I felt after I finished Slaughterhouse-Five that I didn’t have to write at all anymore if I didn’t want to. It was the end of some sort of career. I don’t know why, exactly. I suppose that flowers, when they’re through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. At the end of Slaughterhouse-Five…I had a shutting-off feeling…that I had done what I was supposed to do and everything was OK .
We ought to, as human beings, have the courage to seek a collective “truth” that benefits our species the most, and to accept that all of our doctrines and beliefs may just be incomplete. That we don’t know it all and that perhaps we never will. That others like us may have something to teach us, and we may have something to contribute to their communities. That communities, types of people, are divisions we’ve created for ourselves. That for all of what we know, the knowledge and wisdom that we have gathered in the few millennia may be a small fraction of what is there to be discovered, understood and applied.
If and when all the laws governing physical phenomena are finally discovered, and all the empirical constants occurring in these laws are finally expressed through the four independent basic constants, we will be able to say that physical science has reached its end, that no excitement is left in further explorations, and that all that remains to a physicist is either tedious work on minor details or the self-educational study and adoration of the magnificence of the completed system. At that stage physical science will enter from the epoch of Columbus and Magellan into the epoch of the National Geographic Magazine!