February 8th, 2011

i will remain

To infinity and beyond

Recently I had the opportunity to read The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene. If you don't know, Brian Greene is a physicist who specializes in string theory and has a remarkable talent for explaining theoretical physics and the history of science that led to the theories in a way that is very understandable. He uses a lot of metaphors, stories and humor. He's the author of The Elegant Universe and also hosted the show.
The Hidden Reality is about parallel universes, the idea that we exist, over and over. That everything that we are doing, have done and will do has all been done before and will be done again, and also that all the decisions and things that could have happened have happened as well.
It sounds a bit like a comic book, not at all like science doesn't it?
See, here's where the science and math come in. A lot of branches of physics and astrophysics are pointing more and more to the idea that the universe is infinite, that space and time themselves are infinite. So since everything starts with the same laws of physics, the same particles, the same atoms and molecules, everything repeats.
Because there are only a finite number of types of particles, because physics behave the same through out a possible infinite universe. So with a finite number of variables, the number of possibilities is also finite. But if the universe ISN'T finite, then specific possibilities come up again.
What's half of infinity? Well, infinity is like 0 only on the other end. Half of infinity is still infinity. It's not a finite number because 2x any finite number = a finite number. So it's a smaller infinity. Same with other fractions of infinity. So we repeat. Forever, somewhere out there. At least that's what the math indicates at this point in certain theories.
That there is a me a million years ago and many million light years away who typed this exact thing on this computer. That the particles, choices and events in my life have all happened before and will again.
The theories are gorgeous, it's like religion and science got mixed up in a much more logical way than the idea of intelligent design. It's incredibly comforting to think of.
Sure, it means there are mes who became the lawyer my mom always wanted to be, mes that never were because Mom got sent to the Appalachians instead of to Alaska. There are mes that married my high school sweetheart, and all those other possibilities. All those pivot points that could have changed everything happened, and they did. But if it's true, it also means that Michael and I are together, forever. Always. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.
That thought makes me so very happy.
Truth is, in my head, in quiet moments, I've had conversations with mes that turned right instead of left, conversations with could have beens. My imagination runs away with me. But I'm part of the Mishachaella, and that's what matters most to me. The is.

Oh, some affiliate links. So if you want the books you can get them.
Hidden Reality- Kindle edition
Hidden Reality- dead tree version
The Elegant Universe -Kindle
The Elegant Universe - dead tree version
The Elegant Universe - film