Chandler

What is the Multiverse? And why do I care?

What is the Multiverse?

And why does it matter to my faith?

Individually these are interesting questions, but when you put them together, it puts a different spin on it.

Science and religion have existed for thousands of years trying to explain the same outcome from seemingly different sides of the coin. But I don’t think they have to be mutually exclusive. My journey to gain an understanding of the “Multiverse” began a few months ago. I’ve always been interested in the cosmos and what we have learned (which always leads to further questions) and what we can expect to learn in the future. The difficulty I have with all of it is that I don’t understand the math and the physics behind it all — I was a psychology major in college after all — so it will be difficult for me to grasp it truly. What I am seeking to do here is to take other’s explanations (such as Brian Greene, Neil Degrasse Tyson and others) and apply my understanding of those explanations to my faith. Marrying the two together to make, if nothing else, interesting dialogue.

So, we’ll start with the multiverse theory.

I will attempt to explain the common version of the theory, and then I’ll post a video below so that you can potentially gain a better understanding than my explanation. Here we go.

If you’ve ever read or watched science fiction of any kind, then you’ve almost certainly heard of the idea of parallel universes. In many instances, it’s used to highlight the possibility that there could be more than one of you. For example, in this universe you are just as you sit, reading this article, wondering if I’m crazy. In another, you are the writer of this article, and that’s the only difference. Everything else in that universe about you is the same, only you’re the writer. In another universe you’re not the writer, you’re not even reading this article. You’re driving down the road to visit your siblings or parents.

This example strings on and on forever, like the song from that kids show Lamb Chop. In the multiverse theory, there are an infinite number of universes where every possible outcome could happen. Every decision you’ve ever made would have a different decision played out in another universe. Now, this seems like it is easy to comprehend until you begin to think about how many universes that could be. There aren’t enough spaces on the internet for me to type out all of the possible outcomes (at least in this universe, I’d have to borrow some bandwidth from another universe’s internet).

The interesting thing is, though, if we think about it from a perspective of where the God Christians recognize, as in the God who created the universe (or multiverse), then we have to think that there’s a possibility he has created more than one of “us.” I’m not saying that he did. But I’m saying that what makes our “world,” the only world?

If you’re a “glass half-empty” type of person, then you might say, “Wow, that means I’m no longer one in 7 billion, I’m infinity of infinity”. That’s true. It does sort of make you feel a little bit more insignificant. However, if you think the multiverse theory has some merit then, while it might make you seem more insignificant, it makes our God seem even more significant. If that’s possible.

Just think how amazing the Rocky Mountains look from an airplane. Or how the Grand Canyon looks on a donkey as you gallop down a trail. If you think the satellite image of the Earth looks amazing, think about the power it must have taken to create an infinite number of Earth.

It almost makes my brain hurt. It does make my brain hurt. A lot.

The idea of the multiverse is interesting to me because it almost seems as though there is the potential that we all get the opportunity to live out the life we’re supposed to live.

Here’s the video that explains it in greater detail. Think about what it must have been like to create all of this.

 


Photo credit: nevermindtheend

The Meaning of Life and My Curiosity

For the better part of two years (over two years now, sheesh…) I’ve written a plethora of things on this digital workspace. I’ve written personal growth articles, leadership articles, articles about scripture and the love of God. I’ve written sad pieces and uplifting pieces.

All of these words published on this site have been an attempt to do a couple of things: a) self-therapy, I wanted to write because it was helped me heal. It helped me search for what was apparently missing, but the truth is, there’s no way to fill a black hole. Not even light itself can escape a black hole. I wrote and wrote to fill this void after the loss of our daughter. It made me feel a little better at the moment, but as writers do, I began to judge myself based on metrics of vanity. I would be excited when an article I worked hard on got read by a ton of people, but upset when I heard crickets. This form of therapy seemed excellent at first, but alas, it was not. b) it was an attempt to answer unanswerable questions, questions like “why did this happen to us?”, And “why did it have to be us?”. Speculation is a beautiful thing in some small circles of our lifetime, but in the midst of terrible grief, it’s nothing but an extra push spinning the wheel of confusion and frustration.

Whats the point?

Why am I saying this now, after two years and nearly 200,000 words on this site? Well, because I’ve learned a great deal. And through this learning process, I rediscovered my desire to learn. (Or maybe better explained, I DISCOVERED my desire to learn.) Over the past few months, I’ve become fascinated by the cosmos.

I’ve become fascinated by the ideas and theories proposed that help explains why we’re here and where we’re going. Now, some folks might think that science and religion don’t mix well together. That science is always trying to explain away religion. Some people believe that “The Big Bang” exists as a way to seek to disprove the fact that God created the universe and He alone.

I don’t believe that’s the case. I don’t believe that science and religion have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I have a good friend who told me that once he began to intellectually pursue God, he realized it brought him closer to God.

So, that’s where I’m going with this. I’ve been thinking how to apply this newly discovered desire to learn; this is it. I’m taking the bait and jumping down the rabbit hole. I’m taking the blue pill (or the red pill…I can’t remember which pill it is, but it’s the one where I’m learning more and not turning a blind eye to my curiosity).

For the next phase of my act, i’ll be writing about science and philosophy and trying to figure out where they meet with my faith in God.

The motivation for this is somewhat deeper than just curiosity of the cosmos. I’ve also struggled with my faith recently. I’ve wondered if all the pain has made it even worth it. I’ve lost site of the a priori (the idea that you should believe because it makes more sense to believe. If you believe and you’re right, then you wind up spending eternity with God, if you believe and he doesn’t exist when you die, nothing happens. If you don’t believe, and he exists, when you die you go to Hell, if he doesn’t exist, then well, I guess you got lucky.) idea of religion. I’ve questioned everything I’ve believed for most of my life over the past few months.

I’m still going to question, but I’m going to question from the standpoint of “how does this theory within science provide evidence for God as my Creator?”

Are you curious as well?

If you want to join in on this discussion, you can do so in the comments, or you can send me an email with some of your thoughts. If you’d like to write an article and share something you found interesting and want to provide some context for it, then send that to me as well. You can find my email on the about me page.

In closing I want to say that I do believe God is my Creator, I also want to say that I like discussion and curiosity. If something on here offends you, then you always have the option of not reading. Or if you feel the need, we can discuss it in further detail in the comments or through email.

I’ve been compiling some of these thoughts recently and will be trying to convey them soon. I’ve found new motivation and am excited about the new step in my journey.


Photo credit: Rodney Campbell

Struggling To Find Your Balance? Me Too

As I sat down to write this I knew it had been a while since I’d written something that didn’t have to do with military operations or logistics estimates. I also recognized that I’ve been rather unhappy as of late. Not because of anything anyone has done or hasn’t done, but because I felt like (and still feel like) I’ve been out of balance.

When I started this site I was (and still am) grieving. As time went on I got deeper and deeper into the grieving process, learning each step is harder than the last. For a good while I wrote every day and it made me feel better, at least for a while. But then something happened. I don’t know exactly what it was or when specifically it happened, but it happened. All of the momentum I’d gained in two years just seemed to stop.

I quit writing. I quit recording podcasts. And I quit making progress.

There are a few things that happen in this process. When you realize you’ve stopped making progress you get frustrated at yourself for losing momentum. Then you get frustrated at yourself for being frustrated. This is a vicious cycle and is difficult to recognize and even more difficult to recover from.

It’s been almost two and a half years since Layla passed away. In that time we have moved twice (will be moving again in September, thanks Army!), had another child, and I completed my master’s degree. While they’ve been a terrible two years from one side of the coin, as a family and in our marriage, we’ve become such a unit and there’s more love in our household than I could have ever imagined. I firmly believe we’ve taken what could possibly be the hardest thing a family will ever have to endure and walked through it with our heads held high and made every possible bit of progress we could hope for.

So, why am I unhappy?

Truth is, I have no idea. There’s no reason. But we all have these moments. It’s what makes us human I guess.

The other night I was watching a Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris. If you haven’t seen it I’d recommend it as a good date night movie with your spouse. In it, Owen Wilson plays a screenwriter who’s trying to break through and write his debut novel that he feels really taps into his creative side. The film is littered with characters from the 1920s such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Cole Porter. All of whom were part of the roaring twenties and the artistic boom in Paris, France.

What is often forgotten about such characters is their genius was often created out of tragedy. While not all of them suffered great loss in their lives, more did than not. We learn that human beings often thrive in times of tragedy once they get their head wrapped out it. Like all great fiction, whether it be books or films, it teaches us more about what it means to be human.

I’ve learned in the last three years that being human means you’ll have times in your life where you’re staring at the bottom of a glass, wondering if it will ever be full again.

That glass will be full again if you’re willing to put something in it.

It won’t fill itself.

Finding your balance will never be straight forward. The weights will constantly be shifting because you’re probably not going to be the same person next year as you are right now. Factors in your life will always change and how you react will also change. But in order to fill glass again and again, you have to be aware of where you are and what’s changed. Because one year you may have to fill that glass with water, the next juice, and the year after that it could be wine. Who knows?

One thing for sure, though, it’s up to you to keep filling it with what it takes to balance out.

 

Photo credit: Flickr/Rosmarie Voegtli

3 Ways To Win The Battle Of Analysis Paralysis

I’ve always had trouble making decisions. Not major decisions, but the smaller ones. The ones that eat away the day.

The kind of decisions that keep you from being productive and lead you to bingeing through 12 episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix. These are the things that lead us to procrastination. But the problem is not procrastination. As a recent Business Insider article points out, sometimes procrastination is the main ingredient to allowing a great idea to flourish. The problem is your lack of deciding what is a “MUST” vs. what is a “SHOULD”.

This distinction is important, but hard to come by. Let’s break down why this is important with 5 ways to win the battle over your analysis paralysis.Decide whether the task is something you truly “MUST” do, or something you just “SHOULD” do.

Decide whether the task is something you truly “MUST” do or something you just “SHOULD” do.

For us to decipher this we need to understand what the difference is. I have a course on this with a few visuals and even a checklist to help you make this easier. The major difference revolves around consequences.

If there are clear and direct consequences for NOT completing something, then it’s much more likely it’s something you “MUST” do. If there aren’t, then it’s just something you want to do, or “SHOULD” do at some point. But not before the “MUST”.

Decide which tasks need to come first by order of potential consequences.

It’s not just enough to determine which things are a “MUST” and which are a “SHOULD”. You have to prioritize them or you’ll just find yourself in the same position as when you started. Trying to decide which “MUST” you need to tackle first!

Break the tasks down into the harshest potential consequences so you can decide which things need to come first. David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done tackles this in a slightly different way, and I agree with the approach to some degree. He says, if you can get the task done in two minutes or less, then do it immediately and get it out of the way. I agree with this if it’s something that is easily identifiable.

If it’s not something you can tell that can be done that quickly, just move on in your prioritizing scale.

Decide the benefit of the things being accomplished based on your list of priorities.

It’s not enough to just decide what is a “MUST” vs. a “SHOULD”, then you need to put those things in priority and act on them. Action is important, but deliberate action is more important. Taking this deliberate action on the things you prioritize will allow you to figure things out and make real headway in your life.

Once you do these things I truly believe you’ll be able to find time for the simple things–like thinking…

It’s amazing what you realize you haven’t been doing when you all of a sudden find yourself organized and ready to tackle the days activities.

You may even be able to find time to spend with your family. I’m sure they’ve missed you.

Why am I a bottom feeder?

By Adam Crawford
**Disclaimer – this might be an emotional read (on my end).**

Some days I feel as though I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for the energy to be the man I’m supposed to be. Some days I wake up and feel great, only to be derailed by something trivial.

I’m fairly confident the trivial incident is not the root cause, I’m sure it’s something else that’s bothering me most of the time. Or the frustration that comes along with the trivial incident is the output of buildup from the previous day. I think this is something we all experience. I just wonder why I feel like a bottom feeder searching for the gumption to be the husband and father my family deserves.

The days where you have to scrape along the bottom to find such energy seem as they drain the life out of you. They seem as if you’re struggling just to make it to the next second, the next minute, and finally, reach the end of the day. Hoping desperately, you don’t do something you shouldn’t. Hoping that you don’t say something you don’t mean in the midst of stress and frustration.

It seems impossible to control the frustration. One thing leads to another, and then all of a sudden you find yourself in this downward spiral of anger and bewilderment for why you’re angry.

What follows, at least for me, is the guilt. I become guilty that I’m angry for no reason. That I’m frustrated, openly frustrated, and wondering how I can fix it. I’m wondering how I can climb out of this spiral that’s pulling me further and further down. Then I crash. I become so tired of being frustrated, my body is exhausted, and I sit down on the couch.

I sit down on the couch and wonder if tomorrow will be better. I wonder if there’s something I can do to make it better before I go to sleep.

Then I pray.

I pray that God will give me the strength to handle the stressors of my life. To have the wisdom to alleviate the stressors whenever possible. And to have the ability to understand my frustrations and bring them to Him instead of letting them bottle up inside.

While I do this consistently, I still find that there are days it doesn’t work. Of course this is not God’s fault, it’s my fault. It’s my fault for not turning to God before I get frustrated.

I can’t expect God to just simply fix my problems, He has already given me the ability to fix my problems, I just either refuse or forget to use them.

God can fix things in an instant, but as we all know He rarely does. Because if He just fixes our problems then we’re likely going to just find ourselves back in the same situation. If He just leans down and whispers our problems away, then we don’t learn how or why we had the problems in the first place. We are his children. If we were to just follow our children around and fix every problem they have for the rest of their lives, then we aren’t teaching them anything. That’s not to say we shouldn’t help them, of course we should. But we must teach and mentor them along the way.

This is how God father’s us.

We have to remember that He will never give us anything we can’t handle. It’s hard to keep this in mind when we’re in the middle of something that makes us feel like a bottom feeder. But God will never, ever, provide us with a problem set we can’t figure out. It may just take time, or discipline, or practice.

God doesn’t work miracles on our timeline. He works them on His.

If you’re feeling like a bottom feeder today, take a break, relax, and pray. God will take care of you, you just have to let him.

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