One of the best things I ever heard come out of any scientific mind was when Stephen Hawking said that we could travel at the speed of light if we would only peel off the nonessential parts of our personal mass.
Isn’t that a great analogy for death? Our spiritual self becomes free from the handicap of a limited, mortal shroud. Is a spirit massless? What we know about life is limited. What we know about death is likewise limited. How is a person made? How is a person unmade? When is death really certain? When does life begin? Some say before the temporal body is conceived, life begins. Others claim that only after the baby takes its first breath, life begins. These are all valid points of view, and worth considering. Scientifically we can see that life is in the smallest parts of a person’s birth, but whether those parts still belong to the mother and father, or if they already have a life of their own is still up for discussion and discovery.
If our intrinsic mass is the only thing slowing us down from traveling the speed of light, then how do we manage to shed off the inessential portions without actually dying? It’s definitely an interesting and fun thing to think about: What are the essential parts of the human form? What is the ideal mass for something to travel at the speed of light? Hawking may already have discovered the secrets.
So far, there is only one thing we know of that can travel faster than the speed of light, and that is thought. And thought is easily defined as having no discernible mass, so it fits neatly in Hawking’s physics.
One of the things limiting us to patrolling our own galaxy is the fact that it takes us so long to get from one place to another. Right now, we’re settling for the idea of having outposts on the various planets and moons and other space-rocks that could line the way for us to explore elsewhere. We would leapfrog our way out. But if we could master the reduction and simplification principle, we might go much farther in less time.
Food for thought, via the skyward thinking of our dear Stephen Hawking. See you on the other side of the unknown!