Meaning of life explained

This is likely to be a bit heavy, so bear with me…

Last night I had a dream. It was in real time, full technicolour and with sound. I dreamed that I came home from work with a headache, snapped at my family and then went to bed where I had a stroke. Pretty much fully paralysed I tried to get my family to help but couldn’t communicate with them. Eventually I managed to fall out of bed. I remember the details of the kitchen I walked through, the colour of the stove, the bedroom, the colour of the carpet. I felt myself hit the floor. I heard myself grunting as I tried to speak.

It was a horrible experience. When I woke up, I couldn’t move so I was rather frightened to say the least. After a few moments I was fine. It was all a dream after all.

Many years ago, I had a similar experience. This time I died. There was a war going on and the air raid warning sounded. It was a nuclear war. I hurried down into this big concrete underground shelter with hundreds of others. The bomb dropped. I felt the shockwave then the lights went out and the ceiling collapsed, crushing us all to death. I woke up rather quickly in a cold sweat, shaking. I had experienced my own death.

I have a couple of theories that explain all this and to be honest I can’t say if they’re home spun or if I picked them up from somewhere. Before I go into them, let’s reflect on Stephen Hawking for a moment.  After all, he is recognised as a right clever bastard…

Hawking reckons that there are more then 3 dimensions. Several more, in fact. I don’t profess to understand all of it, but he describes our reality as being akin to a shadow on a wall. A mere layer in many dimensions. Other eminent physicists such as Alan Guth at MIT and Sean Carroll propose that if you accept the big bang theory, then it is inconceivable that other parallel universes do not exist.

Hawking also reckons that time is not linear but that we experience it in this way so that our brains can cope with it. I’m not so sure, but it does fit with my theories.

Theory one:  Reality doesn’t exist. I as an individual entity am not actually a human being in a corporeal body. I exist as an ‘intelligence’ of some sort and as such existence is merely something that my being has invented around me. When I ‘die’ in one life, my consciousness flits back to another create another ‘life’ for me. As time is not linear, these inventions sometimes overlap, hence my experience last night.

Theory two:  This uses the multiple dimensions hypothesis. There are many layers of existence. This ‘life’ is just one of them. There are many versions of me in many different versions of ‘reality’. What I experienced last night and all those years ago is what I describe as ‘bleed over’. This is where another version of me experiences a traumatic event. The experience is so traumatic that it connects across all versions of reality and all the versions of myself feel it.

Now you might think that all of this a load of pretentious old bollocks, but the beauty of all this is two fold. Firstly, it all fits with Hawking’s theories.

Secondly, if theory one is correct then you don’t really exist other than as an invention of my mind. And, even better, if I am right then I don’t exist other than a figment of your imagination. So there is no point in you trying to argue with me because you’re really only arguing with yourself.

I did warn you it was deep…

9 responses to “Meaning of life explained

  1. Mick Anderson

    I think that you can only consider time as non-linear if you consider it from different perpectives at the same time. Especially true if you consider the warp of time at the edge of a black hole, or the problem that years accelerate as you age.

    Regarding your theory one, you haven't seen the film “Source Code” on TV recently by any chance….? Perhaps that has crept into your dreams.

    For theory two, if you extrapolate multidimensional theory, then it follows that every possible combination of circumstances exist somewhere in a parallel universe. For that to be true, there must be a trustworthy version of David Cameron and a popular version of Gordon Brown somewhere out there. As this is patently impossible, I have to refute this theory.

    The first time I started reading “A Brief History of Time” I gave up because I disagreed with some of the basic premis' of the essays. When I re-read it many years later, I concluded that Hawkings was actually saying “If this, then probably that”. The initial “this” was not a fact, merely a starting point for the sake of making the argument. Eventually I found the humour in the work and began to enjoy it.

  2. I wasn't aware of that film, Mick but now you've pointed it out I'll be looking for it. Sounds interesting.

    A popular Gordon Brown? Impossible!!

    I've not read Hawking's book but I may do one day. To be honest from what I've heard a conversation with him might go something like “Well, Stephen, that's very interesting but we both know it's absolute bollocks really, don't we?” which is probably what lots of people are saying about what I wrote her in the first place.

    I've had these theories for years but kept them to myself until now. I did feel better writing it down after that awful dream the other night tho'

  3. Mick Anderson

    Perhaps you've already seen “Source Code” in a non-linear future

    I wasn't wild about the way the film twisted its own logic at the end, but won't put a spoiler up.

  4. Have you been reading The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, by any chance?

  5. Can honestly say I've never read any Terry Pratchett books. I prefer Michael Moorcock but he's not written anything for years as far as I know.

  6. The idea that only ‘you’ exist is called solipsism. It has an ancient pedigree and its attraction lies with the impression that sense perception is unreliable and that all we can be sure of is ‘ourselves.’ Adherents will argue that it is difficult to refute. Self-confessed solipsists tend to be philosophers in the professional sense. They don’t actually believe solipsism to be true, however they will argue that it is a viable philosophical stance and revel in the sophistry.

    As for multiverses and multiple n dimensions: All that we know of the world is bound by the natural universe in which we exist. If multiverses exists they, by definition, lie outside our natural world and therefore beyond our scrutiny, apart from investigation in the mathematical sense. It is incumbent upon those who posit such hypotheses to provide empirical evidence for their existence, otherwise they remain hypotheses and do not progress to the status of theories. Reality is what we perceive in the natural world. Other ‘worlds’ are unperceived, unknowable and therefore, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from non-existence.

    Of course, I could be spouting total bollocks.

  7. What if the world is a simulation running in a computer somewhere outside this perceived universe we're in? If this is the case, then we can expect that a fair amount of the universe will not be a true simulation, but cobbled-together shite.

    This neatly explains why quantum physics doesn't make a great deal of sense; the simulation uses this as wallpaper at best, so it doesn't need to make sense. All it needs to do is puzzle the hell out of physicists for as long as the simulation is operating; it may actually be being made up on the fly by some sort of sub-process much as a crap shaggy dog story gets a lot of colour added in when told down the pub.

    Similarly astrophysics is wallpaper; doesn't make much sense because it doesn't need to make sense. The interesting stuff is going on round here. We might even be just a boundary-finding experiment; how much blithering idiocy will entities of complexity $X put up with in a simulation of such and such a sort.

    As such a simulation, the model is probably going to be running a huge number of fairly similar but slightly different simulations of the same world concurrently. Once again, expect there to be glitches, data crossovers, time not actually flowing linearly but our simulated brains being continuously edited to make time seem linear (this could even be a requirement of a sim, to reduce the overall CPU loading).

    What I'm getting at is this: a whole world is too much to simulate. Most of the world we think we perceive is thus wallpaper to keep the main players immersed in the simulation, much as a big MMORPG doesn't actually run the lives of the NPCs in the background so much as simulates their lives as crudely as can possibly be gotten away with.

    As such, every possible shortcut that can be taken, will have been taken up to and including trying to edit glitches and mistakes out of the memories of the simulated people. Simulating fully conscious minds is probably verboten wherever this sim is being run, so instead we get the not conscious but thinks it is mind simulations.

    I'll stop now, this is really rather depressing.

  8. Maybe life is the dream and we we die, we're just waking up…

  9. Perhaps we should leave the last comment to the great and late, Douglas Adams:

    “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”