Friday, November 28, 2008

The Life Extraordinary

Have you ever noticed how easily we switch between our everyday reality and dreaming, daydreaming, fantasy or introspective thought? I find this very interesting. It seems as if humans were set up to experience two separate kinds of reality. The everyday reality we share (in varying degrees of coherence) with others here in our world, holds a special focus within our minds and within our society. The second portion of conscious experience seems to appear only as an afterthought, a jumbled pile of loose fragmentary thoughts, emotions and experiences. This "mess" is hardly given its due attention, even by the most enlightened of persons. This is probably due to the fright factor involved with the unconscious mind and its many mysterious processes. Nobody likes exploring their our unconscious it seems. It's dark, dank and down-right scary! We miss out on so much knowledge this way, so much hidden from the everyday world. Dreams have the ability to bridge the gap between the gulf, that abyss of madness and chaos we all fear within our own bewildered souls and that rational mind and everyday world we try so hard to perfect and cultivate. It is only after much thought and great mental efforts that I have arrived at this conclusion: If we are to succeed in actualizing the self, perfecting the mind, purifying the soul, it will be through the use of dreams, the all powerful vehicle of the soul. So it is that I urge you to explore your dreams, for you may find, as I have, that you are not so much "seeing" as you are "doing," you are experiencing the life extraordinary!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Infinity into Infinity

How does one understand in a functional way the concept of infinity. A friend and I have discussed this at great length. Its not an easy question to answer! One must leave classical mathematics behind, along with newtonian physics. Infinity can only be found in the land of zero. Where 0 - 0 = 0, 0 + 0 = 0, 0 x 0 = 0, 0 / 0 = 0, this is an almost useless bit of mathematical jargon here in our realm. But it means more than one might assume. Zero means more than "nothing" it also means "everything" and it also means "infinity." Infinity fits into infinity! Thus you can have an infinite number of worlds within an infinite omniverse. You could even have an infinite number of "twin universes" within an infinite omniverse. Think about that last comment for a moment... it's not possible by our logic is it??? It's possible because another form of logic controls that side of the mirror, so to speak. We live on one side, and we understand as a "flatlander" would. We know in part. But we are just smart enough to know that what we are observing hints at something much much greater. Understanding this, is key in digesting the greater concepts of MWI and MMT.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quantum Ethics I.

So what paths should ethics take along this new and treacherous road of Quantum Age?

I would like to introduce a odd little quote from quasi-occult literature attributed to Al Hazred "The Mad Arab." "Nothing is real, and everything is permissible." (It is likely that the quote actually originated from the works of H.P. Lovecraft or even Robert Howard or Robert Bloch, all three are writers that delved into the Cthulhu Mythos and its related legends. As for Al Hazred, he probably never existed.) The quote is quite profound! Think about its first half: "Nothing is real..." This section strikes a chord in both Sufi scripture and Zen literature. The second half alludes to the paradox of existence, everything is real and everything is an illusion. "...Everything is permissible." This paradoxical quote asks us to view the very construct of our reality with the element of illusion as a central theme. It also inadvertently mentions a concept I mentioned earlier, that being the loss of the traditional "free-will" as one takes in the MWI concept. [If everything is permissible and everything that can happen will happen, and everything can happen, then one is forced to play out all possible actions and all possible sets of corresponding conditions.] Free will is then a concept that is just as real as one's perspective, as soon as one's perspective grows beyond the individual observer, the illusion is gone. From the perspective a completely integrated self (one could call this a soul, universal mind...etc) free will might mean very little, to an individual self, it would be a key element in their life, providing them with the construct to understand their own decisions. So does this mean that the epicureans had it right? Do whatever feels good? Or maybe La Vey had it right with his infamous "And if it harm none, do as thou wilt." I would have to say that I disagree with all of these slogans. It is my belief that we have an obligation to uphold the higher "good," whatever that may be. I feel that it is even more important to consider the concept of "others" other people, other things, other systems, other worlds, other consciousnesses and to include this larger spectrum of being into our personal concept of morality. As the song says, "It's not enough just to stand and stare..." ('On The Turning Away'-Pink Floyd.) Where this path leads is closer to Jainism, Buddhist or even the Hindu; Ahimsa, than the carefree viewpoints so common and popular today. It is easy to overlook that which you do not understand, and even easier to overlook that which you do not believe exists. The key is expanding your perspective! That is the primary goal of this blog, to expand my own and other's perspectives. I feel it especially relevant in the age we currently live, for we are standing on the absolute edge of the Quantum Age. This coming age will make the massive progress of the Industrial Revolution pale in comparison. In fact by all estimates, the Quantum age will be the single largest progressive era mankind has ever or will ever see. A new paradigm is desperately needed, if we are to remain productive and viable in such a new and brave frontier.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Day In The Life... An Introduction to MMT

This is going to be a multi-part series of posts. Please read the previous post, "On The Turning Away"... as it relates heavily to the content and concepts discussed in this post. I would like to introduce a new (at least for this blog) concept. That concept which I will simply refer to as MMT (many minds theory) is related to the MWI concept of Quantum mechanics. MWI basically states that there are an infinite number of parallel universes "versions" of our own and other universes. In such a system there should be an infinite number or at least a very large number of "versions" of yourself. Scientists estimate that there are somewhere between 10-100 trillion cells in the human body (we don't actually know the average number of cells for a human body yet.) Imagine if there were even 100 trillion versions of yourself, thats a lot of you!

Now here's were MMT comes in. Imagine that each one of these versions of yourself has there own finite body, and brain as well as a life that is similar but not the same as your own. Indeed their thought patterns and behaviors would most likely resemble your own, with the occasional variation. If you could meet with anyone in the Omniverse, you would find these people to be the closest match to an exact duplicate of yourself. Talking with a version of yourself would seem effortless, most likely enjoyable, and yet thought provoking. Each version would be able to share unique events, ideas, lessons and perspectives, in such a way that the other would instinctively understand and relate to. These versions could provide each other with an almost limitless flow of advice for self-improvement and life enriching knowledge, as well as unique memories the other had never experienced. Imagine finding out how going to a different university turned out, taking that other path, marrying a different spouse, having kids, not having kids, having grandkids, choosing a different religion, lifestyle, an the list goes on... there would be many things similar, some exactly the same, many different about your "other-self." Some people would choose to identify with their counterparts directly as "them self" others would feel insecure and have to put some space between them and their "other-self" perhaps identifying them as a brother/sister, twin or some other label.

For myself the choice would be clear, I would have to identify directly with the "others" as myself, other versions of myself, at least mentally. Behavior would most likely be something similar to standing in front of an identical twin you never met before, and finding that they share your thoughts , feelings, and behavior patterns far more than they probably should. It might seem a bit scary at first, especially if they are very close to your same world-line (say... only < 2% different, overall.)

Is it possible that these versions could converse, meet, and share (on some level) while completely unaware? I believe that this is a distinct possibility. The validity of MMT is its connection to everyday reality as we experience it right now. I believe that dreaming and certain cognitive functions and features provide us with clues as to how MWI and MMT affect us all, every single day. I have mentioned previously that human cognition is a strange and wonderful phenomenon. I believe that the reason why human cognition is as complex and chaotic as it is, is because it not only involves a complex, yet finite physical element (the brain), but also an infinite element. This infinite element is (I believe) a conglomerate of consciousness, a society of mind, produced by all the versions of yourself within the Omniverse. What better explanation do we have for the endless creativity, the boundless capacity of random, chaotic thoughts and the strange "other worldly" images/scenes that we all experience while dreaming? I will elaborate much more on dreaming in my next post... there is SO much more I have to say about it.

So my big tie in to "On The Turning Away" -Read or better yet Listen to sections 1 and 3. Communication is taking place between ourselves and so many others, how can we turn away from so many others? How can we turn away from ourselves? (Okay, thats my deep creepy thought for today)

"On The Turning Away" (Pink Floyd, from "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason," 1987.

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won't understand
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"

It's a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it's shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we're all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be
No more turning away?
-Pink Floyd

Monday, November 17, 2008

MWI diagram

You may recall that the "Omniverse" is the term given to the largest concept in MWI Cosmology. It is an all encompassing place, containing all possible multiverses, universes, galaxy clusters, galaxies, solar systems, worlds (planets, planetoids, plutoids, asteroids, comets, space-stations, space ships and ring-worlds.) The term "world" is really an over-used word, but it holds significance with most readers (myself included.) The Omniverse is infinite in space, stretching out into infinity in all directions and times. It contains all that exists and all that does not exist, simultaneously. There is however only ONE Omniverse! how can there be more than one "all encompassing" everything? The colored portions of the diagram represent those portions which are limited in size but not in number. There should be an infinite number of multiverses, universes, etc... on down to worlds, beings, events, thoughts... you get the picture. Each portion contains one side of the same coin, so to speak. One is infinite in size, but finite in number, the other is just the complimentary, infinite in number, but finite in size. One might imagine that the colored portion is a single drop of water, and the black portion is an endless sea.

Given this diagram, or any other cosmological diagram:

1. Where are we located?
2. When are we located?
3. What are we?
4. Why are we?

Just some fun questions to play with (especially as they relate to MWI, the above diagram)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Another World" -Brian May, 1998.

"Another World" the title track from "Another World" Brian May, 1998.

"In another world,

Under another sky,
I see another story waiting to be told,
And another you,
Wakes up with another me,
For that's the way we've come to be,
In another world.

In a different place,
Way across time and space,
A door is open wide,
Drawn to a different light,
Maybe we'll step inside.

In another world,
We can show we care,
You can be sure I'm waiting there,
In another world.

Oooh yeah,
When the dies were cast,
They laid a crazy path,
We follow to our graves,
But I know in a different world,
We journey a different way.

So we live,
But life isn't what it seems,
We're only living in our dreams,
In another world.

You can believe I'll meet you here
In another world."
- Brian May

I heard this song back in '98 when it was released, just didn't know what to call the whole "another world" concept yet. It has helped inspire me to further explore MWI and Parallel Universe theory. Brian, (or should I say Dr. May) as always, you are way ahead of the times!

" without end..."

<--The Flammerion Woodcut
As posted in Wikipedia and other online blogs, I have noticed a disturbing trend. This trend is to re-impose a finite nature upon an infinite cosmos (or rather omniverse.) SO, you might say that this is my opinion, and you would be right, to some degree. It has been the wisdom of the ages that has taught us that the world is finite, but the heavens are infinite. Ancient Greek astronomers theorized that the heavens had no bounds, the Egyptians and Sumerians concurred. Anaxagorus an early Greek cosmologist believed in a universe without end, filled with all manner of strange and wonderful objects. Logic dictates that there cannot be an "End" to that which exists. Today physicists point to a finite, (possibly expanding) universe but a they are quick to point out that it may exist within a sea of other universes (what we now refer to as the "omniverse.") Like the ancient question of the spear thrower, where would the end fall, that there would not be some other outside point, reachable just beyond that space?

"And so I'll follow on, and whereso'er thou set the extreme coasts, I'll query, "what becomes thereafter of thy spear?" 'Twill come to pass that nowhere can a world's-end be, and that the chance for further ight prolongs forever the flight itself." Lucretius (98?-55? BC), De Rerum Natura

"There are innumerable worlds of different sizes. In some there is neither sun nor moon, in others they are larger than in ours and others have more than one. These worlds are at irregular distances, more in one direction and less in another, and some are flourishing, others declining. Here they come into being, there they die, and they are destroyed by collision with one another. Some of the worlds have no animal or vegetable life nor any water."
Democritus according to Hippolytus, Refutation of the Heresies I 13 2, in Diels and Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vol. 2, section 68 A 40, p. 94. Translation from Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 2, p. 405.

I would challenge anyone of sufficient mind, put yourself to the task, where is the logic (given the universe and the world around us) for a finite bubble of a universe floating in absolutely nothing in all directions, ad infinitum? Do we not see that this kind of thinking has no more value than a flat earth with its orbiting sun and stars? Everywhere and every time that we search (what appears to be an empty-space in our sky,) we find staring back an endless sea of stars, teeming no doubt with all manner of strange entities and objects.

"To consider the Earth as the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field of millet, only one grain will grow." -Metrodorus of Chios

Well, maybe after all the space outside of the universe is filled with Wal-Mart bags, chunks of loose Styrofoam and packing peanuts, courtesy of FedEx.

Monday, November 10, 2008

MWI, the Omniverse, multiverses and universes

I thought it rather useful how Wikipedia has laid out a system of MWI compliant cosmology, check it out on Wikipedia. This unique system is composed of an all encompassing "omniverse," many "multiverses" and innumerable "universes." Each multiverse consists of many complete and separate universes which contain the same physical laws and constants. That needn't mean that each universe be the same as its twin, the differences could be large or infinitesimally small. It would be odd, but the difference might be that twin universes were virtually identical, except for one being a a few seconds behind the other. A traveler from one twin universe would never know it they had visited the other, they might however notice a sensation we call deja vous. So this multiverse would essentially be a subset of arguably the largest concept we have named, that being the omniverse. The omniverse would contain all multiverses, all universes and within that sea of endless bubbles would be the entire spectrum of time. The Hindus, Buddhists as well as the Jains view the scale of time as being infinite and choose a measuring scale to reflect that endlessness. A "truti" lasts only 1/1,000,000th of a second, but one "mahamantavara" lasts as long as 311 trillion years. Hindu cosmology and time scales are based on the cycles of creation, decay, and destruction. It is important to remember to include this endless concept of time into our concepts of an MWI existence and its many ramifications. So it could be said that the "world of 5 minutes ago" exists not only in our universe (as the past) but in twin universes to our own, as both the present and the future.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dreamland II.

Continued from Dreamland I.

I would like to discuss a related hypothesis. I must first draw a picture for you, a picture to be found within the realm of the very small. Imagine if you will the life of a single cell within your body. Where the cell is located and its function is not important (at least not for the sake of our picture.) What is of most concern to us at this time is the cell's perception, its world view so to speak. As a tiny conscious being, the cell can offer us some very odd observations.

1.) It would be most aware of the cells surrounding it.
2.) It might view itself as a vital member of a close-knit family, where it works together to produce effects shared by itself and its family.
There is no reason to believe that this cell or any other cell would understand its orientation or location within the whole body, in fact, it should not know that such a thing as a
3.) A group of like-minded or like-functioning cells would probably understand themselves in terms of their shared function.
4.)As an observer, the cell should have no idea that it is part of a larger whole, the human body. In fact, it should have no idea that the "body" exists at all!

As "human beings" we frequently ask the question, "Who am I?" Rarely do we ask "What am I?"
-C. Klinert Do we even consider the possibility that "we" exist as a part of a larger whole, that which is inescapable and yet virtually unknowable?

Let us propose for a moment that "we" are part of a larger whole, and that that larger whole is what we would traditionally call the "soul." The soul could also be called the mind. The mind is that unnamed observer, sitting hidden in dark. Try as we might, we cannot find them, we cannot dissect them to figure out how they work. This larger "mind" would be infinite, composed of every mind-version of oneself (that is to say a whole, composed of an infinite number of parts which are drops of consciousness, and inseparable from the whole) as a conglomerate of consciousness and being. Each "mind-unit" would be one with all the other mind-units, but partitioned off in such a way as to produce a workable individual consciousness. This "collective" mind would account for the random and chaotic nature of human behavior as well as the limitless potential of the human mind. How else can a finite being produce infinite possibilities? Every other finite thing we have encountered, has produced finite effects and possibilities, (even if the number of possibilities seems countless, it is not.) Their are very few people who would be naive enough to suggest that the human mind is finite, especially when they have seen the kinds of functions it can perform while dreaming.
Dreaming leads us to the concept that each mind could communicate on some level with the others. The random nature of dreams can haunt us, fill us with curiosity or even elate or frighten us to the point of tears.

It is time to consider the quantum nature of dreaming, as a real and tangible means of self communication, from one version of yourself to another version. If there are an infinite number of "you," or even a large number, how many of "you" are dreaming at the same time? How many are deep in thought? Would not these versions influence each other in unique and unpredictable ways? Lets us say that what ties them all together is a sense of focus, that which aims the collective power of consciousness into one particular world at a time. We could call this a lensing effect of sorts. If you focus on one world, you would experience that world. The mind has already been established to have certain cohesive and alterative properties, such that events and experiences which do not seem to make sense easily shift out and are replaced and repainted by new ones which more closely fit one's schema (or world view.)