The ultimate quest and adventure is to seek truth, openly, without bias, for an agenda driven toward fulfilling a wish may divert one from the true path. To be such a seeker is to dare the opening of Pandora’s Box of Truths, since then one is no longer able to shut the lid on them.
1. Why is there something rather than nothing? And why should anything exist at all?
Existence/Totality/The Basis/What IS has to be; must be, for Nonexistence/nothing cannot be, since ‘it’ has no properties/quantities; thus, existence has no opposite and must be so, with no option, no choice, as a mandatory default, since it cannot come from Nothing. What IS had no creation!
Therefore, What IS has no beginning and no end, and it hasn’t even a sense of ‘was’ or a ‘will be’; is just is, presentness, “ungenerated and deathless”.
It is Not, rather, that is dead, although we still might try to resurrect ‘it’. Can there be some amount of Nothing, such as a holes or spacers in Totality? No, Nothing cannot be, thus, What IS is entirely made up of itself, as the only source.
What IS thus has no creation and no Creator, which is yet another death in the family of wishes, wants, and desires.
Philosophers are seekers of truth, and so we have no real fear of encountering Dennet’s universal acid that can eat away our notions, desires, folk tales, and myths.
What about that we can conceive of a lack of anything as a possible state of affairs?
‘Nothing’ has no state, no affairs, no where, no what, no when, no arena whatsoever for there to be a lack in; however, if one still want to suppose it, then, to totally allay ‘it’, if it were such, somehow, then there still wouldn’t be anything; however, there is something. Case closed, doubly. We have discovered a basic Truth.
Of course, we may still lapse, being human, and go on to claim such that there is Nothing outside of the Cosmos or What IS. This Nothing still cannot be.
So, there isn’t any Zero/Nothing. We just can’t have ‘it’. This, by the way, makes that a One, such as total solidity, cannot be either, requiring zero outside it, and so full solidity is out, along with the impossible vacuity.
We can’t have a One with Zero outside it, nor a Zero with a One inside it. This suggests a kind of Everything of all possible quanta between the One and Zero boundaries that cannot exist, and so cannot be gotten to.
‘Nothing’ truly means nothing, If some capability, potential, or possibility is assigned to it, to, say, to make ‘it’ become something, supposed as inherent, such as perhaps possibility, probability, or separated positive and negative sum-things that cancel out to zero, then it isn’t a Nothing in the first place, and so this does not work to show an absolute Nothing amounting to anything all by itself.
One might even say, in a strange way, that Nothing is a nonexistent absolute, making ‘it’ to indicate a boundary that cannot be reached, such as to the decreasing fractionals that can never truly go to zero, perhaps even as that the temperature cannot get to 0 Kelvin.
Might it be that Stillness, too, cannot be? And of course I should add here that a One is the other nonexistent absolute.
So, we have gained a truth from philosophy, that What IS has to be ever. “Ex niliho” is gone, and it is a truth that requires no proof, since it proves itself.
It is then no longer a paradox that there is literally nothing to make anything of. As for secondary, composite things, such as atoms, we do note that they are easy to come by, there being humongous amounts of them.
Might the ultimate something be a substance such as a string, a quark, or a wave, which waves, by the way are ubiquitous in nature, or is it more nebulous, such as an all-at-once superposition, possibility, probability, or capability?
We cannot say at the moment, but whichever, it appears to provide for anything and everything possible if it is of the nebulous kind hinted at above; else, if of a single fundamental substance kind, then it is a mandatory default such as that it must be a simple, continuous something/function with no parts, but still may be able to form anything.
In either case, though, Totality has no point at which any specific design or direction can be imparted to it, in the first place that never was, for there is no first place or time and therefore not anything outside of it or before it.
All that goes on, then, can only be of the transformations of What IS, for there is no other source, nothing else to stick its nose in, and thus What IS must be generative/transformative of all that happens.
We might turn our thoughts to the nature of such a forever system, granting us perhaps some strange insights such as that which it needs is already there, resolving more paradoxes such as that light needs matter to form it and matter needs light to form it.
Does the manifestation/transformation of the basis/What IS into matter/energy require space as a kind of existent with volume as its only quantity to be in?
Being that it IS, in the present tense only, I’d say no, but if one wants to have ‘space’ as real as a place, I’d guess for now that ‘space’ consists only of the stuff/matter/energy, with no separate empty space with volume that the stuff is in, but here I go beyond the question into whether there is only a ‘now’, which we will address later.
Why else must Something be?
Its base form cannot have parts, and so it isn’t makable, which also implies that it is unbreakable; thus is must be ever and always.
2. Is our universe real?
Never mind virtual realities and simulations, for what makes no difference truly is no difference! For example, music is music, and that is the message, no matter its implementation, such as by an mp3 player or by a live performance. So, there are degrees of realness, but the bottommost basis must be Real, and so what is of the Real is real as well.
I still wish to get into the message versus the messenger mode, to see if all is ‘live’.
Only phenomena are accessible, although the noumenal methods are still interesting to posit, such as that matter exhibits a curious balance, being that there is antimatter and matter, necessarily opposite in charge, which could be from opposite wave amplitudes, energy being of wave frequency, extension and dimension being of wave lengths, and so forth, but, as you see, implementations are more for science than philosophy, although the latter can provide direction.
Why a wave?
It is a simple continuous function. It does, though hint at why there is the symmetry of three stable particles, the electron, the proton, and the photon, which would be that there are only those three ways to make them, as the only stable centers of oscillations.
And the other balances?
They are such as the negative potential energy of gravity canceling out the positive kinetic energy of stuff, a possible bi-verse, and many more.
OK. My point is more now, after your answer, that the brain paints a secondhand but still useful face upon the true reality that is more directly available to the senses, such as the color red.
Yes, we’re living in a kind of a distance in a world that is truly only within our heads, yet another starling revelation.
Well, anyway, I digress somewhat, although for reason of showing the degrees of real, since I’ve already answered the question in the first paragraph, and will say more here—that what is real is of degree, such as that matter is composite and thus is of a secondary, tertiary, or more degree of real; however, all that which is of the really Real must still be called real. There has to be Something and, as such, all that goes on must be of it, making even that of night dreams to have a degree of reality.
If Fortune leads you to her masquerade,
Beware of the sweet desserts therein laid,
For, once lured by poison’s sandy mirage,
Envenomed, you can’t thwart the saber’s blade.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#44 retransmogrified by Austin
For those who mind, grass and stream meet the eyes,
In mead and desert, where Heaven’s realm lies;
While there, life’s Hell has gone away, you’d say,
As you consort with maids of Paradise.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#151 retransmogrified by Austin
The unlocked Secret gleams in the tavern,
Yet in the mosque the key endures unturned.
Oh, Thou Planner, Designer, and Mixer,
I’m Thy own recipe to love or burn!
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#2 retransmogrified by Austin
This jug with whose arm I entwine my own
Was too of stardust strewn and outward blown,
And so may have snuggled a lover kissed,
Neck on neck, a hand on her bosom thrown.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#9 retransmogrified by Austin
3. Do we have free will?
Although I’ve derived and/or come across many astonishing truths, there is one that stubbornly stares us in the face as as something at first perhaps taken as horrendous, which is that cause determines effect, that is, input gives rise to output, making life and nature to do what it must do as time moves along.
What ‘IS’ can no more not exist than it
Can rule any of what goes on in it;
Impute not thy blame, shame, or fame to it—
Fate’s Wheel’s more helpless than all within it.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#41 retransmogrified by Austin
There can be no outputs without inputs, that is, no effects without causes, for Nothing cannot be, and so ‘it’ cannot be a cause or an input, making for something to come from Nothing. Thus, there is no true ‘random’.
A Geiger counter may appear to beep “randomly”, but why would it reach that threshold to beep just exactly when it does and not at some other time? And why at a certain place and not another?
Now if someone wants to posit undiscovered causes, such as spirits helping or hindering, brain waves traveling through the air to influence someone else, cosmic rays affecting (at least this seems possible), or even ‘random’, then they are just another of the causes determining the outcome, which is why ‘cause determines effect’ is so intractable to overcome.
As for mental lapses, neurotransmitter spikes, distractions, coercions, the weather, they and the like, too, are but just another cause inputting to the effect as the output.
Imagine a reality in which neither nature nor one’s brain leads to the effect of an output, that outputs and effects pop out of nowhere. Well, it can only be imagined in its inconsistency.
All moves by law of output from input,
The will, too, since it votes to step a foot,
And worse, by the time we know, all’s been cast;
We can neither wax nor wane the mold’s root.
So, the dropping of this first shoe of determinism startles and discomforts us, but then the imagined dropping the other shoe of the worse horror of what ‘random’ would mean at least makes us feel a little bit better about our consistency.
So, we have found another truth, and from that we may learn more, but are still wary that it can be as Dennet’s universal acid that dissolves all we may have come to cherish.
The “disturbing” specter of cause leading to effect is:
1) Events are “decided” as they go, yet still determined.
The “consolation” prizes from cause and effect are:
It can’t be any other way, but this grants consistency.
Consistency grants continuance. Life is produced, via the necessities of evolution through natural selection, after forming a base for it through particles forming stars that emit the atomic elements, which form molecules, cells, life, and so forth.
3) We experience life’s happenings, feeling them as novel.
4) We reduce agitation, for whatever will be will be.
5) We gain compassion for those stuck, who can’t change.
6) Knowing a truth provides for learning, and thus wisdom.
Whether we are for or against myths and folk tales no longer matters after they have been eaten away by truth, although surely there are those who can (must) try to deflect, deny, and so forth, but that, too, is how it all must be. We learn to take it all in with a grain of salt, and so that posture can reduce agitation.
What the meaning to this play we’re befit,
From dirt to dust within the script that’s writ?
The wise in search have thrown themselves to waste;
Experience alone is the benefit.
To be fair, though, the experiences of living in third world countries may not be considered as a benefit by some.
Fate’s Wheel soft whispers in my ear, “I know
What’s been decreed—just ask and I will show.”
Were mine the hand that made myself revolve,
I should have saved myself from reeling so.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#154 retransmogrified by Austin
Sometimes I employ a knowing denial, not focusing on knowing that all is as a play in which I unknowingly act out a determined script made as time goes along, and thus feel that I am making my own way as some sort of mini first cause (mini first effect, really, with no resources of causes/inputs); however, I sought the truth and found it, so at the end of the day, I know.
I, too, let myself feel romantic love and such, though it be of the chemicals of bonding hormones. The same for the thrills of novelty brought on by rising dopamine levels. Oh, and those opiate endorphins feel so good!
I, of the endless forms most beautiful,
Am stunned that my glass to the brim is full,
Life’s wine coursing through me, as ‘magical’,
On this lovely, rolling sphere so bountiful.
Apparently, we evolved to to fully attend to our conscious, second story/storey, unaware of the first storey where all the machinery of the subconsciousness analysis of the neural network resides, until science informed us of it.
And what of the other clincher that time must go by for the brain to perform its subconscious analysis (200-300ms) before the result is globally put forth? The conscious realm of ‘I’, then, is indeed as a tourist along for the ride.
This is not to say that consciousness isn’t used for learning to do what can then become automatic, nor that it doesn’t aid the careful envisioning of actionizing before committing to an action, but in so doing these become yet just another input, leaving the idea of determinism intact; however, conscious aids survival, and so we have it.
What about that “Life is a test.”
Well, it can’t be so with determinism. There goes that, as well as other sayings, some of them not meaning anything in the first place, such as ‘free will’, in this case the will not being free of doing what is has too, namely willing, or ‘free’ as opposed to ‘fixed’.
So, ‘free will’ is reduced to indicating that the will is able to operate, which is no great shake, or that one’s actions are not being coerced, whether by another person or by the weather or whatnot, which position is known as compatibilism, but this, too, grants us no real revelation or insight. Besides, the coercion was going to happen, too, as an effect from the causes that it had. The will is just the will—a neural network that votes.
The judicial courts differentiate between ‘responsible’ versus ‘coerced’ (by another or via metal ills), this axis being orthogonal to the main axis of ‘free will’ versus ‘fixed will’ or ‘undetermined versus determined’, which the judges hardly get into, although there are cases in which defendants plead their bad nurture or nature, or, as of late, that addicts need help rather than being incarcerated as criminals.
Defendant: Your honor, the universe made me do it, so please don’t sentence me.
Judge: Yes, true, it did, but we still have to lock you up until the universe doesn’t make you do it anymore, for we have to protect society, plus learning may happen, if you are able.
What about “if, could have, and should have?”
They are gone, too, having met their demise. What if Hitler had developed the A-bomb? He didn’t. There are no “if’s”. The actualities of the time trump any kind of ‘if’ or going back.
Enrico Fermi covered his instruments with tin foil in 1935 and thus did not discover fusion, plus the Allies later attacked Hitler’s heavy water production plants, and Heisenberg likely thwarted the German nuclear effort by giving a drawing to Bohr that scientists at Los Alamos later noted could never work.
Now’s pen inscribes, based on what was there,
Its destined words phrasing our sentence here.
Although it may spell to us right or wrong,
Even one letter’s change hasn’t a prayer.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#54 retransmogrified by Austin
‘We’ really don’t actually ‘do’ anything.
Since outputs always have inputs, so true,
Then what, we wonder, should we try to do?
It’s the other way around, oh, brain stew,
For cause, time, and the universe do you!
Outputs must have inputs, they in turning
Becoming inputs to more ‘fates’ churning;
In that sense, all is writ, on every path,
As in ours, so what must be will e’er spring.
We are thrust into life, unasked, because we can’t be consulted, and so we must deal with it.
We all do what we must, from what we’ve become up to that point from all that went into it; however, the ‘will’ is dynamic, in that it can change via learning/experience, and so a new but still fixed will of a future instant may provide a different output to a similar situation in the past.
What be: thy output must form from input,
For naught else can stride the moving foot,
And surely naught from nought makes no ‘random’;
The pen can’t revise its scroll; “we’re” caput.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#95 retransmogrified by Austin
Now the wrap up, as a kind of poetry slam:
Ah, in the whole, you’re just afraid of being unfree,
But, hey, look, behold! There is still so much beauty!
It’s a sublime law, indeed,
Otherwise what beauty could there be?
So here the coin’s other side speaks—
A toss up, weighted equally.
It’s from the searched finding of truth—not of fright,
Though determinism is really not a very pretty sight.
Beauty exists either way, for there is still novelty,
But ‘determined’s opposite is of an impossible currency.
How dare you curse the freedom to be;
It’s because you are scared of He!
What greater proof of inner freedom then
Could His gift of wild flight to us send?
Really, it not of a scare that He is there,
But because ‘random’ cannot even be there,
For, then on nothing would things depend—all bare,
If it could even be, but it has no clothes to wear.
I swear I am more—that I do act freely!
Don’t pass off my passions so calculatingly.
I’ll let the rams butt their heads together;
One absolute position subsides for its brother!
Yes, it seems that we can choose, even otherwise,
But what is within, as the state of being wise,
Knows not the hidden, non-apparent states below,
For that is a ‘second story’, having only one window.
One rigid mode of thought’ score
Consumes the other with folklore,
Unbending, unyielding with perfect defense,
To orchestrate life’s symphony at the song’s expense.
We’re happy to just find out the truth;
However, when subjected to the proof,
We wish that the coin could stand on its edge,
And see that it cannot, which is knowledge.
So lets define the world and human existence
On a couple hundred years of material witness,
Or burn the measuring eye to the stake!
After all, our freedom’s what it seeks to forsake!
Evolution didn’t work by chance for us to live,
For natural selection is the scientific alternative
To Intelligent Design from something outside;
The coin of determination has no other side.
The secret is simply that a secret does exist
And no amount of data can take away this,
But this doesn’t mean a ghost in the machinery;
But perhaps the heart isn’t just a pump, the liver a refinery.
We often forget the secret, willingly,
In order to live life excitingly,
Which it still would be, either way,
As we’re still part of the play, anyway.
But of course there is a past of ‘whethers’,
Through which we’ve been weathered.
Surely we are moved as dust from gust to gust,
But is two-twice-two as four always a must?
Math, too, is a must, and we try, as ever,
To predict a week ahead the weather,
Yet the data seem to much to work with,
But indetermination measures not random’s width.
Is not an unfree will a blatant contradiction
Developed from the an ‘enlightened conviction’?
If I’ve made a choice then I have willed it
And if it’s been willed then freedom’s fulfilled it.
This what I mean, that the will willed one’s self,
Which is that one does not will the will itself.
The neurons vote, based on who one is—
Nothing else is there to answer the quiz.
And of course it’s in and of a misguided pit
To say that from the past we’ve distilled it.
Is not the idea of complete self-autonomy a ruse
Born from the illusion of the existentialist blues?
We distill what comes into us, too,
For it has to become part of us, new,
For mirror neurons act it out, while we are still,
Invading our sanctum and altering the will.
But of course, this is to be much expected
From a culture that lacks all mythical perspective.
‘Nonsense’ we call it, a virtue of not thinking,
From which we have long since been departing,
So now will behold in all its transparency
Beyond childish ideals of essence and archaic fantasy.
That’s close, but it’s thinking that has grown,
By science and logic informed from reason sown,
In place of feeling, sensation, wishes, and the pleas
To have the universe be what it ought to be.
Do not distort with a desire for meaning.
Oh, the babe, lets leave the child a’weening,
But I ask of you: have you not tried in-betweening?
There are two ways of living, sometimes merging,
One of just ‘state of being’, of its only showing,
And one of the being plus the under-knowing;
As with our life’s wife, we dwell not on hormoning.
And in that same breath we say all is forgiven;
Why hold humans responsible, leading to derision?
Of course an eye for an eye was an unjust decision.
Well, we have a system that draws a line between
A crime of passion and a thought-out, sought-for infliction.
“The universe made me do it,” says the accused,
And the Judge replies, “Well, this does excuse,
But I still have to sentence you to the pen,
Until the universe can’t make you do it again.”
Why must it be a question of absolute freedom
As complete randomness over an unbending system
That structures everything that ever was, is, and will be,
Right down to the elementary structures
What is set forth in the beginning
Is ever of itself continuing,
Restrained by time, yes, but unfolding,
For there is nothing else inputting.
I may understand why this has to be;
I have felt the rapture of black and white toxicity,
But why subjugate all possibility for novelty?
It will still be novel, even such as a new parking lot,
For the dopamine neurotransmitters will stir the pot.
New is still new, on the grand tour through life;
Then do some predicting, to then avoid some strife.
Can such a thought hope to cast a wrench into these gears,
A tool so heavy that dissuades all of our fears?
Will all order and inertia be torn asunder?
Will we have giant ants wearing top hats over,
With all rationality considered a blunder?
The truth was not sought to drop a spanner into the works,
But it even turns out to grant more of compassion’s perks
For those afflicted with the inability for learning,
Thus eliminating the great annoyances burning.
Am I simply a delusional puddle here,
Perceiving just my liquid perimeter,
As I think to myself I can control
The very rain that expands my rule.
And the humidity that thins
Should I condemn as that which sins?
There are no sins, but just destiny’s fate,
Which even includes one’s learnings of late.
We and all are but whirl-pools, of the same oscillations,
Some lasting longer, yes, but of the same instantiations.
They wanted to be free of their wills,
Since wills seemed to be full of old-time ills,
So, they cut them off, now of wills bereft—
The problem was that there was no ‘they’ left.
Outputs without inputs cannot ever be,
Or the actions would pop randomly,
Yet to some people that’s the enemy,
A useless state that’s not here, thankfully.
4. Does God exist?
I don’t know, but it’s not likely. ‘God’ has not been established, and so therefore the absence of evidence points to evidence of absence. Those stating ‘God’ as fact/truth are dishonest; however, ‘faith’ is an honest word, indicating a wish or a belief in an unknown, unshowable, invisible supernatural realm.
We do note that composites and higher and higher complexities come about as time goes on, thus higher beings with more sophisticated systems of mind would form in the future, not back in the past, and certainly a system cannot be fundamental, for the parts of the system must precede. As such, this is the totally wrong direction in which to look for higher beings, as well as the Highest.
Further, all that IS can have no creation, and thus no Creator, for it cannot be made from Nothing, and thus it is ever, with no beginning, no choice, and no imparted direction.
Finally, the proposed template that life can only come from a Higher Life finds but one usage but then must be discarded lest it imply that a Higher Life can only come from a HIGHER LIFE, and so on, ad infinitum.
The Bible doesn’t help, but actually hinders the probability of ‘God’, for the ABCs of the Bible’s important page one fail.
It took billions upon billions of years for solar systems to form and get going, and more billions upon billions of years for animals and human mammals to form unto the way we know them today, from just a single, branching tree of life.
So, the rather instant, biblical creation of animals and humans about 4000 years ago, as is, immutable, cannot be true, for evolution has the triple confirmation of fossils, DNA (both currently active and the ‘historical’ record, previously known as ‘junk’), and the embryonic stages imbedded histories—and, to boot, all three match, showing the progression of organisms with mutability, the exact opposite of making them ‘as is’, meaning that the Bible couldn’t be more wrong.
Nor is the Earth fixed, in the center of all, nor is the night sky of stars a ‘dome’, nor do evil spirits cause physical or mental ills.
5. Is there life after death?
No, for all that one is and has become is embodied in the brain. There is no brain-body problem, for the brain is of the body.
We do so much deserve reward beyond this role—
And so it is that one’s immortal spirit-soul,
That angelic vapour that drives a living being,
Shall go forth to glory on, beyond this scene.
It has been suggested/claimed/proposed/stated there might be a ‘soul’ that duplicates the evolutionarily expensive brain so that it can travel to Heaven, Hell, Limbo, or Purgatory after death.
Such ideas don’t really show anything.
We bless the needed soul with the holy kiss
Of life, being this of which to replace us with;
For what did natural selection ever do, in vain,
Spending so extravagantly on the higher brain?
It’s easy to pronounce and declare the wish
That a soul does that and a soul does this,
But the soul has nothing which to do it with;
So we give it a mind, heart, depth and width.
— The Symphony of Life —
All that we know, even the loveliest and the best,
Decomposes into the dust of earth compressed.
The songs of all composed there lie in repose;
With this dust the future will arrange and recompose.
What happens after you die?
You are dead.
NOW AND ZEN
Everything that is part of us—
Our cells, tissues, organs and organ systems—
Has come about over billions of years
Because it proved successful
In the great survival stakes
During our perilous evolutionary
Descent (ascent) with modification.
The brain, being no exception,
Evolved, in part,
To allow a creature to learn
From what happens in its life,
To retain key elements that
Could influence future actions.
We are geared for self-preservation.
We will do anything to avoid facing the possibility
That who we are now cannot continue.
We ourselves are mainly the cause
That we are interested in.
The self is preoccupied with staying alive,
Which is why our species is still around today.
It is a prime biological function to be afraid of death,
And, so, the self, as thus contrived,
Is able to fully play its crucial survival role.
We want to equip our brain with a soul
That offers us an escape when the brain dies
Since the self cannot come to terms
With its own extinction.
From a subjective standpoint,
We are all born equal and undifferentiated
(Before that, ‘we’ were dead),
But, as mature selves we make a distinction
Between the individual and the surroundings.
Still, the brain keeps changing throughout life,
In a pattern of the shifting flux of its neurons;
We gain and lose memories and feelings,
Essentially creating a new person over and over again.
The self is thus not so rock solid as it seems.
These moment-to-moment changes differ from death
Only in degree. In essence, they are identical,
Although at the opposite ends of the spectrum.
So, we are not static things.
Other neural networks will come to be in other,
Future people, albeit with an “amnesia”
Of what went on before in
The brains of the previous others.
Why should we be happy about this?
We never can be, because the ‘I’ cannot operate
Outside of its own boundaries.
The only viable alternative is to think of a way
In which it is possible to ever continue on.
What will it be like to be a part
Of someone else after we die,
With our own particular
Narrative of life cast aside?
That is the ‘zen’
Of now and then and when.
6. Can you really experience anything objectively?
No, for brain qualia consist of re-presentations. Only our senses might come close to meeting the objective reality that is really out there (which we know because because we have senses to detect it).
Space-time is a subjective framework, and the objective lies outside of it.
All we need in order to have a perception of space-time is for there to be objective relations which describe the essential features that make up experience. Motion can be understood objectively as a relation. It’s a feature of perspective that we perceive the universe as we do, and the reason for our sensations is sense organs and brain interpretation. The brain takes electrical signals, and turns them into a world of experience.
There’s good reason to think that this world of experience the brain constructs has certain similarities to the actual world—namely, the relationships of things in the world of experience should be similar to the relationships of things in the real world, in order to make survival possible. Dimensional objects are invented by the brain to instantiate these relationships in a way that makes it easy for creatures like us to find food. As this shows, there’s no need at all for dimensions of space-time to appear anywhere other than in the brain’s interpretation. The experience of space-time objects can be inherently subjective.
Perhaps one would like to make a distinction between space-time objects and space-time itself, and saying the objects in it are subjective while space-time itself is objective? Space-time cannot be your objective foundation which causes the subjective perceptions of things. Space-time is simply a certain way of thinking about groups of those subjective perceptions. If you’re familiar with Gilbert Ryle, he’d point out that expecting space-time to be something other than the objects within it is a category mistake, similar to if you looked at all the buildings of a university but couldn’t figure out where the university was. I’m not sure if one is trying to make space-time into something independent of its objects, but it seems like the only way one could be claiming that one’s theory doesn’t involve experiencing the objective is if you’re making a category mistake.
When not being observed, there are no experiences to the universe. Without experiences being involved, everything may be described as relations. These relations, when perspectivized, and perceived by human senses and brain, cause our conceptions of space-time objects. The relations are objective reality, space-time (simply a way of describing a the feature of extension you perceive in the objects that make up subjective reality) is not objective.
To summarize, briefly:
– macroscopic objects, or anything experienced, exists subjectively
– the quantum world and other such things that can’t be sensed but only described (usually mathematically) don’t exist subjectively
– what exists subjectively has objective cause
– objective cause is not at all phenomenologically related to the subjective, meaning there is no sense experience description such as length or width or time which makes up the actual objective cause before it’s perceived
– the objective cause consists of a system of relations which, once perspectivized, result in forming a specific sense experience of space-time objects of subjective existence.
— Paul, from Physicsforums
Without the bitter there’s no balance sweet;
From my height of youth lies the valley deep.
Even the biting grape loses its tartness;
’Tis not the wine that changes, but’s my own feat.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#11 retransmogrified by Austin
My heart’s blood gleams like a melted ruby,
The wealth of mine—the gem that flows in me;
My goblet enshrines my wounded heart’s tears—
Wine is my soul and the cup my body.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#34 retransmogrified by Austin
7. What is the best moral system?
It’s relative to what a particular society comes up with. The root of evil is the forcing of a group’s flawed ‘goods’ upon others.
8. What are numbers?
They were invented as shorthand labels for the amount of people, animals, trees, stones, and other objects, these numbers leading on to arithmetic, and higher math, to which the regularities of nature are often amenable.
9. Is there really a free lunch?
THE IMPOSSIBLE RECIPE
Explaining the Cosmos is as easy as pie:
It’s an endless extravagance beyond the sky,
Which shows that matter’s very readily made—
Underlying energy raising the shades.
This All sounds rather like the ultimate free lunch,
For the basis is already made, with no punch,
It ever being around, as is, never a ‘was’—
Everywhere, in great abundance quite unheard of.
There’s even more of it than can be imagined—
Of lavish big spenders, there in amounts unbounded:
Bubbles of universes within pockets more,
Across all the times and spaces beyond our shore!
What is the birthing source of this tremendous weight?
There is nothing from which to make the causeless cake!
Its nature is undirected, uncooked, unbaked?
There can’t be a choice to that ne’er born nor awaked!
There can’t be turtles on turtles all the way down;
The buck has to stop somewhere in this town.
‘Nothing’ is unproductive—can’t even be meant;
All ever needed is, with nothing on it spent!
Yes, none from nothing, yet something is here, true;
But, really, you can’t have your cake and Edith, too!
And yet I’ve still all of my wedding cake, I do—
It’s just changed form; what ever IS can never go.
Since there’s no point at which to impart direction
The essence would have no limited, specific,
Certain, designed, created, crafted, thought out meaning!
Thus the Great IS is anything and everything!
This All is as useless as Babel’s Library
Of all possible books in all variety!
Yes, and even in our own small aisle we see
Any and every manner of diversity.
The information content of Everything
Would be the same as that of Nothing!
Zero. The bake’s ingredients vary widely,
And so express themselves accordingly.
What’s Everything, detailed? Length, width, depth, 4D—
Your world-line; 5th, all your probable futures;
6th, jump to any; 7th, all Big Bang starts to ends;
8th, all universes’ lines; 9th, jump to any;
10th, the IS of all possible realities.
Your elucidation is quite a piece of cake!
Yo, it exceeds, as well, and so it takes the cake.
Everything ever must be, because ‘nothing’ can’t?
Yes, it’s that existence has no opposite, Kant!
So, we’re here at the mouth of the horn of plenty,
For a free breakfast, lunch, and a dinner party;
Yet many starving are fed up with being unfed.
Alas, for now I have to say, Let Them Eat Cake!
10. What is time?
Time is an interval and thus it is discrete rather than continuous and infinitely divisible (which would allow Zeno’s turtle to catch the hare).
The incredibly short Planck time is what we can measure, apparently, and I suppose this interval could even be shorter; however, and whichever, it is the ‘now’ at that bottommost level. The ‘now’ that we perceive psychologically is longer, on the order of a fraction of a second.
The Now is only of the present, in that the past ‘now’ that was just previous completely vanishes, as well as its components, in and of the construction toward and of the next present Now, for the present and only Now is the output which can only be made from those inputs that were previous, and thus, the Now has great primacy, and we can stress that Now is all there is, the past not being kept anywhere, and the future not yet manufactured, all in keeping with What IS being of the present tense, it necessarily being ever, with no beginning or end, as no ‘was’ or ‘will be’, since the IS cannot arise out of Nothing.
Memory’s ideas recall the last heard tone,
Sensation savors what is presently known,
Imagination anticipates coming sounds
The delight is such that none could produce alone.
Gone, then, is the notion of a ‘block-universe’, in which both the future and the past exist, as if it was constructed all at once, requiring a very large warehouse to store it in, although it’s still interesting to explore that the hinted all-at-oneness of What IS in a superposition made the path of our universe instantly, it now just playing out as a broadcast at the speed of light.
So, is all history lost? Well, yes and no, for the Cosmos/IS, being ever, may transform itself again and again into nearly or exactly the same happenings eventually, even many such at the same time, depending on how fine the resolution of reality is; so, thus, in this way, the Cosmos retains its own history by running through it again, as there is all eternity for it to do so time and time again.
There may be preferred paths that the transformations go through, perhaps because they are not inert or looping and so keep on going, if this does anything to place them foremost, although that they can keep on going does that.
So, rather than some impossible foreseeing of what paths will amount to something, say life, due to some Great Genius, I’m suggesting that a kind of brute force going down all paths, maybe even at once, such as the electrons in photosynthesis do to achieve 95% efficiency, is guaranteed to find working solutions much more so than even a Seer, whose position is also unlikely in the simple days before time allows for more complexity, such as that of a system of mind.
So, we have that What IS goes through its transformations, restrained from precipitous actions by patient time, which is seemingly numbingly slow in evolutionary terms—a rather long yardstick of billions upon billions of years that tends to stick in our throats but that’s how it is, and this again suggests a making of events as it goes rather than an initial blueprint for all future being applied within a few days.
All’s thanks to Death’s prolonged sifting of ‘dies’,
Of the rest from the best, silly from wise,
The pointless from the pointed—selection.
Oh, through ink-black rivers we had to rise!
Our blind-fated path was the further paved,
When disasters finished most of the species.
Far from a feature of Intelligent Design,
It opened up the space that was needed.
Death is the ultimate evaluator—
The director of all evolutionary progress.
Death selects the wise from the silly;
Death chooses the useful from the useless.
All that we are we owe to time, death, and stars.
Truly, from the stars cometh our help.
Within a star’s heart, matter transforms itself
And gives off energy—this is why the stars shine!
Life’s birthright, long signed by time, dust, and death,
Doth also serve, for the Earth’s living quests,
As the epitaph: RIP; time wears,
The tips of the strands rip, tear; dust is left.
If we were angels, life would be so just;
Instead, we try, we push, we climb, we lust,
We dance, we dream, we feel, and love with zest;
Yes, all this, thanks to the beast within us!
Time, then, is a difference between stages/frame, and, conversely, stages/frames are a difference between times. If there is no difference, or change, then there is no time passing, yet it seems that something must always change, if Stillness is prohibited, meaning that Time must ever move forward.
Hopes flitter and flutter like butterflies—
Whose forms show there can be a second guise,
Although still one chained to time’s sovernty.
We cannot fly through time’s skies two-way wise.
Let thou thy certainty of the present be
Held mortgage for the Deed of Futurity,
For tomorrow’s just a gleam from afar
And yesterday’s but a cold ash of thee.
At first, you sleep in thy dear mother’s womb;
At last, you sleep in the cold silent tomb.
In between, Life whispers a dream that says,
Wake, live, for the rose withers all too soon!
Throw not life to the breeze; draft this day known,
For yesterday’s winds have already blown
And future’s currents have not yet stirred.
Forget dead airs; now’s breath is all you own.
11. What is consciousness?
It’s a global end-state of the brain’s subconscious analysis, available at large, in which qualia represent the fine face painted upon implicate reality. Qualia can be so because they are formed of the brain’s own evolved, invented symbolic language, its final and highest symbol born from an upward/sideward/feedback cascade from lower and lower brain modules, each outputting higher and higher symbols to the next level.
In our ‘reality’ mode, qualia are full and sharp; whereas in ‘imagination’ mode the qualia are at about 5-10% strength, which I estimated via lowering the transparency on an object in Photoshop, probably so that we can’t mistake it for reality.
Perhaps a schizophrenic having visions and/or hearing sounds seeming coming from elsewhere is dreaming or imagining with qualia at full strength due to some malfunction.
The brain’s global representations are useful for holistic feedback into memory and for us to better know what’s going on in reality, which of course we can only know from the inside out, for all one ever truly ‘sees’ is the inside of the head.
Another use for consciousness is to learn what may eventually become automatic, as well as for actionizing before committing to an action, which scenarios involve the CNS through the spine all the way into the nerve spindles.
So, it was worth it for survival reasons for the brain to accomplish consciousness, and, well, here we are, conscious.
Consciousness is not some free-floating, stand-alone, magical thing that the ‘consciousness movement’ groups tout, nor all there is, as they might also declare, but is a brain process. We wouldn’t have senses if consciousness was all there were.
It provides all manner of cues and sensations, whether enjoyable or painful, and opens up reality to what can be experienced, letting us access what is within in the universe as well as what is within, without which all would remain blind.
There are two useful kinds of views of nature, which some claim is the reason for two brain hemispheres. Be that as it may, but surely we wouldn’t want to get lost in detail when there is a further, more panoramic, holistic view required, nor be stuck with wholeness when the close-up particulars need to be attended to. So, the brain mimics the All.
When the corpus callosum is severed to provide relief for severe epilepsy cases, sometimes each brain hemisphere becomes conscious through its own brain process, and although the hemispheres still share the same brain stem, these two consciousnesses can be at odds with each other, with perhaps one hand picking up a knife to do harm, with the other hand trying to prevent it.
It seems that there would be degrees of consciousness among the species. A snail’s brain and consciousness ability might consist of light and dark, wet and dry, hot and cold, and perhaps not much more.
Well, there aren’t any but in TV shows and movies, and therefore they are not the case, except that perhaps some lower species may come close.
Damasio, in ‘Self Comes to Mind’, has it that “There is indeed a self, but it is a process, not a thing, and the process is present at all times when we are presumed to be conscious. We can consider the self process from two vantage points. One is the vantage point of an observer appreciating a dynamic object—the dynamic object constituted by certain workings of minds, certain traits of behavior, and a certain history of life. The other vantage point is that of the self as knower, the process that gives a focus to our experiences and eventually lets us reflect on those experiences.”
“…is what allows the mind to know that such dominions exist and belong to their mental owners—body, mind, past and present, and all the rest—is that the perception of any of these items generates emotions and feelings, and, in turn, the feelings accomplish the separation between the contents that belong to the self and those that do not. From my perspective, such feelings operate as markers. They are the emotion-based signals I designate as somatic markers.”
“There is no dichotomy between self-as-object and self-as-knower; there is, rather, a continuity and progression. The self-as-knower is grounded on the self-as-object.”
“Consciousness is not merely about images in the mind. It is, in the very least, about an organization of mind contents centered on the organism that produces and motivates those contents.”
“The mere presence of organized images flowing in a mental stream produces a mind, but unless some supplementary process is added on, the mind remains unconscious. What is missing from that unconscious mind is a self.”
“And given this systematic dependence, it is extremely difficult to imagine the nature of the mind process independently of the self, although from an evolutionary perspective, it is apparent that plain mind processes preceded self processes. The self permits a view of the mind, but the view is clouded.”
“In other words, some neural patterns are simultaneously mental images. When some other neural patterns generate a rich enough self process subject, the images can become known. But if no self is generated, the images still are, although no one, inside or outside the organism, knows of their existence. Subjectivity is not required for mental states to exist, only for them to be privately known.”
“Minds emerge when the activity of small circuits is organized across large networks so as to compose momentary patterns. The patterns represent things and events located outside the brain, either in the body or in the external world, but some patterns also represent the brain’s own processing of other patterns. The term map applies to all those representational patterns, some of which are coarse, while others are very refined, some concrete, others abstract. In brief, the brain maps the world around it and maps its own doings. Those maps are experienced as images in our minds, and the term image refers not just to the visual kind but to images of any sense origin such as auditory, visceral, tactile, and so forth.”
“Of the ideas advanced in the book, none is more central than the notion that the body is a foundation of the conscious mind. We know that the most stable aspects of body function are represented in the brain, in the form of maps, thereby contributing images to the mind. This is the basis of the hypothesis that the special kind of mental images of the body produced in body-mapping structures, constitutes the protoself, which foreshadows the self to be. Of note, the critical body-mapping and image-making structures are located below the level of the cerebral cortex, in a region known as the upper brain stem. This is an old part of the brain shared with many other species.”
“Another central idea is based on the consistently overlooked fact that the brain’s protoself structures are not merely about the body. They are literally and inextricably attached to the body. Specifically, they are attached to the parts of the body that bombard the brain with their signals, at all times, only to be bombarded back by the brain and, by so doing, creating a resonant loop. This resonant loop is perpetual, broken only by brain disease or death. Body and brain bond. As a result of this arrangement, the protoself structures have a privileged and direct relationship to the body. The images they engender regarding the body are conceived in circumstances different from those of other brain images, say, visual or auditory. In light of these facts, the body is best conceived as the rock on which the protoself is built, while the protoself is the pivot around which the conscious mind turns.
“The key brain structures in charge of implementing the requisite functional steps include specific sectors of the upper brain stem, a set of nuclei in a region known as the thalamus, and specific but widespread regions of the cerebral cortex.”
“The ultimate consciousness product occurs from those numerous brain sites at the same time and not in one site in particular, much as the performance of a symphonic piece does not come from the work of a single musician or even from a whole section of an orchestra. The oddest thing about the upper reaches of a consciousness performance is the conspicuous absence of a conductor before the performance begins, although, as the performance unfolds, a conductor comes into being. For all intents and purposes, a conductor is now leading the orchestra, although the performance has created the conductor—the self—not the other way around. The conductor is cobbled together by feelings and by a narrative brain device, although this fact does not make the conductor any less real. The conductor undeniably exists in our minds, and nothing is gained by dismissing it as an illusion.”
“Viewing the conscious mind in the optic of evolution from simple life-forms toward complex and hypercomplex organisms such as ours helps naturalize the mind and shows it to be the result of stepwise progressions of complexity within the biological idiom.”
“Rather, I am reversing the narrative sequence of the traditional account of consciousness by having covert knowledge of life management precede the conscious experience of any such knowledge. I am also saying that the covert knowledge is quite sophisticated and should not be regarded as primitive. Its complexity is huge and its seeming intelligence remarkable.
I am not downgrading consciousness but am most certainly upgrading nonconscious life management and suggesting that it constitutes the blueprint for attitudes and intentions of conscious minds.”
“In brief, neurons are about the body, and this “aboutness,” this relentless pointing to the body, is the defining trait of neurons, neuron circuits, and brains. I believe this aboutness is the reason why the covert will to live of the cells in our body could ever have been translated into a minded, conscious will. The covert, cellular wills came to be mimicked by brain circuitry. Curiously, the fact that neurons and brains are about the body also suggests how the external world would get mapped in the brain and mind.”
“When brains make maps, they are also creating images, the main currency of our minds. Ultimately consciousness allows us to experience maps as images, to manipulate those images, and to apply reasoning to them.”
“In other words, besides building rich maps at a variety of separate locations, the brain must relate the maps to one another, in coherent ensembles. Timing may well be the key to relating.”
“Body mapping of the most refined order undergirds both the self process in conscious minds and the representations of the world external to the organism. The inner world has opened the way for our ability to know not only that very inner world but also the world around us.”
“The living body is the central locus. Life regulation is the need and the motivation. Brain mapping is the enabler, the engine that transforms plain life regulation into minded regulation and, eventually, into consciously minded regulation.”
“Because those other senses are focused on the world outside, the respective map-making regions can wipe their slates clean, as it were, and construct an infinity of patterns. Not so at the body-sensing sites, which are obligatorily turned to the inside and captive to what the body’s infinite sameness feeds them. The body-minded brain is indeed a captive of the body and of its signaling.”
“The notion that the brain ever holds anything like an isolated ‘memory of the object’ seems untenable. The brain holds a memory of what went on during an interaction, and the interaction importantly includes our own past, and often the past of our biological species and of our culture.”
“Consciousness is a state of mind with a self process added to it.”
“Turning processes into things is a mere artifact of our need to communicate complicated ideas to others, rapidly and effectively.”
“I would say that if one is awake and there are contents in one’s mind, consciousness is the result of adding a self function to mind that orients the mental contents to one’s needs and thus produces subjectivity. The self function is not some know-all homunculus but rather an emergence, within the virtual screening process we call mind, of yet another virtual element: an imaged protagonist of our mental events.”
“Why did consciousness prevail, once it was offered to organisms as an option? Why were consciousness-making brain devices naturally selected? One possible answer, which we will consider at the end of the book, is that generating, orienting, and organizing images of the body and of the outside world in terms of the organism’s needs, increased the likelihood of efficient life management and consequently improved the chances of survival. Eventually consciousness added the possibility of knowing about the organism’s existence and about its struggles to stay alive. Of course, knowing depended not just on the creation and display of explicit images but on their storage in implicit records. Knowing connected the struggles of existence with a unified, identifiable organism. After such states of knowing began to be committed to memory, they could be connected to other recorded facts, and knowledge about individual existence could begin to be accumulated. In turn, the images contained in knowledge could be recalled and manipulated in a reasoning process that paved the way for reflection and deliberation. The image-processing machinery could then be guided by reflection and used for effective anticipation of situations, previewing of possible outcomes, navigation of the possible future, and invention of management solutions.”
“Consciousness allowed the organism to become cognizant of its own plight. The organism no longer had mere feelings that could be felt; it had feelings that could be known, in a particular context. Knowing, as opposed to being and doing, was a critical break.”
“Prior to the appearance of self and standard consciousness, organisms had been perfecting a machine of life regulation, on whose shoulders consciousness came to be built. Before some of the premises of the concern could be known in the conscious mind, those premises were already present, and the machine of life regulation had evolved around them. The difference between life regulation before consciousness and after consciousness simply has to do with automation versus deliberation. Before consciousness, life regulation was entirely automated; after consciousness begins, life regulation retains its automation but gradually comes under the influence of self-oriented deliberations.”
“At the end of the toil came this final piece, which Freud wrote in London and in English, and where he adopts the only position on the matter of consciousness that I find plausible. Mind is a most natural result of evolution, and it is largely nonconscious, internal, and unrevealed. It comes to be known thanks to the narrow window of consciousness. This is precisely how I see it. Consciousness offers a direct experience of mind, but the broker of the experience is a self, which is an internal and imperfectly constructed informer rather than an external, reliable observer. The brain-ness of mind cannot be directly appreciated either by the natural internal observer or by the external scientist. The brain-ness of mind has to be imagined in the fourth perspective. Hypotheses have to be formulated on the basis of that imaginary view. Predictions have to be made on the basis of the hypotheses. A research program is needed to get closer to them.”
“It goes without saying that the construction of a conscious mind is a very complex process, the result of additions and deletions of brain mechanisms over millions of years of biological evolution. No single device or mechanism can account for the complexity of the conscious mind. The different parts of the consciousness puzzle have to be treated separately and given their due before we can attempt a comprehensive account.
“Still, it is helpful to start with a general hypothesis. The hypothesis comes in two parts. The first specifies that the brain constructs consciousness by generating a self process within an awake mind. The essence of the self is a focusing of the mind on the material organism that it inhabits. Wakefulness and mind are indispensable components of consciousness, but the self is the distinctive element.”
“The second part of the hypothesis proposes that the self is built in stages. The simplest stage emerges from the part of the brain that stands for the organism (the protoself) and consists of a gathering of images that describe relatively stable aspects of the body and generate spontaneous feelings of the living body (primordial feelings). The second stage results from establishing a relationship between the organism (as represented by the protoself) and any part of the brain that represents an object-to-be-known. The result is the core self. The third stage allows multiple objects, previously recorded as lived experience or as anticipated future, to interact with the protoself and produce an abundance of core self pulses. The result is the autobiographical self. All three stages are constructed in separate but coordinated brain workspaces. These are the image spaces, the playground for the influence of both ongoing perception and of dispositions contained in convergence-divergence regions.”
“For my part, I focus on the image-making regions, the playground where the puppets in the show actually play. The puppeteers and the strings are outside the image space, in dispositional space located in the association cortices of the frontal, temporal, and parietal sectors. This perspective is compatible with imaging studies and electrophysiological studies that describe the behavior of those two distinct sectors (image space and dispositional space) in relation to conscious versus nonconscious images, such as in the work of Nikos Logothetis or Giulio Tononi on binocular rivalry, or the work of Stanislas Dehaene and Lionel Naccache on word processing. Conscious states require early sensory engagement and the engagement of as sociation cortices, because, as I see it, that is from where the puppet masters organize the show. I believe my account of the problem complements the global neuronal workspace approach, rather than standing in conflict with it.”
“The brain-stem nuclei involved in generating the core self. Several brain-stem nuclei work together to ensure homeostasis. But the homeostasis-related nuclei project to other groups of brain-stem nuclei (other brain-stem nuclei, in this figure). These other nuclei are grouped in functional families: the classical nuclei of the reticular formation, such as the nucleus pontis oralis and nucleus cuneiform, which influence the cerebral cortex via the intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus; the monoaminergic nuclei, which directly release molecules such as noradrenalin, serotonin, and dopamine to widespread regions of the cerebral cortex; and the cholinergic nuclei, which release acetylcholine.”
“In the hypothesis advanced here, the homeostatic nuclei generate the “feelings of knowing” component of the core self. In turn, the neural activity underlying that process recruits the other, nonhomeostatic brain-stem nuclei, to generate “object saliency.”
“Primordial feelings precede all other feelings. They refer specifically and uniquely to the living body that is interconnected with its specific brain stem. All feelings of emotion are variations of the ongoing primordial feelings. All feelings caused by the interaction of objects with the organism are variations of the ongoing primordial feelings. Primordial feelings and their emotional variations generate an observant chorus that accompanies all other images going on in the mind. ”
“Once we have a unified island of relative stability corresponding to a part of the organism, might the self emerge from it in one fell swoop? If so, the anatomy and physiology of the brain regions that underlie the protoself would tell most of the story of how a self is made. The self would derive from the brain’s capacity to accumulate and integrate knowledge about the most stable aspects of the organism, case closed. The self would amount to the unadorned and felt representation of life within the brain, a sheer experience unconnected to anything but its own body. The self would consist of the primordial feeling that the protoself, in its native state, spontaneously and relentlessly delivers, instant after instant.”
“The self comes to mind in the form of images, relentlessly telling a story of such engagements. The images of the modified protoself and of the feeling of knowing do not even have to be especially intense. They just have to be there in the mind, however subtly, little more than hints, to provide a connection between object and organism. After all, it is the object that most matters in order for the process to be adaptive.”
The three lower consciousnesses that are
Obsessed with the securing of objects,
With the chasing of sensations, power
And control will never ever be enough.
There are No actions of people that can
Justify our becoming irritable
Angry, fearful, jealous or anxious if
We give them our unconditional love.
If we don’t accept the unacceptable,
Then we lower our level of consciousness;
Our response will mirror their uptightness—
Which can spread the bad moods onto others.
Conscious Awareness, which can but witness,
Is a safe haven from which to observe
The drama of our lives playing in our minds,
Granting us a sobering distance from it.
From a safe subjective place that’s free of fear,
Our soul, our conscious awareness, can witness
The strange thoughts and emotions that surface
On the mind, sent by the subconscious brain.
Putting ourselves in the place of others
When hurtful things are done to us
Expands our consciousness, compassion, and love,
Since we can come to know why they did it.
When we converse with ourselves it is our
Higher Consciousness—our Conscious Awareness
Or I that questions our lower consciousness
Impulses toward securing, sensation, and power.
Seeing the big picture of life and its stages
And connections lets one not get annoyed, say,
At being cut off in traffic, for they
May be old, learning, lost, growing, or angry.
Putting the needs of others ahead of
Our own produces the byproduct of
Happiness and reduces stress, for we
No longer have unrealistic expectations.
There’s No Life in the dead past, just history,
Nor in the imagined future, a mystery,
But in the here and now life just arrives;
Its a gift—that’s why its called the present.
12. Can there be an actual infinity, as completed?
OK, the question already rules out potential infinities such as employed in math, so the question asks if the extent of something physical and existing (‘eternity’ pertains to duration) can be without end and limitless, that is, nonfinite. Note that it doesn’t refer to an extent that is finite but boundless, such as the surface of a sphere that has a definite area.
The answer, then, is ‘No’, for an extent that cannot be capped can’t both actually be there in it’s infinite entirety and still keep on going and getting larger without end because more can always be added to the infinite with these additions never ending.
So, ‘infinity’ really indicates an extent or an amount that can never be completed to become infinite, which isn’t a quantity or a number anyway; but people, being human, in their infinite wisdom, may disregard the meaning of the word, and let the word alone take on a life of its own by claiming that something is indeed infinite in its size or number.
So, then, for example, the number of protons/electrons in the universe must be finite, this being estimated, roughly, as 2×10^76 electron/proton particles, the ‘2x’ there to account for both matter and antimatter.
Since there are 10^9 photons for every proton, that number of annihilations is roughly indicated, so that’s why the original count has to be reduced from 2×10^85 or so to the 2×10^76 particles that there are now, and of course the real count may vary, but we won’t bother to change our signage any more any more than we would the one in a natural history museum relating how many millions of years old the dinosaur bones are.
Suffice it to say that there is a tremendous amount of stuff in the universe, it the seeming that nature is greatly extravagant big spender for some reason. As for how big in size things can get, more locally in the universe, it seems that it is whatever amount collapses upon itself to make a back hole.
As for how infinitesimal something can be, the Planck size appears to be the limit, which, by the way, seems to make for an absolute size scale, at least on one end, which is enough.
Perhaps someone can do the math to find out if the size of the universe in magnitude matches the negative magnitude of the Plank size. Why? I don’t really know yet; maybe their matching tells us something. Then we can find out what things are mid-way. Why? I don’t know yet.
Maybe it’s like perhaps the Largest times the Smallest equals ‘1’ and we may find ourselves perched here at finite unity. I’m also guessing that the large is so Large because the small is so Small or that a universe really huge was what granted that life could appear already.
Further, now that we know that there cannot be infinite density, then a certain finite limit was the breaking point for the Big Bang to go off. If infinite density were allowed, then the universe would not have begun, not even with a whisper.
Oh, those imaginings of what ne’er can be,
Such as Nought, Stillness, and Infinity,
As well as Random, Beginning and End,
Solidity, Space, Unfixed Will, and He.
13. Are time machines possible?
No, but I’m now a second ahead of when I began this.
NO TIME MACHINES
It isn’t that no one ever came back
From the future to see us,
Although that is still a good reason
For no time machines being possible.
Nor is it that there can’t be
A future going on somewhere ahead of time,
As that’s a fine one, too.
It is that women prevented time machines
From being invented;
For every time a man said,
“Honey, I’m going out to the garage
To work on my time machine”
The woman in his life would reply
“That’s impossible, dear.
Stop wasting your time;
There is housework to be done
And grass to be cut.”
The man would still sneak out
To try to work on his time machine,
But the woman would find him
And once again say something like,
“That’s impossible, you nut head.
Get in here and do something useful!”
And that’s why there are no time machines!
At least there can be time capsules.
THE TIME CAPSULE
Since one million years had just passed by,
They of the future prepared to open, nigh,
The absolutely sealed container’s prize
Of the capsule made so carefully that it survived
Without damage, being totally impregnable
To any outside influence imaginable.
They expected to see perhaps some old relic,
But certainly nothing alive that could tell of it,
For it would be hard to imagine even then
That some organism could keep on living its ken
Over its course onto a million years later,
Sealed inside this tight container,
Unable even to exchange energy’s spark,
This metabolism being the hallmark
Of life and all that quacked or quarked…
And so they did not at all expect something
In there that would be flapping its wings,
Gasping for air, or anything at all of life’s song,
It wondering what had taken so long.
Well they were right and they were wrong,
For in the time capsule planted ago so long,
Several things had with it come along…
One was a plaque, of numbers low and high,
It containing some primes and pi;
Another, some essays of the future—
Some, like on this forum, quite mature,
Along with Darwin’s book, maps curled,
And many other items of the world
From those times when the oceans swirled;
But the last one, perhaps not intended,
Was a microbe—an extremophile,
Sitting there quite contented all the while!
Well they soon laughed, loud and long,
For they were in between right and wrong
As to what could survive from so long ago,
And it was really walking mighty slow!
Stunned, twice they had to look;
It had crawled right out of Darwin’s book.
14. Can meditation make you one with the Cosmos?
(With a surprise ending.)
People can’t usually ever see
Further than an order of magnitude
Beyond where they are rutted, but…
Some can intuit ultimate reality!
It says, in those ‘dreams’, Of ever waking,
It’s hard to convince you with dream-language,
As when, in wakeful reality,
To tell you of that which is beyond telling.
During meditation, one clears the mind,
And so, then, there’s no real self, just one quale—
A near nothing that has little need to be;
Is this what-it’s-like to be a pure soul?
Physics, once more direct, seems now but an
Immaterial science of math-shadows,
While mysticism, once but a foggy notion,
Now’s the direct observation of the Light.
Meditation shifts intention away
From controlling and acquiring,
Toward acceptance and observation:
One takes-in instead of acting upon.
Enlightenment’s not grasped or possessed—
Acquisitive aim locks the secret out—
The form of consciousness that one starts with;
This is why “the secret protects itself”.
The ‘spiritual’ refers to profound connection,
Though not through visions or ecstatic emotion,
But with the experience of connectedness that
Underlies reality, and nothing more.
Meditation relieves the survival self,
Shifting attention from acting to allowing,
From emotional identification to observation,
From instrumental thinking to receptive experience.
Meditation, renunciation, and service
Are not really mysterious, just different
From the usual object-oriented approach.
Mysticism is modern and ancient, not esoteric.
In serving the task, one forgets the self,
And accesses life’s connected aspects
That go beyond one’s self-centered consciousness—
The survival of mankind being at sake.
Awareness is the ultimate being,
Fundamentally connected with ‘soul’,
And cannot be known in terms of worldly
Objects—it’s like, well… you have to be there!
The connectedness of everything to everything,
A rudimentary perception in and of itself,
Experiential in its ultimate physical disposition,
Facilitates consciousness of exterior through interior.
Not exactly. Actually, the quietus
Of the brain’s self-boundary and ID center,
Via focus on mantras, hymns, or prayers,
Is but a neurological effect, nothing more.
(Tested via electrodes in expert Buddhist monk meditators)
15. Do OBEs and/or NDEs take you to some other realm?
OBEs and NDEs
NDE tunnels of light and such
Can be explained by neurology,
And OBEs by a condition called sleep paralysis,
In which one is partly awake,
But cannot move.
When one is half asleep but half awake,
Or even half dead or half alive,
One is in a mixed state of both.
OBEs can also be chemically induced,
Resulting in full blown episodes.
Neither, then, are proof of a beyond,
But of an altered brain state.
I’ve had several OBEs.
In the first one,
I noted that the scene
Looked as real as real could be,
But I did nothing further
Than to float around the bedroom,
Full of amazement.
I later figured that the dream model of reality
Is the same one that is employed
When we are awake.
During the second OBE,
I rearranged the items on my end table,
Even knocking one item off.
All still felt totally real to the touch and all that,
And I was sure that I would see the evidence
Of the end table results later when I fully awoke;
But when I really awoke
I saw that nothing had been moved.
I also found that I could awake
From dreams anytime
By clenching my whole body,
And so during the third OBE
I luckily found myself in a kind of halfway state
In which my dream-arms
Were seen to be fiddling with the end table stuff
While I could also see my real arms
Just lying beside me, unmoving.
It’s not only visions that come in an OBE,
But of any sense;
Once I kept a dream song playing
For 10-15 seconds after I awoke—
It was playing only on the mind-brain ‘radio’.
I guess the moral is that
Sometimes a virtual dream reality
Cannot be told apart from the real,
Although it is always
And only the mind-brain
That puts a face on reality.
I was so sure that I was out of my body,
But one must also remember
That memory and imagination
Often images scenes from above (try it now).
When one is ‘floating’ above one’s body in an OBE,
It is not that Gravity’s laws have been repealed,
Nor is one in another dimension,
But just in the mind, as always.
It is also the case that people of different religions
See different religious symbols during NDE’s,
An indication that the phenomenon
Occurs within the mind, not without.
OBE’s are easily induced by drugs.
The fact that there are receptor sites in the brain
For such artificially produced chemicals means
That there are naturally produced
Brain chemicals that,
Under certain circumstances
(The stress of an trauma
Or an accident, for example),
Can induce any or all of the experiences
Typically associated with an NDE or OBE.
NDE’s are then nothing more than wild trips
Induced by the trauma of almost dying.
In an NDE, one is in danger of death
And so the brain is certainly not in a normal state,
Perhaps even being drained
Of oxygen and nutrients.
Lack of oxygen produces increased activity
Mental modes that give rise to consciousness.
What about the experience of a tunnel in an NDE?
Well, the visual cortex is on the back of the brain
Where information from the retina is processed.
Lack of oxygen, plus drugs generated,
Can interfere with the normal rate
Of firing by nerve cells in this area.
When this occurs ‘stripes’ of neuronal activity
Move across the visual cortex,
Which is interpreted by the brain
As concentric rings or spirals.
These spirals may be ‘seen’ as a tunnel.
Seeing a light at the end of a tunnel
Is a result of how the visual cortex
Works in this state.
We normally only see clearly only
At about the size of a deck of cards
Held at arm’s length
(Try looking just a little away
And the clarity goes way down)—
This is the center of the tunnel
Which is caused by the neuronal stripes.
(I am not dying to have an NDE)
16. Why did the universe have such low entropy in the past, if it did, that is, very high order, with but one arrangement of matter versus antimatter, instead of the high disorder of many, many arrangements, the low entropy resulting in the distinction between past and future and the second law of thermodynamics?
Assuming this low entropy beginning is true, I suggest that this seemingly rare, unlikely state (just one out of so many others possible as disorder) must rather be very likely, even as to be the only way a universe can begin, since the universe began as such.
Why, though, does whatever brought on this universe, end up with this initial state for the universe to be of the highest possible grouping order? And is it in any way related to the proposed end of the universe being of a featureless blend of dispersal?
17. Can the Fundamental make itself?
No, for it wouldn’t have existence before making itself, nor can it if it’s existent already; so, it must be ever existing. thus, no self-made person or Person.
18. Is the wave function probability real or just a math tool?
In New Scientist, a year or two ago, an article said the wave function probability is real, not just a mathematical probability tool. They found that quantum mechanics would not work if the wave function was not real.
What would this imply?
Let us revisit again whether our universe’s Alpha start in time is so improbable as it seems, as in question #16, what with its severe grouping order of separated matter and antimatter, such as that of the separated white and black pieces at the beginning of a chess game, with ideas from Gavin Giorbran.
Such an arrangement seems a rarity, but it may rather be that time cannot go forward if there is no progression from this very distinct grouping order of the Alpha Start toward the proposed Omega End of a totally blended symmetry order, this idea similar to an end as disorder of high entropy from any start of low entropy.
The universe is now in its its diversity stage, both at large and in our own aisle, yet its future of a blended symmetry order ever pulls/guides the present along, such as in the “time is like a river” analogy, this ‘flow’ proceeding inexorably from Lake Alpha to Lake Omega.
How and why was the seemingly rare state of the high ordered Alpha beginning of our universe accomplished?
The IS, as great as it is, is still subject to two boundaries, as the start and end described above.
All the probabilities of all imbalances must trace back to the one and only state of the most probable beginning of all.
Totality is in a superposition, all at once—of no time and of no space, the quantum probability patterns really being so, not just a math tool.
The separation of matter and anti-matter as the greatest possible imbalance, while all the probability balances must trace forward to the greatest and most probable imbalance at the end of all.
The ultimate, flat, symmetry order of the Omega—the end of all, draws the river of time along, guiding it, through the probability patterns.
The Time River of Probabilities flows smoother and further near its center, while near the shores there are eddies and swirls, contrasts, lumpiness, ebbs—even back flow.
The nows proceed and the moments play, motion but apparent, as successive frames—all the alternate plot’s scenarios being, which will blend at the Omega.
Our two brain hemispheres, too, must reflect the nature of the universe itself, as the left-side grouping order versus and with the whole of the right-side symmetry order.
Top-down drives the bottom-up ‘events’, the future ever affecting the present; The flat whiteness of the Omega End brings forth the diversified prismatic colors.
Electrons, protons, seem ‘bottom-up’, but are ‘enfolded’ in the top-down whole, as with Bohm’s implicit order guiding the blooming, unfolding, explicit order.
There are still many more ways for the universe to be lumpy, in degrees, than for it to be perfectly smooth, and that’s why there’s still a grouping order, as with galaxies and solar systems.
The not other no longer ‘improbable’ symmetry of uniformity comes at future’s end; This Omega symmetry order is the opposite of Alpha’s grouping order.
The fundamental reality then is en-un-foldment; particles are abstractions from that. Electrons don’t exist continuously but are coming, going, then coming again.
Probabilities are actualities, so probabilities exist, so then we have a simple solution to why our universe came from a dense state.
All the possible patterns of the past and future exist simultaneously, independent of the passage of time frames, so, the history of a temporal universe moving through those possible patterns will inevitably trace backward to the extreme, greatest imbalance, and hence to the severe order of the Alpha start.
It seems strange that time began from Alpha, unless patterns are physically real, so then time invariably originates from the greatest imbalance of them all.
Time’s forward direction is ever toward balance. and so when it’s traced backward, that same path invariably originates from imbalance; the temporal universe is as it must be.
Since pattern space is existingly there then the flow of time is built into reality, causing probable time-worlds to exist, while extremely improbable time-worlds do not.
The must-existence of patterns is great—for the hierarchy of atomic elements, star systems, bio-life, consciousness, and finally intelligence and wisdom.
If time and change were not restricted to probability’s arrow of time built into pattern space then anything could happen and would happen, as chaos.
The end promotes the means in that time’s river, having a specific ending, explains why the universe’s wave function is specific. If what’s possible was just coming from the past, There’s no reasonable explanation for the control of all the probabilities, such as the wave density of atomic particles, A river only from the past would be flowing outward into chaos, but it can’t.
Take the above with a grain of salt; we may amend it later, or not.
19. Is math the basis of All?
Pi shows up everywhere; the planets’ orbits are ellipses; the atomic elements have a numbered arrangement; the Fibonacci sequence shows up in the spirals of a sunflower; physics formulas work; positive and negative balances appear in Nature and nature, etc.
If math is Reality, then particles, forces, and energy are not just described by equations but
I rather, though, think that numbers and their subsequent mathematics were invented by humans in order to, at first, have shorthand labels for the number of objects
Math indeed turns out to be suitable for things in nature that exhibit rhythm and regularity and thus make themselves amenable to being described by math equations, although we often have to improve later on to get more accuracy.
More than the above, though, but not math as fundamental, is that the machinery of the universe and of the biological must churn out very math related outputs, such as that stars are machines that produce the atomic elements, nature’s bio-machine produces the sunflower patterns, brains’ neural networks have cells that fire when a certain threshold of inputs is reached, and pi is going to show up a lot (it being central to circular goings on).
Now, if only we could solve the three-body problem straight out instead using probability math (but it can’t be solved).
20. What about the continuing claims of something from nothing?
Vilenkin has such a claim, but at the end of the day it is the laws of physics that he has as the What IS for the beginning of our universe. This is similar to having math as the basis; it is still something. And something ‘nothing’ turns out only to be the physicist’s noting of the vacuum (which has energy).
Roger Ellman has a theory of nothing, too, but with more details, these being that energy must be conserved and that the rise from nothing must not be abrupt, but near infinitely gradual, and then he looks for a needle in a haystack, which turns out to be easy.
He settles on waves, since they are both ubiquitous and simple continuous functions, as the ‘needles’ that write reality, via a cosine function, for its derivatives conform to the requirements, too.
There are more waves with waves as more cosine functions in order to not have the wave envelopes begin anywhere but at zero, and an infinity is avoided since this whole cosmic egg as a giant neutron the size of the universe blows up before an infinite regress to create the universe since all these waves (2×10**85) cannot be compressed to infinite density.
The sets of waves with positive amplitude (charge) are matter and the negative ones are inverse matter. The wave frequencies make for mass/energy and the wave lengths make for extension into dimension.
The wave envelopes become electrons, the waves themselves become protons, and waves 180 degrees out of phase become photons.
So, we have the perfect symmetry of the main stable particles—the electron(-)/positron(+), anti-proton(-)/proton(+), and the photon(neutral). It’s very tidy that there are only those ways described to make these matter and energy particles, meaning that there can’t be uncharged matter particles nor a charged energy particle.
Yet, there must be some mechanism for this to come about and that would be something, not nothing.
Scott Mayers: I opt to begin using nothingness as a start and try to demonstrate how this can still derive things like laws and apparent abstraction of number and/or logic as real things. We need both approaches to discover truth regardless of whether you agree to using nothingness as I do, one thing as others do, or an infinite set of things.
Of course if nothingness can do something, then it’s not a Nothing (as per your word ‘derive things’), so we can refer to it as a near nothing, and, indeed, nature’s smallest is indeed minuscule to the point of being greatly infinitesimal, which is were the action begins.
Some suppose that Nothing is totally lawless and so therefore anything goes, or at least something may go; but, again this kind of capability, potential, possibility would make for a something, and so then that would be What IS ever as the basis of all, perhaps even for making sum-things, for there appears to be a very curious (near) zero-sum balance throughout nature, which I can list another time.
Superpostion/duality? This can be a result of how I explained strings as forms of spirals that originate what matter is. It’s structure necessarily presents particles as having a symmetry that extends in two opposing directions and the ‘superposition’ is represented by how the spin of one arm at some given distance has an equal and opposing spin and vector direction on the other arm.
My guess about a particle’s superposition is that it is a vibration, causing it to be here and there, in turn. Its smallness would protect it from gravity collapsing its wave function. Or is it extended information.
21. Here’s an intermediate wrap-up, with perhaps a few new ideas derived from nothing or at least much ado about nothing:
The impossibles, such as infinity (largest or smallest), Nothing (‘zero’; no properties), random, absolute solidity (a ‘one’ of infinite density), unfixed will or effects without cause determining them, beginnings and ends to the basis of all, stillness, while seemingly unimportant as nonexistent ‘absolutes’, are the very key to what’s really going on, as those are the boundaries that steer us along a realistic path of reason, since unless both opposites are nonexistent then the impossibility of one indicates that its opposite is true, which is the benefit of philosophy’s logic, even to the great point that a proof is then not even necessary, since on already has the truth.
So, there is still great hope for the impossible Nothing playing a role for us finding things out, the first of which results in our knowing that there is then something ever, since there is something here, and, further, that even wrongly granting that there could have been a lack of anything then it would still be so.
To gravitate toward Nothing as the Basis because we note the downward progression of the simpler and simple is still an intuition, for what could be simpler than Nothing, but to have to do something we have to further claim that it is unstable and divides into positive and negative, or that any time it tries to be, it can’t, and produces positives and negatives, but, again, these qualities and properties we add onto it make it not a Nothing in the first place.
However, Nothing may have another use, which is that since a ‘zero’ and a ‘one’ cannot be, they don’t exhaust all possibility, as first it might seem, but can’t, since they’re both impossible, but remain as boundaries, granting an in-betweening in which all degrees of ‘fractionals’ must exist, whether actually or just potentially, which state of ‘everything possible’ can also be derived from knowing that What IS ever has no point or place (before or outside of it) that any certain, specific direction can be imparted to it. This is not to say that it might not be subject to a forced default via the necessity of the ultimate simplicity to be a simple, continuous function, but still able, for the first reason above, to not be limited by an impossible First Design.
There is still the tendency to resist ‘cause and effect’ happening forever downward, feeling that the buck has to stop, but then still not anything external could input to it, and so one promotes that cause has to be replaced by something else, an equation perhaps, that of the zero sum, and while all this asks for a proof, without which we seem to have incompleteness (which seems to make it invariably wrong), a proof would be nice to avoid the eternal regress of cause and effect, we are yet again rescued by knowing that something must be ever.
There is, too, a nagging tendency to represent Full Being and Complete Nothingness nevertheless as having to end up as a duality, given that there’s no point to specify either as the Basis, their opposition as impossibles suggesting a necessary blend that is in all respects neither of them.
It then could be, if we can get through the apparent paradox, that there must be or close to a zero-sum balance across existence that cancels out at totality, in principle, yet it can’t, really, but for the enduring realness of the actuality of the possibility giving rise to the mechanism for the scheme, which would then be the Ultimate Something.
Thus the interactions of nature would be of total precision, to always sum to zero, with no energy adding up for free out of nowhere, this necessity granting the conservation laws.
So, what are all these opposites, some of them canceling somewhat, or even zero-sum balances, that we’ve found?
— Overall electric neutrality, of positive and negative charge, this opposite polarity of charge seeming to nullify all of existence in the overview, but not in actuality, for nothing cannot be.
Note that if there is space, then its dimensions are additive, summative, and so they can’t perform the nullification, leaving the fourth, time, which must then do it, yet timely goes forward, but disregarding and/or overturning that, then time is somehow related to charge, which is difficult to fathom.
— The Baryon number is zero, of matter and anti-matter. We’re back to Question #16.
— The weak force (changeability) opposes the strong force (stability).
There are all kind of oppositional pairs, such as up/down, on/off, etc., and also transitional pairs, such as the electric transforming into magnetic and back, and so forth, which is what an electromagnetic wave does to keep on going, past to now to future.
The positive kinetic energy of stuff is canceled by the negative potential energy of gravity (Hawking). Energy must be expended to pull two things apart.
So, between the only two option of ‘something forever’ versus ‘something from Nothing’, we still hold the ToE in hand, as one of these two options, and that isn’t too shabby, pulse still end up with a something, and we have such.
We can even again attempt try to unify the two options, as in that ‘something forever’, having no beginning, didn’t come from anywhere, this “not from anywhere” seeming to be like the other option, ‘something from Nothing’, but that’s not quite the same, or as ‘something from Nothing’ is the forever basis, thus making it appear to be the ‘something forever’, but Nothing must be unproductive or else ‘it’ isn’t a Nothing.
22. Is there an implicate order behind the explicate?
One experiences the explicate order of What IS in its transformations indirectly, and of that only what makes it into consciousness, one ever only experiencing the inside of the head—via the brain’s inside-out view, via resultant brain analysis qualia outputs as phenomena representing, to a presumably useful degree, some portion of noumena impinging on the senses, the noumena perhaps even still as the message rather than the messenger itself, which would be the implementation of the entire scheme—The Theory of Everything itself.
So, how are we supposed to get through perhaps two levels of explicates to the ultimate implicate?
Well, there may be scarce clues about, and so we set afoot on the quest to find them, for we know that the appearances that seem to be have gone through several transformations/representations, including the initial one of What IS going through its paces.
The notion of implicate and explicate orders emphasizes the primacy of structure and process over individual objects. The latter are seen as mere approximations of an underlying process. In this approach, quantum particles and other objects are understood to have only a limited degree of stability and autonomy.
Bohm believes that the weirdness of the behavior of quantum particles is caused by unobserved forces maintaining that space and time might actually be derived from an even deeper level of objective reality. In the words of F. David Peat, Bohm considers that what we take for reality are “surface phenomena, explicate forms that have temporarily unfolded out of an underlying implicate order”. That is, the implicate order is the ground from which reality emerges.
In analogy to Alfred North Whitehead’s notion of actual occurrence, Bohm considered the notion of moment–a moment being a not entirely localizable event, with events being allowed to overlap and being connected in an over-all implicate order: I propose that each moment of time is a projection from the total implicate order. The term projection is a particularly happy choice here, not only because its common meaning is suitable for what is needed, but also because its mathematical meaning as a projection operation, P, is just what is required for working out these notions in terms of the quantum theory.
Bohm emphasized the primary role of the implicate order’s structure: My attitude is that the mathematics of the quantum theory deals primarily with the structure of the implicate pre-space and with how an explicate order of space and time emerges from it, rather than with movements of physical entities, such as particles and fields. (This is a kind of extension of what is done in general relativity, which deals primarily with geometry and only secondarily with the entities that are described within this geometry.)
Bohm also claimed that “as with consciousness, each moment has a certain explicate order, and in addition it enfolds all the others, though in its own way. So the relationship of each moment in the whole to all the others is implied by its total content: the way in which it ‘’holds’ all the others enfolded within it”. Bohm characterises consciousness as a process in which at each moment, content that was previously implicate is presently explicate, and content which was previously explicate has become implicate.
One may indeed say that our memory is a special case of the process described above, for all that is recorded is held enfolded within the brain cells and these are part of matter in general. The recurrence and stability of our own memory as a relatively independent sub-totality is thus brought about as part of the very same process that sustains the recurrence and stability in the manifest order of matter in general. It follows, then, that the explicate and manifest order of consciousness is not ultimately distinct from that of matter in general.
A key motivation for Bohm in proposing a new notion of order was the well-known incompatibility of quantum theory with relativity theory. Bohm 1980, p. xv summarised the state of affairs he perceived to exist: …in relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate and well defined, while in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well-defined. Each theory is committed to its own notions of essentially static and fragmentary modes of existence (relativity to that of separate events connectible by signals, and quantum mechanics to a well-defined quantum state). One thus sees that a new kind of theory is needed which drops these basic commitments and at most recovers some essential features of the older theories as abstract forms derived from a deeper reality in which what prevails is unbroken wholeness.
(Which can only be What IS.)
Bohm maintained that relativity and quantum theories are in basic contradiction in these essential respects, and that a new concept of order should begin with that toward which both theories point: undivided wholeness. This should not be taken to mean that he advocated such powerful theories be discarded. He argued that each was relevant in a certain context—i.e., a set of interrelated conditions within the explicate order—rather than having unlimited scope, and that apparent contradictions stem from attempts to overgeneralize by superposing the theories on one another, implying greater generality or broader relevance than is ultimately warranted. Thus, Bohm 1980, pp. 156–167 argued: “… in sufficiently broad contexts such analytic descriptions cease to be adequate … ‘the law of the whole’’will generally include the possibility of describing the ‘loosening’’of aspects from each other, so that they will be relatively autonomous in limited contexts … however, any form of relative autonomy (and heteronomy) is ultimately limited by holonomy, so that in a broad enough context such forms are seen to be merely aspects, relevated in the holomovement, rather than disjoint and separately existent things in interaction.”
One clue is that What IS has to be sufficient unto itself, for it’s all that is and thus only only itself to work with. Other names for it could be Totality, the All, the Something, the Universe (if only one), the Basis, or the Cosmos.
All of our somethings, no matter their particular degree of realness, in that they may not be primary, are still real somethings to some extent because they can only be of the Real—the Realest.
Even an electron’s charge could be secondary, an effect of some kind of more basic wave’s negative amplitude, perhaps, or even the electron being the effect of something like a center of oscillating waves.
The whole task is so daunting that it has driven many of the wise to waste over thousands of years, to at least knocks them about to their core.
The circling orbs that in the night skies abound
Do the minds of the learned ones confound.
Dare not loosen the grasp of wisdom’s thread;
Even the wise grow faint from the whirls around.
— Omar’s Bodleian Ms q#58 retransmogrified by Austin
The second clue is that time appears to be quantized, for we have discovered the Planck time, plus that having time to be infinitely divisible, rather than an interval, leads to paradoxes like Zeno’s.
This leads me toward the concept of time known as presentism, in which only the ‘now’ exists, with the past all gone and the future being not yet and so not anywhere either. We ourselves cannot be and need not be extended in time, because our minds have memory of the more recent past, sensation for the present, and anticipation/imagination of the at least near future. And of course these three, such as when listening to music, provide a delight that none of them could alone.
Some of the difficulties and paradoxes of presentism can be resolved by changing the normal view of time as a container or thing unto itself and seeing time as a measure of changing spatial relationships among objects; thus observers need not be extended in time to exist and be aware, but rather they exist and the changes in internal relationships within the observer can be measured by stable countable events. — Wiki
The opposite of presentism is eternalism, as Einstein’s block universe, in which past and future both exist, although few get into the implications of this arrangement, which, for one is that at some point, perhaps even all at once, all the interactions in the block were predicted and laid out, which is quite a lot of foreseeing, not to mention keeping all the histories and futures without breaking some ultimate bandwidth. Eternalism is essentially a real 4D movie playing its 3D frames, like that of a 3D flip book’s pages turning, with no alternate parts, beginnings, or endings, which might be called pre-determined, as opposed to determined as it goes along (presentism). Note that both are deterministic.
So, perhaps Einstein’s special relativity, though it works, is more of an explicate model.
At any rate, the ‘nows’ march on.
The third clue is that we get the message that simplicity in the past leads up to the less simple, such as composites, and onto complexity unto, eventually, very high complexity, which, as the fourth clue, took such a long time that we can hardly comprehend it, but demonstrates that there are no short cuts such as those presented in the mythical ages.
The TOE is then so simple that many might at first not even find it remarkable, having expected some big fat complicated monstrosity.
The fifth clue:
A fundamental lesson of general relativity is that there is no fixed spacetime background, as found in Newtonian mechanics and special relativity; the spacetime geometry is dynamic.
While easy to grasp in principle, this is the hardest idea to understand about general relativity, and its consequences are profound and not fully explored, even at the classical level. To a certain extent, general relativity can be seen to be a relational theory, in which the only physically relevant information is the relationship between different events in spacetime. — Wiki
Loop quantum gravity is based first of all on the idea to take seriously the insight of general relativity that spacetime is a dynamical field and therefore is a quantum object. The second idea is that the quantum discreteness that determines the particle-like behavior of other field theories (for instance, the photons of the electromagnetic field) also affects the structure of space.
The main result of loop quantum gravity is the derivation of a granular structure of space at the Planck length. This is derived as follows. In the case of electromagnetism, the quantum operator representing the energy of each frequency of the field has discrete spectrum. Therefore the energy of each frequency is quantized, and the quanta are the photons. In the case of gravity, the operators representing the area and the volume of each surface or space region have discrete spectrum. Therefore area and volume of any portion of space are quantized, and the quanta are elementary quanta of space. It follows that spacetime has an elementary quantum granular structure at the Planck scale, which cuts-off the ultraviolet infinities of quantum field theory. — Wiki
dionisos: You don’t build anything on top of “there is something”, aside from “there is something”.
One can build that because there is something, a lack of anything is not possible—or ‘it’ would still be so; however, Nothing has no properties (i.e., no method, no probability of something appearing, no capability, etc.), and, so, furthermore, being that Nothing cannot even be, that the basic Something is thus a must, no option, no choice, mandatory, and then that it also has to be ever, given that it cannot have a beginning, which also shows that it is without end, and more, such that anything that happens must be of it, and, so, therefore, it can transform itself, making all that goes on to be of its effect… and thought there may be more to derive, that’s enough for now.
And further that the basic Something that IS with no beginning thus cannot have a point for any specific, certain way, direction, or design to be imparted to it, giving us that either its methods are open or that it can only work the one way it must from some default necessity (such as, say, a simple, continuous function, for example, since composites cannot be fundamental in themselves).
Lawrence Crocker: What must something have to count as a something?
Quantity; for example, completely empty space’s lone quantity would be volume. Of course, then one still has to show ‘space’ and, if so, that it can have ‘volume’; however the third dimension can be questioned, due to the clue that the formula for the maximum entropy of a black hole’s event horizon only has a squared term rather than a cubed one, indicating that it depends on the area of the event horizon and not on the volume, suggesting that it’s possible that volume is an illusion in our explicate (phenomenal) order, although the concept is useful and can be employed.
The seventh clue is that the maximum entropy of a black hole’s event horizon depends on the area, not on the volume, as would be expected. The third dimension may not exist.
The holographic principle is a property of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon. First proposed by Gerard ‘t Hooft, it was given a precise string-theory interpretation by Leonard Susskind who combined his ideas with previous ones of ‘t Hooft and Charles Thorn. As pointed out by Raphael Bousso, Thorn observed in 1978 that string theory admits a lower-dimensional description in which gravity emerges from it in what would now be called a holographic way.
In a larger sense, the theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information on the cosmological horizon, such that the three dimensions we observe are an effective description only at macroscopic scales and at low energies. Cosmological holography has not been made mathematically precise, partly because the particle horizon has a non-zero area and grows with time.
The holographic principle was inspired by black hole thermodynamics, which conjectures that the maximal entropy in any region scales with the radius squared, and not cubed as might be expected. In the case of a black hole, the insight was that the informational content of all the objects that have fallen into the hole might be entirely contained in surface fluctuations of the event horizon. The holographic principle resolves the black hole information paradox within the framework of string theory. However, there exist classical solutions to the Einstein equations that allow values of the entropy larger than those allowed by an area law, hence in principle larger than those of a black hole. These are the so-called “Wheeler’s bags of gold”. The existence of such solutions conflicts with the holographic interpretation, and their effects in a quantum theory of gravity including the holographic principle are not yet fully understood.
For a given energy in a given volume, there is an upper limit to the density of information (the Bekenstein bound) about the whereabouts of all the particles which compose matter in that volume, suggesting that matter itself cannot be subdivided infinitely many times and there must be an ultimate level of fundamental particles. As the degrees of freedom of a particle are the product of all the degrees of freedom of its sub-particles, were a particle to have infinite subdivisions into lower-level particles, then the degrees of freedom of the original particle must be infinite, violating the maximal limit of entropy density. The holographic principle thus implies that the subdivisions must stop at some level, and that the fundamental particle is a bit (1 or 0) of information.
The most rigorous realization of the holographic principle is the AdS/CFT correspondence by Juan Maldacena. However, J.D. Brown and Marc Henneaux had rigorously proved already in 1986, that the asymptotic symmetry of 2+1 dimensional gravity gives rise to a Virasoro algebra, whose corresponding quantum theory is a 2-dimensional conformal field theory.
The physical universe is widely seen to be composed of “matter” and “energy”. In his 2003 article published in Scientific American magazine, Jacob Bekenstein summarized a current trend started by John Archibald Wheeler, which suggests scientists may “regard the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals.”
Bekenstein asks “Could we, as William Blake memorably penned, ‘see a world in a grain of sand,’ or is that idea no more than ‘poetic license,” referring to the holographic principle.
Bekenstein’s topical overview “A Tale of Two Entropies” describes potentially profound implications of Wheeler’s trend, in part by noting a previously unexpected connection between the world of information theory and classical physics. This connection was first described shortly after the seminal 1948 papers of American applied mathematician Claude E. Shannon introduced today’s most widely used measure of information content, now known as Shannon entropy. As an objective measure of the quantity of information, Shannon entropy has been enormously useful, as the design of all modern communications and data storage devices, from cellular phones to modems to hard disk drives and DVDs, rely on Shannon entropy.
In thermodynamics (the branch of physics dealing with heat), entropy is popularly described as a measure of the “disorder” in a physical system of matter and energy. In 1877 Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann described it more precisely in terms of the number of distinct microscopic states that the particles composing a macroscopic “chunk” of matter could be in while still looking like the same macroscopic “chunk”. As an example, for the air in a room, its thermodynamic entropy would equal the logarithm of the count of all the ways that the individual gas molecules could be distributed in the room, and all the ways they could be moving.
Energy, matter, and information equivalence
Shannon’s efforts to find a way to quantify the information contained in, for example, an e-mail message, led him unexpectedly to a formula with the same form as Boltzmann’s. In an article in the August 2003 issue of Scientific American titled “Information in the Holographic Universe”, Bekenstein summarizes that “Thermodynamic entropy and Shannon entropy are conceptually equivalent: the number of arrangements that are counted by Boltzmann entropy reflects the amount of Shannon information one would need to implement any particular arrangement…” of matter and energy. The only salient difference between the thermodynamic entropy of physics and Shannon’s entropy of information is in the units of measure; the former is expressed in units of energy divided by temperature, the latter in essentially dimensionless “bits” of information.
The holographic principle states that the entropy of ordinary mass (not just black holes) is also proportional to surface area and not volume; that volume itself is illusory and the universe is really a hologram which is isomorphic to the information inscribed on the surface of its boundary. The Universe is a projection of information on the boundary.”
What Maldacena came up with was a concrete mathematical formulation of the hologram idea that made use of ideas from superstring theory, which posits that elementary particles are composed of tiny vibrating loops of energy. His model envisages a 3D universe containing strings and black holes that are governed only by gravity, bounded by a 2D surface on which elementary particles and fields obey ordinary quantum laws without gravity. Hypothetical residents of the 3D space would never see this boundary because it is infinitely far away. But that wouldn’t matter: anything happening in the 3D universe could be described equally well by equations in the 2D universe, and vice versa. “I found that there’s a mathematical dictionary that allows you to go back and forth between the languages of these two worlds,” Maldacena explains.
Hyakutake et al. in 2013/4 published two papers that bring computational evidence that Maldacena’s conjecture is true. One paper computes the internal energy of a black hole, the position of its event horizon, its entropy and other properties based on the predictions of string theory and the effects of virtual particles. The other paper calculates the internal energy of the corresponding lower-dimensional cosmos with no gravity. The two simulations match. The papers are not an actual proof of Maldacena’s conjecture for all cases but a demonstration that the conjecture works for a particular theoretical case and a verification of the AdS/CFT correspondence for a particular situation.
So, then, using input from my friend, the great Johann de Jong (aka Obvious Leo), since time and gravity are quantized, Totality must be digital, that is, Boolean at heart, all its finite divisions ending up with 1 or 0, its lone monad, as it being on or off, with an energy level, as precisely time’s variable interval (it’s variable due to gravity pulling time backward), time’s interval being the Planck time.
As such, there is only now and here, albeit that we view our subjective reality slightly in the past, for the broadcast takes time. Events come and go. Our universe is an event in time, not a place in space.
The past ‘now’ is not kept but in our memories, for the previous state of ‘now’ is consumed as it goes into the construction of the next state of ‘now.
Since there can’t be anything outside Totality a completed block universe of eternalism with both extant past and future couldn’t have been constructed, leaving Totality having but to transform itself at each ‘now’ of presentism without the future or the past existing, which is also because time is intermittent, that is, quantized, and not continuous.
So there is no ‘place’. Space does not exist. Only ‘here’ exists. Everywhere you are is ‘here’. There cannot be anything but ‘here’, and it’s just the fact that ‘here’ looks different depending on what happens across time that causes people to think that ‘there’ is a coherent concept.
There is no distance, because after all you can never reach out to what is at that ‘distance’. It’s always only the inside of ‘you’ that is known and ‘seen’. ‘Across the room’ doesn’t exist; it’s an illusion one gets by mistaking the progression of heres for being an implication of a ‘there’.
Our reality is a succession of heres across time, and that is all there is to it, as the ultimate simplicity.
The block universe of eternalism that cannot be would be as a 4D book all of whose 3D pages exist beforehand, each page a whole universe of 3D space, these prebuilt pages flipping very quickly, whereas in the presentism of only the ‘now’, there is only one page, the ‘now’, which refreshes itself very quickly through immediate cause and effect, input and output. Note that there is no ‘random’ in either case.
Both are deterministic. Eternalism is a pre-determined kind and presentism determines events as it goes along. Both provide an illusion of motion, for the brain blends the frames/states; so now we are both homeless and motionless, having lost our place and our movement, not to mention being stuck ‘doing’ what we have to ‘do’, which isn’t even any kind of ‘doing’ at all, since it’s the other way around: Totality does you. We can apply to the government for aid.
23. How come the expression of human nature is so wide-ranging?
Well, not only are we in a great diversity stage because so many more actions of activity are possible now, it’s that people can be good to bad, smart to not, healthy to ill, etc., for that’s what how the human constitution has come to be.
Further, evolution and simplicity having to got to complexity made us what we are, so it’s no use blaming a ‘God’ for making us as He fully intended us to be and then getting surprised and disliking the result, thus not even taking responsibility for the failure of his own invention.
24. Can there be something extra or super, a so called ‘intangible’ that still can interact with the tangible?
No, for whatever could walk the walk and talk the talk with the tangible would have to speak its language and thus be tangible as well.
25. What, then, is the “ding and sich” of existence?
The Universe is a projection of information on the moving boundary that is the Now, which is of a process.
Existence is about Being and Becoming. Process philosophy is only about relationships because everything in the universe is causally connected to everything else because of gravity.
This is actually remarkably easy if you understand GR. Time is what clocks measure and the speed at which time passes is entirely determined by gravity. Since gravity is stronger within galaxies than it is between them then time passes more quickly between galaxies than it does within them. On the cosmological scale the observer observes this as the galaxies moving away from him, which indeed they are. However they are moving away in time and the absurd notion of an expanding space is nothing more than an observer effect.
You may be surprised to know that the moon is moving away from the earth by about 4cm per year for exactly the same reason.Time passes more quickly on the moon than it does on earth but it passes more quickly in between them than it does on either body. Ergo the moon is moving away from us. This gets rid of dark energy but it also gets rid of dark matter because we can simply accept the evidence which is plain for all to see. Depending on their mass the galaxies must inevitably fly apart until such time as they merge with other galaxies to reform into an elliptical shape. The most obvious example of a galaxy which is doing this is the one we’re living in.
The metaphysical principles which underpin relativity are exquisitely simple. There is no state of absolute rest anywhere in the universe. Absolutely everything that is physically real is moving and therefore its location as it is moving can only be specified relative to another moving body. However Newton showed us that the motion of every physical entity in the universe is causally determined by the motion of every other because of gravity. This means that the location of any moving physical entity can only be specified in terms of the relativistic motions of every single moving physical entity in the universe.
In what way could you define ‘location’ as a valid physical construct when the relativistic location of any body is dependent on every co-moving body in the universe? Heisenberg was trying to pass off a simple statement of the bloody obvious as a message of profound truth. You can’t specify both the location and the momentum of a particle at the same time for the simple reason that it can’t have both at the same time. You can’t do this for a jumbo jet either.
— Johann de Jong
In addition, it is the mind that forms motion from a sequence of nows, so where would location be? Or, if you manage to get a snapshot, then there it is, as still and not moving, so then what is its momentum?
A MOVING OBJECT HAS NO LOCATION.
A finite speed of light means that it is utterly impossible for the observer to observe the real world. When we are ‘here’ and observe something which is ‘there’ we are observing something which no longer exists.
What IS is a reality MAKER and that the existential nature of reality is that it is a PROCESS. The universe is that which is continuously making itself and this is very much where the speed of light comes into the story because the speed of light is the speed at which this PROCESS occurs at the Planck scale. The speed of light determines the rate of change in a physical system at this scale and this speed is continuously variable because of gravity. Changes take place more quickly in the atoms of your head than they do in the atoms of your feet because the speed of light is faster at your head than it is at your feet. This is quantum gravity.
The notion of a Planck length is purely an epistemic one in my philosophy and the monads must be thought of as zero-volume mathematical points. I tend to visualize them as point particles on a continuously emerging gravity/time wave and as informational ‘bits’ in a strictly computational sense. Each ‘bit’ has only two physical properties, these being its information/energy content and the duration of its existence as determined by gravity. Each ‘bit’ on the wave can be causally influenced by any other ‘bit’ on the wave but only in a strictly Boolean and binary way so I think of this as any given ‘bit’ simply becoming its own next ‘bit’ with a slightly higher or lower information content.
If you imagine Conway’s game of life being enacted in a fractal time dimension you should be able to see how such a sequence of successive iterations can encode for whatever sub-atomic particles we choose to define.
The central point is to think of reality as that which is constantly and continuously being made anew rather than something which is simply ‘out there’.
— Johann de Jong
Presentism asserts that ‘now’ is the only existing time, not just here, but everywhere. That ‘now’ is something that flows into a future. In other words, the universe is not a static thing from which arbitrary slices can be considered, it is just ‘’the current state of everything’, changing in place at some pace, which is the rate of flow of time.
Good description of immediate cause from the previous now state making for the next now state, and so forth, the previous states being replaced, and so gone away, the pace being something like the Planck length divided by the Planck time resulting in change at the necessarily resultant speed of light.
The other kind of time is the physical kind that can be measured by clocks, and that relativity references.
Which is, of course, the eternalism of a block universe. So, we have the answer nearly in hand, being that it must either be presentism or eternalism, and so we can derive truths by noting what they have in common.
Both are deterministic, so there’s a truth, and so nature has consistency, although determinism doesn’t sit well, at first, until we consider its opposite of ‘randomness’.
Both are as frames of a movie playing, as frames passing by, one with the whole movie already produced beforehand and the other with the movie being made as it goes along, both indicating that there is no real continuous motion but that the mind makes it appear as so, for both indicate that the world appears as a new image frame at each time interval.
Both eliminate the paradoxes like Zeno’s that become of considering time as unquantized and thus infinitely divisible and totally continuous.
We’ll have to figure how the block universe of eternalism could have been constructed all at once, if we like that theory, with everything foreseen immediately, if not all at once, or else Somebody would still be working on it and never finish it in time.
We’ve established the Truth that there has to be Something, being that Existence can’t have an opposite of non-existence (Nothing), since no-thing is our own invention, and useful for such as “There is nothing in the closet”, but of course an absolute Nothing has no background of a closet, and no ‘there’, ‘when’, ‘how’, etc., and so there can’t be No-thing, but only a Yes-thing.
We’re wondering what the base existent is, and to get to that, we go on to rule things out. Certainly, composite things with parts cannot be primary, for the parts would then be more fundamental, so this gives us something like a monad for the basis, which has to be a simple, continuous function, made of, well, existence, to name it in general.
The monads, being ever, evidently have to change/transform their states to different levels, thus we calling it all What IS, with no ‘was’, since no beginning, which is forced, whether we are happy with that or not. This is because there was no point ‘before’ What IS or ‘outside’ of it for any specific, certain direction or design to be imparted to it, and so this indicates that What IS itself has to generate the happenings of itself as transformations that naturally can only progress from the simple to the more and more complex, in the cases where that gets somewhere, with, of course, some of its actions going nowhere, too, and, indeed, billions of years can pass before things get interesting.
But we wish to know more of the basic ‘what’ that existence is, and so we look for even more clues, one of which is that everything seems to be quantized, the shortest interval of time being the Planck time, so now at least we know what the duration of the processing/transformation time of the IS is the Planck interval, this quantum of Planck Time also telling us that there is a limit to the subdivision of time, which was what Zeno was really trying to show with his paradoxes bases on infinite divisions that, for one, allowed the turtle to catch the hare.
So, too, is the ‘what’ of stuff not infinitely divisible, but ends at the Planck Length, so now we know that the basic ‘what’ of the necessary monad is mighty small, as well as the interval in which it can change.
Finally, an equivalence principle has been shown that equates mass/energy to information, and so this means that information is the ‘what’ of the base monad, which means that the ‘it’ of what’s effected as reality comes from ‘bit’, by a generative information process, akin to something like Conway’s Game of Life that generates stable structures from its simple rules, although what we have going on would be somewhat more than that, such as higher and higher encodings at higher levels generating more at their own levels.
We also suspect that there is no externalism of time, as a pre-made block universe, since, again, there’s no point at which to make that for what had no beginning, plus time having to be an interval indicates that the base happenings are made in that interval as time goes along, via the information bits of the ‘what’ that existence is.
Effectively, all paths get considered, eventually, and this brute force method is guaranteed to find workable solutions much more so that a proposed great complexity that is First that can foresee every eventuality, plus that a complexity can’t be First as Fundamental, anyway, for systems have parts, and thus those parts would have to precede.
Of course, presentism is deterministic, too, but, well, we can’t have our cake and eat it, too, for consistency is a good thing, it leading to continuance and survival.
26. Epilog: Now Here; No Where
As I lay on a beach in Papeete, one morning, thinking of a new ‘From Here to Eternity’ movie, starring Mother Nature and Father Time, a Klein bottle washed ashore and puffed out a djinni, right after I’d rubbed it in just the right way. She then thanked me and asked what I wished to see or know—anything at all, with no hurry.
While I pondered this new sprung fountain of potential knowledge that had arrived in the form of the fullest bloom of the ideal female, she spread out a blanket and produced two glasses of wine from the water for us to drink of, her glowing visage wavering here-there and obviously in her posture asking me what I’d like.
“Show me eternity,” I requested, even though she was immediately alluring and inviting romantically.
“I can show you, for I have it all,” she replied, raising her glass in a toast to and from the wellspring of time.
“Wait—you have all of eternity, complete in its perpetual entirety?”
“Yes, I have the whole extant shebang, as like a wondrous poem carved in stone, as fixed, pre-made, and wholly existent in its eternal block, containing all past and future, with a window through which this beauteous eternity can be viewed as it passes by, or, rather, as us passing through it, whichever way you wish to consider it, but ever through a glass, brightly, in all its splendour.“
“Where did you get it?”
“Einstein gave it to me—and somewhere he still exists.”
She leaned over and gave me a moist kiss, which I returned, thinking myself perhaps too hastily wishing to undress the philosophy of time ahead of her fine silk pajamas.
“Soon,” she promised, “I’ll unveil Eternity for you, bare, but first, my own, for I’ve just arrived in this all too captivating here and now in French Polynesia.”
My poetic self answered, getting back into form, “Let actions tell what words can never pass. Pour thy rose-cheeks into the Secret’s glass, and thy mouth onto my fare, beloved; my contrition’s to be lost in your morass.”
She rejoined, “The universe’s mantle binds us worn—tears feeding the river on which we’re borne.”
I added, “Beauty is melancholy’s other side.”
“Ah, and Hell’s but an ember of our senseless fears, and Heaven’s the rose-breath of opening morn.”
And so it went, we veering into deeper philosophy.
I offered, “My Life’s spirit to the causeless was near blind”.
Quoth she, continuing, “If the Beginning you could find—the Alif—of word, phrase, and uni-verse, thou needs not the rest of the alphabet—all’s been mined.”
With that she bid me up and onward from our reverie, leading me down the boarded pier to a hut on stilts over the turquoise ocean.
We approached the hut, the sign above the door reading, ‘SpaceTime’. Upon entering, she walked me to what served as a window in the tropics—a square hole made in the straw wall.
“Here it is. Behold. It’s the glorious emergence of all that was, is, and will be.”
“This is a view of ordinary spacetime. You promised me eternity. And where is the future and the past of it?”
She paused for an instant, then said, “You just viewed the past an instant ago, and at this time we have passed unto the now, and in another moment we’ll arrive in the future. Behold the marvelous Eternity through our window upon it! See it strong and sturdy, this solid slab set for all time, pre-designed. One of its four distances has been converted into time, via the speed of light, so that we can move through its otherwise chock full extent of total solidity.”
“Sturdy? Spacetime’s block universe consists of dynamical space and matter, each influencing the other. That’s stability?”
“Yes and no, for it thus as if we stand in a place made of Jello, but I’m indeed showing you the result of Mother Nature’s maternity with Father Time’s paternity, this block that began from their cosmic egg produced at the radial time center of this hypersphere that goes on forever outward in all directions.”
“How does a sphere that never ends even have a spherical shape?”
She took my hand. “It just does. And it is as it is; as in its frozen and unchanging state, all laid out unto its minutest detail, unto the largest and the smallest.”
“I see, but there is almost universal agreement that Relativity is not a complete theory, for it doesn’t take quantum effects into consideration.”
“Since we viewing it from the inside, the explicate collective rises and rules at our level, taking on a life of its own. We are phenomena’s projected face, well-painted from noumena’s unseen base; it’s as a lamp lights up a paper shade, we figures revolving around in space.”
“Well, you did mention emergence, meaning such as ‘more is different’ and ‘the whole is more than the sum of its parts’, but where did this block come from? From what quarry was it excavated?”
“It was built in what to us would be all at once in the 5th dimension, lest it take forever to be completed, again, just to us.”
“Well, even just building a never-ending determinate block that only has a specific past and a certain future is a tremendous accomplishment, what with the foreseeing of every eventuality on forward from the Big Bang unto forever, especially the finishing of it in time, which was done even in our shortest time.”
“I told you it was fantastic.”
“But all its paths are fixed—pre-determined.”
“What matters where, what, when, or even who? In life’s fill, any narrative will do.”
“Well, true, but we’ve only just seen the near future and the near past; can you zoom out into the next dimension and show me a larger view.”
She enlarged our view point, which was really a kind of condensing. I felt an uneasy shift.
“Ugh, Holy Cripes, I see things like tube-worms that begin with a fetus and end with a corpse. Oh, horrors!”
“Those are the world lines of you and everyone.”
“Quick, get rid of it; take me through my own world line, such as like a home movie run on fast forward.”
“OK, here we go. It will be such as just before you die when your whole life flashes before you just ahead of your merging into the timelessness of the great block externe. It’s the 5th dimensional wonder of the Universe.”
“Wait; there’s life after death in this block?”
“Everything in it exists forever. Rejoice, but your goose was cooked long ago, your future eggs laid ‘fore you were aglow.”
And so I saw myself being conceived—yuck, and then as a baby, a toddler, a young boy, an adolescent, and so forth, unto laying on a beach in Tahiti, then the djinni appearing…”
“Wait, stop it; I don’t want to know my future that is carved as dogma into this gargantuan tablet, upon which I’ve already had a glimpse of my cadaver.”
“That’s part of what has to be shown if we go on, even horrid Hell and gloried Heaven yon. Seekers never fear.”
“Who’s the scribe of my slab written upon? I ask whether I’m the stylus or the slate?”
“Even I’m not so sure, of late, but am fond that we’re both the dancer and the danced upon.”
“Well, perhaps we can’t have everything.”
“Do you want to relive a part of your life, even in the future portion, or go on further, to such as all the possible Big Bang starts to ends, in which you could jump to one, or even to the 10th dimensional wonder of the ‘IS’ of all possible realities?”
“No, I’ll take this time, for, as you say, the narrative doesn’t much matter, as any one will do.”
We returned to the beach, kissing and frolicking on the blanket while drinking more wine and enjoying the soft breezes caressing our bodies, happy to be returned to this wonderland drenched with the perfumes of flowers that begged our passions to be quenched again.
In this lovely parentheses of eternity, on this fertile shore, love’s houri drank with me, pouring her cup into my soul so thirsty. Would I then gasp for Heaven’s Paradise or Eternity, then, I daresay, dogs whine better than me.
“Oh sweet, almond-eyed fortune of love’s glow, our life-streams flow toward the great below.”
“In Fate’s clutch, back to the block we must go, so let us liquify ‘long life’s plateau.”
Afterwards, I asked, “Show me another, more fundamental, version of time, in which the past and the future don’t exist.”
“It’s difficult,” she said, “for the prospects are grim; presentism does not just amount to the assertion that only present events or entities exist, but also that the present undergoes a dynamical ‘updating’, or exhibits a quality as of a fleeting swoosh, and this additional dynamical aspect is what threatens the substance of the debate between the presentist and an eternalist opponent.”
“In other words, what is going to exist or was existent, as the presentist must refer to as to be or has been is indicated as coming or going and is thus inherent in the totality of What IS, and so it has no true ‘nonexistence’, for this as Nothing cannot be.”
“Yes, as you’re saying that there is no contrast between a real future and an unreal future, for what is real or exists can have no opposite to form a contrast class.”
“Still, what if our perceived persistence of a selfsame world is an illusion?”
“We’ll still need a respite for presentism from the Einstein’s seemingly unavoidable besieging relativity of simultaneity.”
“What if we even went past the emergence quality of space as a degree of realness nevertheless, unto the complete elimination of space, leaving only time as the implicate order, an illusion of timelessness then only referring to the emergent but now totally explicate geometric time of spacetime, but not to a microscopic fundamental time where there would be no geometry, so that fundamental time exists but space and geometry do not?”
“I thought you’d never ask. Your wish is my command,” she said, singing, “‘Ne’er can be recalled now’s bird that has flown, so love life’s flight, on the winds that must blow.’”
“And then we’ll get rid of space completely.”
“Yes, but first things first. So, then, as you say, it is then possible that one can have this fundamental time, consistent with quantum mechanics, at the microscopic level, and an emergent or geometric time, macroscopically. Quantum theory and General Relativity could be reconciled if we have a reason why they should apply at different levels, and emergence can provide that reason; yet, to have only time, with no space at all, emergent, explicate, or otherwise, we’ll have to invent a whole new ontology, which is a heck of a lot to do and substantiate; whereas, we could just chill on the beach or roam the island, savoring the favored here and now.”
“We can do both, for a good way to know ‘What is life?’ is to live it, as well as think it.”
She took me to another hut, the signage reading, ‘Discrete Construction of Now’.
We looked out the window hole in the wall at Now, or at least as close as we could get to ‘now’, it slightly having gone past by the time we got the news of it.
‘Reality is created anew at every now?”
“Well, updated really, from the previous now that is wholly consumed by the process, so, yes, it amounts to a becoming as new.”
“OK. I didn’t think every now was created from scratch as some kind of creationist miracle; so, it’s the constituents that do all the work, whites how Occam would have it, but what does ‘doing the work’ mean?”
“It means a process.”
“What are the basic, no longer divisible, constituents, at heart?”
“Quantum monads—bits with various states of what we might call energy or just levels. The ‘it’ of reality comes from ‘bit’, via an information process.”
“Mass/energy reduces to information as its final subdivision?”
“Equivalence of mass/energy to information has been shown.”
“Where’s the hardware, of what must be a kind of quantum computer? There’s nothing here.”
“If there was hardware, then there would no longer be just a ‘now’, for the hardware would remain across time.”
“So, the bits do it all themselves?”
“So, Yogi, the future’s not what it used to be?”
“No matter how one tries to shake from boughs the fruits of time’s truth from the Tree of Knows, computation makes not yet the morrows; there’s naught else but lone, resultant Nows.
We looked out the hut’s window, into what was not a distance, but a past that was just past, except for the sun, which was a whole eight minutes behind.
“Space has been eliminated. We ‘see’ only the inside of the mind.”
“We ride the crest of a continuously emerging wave of time that is carrying us into the future at the speed of light. We observe only its wake, and it is this wake which spacetime physics is modeling. What we observe is as a holographic representation of events which no longer exist.”
“Nature is frugal. We are not objects, but are a process, and its nexus is the now. It is nothing more than an eternal sequence of events following one upon the other in an orderly, causal, and generative fashion. Process philosophy is all about relationships, of which we see the hint in the quantum realm, everything connected to everything, as if all right on top of each other, in no space.”
“Our anticipation’s imagination suggests the future, while we’re in the now of our present sensation, our memory holding a bit of the past, this ‘smoothly rolling now’ blended by the mind.”
“The delight is such that none of the three could produce alone.”
“This arrangement is still determinate, although not pre-determinate.”
“Well, we can’t eat our cake and still have, too, for consistency is a good thing, and the impossible ‘random’ would be a horror.”
We headed back.
“Ah, spring’s new year unfolds the garden’s jewels—the sweet rose, my Peri, and us fools. Yester-now expires gifting the present; ‘twould be naught to speak outside of what rules.”
“We clutch the skirt of Heaven, on it borne, while the day-stars dimmed are at night reborn. If time lives, and grants us a fresh morn, we’ll still the universe’s dress adorn.”
The waves roll in, as do those of time, whose wake the physicists model, and there a surfer rides on one, as do we just past the crest of the now, but, really, not apart from it, but of it, while, on shore, the birds flutter down to eat the crumbs from our loaf of bread. (Oh, my djinni, you’ve got me using the present tense in my narration now.)
I sweep my eyes across the scene, in a manner of speaking, in this purest part of the isle, spotting no rubbish, but there is a skeleton sculpture, the title on the pedestal reading, ‘Bora Bora Bored’. Beyond that are only the waving palms.
“I get it now, my fair creature twixt human and angel, about the informational monads: The only possible Fundamental is what has no parts, as a simple, continuous function, which necessitates a monad, for there isn’t anything simpler; thus its assemblies of the ‘it’ can only be of the more and more composite and complex, in the higher and higher informational patterns that the bits make as the nows ever go on.”
“And the monads have to be, we should jot, because Nothing cannot, which is the truth we’ve found that thus no longer needs any proof, which demonstrates the power of philosophy.”
“So, my jasmine-bloomed and fairy-born, upon whose glowing breasts I rest my head this morn, we cast not to the wind but flow as time’s bourn; thus there are two times about which we needn’t ask, the one that hasn’t come and the one that’s past, for we are of the now, and, at that, ever only ‘seeing’ the inside of the ‘brain’ from the inside.”
“Yes, traveler through time. While life flows like water and blows like wind, our idyllic ‘now’ prevails, unsurpassed.”
“So then, in the great silence amid the great absence of the so-called true vacuum is the now-here of time as the no-where of space—and to think it was said that our being blocks the view of the Ultimate, nor to gaze at it could we our selves acquit, that even the wise couldn’t step beyond their nature, leaving all mothers’ sons standing helpless before it.”
“Indeed, ‘now-here’ is ‘no-where’, a slight rearrangement that’s still of the same letter sequence, representing a truth so simple that even a child could understand it, though we must relinquish all future and past—which may induce melancholy.”
“If I indulge the yearning and reflect it back, then from birth we can look forward to being host to woe, and then to giving up the ghost.”
“Ah yes, sad, but ‘happy’ are they who quickly burn to toast, and blessed are they who ne’er came to the roast! Ha-ha.”
“Live; life’s doom is to e’er sleep in the tomb, without wine, friends, or love—an empty whom.”
“Come close, I will lift the dark secret’s veil… Never again can withered flowers bloom.”
“E’en the smoke from an ember’s ash fades away, the warp with the woof and weave burned to clay. How many beautiful hearts have melted here? Where in heaven’s cosmic vault wefts their sway?”
“There are no “where’s”, my island man. The believers believe, from fear of Hell’s misery, lured onward by Heaven’s reward to be, yet he who lives real, and thus knows what ‘IS’, never fires his heart from chaff’s smoke tree.”
“Oh, meddling thoughts that harp on faith’s plea, my cheeks glow red from djinni’s grape tree, so to your face I throw my other hand, and drop you into sleep, oh fantasy.”
“Lay waste to the rites of prayer and fasting; shatter faith’s pious claims never lasting; slam fast the gate on myth-spells and myth-takes arriving. Live, and be kind to all of life’s casting.”
“Hear, hear, and there’s more cheer in a single ‘now’ full than in the Vault of Heaven hollow as a skull.”
“Yes, tropic man, why fret o’er spilling drops of sin from life’s temptation glass filled to the brim? Play with the imaginary friend: Him; what is mercy for but to save thy skin!”
“Why would the All Knowing, Loving Expert compose with Power His designed concert, then decompose His grand Magnificat?”
“Because there’s none Such beyond the turret.”
“The best of all that is below the moon and above the fish is beauty’s commune, in this life poured and sipped, all else forgone, from your Persian Mah to Mahi, raptured noon to noon!”
“Rent, the mask of sorrows shrouding doom’s face; sheared, the cloth of grief’s idling chase. Feast on my lips, body, and verse; drain life’s bank, ere Earth enfold thee in a last embrace.”
“Thin as the air, the ‘now’ is time’s gift rare, an ethereal sprite whose flow is swift.”
“Morning springs us over the wasteland’s brink, and on time’s sand we the oasis drink. Life’s strange caravan through the desert winds back toward Nothing; drink—afore the stars sink.”
“We have solved the Mystery, and have found that Beginnings and spaces cannot be, so what goes round is near all things generating, for there’s no point to impart a design; so drink—to naught more we’re bound!”
“Nought is left. We butterflies, on the edge of forever’s flight, spread fast our wings on the ocean of light—that is the wake of the time-grav wave, of no breadth, mass, or space that is seemingly made.”
“All is of a holographic light dream, as products time and time again by time’s means, as bubbled baubles blown and burst, through the frames of time that quench our thirst.”
“Time future, time present, and time past are not all at once, but only as ‘nows’, with not any of them to last.”
“The glorious light flashes us into being shone, as the dilated broadcast of time’s nows becoming known.”
“Here the friends, lovers, and flowers that be—parentheses within eternity!”
“What the meaning to this play we’re befit, from dirt to dust within the script as it’s being writ?”
“The wise in search have thrown themselves to waste; experience alone is the benefit. Don’t worry; be happy.”
“Worries seldom come true, but, if they do, thus they had to, so in them one must stew.”
“Past imperfect points to a future tense, yet ever only nows does the Wheel brew.”
“Ere Fate fells us dried up like an old leaf, let the wine course through our veins of life so brief.”
“Ne’er for treasured gold will you be dug up, nor even sought by an impoverished thief.”
“Drain thy goblet’s nectar of the moon’s shine, while the light sparkles in this ‘now’ of thine.”
“Reign with Night’s Queen and drink deep the King’s wine, for the morrow may not find you in time.”
“Now, to our friends and successors: When you with such lively tread make your way through the garden of the dead and reach the flowered bed where we made one and now lie, turn down an empty glass and break some bread.”
“Then, unto love’s moonlight tryst, arm in arm, aft taking delight in each others charm, raise thy glasses once more in blessing, and cheer the ones who lived and died without alarm.”
(Some of my re-transmogrifications of Omar Khayyam’s Bodleian manuscript have been employed to further the poetic prose above.)
(See my ‘Now Here; No Where’ book
for an illustrated version of the above epilog.)
Science/philosophy, unlike Dogma, is never done, and so it continues on, figuring things out.
At its ultimate level, What IS is quantized/discrete, so there can be no more subdivisions or parts to it, thus it’s the finite basis which is unbreakable, and thus unmakable, which shows that What IS has to be ever, with no beginning.
The icing on this cake of something above is that Nothing cannot be, as well as that ‘Nothing’ didn’t happen, if one still wants ‘it’ to be possible, plus that ‘it’ would still ‘be’, and so there wouldn’t be anything now.
These monads, as Leo refers to them, then, must be non composite, and as such they are the only basis from which change/transformation occurs in the ‘now, there being no other source, and no other ‘time’, for What IS as ever has no ‘before’ or ‘outside’. Nor can the monads go away, and, so all that goes on must have root in the basis of their information processing, which grants the ‘it’ of what goes on from ‘bit’, which complexity continues to increase.
The monads are relational, with the ability to influence any other, and so no background is required, and this seems to be the most promising route for the Holy Grail of constructing a theory of quantum gravity.
Earlier quantum gravity attempts used a background and later ones tried to make the equations independent of a given background, but having no background is better, although the price or the glory is the giving up of space as fundamental, the primacy then going to time, with the base constituents doing the work as time goes along, rather than having a pre-built block of all past and future already made rather instantly, somehow, such as in the 5th dimension.
At our level, it is useful for our brains to spatialize the sequence of ‘nows’ so we can better navigate our way through them.
From a ‘What Exists’ thread at a philosophy site.
Yes I see, this sounds like the Buddhist idea that the existence we experience is a rapid series of snapshots in which the universe ceases to be and comes into being again as the next updated moment. All happening extremely rapidly.
Nice idea, but there are some issues I have with this. Firstly, it smacks of a stroboscopic existence, like the 50 hertz of AC electricity. Perhaps this is how the phenomenal worlds operate; I can consider this. But when it comes to what exists, I doubt it.
Secondly it sounds quite artificial, like a theatre projection. Anything more concrete than this would have implications for the conservation of energy and other such issues.
Thirdly I intuit that existence is a more subtle process.
Agreed and I am sure that in the future science will explain everything including what exists.
I wouldn’t be to hasty about limiting us by determinism.
The base monads serve as the generative information process that encodes upwards, and so forth, for quarks, electrons, and atoms, and so the monads are ‘soul’, unbreakable and thus unmakable, and so the atoms or whatnot from us may go on to be a part of other arrangements of humans or life of any kind, the new instantiations having no recall of the part’s past lives/arrangements, such as in amnesia, but, so what, for any narrative will do. That’s the zen of now and then and when.
This monad base of a ‘soul’ is a long way from the Brahman that some humans constructed, by making the word for a brain process, namely ‘consciousness’, take on a life of its own as something floating around stand alone as all there is, but at least they added it to be of a dreamy, sleeping Guy.
At the end of the day, though, what is of the Real needs be real, too, but one can assign degrees to it, plus, except for those of us who want to learn about implementations (the TOE—the messenger), the message as delivered is the same, no matter the implementation, considering what makes no difference truly is no difference. For example, music is music, whether from a band or from an mp3 of them played.
The direction forward, as having been utilized herein, is to note that there can’t be a meta- to the physical, nor any extra-, super-, intangible, immaterial that makes the physical or at least interacts with it, for then it speaks the language of the physical, to exchange energy with it, and so it self-destructs itself in its possibility of being transcendent, but if one really want it then it’s apart from the physical, having nothing ever to do with it, and so not a factor in what goes on for us, but just some inert excess sitting around doing zilch.
Therefore, philosophy’s logic may search for and find Truth, we then not requiring the proof, but, since we’re curious, we go on to look for that, too, in cases where the Truth is not the same as the Proof, which would seem to be rare.
As for determinism, we, of course, still don’t like its taste, for we are not always of the ultimate humility, but often want more, out of pride; however, the impossible ‘random’ is not a refuge from the universal acid of Truth that dissolves away our wishes, folk tales, and myths.
ArtistCV: Actually, there is an absolute Now.
Now we’re getting somewhere and getting somewhere is what is happening in the ‘now’ of the Planck time, but to fully have this presentism one must get rid of Einstein’s besieging relativity of simultaneity, which is not only done by arguing against it, but completed by being replaced by a new ontology that does not contain space, in which there is only time and some base monads that are an information process, meaning that our brains spatialize time into ‘space’ so that we can better navigate through the series of discrete nows.
Necessity is the mother of our deductions. Since Existence has no opposite, then there can’t even be any bits or spacers of NonExistence anywhere within Existence, much less outside of or before; therefore there is Unity, as everything within able to influence anything else, this Unity being ever, as ‘is’ rather than ‘is not’, in the present tense of presentism’s ‘now’, with no extant ‘was’, for that state is gone, and no extant ‘will be’, for those states have not yet been formed.
Within this Unity, there is multiplicity generated by the Unity, as another necessity, for Stillness is apparently prohibited, for everything goes onward, as we see.
The base monads need (necessity) have only themselves making up themselves, that is, no further parts, in order to be Fundamental, which is why they have no beginning, as “ungenerated and deathless”, unbreakable and thus unmakable, existing with no alternative.
They generate, informationally, more and more complexity, the only direction in which they can go (necessity), even perhaps effectively getting into all the constructs that possible, some of which are stable and so can go forward at that level, such as with protons, these higher arrangements becoming the basis for even greater complexity systems, as like a series of nested dolls.
This needs be done as time goes along through each transformation/change/cycle (each ‘now’), given that time is quantized and discrete, which is what Zeno was trying to show with his paradoxes based on infinite regression/divisibility. Then we discovered the quantum of the Planck time.
That this information processing is a brute force kind of exploration is evidenced by the incredible amount of time that it took for our solar system and us mammals to arrive on the scene, yet such a ‘method’ of no prediction and no design will find workable solutions, whereas foreseeing everything appears to be mathematically impossible.
All is what it is, of necessity, and it is now and we are here.
The energy/information process doesn’t need time to restrain it from it being wholly precipitous and happening all at once, as some jokingly say, but that, as quick as it is, it still takes a minuscule but finite quantum of time to do something as transformation/change (something happens). Sure, there can be shorter times, but their resolution/bandwidth is not sufficient.
For higher and more complex processes, such as a brain’s neural network coming up with a result, the time is much longer, on the order of 200-300 milliseconds—and then the mental/experiential knows what the brain did, at large, consciously, and so does the brain know at large, subconsciously, for future reference, as that is it its own invented language.
Physics gives us structure, as equations, because that’s all it can do, but it’s the non-structured part that we’re after, and so philosophy/logic is our best chance for that. Using our mental/experiential doesn’t tell us of the non-mental/non-experiential either, but only mental messages at large which could result from any kind of implementation/messenger, and while they give us the notion of a basic ordering of events, they also paint phenomena on the noumena, thereby granting a useful map, but just a map nevertheless. We have ventured beyond the map, into the territory.
28. Final Summary
Something exists, which is our mental-experiential, and this is enough for us to know that there is Existence, even though we cannot access the non-mental-non-experiential, if there is such, but we presume that it’s necessary to support and correlate to the mental, as well as our becoming informed of it by the instruments of science.
Both the experiential and the non-experiential would be of the Real physical basis, and so they too must have a degree of realness, even though perhaps some of it not considered as primary, but all must be of the Real, and it is only the complexity of higher arrangements that increases our ‘distance’ from the more basic Real. Still we only ever view the the inside of the brain as the mental.
Existence has no opposite—no contrast class, not only because nonexistence cannot be, as for it to come from, but also because it can’t be built in any regard, for what is Fundamental can’t have parts to its basis, by necessity, indicating that its monadic basis as a simple continuous function is thus unbreakable as well as unmakable.
Therefore, Existence or What IS must be always and ever, which is another way of indicating that it ‘is’, rather than it ‘is not’. So it is all there is, since the impossible nonexistence can’t be ‘outside’ it nor can there be anything else before it, since its what we call ‘eternal’, and so it has to be, as a necessity, with no option, no choice. It cannot be gotten rid of.
As such, it can’t have a beginning or an end, which, along with it being all there is means that no pre-made direction or design could have been imparted to it, and so, by more necessity, all change/transformation/cause-and-effect/events as ‘what happens’ must occur in and of Totality itself, meaning that it has to generate what happens.
I further propose to show that Existence/What IS/Totality is an event, in its presentism, rather than a place, it being an information process in which the previous ‘now’ is the input for the output of the present ‘now’, the previous ‘now’ being consumed by this process, this necessarily taking time, although not much. This is as ‘it’ from ‘bit’.
Space will have to go, just it is presumed to have to go away in the Theories of Quantum Gravity that need to be background free.
There are three ways that time can be: eternalism (all of time exists), presentism (only the ‘now’ exists), or growing block (only ‘now’ and the past exist).
All have frames/pages/states passing by, and so we note as an aside that there is no such happening as true motion.
All have determinism, with externalism’s determinism being pre-determined as pre-made, and the others determinism made as time goes along, and so we make another note that whatever will be will be, the impossible ‘random’ of outputs without inputs (something from nonexistence) not being a refuge even if it were possible.
And so we discover more Truths from Philosophy’s logic ahead of science’s proofs that may or not come, just as we did by showing that there can be no absolute beginnings because Existence has to be always and ever.
(I’m writing this little by little, in my ‘nows’. I can’t just grab the completed version from the 4D block universe necessarily constructed in the 5th dimension, wherein perhaps they made the block little by little in their ‘nows’ of their presentism.)
The block universe of externalism cannot be extant, for its distance dimension into the future would have to be infinite, plus it’s mathematically impossible to foresee the eventualities of 10**85 or so particle bodies ahead of time, but space will gone, anyway, so we don’t have to look at 5D and higher dimensional goings on making things at their own level of presentism.
So it is that the constituents do the work as time goes on, in each successive ‘now’, these informational monads with various energy levels computing the next stage of output from the inputs of the previous. That we can have them as ‘bit’s is of the principle that equates mass/energy to information.
Thus time is exactly how it appears to be to us who must operate in a presentism, as surely stuck to it, with the previous nows gone and the future nows not yet made, wherein we can’t make our 2D writings and 2D videos all at once.
The monads, as in a theory of quantum gravity, are relational to one another, each able to influence any other, as if they’re all local to each other, and so there is no geometry, as there is in spacetime, because presentism at its heart is also at the point that must be foundational to both relativity and quantum theory. Time is intermittent, that is, quantized, incremental, just as everything else measured in nature.
Up at our mammal level, the brain’s re-presentation of the successive nows adds spatial dimension to the past nows, this spatializing showing up as a distance for what is really just back in time, such as that the sun of eight minutes ago is 93 million miles away, or that the universe expands when it is really just aging, or that the universe makes more space as it expands, or that there is something outside of where space ends, and more seemingly paradoxical happenings.
So there is no ‘place’. Only ‘here’ exists. Everywhere you are is ‘here’. There cannot be anything but ‘here’, and it’s just the fact that ‘here’ looks different depending on what happens across time that causes people to think that ‘there’ is a coherent concept. Noumena are formless; the brain gives them form. Our reality is a succession of ‘heres’ across time.
29. The Startling Conclusion?
It’s over now, the music of the night, for All is written in the spacetime of the stars. RIP presentism, but for how it seems to us.
From Gustavo E. Romero:
I shall offer a view of the topic in which a kind of substantivalism, relationism, and eternalism can coexist on the basis of emergentism, the doctrine that qualitative systemic properties arise from more basic ontological levels devoid of such properties. The mechanisms that enforce emergence are composition and interaction. I hold that there is a level for each of the three ontological positions to be considered as a good option for a description of the way the world is.
– Spacetime substantivalism: Spacetime is an entity endowed with physical properties. This position is clearly expressed by Einstein (1920). The exact nature of this entity is open to discussion. I shall defend an event substantivalism.
– Spacetime relationism: Spacetime is not an entity that can exist independently of physical objects. Spacetime, instead, is a system of relations among different ontological items. The nature of these items is also open to discussion. I shall propose that there is a level where a form a relationism provides an adequate framework for current physics and that this is not in contraction with event substantivalism when the latter is applied to a different ontological level.
– Eternalism (also known as Block Universe – BU –): Present, past, and future moments (and hence events) exist. They form a 4-dimensional ‘block’ of spacetime. Events are ordered by relations of earlier than, later than, or simultaneous with, one another. The relations among events are unchang- ing. Actually, they cannot change since time is one of the dimensions of the block. I have defended this position in Romero (2012 and 2013a). The reader is referred to these papers as well as to Peterson and Silberstein (2011) and references therein for further arguments.
– Presentism: Only those events that take place in the present are real. This definition requires explanations of the terms ‘present’ and ‘real’. Crisp (2003, 2007) offers elucidations. See also the mentioned paper by Craig (2008), and Mozersky (2011). Presentism has been subject to devastating criticisms since the early attacks by Smart (1964), Putnam (1967), and Stein (1968). See Saunders (2002), Petkov (2006), Wu ̈thrich (2010), Peter- son and Silberstein (2011), Romero (2012, 2015) for up-dated objections.
Some further objections against presentism
Most of the arguments against presentism are based on the Special Theory of Relativity; see the references cited in the previous section and the discus- sions in Craig and Smith (2008). Metaphysical arguments can be found, for instance, in Oaklander (2004) and Mellor (1998). Recently, several arguments based on General Relativity have been displayed against presentism. Romero and P ́erez (2014) have shown that the standard version of this doctrine is incompatible with the existence of black holes. In Romero (2015) I enumerate a number of additional objections based on General Relativity and modern cosmology. Wuthrich (2010) discusses the problems and inconsistence of presentism when faced with Quantum Gravity. Here, I offer a new argument based on the existence of gravitational waves.
The argument goes like this: P1. There are gravitational waves. P2. Gravitational waves have non-zero Weyl curvature. P3. Non-zero Weyl curvature is only possible in 4 or more dimensions. P4. Presentism is incompatible with a 4 dimensional world. Then, presentism is false.
The logic is sound, so let us review the premises of the argument to see whether there is some escape route for the presentist. The truth of P1 is accepted by the vast majority of scientists working on gravitation. Gravitational waves are a basic prediction of General Relativity (Einstein 1916, 1918b). Large gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO – the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory – have been constructed and are now under a process of upgrading to meet the required sensitivity for wave detection. A space-based observatory, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna or LISA, is currently under development by the European Space Agency (ESA). All this activity shows the confidence of the scientific community in the existence of gravitational waves. Indirect evidence for such existence is found from the orbital decay of the binary pulsar PSR B1913+16, discovered by Hulse and Taylor in 1974. The decay of the orbital period is in such accord with the predictions of General Relativity that both scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1993 (see, for instance Taylor and Weisberg 1982). So, P1 can be considered true within the context of our present knowledge of the universe
Premises P2 and P3 are necessarily true. Gravitational waves propagate in empty space, where the Einstein’s field equations are reduced to:
Rab = 0.
This expression means that the 10 coefficients of the Ricci tensor are identically null. But the full Riemann tensor has 20 independent coefficients since is a rank 4 tensor. The remaining 10 components are expressed by the Weyl tensor. Then, since the gravitational waves are disturbances in the curvature, the Weyl tensor must be non-zero in their presence. If the dimensionality of the world were 3, as proposed by the presentists, the Riemann tensor would have only 6 independent components, and since in 3 dimensions the Einstein’s equations in vacuum are reduced to 6, the Weyl tensor must vanish. Only in 4 or more dimensions gravity can propagate through empty spacetime (see Hobson et al. 2006, p.184, and Romero and Vila 2014, p. 19).
Then, the presentist should either deny that presentism is incompatible with 4-dimensionalism or accept that presentism is false. But presentism is essentially the doctrine that things do not have temporal parts (Heller 1990). Any admission of temporal parts or time extension is tantamount to renounce to the basic claim of presentism: there are no future or past events. I conclude that presentism is utterly false.
So, then, All events exist, all future and all past, unchangeable and carved in the 4D stone block. This is a pre-determined kind of determinism, while the now dead presentism’s determinism would happen as the nows formed in their becoming.
To us, where we are in this block looking at it from the inside and also looking out from the inside of our brains (which brain is ever only what one views), it is as if, for practical purposes, that we live in a presentism of only our fleeting nows, for we can’t access the past or the future and so they might as well not be there.
The ‘present’ is a construction of the brain based on its interaction with a class of changing things that affects it. The ‘present’ is not a thing that moves from past to future. Every conscious brain process has its own present.
We still have determinism as a sure thing, but we’re thrown out of the deceased presentism’s frying pan’s deterministic cooking as it goes on, becoming, into the fire of the block universe’s pre-determinism that has already cooked and still exists cooked, since ‘spacetime’ is the emergent ontological sum of all events—“its totality!
And there is still the conclusion of discreteness underlying spacetime, whose assumed continuum is probably what begot the absurdity of a singularity—the ‘infinity’ solution that signals a theorem is incomplete, although in the large it works fine.
…any accumulation point implies an infinite energy density, since events have finite (but not arbitrarily small) energy, and energy is an additive property. In other words, spacetime must be discrete at the smallest scale.
And relationalism still has a foot in the foundational door, as well as no beginning to What IS.
Relations among basic events, or ‘ontological atoms’, can be the basis from which substantival spacetime emerges, in a similar way to how things emerge from spacetime events.
And we still have that there is no true motion, in that there are many movie-like frames passing from a completed movie, rather than just one frame refreshing itself as the nows are generated then and there in presentism.
I once wondered if the 4D block universe was constructed in the 5th dimension, taking real time there in their presentism, however, from ‘Parmenides Reloaded’
Change of space-time would require an extra dimension not included in space-time. This, in turn, would imply that space-time is a thing with an emergent relational property that should be measured by the extra dimension or ‘meta-time’. There is no physical reason to introduce such an ontology. And if someone is willing to pay the price to do it, an infinite regress follows immediately, since the 5D ‘super space-time’ might change requiring more extra dimensions ontological inflation would turn the price unaffordable.
More on spacetime from the first paper
The representation of spacetime appears, therefore, as the large number limit of an ontology of basic timeless and spaceless events that can be identified only at a more basic ontological level.
Composition leads to a hierarchy of events, with basic events on the lower level and increasing complexity towards higher levels. Reality seems to be organized into levels, each one differentiated by qualitative, emerging properties.
Higher levels have processes and things with some properties belonging to lower levels in addition to specific ones.
At some point of this hierarchy of events, things can be introduced as classes abstracted from large number of events (see Romero 2013a for formal definitions). A thing-based ontology allows a simplification in the description of the higher levels of organisation of what is, essentially, an event ontology.
Spacetime is then an emerging thing from the collection of all events.
Event substantialism regarding spacetime does not preclude relationism at a more basic level. Relations among basic events, or ‘ontological atoms’, can be the basis from which substantival spacetime emerges, in a similar way to how things emerge from spacetime events.
If we want to represent events at very small scale, the assumption of compactness must be abandoned. The reason is that any accumulation point implies an infinite energy density, since events have finite (but not arbitrarily small) energy, and energy is an additive property. In other words, spacetime must be discrete at the smallest scale.
Since the quantum of action is given by the Planck constant, it is a reasonable hypothesis to assume that the atomic events occur at the Planck scale. If there are atomic events, their association would give rise to composed events (i.e. processes), and then to the continuum spacetime, which would be a large-scale emergent entity, absent at the more basic ontological level. This is similar to, for instance, considering the mind as a collection of complex processes of the brain, emerging from arrays of ‘mindless’ neurons.
If this view is correct, then quantum gravity is a theory about relations among basic events and the ontological emergence of spacetime and gravity. Quantum gravity would be a theory so basic that it might well be considered as ontological rather than physical.
A major challenge is to recover a realistic spacetime structure starting from a numerable poset. This problem is sometimes called “dynamics of causets”. A step in the direction of solving the problem is a classical model in which elements are added according to probabilities. This model is known as classical sequential growth (CSG) dynamics (Rideout and Sorkin 2000). The classical sequential growth model is a way to generate posets by adding new elements one after another. Rules for how new elements are added are specified and, depending on the parameters in the model, different posets result. The direction of growth gives rise to time, which does not exist at the fundamental poset event level.
Another challenge is to account for the remaining referents of General Relativity, namely, gravitating objects. I have already suggested that physical objects can be understood as clusters of processes, and hence they might emerge as inhomogeneities in the growing pattern of events (Romero 2013a).
This conjecture is supported by the observation that whatever exists seems to have energy, and energy is just the capability to change (Bunge 2003a). The more numerous the bundle of events is, the larger the associated energy results. Physical things, objects endowed of energy, would be systems formed by clusters of events.
When standard quantisation techniques are applied to gravity, there appear infinitely many independent parameters needed to correctly define the theory. For a given choice of those parameters, one could make sense of the theory; but since it is not possible to carry out infinitely many experiments to fix the values of every parameter, a meaningful physical theory cannot be determined: gravity is perturbatively nonrenormalizable. The appearance of singularities in General Relativity, however, indicates that the theory is incomplete.
Events are understood by some authors as changes in material objects (e.g. Bunge 1977). This definition is correct only above certain level of composition, at which basic events are irrelevant. There is no problem of circularity, then, with the views presented here. One can even reserve the name “event” for the changes in things, and adopt “monads” or some other fancy name for what I call here “basic events”.
Another hint that a quantum theory of gravity should emerge from a discretisation of spacetime itself comes from black holes. Quantum field theory in curved spacetime shows that the horizon of a black hole has entropy. But the horizon is just a region of spacetime. Spacetime, hence, has an associated entropy. A merely continuum spacetime, with its infinite number of degrees of freedom would have an infinitely large entropy. The finiteness of the black hole entropy, then, points to the existence of a discrete substratum for spacetime.
Spacetime is the emergent system of the ontological composition of all events.
This is not a mere set, which is a mathematical object (i.e. a fiction), but an emergent relational property of all things. Everything that has happened, everything that happens, everything that will happen, is just an element of spacetime.
Spacetime is not a manifold (i.e. a mathematical construct) but the “totality” of all events. A specific model of spacetime requires the specification of the source of the metric field. This is done through another field, called the “energy-momentum” tensor field Tab. Hence, a model of spacetime is:
The relation between both tensor fields is given by the field equations. The metric field specifies the geometry of spacetime. The energy-momentum field represents the potential of change (i.e. event generation and density) in space-time.
. The ontological, substantival theory of spacetime outlined above characterises an entity, spacetime, that is formed by events. If events are the basic constituents of spacetime, a constructive theory of spacetime can be proposed. In such a theory, spacetime emerges from timeless and spaceless events whereas metric properties and the internal spacetime structure are the result of the transition to large numbers of events that allows to adopt a continuum description. The development of a theory of this class is the major goal of several approaches to quantum gravity.
As it is the case with every physical property, we can represent space-time with some mathematical structure, in order to describe it. The mathematical structure and the property represented should not be confused: the correspondence is never perfect, it always remain tentative. The manifold model of space-time adopts the following mathematical structure: Space-time can be represented by a C∞ differentiable, 4-dimensional, real manifold.
Strings of changes and irreversible processes of physical things are described by asymmetries, intrinsic features, of space-time. Dynamics is the result of comparing different slices of space-time. The ‘present’ is not a moving thing. It is just a concept, a class of events. All this conforms the so-called block universe ontology (e.g. Smart 1963, Balashov 2010). This view was also expressed, rather poetically, by Hermann Weyl (Weyl 1949):
The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the life line of my body, does a section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time.