It is snowing again as I write. Have you ever watched a snowstorm and wondered just how many snowflakes were falling? Or how many had ever fallen? A million snowflakes, apparently, will only cover a patch two feet square by ten inches deep. A quarter of the land mass of the planet gets snow every year and how many winters have come and gone since the first snowflake fell? The mind boggles at the sheer impossibility of the number.
Yet, if one could ignore space and time and be everywhere and every-when at once it would, theoretically at least, be possible to count them. Even taking all future snowfalls for the projected lifetime of our planet into consideration, it would be a finite number. There was, once upon a time, a very first snowflake to fall. There will be a last. There would come a point where there were no more snowflakes to count.
Mind boggling as the concept is, the magnitude of that number is probably as close to the idea of infinity as our normal human thoughts can grasp. Yet it is so far short of an infinite number! Scientists calculate that there could be as many as four and a half billion planets similar to earth in the Milky Way galaxy. Each one of those with its own possibility of snowflakes. And it is thought that there are hundreds of billions of other galaxies in the universe. Yet are we sure that there is only one universe? Quantum physicists don’t seem to think so…
Suddenly our infinity of snowflakes seems a little puny compared to the possibilities that exist in this wider reality we but dimly perceive.
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What if our universe is one cell inside one creature and there are an infinite number of cells creating creatures, larger and smaller — like looking into infinity mirrors? What if time and space were an illusion and all events into infinity happen within constructs in which space and time can be created?
So much to know, so much to try and understand…
I’ve had that conversation with my sons over the years…
I love that we will never understand everything and thatthere will always be mysteries 🙂
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