Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting All Cosmic

I dreamed that I was in a room learning about the speed of light. It was a beautiful sepia-toned room and we were examining the world through special magnifying glasses. The room ran on clockwork. It was full of cogs and gears. A voice told me that when you pass the speed of light, you may not know it right away. You won't feel any different. Albert Einstein is somewhere in the room. It must be Einstein's voice as it has a sort of German accent.

Then I am in the sea, training to swim faster than light. I swim past huge obstacle course of shark fins, and then, mysteriously, the sharks becoming flying diplodocuses. And I careen into the stars, past the diplodocuses. The universe whirls around me, brilliant sparkling objects, and I think there is a fleeting glimpse of God. When I wake up the whirling universe is still spinning, only slowly subsiding into the darkness of the night.

The day before, I was at the opening of the Indian cultural center. The great scholar Karan Singh recited Sanskrit poetry and then reminded us that we are all insignificant specks of dust perched on an insignificant speck of dust suspended in the infinite void. Boy, talk about a 60s flashback. I could have sworn there were sitars and the voice of George Harrison bleating softly in the background, and a wafting whiff of mary jane.

But no, this was a high society event, and soon the Thai minister of culture spoke, though his eloquence was not quite on the level of Mr Singh's. We soon retired to the murgh malai and samosas being served in the library. It was there that I had another cosmic vision.

There's this huge and splendid collection of Indian poetry and literature there ... everything from Kalidasa to Tagore. Plus ... one copy of Frank Herbert's DUNE.

Why? Did it just somehow fall into the boxes that were being shipped to the cultural center from India? Or is there some more profound meaning that we're not getting? Or is this, as suggested by Star Trek editor John Ordover on my Facebook page, "Because DUNE is in Sand-skrit?"

You see, as Isaac Asimov once told me, all the mysteries of the universe can be reduced to a silly pun.

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