Science and Philosophy

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

The psychology of the life you’re supposed to live

One day you will wake up and reflect on your life.

You’ll think about the choices you’ve made, and the events that took place over the course of your time on Earth.

You’ll think about the mistakes you’ve made (which are inevitable) and the people you’ve influenced.

There will be a time when you’ll ask yourself, Have I lived the life I was supposed to live?

And when that day comes, will you be ready?

It’s probably impossible to answer right now. If you’re like me, you’ve hopefully only been through a third of your life. If you’re not like me, then maybe it’s time to reflect.

Because now is the time to recognize your current reality. To truly think about whether or not you’re ready to answer that question. If you’re not, well, then you’ve got some living to do.

The Bad News

If you’re not ready then this will likely take some sort of change.

People hate change.

Which is an odd thing because people rarely hate the result of the change, or the actual change itself. They generally just hate the process of change. It’s hard. It distracts you from what you are comfortable with. But change is a must. At least in some ways.

Maybe you’re happy with your life, and you’re ready to answer the question, Have I lived the life I was supposed to live? If you are, then I’m proud of you.

But if you’re not, then the time is here to start deciding what changes to make.

Start small. Change a daily habit (here’s a great resource for changing habits little by little). Change the way you approach one conversation per day. Change the way you prepare for bed at night.

Change something small that will help project you in the direction you want, rather, are supposed, to go.

The Good News

The good news is that it’s never too late.

It’s never too late to take a nice and long look in the mirror. It’s never too late to decide you’re ready to live the life you know you should be living.

If you don’t believe your life has a purpose, then you should stop reading this article and read one, or all of these articles (probably in this order):

The psychology of light

The psychology of the dance of avoidance

The psychology of doing the right thing

Life has a purpose. YOUR life, has a purpose. You don’t have to figure it out completely, because half of the fun is the journey to discovering it. But you need to start your journey. And again, it’s never too late.

The even better news

This is the fun part. Seeing your life change for the good is infinitely more fun than watching it spiral out of control.

My wife and I were watching an old episode of Intervention on MTV the other night and it’s really sad to see people continue to spiral down and down when so many people are trying to bring them up.

I’ve witnessed this first hand to a degree. It’s hard to watch someone struggle. But it’s also a learning experience. When you witness something like this you gain an understanding of the human experience that’s critical to your growth.

You learn that mistakes are what make us who we are. For better or worse.

God doesn’t love you in spite of your mistakes and your faults. He loves you BECAUSE of them.

If you can grasp that right now, in THIS very moment, then you should feel hopeful.

I just finished my latest eBook. It’s called The Psychology of Life. It includes a couple of articles I’ve posted on this site, and it also includes a couple articles that have not been posted on this site. The best part of the book is the breakdown of what I think you can gain from each piece and how it applies.

paperbackstack_550x498You won’t be able to buy this book. But the good news is it’s free. There is a link right here, and also in the sidebar for you to get it delivered right to your inbox.

The soul purpose of this website is to help you understand the meaning behind your life thus far. Ask you questions that beg you to face your reality, and what you can do to make an impact on this life.

Because one day you will ask yourself the question, Have I lived the life I was supposed to live?

Will you be ready to answer it?

 Get “The Psychology of Life” for Free

The Psychology of Doing the Right Thing

Driving to work this week I was listening to the latest episode of the Bill Simmons podcast, The B.S. Report, and as usual, they were talking basketball. I’m not a huge basketball fan, but I love the commentary they provide. It’s hilarious and brilliant at the same time.

But Bill made a statement while he was talking about Kyrie Irving and his style of basketball. Now, I wasn’t really familiar with his style of play, because I don’t really follow NBA basketball.

However, his statement was this:

“There are two types of people in life: the first person says, ‘what is the best situation for the group I’m in?’ And the second person says, ‘what’s the best for me?'”

That statement really hit home for me. It’s something I wonder about my own actions often. I think maybe I’m working for the betterment of the group I’m a part of, but maybe I’m just spinning it to make it seem that way. What if I’m just working for me?

It’s a hard question to answer. Nobody wants to admit they are only working for themselves, I know I don’t. But it’s necessary to know what the real answer is. It’s the psychology of doing the right thing.

I’ve heard since I was a kid, You should always strive to do the right thing even when no one is looking. And I’ve always believed it. I’ve always tried to live up to it, but at times I wonder if I’m simply tricking myself into believing that’s what I’m doing. When really, I’m disguising selfish desires under the skin of “taking one for the team.”

The next question is natural. Anybody who’s ever reflected for ten seconds and realized they might be committing a selfish act, asks the next question: Am I a terrible person?

I think the simple answer, and the right one, is, no.

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore that voice asking you the question. I believe 99% of people wake up each day and genuinely want to do the right thing. I chose to believe that, and I’ve met people that are a little more leery. The world has given plenty of reason for those who are leery to be so, but it’s a choice.

When you wake up in the morning you have a choice to make each day. Will I do the right thing at all costs today? 

Some days the answer will be yes, and then you’ll make it to lunch and be confronted with something you aren’t sure about. You’ll make a gut decision and feel like it’s the right one, but two hours later you’ll second guess yourself.

So, how do you ensure you’re doing the right thing?

Sometimes you’ll just know. Sometimes you won’t.

Sometimes you’ll only know when you’ve had time to reflect. To look back and see what the second and third order effects were.

Life seems linear, but it’s really not. Everything connects in some form or fashion. Some events connect in bigger ways, but everything connects.

Doing the right thing is a choice you have to make. Each and every day. The choice gets easier to make the more times you make it. That works both ways. The more times you chose to do the right thing, the easier it gets. The more times you chose to be lenient the easier it gets.

Sometimes acting in your own self interest is the right thing to do. Other times altruism would be a more appropriate, and the right choice.

That’s the psychology of doing the right thing. Pretty straight-forward, right?

The Theory of Decision Making Relativity

A life of divorce

When I was five my parents got divorced. The night they told me it was happening will forever be burned into my psyche as if it were done with a wood burner into a piece of oak hardwood.

It was well after dark and my dad carried me up the rickety stairs to my Aunt’s apartment. They sat me down on the couch and I remember my dad telling me that my mom didn’t love him anymore. That I’d be seeing him less. And I’d be seeing my mom on most days after school.

It didn’t make sense, but I could feel—even as a child—the tension in the room. The tension between the two of them, and the tension of the situation itself.

My sister was only a baby at the time and we had just moved into a new house. A house that I thought would be my home—our home.

But I was wrong.

This memory has never been tucked away, deep in the memory bank, it’s always been at the forefront. Almost guiding me. It’s been the basis for how I look at my own marriage, and how I interact with my wife on a day to day basis. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s as close as it gets (mostly because I have the most loving and patient wife on the planet). This is no accident.

My experience of going through a messy divorce made me really think about my serious relationships. It made me go all in or not at all. This wasn’t always a conscious choice, but that’s the beauty of relativity—it does what it’s going to do whether you intervene or not.

 

Into the Wild

In 1990 Christopher McCandless left Emory University, after having been a very successful student, in Atlanta and began a trek across the country.

Christopher’s dad was speculated to have been an abusive parent as well as a man with a secret life which included multiple wives at the same time. Upon beginning his treck Christopher ceased communication with his family. He gave up any potential for a future career after Emory and took his 1982 Datsun and a few other belongings and hit the road.

After working a stint in a grain elevator somewhere around Carthage, South Dakota McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska.  In April of 1992 he set off on the Stampede Trail in Alaska very ill equipped expecting to live off the land.

He’d dropped his legal name and began going by the name of ‘Alexander Supertramp’; seemingly giving up any semblance of his life before the journey.

Photo credit - Vipez (License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode)

Photo credit – Vipez (License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode)

When McCandless was found he was in an old van converted into a campsite. It’s assumed that he had died of starvation after 119 days in the wilderness. His diary isn’t very comprehensive and doesn’t give any real reasons as to why he left, but I think we can draw a slight conclusion.

McCandless grew up with an abusive, untrustworthy father, whom I’m sure was pushing his son in a particular direction.  And his image of his father was not an image he wanted for himself. He was looking as the life he could get with his credentials from Emory, and it wasn’t appealing.

His experience told him he didn’t want or need that life to be happy. So he searched for something else.

The decision to go “Into the Wild” was one not out of an adventurous spirit, but out of fear for what he knew was in front of him if he went down the path laid out for him.  So he went the other way.

Was he wrong? That’s not for me, or you, to decide. But we can observe and learn.

Simon Sinek wrote a book called Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.  In his book Sinek explores the “why” behind what we do.  He argues that it’s the only important part, the part of us that inspires action and creates change.

I agree.

The “why” is what we are, it’s where we get our strength.  They “why” is the root of your passions.  Why did McCandless go out Into the Wild?  I think it was because he didn’t like what he saw in the city.  And he refused to settle.

But if he hadn’t had the experiences he did as a child, he’d have likely ended up just like his dad.

Decision making at it’s best is like gravity. It pulls you in a direction and you can’t seem to steer the course any other way. Those decisions are headed by your experience, even when you can’t explain it.

More so when you can’t explain it.

Photo credit - Kevin Dooley

Photo credit – Kevin Dooley

 

Enter The Theory of Decision Making Relativity

“Each action or decision you make is relative to the experiences throughout your life. Each decision is based upon outcomes you’ve experienced either through your own past decisions or the outcomes of decision made by those around you. The severity of the consequences (good or bad) is relative to the level of stakes at play. And the impact, of said decision, is relative to your closeness with the decision maker.”

My theory has three laws:

1. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.

Just as the principals of Newton’s laws of motion already existed, so does this. It’s not an original concept, just applied a bit differently.

You experience the consequences of the decisions of those people whom you spend the most time with. For example: If you go to a football game with a group of friends and at halftime your buddy decides he’s going to rush the field naked. You might have to go bail your buddy out of jail—

What actions and decisions you’re exposed to will impact all of your decisions going forward in some way. Surround yourself with people whom you trust and make decisions like those you strive to make.

2. The definition of insanity applies.

You cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results—that’s insane, no, it really is…

3. There is no perfect decision—there is only the best you can do with the information you have.

You will never make the perfect decision at the perfect time, it just doesn’t exist. You very well might make an excellent decision, and you probably will, even in the next couple of days. But nothing is perfect, and understanding perfection doesn’t exist allows you to accept and embrace the great decisions and the great experiences.

 

Your ‘Why’

There are a few ways you can determine your Why and start applying the theory to your own life:  

1. Spend some time reflecting this holiday season. Maybe take a few hours and create a life plan. It forces you to sit down and think about what’s important in your life and how everything fits together. You can continue to think doing such exercises is lame as long as you want, but eventually you’ll come around. Here’s a link to two different programs that help you create life plans [Michael Hyatt (this one is free)] [Donald Miller (this one is not free)].

Don’t forget to journal from time to time, especially when something really interesting happens to you. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Determine, through your plan, what your priorities are and make sure they are razor sharp and clear as crystal.  If you don’t have clear priorities then you’ll never be able to steer your own ship in the right direction.

3. Make a decision and move on. Don’t dwell on it forever. Take the necessary time to think about it and then act. Adjust the course as you go along. Avoid the analysis paralysis that so many people are guilty of doing.

4. Enjoy life!

If you’re interested and you would like a copy of my life plan simply email me and I’d be happy to send it to you. 🙂

 

Simon Sinek link is an affiliate link.

If you have an idea of what your ‘WHY’ might be, then leave a comment below and share it with me.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

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