Certain times are more enticing than others to put you into the mood of reflection on what you have achieved, missed, enjoyed or, what you had to put up with, and where relaxing is easier than not because the calendar shows more red colored days than black, telling you that there is little chance to get things done anyway. The most obvious time for it coincides either with the end or the beginning of the year, usually after the dining and whining or the partying. You may have a holiday but it does not mean your emotions have one. Just the opposite! They have their major season. In fact, they may boil over and then you ponder why family, friends, or God are so ghastly to spoil an otherwise perfect time.
Well, this blog will not dive into the ins and outs of joys or disappointments packed into the last breaths of a year. It will but, in the site’s tradition, link basic philosophical thought and theories of science, well in tune with the, lets say, original season’s purpose, or to give you something to think about, with far less pain.
The reader may have been wondering why the topics in the “Blog” usually turn to and seek their grounding in the tangible laws of physics, nature and evolution, going back as far as the “Big Bang”, right down to the basics of quantum mechanics, but stopping there, despite the advances of theoretical physics and its exciting offerings reaching beyond. The answer is simple; because it is difficult enough for most of us, to grasp the theories of relativity, let alone to comprehend quantum mechanics. But, and that cannot be stressed enough, these theories are still within our sensual and rational capacity. One can relate to them despite challenging our imagination. Anything beyond however, can be debated ad absurdum and is therefore, though truly important, of far less value to steer curious minds through the territory of reality. Truth, - or what this reality means for life and our existence, - is ultimately the goal of all scientific endeavors, and it is our curiosity that stirs it. But, if this reality is too hard to grasp, it opens the door to philosophical and theological debate, biased interpretations and, the conundrum of religion. As everyone will attest, these debates can be productive or disastrous, depending who debates with whom. Remember, people still fight wars over their different believes!
Our articles of course do not offer in detail complex theories nor do they reflect on the various sophisticated discussions of experts. It would take volumes. Besides! There is plenty of specific literature to get informed. Rough outlines are however necessary despite making the articles sometimes rather dry to read. However, our site is not in pursuit of entertaining the crowds. Though the value of entertainment is not forgotten and not underestimated either, it just is not the major objective. Reflecting on our work done so far, shows the dilemma, but our decision stands: It is always better and far more rewarding to be true to what you are than to try to please everybody else. The attempt to bring topics every thinking person will have interest in, at least at one or the other stage of their lives, and to put them into the context of digestible food for thought is not that easy when people, who search for answers, come from varied backgrounds and education. It cannot be other than a challenge. But, the site’s focus is to provide quality food for the hungry, not a smorgasbord of junk-food for the undiscerning consumer. That is what ‘Sozieterna’ ascribes to and that will be our focus in the New Year too. So much to our end-of-year reflection, but now let us get on with the work at hand, meaning the topics in this blog.
Starting with the “Big Bang” as the most current and most approved theory of how our world, from cosmos to humans, has come into being, it appears, it began with an enormous and sudden ‘explosion’, though that is not quite the explosion we think of. It is more a sudden inflation like blowing up a balloon, or even a pregnancy but, though the belly is getting bigger and bigger, nothing apparently leaves the womb, - a never ending pregnancy, so to speak. Fancy that! Anyway, the “Bang” started as a point of (nearly) nothing. Brian Greene, (whom Sozieterna likes to call the Attenborough of physics) compares this nothingness to a seed. Whatever you want to call it or compare it to, it burst into existence and is growing since. As it spread, the early universe contained a hot and dense cauldron of quark/gluon plasma with all elementary forces and particles in an undifferentiated fluid state. Then, as the sudden inflation tapered and cooled down, separation and formation began, with the very first quanta, elementary forces and elementary particles, coming into their own individual existence. They were and still are the building material, the brick and mortar of the universe. Eventually atoms emerged and as they ‘cuddled up’ to each other like buddies, they gave rise to molecules and so the building of little and greater communities, galaxies and later, organic life can got on its way and no end in sight yet. All is made from the same “stuff”, the same material, by the same principles, - how can you not be impressed!
Of course, as minute and nearly nothing that original point, the ‘Pre-bang’ may have been, it was not ‘nothing’. ‘Nothing’, in fact, does not exist in our world, not in our perception that is. Nothing is something! As soon as it can be named, ‘nothing’ does no longer apply. The true Nothingness cannot be perceived, nor named. Hard to understand? May be, but consider that 1+1=3. Nonsense, you say! Well, it depends: As a mathematical equation it makes 2, but if you see items, the result as an item too, thus there are 3. Just to proof the point, man plus woman= child, makes 3 isn’t it? What I am saying here is, that our brains work on routines which do not necessarily accommodate for the breaking of them, for they are the most efficient and most effective way to ensure survival. It does not imply that routines are all the brain caters for or does, it just prioritizes all tasks and thus, routines dominate. To keep the confusion going, Sozieterna does not state that ‘Nothing’ is not possible. If there is ‘Something’, it follows that there is the antipode and that is ‘Nothing’. As in quantum physics, all elementary particles have an antiparticle, (necessary to maintain equilibrium one would presume); besides, we live in a dualistic world. And, only because some of the abstract concepts we cannot truly understand or relate to, it does not mean, they are impossible and don’t exist.
Back to the “Big Bang”; in this nothingness of a ‘seed’ is all the information, the Blue Print for evolution, from particle to stars and galaxies, from viruses to primates, from ignorance to enlightenment. Like the nucleus of our cells contains all the genetic information, our very own Blue Print that makes us, information is implicit to everything. There are different ways to pass on information though. Just look at our DNA, getting longer and longer, it is expanding. But how can the tiny nothing of a ‘seed’ have a “Blue Print” just as tiny to start with and create something so huge like the cosmos? Well, if the information was reduced or contained in a mathematical equation or even just numbers. how much space would that need? One formulation, the physicists are chasing after and have not yet succeeded with, you know, the one that unifies ‘everything’, the “Unified field theory ”, Einstein dreamt of too, it might indeed be just as elegant and succinct as his famous E=mc². It would neatly fit into the smallest of spaces, even into a point of ‘nothing’. It may not even be as far-fetched as you may think, because Hawking showed, (and you will read more about him and information further down the article), that a black hole’s entropy (as in information) equals the number of Planck-cell units of its event horizon covering it, (a unit being a Planck length square). One such cell carries a “bit” (of the binary type) of information. We are talking measurements here that are so tiny, they cannot be reduced further down without losing purpose! It means, an event horizon surface is the information storage area of something that is inside. So, before the Big Bang event, the “seed” being really even less than one Planck cell unit, carries its “bit” of information in or on the tiny dot’s ‘skin’; a feasible option, wouldn’t you say, with its magnitude showing only during the rapid inflation period.
Another interesting part of the Big Bang is that in its very early ‘epoch’ there is no distinction of constituents, not elementary forces, not elementary particles. It is a unified field, or mass, or fluid state (quark-gluon plasma), hence, a unified field theory surely is feasible too. This state however should not be envisaged as calm waters but rather a state of ongoing action and, if you like turmoil. Separation, division, collision, annihilation, accumulation, coalition, you name it, it was the state to start and allow the process of formation of particles and forces. It implies, that unification had to fall apart to give dualism its chance of expression. Thus, the world had there and then war and peace laid into its cradle.
That the Holy Grail of a unified field theory has not been found yet, may be due to looking in the ‘wrong’ places, or, the field’s roots predate the cosmos and our capabilities to dive into realms outside our confines may be the obstacle. Besides! We are struggling with the concept of unity of any kind, let alone that of ‘Oneness’ or ‘Wholeness’ in this universe. Though our existence, all that is, we are part of and we are interconnected with, - has that sunk into our rationale? Not even a bit! Most likely because appearances are deceptive, in fact, they can be plain misleading. Ever thought about what you look like from the inside compared to what you look like from outside? Though even your inside is a signified you, you would not recognize yourself. Despite every cell of you tells your identity, put them in a jar with other cells and you only see cells, not knowing which ones are yours, and you would definitely not recognize yourself in the cell either though it carries all the information about you in its nucleus. It means, exterior and interior, both aspects of you despite their very different appearances, are the one and only you. It is the information that links your two appearances together, that unifies you, marries you from inside out and vice versa. To separate information from the information carrier deludes the observer to think they are two different things when they are but one. Trying to put two parts together which actually are already linked, may not succeed and, offers little value. You may just as well ask what comes first, the chicken or the egg. The question is irrelevant. The chicken contains the egg and the egg the chicken. Feel free to meditate on it.
Mind you, even if there is a final mathematical formulation, a unified field theory that provides the basic genetic information of our universe, it would only be the answer to how the universe could evolve. It really is not what the scientist tries to find, nor is it what any thinking human wants to know; the question is rather: Where or what is the creative impulse, where or what is God? But don’t get me wrong, - every step in the journey of discovery counts!
Unfortunately, as much as scientists try to be factual, they are limited by their own horizons, their own believes too. They may say they don’t believe in anything apart from what can be evidenced by hard data. This is still believing and, as good or as wrong as a religious person believes in his God. Data may also be misleading or just plainly be wrong. Despite all the progress in science, physics, technology, etc., questions and uncertainties remain, so the search for the final answer is ongoing. The physicist avoids to ask the question of ‘Why’ there is a universe, he rather asks ‘How’ does it work, because the ‘why’ leads too quickly to the “Causa Prima” (from Latin, meaning primary cause), which serves as the ultimate conclusion and is the stronghold of theosophical thought that there must be a creator, that there is a God.
It is indeed hard for any ardent physicist not to be bias and disregard his own philosophical convictions. They are humans after all. What sets them apart is their intelligence, which is necessarily a great deal bigger than the rest can claim, but it does not make them necessarily more insightful and many are outrageously far from it, not unlike the stubborn cleric who cries heresy when his beliefs are challenged. The ‘Causa Prima’ transcends the “Big Bang” as good as any other theory. It depicts the primary origin of creation as evidence for God, and it can do so unabated, simply because as much as science tries to keep God out of the equation, it has not been able to disprove Him; so the “Causa Prima” can stand firm, despite the evidence that in fact, evolution is creation and, God has not been found.
God is a topic that cannot by any means be discussed in an article like this, but the reader who has carefully evaluated previous blogs might already have a good idea what Sozieterna’s views are. Being too big a topic at any time, Sozieterna’s definition of God will remain a “piece meal”, dissected into mouthfuls to bring across their understanding of it. Of course, the reader may like it or not, agree or disagree. Let’s put it that way, any summit can be climbed by more than one route, relevant are only time and one’s constitution.
Sozierterna’s philosophy is nothing new, but as science has progressed to such an extent, it allows now the correlation of facts with philosophical thought, underscoring old wisdom and drawing modern day conclusions, sweeping out the cobwebs and bringing light to dingy rooms filled with superstition. All that has been said before by mystics, writers, intellectuals and what can be found in old texts of religious tradition, it can be re-assessed, newly appraised and clarified. Wisdom gets easily dislodged by the power-hungry and the greedy, because the majority of people don’t care to think for themselves, for many different reasons, not all excusable though. In the end it does not even matter. Everyone lives in his own bubble of reality, the Atheist, Agnostic or Pantheist, as good as any who believes in facts or a certain God. Sozieterna can embrace all views because they see the divine as an intrinsic principal not as an external entity separate from anything that is. While Sozieternas do not believe in a God as such, none disregards the Divine at hand. As a concept it is part of life that every one of them embraces, regardless of their culture they currently belong to, their social standing or external confines. The ‘Big Bang World (our universe)’ serves as a model to guide and maneuver the ignorant mind into the harbor of awareness. Science is the ladder of understanding and humans have climbed this ladder according to their evolutionary progress, against all resistance and adversary, because it is inherent as a fixed drive. The current civilizations may not reach the pinnacle of awareness. Too many odds are stacked against it, mainly human’s self-destructive attitudes and activities. If not curtailed their survival as a species is impossible. Mind you! Having the potential to achieve the highest self-realization that everyone actually seeks and not letting it unfold, is the most stupid attitude of all. So much for human intelligence! Besides! Our human race behaves like a psychopath whose trail is recognized by destruction, meaning, this kind of a species is an evolutionary failure and evolution will take care of it as it always does, - weeding out the malfunctioning to give something else a chance.
Sozieterna has of course no designated locality for heaven or hell. Both are part of this world, and any world, be it “parallel universes” or an individual’s personal sphere (see article on “Good and Evil”). So, whatever humans are doing, however despicable their acts or how inspirational, they create their own world of either love and peace, or pain and despair. Of course it is devastating to see the innocent suffering and be unable to interfere. But does not the Bible state, man was created in God’s image? Well, that is wisdom to contemplate on!
The next step up the ladder of human awareness is to consider that our universe is not the only one as we may believe. This conclusion originates from the discomfort of some scientists of having a few loose ends floating around the Big Bang theory, which have not been neatly tied up. It does not come as a surprise to Sozieterna, nor in fact, should it be for anyone else. To the contrary! The faithful might rejoice as they might find heaven and hell and God after all and, the mystery of unexplained phenomena, the occult, may find a new appraisal to the delight of “New Age Spiritualism”. Whatever it will mean to any group or individual, it certainly will be a welcome extension to reality, the unveiling of the still hidden truths about existence. Even if this extension will not translate to the tangible matter and dimensions of our world, to extend our mind’s horizon should be as fascinating as any exploration of unknown territory, be it earth, universe or any world beyond.
“String Theory” has emerged as a most promising approach. After quantum mechanics reduced the world to particles, tiny, tiny points (quanta) of elementary significance and, how these are supposed to move on fields carrying energy in the strange world of quantum field mechanics, the loose ends still did not quite disappear. It is music to the inquisitive mind. So there it is, the bricks and mortar of our universe, made up from fermions and, bosons and, elementary forces holding it all together, still hint at other even stranger worlds, hidden and undiscovered. To grasp them with the tools we have and the limited capacity of our minds, is well beyond most people’s tolerance. But! We have lived through Newton’s model of reality, Einstein’s relativity and the ‘Triumvirate’s’ Heisenberg, Schroedinger and Bohr’s’ quantum mechanics. One field of physics builds on the other, there is nothing that says, it has to stop there. It is like having the planet Earth explored, now the galaxy is waiting.
So far, the unknown is assigned to the ‘other’ realm or ‘After-Life’. If you are not ending up just as “dust”, you may enter heaven, hell or the spirit world, joining the host of angels, ghosts and spirits of whatever faith fancies to name as inhabitants of these worlds. Sozieterna does not object to any of these realms or beings, but their concepts lie within the frame-work of science not religion. Since science anticipates that there are other worlds out there, these other realms and beings seem to find, if not plain confirmation of their existence, so at least support. The perceptions of clairvoyants, shamans and seers become certainly more validated. But! There is still a long way to go and a critical mind is needed to prevent getting caught in the net of unproductive arguments and, the false prophets.
So, what are strings? Simply nothing more than that, strings or filaments. Apparently. Tiny, tiny and one-dimensional (length), but they can stretch to any length; they are actually called ‘one-branes’ (which is in itself rather confusing, because the ‘brane’ is derived from membrane and suggests 2 dimensions), but wait, there are more dimensions to come! Besides, experts believe that the particles of quantum mechanics are indeed only the external expression of the string or filament inside. In fact, string and particle are one and the same thing. However, once truly identified as quanta, we enter quantum mechanic’s domain, where an observer can see one or the other aspect as in wave or particle. Both, appearance and locality, is unpredictable, it is a probability so to speak, not certainty. But strings, according to string theory, (or Sozieterna’s analogy), are the heart and the heartbeat of the elementary particle. How nice is that?
Now, what are the filaments made of? Impossible to say at this point in time. They are not accessible for exploration with the current technology. Maybe they are nothing more than waves, or, may be the tracks of a wave, or if you like, just plain quantum jitter, but they vibrate to their own pulse and their vibrations create particles according to that specific vibration. Just imagine! A field of wiggly worms, all wiggling in their own way, and as they do, their very own vibration determines mass, electric charge, color change and spin of a particle’s quality to which they give rise; at least that is one way to view the processing (or birth) of particles. Remember the quark/gluon plasma after the Big Bang, also called the “quark soup”? Well, if it is not a can of wiggly worms! However, their vibration can create anything other than the particles we know, which by the way, are categorized in the standard model of particle physics, Higgs boson the last confirmed and, there may be others, undiscovered as yet.
It appears, strings are categorized too, namely as open and closed strings or, to be precise, snippets and loops. If the reader lets his imagination roam, he could picture some of the stringy worms hooking up with another, forming a loop, while others remain single and stringy. As they wiggle around, they sweep a field, or they move on a field, marking out an area or plain, called ‘Brane’ (short for membrane) or ‘Worldsheet’. Snippets and loops behave however differently, snippets can only move within their brane and cannot leave it, while loops can move far more freely; they can leave one brane to enter into another, meaning figuratively speaking, snippets are stuck to their galaxy while loops travel interspace, intergalactic. And as our universe has black holes, there is also the chance of “Black Branes”. A bit more about this later down the article, but only as far as is necessary for context.
Now! The worm and wiggle go together tongue in cheek, like chicken and egg. If there is any question to be asked, it should be, - why is anything moving in the first place? Sozieterna’s interpretation, - well, because it is LIFE. Life is movement, regardless of what you think life is. When something moves it is “alive”. Generally speaking, life is energy and vice versa, meaning, organic life, including ours, is only one way, one expression of life, not as many people see it, the only form or, the only way of life. And sorry Sir Popper (Austrian philosopher), materialism has not dematerialized itself. Without mass, energy has no meaning. But sorry too, materialists, matter (or mass) is not the only thing that makes you tick. Hopefully the chicken and egg separation can truly be put to rest, for good, (except for theoretical contemplation for their own sake, not because they are truly separate things).
And the worms wiggle on, all to their own music. They create and live in their very own world. How many vibration and wiggle patterns, each being its own world, building its own universe, are possible? Well, they could be infinite, isn’t it? Indeed, we could have worlds existing right next to us and not know it, and that is only due to their vibrational basis being different to our own. Just consider, we cannot see all colors of light, or hear or smell out of our range, because our perception does not allow for it. Though, some people may have extraordinary perception, like the ones in the whine or perfume industry, smelling ingredients others never could. And! Not all strange worlds have to be vibrating all that different to ours to be absolutely out of reach for us, just may be for most of us. Therefore, the possibilities, as speculative as they may be, are indeed exciting.
Anyway, string physicists suggest we see one string as a one-brane, having one dimension, but there are more than just the four we know of. Their calculations revealed that there are 10 dimensions altogether, plus 1 for spacetime, deriving at 11 in total in M-theory model (or 12 in F-theory). They propose that our universe is a 4-brane in which we experience the 3 dimensions of space, such as length, width, height and 1 dimension of spacetime. All other supposed string dimensions are either too small for us to observe, as quantum mechanics already is (for most of it), or they do not exist in our universe at all, but exist outside it. Thus, the ‘Multiverse’ stays hidden.
Indeed! String theory, however ‘rudimentary’ in concept it may be at present, how farfetched or, controversial, - mind you, it has even the physicists divided, - the open questions in the current most acceptable theory of the ‘Big Bang’ cannot be ignored, and by adherence to sound mathematical logic, the “Multiverse” makes more sense than not. Regardless if it is ‘Branes’ or other types of Multiverses, like inflationary, cyclic, landscape, quilted, holographic, quantum, each of them have theoretical merits, and so the debates will continue as fervent as temper allows it to be.
Interesting though is the analogism of ‘branes’ to the level (or ‘plains’) of spiritual development or progress in Buddhist teachings. There is even a temple in Tibet depicting these distinct levels by its architectural design and in the actual building, and on which the visitor can contemplate as he walks up from the ground level to the top. Just like loops entering other branes, ascending it may be. Another association is found in our everyday speech. Many people use these kind of expressions, to describe their emotional or their intellectual relationship to another person, like: “We are on the same level, of the same plain, on the same wave-length”, pointing out how, and that they feel understood and accepted by the other without having to argue a point.
In Hindu and Buddhist tradition and now-a-days many people in the western culture too would be familiar with chakras as energy-centers of the human being. Aligned along the spine, they have their own power fields radiating from each chakra in their specific color, enveloping the person as aura, which some people can actually see. These chakras do not only generate energy, they also provide the fields a person operates on in their life. One or the other may dominate. They also relate to the spiritual level that individual has progressed to. From the hot red energy of matter to the finest purple of the divine, the human entity ascends from the lowest to the highest level, his functioning correlating to the chakras’ functioning and his working field determined by the position of one or the other chakra at the level befitting him.
It is safe to say that a field or plain, regardless if it belongs to quantum mechanics where the energy carriers and quanta operate, or if it is the ‘branes’ where vibrating strings move, or what the working field of a human stands for, the premises are the same and, exactly what ancient philosophers stated ages ago, micro-cosmos and macro-cosmos have everything in common (apart from appearance and size). This is certainly applicable to our world and universe, and it would be also for the Multiverse. As alien as these worlds might be, the principles of life and evolution still apply, maybe weird, unfathomable, even lawless and disorganized in our view, development and laws according to the dimensions and requirements of that particular world, the principles of existence apply regardless.
But let us glimpse into our universe, the one of the microcosm type, our brain. It has as much unfathomable depth as the cosmos; it has an ocean of mind, rivers of thought and the treasure trove of consciousness that we are only partially aware of, still waiting to be unlocked. Yes, our minds are calibrated to the rules of our dimensions and a quantum leap, literally, is required to jump on to another plane of thought processing; that is, from linear thought and lateral thinking to spatial processing, accommodating for relativity and dualism and depth of thought. That’s why meditation is so beneficial. Anyway, quantum leaps do occur naturally, so why should the human mind not be able to make such a leap too?
Consider that thought waves constantly crisscross the brain in all directions and, though we can only process consciously one thought at the time to function in an organized way, it is not what actually happens in the brain. Many other waves carry on with their tasks, necessarily so, otherwise we would not even be able to move while we think. It means, brainwave activity is multilayered and simultaneous. ‘Bipolar-Affective Disorder’ sufferers when experiencing the manic phase, will tell you that they can have more than one thought at the same time and, when they have too many, they become highly disorganized and dysfunctional, though they themselves do not feel that way. Mental health workers know what problems arise when dealing with a ‘maniac’. At the worst it is a life threatening emergency. However! Conscious or not, the multitude of wave activity is bound to run into each other and as a rule of physics, it creates interference patterns. Ever wondered how or where memory is stored, where creativity comes from, or how our perceptions are received, processed and integrated? And don’t we all know or have heard about people with extraordinary talents and capabilities, and sorrow, be they clairvoyants, visionaries, geniuses, the odd high functioning autistic or even the unfortunate mentally ill? Let’s put it that way, how our brain functions, besides the linear thought processing, offers us an entrance into a world so far hidden within or on the so far well known structures. It certainly leads us into the world of energy, movement, waves and the intricate patterns they create, like the ones of holograms.
So what are Holograms? Holograms are 3 dimensional images, created by a split laser beam and their interference pattern. Simplified, just imagine one arm of the split beam being directed through a diversion lens, running then over objects on its way to a certain surface, where it meets the other arm again, which also went through a diversion lens but without encountering anything else. As both arms hit the same surface they produce an interference pattern, just like ordinary waves do in a pond, when you throw two stones not too far apart into the water. The surface carrying this particular wave pattern is called the ‘holographic plate’. The pattern however contains all the information of the objects that the one laser arm has encountered. When then another laser or another light source is shun through the plate, (or film), these objects re-emerge and can be seen three dimensionally as if they were the real thing. One can walk around and inspect them from all sides, but if you try to grasp them, you have nothing to grasp. It is after all just an image, a three dimensional picture, but life-like and accurate in all detail.
Interference patterns occur anywhere where waves meet and as mentioned above, our own universe, the brain, has a constant flow of waves, going off and coming in, from the brain, to the brain, through the brain, even when we sleep. It never stops. The theory that our memory may be stored in our brain like a hologram is not a new idea, nor that our senses take every bit of information from the environment and carry this information in frequencies of waves. If we use vision as an example, the comparison to a television camera is appropriate, as it describes the process well. A TV-camera converts an image into electro-magnetic signals and the TV-set reassembles them into the original image for viewing. The optic nerve and the brain do the same for us. What we see is ‘dismembered’ into wave frequency, transported with the wave and re-assembled in the visual cortex. That’s the process, but where exactly the visual memory is stored has not been established. There are mathematical equations in physics, called Fourier transforms, developed by the Frenchman Fourier for the purpose to convert (any) patterns into waves, (and vice versa). Mind you, the brain does it naturally. However, Fourier’s work is none the less amazing and was ground breaking. It made the development of holograms possible, the work of Dennis Gabor, who received the Nobel Prize for it.
Karl Pribram, an American neurosurgeon became interested in the subject of memory around 1940 and spend years on research, initially believing that memory had a specific location in our brains. But no such location was found. Apart from specific centers for specific functioning, the overall and complex memory storage pointed to the ‘non-locality’ of memory. A lot of animals were cruelly suffering, having their brains mangled or removed in small and big parts, only to show over and over again that much of memory remained despite of it. It was a mystery (still is), suggesting ‘engrams’ (specific memory locations) could not be the answer. Then he heard of holograms which were a mid-sixties sensation and scientific achievement. But there were more interesting facts to the hologram than just the perplexing visual presentation, foremost that a holographic film can be cut in half and even more and smaller pieces, all of them will still show the whole picture of the object as if there were never any cuttings made. It reminded Pribram immediately of the brains still containing memory, despite surgically removing huge junks. Now he thought he found the solution to his puzzle. Instead of localized memory, it was distributed throughout the brain, and removing parts of the brain did not remove memory, at least not to the extent expected matching the resected areas. He also offered a solution of how the task of the holographic functioning of the brain was achieved. As pointed out above, the brain has an electrical communication network within the tightly packed neuronal pathways and cells and, vibrations and interferences are rather a consequence than an exception. The patterns of the crisscrossing waves in this closed space and dense matter are the holographic signature.
Other phenomena of the brain’s functioning point into this direction too, offering explanations for more than just a few puzzling and remaining riddles, like, the ‘Phantom Limb Sensations’, or the eidetic memory (photographic memory) some people have, or how the life-reviews in near death situations can occur, just to name some. Besides! Without us realizing it, our brain does not only collect information of what serves us in our everyday life. It collects every bit of information it comes across and, stores it; only a fraction comes to our actual awareness and, use. Every detail of the outside and inside world our brain gobbles up, like a vacuum cleaner sucks in all the dust, the difference being, the brain does not discard any information, “it does not get emptied out”. We do not access most of the information, because we don’t need it, though it is there never the less. It sheds indeed a different light on memory loss, which therefore is not due to loss of brain matter, but rather due to an impairment of the brain’s functioning, a sad consequence. Of course, malfunctioning will be caused by destruction or loss of cells, but it means, access is lost, not memory itself. To that point, certain amnesias show no loss of brain matter and memory returns either sooner or later; these phenomena are well known in clinical settings, but their causal explanation is vague, to put it kindly.
So here it goes, all memory remains nicely stored, whether we are ignorant about it or not, whether we have lost brain cells or not, whether we can access it or not, it is there all the same. The brain is truly remarkable, doing its best to serve us! We could, never function, if we had to trouble ourselves with all the information we are bombarded with every minute, no, every second of our life, it literally is information overload. Don’t we complain how modern technology causes us stress due to too much information? Well, our brain prevents us from a “burn out” far bigger than stress. And just to make sure, - memory function is not just a human capability, it applies to all species and living things. All brains are truly amazing organs, serving the organism as it is best for their survival. How can you not be in awe with! There is also plenty of research evidence, particularly in regards to our perceptions that support Pribram’s model of holographic memory functioning but, medical science has not embraced it, neither his research nor the evidence that comes from other sources too, despite their validity. Current research emphasizes on biochemistry, with good results, though not as far as memory goes. The pharmaceutical industry has a ball and makes a lot of money, while the mystery of memory storage patiently waits for more illumination, or may be, for less linear thinking researchers.
From the micro-cosmos of our own personal space, to the macro-cosmos of the vast universe is only a step. Being linked to one another, you can draw information from either to learn about the other. As you will see further down the article, relationships are particularly useful as a research tool when things are out of reach for measure. And, information is always a crucial point; collecting, storing, retrieving is all important. Never mind science! Information is the all-important, full stop! For the fundamental realization of all matter that is! Without relevant information, evolution cannot happen. Information is the creative principle! The ‘Blue Print’ is the divine! If you want to interpret it philosophically, knowledge is the power that drives all. These thoughts, once again, are nothing new and in context of theological dogmatic reasoning, that is why God must be all-knowing!
Contemplate on John Wheeler’s zest to emphasize the importance of information. As Brian Greene described it in his book “The Hidden Reality”, Wheeler considered every spin this way or that, every charge, positive or negative, anything that describes a fundamental particle, not just as an information about the particle, but the particle as the expression of information. The particle is the manifestation of information. It means, the universe is the information and if you want to know something about anything, it is in fact right under your nose, though you may not recognize it or tap into it. Information processing is in its purest form the divine principle in action and, it is inherent in all things, not separate nor only given to some special beings.
However, as information comes in all kinds of guises catering for all kinds of interests. It may be truly fascinating, at least for some people, to dive into the physicists’ holographic model of information processing linked to ‘Black Hole’, ‘entropy’ and, ‘string theory’.
Most people would know ‘Black Holes’ as collapsed massive stars that have their entire bodies compressed to utmost density and thus exert so much gravity pull that everything coming too close is sucked in, with no escape from it. Black holes are as much part of our universe as other stars but cannot be seen, only their effects reveal their presence. They are a bit of a mystery still, because nobody has yet been able to prove fully the theories about their entrails, that is, what is going on in there or the ‘laws’ within them. But not all is lost. Physicists can draw conclusions and are able to make reasonable assumptions from mathematical calculations and interrelatedness of things, one of which is entropy, shedding at least a bit of light on and into these dark ‘objects’.
Entropy tells us about order or disorder within objects or systems. In fact, it is a measure of disorder, reflecting organization. For example, a peace of crystal has a highly ordered internal structure, meaning, you cannot change its arrangements without changing its whole shape, indeed, you have to break it apart. In this case, entropy is low. But if you have an aquarium and a fish swims around in its water, the water gets stirred up but essentially remains the water that fills the aquarium, meaning, the water has a far higher entropy, because its constituents (molecules), can be disordered and arranged in many ways, without making a change to the water as such. Entropy therefore tells you something about the internal make-up of something you see only from the outside.
Generally, the tendency of order decaying into disorder is more likely than the other way round. It means, entropy will increase rather than decrease over time, which is particularly obvious for systems where internal order is unstable to start with. The black hole however seemed to have no entropy due to the assumption that it was too dense to allow any internal disorder. Disorder needs space. Just think of a full packed tram, people crammed in can hardly move, they remain ‘ordered’ until the next station when the doors open and shuffling can occur. And, black holes did not seem to have temperature either. Entropy and temperature are mates, because, disorder means there is movement, which means there is energy and energy means heat production; the more action there is, the hotter it gets. And, as a black hole gobbles everything up that comes too close, it can get bigger too. But all of this was inconsistent with physical law and reality, and rightfully so, it gave the physicists a headache, until Steven Hawking came along. He showed that black holes change in size, radiation does occur and, there is not nonzero-temperature and, entropy was not lost after all, thus no laws were broken.
How he did it was ingenious. He considered quantum pair production in the event horizon setting, showing their fate was not immediate annihilation as usually it would be but, due to the effects of the black hole, the pair could go different ways, one into, the other away from the Black Hole. By the way, the stream of escaping electrons from the horizon is called ‘Hawking radiation’ in his honor. Anyway, the details are intricate and better left to specific literature. But to make sense of entropy’s role and the interrelatedness of all things, we have to appreciate Hawking’s achievements in this context. He also showed how to calculate a black hole’s entropy with the help of its temperature and radiation, and that the amount (or number) of entropy was exactly proportional to the black hole’s surface area, equaling the number of the Planck sized cells of the black hole’s event horizon. Another feature, or aspect of entropy is that it collates information, by using “bits” (binary digits), one bit to one Planck cell, thus revealing quantitative information of what lies ‘hidden’ inside the black hole.
Black holes and entropy are not just important to astrophysics and the question what the future of the cosmos might be. As Hawking linked entropy to the black hole surface area and established mathematically how to calculate its entropy, take note, the same applies to all closed systems, - an object, a sphere or a three dimensional region with microscopic ‘stuff’ in it, be it molecules or particles, or strings, it does not have to be a black hole either, regardless, the calculations apply all the same. Such is the power of inferential concepts, invaluable, when one cannot measure with the measure in hand. But the one thing truly to be stressed upon here is, that you have information about something that is stored in a location so different to the source, - we are talking dimensions here, e.g.: storage on a surface (2 dimensions) of constituents in a volume (3 dimensions), not unlike the holographic principle indeed!
String theory too contributes to the holographic principle. In fact, it is the realm of the “Holographic Parallel Universes”, with Juan Maldacena, an Argentinian string theorist, offering the first mathematical framework that was not only sound but astonishing (see below). Let’s start simpler than that: As a lay person you may realize the holographic element by looking at a brane as a place, upon which the images come alive as the holographic projection, though the real action is happening in a distant location, which could be the brane boundary. Sounds more like science fiction, particularly as the hologram we have learnt, is an empty image. But, if we lived for example, in a virtual reality, what would we know, or how would we discern reality? We would know nothing but ‘matrix’ living’, that would be our reality. As strange as a ‘braneworld scenario’ might be, it is as real as our world. Any reality can be considered as true. It just makes you wonder, if string theory has ‘opened a can of worms’, putting physics on the verge of credibility, and us into even more confusion. Never mind! But keeping an open mind is one thing, being skeptical is another. We better be both!
Remember, what we have discussed before, how an object can be viewed in two ways, from outside and from within? Two independent observers seeing only one side, would believe their view is the only reality. Both would be right and wrong all the same. And while nobody can claim to have seen a brane, let alone knows the brane world, neither from outside nor within (apart that we may be living in one), this is exactly what Juan Maldacena did, hypothetically, of course. He looked at a stack of 3 branes of 3 + 1 dimensions, (ours, so to speak), from inside and from the outside, using the cosmic law scenario we are familiar with, including a black brane. He worked out a mathematical equation, demonstrating how and what each of the two perspectives reveal and that these equations agree meticulously with one another. He showed, that open strings move according to particle quantum field theory in the 3 dimension brane plus 1 for spacetime; and that loops, which have gravitational force too, are moving through the whole stack of the branes, limited only by their distance to the black brane, slowing them down, and as they do, they move in fact through 9 space dimensions, plus 1 spacetime. So far so good. Now consider the effects of a black brane, that is, - when the gravity of the black brane curves all the spacetime involved, the black brane becomes the boundary outside, while the stack, or ‘bulk’ within is the interior. Concluding, and I quote from Brian Greene’s book “The Hidden Reality”, (page 267) “Maldacena’s result is that string theory within the bulk of spacetime shape is identical to a quantum field theory on its boundary!” Thus, what happens inside is reflected on the boundary. What an outstanding result that is! But even if it is too difficult to grasp, we sure can see the holographic principle at work here too, isn’t it?
Since, more physicists got involved building on this premises to good effect. Here it must suffice to simply stress, - though we are not dealing here with interference patterns of laser beams to create the hologram, the principle applies just the same because, as information contained in the quantum field of a ‘universe’ boundary, gives insight into the internal string make-up of that ‘universe’, using mathematics instead of laser light to facilitate the transition for recognition. This has immense implications for our universe, big and small. The holographic principle opens a big wide world, hardly touched, despite being around for a while. For now, we need more scientists to embrace it and may be start anew with our brains (or should I say, branes?).
Another physicist has to be mentioned here, David Bohm. Bohm was not only a physicist but an extraordinary thinker. Apart from his work in quantum theory mechanics, he saw beyond the obvious, drawing conclusions that linear thinkers just cannot accept. He remained stoic about his theories being more or less opposed if not rebuked. He saw the hidden truth within reality and nobody could take that away from him. But he suffered from depression and died of a heart attack. One can easily see that this is no co-incidence, (see blog about illness). Though quantum mechanics was his particular interest, he did not believe, in contrast to Danish physicist Niels Bohr that it was the final answer to explain the nature of all things. Well, he had more than just a brilliant mind that is intelligence. He had vision and the depth of insight.
While working on plasma, he found electrons behaved rather organized than frantic or random. Single electrons appeared to be disorganized but as he investigated that was not the case. They moved collectively “like an organism” (quote), as he observed. To him, not even an electron seemed to be just simple particle matter; it resembled life and exhibited some form of inherent intelligent action! Their peculiar behavior and other riddles of particle physics prompted him to look at “Order”. He realized that what applied to order also applied to disorder and that disorder had patterns and was not disordered after all, despite what it looked like at first glance.
It is amazing how simple things can spark off extraordinary ideas. Newton sat under an apple tree, Einstein rode his bicycle and Bohm watched a drop of ink disappearing and reappearing as it was floating in a rotating cylinder with a wall covered in liquid glycerin, first turning one direction and then back the other. He found the vanishing act and re-emergence of the ink droplet less magical than logical. It vanished when it was dispersed on the glycerin surface, and reappeared when it was recollected by the reverse turning of the cylinder. Inspired by this, he developed the mathematical calculations of the “Implicate and Explicate Order” of things and came to the conclusion that nothing can be seen as truly separate. He opposed the concept of ‘individual parts’ that just happen to work together to make up the universe, recognizing, there was a principle of “Wholeness” with two states of order, both evolving from each other and appearing, as if they were separate things. The two orders (or states) interweave but have also their own interference pattern. in the implicate order at their junction or interference points, dense matter forms, acquiring explicate appearance, which in turn resolves back into the implicate. This is what Sozieterna likens to the “Breath of Life” or, the pattern of life and death. Waves? Interference patterns? Densification at points of interference? Now, does it sound familiar, or what!
Naturally, this concept was not embraced, at least not by some of his significant peers. But he met up with other great minds, venturing into other realms of science and philosophy, collaborating with Pribram, the Dalai Lama and Krishnamurti. As a prolific writer, his work was gladly put on the shelves of public and private libraries, where they seem to collect dust now, overlooked by the vision impaired. But as he himself said, he preferred to rather stick to actual facts than adhere to illusions as these were in the long run far more dangerous. Sadly, he is right. Man and his world are doomed because of the stubborn insistence on the ‘either or’ instead of the ‘and’.
Of course, Bohm got really excited with the concept of the hologram, publishing his book on “Wholeness and the Implicate Order” in 1980. It was a very revolutionary look at reality and as controversial. Still is.
To give the reader the opportunity to appraise Bohm’s theory on an imaginative level and counterbalancing the dry, factual text of above, consider the underlying order of existence as an ocean, where the constant motion inherent to water, harbors the potential to create waves. Bohm thought of it as a quantum potential from a pervasive quantum field and its inherent quantum jitters. The stronger the jitters, the more waves, may be tiny, tiny, tiny at first but they are numerous and run into each other, interfering, interweaving, quite unavoidably so. Some disappear again, others may merge and get bigger. An observer may now watch the ocean’s ever changing patterns of coming and going, rippling, swirling, undulating, turmoil here, current there. This is what the ‘Implicate Order’ may stand for, an ongoing never resting ocean of waves in all sorts of fashion, size and motion, building themselves up to the big and dense, even to tsunamis. Bohm calls it “Holomovement”.
The ocean was the birthplace of organic life as far as evolutionary theory has it. And why not! It is as creative as the quantum fields, generating waves and stringy things, all the way up the evolutionary ladder, or the ‘Explicate Order’. But all matter has a limited lifespan as we know too well. As it disintegrates, returning to that what it is made of, it unfolds again, this time back into the field of potential, where wiggly worms reinvent themselves, constantly popping in and out of the vast ocean potential. Please note, this is not a discussion on matter, mind or soul and death or dying, only on principles involved, though undeniably, they relate to each other all the same. (Topics for another time).
Talking about jitters, waves and strings, a long one in this case, - an association pops up: In the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Story the world was created by a snake, a serpent, to be precise. Well, the size is not relevant here, the form is and, the snake is a phallus symbol too. Interesting both ways, isn’t it? Particularly as sperms resemble wiggly worms but, to actually see them, you need magnified vision and insight. Quite a coincidence, or is it not?
Anyway! After exercising our brain with theories, some final statements should be made to consolidate Sozieterna’s views on the subject. Sozieterna considers intelligence, knowledge, indeed Omniscience as factual, inherent to everything, or being contained in the implicate order, as Bohm would say. However! It is a journey to achieve it in the explicate order, speak, in our existence. And let us be clear, the mind is striving for it and drives us. Evolution will get us there, eventually. It is more likely though that individuals reach the goal rather than the human race as a whole. Omniscience is part of what is generally known as ‘Enlightenment’, which can occur to an individual at any time, according to his personal constitution or, to keep it in the article’s theme, ‘vibrational wave pattern’. Whereas, human kind as a collective may not achieve it because, what are the odds that billions of people swing to the same tune, - low indeed. If anyone wants to do the maths, please do and let the result be known.
Is in all of that a place for God? Yes and no. Omniscience is God, though not as some religions will tell you. Omniscience has no fixed location, but it may accumulate to a point. After all, there is an ocean of probability waves and, particles. Some of the same frequency may pop up here, there, anywhere, sometimes many at once, other times not as many, if at all, just like humans are born with variable degree of intelligence.
Okay, you may say: But …., if there are other universes, God could be there, couldn’t He? He could and isn’t, as good as He is or is not here, but chase the phantom as long as you like, because a phantom it is you chase. Information (=knowledge) is manifest in the item (Wheeler), or, the information you seek is in the Implicate and manifest in the Explicate (Bohm). So, where do you want to search for God? It is as simple as that: What Bohm calls the Wholeness of all things, others call it God. Does not every religion tell you God is, knows all, God is All? The problem with religion is, at least some of them, that they also make you believe that He is a separate thing, which actually implies that He is not ‘All’. If He is separate from us, separate from everything like his own ‘creation’; in fact it means, He cannot be ‘All’. That is less puzzling than quantum mechanics!
The consequence of ignoring interconnectedness is detrimental. But while physics, vigorously pursuing the path of fragmentation of our world into particles, strings or waves right down to quantum field jitters and quantum potential, it also shows that actually nothing is separate or a stand-alone thing. It is indeed rather comical; the physicist running away from God, runs into Him; fragmenting the world brings unification; exploiting the environment, killing off other species for our own sake, is actually suicide. But rest assured, you as an individual have all the potential to ride the waves of bliss, if you embrace the principle of love (and compassion).