When you learn to understand Nature, it’s often short-sighted. Why did this happen? Because of that before it. Or this just happened, what next? Every now and then, you learn something akin to a life cycle, something from beginning to end, like birth to death. But even then, that’s just part of something bigger. What’s that bigger thing? And what’s the biggest thing, if one existed?
Seeing the big or biggest picture in everything around us is incredibly challenging. It may be impossible if there were no biggest picture, only a mosaic of big pictures. It’s no wonder we to resort to religion and mythology to try to explain these big pictures. Yet, there is something well known in science that has been overlooked for this task – equilibrium, or a stable state of existence.
The forces of nature are always in action, offsetting something that isn’t quite in balance. However, it never corrects it perfectly, no more than a swinging pendulum switches direction to stop in the middle of the next swing, or hits a perfect oscillation to stay in one swing forever. Sometimes, nature’s correction will be sufficient to keep things in equilibrium for a long time, but even that is still only a localized equilibrium in all of time. Sooner or later, something will disturb it to start moving wildly again.
Everything we know, and some things we don’t, is each one of a gazillion localized equilibria contributing to the collective effort to attain one ultimate equilibrium. That equilibrium may only be achieved when time ends, and all energy is dissipated, but it is no different than any localized equilibrium other than scale. That’s because at any scale, Nature’s end game is always equilibrium.