All the Other Big Bangs!

String Theory, Quantum Mechanics, and the Megaverse

Ben Fathi
4 min readMar 1, 2024

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” — Muriel Rukeyser. The Speed of Darkness.

“It is always now.” — Sam Harris. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion.

“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” — Anais Nin.

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” — Steven Wright.

I’ve never been into astrophysics but even I have to admit all this talk about the multiverse is fascinating. It’s interesting to speculate that everything that could possibly ever happen, every alternate path in history, has simultaneously unfolded and that we humans inhabit only one of these universes.

Not only are there hundreds of billions of galaxies out there, each with a hundred billion stars, but alternate universes have been created at every conceivable point in history because of cosmic (and, yes) human events and are all simultaneously in existence.

Not only is there a universe out there in which Germany won WWII but there is also one in which the Milky Way never materialized in its current form. And all of these universes are unfolding in unison.

Everything is just energy, the energy released from the original explosion that has sent all of us hurtling through space for the past fourteen or so billion years. And we all know that energy travels in waves. Hence string theory. Hence the speed of light as the constant in the universe. Hence our ability to look into the night sky and literally see what the universe looked like billions of years ago.

This is nothing more than looking in the rear view mirror of a speeding car, per Einstein, with incredible precision and accuracy, following every beam of light almost all the way back to its origin. It’s amazing to realize that the entire science of astronomy is based on the properties of light.

Now think about that wave of energy flowing outwards, expanding as it reaches further and further into “space”… nay, in fact, creating space as it travels because there was literally nothing there one nanosecond ago. Okay, great. We’re nothing but waves of energy hurtling through space and matter is nothing but a manifestation of energy. We knew that. E = mc2, after all. Wave-particle duality applies not just to light but to everything, including you and me.

The next obvious question is: What happened before the Big Bang? Most scientists would tell you we have no freaking idea. Trying to answer that question is like Jim Carrey in The Truman show breaking out of his bubble, Neo stepping outside the Matrix. The stuff of Hollywood, but not likely to happen in real life.

When Copernicus and Galileo showed us the heliocentric model of the universe, they proved not only that the Earth is not at the center of the universe but that such a notion is anthropocentric in nature. That is why the Church was offended. And just like that, we came to our senses and let go of an idea that had seemed ironclad for millennia.

It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Edwin Hubble showed that the Milky Way is not the whole universe but rather just a tiny spec in a vast universe rich with hundreds of billions of galaxies, and that believing the opposite shows nothing but hubris and self-centeredness on our part. Once again, we had to let go of long held beliefs and start thinking that maybe, just maybe, there’s other intelligent life out there.

Now, then, is the time for us to also realize that there’s nothing special about our big bang, that there have been countless other big bangs in the past. Similar to those previous astronomical observations, it would be foolish and self-centered of us to think there’s anything unique about the particular big bang that we happened to experience. After all, a big bang is nothing but a massive explosion. Why on Earth (pun intended) would it be the only such explosion to ever occur?!?

If you agree with this logic, then there is not just one multiverse, the one created by the Big Bang, but also multiverses of multiverses out there. In this Megaverse, everything is possible. This is where the laws of physics as we know them need not even apply.

Further, I think there is merit to the claim that everything that has ever happened or will ever happen is happening at the same time, right now, right in this moment. And that the space-time continuum is nothing but a figment of our human imaginations, a contraption made up by our brains in order to perceive the world around us but not necessarily a fundamental part of it.

We just happen to be manifestations of energy, waveforms, pulsating strings, somewhere along an ever expanding sphere. There’s no reason to believe we are at the outer edges of this sphere, either. Just like we can look back in the rear view mirror, those in the future can look back and see us.

In this world, too, free will is meaningless because the future is already “written”. We just happen to be “words” written in one of the middle pages of a book with the ability to look backwards but not forwards… yet!

Author’s note: I’ve deleted all my social media accounts (except for Medium) and now depend exclusively on the kindness of strangers to pass the word around about my blog posts. Please share this post with others if you liked it. Thank you.



Ben Fathi

Former {CTO at VMware, VP at Microsoft, SVP at Cisco, Head of Eng & Cloud Ops at Cloudflare}. Recovering distance runner, avid cyclist, newly minted grandpa.