Do you remember the film Sliding Doors? In that movie, Gwyneth Paltrow played the lead character and her life split into two realities. In the first reality, she caught a train and her life unfolded from there. In the second reality, she missed the train and her life took a completely different path. This ‘split’ of reality into many selves is actually a theory in quantum physics, called ‘many worlds or universes interpretation.’ It was originally developed in the PhD research of Hugh Everett at Princeton in 1957. It was then popularized by Bryce DeWitt in 1973, and more recently by David Deutsch and others from 1999-2004. The theory claims that every possible past event and every possible future event is real, and exists in its own actual world or universe.
Before this theory emerged, reality was viewed as one sequence of linear, chronological events unfolding in one world or universe i.e. ‘the past’ and ‘the future.’ So basically in the physical world that we can see and touch, events unfold in a linear way based on cause and effect.
The Many Worlds theory views reality like the branches of a tree, rather than a single line. Every event exists in its own history or world. In this Interpretation, events and potential events all exist on a quantum (energetic) level and the ones that are real are the ones that we give our attention to. This quantum research theoretically supports the existence of consciousness that is distributed over many worlds or universes. Perhaps there is an inner world with its own laws of reality and an outer world with different laws of reality. In the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, “the trajectory of your life is no longer just one straight path to an eventuality, but is instead one path of many, on an ever-branching tree of possibilities.” (Kevin Michel)
Rather than being one self in one world, we may all have many selves distributed across many worlds. You know the feeling of being lost in a moment, or having deja vu, or feeling like you are in two worlds at one time? This is us scratching at the fabric of the multiverse. I believe that our existing understanding of reality is extremely limited: we are in kindergarten when it comes to consciousness and the objective nature of reality.
In our consciousness, we can access our many selves as they are distributed across lives and universes. We do this by silencing the rational, logical mind that is bound by physical reality, and entering the intuitive consciousness that is unbound and unlimited. All the parts of you have a necessary place in your existence. You are bigger than your ego and your persona.
As Holland notes, these quantum principles continue to prompt the following probing questions: “If one particle can affect another across space, are we all interconnected at a fundamental level?” and “If the human observer affects what is being observed, are we active participants in the formation of events?”
It is truly mind-blowing.