A muse on the missing component of TOE
A Theory of Everything.
Ever since evolutionary processes lead to the formation of an identity of awareness, and the complexity of language facilitated the process of reasoned thought to exist, living entities will have asked many questions about their place in the universe. Over the past thousands of years, humanity has conjectured a multitude of theories that attemptto explain everything through the avenues of religion and science.
For several decades, it has been the quest or holy grail of Physics to develop a theory that unifies the four fundamental forces of nature. Currently, all known matter in the universe feels the effects of at least one of the four forces: Gravity, Electromagnetic, Weak-Nuclear and Strong-Nuclear. Despite the tireless work of some of the greatest minds on the planet, billions of dollars of funding for scientific research and several promising theories, the unification of the four fundamental forces remains stubbornly elusive.
To me, as a person filled with intense curiosity and a moderate understanding and knowledge of physics, it seems that the one essential element lacking inclusion into a theory of everything is awareness.
To muse briefly, if a universe existed but contained no aware entity, would it really exist? The only way we know of the existence of our universe is because of our awareness, but maybe we only exist as an aware entity because awareness is a fundamental force of the universe. This may appear to suggest some magical or spiritual element is necessary to explain our existence, but the magic of quantum effects may suffice to allow awareness to be an inherent property of our universe.
Another muse, step back to the earliest moment of the universe and envisage an infinitely small space having existed for an infinitely short time. At that moment, all of space and all of time are one, with the illusion of separation only occurring through the mechanics of expansion. Imagine a tiny increment of expansion that causes the creation of more space, but this only occurring when there is an incremental passing of time, hence time and space become inseparable and the concept of the space-time continuum is born. During the expansion, say at the speed of light, each new increment of space is in fact the same the same space that existed an incremental time earlier. This leads to a simple conclusion, all space is the same space, but separated by time and all time is the same time, but separated by space. (It is this latter state we perceive, but with a flow of time.) If you now add the formation of matter, energy and the messengers of the four fundamental forces (I intend to write another piece dealing with this aspect at a later date.) and hypothesise that every particle and packet of energy is incrementally aware of every other particle and packet of energy, the universe becomes an interesting place to exist.
Although these minute packets of awareness are insignificant in their own right, a mechanism that allows the organised coagulation of such packets of awareness, leads to enhancement of awareness. Are we, in evolutionary terms, sufficiently organised mechanisms of awareness to unravel the Theory of Everything, or just a stepping-stone to the evolution or creation of a higher-level awareness that will unlock the greatest secret?