One more thing about my brother. As I wrote previously, he’s a kind of renaissance man. A scientist and musician who loves movies and the process of story-telling. He also likes to have a few beers and talk smack. He’s a fun guy to have around. Anyway, recently we were sitting around and talking about string theory (I know that sounds like a lot of BS and really pretentious, but just hear me out.) If you don’t know what string theory is, I can’t explain it. It’s beyond me. But it has something to do with a unifying universal theory of how the universe exists at all and continues to operate. I’m probably wrong about that, but it’s close enough for the purposes of this discussion. String theory holds that there are many dimensions beyond the three of four that humans can physically sense and perceive. Maybe as many as 11 or 21 permitting multiple parallel universes – all occurring at the same time, side by side by side. Something absurd like
that. So absurd to me that I challenged my brother with the question, “Why do I need to be aware of that?” What good does that information do me? I’m quite content with my three dimensional existence. As a matter of fact, I find that three dimensions are more than I can handle much of the time. There’s no need to throw 8 more into the mix.
He countered with this.
There are beliefs that we hold. Religious. Spiritual. Cultural. National. Etc. We inherit them from birth; and, as life goes on and we grow and learn and hopefully mature, we inspect, challenge, sometimes reject and sometimes come to a new under-standing of these beliefs. Some we keep. Some we throw away. But some just stick. No matter what we do. They become habit. Unconscious habit. And we respond not to the present moment but to a memory – an unconscious habitual behavior – from the past.
For example, have you ever watched the show Hoarders? More often than not, and I will go so far as to say 100% of the time, the hoarder’s compulsive behavior is rooted in some trauma from the past – a death, a divorce, an abusive relationship. So the current, present-day behavior of the hoarder is shaped by a past event. Which means the behavior is not only informed by the past, it is locked in the past. It is locked in the parallel universe of the past. The hoarder is breathing, eating, walking around in the present, but continually responding to an event that happened years even decades ago.
Which is kinda sorta like living two lives at the same time – one conscious, one uncon-scious. And both having a very real impact.
I still don’t know for certain how any of this relates to string theory, but the show Hoarders definitely terrifies me.