You know those moments right before sleep?
The ones where you’re stuck between the worlds, not quite conscious not quite unconscious, yet your mind drifts and becomes philosophical all on its own? I can’t be the only one! I often have epiphanies or prophetic thoughts in these moments, so I cherish them deeply.
For years I’ve had this thought, born in those minutes, that I cannot shake: are we all living in the same universe? This idea spawned in response to grief for my father’s passing, but over time I’ve seen other people question the same thing.
The Mandela Effect, coined by a paranormal consultant Fiona Broome, was my first introduction to the modern belief that parallel universes could collide. This effect, in case you aren’t familiar, stemmed from the notion that Nelson Mandela- an anti-apartheid activist jailed for his activism- had died in prison back in the 80’s or 90’s; yet, he actually lived up until the 2000-teens. There are many examples of this phenomenon, like Berenstain bears being remembered as Berenstein; or, the Genie movie with Sinbad that never happened, and a quick google search will show you even more.
The explanation for this in the paranormal community was that two similar but parallel universes must have converged, leaving some residents of both universes stranded in the other. If you remembered Nelson Mandela dying a martyr in prison, even though in this current universe he didn’t, you belonged to the other. Coincidentally, or not, this phenomenon only began to surface in 2008, the same year the Large Hadron Collider was turned on and we created the first man-made black hole.
It was, and still is, contextualized by scholarly types as false memories, an idea that we may hear facts that are untrue or fail to notice small details and store this information for future reference. Modern metaphysics, however, believe that though this may explain some of the claimed Mandela phenomenon, too many people have too similar “incorrect information” to viably believe it’s just a mistake.
When my dad died in 2011, I was faced with a life without his influence. Even though I believe all things happen for a reason, I was still left with a hole in my soul that wouldn’t heal. I spent many nights, trapped in those in-between moments of sleep, thinking about why death existed.
Then, one night, it happened. This thought that came in like a light breeze, only to build into hurricane force winds- making it hard to ignore. What if we all were in our own universes? And, what if in those universes, we were only conscious in the one where death came the latest?
If we think about our experience of life, it’s a very lonely one. Not so much in terms of physical interactions, but mental ones. No one truly knows another human being, their thoughts, true intentions, or even their real emotions. We experience the world from an internal viewpoint, even if we happen to be extroverts.
We are the only people, individually, that we can verify are real. The rest of the population, as insane as it seems, could be simulation or imagination- we can’t ever know for sure. There are even theories that we do, in fact, live in a simulation where the entire universe is just some game on an alien’s computer; even though science has thought to disprove this through mathematics, philosophically we could ask the question- what if the real universe doesn’t have the same mathematical laws?
Separately we are conscious, meaning we already do live in our own Universes, right? How far of a stretch would it be to assume even the outside world is there for us? What if those worlds converge constantly, creating new timelines where events that shape my life are different than yours?
Confused yet? Let me explain what I mean.
Right now as I type this, I know I am conscious; however, I assume that there will be readers and those readers are, too, conscious. My words transverse Universes, leaving mine and entering yours. Our worlds, in those moments, converge. But, once I’m done writing this and it’s posted for you to read- I have no idea if you’ve read it. My conscious is no longer a part of the process, or Universe, in which you’ve read it. It has left, in a sense, and therefore like Schrodinger’s cat, it neither exists nor ceases to exist.
For those who won’t read this blog, these words, my thoughts, or even me, may not exist at all- and their experience, or Universe, could be vastly different than yours. It’s like celebrities whom we fall in love with, but don’t even know we’re alive. For them, we are simply just shapes in the void.
This applies to death in the way that not everyone will experience the same timelines, therefore it’s entirely possible some people will live for you that have died for me. Sure, in my universe my father is dead, and the person I imagine reading this also knows my father is dead- but what about the celebrity that has no idea I live? My father very well may be alive to them.
The next question that came what does that mean when we die? If we are creators of an entire universe, our death would be the destruction and collapse of it- that’s a lot of energy to waste if lives can be cut so short.
I then circled back to my belief in everything happening for a reason. I know my father died for a reason; though I have speculated over the years as to what that could be, perhaps I haven’t even come close.
Maybe my father died in my Conscious Universe, as I’ll call it, so that I could live. If there is a higher power creating beings that house entire Universes inside their minds, I’d want them to live as long as possible, wouldn’t you?
What if your mind is in the body, or the Universe, in which you live the longest? It’s a refreshing thought, the idea that you will live a long life. It almost makes you unafraid to start living.
In my Universe, perhaps my father, and my grandmother, and my aunt, and my great-grandmother, all had to pass in order for me to live the longest I could live. Though those deaths caused other people pain, as deaths in your life have caused others pain, that pain could be manifestations of your own Universe. It could be convergences between Universes- maybe those who’ve died in your Universes are people in whose Universes you’ve died. Even though it’s real the pain, and I’m not dismissing that, it very well could be yours and yours alone.
My mother, for example, was distraught to the point of insanity when my father passed. In my universe, this one that I’m writing in, she grieved heavily and with so much emotion that us kids believed she’d never heal. But, that’s my universe. My conscious. Maybe her conscious is living in a world where my father is alive, because that’s what might need to happen for her to live her longest. In another universe all together, my father is alive and conscious, and perhaps an entirely different person than who I knew- just so he can live his longest.
What if we’re not even individual Universes, but one, living in each body in different times and different realities in which each lives its longest, in a perpetual cycle of continuation and life? If you are me, but in a different Conscious Universe, I would not only gain the knowledge of myself, but of you too- and in turn, would live forever. Never dying. Only gaining knowledge, experience, love, emotions, etc, and living the longest I could each time. In death, I’d wake up as you and continue the process of learning and living.
It goes on and on these ideas, this theory. It explains why everything around us happens, even the terrible; because it has to. It’s also a lot of weight to bear, the idea that these people- or fragments of people if you want to get technical, must suffer in order for us to live. And if we know that we are, too, those people, it takes on a different view when we are cruel to others- for, in fact, we’re being cruel to ourselves.
Our lives have purpose. Our Universes were created with intent, and perhaps it’s why we all aspire to be better, or seek God, because we know that so much energy has been given to us- and we need to account for it or explain it. It could also be why so many of us are driven to drugs and alcohol; we joke that someone may have the weight of the Universe on their shoulders- but what if it was true? Self-medicating would be not only acceptable at that point, but a disease that is looked at with kindness instead of judgement.
This idea, this theory of mine, ties together so many loose ends in my spiritual life. It explains why things happen, it gives me hope for my own life, it explains why we’re so alone even when we’re not, it explains reincarnation, it explains the idea of higher powers, it explains empathy and emotional bonds, it explains suffering and death…
But, the question left is the same question left at the end of any philosophical epiphany: why?
Why are we created this way? Why are our consciousnesses individual and not hive like so we may experience everything at once?
If my thoughts are true, and we are all mini-Universes in individual bodies, what are we created for? Are we playthings, power sources, or objects to higher beings unaware the mental anguish this life causes? Are we codes in a computer that only exist when someone else is playing? Are we God- as it’s said in Christianity that we were created in his image? Perhaps it is the one passage we should take literally? Are we even smaller than that? Are we atoms in a rose in an abandoned parking lot of some strange version of this one?
The answer is: it doesn’t matter.
WE, individually, are given this life- this only conscious life, and we must live it with purpose. It matters not what that purpose is; it could be as simple as writing your thoughts down on a blog that another person might read; but we must find the thing that sparks our souls with completeness. It only matters that it means something to you, because through it we gain knowledge, experience, and love. Those things, when gathered properly, spread throughout our Universes, converged or not, creating light where there was darkness. Kindness spawns from them, and we learn that suffering- though necessary- need not be cruel.
And eradicating cruelty might just very well be the answer to all the questions we have left.
Until next time, my friends…