These are the Days of my Lives

“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?” Kate Atkinson, Life After Life

There is a theory in Quantum Science, first proposed by Physicist Dr. Alan Guth, that there exist an unlimited number of parallel universes.  It is a theory that is based on the discovery that atomic particles not only have the ability to exist in more than one place simultaneously, but that the simple act of observing a particle affects its behavior (the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal). There are a bunch of other theories out there, the String, the Many Worlds, the Multiverse.  My brain exploded part way through researching this, so if you are interested in getting details, might I suggest Google?

*Disclaimer:  I no talk science good.  Please never, ever reference me as a source for quantum anything.

Now since all matter (including us) is made up of these shifty little particles, it seems to follow that potentially any thought, movement or decision we have made could have created infinite numbers of other worlds, where other versions of ourselves are living lives. 

This was the premise that Kate Atkinson used in her novel Life After Life.  The year is 1910 and the main character, Ursula is born, only to die before drawing her first breath.

And then, Ursula is born, this time surviving and thus begins a series of her lives which has her dying and starting over again many time.  Each lifetime varies based on her decisions, on chance and on the tiniest changes.  It is an excellent book.  I highly recommend you pick it up on your way to the beach today.

Ursula’s many lives got me contemplating my own linear time line and the “what ifs” that have crept up along the way.  For instance….

What if our Brazilian exchange student hadn’t pushed me out of the way of that car when I froze on the slippery road that day, back when I was 12 years old?  In the book of my life, was that an exit? 

Or what if a different Amtrak employee had made a different call that time Emily and I travelled to Michigan to visit my American Boyfriend (now known as my American Husband)?  Our train was delayed because she/he at Amtrak decided to send a freight train ahead of us to make sure the tracks were clear after the wind storm that had blown through earlier.  Turns out the track was damaged and the freight train derailed down a big hill.  When we rolled by in our rescue buses hours later you could hear the collective gasps as we saw just how mangled and dead we would have been had she/he at Amtrak not made that decision.  Perhaps in another world in another time I hit reset and began again.

Then there was last summer.  Severe pancreatitis had me in the hospital for a week waiting on emergency surgery.  What if I had taken a gravol and tried to sleep off the pukiness?  I very well may have woken up dead.  Instead I decided to go see how the staff in Emergency might be able to help and in doing that managed to live to see many more days.  In another Universe did I kick that bucket before fulfilling what was on its list?

In contemplating these potential times of exit, I wonder what the purpose of these many versions of us might be.  Life is a school where we come to learn and grow and eventually graduate.  So if we have taken these exits in other realities, does that count as flunking a test?  Or is it more like passing the grade and getting to take a summer vacation before jumping back in to try another level? 

Regardless of whether parallel worlds is a thing or not, the knowledge that our thoughts can actually create, destroy or change particles at an atomic level sure does make that Law of Attraction “thoughts become things” idea more plausible.  And perhaps a good reminder that worrying only creates problems.  Perhaps even horrible, sick parallel lifetimes where we have to live out the worry fantasies we create for ourselves.

Now that is a terrifying prospect.

Happy thoughts.  Happy thoughts.   Happy thoughts.

*Note to self:  Science is scary.  Just walk away from the Google.




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