We May Already Live At the End of Eternity.
Humans generally don’t like to ponder things without a beginning. After all there is very little we can point to around us that doesn’t have a discernible beginning such as ourselves that were born. A tree starts with a seed. A machine is built at a time. We assign ages to things indicating when they began. Cosmologists have even given the Universe an age of around 15 billion years (born in the Big Bang) and the Earth around 4 billion. But not all cosmologists. Some recent theories are pointing to a Universe that has no beginning but has always existed which is literally incomprehensible.
Biblical scholars sometimes refer to God as the great “I Am.” The term I Am (Greek Ἐγώ εἰμί) relating to God appears over 300 times in the Bible. Even if one is not religious this should strike one as quite a curious way to refer to a being. But it starts to make more sense if we entertain the No-beginning model of the Universe as I will attempt to show below.
We don’t really have a God-given right to comprehend things. There are many things beyond our mind’s reach, even simple things. For example, when you study higher dimensions than the Third Dimension, even one up to the Fourth Dimension, let alone even higher ones, our ability to visualize is just not there. Take a Hypersphere for example, a four-dimensional sphere. When it intersects the third dimension we can see a familiar sphere as a sort of “shadow” of the actual thing but our minds can’t formulate a clear picture of the actual hypersphere in all its glory. This is sort of like passing a regular sphere through a plane which “sees” it as a series of circles that grow and then shrink. Beings on that plane would not be able to formulate a picture of a sphere any more than we can a hypersphere. This inability to visualize or comprehend or contain many concepts is built in to our limited minds as clever as they are. Eternity is just such a concept.
We throw around terms like infinity and eternity with a vague notion of a very, very large number or a very, very long time. In reality we would have to have an endless number of “very’s” to convey the size of infinity or the length of eternity. Math has extremely clever ways of making infinity more comprehensible and even an essential component of mathematics, depicted as a well-know symbol: ∞. In fact, math requires us to use this symbol to denote calculating the sums and limits of various functions iterated an infinite number of times. Sometimes infinity is simply referred to as undefined. Dividing a number by zero (1/0) results in undefined even though we see it’s heading to infinity as the denominator gets closer to zero (eg. 1/0.000000000000000001) but once it gets there we can’t say what that is, especially since right past zero it shoots down toward negative infinity. So in a way math is ahead of us on the comprehension and usefulness of the concept of infinity. But math is an intangible construct of the mind and can be itself incomprehensible to those not trained in its ways. The question becomes to what extent does physical reality mirror mathematical reality?
Let’s not throw away the idea that the Universe had a beginning but rather set it aside and ponder what it would mean if these other theories were accurate and True. First, it would mean that an eternity has already passed before us, thus the title of this article. Second, it would mean that an infinite number of events have already taken place leading up to this moment. Third, it would mean we could never know what all these events were, i.e. what happened 15 quadrillion octillion years ago stays 15 quadrillion octillion years ago and that’s nowhere near infinity!
Does this mean that everything that could have possibly happened has already happened, somewhere and sometime? Or are we always halfway between the eternal past and the eternal future and so a whole set of infinite new possibilities lie ahead? That’s where it gets very confusing because it pits one infinity against another. Our mind tells us one infinity is enough to produce all possibilities, even God, the I Am. But two infinities gives us a whole future of new possibilities, perhaps many Gods, perhaps an infinite number, like the Mandelbrot set above. This rabbit hole is precisely why we gravitate toward models that fit our understanding but that doesn’t make them True so we should at least ponder the models and paradoxes we deem possible or as likely as others.
If the Universe is already infinity years into the future that would probably mean the world is a LOT weirder than we think. It would also mean that we are one of the end results of eternity already and all sorts of things we see as impossible are already old hat. Been there done that. Things like inter-dimensional beings, ESP, psychokinesis, intergalactic travel, simulated reality, etc. are not so far fetched in a Universe that has always existed. We just aren’t in that part of the dimensional fractal that sees those things. Eternity is so incomprehensibly vast that we could possibly be living in a simulation inside a simulation inside another simulation…ad infinitem! How’s that for weird?
These possibilities should produce a sense of AWE and reverence too. After all, what could be more Holy than the result of Eternity? Each thing becomes more mysterious than the next. A simple atom takes on a life tied into an infinite progression of events and is itself a microcosm of wonder. Atoms come and go in our bodies all day long and when we die, these same atoms are still in the world one way or another and even though they themselves mingle and exchange electrons and become different over time too, nothing is really lost. It just is and will always be.
No surprise then that we use eternity in religion all the time. Eternal damnation. World without end. Forever and ever. In a way, religion is a coping mechanism for the incomprehensible. God will take care of it. What if God already took care of it by simple virtue of Eternal existence? What is left to do? What if we are the miniature, imperfect copies of God in the Cosmic Fractal of life? This is by no means a new idea. Made in God’s image or we are all children of God or we all have a little bit of God in us are common thoughts and phrases. You pick it because it doesn’t matter in an Eternal Cosmos. Perhaps karma is simply us punishing ourselves for doing what we know to be wrong, or rewarding for right.
Almost everybody has more questions than answers but there are certainly plenty who go through life unquestioning, almost asleep or floating like a jellyfish on the ocean of reality. That’s a shame in such a magical world and as Socrates said at his trial, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We should all learn to nurture our inner philosopher and be enriched and emboldened by the great mysteries of being conscious and aware and being able to say, “I think, therefor I Am.”
Perhaps this is why certain so-called hallucinogens are so “magical.” They too are at the end of eternity and are little reminders or clues left to us to discover along the way and get a deeper glimpse into the mysteries of time and space. It’s no mistake that they are an important part of many spiritual practices and recent research indicates that they are powerful anti-depressants and can even make terminally ill patients not fear death. All part of something bigger.
Also, this could explain why so many things seem perfect in an uncanny way. How else could Bach or an Egyptian Sphinx or the Beatles or the sound of a songbird make as much sense if they weren’t the result of Temporal Majesty? Why does the Moon perfectly block the Sun in an eclipse? Certain things seem to resonate as perfection itself, even if from seemingly imperfect origins. This is also not a new concept. The Akashic records are said to be an existent compendium of all universal events, thoughts, words, emotions and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future in terms of all entities and life forms, not just human. this idea would be supported by an Eternal Cosmos model.
One more odd consequence of the Eternal Cosmos — everything is always VERY new. Even the most ancient things in our world, be it the Pyramids, the Cambrian Age or the Sun itself would be infinitely closer to now than a time with no beginning. In an odd way this may place those things at so near the same moment that they could be considered simultaneous, mathematically speaking, which goes against all intuition.
Even if the Universe did explode out of nothing 15 billion years ago, that’s pretty damn mysterious. Who knows, maybe time itself was so stretched out that in Reality those 15 billion years took Eternity to unfold. Who are we to say the Cosmic Clock has always ticked at the same speed? Even so, we can’t comprehend an infinitely dense point containing every star, galaxy and planet and all matter, energy and creatures thereof so it doesn’t necessarily add to our understanding and it doesn’t tell us how all that stuff got into that point in the first place either. Science is good at omitting unanswerable questions.
I wrote on this topic to hopefully inspire you to ponder these things and to be inspired to dream of the possibilities that arise with a different perspective. Being at the end of Eternity Past and in front of another Eternity Future is a pretty damn special place to be. Life is nothing short of amazing and we are witness to so much Eternal beauty and also hideousness. I think it is our mission to support Beauty and Love wherever we can and to be the best version of ourselves the Universe has worked so hard to create. That’s a tough mission but it’s wonderful one.