A Model, Not the Truth

Here’s the basic idea:

Our universe is actually made up of a conjunction of many personal universes.

Imagine that there are an infinite number of stories of a person’s life, from birth until death. The present is a dot in the center of this “story tapestry” and each “story” is a thread. So, this present, where I’m sitting down to write this, is definitely occurring. My mind seeks to remember why I sat down to write this, and I remember thinking about it while I was driving in a car. Thus the car exists, as well as the Safeway that I went to in order to buy groceries, and the concept of groceries, and so on, all the way down to stories of my birth and beyond. That’s the thread heading backwards. The forward motion of the thread is outlined by what is going to happen to this after I write it. I erase it and never think about it again, I share it with others and they like it, I share it but no one reads it, etc. This leads me further down a specific path until eventually my death occurs. This single thread is a smooth and unbroken series of events from my birth to my death. Predestination, if you will. This is the way we’re “supposed” to go, and if you “follow your destiny,” you’ll travel a very narrow path.

So this is the basic process. I live my life, and travel down the “straight” path. If I make all the “right” decisions, I’ll fulfill whatever it is that destiny has in store for me.

However, there are many parallel threads as well. If I choose to, I can jump off this thread and enter another. My old life still goes on the original path as normal, but my consciousness enters the new path. In doing so I alter both my future destination and my origin. There are some minor shocks while this happens, because even though these universes are similar, switching between them is not a completely clean process.

Again, this theory differs from the common, “branching river” theory of parallel universes, where your multiple futures spread out from a common starting point. There are minor differences between the past of the universes that our minds have to sort through.

Changes like this are minor enough, and may only be noticed as a small “blip” on your reality radar. You may find out that you’ve been spelling a word wrong for years, or an actor who you swore had died is still alive.

However, things get a little more tricky.

I mentioned that the tapestry is a person’s life, from birth to death. Interwoven within this tapestry are the threads of everyone you’ve ever met. If your brain gets a little confused and the tapestry metaphor breaks down a bit, that’s because it’s not a perfect correlation. Basically, other people have the ability to influence the path you’re on, as much as your own decisions do.

Imagine an old married couple fighting over whether or not the wallpaper in their first house was green or blue, for example, because it was a different color for both of them. Humans abhor this type of flux. There is fear and anger present whenever any “reality” based fact is in question. The married couple can get into a life and death struggle over the wallpaper because for one of them their entire reality does hang in the balance.

You take this thinking a step further, and you come up with the idea that folks like me, who have ADHD, have developed a syndrome of sorts because they have an excess number of lateral shifts compared to other people. General facts are simply not retained by their brains because they are so liable to shift at a moment’s notice. The impulsiveness in decision-making is well marked, as is the brain’s constant occupation with reacquainting itself with how this reality functions.

Keep in mind that these decisions are just that, the daily decisions one makes in life. Just because we’re dealing with multiple universes doesn’t mean this is in any way alien to our experience. I’m not saying that one can “cure” ADHD by getting back to “the right path.” Indeed, such a trip back to my original thread might make me more muddled than before. However, really owning one’s decisions may make the journey more pleasant.

One note on dreams, time-travel, etc:

It seems to me to be a real possibility that due to the “rewriting” of the brain when one reaches a parallel universe, there is no reason why “time travel” to any point on one’s tapestry would be impossible. While I have no idea what the mechanism would be, one would simply have a period of normal disorientation while their brain caught up with where they were. A feeling of deja vu, or a premonition of a future event may be an example of this.

In the same way, it’s quite possible that dreams are simply our consciousness moving from “home base” to a completely different tapestry. The weirdness of the dream state is an attempt for our consciousness to interface with an incompatible world, our disorientation upon awakening a re-integration.

I don’t put it out of the realm of possibility that someone might even abandon their old tapestry for the new one, or even that the concept of a “dream” is that of an incompatible memory. You think this is your “main” life, but what if you’re a tourist who decided to stay? Indeed, maybe in death we simply wake up somewhere else, with fleeting memories of a time where we lived someplace called Earth.

Now, as the title says, this is just a way to describe something I suspect. It’s in no way 100% foolproof, nor is it necessarily the best model for what I have in my head. If this doesn’t match what you think or feel, honestly, don’t worry about it.

Thanks for listening.

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About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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One Response to A Model, Not the Truth

  1. Malkah says:

    I like this. It’s a difficulty if one spends too much time considering this, and can lead to becoming so out of touch with the basic realities that we encounter day-to-day that one becomes incapacitated, or crazy. That happened to my mom, whose experience included a flexible and non-linear model of time. It’s problematic when dealing with the world, keeping a job, and not ending up heavily medicated or so isolated as to feel alone, since nobody else is really thinking along these lines except philosophers and the mentally ill.

    But I suspect that the world, the natural every day world, is far more amazing and weird than we know.

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