I’m working on a book entitled The Adversaries – The Big Bang, Monotheism, and The Heat Death of the Universe. This is the first draft of the foreword:
What I am about to tell you is not new. The information can be found in human cultures going about as far back as we have written records. What is different about this book is the framing. We have a tendency to think of historical wisdom as dated and outmoded because we lack a shared social framework for understanding it. In some cases, of course, social mores and religious teachings are no longer relevant. However, we must always be on the lookout for deeper truths that may be hidden from us because of our cultural filters.
The simplest way to sum up this book is with the Taoist concept of Yin and Yang, which was first described at some point before the 4th Century B.C., probably in the 6th Century. Many Westerners are familiar with the interlocking “S” symbol depicting a black half containing a white dot and a white half containing a black dot. This symbol, known as Taiji, carries profound meaning that in the West tends to be shorthanded as “balance”.
<Figure 1: Yin-Yang Symbol>
What many of us in the West lack is a deeper understanding of the significance of this figure. While my own understanding is doubtless limited by comparison to many Chinese, suffice it to say that Taiji is not simply a symbol of balance. Indeed, Taiji is conflict. Outside of the Taiji lies a quiescent state known as “Wuji”- a boundless, formless, timeless nothingness that is (or was) everything. Modern physics even has a scientific name for Wuji: “Maximum Entropy”. Taiji arises from Wuji through the disturbance of this quiescent state. When Taiji ceases, Wuji returns.
So, when I say that Taiji is conflict, that is not necessarily bad. Two teams competing for a soccer ball are in conflict whilst giving birth to all sorts of wonderful things- exercise, camaraderie, entertainment, sportsmanship… Conflict is not our enemy. Indeed, Taiji reminds us that all that is is the result of conflict. When Taiji conveys to us a sense of balance, it is that of a harmonious conflict- one in which the combatants are fully embraced, dancing, creating each other even as they destroy. It is a natural cycle, like breathing- day into night into day. It is good.
Remember, though, that outside of Taiji lies Wuji. Wuji is before Taiji. Wuji is after Taiji. In a sense, even Wuji and Taiji are locked into the cycles of Yin and Yang. But while we may have come from Wuji and may return to Wuji, in Wuji WE do not exist. We CANNOT exist.
But this book is not about Taoist philosophy. It is about our Adversaries.
It is about the Death of Meaning from which we came and into which we are rushing. It is about the polar opposites of the Big Bang and the Heat Death of the Universe (Maximum Entropy), which are opposites only in our sense of linear time. In a way, it is easier to describe them as the Horrors of the Past and of the Future. For while their natures are the same, they are indeed different. The Maximum Entropy that upon disturbance became the Big Bang that gave birth to our universe is not the same Maximum Entropy that will succeed it. The physical laws that enable(d) each to remain quiescent for a time are not the same. Thus, this book is about TWO Adversaries, both of similar nature but seemingly as different to our eyes as Yin (dark side) and Yang (light side).
Why Adversaries? Because, as I alluded to earlier, each represents the Death of Meaning. In a state of Maximum Entropy (Wuji), there is no self, no other. There is no future, no past. There is no growth because there is no change. There is only a complete lack of anything but undifferentiated energy at its most dispersed. Lest you think that this sounds like something pleasant, some kind of Nirvana- think back to the last time you were completely and totally exhausted.
I don’t mean the kind of exhausted you feel after running a marathon or finishing some big task- that kind of exhaustion has meaning.
No, I mean the kind of exhaustion that leaves you sick and weary in your soul. The kind of exhausted where you’ve given everything for what seems like no reason. You can’t even remember why you were working so hard. You are hungry, but you can’t eat. You are nauseous, but you can’t throw up. You are weary, but you can’t sleep. Your mind is racing, but no coherent thoughts can form. Can you remember a time in your life like that? That was a taste, a TINY taste, of Maximum Entropy.
Yet, a huge number of people worship our Adversaries.
Some serve the “light” Adversary, seeing it as all-encompassing love and unity. Others revere the “dark” Adversary, believing themselves to be serving truth or progress. In this book, I attempt to clearly describe the nature of these Powers and their impact upon our universe. I also try to unmask some of the faces these twin Powers wear- the disguises behind which they prey upon humanity for their own ends. Finally, I return to the middle ground, to the now, to discuss the hopeful possibilities for a humanity that rejects our Adversaries- for a humanity that wants Meaning.