Thursday, July 3, 2008

Living in a multiverse

"What if you could find a way into those parallel worlds?", it whispered. "What if you could meet the Richard and Leslie you were before you made your worst mistakes and smartest moves? What if you could warn them, thank them, ask them any question you dared? What might they know about living, about youth and age and dying, about peace and war, responsibility, choices and consequences, about the world you think is real?"
Richard David Bach, One (1989)

…and it shook my world.

I had thought about it since I was a teenager; "what would have happened if I had turned left, not right at that turning point?” Then I grew older, I read more, thought more, learned more; and at some point, I guess in my early 20s, I read One by Richard Bach.

I had read Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions from him before, and I had liked them. I had read The Bridge Across Forever, and had fallen in love with this couple. And then I read One. All of a sudden, somebody else had thought about the same thing, and not only “what would have happened if…”, but also “what happened to the person who took the other direction on that turning point?”

Definitely if I had chosen the other path in any of my turning points, there would have been other consequences. Would I be the same person as I am now? Now, I could define when I said "I was happy by the choice I made on that turning point" it meant I am happy with the consequences and how they changed me. Not all of them I really like, there are a couple of them which I always wish I had turned the other way, but would it make me, me? And another question, more challenging and more fascinating, what happened to the other Nava?

There are theories which say there is a "split" in time, and the world or the existence splits in two whenever you make a choice, as there is the same possibility that you could have made the other choice. So, you are you, and then other versions of you have slipped in other worlds, as multiple parallel universes can exist at the same time. (I’m still trying to find the recent reference which I read on this about 6 months ago.) Multiverses or the multiple universes have been hypothesized in different fields, cosmology, physics, astronomy, philosophy, theology, and fiction. There are even forums out there that people guess what they’d be doing in the parallel universes.

This concept had also another result for me, which is helping me in getting closer to finding some sort of explanation – even if not an answer – for one of my forever questions: is it constrain or choice? (Please let me know if you know the exact philosophical phrase.)
Now, a whole explanation can gradually take shape. Maybe (and I emphasize on this again, MAYBE) there are in fact parallel universes. In each universe, the whole paths are planned, and by choosing any direction on any given turning point, you "slip" in one of them, and continue that particular pathway of life…a combination of both.

Do I wish to meet the other "Nava"s? Maybe a couple of them. I am so curious to know what happened to them, and I so wish for all of them to be happy, wherever they are…


Mommy Homeopath: said...

Unfortunately not all of the "Nava"'s in other parallel universe can be happy...after all by definition of possibility sadness and misery can be the result of some of the choices that lead those parallel universes...I am happy that this NAVA that I know is happy in general:)

You probably saw "What the bleep do we know?" if should. You will enjoy it a lot.

Thanks for the post on "ONE"

Nava said...

Hi MH!
Oh, yeah! I've seen the movie, and I actually own the movie, so needless to say that I loved it.

On other versions of me in other worlds, that's exactly why I am so curious to see a couple of them, mostly on a couple of turning points which I still go back and think about. I know that genetically, they all know how to survive and stay happy, even if the price is killing a part inside themselves. I so wish I could see how it would go on after the turning points... I guess I need to learn how to fly, get on a seaplane, and fly across the ocean...huh?!!!

Robert said...

Hey Nava,
I just found your interesting blog and liked this post.
Positively thinking I also guess that you can become happy with any decision you made in your life, just accepting the reality you live in. I like to think there are a lot of other happy (though different) "mes" out there :)
Philosophically speaking the discussion between choice or no choice is called determinism, i.e. whether we are predetermined or really exercise influence along the way. I have not come to a conclusion either, just that maybe it does not matter all that much as long as you never know what is next. Life is too complex to see through it. That makes it so exciting and worth living :)
Have a happy day,

Nava said...

Hi Robert,
Thanks for your comment and also for bringing up determinism.
I haven't come to a clear answer as well, just trying to find some explanation, I guess this is a problem of mine to look for some sort of explaining for everything. Maybe I have to let life go its own way...I think that comes from my scientific training!

Anonymous said...

Nava jan;
What an interesting concept!! It is amazing! Parallel universes…
It has been always my question too; what would happen if I had chosen the other path? But after all and after getting no certain answers, I have learnt one thing: I have learnt not to regret!
If I regret the past, I will get lost in the future which is ahead of me.
Thanks for such a nice post!

Good luck and enjoy your life and the one you are right now!

Esfand` said...

:D I believe happiness is very abstract ...and it is quite possible that despite every other Nava's choice she might be happy in all those parallel multiverses.

I have been a fan of the multiverses being a fan of the Marvel comics and how fantastically they manage to create these multiple universes with various realities (or Illusions as Richard Bach wud say), but my first real scientific fling with them was with the advent of string theory :D Brian Greene did an awesome job to put it in simple words, in his elegant book 'The Elegant Universe', ....

but I guess there is no way to know the answer for sure to this question of 'if', though there is a possibility to find answer to this question of choice or constraint, and at times I think it is a bit of both ... being an ardent believer of choice and total choice, I still find something where I dont get to see this choice in the matters .... otherwise ..... haha, again ... if I have had choice things wont have been this way :D
but to be honest, I at times do find some peace in the constraint, otherwise I wud not have had any thing or any one to blame but my own self :P and I do that too much even now .... tho I still see some constrainst ...

and again this question surrounds the whole argument about the nature of this reality .... we all are still trying to solve this puzzle .... and we have only gone so far, or may be now where, we just keep going in cycles, to find things, only to later on refute them and find better ones, and then to realize that again our understanding was wrong...

so may be it is after all just an illusion, created by ... our brains :D .... the electrical signals supported by certain chemical reactions ....

thanks for kick starting my brain back to the lines... I need to catch up on a lot!!

Esfand` said...

by the way ... have you seen that self help film? named 'The Secret' by Rhonda Byrne, shes worked on the law of attraction, and some where in that film they interview several people who all have been happy in their lifes after going through some of the most terrible things in life ... like one of the person was imprisoned for life on charges of murder, and stayed in for 40s of years, only to be released and exonerated based on newly discovered evidence ...and he said he was happy for his life ... so they come up this explanation that no matter what the circumstances, our brains have this ability to fabricate happiness, no matter how bad things be around us ... and there is no way to know the difference between this fabricated happiness and the real one :P its the same :D happiness ... you feel happy ... no one knows why ... there is no scientific explanation for happiness ... so it is quite dependent on your personality and if you are the type who knows how to keep ur self happy, then believe me ... you must be happy in all those multiverses, no matter which choice you made .... and some people despite having all and making the right choices ... just dont know how to be happy :) so they dont get to be happy ever ... no matter what choices they had made or not~

Nava said...

Dear Parinaz,
That's a great attitide that you have. Unfortunately, what I have seen in my life is that regret could be part of life. I mean I should confess I have made decisions which I then later regreted and still do, but the other side of the coin is had I chosen the other way, I wouldn't have turned out this present "me".
So I guess It's still a paradox!!

Hi Esfand,
So, I made you get into the thinking-tornado as well? On this subject, it is really a tornado.
I will definitely find the book. The string theory is also interesting for me. Ellusions created by our brains...Matrix! Don't you wish we could know the real reality?
I haven't seen "the secret", I'll find it. But I think it could be in some ways true that if you want to be happy, you can. Whether this is a good choice or not, that's a whole other subject. I think these are the two extremes of one axis, people who are never happy, or no matter what, always happy. Then there are the majority of people, who experience all different emotions and states in their lives, accepting that they are all parts of what makes us humans. They are the realistics...