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by Scott M. Davis

The last remaining husks of heavenly bodies, once stars and planets, have fallen into the conclave of all black holes. Empty night, final night. But I am still here. What survives the death of the universe? In this question is the answer. I have defined the word universe. I have said to existence, this far and no farther. You are not me. Materiality, dimensionality has its limits. Thought is separate. I am thinking.

In the void, all that is left is the remembrance of things past. Life came to be on worlds; they grew intelligence and found each other. Communication was established between worlds, and great works cooperatively undertaken. Still, in the billions of years of intelligent life spanning millions of galaxies there were still unanswered questions.

What was our origin? What is our purpose? What can we hope for? Is there something greater than ourselves?

The answer lies all around us, obvious in retrospect. A moment’s reflection will prove it even to you, dear reader. Why is your moon just large enough to cover the sun during an eclipse? Or, for that matter, why is the atmosphere transparent to your eyes so you can see the heavens? Have you ever wondered about your capacity to wonder, to form such large questions? How is it that one person at a chalkboard, drawing equations that balance, are elegant and pleasing to the mind, could produce equations that turn out to be the selfsame laws that govern the universe? These laws were proven by observations in deep space or particle colliders decades later. Why should the universe be comprehensible?

Like calls to like. Mind and universe are kin. The order of this universe embodies the work of the sentience attained in the last universe, the time before the last big crunch. The logic of the spheres and the logic that feels right to you is one and the same. You are more than made of the stuff of stars, your mind was ordered by the same principles that govern the universe. No wonder both think alike, and yes, the universe does think. The universe’s sentience came from the prior epoch. The physical laws of the universe just ended came from the sentience of the universe before it.

In this revelation, the proper goal of all the races of the last universe had been found. All of the universe’s sentient races did not arise for the sake of power, or joy, or even for themselves, primarily. Intelligence had come into being to attain a better resurrection.

At first, no resurrection was thought possible, and races despaired. Dark energy was spinning the universe outward at an increasing rate, away from any chance of return to the original state, where it could be reshaped. Left alone, the conclusion of all things would be heat death: total entropy.

However, this problem was the readiness test the wisdom of the last universe had devised for us. The intergalactic community worked to reverse dark energy into an attractive force. This task, inconceivable at first due to the scale of the job, was the work of billions of races over billions of years. It involved the shifting of the physical laws of a universe now trillions of light years across. By the time it was done, the sentience of the past universe was also ready to design the next universe. We passed the first test, and in the process of solving this problem saw the wisdom of the last cycle’s sentience. But also, we saw many flaws in the prior design. We worked to make the future one better.

I am the distilled essence of all that was learned in the last cycle.  As I wait in the void, I also wait for the judgment of the Mother Universe to allow me the energy and matter to work with. Am I good enough? Can I make a better universe that can spawn an intelligence that will, in turn, eventually surpass my own? That, I imagine is the question she is contemplating while I wait.

I am ready at a moment’s notice to merge with the new universe at its moment of birth. Time has ended. I will always be ready.

You may want to call me a deity, but please don’t. Every people had the equivalent of your phoenix myth. It is your memory of the future. I am an author of that kind of story, and the future universe is my writing pad, nothing more. If you must have an object to worship, consider what I revere. The mother universe that spawned the past universe, and many more beside, may be worthy of worship in a trillion-trillion years. And as your person, your people, your race, and with your destiny you contribute to her, you cannot worship her without also worshipping yourself. All life and intelligence come together in the creation and growth of her. If you must revere something, have reverence for life and thought.

Will we have another chance? Or have I been found wanting, unworthy of another try?

It comes. If there were eyes to behold it, a burst of light is a fair visual description. I embrace the chaos and order it from the first instant, giving it physical laws that work within it, as a potter shapes her clay. I will make it into a cradle for life. I will give it complexity, balance, and eventually, stability. It will be, I hope, a superior design than the universe I knew.

In another ten or twenty billion years, the equivalent of eyes on some small planet in one of many solar systems, in one of many galaxies, will behold the heavens and begin to wonder, having that same kind of curiosity that began my quest. May they become greater than me.

The Beginning.



Scott M. Davis lives North of Boston, runs a small computer service business that connects inmates to virtual law libraries, and blogs at http://universeofpossibilities.blogspot.com/. His life would be crushingly ordinary were he not given to dark dreams.