Visualizing Infinity

Think for a minute of a computer screen. If you magnify the computer screen enough you will see that every image you are seeing of interconnected two dimensional shapes and designs in various colors are made up of thousands of tiny pixels which all appear to be the same shape and size. At this magnification, it would appear that all the blue pixels are identical.

If we were to multiply our magnification power a little more however, we would come to observe that each pixel is actually different. Each pixel is actually comprised of various amounts of molecules, and if we counted only those with a like number of molecules, our group of apparently “identical” pixels would be much smaller.

If we were to magnify the image of these pixels to the atomic level, we would see that there are different elements involved in the makeup of this seemingly homogenous computer screen. There would undoubtedly be different numbers of atoms of different elements forming a different mixture for each individual type of molecule involved in the arrangement of the pixels, and our group of “identical” pixels would be much smaller and probably by that point the group would be reduced to one pixel with zero identical pixels.

If not, we could always magnify again and again, well beyond the subatomic level until we were able to see that each and every pixel is, in fact, unique. This is of course an incomplete representation of the concept of infinity. It would be impossible to give a complete or authentic representation of infinity, because representations by their very nature can never be complete or authentic.

So what does all that have to do with the universe existing in a spherical shape? Let’s work two dimensionally to keep things simple for now. Think of the formula for finding the circumference of a circle. The formula involves one variable; pie, which cannot be accurately measured or depicted. It is an infinitely continued decimal. Therefore any measurable whole number or any non-infinite decimal number used to represent a circle’s circumference would be an incomplete and inaccurate representation of the circle’s actual circumference. If the universe was only two dimensional, it would be a circle.

If the universe was three dimensional, it would be a sphere. Most of mankind however is aware of a fourth dimension; time. If the universe is infinitely exploding and imploding back in on itself through the course of time, it can only be assumed that time has an effect on the size of the universe. The universe has been at one point, and will be again in the future one cubic millimeter in mass, squeezed into a spherical shape. It has also been 999 zillion cubic light years in mass, squeezed into a spherical shape.

Size is a characteristic of shape, and since time has an effect on the size of the universe, time also directly affects the shape of the universe. Think of one of those Russian dolls which you can open up to reveal another doll within and another doll within that. Now apply that concept infinitely to a three dimensional sphere and you have an idea of the four dimensional shape of the universe.

Since the universe is in fact infinite, we cannot apply a non-infinite number to its dimensions and so there must be an infinite number of dimensions in the universe, of which modern man only has fluent knowledge of four.

Of course, for reasons we’ll get into later, everything we say to describe infinity is misleading, since describing infinity implies there is something else outside of infinity to which infinity can be related. Description of infinity also closes our minds; it puts limits on our conceptual representation of a limitless subject. The only way we can depict infinity is to depict infinity in a nutshell.

We do need to keep in mind, however that infinity is not contained by the nutshell; it includes the nutshell and everything outside of it. Infinity encompasses everything, and to assign it attributes is to place it in a nutshell. We must keep this in mind when formulating our thoughts and statements about infinity. By its nature, infinity will contradict anything we say about it, including our so called “definitions” of infinity.