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.

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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?

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?

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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.

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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… !

Citation_Grof - copie

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!

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

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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.