Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random Reflections on 'Reality'

What if when people go brain-dead their mind wakes up in a parallel universe. What if as they lay there in a vegetative state, seemingly devoid of any thought, they are living it up somewhere else. Somewhen else. Stephen Hawking is a pretty smart guy, and he suggests that our universe (or dimension) may be one of many. What if people could make the jump. It kind of reminds me of that TV show Life On Mars, where the guy gets hit by a car and wakes up in the 1970's. What if his body is lying there, in present time, completely vacant, while his soul takes on a new form to fight crime in the 'past'. I know we like to simplify life and creation, but who knows for real, right?

The other day while I was delivering food to dying businesses (thats an economy joke), I thought up a cure for cancer. In my mind I deciphered what was similar between all cancer cells and then I developed a specific protein compound that destroyed those cancer cells. It was obvious I'd been watching too much CSI, because I don't even know what a compound of protein looks like, or what it does exactly. When reading about famous scientists, though, I find that many of them weren't even that gifted. They were just creative and ingenious and were at the right place at the right time. I think most people, if given the right circumstances, can be very creative and ingenious. You just have to spend some time thinking.

What if time governs our entire reality. If you think about it, we are bound to it. We have a beginning and an end, as does everything in our universe. It's hard to imagine something that truly transcends time because from our point of view everything is born and everything dies. Everything. But what if there is this eternal realm outside of time. We can't see it because we are bound to time. Say heaven is eternal, not bound by time. What if when you die and you get to heaven its just as if everyone got there at the same time. Grandma, she just showed up, same time as you. Since there is no time, she wasn't waiting, even though she passed forty years back. She's probably confused as to why you died right when she did, but I think she'll figure it out soon enough and be happy you're there. And then there's St. Peter, he just got there too. He's been gone two thousand years from earth but thats nothing in heaven because there is no time. What if the Rapture is a metaphor for death, and we'll all be caught up in the sky at the 'same time' when we die. Me, Grandma, and St. Pete getting called home... separate from the timeline of Earth. I mean this is all speculation, but you never know, right?

They say the speed of light governs time. Thats the definition of a light-year: The distance that light travels in one year. That star you see twinkling at night, that actually twinkled fifty thousand light years ago, or more, and its just now caught your eye. The light from that twinkle took fifty thousand years to get to you, but there it is, showing you what happened in the past. Back before humans were around. They say if you could travel at the speed of light, you could go through time, forward or backwards, and you wouldn't even need a souped-up delorean.

Personally, I think our universe is just one big cosmic example of how small we are compared to God. I think He created it to show us that we will never fully comprehend it all. We are separated by billions of light years, just lingering in space so big we could never begin to comprehend it. If we were cartoons, we wouldn't have any light bulbs above our heads. Only question marks. Maybe God put a thousand billion trillion giant spheres of gas and minerals between us and Him, mindless but bound by gravity, as if to say, "See? You don't know jack, I control all of this." But at the same time, its just us who can witness the majesty of the universe, so its like God's saying, "See? This is my Glory for you to witness, because you are important." A supergiant (massive sun) can't see anything. However magnificent it is, its just mindless chemicals and gasses. It isn't aware. But we get to see it and study it and wonder how it got there. So as far as cognizance goes, in a way the universe does revolve around us.

If you want to get a big headache, look into molecular science. It's even crazier than space. Its all magic. None of the laws of physics apply. Apparently, we're all made up of trillions of atoms, tiny particles bound together to form very distinct and unique human beings, or animals, or carpet fiber. About a sugar cube of air at sea level contains 45 billion billion molecules. And they're in every single cubic centimeter around you. Talk about mind blowing. If you wanted to see an atom in a drop of water, you'd have to make the drop of water fifteen miles across. Thats how small it is, and it has a bunch of little buggers around its nucleus, all making sense to each other.

So why don't we fall apart? We're held together like magnets, with positive and negative charges. The reason I don't fall through this chair is because the make up of the chair is such that the molecules are charged to resist the molecules in my clothes and my body. Technically, I'm hovering above the chair at the width of one ten millionth of a millimeter (the width of one atom), the molecules like two positively charged magnets pushing apart. Crazy stuff. We've been around a long time, and we still don't know jack. The more we find out, the more we realize we don't know jack. Ironic, eh? Kind of like trying to get to know God.

Just as the scientists wont stop searching for purpose in their labs, neither should we stop searching for meaning in our lives. Everyone is searching for God in some way, through some avenue, to some extent. You'll never really know, at least not in this lifetime, right? Thats where faith comes in. Whether you believe that this is some big cosmic accident, or you believe its all artfully designed, you have to have significant faith.

When I'm in doubt, I look up. It restores my faith.


  1. Great Scott, that was another thought provoking post. Whenever I think about 'what if's it always morphs into doubt. Then something like this sort of makes me feel how much of a right fool I am.
    Reminds me of some As Cities Burn lyrics:
    I think our god isn't God,
    If he fits inside our heads.

  2. To believe in nothing is to believe in something, isn't it?

    That was an amazing post. It reminded me just how little I can ever know about anything... especially what we call "reality". But who knows what's real anyway.

  3. I've been on a big Radiohead buzz lately, and I totally heard "Everything In Its Right Place" playing in my head when reading your thoughts on time and really old star twinkles and such.

    I wonder... are those star twinkles really just giant explosions? If stars are massive like our local one (the sun), their twinkles could be refractions from the atmosphere, explosions unchained on the star, or the cells in our eyes trying to represent the small/bright blip to our brain's vision center.

    It's all dependent on so much. Perception and truth.

    From one clueless schlub to another, sometimes you gotta look up and wonder, right? I prefer fluffy clouds and blue skies, thinking about the direction at which the sun's radiation (aka LIGHT) hits our atmospheric bubble, refracting and creating a color in our little human perceptible visual range. Fluffy clouds are water droplets FLOATING THROUGH THE AIR, coalesced into these apparent white blobs! What a place we live in!

    Hell, this reminds me of a Crowder lyric:
    "But a certain sign of grace is this
    From the broken earth flowers come up
    Pushing through the dirt".

    Uber simple. Uber inspiring. It's LIFE!

  4. Amazing post... It was cool how you made it seem like the universe does revolve around us. It makes me seem so important yet kind of small at the same time.

  5. What you said reminds me of a quote i read somewhere. something like; ignorance truly is bliss. the more knowledge we gain, the more we realize how little we truly know. I found this blog post particularly interesting as i have been looking into the Ten dimensions and string theory lately. I was watching a video about some people who actually managed to speed up and slow down light, which could lead into many other questions with regards to time (perception, travel, control, etc.).
    Long story short, i find myself to be an existentialist, rather than religious. I find meaning in life by actions, "coincidences", symbolism. This is due to me never really feeling that connection with God. I know there is a supreme being, whom created us.
    Only two things truly humbles me and make me realize this. Firstly; looking in the mirror, realizing that i am a collection of 4 major elements, somehow (miraculously) formed into this intelligent, sentient, unique, abstract thinking being. This is truly awe inspiring. Secondly; standing alone on a clear night, staring into the sky. Nothing makes me feel so small and insignificant, but at the same time infinite. Life is mind blowing.

  6. Have you watched What the Bleep? You can get it at Blockbuster. Its all about stuff like that and much more. Made me think that no matter what we think we understand, its all just shaped by our perspective and limitations. Of which, God has none.

  7. coincidently, i've been having this same conversation with a friend of mine the past couple days :) arguing the same point- about being attatched to time and arriving at the end all at once... and how one of the reasons i know god exists is because of that complexity- that "you don't know jack" feeling the universe is strung together with. interresting post.

    the last thing you said reminded me of something i read once, a story of a broken girl, that says god makes things new, that he meant hope and healing in the stars: "tell them to look up. tell them to remember the stars... the stars are always there but we miss them in the dirt and the clouds. we miss them in the storms. tell them to remember hope. we have hope."


  8. I agree with what you said, Brad, how ignorance truly is bliss. Everyday I'm finding out something new; about the universe, people, society, etc. And even though there is some good in that knowledge, there's also the bad; the harsh truth of reality.
    Which is why I've had a lot of trouble with the religion/God dilemna. I'll read something and then be a devout believer, but then some scientific study or logical reasoning will make me think otherwise, and I'll be athiest. The trials of human existance... I admire you people (Matt, as well as others who believe in a God) who have absolute faith in this religious business. It's all too confusing for me... : )

  9. Thanks V, good input.

    I think faith is a heart thing. I know people who can convince you that God is real, and I know people who can convince you that He isn't. Our minds are limited because they rely on how the 'facts' are presented. Faith is different because it doesn't need proof, it doesn't need facts (although it can be substantiated by them), it is a calming peace that needs little thought to acquire.

    That might sound foolish to some, but I think its an integral part of what makes us incredibly complex and human. I think the fact alone that we have this inherent need to believe in the unseen might be proof that there are unseen things at work. The mind is always wanting answers.

    A few books that satiated my mind were "Letters From a Skeptic" by Dr. Gregory Boyd, or if you want the account of an ex-atheist read C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity." (More references in the "What I Believe" post)

    As always, I encourage the lifelong pursuit of meaning, regardless of where you're at or what you believe in. You should read Nietzsche if you can stomach it, but also read the opposing arguments.

    Einstein, Kelvin and Newton all believed in God, and they were pretty smart (Theory of Relativity, Thermodynamics, Principia). Even Galileo believed in God. But the good news it doesn't take a genius to realize this crazy thing we call creation might in fact be created. It's really a simpler argument than any opposing one.

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  11. This is one of the most inspirational blogs that I've come across. You are an incredibly gifted writer.

  12. V- i'm the same way about religion. there's so much hypocricy and self-contradiction on top of the ALREADY confusing doctrine of christianity that it makes one feel gullible, at times, to believe. like you've been sucked into the same trap that's captured a third of the world's population. but look around you- how could this complexity be an accident? if not the christian god, SOMETHING must have caused this.

    matt- i would agree that faith IS a heart thing, but unless you have it backed up it can and will easily become meaningless... wasn't it in 1 peter- yes, 1 peter 3:15- that says we should always have a reason behind our hope. always be able to explain why we believe what we do, live how we live. christianity isn't meerly blind faith. god gave us our inquisitive nature. we were meant to hunt down and find the answers we crave.

    i don't feel it's right for any christian, no matter how strong in their faith, to close up and stop listening to and openly considering, the opposing arguement. true, the devil can easily decieve- but it's by the same logical reasoning that people twist against him that god proves his existence over and over. he'll win out the fight easily if you keep your mind open and genuinely pursue truth, because that's what he is. truth.


  13. I love this post. It has really helped me.

    And there are some interesting comments floating around as well.

    I look forward to the next update.