Sunday, May 08, 2011

What if there was never anything?

I have no idea where I'm going with this. Just a dumb question in my head.

So we live in this thing called a universe which is so freaking big it's beyond our comprehension to grasp just how mind-blowingly big it is. It's so big it's just stupid.

And whether it exploded from God's hand or because that's just what universes do; both perfectly equal mysteries if you think about it, it's pretty obvious that we live in the aftermath of an explosion.

But what if it had never happened?

Well that's easy. If it hadn't happened we wouldn't be here. Simple. But is it? If there were no gods, no explosions, no universe or universes - what would there be?

Well there'd be nothing. Ever. Simple.

Why does this not work?

I can not, no matter how I try - imagine a reality that is utterly vacant of time and space and matter. It is strictly unimaginable. I can not admit such a scenario possible yet I can not offer a shred of explanation. It's like I'm a robot programmed not to question it's prime directive. There's just a blank wall. I try to process the idea of there never existing anything and I'm left with a disctinct impression that such a concept is strictly impossible. But I haven't the first idea how to prove it nor the notion that it's a correct presumption to start with. Surely anything that can exist can also not exist. But take away everything and what are you left with?


It makes sense and yet it just can't be imagined. Is that how everyone feels?

For that matter, what happens at the perimeter of the universe? WHat's after that? Nothing? Well what does that mean? What if you drill a hole into the nothing? Do you even get a hole?

Frankly, it's hard to imagine a perimeter to the universe.

I guess you'd never get close to the universe's perimeter given how fast it expands. But what if it's going to collapse again? What happens after the Big Crunch? Another explosion? What exists between the moment of final contraction and the next bang? Nothing?

It's a popular theory - that the universe continually bangs and crunches; cyclically expanding and contracting, almost like a beating heart, locked in a constant battle against the nothingness.


Postscript: I wrote this some time ago before I realized that the big crunch theory is swiftly losing popularity as evidence mounts that the universe is expanding at an accellerating rate. This news struck me as hard as any news ever has, including the death of loved ones. It was comforting to think of a renewable cosmos where life, human or otherwise, could exist, if intermittantly, at least eternally. An eternity of equillibrium however, with every particle of matter isolated by light-years of darkness - is the coldest thing I've ever contemplated.

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