The end of the world

A fragment of the Garden of Remembering

  • Assumption: Anything with a beginning must have an end.
  • Assumption: Anything removed from existence is removed both in past and future.
  • Assumption: Anything that does not exist in past and future has thus never existed.

Consider the planet. Eventually something will happen, and we're all dead, all civilisation gone, all sentient life eradicated. It's the end of the world, as far as we're concerned. The end of everything.

But suppose the planet itself isn't dead. What if there's still algae, bacteria, even a few kinds of insect hanging around? More than enough for it to start over, begin anew, develop a whole new generation of intelligent life, who may then go on to dig into their own past, finding what was previously lost, finding their own path, and being, indeed, very much alive and not ended at all, thank you very much. Not the end of the world at all. Just a bit of a setback, really. If that.

So take out the entire planet. End that. Look bigger. There's others. Lots of others, full of past and potential and so much other life entirely, things we've never known, things we may never know. Living, growing, changing, on a level beyond astronomical. Yes, they all may end, sooner or later, but for each that does, another begins, and another, and another, and another.

But surely that cannot go on indefinitely. What of the eventual heat death of the universe? Eventually everything will simply run out. No more potential. No more worlds. No more matter to form and move, no more energy to fill the space, simply a cold dark nothing as everything goes too far and runs out of potential and even time slows to a standstill in light of nothing left to happen, no means for it to continue.

This, surely, is the end.

But it's still there. The universe is still there, frozen, perhaps, in a final snapshot of the sum of its existence, but there nonetheless. Ended, perhaps, but still there, still existing, and so long as it is there, there remains some potential yet. It can still be observed from outside, it can still be acted upon by external forces, and thus it may still even begin anew, even from its initial end. There is still room for more, and more ends that are not ends.

So destroy it. Take it out. Don't even leave behind a snapshot, all that matter lying around, that sum of existence that can still change; destroy it all so that it does not even exist. Then it will be truly ended, and only then, surely?

But the histories remain. It still happened, within the frame of the overall multiverse. The particular universe existed at one point within it, and indeed there may still be fragments elsewhere, now in other universes, who remember it, who perhaps passed it by, or talked about it, or even began within it before leaving and moving onto others, for whatever reason. So it still has its impact, it still affects the overall ecosystem, and if a thing can still have impact, is it truly ended? Is it truly destroyed? A thing must exist on some level in order to act upon other things, surely.

So to destroy it, to end it truly, one must also remove the histories, the memory, the disperate parts that began there and left, and, cascading, every history and memory and impact each of those have likewise had amongst the other universes. It must be as though it never was, as though the ended universe, now unmade, never was, never had been at all. It must have no impact, no memory, nothing.

And thus it is finally ended.

Except if it has no memory or impact or even any existence within the overall multiverse, how can it have ended? If it never was, it cannot end. This is simply not possible.

But if it began, it has to end. How else could there be balance, or means for it to begin at all?

On one hand, we have the concept that everything with a beginning must have an end, but on the other, there is the concept that there is no such thing as a true end for anything that can exist at all, for otherwise it cannot exist at all.

  • Conclusion: More input is needed.