A Head Full of Shit

Why is man born to suffer and die? This question has been asked by every philosopher, preacher, pauper, player, pilgrim, and partner since the dawn of man’s ability to think such thoughts. Well, lemetellya, last night as I was sleeping off a couple of shots of bourbon that I had recently consumed, the possibility of an answer to this eternal question popped into my head. This forced me to leap from my bed this morning so that I could write the whole postulate down for y’all to consume. Well here it goes, so hold your breath pilgrim. You are about to embark on a journey of reality shattering proportions.

Every thought that you think, prayer that you express, voluntary or involuntary action that you perform, and excrement that you excrete is fuel.

Fuel for what? Why fuel for the operation and maintenance of reality of course. You and I exist, live, suffer and die to keep reality going. Note that I use the word “Reality” as a superset of the word “Universe”, as the reality that I am talking about has the universe as its fuel as well.

Does reality have a mind of its own? Well certainly not in the way that we conceive of a mind, else reality would be part of itself. No, reality is a much bigger “entity”, for lack of a better word. I am sure that some have come up with other names for reality due to their inability to define it, names like God, Allah, and the Big Mujumbo. Reality must continue to exist and move forward, hence it logically must need some form of energy to continue to operate. Why does reality exist and why is it born to suffer and die? The answer there is that reality exists because it has fuel to consume, and that fuel is abundant.

But of course that’s not all of the fuel that supports reality. We have suns, stars, planets, moons, galaxies, black holes, star dust, and everything else that man has discovered and named as well as the things that man has not yet discovered and named. All of these cosmic entities live, suffer, and die at the whim of reality as well. For after all, each of these things will eventually pass into the dust from which they came, but reality goes on, relentlessly, endlessly, and doggedly.

I know what you’re thinking, “What are you some kind of a nut?”. While I am sure that there is some truthiness to that lingering question, let me instead lay out an analogy for you. Why does the sun exist and why does it burn so brightly? It exists and burns because it has fuel to consume. Something lit the cosmic furnace that got the sun going. While that is true, the sun only exists to burn its fuel while it is lit. If there were no fuel, there would be no sun. My analogical postulate is that reality exists and continues to exist because it has fuel to consume.

Apparently great minds think alike. As I was writing this little missive, I started wandering the web-o-sphere to see if there were other enlightened minds out there. Some dude named Max Tegmark came up with the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis. He’s still around and teaches at MIT, so if you feel compelled to kick someone’s ass over this story, go after him. I don’t have his address, but I do think that if you showed up to the MIT campus, it would be a pretty quick and easy process to hunt him down. In any event, Max Tegmark’s theory goes something like this.

Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure. That is, the physical universe is not merely described by mathematics, but is mathematics (specifically, a mathematical structure). Mathematical existence equals physical existence, and all structures that exist mathematically exist physically as well. Observers, including humans, are “self-aware substructures (SASs)”. In any mathematical structure complex enough to contain such substructures, they “will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically ‘real’ world”.


Although Max’s theory doesn’t specifically align with my postulate, I do feel a kinship with him and to have the right to be on a first name basis. I also suspect that he, like me, wishes to explain his mundane existence in a meaningful way.

As a side note, I do want to repeat a bit a wisdom I learned from an aged machinist, as I feel this is applicable whenever someone says “I read this on the web”. So if you find my little blog while searching the web in an effort to explain your mundane existence, you can take this bit of salt and rub it on your ass.

If you keep your ear in the sewer, you’re bound to end up with a head full of shit.

The unknown old machinist