I HAD A DREAM: Part one.

The Microcosm described by Physics remains so strange and outside our common sense that its behaviour is still largely ignored in everyday’s life, even by scientists who tend to work with them, then forget them when outside their office. But we can’t anymore accept Material Realism that has been the foundation of our common sense since modern Physics discovered that our world image isn’t compatible with it. We have to integrate the properties of the Microcosm in our understanding of reality and adapt our world image to the strange properties of the components that are at its foundations. One of these being the importance of interactions; they seem more real than the objects that interact! The universe seems to be a collection of events instead of a collection of objects.

Below is an adaptation of a chapter of the book: « Game Over: A Detective Investigation on Spiritualism and Life after Death » inspired by George Gamov who introduced the weirdness of Physics’ discoveries to a large audience a century ago.

Antoine is a French engineer whose adventures are described in the book. He applies Science’s discoveries professionally, without really analysing them critically. But he favors experiments over dogmas and his open mind lets him explore strange questions as « What is the fate of consciousness after body’s death? Can science help to find an answer? » His inquiries are disturbing and some dreams let him explore reality without the limitations of waken awareness.

1: WHAT IF THE MICROCOSM BECAME PERCEPTIBLE TO OUR SENSES?

Antoine felt exhausted. Motionless, he stayed on his bed. Lying on his back with his eyes closed, whilst listening to his body, he felt comfortably warm despite the fact the room was bitterly cold.

He tried to relax and directed his thoughts to one of the loveliest places he liked to go to when he worked in Switzerland at CERN: the Jura mountains. His body became heavy and his breathing quiet. In a hypnagogic state, he saw himself sitting on an ancient megalith he often visited with his colleague Akira Mottu from Japan. He loved this place full of energy. It was his Japanese friend who had found this special site in a dense but lovely forest, on the slopes of the mountains.

Here, Akira had tried to introduce him to the so-called spirits of this ancient place: the Kamis. But he couldn’t grasp the idea this highly-creative scientist believed in such things as nature spirits. The only explanation he had was his friend’s background of the Shinto culture; this ritual was probably a sort of acknowledgement of his native country. He never asked his friend really, Antoine realised.

Anyway, he was mostly impressed by this wonderful feeling which overwhelmed him when he sat on the old stone; he could sit there and recover from tiredness. Akira called it ‘healing energy’ that radiated from the megalith. He didn’t know if it was true and why and how, but he always felt extremely relaxed when he was in touch with the ancient rock, so maybe his friend was right and therefore he welcomed the healing process naturally. He even joined Akira’s ritual of honouring the ancient stone. It was a sort of ceremony in which he and his Japanese friend decorated the base of the megalith with some beautiful flowers and incense. He was astonished to realise his own European ancestors uplifted these megaliths at particular places which felt sacred for them; they did actually the same thing as his Japanese friend’s ancestors at the other side of the world. He understood that different ancient cultures were much more alike – as it seemed – than modern ones.

Now more impressions started to appear in the Frenchman’s mind; the images were more vivid and intense; he didn’t bother to make a distinction between what was real and what was a hallucination coming from an hypnagogic state just before dreaming. He decided not to care anymore whether he was dreaming or being awake. He simply let it go.

Suddenly the world he was in began to change. What was first a richly populated forest, seemed to lose its familiar colours and shapes. Slowly, everything: the trees, rocks, even the leaves, started to deform themselves; their shapes became simpler and the colours intensified.
After a while Antoine discovered there were no more curves left in his vision field: everything was only composed out of straight lines. As he focused more accurately on the lines, he realised the world had turned in an assembly of coloured tiny cubes. Every shape was the result of a number of repeated units, all with the same form: a little upright, perfect cube! Only their colours created a difference between them, although one could find same-looking cubes, with identical colours, in different places, like in a tree or in a stone.

The mystical unity of everything!, he thought with amazement, Everything, including myself, is made out of these cubes, like a 3D extension of a digital picture which is made out of 2D little squares: the pixels! How strange!

Even the sunlight was pouring out little bright-yellow unities that seemed absorbed by the objects they stroke, before being re-emitted with new colours! Myriads of little blue cubes were falling from the sky vault; some of them were reflected; others absorbed by the obstacles they hit.

Antoine’s face immediately brightened when he realised Akira was also there looking at him. He asked himself how he was able to recognise him in this new and awkward appearance: a huge collection of little perfect cubes, all of the same size! There was no difference between the cubes which created his human flesh and the ones which created his clothes! He rapidly found the answer: he could let his imagination build a synthesised picture made out of all these pixels, in the same way that one could see a nice picture even if it was taken with a poor resolution old digital camera. The trick was to look at the picture as a whole at once, not at the details!

Although Antoine couldn’t grasp everything he was experiencing now, he decided to appreciate this stunning new world which was appearing in front of him. He realised that all the lines were strictly horizontal or vertical, not any gradient, slope or any other gradually changing form was visible to smooth the picture! But the pixels were small enough to create a sufficient and acceptable picture of everything. Even the water in the little stream, in the background, was made out of deep blue little cubes intertwining and rolling one around each other, while remaining strictly ordered in an upright position.

Amazing and extremely awkward! What could it mean? He realised he never had a mystical experience like this one before. What could this mean? He tried to rack his brains about it, but no clear answer popped up in his mind; he decided to let it go. This was totally against his nature which always made him scrutinise things he didn’t understand. Amazingly he was now able to let it go and even try to enjoy being in this mystical forest.

He soon started to admire the bright-yellow cubes which derived from the shining sun; these cubes then started to transform in green ones after crossing the leaves, over his head. There were also red ones diffusing from the canopy which Antoine interpreted as a signature of the life force responsible of filling nearly everything in his surroundings. Remarkably, the megalith on which he was sitting emitted little purple cubes; it was a mind-blowing experience for him, this crazy world he was in now, but so beautiful and exhilarating!

Suddenly his thoughts were cut short by an increasing sound of a distinctive voice he recognised. The voice of his friend sounded stately; his words were spoken in a slow and distinctive way which was totally the opposite of how Akira normally spoke. It wasn’t always easy to understand the Japanese physicist: he spoke in a rapid and staccato manner and often mispronounced the accents.

The Japanese scientist materialised; Antoine recognised his friend’s outlines immediately.

“Remember! Everything is discontinuous and anonymous!”, Akira said solemnly in one fluent stream of words. His figure started to vibrate, more and more intensely; his image became fuzzier and finally he disappeared!

Antoine awoke in utter bewilderment, not entirely grasping what he just had experienced. He was hot and cold simultaneously; his forehead was wet and his heart rate was pounding. He grope for his notebook on the night table and managed to find a pencil as well. He had created the habit to keep his little leather book near his bed; he used it as a dream diary since he had discovered how important dreams could function as a guiding tool for him on his spiritual path which he was exploring intensely since some years. In total darkness, he rapidly wrote some words on his notebook:

Pixels, cubes, escaliers, forêt, ruisseau, mégalithe, Akira, message? Discontinu, anonyme…

It was an excellent aid for him to write the key words for remembering his dream; if he didn’t, he would most certainly forget them the next morning.

He tried to relax again and hoped to resume his sleep. But, he couldn’t; his excitement and feverish sensation made this difficult. He tried to focus his mind back to this wonderful megalith place in the Jura; all other thoughts he let go. Then suddenly he was there again, sitting on the rock, the megalith, peacefully.

After a short period of time, he surveyed his surroundings and realised the cubes were becoming smaller and smaller. The world around him slowly transformed in its usual and normal appearance, a wonderful open spot in a forest, with a little stream and crystal clear water running on a bed of round stones.

Antoine started to concentrate on the fast running water; he followed the stream passing all sorts of obstacles like big stones, branches. He noticed a swirl in the stream which made a sort of twisting movement. Although the water was running fast, the circle did not move.The sunlight was bright and he enjoyed streaks of warmth going through every part of his body.The glowing rays of the sun created beautiful sparkling curves in the water that nearly hypnotised the Frenchman; he closed his eyes and tried to blend with the warmth he felt.

But suddenly, like before, the lavish scenery transformed slowly. As he was focusing on the swirl in front of him, he began to lose some perception of his surroundings; everything became vibrant and blurry, just like his Japanese friend did previously just before he disappeared. The swirl, however, remained the same as it was since the beginning: clear and focused. But, when Antoine shifted his glance in different directions, the view which appeared straight in front of him became instantly clear and focused, but the rest of his surroundings lost their appearance and started to vibrate and became fuzzy. It was as if his eyes were stabilising the world as it usually appears, but only in the centre of his sight-field; the peripheral areas of his sight were formless, made of an unknown peculiar material which looked more wavelike than solid. It was like if his glance created a sort of screen on which things looked normal, while everything off-screen did not have any solid reality!

He looked everywhere in order to win the game: Is someone playing with me; someone who creates the world I am perceiving at this moment?

Antoine tried to change his focus target so fast that the gamer he supposed was playing with him did not have time to shift from this peculiar world to the real one: the one we’re accustomed to; but he realised he wasn’t able to beat the hypothetical gamer! After each movement of his eyes, things in front of his view became perfectly clear; the rest was fuzzy, wavelike and vague!

Once more, the retired engineer from Paris decided to let it go and accepted what he was experiencing now without analysing it. He relaxed and abandoned his intense focus on what was in front of him. Instead, he averted his focal point to become aware of all his surroundings at once. He didn’t focus anymore in front of him.

Now he perceived a view of what was above, below or on his sides. It reminded him of a powerful exercise to relax stress he had learned during his yoga classes last year. As consciousness was overflown with a current of information coming at once from everywhere, he had the opportunity to let it go again and started to slowly diminish his mind’s analysis of every perception. After a while, he lost every clear and focused perception; the entire scenery now was a magnificent vibrating drapery of intense colours ever-changing and interfering with one-another.

He remembered Akira’s oriental philosophy which viewed everything in life as part of a unified whole that gave its form and life to the apparent diversity we experience daily; what seemed to us dissociated in our realm, was unified in a deeper one. Am I discovering this realm with this unusual vivid dream? Or is it just a hallucination?

Suddenly a shape started to emerge in front of him, derived from the underlying waves and slowly creating Akira’s appearance. The small Japanese man smiled gently and spoke. In a stately voice, he said:

“Remember! Unobserved reality is unreal, unmanifested and wavelike!”

Suddenly Antoine awoke. Excitedly, he wrote some more words on his notebook:

Vibrations, ondes, interférences, ondes de forme devenant forme dans champ visuel seulement, message: monde ondulatoire irréel si pas observé.

He was overexcited; an euphoric feeling overwhelmed him. When he finished writing the key words he began to think about this odd experience he just had. It seemed more than a dream. He was certain. Definitely. Perhaps it is a sort of revelation! But where was it coming from? He felt it came from his unconsciousness which tried to teach him something important. I should work on that, absolutely!, he promised himself firmly.

Full of excitement, he realised he was not able to retrieve his sleep again. It was already past 4.00 a.m. he noticed. He glanced around and walked over to a small side-table and lit the lamp on it. He decided to sit down on the sofa, but when he gazed up he spotted the large painting he had discovered a couple of days ago. He peered at the cows on the canvas and wondered why this small Japanese physicist popped up so many times already in these unusual dreams he was experiencing during his visit here at Arthur Findlay’s College?
Well, there is one way to find out. I will contact him as soon as possible when I’ll be back home in Paris! Perhaps we could catch up and discuss the meaning of these weird dreams; maybe Akira could explain!

At this moment he was too tired to analyse his dreams thoroughly. He tried to find a relaxed position on the sofa and closed his eyes, trying to imagine himself being part of the framed natural scenery which was depicted in front of him. And suddenly he was there!

He kept quiet as he realised he was at two places at once! He was aware of his body comfortably sitting on the sofa, and at the same time, walking in a flowery meadow, bordered by a forest, where some cows were grazing. He was sure it wasn’t just an ordinary dream… it was reality! There was no clue which he could use to differentiate what he was experiencing now and the so-called reality! The engineer didn’t understand how and why this was happening to him.

At the moment he was able to keep calm he got an intuitive notion he was in fact standing on top of the Large Hadron Collider of the CERN complex which circled underneath below his feet at almost one hundred meters. He imagined the protons hurling at nearly the speed of light in this 27 km ring.

And again, the world around him changed! Everything started to move, faster and faster, with an immensely powerful acceleration; he syntonised instinctually with the protons as if he was one of these. He was levitating but didn’t feel any sensation of movement. Amazingly he kept a correct sight of the scenery: normally things will become blurry in fast movement, but oddly in this situation, it wasn’t!

It was as if everything around him was illuminated by a stroboscope which flashed at an extremely high frequency; and for a split second each time it flashed, the scenery looked as if it didn’t move at all. It was a sensation which resembled a running car’s wheels in a movie which seemed motionless or turning in the wrong side. Antoine could now perfectly distinguish a cow near him. Obviously the frequencies of his spinning turns and of the stroboscope were fine-tuned, so the cow was clearly distinguishable!

He wondered immediately whether Akira would appear again here in the meadow, but he didn’t. At that moment Antoine concentrated on the scene in front of him and was surprised to notice that everything became distorted! The cow lost her shape; the animal was shrunken in an odd and peculiar way; she became more and more narrow with time! But only in one direction: the spinning one. Her height remained the same as before, only her length was shrinking!

He asked himself if it was a consequence of the speed and after a few moments, the answer to this question manifested in his mind. He remembered space and time were relative and it explained the change in the cow’s shape. If the animal wore a watch around its leg, the cow would probably discover also that, for her, time was running slower than for himself: a consequence of Einstein’s Relativity. He reckoned the animal was walking very slowly, as if in a movie which slows down every motion.

But why do I experience a lucid dream like this? He examined the cow more accurately and discovered that he couldn’t say whether she was uniformly transparent: actually her image was pulsating, beginning with a very thin haze which had a cow’s figure, but becoming gradually more precise and denser until it looked like a distorted, but genuine cow for a very brief instant, and the process repeated itself, again and again… at an ever faster rate! The animal seemed to be recreated at a hugely fast rate from nothing, to a shrunken but focused and dense figure! And amazingly there he was again: his Japanese friend Akira!

The small man stood on his side, in front of the whirling scenery behind him, at ease like himself, with no effect on their bodies of this huge speed they were experiencing. The stately voice called again and said in a low tone:

“Remember! Time and space are just interdependent coordinates in a four dimensional universe!”

At that moment, Antoine found himself on the sofa again, sweaty and a bit disorientated, but he realised immediately his other body had suddenly disappeared from his mind! The usual urge he had to take some notes was gone; this experience of a vivid lucid dream was so clear it was glued on his mind. A cold chill decided him to get up from the sofa and return to his warm bed; perhaps he could get some sleep before his alarm clock would go off for another busy day at Arthur Findlay’s College.

WHEN THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENS!

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« Anyone like myself, who has had the rare good fortune to experience in a spiritual exchange with Wilhelm, the divinatory power of the I Ching, cannot for long remain ignorant of the fact that we have touched here an Archimedean point from which our Western attitude of mind can be shaken to its foundations. » Carl Gustav JUNG: (Comments on “The Secret Of The Golden Flower.”: Appendix: “In Memory of Richard Wilhelm”.)

 

How can that be?! To manipulate some straws randomly, to discover an aphorism at least thirty centuries old, lost in an abstruse spell book from a polar opposite culture that refers to neolithic ancestors, to their esoteric rituals… and to find yourself stunned, paralyzed by the suitability of the moment, to understand synchronicity with your gut, to see in front of your way a door that opens towards the unknown and another door shutting behind you on a world vision you instinctively admitted as obvious, beyond any question…! It is an understatement to say: « we have touched here an Archimedean point from which our Western attitude of mind can be shaken to its foundations. »

A synchronicity discovered 4 decades ago, repeated regularly and as staggeringly relevant today than before.

So, even as incredible it may be, it is possible to trigger synchronicities voluntarily, as if we were living in a Great Game and not in a material world, as if we could call upon a Joker to see things differently, from a superior dimension, in a way.

So great an incoherence between the experienced event and the world we perceive – the current paradigm – requires an explanation, a new look on the basis of reality as we can understand them. And the amazement repeats itself, again and again, as we discover the deep disruption initiated by the Theory of Relativity then Quantum Mechanics. To the happy surprise of Jung the physicists answer with deep confusion:

« The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought light to the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.»
« Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. » Niels BOHR

« Whatever matter is, it isn’t made of matter.» Hans Peter DÜRR

« […] the nineteenth century […] saw a certain divorce taking place between scientists and philosophers […] But such a separation could only be prejudicial both to philosophy and to science […] many scientists of the present day, victims of an ingenuous realism, almost without perceiving it, have adopted a certain metaphysics of a materialistic and mechanistic character and have regarded it as the very expression of scientific truth. One of the great services that the recent evolution of physics has rendered contemporary thought, is that it has destroyed this simplified metaphysics, and with the same stroke has caused certain traditional philosophical problems to be considered in an entirely new light. Thereby the way has been prepared for a reconciliation between science and philosophy […]» Louis de BROGLIE

« The more success the quantum Theory has, the sillier it looks!» Albert EINSTEIN

« Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.»
« The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you accept Nature as She is — absurd.» Richard FEYNMAN

 

No need to quote all the physicists deeply destabilized by their discoveries. Many became schizophrenic in a way: handling elegantly and successfully the foundations of reality in their laboratories, but immersing again in the worn-out paradigm in everyday life! Even if they are perfectly aware that it gives us a deeply false idea of reality! Four centuries of scientific discoveries led Science to be soaked by Physicalism:

There is only one realm and not two as postulated by Descartes. Reality is made of matter only and matter obeys the Laws of Physics; everything else comes from emergence. The material brain secretes thoughts as the liver secretes bile! There is no such thing as a spiritual realm that is distinguishable from the material realm; the soul is an overused concept. The scientific paradigm, the absolute frame in which every rational spirit has to be, is a Materialistic and Realistic Monism.

But this is old stuff! Twenty’s century Science destroyed what ninety’s century Science thought to have found! And physicists, maybe too much disturbed, didn’t succeed to communicate their conclusions.

« Galileo was able to educate the world to understand that the Earth goes around the Sun … yet physicists today have utterly failed to inform the public to understanding the purely mental nature of the universe with all that that implies for the meaning of human existence. That is a tragedy, and it should be rectified. I wish I knew how.» Richard Conn HENRY

So Jung’s amazement is far from lone; it reverberates among the specialists of the real world, as a myriad of images mirrored from one-another. And things go on as before: business as usual!

But we need rethink our paradigm; we need instinctly to rely on a paradigm since it is the only way we have to understand the world we live in and, therefore, to survive in it.

This Blog tries to think about the features of the new world view we’re meant to find. A paradigm in which we could take for ourselves the discoveries of physicists, but also the discoveries of Eastern philosophies and of mystics that help to understand what Science has to say. Indeed, Science and Spirituality can be associated to help us in this quest for reality.

« SIMULISM: Are we living in a virtual reality? » is a pdf file that takes advantage of hypertext to separate presentations from deepening and makes very easy looking for definitions, complements… on the Net.

 

The File can be downloadable here.

A « Print-friendly » version is available here.

THE NEW DUALISM. 3: WOULD DESCARTES BE A DUALIST TODAY?

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All along this time, explanations become complex, overcomplicated… but resist until the environment becomes favourable to the great jump.”

 

1: THE CARTESIAN DUALISM.

Today Descartes’ ingenuous idea that is at the origin of our scientific culture seems obvious. But it is the result of its great success; four centuries of discoveries and innumerable applications opening new perspectives overshadow the revolutionary concept that led Descartes to distinguish matter from what is immaterial: the realm of objects that occupy space from the other that is invisible because it belongs to pure thought. Before Descartes the universe was alive; animals could be prosecuted because of inadequate behaviour; a natural disaster could be assigned to a malevolent intention that could bring its author to be burned at the stake: the paradigm of these days allowed magic to act on the material world by the thought only. It was obviously impossible to acquire objective and reliable knowledge about a material world that was subject to somebody’s intentions.

But Descartes built an impervious wall between matter and thought, while admitting as an aside a mysterious link that should remain secret! He created the scientific methodology in order to apply mathematical logic to the search for reliable answers to questions we could ask about the material world only; which doesn’t remove for him the importance of the immaterial realm which constitutes a specific attribute of our species. Animals became machines unable to think and our body also. But he postulates an immaterial soul that is a gift from the creator and which is our true nature. It is our soul that gives us free-choice, reason, emotions… and manages our material organism.

Due to the success of the scientific methodology, the philosophers who became scientists, changed progressively their world’s image. At the end of the 19th century the cartesian Dualism turned into a Materialistic Monism: only matter is real and thoughts emerge from the material brain; the soul fades out! Because of concentrating on quantifiable objects and procedures, scientists materialise the realm of thoughts, in a way. They become convinced that an adequate analysis of the quantifiable workings of a brain could open one day the immaterial realm to science. We could enter in one’s thoughts in a way, and, why not, build thinking robots.

But this view confuses correlations with causality! It isn’t because a measurable electrical activity in a specific area of a brain is correlated with an emotion or a thought that it necessarily is its cause! Nothing forbids it to be only a consequence of the emotion or the thought! We would find the same correlation if Henry Bergson was right and the brain would only be a sort of antenna able to pick up thoughts out of an immaterial realm, but able to trigger physical reactions in our material world.

« A cloth is joint to the nail to which it is hooked; it falls if the nail is pulled up; it moves if the nail moves (…) it doesn’t follow that every feature of the nail corresponds to a feature of the cloth, neither that the nail is the same as the cloth; and even less so that the nail and the cloth are one only thing. » Matter and Memory: 1896

What would Descartes think if he could come back today? Would he accept a Materialistic Monism?

The loss of Dualism would not be the only source of amazement for Descartes. He would surely be very amazed by the modification of our civilisation’s values.

2: A COLLATERAL DAMAGE DUE TO SCIENCE’S OBJECTIVITY.

For a result to be considered as scientific, it shouldn’t be dependent on the subject who found it; the experimenter has to become insignificant since, in an ideal world, even an appropriately programmed robot should be able to achieve exactly the same results in the absence of any human. And after four centuries of letting the experimenter become insignificant, the scientists in their great majority, finished by loosing all significance to the world, life and humanity! The scientists forget that this insignificance was only part of the methodology and not a reality.

« The scientific world-picture vouchsafes a very complete understanding of all that happens — it makes it just a little too understandable. It allows you to imagine the total display as that of a mechanical clockwork which, for all that science knows, could go on just the same as it does, without there being consciousness, will, endeavor, pain and delight and responsibility connected with it — though they actually are. And the reason for this disconcerting situation is just this: that for the purpose of constructing the picture of the external world, we have used the greatly simplifying device of cutting our own personality out, removing it; hence it is gone, it has evaporated, it is ostensibly not needed.

In particular, and most importantly, this is the reason why the scientific worldview contains of itself no ethical values, no esthetic values, not a word about our own ultimate scope or destination, and no God, if you please. Whence came I and whither go I? » Nature and the Greeks (1954) Erwin Schrödinger.

What would Descartes think of this evolution if he could come back today?!

3: THE OVERWHELMING SUCCESS OF THE METHOD OF SCIENCE.

Even if he his in good part at the origin of the scientific methodology, Descartes would perhaps be amazed to discover how much it shapes today our Western Culture. He would acknowledge the soundness of his choice and would enthusiastically discover our world. To concentrate on the material realm only and to consider it as real, independently of the observer, led to astounding discoveries that shape today a completely different world than the one he lived in.

Astrophysics would show him a series of copernican revolutions that followed the first one he experienced: the Earth just abandoned its privileged position in the center of the universe in favour of the Sun. Which conserved the place until the beginning of the 20th century when, abruptly, it was found lost on the fringe of a branch of a gigantic galaxy, itself relativized between billions of other ones in an immensely large universe.

Descartes would be glad to understand how much his postulate was potentially rich. The exploration of the physical reality showed how far it is from the picture our common sense gives us. Einstein’s space-time is not what common sense tells it is. Common sense fools us! The world we perceive and understand instinctively is not the real world discovered by scientists! The latter remains completely incomprehensible, even to the physicists who describe it! They can only understand the abstract mathematics that describe its nature, but can’t understand their discoveries through their common sense that isn’t a faithful counselor for this question.

Since the beginning of the 20th century there is an accumulation of very disturbing results that profoundly defy the world’s image we live in!

« Is it possible that Nature is as absurd as it seems in these atomic experimentations? » Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy: 1958.

Space and Time are the absolute fundamental foundations of the world we perceive and in which we live. This world’s image is so rich, precise and real that we forget it is subjective only! It is totally created in our brain out of myriads of perceptions that are dissected, analyzed then coded by our sense organs, in a totally automatic and unconscious way. Nearly always this subjective image is exquisitely well adapted to our needs in order to live in the best possible conditions in the real world. Rarely do we observe a discrepancy between our image and reality; for this to happen we have to induce our senses in error through optical or hearing illusions…

The foundations on which our common sense relies to understand the world lost their solidity: space and time became relative! They are elastic; and therefore they are not perceived similarly by everyone! An event can take place before another one for an observer and after the same one for another observer! What a profound abnormality! Descartes’ method let us build a logic world but how weird… very far from what our common sense teaches us unconsciously, beginning with our birth and even beyond since our world’s image is shaped by the culture and the discoveries of our ancestors.

« The hope that new experiments will lead us back to objective events in time and space is about as well founded as the hope of discovering the end of the world in the unexplored regions of the Antarctic. Some physicists would prefer to come back to the idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist independently of whether we observe them. This however is impossible. » Werner Heisenberg Physics and Philosophy: 1958

4: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORLD IMAGE.

We feel we live in the world, but actually we live in an image of the world. And this image is a model only; a map, not a territory! A legacy from birth continuously enriched by experience through the working behind the scene of an instinctive engine that nourishes the common sense.

Natural selection favours the individuals best adapted to perform a fast and adequate analysis out of the informations perceived from the environment. It doesn’t favour the most « real », the most true perception of the world, but the most useful one! Our perception organs display an infinitesimal and flawed part of a hypothetical reality that only science and philosophy can help us to imagine… partly.

Let’s identify with our brain for a while. It is enclosed in a dark box, well protected from the world in which it has the responsibility to adapt us in the best possible way. But only myriads of short electrical impulses enter the brain, coming from specialized cells reacting to light, pressure, specific molecules… The environment has to be reconstructed out of electrical impulses that will be decoded then associated through huge neural networks in charge of giving a meaning to them. The brain is a superb engine working in order to give meaning through a spate of prioritised associations that we begin to imitate through Artificial Intelligence. The brain’s vital goal is to understand our environment in the fastest and best possible way; it must be able to react rapidly and fittingly. To do that, it works out perceptions to build a map of the world and compare it with what instincts and experience can offer in order to give it a meaning. The result is the common sense that is neither objective, nor universal, even if we feel instinctively that it is. Common sense is responsible for our survival, not for giving us an exhaustive and truthful image of an hypothetical reality outside us.

An event that isn’t compatible with our world’s image is felt as very disturbing, even frightful! The first reaction would be a rejection of it in the world already well known, a tentative to bring back everything in an understandable and predictable world in favor of survival.

Scientists are maybe the most prone to reject disturbing events because they are trained to be critical in their work. A critical mind is one of the fundamentals of the scientific methodology but it can be sterilizing if one doesn’t take in account an instinctive rejection of what isn’t compatible with common sense. Sometimes this reaction is so powerful that it becomes contrary to the scientific methodology that puts experience before theory!

«Doubting is fruitful, at the condition of doubting about ones doubt. » Didier Norton.

5: A COLLECTION OF ABNORMALITIES.

After trying very hard to find a solution without success, Max Planck publishes an equation adapted to what physicists find in their experiments but completely absurd! The equation suggests that energy quantities can only change according to whole natural numbers: 1, 2, 3…

The date is december 1900. Planck doesn’t really believe he found a real solution to the problem, just a tentative way to describe mathematically what remains incomprehensible for the common sense. He is convinced physicists will find a way to bring understanding to their discoveries. But physicist continue to find results defying the common sense… until today; and nothing seems to give hope in finding a sensible explanation in the future!

We perceive a continuous world when physicists discover a quantized world, pixellized in a way! In the world of atoms and molecules there is no slopes, only stairs! A particle that looses or gains energy does so abruptly, disappearing from a stair step at once and appearing on another stair step immediately, never finding itself in between! Profound abnormality!

Matter which builds reality and us with it, is 99,999999999999% emptiness! It seems solid but isn’t really. Electrons repel violently each other and a mysterious law forbids two of them to have the same attributes; that’s why matter seems hard, but it is essentially void! Profound abnormality!

Common sense allows to measure at once the position and the velocity of a vehicle. It’s impossible to know at once and precisely these two properties for particles or atoms. Whatever means implemented, each progress towards more precision in one property will automatically diminish the precision on the other one. Profound abnormality!

Common sense lets us understand the movement of a stone thrown towards a pond then the waves on the surface of the water after the splash. A stone occupies a defined space when a wave can potentially cover a very large space. Nothing is more different from a particle than a wave! But particles, atoms, molecules… every matter is at once particulate and wavy, depending on the way the observer measures it! Profound abnormality!

Common sense convinces us that the Moon is in the sky even if nobody looks at it. But in the world of atoms and molecules nothing is real unless it is observed! Only an interaction with a tool able to measure them can give them the characteristic we find indispensable in order to describe a real object: movement, direction, spin… Profound abnormality!

Common sense convinces us that an empty box contains nothing, not even air if it has been pumped out. Nevertheless physicists discover that the void is full of energy and virtual particles that appear then disappear continuously. Profound abnormality!

Time and space seem to have nothing in common. We live in a space described by a length, a width, a depth in which objects exist through time that flows from past to future. Yet time and space can’t be separated and are part of a forth dimension that we can’t perceive as such. Profound abnormality!

6: ABNORMALITIES AND PARADIGMS

In his fundamental work in 1962, the historian of sciences: Thomas Kühn, described how scientists agree implicitly on a blueprint that will circumscribe their imagination and in which they will be able to understand their results. This agreement is implicit because it is the world’s image built instinctively. Einstein already, before Kühn, understood that in reality theory came before experiments, and not the other way out as scientific rationality would suggest!

Heisenberg told how astonished he has been when Einstein notified exactly the reverse of what he expected! They were walking after a lecture given by Heisenberg about his experiments on quantum physics; Einstein didn’t agree with their interpretation. It’s much later that Heisenberg understood with Einstein how much the inspiration, the choice of an experimental protocol… are linked implicitly but powerfully, to the conceptual blueprint in which the theoretician or the experimentalist finds himself. This frame became the paradigm described by Kühn and it directs the way we understand the world in which we evolve. With other world’s images, other ideas would have inspired the theoreticians and the experimentalists. Other attributes would have been tested to give, eventually, very different conclusions than the ones that are dominant today!

To change a paradigm takes much time, notably because it is difficult to act on the fundamental instincts that make us able to understand our environment: the world’s image we inherited at birth and then through our experience and our culture. Abnormalities accumulate… They are prone to complicated explanations. Ptolemaïc ancient Greece understood the planets orbits through very complicated epicycles… and the copernican revolution greatly simplified this understanding.

Much time and an accumulation of disturbing abnormalities are needed to prepare a leap in the dark: a new world’s image: a new paradigm has to be ready. It is like if a fish had to jump out of its jar: it could survive only if a new aquarium were ready near the old one. Time is needed to prepare, enrich and consolidate a new paradigm before becoming able to accept the drastic changes of the world’s image that our instinct leads us to build. All along this time, explanations become complex, overcomplicated… but resist until the environment becomes favourable to the great jump.

The copernican solution to the weirdness of the planets’ orbits took time because a paradigm had to be changed. The Earth wasn’t anymore in the center of the universe: the Sun took its place. And Copernic then Kepler tried this solution to simplify their calculations of the orbits.

Today, physicists are still puzzled, more than a century after the creation of Quantum Mechanics in 1900 and Bohr’s atom in the 1920s. They try to understand the shoking abnormalities that accumulated continuously since a century. They try to understand their experimental results in a way that is compatible with the understanding of the nature of reality given by our common sense: a material world made of discrete particles with specific properties. Specific properties that shouldn’t be modified by non-local events; objective properties that shouldn’t be prone to modifications resulting from observation only; particles that shouldn’t change their state without being touched, heated, illuminated… The problems began especially from the moment the results of experiments weren’t anymore compatible with the cartesian separation between object and subject!

7: WHAT THE QUANTUM DISRUPTION CHANGES.

Even if the Quantum Disruption began more than a century now, there are still some physicists who hope that a savior will one day dissolve the abnormalities displayed in the microcosm in the classicism of the macrocosm! Yet these abnormalities accumulate, especially since the second half of the 20th century. Since some physicists decided to explore the weird microcosm with critical eye but open mind to a change of paradigm.

While waiting for a savior who will bring back the microcosm in the reassuring materiality of the macrocosm, some physicists call upon a Multiverse in which an infinity of universes would explain that, by chance only, we live in the only one in which all physical constants are particularly adapted to the apparition of life and intelligence. They seem to forget that, in order to eliminate the disturbing dualism between the quantum and the classical worlds, to dilute the weirdness of an universe born from nothing… they postulate an infinity of universes! All born from nothing too, of course!

But if we remain objective and open-minded, we are brought to accept the abnormalities and reconsider our paradigm because it can’t take them into account. What are the principal abnormalities that we discussed in the first part of this work?

– The world isn’t continuous but made out of quanta of matter-energy, and probably of quanta of time and space as well.

– There is no absolute simultaneity: two events that are simultaneous for an observer can appear differently for another observer. Space and time are differently elastic for different observers.

– The properties of an object measured by an observer depend of his experimental choices: they have no independent reality; absolute objectivity is impossible.

– We can describe the evolution of the properties of an object through space and time after having measured them. But the equation we use has to do with wave functions which can interfere in a way we cannot understand in our world composed of material particles. These equations bring in weird unreal mathematical objects like the square root of -1. And finally, these equations give us only probabilities, never certainties: only a physical measure will give the values looked for.

«But if the ultimate physical reality corresponds to the wave function, then what sort of beast is a wave function? What’s made of? What’s Hilbert space made of? As far as we know, nothing: they seem to be purely mathematical objects! » Max Tegmark “Our Mathematical Universe”: 2014

– We can’t find all the properties of an object with great precision. When the precision on one property grows, the precision on a conjugate one diminishes.

– Objects can behave as if they were entangled in a-local and a-temporal relationship. As if there were a parallel reality conjugated to ours and through which objects could be linked without being separated by space and time.

– Matter and energy are two different and exchangeable forms of the same reality. With its form as energy field, matter seems to be defined but not manifested. It’s only when there are interactions that matter-energy manifests itself with measurable properties.

«This idea that there’s a bunch of numbers at each point in space-time is quite deep, and I think it’s telling us something not merely about our description of reality, but about reality itself (…) a field is just this: something represented by numbers at each point in space-time. » Max Tegmark “Our Mathematical Universe”: 2014

Galileo was the first to describe the universe through its language: mathematics. Four centuries of discoveries lead to the description of the nature of the universe: mathematic! It’s not only a convenient way to describe it: mathematics has become the fundamental reality of the universe, as Plato or Pythagorus thought it was!

And yet we perceive a real physical world with plenty of different sensations, very far from abstract mathematical formulas; how come? It’s probably due to the new dualism: the association between a fundamental purely mathematical reality which calculates the reality that is ours: the physical one.

8. A NEW DUALISM: SIMULISM.

Descartes’s dualism helped create Science but has been deeply shaken up by it afterwards. First, dualism melt in a materialistic monism, then reappeared in the inescapable duality that separates the quantum world from the classical one. But this new duality is unsharp; it isn’t really defined by an objective boundary between the microcosm (the realm of particles, atoms, molecules…) and the macrocosm (the world we perceive in our everyday life). Interactions are continuous through the two realms; the conditions in which the measurements are made are more important than the size of the object that is measured. The order with which the measurements are made determine the evolution of the wave function that describes the quantum object. The dualism that distinguish microcosm from macrocosm doesn’t make a difference between the objects that take a place in space and time from the ones that exist only in the realm of thoughts. The observer and his consciousness seem to intervene in the determination of quantum properties. This new duality that separates the quantum world from the classical one has to be placed in a very different context than the one Descartes chose four centuries ago.

The microcosm doesn’t show definite properties unless it is observed. It evolves in a completely different reality than we do. Space and time aren’t the obstacles they are in our realm. What we perceive as well defined objects in our reality (Physical Reality) seem to manifest themselves out of another reality we can describe with mathematics (Mathematical Reality) involving imaginary numbers and wave functions. In this weird realm objects evolve and interfere in a way only waves could interfere in our realm.

(Quantum phenomena) « support the view that non-material principles can steer the material world. » Antoine Suarez; http://www.quantumphil.org

Thus the realm of objects that occupy space and time isn’t the fundamental realm, but depends on a realm in which space and time haven’t the reality we find for them in ours. In the fundamental reality space and time have only a mathematical existence. Reciprocally, the mathematical properties that describe physical objects can be influenced by the events that happen to them in the physical world. It is no more possible to separate the world of objects from the world of thoughts as Descartes did. Today Physics describes two worlds that aren’t separated from one another as Descartes postulated, because the one we perceive is a reflection from the other, itself under the influence of the first. The world that seems concrete to us – and which is, in a sense – seems to arise out of another, purely mathematical one. Physicist David Bohm named the world we perceive « the Explicite Reality » that is an emanation from another one: « the Implicite Reality ». Plato defined our world as the one of shadows that depends on another world which is the true reality.

Some philosophies (Hinduism, Yoga…) describe this duality between a reality that is manifested, thus perceived, but secondary to a fundamental reality that isn’t manifested, although it has enough properties to be considered as real. An image of this duality could be found in Physics’ concept of matter-energy fields. Empty space can potentially act on a specific object that moves through it, as if space is structured in a way that can express itself only in specific conditions: A non-manifested (Implicite) versus manifested (Explicite) dualism. The world we perceive would be an illusion built out of a deeper but not-manifested reality.

Simulism could explain such a quantum dualism. Perceived reality would be the result of calculations that are displayed only when there is an interaction with a physical (material) or organic (living) object. It’s the collapse of the wave function introduced by the « School of Copenhagen ». Perceived reality is relational and isn’t based on objects with physical properties independent from the act of perception. What we perceive as independent objects defined by specific properties are only limited expressions in our space-time, of purely mathematical attributes that follow the wave function discovered by Physics.

 « we live in a RELATIONAL REALITY, in the sense that the properties of the world around us stem not from properties of its ultimate building blocks, but from the relations between these building blocks. » Max Tegmark “Our Mathematical Universe”: 2014

Plato’s realm of Ideas, Bohm’s Implicite Reality… would be a simulation mathematical software and the display of the results of calculations would be the reality we perceive: Plato’s shadows or Bohm’s Explicite Reality. Physicist Wolfgang Pauli would maybe be satisfied with a paradigm that would integrate this fundamental concept of simulation. He tried with psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung to understand the origin of synchronicity. He wrote:

« The most satisfying would be that (…) Physics and Psychics could be considered as complementary aspects of one reality. »  Synchronicity: an a-causal connecting Principle.  1952.

Simulism doesn’t make a difference between matter and thought: both are reflections of a more fundamental reality that is virtual and purely mathematical; the one Pauli used to think about.

« psyche and matter are governed by common, neutral, not in themselves ascertainable ordering principles. » Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958.

Finally, would Descartes be a dualist today? Yes, but…

He would maybe define a world that is perceived and another one, more fundamental, which would create our perceived reality. The first realm would put together objects and thoughts coming from the working of the material brain. Thoughts could be separated in two types, according to whether they are directly generated by the material brain, or by the more fundamental, a-local and a-temporal quantum realm. The first could belong to the « mind » and the second, to the intuition or the « soul » since they come from outside the limits of the material body. The organic brain would be able to create thoughts and to perceive intuitions. Its first job would be attributed to the mind, the second one to the Subconscious, still so mysterious.

Cartesian dualism which defines the realm of objects and the realm of thoughts would have evolved in two new realities. The first one would be a hybrid since it associates an aspect which has an extension in space-time: the objects, to another, immaterial but that comes from the first through the analysis of perceptions: the mental working of the organic brain. The other realm would be a-local and a-temporal: a purely mathematical realm.

Physical Reality associates matter-energy and its emergent abilities that are emotions and thoughts. The underlying a-local and a-temporal Mathematical Reality could be understood as a software running continuously in the background to define properties that are essentially relational and describing a reality that is indivisible because it obeys only to wave functions. The illusion of an objective world composed of independent objects would be the result of the collapse of the wave functions calculated for a discrete place of space-time… Maybe when there is an interaction with the Subconscious, a soul, which belongs to the Mathematical Reality but could also have an influence on the mind, the result of the working of the material brain?

IS THE UNIVERSE A MATHEMATICAL OBJECT?

«Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.» Galileo

Mathematising the world has been the initiative which enabled science to understand and gain some power on it. Mathematics keeps amazing physicists by its power of prediction! Many physical laws have been discovered by applying a mathematical tool which was created by a mathematician only to satisfy his own logic. As if the intimate fabric of the universe was mathematical!

Tegmark

Max Tegmark gathered his reflexions in his book: “The Mathematical Universe Hypothesis: My quest for the ultimate nature of reality.” (2014).

«If my life as a physicist has taught anything at all, it’s that Plato was right: modern physics has made abundantly clear that the ultimate nature of reality isn’t what it seems.»

And Tegmark: the son of a mathematician and physicist himself, continues:

«Our reality isn’t just described by mathematics – it is mathematics, in a very specific sense.»

«At the bottom level, reality is a mathematical structure, so its parts have no intrinsic properties at all! In other words, the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis implies that we live in a relational reality, in the sense that the properties of the world around us stem not from properties of its ultimate building blocks, but from the relations between these building blocks.»

In this important and entertaining book Tegmark applies very fruitfully his experience as a teacher at MIT. He knows how to present a question and what will illustrate the answer in the best way.

As an example here is how he explains the crucial discoveries in the 1920s that the universe is expanding. He asks to imagine oneself giving a lecture and discovering that the attendees sitting just in the first row are all very old. And the further one looks, the younger the attendees are! With babies laying at the farthest seats! Just in front of a black void! That’s how our universe looks like when we look for galaxies: the farthest they are, the younger!

Everyone fond of astronomy knows this of course, but it’s rare to find an illustration that speaks as much to the imagination! And Tegmark’s book is full of such nice findings.

He presents the findings of “the precision cosmology” to show how it “highlight the mysterious utility of mathematics for understanding our world.” Then he expands the concepts laid by the inflation model of the universe and Quantum Mechanics to define different levels of Multiverses. Tegmark suggests that “Fine-tuning is arguable evidence for the Level II Multiverse“. I.e. that the explanation behind the astounding fine-tuning of the 32 constants that make our Universe suitable for life and intelligence is that there are an infinity of these, each with different values for these constants and that we live in the only one that, by chance, have the good values!

Level III Multiverses are Hugh Everett’s ones. Here again, Tegmark illustrates the Many Worlds hypothesis in new and clear illustrations.

Information is introduced and its importance emphasized. “The quantum weirdness doesn’t go away, it just gets censored” (about the difference between microphysics and macrophysics). Or “I concluded that quantum mechanics requires secrecy: an object can only be found in two places at once in quantum superposition as long as its position is kept secret from the rest of the world.” “Quantum observation isn’t about consciousness, but simply about the transfer of information.

The last part of the book describes the M.U.H or Mathematical Universe Hypothesis.
The M.U.H implies that we live in a relational reality, in the sense that the properties of the world around us stems not from properties of its ultimate building blocks, but from the relation between these building blocks.”

Strangely, Tegmark doesn’t “bet on a computable universe.” Even if all his work seems to point towards Simulism!

So the universe would be a structure, a purely mathematical object, thus a set of informations, which is compatible with Simulism.

THE NEW DUALISM: 2: WHAT IS THE NATURE OF ENERGY?

1: WHAT IS ENERGY?

The answer comes at once: Energy is life, movement, emotion… french-cancan! But all that is only expressions of energy that doesn’t really inform us about its nature.

Energy is fundamental to an understanding of the universe and life, but even today, it remains a mystery! Is it quantifiable like the dimensions of an object? Or is it a quality like the colour of an object, an emotion…?

Until Galileo, energy was considered as a quality linked to life and that couldn’t be quantified. In greek, “energeia” meant “activity”, “movement”. And all activity had its origin in life; even sea waves or leaves rustling in a breeze were due to Eolus: a god. And life can’t be quantified… even today! But Galileo discovered how to quantify movement and created Physics when he applied Mathematics to understand the properties of the material universe.

Even today physicists don’t know how to define the nature of energy and, therefore, can’t measure it directly. Galileo didn’t quantify energy but the work done when energy changes from one form to another. Richard Feynman – one of the brightest 20th century’s physicist – wrote:

«It is important to realise that today Physics has no idea about what the nature of energy could be.» Or: «The conservation of energy is an abstract idea, a mathematical principle that isn’t concrete, not even the description of a mechanism. It only says that something is invariable when an event takes place. It’s a strange fact to be able to calculate a quantity, to watch nature doing its tricks, that to recalculate this number and to discover that it didn’t change!»

In other words, energy is what remains constant in an ever-changing universe; but this doesn’t teach us what is its nature!

As physicists – the champions of rational analysis – can’t teach us what the nature of energy is, let’s see if the specialists of intuition could have any idea about it! Have creative people, artists, been inspired by this question?

Adam_1 - copie

A masterpiece comes at once to mind: The “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo in the Chapel Sixtine expresses an impressive energy! On the right half of the fresco everything is on the move; even God’s beard participate to our feeling of a fast flight from right to left. The left part is completely static; but we perceive a birth: life, through a mysterious energy, invisible but so powerful between the two index fingers looking for each other!

God has already created forms in the mineral and in the living realms, but he didn’t yet pass life to Adam: the capacity to put these forms in movement, then to wake up consciousness in humanity. Even if the abstract concept of information was unknown in Michelangelo’s time, he presumably intuited a transfer of informations as the source of life… and maybe of consciousness too! Matter has been created then organised in complex structures, but it isn’t yet animated, nor conscious of itself: it remains to show her how to express all the properties of life and consciousness! It needs a sort of “How to Manual”, an operating system… informations!

The artist perceives energy as the source of movement, life and consciousness. But is the force that puts an object on the move, the same as the one that brings life to an organism? Physicists discovered one energy only that can express itself through many forms. Michelangelo seems to describe two types of energies: one that could be named: “Physical Energy” because physicists learned to quantify the work done with it like, for instance, the movement pictured on the right part of the fresco, and a second type: “vital energy”, subtler and impossible to measure: an energy that gives life. It’s the one that crosses invisibly between the two index. Could it be the “Subtle Energy” (Chi or Prana) conceived by oriental philosophies? An energy unknown to our organs of perception but perceptible only to human intuition, as the “chinese pulse” only detected by the chinese therapist and that can’t be measured with our mechanical or electronic devices? Could the “Physical Energy” be the same as the oriental concept of “Coarse” or “Manifested” energy that our organs can perceive and our devices react to?

2 – EAST AND WEST.

It could be interesting to compare conceptions of eastern and western philosophers about energy. These world views diverged for thousands of years but began to converge when they discovered each other, especially since the 18th century .

In the West the world was described as it appears through our organs of perception; the universe harbours objects localised in space and time; they seem to remain where we perceived them, even if we divert our attention: the Moon is in the sky even if nobody looks at her! We favoured quantification to describe these objects because it is easy to measure lengths, widths, positions in space… and to communicate objectively the results. The scientific methodology is the very successful outcome of this way to perceive our surroundings since 4 centuries. Measures are independent of the subject who does them and therefore easily communicated and reproduced. But very weird results began to accumulate since the dawn of the 20th century; the world’s image we built till the end of the 19th century was too naive; we thought we could consider the universe as a collection of objects we could quantify objectively and independently; physicists were convinced they were nearly at the end of their discoveries and able to find the final formulas: the complete description of the properties of matter and its behaviour. But they were wrong…!

Instead of quantifying the universe, eastern philosophers asked themselves how the universe is perceived; what is the nature of consciousness that perceives it; how does it build a world’s image from our perceptions? Their approach became an introvert research; they favoured subjective and qualitative analysis: the exact opposite of Western views. For a westerner the world is clearly what s/he perceives. For an easterner it is only a mental image made after interactions between organs of perception and the consciousness who analyses them; the interaction is more important than the perception in itself and the object perceived. Instead of reducing the world to a collection of separately quantifiable objects, easterners perceived it as an interacting whole impossible to reduce to independent parts without denaturing its fundamental nature. In the West, one or many gods created the world and everything contained in it, sequentially, after successive additions: for example first Heaven and Earth, then light, then days and nights, water, land… In the East, no gods we could compare with Western ones! But Forces: energies, sometimes sources of anthropocentric metaphors as in India or in Tibet. Unique in the beginning, the founding energy gives rise to 2 types of energy (China) or 3 (India), then 5 or more… Each energy form specialises itself, but its fundamental nature is preserved.

These energies manifest themselves progressively; from subtle they become more coarse and in the end give rise to everything in the universe, after interacting in multiple ways. It is amazing to discover that Eastern philosophies discovered thousands of years ago what Western Science understood only since 1905: even matter is a form of energy!

The interaction of primordial elements as the source of the multiple objects our senses perceive seems universal and is found in the East as well as in the West. The 5 elements the greek imagined as the fundamental units of creation aren’t really material but rather properties. The combination in variable amounts of these qualities were thought to create the particular properties of every object. For example if the element “earth” was in high proportion, an object would be very dense and would have a sort of impulse to join the soil. The nature of the 5 elements is better understood as energy than matter. The objects we perceive result from the combination of idealised primordial elements that aren’t actually perceptible in a pure material form. This is maybe easiest to understand through the 5 processes in China. (see below)

Instead of imagining a concrete, solid, material and long-lasting universe, Eastern philosophers were sensible to the subjective nature of the world’s image our senses initiate. An holistic vision of the universe made them aware of the illusion of a permanent reality: everything is transforming; only the Law of Change is permanent!

But physicists discover a new world since the 20th century; a world completely incomprehensible within physicalism: the paradigm inherited from their predecessors who were convinced they would understand the universe by explaining the properties of matter that makes the objects we find in it. Relativity describes a universe where space and time loose objectivity and permanence; they are no more independent from the observer but become relative to the observation! Since then, the observer has a direct influence on the physical properties of the object s/he measures and the results are no longer certainties but probabilities only!

Many upset physicists tried to find new ways of understanding their results; new paradigms. And Eastern ways of thinking were found to be helpful.

«We must turn to epistemological problems which Buddha and Lao-Tseu has already been confronted to, and try to harmonise our situation as actors and spectators in the great drama of existence.» Niels Bohr.

«Japan’s important contributions to Theoretical Physics since the last war, shows maybe a kinship between Eastern traditional philosophies and Quantum Theory’s philosophical substance.» Werner Heisenberg.

To compare Eastern and Western views about energy could shed some light on its nature and maybe help us find some elements of answers to interesting questions as:

– Did East and West perceive and describe the same energy?

– Can we explore an Eastern concept with Western scientific methods?

– Can our scientific methodology study “Subtle Energies” like Chi or Prana…?

– Are scientific devices built to measure the work done by energy forms described by physicists, able to measure the Subtle Energy forms described by Eastern philosophers?

3 -ACUPUNCTURE AND SCIENCE.

James Reston could not imagine his misfortune could have a positive return on his reputation as a journalist when, in summer 1971, he covered Henri Kissinger’s trip to Pekin as a political columnist for the New York Times. Nixon had decided to change his politics with China and asked Kissinger to prepare an official visit for his president. However, suddenly Reston has to undergo an operation for an appendicitis in Pekin. Everything is OK but he suffers from great post-operation pain that doesn’t react to medicine.

Some of his neighbours receive acupuncture treatments: Reston asks to try. It works well and he’s surprised by this ancestral therapeutic! As an interrogative journalist, he gathers informations on the method and its mode of action: manipulation of a subtle energy unknown in Western science: Chi. He witnesses surgeries made with acupuncture only as a pain-killer and, back home, he publishes an article in the NYT on july 26th in which he describes his investigations and declares that, even if he can’t understand how acupuncture works, he has no doubt about its efficiency.

Acupuncture was already known but not very popular. Reston’s article made it much more tried as an alternative therapy. Scientists like the biochemist Richard Hammerschlag, influential surgeons like Sherwin Nuland or physicians like J. M. Helms contributed to its good reputation and its admission in U.S. academics (1997) then internationally (WMO in 1998). The U.S. Health Department opened a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that studies how scientific methods could help to assess alternative therapeutics. The centre classifies them in three groups:

– Therapeutics involving physical energies: Cymatics (sounds), light-therapy…;

– Therapeutics involving subtle energies: acupuncture, reiki…;

– Therapeutics involving the relation between mind and body: yoga, meditation…

Acupuncture is assessed, although its mode of action is not compatible with western’s medical paradigm. Investigations done with scientific rigour show conclusively that the placebo effect is not a sufficient explanation (link with ACUPUNCTURE) for its success. Acupuncture triggers organic reactions but its mode of action remains mysterious and the concept of “Subtle Energy flow” remains the best one to describe them.

4 – SUBTLE ENERGY AND WESTERN SCIENCE.

The western closest energy concept to a Subtle Energy is the “Vital Force“. a mysterious form of energy that would pass on life to organised matter. It was postulated in order to understand how life could build impressive structures and form living organisms from inert matter. Hans Driesch’s experiments near the end of the 19th century convinced him that there should be a sort of “life field” that brings to every living form the instructions needed to follow a developmental plan from the embryonic stage to the adult. The naturalists of this time were all convinced that physical laws, as they were understood, could not, alone, explain life. Pasteur showed that life comes through life only, not from inert matter. The french philosopher Henri Bergson described a

«life force: an energy that creates continuously more and more complex forms.»

He can’t subdue life to deterministic Physics and gives spirit its own place:

«spirit exists by its own; it is not the child of brain’s activity.»

He is cartesian: the universe is dualistic and is made out of matter and spirit.

Teilhard de Chardin was both an anthropologist and a jesuit. He synthesised Science and Philosophy in a grandiose cosmography. He was monistic: the universe is only spiritual and matter is a transient form adopted by spirit while evolving. In the beginning there was only energy and a point – Omega – an expression of God. This point drives energy through a long history of changes, transformations, sublimation.

«God makes so that things are made, but does not make them himself.»

Primordial energy becomes matter then organises itself in living organisms, acquires consciousness and continue its evolution towards its true spiritual nature: only one Universal Consciousness. Teilhard was clearly influenced by Eastern philosophies!

5 – “COARSE” ENERGY AND WESTERN SCIENCE.

Since Galileo began to describe the world through the language of mathematics, physicists tried to precise energy’s properties. Newton shows how gravitation is expressed through a force that becomes a way to apply energy to get a work done. But he can’t understand its nature. He couldn’t see how a force could attract two objects with nothing material in between them; it wasn’t compatible with a world’s image made of independent material objects only. Descartes had explained magnetic attraction with tiny and invisible particles of matter that would travel out of the magnet and back, pulling objects with them to the magnet.

Descartes_magnetic_field

This illustrates how Descartes thought a magnet could pull iron dust without a visible link between them. He postulated very tiny invisible particles of matter were coming out of the magnet, link to the iron dust particles and pull them back to the magnet.

Eastern philosophers didn’t see any problem with magnetism. Their holistic world’s view explained easily interactions because any object is a localised and condensed form of an energy field that fills the universe. Invisible particles were not necessary to understand why the needle in a compass aligns itself in an energy field. China discovered magnetism since the 4th century B.C and utilised it to align harmoniously temples, houses… with the universal energy, long before it became useful to guide sailors.

Boussole_Feng_ShuiModel_Si_Nan_of_Han_Dynasty - copie

Han dynasty: compass on a Feng Shui dial. Source:

In the 19th century Faraday then Maxwell created a new concept: the field of energy. Like Descartes, Faraday was convinced there was a material sub-structure – the ether – that communicated the energy through the universe. No experiment never discovered this elusive sub-structure until Einstein’s papers in 1905 definitely buried it. We must admit energy doesn’t need a material support to travel through space! So how does it do it?

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Without iron dust the modification of space’s properties through the magnet would be invisible, un-manifested.

We don’t know for sure. We do know since 1905 that matter and energy are two forms of one only entity: mass-energy. Quantum Physics describes mass-energy as able to be at once in the form of particles and in a state impossible to imagine but that obeys to the mathematical laws for waves. It’s as particles that mass-energy crosses empty space or a photon extracts an electron from a photovoltaic cell. And its wave-state explains how a single quantum of energy can go through 2 slits at once and build an interference pattern of interacting waves.

6 – ENERGY AND EASTERN PHILOSOPHY.

The East, like the West, conceived only one sort of energy: Chi in China or Prana in India… but it can take many different aspects after being created in another realm than ours, for ever inexpressible: Tao in China, Brahman in India… It is Energy that, in a subtle state, is the fabric of the universe and brings it into Manifested state progressively. Continuously transforming, it creates life, mind and even spiritual consciousness. These changes create forces and matter when in becomes “coarse” energy we can perceive under its state of matter-energy. There is no difference in nature between matter and spirit, only differences in states, subtlety, density. Yin and Yang change continuously one in the other; this is possible because they share the same nature.

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Symbol of a constantly changing primordial energy: Chi, its Yin and Yang sides are themselves in perpetual and complementary transformation, each of them containing the seed of the other.

In turn, the fundamental changes of Yin and Yang create new secondary energy forms: the 5 Processes in China; the 5 Vayus in India, comparable to the 5 Elements in antic Greece. Primordial energy begins to condensate in a Manifested universe. There isn’t yet matter as we perceive it with our organs, more so attributes that communicate their properties as impulses. This view of the origin of matter is common to primitive East and West philosophies. It has been applied in the West until the end of the Middle-Ages.

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The chinese 5 processes: Wuxing, illustrate the properties ancient Greece gave to their 5 elements. Their nature is not matter, but impulses, properties. They are in continuous interaction and give rise to the perceived universe, the Manifested world. Some interactions create new properties: they are illustrated with grey arrows. Other are destructive: the red arrows.

Indian cosmogony is much easier to discover than Chinese cosmogony because it is very anthropomorphic, full of imagery and can illustrate abstract concepts by relating them to our life experiences. The taoist concept of continuous transformation is illustrated in India by the cosmic dance. Everything moves, beginning by Shiva Nataraja – the lord of dance, the first creation by the other realm: Brahman – until Purusha and Prakriti: the hindu equivalents of Yin and Yang. The highly multiple states of the forces – or gods – are only a way to illustrate different aspects of the one and indivisible reality that exists. Brahman, the creator who belongs to another realm, is found through all his creations that can be considered as his avatars.

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One should imagine the creator: Brahman, in another realm, outside the central dial on which his avatar Shiva Nataraja: the lord of the dance is pictured. The dance initiates space and time. Then Purusha, the hindu equivalent of Yang and Prakriti – Yin, can begin, the former to imagine our realm, the latter, to give birth to it. Purusha creates but do not Manifest his creations, when Prakriti transforms the information-energy in Manifested reality that our organs can perceive.

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Brahman gives rise to Shiva Nataraja who initiates the universe; his dance develops space and triggers time, both necessary features for existence. Matter needs space and time to become real; even immaterial ideas need time to exist. Brahman’s avatar Purusha imagines the universe then informs Prakriti, another avatar, who organises the manifestation: the materialisation of the universe. She gives birth to the world after being fertilised by Purusha. Prakriti begins by manifesting her energy as properties: the Tattvas, and impulses: the Gunas. Now every object can be manifested as matter, thoughts, feelings, emotions…

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In the circle “NATURE” one should imagine Purusha and Prakriti at work to create then Manifest the universe with all its objects: material, mental and even spiritual. With the properties of Tattvas energies and the impulses from Gunas, Prakriti gives rise to the world we perceive. Nothing is permanent in it; everything is recycled and returns in the Unmanifested reality to be re-created in the circle “NATURE”.

Thus, for Eastern philosophies and modern Physics the universe is nothing but energy! This discovery has been made thousands of years ago in Eastern cultures but in the West we had to wait for Einstein to become aware of it! This is a remarkable convergence between the two worlds; the introvert Eastern philosophies who ask how consciousness perceives, and the extravert Western science who quantifies the results of perception before asking itself how consciousness builds an image of the world. Science which finds that our perceptions give us a wrong picture of reality; what we feel is concrete, localised, material…. is actually only forms of energy!

A quantum particle is a very localised vibration in a field of the form of energy to which it belongs. A photon is a tiny vibration in the photonics energy field that fills all space; a neutron, a small disturbance in the neutronic energy field… And all these energy fields that give rise to photons, neutrons… are only different expressions of one only primordial energy that condensed under different aspects through the history of the universe.

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«The existence and the disappearance of particles are only movements of the field.» Walter Thirring.

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The world seems to us made out of objects localised in space-time, concrete and made out of matter. But Physics discovers that everything is included in a soup of vibrations, energies with multiple interacting forms. An image much closer to what mystic consciousness perceives than what our organs do.

The Western world’s vision becomes compatible with Eastern mystics: the universe we perceive as containing separate objects is, fundamentally, only a very rich mix of vibrations that ends as an illusion of materiality, of separation and independence! But how could it be?!

7 – WHAT IS THE NATURE OF AN ENERGY FIELD?

This question becomes fundamental when the universe is an extraordinary pattern of ever transforming forms of energy; some of which our perceptions interpret as matter: an illusion!

An energy field is a region of space that expresses peculiar properties. Field lines link space areas with equivalent values of its peculiar properties. And these attributes express themselves only on specific objects sensitive to this particular energy field.

One can illustrate a magnetic field with a ferrofluid: a sort of liquid magnet made with nanoparticles of magnetite suspended in oil.

Please have a look on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmKMIBvdm9M

A ferrofluid which is a liquid magnet, can show how space is transformed when a magnet sits somewhere in it. The transformation of the properties of space stay invisible, Unmanifested, until when it is crossed by an object sensitive to magnetic field.

A ferrofluid is a liquid magnet useful to visualise how en energy field shapes space. The video shows clearly that a magnet, somewhere in space, gives it the power to attract objects sensitive to magnetism. If a dog crosses the magnetic field of a powerful MRI it will feel noting at all; space would be perceived as usual. But if the dog wears an iron collar it could be hanged to death, stuck on the super-magnet of the instrument! The space around the MRI is peculiar, it seems informed on the properties it can show if, and only if, an object sensitive to magnetism comes in its vicinity. The dog without a collar doesn’t trigger a work from the field; the magnetic field won’t be manifested. But if the dog wears an iron collar the field would manifest itself and trigger a work.

How do the magnet and the iron interact through space without any material link? Physicists imagine virtual particles, one type for any particular form of field energy, able to materialise and dematerialise continuously everywhere in space. It is the paradoxical concept of “Quantum Vacuum” which is actually full of virtual reality! Near the MRI virtual photons will be exchanged between the magnet and the iron collar and borrow movement energy that will transform in magnetic force. It reminds what Descartes postulated four centuries ago: very tiny invisible particles interacting between the magnet and the iron because he couldn’t accept that a force could be transmitted through empty space!

Extremely tiny bubbles and irregularities in space-time predicted by certain theories.

Source: (Chandra.Harvard.edu)

The Quantic Vacuum full of potential energy that can materialise in our reality is represented here as a blue bubbling soup. Bubbles formed from Unmanifested reality can be stabilised in ours, represented over the blue one. For a virtual energy bubble to be stabilised in our reality it has to absorb real energy from it in a quantity exactly equal to the one it borrowed to sneak in. When it does, the absorbed energy gives rise to a particle: energy has been changed to matter.

Today we must imagine another realm, more fundamental than ours, a realm from which a rich zoo of particles appear surreptitiously everywhere in our realm and manifest (materialise) as real particle, able to transmit forces, only when they can absorb energy from our realm.

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A picture made at the CERN. Two particles were accelerated near light speed then collided and their mass-energy has been transformed in a zoo of new particles.

Let’s imagine what happens in an accelerator of quantum particles. Two clouds of particles are accelerated in opposite direction until they reach near light speed. Suddenly the two flows are directed in front of each other and frontal collisions release huge amounts of energy. When virtual particles from the Quantum Vacuum find in our realm a quantity of energy exactly equal to the energy they borrowed to manifest themselves, they can absorb it and materialise, therefore continue to exist through time in our realm. The final energy balance would show the creation of a new particle whose mass-energy is equal to the one that has been liberated by the frontal collision of the accelerated particles. Energy would have changed in matter! The opposite is seen when a radio-active element changes part of its mass-energy in energy like heat, electro-magnetic rays… Matter and energy are truly two interchangeable facets of a same reality.

Isn’t this dance of the elements richly illustrated by Shiva Nataraja, Purusha and Prakriti from hindu cosmology?! Brahman, in a more fundamental realm, creates a space and a time that makes our realm perceptible. Shiva Nataraja – the Lord of Dance – initiates the continuous movement, time’s flow. Purusha creates the properties of the particles that remain virtual: Unmanifested but in-formed, without a form; but Purusha created the informations necessary so they can Manifest when the conditions are there. He creates the Natural Laws in a sense. And Prakriti manages the materialisation of the virtual particles. By manipulating her energy she materialises mass-energy in our realm when she applies to it the properties Purusha imagined for them. A strange convergence! Purusha enriches space with INFORMATION, subtle, virtual, until Prakriti and her organised energy can manifest them so as we can perceive them as mass-energy or work.

In Aristotelian philosophy, Brahman would be the final cause: the one that gives meaning; Purusha, the formal cause: the one that informs the objects properties; Prakriti, the efficient cause: the one that makes the object. In our scientific cosmogony Brahman is ignored; Purusha is the Laws of Nature and Prakriti the universe that obeys the Laws. In Simulism’s metaphor, Brahman would be the programmer, Purusha the software and Prakriti the hardware that runs the program; the results of the equations build the universe we perceive and its behaviour. These comparisons lead to a disturbing fact: the scientific cosmogony seems a bit basic since it isn’t interested in origins: just in transformations! It doesn’t look for the nature of the primordial energy; it excels in the rationalisation of an evolving history of the universe… after its creation… God knows how!

The comparative analysis of Eastern and Western cosmologies show another very important difference between the two. The Eastern universe is in a process of continuous creation; objects are manifested for a time then completely denatured and Unmanifested. Brahman’s three avatars work continuously to regenerate the universe from the Unmanifested realm; to create a Manifested universe from an Unmanifested realm. The Western universe is only recycled; it isn’t Unmanifested, just denatured in fundamental parts that are re-used to build new complex constructions that acquire a new nature. Mass-energy was created only once, 13.8 billion years ago, and undergoes transformations since. We are interested in the history of “coarse” energy only and don’t work with “subtle” energy, Unmanifested, therefore un-quantifiable. We aren’t aware of what happens in the Unmanifested realm and instructs the manifestation of the universe we perceive.

But Physics discovered the Quantum world. Physicists found mathematical tools that unable them to extract informations from the other realm, more fundamental than the one we perceive and measure. The wave function of particles let us calculate their properties as they change with time. But we can only access to probabilities, no certainties. Reality remains veiled in a way: we can discern but we can’t see in plain light what happens behind the veil!

«There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a ‘veiled reality’ that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly.» Bernard D’Espagnat.

Physics succeeded to describe partly the Unmanifested universe that is already informed and gives rise to our realm.  An Unmanifested universe with energy only, vibrations that interfere in unconceivable forms, with properties we can’t understand from our life-experience but can predict from equations. The equations of quantum entanglement link two objects as if they were only one, but we perceive two, separated in space-time. It is a remarkable achievement of the scientific method that isn’t appreciated as it should be!

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«Quantum entanglement supports the idea that the world is deeper than the visible, and reveals a domain of existence, which cannot be described with the notions of space and time.» «The nonlocal correlations cannot be explained by any history in space-time, they come from outside space-time.» Antoine Suarez.

Science has found how to look through the veil and gather informations that, even if they can’t be totally objective since there is no circumscribed object in the Unmanifested realm, are nevertheless objective in a mathematical sense. Indeed, physicists are able to circumscribe the properties an Unmanifested object could express after its creation, inside boundaries of probabilities they can calculate. They can’t predict with certainty what the precise properties will be when an object will manifest itself in our realm; nevertheless they master the mathematical tools with which they calculate the potentials of creation! The universe is mathematical (please refer to a further post) and we succeeded to find some of the equations that control the very process of creation of the Manifested realm from the Unmanifested one! Isn’t this a superb feat?!

Science took off since Descartes defined precisely the framework inside of which it could thrive: the universe of objects extended in space-time and that we can measure.

Dualist Descartes let philosophers take care of the universe of thoughts, spirit… objects we can’t observe objectively in a material world. But now Science reveals a non-material and more fundamental realm outside our space-time; a world Eastern philosophers have been aware off long ago and described as Unmanifested but that become Manifested when conditions are met. A realm that INFORMS ours when it manifests itself.

8 – PHYSICAL ENERGY AND SUBTLE ENERGY.

Physicists De Broglie and Bohm created a coherent Quantum Mechanics out of this duality: a fundamental but ineffiable Quantum Field guides the material particles we perceive in our realm, and does it from the Unmanifested realm that reflect informations about its state as a whole (as a hologram). The form-wave doesn’t any work: it informs (Unmanifested Subtle Energy) the particles that will express a work (Manifested Physical Energy) and transform energy for that. The form-wave belongs to another realm in which information is everywhere at once; it isn’t limited by space-time. In this “veiled reality” no work is needed; sharing information is free! It is the possible future use of the shared information that needs to do a work and thus, will be perceived in our realm.

De Broglie and Bohm’s Quantum Field can’t be perceived; in the same way a magnetic or any other energy field can’t be perceived as long as they aren’t submitted to a mass-energy crossing them. Sheldrake’s Morphogenetic Field (MF) has the same feature in a neo-vitalist perspective. Sheldrake’s MF won’t do any work to guide the living organisms along their acquisition of forms and behaviours. There will be a work done of course, a work we can perceive in our reality when a fertilised cell will reproduce, become an embryo then a foetus… We know how living cells acquire energy out of sun or food, store it in molecules and transform it to synthesise new molecules, move… and do a work we can measure. But all the work will be done on the basis of informations the cell had free access to, through the MF, or non-living matter through the Quantum Field.

So, looking what the nature of energy could be leads us to an important link with information. As a matter of fact, Physicists formalised long ago this link when they quantify a work. The energy is always conserved but it is transformed and this modification implies a loss of quality, a sort of degradation of the information inside the system that physicists quantify when they measure the system’s entropy. But Eastern philosophies, Quantum Field or MF theories, the implications of quantum entanglement, the wave-particle duality… suggest another form of energy; a subtle one, able to communicate information freely, without doing a work. It is this Subtle Energy that informs space when it harbours an energy field.

Eastern philosophies describe this Subtle Energy when they imagine an Unmanifested realm, just about to manifest itself in our realm. It is the Subtle Energy informing the chinese therapist when he assesses the chinese pulse. Could it be this Subtle Energy that, through the water diviner’s unconsciousness animate the muscles that will let the diviner’s rod to dive? No physical device can directly react to Chi or Prana, neither to MF… unless informed through a human used as a tool! Only a nervous system seems to be able to react to Subtle Energy.

Could this Subtle Energy be the one that inspires an artist? Could we find in it the source of intuition?

9 – MICHELANGELO’S INTUITION.

An impressive movement energy is subtlety communicated from the right part of the fresco to humanity. Adam awakes to consciousness through an imperceptible energy transfer. We see nothing between the two index fingers, no light, not even a spark! Did Michelangelo feel intuitively that a Subtle Energy influences human beings somewhat like physical energy influences measuring devices? This one would trigger a physical work, that one would be at the source of consciousness… and intuition. If you look at Michelangelo’s fresco with this interrogation in mind, something amazing happens: you realise God and his angels are enclosed in a structure that reminds strangely the anatomy of a human brain: our specialised organ for information managing!

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No clouds to symbolise heaven: God’s kingdom. But a strange volume outlined by a fabric folded back on itself to form a double enclosure. Its form and structure remind the brain’s double envelop. We clearly see the frontal lobe, the fissure of the temporal lobe on the left and the occipital fissure on the right.

Eve stays in between a strange interlacing of angels that seem uncomfortable but design cerebral circumvolutions remarkably well! Some angels push the fabric in the same way circumvolutions outline visible forms in the cerebral envelops.

The three angels under God are particularly uncomfortable. The one in the centre folds his right leg and looks like the optic chiasma (knee) followed by the optic nerve (leg) directed towards the occiput. The laying angel seen from his back, represents the Pons (back), just on the medulla oblongata (buttocks) then the beginning of the spinal cord (leg). A green drapery finds meaning in the fresco if it is the symbol of the arterial artery that enters the skull from beneath, after a double tight fold when it exit the cervical vertebras!

Why Michelangelo’s intuition could have put God in front of a human brain?

Maybe did he try to go beyond the mere creation of the world, matter then life, with the invisible spark that gives consciousness to Adam and extract him from the animal realm. Adam is formed, alive, but doesn’t seem conscious of himself; it’s this gift that he’ll receive from God.

Maybe the artist felt he should show God’s presence in the depths of our consciousness. We could join God when meditating on an inwardly directed vision through the third eye – wisdom’s eye – God’s arm seems to cross on its way to Adam’s index finger. God isn’t part of the cerebral cortex that makes us aware of our surroundings and of ourselves: he is in front of the deep brain, the place where emotions are managed: the limbic system; maybe where intuitions come from. Maybe the artist wanted to show God giving us the gift of intuition that made him able to create his masterworks. The same intuition, the Subtle Energy which transmits informations to the water diviner from beyond his perceptive organs and direct unconsciously his muscles to give life to a pendulum or a diviner rod…

There is a more radical revelation… The artist could have understood God created us in his image, not physically of course, but through our intellect and our consciousness. He is pictured as an old sage but seems out of place in a human brain! Therefore one can think it isn’t his body that is meaningful, but the location where it is represented and which is the source of human intellect and consciousness. We could be God’s avatars! If true, he would share our experiences through our consciousness… somehow as a video game player but much more implicated since it won’t be in an indirect way, through a console, but directly with consciousness, so immersed in the characters that he would forget the beginning… until the end of the game. Only when the game is over would he remember who he is really: a player, in a virtual universe programmed by himself… !

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Stanislav Grof seems to have found a sort of Consciousness field beyond space-time he defines as “transpersonal”. It could be the source of intuition, a communication bridge between the 2 realities: the Unmanifested one, spiritual for Descartes, and the Manifested reality, the material world we perceive.

NOTE: Whether Michelangelo had access to detailed dissections of human brains – or not – is more important to historians of Arts then to the viewer of his work. His biographer thought the young artist could have observed some dissections in secret. Even so, it remains difficult to see how he would remind himself so well a human brain when he painted the fresco in his forties. If he consciously represented a brain, then he did it much better than Leonardo who seems to have seen only decomposed ones! It is only three decades after the completion of the frescos in the Chapel Sixtine that Vesalius and Le Titien published the first useful anatomical charts!

A student in medicine (Frank Meshberger) who was working for an examination on human anatomy saw the relation between the fresco and a human brain and published his ideas in The American Journal of Medicine in 1990.

THE SECOND QUESTION THAT NEEDS AN ANSWER: WHO AM I?

There can be no life without answers to the first question that needs to be answered; yet the question is so primordial, so fundamental, that no organism can even wonder about it! Evolution has ways to take this question in charge and let the species find appropriate and often remarkable answers to this crucial question: “How to live?

Long ago enthusiastic naturalists discovered the wonderful creativity of life whenever it faces challenges; even the most primitive organisms can show astounding adaptations. Relations between populations of different species, interactions with their natural habitats, research for food or shelter, reproduction strategies… and resourcefulness when conditions change, all these behaviours are so well adapted that naturalists were convinced for a long time that they had been wilfully created with specific goals.

Living seems so natural that it’s difficult to imagine how arduous it is really. Myriads of interactions between innumerable different molecules have to integrate to form one well adapted organism that behaves in a characteristic way of living and as a unit in a specific environment. After the germination of a seed or the hatching of an egg, each living organism is able to thrive in spite of the tremendous complexity of the process, and mostly without any help. Whatever scale we look at, beginning with intracellular molecules through populations and societies, everything seems to work according to highly successful and smart plans. It’s only when something looses its sophisticated regulations that we begin to become aware of what we lost. In a normal state, everything runs so smoothly that we’re not aware of it.

1: SMART BACTERIA.

After the naturalists’ discoveries about whole species, molecular biologists in the 20th century’s discovered the subtle adaptations of primordial life mechanisms to physical and chemical laws. Life creates highly improbable molecules that build and animate organisms, yet it obeys exactly the same laws that govern the inanimate material world.

Even very primitive bacteria are able to actively look for nutrients and express smart behaviour when they have the choice between more or less profitable ones. Microbes can even regulate their mutation rate to accelerate evolution when needed. Stress in harsh environments triggers molecular mechanisms that let more mutations appear; some of which could, by chance, be helpful in hard times. Some species can live alone or, when conditions deteriorate, choose to build communities of different species that share genetic properties to increase their potential adaptability. They can even change completely their physiology, fix on a surface and interact tightly with other species to form a new supra-specific entity: wastes from one species become nutrients for another… a poison to one is detoxified by another… Biologists working in the microworld are as amazed by these adaptations as naturalists by the ones they describe from the macroworld.

These discoveries are discussed at school and Darwin showed elegantly and convincingly how to answer questions related to amazing species’ adaptations. We can even understand how intelligent behaviour appears in ants’ or termites’ nests and actively adapts to a changing environment; we can make models that explain how bacteria choose the best answers to difficult situations without any brain.

We begin to understand how each organism answers the first crucial question since birth. And the human species with its specific faculties becomes able to understand why and how the first crucial question is answered.

2: THE SECOND CRUCIAL QUESTION: THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR PSYCHOLOGY.

Surprisingly – but sadly – it isn’t the subject we’re trained to work on at school. When we think about it, it becomes obvious that nothing could be more important than the answer we should thrive to find: this answer has great effects on ones life and behaviour. The question is: “What are we? »

Our behaviour would be drastically different if we perceive ourselves as made of matter only, inexorably subject to decay, or as part of an entity that transcends matter. Biology already replaces us in a larger context than the individual organism. Each living entity is nothing outside innumerable interactions that gave it life nearly 4 billions years ago; interactions that participate every second in its existence. Is our consciousness linked only to the matter we’re made with, or is it able to transcend it?

3: FROM DOGMA TO EXPERIMENT.

Religions or cosmologies from different cultures often try to impose an answer without inviting each one to enquire for oneself. Here we’re taught that we’re created by God who gives us a body which is made out of matter and a soul which isn’t. But since the beginnings of Science we learned to put dogmas in question and try to find rational and understandable answers to our questions. For four centuries Science has shown the power of its tools to convince every one who gives oneself the necessary material and intellectual means, to become personally and rationally convinced of the pertinence of answers to questions arising from the world and life; questions that are specifically relevant to us as human beings. We aren’t like other animals who build their world’s image from instincts and experience, but we modify our views through our cultures and reflections. Science invites us to take ownership of a culture without buying passively its dogmas. Unfortunately, Science can itself become dogmatic when it is inappropriately applied; this danger was especially great at the end of the 19th century, but the revolutions in modern physics revitalised the Scientific Methodology and the philosophical reflections induced by its results.

4: MATERIALISTIC REALISM

Are we made out of matter only? Four centuries of outstanding scientific successes led our western culture to give a positive answer to this crucial question! But it is maybe a collateral damage of Science rather than a reality. The great majority of scientists forget the prejudice chosen by the creators of the Method: they built tools specific to give answers to questions on MATTER and on matter only; questions linked to the spiritual realm were confined to philosophy and theology. With time and the immense successes of this pragmatic philosophy, philosophers became scientists and convinced themselves that only matter is real. Due to working only on matter, due to stunning results accumulated for so long, due to outstanding practical applications coming from researches on the nature of matter, it is not surprising that the people responsive for transforming the world for four centuries convinced themselves they could answer every question by questioning matter only! And we all forget that it is only a postulate that originated well after the beginning of Science!

But this postulate is no more compatible with last century’s physics: its results continuously show that the intimate nature of matter isn’t understandable with common sense: the other pillar on which physics stands, besides mathematics. Modern physics sometime leads one to imagine that even consciousness could mysteriously influence the results in experiments defined to reveal what is matter. The Universe isn’t anymore this immense meaningless and cold object imagined by 19th century’s positivists. Since the beginning of the 20th century It becomes “participative” according to John Wheeler and “begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine” according to Sir James Jeans.

5: BACK TO THE ORIGINS.

Why not follow many physicists on their way back towards the original philosophy that gave birth to Science? The road is to find personal answers when interested, either by doing experiments or by replicating the ones done by others. It is not only about analysing and learning from results described by others: it is about doing the actual experiment whenever possible. This is the best road to a rational and personal conviction which is the major goal of Science. It is not always necessary to access a heavy technology: sometimes thought experiments are sufficient to reach surprising results.

Too often today rational conviction is acquired through critical analysis of material created by others and sometimes, unfortunately, this confidence can be lazily accorded to dogmatic personalities. When confronted by complex questions, it becomes necessary to delegate one’s own work to experts able to master specialised domains. But it isn’t always simple to assess the objectivity of such experts who should remain sufficiently open and able to re-evaluate their own convictions. That’s why personal experience is the best way to acquire knowledge, as long as it remains affordable of course.

So how could we look for the answer to the question: « What are we? » and the related ones: « Are we only flesh and bones? »; « How could I know what I am, if part of it is unconscious? »

6: CAN WE DO WITHOUT MATTER?

If we’d like question the postulate that gives reality to matter only, we should obviously work with something that is immaterial, like information: we could, for instance, look if information can be transmitted without the help of matter-energy, through mechanisms that use neither atoms, nor waves. If we could be rationally convinced that we’re able to receive informations that isn’t related to matter as we perceive it, then we could make some progress towards a better understanding of our true nature.

In an ideal experimental protocol we should try to receive informations that is linked neither to matter nor to our memory, whether conscious or even unconscious. With these restrictions in mind, an ideal choice would be an information that comes from the future and that couldn’t be related with whatever we know about past and present: in this way we could be sure that our memory can’t be responsible for it! It is maybe worthwhile to open a little parenthesis here for an important fact about time: in every mathematical formula physicists discovered, time remains reversible! In other words, when mathematics only are analysed – not our common sense – physicists find that their formulas don’t forbid informations going in both directions: towards future OR past! Therefore, even if receiving informations from the future seems a crazy idea for common sense, it isn’t completely so according to physics’ formulas!

The information presumably coming from the future should be clear, precise and free (without a goal other than a philosophical one), in order to become rationally convinced that it isn’t explainable only by coincidence, subconscious deductions or buried memories.

Several protocols could be imagined for this quest. Intuition – the mysterious source of emotions without conventional sources of knowledge – is probably too difficult to work with for this experiment. But we could adapt the works of a British engineer in aeronautics who published in 1927 An Experiment with Time where he describes his views on time and his personal experiences that led him to work on the nature of time.

7: EXPERIMENTING WITH TIME.

dunneJ.W. Dunne – a renowned engineer in aeronautics – worked for some years on dreams after he had several perplexing ones that seemed premonitory. He decided to analyse thoroughly his dreams as a scientific minded person. The trigger was a moving dream made a few days before a great disaster in a French island of the Caribbean: the eruption of Mount Pelée, on the 8th of May 1902 which killed 28,000 people living in St Pierre de la Martinique, the town down the volcano.

Dunne dreamt he was on a volcanic island beginning to tear apart; gas and smoke leaking from the soil. His dream-body felt anxious as if he was walking on a huge pressure cooker that was about to explode. He tried to alert the French authorities governing the island, without success: the mayor was absent for lunch and his secretaries asked him to come back on next day! His dream-body was looking how he could avoid the 4,000 victims he anticipated when Dunne woke up shouting “Look mister mayor! Four thousand people will be killed unless…”

Dunne’s analytical mind understood it couldn’t be a simple coincidence when he read, a few days later in the newspaper, what happened in this French colony. Too many specific details like the nationality of the authorities, the reluctance of the mayor to evacuate the island (the true reason was that an election was taking place on the 11th, 2 days after the eruption)… The engineer took advantage of his scientific training to elaborate a protocol and find out if he could really experience premonitory dreams. He created a theory about the nature of Time that didn’t survive until today but his protocol is still useful.

8: PREMONITORY DREAMS.

As for Dunne, some of my dreams seemed awkwardly premonitory. I decided therefore to apply Dunne’s protocol and registered many ones that confirmed their reality: much too many “coincidences” to explain, if premonition isn’t possible! (see below for some illustrations)

There are many difficulties to overcome; some are discussed below with the way Dunne resolved them.

But one shouldn’t forget we don’t know what is the purpose of dreams! It probably doesn’t try to convince us of its premonition capacities, but rather to trigger emotions. Maybe Dunne’s dream about the eruption took advantage of images taken from his future memory that were able to arouse the same emotion the dream-organiser (whoever it is!) wanted Dunne to feel. Therefore it is difficult to share precognition experiences in dreams: they won’t trigger the same emotions in everybody! And personal experience becomes necessary to be really convinced about their reality.

I followed Dunne’s protocol and became absolutely convinced our dream- consciousness can take advantage of our future mind states to transmit whatever it looks to. I registered 48 clear premonition dreams on a decade. It is an underestimated number because I recognised their premonition features only if the recognised event happened in the following days. Many could be classified as precognitive while reading old registered dreams. But I avoid doing so to minimise coincidence as explained below.

Obviously the first step in the protocol is to learn how to remember one’s dreams. A learning period is usually necessary. One has to be genuinely interested to remember one’s dreams. Each night, just before sleep, one should forcefully remember this intention and prepare some items (notebook and pencil) at hand’s reach.

Usually dreams fade out on awakening, more so when the body moves. To remember dreams one should remain motionless and repeat them to oneself, reordering the images that are remembered as some of these trigger the remembering of new ones. In doing this it seems that we could transpose the memory of dreams from a region in which they can’t be accessed by our awakened consciousness, to another one from which they can. One should avoid any interpretation of the dreams since imagination could severely interfere. If interested in their significance, one should do that later, while reading the accounts made on awakening.

Once the key images are remembered, one should take the notebook prepared at hand-reach, in the dark, with as few movements as possible. A spring-type notebook is a good choice since turning pages is easy and a pencil can be tied to the spring.

The notebook in the left hand (for right-handers), place the left index up the spring then reach it with the pencil. One can write a first line whilst the right-hand’s little finger senses the end of the page. When it’s reached, the left index should go down a few centimetres to write a second line that won’t mix with the first, and so on.

One shouldn’t write a novel of course! Just a few words that would trigger the remembering of the dream’s images and their associated sceneries; details are very important since it’s them that are usually precognitive. Once finished, the page should be turned and the notebook prepared for an eventual other record.

The next morning the dreams should be written in great details; this is not very difficult if the intention to remember them is powerful. While experimenting with time, one should avoid trying to find interpretations of the dreams and shouldn’t compare them to real scenes experienced in the awakened life. The description should be completely separated from interpretation to avoid unconscious interferences with memory.

9: EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL.

When dreams are regularly remembered and recorded, it is time to begin the experiment. One should choose a period covering a dozen days or so in which, preferably, your normal routine would be broken: holidays, trips… are good choices. New and unusual dream images become more easily recognisable.

Each night you should read all the records taken since the beginning of the defined period for the experiment, and analyse them in order to find situations or images that our personal dream-organiser could have borrowed from our life’s experience. After experimenting, Dunne was convinced that our dream’s-organiser could present us images taken from our past OR FUTURE life! in order to communicate whatever message it chose to share. Ask yourself if the dream’s situations read each night could have been picked from the past or from the days that follow the dream. Are they sufficiently rare and detailed to be significant and not just coincidences?

For this experiment to work, one has to tackle some problems that Dunne has well described and answered.

As stated before you should not try to link real events with dreamed ones. It seems that dreams use only mental states and not the precise events that happened. Dunne took fifteen years to discover that he made in his life-changing dream exactly the same error that he did some days after his dream when he read the article in the Daily Telegraph. He confused ” 40,000 victims” as it was written in the newspaper with ” 4,000 victims” and his dream took the latter in his precognition. Dunne found in many instances that the dream- organiser used mostly mental states induced by events (emotions, feelings, memories…) rather than the objective situations. But it is not stopped by time and can choose past or future mental states as well without being bothered by what really happened: only the subjective world seems to be important for the dream-organiser!

While reading your notes you should therefore look for mental states that could arouse dreamlike images from the past and… for the near future after the dream.

One should keep in mind that a dream can integrate details originating from different events, in one image only. If you followed some sport event with a friend, you could dream of your friend wearing this sport’s kit, even if s/he never practiced it! To look for a hit, you should analyse details separated from each other and not the integrated mixture.

10: COINCIDENCE OR PREMONITION?

Our limited perceptions are at the core of our common sense. There is therefore a danger to unconsciously keep oneself unable to accept experiences that could be destabilising for our world’s image. When this happens, one simply doesn’t see the precognitive images! To avoid this problem, Dunne recommends to read your records each night while imagining that you’re discovering the dreams that you WILL dream about the events that happened in the day you just lived.

Next, you should limit the experiment to a few days only. This is meant to diminish the interference with coincidences, the effect of chance only on what could be a precognition. If for instance, you dream of an airplane crash without many details, it’s very probable that one would happen in the year after your dream. But if you dreamt it the night before it takes much more importance of course.

When finished with the time period chosen for the experiment, it’s a good idea to ask a friend to read your notes with a critical eye, just to see if you didn’t forget an interesting event or, on the contrary, if you tend to take simple coincidences for precognitions. You should then try to estimate the probability that the event that was dreamt before happening could be a mere coincidence. Unfortunately in most cases this is very difficult if not impossible. In these situations one should rely on one’s feelings to appreciate the power of the dream’s-organiser to forecast future mental states.

11: AN ANSWER THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Suppose that you earn from this experiment a personal and rational conviction on the reality of precognition! What important changes in your philosophy of life you could expect from this! What important reflections in your world’s image and your image of yourself could you deduce!

So we could have access to informations coming from the future, without engaging our physical perceptions, without interactions with inert or living matter as physicists or biologists described it until the beginning of the 20th century. Part of ourselves could be outside space and time then interact, at least through dreams, with our mind, which is the result of our brain’s working according to the laws of classical physics, chemistry and biology.

At first sight it seems that Descartes was right when he described the world as dualistic: material and spiritual. But the discoveries Science made since the beginning of the 20th century show that it may be possible to build a bridge between these two realms: but this is another story!

To experience our own spiritual nature puts into question the profoundly materialistic cosmology we inherited from the 19th century. We’re no longer made of matter only; matter that wears out, cells that age; our core personality isn’t only derived from this reality that is perceptible by our physical senses. It has the needed properties to detach from it, to situate itself outside space and time. We’re led to conclude that the soul is real; we must only learn how to communicate with it!

APPENDIX:

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ON PRECOGNITIVE DREAMS

Maybe some of them could be useful to others than me, even if they can’t trigger the “Wow” impression I lived. The dream-organiser doesn’t seem interested in objective events, but on subjective emotions, and therefore a dream can’t be shared with the emotions it triggered.

Below is a translation of some paragraphs of my book in which one of the characters – Matt – describes a dream I had and was part of the ones that convinced me.

– Dunne’s protocol has the merit to give a clear frame to ideas, to create a rigorous structure necessary when one works with subjective psyche.

– So you were able to obtain interesting results? asks Axel with interest.

– Yes, many times. But please remember they are difficult to share because I can’t transmit the emotion, the shock felt when one discovers this faculty. Feelings should be part of the experience.

– Try nevertheless!

– Ok then. I’ll choose one: an experience full of emotions and significance. I don’t know how it will affect you but I ascertain I was deeply stricken and convinced of the interest the phenomena deserves.

“Here it is… My mother passed some months ago, after a long and disabling illness difficult to live for both of us. Because of her independence, her strong personality, she couldn’t live outside her home. But she needed help, she was obliged to rely on others.

“One afternoon her nurse called me because she was very tired. Her physician was on vacations and his substitute clearly explained to me she was far from agonising, even if very disabled. This remark was important because my mother was tired with this life and her faith only forbad to actively put an end to it. Her nurse who knew her well, confirmed the physician’s diagnosis. Therefore I went back home to look after my family, relieved to know that a nurse was staying with her all night.

“In the middle of the night, at three a.m or so, a physician phoned and told me she passed, though nobody thought it could be probable. Stunned, I took rapidly some clothes without choosing them and rushed to sit with her for the rest of the night.

“While sitting near her I was overwhelmed with different feelings, one of them being culpability because I wasn’t near her when she died. After some hours I discovered I had my notebook on my knees; I must have taken it unconsciously. I found it weird because I usually take it only when attending lectures or when I think I could have time to work…

“I opened the notebook and was shocked! In front of my eyes were some notes taken four months ago while on vacations in Italy. It was a registering of a dream made according to Dunne’s protocol. In the dream, an unknown person was coming in my room to announce my mother’s death.

– You should admit there’s nothing very weird about it since your mother was very ill! Florian says in agreement with his critical mind, and even if he promised to trust us.

– That’s true! I felt culprit being on vacations, far from her as she wasn’t in good shape! But that isn’t all about the dream. In it, I wore rapidly beige trousers and a polo shirt of the same colour and, in a logic characteristic of dreams and perfectly illogical in the real world, I felt I was responsible of her death because of my choice of the polo shirt!

– I’m in admiration of the details you remember but they don’t convince me at all! mutters Florian.

– Wait! While reading my notebook I realised I was wearing exactly the same clothes than in my dream, four months ago!… And I was feeling culprit, as in the dream!

Florian seems pensive. “I understand why you said the experience should be personal. It could be understood like a series of coincidences, except if you live it yourself.”

This happened in reality, followed by many synchronicities. While going back home, in my car, a singer with the name of my mother – actually a rather rare one – was on radio, followed by a concerto with choir, orchestra and harpsichord written in the 17th century and that caused scandal because it introduced music instruments in a church and was joyful instead of sad. It was meant to bring about comfort after funerals because it was seen as the beginning of a new life. The concerto’s name: “Lessons of Darkness”!… Other synchronicities as powerful as these were experienced at the funerals…

Here are some other dreams registered while experimenting Dunne’s protocol.

Eastern 1996:

Dreamt of an artificial hen on which a man sticks real feathers.

The following day I discover this hen in a baker’s shop window.

Dreamt of a train accident.

The following day I read about a train accident in the newspaper.

April 23th 1996:

Dream. The late French president François Mitterrand is wearing black clothes and a black hat. He walks along my village’s cemetery. It is night. A beautiful woman with some grey curls comes in and bring documents assembled to increase Mitterrand’s power after his death.

Next morning the radio and the newspapers announce the publication of the president’s posthumous memoirs by a woman: Odile Jacob.

September 2000:

Dream. A helicopter fell on a tennis yard near a commercial centre: many injured.

The following day the newspaper show pictures of a helicopter that fell on a football yard.

August 29 2001:

Dream. I’m part of a group of people unknown to me, somewhere in the Swiss Alps. We admire the valley when a huge cloud of dust rises in the air: The left part of the mountain in front of us just collapsed! Some people are afraid but don’t move. Sometime later the right part of the mountain collapses in turn. This time everybody is afraid and rush for shelter.

Some days later: 9.11.2001!

September 9th 2001:

Two terrorists rush in the hall of a skyscraper. They are heavily armed.

A couple of days later: 9.11.2001!

I never dreamt of terrorists neither before nor after!

February 3th 2006:

Dream. I put some clothes on to visit a geriatric hospital. I’m not at ease because I wear trousers with braces on a naked torso. Would have preferred a T-shirt!

Encounter with an old lady with blue hair; she seems mentally abnormal. Her daughter comes to visit her; she has red hair.

The following day I watch a video where a woman with blue hair explains she is alcoholic. The newspaper publishes an article about 2 physicians that made an error in a geriatric hospital where an old man died. In the same newspaper there is a picture about an opera – Don Giovanni – in which the main character wears trousers with braces and his torso is naked!

Finally I’m convinced that coincidences only can’t explain all these facts! They can’t explain synchronicities either! But this is another story!

CAN WE FIND A PROOF THAT WE LIVE IN A VIRTUAL REALITY?

 

A scientific evidence, not a mathematical proof of course. Can we find convincing evidence, can we do observations or experiments that could show some properties of our universe that we would expect from a simulated, therefore a virtual one, instead of a real one?

Science piles up evidences; create models in order to give meaning to bunches of observations, analyses these images of reality to make predictions, then looks for confirmation or refutation of the models. Science can’t build logical and irreversible demonstrations as mathematics does, but it can build a conviction, a feeling that we understand part of the universe’s reality, when it leads to experiments that confirm its predictions.

For instance, the Theory of Evolution explains myriads of facts that wouldn’t have any meaning outside it. Darwin predicted already in the 19th century what was found more than a century later about the evolution of whales! The Theory of Evolution is a scientific model that helps us understand our world and ourselves and therefore, let us find appropriate behaviours and implementations adapted to the living world. In spite of all its positive effects it remains a scientific theory: a model constantly under critical analysis, that grows, develops, evolve…

Would it be possible to apply the scientific methodology, to imagine observations or experiments that would find evidence in favour of Simulism (living in a virtual reality) instead of Materialistic Realism that is widely accepted today? What would be some predictions that could be done if we were living in a virtual universe, predictions we could try to verify or show they’re wrong?

It isn’t difficult to program a robot to make it shout « ouch » when we hit it or « ummm » if we give it a pat! Let’s imagine a virtual being in a video game; let’s suppose we made huge progress in computer science and we’re able to provide it with an intelligence as ours and means to interact with its virtual environment. How could we know if it could feel emotions like us?

Screen-shot of a SIM’s planning.Sims3CreateaSim - copie

Would it suffice to give it intelligence, awareness and emotions so that it (he?) would feel real?

Could it feel subjective sensations; the philosopher’s « qualia »? We could easily program it so that it could make an easy difference between red and yellow; but would it feel the same « qualia », our feeling when we perceive these colours? Impossible to decide since these are subjective personal experiences.

We could build robots that would behave as us, seen from outside. We could pursue Alan Turing’s suggestion when he was looking for a way to make the difference between a computer mimicking human’s intelligence and a real human who answers his questions. A robot could easily behave as us in reaction to colour perception, especially if its reactions were programmed as hardware, somewhat like our instincts, our emotions that seem genetically inherited instead of acquired through experience or the culture in which we’re born.

We could imagine a robot mimicking our psychological states. It would have a series of modules to perceive, analyse, react and evaluate the consequences. For instance, the perception of the batteries’ state, then of the reaction chosen from a databank and its result: charged batteries after the robot would have found a station, could result in upgrading the activity of a module measuring the robot’s « satisfaction » and downgrading in parallel other modules measuring states we could name « frustration », « hunger »… The synthesis of all these modules’ states could be a parameter we could name the « mood » of the robot… its « feelings » in a way! We could program it so its reactions would be subject to its « mood » and it’d become difficult to decide if it’d be able to feel qualia or not!

robot - copie

Could we imagine a test like Turing’s one, to find out if a robot could fool us, let us think it is human and feels emotions?

Such a program, if successful, could be intriguing for a naive observer. With Turing’s test he could confuse a computer’s intelligence with a human’s one; here he could hesitate before deciding that no emotion could be felt by a robot!

It seems difficult to find objective means to make the difference between such an intelligent and sensitive machine… but virtual (a SIM), and an organism made out of flesh and bones! We’re led to think that, should we be SIMS, we won’t discover it if the program was efficiently realised! It’s not because we feel emotions that we’re real and not virtual! We must look elsewhere to find out!

Could we find an answer by analysing the nature of matter? Many indications point to matter as virtual (see “Is reality real?” : july 3: 2017 and “Some noteworthy anomalies” july 5: 2017 and “Simulism: an answer to quantum weirdness?” july 5: 2017); but hard evidence?

If matter is real it should keep at least some of its intrinsic properties through time, whatever the circumstances. Something concrete of it should remain through time’s flow. A complex object wears out but its atoms remain. Even if they engage in new chemical reactions they keep some of their fundamental properties like mass, but virtual matter’s properties are recalculated at each step of the computer’s clock that calculates the simulation. Even if the program is perfect and simulates a rich virtual reality that seems true, would it be possible to find a situation where some fundamental properties that shouldn’t change in a Materialistic Realism do change in a Simulated Realism?

Let’s imagine a fossil. In Materialistic Realism, its molecules are of the same age as the fossil. But molecules are made out of atoms that are much older since they were created in stars furnaces, long before our Solar system’s birth.

In Simulism reality is virtual; it’s not made out of concrete and permanent atoms but, as in a video game, objects are continuously recreated and displayed each time the screen is recalculated; usually 100 times a second on common screens. If true, what seem to us solid atoms and molecules would be virtual constructions calculated out of subsets that would have the properties we assign to atoms and molecules. Our video games are displayed on 2D screens but if Simulism is true we should imagine a sort of cellular automaton (described in a future post) in which we would live as SIMS evolve in a computer’s memory before being displayed in a 4D hologram. In our video games, SIMS evolve in a computer’s memory then their properties are calculated and transformed by a simulation program in a picture visible on a 2D display.

We could question now if it could be possible to find a difference between a fossil that remained as it was, concrete, without destructive interactions with its environment for millions of years, and a constantly « recalculated » fossil, at each renewal of the screen display; an object that would simulate an old one without being really old. How could we do the difference? Again, if the simulation program is highly efficient, it seems difficult to find a way to find out!

But there is a way! It takes advantage of two well known phenomena: the expansion of the universe that moves away galaxies from each other since 13,7 billions years in the first place, and the most mysterious of the young Quantum Mechanics’ discoveries: the wave-particle duality! We could imagine an experiment that takes advantage of observation and experience, to predict results that would be meaningful if Simulism is true, but would be meaningless if we live in a real materialistic universe.

It’s amazing to find out that this experiment has already been imagined in 1983 by the physicist John Wheeler, but for a different purpose: to illustrate the incredible strangeness of the microcosm in which evolve elementary particles and especially photons! Today we could apply his thought experiment to find out if we live in a real world: a universe in which particles are immutable through time’s flow if they don’t interact with their environment, as the fossil just described. Or whether even without interacting for a very long time, we can find an evidence that the particle is recalculated and imitate an interaction impossible in a real world. A result that would defy well established physical laws but that become understandable if we live in a simulated universe that is recalculated at each step of it’s computer clock.

THE EXPERIMENT

The expansion of the universe combines with the limited light’s speed to allow a trip in the past. The farthest a galaxy is from us, the younger it is when we observe it! The farthest it is, the longer time its light has taken to reach us. When finally the photons thrown in space by its stars reach neurons in our eyes, we perceive the star that gave them birth as it was when they left it, sometimes millions or even billions of years ago! We perceive what we could name « fossil photons »!

Astronomers’ catalogs harbour « quasars »: quasi-stars. They are very powerful point-like light sources. They are so powerful that we can see them even at very long distances; we see them today as they were billions of years ago!

Let’s work with photons emitted by a well-studied quasar (QSO 0957+561AB) then deflected by a galaxy 3 billions years from now; a galaxy that is exactly in their way towards Earth. These photons remain as they were when deflected by the galaxy’s gravitational field that acted like a magnifying glass, bending towards us the photons that would otherwise be lost in space. The astronomer sees several images of the same quasar, depending on the way photons have been deflected to one direction or another. But what happens when photons arrive right on the obstacle instead of brushing a border? Is it invisible for us? Not always!

Spacetime_curvature - copie

Space is distorted by mass and light is deflected when it travels near an important mass.

Gravitational_lens-full - copie

Photons emitted by a far away galaxy, at right, are deflected by the mass of a galaxy cluster that is on their way. They follow the white track but appear to us as if they were coming through the orange arrows. The image of the far away galaxy is doubled when it reaches Earth.

Here comes the wave-particle duality. It says that every quantum object has a double nature: it can be concentrated in an infinitesimal space – the particle – but also occupy a huge volume as a wave. When it doesn’t interact, the quantum object evolves through time as described by Schrödinger’s wave function. But when it’s detected, it’s observed at one only punctual place, after a mysterious transformation that makes it occupy only one of the many possible places where it could be, according to the wave function. Physicists are unable to calculate the precise location where it will be observed; it’s as if the wave function describes actually a probability of finding the particle somewhere: the only property physicists can calculate.

The importance of this wave-particle duality for our question is the following: One can force a quantum object to behave as a particle OR a wave depending on the experiment’s protocol. How then could we take advantage of this possibility?

John Wheeler published in 1983 a thought experiment that was impossible to do at that time, but that showed that we could build today a sort of time-machine to travel backward in time to act on a photon’s path 3 billions years before today! Wheeler wanted to illustrate the huge strangeness of the quantum world: its magic!

A photon, in its particle form, could be deviated either on the right side OR on the left side of the obstructing galaxy that is on its way to reach the Earth; the same photon, in its wave form, could reach the Earth after passing at once by the right AND by the left sides of the obstructing galaxy, like a wave can bypass an emerging rock!

Physicists are able to find out if a photon crossed an obstacle in its wave or particle form. Wheeler suggested to build an experiment in which the physicist could choose, today, if s/he wants to observe isolated photons that reach us after a 3 billions years’ journey, in their particle or wave nature. Quantum Mechanics says that:

If we build the experiment in order to observe the particle nature of the photons, then we could only see the ones that went through one OR the other border of the galaxy that is in their way. And this happened 3 billions years ago since it took the photon this time to reach us: it’s really a « fossil photon » in a sense since it must be now in the state it was in, 3 billions years ago.

But if we choose to build an experiment that would show the wave-like nature of the isolated photons, then we would find that they crossed the obstacle as waves, and, as such, travelled at once on the left AND on the right of the obstacle. Exactly as waves turn round a rock emerging from the surface of a pond.

We can conclude that the Laws of Physics let us decide TODAY under which form a photon crossed an obstacle 3 BILLIONS YEARS AGO!

From two possibility we must choose one:

Either what we decide to do today can influence what happened 3 billions years ago; clearly an unacceptable conclusion for Materialistic Realism and, as such, forbidden by the Theory of Relativity since no information could travel faster than light and backward in time.

Or we have no free-choice! And what seems to us a choice, is actually determined by our environment such that we can’t take any decision other than the one that will show the results that we find. And this with the powerful feeling that we are completely free to choose what we want to; clearly unacceptable for our feelings!

Clearly we can’t accept any of these explanations; yet these results are discovered again and again by experimental physicists!

But Simulism suggests a simple explanation of these weird results: the photon isn’t really a fossil that traveled through space for 3 billions years. It just looks like a real fossil, but it’s virtual! It didn’t really exist somewhere outside a computer’s memory for this time. It’s properties are calculated at the moment it is perceived by an instrument or an eye and the calculations are done according to what the simulation program provides for the actual experience and for the Laws of Quantum Mechanics! Space and time aren’t real entities neither, but parameters in equations calculated by the simulation program! This software manages parameters from photons, simple atoms or combined ones in molecules… and from space and time. Light’s speed is a limit, not because photons can’t go faster, but because the program in the computer can’t calculate faster!

The extreme weirdness of « Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment » comes from the fact that an effect seems to have an influence on its cause, backward in time! The choice we do today seems to decide what the nature of a photon has been – wave or particle – 3 billions years ago. Actually this isn’t what happens because the true cause isn’t the one we think it is: the true cause isn’t the choice the physicist does when he prepares his experiment to measure a wave or a particle; the true cause is the interaction we initiate with the photon WHEN WE MEASURE IT, according to the actual experimental protocol we follow. The photon isn’t real in the sense that it passed 3 billions years traveling through space to reach us. It acquires its characteristics at the time of measurement on Earth, according to the rules provided by the simulation software.

It isn’t a fossil photon, but a virtual image of a fossil photon. And, as in video games, only what is displayed on the screen at each moment, is translated from equations to an object actually displayed in a specific and recognisable form. This translation from numbers to a specific form is what appears to us as the wave-function collapse postulated by the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Particles behave as waves able to superpose, without defined values but potentially able to take an infinite number of values, with different probabilities, until the moment where the game needs to display the particle. At that moment calculations are done and the wave « collapses » to give only one value calculated from the probabilities characteristic of its wave nature and according to the software rules and the past history of the particle.

What is the simplest explanation?

We are able to influence an event that already happened 3 billions years ago?

We haven’t any free-choice?

Or we live in a simulated universe that has no reality but is calculated at every step of the computer’s clock? A virtual universe in which only the objects that are displayed by the game at any time are calculated from their wave-function to be displayed with their particle nature. The objects that aren’t displayed remain in their equation form as numeric parameters in computer memories.

THE THIRD ONTOLOGY.

 

Is the universe deterministic? Einstein thought it was, and if true, then free will would only be an illusion of course. Except if we had a soul of another realm than the universe one.

Is the universe fundamentally random like Bohr and Quantum Physicists think? If true, then free will would be at the core of reality.

This video explores a third possibility. If the universe is the result of a language (thus only information!), then it won’t be completely deterministic nor completely random but somewhere in-between! THis is because a language is built upon symbols and syntax. The association between a symbol and what it means is determined. But the syntax lets one play with the order in which the symbols are organized and this order can change the overall meaning of the sentence, letting some randomness in the organization of the future. This third possibility explores “The Code Theoretic Axiom” and is very clearly introduced by Klee Irwin, at the head of “Quantum Gravity Research” group which gathers physicists and mathematicians interested by a Theory of Everything.

The axiom (a principle that cannot be proven) is that the basic stuff of the universe which is energy (Einstein proved that matter is a form of condensed energy), is INFORMATION.

But what is information?! It is MEANING described by SYMBOLS. A square is a geometrical symbol that describes an object which has 4 units of space, linked together with 4 identical angles, and which defines a hypothenuse etc… If one uses symbols to play with, one SIMULATES different meanings generated by the ordering of symbols. So reality would be a SIMULATION!

The idea explored here is that the hardware, the software and the simulation output (which is reality) is one and the same. The hardware would be a geometrical object in 8 dimensions. The software would be its projection in a 3 dimensions space and the output would depend on the movements of the object in its 8 D space. Moreover, if there’s a language, there must be a CHOOSER of the symbols and the syntax!

There’s much more in this video (consciousness, emergence, efficiency of codes…), some too technical for non-specialists, but always expressed in a very clear language, without reading a prepared file, which is rare. Another video on the same subject is much more illustrated and presented in a professional way. It’l maybe be introduced here later. It’s address is:

PARADIGM SHIFTS

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In his seminal work, the historian Thomas Kuhn described in 1962 how scientists implicitly agree on a frame in which their imagination and understanding work. How did he came at this discovery?

Kuhn is completing his phD in Physics in 1947. Technology is celebrated in these post-war times; it has to be introduced to the many! His director asks him to teach the copernican revolution to non-physicists students. Kuhn tries to understand Galileo’s approach and discovers that he didn’t benefit from a theory on Mechanics. It didn’t exist! Galileo had to create one out of nothing!

Why didn’t Aristotle create it?! He was a very keen observer of nature! Stunned, Kuhn finds that what Aristotle said about Mechanics is simply absurd!

He understands that Aristotle doesn’t interpret his observations as we do today, but according to another world’s image! To Aristotle, movement is a quality, a drive, not a quantity: it can’t neither be quantified nor measured. Aristotle wasn’t absurd but he overgeneralized the knowings of his time and extended them to fields considered today as incompatible with these associations.

Aristotle’s world is made of five fundamental elements. Beings and objects obey to their nature: their essence. This nature is expressed through rest and movement. Nature has a goal; beings and objects aim at their goal. Movement is the result of two potentialities: an active and a passive one. The entity that initiates a movement transmits his essence to the entity being moved. The stone flies because it received movement from the thrower’s nature. It falls back because its nature is passive. On Earth movements are straight and finite; in the sky they are circular and eternal.

So Aristotle wasn’t absurd but the world’s image in which his intellect reasoned was very different from ours! To understand the creator’s genius we must immerse ourselves in their world that is often very different from the one that seems so obvious to us today!

Kepler’s world is the alchemists’ one. There are two realities: one for the Sky and another for the Earth. The Sky is perfect; it’s God’s realm. Earth isn’t; it’s the devil’s realm. The Heaven is good; Earth is the realm of temptation and potentially, sin.

Humans are souls and therefore are of divine essence: they can unite with God. The material body is dispensable. The soul can’t be quantified; only its qualities can be measured. Only matter can be quantified. How would it be possible to measure kindness, faith or passion?! Nevertheless they are real values, when what can be measured are only measures!

The universe is of spiritual essence and has a material form. The spiritual essence can’t be measured and is its most important feature. The priority is to link with God, not to the world. Empirical researches are useless since they belong to the material world; one has to beware from reasoning. Faith is much superior! Kepler has a spiritual vision about the universe. The Sun matches with the Father, the celestial sphere with the Son and the space between matches with the Holly Spirit. Kepler gives a soul to the Earth to explain how the Sun can give her its movement. This force diminishes with distance and this explains why the planets move less and less fast depending on their distance from the Sun.

The universe is full of symbols created by God to lead us towards relief and Kepler takes advantage of them for his discovery. The symbols’ language is close to the psyche’s one (archetypes…). The fundamental elements have drives: lead desires to become gold, antimony, silver… The medieval human lives in a world full of purposes: each object, each plant, animal, human… has a goal; its life is full of meaning! The alchemist is one with the elements’ spirituality. When he transforms them materially he purifies them spiritually, and himself by the way. This unity is compatible with magic: the spirit’s power on other spirits or on matter.

Kuhn realizes that Galileo wasn’t the objective scientist one would have liked him to be! He didn’t find any proof for the Earth’s movement around the Sun but he was convinced, nevertheless! (The first direct proof was discovered by Bradley in 1728). If Galileo was to be objective, he should have considered both hypothesis (geocentrism and heliocentrism) together.

Descartes’ world is as dualistic as Kepler’s but Descartes restores to favor the material world, in a sense; he gives it a reality in itself: it isn’t anymore the imperfect reflection of the Heaven. With other philosophers he creates the Scientific Methodology that will profoundly change the way we understand the world. The unquestionable successes of Science opened the way to the present frame of thoughts inherited from the 19th century which left out spirituality. Due to quantifying materialistic reality and discovering the huge potentiality of Science in understanding the properties of the material world and putting it to our use, our current world view considers only one realm: materialistic reality. What was attributed to spirituality until the 19th century became an emergence from matter’s properties. In other words, it’s the brain which secretes the ideas and not a supposable soul.

Kuhn discovers that Science doesn’t progress in a linear way but by revolutions, when a new vision takes the place of an old one! One can’t evaluate objectively two different visions: they simply aren’t comparable with the same criterions. Western allopathic medicine can’t be directly compared to shamanism because the world’s images in which the physician and the shaman belong aren’t compatible. Kuhn names them paradigms.

A paradigm is an implicitly and largely accepted representation that enables to imagine models, theories. It is very useful to deepen, to precise and find solutions in their adequate reference frame. But it can’t evolve. A seeker will easily find subsidies if he proposes to work on the question: “How the brain secretes mind?”. But he’d have a hard time being taken seriously on the question:” Does the brain syntonizes itself on an exterior consciousness?”. The english biologist Rupert Sheldrake knows this in spite of scientifically correct protocols and results!

If a paradigm doesn’t evolve, how can we change our world’s view?

Kuhn suggests that conceptual revolutions are needed in order to change a paradigm; revolutions that follow an accumulation of anomalies unexplainable with the current paradigm.

«Scientific development depends in part on a process of non-incremental or revolutionary change. Some revolutions are large, like those associated with the names of Copernicus, Newton, or Darwin, but most are much smaller, like the discovery of oxygen or the planet Uranus. The usual prelude to changes of this sort is, I believed, the awareness of anomaly, of an occurrence or set of occurrences that does not fit existing ways of ordering phenomena. The changes that result therefore require ‘putting on a different kind of thinking-cap’, one that renders the anomalous lawlike but that, in the process, also transforms the order exhibited by some other phenomena, previously unproblematic.”

There is a creation of a new way of thinking, a new frame in which thoughts evolve. These are revolutions and not simple accumulation on knowledge.

«The transition from a paradigm in crisis to a new one from which a new tradition of normal science can emerge is far from a cumulative process, one achieved by an articulation or extension of the old paradigm. Rather it is a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals, a reconstruction that changes some of the field’s most elementary theoretical generalizations as well as many of its paradigm methods and applications. During the transition period there will be a large but never complete overlap between the problems that can be solved by the old and by the new paradigm. But there will also be a decisive difference in the modes of solution. When the transition is complete, the profession will have changed its view of the field, its methods, and its goals.»

Einstein already, before Kuhn, understood that in the real world, the theory comes BEFORE the experience: not the other way as science’s rationality would suggest!

Heisenberg relates how astonished he has been when Einstein told him exactly the contrary of what he expected. They were walking after a lecture Heisenberg gave on his works in Quantum Mechanics whose interpretations weren’t readily accepted by Einstein. Only later he understood Einstein was telling him that the inspiration about the experiments to do where implicitly, but heavily, related to the experimenter’s worldview. This frame became later Kuhn’s paradigm and directs one’s understanding of the environment in which one lives. With another world’s picture, other types of experiments would have been tested with of course, potentially very different conclusions!

The paradigm shift is slow, notably because it’s very difficult to change the fundamental reflexes built since birth in the environment which is ours: the one we learned implicitly to understand out of our perceptions and our culture.

Anomalies accumulate… They are tentatively explained with theories that become complicated, like Ptolemaic tried to explain the planets’ movements between stars with epicycles upon cycles. Copernican’s explanation was much simpler but wasn’t discovered before because of the paradigm shift it needed.

Normal Science usually doesn’t look for radical anomalies but tries to increase the precision of already known facts. A “good question” is a question for which the scientist can think of a protocol able to lead him towards a solution. And this protocol must obey to the regulations with which Science works! The scientist must be subtle and ingenious, not a revolutionary!

«Under normal conditions the research scientist is not an innovator but a solver of puzzles, and the puzzles upon which he concentrates are just those which he believes can be both stated and solved within the existing scientific tradition.»

«Once it has achieved the status of paradigm, a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place.»

A new theory must be already available! It’s not possible to live without a working world’s image!

A paradigm is essential to build the concepts that will open new ideas for research, the tools to do it and the critical analysis that are essential to find means for the work. The paradigm is self-maintained.

A paradigm is essential to perception itself since a new perception is built upon the understanding of former ones: one can see only what one expects to see! One can imagine experiments only if one could understand their results from what one knows already!

«Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like»

To be convinced that the world is made only out of matter is more linked to faith than to knowledge! Faith in Occam’s razor!

The understanding of a new paradigm is often the result of an epiphany. Archimedes’ “eureka”; Newton’s apple…

Physicists’ aim is to make the experimental results fit with the usual way of understanding reality: a universe that is material, composed of particles that are real by themselves (not affected by events that can’t interact locally with them); particles are objective, they don’t depend upon the fact that we observe them. Looking at them without touching, heating, lighting… them, can’t change their properties. The problems began to accumulate notably when the results didn’t fit this observer/object separation!

Today physicists are still struggling, more than a century after the creation in 1900 by Max Planck of Quantum Mechanics, then Niels Bohr’s model of the atom in the 1920s. Fundamental anomalies accumulate since a century and nothing indicates that a genius is close to rescue Quantum Physics!

 

SIMULISM: an answer to quantum weirdness?

 

1: THE WORLD IS DISCONTINUOUS BECAUSE IT IS DIGITAL

From the early times of computer science, one of the toughest problem has been to avoid programs that had no ending: that could potentially turn for ever. The first way to achieve this goal is naturally to work in a well defined and finite frame and with finite integral numbers.

The universe is quantified: only some defined properties are real and they evolve with integral numbers. Electric charges in particles or atoms are 1, 2, 3…n times the unit value and never whatever value in between. The energy of a particle is 1, 2, 3… n times the unit value and it seems to jump instantly from one state to another without ever being in between. A particle that seems to travel in space and time does so by bursting from one unit of space to another and from one unit of time to another without being in between… as if it lost its reality in one unit of space or time to recover it instantly at another unit of space or time. We would expect exactly these features if the particles were virtual and the software that calculates their properties would do so with integral units. For each unit of time the software would calculate the value of space where it should belong according to the properties it expressed and the interactions this particle had with its environment in the previous units of time and space. There’s no reason to imagine a concrete particle continuously flying from one place to another: only numbers reflecting the properties of a virtual particle would change at one address in the computer’s memory to be replaced by new numbers calculated as described and saved at the same place.

The simplest way to understand why it’s impossible to go beyond Plank’s length is because it’s the unit of length used by the software. The same applies to Plank’s time, Plank’s energy… The software that calculates the universe does so with well defined units of each property needed to build it.

In our real world we can’t understand how two entangled particles can interact instantly even if they are separated by such a huge distance that even light couldn’t transfer an information between the two. Quantum mechanics finds that the properties of entangled particles are strictly linked: if one has its spin in the “up” direction, then the other is forcibly of the “down” type. But quantum mechanics also finds that their properties aren’t defined before an observer measures them. Every particle seems to be in a superposition state: spin would be at once in the “up” and in the “down” directions, which is clearly impossible! Then how could we understand that when one of the entangled particles is observed, the other “knows” exactly and instantly what should be its property, even if there can’t be any communication between the two?

When viewed like virtual particles whose properties are calculated by a software and the result memorized somewhere, one can understand how in real world – which is, for us observers, the result of the calculations – we can observe instant interaction between two entangled particles even if they are separated in space with such a distance that even light can’t link them and explain a communication between the two. Indeed, space looses its reality in a sense: it becomes just numbers: coordinates for the software that has to calculate the particles’ properties. And the calculations are the same whatever the numbers of the coordinates that define where the particles should be.
The same applies to the understanding of instantaneous jumps observed in quantum mechanics. The properties are calculated, then refreshed at once in the memory location that defines each particle.

There are no slopes in the MicroWorld: only stairs! Energy changes take place suddenly, from one fixed value to another, at once, with no time shift. A particle does the same when changing its energy level (its position in space in relation to other particles). Sudden changes from one fixed value to another one.

2: MATTER IS ANONYMOUS BECAUSE IT IS MADE OUT OF NUMBERS.

Particles have no individuality, they are fungible because they don’t have any reality: they are just numbers recorded in memories. These numbers define specific states like electric charge, spin, mass… but the result – the particle – is just a bunch of informations, not a real thing! If these numbers are such and such… then they’l define a certain type of particle but no more a specific one that the number 12 can be different from another number 12!

What is specific though, is the sum of the properties that direct the particle’s behavior: its position in space, its movements in time… To illustrate the difference between the nature of a particle and its specific properties, let’s compare a particle with a share on the market.

Specific properties of a particle will change with time somewhat like the value of a specific share on the market with time. If a particle acquires energy it could accelerate; if your share is appreciated it’ll acquire more value… But if you sell your shares, you’l sell virtual ones; you wont sell the specific ones you bought before. Actually, they never existed as such; shares aren’t anymore made out of real paper… they’re just writings in computers’ memories; and that’s why they are fungible like particles are.

So there’s no specificity to find in the fundamental level of reality: the particles that make matter. But the specificity is acquired through the interactions between the particles and their environment: these give them their specific behavior; interactions give rise to atoms, molecules… and us! Our real nature is the result of interactions only!

Particles or waves can’t be differentiated from one another: they are FUNGIBLE like numbers! They have no identity.

3: UNOBSERVED REALITY IS UNREAL BECAUSE IT’S MADE OF SOFTWARE EQUATIONS.

Quantum physics describes an impossible micro-world in which particles have an infinity of states at once, between two that are the only possible ones in our macro-world. They are in a superposed state that can’t mean anything tangible in our reality! Quantum physics lets a particle behave as a wave distributed in a large space, then makes it collapse at once in a microscopic region of space when it interacts with another one!… This is because there’s two very different realms and a clear distinction between the two.

The micro-world isn’t one in which particles behave as micro things… but as numbers in wave type equations. As such they can occupy what, for us, is perceived as a large space, before collapsing after an interaction. They are just numbers involved in calculations, following the rules defined by the software that builds our reality. When an interaction happens, the equations give a result that defines the specific properties of the particle. It’s at this moment that it changes from the imaginary world, ruled by wave-type equations, to our realm in which we perceive particles. It’s at this moment that a specific number is calculated out of the superposition state and given as what we’ll perceive as reality. The micro-world is completely outside our perceptions: it’s made of virtual numbers processed by a software in a computer that isn’t of our world. Our reality is made of the results of the calculations only and is perceived in a completely virtual realm that has nothing to do with the real realm: the one in which are the computer, the software and… the Programmer and the Gamers, of course!

The universe could be composed of discrete units: addresses in a huge computer’s memory where the properties of what we see as particles or even quanta of space and time would be memorized.

4: MATTER IS MADE OF WAVES IN EQUATIONS AND OF PARTICLES IN THEIR SOLUTIONS.

Nobody can know for sure where a particle is before looking at it because it isn’t anywhere in our realm: it belongs to the software’s one in which it is represented as a bunch of numbers implicated in wave-type equations.

The equations evolve according to the software until an interaction takes place. When this happens, a specific calculation is made, according to the software and the state of the particle. The result of the calculation is perceived as the collapse of a particle to specific properties.

It’s possible that the state of all the other particles that interacted once with the one whose properties are calculated, are also taken into account… A hologram has such a feature: it takes into account all the waves that were interfering with one another when the hologram was made. Every piece of the hologram contains all the information that is incrusted in it, because it’s made out of waves and their interferences; a hologram is a-local, as what we find when we measure the state of entangled particles.

This holographic nature of reality and the hugely complex interactions that is inherent to waves interacting, could explain why the result of the calculations – the collapse of a wave in a particle – seems to be a probabilistic one… It would be for the same reason the result seems to be probabilistic when tossing a coin. We know, in theory, what should be the equations to solve and what numbers we should measure and put in the equations in order to calculate the result of each tossing! It is determined by different factors that we could, in theory, measure before and during the tossing of the coin and use them to calculate the result. But too many factors have to be taken into account for us to be able to do it in practice… The only thing we can do is to work with probabilistic equations to find the answer. For the same reason it could be that each particle’s collapse could be exactly calculated beforehand but that we can’t do it because we haven’t the tools that could make us able to take into account all these numbers, much too large for our calculation’s power.

When there are no interaction anymore, the particle disappears from our realm and resumes its evolution in the wave-type equations of the fundamental realm: the one in which are the computer, the software and… the Programmer and the Gamers, of course!

What we perceive as matter can behave as waves OR particles: never both at a time!

5: THE QUANTUM INFORMATION IS CENSORED IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR WORLDVIEW UNDISTURBED!

Everything seems to be under the influence of a malicious god or devil that plays and continuously mix the informations to keep us unable to decide exactly which path the particle travelled before being measured! One feels as if one plays a game whose rules are arbitrary chosen by its creator out of a logic that remains incomprehensible!

The Lord’s paths are inscrutable… and we shall do with it! Today it’s clear we should rename the “Uncertainty Principle” in “Indistinguishability Principle”: many experiments show this!

It’s interesting to remember how Heisenberg discovered his famous Uncertainty Principle: he had the intuition of it when he was struggling with contradictions between observations and the mathematics of Quantum Physics. He realized suddenly that we should change the way we interpret the observations! A particle seems to cross the measurement tool – a bubble chamber for example – because we see a continuous track materialized as bubbles. We imagine the particle entering at one end of the apparatus, cross it part to part and leaving it at the other end. But nothing says that it’s the same particle that entered then left the bubble chamber! We would reach the same conclusion if a mathematical function determined the particle’s properties at different places and different times. Nothing forces us to admit that it’s the same particle that we looked at all along its trip!

Actually we can’t identify a particle, put a mark on it, to assure that it’s really the same that entered the chamber then left it! Each bubble that let us see where a particle was is a new measurement and, in a way, creates the event that follows mathematical functions that we interpret as the trajectory of a particle with well defined properties. But nothing gives us the right to say that it’s the same particle that created each bubble: we couldn’t mark it with a paintbrush to assure that it’s really the same that crossed all the chamber!

It could be that what we see as only one event is the result of different ones! Quantum objects are fungible and indiscernible from one another. What we see as a real object could actually be a cell in a cellular automat and its properties as calculated from its associated memory that keeps – for the refreshment time of the grid – the numbers that’ll give it its properties. What we take as a real object crossing a chamber could actually be an illusion, based on the continuously changing properties of immobile cells in the grid of a cellular automaton.

“There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a ‘veiled reality’ that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly. In turn, contrary to those who claim that matter is the only reality, the possibility that other means, including spirituality, may also provide a window on ultimate reality cannot be ruled out, even by cogent scientific arguments.”

From “Traité de Physique et de Philosophie”; 2002.
Bernard d’Espagnat is a physicist specialized in Particle Physics. He did his research in France at the CNRS and at the CERN between France and Switzerland . He has been a professor at La Sorbonne in Paris and in several american universities.

6: NOTHING EXCEEDS THE SPEED OF LIGHT BECAUSE IT IS LINKED TO THE COMPUTER’S CLOCK FREQUENCY.

Einstein found why light’s speed is independent of the speed of the torch that generates it. And the answer is absolutely incompatible with the common sense! Here is a way to understand what happens:

Imagine an observer sitting near a railway track by night. He sees a train speeding up in front of him. You are in the train, looking at a strange and peculiar watch: it’s a watch made of two mirrors and of a particle of light, a photon. The two mirrors face each other and the photon is reflected back and forth between the two perfect mirrors. You’ll be able to count the number of times the photon is reflected and decide that when it has made, let’s say… one billion reflections, you could define a unit of time and call it: a “billiond”: it would be the time taken by the photon to be reflected one billion times.

As in a wristwatch that includes an oscillating spring which is the heart of it because when the number of oscillations reaches a precise number, then the watch adds a second and the needle will show that. One could do the same with the photon reflecting at a constant speed between the two mirrors. And that’s why the tool with a photon oscillating back and forth between two mirrors is a watch!

If the traveller in the train and the observer near the railway could look at the same watch – the one in the train – they’ll count the same number of reflections for a given time: say one billiond. But as the train moves, the photon that the observer at rest would see would travel a longer path that the same photon watched by the traveller. This is because the photon will travel one billion times the distance between the mirrors for the two observers, but the one near the rail-track will have to add the distance the train, and the photon with it, moved between the moment they both began to count the billiond and the end of the counting. Both agree with the number of reflections: one billion – but they disagree about the distance the photon travelled during one billiond.

But speed is distance divided by time, therefore time is distance divided by speed. The speed of light is a constant and the distance is larger for the observer at rest. Therefore the time will be longer for the observer at rest than the one he will measure for the observer moving with the train. Time will flow faster for the observer at rest than for the traveller! Time is no longer an absolute value that takes its origin outside space: it’s definitely bound to space. And the reverse is true since, for the traveller, it’s the observer near the rail-track that moves! For the traveller, time will flow faster than for the observer at rest near the rail-track! We live in a world in which our perceptions depend on our movements: they don’t have an absolute value, independent of movement and speed… Time and space get connected because movement takes place in space.

Since Einstein’s discovery, time lost it’s absoluteness and became relative. In the physics formulae at least, if not yet fully in our imaginary and our common sense!

Now how is it that time can be different depending on the observer’s movements?

In a computer there’s a clock that directs the speed of the calculations. They take place very orderly, one after the other, in pace with the clock. If there are many calculations to do it’ll take more time obviously and the limit will be dependent on the computer’s clock frequency which is fixed by the programmer and the hardware. The number of steps that the software can direct per unit of time is limited by the clock’s frequency: it can’t exceed it!

In our virtual universe space-time is calculated and the number of steps this calculation can do is limited by the computer’s clock frequency. The more movements to calculate, the more steps needed to do the calculations of course. The more informations to handle, the more steps needed also.

Einstein found that the mass and energy are two facets of a same reality. He discovered also that the mass of particles that have mass is linked to speed: it seems to us that mass grows with speed and becomes infinite when the speed of light is reached. This becomes understandable if mass and energy are the same and if they must be calculated as informations changing in the virtual universe’s space-time. The more informations change with movements in space-time, the more steps will be needed to do them and the limit will be the computer’s clock frequency of course.

To illustrate this, one can imagine a cellular automata which cells are four-dimensional Planck hypercubes. The state of each cell must be calculated in turn for each round of refreshment. The photon is the easiest particle to calculate since it has no mass: the software will have to take in account only spin, phase and direction of polarization. Planck’s length is nearly 10-35 m; in one second the photon will travel nearly 300’000’000 m in the void. The software will have to calculate the state of 10+43 cells at most: this would be the maximum number of calculation steps the computer can do at each refreshment of the cellular automata. If the mass-energy of a particle becomes bigger, then the number of calculations would become larger too and the number of Planck’s cells refreshed for each cycle will be less. We would see this as a slowing of time.

Nothing can go faster than light. In a Cellular Automata, no change in a cell can appear faster than the computation made according to the rules and its neighbors’ states! A change in a cell’s state is done according to its direct neighbors’ states. This puts a up limit to the number of changes that can take place: only one per generation and per cell.

7: TIME AND SPACE ARE RELATIVE BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST NUMBERS THAT DESCRIBE A VIRTUAL UNIVERSE.

Time and space don’t exist as such: as absolute, real properties of the universe. Instead they can change according to local properties of other objects moving through them. They are flexible: time can flow with different rates for different observers. Dimensions of an object can change depending on the movement of the observer because space also is flexible. They are just properties that can change with the nature and the behavior of objects that are described in the four-dimensional screen of the virtual universe.

The mass-energy of an object will distort space-time and this will be perceived as gravity. What we perceive as a distortion is the influence of attributes to the Planck’s cells in the cellular automata; influences calculated according to the software that drives the computer.

Space and Time can be introverted one in the other!

8: THE UNIVERSE IS BIO-FRIENDLY BECAUSE IT IS PROGRAMMED TO BE SO!

If we live in a virtual reality, then obviously the Game had a beginning, and what we perceive as space and time began with it.

What we’ll never know is if the Programmer succeeded in his goal at once, or if he had to try many times before creating a well-programmed universe that would evolve as he hoped, to become constantly richer in informations, creating galaxies, planets, life and intelligence… and that would seem to us bio-friendly. Maybe he had just some adjustments to do; this we could never know neither since the bugs could have been completely erased and replaced by new code and new results. Maybe he had to go through many trials and errors to find out what the constants should be! And that would be why they seem to us so finely tuned to lead to a universe bearing life and intelligence.

What’s for sure is that the bio-friendlyness we discover finds its easiest explanation in the virtual reality, of course. If so, the Anthropic Principle should be understood in its more radical interpretation, obviously! This answer seems the simplest between the other two: an infinity of universes and ourselves living by chance in the only one that combines the good numbers, or an incomprehensible and unexpected way to tie up all these numbers as:

1) to make them dependent from each other and

2) a way that explains how something could burst out of nothing!

 

The Earth is BioFriendly from the beginning.