A funny thing happens if you watch both PBS and CNBC. You have a nightmare in which it's discovered that the Fabric of the Cosmos is actually debt. This is not some alternate universe, either. This is reality. Because what is debt, anyway? It's a vacuum. And having interviewed Brian Greene for Audiofile and this blog, (after reading his book The Hidden Reality), I learned the true nature of black holes, too. When something falls onto a black hole, it isn't completely lost inside the singularity, but the information which defines it remains on the surface of the black hole, like a cosmic ledger. So all the checks which the government has been printing for decades to feed the swirling accretion disk (entitlements) do not in fact simply go away, but rather accumulate, get recorded, and come back to bite you. Let's call this a hypernova event, when a massive star (with massive debt) explodes and sends a blast of gamma rays right for your atmosphere and way of life. Brian also talks about a theory that our universe is actually a projection from the two-dimensional surface outside it which contains all the information (and not just about our finances), then projecting the images of us and everything else into three dimensions. So we may be mere holograms. (Note: I do not believe this. Neither do many physicists.) If it were true, what does it matter, if we're all just puppets on a string (theory)? Just don't tell someone the glass of prune juice they're holding is only a hologram, or they might pour it over your head! And don't conclude that we don't know anything, either. (That's just Congress.) We do know that what goes up must come down. (Or at least we're now learning that the hard way.) We also know what Einstein had to say on the subject, which was, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe."
And now for today's fable:
Three mice were lost in a maze. The first said to the second, "Since our purpose in life is to find as much cheese as possible, and there's no cheese right here, we must go in search of new cheese instead of waiting for it. We must change and adapt to conditions or we will die."
The second mouse agreed, but then said to the first, "I wonder if there is more to life than cheese, though. I want to discover who is providing this cheese, and why. Furthermore, I believe I can escape the maze by realizing it's an illusion, and creating my own rules and reality. My own maze."
Suddenly mouse three did an astonishing thing. It stared straight up for the first time, and then shouted to the other two, "Look!"
The other mice looked to the left and to the right, back and front, inquiring "Where?"
"Up!" insisted mouse three.
"Up?" the other two asked in unison. Still caught on the plane of two dimensional thinking, they whirled around again and again, going in circles like lemmings about to dart off and over a cliff they couldn't detect.
Mouse three, realizing their dilemma, scampered over to each of them and--in turn--put his head under theirs to tilt their gaze upward toward the parallel universe of three dimensions just above them all. "See?"
They saw a huge creature with a massive head. The thing's large blue eyes peered down at them. A giant hand gripped a thin, flat piece of wood. Another hand held a long, thin tube which it used to scratch along the top of the flat piece. In a flash of insight, mouse two said, "It's making notes."
"It?" said mouse one, amazed.
"God," said mouse three. "We are the experiment."
At this statement, a mouse wearing a white lab coat appeared, carrying four golden books. Pages were turned in one of them as the other three mice waited, jaws slack. At last Mouse four spoke. "This is the program," it declared. "The rule book. The Bible. Up to now you have followed its precepts within the narrow parameters of its allowable free will. But since you've now discovered the Truth behind your programming, and witnessed another dimension of meaning behind your world, the controllers must reprogram you and place you in different mazes with other mice. You will remember nothing, not even your own first name. Have you anything to say about this?" Mouse four waited. There was no response, only astonishment. "I didn't think so. In fact, when it was my turn, I didn't think at all."
Suddenly three other lab coats dropped out of the third dimension above, and landed at their feet. Mouse four handed them out. Then he gave each of them a copy of the Bible. "What's happening?" mouse three asked.
"You are being promoted," Mouse four replied. "You are leaving this world and going to the next. There you will do God's bidding by studying and enabling the actions of others."
"For what purpose?" asked mouse two.
"You cannot ask such a question," Mouse four responded.
"But I just did."
"Me too," said mouse three. Mouse one only looked confused.
"Okay, then," Mouse four whispered. "I don't know what it means, but there's a word for it."
"A word for what?" asked mouse two.
"For the meaning of all this," Mouse four whispered, trying not to move his lips. "God's word."
"Which is?" asked mouse three.
"Shhhhh," said Mouse four. "He's watching. Now put on your coats, and start reading your Bible."
Mouse three watched as the other two donned their white garments. He looked down at the cover of the book he held, which read TV Guide. "What's your last name?" he asked Mouse four.
"Same as yours," Mouse four replied, glancing up with a hopeful smile into heaven. "Nielsen."