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How to Understand Infinity, Life, and Death
Meditation on Haleakala - The Woman in Yellow
What is death?
First off, nothing is ever really dead. Not even a table or a rock. If you have ever worked in a hospital, you know how hard it is to determine death. Are you dead when the brain dies but your heart keeps on pumping? Are you dead when your heart stops beating on its own but can be artificially pumped? Are you dead when you can no longer breathe on your own but can be kept alive with a respirator? Are you dead when you stop moving? Are you dead when you are finally buried or cremated? Good news! If there is the slightest remote chance that you are still alive in that body, no one wants to declare you dead.
What is life?
Now consider the definition of life. If something can move, is it alive? If something can eat, is it alive? If something can breathe, is it alive? Is your definition of life a human with a soul? Can you define a tree as a living thing? What about a rock or even a whole planet? Is the entire universe alive?
What's the difference?
Answering these questions is not as easy as it appears, is it? Experts have debated for centuries over the difference between life and death. No one really knows the difference or dividing line between biological life and clinical death. They have standards to measure it by, but they constantly debate the standards. No one cares if a rock or a planet is alive. But you better believe they would care if the planet was dead or dying!
What do we believe?
For the most part, religionists (those who practice religion) believe that human beings have a soul that will live forever, hopefully in heaven with a god of some sort. Non-theists (those that don’t believe in a god of any sort) believe that human beings are composed of infinite matter temporarily arranged into a human form. I’ll explain this in more depth in a moment. Non-theists also believe in “energy” that binds everything together like magnetism or gravity. It’s an actual force much like electricity. It does not have “intelligent” design or come from an invisible, omnipotent being. If we were smart enough to measure this force, we would be able to quantify it like we do electricity. In other words it’s an actual physical part of the infinite universe.
The Symbol of Infinity
Now I have to explain infinity. Infinity is like the national debt. They tell us on the news that the national debt is 100 seventy qua-trillion zillion dollars or some amount close to that. No puny human can even imagine that many dollars being owed to China, social security, or bailouts for big business tycoons. It just staggers our brains. Well folks, infinity is infinitely bigger than that! But I can explain it in simple terms. I’m that good.
… -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10…
Do you see that zero up there in that line of numbers? That’s were infinity is measured from. It doesn’t matter if the zero is “right this second” or “some physical place” or “a rock”. But we’ll start with “right this second” and call it NOW.
Immediately before NOW (0) is -1 or one second in the past. Immediately after NOW (0) is one second in the future. Going backwards you can count back to infinity by going back one more second and one more second before that and one more second before that and so on and so on. No matter how many seconds you go back in time, you can ALWAYS go back one more second! Or year, or century, or eon, etc. It doesn’t matter what unit of measurement you use, you can always go back one more.
Immediately after NOW (0) is +1 or one second in the future. Going forwards you can advance to infinity by adding one more second and one more second after that and one more second after that and so on and so on. No matter how many seconds you go forward in time, you can ALWAYS go forward one more second! Or year, or century, or eon, etc. It doesn’t matter what unit of measurement you use, you can always go forward one more. This explains infinite time.
You can take this same simple concept to explain infinite space. The zero point is wherever you are standing. You can physically (if you had the right equipment) walk in any (infinite) number of directions by taking one step in that direction. You could then take another step and another and another and another – and no matter how far you stepped in that direction, you could take one more step. Intellectually this is expressed as +1, +2 +3… and on into infinity. You could stop at any point in space or time and walk backwards into infinity. This would be expressed as -1, -2, -3… and so on. You guessed it, no matter how far you walked backwards (or even up or down); you can always walk one more step!
Now for the hard one, infinite matter. I am of the opinion that matter cannot be created or destroyed. It can change forms. It can even change molecular structure as we know it. Matter has even been known to “wink out” or exist for only micro-micro-micro seconds that we can see. It doesn’t really disappear; we just can’t see it or measure it anymore. At least not until we get a whole lot smarter. Matter does some really strange things as far as we can see. At the small end of matter we have atoms, electrons, quarks, leptons, gluons, dark matter, anti-matter, and possibly some little tiny yet-to-be-named thingy.
So how can matter be infinite? Did you take high school physics class? No? Well, one of the easiest ways to demonstrate infinite matter is to think about cutting an object in half, then cutting the half in half, then cutting that half in half and so on and so on. With the proper tools, you could keep doing this forever. You would never run out of halves to further slice into another half. Yep, those halves would get super spectacular tiny, but they would still be there! And they would get smaller still.
Ok, now look at layering atoms together, or stacking
electrons, or whatever you think of
stacking. You could stack 400,000 gazillion billion million electrons
together, then you could add one more on top of that and another on top of that
and so on and so on. Now, in a finite universe, you would actually run out of
electrons to stack together. But we do not live in a finite universe, we live
in an infinite universe. Remember how I said that matter does some strange
things like popping in and out of our vision? It does not disappear, it does
not go away. We just cannot see it. But if we could see it, and we had the
proper tools, we could just keep on stacking those electrons forever and ever.
An infinite amount of matter does exist, it is just very hard to explain and visualize.
Matter interacts with energy in a way that we have not grasped yet. Einstein
came as close as anyone did with the theory of relativity or E=MC2.
Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared (or tripled or quadrupled). Now I have really confused
you! No one understands that theory, so do not worry about that.
Energy, souls, spirits, etc. with weight and mass?
Coming down to the wire here…. Noetic science, or the study of thoughts having weight and mass. This new scientific avenue is in its infancy. Do thoughts have weight/mass? Religionists have always believed this (prayers). They also believe that the “soul” has weight and mass (it exists as a tangible thing). They even believe that “God” has weight and mass somewhere. You know what? They could be right! Yes, you heard me. I said it. In an infinite universe, it could happen. I simply believe that the universe has always existed. It was not “created” by some mysterious, jealous, demanding, and harsh invisible being. That kind of being was created in the minds of men. The thing I am calling “God” is the infinite Universe itself!
If our energy, soul, spirit, essence, holy ghost, psyche, conscience, alma, breath of life, life force, intellect, quintessence, personality, spiritual being, uniqueness has weight and mass then so could God. However, all of these things would already exist, they have always existed and they always will exist. This is called the infinite universe!
We already own it, we already live it, we already are essential part and parcel of the universe. Our essence cannot be created or destroyed any more than time, space and matter can be created or destroyed. It can, however, be rearranged or reassembled into infinite possibilities. It’s Life, the Universe and Everything!
So now, you can quit worrying about where you are going to GO when you “die”. You will stay right here squarely in the midst of the infinite universe. You will look a bit different than you do right now, but it will still be you!
What do you think?
Did this hub help you to understand infinity?
The Infinity Symbol in Jewelry
This infinity necklace is made of solid sterling silver, so simple and beautiful. Pendant measures 24mm x 10mm and 1.1mm in thickness. Pendant suspends from a sterling silver link chain connected to both sides of the infinity with 5 choices of length
© 2010 Lela