This one has bothered me for a long time, like the dried bit of mustard you have to flick off the tip of the bottle before squeezin’ out the goods.
The definition of “universe” found here seems to refer to “everything that exists”. Simple enough to understand, sure… but it doesn’t seem to include the endless unknown beyond the borders of the ump-teen billion light years of universe (I forget the current value) that we know of. What if I want to use a word to identify “the universe AND beyond”? Looks like the english language shows it’s inadequacies once again (I can’t speak for other languages, their properties and perspectives on the “proper” identifications of such things may be quite different).
Carl Sagan wrote about the early life of the fetus, and it’s relationship to the womb it gestates in. To the fetus, that womb is the only world/universe there is until birth, which revolutionizes the newborn’s understanding of what their “world” really encompasses. That fetus and it’s womb are comparable to mankind and this universe, respectively.
We don’t consider this idea worthy of speculation since we’re a loooong way from being able to research it. The laws of our universe make even the suggestion of speculation sound ridiculous (racing faster than light to the edge of the universe). But since we’re in a preliminary stage of growth as a civilization, I think we should at least come up with a justified distiction for the “whole of everything”.
Endless nothingness beyond our universe might be hardly worth recognizing to many people, but I believe it’s still part of something. What that something should be called, when included with what we know of, is my question.
Any suggestions? Or should I just go on calling it the “nothing” beyond the universe?