People with too much free time usually spend some of it trying to figure out what life itself is all about.
The latest theory making the rounds on the net is that we’re just holograms… a three-dimensional illusion created from data that is stored in a two-dimensional reality (like those little doves that flap their wings endlessly, but will never fly off our credit cards).
Someone in Japan is working very hard to prove this mathematically, and he has all my support. I am amazed this person is smart enough to try and even more amazed that someone is willing to pay him to do the work. I hope the paycheck is not as illusory as his existence.
I’m not that smart, though.
I have my own theory, but no mathematical skills with which to prove it.
I think each of us is stuck in a movie. The entire thing may have already been filmed, and it might already be in the can, but we can only experience one frame of it at a time. In fact, each of us appears in a limited number of frames… we affect the final result in our own tiny little way, but we’re not by any means any great part of the picture.
And we all think we’re stars, but most of us are extras… no more memorable than each of the thousands of corpses that littered the field outside the battle hospital in “Gone With the Wind”… a frame that caused Margaret Mitchell to mutter, “If we’d had that many soldiers we would have won the war!”
Our importance to the film is so minuscule that each of us may wonder whether we a part of the movie that makes the final edit, or whether we are stuck in a frame that lands on the cutting room floor. What if we did our bit, but it was meaningless, and did not contribute in the least to life or to the cosmos?
It’s scary! And what if we’re not in a good movie? I’d like to think we’re in a beautifully scripted epic, certain to edify and entertain, but I really do suspect we’re in one of those little improvisational things that never gets seen outside of Sundance. After all, we do have free will. Nobody I know has ever been handed a script. We hang here in our frame, doing whatever we think is best, with absolutely no idea what the story arc is. Even our few scenes turn out in ways that we don’t expect… can you imagine the twists and turns that take place in the greater story?
Oh, every now and then, you find a “prophet” who can see outside the frame, and tries to tell the rest of us how the movie is going to turn out, but let’s face it… they’re missing too many pieces of the storyboard. They can tell the rest of us what they see, but they can’t explain what it means… they can’t even tell us accurately where in the film their vision will occur.
The only reason this doesn’t drive me crazy is that I have great faith in the Director.
I do wonder, though, whether at the end of time, we’ll all sit in a metaphysical Drive-In and get to see the final cut. All frames with good performances, no matter how tiny, will be included in the final picture; everything else will be swept up and burnt, never to be seen again.
Anyone who’s skilled at physics: you’re welcome to run the numbers and see if this makes sense.