All my life I’ve wondered about the paths not taken. What would our world be like if we’d lost the Revolutionary War? What if the Wright brothers had never invented the airplane…would someone else have done it, or would our world be stuck to the ground?
What would my personal reality be like if I had been born male instead of female? What if I hadn’t married, or had married someone else?
The other day I was reading a book by Andre Norton (Star Gate) written in 1958, and she had a section that stated the same ideas, only much more elegantly than I could ever do:
“History is not only a collection of facts; it is a spider’s web of ‘ifs’. If Napoleon had not lost the Battle of Waterloo, if the American colonies had lost the Revolution, if the South had won the Civil War…the procession of ifs is endless, exciting the imagination and spurring endless speculation. Sometimes the all-important turning point can be compressed into a single small action—the death of one man, or a seemingly casual decision.
And if the larger history of a nation, or a world, depends upon so many change ifs, so also does the personal history of each of us. Because we are five minutes late or ten minutes early for an appointment, because we catch one bus but miss another, our life is completely changed.
There exists a fascinating theory that at least two worlds branch from every bit of destiny action. Hence, there are far-reaching bands of parallel worlds, born of many historical choices…”
But are parallel worlds only created when national or world-wide events occur, which could result in multiple responses, or are there multiple worlds based on an individual’s choices, too? And if each of us and our choices spawn parallel worlds, are those personal worlds only available to the individual who created it, or are they open to everyone?
Today scientists are not only embracing the theory of multiple worlds, but they are striving to prove that these worlds exist. Some picture the parallel worlds as layers stacked on top of each other, while others say they resemble soap bubbles with the larger bubbles (or world and national parallel worlds) linked together by smaller bubbles (the individual’s parallel worlds that we all create for ourselves).
I’m not sure what form the parallel worlds take—layers or bubbles—but I do find it interesting that what writers have posited for and written about for decades is now suddenly becoming a “reality”…at least in this world.