Here are a couple of grabs from the first draft of the book. These have not been gone over with any great detail, so don’t crucify me if you find something wrong. Thanks.
This book is about a character I will call OZ. For lack of anything better or more accurate to call it.
OZ isn’t meant to be a woman, man, god, or alien. I honestly haven’t the slightest idea what OZ is. I don’t have any religious beliefs. I am not at all sure that one of the religions don’t have the right god they’re worshipping. I just don’t know or pretend to know.
There might be no god at all – no OZ.
That seems unlikely to me.
In my mind, there must be some super-brilliant intelligence that created this experience we’re all doing. I call it “The Game” in this book. It’s the game of life.
I don’t know whether OZ resembles a human, a horse, or a classroom of aliens on a distant planet who came up with The Game as a class project. It could be any of these, I just really cannot begin to guess.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what OZ intended life to be for?
Why start this incredibly complex game? Just to see where it ends?
Or maybe we are just an experiment in which various OZs got together to take turns creating these epic experiments across the cosmos, tweaking variables here and there, just to see what happens?
Or, maybe there is a prize for the OZ that makes the most interesting game? Or maybe the prize goes to the one that makes the game which lasts the longest before it all self-destructs? Maybe they were placing bets during the cold war on when we’d all blow ourselves up. Or maybe the winner is the game that makes OZs laugh the hardest.
I don’t know.
These are things I think about daily. I know it sounds ridiculous on some level, but if you really look at our lives here – you have to admit… nobody has the slightest flipping idea what is going on here, and most importantly – WHY The Game is what it is.
Few people are looking backward far enough for answers. We’re all pretty content to say that whatever happened before the earth and heavens were created – is unknowable.
But to me, I think we can find out something more based on what we see.
It’s like looking at a Van Gogh painting without knowing who painted it. There are certain brush strokes, colors, and scenes that are part of Van Gogh’s style. We can listen to a piece of music from Ravi Shankar and know that it was his because he is an inseparable part of his music. We can look at a building and guess the architect. We can read a book and guess the author.
In the same way, everything that has been created – everything we have and who we are – points to OZ. The earth, the planets, solar system, galaxy, cosmos, the color of my little girl’s hair, it all bears the signature of the ultimate creator, OZ.
OZ created this according to, in parallel with, enmeshed with, itself… how it is. OZ’s personality or motivations can be seen in all we can observe. In anger, love, awe, it can be found when we open our eyes and observe what all that we have around us.
I know this is flawed. We can only come to some faint approximation of the true OZ. Still, I believe we can see a bit of a picture forming when we look at enough of the world with the idea that something amazing and hitherto unknown, is behind it.
I can’t ask WHO created the game, that appears to be completely outside our grasp. I just call it OZ. Something did. Its name is OZ. You might call it Mother Nature; God; Jehovah; Muhammed; Brahma; Yahweh, or something else. That’s fine. Really, you can call it anything you like. You will still be able to read this book without offending any of them.
This book will help you ask yourself questions you’ve never asked before. Probably you haven’t looked at life from this angle before.
As we look at things going on in our daily lives, you’ll start to question for yourself what is going on.
What can we KNOW about OZ, based on how our game has been created?
Sleep is just one of many areas we can look at to help us deduce something about the great OZ.
What about gravity? Biology? Physics? Food? Cravings? Mental Illness? Birth defects? Crack addicts?
And so on.
So begins our look at the world and its many rules, opportunities, and failings. In this book, we’ll go over some of the most confounding issues confronting us – and try to figure out what they could possibly mean. We’ll try to figure out what OZ could have wanted to accomplish. We’ll try to paint a picture of OZ that makes some sense to us.
Come on, let’s see what we can find out about the most amazing force in our universe… our cosmos, the absolute everything.
How Do Animals Treat Each Other?
One way we can look at animal behavior for clues about what OZ might be like is to watch how they go about acquiring food and eating.
We immediately notice many of them are barbaric. A spider, all day every day sits in the web and waits for some unsuspecting bug or small animal to get stuck in it. When it does the spider runs out and bites the animal many times over to inject venom, which starts the internal digestion process. Immediately the spider starts covering its prey in sticky web so it cannot move, to protect it from other predators, and probably also to preserve it to some degree. If it happens to be hungry at that moment it will start sucking the juices from the animal while it is still alive and struggling.
Spiders are like vampires. They suck the lifeblood out of their victims and leave them dry shells of protein.
There aren’t any vegetarian spiders, though one is said to have been discovered which eats primarily plants. All spiders kill prey to eat.
Ever see a centipede kill a mouse, snake, or lizard? Same thing. Venom is injected and they suck the insides out while the animals struggle against what must be intense pain. I’ve been bitten a couple of times by centipedes. Not fun!
Pit viper snakes grab prey and inject very strong venom with long fangs and wait for the animal to stop struggling, then swallows it whole. They eat rats, mice, squirrels, birds, and small chickens in the same way. A python will grab its prey with 78 (((exact # very strong, very sharp teeth like teeth in a tree saw, and hold it tight while it wraps the length of its body around its victim and slowly strangles it – squeezing out all movement so the lungs cannot take in any air. Doesn’t take too long to kill something like that – ten minutes and a human would be dead.
I could go over how a lion or packs of lion target a zebra, giraffe, baby elephant, and so on. You get the point. Many animals eat by ripping the hell out of another animal and eating it alive or dead.
If we believe that OZ created the entire Game – animals, plants, earth, cosmos, and us, we should be able to learn something about what it intended by watching animals. They don’t have advanced thought, they are just doing whatever they know how to do. They are ruled by instinct and some small amount of learning. They can’t act differently. A tiger cannot switch and go vegetarian. A spider can’t suddenly stop trapping and eating bugs to instead go suck the insides out of oranges on a tree.
Animals are the direct result of variables OZ gave them. Right? Has to be, right?
Let me backtrack just for a minute because some of you think animals are the result of evolution which couldn’t have dictated tracking, killing and eating behaviors.
I also believe in evolution. It’s indisputably occurring. There is no way for any rational minded person on the face of the earth to say it isn’t going on.
To me, our current state of the world – including animals ripping each other to shreds over territory or to eat for sustenance, is a direct result of the variables some OZ put into place.
To me, evolution wasn’t the beginning of anything. It isn’t explaining anything to say evolution just started occurring and animals began to adapt to their surroundings and survival of the fittest, blah, blah… and so on and what not. You know?
The process of evolution didn’t come out of nothing. Something pre-existed. Something SUBSTANTIAL was already in place. All the variables that could allow evolution to progress already existed. They were already in place when the first living organisms, whether cytoplasmic sludge on sea cliffs, or whether the earth was populated with animals from an ark. No matter. I don’t even care how it happened because there is just no way we’re ever going to know what the very beginning looked like. We’re not going to know how life started here unless OZ reveals it. I’m not hopeful of that ever happening at all.
And listen, this bears repeating. OZ need not be some all omnipotent god. OZ can be a classroom of kids on Zeta Reticulooney planet orbiting a star 60 trillion miles away. At some point one of the smart-assed alien kids in the class might say, hey, let’s go give away The Game. These fools have played and dorked it up long enough. Let’s go spill it and see if they can do better from here on out.
Really, I believe it could be as ridiculous as that. In fact, that isn’t as ridiculous to me a possibility as a god which can do anything – creating this world.
In my mind, something very flawed created The Game. I don’t see how it could be any other way. Something half-horrible created this Game, I’m sure of it. I hate to say it like that, but we’re 55,000 words into the book here and it isn’t looking good for some omnipotent, flawless, beneficent god making this earth, these people, these animals, these hundreds of millions – trillions or zillions of variables.
Just doesn’t look like any possibility of that AT ALL.
So, here’s what I’m proposing. OZ put the variables in play before any living thing existed on earth. One of those variables was the ability for living organisms to adapt to their environment through the process of natural selection. Another was survival of the fittest. Another was the possibility for RNA to screw up replicating DNA (((is that how it happens? and end up with mutations which can then be either beneficial, detrimental, or of no consequence for the organism.
OZ allowed for the fact that animals would eat each other and pain would be involved. Immense amounts of pain.
Was that necessary? Was it necessary for lions to bite chunks out of elephants over and over and over before the elephant is finally brought down and the blood supply to the head cut off with a bite to the neck?
Seems unbelievably cruel, right? Animals feel pain like you and I do. When we stop and realize the ENTIRE WORLD has been set up like this – with most animals causing great pain to others they target as food, it just seems like OZ is a real sicko, doesn’t it?
What could be the point?
Over the course of its lifetime, one lioness causes the death of maybe two-hundred different animals. That’s pretty horrific. Two-hundred times other animals which were minding their own business and not a threat to the lions at all – were ripped apart while alive for food to sustain the lion.
Can’t say I’m closer to a point yet. Can you think of one?
Why couldn’t lions be vegetarian?
Do plants feel pain? Some say yes. I need to read some more on this topic. Today I don’t know, but I have heard people insisting plants feel pain.
Why couldn’t lions smother their victims instead of ripping them with their claws and teeth?
Why couldn’t snakes inject venom which doesn’t cause tremendous pain, but which just puts the prey to sleep?
Why does the pain index have to be dialed up so high, to begin with in most animals and human beings? I’ve been stung by a box jellyfish and stabbed by a barb of a stingray, and I have to tell you, the pain is TOO MUCH. It’s overkill. Way too much. I actually thought I would lose my mind from the pain of these stings, it was relentless – never abating. Did I really need to experience ALL THAT? Do zebras need to feel hunks of their flesh being torn away?
I can’t see it. I can’t see a good, humane, or moral reason for it.