May 29, 2022
Is there any such thing as Vacuum Monster in our universe today? Sure, there is!
When you were very young, were you ever afraid of your mother’s vacuum cleaner? Most kids are. Were you scared it might suck you up? And, if so, what would happen then? Would you just vanish?
Of course, you’re much older now, and you know that something like that could never happen…or could it?
More than 50 years ago, a famous Rock and Roll band known as The Beatles made a movie called Yellow Submarine. In this movie, the four Beatles (John, Paul, George, and Ringo) sail from Liverpool (England) to a magical world outside of space and time called Pepperland. They made the voyage in a yellow submarine.
But this is not like any family vacation you’ve ever been on. The Beatles travel across a Sea of Time and a Sea of Science (Space) into a Sea of Monsters.
In this Monstrous Sea, the yellow sub is attacked by a bunch of fierce creatures and machines…but nothing is more frightening than the dreaded Vacuum Monster.
Like most monsters, this creature looks a little bit human but where it should have a nose and a mouth it has instead a large cone-shaped funnel. This funnel looks very much like an attachment you might put on a real vacuum cleaner. And sure enough, true to its name, the Vacuum Monster uses this funnel to suck up everything in its path.
First, it sucks up all the other monsters; then it sucks up the submarine itself. But it’s not done yet! It sucks up spacetime. Now there is nothing left in the whole universe except the Vacuum Monster. But it’s still not done!
Now, it sucks itself up and vanishes, along with almost everything inside it. Why does it do that? Why does it suck itself up along with everything else? Because it can’t help itself! As long as it lives, it can’t stop sucking. It’s a vacuum cleaner, after all; sucking is what a vacuum cleaner does, no matter what the consequence.
But unlike your mother’s vacuum cleaner, it doesn’t have an off switch. So, when there’s nothing left for it to suck up, it sucks up itself.
We’re not like the Vacuum Monster. We have free will. We can decide what we want to do and when we want to do it. And we can stop doing it when we want to stop doing it. There’s nothing we can’t do (up to the limits of our ability) but there’s also nothing we have to do.
There are things we should do and things we shouldn’t do, but whether we actually do them or not…is up to us! We get to decide, but the vacuum monster doesn’t. It does what it’s programmed to do, nothing more, nothing less.
It has no choice but to suck itself into oblivion. What if it didn’t? That would mean that our world was really two worlds…a world of things that get sucked and a world of things that do the sucking.
But that’s not the way our world works, is it? Our world is one world, not two. In our world, everything sucks, and everything gets sucked. If something sucks, and doesn’t get sucked up by another sucker, it will eventually sucks itself up too. In our world, what you do to others, you eventually do to yourself as well.
You’ve probably heard of the Golden Rule. It goes something like this: “Do to others what you would like them to do to you.” If you would like to be treated kindly, for example, then you should treat others with kindness. If you would like others to be generous towards you, then you should be generous towards them.
It’s a good ‘rule’ and most of the time things work out better for us when we follow it. In fact, Jesus himself taught the Golden Rule; however, there is another rule in the Bible called the Great Commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus says it, St. Paul says it, St. James says it, but it was first said in the Torah (law), the first 5 books of the Old Testament.
The Great Commandment is like the Golden Rule, only different. According to the Golden Rule, you do nice things for other people because it’s the right thing to do and because you hope they’ll do nice things for you. The Great Commandment says something a little bit different. According to the Great Commandment, when you do nice things for others, you also do something nice for yourself…immediately and automatically. And of course, when you do mean things to other people, you’re being mean to yourself as well. If you make another person happy, you make yourself happy, and if you make another person sad…well, you know what’s coming next, don’t you? Whatever you do to another, you also do to yourself. Your actions affect others…and yourself…at the same time.
Yellow Submarine follows the Great Commandment, not so much the Golden Rule. The Vacuum Monster is a sucker. It sucks up its neighbors and oops, when it sucks up its neighbors, it sucks up itself too. What it does to others, it does to itself…automatically.
I said the Vacuum Monster sucks itself up and vanishes, along with almost everything inside it. Not everything inside it, almost everything inside it. What survives? Just one thing: the yellow submarine and its crew! How come? Because the yellow sub doesn’t exist in Liverpool only; it also lives in the magical world called Pepperland. The yellow submarine is how people go back and forth from Liverpool (our world) to Pepperland. As far as we know, there is no other way! Going from Liverpool to Pepperland and back is quite a trek, but it is not a trek in space or in time. The yellow submarine travels in another dimension; it is always right here, always just now!
So, when the Vacuum Monster sucks up everything ‘in Liverpool’ (our world), even the yellow submarine itself, the sub survives. Why? Because it exists in Pepperland as well as in Liverpool, and nothing in Pepperland can ever disappear.
Pepperland is the ‘forever place’, the place of ‘evermore’!
Is there any such thing as Vacuum Monster in our universe today? Sure, there is, and it’s called a ‘Black Hole.’ Black holes exist throughout space, and one is even sitting right now at the center of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. A Black Hole sucks up everything around it, yes everything, including space and time and subs and even the black hole itself. And just like the Vacuum Monster, eventually black holes even suck themselves into oblivion.
According to the famous physicist Stephen Hawking, when a black hole sucks, it sucks up more than just things. It sucks up information (or knowledge) too. The things that get sucked up disappear…but the knowledge stays behind.
But there’s a catch! The knowledge that survives is so jumbled and confused that you can’t make any sense out of it, much less use it for anything worthwhile.
This very same thing happens in Yellow Submarine. After the Vacuum Monster sucks itself into oblivion, there is no more space and time. What’s left is a real ‘nowhere land.’
The Beatles find themselves alone in a totally empty world…empty, that is, except for Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD. Dr. Boob, – a real ‘nowhere man’ living in this nowhere land. He knows everything that has ever been known by anyone anywhere…but really, he knows nothing at all because he doesn’t know what he knows. It’s as if you memorized a speech in a foreign language that you don’t know how to speak. You might be able to recite it, but you would have no idea what you were saying. That’s how it is with Dr. Boob. And that’s how it is when a black hole vanishes.
With the Beatles’ help, Dr. Boob begins to organize his information and slowly but surely, he learns to make use of it. Eventually, he joins the Beatles on board the sub and accompanies them for the rest of their voyage, through the Sea of Holes into the Sea of Green to Pepperland itself…but that’s another story, perhaps for another day.
Now back to Liverpool. Would it surprise you to hear that there are stories in the Bible that sound a lot like this story? Take creation, for instance. Genesis says that the earth was once without form or shape; in other words, it was a real-life Nowhere Land. Then God said, “Let there be light and there was light…and God separated the light from the darkness.” God separated sky from earth, oceans from dry land, and day from night. In other words, God organized everything so we could make sense of it…and put it to use!
Then on the seventh day of creation, God rested. Now our job is to continue to make sense of this world and to continue to organize it so that we can accomplish useful things. The same thing happens at the other end of time, when our world finally comes to an end…only it happens in reverse. Christ, the Son of God, finishes the job. He puts everything in “proper order” and he even destroys death itself. Then he draws all things to himself, and finally, he turns all things, including himself, over to God the Father, “so that God may be all in all.”
Christ acts just like the Vacuum Monster, except that when he draws everything to himself, he does not draw everything into oblivion but into Heaven(Pepperland)!
David Cowles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aletheia Today Magazine. He lives with his family in Massachusetts where he studies and writes about philosophy, science, theology, and scripture. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.