I am an ordinary literature student who is not even quite sure of the relevance of her words. But I wonder, about the endless possibilities of the Universe. I attempt to paint the colours of creation on my fancy.
In Standard 8, I was gifted the Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking by my brother. I have lived in fear of science for a long time but that didn’t stop me from going through the book. I first read how it was established that the Earth was round. Skipping a few chapters, there was the concept of black hole explained. What hopeless it is, to suck the slightest source of light? And then I looked through the index and found the last lecture, ‘The Theory of Everything’. As I swiftly turned the pages, building up in mind to know The Theory of Everything, I was almost upset at not having found one. Stephen Hawking says:
“Can there really be a unified theory of everything? Or are we just chasing a mirage? There seem to be three possibilities:
· There really is a complete unified theory, which we will someday discover if we are smart enough.
· There is no ultimate theory of the universe, just an infinite sequence of theories that describe the universe more and more accurately.
· There is no theory of the universe. Events cannot be predicted beyond a certain extent but occur in a random and arbitrary manner.
But in that lecture, the second biggest question of my life after “what is the purpose of my existence”, came to life-“what is the Theory of Everything?” What can it be? How is it formed? Is it in a series of complicated mathematical equations or a simple formula? What law of science can be that significant to govern the whole world, all at once? And then I heard a whisper through my mind. It’s philosophical!(I know Stephen Hawking says philosophy is dead as it has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics). It might be a word, a phrase, a poem or a prose, a single unified theory, that explains everything about the universe which centuries of mankind hasn’t been able to ascertain. And that will be the complementary philosophical rail line of its other scientific rail line, which has to always go parallel, to run the vehicle of life. If there exists a law that governs everything in the Universe, there is a parallel of it, a philosophical counterpart (you cannot have ‘yin’ without ‘yang’). I think every mathematical law in the world has a parallel philosophical line of thought. For example, let’s consider force= gravity * mass1 * mass2/ distance2. Its philosophical counterpart is- more the distance, less the force. According to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, if body A exerts a force on body B, then B exerts a force of equal size and opposite direction on A. Mathematically, it can be written as : FAB = — FBA, A philosophical counterpart being: every force has an opposite and equal reaction.
I moved ahead in time bearing that question in mind. Leaving engineering and science at the same time, I came on the side of Arts and Language. I joined English Literature as my Graduate course. The course got my juice of words flowing to write about this but not so much as to explain it more clearly than I can right now.
By now I think I was ready to grasp its answer, like catching a ball projected towards me. Alas! My hands were very small to just hold it at once. I didn’t acquire the precise knowledge but just a view from the top.
This is how it goes: One day I was sitting on my terrace when it had rained quite a lot the previous night. There were water puddles everywhere. When we were small, we were told that we should never see the sun with bare or naked eyes. And like John Donne(poet) who says in his ‘The Sunne Rising’:
“Thy (Sun) beams, so reverend and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,”
I too laughed at the magnanimity of the sun when I easily captured its image, in the water, its reflection. I could see it! I could capture it with my eyes with so much ease! I defied the big scary laws! I did it! Little did I know that a few weeks later I would realize how foolish I was to capture the Theory of Everything like I wished to capture the image of the sun in just a puddle! Because perhaps, I or none of us, living can write it for you because it encompasses and is in Everything in the world, in books, in experience, in nature, in images, in interaction, in knowing someone, in loving someone…in Everything. And trying to know it in just one lifetime is like capturing the reflection of the sun and believing that you are as magnanimous as the universe itself!