Monday, October 29, 2007

When You Get to the Edge of the Universe, You Run Into a Brick Wall

On several different occasions as a child, I would sit on the living room couch, stare at the wall, and try to imagine what it would be like if nothing existed. I still remember vividly how the walls and doors in the entryway to my boyhood home faded to black in my imagination. And my head hurt.

Later, I began to realize that I really could not imagine nothing, because the blackness that I had imagined was actually something. To this day I can instigate similar pain as I try yet again to comprehend the mortally incomprehensible.

I must not be the only one in the world who thinks this way, because my wife had similar contemplations as a child, and every one of my children has had the same series of thoughts. Occasionally we traverse onto the subject in our Monday night Family Home Evenings, and their heads begin to hurt, too. Especially when put on my evil grin and remind them that their imagined blackness of nothingness is actually something.

But that's just fine to have such thoughts. Because what such thoughts do is convince us that it is not strange to imagine that there has always been something. That's ultimately where all this head-hurting gets us--on the path to knowing that there is something infinitely more.
One of the other limitations of my finite imagination--to this day--is the inability to comprehend that no matter how far I could ever hope to travel into the expanse of the universe, there would always still be more of it. I still imagine that if I were to get out there a gazillion billion light years away from earth, there would be a brick wall at the edge of it. But then how could there be a brick wall all the way around it...

So not only is there something, there is also an infinite amount of it. Owwww....my head hurts.

The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Section 88, teaches, among other things, that:
36 All kingdoms have a law given;
37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
That seems to be telling me that, just as we could (if we knew how) go outward into the universe (greater kingdoms) for infinity, so we could also go inward past the protons and neutrons and quarks (lesser kingdoms) for infinity in the other direction. It makes my head hurt thinking about it, so I must be onto something!

Is there a God? I'm pretty sure there is. Did he create the laws of the universe, or did he just learn how they work? That'll be an interesting question to someday know the answer to, but I think it was likely part of his learning process. That is a good-tasting thought.

Does evolution actually occur? Probably. I think so. Can God and evolution both exist? Sure! In fact, what's so strange about thinking that the person we call God is a perfectly evolved being? That actually doesn't make my head hurt.

I don't know for sure, but something inside me tells me that the universe is infinite and that it's always been here, and that God organized the part of it that we know about, and there can never be such a thing as nothing. Even if it does make my head hurt thinking about it.

But you know what's neat about it? Someday I'll understand it, because someday it'll all make sense. And my head won't hurt anymore. At all.

9 comments:

  1. I think the late Douglas Adams discovered the brick wall, and heard the people in the next universe having a loud party on the other side.

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  2. Far out man!!

    Actually I think when we reach the point where God is, we will find that science, religeon and everything else will come together in one neat little package. The fact that right now there seem to be contradictions and discrepencies between all of them only serves to show that we still have a lot to learn.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Is GOD perfectly evolved? Or is he still evolving too? How's that for making your head hurt. Is perfect evolution a destination or a journey?

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  5. Ouch!

    As I was writing, I wondered that exact thought. The LDS Church teaches the concept of Eternal Progression, but I'm not sure if I understand that concept enough to venture an answer your question.

    What's your opinion?

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  6. Definitely still evolving... That's the whole point of existence isn't it?

    I think the term "God", refers to more a realization of who you really are and less to a position that you attain, or that he has attained in this case.

    Now that one could really start a whole slew of thoughts going!

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  7. "a whole slew of thoughts..."

    I like it! Yours is a good one to start with, because I don't think life as a God would be boring in the least.

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