Bigger Than a Bread Box

It’s a matter of scale. What is? Well, everything. That is we like to think that everything scales up and everything scales down.

We imagine there is a whole universe in a drop of water. We imagine that our whole universe may exist as just a drop of water in some bigger universe. It’s not a hard concept to grasp. It’s hinted at in the Matrix movies, where the reality we experience is just a computer simulation of the reality that we used to experience. It’s the basis of the brilliant children’s story Horton Hears a Who.

Now,even if we believe that everything scales, we recognize that we can’t necessarily follow it. There are barriers that we can’t cross. We can’t just sail to the edge of our universe and push our way through a membrane to break out of our little drop of water and glimpse the ocean beyond. If we could, then that ocean would be part of our universe, not something beyond it. It’s kind of like asking what infinity plus one is.

So does God scale? Ancient peoples had multitudes of Gods. There was a God for plants and a God for animals. Sometimes it broke down even further, there was not a God for all animals, there was a God for each type of animal. The Christians have pushed that further in both directions at once. There is only one God, they say, but then they bring in Angels, and they tell us that each and everyone of us has our own personal guardian angel.

Now I don’t know about you, but if I’ve got a guardian angel, he or she doesn’t seem to be very good at their job. Of course, that makes assumptions about what their job is, but if their job is to give me the kind of life that I’ve had, well, let’s just say that random chance seems like it would have done just about as well.

So sure we can imagine a universe bigger than our own, and sure we can imagine that we’ve each got an angel looking out for us, but in the end we need to know the difference between what we imagine and what is. Or, at least I imagine that knowing that is important.

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