Monday, June 18, 2012

Reading Sci-Fi in Silence

Lately, I have developed a whole new level of love for reading.  We are serious, and we are intimate.

About a year ago I bought a second hand Kindle from a friend of mine.  About 11 months ago they came out with the new Kindle for a few dollars more.  In the end, despite the new model's untimely release, I am very pleased with my purchase.

The Kindle has opened up a whole new reading world for me.  I could download any book I wanted to and read it within a few minutes.  This is an amazingly significant step up from wandering around a Chinese city looked for English books wherever they might be hiding.  I no longer need to ignore my foreign friends and their hospitality so that I can take a peak at what's hanging out on their shelves.  Using friends for used books does not make a lasting friendship.

So here I am, a year later.  Let me see.  It looks like I have read 26 e-books this year.  Way more than normal Brett.  Reader Brett is happy with the changes.  I am gaining wisdom, insight, advice, adventure, humanity, and laughter through the written word.  One such book that I enjoyed recently was a collection of short stories by the crazy Sci-Fi writer Philip K. Dick.

Philip K. Dick was the man behind the stories of so many amazing Sci-Fi movies; such as Blade Runner, Scanners, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau.  Okay, well, I haven't seen the Adjustment Bureau, but it's probably pretty interesting.  Why would I say that?  It's because every single one of his short stories I read was very interesting.  For every one of them I said to myself, "Well, they should make this into a movie.  It will do so well that, 20 years from now, they'll remake it."

The most pleasant thing about it was that the stories really made my imagination roam.  I had thought that I'd heard of every single possible reason to tell a story about Space.  Well, these stories took the Space genre into new directions for me, made me really appreciate the creativity and beauty of these ideas and dreams that people have the things that they'd like to see way out there some day.

On another note, these ideas made me realize how big everything else really is.  How big the Universe is, how odd it is that we exist in it at all.  We're like a single person standing in the middle of an empty city, minding our own business and pretending that nothing really matters but ourselves.

I find a sacredness about it.

Someone once said that all of the laser and gun noises in Star Wars wouldn't exist in real life because there is no oxygen in Space.  In real life, the battle around the Death Star would have been silent.  Profound.  I imagine things more like Kubrick's Classical Music in 2001:  A Space Odyssey than J.J. Abram's laser light show AKA. Star Trek.  There is the peaceful sound of nothing in Space.  It's all up there, quite as can be.  It's all up there, sitting and waiting for the Chinese Astronauts to arrive, the same way the Americans and Russians arrived many years ago.  The intrusion of Man cannot disrupt the tranquility of Space, because Space can't hear Man when he arrives.  It just sits there, enjoying the view of our blue planet and the beauty and mystery that is itself.

The Bible says that Jesus is the firstborn of all Creation.  It also says that he was there in the beginning. So, likely, we are lead to believe that he existed before Creation did; thus he could have probably been there for, as we like to call things, Eternity.  Eternity is strange because, unlike what most people think, it is not a measure of Time.  How could it be?  When did it start?  When will it end?  According to how we measure time, Eternity is, at present, beginning, continuing, and ending and already ended.  If we say that something happened early on in Eternity, we might as well be saying that it hasn't happened yet, because how would we differentiate 'early on' with 'later on' when it has had no beginning to speak of?

Yet, somewhere around the beginning of the Creation that we know now, the stars burst forth and the planets moved around the Sun and a lot of other scientific stuff happened.  Maybe there was oxygen in Space, and maybe it messed stuff up, so maybe it was sucked down into the Earth's Atmosphere.  In any event, Space is void of air and void of sound.  A peaceful place, where Eternity spins on into itself and Christ holds all things together within and around it.  At least, that's the mystery, anyways.

No comments: