Love, the Universe and Everything.

Life, the Universe and Everything: The answer is 42. Anyone who is anyone knows that the answer is 42, and anyone who is anyone understands that the question is unknown. That’s the trick – they are mutually exclusive. The two are quite apposite but totally repellent, impossible to know both. This concept is put to us by Douglas Adams, one of my favourite authors and my favourite overall clever person beating, only by a pinch, Stephen Fry but admittedly that is a close race. The idea is that we know the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything, and that answer is 42. The problem being that the question cannot be known by anyone who knows the answer. This is expanded upon by a quaint cyclical theory on the universe that he proposed; if we ever understood the universe, it would automatically implode and something even more ludicrous would come into being. The other part of this theory is that this has already happened. The mutually exclusive part of the equation is fascinating. Obviously, it’s a play on the concept of philosophy and human understanding, the futility of it all and the endless examination of how everything in this universe might not actually be for us to understand. That part is filled in by religious types by faith but by others as mystery and anger at not knowing the answer. But anyway, that’s not the point of this post, or as it probably has turned out more a stream of thoughts that are only connected to the above by the small link of mutual exclusivity and the witty and clever pun in the title. Love is a strange thing. There cannot be one thing more clichéd in the whole existence of the human race than that of the words written and sung about love and nothing more embarrassing than admitting love to someone, of something, or having it professed to you when maybe you’re not ready to hear it.

Recently I’ve been thinking about love and the universe. It would appear that the two are not mutually exclusive, but damn well near impossible to understand. In life, we know how it’s going to end – with our death. Indeed, the world ends with my death. When I die everything around ceases to exist as far as I am concerned. The people, the inventions, the music and film, the culture and the spinning of the world out of time into a blaze of supernovae and boiling gases ends with my death. I know that it will continue on beyond that, for hundreds of million of infinities, but to me my existence ends and thusly my perception of it ends too.

In love however we have no idea how it’s going to end. We pretend that we do, we pretend that maybe we can make it malleable, for us to shape, but it’s quite the opposite. Where we have destination in life, in love it appears that there is no beginning and no end, and maybe no journey. It might be like time, just something that is always there that we, as humans alive, try to quantify. Maybe we all love it just takes various events for us to perceive it. Love is also something I, as an atheist, have an interesting outlook on – it’s obviously, evolutionarily speaking, to help us fuck. Just in the same way the act of sexing is an awesome feeling, so is love, and in life and love, we will pursue almost anything and go through incredible hardships just for the feeling.

That’s such a shit way to look at it, but it doesn’t diminish the feeling in anyway. Recently in a conversation with a few friends I spoke of being alone forever, being a single person. I explained that I don’t think that I can – but I understand how someone could live their life that way. In exactly the same way I can’t understand suicide and rejecting life, I can understand rejecting love. There’s a lot to be lost from trying it, but I also see that there is a lot to be gained. The gain outweighs the hurt – if it didn’t, well… we wouldn’t have lasted that long.

And that might be the answer to the question. There is no answer, because there is no question. Love isn’t something that can be expressed as an equation. Where Life + time = death, love + time = love(time) (love as a function of time for the non-mathematically literate readers).

Love, the Universe and everything = life, I suppose.