Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Big Bang

I know I’m hardly expressing an original idea when I say that it’s a belief system eminently suited to those committed to a life of physical and intellectual indolence, yet I do genuinely wonder sometimes if maybe each and every occurrence was determined by the immutable laws of Nature at the very moment of the birth of the universe, and that Mankind has been labouring for centuries under the misapprehension that he is able to exert some sort of influence over events.

I can raise this china cup to shoulder height, for instance, and hurl it with great force against the wall of the station yard, telling myself that I am exercising free will. But who can really say with any degree of certainty that it wasn’t always destined to collide with that unforgiving brickwork at that exact moment in time? Like the non-existence of a deity, the non-existence of anything, it’s an unverifiable proposition.

Actually it was Stan’s cup, his favourite of more than twelve years, a present from his dear old mum - God rest her soul - and his reaction when he discovers it smashed into tiny pieces is certainly predetermined, especially when he learns that his treasured vessel was sacrificed quite deliberately in the cause of mere idle philosophical speculation.