Multiverse: Pasts, Presents, Futures
“I’m turning out just like my father
Though I swore I never would
Now I can say that I have love for him
I never really understood
What it must have been like for him
Living inside his head
I feel like he’s here with me now
Even though he’s dead
It’s not all good and it’s not all bad
Don’t believe everything you read
I’m the only one who knows what it’s like
So I thought I’d better tell you
Before I leave”
– “Things the Grandchildren Should Know”, Mark O. Everett
It is said that one evening in 1954, in a student hall at Princeton University, USA, a graduate student named Hugh Everett was drinking with his friends when he came up with the sensational idea that quantum effects cause the universe to constantly split. He developed this theory for his PhD thesis – and his hypothesis of the many-universes/ multiverses held up. According to his dissertation, we are living in a multiverse of countless universes, full of copies of each of us. Needless to say, the idea was rather radical for many people to stomach, including Niels Bohr, a pioneer in quantum mechanics.
We find references to this concept of parallel universes in ancient Indian writings too. For instance, in Hindu theology, there is the concept of the fourteen lokas or the fourteen world-orders. Lord Krishna, it is believed, had mentioned to Brahma, the Supreme Creator in Hindu theology, that there are cosmic creators other than Brahma too, as powerful and as significant, who have birthed other enormous brahmands / worlds.
Can we create our own multiverses? Who are we in those parallel worlds? What would we change about ourselves and our lives in those alternate realities? Could we be all those various selves in this universe too? How many masks can one face wear? How many roles can one body play?
If “death” is traveling to the parallel dimension
Then “life” is a journey on this earth of being alive
The poet can wait until death visits her threshold
We will think about how to be alive…
In this milestone issue, the tenth edition of EKL Review, we explore in prose, verse, and hybrid formats the idea of the multiverse — the possibility of the existence of our multiple selves in multiple spatial and temporal realities.
The issue is also home to several other works – in prose, verse, photographs and moving images – rich, nuanced, engaging; in keeping with the avant-garde spirit of EKL Review.
We hope they challenge you, provoke you, and heal you.
Anindita Bose and Somrita Urni Ganguly