Construction of the Universe

Millions and millions (maybe countless) of objects make up the universe. So how are these objects put together to create the universe we see around us.

We will try and understand the construction of the universe by studying a typical scene we see every day. For example, we see a series of trees from two different location. The following table gives the details of the trees we are seeing

Location A Location B
Tree 1 100 ft 600 ft
Tree 2 300 ft 800 ft
Tree 3 500 ft 1000 ft
Tree 4 1000 ft 1500 ft


From Location A, you can see 4 trees at different distances. Location B is 500 feet back, so the same 4 trees will be 500 further away. There is nothing complex about this, we see this type of scene every day. We see objects at different distances from us daily. We are so used to seeing space in terms of distance. Doing this hides all the underlying mysteries of this universe.

So, let us take a different approach, let us look at space in terms of time. Einstein taught us that space and time are the same thing and he coined the term spacetime. Things become interesting and complex when you look at the universe in terms of time. Let us look at these trees in terms of time taken by light to reach us from the trees. We know light travels at 186,000 miles/sec. Even though the trees are not very far, light will take some time to reach us. See below the results

Location A Location B
Tree 1 0.10 µs 0.60 µs
Tree 2 0.30 µs 0.80 µs
Tree 3 0.50 µs 1.0 µs
Tree 4 1.0 µs 1.5 µs

Note: µs = microseconds = 10-6 seconds

If the distance between the tree and you is zero, light will take zero seconds to reach us. This would mean you would see the most current version of the tree. I like to call this the ‘now’ tree. The tree we see at 100 feet is a 0.1 µs younger version of the tree as compared to the now version. This is because light takes 0.1 µs to reach us, so what we see is not the ‘now’ version but a 0.1 µs younger version of the tree. Tree 3 at 500 feet is a 0.5 µs younger version of the tree. Extrapolating this, the moon we see is a 3 sec younger version as compared to the ‘now’ moon. It takes light 3 sec to reach us from the moon. The sun in the sky is an 8 min younger sun as compared to the ‘now’ sun. If a distant planet is 1 million light years away, then that planet will be 1 million years younger than what it is ‘now’. None of the objects we see in the physical universe out there is a ‘now’ object, they are all ‘memory’ or dated objects. In terms of placement, the closer the object is to you, the less dated it is and the objects which are further away are much more dated.

Einstein in his theory of relativity mentioned the presence of a spacetime fabric. Different objects are placed on the fabric depending upon how much time it takes light to reach you from these objects. If light takes less time, these objects will be closer to you on the spacetime fabric and if light takes a longer time, those objects will be further away on the spacetime fabric. In the tree example, the light from tree 1 takes 0.1 µs, so it is placed much closer to you on the spacetime fabric as compared to tree 4, which takes 1.0 µs. Light takes 8 mins from the sun, so it is placed 8 min away on the spacetime fabric. In the same way all the different objects are placed appropriately on the spacetime fabric.

So, where does the spacetime fabric start and end. The only logical starting place is You. We are talking about light reaching you from different objects, so you or your location is the critical starting point. This is the t = 0 for the spacetime fabric. Let us look at this in a different way. In the current example, location B is 500 feet away from Location A. If you were standing at location B, light will 0.6 µs to reach you from tree 1. If you move to location A, which is 500 feet closer, light will take 0.10 µs to reach you. If you are standing at tree 1, light will take zero seconds to reach you. This also shows that the spacetime fabric must start with your location.

The end of the spacetime fabric will be the longest distance you can see. If you are indoors, the spacetime fabric will end at the walls of your house because you cannot see anything beyond the walls. Outdoors it will depend upon what you are seeing. If you are seeing the stars, the spacetime fabric will cover a long distance into space. So, the spacetime fabric keeps changing depending up on the scene you are seeing.

Person 1 at Location A and Person 2 at Location B

There are two people, person 1 is standing at location A and person 2 at location B. They are looking at the same trees but from different distances. They are looking at the same trees, but are they seeing the same version of the tree? The answer is no, they are not seeing the same version of the tree. Person 1 is seeing the 0.1 µs younger version of tree 1, while person 2 is seeing the 0.6 µs younger version of tree 1. The age difference between the two versions is 0.5 µs. This difference is very small, but it must be understood that the two versions of tree 1 are not the same. The same applies to tree 2, 3 and 4 and in fact to every object in the universe.

It seems Person 1 at location A has a spacetime fabric with his own version of objects. Person 2 at location B even though looking at the same objects has a completely different spacetime fabric with different versions of objects. We have seen earlier that the start point for spacetime fabric is You. So, person 1 has his own spacetime fabric with his own version of objects. Person 2 also has a different spacetime fabric with a different version of objects.

It is breathtaking to conclude that every living being in this universe creates their own spacetime fabric and place different versions of objects on this spacetime fabric. It must be understood that spacetime fabric comes from the mind and is a creation of the mind.

Person 1 moves form Location A to Location B

Suppose Person 1, moves 500 feet away from location A to location B looking at the same trees. What happens? At location A, this person was seeing the 0.10 µs version of the tree 1, but from location B, this person sees the 0.60 µs version of the same tree. It is same tree, but different version of the tree. What happened? It is a physical tree out there, how did it change its version? Who changed the tree version? Did someone uproot the old version and replace it with the new version? This not only applies to tree 1, but all the objects which are being viewed along with the tree. If person 1 moves 10 feet back, this person will now a see a different version of all the objects. This means any movement forward or backwards by this person or any person will always result in a different version of all the objects being viewed. The object version is continuously undergoing change. How to explain this continuous change? Can Science explain this? I do not think science has any explanation. So, what is solution? Vedanta has a clear-cut and correct explanation. Vedanta has always maintained that there is no physical world out there, it is only a projection of the mind. The mind projects the physical world. It is not like a projector and a screen. The mind itself becomes the physical world. Your mind is the physical world.

In the articles at our website ‘Understanding the Mind series’ and ‘Life is Really a Wave’, we have given a detailed explanation about how the mind functions, how the mind creates and projects the physical world.

For our current discussion understanding the role of time is important. Time must be subtle – you cannot see it, touch it or feel it. Vedanta teaches us anything subtle must be part of the mind. Everything which is present in the mind is made up of mental waves or Vrittis. So, Time is present in the mind as a mental wave. This wave has the power to create Time. It is quite difficult for us to understand or visualize the composition of this waveform, but one thing is certain that Time is subtle and therefore it is a waveform and is present in everyone’s mind. Vedanta also teaches us that all the objects in the world must have a subtle form and this form is present in the mind as mental waves or Vrittis. The time waveform combines with each object to create a combined time object waveform. The time factor is now added to the object. It is like a mathematical waveform with time as a variable. If you think about it, this superimposed waveform will now provide a history or timeline of the object. Since Time has been superimposed on the object waveform, the new waveform will have the ‘potential’ to show the object in all it stages of growth from its birth to right now. The object with the historical time line is present in the Vritti in its ‘potential’ form.

Let us how this work for tree 1 when person 1 is viewing from location 1. There is tree vritti or waveform in our mind and this waveform superimposes with the time waveform to give a combined tree 1/time wave form. This combined waveform has to potential to take up any version of tree 1 from its birth to now. Since the tree is 100 feet away, the combined time/tree 1 waveform takes up the 0.1 µs version of the tree. When this 0.1 µs version tree waveform meets with Awareness it collapses. When this waveform collapses, the 0.1 µs version of the tree is projected out in its physical form and it is placed at 100 feet on the spacetime fabric. In the same way, all the other time/objects waveform in mind collapse in the presence of the Awareness and the correct time version of each object is placed on the spacetime fabric.

Now person 1 moves to location B to see the same trees. All the trees are now further away. Here again, the time vritti combines with tree 1 wave form. This combined waveform has the potential to take up any version of tree 1 from its birth to now. Since the tree is 600 feet away, the tree takes up the 0.6 µs version of the tree. This 0.6 µs version tree waveform collapses in the presence of the Awareness. When this waveform collapses, the tree is projected out in its physical form and it is placed at 600 feet on the spacetime fabric.

We have been talking about a single tree, the outdoor scene is complex with so many different objects at different distances. If you put all this in the time scale, the processing of the scene is not easy. Depending how far the object is, the correct time version of the object must be selected. This must be done for every object in the scene. If we move forward or back, or if we see another scene, the full process must be repeated. It is not easy to fathom how all this processing is taking place in the mind. It seems very difficult.

Is there an easier way to understand this complex process? Yes, I believe there is a map of the entire universe pre-installed in the cosmic mind. Depending upon the persons location, the relevant sub-portion of this map will show up in the individual mind. It is exactly like Google Maps. The entire map is available, but depending upon our location, only that local map will show up. If we move around, the map will adjust to the new location. The pre-installed universe map works exactly in the same way. The objects in this universe map will be pre-treated for the correct time version depending upon the distance of these objects from you. This universe map is dynamic and updated instantaneously. For example, you cut a branch of the tree, the universe map will update itself immediately. The next person who sees the tree, will see the missing branch.

To understand the complexity of the universe, it maybe a good idea to start looking at space in terms of time and not distance. This will highlight that the version of the objects keeps changing with our movement. It will also give a feeling that we are the starting point of the spacetime fabric and we are projecting our own world, which is different from others. Oh! What a feeling.