’ll get back to you.

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