The Moon Is not There When No One Looks At It
There were six wise, blind elephants who were discussing what humans were like.
They could come to no agreement, so they decided to determine
what humans were like through direct experience.
The first wise, blind elephant felt the human, and declared, "Humans are flat."
The other wise, blind elephants, after similarly feeling the human, agreed.
It appears that man's march towards the right of the chart, from Neanderthal to Modern, has produced some interesting paradigms that are real, observable and even predictable.
As human consciousness itself, expands,
so too, do the institutions and devices of man, expand in unison.
Clearly the Ptolemaic universe mirrors the theocentric
& monarchic structures of it's heyday.
Just as the Cartesian mechanical universe of Newton
mirrors the "age of reason" and it's emanations;
capitalism, communism, nationalism, democracy etc.
Whether the social implications of rationality are the underlying foundation of an era's view of the universe, or the converse is true, is irrelevant.
They are aligned and adhered to each other in a great Celtic Knot.
Goya- The Sleep Of Reason
Would there be Goya without Voltaire?
Would there Be Voltaire without Newton?
Beethoven without his contemporary Franklin?
Jefferson without Locke?
Dali without Freud?
Einstein without Stravinsky?
John Lennon without Lewis Carroll?
Johnny Rotten without Wagner?
Would there have been a Hubble telescope without Ferlinghetti?
One thing leads to another in the manifestations of sentience.
If Issac Newton had written the joke,
it would have been:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road.
It was pushed on the road.
It was pushed on the road by another chicken, which went away from the road.
It was attracted to a chicken on the other side of the road.
Ba da bing! Don't forget to tip your quarks and leptons folks.
webs spun of the fine fabric of the universe
whose threads reveal their composition
to be of webs of even finer fabrics of universes ad infinitum...
echoes and reflections,
gradients of reverberating colors;
blending seamlessly in a pallet of nothingness,
(Pitch black and white light! Which is all colors? Which is none?)
creating a painting of eternity for we casual observers to perceive,
at least peripherally;
hanging inverted and skewed,
on the walls of voodoo;
There was an old lady called Wright
who could travel much faster than light.
She departed one day
in a relative way
and returned on the previous night.
How Long Is A New York Minute?
If your minute in New York is spent with your hand in a deep fryer,
it's a very long time.
If your minute in New York is spent in a loving embrace in a pub
It's not long enough.
Einstein's universe. Relativity anyone?
It has only recently begun to reflect/be reflected by man's social permutations.
These relations are still somewhat inscrutable, esoterically entwined in multinational conspiracies, sundry emerging telecommunications-based technologies, the metaphysics of modern banking, & international terrorism .
Yet it's implications in the arts were swift and tangible.
The Beat Poets
Frank Loyd Wright
To scratch the surface.
A Table of Mankind's Major Paradigm Shifts
(With Spiritual, Political & Economic Parallels)
Paleolithic -- shamanic -- non-authoritarian -- hunter/gatherer Neolithic -- polytheistic -- authoritarian -- agricultural Earth-centered Cosmology -- theistic -- monarchial/hierarchical theocratic -- urban Sun-centered Cosmos -- monotheistic -- divine right of kings -- colonialism & imperialism Mechanistic universe -- deist or atheist -- democracy, capitalism, communism -- industrial/technological Relativistic universe -- Modernism -- cybernocacy -- post-industrial Quantum universe . . . ?What is a quantum particle?
The dreams that stuff is made of!
Here is where it gets interesting. The advent of Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory open doors that could not be remotely fathomed in man's relative reality.
In fact, Quantum Physics places man's individual consciousness in a place overruled by physical science long ago...at the center of the universe!
The metaphors of Taoism, Tantra and alchemy suddenly seem to have a new purpose...as focusing devices and interpreters of the Quantum Universe.
Is this a step backwards? Hardly! We are at a distinctly different point in time and space, and the social necessities that gave rise to these disciplines no longer exist.
But there are new dynamics that our last paradigm simply can't encompass.
Call it Aquarian, if you like. But man's consciousness is changing.
The Mandelbrot Fractal known as the "Tail Curl" is a good way to visualize this.The Tail Curl Fractal
I've often said you find what you seek and seek what you find.
That you can not escape what you design.
But in this fractal image, I see more than I care to acknowledge is actually possible.
Chaos and order are one.
Nature is formulaic.
A bit about fractals..."Self-similar fractals (such as the Tail Curl)
are generated by recursively iterating formulas,
which are complex polynomials of the form z=f(z),
and plotting their graphs.
The Mandelbrot Set is the most commonly recognized fractal object, named after the father of fractal mathematics,
Benoit B. Mandelbrot.
It is the graph of the equation Z=Z2+C.
In the equation Z=Z2+C, 'Z' and 'C' are complex numbers.
The complex number 'C' remains a constant value,
while the complex number 'Z' varies each time the function is calculated, since the formula is set equal to Z.
are numbers that contain the square root of -1,
which is called the imaginary number.
The imaginary number is written as the italics letter i
in mathematical formulas.
A complex number like Z or C isn't actually a single number value,
it represents a formula i*i+r.
That means any complex number contains two actual number values:
i, the coefficient of i, which is the "imaginary" component,
and r, the constant or "real" number that is added to the result."
For the Mandelbrot formula, you have the two complex numbers Z and C, and each of these has two components i and r, resulting in four distinct variables, Zi, Zr, Ci, and Cr.
Because of the nature of complex numbers, Z=Z2+C isn't the actual calculated formula, but an abbreviation for two more "usable" formulas: Zi=(2*Zr*Zi)+Ci;
and Zr=(Zr*Zr)-(Zi*Zi)+Cr; In order to render any mathematical formula as an image, we assign variables to coordinates, like X, Y and Z. Since the Mandelbrot set has four variables, These four variables can be thought of as four separate coordinates. With four coordinates, each complex polynomial containing two complex numbers defines a single fourth dimensional object!
If we could show the entire fourth dimensional object for each function, we would see all of the possible solutions to that function. But, there is no way to accurately depict a 4D object in 3D space, much less on a 2D computer screen, so fractal generators render the second dimensional cross-sections or "slices" of those fourth dimensional objects.
You can think of a fractal generator as working like a MRI scan; as the medical scanner crosses over a patient's body, the doctor sees a computer graphic representation of a 2D cross-section of a 3D object, in that case, a patient. The images from a fractal generator do not represent the appearance of the entire 4D fractal object any more than a single MRI scan image represents an entire human being, or a single slice of bread represents the entire loaf. "source-www.utopiansky.com/labratory
Fractal Geometry shatters the confines of Euclidean Geometry.
Like quantum mechanics reduces relativity to shards.
It begs the question:
If there is a genetic code that is a formula for life,
Is there not also an equation that is the formula for a universe?
Einstein rejected quantum physics. But, as iconoclastic a thinker as he was, he saw a
a cosmic traffic cop, placing a limit on the speed of light. A God of nature who refused to roll dice with the universe. This idea is incompatible with Quantum physics which is like a scientific manifestation of anarchist P. Goodman's "Stone Age Reaction" -- a turning-back so extreme as to constitute a revolution.
Theoretical physics neither suggests nor denies man's notions of God or Gods.
But if one could perceive a Mesopotamian or Judeo-Christian -Muslim type of God laying down the law in Einstein's universe..
in a quantum universe; God would look more like a dancing Shiva rolling dice and improvising jazz music.
Quantum Theory follows behind Quantum facts attempting to explain the reality "behind"them. Unlike Relativity, Quantum Mechanics offers no coherent ideas about "reality,"rather it gives us a set of tools for predicting, and statistical possibilities. The model of Quantum Mechanics "works" but Quantum facts remain inexplicable. The excitement lies in the way it has revived speculative philosophy as an integral component of science. Frankly, theories about Quantum "reality" rival any occultist or mystical excesses for sheer madness & breathtaking incredulity.
The Grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of hill,
And he marched them down again.
When they were up they were up,
When they were down they were down.
When they were only half way up,
They were simultaneously up and down,
They were merely obeying the laws of quantum mechanics.
In his book Quantum Reality, physicist Nick Herbert outlines eight views,
"Quantum Realities," all based on Quantum fact but all different.
May Chaos be with you!
Quantum Reality #1
"There is no deep reality."
Often called the Copenhagen interpretation. Objects, everyday real things, "float on a world that is not as real." (Bohr, Heisenberg.) The emphasis on uncertainty reminds me of Buddhism, at least the anti-realism aspect of it.
Quantum Reality #2
"Reality is created by it's observer."We reside in an observer-created reality in which the act of measurement gives rise to observed reality.
"The moon is demonstrably not there when no one looks" -- N.D. Mermin).
Quantum Reality #3
"Reality is an undivided wholeness."The object and subject have become inseparable from each other.
According to David Bohm, "One is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness which denies the classical analyzability of the world into separately and independently existing parts. . . . The inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality."
"In its phenomenal aspect, the cosmic One is thus intrinsically dynamic, and the apprehension of its dynamic nature is basic to all schools of Eastern mysticism. They all emphasize that the universe has to be grasped dynamically, as it moves, vibrates and dances." (Fritjof Capra)The Eastern mystics see the universe as an inseparable web, whose interconnections are dynamic and not static. The cosmic web is alive; it moves and grows and changes continually. Modern physics, too, has come to conceive of the universe as such a web of relations and, like Eastern mysticism, has recognised that this web is intrinsically dynamic. The dynamic aspect of matter arises in quantum theory as a consequence of the wave-nature of subatomic particles, and is even more essential in relativity theory, where the unification of space and time implies that the being of matter cannot be separated from its activity. The properties of subatomic particles can therefore only be understood in a dynamic context; in terms of movement, interaction and transformation. (The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra)
Now sure, there are no shortages of crackpot theories and retail snakeoil philosophers publishing on the internet, but the physics discussed here are indeed sound and espoused by the most learned and lauded physicists
of our age. The connection of Quantum Physics with Eastern Mysticism
is nothing new, as Tao of Physics was published in 1975.
I simply believe that like the tail curl fractal illustrates,
similar if not identical patterns emerge in the details of the whole picture, and the closer we examine it; the more patterns and relationships we observe. The synchronicity is obvious. Though Tantric thought and Taoism are from another point in time, imagine our universe as the Tail Curl Fractal. In the part that spirals around itself, imagine two points at the start and one further down the curl. One could follow the curling path through numerous loops to draw a path between the two points or one could draw a straight line from one directly to the other through the curls and have a very short path to connect the 2 points.
The concept of folding space to travel great distances in space is similar.
The line between the Tao and advanced theoretical physics can be seen as similar also.
Take a moment to experiment with the fractal generator on this page.
What is the name of the physics dept.'s baseball team?
The Unified Fielders!
Back to Quantum Reality...
"The many worlds interpretation"
Put forth by H. Everett in 1957, it suggests that the wave function never collapses -- that every possible event actually occurs, either in "our" world or in some instantaneously created "alternative universe."
What Einstein did to Euclidean geometry, some Quantum physicist/mathematicians hope to do to Boolean (Classical) Logic. Basically a doctrine of chance. It seems like a good idea.
Quantum Reality #6
Einstein, Planck, Schrodinger, Bohm & de Broglie have all looked for ways to "save the phenomena," to discover & describe Quantum Reality intrinsically, rather than take the pesky step of agreeing with the Copenhagen school of anti-realisms ("Atoms are not things" said Heisenberg. "There is no quantum world" said Bohr.) Reconciling the neo-realist project with Quantum facts leads to some fantastic revelations, such as maintaining that the world is real but "non-local." It's very possible the quarrel between anti-realists & neo-realists arises from a semantic problem about the definition of "reality." Both sides claim that reality means Classical reality. In that sense, the Copenhagen group is forced to deny that ordinary objects exist. The neo-realists are reduced to merely looking for loopholes in Quantum Mechanics, & seem so far to have been foiled. But what if a Quantum Reality & an ordinary reality are both real? Simply modes of a single reality? Dichotomy vanishes. String Theorists appear...everyone runs away!
String Theory - Super Strings - is a panoptic unified theory. Since 1984 string theory has been accepted by the mainstream physics community as a viable candidate to unite quantum mechanics, particle physics and gravity. A bold theory of absolutely everything.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about string theory is that it works! it is possible to derive (an extension of) the Standard Model (which has been verified experimentally with incredible precision) from a theory of strings. But it should also be pointed out that there is no direct experimental evidence that string theory itself is the correct description of Nature, not yet.
This is mostly due to the fact that string theory is still being constructed. We know bits and pieces of it, to be sure. but the whole picture has not been seen, and we are therefore unable to make reliable predictions. In recent years myriads of exciting developments have taken place, radically improving our understanding of what the theory might be.
Quantum Reality #7
"Consciousness creates reality."
Von Neumann said that only one kind of stuff exists, quantumstuff, & that ordinary objects are "made" of it. At some point the wave function, the all-possible nature of quantumstuff, "collapses" into a single statistical probability, a quantum jump which somehow "creates the world." one must ask just where does this occur? Logic appears to implicate human consciousness as the setting of the wave function collapse. It is with great irony that Von Neumann, the wizard of cybernetics & strategic game theory, should have been forced to develop a math which suggests that human consciousness must be written into any rendering of Quantum Reality. Von Neumann's interpretation is not the same as an "observer-created reality,"as the observer could be seen as a measuring device. Reality exists in Von Neumann's view, but only in conjunction or "unity" with consciousness.
Quantum Reality #8
Heisenberg's "duplex world"
A universe of potentials and actualities, in which real objects appear almost as manifestations or hypostases of a Quantum Reality which is simulteaneously more abstract & "more real" than everyday things.
My groping attempt at a synthesis is suggested by Chaos Theory, which holds to the axiom that reality itself subsists in a state of ontological anarchy. "The one gave birth to the two, the two to the 10,000 things" -- but all this IS the tao & nothing but the tao. Yin & yang have no being in themselves, but act as interpenetrating modalities of the tao. The real/unreal dichotomy enslaves us in false consciousness. Looked at from one point of view, nothing is real; from another point of view, everything is real; from another, "nothing is real except the Real"; from yet another, "I am the Real" (ana'I Haqq, a sufi "koan"). These semantricks create a set of paradoxes -- and the resolution will give us an essentially metalinguistic certainty of being's oneness. Such oneness cannot be structured or defined in any way. It has no "ruler" and no "laws". It is ontological anarchy. I think Chaos theory in a sense "proofs" or at least mirrors eastern philosophies. (Which are not necessarily theistic).
On a mathematical or statistical level, the chaotic nature of reality may manifest itself as randomness; I suspect it manifests in the Uncertainty Principle as well.
Whatever the truth of these speculations, I feel that Chaos Theory & Quantum Theory are moving closer & closer together and in some way reflect my personal beliefs about the nature of the universe, the nature of man's societies, as well as being observable in nature itself in both macro and micro forms.
We may in fact answer the questions posed by every seeker and philosopher through the ages. The answers, perhaps to everything, including man's quest for meaning (religion for some) is in Chaos Theory and ontological anarchy!
That's my view and I'm standing by it!
I suppose it begs the question... is Chaos God?.
(Or is God Chaos?)
I will leave that for you decide.
No electrons were harmed in the creation of this article.