Parallel Universes

13 12 2008

I know that the Bible does not cover every subject exhaustively, leaving many things unsaid, even when it comes to spiritual matters.  Still, one might feel confident that all of the important matters are covered, and the most important matters are covered the best.  A safe rule of thumb to follow is that if the Bible preaches softly on a matter, then so should we, and where it speaks loudly, we should scream it from the hilltops.  I’m going to speak very softly today.  What I have to say has little practical application, but it is interesting enough to be worth saying.


I have stated in an earlier post, Three Universes, that there exists a certain barrier, not only between God and us, but also between the physical world and us.



To recap, briefly, God, who is infinite, cannot be fully contained within a finite universe.  He must, therefore, be contained within an infinite universe, outside of the finite physical one.  As discussed earlier, nx = ∞ as x approaches infinity, which is to say that the universe which contains God must, itself, be God.  The large circle in the diagram is infinitely large, which is to say that God lives in an infinitely large universe, but he is also not contained within any universe at all.  The realm of God, by inductive thought, should be more absolute than the physical universe that it contains.  It does not change with time, and it is, for all intents and purposes more real than ours.  Second point: we do not experience the physical world directly.  Our eyes are like web cams, and our hands are like robotic arms.  We move them using the wiring of our bodies, and we receive input through that same wiring.  The sensation is then reconstructed on the computer monitor of our minds, in living color, so that we are hardly aware of the process that it took to get it there…until something goes wrong along the way.  My mind can not leave my body and experience a physical object directly, which begs the question as to how it experiences a brain.  It doesn’t.  It experiences itself, and it is influenced from the outside by a brain.  The mind is so different from the physical brain that houses it, that it could be considered a universe all its own.  As with the relationship between God’s realm and the physical universe, the physical universe is more absolute and concrete than the universe of the mind.  It is more real, in a sense.  These universes are not parallel.  They exist in a vertical relationship between God and us.


What is a human soul?  This is a question that cannot be definitively answered on its own, but it can be nailed down to a certain key characteristic.  That brings us back to Descartes’ cogito ergo sum, “I think, therefore I am.”  More precisely, I experience, therefore I am.  Whether our perception of the world around us has any truth to it, one certainty lies in the fact that we are experiencing something, even if it’s inaccurate.  This ability to experience is not at all physical.  The projector is like a brain, physical and giving rise to the image on the wall, but the image, itself, is not physical.  So, too, the mind is not physical, and it depends on the brain.  The human soul is, by definition, something nonphysical.  We might say that we are aware of our own souls through the awareness of our own minds.  While our minds are the only way for us to be aware of our souls, this does not mean that our souls are nothing more than our minds.  One might say that the mind is the intersection between the soul and the brain.


But of all of the people ever born, my mind arises from only one brain.  One brain in six billion (more, throughout history) is mine.  At the outset, it seems like my odds of coming into this world at all were worse than one in six billion, but were those the odds?  Let’s look at the numerator in that fraction.  The fact is that I can either come into this world, or I can not come into it.  We’re not even talking about coming into it twice, and we can’t only come into it halfway.  It’s like the infinitely small point on a Cartesian plane.  The point either lies on the plane, or it does not.  Either I landed some real estate on a human brain, or I did not.  The infinite smallness of this implied point presents us with the implication that a soul is infinitely unique.  As mathematical points cannot overlap, so, too, is there no overlap in a soul.  It’s yours alone, to share with no other.  How many other souls could have existed in my place?  Apparently, there is no limit.  An infinite number of souls could have been born in my place, but weren’t.  The infinite uniqueness of a human soul, crossed with the limitless supply makes my odds of being born equal to one in infinity.  That’s another way of saying that it’s just flat out impossible, as far as we’re concerned.  The only way it could work is if there were an infinite number of human souls that found life.  There aren’t that many in this universe.  There never will be.  If this universe were the only one that God had ever created, then I never would have seen life.


So, then, we take a step beyond the physical universe, into the realm of God, where there is an infinite opportunity for the generation of human souls.  I might add, in passing, that what this means is that without God, you could not be the person that you are; you could not be anyone.  If you sense your own ability to experience life through a body, then you have inadvertently demonstrated the existence of an infinite God.  The problem of the impossibility of my own personal existence can then be solved if we can accept the idea that, within the expanse of his realm, he has created enough universes to accommodate an infinite number of souls like mine.  These universes could be bigger or smaller than ours.  They would all be finite, or else they would be God’s own realm.  They could be different.  They could be suitable for our kind of life, or not.  They could even be different in ways that our minds are wholly incapable of grasping.  Walking into one could be like walking into Narnia, or it could be like walking into an exact match of our own, with only slight differences.


This brings us to a more recent post, The Hallway Of Eden.  Many of the Christian faith shrink in fear when they are asked if they believe in the Genesis account literally.  The fact is simply that what is written of Adam and Eve is like nothing that could happen in this world.  I’ve never seen a snake talk.  The honest response is that it doesn’t appear to be possible by today’s understanding.  However, in truth, it never seemed possible by the understanding of any age.  This is not science versus religion.  Ancient people were no fools.  They knew that snakes could not talk.  Some people write it off as myth, yet call themselves Christian, but Christianity, at its core, depends entirely upon the mission of Christ, which was to reverse the effect of the Fall of Man (enter talking snake).  Crush the base and the tower crumbles.


So let’s look at it fresh: Eve took the forbidden fruit, because she believed that it would give her special powers, like God.  For that matter, the snake already had special powers.  Did you catch that?  Read it again: the snake had the special power of the ability to talk.  Eve had to have some reason to believe that the simple act of eating a fruit would grant some kind of drastic change in her universe.  God had given her permission to eat the fruit of a great number of trees.  She had done this.  Seeing the forbidden fruit, she must have wondered what new marvel this one held, and what new change it had in store.  She believed that it could produce exciting changes in her universe, because that’s exactly what all of the other fruit had done.  Hence, the snake.  And the forbidden fruit did exactly that: it changed her universe drastically.  Thousands of years later, no human has ever seen anything like it.  We are not used to the idea.  We are not even readily inclined to think of it this way.  Eve had, essentially, passed through a doorway into a universe that contained both good and evil, having previously only known good.  The snake no longer talks.  Thorns and weeds grow where they are not wanted.  Disorder is the law of the land.  One must kill like a ravenous monster to survive.


Looking back into the garden, there was only one tree with fruit that could change it all back.  This was the tree of life.  However, had she changed the world, or had she merely stepped into a different one?  The difference between a world based on entropy and one not based on entropy is so drastic, that it would have been the creation story all over again, in a darker light.  Everything would have to be made all over again to survive in this fallen world.  Did the universe change, or did she step into a different universe?  Is there a difference?  Looking back at the tree of life was like looking back at the door through which she had just come.  Had she stepped back through that door, would it have made her pure again, or would she have taken that evil with her and ruined everything else (See Infinite Dilution)?


If, indeed, my theory is correct, then the Garden of Eden was a hub to which some other universes connected, entered via the consumption of fruit as a doorway.  All of these universes were finite, like ours, which is why returning back into them would permanently ruin them.  That doorway is forever bolted shut.  By the ideas presented in the Infinite Dilution post, we would have to travel into a realm that was infinitely vast, so that a finite amount of sin were as nothing.  As mentioned earlier, that would be the realm of God, which is, itself, God.  He tore open a back door to our universe, allowing us access to himself, allowing us to enter his presence.  He took our sins upon himself, allowing both us and our sins to pass through into his kingdom, that we might yet live and our sins be cast into a sea of forgetfulness.  Keeping in mind, though, that we are just as finite as our sins.  We, also, could be cast into a sea of forgetfulness if not parted from our sins.  This is the difference between Heaven and Hell.  It’s either an eternity without sin, or it’s an eternity with only sin (You’re Already Dead).


So then, the diagram from above would look something more like this:


The different universes are parallel universes, which means that a person can be in one place in our universe and find that exact same place on another universe, though it would be different.  Hence, the Garden of Eden, though it had a physical place in our world, it would have really existed as a parallel universe.  Hence, we could never find it again on Earth if the door were bolted shut, and it was not destroyed in the Great Flood.  These universes are truly parallel, because they do not exist within each other as in the first diagram, but they exist beside each other, as being equal in realness.


The reason I say that I speak softly on the subject is because the matter of parallel universes is entirely impractical for our lives.  In essence, we only need to know the first diagram, that there is God, the universe and us.  For us, there is no door to Narnia.  It exists, as a matter of speaking, in its own right, but as far as we’re concerned, it might as well not exist, because we can never get to it.  If we could get to it, then we would utterly destroy it, even if unintentionally.  For this reason, the Bible makes no mention of it.  It solves no problem.  It fills no need.


It does, however, give us something to think about as we sip our coffee in front of a laptop.  That’s good enough for me.