Thursday, June 27, 2024

Bumping into parallel universes

I am by no means a scientist. I enjoy thinking about science-y stuff, but I wouldn't know how to write or present a scientific paper even if I watched a hundred Youtube videos on the subject and an advisor was standing behind me, telling me which words to type.

I would never be referred to as a philosopher. I can barely even spell the word. And when it comes to writing? Well, I'm a writer in the same sense that a beginning trombone student can call themself a working musician.

Never the less, I have an idea about the whole parallel universe conundrum.

First off, I believe our universe is not the only one. The Milky Way Galaxy doesn't have only one sun. A tree doesn't have only one leaf. The beach doesn't have just one grain of sand. So it makes sense to me that our universe is one of many.

There is, although, only one me. I am unique. But there are a billion other people who are thinking the same thing about themselves. And that gets to the very crux of my following idea:

I am the center of my universe. I spy with my little eyes the solar system and galaxy and all of space and time rotating around me. If I had long enough arms, I could reach out and touch the cosmic microwave background as if I were in a round room.

My wife is about 10 feet away from me, sitting on our couch. She is the center of HER universe. She sees the very same things I see, but from a slightly different angle. Our universes run parallel with each other, side by side through time; sometimes bumping into each other as we're both trying to fill our coffee mugs at the same time in the kitchen.

I know how I perceive myself, but she sees me a bit differently (or as being a bit different). I am two people at the same time. If we held a party with 10 invited guests, I'd be 10 different people, and so would they. Some I would know better than others, and that would affect who they were in my mind's eye.

If I accidentally bumped into a stranger in the produce section of the supermarket, they would see me in a completely different light than I see myself or others see me. And the same would be true for them; universes colliding at the apple bin, one looking for the perfect Granny Smith, the other Ambrosia. I apologize, we smile at each other, then go our merry ways, probably never again to interact with the other.

Parallel universes are all around us. We interact with them but can never enter them. Some we know better, some only by casual acquaintance. Some we only see from a distance, in our peripheral vision. I know there are billions more of them, and I'm thankful we're not all shopping for zucchini at the same grocery store at the same time.

And that's it. It was just an idea I had about parallel universes not being a mystery at all; that they are our friends and neighbors and complete strangers we'll never meet. 

Probably millions of other people have had the same idea, but it was new to me. 

Peer reviews are welcome.

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