Like earlier in the introduction, I will use "world" as a synonym for "universe," not a planet. Omniverse Theory rarely concerns itself with specific celestial bodies; many universes don't even have any.
Also, from now on, for practical reasons, I'm going to write in-omniverse - that is, with the assumption that the Omniverse Theory is correct.
Among other things, this assumption implies that somewhere in the Omniverse, other people have formulated their interpretations of the Omniverse Theory. These interpretations focus on various aspects and come from different backgrounds; ponderings of a person living in a small isolated world won't be the same as a framework proposed by a polyversal connections expert. Moreover, in certain scientific communities (usually those spanning across multiple universes) the Omniverse Theory is the leading theoretical framework. As such, it is subjected to a seemingly endless controversy; sometimes specific details are disputed, sometimes the fundamental postulates are questioned.
Existence of all these people, interpretations and debates can be proven using soon-to-be-presented core principles of the Omniverse Theory. The proof is left as an exercise for the reader.
- The completeness principle:
Anything imaginable exists.
- The limitation principle:
Anything that exists is imaginable.
- The animism principle:
Anything that exists belongs to a soul.
- The symmetry principle:
Anything that belongs to one soul belongs to every other soul.
These four rules together sufficiently describe the basic assumptions of the Omniverse Theory, as long as specific terms are well-defined.
First, the completeness principle. Sometimes different words are used (like "feasible" or "describable" instead of "imaginable"), sometimes it's rephrased as "Any potential will be realized." A particle collision gone wrong creates dragons that eat up the Earth? A world without spatial dimensions whose inhabitants communicate through music, with occasional wars breaking out between classical and metal nations and natural disasters in the form of white noise? A shield that will block any strike that comes its way? All of these exist somewhere in the Omniverse, unless...
...they aren't truly "imaginable" in the first place. Which is where the limitation principle comes into play; it serves as a reminder that nothing magically appears out of thin air just because it's someone's whim. Instead, it magically appears from one's will after serious thought and effort is put into it.
In turn, the animism principle introduces the concept of a soul. Simply put, it states all existence originates from souls and there's no existence beyond them. This notion contrasts the view that souls give life and thought to an otherwise dead, but still present universe; instead, it's souls all the way down and around.
Finally, the symmetry principle, sometimes stated as "All souls have the same potential" or "There's nothing one soul cannot do that another can." Combined with the previous three principles it adds numerous implications, which is why it's often seen as the strongest of principles, binding the others together to complete the Omniverse Theory.1
Among the concepts mentioned in the core principles, the two frequent topic of debate are the soul and the imaginable.
When it comes to the soul, two aspects are discussed - its essence and potential. In particular, the approach to the soul's potential becomes crucial when applying the core principles. The soul's essence isn't as vital to the principles and can be omitted for now; the Soul Model will be elaborated on in the next chapter.
One implication, generally agreed upon by Omniverse theorists, states that all souls' collective potential is the same as the entirety of existence. It's a direct consequence of the animism principle (existence doesn't go beyond souls) and the completeness principle (no part of potential will remain non-existent).
Another idea, more controversial, states that each soul's individual potential is the same as the collective potential. It is reasoned that any part of the collective potential outside the individual potential would inevitably belong either to another individual soul (which would violate the symmetry principle) or to a combination of souls.
Thus, if the individual potential is less than the collective, a certain number of combined souls must be more capable than a single soul. On the other hand, if potentials are the same, the entirety of existence can be realised with a single soul.2
A closer look at the symmetry principle reveals another noteworthy consequence. If all souls have the same potential, and all potential will be realised (completeness principle3), then each soul will inevitably meet any fate that befalls any other soul. In particular, there's no vermin that wouldn't be a god nor a god that wouldn't be a vermin, as long as both exist somewhere. Sometimes it's called the Circle of Life, other times it's compared to an ultimate boiling soup, often the phrase "One is All, All is One" is quoted; the idea remains the same.
Keeping that in mind, Omniverse theorists generally tend to be a little more helpful and good-natured, if sometimes slightly unhinged. First, because it implies the self-inflicted karma phenomenon - what one does to another will inevitably become one's own experience, after they become that other person. Second, because if someone hates everyone around them, the thought of becoming every single one of them becomes too insufferable. All things considered, it takes a specific kind of attitude or resolve to work with fundamental Omniverse Theory on regular basis, with all the consequences it brings.
The imaginable is a concept so controversial that even the word itself is disputed. In many languages there are several words that come close to the intended meaning, but none of them nail it down, much like many shadows of one shape.4 Thus, to explain the idea, different aspects should be examined.
A closely related concept is realization - the act of bringing the idea into existence. It is not as simple as wishing for ice cream and having it appear; depending on how real you want your ice cream to be, you need to specify its color, flavor, shape, texture, temperature, softness, container (wafer cone? Glass cup?), place, and method of appearing. If you are really determined to get a genuine top quality treat, prepare to provide exact N-dimensional coordinates5 of each elementary particle in your dessert-to-be, possibly with a quantum-based explanation of how these particles arrange themselves. Alternatively, break out of the reality altogether and make your own world with your frosty treat as it should be; it might be a little extreme, but let's face it - some universes simply can't get the ice cream right.
With the immense number of variables involved, realization is sometimes seen as a slow, meticulous process of spelling out the existence to create. That's why the "describable" is often used in place of the imaginable, especially when one wants to emphasize the amount of information required for realization. On the other hand, this specific term is criticised for giving false impression about the feeling of realization - it implies the process is specifically verbal, whereas there are many alternative methods, schematic and instinctive alike, much like an event can be presented with colors, sounds, words, etc.
In that regard, the "imaginable" seems like a more fitting term, properly conveying the flexibility of the process. On the other hand, people tend to overestimate their imagination and fail to appreciate the limitations of realization and the commitment it takes. In contrast, such terms as "feasible" or "doable" or even "realizable" tend to suffer from the opposite - it brings one to the familiar and observable, drawing their attention away from the wondrous and bizarre - yet still perfectly possible to formulate.
In the end, most Omniverse theorists use the imaginable and the describable interchangeably, depending on whether they want to stress the versatility of realization or the effort that comes with it.
While the choice of term is questioned on a regular basis (usually without lasting results), it is discussed nowhere as widely and passionately as the extent of the imaginable. Generally, it is agreed that this extent is infinite. The controversial part is how infinite it is, exactly - whether it's as infinite as countable sets, or maybe as the continuum; perhaps it even reaches the Absolute Infinite.
For most people, plain "infinity" is a satisfactory answer and they don't look too much into the matter; some even dismiss it as an argument over shadows.6 Omniverse theorists scoff at such an approach; they claim the specific brand of infinity has serious implications for the scope of existence (for instance, whether an eternally unchanging object exists or not). Among those who care about the topic, two views have gained the most support - Omniversal Pandiscretism, which claims all existence is countable, and Omniversal Absolutism, postulating an absolutely infinite existence instead. The relevance of different infinities and the dispute between the two leading camps will be discussed in the future.
On a side note, a wide-scale analysis of publications and speeches has been carried out. According to it, pandiscretists lean towards the "describable" while absolutists tend to use the "imaginable" instead.
In the next chapter, I'll take a closer look at the souls model, that is, what are the key properties of individual souls. Afterwards, the basic interactions between souls will be described, leading up to the universes...
- ^ Sometimes, the Omniverse symbol is interpreted as representing the four principles - the first three principles being the arcs, the inner circle depicting the symmetry principle connecting the others, and the outer circle representing the Omniverse. Originally, the author of the symbol had souls interacting with each other in mind, but found the alternative interpretation to work just as well.
- ^ Often called "Supreme Being" by people with a penchant for grandeur.
- ^ In certain interpretations it's argued the completeness principle applies strictly to the potential of all existence, not necessarily the individual souls. However, such approach may be seen as violating the symmetry principle, as "an unrealized potential is as good as a lacking potential."
- ^ An idiom found across various areas of Omniverse, especially among philosophically oriented societies. It refers to different interpretations of the same concept, all of which are true, and sometimes even equivalent. This expression will be used in future chapters, so please make note of it.
- ^ N might be equal to 10, 11 or 26.
- ^ Short form of "argument over many shadows of one shape." This expression should describe a fruitless conflict over different perspectives, each as valid as another; however, it is frequently misused to disregard any complex discussion one is not interested in.