The past week I’ve been reading Brian Greene’s new book called The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes And The Deep Laws Of The Cosmos. It’s very late and I’m extremely tired, so I’m not going to write a long post here tonight. If this is a bit brief and terse, forgive me.
What I find truly baffling about modern physics is that you can look at the universe from so many different angles, either from quantum physics, cosmology, string theory, take your pick, and they all point toward infinite parallel universes. You have the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum physics, cosmology’s inflationary multi-verse, or string theory’s braneworlds, and they all point toward infinite parallel universes. Read the book yourself if you don’t believe me. Though there is a lot of speculation, this isn’t fringe science, and it’s not empty speculation.
It’s very probable that there are an infinite number of Jasons, in fact, an infinite number of Jasons in parallel universes which are exact duplicates of my entire universe, in every detail. Every possibility already exists and has always existed. By our actions, we’re not creating anything. It all has always existed.
In a sense, no matter what you do, it doesn’t matter. You’ll experience different things based on what you decide to do, sure, but in other ways, it doesn’t matter. Say you’re currently living a life to “change the world.” You’re going to feed the children of Africa. You’re going to contribute some invention or technology which will leave a better world for the next generation. You’re going to find every little puppy a home. Try all you like, but you’re never changing anything. The children in Africa, whether fed, or not fed, the possibilities exist and have always existed. Children in Africa are starving to death, dying of diseases and poverty, and in other parallel universes Africa is a technological utopia and everyone’s living in pure bliss. Both exist and are happening right now, and every gradation inbetween. Nothing you do or can do will ever change that.
If this is true, and piles of evidence suggests it is, you can’t change the world. The world isn’t something that can be changed. The world is. Period. Done. End of story. Trying to change the world, or fight it, or overcome it, or defeat it, or anything like that, is just meaningless.
If you think it over, and internalize what this stuff means, you’re obviously not going to die. How could you? Infinite Jasons in every possible reality continue to exist after “I” “die”. You don’t die. I don’t die. We don’t die. Nobody dies. Nothing to worry about.
Do you all exist? Am I the sole instance of consciousness and you all are just the collapse of my wave function, based on what I “choose” to experience? How does this choosing work exactly? It wouldn’t “work” in any way I could ever understand. Why do I choose one thing over another. There’s no reason. No why. I just did, I guess? I mean, I’ve been nursing a headache most of the day, and why would I have chosen this particular experience over others? And if I did ever make such a decision, I certainly don’t ever remember existing in this prior state, and flying through all these options and weighing the possibilities.
You guys want to know the crazy conclusion I’ve came to? I came to it years ago, and any time I mention it to people, they just look at me like I’m totally out there — we have no identity.
The key I’ve been needing to realize is that I’m not missing anything. As Watts said, there’s no need to struggle and struggle and struggle. It’s about enjoying the walk of life, no matter how strange or absurd a lot of it is. It’s not about understanding it, and it’s impossible for us to understand it. You work to understand the world to whatever degree you need or want to understand it, based on what you’re doing in that walk. That’s the end of it. With all these infinite branching parallel universes, how do you ever plan to wrap your mind about all of that? It’s a waste of time. I guess most of my thought experiments and thinking have lead me to that inevitable conclusion. Just enjoy the walk, and nothing can harm me. What could anyone or anything ever do to me?
I seem to greatly enjoy reflecting on how it’s impossible to escape this conclusion. I’ve been wanting to write another blog post about how even if you could rewind time, and do things over as many times as you want, you’d lose more than you gain. Maybe that’ll be my next post. Until next time. I need sleep.