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The Big Picture

I am looking at the system—the universe—holistically, and applying new terms to concepts we already know to be true.

The material universe is accelerating. Its acceleration has a limit—the speed of light. Its acceleration also must have a source. Where is the additional energy required to accelerate coming from? The answer, again, is the speed of light. The speed of light is both the upper and the lower limit of the universe. The speed of light is its source and circumference. The universe can go no faster than the speed of light—but it can also go no slower than the speed of light. What determines beings as beings? Heidegger asked. C. The speed of light.

The material universe is what we see. What we see is time. It is an image. It’s akin to a snapshot. But the variables of which the snapshot is comprised are shifting. We render the 1920 image with really dark paint and really bright light. For the 2020 image the paint is paler and the light is softer. Someone born in 1920 can appear alongside us in 2020, but the way their image is being rendered is different.

As time speeds up, light slows down. As the paint gets paler, the light gets softer. Why? Because the system is a whole. It is light that is speeding the acceleration. So light’s speed is slowing—on the front end. But on the back end, it is accelerating. To go back to the photography metaphor (unless you are getting weary of it), it is the light that is making the paint paler.

As time speeds up, light slows down. Both gestures are strenuous. Both are dilutions. For matter to accelerate and energy to decelerate both require energy because they’re the opposite of what’s natural. Matter wants to be slow and energy wants to be fast. Matter is collapsing and energy in expanding. But while we’re inside time, to maintain the speed of light, we force matter to expand—and so we force energy to collapse. Up to a point.

The acceleration of the universe is part of a larger story. The acceleration is what winds the spring. It’s what generates the tension for the second half—the part of the story we don’t see. Our eyes evolved in response to the material world; the see only the material. It’s as if we’re looking at an airport but we’re only able to see the planes as they accelerate down the runway; we are blind to the flight.

The universe is speeding up, and speeding up, and speeding up. It has been speeding up for a while now. When it reaches the speed of light, it can go no faster. When it reaches the speed of light, it starts to slow down.

To put it another, more holistic, way: matter accelerates as energy decelerates. And matter accelerates as energy decelerates. Until matter reaches the speed of light, at which point, matter and energy flip. Matter begins to decelerate (phew!), and energy begins to accelerate (phew!).

Where am I getting these ideas? I don’t know. Where does anyone get any idea? But I do know one thing. I have had a foretaste of when matter accelerates to the speed of light and then is able to slow down—the flip. It is difficult to put into words how wonderful it felt, and I only had the tiniest taste of it. I believe that state is where we’re all headed, collectively, as a universe.

This “flip”—when matter is going so fast it becomes energy, and energy is going so slow it becomes matter—is what I believe is evinced in the alternating hot and cold pattern of our Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which is like an energetic fingerprint of the multiverse. The “ecliptic” along which the flip takes place is the upper and lower limit of the universe. It is the speed of light.