Have you ever thought about alternate realities?
In an alternate universe, I will celebrate 20 years of wedded bliss on May 23. Yet, this is not an alternate universe, is it? I had always said that I would only marry once and it would be for a lifetime. Yet, marriage is a union of two souls. Unless both have the determination to make it work, it will not last. I don’t talk about my failed marriage often as my ex-wife and I are cordial to one another and share many of the same friends, both in real life and on social media.
As awkward as that may sometimes be for us, I know it must be much more awkward for those counting us as friends. I feel for them should they ever be put into a position of feeling as if they must choose one of us over the other. Thus, I go out of my way to avoid putting them there. Fortunately, despite their curiosity, none of them have really plumbed those depths, or, at least, not with me.
Yet, I have another reason for keeping my mouth shut. You might say that this reason is not unlike that which kept the United States and the Soviet Union locked in a Cold War for over three decades; that is, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction.
As it pertained to the political powers, they possessed the firepower to destroy one another several times over. That was the point of the arms race. It was a deterrent because each side knew that if one side pushed the button, the other side would retaliate. As the WOPR computer learned in the movie, War Games, the only way you win that game is to never play.
What do these thoughts I’ve expressed have to do with the title I’ve assigned this piece?
There is a theory, which is plausible, that there are multiple realities that exist. No, this was not the brainchild of some zealous Star Trek fan. It is, rather, actually a part of quantum mechanics, a discipline within the field of physics. Essentially, one theory within quantum mechanics suggests that when we make one observation or take one course of action, it creates a whole new universe in which something different happened.
What may surprise some of my readers, especially those having a more intimate knowledge of me, is that I do not think that this idea has to conflict with my Christian faith at all.
The Apostle Peter declared that Christ died once for all (1 Peter 3:18). All is an inclusive word, which, to me, covers every being existent, whenever or wherever they may be. So, if anyone is worried about the salvation of those dwelling in those existences beyond the naked eye, the atoning blood of Christ would be sufficient for them as well, if they are accountable.
Furthermore, Jude declared that the faith was “once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). Therefore, these same people, alternate to myself, the Brents-whom-I-have-not-seen, have the same access to the Word that enables one to know whether or not he has salvation (cf. 1 John 5:13).
And most certainly, a God who can speak the cosmos into existence can surely manage them all, despite having to be googolplexian, if not infinite, in number.
But would you actually teach someone to embrace this idea of alternate realities as you seem to have done?
No, I do not teach this as a matter of doctrine. Therefore, you will never hear me engage in a debate to defend my thoughts in this matter. So, just for today, I ask that you simply read these words of mine and indulge my selfish interests. You see, until such time as I exit this life, I like to think that somewhere out there a couple is celebrating their 20th anniversary soon. I like to think that there is a healthy Brent never touched by the hand of cancer. Somewhere, there is a Brent whose spine is healthy, who grew to be taller than his youngest nephew of over six feet. There is a Brent who breathes without supplemental oxygen. Yes, there is even a Brent who is an accomplished writer or illustrator.
Contrary to what you are thinking, though, thinking of an alternate world is not a depressing thought to me since it is one that ultimately gives me hope. If I can achieve something somewhere, then certainly I can achieve the same thing here. I just have to do so within the parameters placed upon me. It is almost as if I have the hands of an infinite number of my brethren pushing me forward to the one place where our timelines will become blended. At that time, we will lay our collective trophies down, and enter into that singular ecstatic bliss, which is the home of God.
For that moment, then, I will endure all of the consequences of the erroneous steps I have taken in this here and now.