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If you glance at a clock, and see 11:11, it is possible that this is not a mere coincidence, but something else entirely. Panpsychism is the theory that believes in the existence of consciousness in all things natural, even the universe. The word itself was coined by the Italian philosopher, Francesco Patrizi in the sixteenth century, and is derived from the two Greek words pan (all) and psyche (soul or mind). Since everything in the universe is made up of atoms, according to this school of thought, all atoms possess some intellectual capabilities and a sense of self-awareness. But all beings possess different kinds of consciousness. Even a single-celled organism, an amoeba, experiences consciousness, adapting to and surviving the forces of nature. This theory brings together the material and mental realms; that is, in whatever way you can describe the mind, it applies to all things in some way or the other.

Another school of thought known as ‘mind-body dualism’, states that body and mind, (here synonymous with consciousness) are fundamentally two different entities. This concept is recognized in religions like Buddhism in its reference to the soul, which lives on even after the death of the body. But, if there exists a soul, how did it come into being? Buddhism doesn’t propound the belief in a supreme power, but only in achieving nirvana or liberation of the soul from worldly experiences. Another, more simplistic interpretation of nirvana is being completely conscious of everything around oneself. Meanwhile followers of religions like Hinduism believe in Brahma, the creator of the universe who is the root of consciousness; and they believe that after attaining moksha, the soul is reunited with its creator. Hence, they believe that Brahma, the creator of the universe, is the supreme being, creator of consciousness and by extension, the embodiment of consciousness.

Looking at this from a scientific point of view, one understands that the universe is constantly expanding. Theists have rationalised this idea by assigning it the name of God, the supreme power. But it also could be that what we consider to be “God,” might just be the whole living, conscious universe that we refer to. Different sects of theists have offered different perspectives, but don’t we all live in the same world, the same universe? We all live in a shared, common space, which suggests that whatever is happening, there is a possibility of something, rather than someone, common behind it. The universe itself could be the force behind its existence. There is a possibility that our notion of God doesn’t exist at all, and the supreme being we refer to, is the universe.

There are symbols of painstaking craftsmanship, fine-tuned for the sustenance of life. A lot of things- from the collision of heavy metals, chemical reactions, to the temperature of the atmosphere, had to be exactly right and well-balanced for life to exist. It seems like the universe is meticulously planned to bring about our existence. We all know that the gravitational force of our planet is perfect; if it was slightly weaker, we would probably float away, or if it was stronger, our world would collapse into a ball. The gravitational force is precisely what is needed for life to exist and sustain.

Similarly, if the Earth were closer to the sun, it would become so hot that no life could survive, or if it were farther away from the sun, the planet would freeze with extremely low temperatures.These situations are not merely coincidences. But if the universe didn’t bring about these actions, the odds of everything operating in harmony at the right moment would be very low. And if there is only one universe, it is highly likely that those odds aren’t favourable. But if there are multiple universes, then there are enough chances for life to exist in at least one universe. This is what is believed by the multiverse theory. It says that there are multiple universes that exist in a parallel form. When scientists believed that Earth was the only planet to exist, this was their notion of the whole world, until more was learned progressively about the existence of a whole universe and other planets. So, there is a possibility that we exist in this particular phase of time, wherein the complete truth is out of reach .

Until we have actual proof of consciousness of the universe or universes, we can only ponder the subject. This being said, does one think that there needs to be a supreme power, or luck to safeguard us? It could all just be our way to cope with the fearful thought that we are responsible for ourselves, and that there is no one watching over us, let alone, trying to protect us. We are social beings who cannot survive alone and that itself could be the reason for the existence of theories of theism and Cosmo psychism. This could be the by-product of our brain that lulls us into a false sense of security, which we hold on to for our dear lives.

Or, could it be that the Universe doesn’t want to reveal its true identity?

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