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I was reading about the origin of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, about string theory, about how merging forces could have caused a fast expansion of the universe, and how we might fix the problem of that damn big bang, and for once I felt like it was something that I could actually dedicate myself to studying. My goal in life now is now to solve all outstanding mysteries about what the hell happened 13 or 14 billion years ago.

But as I was thinking this, I was flipping through a presentation overviewing some of the early evolution of the universe, when I hit a slide that presented, without any explanation, this parable:

The Emperor of the South Sea was Fast, The Emperor of the North Sea Furious, the Emperor of the center was Primordial Blob. Fast and Furious were discussing how to repay Primordial Blob’s bounty.

“All men have seven holes through which they look, listen, eat, breathe; he alone doesn’t have any. Let’s try boring them.”

Every day they bored one hole, and on the seventh day the Primordial Blob died.

- Chuang-tzu (c. 350 BC)

Would any Taoists in the audience care to enlighten us? I’m no expert in ancient Chinese philosophy, but suddenly I don’t feel so eager to poke my nose into the primordial plasma of the big bang anymore.

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