Why here, why now?

One of the great unsolved mysteries of existence is…existence. Given all the possible variations in the nature of time, space and physics, how is it that things exist as opposed to not existing?

There is the issue of matter vs. antimatter, for example; when they meet they instantaneously cancel each other out and are annihilated. Every particle of matter has its corresponding anti-matter particle. When the universe began, scientists agree that there were equal quantities of both matter and anti-matter, yet we live in a universe filled with matter. At some point, matter gained an advantage over anti-matter, and this advantage may have been an infinitesimal percentage. Or, it may be that matter simply had a better personality, good hair and was more popular!

And then there is the issue of the “fine structure constant.” This contemplation involves understanding the force through which electrons are held by atoms, which in the case of existence (as we know it) requires a precise ittsy-bittsy-teenie-weenie option of all the infinite possible variations. If the force of the fine structure constant was any different than it is, even a metaphorical half-a-penny’s worth, then the material structures of matter in existence would not have come together and the universe would be an ultra-fine soup. Chicken soup is unlikely!

Time is another of the great mysteries. We all agree that there is something called “now” but by the time we recognize it, it’s become “then.” Einstein (who enjoyed a good chicken soup, by the way) managed to figure out that when calculated based upon velocity and the effects of mass, time is not constant at all. The now you experience while waiting for the waiter to bring lunch is not the now for another diner traveling at the speed of light. This is not to say you should feel jealous; the light-speed traveler will not get lunch for another thousand of your years. Keep this in mind as you calculate your tip.

“Entanglement” is a real doozy. This property of quantum behavior indicates that, defying understanding, at a quantum level everything is connected with everything. We simultaneously exist at our gross (no offence meant) level of existence and at a quantum level. At a quantum level, which underlies the sub-atomic structure of the matter of which we are made, all things are one. There are no personalities, no separate addresses, no cell phone numbers, no colors, no shapes, no nothing and no not-nothing. This begs the question: if everything is one, how did it turn into a universe of stuff, and do I have to pay AT&T?

Lastly, there is the question of who is asking these questions? I don’t mean me…I mean: do questions exist if they are not asked? This brings up the matter of mind (or in the case of some minds I know, antimatter), and that we cannot separate the observer from the observed. Consciousness exists only as the relationship between our minds and the existence of the environment in which our minds exist. Without an object of consciousness, it cannot be said that consciousness itself exists. Therefore, if there were no observer, would anything exist, and who would be around to prove it?

If you have difficulty sleeping, thinking about this might help. If not, don’t call me, please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.