It’s 4 am.
I have four sips of muddy coffee in me. I’ve been up for half-an-hour rolling around in bed because I care about you.
I don’t know who you are, or why you picked up this book, but it doesn’t change the fact that you mean something to me. You are part of this game. You’re part of humanity, just like me. We’re in this together and I feel like we need to help each other through this mess. I’m going to do my part here.
I am wide-awake at this ungodly hour because I owe you something that has been eating away at me for decades.
I owe you this book.
My debt to you isn’t going away until I get this done.
For a long time, this book has been piecing itself together. A good writer would have realized twenty years ago that he was onto something, and knocked it out in a year. Two, tops. At long last, here we are and you’re no doubt wondering – what is this all about?
What are we in for – right?
This book is about a character I will call OZ. For lack of anything better, more satisfying, or more accurate to call it.
OZ isn’t meant to be a woman, man, god, or alien. I haven’t the slightest idea what OZ is. Nobody does. 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. Somehow, that seems unlikely to me.
In my mind, there is probably some insanely-brilliant intelligence that created what I call “The Game.” You know, life. This game we’re all playing here.
I don’t know whether OZ looks anything like a human, a starfish, 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 cannot begin to guess.
Have you ever stopped to consider, to wonder what OZ intended for your life?
Even deeper, why would OZ start this incredibly complex game?
Is it just for the dance, or is it going to end up somewhere?
Any idea where something like this could end?
Maybe we are just an experiment in which various OZs came 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 longest lasting game, 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 all the OZs laugh the hardest. Sometimes I can’t help the feeling that this is someone’s idea of a joke.
So, what do I know?
I don’t know anything for sure, but these are the things I cannot stop thinking about. 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. Even so, we know a lot more about WHAT is going on than, WHY it’s going on.
Why is The Game what it is?
Few people are looking backward far enough for the answers.
Some scientists say it was the Big Bang. They start with that. That event is somewhat interesting to me, but I want to go back further.
What started the Big Bang?
Christians go back to the Bible. Muslims go back to the Koran. Billions of people believe something about the start of this world, but they haven’t taken a good look at what OZ might look like. They believe stories. They believe scientists.
They haven’t really looked at what we have here in front of our faces.
Most of us reading have a pretty good idea what we believe happened to start The Game. Most are fairly content to say that whatever happened before the earth and heavens were created – is unknowable.
I think what happened is unknowable, yes. But, I have this idea that we can find out about the thing, the entity, the power that started all this based on what we see right in front of us.
It’s something 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. Something can be said about the person as a result of the art they create.
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 or article and guess the author.
In the same way, everything that has been created – everything we have and who we are – points to OZ and what it is, or was if it’s no longer around.
The earth, the planets, our solar system, our galaxy, the cosmos, the color of my little girl’s hair, it all bears the signature of the ultimate creator, OZ.
OZ created The Game according to, in parallel with, enmeshed with, itself. All of this we see in front of us, all that we deal with every single stinking day, has something to do with OZ.
What was important to OZ, is here in The Game. Like some incredible artist, OZ whipped up this game and set it into motion – the longest chemical chain reaction we could possibly know, and never understand.
The qualities of this game, the rules or laws, are in place because OZ saw fit to design them in the way we see playing out here in The Game.
There are many clues here we can have a look at to try to piece some picture of OZ together and learn something. Many trillions of pieces.
The morality of OZ – assuming some – is evident here just as OZ chose.
Many of us think there is some all-knowing OZ out there who knows everything, has planned everything out, and is involved in making things happen in The Game on a constant and neverending basis. Some think OZ planned every single interaction of every atom bouncing around this game.
I don’t know.
Is OZ capable of that? I mean, it’s two different things entirely to say that OZ created all the variables in this game, and then also knew the zillions of interactions there would be as a result of the creation of those variables.
Maybe OZ, like us, cannot see the future either. Maybe our Game was designed just to “see what happened.”
I’m OK with that. I mean, guesses must be made, and my guess is that this is all an elaborate experiment to see what happens when this set of variables was set into motion.
For some reason, I think OZ started with some vision of exactly how it wanted The Game to end, and then worked backward from there, creating all the necessary variables.
It’s just a feeling I have.
Another feeling I have is that even if OZ didn’t know the outcome of the experiment this Game represents, the possibilities were known.
Like a chess master knows all the possibilities of a move and subsequent moves. OZ built The Game, and knew all the crazy possibilities that could come out of it.
For instance, OZ knew when male and female humans were finally developed from the evolutionary process, they would be radically different from each other, and yet still somehow be similar enough to get along for the most part.
OZ knew they would need to interact with each other to keep playing The Game, and that things would get shitty sometimes. OZ designed The Game with this, and all the other variables, in mind.
The range of possibilities was always known. However, maybe the exact outcome wasn’t known. There might have been some room for it to develop on its own and surprise OZ.
Maybe that was a goal of The Game? Maybe, for OZ to feel alive, or happy, or exhilarated, or whatever positive feelings or state it could possibly attain, it needs to see novel situations develop. Weird stuff. Bad stuff. Funny stuff. Awesome stuff.
Maybe we are the way we are – because we are similar to OZ. I mean, we like to see funny, bad, novel, scary, weird, and awesome stuff too – don’t we?
When we’re surprised, it can be one of the best, or truly worst experiences of our lives. But, it shakes things up. It keeps The Game interesting.
Alfred Adler, a psychologist I studied in school, coined the phrase, ‘spitting in the soup.’ In the context of therapy to help people break dysfunctional patterns of thought, he’d ‘spit in the soup’ a little bit, and see what happened. It means, to throw something random, maybe a little negative, into the conversation – and see what happened.
Maybe OZ spat and shat in our soup, you know, just to see what happened?
OZ’s personality or qualitative make-up, motivations, beliefs, intent – can all be seen in what we observe around us. That’s my idea.
In anger, love, and awe, we are witnessing some of what OZ intended. When we open our eyes wide and drink in the amazing world around us, we’re seeing a possibility that OZ already imagined, or brought directly into existence.
I know this is flawed. We can only come to some fuzzy 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 unknown, OZ, is behind it.
I can’t say who created the game, that appears to be completely outside our grasp. I just call it OZ. Something did. Its name might as well be OZ. As you read this book, you can call it Mother Nature; God; Jehovah; Muhammed; Brahma; Yahweh, or something else. Really, you can call it anything you like. You will still be able to read this book without offending any of them.
So, for the sake of this book, I don’t know what OZ is. I don’t have any preconceived ideas about it. I put it into the form of one character with a name, for the sake of ease in writing this book. It may be one entity, or it may be a group of sixty million that all had a say in the planning and execution of The Game.
I’m interested in what we can guess, learn, or know about OZ, based on the design of The Game. Based on what is going on here 24-7.
There are many variables we can look at to try to know something about whatever designed it and put it into motion.
Sleep is a variable we can look at. What about gravity? Biology? Physics? Food? Cravings? Mental Illness? Birth defects? Crack addicts? The Moon?
So begins our look at the world and cosmos in an attempt to figure out something about OZ. We’ll look at some of the most confounding issues confronting humanity – and try to figure out what they could possibly mean.
We’ll try to figure out what OZ could have intended or wanted to accomplish. We’ll try to paint a picture of OZ that makes some sense to us.
Let’s see what we can discover about the most amazing force in our universe… our cosmos, the absolute everything.
Let’s start by asking some questions.
Why are we all here playing this game?
What, if anything, is the point of this game we play?
Are we players or are we pawns?
Are we following some plan that guides us through life on a predetermined path? Is it possible that your life is guided by fate and you’re just playing the role? Or, do our choices and actions mean something?
Or, could it be that The Game is playing us?
Or, maybe we’re all just following karma – and your past deeds – this life, and previous lives, are all affecting the range of options you have in front of you or the hole you find yourself in?
Or, are we completely free – within the confines of The Game, to do as we wish?
And further, what comes after this game?
Could we be in one particular level of The Game that just doesn’t make sense to us, and the next level all makes perfect sense?
Are we flopping around in this level like fish out of water just to find ourselves?
If we do find ourselves and put the work in to discover our core values – what we believe is right – and strive to follow them as best we possibly can – will this help us in the next level? Or, will it mean nothing at all?
Perhaps we all die in the dirt and never utter another peep once the ‘Game Over’ screen fades away.
These questions intrigue and plague me.
I find myself at odds, not with the world – but with the part of my mind that is struggling to understand The Game’s WHY.
It’s a source of never-ending frustration – and mind-numbing paralysis each time a why floats across my conscious mind – and begs me to answer it. The why questions implore me to find the answers that make the most sense.
Before we get any further into this, I should say a little about myself and where I’m coming from.
I consider myself agnostic when it comes to religion, to believing in God. I don’t believe in any particular God. I don’t believe that there definitely is one. I allow for the possibility that there is a God that created all of this. I lean that way even. However, Christianity and Buddhism – studied in-depth, didn’t provide the answer for me over the last thirty-two years.
For someone to tell me that I need to believe in God based only on faith, you might as well be telling me I need to be at the top of a mountain to meet Zuess at midnight in a week. My mind just doesn’t work that way.
That said, there is a vast amount of evidence I can see with my open eyes that doesn’t seem to make sense, no matter how I look at it.
I’ve no real agenda with this book. I have no idea where it’s going. This, I think, is the best possible scenario. I have no set conclusion in mind. Maybe like you are, I’m on a search to find out more about the reality I live in while reluctantly playing The Game.
I say reluctantly because I’m overwhelmed by the negative when I take a good look at the big picture.
On a day-to-day basis, I’m quite happy. I’m happy with my health. I’m happy with my family and friends. I’m overjoyed with my daughter, and my wife and I have been happily together for twelve years.
Like everyone, I have pain too. Maybe more than most. But, every day as I wake up, I’m happy and rarely ever in a bad mood that lasts more than five minutes.
I am pained at seeing others in pain. The pain of others weighs heavily on me for some reason. I mean, very heavily. Maybe because my life has been so good and I don’t know why so many other peoples’ lives are so challenging in comparison.