Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Watching The Big Bang Theory on TV can be a spiritual experience, at least according to Chuck Lorre, the show's creator.

Many of Lorre's shows end with a "Vanity Card" with a short editorial. Vanity Card #263 read:

"ME: I believe that watching tonight's show might constitute a spiritual experience.
YOU: That's a pretty bold statement. How do you figure?
ME: Glad you asked. Since the concept of past and future is entirely man-made (ask any other living creature about past and future and all you'll get is a dumb, non-comprehending stare), then it follows that if there is a god, a unifying spirit of the universe, be it 'intelligent' or simply a pervasively unifying quantum particle sort of deal, then the present, 'the constantly unfolding now,' is the only possible place it can exist. Which brings me to my bold assertion: If you laughed at any time during tonight's show, you had to be paying attention. If you were paying attention it means you were, for that moment, in 'the now' -- the same place as the previously mentioned pervasive, unifying quantum particle we, as a species, enjoy worshipping and committing genocide over. Ergo, you had a spiritual experience.
YOU: Assuming you're right, so what?
ME: So what?! This is huge! If a simple sitcom can lead to communion with the eternal, then I can make a case for my work having religious significance. Next step... The Church of Chuckology and a tax break! Ooh, maybe even a sleepy little burg in Florida I can call my own."

Aside from a couple objections (using religion for personal gain, which is the core of the joke, IMHO; and the fact that some animals do have a sense of past/future--which does not detract from his argument), I agree with Mr. Lorre. An awareness of "the constantly unfolding now" *is* the point of much spirituality. "Paying attention" to a TV show may not be quite the same as full awareness of the ever-evolving Now, but it might be a step in that direction. Perhaps The Big Bang Theory can open us to a whole new universe of deeper, fuller awareness.

All of Lorre's Vanity Cards (even the censored ones) can be found in his archive.


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