Some proponents of string theory claim that there are about 10(500) universes.
“The multiverse is like a bubble bath,” said theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. “(There are) multiple universes bubbling, colliding and budding off each other (all the time.)”
According to the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics, every time we make a decision, the universe splits off into more universes for every possible variation of that decision.
If we run a yellow light and narrowly miss a car making a left hand turn, a world is created for every possible variation — we didn’t run the yellow light, we were hit, we were hurt, we were killed, the other person was killed.
“This means that there are an infinite number of universes and that everything that could possibly haven happened in ours (but didn’t) does happen in another,” says the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Difficult as that may be to contemplate, this theory is accepted by many of the greatest scientific minds.
In spite of the mind-boggling numbers, there is one bigger. Possibilities are infinite — and that’s something we can understand and accept more readily than string theory or quantum physics.
If we look up at the night sky or marvel at the pictures taken by the Hubble telescope, we can appreciate the immensity of the universe, from which life comes.
Life is pure potential. A baby has no preconceived ideas. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s only a few. When we stop and smell the roses and the coffee, when we take the time to look at a buttercup or a butterfly, we can see the incredible variety and vastness of life.
We constantly consider our limitations, but how often are we awe struck by our possibilities? Most of us settled on a career in our mid-20s and as we climbed the hierarchical ladder, never looked beyond those possibilities; never wondered if our ladder of success was against the right wall.
Supposedly, baby boomers were going to have a cluster of careers, but most stuck to one. Sure, there were different jobs within the craft, but we didn’t stray far from the well-worn path.
In the process of becoming experts— people who know more and more about less and less — we ignored everything else. Now, it’s time to take the blinders off. (If it’s too scary, we can always put them on again, although, there’s a very real possibility that they won’t fit over a bigger consciousness.)
We, not fate or destiny, determine who we become by what we choose to do and how we choose to do it.
In yoga, standing bow (standing on one leg, pulling the other foot up, behind and over the head while the upper body parallels the floor and the other hand pointing straight ahead) requires strength and flexibility. But equally important are courage and commitment, a willingness to try, and if necessary fall, and faith that it can be done.
Doing a spinning hook kick in karate requires similar attributes. The physical skill only works if the mental courage flows with the body as it spins and the leg sweeps out and around in a circular motion. Many people can do it in practice, but not when sparring because for a moment, our back is to our opponent and we’re vulnerable.
That’s true of all activities, of life, which wasn’t meant to be lived in constriction mode. Yet, we demand guarantees, we want to know it will work, that we will succeed and won’t get hurt.
In spite of our conservative streak, we secretly admire people who live free — who are willing to go beyond the known, who are willing to fail — even while condemning them. But we condemn them knowing that the ones who gamble all are the ones who win big, whether monetary or mental.
Expansion is the way of the universe; it’s growing at the speed of light – 186,282.2 miles per second, 670 million miles an hour. In the time it took to read that sentence, the universe had expanded almost the distance from here to the moon — and it has been doing that for 13.8 billion years and will continue to do so for many billions more.
Physically, we have two blind spots, which we don’t notice because, well, we’re blind to them. One spot is caused by the optic nerve at the back of the eye and there’s another at the centre of our vision in low light.
“The location of what we see is commonly taken to lie ‘out there’ in front of us,” columnist Bob Berman wrote in Astronomy magazine. “But everything we see, the images themselves, actually occur in the occipital lobes of our brain. In a very real sense, there is no external world.
"You perceive only the inside of your brain, where everything visual takes place.”
Then, there are the blind spots we create. We have our worldview, which we defend as ardently as a mother bear defends her offspring.
But when we refuse to see, we limit our possibilities to the known, to the things we have done, we create blind spots to our potential and possibilities.
“Wisdom and understanding can only become the possession of individual men by travelling the old road of observation, attention, perseverance, and industry,” wrote Samuel Smiles, a 19th century self-help guru and motivational speaker.
“Man cannot aspire if he looked down; if he rise, he must look up.”
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.