Ever hear the phrase, "Such and such will be the case until The Crack of Doom?" It is something that has been spoken and written about for ages. References about the concept are usually in the context of a curse, which generally went something like, "Your soul shall be cursed to walk these grounds until The Crack of Doom!"
I don't rightly know what anyone meant about the matter in ages past. I'm not a mind reader, nor do I possess a time machine to go back in time to ask anyone about the matter. Within The Cosmos about which I write, The Crack of Doom is a concept with teeth to enforce its will. Yes, this concept has a consciousness. Therefore, it possesses a sense of self and thus, has a will and intent to use its abilities to enforce that will. I wouldn't go so far to say it's a living force, but The Crack of Doom is as real as you and I. Many concepts within The Cosmos have this quality. At least all of the big ideas can effectuate their desires, which are usually tied to their intrinsic qualities.
You might ask, "What are the intrinsic qualities of The Crack of Doom?" At root, its a force that is an integral part of The Grand Design of The Cosmos. It is meant to be the great, leveling force, something impartial and yet, bigger than anyone and anything. It doles out its duty to everything within The Cosmos, without political considerations. Although everything is immortal, nothing is immune from Doom. Yes, all things and beings have a sort of expiration date, a time when Doom comes a knocking and delivers its message of change and entropy. Even Death must consider when Doom may darken his threshold.
Doom dwells within The Crack of Doom. This entity only concerns itself with maintaining the integrity of The Cosmos and nothing else. It is the last line of defense for The Cosmos, and takes this duty seriously. Doom has a natural drive to protect the eternal and infinite characteristics of The Cosmos. It waits in its homeland until something draws its attention. Doom understands the problems associated with immortality and the power that can be concentrated in the hands of a few, or even one thing or one being, over the course of eons. It stands guard over this intrinsic threat and holds itself to the same standards.
When the current Doom took this most-important post, it agreed to limit its own existence. Doom only has nine lives. Once these lives are used up, it will cease to exist as Doom and another thing will take its rightful place as Doom. The idea of Doom is more important than the specifics of what it is. No natural-born man knows how many have stood in the stead of Doom, just that the current manifestation of Doom is not the first and won't be the last.
Only a few concepts are truly eternal, and all of those are absolutely necessary for the continuity of The Cosmos. The Crack of Doom is one of those truly eternal conceptions. The Cosmos is full of mysteries and contradictions, and this area of inquiry is no different in that regard. When Doom knocks on your door, heed its call, fore nothing less than the continued existence of The Cosmos is at stake!
Cosmologists bandy a little concept known as a singularity about all the time. They define the term as "the simplification of reality down to a single point." In the abstract, this sounds so simple, but what does it really mean?
Geometrically, a point is the smallest unit, when combined together, form lines, which in turn, make up every geometric shape. Even circles are comprised of lines, albeit, curved ones. Nothing can be made without the existence of the point. Understanding the point isn't the end of the inquiry because not every point is a singularity. So then, we have to ask, what makes a point a singularity?
If one believes realty to be infinite, there must be an infinite number of points within The Cosmos. Points can be found everywhere one looks in everything we touch and perceive. That truth reinforces The Infinite Theory of The Cosmos. Singularities are not seen everywhere we look because one might suppose they aren't infinite in nature. How this could be, at root, brings into question the validity of The Theory, or at the very least, becomes an exception to The Infinite Theory of The Cosmos. Singularities are therefore most troublesome to the cosmologist, bringing into question the base theory upon which their conceptions of reality depend.
Two theories of how singularities are formed stand out. One has it that singularities are a rare, natural occurrence. The other involves Divine Intervention. Both theories center around the notion singularities are not the usual path points take in defining the space of The Cosmos. Neither theory is mutually exclusive of the other, and both involve the intervention or accidental occurrence of something extraordinary or supernatural. One has to ask, is there such a thing as a Cosmik accident? Do The Gods or The Cosmos make mistakes? Is there an Intelligent Design, or do chaos and randomness rule the roost? Thinking upon these matters creates more questions than answers, but such is the nature of cosmology. Maybe, mere mortals aren't meant to fully understand these matters.
The few singularities that have been discovered and explored by oneirologists familiar with cosmology are beyond ordinary definitions of space. First and foremost, the space within these peculiarities of nature is bigger than a single point would suggest. The size inside these phenomena can be as large as a continent or as small as a room. Nobody knows what causes this disparity of spatial definition. The second thing that stands out is objects or people that enter these happenings, other than the effects of being isolated from everything they know and love, come out unaffected by the physics of these occurrences, no matter how long the people or things were inside the singularities.
So many questions, and so little time in which to answer them. Unfortunately, more is unknown about singularities than is known. This fact is not unusual within the field of cosmology. All we can say for certain about singularities, is we don't know doodley squat about them. The most interesting and important questions elude the mortal mind. To state the obvious, The Cosmos is indeed a nebulous organism.
As the boxcar sways back and forth, racing across my mind, it is teaming with all manner of ideas that chafe at the bit to be unloaded. Ideology sports a spyglass and makes his rounds, glad-handling the other concepts. Dawn with her raygun eyes sits quietly on a box in the corner. She will bring any to their knees with the blink of an eye. Time twirls through the stock car, flexing like a whore. Fate, Destiny, and Luck speak to one another in the middle of the throng. They appear unfazed by the exploits of the others. Their cabal transfixed from the beginning.
Then there is Rhythm and Harmony. These two do their utmost to maintain an atmosphere of synergy within the car. Nothing's going to derail their program. They do what they do best, keeping the tempo lighthearted and positive.
Baglady Betty, The Queen of The Vagabonds, with a flash of her kaleidoscopic eyes, communicates everything important. Her court smiles and lists to the cadence of the trip. They picture themselves in a different space under marmalade skies eating marshmallow pies. Their enthusiasm forms the back beat of Rhythm and Harmony's band.
Imagination races through the crowd of rambling notions. As she doles out kindness with each flick of her golden locks, her luminescence doesn't intrude upon the sanctity of any, but a little of herself is imparted upon every passenger. She can't realize her affect upon her comrades because she isn't put together that way. Existentially isolated from her fellow travelers, the absurdity of her existence blinds her to the inspiration she naturally infuses into all moving in and out of her wake. A flair of artistry courses through every rider.
The Nowhere Man stands alone among the masses. Separated from his Nowhere Land, he dreams of his Nowhere Plans. As he shakes the hand of Ideology, he wonders, "Kind Sir, what manner of snake oil are you trying to sell me?"
Since the next station is self-absorbed with waiting for Gadot, the conductor informed the engineer to bypass it. Unloading will have to wait until the next depot down the line. The Thought Train keeps on rolling through the vagaries of my mind.
At root, phenomena are easy to wrap the mind around. They are simply observable facts or events. Cosmologists define phenomena as being outward signs of the workings of the laws of nature or The Cosmos. That simple definition is where simplicity ends and mysterious complexity creeps into this underestimated and nebulous concept.
For instance, a rainbow is a type of phenomenon. It is an event created by the collision of discrete facts. The event or happening is the observation of the rainbow in the sky. In order to perceive the rainbow, first it must rain during daytime hours. Then the sun must rear its head and shine before all condensation in the sky dissipates. A rainbow appears, caused by the refraction, reflection, and dispersion of light of the sun's rays in the water droplets of the rain. This results in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky directly opposite the sun we call a rainbow.
All of this is perceivable and measurable. The observer sees the rainbow at a forty-two degree angle from the direction opposite the sun. The spectrum of light formed is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The physics of rainbow phenomena are simple. Complexity enters the analysis when someone asks one basic question.
Why does a rainbow appear and not something else? Our mothers might retort with, "Because I told you so," but that is far from being any semblance of a scientific explanation. Sorry to all of the mothers out there.
One might assume something has to appear when these conditions collide. Why is that so? Lots of things happen and nothing appears to commemorate them. Flies constantly move through the air, and nothing is left in their wake to memorialize that happenstance. Rainbows are a special category, which is why cosmologists call them phenomena.
Many cosmic scientists believe rainbows confer luck on all who observe them. This good fortune is granted immediately, but may not affect the observer for a considerable length of time, perhaps decades or even centuries. Essential to an understanding of phenomena is the notion The Cosmos adds a measure of value to a series of facts that coalesce into something perceivable. Why one thing appears and not another is just another of the great mysteries of The Cosmos. Nebulaic relationships are part and parcel of this area of inquiry we call cosmology. In that regard, nebulously observable is an apt description of phenomena.
Paradox is an interesting term most people use or have utilized at some point, but do they truly understand what it means or its significance to reality? When thinking about paradox, the first thing that springs to mind is absurd contrariness or incongruity. That thought seems a bit trite. There has to be something more to this concept than meets the eye.
A working definition of paradox is, a statement that seems contrary to common sense and yet is perhaps true. It therefore appears truth and common sense play significant roles within the concept. Taking that into account, paradox must somehow be intertwined with truth, and truth is a definer of reality or at least a lens through which to view reality.
Truth and reality dance together in search of common ground. In order for these two concepts to have any meaning, they must find a way to reach agreement with facts essential to existence. So they whirl through The Cosmos, sifting through the facts necessary to establish their state of equilibrium. Paradox is an interloper that intrudes on this dance and threatens the coming together of these ideas critical to the definition of this intruder.
Contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity, anomaly, enigma, and absurdity are all aspects at play within an understanding of paradox. Nothing about this idea neatly fits together. In fact, the characteristics appear to all but repel one another.
There are a lot of moving parts that defy explanation. One might presume that would be the whole point of paradox, if in fact there is any purpose that can be attributed to it. Boiling this concept down in any fashion seems to be an exercise in futility like waiting for a Gadot who will never make an appearance no matter how much time is devoted to the endeavor. Maybe paradox is not a concept meant to be wrangled in any way, but it is fun to try.
At root, every story worth its ink is about the human condition. Readers engage with characters to explore what it is to be human. Without that connection, stories fall flat and seem lifeless. What is so special about the human condition?
Awareness and understanding wrapped in a messy package of emotions first comes to mind. Next, thought springs into the mix. Things don't think, but sentient beings imagine and contemplate about everything under the sun and beyond. Part and parcel of the human condition is the notion of pushing the boundaries of the mind to imagine a better, or at least, a different kind of existence.
Whether the sentient being is a human, monster, or of an artificial intellect such as a computer program or an intelligent sword, is no less engaging. The ability to relate to the character is the key. For that to occur, there needs to be something humanistic about the character. That's where emotion comes into the thick of it, and where the rubber meets the road.
Although humans strive for perfection, emotions constantly hurl wrenches into the works. Love, hate, joy, and depression all act to throw sentient beings off their game. Emotions constantly alter the beautiful lane we put so much effort into trying to walk down. The best laid plans descend into chaos with the most minute changes of our emotional state. In order to be dynamic and engaging, characters must possess some level of this irrationality. That's part of being sentient. When an author hits the mark on this point, readers feel it, react to it, and the story comes to life.
Good stories are about the trials and tribulations of characters. Their aspirations, victories, and defeats are what keep readers glued to the page. Although world-building has its place within a story, it is not what inflames the heart or imagination. The world surrounding the sentient beings adds value, but is not a panacea for well-constructed characters. The crazy little thing called sentience is the centerpiece around which the exploration into the human condition dances.