Monday, March 19, 2018

When I Die....

By Fred Owens
When I Die...
When I die I'm going where Stephen Hawking went when he died.
I'm sure of that. I'm not sure where Stephen Hawking went when he died, but I'm going there too.
Hawking kept God out of his masterpiece of theoretical physics. There was simply no time for theological speculation. Religion encourages fuzzy thinking. You pick up the book, you read the book, and it's all explained. There is no need to figure it out yourself.
All of cosmology is explained in the first verse of the Bible. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Done. That's all you need. All I need. I have other problems beside a need to ponder the origins of the universe. Like today, because of my gardening work, I am figuring out how to transplant and revitalize a woody, old hydrangea that blooms, but poorly, next to the mailbox at the Child's Play Pre-School on San Andres St. in Santa Barbara.
I felt a rosy cosmic glow when Hawking died. A comet swooped down from the heavens and picked him up for a wild ride. I didn't just imagine that. It's what happened.
You don't need to believe in God to get into heaven. This is a little known fact. That's where Hawking went, to heaven, I think. I'm really not sure about these things. Maybe there's an especially lovely place for atheistic physicists who are kind to cats.
I was taught about heaven in Catholic grade school. It was somewhere up in the sky, on puffy white clouds. I was not inspired. It didn't seem like any fun.
I gave up any thought of heaven when I got older. The only reward for being good is that it makes you feel good, but you don't rack up any credit for your good deeds, not in this world.
Ten years ago I came up with a renewed vision of heaven that had some appeal. Heaven is a place just like earth only less aggravating. This was heaven as designed by Fred Owens, because I like it here. I would rather live on earth than any place that I can imagine, so how could it be a reward if I had to leave. Die, yes, that can't be avoided, But leave, no, why leave? Earth is a  good place, although it can be aggravating.
That was the beauty of my vision of heaven. You still had to stand in line at the bank, but the line was shorter and the people in line were friendly. You still had to swat mosquitoes when you went camping, but not so many as to drive you crazy. You still got into arguments with friends and with foes, but the arguments were over consequential matters.
You still had suffering and death, but you had steadfast friends and family to get through it. You had meaning. It made sense. This earthly heaven was far better than the random cruelty in our lives, but it still hurt when you stubbed your toe.
That was my vision of the after life until earlier this week when Stephen Hawking died, when I decided that what I really, really want is to go wherever he went. And if he evaporated into nothing, then Me Too.
However that does not make me an atheist. God is too important to put aside -- for me, that is. Hawking could not permit God-thoughts to infiltrate his research.
But he was a scientist, I am a story teller. And this points out the weakness of science, which can explain almost everything, but cannot tell even the simplest story.
You gotta believe or there's no story. I spent most of January reading the Iliad, the ancient story of Achilles and the Trojan War. Achilles, the great warrior and hero of the story, was born of Thetis a Nymph of the Sea. She was a goddess who lived under the waves. Her father was Zeus who rattled thunderbolts from atop Mount Olympus.
That was real. Maybe not real to Stephen Hawking, but real to me.
I don't ponder the great theological questions, like if God exists and if He is good, why does He permit such great evil?
I don't spend time with that on my mind. I just don't know.
I salute Hawking's effort to find a scientific explanation for the origins of the universe. And he knew himself that his own life was a story. He was a legend in his time, if there is such a thing as time.
Send me your Manuscripts.
Send me your text files of memoirs and stories and poems. What are you writing? I want to see it. It might be very good. It might need a lot of work.
Two Frog Hospital readers sent me drafts of their memoirs. One was very good and only needed to be tightened up. The writer found my comments to be useful. The other text needs quite an overhaul, but I liked the story. The writer and I are discussing some kind of deal.
There will be a fee for this editorial review in the future, but right now it's free. I figure I need to get my chops before I start charging for the service.
But this could be fun......
take care,

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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