The black hole of self-consciousness.

You know that this hole was created long ago by the death of a star, a death in which the star, no longer able to resist the inward pull of its own gravity, imploded upon itself.

After reading this description in Kip Thorne’s Black Holes and Time Warps through my standard anthropocentric-though-let’s-be-honest-narcissistic-or-maybe-even-solipsistic lens, I couldn’t help but wonder about the death of an individual human and its possible relation to this cosmic phenomenon. To be clear, this individual human was decidedly not me. Death, as the possibility-of-my-impossibility-not-to-be-bypassed is not an inevitability I’m really going to face; it’s a thing that happens to that conveniently vague “they” crowd out there. Woe unto them and their feeble mortality. I, meanwhile, linger on in my mind’s generous eternity. Pretty spacious. I like it. It suits me. And me alone?

Anyway, what if this “black hole” style death (trademark?) happens on all scales in the universe? I’m not sure where to go with this dumb question, but I imagine there’s some obnoxious artistic possibility in pursuing it.

As for self-consciousness, that strange beast which emerged in our species’ evolution, what is it if not a black hole, with its slow but increasingly fast pull of implosion? The closer we get to our center, the more complete our annihilation, and the more rapid our descent. We stretch ourselves thin like spaghetti in our quest for self-understanding. Trying to figure out who we are, we get lost in a vast sea of nothing, of constants bound to change, to fall apart right as we build them. Here we are in an age of hyper-self-consciousness, throwing ourselves willingly into the abyss with smug wit and irony. How long before we cross the horizon?

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