|Time in Mind|
Section One: Time
Section Two: Mind
Time brings everything.
(Greek Anthology, 9 - Plato; circa 429 - 347 BC)
I am writing this with far too little available time. Perhaps I should explain, like Blaise Pascal, that "I have only made this letter longer because I have not had time to make it shorter." There is a whole spectrum of conscious and half-consciously listed items in my manifest of "required actions" that are clamouring for inception of their endless and dynamically ramifying programmes, pressing for pertinent increments of progress, or the little victories of pseudo-completion.
Completion of an action as anyone knows, is just a phase in an action's progress and comprises a movable horizon which often requires not just an enigmatic hybridisation of matured insight and artistic perspective but calm courage, anticipative experimentation and moulding towards a conclusion. It's a paradox - we compartmentalise the accomplished and define it as completed when that is only a phase - the thing itself changes not only in material manifestation over time but keeps changing in the impressions and effects it creates on the self and others. We actually never leave it alone in this sense and although its integrated effect may lie in the subconscious world-manifest of our accumulated actions, it is not the same when looked at again later. After this pseudo-completion, you then need to integrate an action's pertinent aspects into the larger scheme of things, it needs attention in a whole gamut of post-pseudo-completion refinements, ancillary and related activities, the handling of offshoot developments, parallel unfoldings, and contingencies that strive to make the naïve believe that they are completely unrelated, disjoint, causally discontiguous, non-conjunctive and just happened to come along adventitiously to give you a healthy interlude during which you can test your sense of time utilisation, reason, reality and rationality.
Time and timelessness, change and constancy, fluidity and consistency, eternity and transience are to a large degree in the mind of the beholder, and in the time of the timer. Enough of that, I do not have the time.
O aching time!
O moments big as years.
(Hyperion; John Keats, 1795 - 1821)
Where does time come from? Around seven hundred years B.C. the multi-headed winged snake begins to appear in Greek art as a representation of Time, derived from oriental ideas by Orphic tradition. The early Iranian concept of Zvran Akarana, "unending time" is a cosmogonical concept that becomes personified, or hypostatised, in the Greek cosmogony and mythology as Chronos, time, and the god Kronos. Its earliest testimony is in a fourth century B.C. reference by Eudemus as reported in Damascius:
In these Orphic Rhapsodies, then, as they are known, this is the theology concerned with the intelligible; which the philosophers , too, expound, putting Chronos in place of the one origin of all...
This Chronos, unageing and of imperishable counsel, produced aither, and a great, mighty gulf here and there.
(Damascius de principiis, 123)
From a papyrus roll discovered at Derveni near Thessalonica in 1962, half-burnt over a grave around 330 B.C., a verse quoted from "Orpheus":
"[Chronos] Winged, bisexual and self-fertilising, bright and aetherial, he gives birth to the first generation of gods and is the ultimate creator of the cosmos."
(Both references above from 'The Presocratic Philosophers,' Second Edition, Cambridge University Press 1983) )
Aristotle held that it is a fundamental characteristic of matter 'to suffer action', to be moved or changed and was motivated to appeal to something external to matter which causes this moving and changing. Regarding the present pregnant with the future, Aristotle sees a necessity for the description of the movement of forms towards their final realisations. The development from acorn to oak tree which he quotes in his criticism of Democritus, is to him an intrinsic universal quality or as he calls it, potentiality of matter. In the early atomic theory by Anaxagoras and Democritus, the indivisible atomos from which all matter is compounded in 'a moving together and moving apart', there is no equivalent of the concepts of power or energy, Aristotle functionally replaces these with potentiality. Aristotle views time as a function of the movement of matter towards what he calls a final cause. Time for him is a teleological quantity, a question of final things, a component in the development of the cosmos towards a final goal and final explanations.For Aristotle it is not enough to describe an entity's structure or function, included in the description must be its potentiality, an internal natural causality that drives a system towards its natural development and a final causality that draws the organisation of matter onwards in time towards completion.
The "Tim gene" and "Per gene" (Tim for "time" and Per for "Period") generate two proteins in the common fruitfly, Drosophila Melanogaster, that regulate its biological clock, synchronise its phases of major activity with the diurnal period and ensure its optimum co-ordination with the natural periodicity of circadian rhythms in its environment, light and temperature, and other members of its tribe. Even the lowly bread mould has a biological clock, regulated by a gene called "Freq" that we do not frequently think of when we pop bread into the toaster. Deep within the human hypothalamus is a cluster of neurons forming the suprachiasmatic nucleus, our primary biological clock, centrally regulating the activity of each individual somatic cell's horological shenanigans - the brain's natural sundial, triggering our waking and sleeping and arranging the timeless phases of unique consciousness in REM-sleep during which we can access alternate realities.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
(Leisure; William Henry Davies, 1870 - 1940)
Some time has passed since Henry de Vick of Württemberg's
clock, built in the fourteenth century for the Royal Palace (now
the Palais de Justice) in Paris, which had only an hour hand,
roughly accurate to a quarter of an hour a day and was driven by
a 227kg weight that had to be repeatedly cranked up to a height
of some ten metres to drive the clockwork monster.
Of course, the constant periodicity of the Sun regulated all early human endeavour and obelisks, shadow-sticks or Gnomons, early forerunners of the more sophisticated Sundial, are recorded in the fading chapters of Man's earliest history.
These were not independent measurers of the passing of time but simply reflected the Solar angle inclusive of its seasonal variations. Amenophis III, better known as Akhenaton or Akhnaton (Ankh-es-en-Aten: the sign of life is in the Aten, or sun-disk) thought he had detected the exact birthplace of the Sun in the precipitous divide between two cliffs in the Amarna region. There, he built the city of Akhet-Aten (Horizon of the Sun), cradle of a new monotheistic religion, Atenism, which regarded the sun-disk itself as representative of supreme divine power. The Theban priesthood, entrenched in Amunism, worship of the state appointed sun-god Amun and possibly feeling a threat to their political and tribute-gathering power, rebelled and the new city was almost flattened to the ground. It was here, in the studio of Akhnaton's chief sculptor and designer that Nefertiti's famous painted limestone bust was found buried under sand in a corner of a destroyed room.
Monotheism had to wait a few millennia before it was taken over by the religion of Moses and Christianity. Akhnaton's son Tutankhaten (Amenophis IV, ruling Egypt from about 1350 - 1334 B.C.) reverted to the name Tutankhamun whose pharaonic burial splendor was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.
The invention of time-measurement mechanisms, starting perhaps with the early Chinese burning knotted-rope clocks, notched candles, and the highly inaccurate Greek Clepsydras, or "water thieves" that indicated time as a function of the outflow of water, some of which even included gears, were an attempt not only to accurise the display of time's passing, but to generate a mechanical time-dependant functionality, separated from the Sun and stars - an attempt to improve upon nature in the making of machines that not only demonstrated time's progress and measured it, but "generated" time itself in their operation. Early clocks were calibrated by local solar zenithal crossings, often synchronised by the signal of a cannon shot and therefore time in neighbouring cities and regions was "local time" and completely lacked international or even national agreement and synchronisation. Local solar time was the rule.
And he that will not apply new remedies, must expect New Evils; for Time is the greatest innovator.
(Essays, 24, Of Innovations; Francis Bacon; 1561 - 1626)
As timepieces became more accurate, aided by the development of the Netherlands physicist Christiaan Huygen's pendulum movement in 1657, the English physicist Robert Hooke's escapement and clockmaker George Graham's improvement of it, mankind started living more and more dependently on man-made time. It was the first successful chronometer, developed by the English horologist John Harrison in 1761 that first allowed the measurement of longitude by navigators in all weather conditions. It had been the famous Greek astronomer Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) who had first determined a method for geographical location by means of a latitude / longitude system, discovered the precession of the equinoxes, and determined the Tropical Year with the phenomenal accuracy for his time, of within 6,5 minutes of modern measurement.
Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus.
Time meanwhile flies, flies never to return.
(Georgics 2; Publius Virgil; 70 - 19 BC)
This new accuracy markedly facilitated Man's deviation from natural variations in time as guided by the unavoidable lengthening and shortening of days with the seasons' progress. The accurate timing of event and process aided mechanisation and new industrialisation, accuracy of manufacture, organisation and regulation. Mean Solar Time was invented to represent the movement of an idealised Sun that moved through the skies at a mean rate, compensating for the up to sixteen minutes seasonal variation in the length of 24 hour days as measured by real Solar Time. To synchronise railroad time schedules, which caused conflicts when en-route communities each relied on their own local solar time, Standard Time was introduced by international agreement in 1883, based on Solar Time. The old Royal Greenwich Observatory, which had long been used (since 1675) for the tabling of Lunar positions, allowing the measurement of longitude by British ships, was ratified to mark the Prime Meridian of zero degrees longitude by international agreement in 1884. Places on the Earth now also became internationally "time-located" by falling into the twenty-four agreed time zones of the modern world. Astronomers use Universal Time (UT or UTC, for co-ordinated universal time) equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time, GMT, now used world-wide as standard time reference.
The picture of the world and the universe itself were changing to accommodate Time in its new meaning. The Russian mathematician Hermann Minkowski (1864 - 1909) developed the concept of the space-time continuum by adding the dimension of time to the three dimensions of space - it became a four-dimensional universe, the framework for Einstein's theory of General Relativity in 1916. Of an object or event we can now say not only where but when it time it occurs. A consequence of the spacetime location of things is that we can no longer see space separate from time or vice versa. Man became chronocentric. One thing that has not changed though, and which is almost transparent to us as over-familiar users, is the relationship between degrees and hours, measures of time and arc, and their subdivisions, minutes and seconds.
It was the Babylonians whose civilisation lasted from the eighteenth to the sixth century B.C. who commonly used the sexagesimal, base sixty, system and who themselves had inherited it from the earlier Sumerians. The Babylonian year had at first been a year of 360 days and strong evidence exists that the Egyptian year, consisting of twelve months with the addition of five feast days, had also at first consisted of 360 days, although by 4000 B.C. they had fixed its length at 365 days by counting the intervening days between two successive risings of Sirius, the dog star, when these occurred just before sunrise.1
The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the Universe swim like exhalations.
(Heroes and Hero-worship, Thomas Carlyle; 1795 - 1881)
When polyphonic music began to develop in the tenth and eleventh centuries, the need for more exact proportional representation in the musical notation of note duration became vital. The system of "Neumes," signs for notes that had been used before, ramified uncontrollably and Walter de Odington (c. 1300) complained that there were as many newly invented signs as there were music copyists in the world. At that time a breve (Latin: brevis = short) could have the value of anything from two to twelve semi-breves.
Time signatures came in use in the Ars Nova period of the fourteenth century, the circle (symbolic of perfection) for triple time, and the semicircle for "imperfect" or duple time. The longest note duration of early plainsong, the "double longa," four to six times the duration of the breve, had by now fallen into disuse and the recognised values were the maxima, longa, brevis, semibrevis, minima, semiminima, fusa and semifusa. Robert Bremner, in 1756, wanted a pendulum of 8 feet and 8 inches long to be hung in all music schools to illustrate the length of a semibreve. The periodic beat would have been 3,3 seconds. Whether the 0,3s part of that was a matter of science or taste is not known...
It is the semibrevis that became our modern semibreve, the whole note, and the longer value notations have completely fallen away. Time, as it were, was getting shorter. Bar lines gained popularity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for the temporal, rhythmic organisation of music and instead of being rather haphazardly strewn here and there as had been common, as casual aids to the eye, began to mark musical time segments into orderly lengths marked by regular accents. The facility of such temporally regularised frameworking in itself became an accidental restriction on the freedom of composition, its physical rendering and interpretation.
The natural speaking and singing voice has time-ordered and rhythmic components, of course, but in a way the notation system imposes its own artificial restrictions. The first signs of breaking away from a paradigm of regularisation show in Claude Debussy's (1862 - 1918) structural rhythmic freedom, such as in his Prélude à 'Laprès-midi d'un faune. Also Igor Strawinsky's (1882 - 1971) Rite of Spring, here bars of such strong metric contrast occur that they have more properly been referred to as "rhythmic cells" where the bar-regulation is almost annihilated by the dilution of metre caused by antimetric patterns and syncopated parts. Breaking away from traditional notation is perhaps epitomised by the unconventional notation techniques of such composers as Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928 -) some of whose works are designed to be partly improvised by the performer, the American John Cage (1912 -), the work of György Ligeti (1923 -), the completely unspecific notation of Morton Feldman (1926 -) and the stochastic computer music of Lejaren Hiller (1924 -) and Iannis Xenakis (1922 -).
Tempus edax rerum
Time, the devourer of all things
(Metamorphoses 15; Publius Ovid; 43 BC - 18 AD)
The Parisian music master Étienne Loulié's invention took
some time to come into general use in the latter part of the
seventeenth century, it was the metronome, to later perhaps
become an instrumentalist's most common ancillary instrument, but
Loulié's first example was 2 metres tall and undoubtedly met
with some reservations... The modern metronome is regarded as the
invention of Johann Nepomuk Maelzel (1772 - 1838) who himself is
said to have stolen the idea but patented it in 1816, onetime
friend of Beethoven , the latter took much interest in it and
used it the following year to indicate tempo in his compositions.
From this, the M.M. (Maelzel's Metronome) = ... mark, now
ubiquitously found in music publication.
Pitch is of course the frequency of a tone, the number of cyclic compression / rarefaction wavefronts coupled to the air caused by the original tone generator's oscillations, measured per time unit (the second) in the unit of Hertz (Hz).
Even here, new standards of international conformity took some time to arise. Dr. E.H. Fellowes in his "The English Madrigal Composers," (c. 1902) concludes that there was a discrepancy of some five semitones between the pitch of the virginals and that of the church organ. There were an amazing and confusing number of "standard pitches" in use: "Cornett-Ton", "Kammerton", "Hoch- and Tief Kammerton", "Chorton", Philharmonic Pitch (in 1813 at A = 423,7 Hz, later 433,2 Hz and finally 452,5 Hz) and Diapason Normal (called French or International Pitch in the States at A = 435 Hz, then raised to 439 Hz). The Haydn - Beethoven period was characterised by a "Classical Pitch" based on a C = 512 Hz and implying an A of 426,7 Hz - another result of rationalisation as the pitch series is taken to be built on an infrasonic, and imaginary, fundamental C of 1 Hz, thereby offering greater ease of interval calculation in "Philosophical Pitch." Handel's extant English tuning fork measures at 422,5 Hz, representing the pitch expected by eighteenth century composers. Mozart's piano was tuned to A = 421,6 Hz. Military band instruments unfortunately remained tuned to A = 452,5 Hz so that none of their players could take part in an orchestral work unless they possessed a second instrument designed specifically for the other tuning...
Generally, pitch climbed, time compressed and offered less of itself again, until the modern accepted Standard, or Concert Pitch, was ratified at A = 440 Hz by international conference in 1939.
"Well," said Red Jacket (to one who complained he had not enough time), "I suppose you have all there is."
(Society and Solitude. Works and Days; Thomas Ellwood; 1639 - 1713)
In 1609 Galileo heard that a spyglass had been invented in Holland (by Hans Lipperschey, a spectacle maker, in 1608) and some months later presented a telescope with the power of a modern field-glass, to the Doge of Venice, assuring his lifelong tenure as a professor and doubling his salary.
It was the military application of the device for monitoring distant naval movements, effectively removing the amount of time required to travel there for first-hand observation, and increasing the amount of time available for contingent preparation in which its value lay. By December of that year, he had discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter with a 20x-magnification telescope. In 1611, he started his study of Sunspots but immediately suffered censure for his suggestion that there were dark markings despoiling this holy of holies. One of his less successful scientific endeavours was an attempt to measure the speed of light emitted from lanterns - in an experiment to measure the time taken to exchange light signals between two widely separated points he found that light travels so fast that it is a vanishing fraction of the reaction time required by the observers-cum-signallers.
It took even longer for the Vatican to retract officially its accusation of heresy against him for his theories and defence of the Copernican Heliocentric system - a papal commission acknowledged the Vatican's error in October of 1992. Fortunately his 1633 sentence of life imprisonment was quickly commuted to permanent house arrest - but the man to whom light meant so much became blind before his last work was published and died sightlessly in 1642. Empedocles (490? - 430 BC) had believed that light travelled at a finite speed but Galileo lived at the wrong time and phase of technological development to measure it.
Ah, fill the cup: - what boots it to repeat
How time is slipping underneath our feet:
Unborn to-morrow and dead yesterday
Why fret about them if to-day be sweet!
(Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám 1st Ed.; Edward FitzGerald; 1809 - 1883)
The Danish astronomer Römer managed to obtain a rough estimate for the speed of light by measuring the time difference in the predicted and actual eclipses of the newly discovered moons of Jupiter as they disappeared into the shadow of the giant planet, calculated from their known orbital times, at minimum and maximum distances between Jupiter and the Earth. It was only in the nineteenth century however that Armand Fizeau measured light-speed by means of a fast rotating toothed wheel and a half-silvered mirror. A beam of light is aimed through the semi-transparent mirror, chopped by the rotating teeth, reflected back from a distant mirror - if the wheel rotates at exactly the correct speed the returning "chopped" light pulse will be blocked by the next tooth in line and not recombined in the semi-transparent mirror. By knowing the exact distance involved, the wheel's exact parameters and observing the expected effect at the right rotational speed, Fizeau managed to obtain a reasonably accurate figure for the elusive natural constant.
Fizeau's co-worker Jean Foucault and the American scientist Albert Michelson performed even more accurate experiments with rotating mirrors, Michelson also using a 35 km long tube evacuated to one twentieth of an atmosphere. Christiaan Huygens, he of the pendulum movement, had first suggested that light moved in spherically expanding wavefronts. James Clerk Maxwell's (1831 - 1879) theory of electromagnetic wave propagation that unified the two inseparable sides of the electric / magnetic coin, confirmed Huygens and Empedocles' intuitions and proved the measured speed of light from a purely theoretical basis, six years before all his time ran out. Maxwell's work seeded that of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857 - 1894; he of the frequency unit) who proved that electricity could be propagated like light in "Hertzian Waves" (actually microwaves), which in turn led to the experiments by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895, resulting in regular transatlantic radio communication by 1902. The White Star Line's Titanic, which attempted to reach New York City in record time on her maiden voyage, had occasion to witness the first SOS radio transmission (before that it had been CQD CQD CQD) and sank in the short time of three hours. The actual wreck was found and photographed only in September 1985.
The world had shrunk again due to the speed of communication, places were closer together timewise and the Standard Metre was redefined in terms of light-speed: the path-length travelled by light in 1/299 792 458th of a second. The Caesium Beam atomic clock became accurate to within one second per million years in 1955. The electric wristwatch appeared in 1957, followed by the electronic watch in 1959 and the LCD display watch in the seventies, a distant evolution of the cumbersome pocket sundials that could show both Italian and Babylonian hours some centuries before.
Time and frequency are inversely related and because of this, the one can be defined in terms of the other very accurately. The second as the unit of time in the International System of Units (Le Système International d'Unités) was redefined in 1967 as 9 192 631 770 cycles of the radiation that corresponds to a transition between two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the Caesium 133 atom.
It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.
(Sartor Resartus, 1; Thomas Carlyle; 1795 - 1881)
With Maxwell's unification of the electric-magnetic aspects of radiation into electromagnetism, one of the dualities of nature had been resolved. Further natural dualisms arose. When Max Planck (1858 - 1947) postulated quantum theory in 1900, the concept that energy is quantised in discrete packets and multiples of a fundamental unit, he derived a universal natural energy constant, "h", the Planck constant: the energy of a quantum = the frequency of that radiation x that constant. Albert Einstein's explanation of the photoelectric effect relied on this and explained why the emission of light from matter due to incident radiation, depended not on the intensity of that radiation but purely on its frequency.
Niels Bohr, the great physicist, evolved Ernest Rutherford's simple atomic model of a dense nucleus surrounded by a hazy swarm of orbiting electrons into a quantised model that explained why electrons could only occupy discrete orbital distances dependent on Planck's constant, and that jumps, up or down, between these orbitals absorbed or emitted light quanta respectively, photons, of an exact proportional energy.
Light has retained the dualism of being both electromagnetic wave, and discrete particle, a bi-unitary aspect of nature. Spectroscopy had already been capable of analysing the composition not just of the very matter we consist of, or walked on in comfortable unquestioning familiarity, since 1859 but the new knowledge enabled understanding of the distant stars and nebulae themselves, such as when the British astronomer Sir William Huggins discovered multiply ionised Hydrogen.
It was with the spectroheliograph, in 1908, that George Hale discovered that Sunspots contained powerful magnetic fields typically 2 500 times the intensity of the Earth's weak field of just one gauss. How Galileo would have enjoyed knowing that.
Without going into detail, a further duality was seen in 1967-8 when Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam managed to unify the Weak Nuclear force and Electromagnetism, into the Electroweak Force, now perhaps no longer a two-sided coin, but a multi-faceted crystal. Helping to explain Lorentz and FitzGerald's negative results in attempting to measure the Earth's absolute spatial velocity as it was alternatively accelerated and decelerated through space by being dragged around the Sun, in the Sun's own absolute motion around the Galaxy, Einstein had postulated Time Invariance across separate observers' reference frames in his 1905 Special Theory of relativity, studying the effects of motion on time. Added velocities cannot ever exceed the natural constant "c," light speed itself. Einstein had shown the effect of gravity on time in 1917 with his General relativity theory and the elusive search for the quantised gravity particle, the graviton or Higgs Boson, soon started.
The predicted effect of time dilation was proven by, among others, a 1971 experiment in which the relative time losses and gains with respect to a ground-based clock were measured in two atomic clocks carried by aircraft flying in opposite directions, one Eastward along the rotational direction of the Earth, one Westward. The effects were a complete vindication of both relativity theories, in that they proved the influence not only of the effects of relative motion, but also of different gravitational intensities due to the altitudes of the aircraft.
Efforts are now underway to unify the Electroweak Force with the Strong Nuclear Force by means of symmetry theories in order to derive so-called GUTs (Grand Unification Theories) or TOEs (Theories Of Everything), embodying relativity and quantum theory to find the one theory that accounts for all the diffracted aspects of the basic natural forces in a single Force. The two-sided coin became a multi-faceted crystal and it is hoped to become the key to the universe.
One fundamental symmetry theory suffered a major upset as far as time is concerned in a 1964 experiment at Princeton. Up until that time the C-P-T theorem held that Charge, Parity and Time reversals were invariant for any natural process: if these symmetries were reversed, another process where all charges and parities were reversed and including a reversal of time was regarded as an observable natural process, and all evidence pointed that way.2 No direct evidence has been found to indicate that a micro-event cannot also run backward. As Arthur Stanley Eddington, who introduced the term "time's arrow," expressed it in 1927: "The (basic) laws of nature are indifferent as to a direction of time." And: "There is no more distinction between past and future than between right and left."
As Martin Gardner in his 'The Ambidextrous Universe' puts it: "It is important to understand that physicists do not struggle to preserve CPT symmetry merely because they love symmetry... The CPT theorem is so firmly entrenched in the foundations of relativity theory that, if it turns out not to be true, physical theory will be in a shambles." The '64 experiment showed that in the decay of K-meson particles a CP violation occurred implying that time behaves asymmetrically. This may well seem an intuitive truism but philosophically and scientifically the irreversibility of time is attributed to the operation of statistical probability in the unfolding of physical processes in the macro-world, the world of things and events much larger than that of quanta, and the perception of this world due to the mechanism of consciousness. T
he current physics view of reality divides its constituent elementary particles into two types according to the Standard Model: Fermions, such as the electrons, neutrons and protons which cannot exist in the same place at the same time, and Bosons, the quantum particles such as the gluon, photon, weakon and the theoretical graviton which can and that are associated with the force fields that act on the Fermions.3
"Much too hour an is it of minutes 73 but."
(A Time magazine review of "Happy End" - a Czechoslovakian film in which all action runs backwards; June, 1968)
The second law of thermodynamics demands that all matter, structure and all systems in the cosmos tend towards maximum entropy, chaos or disorder, as a function of time. The prediction of this law is that the universe will finally dissipate to a state of "heat-death", a state where all matter and radiation are at an optimal lowest-energy equilibrium, where no further energy transfer can occur between identifiable quantum and any other.
This statistical tendency of matter, both in its corpuscular and wave nature works towards final exhange of all energy, tending over aeons of time towards its ideal state of absolute zero degrees kelvin.
Life itself though, and consciousness have an opposing tendency. The opposite of entropy, neguentropy, instead of being a tendency towards maximum chaos, is the well-observed natural tendency of systems. especially living systems, to evolve towards sophisticated organisation.
Life itself defeats the entropic tendency by neguentropic organisation, maximised integration of information and optimal information processing in its systems. One well-regarded reference work still quotes however: 'Nature, then, seems to "prefer" disorder or chaos.'
French military engineer and physicist Nicolas Carnot (1796 - 1832) discovers that heat cannot pass from a colder to a hotter body, basis of the Second Law and puts an upper limit on the efficiency of all engines, the so-called Carnot Cycle. Entropic time is the time of dissociative dispersal, evaporation, both of structure and information.
Joel de Rosnay, and others, have argued that the observation of this time modulus creates a picture of serial causality in the world, a picture that forces scientific thinking to identify earlier and earlier causes in the pursuit of a prime cause. The time of neguentropy however, is the time of creation, a time axis that effectively points in an opposing direction. Arguing from the point of closed-loop servo mechanisms and cybernetics, where goal-oriented systems operate separated from subjective or objective time experience, de Rosnay demonstrates that it is the analytical action of consciousness that has artificially opened the loop of time to begin a search for causality and it is this that has given rise to the well-established Western scientific attitude, failing in our highly industrialised societies where time has reached a premium never before experienced.
Information density has reached peaks of intensity that can hardly be handled anymore. It is only when we avoid chronocentrism, that we can also access the timeless, borrow and buy time in pure creativity, the time of neguentropy.
Time became so accurate, monitorable, controllable and resolvable that we could discern the up to five millisecond variations in the twenty-four hour rotational period of the Earth, measure the ephemeral existence of exotic particles and trans-uranic artificial elements created in synchrotrons in trillionths of a second, find the moment of original solidification of the Earth from radioisotope half-lives in billions of years, measure the rotational period of our own galaxy, explain the strange variation in Mercury's three million year cyclic perihelion point (its closest approach to the Sun) which cannot possibly be defined by classical Newtonian physics and understand why cosmic ray particles entering the Earth's atmosphere live "too long" and penetrate further than predicted by classical physics. The regulation of time in controlled processes has reached phenomenal accuracy, perhaps best illustrated by the femto-second laser which emits controlled pulses of infrared light for durations of 10e-15 seconds - in that fraction of time light travels about thirty nanometres or the path-length of only three hundred hydrogen atoms laid end to end in a row.
Life is only good when it is magical and musical, a perfect timing and consent, and when we do not anatomise it...You must hear the bird's song without attempting to render it into nouns and verbs.
(Society and Solitude. Works and Days; Thomas Ellwood; 1639 - 1713)
When you look at the rich star-strewn skies on a clear night, your eye sees into the distant past and the receding endlessness of space - your retinas receive photons that have been travelling for tens of billions of years, containing ordered information about their far off origins to be specifically intercepted by your eyes, those specialised electromagnetic receivers and biophotoelectric transducers that are the final destiny for these photons.
In a way the cosmos is represented holographically by the ordered flux of photons contained in the small volume of your eyeball - in that sense the universe is represented in your eyes and its integrated impression impacts, and is imaged in your consciousness. The detail of that imaging is of course very unrefined and unresolved - radiotelescopes and very long-baseline (VLBI) interferometers have "holographic plates" with much larger apertures that can image with vastly increased detail and resolution. We are in a universe where time has become the most convenient unit of distance: the light-year (LY) of 9,460512 km, the parsec (Pc) of 3,26 LY, kiloparsec (kPc), megaparsec (MPc) and gigaparsec (GPc) 4. The Sun is only about eight light-minutes away from us, the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4,3 LY away, the nearest major galaxy, the Andromeda constellation, two million LY. The brightest star in the sky, the Dog Star, Sirius, is at 2,64 Pc. Deneb, also one of the brightest stars, is 500 Pc away.
The furthest observable objects in space are about 3,25 GPc 5 away such as many quasars (quasi-stellar radio sources) that show huge redshifts, the shifting of their spectral lines towards the infrared side of the spectrum, due to their fantastically high recession velocities away from a central observer, this in itself caused by the active expansion of the universe.
Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) from a study of the redshift phenomenon in stars, announced in 1929 that, this being analogous to the well-known Doppler-shift effect, e.g. a whistle on a moving locomotive changing its perceived frequency as it approaches and then recedes from an observer, it implied a universe expanding away from any central observer. From this, the expansion coefficient of the universe could be calculated, later more accurately measured by the German-American astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960) and now commonly accepted to lie between 60 to 80 km/s per MPc. The redshift of the most distant quasars implies that they are moving away from us at a velocity almost equalling that of the light they emit towards us, in this view, they can therefore be regarded as amongst some of the furthest and oldest objects in the universe. Einstein however also predicted that redshift would be caused near massive gravitational fields and another view, which regards quasars as hyperactive cores of galaxies that may contain supermassive black holes would therefore place these objects closer to us.
The consequence of the propagation time of information in different media, light in space, bioelectric information in nerves, is that everything outside the core of consciousness, the central observer or self, is older the further it is away from the observer. When we look at the Andromeda galaxy, the furthest astronomical object that can be seen with the naked eye, we see it as it was 2,2 million years ago.
There is a sphere of ageing information around the central observer where the newest, most recent thing, is the consciousness of that observer itself. When we look outwards into space, we see into the remote past and can never observe how things are at this moment for events and things outside our own consciousness by means of classical scientific observation of propagated information. The youngest thing in the universe is You, not your body, or its nervous system, but the core point of your conscious self. There may be other ways though, to gather information about the continuous present moment at any distant location in the universe...
In Eastern mysticism the universal interweaving of all subjectifiable events and entities always includes the human observer, as now well accepted in modern atomic physics and formalised in the Heisenberg6 Uncertainty Theorem.
All processes of measurement and interpretation finally impact on human consciousness. Heisenberg implies that natural science does not simply form a descriptive and explanatory mechanism but that it reflects the interplay of cosmic reality and human consciousness. This view again stresses the consistent interdependence of all things. Niels Bohr maintained that isolated material particles were abstractions and that their properties could only be explained in terms of their interaction with other systems. Fred Hoyle, the famous astronomer, asserts that local conditions in a universe cannot be seen as independent from conditions in distant parts of the cosmos: "all our ideas of space and geometry would become entirely invalid..."7
The human eye is at its most sensitive for green light with a frequency of 545 GHz - and again, time and distance are implied: the wavefronts in light of this colour are only 550 millionths of a millimetre apart and last 1,83 picoseconds (million-millionths or 1x10-12s). Is it an evolutionary coincidence that the eye responds best to this colour, so well represented by vegetation, that is caused by the photosynthesising pigment chlorophyll, also that green is the brightest colour in sunlight at the Earth's surface? And let us not forget that at the centre of each chlorophyll molecule is a single atom of magnesium, a metallic element first isolated by the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1808 - and that leads us back to the stars because elements heavier than helium are formed only in the searing nuclear hearts of stars by a nucleosynthesis process that builds heavier elements. The heaviest of these are synthesised in the cataclysmic supernova explosions that seed interstellar space with new raw materials.
Without that process of stellar metal formation, Hero of Alexandria (AD 20? - 62?) would not have been able to build his aeolipile, the first known rotary steam engine, nor would the Wright Brothers have flown their 12 horse power aircraft at Kitty Hawk some two millennia later.
"The time has come," the Walrus said
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax -
Of cabbages - and Kings -
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings."
(Alice in Wonderland; Lewis Carroll; 1832 - 1898)
At time intervals of less than 1x10-43 s, time itself becomes quantised, that is, it cannot occur as a continuous stream but appears as discrete "Planck Time" particles. The spontaneous and transient creation of particle-antiparticle pairs which can occur in a perfect vacuum, such as a proton-antiproton pair, does not violate the universal energy conservation principle - the pair simply borrow energy from the "quantum sea" for the very short duration of their existence and then mutually annihilate each other to return their energy in a burst of gamma radiation to the quantum sea. In the infinitesimal moments of Planck Time, the energy available by this transient borrowing, so called "vacuum energy" or "zero point energy" is of the astronomical order of 1x10108 Joule/cm3. To place that in some perspective, this roughly equals 1x1085 tankers carrying a million tons each, or about 2,5x1063 planet-sized volumes of uranium, simultaneously converted to heat energy by nuclear fission in an unimaginably vast atomic explosion, per second. Alternatively, about two-hundred quadrillion8 of our suns giving up their entire energy output over their total lifetime, in one second. It is more energy than is locked up in all the matter of our known universe.
"There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things." "I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
(Alice in Wonderland; Lewis Carroll; 1832 - 1898)
|Section Two: Mind|
Time brings with it not only the secure familiarity of constancy in the form of things and events but also disturbing confrontation with unavoidable change and unpredictability. When we impose different time-frames on things, as in playing a film of their unfolding either faster or slower than we would naturally observe, we not only see that nothing is constant but that everything is alive in a mutual, interchanging and interrelated dance.
A fast replay of the earth's geological activity, of a star's nuclear morphology over its lifetime or a vastly slowed replay of a cosmic ray impact on a crystalline mineral suggest that the hierarchy of "organicity" that we so comfortably use to divide the world with an abrupt horizon of living and non-living things, is a fictional approximation that works well at primary school level but bears no relation to truth.
Hierarchisation and classification are an anthropocentric symptom, not only in the quest for knowledge but also a syndrome of compensation for anthropocentric insecurity. All objects are dynamic processes rather than static forms and in this sense there is actually no such thing as a "thing." In this same way, the quantum physicist and philosopher David Bohm points out that thought tends to create static structures and that language, far from being a neutral communication medium, imposes subtly strong biases that fragment a holistic worldview and can make dynamic processes appear to be static.
Will Keepin, in writing about Bohm's contributions to science and philosophy comments: "To put it crudely, one could say that nouns do not really exist, only verbs exist. A noun is just a "slow" verb; that is, it refers to a process that is progressing so slowly so as to appear static. For example, the paper on which this text is printed appears to have a stable existence, but we know that it is, at all times including this very moment, changing and evolving towards dust. Hence paper would more accurately be called papering - to emphasise that it is always and inevitably a dynamic process undergoing perpetual change."
Heraclitus, (540? - 475 BC?) the "weeping philosopher" believed that the world was in a constant state of change. He was fond of saying that one cannot step into the same river twice...his pupil Cratylus added that one cannot even step into it once, as in the act of stepping both water and self have changed.
(Paraphrased by the author, from Plato on Cratylus; G.S. Kirk, J.E. Raven, M. Schofield, 'The Presocratic Philosophers,' Second Edition, Cambridge University Press 1983)
Thought and knowledge are themselves dynamic processes yielding ever-changing form and content which we are conditioned to split off from reality in a type of artistically creative mode that generates fragmentary and static constructs.
Bohm suggests that it is easy to fall into "...the trap of tacitly treating such a view as originating independently of thought, thus implying that its content actually is the whole of reality. From this point on, one will see, in the whole field accessible to one, no room for change in the overall order, as given by one's notions of totality, which indeed must now seem to encompass all that is possible or even thinkable . . . To adopt such an attitude will evidently tend to prevent that free movement of the mind needed for clarity of perception, and so will contribute to a pervasive distortion and confusion, extending into every aspect of experience." And: "there can no more be an ultimate form of such thought than there could be an ultimate poem." Keepin suggests: "...many physicists, not recognising their theories as art forms, strive for just such an ultimate scientific theory. In truth, science is essentially a creative art form that paints dynamic portraits of the natural world, using the human intellect as its canvas and the tools of reason as it palette."
Bohm postulates the "holomovement" of reality where the holo- fraction refers, analogous to holographic projection with lasers, to the phenomenon of smaller subjectifiable components of reality containing within themselves the order and information of larger components, including the whole. The -movement part refers to an undivided whole where everything is in a constant state of flux and change, where nothing is static and from which subjectifiable components continually arise and into which they all continually dissolve. Bohm suggests that even mind and matter are united: "In this flow, mind and matter are not separate substances. Rather they are different aspects of one whole and unbroken movement." And: "The ability of form to be active is the most characteristic feature of mind, and we have something that is mindlike already with the electron." Matter, mind, and so-called empty space can therefore not exist independently of each other - they are all part of the holomovement. Bohm indeed considers space "full, not empty," this supported by the view of zero-point energy.
The new science of chaos theory, which could perhaps properly be called "order theory" and its related branch of fractal geometry have generated evidence that a holographic order indeed exists in nature. Examples are snowflakes and the Mandelbrot set (worth displaying and examining on your computer) a geometric pattern that shows an infinite regression of self-same forms enfolded within each other. Bohm's mention of form also reminds of Plato's theory of forms, the concept that there is a perfect universal model underlying the physically manifest expression of objects.
"Things taken together are wholes and not wholes, something is being brought together and brought apart, which is in tune and out of tune; out of all things there comes a unity, and out of a unity all things"
(Heraclitus, (540? - 475 BC?) G.S. Kirk, J.E. Raven, M. Schofield, 'The Presocratic Philosophers,' Second Edition, Cambridge University Press 1983)
Bohm sees fundamental particles, such as an electron, arising from the unfolding and enfolding of the whole. It is a web weaving itself undividedly. The manifest universe is therefore a realised explicate order, arising from an underlying, more primary implicate order. Bohm: "...in the implicate order the totality of existence is enfolded within each region of space (and time). So, whatever part, element, or aspect we may abstract in thought, this still enfolds the whole and is therefore intrinsically related to the totality from which it has been abstracted. Thus, wholeness permeates all that is being discussed, from the very outset."
Bohm's investigations into quantum physics led him to re-examine its cornerstone, the Schrödinger wave equation9, the founding formula for wave mechanics and the behaviour of elementary particles. The Schrödinger equation regards a particle as an infinite number of superimposed wave functions of phase and amplitude where the particle itself is realised only when the wave function "collapses" to a specific state (eigenstate) due uniquely to the act of observation (e.g. in an experiment) - this implies however that reality does not exist until observed, an untenable position, even if the equation is an effective working approximation of reality. The equation also supports the Copenhagen Interpretation of particulate-wave reality, developed by Bohr, Heisenberg and Pauli, which demands that quantum mechanics is a complete and exhaustive description of reality and that reality is identical with the sum total of observable phenomena. Bohm diffracted this wave equation into two terms: a classical term which gives rise to a neo-newtonian quantum model (e.g. of an electron) as still predominant, and a new non-classical term, called the quantum potential, which has the vast implication that an electron can gather information about its environment at any distance and time.
It is this quantum potential which is responsible for the particle-wave duality of light and the other exotically bizarre phenomena of modern quantum physics. Bohm's implicate and explicate orders share some associative attributes with Don Juan's nagual and tonal in the books by Carlos Castaneda.
'One can say that the nagual accounts for creativity,' he finally said and looked at me piercingly. 'The nagual is the only part of us that can create.' ...the tonal did not create anything, but only witnessed and assessed. I asked how he explained the fact that we construct superb structures and machines.
'That's not creativity,' he said. 'That's only moulding.'
[Earlier:] 'I hear you talking,' he said. 'But you're saying nothing. The nagual is not experience or intuition or consciousness. Those terms and everything else you may care to say are only items on the island of the tonal. ...The nagual has no limit. I've said that the nagual is where power hovers...By reasons of its effect, perhaps the nagual can be best understood in terms of power.'
(Tales of Power; 1974; The Tonal and the Nagual10
Quantum physics is light-speed-limited and therefore restricted to a shell of reality as an "ever-present" moment disconnected from future reality and its information. The Irish physicist John Stewart Bell in his now famous mathematical proof known as the Bell Theorem, proved that there is an unmediated and instant connection, unrestricted by space-time, between any subjectifiable quantum state (particle) and any other - this has become known as the phenomenon of non-locality and has been empirically observed in seminal experiments by the physicist Alain Aspect in 1982 at the University of Paris.
This accepted new aspect of quantum reality might be seen as evidence for the existence of Bohm's quantum potential. Earlier views, first conceptualised by Einstein, Boris Podolski and Nathan Rosen and known as the EPR experiment, had not extended to instant connectivity and explained the observed mutual information "entanglement" of particles as subject to the restrictions of relativity - this implied faster-than-light (FTL) information transmission, violating the invariance of light-speed.
"Within our crazy universe, as we find it, there are at least five arrows of time. Physicists do not yet know how they are interrelated ...there is the psychological arrow of consciousness."
(The Ambidextrous Universe (1964) Chapter 26: The Arrows of Time;
Martin Gardner, 1914 -)
The quantum potential, in providing non-local information to a particle, could assist in its realising a specific state out of the infinity of possible outcomes predicted by the Schrödinger equation - in other words, it is information, not observation that collapses a wave function. Although the act of observation in itself "perturbs" and supplies information as implied by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Theorem, there is a vast philosophical difference in the two views. Information that is non-local and not limited to a continuous "present time frame" originates from a vastly larger reference frame than causally related to the observer's actions alone.11 The implications of the quantum potential on causality are far-reaching. Bohm shows mathematically that the Heisenberg uncertainty theorem may not constitute an absolute limit on the precision of measurement but, in acceptance of the incomplete degree of self-determination that characterises quantum entities, is rather the result of ignorance about contributive causal variables and deeper structure. He shows further that Planck's constant may not be a constant at all when applied to infinitesimal segments of space-time - resonant again with the oriental philosophical concept that there is no such non-dynamic and fragmented ratio as a fundamental constant.
On fundamental constants, modern physics now considers that light-speed could have been thirty orders of magnitude larger in the early universe and then settled down to its present value as a natural constant. Is that perhaps equivalent to the attempted repair of the crumbling Ptolemaic Geocentric system with its necessary addition of epicycles before the coming of Copernicus?
There is no escaping the fact that when one wants to reach for a glass of water, one basically changes the angles of one's joints by using muscles. The other variable that is very important is time. So we combine geometry and time. Then we have a large society of nerve cells operating in unison, trying to reconstruct reality using geometry and time, and this forces us to conclude that what is happening is [time-based] geometric transformation.
(Rodolfo Llinas, university of New York, designer of a computer-based model of the human cerebellum.)
Bartolomeo Eustachio (1520? - 1574) perhaps best known for his description of the Eustachian tube in the ear, completed his major work of anatomical drawings, Tabulae Anatomicae in 1552 but it was published only in 1774. The world's new communication systems, including the Internet, now allow almost instantaneous publication and global access to information. Presently, some things take less time.
Homo Sapiens has however not solved some of its most interesting temporal problems though - although global travel has substantially reduced from wind-driven, yearlong sailing voyages to a few hours in a supersonic aircraft, leaving the earthly cradle of our creation to explore and colonise the extrasolar cosmos offers completely forbidding temporal restrictions. Physical considerations of propulsion techniques enabling an approach to the magic barrier of Light Speed appear ridiculous and even when velocities close to this can be approached, the time taken to reach useful distances, e.g. several kiloparsecs, requires generations of cosmonauts and the total unknowns of the intended suspended animation conditions. Philosophically, the concept of STL (Slower Than Light; a better term would be subluminal) velocities, puts a practical time-cum-distance limit on cosmic reconnaissance that is perhaps not greater than two to three orders of magnitude larger than our own solar system. FTL, superluminal travel of substantial physical entities, is at present a scientific myth and no captain Kirk will be ordering a high Warp Factor for a while.
Interestingly, effective superluminal velocities are undoubtedly seen in quantum-particle entanglement, as observed in the EPR, Bell and Aspect experiments and implied by Bohm's quantum potential, although with different explanations. These superluminal velocities apply to the instantaneous transmission of information, as in the phase-cum-amplitude entanglement of particles sharing a common wave-function, even if they are separated by a physical gulf that is as wide as the universe, transmission which neo-newtonian, classical physics, is tempted to see in terms of physically mediated propagation. Functions of Mind may however not be subject to standard relativistic, subluminal limiting effects.
Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, time stays, we go.
(The Paradox of Time; Henry Austin Dobson, 1840 - 1921)
The brain and time are obviously inseparable. Real-time monitoring of conceptual processing and senso-motor responses is now routinely done with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) that, even if still at a low and approximative resolution, shows functional centres of thought and cerebral processing at work. Much temporally based nervous system functionality may be observed. The categories of conventionally accepted brain waves ranging in characteristic, descending frequency groups, through beta, alpha, theta and delta run from about one to forty Hertz and are indicative of major mental states and activities.
|beta||15 - 40 Hz||Alert / working||67ms - 25ms|
|alpha||9 - 14 Hz||Relaxed / reflecting||110ms - 70ms|
|theta||5 - 8 Hz||Drowsy / ideating||200ms - 125ms|
|delta||1,5 - 4 Hz||Sleeping / dreaming / REM||670ms - 250ms|
Nerve impulse propagation velocity spans a range from one to a hundred m/s and effectively forms a time delay shell between the core of consciousness and a Primary Information Field (PIF), consisting of contingent universal stimuli and data impacting on the entity's senses, which contains raw, spectrally unfiltered information. The senses filter this information in senses- and species-specific bands, forming a Secondary Information Field (SIF) containing that spectrally selected sum-total of environmental information from which an internal picture of reality may be derived. This is one major determinant in species-specific worldviews, the other being species-specific modes of information processing.
Much of the maximally derivable worldview does not normally become consciously perceivable and is handled by subconscious / unconscious processes or senso-motor programs of the Fixed Action Pattern (FAP) type. In this view, we as humans are therefore not only partially isolated and insulated from maximally perceivable reality by a time-delay shell but also by the filtering action creating the Secondary Information Field and our taxonomically inherited processing biases. Culturally biased processing activity forms yet another strong filtering action and one could say that 'you are where you come from'.
Mulla Nasrudin's wife was ill and she had been operated on. A few days earlier she had come back home from the hospital; so I asked: How is your wife?
Has she recovered from the operation?
He said: No, she is still talking about it.
(Shree Rajneesh; p 92 When the Shoe Fits)
Coherent 40-80 Hz firing of cerebral neuronal groups has been observed12 and such coherence in phase and amplitude points strongly towards non-local quantum entanglement. Is it possible that macro-scale environmental information, unlimited by space-time restriction and perhaps bypassing SIF filtering is available in non-conventional modes of consciousness? Stanley Krippner and team from the Maimonides Medical Center Dream Laboratory in Brooklyn, New York, have found evidence in a study of "remote-viewing" experiments during OBE's (Out of Body Experiences) in 1996.13 Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne plus co-workers have performed half a million experimental trials at Princeton University's Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory. These tests demonstrate an extremely minute, but statistically measurable, ability of the mind to consistently bias the output of electronic number generators and other devices.14
Jack Houck, systems engineer at an aerospace company in California has been researching paranormal phenomena such as remote viewing and psychokinesis since 1980 and has found evidence for non-local effects "...but all the data correlated to the target site if the viewer was "seeing" the target at a time nine years prior to the time of the viewing."15
From Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose's seminal paper, Orchestrated Objective Reduction of Quantum Coherence in Brain Microtubules:
Herbert Fröhlich, an early contributor to the understanding of superconductivity, also predicted quantum coherence in living cells (based on earlier work by Oliver Penrose and Lars Onsager, 1956). Fröhlich theorised that sets of protein dipoles in a common electromagnetic field (e.g. proteins within a polarised membrane, subunits within an electret polymer like microtubules) undergo coherent conformational excitations if energy is supplied. Fröhlich postulated that biochemical and thermal energy from the surrounding "heat bath" provides such energy. Co-operative, organised processes leading to coherent excitations emerged, according to Fröhlich, because of structural coherence of hydrophobic dipoles in a common voltage gradient.
Coherent excitation frequencies on the order of 109 to 1011 Hz (identical to the time domain for functional protein conformational changes, and in the microwave or gigaHz spectral region) were deduced by Fröhlich who termed them acousto-conformational transitions, or coherent (pumped) phonons. Such coherent states are termed Bose-Einstein condensates in quantum physics and have been suggested by Marshall ... to provide macroscopic quantum states which support the unitary binding of consciousness.
Pumped photon and phonon states are of course well known in lasers and masers which operate uniquely due to the effects of coherent macro-states.
Evidence for the activity of such enormously high frequency effects operating in the brain have been found in the observation of gigaHz-range phonons in proteins16, the effect of microwave irradiation on living cells in producing non-thermal, sharply resonant effects (perhaps a good warning to limit the use of your cell-phone)17, pinocytosis (the formation of neuron vesicles by invagination of surrounding cytoplasm - i.e. absorption of neurotransmitters) induced by radiation in the gigahertz range in rat brains18 and Raman spectroscopy detection of Fröhlich energy corresponding to these high frequencies 19.
The self-impelling steam-wheels of the mind.
(Letter to Maria Gisborne; Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822)
The microtubules form the cytoskeletal structure of cerebral neurons of which there are roughly a hundred thousand million in the brain - combinational states of these far exceed the number of elementary particles judged to exist in the entire universe, enabling the brain to 'holographically' model all of universal reality, and then some more. Such internal modelling of reality does not happen analogously to a digital computer's one-bit-per-neuron mechanism though. If that were the case, we would not observe, as the neurophysiologist Karl Lashley first found in the 1920's, that memory in the brain has a distributed functionality.
Irrespective of which cerebral section he surgically removed from the brains of rats that had been trained to solve a maze problem, they could still solve the maze. We encounter the same phenomenon is in one of the most radical, if rare, surgical interventions in the human brain: radical hemispherectomy, the removal of one entire brain hemisphere down to, but excluding the brain stem. This operation is sometimes performed on patients suffering from severe epileptic convulsions, especially if they are still youthful enough to relearn necessary senso-motor programs compromised by the surgery. Memory functionality, irrespective of which hemisphere is removed, is not substantially compromised.
This led Stanford's neurophysiologist Karl Pribram to postulate in the 1960's that memory is not encoded in local states of neurons or localised neuron-groups but instead in an active wave-field as a diffusely weaving pattern of neural impulses across the brain. This explains many normally inexplicable functions of mind: the non-locality of memory, the essential limitless extent of memory, which would otherwise saturate on a one-to-one storage basis to a few encyclopaedias Britannica20, the sudden totality of insight as a complete "gestalt" that scientists so often encounter and where the main difficulties arise in the verbalisation, communication and structural recording of the insight.
Pribram's view visualises the brain as a holographic structure. The well-known ghostly, three-dimensional images of an object photographed by laser holography are recorded by shining two laser beams on a subject and then capturing the interference patterns of the commingling laser light on film. The film contains no recognisable image but shows meaningless eddies and swirls of pattern. Illuminating the film with a laser reconstructs the original three-dimensional image in the projection space and as a recognition of achievable realism, visitors to an international exhibition repeatedly attempted to use the hologram of a telephone.
Remarkable about holograms is that any part of the recorded image contains the whole image. Any cut section of the film will still project the original three-dimensional object but as the film section gets smaller, the image becomes less distinct, more diffuse and less resolved. In this holographic view of reality, Bohm's holographic universe, seamlessly interwoven oneness, Pribram's holographic brain, Aspect's non-local space-time instantaneity, a view that has become known as the holographic paradigm, the manifest universe is indeed an illusion and corresponds to oriental philosophy's Maya, the illusory nature of reality. Plato perhaps apprehended this truth in his insistent rejection of empiricism, the concept that objects of knowledge and truth are derived from sense experience.
Mens cuiusque is est quisque.
Each man's mind is the man himself.
(De Republica; Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 - 43 BC)
It is Hameroff and Penrose's contention that the sequential action of coherent states in the constituent structural protein scaffolding of microtubules, the microtubulin-associated proteins (MAPs) forms the mechanism of consciousness. Although this goes physiologically a long way towards focusing in on the action of consciousness and a definition of self, it appears neo-newtonian in its aspect of limiting the self, and consciousness, to the sum-total of cerebral existence and no more. The action of consciousness is defined as a sequentially flowing Self-collapse of wave function in the MAPs in a so-called Orchestrated Objective Reduction, creating macro-coherent states in large cerebral neural networks that then give rise to conscious apperception. Taking into account the action of quantum-gravity, a typical period of half a second, 500ms, has been computed in the transition of pre-conscious to conscious thought21 - Penrose and Hameroff derive a figure of between about a minimum hundred, to 6e+13 tubulins minimally involved in states of self-collapse.
The self-collapse or orchestrated objective reduction which gives the theory its Orch-OR name must be seen as contrasting with the classically perturbed reduction in quantum physics. Integrating the Bohm quantum potential with these effects would seem to offer the possibility of infinite, non-local, timeless connectivity of the self to trans-temporal cosmic infinity. In that sense, we are one being.
We are nothing; less than nothing, and dreams.
We are only what might have been, and must wait upon the tedious shores of Lethe millions of years before we have existence, and a name.
(Essays of Elia; Ronald Arbuthnot Knox, 1888 - 1957)
|Input||Classical information propagation route||Output|
|Raw Ganzfeld information||c-limited propagation delay shell||Spectral diffraction Bio-electronic processing||1- 100 m/s bio-electronic propagation delay shell||Pre-conscious CNS stimuli||Awareness Selection Attention Cognition|
|Holographic paradigm quantum field propagation|
|Input/Output||- quantum potential non-locality -||Output/Input|
CLASSICAL VERSUS HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM
|PIF = Primary Information Field||PDS = Primary Delay Shell|
|SDS = Secondary Delay Shell||SIF = Secondary Information Field|
What is time? Well, it seems that Plato was partly right in that "Time brings everything" - we could add that "Everything brings time" but that is not altogether correct either, as time is a non-absolute, relative quantity that can undergo dilation and the mystic mathematical transformations of singularism. It is like gravity - we can describe and calculate its more common behaviour with the greatest mathematical accuracy, it is also like consciousness, contingent, permeating, evanescent, ubiquitous and definitively untameable - as to what it actually is, we are in it, it is within us, we are of it, yet perhaps not, and we do not know, although in its experience lies its growing knowledge.
In our singular oneness as a single being, indivisibly interconnected with the All, the manifest individuality of entities is an illusion and indeed some forms of Buddhism do not believe in individual birth or death of the Self. The timeless aspects of the Tibetan Bardo, the phase between incarnations of consciousness, the American clairvoyant Edgar Cayce's timeless Akashic Records, from which he held thousands of vital trans-life readings for his patients, remote viewing used for military purposes that discovered the MIRVing22 capability of Russian SS-18 missiles during the Cold War, ESP, telekinesis, translocation, the ancient ideas of metempsychosis and transmigration, the experience of being conscious in other organic forms of life, are all innately resonant with the new holographic paradigm.
In that, we do not just share in an infinite, intimate mystery but we have an indivisible responsibility for each other, because in some divine way you are me and we are both breaching whale and alpine flower, the new-born, the dying, sea-stars and eagles carried on an illusory cosmic wind.
|Frank Valentyn||Copyright(c) 1999 - 2004 FVO|
Black holes and singularity
The Inflationary phase of the Universe
Quantum Cosmology, Quantum Gravity and M-Theory
Cosmological Modelling before Plank Time
Stephen Hawking's Universe
Rival Big Bang Theories
Quantum dynamics, an Experimental Approach
Conjectures on STL and FTL characteristics
Technical Overview of the Potentials of FTL Propulsion Drives
Quantum Consciousness (Stuart Hameroff)
Institute of Noetic Sciences (Founded by Edgar Mitchell)
The Penrose-Hameroff Orchestrated Objective Reduction "Orch OR" Model of consciousness
Sarfatti's expansion of the P-H ORch-OR theory
Definition of Superradiance
Superradiance in Bose-Einstein (BE) Condensates
The Mind-Matter Unification Project (Prof. Brian Josephson) Cavendish Lab. Cambridge
Proposed Model of Mind-Matter Unification
Modelling of the Cerebellum and Mechanisms of Learning
Modelling the Brain; Purkinje Cells
Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia
Superradiance (Fröhlich coherent energy)
Journal of Consciousness Studies
Consciousness Research Laboratory
The Orch-OR Paper
The Shavano Institute; David Bohm
Mind - Matter unification projects
Chronocentrism (de Rosnay)
Higher states of consciousness through TM
Sensory Isolation effects
Brain-map Reorganisation (Homunculus) after Surgery
Mindset EEG System
An Integrative Neurological Model of Consciousness
Models of the Cerebellum and Motor Learning
Consciousness as an Active Force
Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia and Dancing Qualia
Worldviews: From Fragmentation to Integration
Introductory Physics, a Radically New Approach - a Systematic presentation
(Tinbergen, Lorenz, Hailman)
Ethology and Fixed Action Patterns (FAPs)
Fixed Action Patterns (FAPs) Slide Show
Animal Sentience and Behaviour
Biological Bases of Behaviour
News in Bioethics
Dreams and Dreaming
International Institute for Dream Research
More Dream Research
Sleep, Dreams and Wakefulness (scientific)
Sleep research and the Brain
Out of Body experiences (OBEs); Near-Death Experiences (NDEs); Remote Viewing (RV); Telekinesis)
Six Studies of Out of Body Experiences - Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto and University of California at Davis, Davis, California
Psychic Experiences of Near-Death (Sir William Barrett; Six Chapters)
An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications - De-classified parapsychological research by the CIA; independent reviews from two experts on parapsychology, Dr. Jessica Utts and Dr. Raymond Hyman.
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research: PEAR
References and Further
The Dancing Wu-Li Masters, An overview of the new physics - Gary Zukav; pub. Rider
The Human Brain - Dick Gilling and Robin Brightwell; Orbis
The Ambidextrous Universe, left, right and the fall of parity - Martin Gardner; Pelican Books
A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking; Bantam Books
Edgar Cayce on ESP - Doris Agee; Warner Paperback Library
Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation - Noel Langley; Warner Paperback Library
Many Mansions, Evidence of reincarnation - Gina Cerminara; Neville Spearman Ltd.
The Tao of Physics - Fritjof Capra; Flamingo
Man's Search for Meaning (Logotherapy) - Victor Frankl; Pocket Books; Washington Square Press
Modern Music - Paul Griffiths; Thames and Hudson
The Oxford Companion to Music; Oxford University Press
Mathematics for the Million - Lancelot Hogben; George Allen and Unwin Ltd.
The Sciences, their Origin and Methods - Ed. by R. Harré; Blackie, Glasgow and London
The Hidden Door; subtitled: Understanding and Controlling Dreams - Dr. Peter Fenwick and Barbara Fenwick; Headline Book Publishing
Metaphysics - Richard Taylor; Foundations of Philosophy Series; Prentice Hall
Books by Carlos Castaneda:
The Teachings of Don Juan
A Separate Reality
Journey to Ixtlan
Tales of Power
The Second Ring of Power
The Eagle's Gift
The Fire from Within
The Power of Silence
All available in Pocket Books; Washington Square Press
Books by Shree Rajneesh:
The Books of the Secrets (Vols. I to V, Tantric Discourses)
The Ultimate Alchemy (Discourses on the Atma Poojah Upanishad)
Vedanta: Seven steps to Samadhi (Discourses on the Akshya Upanishad)
No water, No Moon (Zen Discourses)
Only One Sky (On the tantric way of Tilopa's song of Mahamudra)
When the Shoe Fits (Talks on the stories of Chuang Tzu)
The Hidden Harmony (Discourses on the surviving fragments of Heraclitus)
The Mustard Seed (Discourses on the sayings of Jesus)
All Published by the Rajneesh Foundation - India
Some of these also published by Dutton Paperbacks; New York
Kite and I
Limits of a spiral
Non-definition of non-I
1 Although the modern measures of time and
arc are originally based on sexagesimal systems, they are not
represented in this way anymore. A sexagesimal system uses sixty
unique symbols before re-using its lowest weighted first symbol
in a number position that indicates a higher weighting, or
incremented exponential power of the base, just as ten symbols
are used in our decimal, base ten, system. Properly, the time and
arc measures presently used may be described as
2 One dictionary definition states: "Time: a period designated for a given activity; a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in an apparently irreversible succession." (Encarta Electronic Encyclopaedia). Yet another, Larousse Illustrated International Dictionary, states: "The physical quantity measured by clocks. In classical physics time was regarded as extending infinitely into the past and future and was considered independent of the events which defined it. This implied that the simultaneity of events was absolute, i.e. independent of the situation of the observer. The special theory and general theory of relativity radically changed this concept of time, linking it to the relative position and motion of its observer." The New Illustrated Oxford Dictionary gives: "Indefinite continuous duration regarded as dimension in which sequence of events takes place."
3 The gluon mediates the strong nuclear force (holding nucleons together), the photon mediates the electromagnetic force, the weakons mediate the weak nuclear force (radioactive decay) and the graviton, which is still a theoretical particle but whose existence is strongly suspected, mediates the gravitational force.
4 Throughout this work, the convention xe+y is used to represent x times 10 to the exponent of y.
5 3,25 GPc = 1 00 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 km
6 Werner Heisenberg (1901 - 1976) showed that it is possible to accurately determine either of two fundamental quantities, momentum (energy) and position, of an elementary particle with absolute accuracy but not both. For an electron, for example, its momentum can be determined with great accuracy but then all information and certainty is lost with regard to its position. Conversely, when its position is determined, all certainty is lost about its momentum. This is a natural consequence of the probabilistic behaviour of particles and their particle / wave dualism. It also implies that all observation of any experimental subject, interferes with the subject and alters its measurable attributes.
7 This paragraph is taken from my essay "On Anthropocentrism"
8 I use the British, not American number value of quadrillion: 1e+48. The total solar output was taken as 3,83e+40J/s for eleven thousand million years. The sun has about half of this energy left at this time.
9 Erwin Schrödinger (1887 - 1961) A treatment of the equation is beyond the scope intended here -a good discussion of it is presented on pp 96 - 108 of The Dancing Wu-Li Masters by Gary Zukav, including the famous "Schrödinger's Cat" problem.
10 Tales of Power; 1974; Chapter: The Tonal and the Nagual; Carlos Castaneda; Penguin Books.
11 Gary Zukav, on page 102 of The Dancing Wu-Li Masters, points out: "From photon to detectors to technician...we could continue until we include the entire universe. Who is looking at the universe? Put another way, how is the universe being actualised? [Zukav's italics] The answer comes full circle. We are actualising the universe. Since we are part of the universe, that makes the universe (and us) self-actualising." Examined properly, this is seen to place smeary accents of free will and/or/versus determinism on subjectifiable entities in that it strongly guides the conceptual meaning of "we" towards a classical interpretation of "you and I" - while perhaps hiding the mystical implication that all subjectifiable entities qualify for the term "we."
12 e.g. von der Marlsburg and Schneider, 1986; Gray and Singer, 1989; Crick and Koch, 1990.
13 They quote: "The investigation of both the psychophysiology and the phenomenology of OBEs has become a necessity. Once regarded as symptomatic of severe mental illness, the OBE has now moved into the mainstream of psychological investigation. Although not a parapsychological phenomenon per se, the OBE often serves as a vehicle for presumptive psi, just as the dream often serves a similar purpose. It is likely that there are several exceptional human experiences that qualify as OBEs; certainly (,) the dream OBE is one of them and deserves attention from investigators interested in the paradoxes of mind, brain, and body." See: OBEs
14 Dunne: "This is similar to what mystics have claimed through the ages, but now we have scientific evidence." Jahn: "It's something science cannot afford to simply ignore any longer." See: evidence
15 See: Houck
16 Genberg et al, 1991; phonons are quantised energy packets propagated in matter.
17 Grundler and Keilman, 1983
18 Neubauer et al, 1990
19 Genzel et al, 1983; Raman spectroscopy relies on a spectral effect first discovered by the Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman in 1928.
20 This is calculated on a bit/neuron basis, in an average lifetime, to amount to the data contained in about five sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. To a large measure this is dependent on the assumed relative storage density of image and text data in this format, my own calculations show that sixty-two sets might encode an average lifetime's memory more adequately. As such, this is purely an interesting magnitude comparison and not a strict scientific fact.
21 Libet (1990) and others (e.g. Deeke et al, 1976; Grey-Walter, 1953; Libet et al, 1979
22 MIRV, Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles, the ability to carry multiple independently targetable nuclear warheads in one missile.