Mon, 04 Dec, 2023

Our Intriguing World

By Umang Gurung

Life is mysterious, fate is random and time is short. Every one of us sometimes ask the unanswerable questions. They may be big or small but they show our world as some mystical, legendary creature whose existence is questionable but fascinating. Those times when you put the brakes on your daily routine, let the time slow down and just think and wonder. You don’t talk, you don’t see nor hear but are an observer looking at this universe from a different plane. Because it is crazy, because it is pointless, because you are a part of it. Everything seems connected and many things go together so well that you start believing in destiny. But there is randomness. The scale of the world so huge that impossible coincidences happen. The planets do align. One second could be the difference between life and death. A boy got hit by a bus one day. What if he’d woken up just a second late that day? Would he have done everything the same? Would he have had the same thoughts? Would have walked the same way? Would he have said different things? Would he have forgotten something or not forgotten something? Would the world have done everything the same? Would he have lived? The delayed second could start a chain reaction of alternate events. Maybe someone wouldn’t make the same mistake they did that day. This thought experiment showcases life’s complexity and randomness and also ironically its tendency to be nonrandom. Ultimately it seems it was his day. I may know you but I don’t know your thoughts. I may trust you but my trust could be misplaced. I don’t know how the world looks from your view. In that way, I am alone. Does the red I see or the color I identify as ‘red’ the same that you see? Maybe the color I identify as ‘blue’ is the one you identify as ‘red’. Color does not exist. It’s what our brain uses as a code to differentiate light wavelengths. Maybe your brain codes your ‘red’ as my blue. All your life you might have been calling my blue as red. We will never know because I can’t become you. Everything that the senses sense is interpreted by our brain. It explains in the language we can understand so what is the actual main language? In other words, maybe the world looks and feels like something other than what our brain shows and makes us feel. Maybe the world we see is individually different. Taking it to the next level, since you are alone in your brain, you can’t know if other people are the same as you. You can’t know if they are real or this world is real. Maybe they are holograms or maybe you’re in the matrix from ‘The Matrix’ movie or maybe you’re just someone else’s imagination. Is your life an illusion? Whatever you see, whatever you hear, touch and feel is all the brain. What if your brain is lying to you? Well can you always control your own body? Doesn’t it feel disconnected sometimes like some separate entity? What if you don’t have a body but are just the brain connected to some machine that is feeding your brain all these sensations? What if you’re already dead and are living your life over and over again? Those déjà vu are quite suspicious. In the same way, what if you’re in the future trying to live your past again. What if you had been someone else whose memories were erased and replaced by the ones you have now? Can you rationally explain everything? Perhaps you’ve heard of the grandfather paradox. It tells of a situation where you built a time machine and went to the past to kill your grandfather when he was not married. So the paradox is that you wouldn’t exist if you killed your grandfather back then. If you didn’t exist then you wouldn’t have made a time machine and killed your grandfather, thus he lives which means you live. And so the cycle goes on and on. Time travel befuddles the mind. I always think why my future self hasn’t come to visit me yet. Maybe he has and I didn’t recognize him or see him. Really why haven’t we seen anyone from the future yet? Will the time machine never get built or did an apocalypse finish human civilization in the future? Maybe someone has and they’re keeping it a secret or the government isn’t telling us something. Sounds like I’m talking about an alien. Also where are the aliens? Many have answered the grandfather paradox with parallel universe theory, the theory that there are multiple universes. When you kill your grandfather, an alternate universe arises so that the future you came from is unaffected but this universe’s future will be different. I am also a supporter of that theory because of its awesomeness. There could be any number and type of universes out there. Our universe is already unimaginably big, infinite number of universes is indescribable. Who knows? There might be a universe where I’m a dictator, or one where dragons exist or there might be something resembling the game of thrones universe. There might be infinite number of earths or earth like planets. The possibilities are infinite. Also what if every time anyone tells a story, s/he creates an existing universe with those characters and plot. I would want to live in my favorite anime universe. The things I’m talking about are quite crazy but that’s the thing. The world is crazy, there is nothing normal about this world. It’s just that the scale of our existence is small. The pond may be big to us but we’re still fish in a pond. What is the earth compared to the universe? The size of the universe, black holes, special relativity, dark matter etc. are all crazy but they are real. Who knows what lies in which corner of the universe? Is there a limit to how big or how small anything can be? What is smaller than the strings of string theory or what is bigger than the universe? There must have been something before the Big Bang. Mathematics doesn’t exist as a physical part of this universe but it explains pretty much of it. What of the theoretical world that exists in our memories and books? What of the time that’s already gone by? Is time really linear? We wouldn’t know. The world might be quite different from our observations. At last, what is the point of it all? Why ponder on about these things that we will never have the answer to? Who needs to know about everything? We’re living our life and have its own sets of difficulties and problems to face. We have something better to do. Thinking too deeply and endlessly will get nothing done. My answer is that if you really think about it, everything is pointless. We became human after infinite time and will die for infinite time. Our body will wither away and convert to something else but our consciousness won’t. In this small time our consciousness needs to think, needs to observe, needs to wonder and be amazed by the mammoth, crazy, wonderful, beautiful, ugly, confusing and everything of the world. We may never know the answers but maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe we were supposed to answer them ourselves, use our imagination. Maybe we’ll know someday if we keep sharing our knowledge and discovering our world. If we stay on this road, perhaps someday we will finally reach the valley beyond the horizon.