There is Nothing

There is nothing… that there is no God and no universe; that there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And that I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that insane Thought… By this light, the absurdities that govern life and the universe lose their absurdity and become natural, and a thing to be expected. It reconciles everything, makes everything lucid and understandable: a God who has no morals, yet blandly sets Himself up as Head Sunday School Superintendent of the Universe; Who has no idea of mercy, justice, or honesty, yet obtusely imagines Himself the inventor of those things; a human race that takes Him at His own valuation, without examining the statistics; thinks itself intelligent, yet hasn’t any more evidence of it than had Jonathan Edwards in his wildest moments; a race which did not make itself nor its vicious nature, yet quaintly holds itself responsible for its acts… But – taken as unrealities; taken as the drunken dream of an idiot Thought, drifting solitary and forlorn through the horizonless eternities of empty Space, these monstrous sillinesses become proper and acceptable, and lose their offensiveness.1

  1. Mark Twain, Letter to Joseph Twichell, July 1904 []
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