I have been reading (more like – ‘trying to read’) a book called “Why does the world exist?“. It is about trying to find an answer to that unanswered (and in my opinion – unanswerable) question : “Why is there something instead of nothing?”. It’s a question that has haunted, and continues to haunt the scientific, philosophical, and the spiritual peoples since the “beginning”. We know we are here, we know we exist, we know the existence of the planets and the solar system and the galaxies and the infinite universe, but we don’t seem to know “why”.
Before I tread ahead, let me clarify the “trying to read” confession above. This is a hard book to read for me because of a number of reasons: some of the chapters seem like pseudo-psycho-babble, some of it is heavily laden with philosophical anecdotes and long archaic discourses, some of it is full of scientific (mostly quantum physics) theories, and some of it is a lot of spiritual mumbo-jumbo. If it sounds like I am dismissing the book, it’s because I am. But I don’t want to make it sound like a critical review of the book, because it’s not. Neither is this post – it’s not a review of the book – how can I review something, half which I failed to comprehend. I say these things about the book, because of my under-educated self. Because many concepts discussed in the book are beyond the capacity of my intellect to digest. So why you ask I continue to read it, and not only read it, but blog about it? Your asking is valid. It’s because, even though I might rank poorly on the philosophical, scientific, or spiritual scales, I do harbor this question and have often found myself thinking about it – “Why is there a world, as against, no world? Why do we exist? Why is there an universe, and what is it contained within? If it is contained within something, then what is that something? Is there another container to this something, if so, where does the containment end? What is beyond the final container? Bottom line – why should there be a something at all?” Still not with me on what is it that I am trying to say? Consider this: You must have heard about the Big Bang Theory (no not the show, the event that happened nearly 14 billion years ago), which is popularly considered to be the “start” of this whole mess of which we are but an infinitesimally tiny piece. Now, that is supposed to explain the “how did this said mess get created” question. But what it does not answer is : What banged? Why did it bang? What was going on before whatever it is that banged? And whatever was going on before that bang, what created that? (See what I mean by psycho-babble!)
So when I came across this book on my “recommended” books list, it naturally intrigued me and I thought : “Why not? Let me indulge”. Of course, the book does not answer this question. I don’t believe any book or any person or, for that matter any – philosophy, science, religion, etc. can. And yet, this subject continues to intrigue me and makes me spend copious amounts of time thinking about it. However, as I am reading this book I have started to think – “why does this question even need to be answered?” Think about it for a while – why does it matter that we know why we (and by we I mean – the planet and everything in it, the universe and everything in it) exist? I question the question but yet, I seek the answer and when I say I ‘seek’ the answer, I mean I seek it externally, I see what others have done to answer it. And by others, in my case, it’s mostly science, since neither philosophy nor spirituality have much of a grip on me, at least not yet. I am not a scientist, and I don’t quite understand the way scientists function when they go about seeking “answers”. Hence, at the moment I have a huge handicap to carry on with my own efforts to try and answer this question to myself. It just might be possible that, it is because of this handicap that I am questioning the importance of the question itself.
As I was saying, while a part of me tries to look for the answer for the “Why something instead of nothing?” question, another part keeps saying “Why do you want to know? What does it matter?” I am thinking of giving this another part a bit more wiggle room these days. I am going to let this part of me a louder voice and let it loose for a while to see what happens. Call it my own self-experiment with myself (wow – way too many “me/I“s in that sentence). How do I do this experiment, is hither to yet, unknown. To stop thinking about something is not an easy task – it’s like saying to someone : “you shall not think of the color red for the next five minutes”. It’s a quandary you put the subject under when you give such a directive. What’s the subject to do but think “not-red”, and by that very notion, the subject has thought about “red” (and we are back to the psycho-babble!). Regardless, I intend to try and not think about the “Something Vs Nothing” conundrum and immerse myself into the “I am, thus, let I be” concept.
With that I must end this asinine essay and go finish that darn book.
P.S.: If any of the readers of this blog have wondered what the title of my blog is all about, this post should have shed some light.