Anything I may have Forgotten:
I am far from infallible. I have a poor memory. Things do not always occur to me, and when they do, I might well fail to remember them. I may add updates to this work in the future. I may accept suggestions from others, for consideration and discussion. In fact, I should very much like to discuss that which I have originally included here myself, with any who may be interested. But for now, bear in mind that in any event, this work is most certainly and always shall remain incomplete; for a full knowledge and understanding of such things as I have undertaken to detail is of course beyond the scope of Man.
There are a great many things that fit under the heading of Balance which themselves might be typically considered Great Forces by many. Such as Good and Evil, Chaos and Order, Beauty and Beastliness, Right and Wrong, Ignorance and Knowledge, Wisdom and Foolishness, and any of countless opposites, most of which would fall under other categories. Love and Hate, for example, or Fear and Courage… many opposing Emotions work together towards Balance. Up and Down, Left and Right, In and Out… Directions, Dimensions… Basically I imagine one could name any two opposites and they add up to Balance, but most are best left in their own groups. Any rate, all Forces and Subforces are intricately interconnected; influence and are influenced by each other greatly. The greatest of Balance's pairs are most closely connected to the Senses, whether the Classic Five (commonly the case with Beauty and its opposite) or the other five described in this work. Of course, of any Balanced Pair, no one can exist without the other. Nor would it be good or proper for it to do so. Balance is some of the most powerful stuff in the Universe, and doesn't bear tampering with.
Read The Road to Mars, by Eric Idle. (Note: these may be included under the Sciences as well as Balance, and may also be considered Great Forces in their own right. They also both have at least a double meaning.)
I tend to fear that the concept of Coincidence is often much misunderstood, by most. It is commonly considered to be pure chance; that is to say, seemingly related occurrences which are, in fact, unrelated. This perception is perhaps sometimes justified, in which case it is not a Great Force, and does not warrant a capital "C." True Coincidence, however, is most likely one of various sentient and intentional aspects of the Universe. Things may be unrelated, and yet be caused, briefly, to be related, by the Universe. The reason for this is rarely, if ever, clear; there seems to be a fair chance that there is sometimes, if not always, No Reason Whatever. (Sometimes I believe the Universe quite mad.) I very much wish that I could better explain the concept of Coincidence. It is... like when you watch a single episode of a show, and don't watch it again for a long time, and then the next time you chance to tune in, it will be the same episode you saw before. Or one day you hear a word you rarely if ever hear or read or think about, and suddenly, for no apparent reason, you start hearing and/or seeing it everywhere. There are extremely trivial, minute Coincidences, every day; there are Coincidences of varying sizes, up to the immense and greatly important, both objectively and subjectively.
Coincidence Magi: There are those individuals who seem to be a sort of magnet for Coincidence. It flows strongly through them. It is not a force they can control; rather, it controls their lives, their very destinies. It may make them great and powerful, or it may drive them mad. It may have no great affect on their lives whatsoever, but simply fill their days with mildly interesting, trivial Coincidences that might almost be spelled with a small "c." An exellent example of a Coincidence Mage would be the fictitious Bink, of Piers Anthony's early Xanth novels (though he is not there referred to as a "Coincidence Mage," that being a phrase of my own coining).
There are of course the Classic Three physical dimensions of Length, Width, and Depth. (Some might call depth 'height,' or width 'breadth,' or any of them some other words, but what you call them is of little relevance.) What dimensions amount to is distance (and direction). This is true of all dimensions, not just the Three. Distance, of whatever sort, generally doesn't seem to do very much. It seems to sort of sit there, waiting to be traversed. Some are easier to traverse than others, but may take more time. Time, of course, is commonly considered the Fourth Dimension, though some would disagree with that ranking. Then there are other Dimensions, which may not have common names. You might simply call them parallel universes, alternate dimensions, or some such. Perhaps some might refer to the Fifth Dimension as Hyperspace or Warpspace or Subspace or somesuch. Are there Dimensions beyond the Fifth? It is difficult to say, but it seems probable. Again, they all represent distance. It may be difficult, even presently impossible to travel from the first Three into the Fifth or subsequent Dimensions, but once the technique is understood, it will be done much faster than we traverse any of the Three. However, once in the Fifth Dimension (though it be faster travel within, as well as entrance), it will be much like our own familiar physical Dimensions- indeed, it will include them all, itself, albeit perhaps in a somewhat altered, unfamiliar form.
Time, as I have said, is commonly considered the Fourth Dimension. Again, something of a distance through which to be traveled. Time, unlike other Dimensions, moves itself, or at least seems to. It depends on one's vantage point, of course. Is Time a bus, travelling on the road of the Universe, and you merely a stationary passenger on that bus, not moving yourself, but being swept along forward as Time itself moves? Or is Time simply another road, sitting still while we all walk on it? Or, is there some other bus travelling the road, and again we're simply passengers? Perhaps on the bus of Life, which travels across Time? All difficult questions to surely answer. I will say, I have considered Time, like Love, to be a Great Force itself, and it may be difficult to remember it is merely a member of a larger category of Force.
Why should Time be so great itself? Well, it may be slow moving, at least most of the time. (It doesn't seem to move at a constant speed, though many would have you believe appearances can be deceiving, and that whatever you think, Time is definitely a constant, perhaps unless you travel faster than light. Personally, I disagree.) But however slowly it moves, it rarely if ever truly stops moving. It is indomitable. Given the passage of enough Time, all things may come to pass. Wounds, physical and emotional, may heal. Perhaps not all wounds, but most. Emotional are generally harder to heal than the physical. Mortal powers and doctrines rise and fall. Monuments crumble. Troubles personal and cosmic come and go. Everything changes, Everything stays the same. Time measures the Dimension between the birth and the death of the Universe. The Universe itself may have limits to its physical Dimensions, or it may not; it is hard to say. Once you get to the edge of the Universe, what is beyond that? It is impossible for me to conceive of finity; infinity seems so much more obvious. As for the finity or infinity of Time… again, infinity seems more likely, in both directions. Was the Universe therefore born at all? Perhaps as we know it, but before that there can't have been Nothing. There surely must simply have been Something Different. And surely, Time ran back through that, and any antecedents it may have had. And if our familiar Universe should die, however many billions of years hence, Time will continue beyond it, into whatever comes next. So when I said Time is the Dimension between the birth and death of the Universe… I misspoke. Really, it is difficult to describe the immensity and power of Time. But I've tried.
And we try to measure Time. We use clocks, watches, hourglasses, sundials, calendars, and so forth. We understand such a small portion of Time, but what we do understand we may utilize as best we can. It's very useful. I did want to say here, anyone who has a degree of mastery of one of the Great Forces or their subsets is great indeed. By mastery of course I mean a great understanding of and superior ability to utilize, not a control of. No one can control any of the Forces, though to the unenlightened masses, it may sometimes seem so. Even if one can time travel, they do not control Time.
Entropy must be mentioned here. I don't like the definitions I just read in a dictionary, for they don't have much to do with the only way I've ever heard the term used. So I'll not mention those definitions. Here is the term as I am familiar with it: A gradual running down of things. Entropy is that which eventually will consume, destroy, end the Universe and everything within it. It is in effect the same thing as Death (which, as obvious counterpoint to Life is one half of a Balanced Pair, and terribly important- many would call Death a Great Force itself, no less so than Life). But to me Entropy is not so much Death itself as it is that which leads to Death. Entropy is both living and dying. Living is dying. From the moment a person or animal or planet or star or cloud or element or anything is born, it begins to decay, to die. Generally it is a slow process, all a part of Time. Entropy is the dying, but for most of a thing's life, it is virtually indistinguishable from the living. Entropy is a minion, a Sub-subforce, of Time.
Progress is another important aspect of Time, and again, nearly a Force in its own right. Civilization itself is, after a fasion, merely a subset of Progress. Everything changes, with Time. Without Progress, there is no History (or at least none worth speaking of). Nothing that ever happens has any meaning, in my opinion, if it is all that ever happens. Things remain the same, in a larger framework, and perhaps Change would likewise be meaningless if this were not so. There is a kind of Balance at work here, I expect. But what is the point of remembering events if they do not lead to something which is in some way different from what has come before? What, indeed, would be the point of doing anything in the first place? We might as well have no Thought, no sentience, no understanding. We could take pleasure in our lives, and give pleasure to others. So can mindless animals. Without progress, that is all we would be. I do believe the Point of Life is to enjoy life, and to help others enjoy their lives; but Sentience demands something more: perhaps... the appreciation of that enjoyment, and the knowledge that there is a future, and that it will be more than the present or the past, in some way. That if our own actions and the events of our time had not occurred, or had occurred differently, the future would be different. That the present is what it is because of the past. It's all because of Progress.
Damned good question, that.
Actually, I'm not at all certain whether we have destinies. I tend to doubt it. If we do, I think part of Free Will is choosing our own Destiny. The rest of Free Will seems to consist largely of screwing up our chances of achieving that Destiny. On the other hand, Destiny might be described purely and simply as Whatever Ends Up Happening To Us. Whatever we may have accomplished in our lives, however our lives may end... it is all what was Meant To Be, and by definition, our Destiny. But Destiny, classically, is supposed to be bigger than the sorts of things that happen to or are accomplished by ordinary people. Perhaps only truly important people have what could reasonably be referred to as Destinies. Or perhaps there's some Higher Power out there, some Fate or Fates, sitting around predestining for us all miserable, pathetic little lives. As if Fate needed to knock mortals down a few pegs just to boost its own ego.
Anyway, Free Will is all about the ability to make our own choices in Life. But not all choices are ours to make. Our Destinies are to a certain extent determined by others. We can of course try our best to make the proper choices, and to achieve what we set out to do. But if others decide, for example, not to hire us, despite our best efforts... how do you categorize that? Or the one we love simply doesn't love us.... Or someone kills you, intentionally or accidentally.... Or what if there's simply something inside your head, be it a chemical imbalance or whatever, that constantly sabotages your ability to do what you want to do? There are simply too many variables in the game of Life to even bother asking the question, "Do we truly have Free Will?" But, if you go ahead and ask anyway, the answer is, "Yes, absolutely... and it counts for about 42% of your final grade."
To quote a character in the novel The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge: "Indifference... is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don't stand a chance against it. it lets neglect and decay and monstrous injustice go unchecked. It doesn't act, it allows. And that's what gives it so much power."
Well, I, personally, certainly wouldn't call it the Strongest Force in the Universe. But it is surely among the strongest. It might be put under other Forces or subforces. Some might call it an Emotion, but it's more like an anti-emotion, along with Apathy, and perhaps others (Boredom not precisely among them, however). It is a great part of the imperfection of Life and the Universe (and not a part of the perfection of Imperfection). It is the enemy of Truth and of Progress. It gives Entropy an undeserved bad name.
I could well see where one might list this as a Subforce of Biology, itself a Subforce of the Sciences. After all, it is inherent to the definition of Biology. And obviously, there are enough Subforces or Sub-subforces which I will plainly say could commonly be considered Great Forces themselves, but which nevertheless I feel compelled to place under larger categories. However, Life… is just too big, too important. It is in fact, in a way, above even the Great Forces. You will note the title of this work referring to the Forces which govern Life, the Universe, and Everything (a phrase being taken from the Creative work of my favorite Writer, Mr. Douglas N. Adams). Of course, to govern a thing does not necessarily mean to suggest that the governor is greater than the governed. In theory, in a free country or organization, the leader is appointed by and works for those he or she leads. So with the Great Forces: they may govern Life, the Universe, and Everything, but they do so in the interests and service of those all-encompassing, Highest Elements.
Why, then, do I seemingly demote Life to the position of a mere Force? Because… well, there may be any number of reasons, some of which I may not fully understand myself, others of which I may not be able adequately to articulate. For one thing, the very title of this work, the attempt to put name to that which is governed by the Forces… is dicey at best. So high are those Elements, they do not fit neatly into Human Comprehension or Language. Perhaps I simply wish to reassure myself that my words are as closely as possible understood as I mean them. "Everything" should be broad enough to be understood. The Universe is of course… the sum of all Dimensions, to the furthest Distance in all Directions, and all that is included therein. I hope that says it well enough. So what is Life? Surely it is more than simple Biology. It includes so much. Without Life, there would be no point in the Universe, in Everything. Life is that which perceives, utilizes, manipulates, attempts to understand those Elements. As the Minbari would say, we are the Universe made manifest, trying to understand itself. Life, of course, includes more than thinking beings such as ourselves. But most life forms will have some if not all of the Senses, and will influence and be influenced by various of the Great Forces. Life is an essence beyond mere physical bodies, particularly when speaking of Intelligent Life. The Mind, the Heart, the Soul…
Ah, the Soul. What to say…? Well, see "Ultimate Balance." …Which of course won't tell you anything.
Love: See: Emotions, under the heading of "Senses."
An unfortunate, man-made Force which taps into other Forces or Subforces, particularly Senses, physical needs and Emotions such as Greed. I intend to do away with it one day.
Like Money, this is another unfortunate Force. Unlike Money, it is not entirely artificial or unnatural. Luckily, it does not always corrupt; but it can. We can but pray (ironically) that Absolute Power does not corrupt absolutely. Power is, in essence, the ability to exert one's will over an other or others. It does not necessarily always include a willingness to do so. It comes in many forms, sentient and otherwise. Cats chase mice. Humans (any sentient beings)... have many forms of power. Over nonsentient beings, over their environment (physical dimensions and all they contain), over other people. There are social obligations, family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, bosses, elected officials at various levels, dictators, military, police, teachers, masters, judges, bullies, criminals, psychotics, etc. There are biological and physical necessities and limitations we must bow to. There are machines we need. There are viruses and bacteria and such that can affect in varying ways, even kill people, animals, machines. There is also money, a burden we've chosen to force upon ourselves. At one time it was convenient, perhaps even necessary, for civilization's development. That time, I feel, is past; it is now a hindrance, a monster given too much power over all of us. And it gives too much power to those who have alot of it. There are, in summation, many kinds of power, which affect virtually all aspects of Life and Progress.
Reality/Unreality & Art:
Reality can be considered almost interchangeable with "Truth," but not always, and not exactly. Can also be considered... a subsequent dimension or dimensions; parallel Universes, as it were. It is... even harder for me to explain than is Truth. It is largely Perception, but it is also above Perception. In a more tangible way, it is simply the Universe. It is where and how we must live. I believe Philip K. Dick said something to the effect, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
I, personally, have never been a great fan of Reality.
In the beginning, Reality was all anyone had, and it was certainly something to contend with. Just surviving in it took up a good deal of one's time and energy. But eventually, out of the Imagination, sentient beings began to create something else entirely... Unreality. I like Unreality much better. It began, simply enough, not so much as escapism (I think), but as a form of Communication. (And once there was proper Communication, it was inevitable that there would eventually come both intentional deception and honest storytelling.) There was painting on cave walls. There would come carving, engraving, and so forth. When language was sufficiently developed (assuming Mankind wasn't created with the innate ability; I try not to assume evolution, creationism, or any other specific origin theory) there would be stories of Reality for a time before anyone thought to tell stories loosely based on Reality, which would eventually segue into stories of Unreality. Written language would be a major boon to such things, and we have to thank the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Phoenecians, et al.
When I speak of Unreality, I generally mean Art. Of course, Art is greater than Unreality, and I should think predates it. Art includes more forms than I could think to list, but some of the earliest forms must have included such things as dance and music (which surely originated prior to writing and even storytelling). Art in its many forms is, in my opinion, about the best reason to bother living. Some of it may have nothing to do with Unreality. It includes non-fiction, and various visual and auditory forms, etc., any of which may be about Reality. It can help us escape, but it can also show us the good, the interesting, the enlightening, and the extraordinary aspects of Reality, as well as the bad, the ugly, the boring, and the ordinary. In any event, at its best, it should always be entertaining.
Imagination must surely always have been present in the sentient mind, even if early on it was used for little more than dreaming, delirium, and daydreaming. With the advent of fiction, Imagination grew deeper, stronger, and more stylized. It also created, shaped, and expanded Unreality, which might by now be considered larger and greater than Reality itself. (The development and evolution of certain related areas of the brain may well have helped introduce the capacity for insanity, which itself can be both/either a good and/or a bad thing. Art and Unreality feed insanity, and insanity can likewise feed Art and Unreality. Some of the best Artists are insane, of course.)
And yet, you may well ask, if Reality is largely Perception, how can it be any different from Unreality? How, indeed, can sanity be any different from insanity? For they are all about Perception. Well... Reality and sanity are little more than what the majority decide to agree upon. There are, however, a few problems with that answer. One is that Reality is generally more tangible, more accessible, to those considered "sane," than is Unreality. As has been noted, it doesn't go away; natural, physical laws generally persist, regardless of your ignorance, disbelief, or lack of interest. If you are walking down the sidewalk and daydreaming, not paying attention to the world around you, and unthinking step out into traffic, not seeing or hearing it... you will likely still be struck down. If you believe you can fly when you jump off a building, you will still most likely fall. If you are a not a cartoon character, it doesn't matter whether or not you realize the ground has dropped away beneath you.
Of course, by the same token, it is said that if you believe something happens to you, it will really happen. Whether it be dying in Reality if you die in your dream (or, according to certain works of fiction, in virtual reality), or your body responding to a placebo, or any number of "unreal" stimuli... Unreality can sometimes affect Reality.
...Another great problem with the idea of Reality being agreed upon by the majority is that sentient beings don't seem to be very good at agreeing on much of anything. Especially those from different cultures, places, times, and religions. Looking at the larger picture, the so-called "grand scheme," true majorities are few and far between, in Life & the Universe.
I can't help but feel that I'm not saying quite what I want to about Reality and Unreality. One could not exist without the other. Life would probably not be possible without Reality; it certainly wouldn't be desirable without Unreality. Nor would there be Progress without Unreality, without Art. We need our music, our various forms of storytelling (literature, theatre, film, television), our visual and physical art forms... All Art, applying to all the Senses... Reality and Unreality feed each other.
This... is an extraordinarily complicated thing. It could well be put under Ultimate Balance, or Reality, or Truth, or Perception, or... almost anything. It is an aspect of Belief, which is an aspect of Thought, which is a Sense. People believe many things, but few so fervently as Religion. It is, in a way, a case of a part being greater than the whole of which it is a part. And, ultimately, if there's any truth to any of it, it should prove greater not only than any specific Great Force under which we might classify it... not only than all the Great Forces, both those listed here and those unintentionally (hopefully temporarily) omitted... it would be greater even than the sum of the Highest Elements. It is the Ultimate Balance... and it is above and beyond it.
1-5) It did occur to me originally to include Love as one of the Great Forces & Powers of the Universe, but I thought too, that it was but one of many Emotions, all with their degree of power. And then, that Emotions themselves were but one type of Sense. And I have oft-times considered that there are surely more than the Five Classic Senses of (in something like the order of their subjective import to me, if such an ordering is indeed possible, knowable to myself or anyone) Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste & Smell. Therefore, I shall attempt to catalog here the various Senses.
As with Dimensions, there are different types, some more familiar than others. Dimensions include their Classic Three, perhaps best described as the physical. It has now long been known that there are other dimensions, beyond the physical; so too with Senses. The Senses do include the Classic Five, again to be described as physical. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, they do include Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste & Smell. These are commonly understood by and known to most; sadly not to all. I do not know how much I must needs, or indeed can, say of these. Sight is perhaps my favorite. There is the matter of convenience; I think it is the one of the Five which it would prove hardest to me to get along without (ironically, it is the one that works the worst on me). Also, there is the matter of all the great Beauty the world and indeed the Universe has to offer. Beauty, however, is not solely a visual thing. Beauty is itself a Subforce of Balance, though it might well be considered by many almost as a Great Force itself. It comes in many forms and formats, which may appeal to each and all of the Senses, not limited to the Five. However, I think there is nothing I need truly say about the Five Senses.
To say "Classic Five Senses" is perhaps somewhat anthrocentric, of course. There are senses possessed by certain non-Sentient animals, and not Mankind. One of the more familiar of these would be Sonar/Echolocation. Such Senses would perhaps best be included with the "physical" Senses such as our own Classic Five, but might also be included with more esoteric Senses such as Psi.
The Other Senses as I have long considered them include… I cannot say what all. I strive to maintain an open mind in all things. They do say, the man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all. I'm not sure I agree entirely with this, but at least, if you know something, you should know that you cannot know everything. There is of course a great difference between knowing Nothing and not knowing Everything. I should say I know many things, but I shall never come close to knowing Everything. And when I consider how much is generally considered known completely, on certain subjects, and that I disagree with, I can but say that I attempt to further knowledge (or at least opinion) on those certain matters, rather than completing them.
The main question we have to ask ourselves in determining whether a thing is a full-fledged Sense is, Could it exist independent of the other Senses? The answer to that is rarely- perhaps never- clear, and may be a matter of opinion. I myself might have trouble answering "yes" to that question, concerning all the things that I herein name Senses. ...The standard I generally apply is whether it could exist independently of Thought specifically, more than of any other Sense. Even so, it may not always be very clear. And this is not so much a rule, unless you are of the opinion that there can be no rules without exceptions. But anyway...
But anyway, the Other Senses, to my thinking, include, first,
6) Thought. You may say, Intelligence, Reason, Sentience, Understanding, Logic, any number of such words. It boils down to Thought, though… the leaping of electrons from neuron to neuron, across the synapses. Is Thought a Sense, properly? Well, what are Senses? They are, I should think, that which provide us data on the world around us, allows us to interact with it, with each other, with ourselves. The Five provide us with physical data; you may say Thought allows us to correlate this data into useful information, but Thought can do more than that. It can indeed work independently of the outside world, and of the other Senses. In some cases, it may overrule the Five, it may convince the Five of things that are not empirically so.
An important aspect of Thought is Perception, which is so tied up in all the other Forces and Subforces that it's practically a Force itself. In fact, one may consider my inclusion of it as an aspect of thought essentially arbitrary. Perhaps the best way to classify it would be as a distinct subforce of Senses (or perhaps of Reality/Unreality). It involves most of the other senses to more or less equal degrees. But it wouldn't be possible without Thought (at least, those aspects of Perception beyond the Classic Five Senses probably wouldn't be). It is, I feel, chiefly about who we are as subjective personalities. It is about what we intend when we speak or act, and what we interpret from what others say or do. It is about how we see ourselves, others, Life, the Universe, and Everything. It's all that we understand or believe we understand. It is, in fact, all that we believe. How do you know, to cite a classic philosophic example, that any two people see colors the same way? We each look at something that is objectively called "blue" and assume that the color blue is what we, subjectively, perceive, and that it is perceived the same way by everyone. For another example, Communication is imperfect, because we often misinterpret one another's words. And we believe different things in many ways, including religiously. We believe things about others that they do not believe about themselves. We believe things about ourselves that others do not believe about us. It's all a part of the subjectivity of Truth and Reality. And none of this would be the case without individual, independent Thought.
I do not believe I can say too many times how difficult- in fact, impossible- it is to ever satisfactorily decide how, precisely, to categorize all the many intricately interrelated Forces and subforces there are; under what heading to place them, whether to list them as their own Force, a subforce, or a subsubforce, or what have you. And here, right now, I am speaking of Belief, which might be placed at any level. It might be a Force or a full-fledged Sense, but I'm classifying it, for now, as an aspect of Thought. In fact it might even be considered an aspect of Perception, itself here classified as an aspect of Thought. But I think it deserves more equal footing with Perception. Belief may be based on various things. There is empirical evidence. We believe a rock will fall faster than a feather. We believe the sun will rise each morning. There are trusted sources of information. You may believe a thing not from first-hand experience, but because someone you trust told you so, or because you read it in a book or periodical. And then there is faith, that most intangible basis for Belief. It may be Religious, or it may simply be Trust (your friend will catch you when you fall back). So we see, Belief need not be entirely based on Perception. It can be both subjective and objective, and either way, it could be right or wrong. Why place it under Thought? I suppose it is simply because, like Perception, it is an intrinsic aspect of who we are as individuals (even while coalescing us into larger groups that share particular Beliefs and Perceptions).
7) Another Sense is, or are, Emotions. There are of course many emotions. Many would say the greatest of these is Love, which itself comes in various forms. There is Familial Love, which I must conclude is to a great degree Biological. We are usually born with a natural, inherent love of our family, which it can be difficult to lose. In the course of Life, our love of family may be in some ways somewhat eroded. We may not particularly like our family. We might not choose ever to associate with them if we weren't related. But we'll still love them. Unless we are disabused of such feelings, perhaps through abuse. We may grow to hate our families, or at least wish nothing whatever to do with them. Some of us will, however, still harbor some love for our families, even in the utter absence of any recognizable or understandable reason for it. Some of us will be lucky enough to have families we do quite like; some of us may find that unlucky, embarrassing. We may prefer not to associate with our families even if they were people we would enjoy associating with if they were unrelated to us. Whatever the case, Familial Love rarely seems to have much of reason about it. It must surely be of some Biological nature yet unclear, at least to me.
Then there is the love of friends, which would hopefully have very obvious reason. We will have things in common with our friends, else we almost certainly would not have become friends with them in the first place. There will be things we enjoy doing together, things we will in some wise enjoy commiserating together, complaining together. We will have similar feelings and opinions on things. We will enjoy one another's company, conversing, et cetera.
After Friendship, there is Romantic Love, which needs must include Friendship. There will also be in most cases a physical attraction; again we see Beauty. Also, there will be something undefinable. Some may call it Chemistry, but it is surely more than just that. It must be… a kind of Magic. There will be just simply something... ineffable. Some kind of wonderful. Take two people who you may love equally as friends, have all the same things in common with, and find roughly equally attractive, and you just get on famously with both of them. In the complete absence of any manner of distinction between the two, or reason, you may be in love with one and not the other. Even if you find one well more attractive, you may be in love with the other (though your love will likely soon make him or her the most attractive person in the world, to your eyes). All these things will lead to Physical Love, which itself comes in various forms. Many may consider one of these forms the ultimate in physical love, but there will be disagreement, for I happen to disagree with what I would suppose to be the majority, and I do not think myself alone in this matter. However, that is all I wish to say for now on this subject.
And then there is the love of Beauty in its various forms, and love of concepts, ideas, Art. You may love places, or animals, or trees, or the sky, or freedom, democracy, your job, and more things than can be contemplated in one person's lifetime.
For some, the Very Highest Love is Religious; they may love whatever higher power they believe in more than they do any person, place, thing, or idea. They may also believe that Higher Power loves them- and all people- more deeply and truly than any mortal being is capable of feeling or understanding. Agapé, as it were.
Besides Love, there are many emotions that are affected by and affect the outside world, how we perceive and react to it. There are Hate, Fear, Sorrow, Hope, Joy, Confusion, Frustration, Desire, and on and on. Some may consider one emotion greater than the others, some may consider them equally important. I know a certain Professor who would call Fear the greatest…. But again, I think most who would call one the greatest, would pick Love.
8) Akin to Imagination is Curiosity... Inquisitiveness, the sentient desire, even need to seek out answers, to learn, to discover, to add to the total knowledge of the individual, of the race, of the totality of all sentient beings and races which may exist in the Multiverse. It may seem as if it might be more of a subsubforce, perhaps under the heading of... what? Thought? Not exactly. Of course, Thought is inextricably enmeshed with all the Senses (especially those beyond the Classic Five)... but... Well, anyway, even non-Sentient beings can be curious, after all. Just not to quite the same degree as we Sentients.
9) Originally I placed Imagination before Curiosity in this list, partly because I thought to include Imagination before I thought of Curiosity, and perhaps partly because, as a Writer, Imagination is so important to me. (The former order is the reason Curiosity is referred to as akin to Imagination, rather than the other way around.) But I soon decided to change the order in which I had listed various Senses, based not necessarily so much on their objective or subjective levels of importance, but rather... hmmm. Well, perhaps based on their relative prevalance, or the order in which they developed, or... I don't know, perhaps it's just the order that seems right to me.
Anyway... Imagination, Creativity. Tied to Thought, to Emotions, to all the Senses and of course the other Forces. Imagination is indeed an extremely important Sense, and very little would happen, or at least progress, change, without it. For more in-depth thoughts on these subjects, see both Reality/Unreality and Progress, the latter of which is under the heading of Time, which is under the heading Dimensions.
10) Communication, I think it would only be right and proper, to dub as a Subforce, under the heading of Senses. It is terribly important. It is, however, somewhat tricky to place exactly. It owes much to Hearing, as well of course as to the ability to speak. (Speech itself, or Language, could perhaps be considered a Subforce unto itself, but perhaps it would be picking the nit too finely to think of separating it from Communication- although, perhaps what I mean to refer to is sound-making in general, or at least vocalization.) It does not, of course, necessarily require Thought. Animals can communicate to us a desire for food, for play, for affection, for a bathroom break, for us to get Timmy out of the well, etc. It does, however, require Thought at any level of meaning worth speaking of; that is to say, for the Communication of higher ideas, graspable only by Sentient beings such as Man. It is also necessary and implicit to such concepts as Civilization, Law, true Friendship and Love, Religion, Art, any kind of objectively recognized Reality, etc. It is in a way perhaps more integral than the other Senses listed here to the understanding of interaction with the world around us. Of the Senses, however, it would seemingly be one of the latest to develop. Even if Adam had a conversation with God within moments of being created, he would first have seen and heard God and the world, he would have thought Where am I? Um... Who am I? He probably had a few feelings about suddenly existing, and the reason he was so keen to converse with God was in the hopes of satisfying his curiosity. Imagination... may have come before or after Communication, depending on whether Communication was innate or something Man had to develop himself. As has been frequently noted, these things are all hard to place.
11) Telepathy, Psychic abilities, Telekinesis, those sorts of things commonly referred to as Extra-Sensory Perception are but examples of another type of Sense. Many would refer to such things as a Sixth Sense, where in fact they are more aptly referred to (for the time being) as the Eleventh Sense. Just for fun, let's label the Sense group of so-called ESP as Psi. Some of the abilities included in this group might well fall under the heading of Communication, but not all of them (and I don't want to break them up). Psi is, presumably, the least prevalent and most recently developed Sense. As has been noted, some subsets of Psi may be related to such physical Senses as Sonar.
Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, chiefly. Most other sciences would fall under one, or a combination of these. The Sciences are one of those Forces which are mostly strongly connected with others of the Great Forces, and could easily be confused with them. Indeed, I feel obliged to note that (as with all I write in this work), categorization of these Forces, perhaps especially the Sciences, is very likely subjective more than objective. Perhaps there are things I've listed as Great Forces or Subforces which others might rather list under the Sciences. In fact, I've described various Forces, such as Senses or Dimensions, as being Physical, which could well fall under the headings of Physics and Biology, obviously. Too, Life would seem apt to fit under Biology, as noted in its own entry in this work.
I must include the Sciences as a Force, however, because… Well, because so much depends upon them. The other Forces, mostly, act upon and/or react to them. In a large sense, the Sciences define Reality as we know it. They lay out for us what Life is like and what can or cannot be done within it. Sometimes people may believe Sciences clearly dictate that something cannot be done, and it is later discovered otherwise. That is not Science's fault, it is but our own imperfect understanding of things. We do get better, given Time.
Time: See "Dimensions."
Ah, what to say about Truth? It is one of the very most important things in Life, to me. The opposite of Truth is not lies or deception, for those are simply intended forms of communication. One can say something which is not true without lying, so long as one believes what one is saying. But Truth is above Communication. Truth is absolute, it is What Is. It can never be wholly known or understood. In its highest form, it is a part of the Ultimate Balance, perhaps even another way of saying it. In somewhat lesser forms, it may be included under other headings. It can be both objective and subjective. It can be a very elusive thing, impossible to define. And yet, it is what it is. And it is not. It is what we believe, and it is above our beliefs. It is much abused, wittingly and unwittingly, and that abuse has caused and will continue to cause much suffering and anguish and conflict and misunderstanding and hatred and confusion, and on and on. It is impossible for Truth to ever be fully understood by all, because we are imperfect beings in an imperfect universe. We have Free Will, and all to us is subjective thought and perception and recollection. We should all strive to be truthful and honest as much as is feasible; and remember, truthfulness and honesty are not always one and the same, but they are both very important, and are rarely if ever directly conflicting. But, as important as Truth is, as much as it is to be striven for, as much pain as is caused by our failure to recognize and understand it... if ever we did, all of us, fully understand and accept it, there would be far less if any drama in life and fiction. But this idea should not be taken to the extremes of the Sac'tra.
Justice is also very important, and I think it best to place it under the heading of Truth. It is what is deserved. It has little if anything to do with law. Our lives are often not what they deserve to be, for good or for ill, because Truth is so little understood and so insufficiently attainable, so easily abused... again, wittingly and unwittingly. Many will have great wealth, fame, power, happiness, the respect and good feelings of others, and deserve little to none of it. Others will deserve happiness in at least a few of its various forms, and have little to none of it. The Universe can be a terribly unjust place. Not only because specific truths often fail to be recognized or believed, but also because of the sometimes subjectiveness of Truth.
This is something which will include Everything. It is in fact the amalgamation of all the Highest Elements of Life, the Universe & Everything. It includes Magic: whatever cannot seem to be explained satisfactorily, reasonably, credibly, within that which may be understood in keeping with the various Great Forces, particularly the Sciences. It is the Source of All Things, the Creator. God, Infinity, All, Samsara or Dharma (I'm not quite sure which would be more like what I'm thinking of), what have you. All the other Forces as well as the Elements they govern add up to the Ultimate Balance. Total Understanding. Absolute Power. The Alpha and the Omega. Origins, souls, there are no words. Magic. That which cannot be adequately explained or grasped in Life. Perhaps not even in Death.
Perfection is commonly misunderstood. Perfection, it should be understood, is inherently imperfect. Every gem needs its flaw. Luckily, nothing can ever be completely Perfect; at least, nothing short of the Ultimate Balance, and that would be Truly Perfect, not just... Perfect. That is, it would include the Imperfections necessary to true Perfection. Perfection without flaw would be a kind of Hell to beings like ourselves; therefore it might be assumed (and desperately hoped) that whatever Power is responsible for our existence shares our need for certain types and degrees of Imperfection, if not our affliction with other types of imperfection. This is one of those concepts which I do not feel I can adequately explain to my own satisfaction, and so it must be hoped that you may understand what I'm trying to say. Then again, people often believe they understand one's intended meaning, when in fact they misunderstand. But, there's nothing that can be done about that, this being an imperfect Universe. You'll excuse me; my head is spinning...