So now, the Big Bang Theory is in doubt. As is the Big Crunch. A theoretical physicist called David Bohm is running around academia armed with something called ‘theoretical trajectories’ and, it is he who is bringing into doubt a theory that tries to answer the eternal question; what else is there?
Really it’s a serious of questions, one feeding off the other –
How old is the universe? What was there before? Was there a before? Is there an outside of the universe? What if our universe really is one old breadcrumb that’s dropped down the back of someone’s toaster?
These, and many others I haven’t yet conjured up, are unanswerable questions. And, let’s face it, could we even comprehend the answers if we got them? Despite being a compartmentalised type that likes to quantify, penetrate, understand, I can live with the unknowable. But … But. There is an itch, deep down, in my brain.
I truly wish that before we die or after we die or, even, as we die, we could have a gnat’s blink of one moment of total knowledge. Wouldn’t that be mind-blowing? Literally? You would have to be separate from, or imminently leaving, the mortal coil, wouldn’t you? Can a mind ever shrink back from total understanding or are we likely to be found flat on our backs, eyes staring from their sockets, mouths gaping in awestruck Ooooohs? With a little dribble leaking from the corner of the lips?
Or is it just me?
One day, I am going to wink out of existence. Bits of me will remain forever. Bits of me will join the cosmic dust and will one day become part of some new whole – but it won’t be me. I will dissipate. So, in that case, I think it’s only fair that I get to understand everything! Even with the risk of dribbling.
Won’t I be hacked off if it does happen and revealed before me, in blinding brilliance, writ large, like giant magnets on a celestial fridge door, are the numbers 42?