In the heaven of Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it. In the same way, each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact is everything else.
Here’s an idea. The universe is contained in our consciousness. That is to say, the relationship between one’s physical brain and one’s mental brain is a model for how the universe relates to itself. The interface between the physical brain and non-physical mind is the universe’s mirror it uses to “see” itself.
Still too vague?
The physical brain is also made up of the very particles which obey the laws of quantum physics. The subatomic particles all have their anti-matter “dancing partners” with whom they dance so well they appear to be contained within one another. May it not be then said that the physical brain also has a corresponding dancing partner in the form of consciousness? “Units of consciousness” like thoughts, memories, feelings, perceptions (called “psychons”) also have their corresponding units of the material brain (called “dendrons“). These elements are not separate and discrete from one another. They, too, dance in a matrix of instantaneous nuclear dance reactions; in a matrix which extends throughout the universe.
What that means is: Each seemingly spatially separate part of the universe is instantaneously correlated with every other part of the universe. Like Indra pearls.
Of course, there is this world we actually DO see. We measure it all the time when we quantify most anything in the concrete world. We can do that because there are spatial differences between the concrete objects in the everyday world. They can be related to one another linearly. The apple that fell on Newton’s head is an example of this. It fell down. The apple had a beginning location (tree) and an end location (Newton’s peruke). Most all of the advances in technology exist grace to Newton and the giants that both preceded him and succeeded him. But there is a hidden world as well, a dimension which is implied and not exposed or “implicate” and not “explicate”.
The physicist David Bohm came up with an excellent analogy of what he called the visible world which may represent the physical brain (explicate) and the hidden world of consciousness (implicate). Here it is paraphrased:
Consider a large cylindrical glass container of glycerin mounted on a turntable. One places a spot of black ink in the glycerine. The container is slowly rotated, and the ink gradually disperses throughout the glycerin. If one then slowly rotates the cylinder in the opposite direction the spot of ink gradually re-forms. When the ink is dispersed it is in an implicate state: it exists throughout the glycerine. When the ink is a spot it is explicate: it exists in one part of the glycerine but not in the other parts. If one continues rotating the cylinder in this opposite direction the spot disperses again.
One can expand upon this. One places the spot of ink as before and slowly rotates the cylinder one revolution, and the ink again has begun to disperse. Then one places a second spot of ink just beside where the first spot was, and rotates for one more revolution. A third spot is placed beside where the second was, one more revolution, and one continues this for a few spots. Then one continues slowly rotating the cylinder until all the ink is fully dispersed throughout the glycerin. When one reverses the direction of rotation one sees the last spot coalesce, then the next to last one right beside the last one, and so on. One could interpret what one is really seeing is a single spot of ink that appears to be moving. So in the implicate fully dispersed state, the appearance of motion is enveloped in the space and time of an object as it exists throughout the glycerin.
In classical physics, humans mirror the objects of the every day world. They observe it. They are able to do so since they are spatially separated from those objects. In biological systems this classical interpretation prevails as quantum principles are not largely accepted. Most scientists still operate in the explicate and linear Newtonian world when it comes to things like the brain and consciousness. Indeed in the whole of the rest of the body as well. Consciousness in this model is seen as merely a “byproduct” of the spatially distinct elements of the functioning brain. Consciousness is only an epiphenomenon, an accidental companion. It is odd that although there are quantum physics and quantum chemistry, quantum biology which is a constellation of physics and chemistry is not seen as possessing quantum behaviors.
Old notions of “God” are based on that linear, reductionistic, deterministic model that if one were to tease out all the minute particulars it will lead somehow to an understanding of the bigger picture (my personal belief is that most scientists have a degree of obsessiveness and that attention to detail gets them lost in the minutae) and that there is a mechanical, spatially separated God behind some cosmic curtain making things move in locations, making judgments, admitting people to heaven, casting people into hell or the junk drawer that is purgatory. A newer notion would be: It’s not mechanical at all but much more magical and miraculous in that “God” exists in all places at all times, i.e. “non-local”, reflecting all places at all times through the mirror of quantum physics.
It is the mirror of quantum physics that one is able to see the self both as a physical entity with all the attributes therein and mentally- consciously in the larger setting of the universe as a whole… instantaneously.
Just a thought.
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Wonderful post, Q, makes the spots of ink spin in my glycerin.
I find this area of exploration fascinating, the convergence of thought and the material universe.
Several thoughts this brings to mind, ones which I often enjoy pondering.
How does the physical makeup of our brains (chemical balances, its ongoing actions controlling the body’s functions, etc.) influence thought and perception? Going in one direction, are the lives that people live, the choices that they make, possibly dominated by the physical state of the brain and not free will as much as it may feel like it? And if so, will my brain be pissed off at me for spilling the beans?
In other words, are human beings truly exercising free will in their lives or does the physiology of their brain predetermine the life and choices one is likely to make for oneself?
Self determinism vs. fatalism and all that.
The concept of the physiological invisibly influencing thought and vice versa is scientific and at the same time, kind of magical. We know that certain chemical imbalances can cause all kinds of mental conditions and personality issues. We also know that thoughts can cause changes to our physiological condition (i.e., worrying can cause ulcers, high blood pressure, etc.).
Add to that the proposition that the mere perception of something can change it and we again explore the fascinating aspects of thought and the material universe colliding. Can that affect our brains, if we become more aware of what it is doing, would that change it and thus change who we are?
And if so, would we need to get a new driver’s license?
Great question! Yes, it is all about free will. Looking at the brain from a strictly chemical standpoint is reductionistic and deterministic. It doesn’t adequately describe what is happening. It doesn’t describe why we light up our brains in different places at the same time in PET scans when we make observations. We can see a red ball, in the corner of the room, see it’s made of rubber and has a Spaulding logo on it. Just that everyday observation cannot be accounted for by mere deterministic chemicals having to fire BEFORE the observation
It’s quantum. The chemistry of the brain is being acted upon by consciousness. Consciousness exists as a separate yet connected entity. Current research is looking at how death is the loosening of consciousness from the body/brain.
It is very strange to think this way, but that’s because we’re trained to see things the other way. I should write a post about that.
That synergistic relationship of consciousness and the chemical/physiological makeup of the brain opens up a lot of conceptual avenues when it comes to spiritual beliefs and what death is.
I don’t perceive therefore I’m not?
God is literally in our minds?
Many scientists believe that particles in the universe are affected by observation. If that is the case, what does that say about the power of consciousness on everything around us and within us.
It certainly would bring new meaning to the phrase, “Knowledge is Power”.
Precisely. It is inchoate as a field of study. We may be finding that what was once “paranormal” is actually “normal”. Theories abound. One theory is that it’s the spin of the electrons that are the pixels of the mind.
Particles ARE affected by observation. That is known in general as part of quantum mechanics. We are talking about humans as part of the observation because they stand inside and not outside the observation. When things are outside space and time, it can all get very strange but also very truthful, real, and more complete.
Humans are too arrogant to see themselves as part of anything. They don’t see themselves as part of the world they even can see for the most part.
Now this is my kind of post. Excellent topic to ponder. I don’t have anything clever to say. I guess I’m just “talked” out.
Well, you know how Quarks can be. You realize you can’t be independent without seeking refuge in your protons, neutrons, and mesons!
Hi KQ – good to hear from you! Hope things are OK? We’ve missed you. And therein lies the beauty of Ques’s deep and beautiful post. What there is about missing someone you don’t even know in person, the capacity to care about someone unseen, the capacity to care at ALL, is elusive, indeterminate, and NOT capable of reductionism. So yes, KQ – all my synapses lit up when I saw your name and knew you were back in discussion with us – happy and eager to read what you say – but how does that get explained, any of it?
Love, compassion, caring, humor – these are “useless” aspects of purely physical life. Animals can and do have young about which they care not at all, just tend, sometimes kill and even eat, but for which they do not feel the same things we do. Reductio ad absurdum to say that friendship, fellowship, common purpose, shared ideas and the joy from that are merely some kind of bio chemistry.
God IS in our minds. I’ve never liked the cranky Santa figure at all because it’s so limited. When the Bible says it is a “jealous God” – what a pissant that would make GOD! God lives in the details of emotions, caring, and that boundry we inhabit between the rationality of Newton and the chaos of quantum mechanics.
Anger, fear, etc. MAY be biochemical survival mechanisms for fight or flight. But how does one explain the human drive for the positive emotions that add cultural but NOT survival dimensions. Therein, IMHO, lies God. The best we are, can be, can project, can perfect and what we SHARE. Art, beauty, intentional kindness, civilization at its best. All of us when we work in concert toward something good – there is God.
The dominionist and fundamentalist views of God are shameful – it’s so base and demeaning to think God is nothing more than our animal instincts. Why do we pray and give thanks? Because it’s good to do so even if our language and image skills become antropomorphic. Hard to pray to a wisp, but thanks itself – gratitude for what we’re given – there is God.
Someday we will break the yoke of narrow reality, of God created in our own image, of holiness that is just a list of rules. We will be one with the world around us and with one another, not all the same but all honoring our differences, and being joyful in our varied contributions. First Nations people may be closer to the truth than we. Too bad we listened too little, learned too little, paid attention perhaps too late.
At the boundaries of everything that merges, of infinity and eternity and great human emotions – where all of that intersects, there is God.
So welcome back KQ – my happiness to see you is a tip of my and God’s hat to you. Welcome back!
Oh ChoiceLady it’s always lovely reading your commentary and I miss you and all the folks.
I’m doing fine just consider me on summer holiday. My body, brain and spirit simply needs some rest.
I love your Fractals. And an excellent post also.
We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of …
So then I looked up L Frank Baum on wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Frank_Baum
and it said he was born to a Methodist family but then turned to Theosophy in 1897. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosophy
A little too much dogma for me. It’s interesting that Baum was a dedicated republican and supported McKinley in the 1896 election.
The Wizard of Oz says it all, doesn’t it?
The only thing real about it was Glinda and her bubble beaming in from another dimension.
Oh, and Toto…too.
One of Pete Townshend’s more profound lyrical statements, from “Tommy”, and relevant to this article, I feel.
If I told you what it takes to reach the highest high, you’d laugh and say nothing’s that simple;
but you’ve been told many times before, messiahs pointed to the door,
no one had the guts to leave the temple.
How funny!! I was just writing how your translation of Yahweh “I am that I am” was portending Popeye the Sailor Man.
Then I was writing that God’s feeling himself through physicality as you described was very “see me, feel me, touch me, heal me”.
I think we’re experiencing a little of what this article is about right here, wts!
Much more than “Just a Thought,” Q!
I’ve always suspected that physics, mathematics, biology and theology might have a big happy reunion one day.
I used to love the concept that was put forward in theology classes of God as a Being both “immanent and transcendent.” His presence being as intimate as the very electrons of our bodies and as vast and “other” as the furthest reaches of the universe.
Paul Tillich, the Lutheran theologian, used the wonderful term: “Ground of all Being”. He rejected what he termed “theological theism,” which implied that God was the highest of all beings. He intuited that this was a fundamentally false notion, which contained within itself the seeds of atheism. He stated that the concept of God in theological theism….
My understanding of the meaning of the name “Yahweh” (which I’m told is a word not meant to be pronounced or translated, really) is that the closest approximation might be “I am Who (or What) am.” Whatever human initially figured that one out was really on to something, don’t you think?
P.S. Your graphics are perfect.
k’es, tonight on “All Things Considered” there is a segment being previewed on a secret code in Plato’s writing. It proports that math and religion are intertwined. Blasphemy then and now. 😉
Now, will I remember to listen to it?
Or is it all in your head?
B’ito, I hope that segment will be archived, so I can listen to it later, because — irony of ironies — I’ll be at church when it’s on here! (Although there IS the option of headphones — teehee… :lol:)
Gonna hafta run for the moment, but hope to check back in later! Wish I could stay home all day today!
k’es it is.
That reductionist scientific world view that Tillich rails against is, as many religious world views, based on the assumption that we humans are OUTSIDE nature.
It’s funny how the inconsistencies abound. Consciousness is denied on the one hand but regarded as essential on the other hand. It is ignored in Darwinism, yet when dealing with social behaviour, religion or human rights it’s all of a sudden really important. Most people are not aware of this inconsistency.
That’s a really good point, Q. The “proud” atheists such as those who love Dawkins and Hitchens, imagine that Western, Aristotlean logic is superior to other forms of philosophy because it gave us the Scientific Method, the clearest and most comprehensive system by which we may reasonably conclude that God does not exist. It’s ironic if you think about it. Because among traditional tribal peoples there ARE probably no atheists. But NOT because their minds are “deluded”, simply because they are aware of themselves as PART of the whole! They would probably find the Dawkinsian atheists to be similar to fish arguing that there is no water.
And they don’t end up destroying nature; we do.
The “scientific method” is good only in Euclidean situations, if I am correct. We are in our infancy as to what “scientific method” means. Newton was part I.
People like Dawkins always existed throughout history. He is part of a heritage of provocateurs aimed at making humans feel like they are merely servants either to “God” or, in Dawkins’ case, to the gene. Evolution, he thinks, can be fully explained by the accumulation of selected small random mutations and no God is required to explain it. He is dismissable to me because 1) genes cannot survive unless they serve the organism and 2) mutations have causes (i.e. are results from forces in the cosmos or from the world or from the gene itself) and are still a creative, God-like event.
Good point. The whole “Evolution vs. Creationism” debate is perhaps only being argued about at the fringes of the religious and “scientistic” viewpoints. Even the Catholic Church seems comfortable with viewing evolution occurring through genetic mutation. But to the church, it is sort of a “fingerprint” of God, not proof that there is no need for God. And many scientists would admit that the information contained within a single gene is so immense that, okay, perhaps there WAS some intelligence involved in its emergence from matter.
Exactly! There has been a calling for the men and women of both Science and Religion to stand up and seek the Truth. To reflect on the status of Science and Religion, to advance both and UNIFY both!
I shall mail you an article.
I have also heard it translated as “I am that I am”, which can sound like nonsense, but on the other hand it can reveal something profound. It’s like God is saying, I need to exist (as many, as physical matter, as separated identities, etc.) so that I can exist AT ALL! In other words, only by exploring the physical experience can God have awareness about Itself. I like that interpretation, because it jibes perfectly with what the ancient Indian spiritualists taught in the Vedas.
Also translated to “Skydaddy.”
by Bill Maher.
Never heard that from Bill Maher, heard /read that from these guys:
Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, co-authors of “Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates.”
Very nice, very interesting, Q! I completely agree with you that the Newtonian, mechanistic predilection of science forces it into an unnecessary battle of sorts with what we NOW consider paranormal. For example, because the Newtonian, Darwinian mindset is dead set against crediting what it considers “woo woo” with any type of authenticity, it has to make all these unnecessary rationalizations and excuses for things that DID, in fact happen. Like Fatima. Fatima happened. We don’t know what, exactly, happened there. Nor do we have to concede that, since something happened there, therefore the Bible is “true” and Christianity must be the only true religion. Baloney! We don’t have to believe anything like that. Neither do we have to glibly assert, as Richard Dawkins does, that people all looked up in the sky for a while, which they shouldn’t have, so they all experienced some kind of optical malfunction.
Um…they ALL did? And saw the same thing? And a thing that is not usually associated with looking at the sun too long?
So Dawkins and people like him throw out the whole event, because they are only capable of seeing it one of two ways:
A. ) The Christian religion is completely accurate, and the Christian God made a miracle happen that day.
B.) Nothing out of the ordinary happened, certainly nothing that current science is incapable of explaining.
In fact, those two options should be more like A and Z! There are lots of other possibilities to be considered when considering Fatima, “haunted” houses, instances of partial xenoglossy, reincarnation memories, near death and out of body reportage, etc. etc.
That “B to Y” can be found in the type of universe you are writing about, I feel.
I would also add that there is A prime, A double prime etc