Genre-bending Quantum Insights (While Writing Fantasy)

Okay. I’ve been super busy with Very Important Things (like battling ROUSes), but a recent article by The Mind Unleashed has got my gears whirring. The article is Here (titled 10 Mind-Bending Implications of the Many Worlds Theory), which, in very simplified terms, explains some highly-considered quantum theories. I won’t go into a whole lot of detail concerning its contents due to the fact I found the article itself incredibly self-explanatory, but I will take a little step farther out from the article and apply it to my writing, my mindset, my insight (even if that insight is only for me).

There’s been this abundance of Science worship lately, especially since the end of the Cold War, where technology is growing in leaps and bounds, information is at our fingertips, and everyone seems to know (or at least have an opinion on) everything. My personal religious beliefs aside, I’ve always hunted down the kernel of truth in the “interpretive dance” of media. Be it the humorous “what do people call Alternative Medicine that works? Medicine,” or the “There is no way all your religions, and all your doctrines, lead to a single religious entity due to the ridiculous amount of differences that exist between you” argument, there’s a thread of recognition I’ve pulled from them.

If I were to open my mouth  and state a belief in, say, reincarnation, the Science Guys would scoff and/or laugh and/or say, respectfully, “You have your beliefs. They are not mine.” That idea falls under New Age, or possibly Wiccan, or possibly Pagan beliefs (which incorporates Hindu religious texts, and Buddhism, and even the aborigine stuff going on in Australia. By the way, guess what religion is ACTUALLY the largest in the world, if they all fall under “Paganism”?). It is a religious thing that nobody can prove to exist anyway, therefore it has no place in Science worship (given my sarcasm, I’m certain you know my affiliations by now).

I don’t think it’s a religious thing. I think it’s a spiritual thing–which is a personal belief/governance system–but not religious. I use my understanding of the world, of magic-as-is, to write my fantasy based on (what I see as) hard-won, understood principles. I also grew up in a very science-minded family, with an engineer for a father, a CPA for a mother, and bathroom reading that comprised of nothing but Science News magazines for twenty-four years. Speculation that crossed through science to religion to spirituality to quantum mechanics to psychotherapy were–and still are–the everyday conversation of my family.

This article, and many like it, connects quantum theory to spiritual/religious beliefs. The predominant argument is “Science is science. Religion is religion. Ne’er will the two ever meet.” The more educated people in our society say otherwise. I’m certain there will be a time when the soft sciences will harden and all this ghost-seeing, crystal-gazing stuff will be either debunked or upheld. But it feels really good to read an article that reinforces the complex nature of the universe to the (more possible) reality of time travel, creation, and so on.

Now I’m going to run through the ten implications, as stated in the article. I recommend you think about fantasy books while your read this.

So Begins The Discussion…

We aren’t talking about the Wave/Particle perspective, where a person stamps down the possibilities of reality via an observation of it (think Schroedinger’s Cat. The moment you look at it is the moment it’s alive or dead, instead of alive AND dead. Many World Interpretation (Or MWI) states the cat is both living AND dead, even after you observe it to be living OR dead. It’s just alive elsewhere. And dead.

1) Multiverse. As stated in the article, yes, Marvel comics incorporated this idea only four years after a scientist conceived of it. It’s the idea that there are infinite alternate universes stacked up on top of each other.

2) This one means Occam just tossed his razor out the window, because that blade’s so dull he couldn’t cut his way out of a paper bag. Although in another reality, he does. This allows for the possibility, nay, the certainty of the existence of magic (theoretically). In another world, aliens have landed and we’re being exterminated by Alien Smallpox while they feast on their version of Thanksgiving. On a smaller scale, the idea is reinforced by the idea that things happen that shouldn’t, even in this world. It’s only a matter of time until they do. Whatever killed the dinosaurs didn’t kill them in every Universe. Somewhere, Velociraptors with monoglasses and top hats are curling their moustachios. While riding Kevin Bacon. Awkward.

3) This one posits interesting implications in the shape of violence in the world. The interesting thing for this one is, again, you, YOU, the person you know the best, the most intimately, the most secretively, have somewhere, somehow, done everything imaginable. Including exploding in space. Including slaughtering thousands. So when you’re writing, how difficult WOULD it be for your tea-and-crumpets MC to maim all the rabbits in the kingdom?

4) You are like everyone else. You have learned a lot through your past lives, and you continue to gather information and knowledge. This whole project could possibly be a massive multiversal consciousness extending its understanding out, then sucking it all back in. (Also note, while these “implications” get more and more abstract and obscure as the numbers continue, it’s also important to see the religious implications–Hinduism and Buddhism specifically. Some of the oldest religions in existence.)

5) Not only is there a multiverse, but it’s quite possibly it’s a repeated multiverse that had occurred before the “Big Bang” event.  This reinforces the complicated nature of dejavu phenomena–where a person thinks he/she remembers an event happening exactly the same way, only a long time ago–and also brings additional credence to a whole slew of scientific and non-scientific phenomena like Dark Matter, ghosts, Universal Insight, etc.

6) I connect strongest to this point due to the fact I feel everything I write is written by someone else. It sounds crazy as heck, and I agree, but it’s how I see it. Almost everything I write about came from dream-stories, or dreams I have where I’m moving through, existing, or otherwise pursuing a goal in a place I am wholly uncertain of. Take two nights ago, for example. I hunted vampire children in a school. Given my chosen writing genre, I’m sure most people would shrug and say, “Yeah. You think about that stuff all the time. Obviously you dream about it.” And that might be true. But what’s also true is I really don’t think about vampires. I don’t read books with them in it. I don’t watch movies/tv with them, and I haven’t actually written about a vampire in a novel ever. Ever ever.

7) The Immortality of the Soul reinforces godhood via MWI, although anyone can extend that to fantasy novel writing by a few tweaks and twerks. Especially when it incorporates lesser deities that aren’t really omnipotent (as the Christian God), but deeply insightful anyway.

8) Zoroastrian beliefs, back in the Dark Ages and before the Reformation, embraced this implication and the next (number 9). The novel I currently have before me has the MC stating, repeatedly, “As within, so without.” It is both a defensive statement and a basic truth for him: he is what he feels he is. And, despite others not seeing him the same way, he is a warrior. Also, the Matrix spent some time discussing this.

9) The keyword for this implication is “collectively.” As a society, we construct the physical reality around us. This further reinforces the idea that God is what we make of Him, and (to touch on Gaiman’s American Gods) the less we worship them/Him, the less important they become. This makes perfect sense to me. We create our reality simply by existing–another writerly insight.

10) Life is but a dream. It’s the focus of nearly everything I write.

Now, these lineup of implications also hang their hats on the idea of Infinity, or as I consider it, the God number (I know it’s not a number). it assumes no end to universes, no end to thought or possibility. Given we can’t find the parameters, I find this alternative argument much easier to swallow than, “Since I can’t sense it, and math can’t equate it, it must not exist.”

Hope this post wasn’t too long. Your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Genre-bending Quantum Insights (While Writing Fantasy)

  1. That article was pretty mind-blowing. The temptation to hit the bong, sit back, and contemplate infinity for a year or ten is strong. 😛

    Seriously, what an interesting looking into the writing/fantastic implications of MWT. Though, being me, I gots stuff to add. Also being me, it is scientifically illiterate in the extreme.

    So I always see articles like this referencing the First Law of Thermodynamics as a possible shore-up for reincarnation. What I almost never see is people extending this into the Second Law. If all energy is conserved (which is true only for the most part, isn’t it? Isn’t a small amount of energy actually lost in translation?) what happens when we introduce the idea of entropy into the equation? If we are souls struggling for godhood, or at least perfection, or, well, we’ll stick to the word ‘equilibrium’, how do we define spiritual entropy? Is it simply the result of change (which can be growth as well as loss)? Or is entropy a sort of situational disordering? Perhaps entropy increases because, with each decision you make, the possibility of you having made other decisions increases as well.

    Keep in mind, this is all well beyond my usual ken, which is pounding on a keyboard, making grunting noises, and generally Trying To Write Good. But this is all pretty interesting.

    I also advise those velociraptors to dismount Kevin Bacon immediately. If what you’re talking about is true, then by GOD, we’re ALL in a movie with him at least once, and that old party game is absolutely useless.

  2. My wordpress didn’t inform me you commented on this. WordPress is acting up and I don’t like it.

    And it’s awesome I’m not the only one who thinks these kinds of articles are…well…awesome.

    I’m pretty illiterate, scientifically, too. If a specialist were to try to talk to me–heck, even my engineer/philosopher brother–I’d be racing to catch up.

    Energy is neither created or destroyed, only changed. So the “loss” of energy only means it is sent off somewhere else in the universe (which is still conserved, only muted to something else-a payment for the mutation). For me entropy, in this situation (and assuming MWI is true), is the fact we don’t wake up as children with full consciousness of previous lives, of whatever we learned in the previous process, aware of anything. It’s a reset. It’s quite balanced in its application to the person living (or reliving). I’m only extending it to where the First Law is discussed–rebirth of similar consciousness after the “soul” is removed from the “shell.” If that makes sense.

    And it’s not uniform. There’ve been countless instances of toddlers talking about dead people’s personal lives they had no right to know, saying names of people they’ve never heard, reliving someone else’s pain they never met.

    In the MWI expanse, I’d say point 2 reinforces your entropy question. The “chaos” of existence becomes increasingly possible as the observation of multiple universes…multiply. The more the infinite universe is observed, the more random things can seem. That’d be my observation of entropy.

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