Me: If you're getting tired of this, please let me know. Do you believe that the whole universe is connected and if so, how do atoms or anything connect through the vacuum of space? I could understand everything on earth being connected due to everything being atoms, but in empty space, it would seem
like it's a way of separated things in the universe...
Matt: Through gravity, quantum entanglement, or higher dimensions (take your pick, one or all three), everything is connected instantaneously, ie,connected as though there is NO intervening space. That objects seem to be discrete, separate, and localized in space, is an illusion arising from our, which perceive other dimensions as being aspects of time. Looked at from higher dimensional spaces, otherwise discrete objects become connected as aspects of one, larger object.
Also, space isn't empty: it's filled with virtual particles (just do a wikipedia search), which pop in and out of existence almost too fast too measure (ALMOST; see Casimir effect.) Thus 'empty' space is also an illusion.
At the same time, 'matter' itself is mostly 'empty' space. But space isn't exactly empty....
So we seem to have a paradox. Which usually indicates that our understanding is imperfect. As to how, exactly, we might go about perfecting our understanding, I'm not exactly certain. However, I have a gut feeling that issues of simultaneity and non-locality (that's physics-speak for universal connectedness) will figure greatly, one way or another.
Everything is connected, of course. If All is One, how could it be otherwise? More seriously, entangled quantum systems affect each other instantaneously, regardless of distance. There's some evidence that gravity itself is an instantaneous effect. Either way leads one inescapably to the conclusion that every piece of matter, everywhere, is under the continual summed influence of every other piece of matter in the universe.
Difficult to treat mathematically, of course.
Also, don't make the mistake of three dimensional thinking. It is very likely that the only reason we perceive three dimensions is that our minds happen to work that way. At higher dimensions, every piece of matter may well be connected.