A Glimpse Into Parallel Lives

For decades theoretical physicists have been wrecking their brains in an attempt to determine a unified theory of the universe. One of the most prominent products of this effort has been the development of many new, different, and more often than not strange claims of exactly what is out there in the vast reaches of space. Ideas that were once only acceptable in the realms of fantasy and science fiction are now being discussed in physics laboratories and universities throughout the globe. One of the most interesting and exciting of these ideas is the concept that our universe is just one among an infinite number of parallel universes.

The parallel universe theory claims anything that possibly could happen does happen. Just not always in our particular space-time. This is the best way it has been explained to me. Say you flip a coin and it turns up heads. According to the parallel universe theory, there was another you in another universe that flipped the same coin, only the result was tails. The implications of this theory range from the outcome of a mundane coin toss to profound and world-shaping events. There is a universe out there where a Mars-sized object never smashes into the Earth a billion years ago, meaning no moon, no tides, and few things on this parallel planet that would be familiar to us. In all the parallel universes the matter is the same, but the way it is arranged can be radically different.

It would be amazing to get to travel between the parallel universes and catch a glimpse of what could have been. What if Alexander the Great had lived longer, or Gandhi was a soldier, or Hitler was a girl? How different would things have turned out?

Unfortunately, I do not believe we can develop the technology to make these trips possible. Parallel lines never, ever intersect, no matter how long they go on. Parallel universes are probably the same as well, never intersecting with each other.

Then again, we might have been visiting parallel universes our entire lives and just never been aware of it. Matter might not be able to jump between universes, but a consciousness has no mass, so maybe it could make the transition.

Perhaps this is where our minds go when we are asleep and dreaming. Maybe dreams are more than just random bits of information floating around in our brain. Instead, when we are dreaming we could be taking in information from the life of a parallel self, or experiencing a parallel place.

I find it fascinating to think that all the incredible things of my dreams could be more than just figments of my imagination keeping my mind busy while my body rests. If I can fly in my dreams, maybe it is because there is another me that can actually fly. Like all things, though, there is another side to this way of thinking.

If dreams are actually visions from another reality, it means there are universes out there where people are falling all the time, scary monsters make regular appearances, and it is common practice for people give important speeches naked.