Syntax

9 Aug

A man staring at his equations
said that the universe has a beginning,
There had been an explosion, he said.
A bang of bangs, and the universe was born.
Ant it is expanding he said.
He had even calculated the length of its life:
ten billion revolutions of the earth around the sun.
The entire globe cheered;
They found his calculations to be science.
None thought that by proposing that the universe began,
the man had merely mirrored the syntax of his mother tongue;
a syntax which demands beginnings, like birth,
and developments, like maturation,
and ends, like death, as statements of facts.
The universe began,
and it is getting old, the man assured us,
and it will die like all things die,
like he himself died after confirming mathematically the syntax of his mother tongue.

Carlos Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity (Harper Perennial (c) 1998)

 

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