Here’s the question from a fellow reader who e-mailed this to me:
Here goes, if I can express my question lucidly:
Most of physical matter appears to be contained within something else. For example, protons and electrons are contained within atoms, and atoms are a part of all matter. All organisms found on this planet are contained on this planet which itself is contained within the solar system which in turn is contained within a galaxy which is considered a part of the universe which is thought to be INFINITE. So, going with this theme, in what is the UNIVERSE contained? If it is contained in something bigger than itself, then the universe is FINITE. If our UNIVERSE is contained in something else, then is that SOMETHING ELSE contained within something else, and so on and so on?
Is this a different paradigm for analyzing our ‘UNIVERSE’ around us or Am I Just Being Silly?!! 🙂
Here’s my answer:
There are some interesting new theories about this very question and some answers have come from String Theory. I’ll try to do a descent job of explaining what I’ve read on the subject and of course it will be in layman’s language and hopefully I won’t butcher any of the ideas too badly, so here goes. The first thing about string theory is the ideas in it are complicated and require something like at least 11 parallel dimensions in order for the theory to even work. The string part of string theory is derived from the notion that beyond the smallest known particles like quarks (which behave very unusually and in many ways prove some esoteric ideas, but that’s another story) are the tiniest of the tiniest bits that make up all known things. And once clumped together into something they take on certain characteristics. These strings are ubber tiny strings that vibrate and it is through their vibration that they attract other like strings and make stuff. I love this idea as the universe would literally be made up of inaudible music created from the tiny strings. So these strings vibrate at a certain pitch and collect to make different sorts of bigger compounds.
But the most interesting part of String Theory is the question that it set out to answer which was the notion of how did the Big Bang happen? Or what came before the Big Bang? And something to note here is that the Big Bang is a more complicated idea than most of us are taught, here’s a brief synopsis. All of a sudden space-time blasted into being, it started out very hot and very close together and has been pushing out since then. The part that we often misunderstand is the notion of space-time which is a complicated idea. Literally everything that exits in the Universe, all of time and space was created in that one moment which came from nothing. That’s a pretty heavy and strange idea.
Now the beautiful thing about String Theory, and in my opinion where it dovetails with the metaphors of all religions and the notion of “as above so below,” is the idea that what created the Big Bang was a bunch of universes all sort of floating around in what is now called a multiverse and two of these universes happened to collide into one another thus creating our universe (sort of like sex or the idea of the Goddess and the God or in esoteric Judaic and Christian traditions, the notion of God and his female soul Sophia or the feminine side of God co-creating the Universe). Of course one then asks where did this multiverse come from and so on which is the appeal of the easy answer/creationism/intelligent design.
Here’s the thing from my own personal experience that leads me to believe String Theory is about as close as we’ve in come, in science, to the truth. When I was 12 my back was fractured and I had a herniated disc. I was put on bed rest for about 7 months. My father was dead by this time and my mother worked, so I spent 95% of my days alone. Besides watching Oprah on my little black and white TV there wasn’t much to do so I spent a lot of time, reading, thinking and meditating. A lot of my meditation was spent on God and how the Universe came to be as I was always psychic and very fascinated by this question. I had started my search for answers at about 9 when I began reading astronomy textbooks to learn about what made up the universe and peer into any clue I could find about how it worked. I found a lot of information about dwarf stars, black holes (which were still theoretical at the time) and approximations of how many stars were in our galaxy (about 300,000) but not much about how the universe came to be which I found very frustrating. I then searched through my occult books, the bible, mythology, etc.
Again nothing satisfied so I thought about it and spent many days and nights meditating on the question until I came to the knowing that the Universe was like a circle within a circle within a circle. There was no end and no beginning, these circles went on for infinity in every direction. There was no end to how many parallel dimensions as that was infinite as well. Perhaps the greatest epiphany was that God was always and forever, meaning God had no beginning and no end. God was also not a “designer” but an energy source present in everything and everyone and there was no true beginning of time or matter, it just transformed as we did when we die. Hence we as human beings are both finite and infinite as our souls are eternal and part of God’s energy and our bodies are part of the earth which has a finite beginning, middle and end as do all physical things. The energy that makes them is infinite and forever but they have a finite period of time to “live” and develop until the next set of lessons and/or individuation process unfolds.
Of course this brings up the notion of why God would want or need to expand Him/Herself. The answer I came up with was to experience Him/Herself and allow each piece of Him/Herself to individuate and ascend infinitely, reuniting with the Self/God after a period of expansion and learning. This theory would of course mean we reincarnate for as long as we want and perhaps in some cases for as long as we need to.
I hope this makes some sense and is not to confusing.
This is why ancient religions stated “All Gods are One,” and the spiritual seeker is to always see the God/Goddess in everyone he or she meets (-Namaste). This is sometimes hard when dealing with people who are asleep spiritually or run their lives as if they are worker drones or zombies. Those who have yet to awaken to the power and truth of our collective Oneness. Or what some call “conservatives.” I’m not going to go on about the health care zombies right now who basically argue that they have theirs so f everyone else. This is a sad state we are in and one I’ve thought a lot about lately. Is it that there are too many of us on the planet and there are the same percentages of selfish people? Or is it that we are so many we are starting to act like too many rats stuck in the same cage? Even simple courtesy seems to have dissolved into the whole “me first” way of our current world. Not only is this sad on a spiritual level and hurtful to our emotional and psychic development, but it also freaks me out because it makes me think we are calling down the worst possible fate by our behavior and sadly we are all going to have to suffer under it whether or not we partake of this intensely rude and mean spirited selfishness. We are all linked and we will all have to answer to the loud mouths who would rather let a stranger starve on the street than help them. I have to admit that my natural inclination toward feeling most human beings were ultimately good has been replaced by the feeling that there is a range of goodness and most people are heavy into the middle section of gray. I know there are many good, great loving people in the world, it’s just that their voices are often softer then those who are rude and mean spirited, this has always been the case. I wish there was some way to change it.
From readers Grace and Wei:
grace43 // December 28, 2008 at 6:08 am (edit)
When is the period of kindness you talked about going to begin? I am seeing a whole lot of just deeply distrubing behavior on the news – a man massacres his ex wife’s family in CA, another man decides to up and shoot a father in a Philadelphia movie theater, a guy in Scotland holding that poor, poor woman hostiage in the trunk of his car for ten days…
It seems like people have lost their dang minds. Thanks in advance. Happy New Years!
Wei // December 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm
I think kindness starts from here… us. There’s too much carelessness and thoughtlessness in the world. If anger and lack of regard for others starts, there’s no need to continue in that kind of vein, otherwise all of us are in trouble. It is true that we are all a community and I hope over time, we will evolve to that kind of thinking.
To Answer Grace first:
I think we are going to see the worst of mankind first before we see the best of it. I am an optimist by nature and generally believe that when given a hard lesson people eventually learn it and open their hearts toward growth. Unfortunately, I’ve seen, as I’m sure we all have, that it takes a lot to break open the hard hearted, greedy and selfish. And the truth is there are a lot of people on this planet (last count over 6 billion) and many of them are young souls who are pretty darn selfish. Which means for all of us, it will take experiencing a lot of bad before we see the light as a group. And it may also mean that there will be a lot of sacrifice in order to learn the lesson of humanitarianism. As we go from the Piscean age to the Aquarian age there will be a time of reckoning and I fear a lot of terrible stuff we will have to endure before we see the light.
Wei is right:
There is so much thoughtlessness and carelessness in the world. We are going to have to learn just as children do, about boundaries. But in our case these lessons will be large scale, very frightening, and come in the form of war, disasters, and economic melt downs before we can begin to band together and truly value each others humanity. It’s sad that we have to learn the hard way but I think we’ve proven we don’t learn any other way.
I’ve been having a lot of nightmares over the past week, broad scale, a lot having to do with elemental energies like water and fire. The news seems full of craziness, more each day. But its not a surprise astrologically. We are in for some tough times in many ways, but there is hope.
The more the enlighten participate, the more those who are kind hearted and empathic step up to support and stand up for those who are down trodden the greater our chances to avert the worst of our potential fate, and the faster those who are ignorant will learn about compassion. We all have to be the best examples we can be. We are all teachers here — something we have either forgotten or not much acknowledged.
Best wishes and many blessings to all of you,