Bernie Schmoozes on Mr. Nobody, String Theory, Multi-Universes and Indra’s Net

Recently I watched the movie, Mr. Nobody, which is a science fiction film made in 2009. The film tells the life story of Nemo Nobody, a 118-year-old man, who is the last mortal on earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality. Nemo, his memory fading, refers to his three main loves, and to his parents divorce and subsequent hardships endured at three main moments in his life—at age nine, fifteen, and thirty-four.

He reflects on himself as a young boy standing on a station platform. The train is about to leave. And he has to decide whether to go with his mother or stay with his father. They were splitting up. An infinity of possibilities would arise from this decision. And as long as he doesn’t choose, anything and everything is possible. Every day, every life deserves to be lived and is of equal value.

The movie reminded me of a student of mine, Joel Scherk, who was one of the founders of String Theory. That’s a mathematical theory which predicts multiple lives. Joel studied with me in the late ’70s, and actually died very young—just thirty-four. He had diabetes, and after a conference he somehow was in his room, and he didn’t have insulin, and his landlord found him after three or four days, and he had died.

But String Theory predicts—among other things—multiple universes. And from that time—from my time studying together with Joel—it has been my opinion that there are multiple universes. And that actually, at every moment of our life, as we bear witness to what’s happening, and our actions occur, those actions are the best actions that we could make at that time. They’re the actions based on our ingredients that we recognize and those that we do not recognize. And immediately after the actions, we tend to say, “Oh, I should have done different than that, I should have done this,” or “I should have done that,” or “That wasn’t the best thing to do,” or “That was a great thing to do.”

So at each of those instances, there were other alternatives of what we might have done. And in my opinion, all of those create multiple universes in which those things were the ones that were done. And all those multiple universes are of equal value. That is, each of the things we did turns out to have been of equal value. And as we stand in one of those universes, we may, reflecting back, say, “Oh, I should have been this, I should have been that.” But in my opinion, we always did the best thing possible we could do.

Again, in my opinion, all of those multiple universes—and as you can see from how I described it, in my opinion there are infinity of those universes—they are all contained in Indra’s net. Therefore, as we grok Indra’s net, as we become more and more in bearing witness to the whole of the net, more and more of those multiple universes become recognizable by us.

That’s my opinion, man. That’s mind-blowing, huh?

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4/18/2014