Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Occasionally I Contemplate Murder 2

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N ot only the center of the onion is empty. Practically everything is, our science tells us.

If you look really close at things, there are atoms, of course. But they don't fill up the space, shoulder to shoulder, like an American football team does, right before play-off. Not at all. They are as sparse as the planets around our sun, as the stars in the Milky Way.

From a distance, the stars do seem to be crowded, but there are vast distances between them. Well, think of it:

They're so far apart that, wherever in this universe you may happen to stand watching, there's never more than one of them looking any larger to your eyes, than the usual dot of white light. Binoculars make no difference — not even the largest telescope.

Dots of white light, forever.

You can measure the moon and the sun, and an oak growing on the other side of the field — for example with a pen held straight out in front of you, like artists do. Not the stars. So far away, the stars are, they're infinitesimal from our viewpoint.

One could say that we don't actually see them — our eyes just register their light. Were the light ever switched off, we'd have no way at all of detecting their existence.

Then we'd really be alone. Just us and our sun and a few neighboring planets, and that would be it.

Maybe it is.

I once had such a theory. This is it:

Perhaps there's just one solar system — ours — and the rest is an optical illusion. I'm not altogether sure, but I think it's possible. At least it's not as absurdly unthinkable as one might at first assume.

Check it out:

If there's only our solar system, and nothing but emptiness all around it — as if a Creator God was a very convenient fellow — then gravity would make all the light from the sun return to it, eventually.

Light, whatever it is, obeys the laws of gravity, we've learned. So, if no other mass existed in the universe, but the one in our sun and its proteges — then the light would have to return.

All the light would return a little differently — because of the small changes in gravitational pull, and of the particular direction each beam of light started with, and so forth.

Our planets move in their different orbs, and the sun, too, behaves a bit irregularly. Given the time it would take a beam of light to turn and return, those small disturbances might very well make the sum of light beams give the impression of a cosmos full of stars.

Yet, it's all mere reflections of the one and only star, which is our sun.

This is not the case, of course. But some time ago I found the idea intriguing.

I guess, though, that the most prosperous line of analysis would be to explore, not the very idea, but the reasons behind my interest in it.

Yes, the astronomical perspective is intriguing — for what it probably is, as well as for what it's most definitely not.

What is true, though, is the emptiness.

Although the combined magnitude of the stars of the universe is impressive, they surely are sparse as police officers in nighttime subway trains, when you consider all the space they have to their disposal.

Think about it! All those distances, presumably impenetrable by anyone and anything but light itself.

This is a universe of loneliness immense.

N ot only space is as empty as the core of the onion. Let's focus our attention on what mass and matter there is.

It's hard, for sure, when your head is hit by a golf ball or you have your car's bumper ram the side of your neighbor's new Mercedes. But a closer look reveals it as being filled with nothing.

Tiny atoms, separated by distances that are quite comparable, relatively, to those in space. Not even in the hardest and heaviest of substances do they have any reason to feel crowded.

Even the very atom itself — that little rascal, too, is mainly nothing at all. A nothingness with a number of names to it.

Our increasing terminology indicates that the more we search, the less we find. The atom is an emptiness ruled by tensions and attractions yet to be understood.

There's quite a lot, when you take a closer look, yet to be understood. A lot of nothings.

Of course, the universe is really but an idea, a concept thatwouldn't withstand serious scrutiny. Whatever we succeed to penetrate, we're met with the same elusive emptiness.

When examined more closely, the universe seems to be a work of side-scenes only. Like the cinema:

Beautiful colors, but nothing behind the screen.

Whoever got the idea of the universe, obviously didn't give it much thought.

We should be very careful, when trying to scrutinize our cosmos. Who knows, if we succeed, if we have a major breakthrough — we might just blow it all.

Like a soap-bubble, when touched by the fingertip of a curious child.

Maybe that is what it's about. To blow it all. The meaning of life.

So, occasionally, I contemplate murder.


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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder
by 2006, 2011,2015
Paperback, 124 pages
Arriba Publ.
ISBN: 978-1-5142-2337-6

The same book in Swedish

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Murder contemplation
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.