I have a theory of the physical universe that makes perfect sense to me, but I suspect is incorrect. With a little luck, maybe a physicist will read this someday and explain the pieces that I left out. Here goes:
All the energy in the universe existed at the moment of the Big Bang. But as we know, energy is being consumed all the time. The sun and the stars are burning, and these energy sources generate other energy sources, so energy is in a constant state of regeneration. Trees become coal, which generates heat, which generates electricity, and so on. So while man has never been able to harness perpetual energy, perpetual energy has been a constant state since the Big Bang.
Energy experiences this regeneration over time. Or, time is created by the regeneration of energy. Time of course is as real in this moment, as it was in the previous moment, as it will be in the next moment. A rock is a rock is a rock. But, when this moment passes, where did the rock and the time of the previous moment go? And what brought the rock and recognition of the past into the future? The past, which was the consumed energy of that moment, becomes the spacious void of the expanding universe. In other words, it is not the universe expanding, but the constant accumulation of time/energy. Think of past time is a non-measurable solid, and it is filling the universe, forcing it to expand.
The more time passes, the more energy gets regenerated, the bigger the universe gets. Since time creates more space inside of the ever-expanding universe, space, time, and energy are all inter-related. But beyond these impossible to measure physical characteristics, there is also consciousness.
All living things posses a consciousness. There was an article at Wired.com the other day that suggested that bacteria have a group consciousness. Given the common reproductive path of a fertilized egg for all living things, it is reasonable to assume that we share common characteristics.
If everything existed at the moment of the Big Bang, then everything that exists is energy. So a question like “How much does a memory weigh?” makes sense, even though we are not nearly intelligent enough to answer it.
So it is possible that even if we assume consciousness is energy and energy has a mass, then a memory has a mass and can be measured. But getting a physical reading of a memory or consciousness, really doesn’t explain what this consciousness is.
This implies that even beyond the physical universe that my theory attempts to explain, there is also another, completely different, sentient dimension that science cannot even begin to explain, much less measure. Time is real, even though we can’t explain it. We measure time passing, but time itself cannot be defined. Likewise energy is a force that we measure but cannot explain. We can explain heat as the rapid vibration of particles, but this just measures the process of regeneration, it neither explains where the energy came from or where it went. Time and Space are the logical voids that energy fills, but consciousness is still something different.
Feelings for instance, are distinct from consciousness and pain. The pain from a cut can be explained by investigating nerve endings, and feelings may be triggered by pheromones, but that doesn’t explain what the feeling actually is, or what consciousness is, but surely they are more than just some type of chemical energy coursing through the body. This conversation is real, and ideas expand inside the mind in the same way time expands into space. Measuring a brain is not the same as measuring an idea or the depth of consciousness. There is something going on that is beyond the abilities of science to measure.
Animals and insects clearly have skills and capacities that human’s lack. A human is no more capable of standing in a forest for 200 years than a tree is capable of building a city. Dogs can hear and smell things that a human is unaware of. Our gift of consciousness and our physical make up serves our needs; as do other gifts serve other living things. Humans have dominion over the living world, but we are not necessarily superior to it.
In the great stretch of time that the universe has been known to exist, humans have occupied only a small amount. So what has God been doing all that time?
Yes, God must exist. Perhaps there is an explanation for time and space, but there is none for energy and consciousness. Only God could put these parallel dimensions into motion.
To assume that God spent eons waiting on Earth-bound humans seems more than mildly egocentric. It is more likely that the universe abounds with life, and that this energy of life is at different stages throughout the universe. Life follows a cycle of birth, growth and death. We see it in people, in stars, in societies. There is no reason to not assume it is everywhere. Our physical universe itself may be following this same cycle. The Earth’s Armageddon will occur with the collapse of our star. Life and energy will continue in other parts of the universe.
We all have a personal Armageddon. All our lives will all expire long before the sun burns out. So what then happens to our consciousness? Given the interplay between energy, time and space, it is reasonable to assume that our consciousness continues forward as well. This is yet another hint that God must exist.
With so much unknown but clearly present, what are we to make of this existence? Binding us all together in this mystery is Love. Love is yet another non-measurable phenomenon of the physical world. Consciousness and Love are different things. We all have capacity to love and hate, and as we experience growth, what we love and hate changes. Oftentimes, what we love and hate is colored by fear and anger and isolation. That is the real challenge in life, to find the capacity to Love everyone, everywhere.
Science and technology are a maze for the human civilization to occupy itself with, while each individual busies himself with a personal journey of exploration. If God exists, then clearly he expects us to find a way to Love one another and build a society of justice.
The tools of the modern man make this task of Love and justice no easier or harder than times past. Ultimately, it relies on making children wiser earlier. If the children are not wise, then we cannot expect them to be wiser as adults. This is what I meant by saying humans are not superior to other living things. For all we can tell, other living colonies may have perfected the society we struggle to attain. Humans as a species, constantly writes off generations and groups of people by stealing their hope, dreams and security.
We are all subject to life’s capriciousness, what I like to refer to as “a monkey in a tree.” This odd description comes from a television documentary I once saw. An innocent young monkey was climbing joyfully in the crown of a rain forest when he was snatched by an eagle, crushed, dismembered, and fed to the predators’ young. We are all monkeys in a tree. We are preyed upon by catastrophe, bad luck, disease and our own stupidity.
If you were to stand in an uninhabited Earth forest for millions of years with all types of scientific instruments and taking all sorts of measurements regarding wildlife, weather, etc., what are the chances that you would discover that you were making coal beneath your feet? Mankind’s approach to our existence has often followed a similar misdirection. God has revealed little of His mystery, but He has revealed some. He has communicated the 10 Commandments, and when that was too confusing for mankind, He clarified His position: Love Me and Love one another. Evidently the non-scientific, non-measurable is the most important thing of all.
Like Plato’s wall, all life is a reflection of other life. The cycles, the expansion, the dimensions, all compliment and mirror each other. This pattern of life repeats itself again and again. How Black Holes fit into this view of the universe, I fear to think about.