December 7, 1996

Dear Dr. Hawking:
     I was pleased to read your debate with Roger Penrose called "The Nature of Space and Time" in the Scientific American from July. I find your vision interesting but have to admit to being rather at variance with it on some fundamental points.
     One of the most important areas of divergence from our perspective in Javanese mystic practice (I am an anthropologist who studied and then became a leader in a Javanese kebatinan group) concerns your assumption regarding the loss of information following the eventual disappearance of a black hole. To our knowledge this in not really a problem due to the continuity of the existing presence of the being despite its apparent "evaporation." It has basically what we call, "gone to the rim," though this term is not overly descriptive in some senses. It is still here but has become general in expression rather than specific or centered being. In fact, this continuing undistinguished or unformed being is the source of the mysterious, uniform microwave background radiation or "noise" that is traced back incorrectly to the big bang in some senses. It can be understood if you see consciousness as associated with being but with the possibility of having the being in association a general one rather than a specified form. This in turn is associated with the surprising number of heavy elements in the universe in that the information expressed in this separated presence seeks its own expression in this way. In essence, I suspect that this is what Dr. Penrose is arguing concerning the "spontaneous measurements of quantum states that introduce information back into the system." This universe is a tight little ball of confusion, a strange little pimple infecting existence with the ill will established and structured here in the very fabric of the being; there is nothing that can be done to deny that or to deny its obvious pathology and utilization in the search for release from karmic responsibility.
    Defining such a horror is surprisingly easy. Think about it in terms of the absolute within (what we call batin) and the absolute without (lahir) meeting in a context dominated by irresponsible hedonism and escapism: that's where we are. This "universe" was fabricated to benefit the greatly evil by making justice depend on linkage that necessarily wanders through the entire karmic backlog: the standard little trap for chronic and unrepentant miscreants that has been sprung so many times over the "ages". The only sure "joy" in a place like this is to actively and aggressively destroy oneself and one another in that ones being here is hate defined and hate limited in relative and absolute terms. The creation of beauty depends on cooperation and few are willing to cooperate with those they hate which includes themselves. Quite a nightmare, really.
    This "universe" is a zeroless gathering which means there is no head guaranteeing justice in as much as they can bear the pain of dispensing it, which, evidently, is the result of an Iblung Amuk. One of mine, a certain Kangdjeng Ratu Ajunan, Adiling Perkawinan, Perkawinan ing Djiwa, Sri Retna lawan Ratu Pinanditi lawan Batari lawan Dewi Adil lawan Iblis Agung,  Njai Lara Djonggrang Magali Rolfsen, "Nefernefernefer", "The Black Rose", "Magali, the agony of missing you", "My blysse, my bale, ye han ben bothe", "If you have involved me in your life just to fool me like you're fooling Maria, just to betray and hurt me, just to use me, abuse me and throw me away, you will pay, you lying harlot, you treacherous Delilah! I thought you had to go down to the red-light district to find a character like yours, Magali. God Almighty! What species of scum have we here in you? When you are involved, committed, serving the love for a person of this genus, what on earth do you do? (not a happy camper as of October 1, 1997)", "I love you, I hate you and then I love you more (most decidedly our song for some years)", "Most Esteemed Lady, oops, Her Most Serene Imperial Majesty, Archduchess, AutokrathV and Imperial Regent of the Archduchy of Cornwall, Ururai, Tugasingratan, BoubastiV stin Kriti, Per-Nebka, Per-Selket, Per-Sebak, Per-Auset, Abet ent Maati, the Eternal Clan and Khanate of the Great Fire, also vested as Kangdjeng Ratu Ayunan within the Dalem Badong in the Kraton Ati Sanubari of the Paku Jagad, Paku Adil, Paku Wana, Paku Iblis, Paku Bendu, Paku Duka, Paku Bentji and Ratu Adil of Sadja Kusumaningratan", to whose hand I bow in abject adoration (a mark of obeisance first rendered on March 7, 1992 in a state of considerable surprise) and hereinafter called Gloria Isma'ili,  had painted herself into a corner in her enthusiasm, got shrouded in corruption doing work that agreed with my dark fury and stalemated justice--denied any and all satisfaction--until I was allowed to incarnate here for the first time by the powers she was defying (who had never given me justice) to treat the disease and sort the mess out. Evidently, a good time has not been had by all, which is where I come into the picture, in that existence has always been an incredible pain to me but it is in this context and in this context alone that True Justice (Sedjatining Keadilan) becomes possible.

    These tailspins come from time to time. Her Infinite Majesty, Mahadewi Hecate, is famous for causing such nosedives to pull out the deeper beings that are ordinarily denied justice by the vested zeros, the powers that be, but even she never got so confused and corrupt and vicious and vile that she could effectively engender the general will to allow my incarnation to bring release from the nightmare she had created. I'm not notably popular with those that serve the status quo but Gloria has made existence such hell that even I became a relatively attractive alternative.
    As you can evidently see, it is in crises like these that the real structural (the universal mutual definition that constitutes us all) and volitional (bad faith of one kind or another) problems and diseases of being can come forth in a cosmic paroxism that inexorably demands attention in its agony and can thus finally be treated by allowing those of us at the "bottom" of being to come forth. We open existential nightmares have no stake in any beings that currently stand for consideration and are bent on taking all of existence through justice on to a being which is not even remotely visible from this plane. The bullyboy tyrants that this place is rife with often pretend to our attitudes and feelings and, in their destructive orgy, they express our disgust with the mess hereabouts, though obviously without much interest in doing anything but having a good time wrecking whatever is at their mercy and propping themselves up on the pain. We have burning love and vicious hate; in their imitation of divine being, they have only indifference and scorn. There have been a few notable exceptions who have actually expressed something on the order of responsible leadership here, always with the yawning agony of the absence of a zero at the head rather confusing things. Just look at human history, our iniquitous treatment of one another and those that make us up and define our world, and try to deny the obvious. Just try! It all looks like a bit of a farce in this light, does it not? Happily and unhappily I have now absorbed the agony so we are free of this conundrum in that this pocket of pus is now openly grounded and a zero established. Nuff said.
     A second area of discord concerns the eventual "end" of the universe: nothing ends: what exists, exists and carries on whether it wishes to or not, changing in its associations based on its developing relationship with the rest of us. The burps of the big bangs and the swallows of the big crunches are an apparently endless series of adjustments or reshufflings in relative disposition based on the often (if not always) convoluted search for a satisfactory general state and are evidently, in this sense, just expressions of the fundamentally irreducible nature of existence.
     Obviously physics and mysticism share much although the body of substantiating evidence that we mystics use is fundamentally experiential, based on our openness to and study of Reality -- we constantly relate to and from the Totality of Existence, which is our vision of the divine, in defining our own experience -- to a degree that I suppose is denied to physicists in general. We explore Reality with our consciousness and in association with the consciousness of being, something we have evidently found to exist whether it sounds like magic or not. As I wrote in "Open and Closed Psychology: How Different Can We Be?" which is Part I of The Book of Being, a work I suspect you might enjoy:

Our basic posture arises in union with Empedocles, whose vision of the forces at work is also in line with our own.

Evidently, for us, "science" (whether yours or ours) must be concerned with the proper description and understanding of the fact of being and it is not enough to simply provide predictions that agree with data on some superficial plane.

       Yours truly,

      David Gordon Howe, Ph.D.