We are often reminded that the sun will only shine in a way that can support life way out here on the earth for only about another five billion years. Sensing the eventuality of the cataclysm, we’re easily inclined to express our concern, along with our sympathetic distress for those far-off folks who will be standing on the earth when old Father Sol begins to turn down the heat.
It seems to us, however, that we have far more immediate concerns, for example, if we can last, in the event of a surprise nuclear war, maybe another billionth of a second.
Of course, there’s also the everyday proclivity of the human race to end concerns about the longevity of the sun for tens of thousands of fellow star gazers by having conventional wars and various murderous sectarian tumults.
But, since we’re all overly familiar with the inconvenient threats we might enumerate that may significantly compromise our longevity, the last more immediate concern we’ll mention is global warming, which could, within a hundred years or so, move the world’s beach resorts up somewhere near the peak of Mt. Everest.
Now, having dilated plenteously on impending challenges to the continuance of ourselves and our posterity, let’s move on to what seems to us the much more logical challenge that the hot news science has revealed about the sun’s capacity for combustion presents us with. As the hoary advisement goes, we should only live so long.
So let’s ask the question that, as far as we know, has yet to be considered. How might we band of explosive rabble rousers last for another five billion years, rather than self-destructing any time sooner?
Or, given our knowledge of other possible abbreviations of our continuance that might discomfort us – such as the chilling fact that we’re currently enjoying just another relatively balmy interglacial period that may only continue for another 10,000 years or so and that an asteroid or meteor may slam into the earth at some as yet unpredictable moment – how might we continue to frolic on the earth for at least as long as it might provide a hospitable abode for us?
First, of course, we should consider dealing with the biggest tomahawks that are in the air, primarily, the three B’s, by which we don’t mean the names of three eternal classical composers but pollution, population, and pop goes the A-Bomb.
Meanwhile, what invitingly positive items might we busy ourselves with during the next five billion years or so? After all, our unrealistic and yet, we suspect, achievable goal is more than just hanging on for the essentially eternal ride; it’s enjoying the wondrous flight through space and time.
So we suggest that, besides obsessing about the well-barnacled threats that have accreted in our minds and burden our otherwise eager capacity for joyful employment and lassitude, we absolutely insist on reserving ample time to contemplate the invitations to delight, large or small, that our everyday lives might provide during the razor-thin mark on the tape measure of time that represents our individual stays on the still acceptably fulgent earth.
For example, if you have something to do today that you know would be a remarkable or, at least, modestly praiseworthy achievement, we suggest you think about getting it done.
If you love somebody, we recommend you consider how fortunate you are, particularly if you’re relatively confident that the recipient of your invocations to mutual affection also loves you.
And so we go, from our grandest considerations right on down to even the most inconsequential massages of our pleasure principle, say, for example, checkers. If you somehow have time to play the game, we suggest you concentrate on your next deft moves. You’ll have a jolly time and, as you know, you as an individual gamester don’t have anywhere near five billion more years to make your triumphant jumps.
We conclude by saying that, rather than being exclusively concerned about whatever we’re to do when the sun flares out, we might more wisely consider occupying ourselves with the view through the other end of the telescope, that is, with the smaller delights and damnations that make up our daily lives.
Actually, when you consider how remote or beyond our influence most of the enormities we’re supposed to be properly troubled by are, you realize, with enormous relief, that the little things which effervesce in our daily lives are really, as bubbles to the tang of champagne, the biggest things.
In fact, it can be very credibly said that the more we discover just how astronomically big things are, like the incomprehensibly lengthy life expectancy of the sun, the more important the little things become. Imagine, then, the true cosmic significance of a ready smile or, even more deliciously, a tender kiss. After all, even the robustly effusive sun can’t do those things, even given five billion years to make the attempt.
We conclude by advising you to recall, as the welter of negative news that is the daily lot of all of us affronts your conning brow, what your grandmother often advised: count your blessings.
As a final service to those who have been gracious enough to accompany us on our wanderings about eternity and immediacy, we herewith present a list of blessings to count as we attempt to make our stay on the earth consonant with the eons Oh, Solo Mio is likely to shine out in a temperate manner.
They are taken from the daringly innovative piece of popular philosophizing by Charles Blaise, called Life Itself As A Modern Religion. If you enjoy this brief sampler, you might like to know that the entire book is a free read at www.toreasonpublishing.com.
We consider it a surprisingly informed and sanely serious approach to our condition, as we hope to be a winningly informed and sanely funny rendition of it.
1. Bless life. It is Creation’s highest gift and the supreme natural form of matter and energy.
2. Bless Creation. It has given us life, in all its forms and with all its possibilities.
3. Bless our bodies, Creation’s handiwork. They are the temples of our lives and the basic source of all our joy.
4. Bless our brains. They enable consciousness and all of our thoughts, talents, and feelings. They let us experience self-awareness and sensations, make right decisions, contribute achievements, and enjoy life, while they coordinate our physical movements and conduct the multitudinous involuntary processes that sustain our lives.
5. Bless our spirits. They constitute our communicative feelings and thoughts and help us have good relationships with ourselves, others, other animals, plants, our inanimate environment, and all of Creation.
6. Bless our love makers, by which I mean our genitals. They let us enjoy sex life, renewing our union in Creation’s most physical way, helping us relax, and, most vital of all, letting us create new life.
7. Bless the other animals and the plants. They’re our animate partners in Paradise.
8. Bless the land, air, water, and all other things. They’re our inanimate partners.
9. Bless our peacekeepers. They help preserve life and our natural Paradise.
10. Bless our natural Paradise. It’s our basic home in the universe and the planet on which Creation has evolved us.
*© 2006 Charles Blaise. Reprinted with permission.