Many of us are perfectly all right with living our everyday lives. However, sometimes we are forced to think outside of the ordinary. At times like these, we stumble on some viewpoints and bizarre-sounding suggestions that make us question our very existence.
We’ve all heard religious and secular theories on how we came into existence and why the world is like it is. When you read the following theories, though, prepare to be blown away! These have the potential to transform the way you see everything, everyone, and yourself as well. Keep reading for a rollercoaster of ideas!
19. The Glacial Limitation
This refers to a theory called the great glaciations. While the most popular notion is that the universe is always expanding, this is a theory that puts a full stop to everything. When you think about it, it’s not such a radical way of thinking. After all, everything else comes to an end, right?
Basically, this theory puts forward the notion that we would eventually run out of energy. Not just on the earth, but the sun too, along with the stars. The result would be a frozen universe or glaciers everywhere. Everything would just stop moving one day when particle motion loses its tempo.
18. Thinking Creates Being
This theory is called solipsism, which says that nothing is actually as we think we are. Descartes basically said “I think, therefore I am”, and gave rise to this way of thinking. What this means is that we may be just experiencing our own subconscious when living, nothing else.
Think about this for a minute. Are we absolutely sure that what we’re experiencing actually exist? Schizophrenics are very sure about the voices they hear and the things they see. Perhaps our brains are being controlled by demons and we’re being forced to dream about the world we know.
We may even be living in a dream, for all we know. Yes, we can pinch ourselves, but those under the influence of LSD have experienced some very detailed hallucinations too. Pinching didn’t help them come out of that state. Hence, the only thing we’re really sure of is that we’re thinking at the moment. We think, hence we exist. There’s no other proof for our own existence and no proof at all for the existence of anything else.
17. Ideas are Everything
George Berkeley is known as the father of idealism. He put forward the theory that everything was just an imagined idea within our thinking. This may seem very similar to the theory of solipsism. However, the name for this Berkeley’s theory is idealism because it contains the idea of a God power. Simply speaking, he refuted his opponents’ protests of his ideas by talking about an ever-present God.
Berkeley further went on to say that God is also all-powerful and can see everything all at once. This concurs directly with what several religions say about the universe.
16. Plato’s Perfection
There’s probably no one in the modern world who doesn’t know about Plato. His take on reality was that what we see is just a reflection of the true forms. There is a realm of perfect images and forms out there, and we can’t really perceive them. All we see are the shadows cast by those forms. Thinking about the very end of the Narnia books might help here. Through the study of philosophy, one may have an increased chance of seeing things as they really exist.
Plato’s logos also asserted that everything we see is actually made from the same material, deep down. All it takes is the different rearrangement of that particular material. Modern science has proven this to some extent, with the facts about molecules, particles, and atoms. Now it just remains to be seen whether science can prove that some perfect version of reality exists.
15. Time is Playing Games
Humans have come a long way, but we still can’t really manipulate time. It passes, and we can’t seem to develop a time machine to take us back or forward. The theory of presentism may have a reason for this. This theory basically states that the past and future exist only in our heads. What is real is the present. When we think about it, it’s probably true.
St. Augustine is the man behind this theory. He was of the opinion that everything just ceases to be until and unless we’re dealing with it right now. This might be a bit harder to digest!
14. Everything Exists at Once
Presentism is opposed by the theory of eternalism. This goes in the opposite direction by stating that time actually exists all at the same time. It is only us, the observers, who experience it as past, present, and future.
This theory is quite problematic since it suggests that dinosaurs are still around and even that no one dies or is born. It also means that the future is set in stone and we don’t really have any free will.
13. Demons Controlling Us
This theory relies on the thought of Descartes’ demon philosophy again. In a nutshell, we don’t have any concrete proof that we’re not just a brain in a jar. We could be experiencing life through being prodded and poked by demons or aliens.
So we’re just living because of our thoughts. For a more interesting take on this, we suggest watching “The Matrix” if you haven’t done so already. Or you may want to rewatch it, as the premise was based on this very theory.
12. The Infinite Possibilities
Everyone has also heard of the multiverse theory, even if they don’t know the correct term for it. This theory states that there are several parallel worlds that function like ours. There are some differences, which could be major or minor. The number of these worlds may be infinite.
There’s just a world for every possible situation. And of course, as life goes on, the number of possibilities and maybe the number of parallel worlds grow. For instance, there may be a reality where you don’t exist because your parents didn’t meet through a crazy fluke.
11. Everything Exists, No Matter What
This theory is called fictional realism. It is part of the multiverse theory. However, it takes the parallel world thinking to a whole new level. Namely, it includes fictional characters into the realm of possibilities. So the world of Pokémon may actually exist, as would the world of Harry Potter.
10. Everything Disappears
This theory is called phenomenalism and is similar to the one about time only existing in the present. Some scientists are of the opinion that things just disappear when we’re not looking right at them. Why is that? Because they never existed in the first place but were just an object of our perception. Without perception, nothing is there.
We don’t know about you, but we’re constantly looking over our shoulder now!
9. Computers Have Gone Too Far
Computers can do a lot, but have they taken over the world already? What if humans didn’t even exist, but were just some form of giant computer simulation. After all, we’ve played the Sims. Who’s to say no one is playing us as some form of game?
This theory is known as the Simulation Theory. You may dismiss it, but some major scientists propose that it may actually be true. This is largely supported by the fact that we’ve discovered actual computer code within mathematics. This means that there are actual zeros and ones defining our mathematics basis.
8. Terrified No Matter What
The Simulation theory is related to the Fermi Paradox. The latter is an argument put forth by some notable physicists. It states that since there is a clash between the vastness of the universe and the utter lack of proof for other life forms.
This is a sort of paradox. The Drake Equation takes it a little further by looking at just why we are asking the question about aliens. We can’t really prove that life exists elsewhere in the universe because we’re defining life in our own way. For all we know, the rocks on the moon could be a form of life itself.
At the end of the day, though, we may or may not be alone in the universe. Both prospects are quite chilling, as Arthur C. Clarke would put it.
7. White Instead of Black
Television and movies have told us what black holes are since our childhood. They suck everything in, even light. However, have we ever thought about where black holes end? Some scientists propose that black holes eventually end up as white holes. These spew everything out, and nothing can go in. this could very well be how stars come into being. In fact, this may be how this universe started.
Right now, there is no mapping of white holes. It is a theory at the moment, but quite a viable one.
6. Our Real Home
If we haven’t yet been spit out of a white hole, we may just be living in a black one. There’s nothing to prove that we haven’t already been sucked into such a hole, and are living out our lives here. We really don’t know what goes on inside a black hole. For all intents and purposes, this theory could very well explain the weirdness going on in the world at any given time.
5. Inherent Fakeness
This is the False Vacuum Universe Theory. It starts that our universe is part of a false version of a bigger universe. If this seems familiar, check out Plato’s story above. Everything may just become much more real one day. This could very well mean that we wouldn’t exist anymore.
Whenever this happens, it would do so without warning. So there’s really nothing we can do about it but live as best as we can.
4. More Dimensions to Discover
The string theory is another popular theory that many may have heard of. Heisenberg began the research into string theory many years ago. This looks at the universe as a series of string-like objects. All these contribute to not just matter, but also different dimensions.
String theory even takes it a step further by putting a number to the dimensions possible. If string theorists have it their way, the number of dimensions can only be ten. We are located in the third one, and can only experience this dimension or the one below us. As for the the seven beyond, who knows when we’d be able to experience them, if ever.
3. We Can’t Comprehend the Whole
The Embedded Universe Theory seeks to explain a question that the String theory gives rise to. This is the question of what is in those other dimensions, and why can’t we reach them? The concept of an embedded universe makes us think of ourselves as a tiny entity, much like we view ants. We are all like ants, scurrying about in our everyday lives.
When we pick up an ant, only then is it aware of our existence. If we’re careful, it may not be aware even then. So at this moment, someone could be watching us from the fourth or fifth dimension and we may not even know it! Good luck with sleeping at night from now on.
2. Denial of Death
This theory purports that deep inside of us; we all know we are going to die. However, in every decision we make, we are actively denying that eventuality. We are basically denying death in our quest to live.
A cultural anthropologist named Ernest Becker came up with this cheerful theory. Culture, he asserted, only existed to give our lives significance and meaning. Otherwise, the anxiety about our impending death would probably kill us.
1. Time is Slowing Down
We are all aware of the universe expanding as we speak. However, maybe we are actually slowing down? Some of the stars we see in the sky have already ceased to exist. Only their light reaches us. It may very well be that time is slowing down for us, as put forward by the very first theory on this list.
The only reason we’re able to see galaxies now is that they were moving when time was faster. We may actually seem to move in slo-mo when viewed by the rest of the universe.
We may not agree with every one of these theories. You still have to admit that quite a lot of thought has gone into them. If you have a favorite one among these, it may be worth your while to explore it further.