There is no spacetime “outside” the Big Bang, so we can say the universe is expanded… inwards!

This choice does not affect scientific theories. However, it can shake up our understanding of science and human nature.

A non-literal theory of everything

The story

My name is Andoni Irigoien. I’m a lawyer (2000) and psychologist (2017) by training, with a Master’s degree in philosophy of science (2021).

In 2020, the COVID pandemic confined me to a West African village. Thus, I concentrated on my favorite hobby: the nature of spacetime. Suddenly, all my knowledge converged into a simple idea. Our expanding material experience makes more sense if reality is infinitely small.

But how to describe such a reality? In my quest, I discovered another intriguing fact. From physics to biology, every scientific approach results from highlighting some metaphors —like space, time, or matter— and hiding others like harmony or complexity. Thus, science is more a conceptual game than an accurate description of ultimate reality. However, if we learn to shift the traditional metaphors, we can have a new grasp of what’s beyond the scientific view.

After two years of full-time research, I have written my findings as a forthcoming book. It merges different scientific disciplines from a philosophical perspective, especially physics, psychology (perception), and linguistics (metaphor). Of course, expertise in these fields can help, but imagination is the principal requirement to become an Impander.

If you are interested in the subject, please contact me. We have centuries of research to reinterpret!


The following are some ideas extracted from the upcoming book.

Switching roles

“We need different, mutually inconsistent metaphors to conduct experiments and understand their results.”

Black holes

“The possibility that every future takes the form of some inner black hole is very poetic but, at the same time, absolutely logical.”


“Theoretical physicists whisper, ‘Light says what spacetime is.’ Applied physicists shout, ‘Light does what spacetime says!’ Both are plausible, but you cannot argue them before the same judge, especially in the same trial.”

Space travel

“Nature would respond as a hamster wheel to intergalactic trials, revealing that space travel is a meaningless concept. However, we are not trapped in a cage because, as said, our future is not outside us but inside.”

Overlapped epochs

“Imagine that the counter of a clock continues ticking long after human life becomes extinct. It does not matter how many ticks it makes. Whenever equivalent complexities come into existence, their science must assign 13.800 million years to their universe.”

Life and death

“Conception and death can only be events in the third person. It is the only way to link them to a clock or a calendar. Thus, births, deaths, Big Bangs, and Big Rips are not objective points in a time arrow. Instead, they are equivalent metaphorical concepts”


“The Earth can be a flat surface, a perfect sphere, or a geoid interacting with spacetime geodesics, depending on the context. It can also be a subjectively wrapped harmonic structure in a sizeless and timeless whole. None of these perspectives is more truthful than the others because all are metaphorical.”

An intermingled multiverse

“The idea of separate universes does not originate in physics equations but in the set or container metaphor that gave rise to modern logic and mathematics. Once we believe in objective containers and time arrows, we tend to imagine parallel or consecutive universes and despise intermingled ones.”


“Do solitons break a preexisting matter or either signal the rise and fall of a subjective material experience? Both ideas are valid metaphorical descriptions of what we see and calculate.”

Impanded verticality

“For impanders, postural experience and gravitational effects are two sides of the same coin. It is unnecessary to divide our experience into some internal and external worlds and prioritize one of them.”

Impanded bodies

“Once reinterpreted according to impansion, the empirical evidence is overwhelming. Our phenomenal experience consists of the intersubjective construction of individual bodies in relative motion plus their apparent relative distances and durations.”


“’Emergent’ is a critical word. It pertains to a scientific paradigm called emergent systems or nonlinear science. Emergence and impansion are complementary concepts. Thus, an impanded structure would see other impanded structures emerge from nowhere.”


“Impansion is compatible with a historical experience. It just dispenses history from objective time arrows.”


“Our deep contradictions about the mechanisms of evolution are entirely natural if ‘mechanism’ is just a metaphor.”


“Big Bangers are children playing cops who defend the scientific law of the fittest; impanders are children playing outlaws that believe in justice.”


“For impanders, there is no difference between perception, action, and conceptualization because there is no difference between the self and the world.”


“Metaphors create all meanings, create all similarities, and define all our reality.* After all, impansion is about what you want or need to stress, not about how things actually are.”

*Adapted from Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By, 1980, ch. 27.


“Impansion suggests that any language we could find in the universe or invent, formal or natural, will necessarily be a wrapped or circular system of metaphorical concepts. From this perspective, science is not a heroic quest for absolute truth but a coalition of practical quests for partial, self-contained truths.”