5  Forty-two

So, there was this moment, not too long ago, when I realized that I had it. I mean, I was turning it around in my head, poking at it at various places, wondering how I had arrived like I had at the conclusion—I mean, really? Was that it? I mean, Douglas Adams, when he was informed about all the things that his meaning of “life, the universe, and everything”—all the conspiracy theories, basically, that had formed around it: er… no. He didn’t mean it as the ASCII character 42, which happened to be an asterisk (*, which our patron saint Kurt Vonnegut had his own ideas about); he had no idea about base 13 (which I independently discovered myself); none of these other theories how he must have combed the entirety of human knowledge to come up with this magical number: just… no. One might guess he just rather lucked out in picking it. You see, the real answer to it all is not that much more complex, once you hear what it is. In fact, “42” is on the more mysterious side compared to the Thing, what it all can be explained by. As a matter of fact, I’ve already told you the Thing. A couple times.

The Thing came to my general realization when I hit paydirt. From all the digging I had done in all the weird and esoteric lines of thought I followed. I mean, I didn’t go as far as like Robert Anton Wilson, dear old follower of Aleister Crowley, and I really didn’t have much interest in going down those paths, down rabbit holes that were so dark and so deep (miles to go before I sleep), but I had paths of my own. Woke up Cthulhu, at one point, finding the chap to be most noble and kind; and then there was the Pink Aquarium; but there was the last bit of darkness I needed to seek, which I did stumble upon a few times. And the last of these clues, I found the meaning of it. And this led to the meaning of it all. It was a name, which I remember some years ago having heard in the Halospace. I looked it up again, which people wrote of on the internet as being the Enochian word for nothing, or nothingness: AFFA. But what it was supposed to be… it was the name of the secret, Dark God. That which was the one who had tempted Lucifer himself, that which was supposed to have been the undead substance of Evil. And what I found out about it… 


Let me unpack. Have you ever gotten stoned, and you think of a really cool thing, and like leave yourself a note or something, that you just need to get to it later, really anytime, just remember to do this one thing and you’ll be set for life or some such nonsense? And then you totally space it, completely forgot about it, and in fact there were even like 2 reminders you left yourself on your iPhone, but you had so forgotten what those things were about that those reminders just float by, before your eyes, and then! Then there comes the time where you realize that that doodad, which you had set up, that it was the time, baby! This is like IT! You need that whatever it was, which you finally remember about, and so you dig in all those places that it must have been buried under, and at that point your dog or something points it out to you, where it was… And it’s nothing. I mean, all you had to do was set up this one simple plot device, and it would have all been fine, like the whole rest of your life would have been so completely set and holy shit! It’s nothing. You deceived yourself in thinking that you must have taken care of it, years ago, decades ago, c’mon! And now it was too late. The moment goes, and there is nothing more you can do. 

Such was AFFA.

Way before the War in Heaven ended, that had been the backup plan, which would have made Lucifer all-powerful, to his thinking at least. All he had had to do was to put the proper piece of pain within it, behind the name. Then he could have had the same as Josh had had with “God the Parent”, except here, fueled by nightmares. That was the innermost, highest secret of the bad guys, the entity even the worst of them feared as the horror beyond all horror. Except at the end, it was just a lie. There was nothing there. Actually nothing. And it corresponds to the idea that there is no Hell, and never was, never will be. And that’s when the Thing hit me, once I realized that the coast was clear.

It was the realization that all the bullshit that I had had to deal with, which a whole mess of people also had to deal with, trying to figure out this world and the way it worked, to find the meaning inscribed in the language of a mad earthworm and written into the sky with ink that was so invisible no one ever even thought to look there for anything, why it was all like this, all of everything, why in the bloodiest of hells this was all so confusing to any sensibility, like how the fuck is “God is love” supposed to make any fucking sense? And this joke I heard recently, this comes to mind, which haunts me now: “An old Jew goes up to Heaven and says to God, ‘I have a joke about the Holocaust, can I tell you?’ and God goes yes, then when he tells it, God goes, ‘That’s not a joke, that’s offensive.’ Whereupon the Jew goes, ‘Oh. I guess you had to be there.’” Which touches on the words carved into the wood at a death camp, back when: “God will have to beg for my forgiveness.” How could God possibly have let that happen? How could there be a God at all?

Until the ramifications hit you, as they hit me, when I thought about it, the Thing is where God dies… And that… That means for at least some instant in time, if that two word phrase is true, that this Thing was real: somewhen, if for even an infinitesimal of fractions within where everything exists, that there was no God… and that that was enough. Enough to throw the entirety of the cosmos askew. Fucking Melkor’ed. And now you know. Why even the best of any prophecy is off, by at least fractions, if the prophecy even can have a chance of happening at all, needing to be re-interpreted as the time goes by, and to speak of the light that cannot be reached, the best of love scattered through shadow into the cold of nothingness. Because we won and I can tell you this, we need to see how wonderful it is that the truth is not illegal here, in “the best of all possible worlds”. The entirety of the world, this universe, this cosmos, the beauty and the ugly—and there is a lot of ugly, and there is a lot of beauty, too—that this is the best They could do; look around, let it be brought to mind of how God was dead in truth, yet still, God kept it all together. See? When Lucifer clusterfucked the cosmos, all you see, all around you: this is what it became, of the entire magnitude such overwhelming malice wrought. And that’s my 42. That’s everything.

Now do you understand what’s going on? Am I not alone anymore in this? There is other, more complicated stuff, when you realize the above, which I don’t expect anyone to get. Like why faith turned out to be so important in the aftermath of the Cross (which will be the term I will use referring to Lucifer the huge fuckwad and what he did) that faith was to handle this very weird logic: before you do something, it’s never been done, but after you do that thing, it’s always been done. Thus faith, for many critical things, is necessary to carry you from the before to the after. Yeah, that’s not something to be grasped by any logic you’re used to in the everyday; it does seem to be tangentially related to how things work in the quantum realm, but I digress (as if I do anything else). The main thing is, yes, you are correct that when you take a long hard look at everything, it is so very fucked up there’s no way you can conceive how a good, omnipotent God could have meant for everything to be like this. Now you know. They didn’t. God did not invent pain.

So, having just this one piece of information, and suddenly, everything came into focus for me. Along with the above, you really have to factor into account, when people complain about how they think God must be sitting on their ass and making everyone else do shit for Them, it is something I have come to understand as, “The Myth of the Lazy God”. In this very popular view of the Divine, God is sitting on Their throne and kinda waving Their finger at some angel and that’s pretty much Their day. Being blasted by the constant praise of 100 million seraphim. The third wizard explained to me once, that they had had it offered to them—which would be—what? “Godhood,” they said.

“Which what?” I said in perplexity.

“Yeah, there was this picture, this vision of a future, of me floating around sorta smiling and stroking my chin as that this was the day I was going to be taking over as God Most High, so the former one could step down and take a break. And I could sense how, yes, I was going to be elated with the new responsibilities, but holy shit! It was going to be a huuuuuge increase in raw stress that I was going to be stepping into. Like, all the time. Without letup. For as long as I was going to be the new Deity. So, no, I turned it down, unequivocally.”

And that was the thing, they explained, the one currently at the greatest effort of work going on right now—was God (the Parent, the Child, the Spirit). The Myth of the Lazy God. It ain’t so. It’s not the way They do things. You have to realize, that if we base things on a scale of merit, that they who are “above” necessarily have to be the ones who have achieved the greatest things, of what was past, of what is now, and of what is to come. And do not lament that these things can no longer be done anymore, that which we have triumphed against: let us consider that we would not have wanted such a thing as defeating death a thing left for us to do, or needing to be done again. There are no cushy assignments or nepotism in Heaven. Divine justice, if it is truly as it is supposed to mean, must be that everyone can understand why things ended up the way they did. For quoting the words of Cornel West again, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” It has to make sense.

Perhaps the only exceptions to this rule would be the lowest fifth of us, who I am told, these would be the ones which are cast into the fire. From what I have gathered, the dividing line between that lower fifth and the fifth just above them will be stark, pointed. I hear that there are none who are “almost” saved. These are the people who wanted to be the exceptions. Those who believed that they were above the law, that they were indeed like Lucifer: “I will be like the Most High”. They will cry, “Why is God not on our side?” without purpose, and will fail—refuse—to understand that that is not how it works. These are the ones who when they are asked to basically get along with everyone, will absolutely refuse to do so. I was told, only saints are allowed into Heaven.

Wait, what was that? Just saints? Are we back to believing only a small fraction actually get to the good place? Because that’s basically almost no one, right? Actual saints? Hm. But then I discovered, along with this sentiment, that there will also be a Purgatory. Yeah, so at the end of that, four fifths of the populace will all have done the requisite work to become saints, and we all go up. And no, that is not a typo I made five times now, either: four fifths of all the people who have ever lived will go to Heaven, eventually. I think about 600 years is the max time anybody will spend in Purgatory. And personally, I had been hoping for two thirds of us saved, because we all assume it’s going to be about 50/50, but there is this passage in Revelation where it says the Dragon tears a third of the stars from heaven, symbolic for a third of the angels falling. But happy to be wrong, four fifths are saved. That’s straight from Josh himself.

Knowing what I know, how frustrated I feel looking at my social media, the clueless believers who insist that all will bend a knee and proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”, who basically have turned off their brain except that anything even remotely related to the topic of holding the Bible literally, inerrantly true they will stake their lives on (or at least say they do), like Noah’s Ark saving all the animals of the entire world in a flood that covered all the land, animals which did exclude dinosaurs because that’s why they were extinct, which all of everything were brought into being in six literal days, after which God rested, we all of us of course having been born from Eve, who with Adam had three sons, and no clue where Cain went and married someone somewhere, and those people who keep asking, if we came from apes, why are there still apes? and they don’t fucking realize how there is shit in there about this dude who cuts up his dead wife into pieces and sends them out to the corners of Israel, or that Lot’s daughters seduced him by getting him drunk and had children by him, and prohibits mixing two fabrics together, and eating shellfish as well, and these idiots have “Leviticus” tattooed on their arms, not realizing that tattoos are prohibited in Leviticus, having no irony about any of this shit, that we’re supposed to believe that God is love while they fucking hate everybody, and I want to scream at them, “You fucking tool! These assholes stealing your money in the name of Jesus are not your friends!” 

There is no conspiracy! It’s all about the money. If they could either save you or take a million dollars, boom! you’re a shitstain. With not even a flinch. If all you share among you is a mutual hatred, these are not your brothers and sisters. And there’s the other side, too, who just sit in their atheist superiority, telling everyone who care to agree with them how stupid it was for God to have created the Devil, and to send everyone to Hell for not loving Them unconditionally, what a stupid fucking moron God must be for whatever reason comes to mind because it makes no fucking sense to them, but they believe in science and technology and we all come from nothing and we all go to nothing, but… I have to say, but… you know, I prefer the latter group, honestly. The former group just scares me. That kind of willful ignorance is much more a fertile a ground for the actual Satan. Beware those who are sure that they do the will of God, and are willing to kill you to prove it. Sometimes I think society is just on the brink of legalizing that specific kind of murder. Again. I mean, it used to be that way. We learn from history that people do not learn from history. Sometimes to feel as if we are on the cusp of the fall of civilization. Some times nearer than others. I fear that the great experiment that is America will descend back to the primordial ooze of haves over the hordes of have-nots, and I am only comforted that at that point is probably when people would revolt once again, en masse. 

Because if you don’t agree with the idea of civilization, you have to understand: the idea of civilization is rooted in progress. You don’t think so? If you don’t believe in progress, you believe in regress. And you don’t seem to understand that when push comes to shove, those people who are the ones which if you keep stripping them of the accoutrements of progress, that if you try and make them go back to how it used to be, these, the enlightened gentlemen, and so such ladies, here in this present age: these are way more dangerous than the mere grunting brutes. Think of the words of Dr. Watson from the TV show: “I’m an army doctor, which means I could break every bone in your body while naming them.” Give them nothing to live for and they’ll take down twenty of you as they flame out. Or more. I’ll take a quiet group of PhDs over the alpha male Wall Street assholes any day of the week, twice on Sunday. 

And if you haven’t figured it out by now, progress means to go toward equality. Some people are nice until you give them no way to be nice. If the powers that be invalidate the agreement that is civilization, I imagine it will be like when what had kept the massing crowds at bay, that agreement breaking, relatively recent in history, now, when came the revolution that brought to ruin the crown of 18th century France.

But who knows? I will tell you I am a prophet of the last days, an endarcher. Though I know those days are far, far off, in the neighborhood of AD 42,000. The world has so far survived the advent of “Oppenheimer’s deadly toy”, and the superbombs that followed, and this is no light thing. For the first time in our history, we had a means to kill everyone who exists on Earth several times over—and we didn’t. I mean, we still do have that capability, even if it’s a little better now, and the lyrics of Alphaville’s “Forever Young” are outdated: “Let’s dance in style / let’s dance for a while / Heaven can wait we’re only watching the sky / hoping for the best but expecting the worst, / Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?” And I remember back when, there had always been the looming shadow of death that hung in the atmosphere, like back when I was in sixth grade, thinking how the year 2000 was so far off, and how old I’d be then (which would have been 31). It’s different now. We survived. Turns out that finally, human beings had done it—made a weapon so terrible that we feared to use it. No, it didn’t (as so so so many people in our past wished that the new, horrific weapon they had just invented would do) it didn’t put an end to all war. Wars still came and went, but since Nagasaki, no people anywhere were again subject to nuclear annihilation. The fear is still present, but generally the doom and gloom does not hang over us in the ordinary airs.

Other issues are here, of course, like climate change and microplastics. Most probably, there will be others, if not many others, between now and the end of days. But consider that hey, there is a God, and They are on our side. Don’t worry, even, if you still don’t believe They exist, because They’re totally cool with that. Listen to heavy metal, be gay, smoke a little weed, download a few movies, you know… live! Because the Rose will tell you that even though she had so few years here in this world, that those, spent with so much life as they had been lived, would not the scantest of seconds spent in the thick of the fray, how these are equal—greater—to decades just sitting there, letting the world happen all around you, because she did not spend her last moments preoccupied with the questions of, where had it all gone? because she fucking knew. She was there, there for all of it. Because there is a complement to a thousand years being just a day to God, that the barest of experiences, those which kiss the sky, are lifetimes all to themselves.

Josh came so that we might have life, and have life abundantly. I’m not talking about the blasphemy which is the Prosperity Gospel, because an abundant life is one which is full of friends who love you, of good times just sitting around and shooting the shit or discussing how Wittgenstein was right and Plato was wrong. Listening to good music, because, my God! do you not have any idea how music is SO EVERYWHERE and we have just come to expect that we can get tailored lists of songs to play whenever we feel like hearing it… do you have any idea how someone from the time of the Cross would have been so incredibly mind-meltingly OMG UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE HOLY CHRIST YOU HAVE MUSIC DIRECTLY INJECTED INTO YOUR EARS! Do you ever consider that? We have it good, those of us who are able to take part in the First World Problems of “I have to only listen to the podcasts I downloaded while on the subway because they still have no cell service underground where I speed off from one place to another for like $3.” This is EUTOPIA, well… more like EUTOPIA, day after day, as sure as time passes, you see, we will progress. 

YOU ARE HERE. No one can take that away from you. After you have read these little squiggles upon whatever page you view this from, whether of ink or light, there is no way for anyone to come and erase that event, even if they could even erase it from your memories. For the memory of the world is greater, and we are children of that Greater thing, we who care about one’s fellow human being, because when you do that, when you care, suddenly you are more than just you, you are one with the love that comes from out of nowhere, because it is everywhere, and we become as one in that which is the stuff of which God is made, for God is love, and anyone who has loved has known God—whatever you want to call it, even if you want to deny it, because They are there, and they’re holding it all together, JUST LIKE YOU. 


God is love. Love is to be found. Everywhere.


This is the agreement upon which it is founded, civilization, that when I see you, I see a person, like myself. It is my heart that sees you. That is all of which civilization is made. 


It still might get bad, though I hope and pray it will not, or at least, not as bad as it can get, because it can get so, so terrible, sometimes, but if it does get bad—I have to tell you, you have to fight. From the Gospel of PKD: “We have always already won.” Take heart. You matter. 


Walt Disney is God.

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