Purgatory, Waiting Rooms, and Point Singularities
Literature is filled with examples of intrepid heroes who venture forth into the afterlife. Orpheus descended into Hades to return his wife to the land of the living while Odysseus visited the underworld to have a chat with his father. Dante explored the various realms of the afterlife in his Divine Comedy, and in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey the title duo played a comedic game of Battleship with the Grim Reaper. These stories have always made me wonder if it is possible for regular people to have such transcendental experiences. While we who are living can never be certain if Hades or Heaven exist as they are described, I have recently become convinced that Purgatory is a real place that we have all been to. Purgatory is an ethereal realm of limbo, and it can be found in the common waiting room.
Recently I had a doctor’s appointment. Visiting the doctor, or the dentist, or any other professional always entails more waiting than anything else. As I was sitting, waiting for the doctor, I began to examine my surroundings. After a while, I realized that all waiting rooms, no matter how geographically separated on the outside, are essentially the same on the inside. They all have the same uncomfortable chairs, the same out-of-date magazines, the same weird smell, the same person coughing in the corner, and the same strange ability to make it impossible to determine the passage of time.
A few moments, or perhaps hours later, I came to the conclusion that there are not many uncannily similar waiting rooms around the world. Rather, all the waiting rooms on Earth are actually the same room. A waiting room in China, and a waiting room in Rome, and all the waiting rooms in the United States are really the same place: The Waiting Room. This Room exists in a single point in space, or a trans-dimensional plane, or some other metaphysical mumbo jumbo. The Waiting Room is a place that exists simultaneously both everywhere and nowhere. This, to me, matches most definitions of Purgatory. Unlike stuck-up heaven, it is a place we common mortals can actually visit, though I wouldn’t plan any vacations there.
Most modern scientists assert that the Universe began with an event known as the Big Bang. According to this theory, everything that is, was, and ever will be was contained within a point singularity: infinite possibility in the confines of a space that is infinitely small. I believe that within the point singularity one would not have found the machinations of God or be serenaded by the music of creation. Within the singularity was a sterile environment with uncomfortable chairs and out-of-date magazines.
Imagine this. Before the Universe, there was the Waiting Room, the same room we visit today. It exists outside of time and space, and none of the normal rules apply. So, the next time you are waiting for an appointment and it is unbearably dull, just remember that you are experiencing the primordial conditions of the Universe, before time even existed at all. That’s why it’s taking so long.