The Multiverse Theory

In 1933, Erwin Schrödinger won a Nobel Prize in physics for an equation he had created. The equation explained one of the fundamental questions of quantum mechanics — a field in which anything that can happen, will happen.

19 years later, in 1952, Schrödinger stood up in front of a Dublin lecture hall and told the audience that what he was about to say might strike them as ‘lunatic’.

Given his standing in the scientific community, I’m sure that more than a few people heard this warning as hyperbole.

But what he said has truly revolutionary implications for our view of the world. Schrödinger went on to explain that the theories he had developed demonstrated several different histories of the universe.

These, he said, were “not alternatives, but all really happen simultaneously”.

In other words, he had stumbled upon the possibility that instead of just the one version of the universe we are all used to thinking about, there are multiple versions, all going on at the same time.

(If that sounds like something straight out of Rick and Morty to you, it is. Well, actually, Rick & Morty is straight out of this.)

I love this idea. Scientists will probably be debating it amongst themselves forever, and that’s fine, but even just the possibility that objective reality could be unfolding in multiple ways is thrilling to me.

The reason I find it so exciting is that once again, there’s a parallel between hard science and my personal experiences with writing.

Writing allows us to bridge the gap between the universe we currently inhabit and the universes that might be. It gives us access to realities and environments in which we do  not currently exist.

It allows us to explore what life might be like if we made different choices and inhabited different identities — without the chaos of actually having to make those changes to find out.

As a tool for personal growth, this is incredibly powerful. Writing yourself into alternate realities, alternate futures, to uncover what that would feel like, what it would mean for you in the short and long term — it’s a kind of magic.

Of course, you’ll never imagine every possible outcome in every possible future.

But you can at least get a sense of what would feel compelling to you. What would feel purposeful. What kind of future might be worth the effort of making a change to the present.

Writing about yourself in the future — in any future, because they’re all possible — is the time machine that lets you discover the future that’s right for you.

So, , where to first? Which alternative reality might your pen take you to? Who would you be, and how would that feel? And if that one’s not a fit, where to next?