The Great Attractor

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Philosophy Meets Science In My Mind

The stars are born, the stars die, inconsequential are we, the Great Attractor calls. What are we? So small and insignificant in the order of the Universe. Science tells its truth, religion tells its truth, we decide, force, believe, unbelieve, and fight. Sometimes for the right things, sometimes for the wrong things. But who is right and who is wrong? The Attractor still calls, yet no one hears.

Science tells us that out there in space somewhere is this thing called the Great Attractor. All of the galaxies are moving towards this centralized location, at least our local group of galaxies. Yet just 25 years ago, they told you that the galaxies were all moving away from each other, all of them, forever. Yet the math always showed that our galaxy would collide with the Andromeda galaxy at some point billions upon billions of years in the future. That never made sense to me. How can we all be moving apart but on a collision course with another galaxy? But I guess now we have an answer.

Or do we? What is the answer? Everything falls apart when you run into infinity, and it always will. No human mind, yet, can fully envision infinity. We can think about it, but you cant count to it, you cant see it, you can’t touch it, hell, you can’t even smell it, but you can “think” about it.

We think about a lot of things as humans. But what is the end goal of everything? What is the spark that keeps us driving forward, the drive, the constant charge into the future? Is it the soul? Is it just the human spark? It is the thirst for knowledge? Is it all three and more?

No one really knows for sure. A lot claim to have the answer or to at least be closer to the answer than you are, but in the end, they are no closer to infinity than you are. Because in the end, the answer is infinity, that is where everything begins, and everything ends. Infinitely small, infinitely large, there is no end. If it looks like something is the smallest or largest that could ever be, just add or subtract a 1. The only end is when we run into the limits of our current understanding.

Well, let me back up for a minute. The above is not exactly true. There is one very large limit that, again, this is something we can think about but do not have, nor will we ever have a way to test the theory. That is, maybe there is a limit to infinity. But it is a moving target that we will never reach, so again we can think about it, but there is no way and never will be a way to test the theory. The only potential limit to infinity the way the human mind would sort of understand it is to compare it to the size of the Universe. The theoretical limit to the size of anything is the volume of the Universe. Yet science tells us that if we left traveling towards the edge of the Universe, we would never make it because the faster we tried to get there, the faster it would move away from us. That is the expanding universe theory. So are we still looking at infinity? If that is the case, how big would have infinity have been right after the big bang? How big exactly is it now? How big will it be when the Universe stops expanding, if ever it does?

Interesting concept. Does this now make infinity quantifiable? Not really, because it is still infinity. There is no beginning and no end. It moves on forever like a ribbon of numbers, thoughts, information, energy, matter, waves, everything, through all dimensions. As far as we of the human mind are concerned, time is infinite. What does time mean after you are no longer here to experience it? What does time mean when the Universe does finally come to an end? What does time mean when our star burns out in a few billion years? If there is no one around to think about time or infinity, do they actually exist? Do we actually exist? This is similar to the old philosophical question about a tree falling in the forest and no one being around to hear it. Well, did it make a sound?

Could it be the Great Attractor? I mean, from what we know about this celestial gravity-well, it has all of the hallmarks of something much larger and more powerful than we could ever imagine being. So is it the answer? No, probably not. But the scientific discoveries that we make on the way to figuring out this answer, in general, have consequences that are generally good for humanity. Sometimes not so much. A lot of good came from E=MC^2, but so did the nuclear bomb’s destructive force. If Einstein had not figured this out, someone else would have. Would it have been better or worse if someone else figured it out first? Some other country? Some other race? In the big picture, would it have made any difference at all?

That is an infinitely impossible question to answer, as there happen to be an infinite number of possibilities. You can think about what might have happened, you can run computer simulations, you can think about it for centuries, but the end answer is that there are an infinite number of possibilities from even the slightest change, so you can never know for sure. But you can “think” about it. We are only limited by what we know, but what do we know? We are only human.

We search for the answer day after day, year after year, generation after generation. Though we will never find the answer until we can fully comprehend infinity, it seems that the closer we think we get, the more the ego monster takes over everyone. Just ask any physicist what a singularity is. Get back to me with that answer. I would love to know.

We are all children of the Universe. The Attractor calls, hear it I can not, yet the feeling is home. Across the vastness of space, it matters not. Maybe this is a quantum dot. Maybe these are just the ravings of a lunatic lost in a world of chaos looking for the answer yet on a different plane, different dimension if you will. As infinity is the nemesis of all, maybe it is only infinite in the dimension that we inhabit. All great findings throughout history have been from a mind that did not see things the same way as others. Unfortunately, most are bound to one path of thinking, one way, one doctrine, one dogma created by those around them that wish to shape those around them into copies of themselves to carry their agenda through time immortal.

Yet, in the grand scheme of things, the thoughts and agendas of humans are insignificant. For the limited blip of galactic time that our species survives, we will have no lasting impact on the fabric of the Universe. The Universe is indifferent and uncaring. Yet at times seems as if it gives us one more little clue at a time as we chase the unanswerable question of Infinity.

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