It’s hard to escape nowadays the figure of Professor Brian Cox on our television screens. The universe he describes is so old it is timeless, and so vast it is infinite.
The planet we are on, one of countless masses hurtling and spinning into an ever-expanding void, feels like home until we begin to give it a second thought.
Did it begin in time, or with time? Did time exist before the universe, and if so what existed before the universe existed?
And this void we (the universal ‘we’) are expanding into, how big is it? Does it have an end? Or an outside?
But I have a greater puzzle to share with you. If you find these questions disturbing to the point where you feel compelled to spend much of your conscious life probing and analysing them, and if they so upset you that they find a place in your everyday conversation, you may be considered a little eccentric if you are lucky, and just plain bonkers if you are not. Whereas if the things you want to probe, analyse and talk about endlessly are games, sport, celebrities, music, entertainment and other things of little or no importance, you will be hosted and toasted as ‘one of the best’ and, above all, sane.A definition of sanity then seems to be: Not being disturbed by what is disturbing.