Occasionally I am overcome and transported to bliss by the thought of how we are here, or more precisely, why something rather than nothing. It only lasts a few, fleeing moments. Then the question makes no sense. The answers that were, moments earlier, budding, cease to be meaningful. The thought is miscarried.
From what did the big bang come? I am inclined to believe that the universe was born, or whatever we would call a spore that begins to grow or an exudation of the cosmic Mandelbrot fern.
Perhaps one day our cybernetic ancestors will be able to study the phylogenesis of our universe, of those related to it, and their historical ecology. There is still much we do not know. Universes are likely as common as individual humans, and perhaps exponentially greater in number: on the scale of each individual of each species that ever has or will exist on earth.
We will likely have a special interest in those universes that directly share our lineage: our brother/sister cosmoi, the parent Mandelbrot Seahorse, and its parent seahorse…
An infinite genealogical project. And yet it is a task that seemingly never arrives at the point where we can answer: why something instead of nothing?
It takes an unusually clear mind to even imagine the binary: being-not being. Perhaps that is part of the problem, for it seems that at the quantum as well as the larger (meteorological, for example) levels, the world is probabilistic. That is not the only issue, however.
Do you see how – there is no adequate word – … special it is that there is something rather than nothing? The world cannot have come to exist; it must have always been here in some form. That is remarkable. Why and how?
I am inclined to believe that these questions are too coarse – that they are something akin to asking about causes in a probabilistic realm or motivation when discussing gravity or other physical forces. The questions are too anthropomorphic. They make sense to us because they are questions developed for our realm of existence.
That we are here at all is remarkable.
How did life originate on earth? It just naturally developed. Because that is what things in our universe do. That is the nature of things. Asking why is like asking why there is gravity. It is built into the system itself. … There are perhaps different systems.
But tell me about that first system. How did it get here? That question can’t make sense because there can, in this case, be no how. It just is. It just is leaves me intellectually dissatisfied. But I am imposing intelligence on something prior to the development of intelligence, onto something that just is – as it always was.
Is there no way through or around this impasse?
Where does matter come from? How is it that there is stuff?