The Universe is Yours Alone - What Is The Egg Theory? | Unveiled
The Universe is Yours Alone - What Is The Egg Theory? | Unveiled

The Universe is Yours Alone - What Is The Egg Theory? | Unveiled

VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
Is the universe an egg... made just for you?? Join us... and find out more!

In this video, Unveiled takes a closer look at the Egg Theory! Proposed by the US novelist Andy Weir (known for "The Martian") the Egg Theory argues that the universe is made entirely and exclusively FOR YOU!

The results are bizarre... but also extremely thought provoking!

What Is the Egg Theory?

Do you ever contemplate the universe and feel totally overwhelmed? Do you ever wonder what difference you can make in something so unimaginably vast? Well, hold tight, because according to one idea… it could be that, actually, no-one is more important than you are, right now.

This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question; what is the egg theory?

The Egg Theory was born via a short story written in 2009 by the US novelist Andy Weir. Weir is also known for “The Martian” which was, in 2015, adapted into a Hollywood movie starring Matt Damon… but perhaps “The Egg” is what will truly enshrine him in the annals of theoretical science and philosophy. Weir himself has expressed some surprise at the enthusiasm shown for his Egg idea, which he says took him less than an hour to jot down before posting to an online forum. But really, in a modern world where a “meaning” for life perhaps feels more and more difficult to understand… maybe it’s not so surprising that the Egg should catch on.

So, what actually happens in the story? Weir’s main character is known simply as “you”, and quickly you meet God, who’s referred to as “me”. What follows is essentially a conversation between you and God, then, through which the true nature of reality is revealed. At the beginning, the bad news is that you’ve just died in a car crash. God explains this to you, but also explains that you’ll soon be reincarnated as somebody different - as a young Chinese girl, alive almost 1,500 years ago. God further reveals that this isn’t your first reincarnation, either, far from it. You’ve actually been brought back countless times before… into countless different bodies, living in all Earthly locations, and at all times in the past, present, and future.

You then muse over the fact that this means you were once the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, and even Jesus Christ. While God reminds you that you’ve also been everyone else, too, including Lincoln’s assassin, Hitler’s victims, and Jesus’ followers. God continues, explaining further that, in fact, the universe was made for you as a kind of structure through which you could live every human life possible. The realization is that now (and actually always) you are (or have been) so much more than just the person who died in the car crash at the apparent beginning. Rather, you are everyone. Everyone that’s been, and everyone that will be. Essentially, the universe is for you.

Finally, God explains what the thinking behind all of this is. The idea is that through being everyone you would learn that everything you do, you do to yourself. Every time you hurt someone, you hurt yourself. Every time you help someone, you help yourself. Every time you’re kind or mean, happy or sad, selfish or selfless, you’re actually being all those things as everyone. Every human experience that ever was (or will be) is your experience. And, when you’ve lived every human life possible - today and in history and in the future - then, so the story says, you will become a god just like the one you’re currently talking to. Only then will you have infinite wisdom of what it really means to live. And so the story ends.

For the reader, there’s perhaps a clear moral message here, as it’s implied that you should always try to think, act and be your best side. Not just because it’s in your best interests, but because it simply is you. Everything is you, so would you rather everything was good or bad? However, perversely, the story also relies on the realization that all bad people are essentially your responsibility, too. This is a wide open thought experiment, then, with endless conclusions that could be reached. Meanwhile, the entire thing doubles up as a journey toward your ultimate enlightenment, and your ascension to god status. This is how Weir pitches the universe as an Egg, because it’s where you grow and develop until you reach that stage.

There are some schools of philosophical and scientific thought that this story could fall into. Or at least that it blurs boundaries with. Eternalism is a philosophy of time wherein the flow of time doesn’t really exist. Instead of the universe, your life and everything else moving through time (with the past behind it, the present always here, and the future to come) eternalism says that all those states of time are real together. Time is more a box to open up and look into, rather than a one-way road down which to travel. In Weir’s story, this is one of the first major revelations for “you”, the main character. When you reincarnate in China 1,500 years ago, it’s not exactly as though you’ll have traveled back in time… it’s more like you’ll have opened the book of time at a different page.

Next, there’s the theory of Open Individualism, another key concept in “The Egg”. Broadly, this is the idea that you are everyone. Or that everyone is you. There have been many variations to it coined over recent decades, but again it usually relies on the dismantling of the flow - or passage - of time. Time, as it’s commonly understood, doesn’t really exist for the open individual, or how else could it be that you could be anyone else, at all? Instead, and by some understandings of it, it might be said that you - your “self” - exists like a sheen over the world, applying itself to all. Or, that every apparent individual person is, in fact, linked simply by their shared experience of being here. It might feel as though all of us are different, but actually we’re not at all… at the most fundamental layer. We’re the same. Literally, the same.

Theories of Open Individualism don’t usually lead to the final point of Weir’s story, however - when it’s explained to you (by God) that once you’ve lived as everyone, you too will become a God. Here, “The Egg” takes a more theological turn, with similar concepts appearing across most major religions, but especially in Hinduism. While most religions have some form of “God the Creator” - an all-seeing, all-powerful entity - in Hinduism there’s the Brahman. This is a kind of topmost, metaphysical layer that rests over everything else, including Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - the trinity of supreme Hindu gods. The Brahman is unsurpassable. It’s the ultimate truth of all things. It never changes, can never be changed, and represents the ultimate reality in Hindu thought. One reading of Weir’s story could perhaps cast the God figure within it as something close to the Brahman… although the implication is that even it exists somewhere else, so Weir doesn’t quite tie up reality in exactly the same way.

But what’s your verdict? Do you subscribe to the Egg Theory? Would you like to but can’t quite bring yourself to accept it? Of course, it’s not as though this is something that could ever provide proof of itself. It’s an idea proposed by Weir, and a blending of various other approaches to life, as well. Similarly, there are perhaps some signs of us building in some aspects of “The Egg” with regard to our future lives, as we currently appreciate them. The hive mind, for example, is an often-cited advanced technology that human society could be moving towards. A unifying something that enables us all to think, understand, and perhaps even feel the same things. Usually it’s pitched as though it’s a path toward ultimate efficiency… but could it also lead to a greater wisdom, and effectively fast track us (you? me?) toward the Egg’s end point? Toward living every human life possible? Or would a hive mind actually take us further away from that total truth?

When it comes to future technology like that, it’s easy to steer ourselves into an early dystopia. But, really, and while interpretations obviously differ, that’s probably not the main takeaway from the Egg Theory. Instead, this is an idea more about the boundless possibilities for life… and it’s a re-pitching of the universe, with you at the heart of it. But not “you” you… not exactly. Because, if the Egg rings true, then you are me… and I am them… and they are us. You, me, he, she and they are growing as one, and there’s literally all the time (in the past, present and future) in which to do so.