More Than Fiction

If time and space are truly infinite and an infinite number of universes exist, that means that every book may actually be a work of non-fiction. Infinite universes mean that every possible random arrangement* of particles and choices we make is not only possible, they actually exist. There is a universe out there that where I married my first fiance or was killed in Afghanistan. There is a universe out there where I am a police officer, scuba instructor, have 20/20 vision, wasn’t circumcised, was elected President of North America on the Communist Party ticket, and enjoy pickles.

But, in most universes, I don’t exist. The number of small variations in the last few billion years that would prevent me from existing is much greater than the possibility that a specific sperm would fertilize a specific egg and that fertilization would result in birth. All it would take is my mother rolling a different way after sex, my great grandparents not meeting, or an ape-like ancestor not getting nourishment a few million years ago and I wouldn’t be here. It is a one in a trillion shot that I exist (though, because of the law of large numbers it is a virtual certainty that someone would exist in my place).

The multiverse seems to also imply that realistic fiction is actually non-fiction. Somewhere Jean Valjean actually stole bread, Raskolnikov killed an old woman, and Carrie Bradshaw is hanging with her besties and Mr. Big in New York. What I wonder, is if there are universes out there that have different physical laws but are stable enough to produce live. Is there a place where Magneto is fighting Wolverine and Cyclops? Is Luke Skywalker trying to train some Jedi? Is Link out there wandering around Hyrule trying to put together the Triforce and defeat Ganon? Is Roland of Gilead chasing the man in black across a desert? Is Big Bird an actual bird that lives on a street called Sesame?

Now, to go down this rabbit hole a little further, what if we had a way of connecting to these universes? Something about our soul or consciousness produced a gateway to these other worlds and what we consider our “imagination” is really just a window to other worlds that we don’t really understand. Our works of fiction are actually other universes that we see with an organ or ability that we don’t yet understand yet.

Or maybe not. Who knows, it is fun to think about, though.

* Though, if everything is completely deterministic and neither free will, chance, or whatever exists, it would seem that either this is the only universe or there are infinite universes exactly like this. I’m not sure which is more terrifying.

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