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The Real World

September 21, 2013

The other night I mentioned a dream I recently had.  In the dream I went through a process of disconnection from the “bubble” world I was living in, veering off the main “path” and finding that I lived in a much more majestic and wonderful universe than I had imagined.

In the dream I became frustrated and the world pushed me off into a new direction where there were beautiful plains, crystal clear waters, and all sorts of strange creatures who lived in beautiful pristine environments.  Words can’t really do it justice, but Sir David Attenborough has a way of accomplishing this.  Take a look at this clip and you’ll see some of the creatures I was dreaming of.

How do you put into words those brilliant blues as he was scuba diving in the depths underneath the ice?  How do you capture the elegance of that snow owl swooping down through the trees?  Or what about those little sea horses?

It’s not just our world to think about.  There are countless worlds, all spiraling about one another in a panoramic firework display.

That is reality.  There are so many galaxies, you could never begin to count them.  It may well literally go on forever.  Cosmological theories such as cosmic inflation predict that this may just be one of many universes popping out of nothing.

“Within the framework of established knowledge of physics and cosmology, our universe could be one of many in a super-universe or multiverse. Linde (1990, 1994) has proposed that a background space-time “foam” empty of matter and radiation will experience local quantum fluctuations in curvature, forming many bubbles of false vacuum that individually inflate into mini-universes with random characteristics. Each universe within the multiverse can have a different set of constants and physical laws. Some might have life of a form different from ours; others might have no life at all or something even more complex or so different that we cannot even imagine it. Obviously we are in one of those universes with life.”

– Physicist Victor J. Stenger, “Is The Universe Fine Tuned For Us?”

And those crazy black holes I posted in the video just yesterday?  There are theories that those are new big bang bangs, creating new universes.

“A star that collapses into a black hole very quickly squeezes down to infinite density and time stops — that’s according to general relativity. And basically that moment when time stops is deferred by quantum mechanics, by quantum uncertainty, and rather than collapsing to infinite density, the star collapses to a certain extreme density, and then bounces back and begins to expand again. And that expanding star becomes the birth of a new universe. The point where time ends inside a black hole becomes joined to the point where time begins in a Big Bang in a new universe.”

– Physicist Lee Smolin, Do Black Holes Create New Universes?

To think that all this just burst into existence.   From where?  From what?  How?  Maybe it’s an eternal process of creation and destruction?  Or was there a creator?  Just think of the immensity of space and time.  Think of all that’s out there.

There’s probably all kinds of life all over this cosmos, much of it far more advanced than we’ll be for quite some time.  Think of life-forms where their technology and society has been advancing for billions of years.  They’d be like gods.  I bet they’re immortal, profoundly wise, and so powerful we couldn’t distinguish them from gods.  I have little doubt that beings like that exist all over the cosmos, of all shapes and varieties.

I find myself wondering what beings like that do with themselves.  What are they building?  What are they thinking about?  I’m sure I could never understand it.

Why is all of this here?  Why are you here?  What is all of this?  Why are we conscious of any of it?  What are things made of?  How did it get here?  Why is it here?  What are we?  Have things always been this way?  How do we relate to this bigger picture?  Or is there a bigger picture?  Does this universe go on forever?  Did it have a beginning?  Will it end?  Is there something beyond death?  What is life?  What is consciousness?

Open yourself to all of this.  Think deeply about it.  Connect with the universe because that’s what we are.  Once you feel and understand that, just quietly contemplate the process that created you.  Reflect on it.  You’ll realize it’s beyond most categories of thought, emotion, or understanding.  I find that deeply satisfying.  If this place is truly infinite in all directions, as I believe it is, there is no center.  Everywhere is the center.

nature great simplicity

If the universe is an infinite mural that goes on and on with new and novel things in every direction, small or large, this way or that way, you’re always at the center.  There’s no need to rush off thinking that someplace else is where the real action is going on.  It’s happening all around us.   The world is built in a way in which its secrets are visible in everything, small or large.

feynman nature weaves

Since we’re here, let’s take a close look at this place and enjoy the experience.  Look closely at what is, right here from our human vantage point, and just admire it.  There’s no need to rush.  Get off the super-highway.  It doesn’t go anywhere.  I guess what I’m trying to say is we should tap into nature’s imagination, which is far beyond ours.  Look, listen, and learn.

feynman imagination quote

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