What things are
I noticed an article about Cosmic Strings in the current NewScientist.
I thought about what they were for a moment.
Perhaps they are the intersection between two membranes or dimensions. They might be the seam or join where two or more membranes overlap.
Earlier, I was giving some thought to the question of why some people need the Universe to have a space that it begins its existence in. Like some kind of matterless void inhabited only by a supremely bored God who is omniscient but knows nothing because there is no Universe with objects to know anything about.
I compared the Universe to a pencil. Imagine you are a small flightless insect like an ant or aphid, and you are walking along the barrel of the pencil towards the point.
This is the equivalent of traveling backwards in time.
When you reach the tip, that is the very "beginning" of the pencil. For you, it seems the entire pencil which is the only universe you have ever known, begins at the tip.
Lets just say the pencil is suspended in midair by being tied to the end of a string perhaps, so we dont have to worry about you, the bug, crawling off on to a table which would be the equivalent of another dimension.
When you reach the tip, there is no "outside". Of your Universe. You can't jump off into nothingness, because you have no concept of that direction. Not only do you lack an understanding of the physical direction, you would risk death or otherwise ending your existence even if you did know how to leap off.
So avoiding the immense crushing heat at the very beginning of our universe, if you had a time machine you would find it would only take you back so far, before getting stuck at the tip of the universe which we are inside of, like the way a drink bottle tapers. Either that or you would find that no matter how much energy you gave the machine it would only go backwards in time up to a point and then it would return to forwards in time.
Or perhaps a candle analogy would be good too, If you are the same bug and the candle is your world, you might walk towards the wick. Braving the melting wax you reach the candle flame section and realize you can proceed no further. But you do notice the flame tapers off at the end. It also flickers and you can't seem to determine where the end is… it keeps moving! And in a quantum way, appearing in different spots without traveling between them.
So you surmise this is the "beginning" of your Candle Universe and it "begins" at that tiny point at the end, and it got larger and cooler until life could exist and you could crawl around on the hard waxy bit.
But the flame isn't the beginning of the candle! The pencil tip isn't necessarily where the pencil "begins".
The thing we perceive to be the origin of the Universe is a tapered section in the time dimension. It goes there, but doesn't mean it started from there. Like a tree- it starts in the ground, not from a branch.