The Lightning Storm

Nikola Tesla relajandose en su laboratoria (Colorado Springs, 1899)I witnessed one of the most beautiful happenings in all my life on this planet:  a thunderstorm. Oh, how utterly standard and mundane you may think. But, this is not true (in my opinion) for the first time I comprehended more of the immensity that is a thunderstorm (really I ought to say lightning storm, for that was the star of “performance”). Having spent some time researching and studying electricity (and, again, here lightning be the star of the show) as well as neuroscience (more electricity) so with the history, movement, evolution, and tomes of electricity coursing through my fevered and excited brain (fevered and excited at what new things I am learning and thinking and comprehending), this lightning storm was completely different than all others I had witnessed before it. I thought of the reports I’d read of Nikola Tesla supine upon his couch in his laboratory beneath the great windows contemplating lightning, perhaps giving birth to new thoughts, ideas, inventions, and inspirations.

Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky (ca.1816)I thought of the report of Benjamin Franklin and his famous (albeit usually incorrectly described or outright fabricated) kite and key experiment. It’s funny that this is what is most associated with Franklin and yet it is but a minor event among his feats. One must never trust the schools to impart any kind of information or knowledge. It is greatly misgiving and deceiving.

Mostly, I contemplated the power of efficient use of lightning. What can be accomplished with its unleashed power (nowadays such a natural occurrence as electricity is leashed and has been since the days of Thomas Alva Edison. What insanity is this? What absurdity I this? To leash the abundance of electricity?! Prior to the innovations of Edison, electricity was studied because its powers were so mysterious and so curious. But it was Edison who thought of how to leash it in order to profit from it. It was Edison, so I’ve read reported, that came up with the idea of charging people by the kilowatt hour. Up until then, electricity was merely turned on or off, like the valve of a water hose). I can see how all those great minds were as enamored with electricity. How all those fevered minds were excited into experimentation.

Double StrikeSuch beauty, this lightning. It’s the action, the interaction of cloud, ground (earth), particles, atoms, molecules, direction and current, all combining into this reaction called Lightning. How interesting its origins. Light-ning. Yes, light. It is brighter than any other I’ve seen on Earth, and enough to spoil the sun before my eyes. And I thought of the brain, and the “lightning” that is said to occur there. I love the possibilities of this planet, I truly love what it is capable of including growing humans). What disturbs me are the utterly unnatural (as blatantly arrogant supernatural) regulations performed by humans.

*Image Credits (all work used through permission of CC license or public domain)–
“Nikola Tesla relajandose en su laboratoria (Colorado Springs, 1899)” by Recuerdos de Pandora
“Double Strike” by Michael Bolognesi
“Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky (ca. 1816” by Benjamin West

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Electron Dreams

Is one really All?

Allow me to explain: Reality (that is consensus reality) behaves like a canvas that shapes and transforms before the beholder.

BuzzzAn End to the Schrodinger Conundrum—the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle assumes that the observer also has powers to predict unconsciously the outcome. You see, the observer cannot inherently possess the qualities of a conductor, as the Uncertainty Principle implies. Because the electron appears as a wave and particle, the observer cannot have any bearing upon the outcome. The real question is the observer sees either wave or particle because both he and the electron are one and the same.

From the electron’s perspective (does this seem so outrageous? Are humans not also electrons; more complex certainly as there are amalgamations of many electrons to form layers of skin, organs, hair, etc. etc., but electrons all), is not the observer also particle and wave? Not metaphorically the same, mind you, but actually.

When you stare at your reflection before breakfast, do you marvel that you appear? Do you question whether you are there or not there? Do you wonder if you are both here and there? Do you try to walk through the looking glass? It is the same with the observer and electron, as the electron becomes reflection of the observer, and the observer reflection of the electron. As such, what measurable difference between observer and electron can there be?

Inside the Riemann SphereGolden Symmetrywhen the electron moves as does the observer. Think of the intimacy between observer and electron as analogous to the eye of the beholder, only observer and electron are more like eye and beholder. As if the observer were the eye and electron the beholder, and electron as the eye and observer as the beholder. If this relationship seems symbiotic, no actual host and parasite exist, as the existence of host and parasite assumes there is a distinction between them. With observer and electron, no such distinction exists.

Oneness as Reciprocal Union—the concept of oneness is the same mistake as the uncertainty principle assumes there is distinction between observer and electron. This thought is not in error, but incomplete. There is no distinction between any singular entities (the proverbial ‘We’ whatever that includes) from which to pinpoint an all-encompassing oneness, no origin. To say We Are All One is to observe the electron in wave state. I posit, mustn’t there first be a distinction to have elements that can connect into this action at a distance known as oneness?

Peering in again at the Uncertainty Principle: How is it possible for any one (any beholder or electron) to possess control (that is the ability to determine as observer the eventual appearance of the electron)? I mean, the idea that the observer can inherently possess the ability to control (conduct, as if the observer were separate) the universe to such an extent as to predict the electron and himself is kind of just like hugging yourself.

Homage to BoschLet us follow another thread further. To believe that because the boat has a motor and rudder whoever holds the wheel steers the boat across the ocean is like thinking the observer controls/conducts the appearance of the electron as wave or particle. No matter what the engine horsepower or nuclear powered propulsion used, one hiccup from the ocean depths renders any expense useless.  It is more like the ocean steers the boat. The conundrum of the Uncertainty Principle occurs because humans do not control the motion of electrons, they and the electron move simultaneously, neither conductor, neither observer or observed, neither at the wheel, both floating along in quantum foam.

Einstein spoke of relativity; I can see his point. In the guise of oneness, the only point of reference from which all things can be relative is the reflection, which means relativity may actually be an illusion.

...and so on to Infinity...Ones Within Ones (or A Way Out of the Heisenberg Absurdity) —  See, the beholder and the electron may be symmetrical (do not be so limited in imagination, symmetry does not have to be identical in appearance to be symmetrical. Two concepts can be symmetrical, as such two conceptual masses, an object, can be symmetrical of one another’s motion). This is no contest to thinking; however, let us move laterally to the left and see what we can see. Imagine a Cartesian coordinate system, x-, y-axis. Turn the axis sharply to the left and arrive at a z-axis, a 90-degree turn from the y-axis. If you turn your mind 90 degrees from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle . . . are we still beholder or electron, wave or particle? This idea of borders must first be unlearned.

“People say to me, “Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?” No, I’m not… If it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it — that would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it’s like an onion with millions of layers… then that’s the way it is. . . . [M]y interest in science is to simply find out about the world and the more I find out the better it is, I like to find out…” ~Richard Feynman

Limits to GrowthOneness and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are incomplete as within the depths of their meaning sits the assumption that there is but one level of observation. That of the observer and electron as separate, so the conundrum is the observer can only see the electron as wave or particle and nothing else. Within the Uncertainty Principle and Oneness exists the real question that there is no distinction between observer and electron, like the electron the observer is both wave and particle as well. As Einstein’s theory of relativity posits, the observer and electron are relative to one another, in motion simultaneously, so observer cannot see beyond wave or particle. The illusion exists because the observer has only a single lens perspective; there are other ones. The flaw of oneness, which assumes We Are All One, rather than We Are All Ones Within Ones . . .  within ones, and so forth in all directions. It is more a matter of peeling away the layers, than a single perception.

Quantum_reflections_003Oneness does not stop at one, no prime mover exists (no which from which there is no whicher. Apologies to my fine fellow, Alan Watts), no origin, no nicely spelt out beginning to the story, motion does not require cause and effect or effect and cause. As the photon emitted from the electron, it simply moves as randomness disguised as cause and effect.

When oneness appears as social diversity (the continual perpetual mind-spinning circular categorization of intangibles, the tree-ing of an otherwise single concept, i.e., departmental hierarchy within a body corporate) bureaucracy abounds, actually epitomizes that there is no real origin. When it is used for the pleasure of finding things out then you have onion-ing. Where each one within one has all other ones, yet, out of nothing also appears as a new one (within one). Analogous to a field of probable action constantly flexing to accommodate new ones, without bias or judgment.

Like an elaborately woven tapestry with fractal designs, the tapestry as first layer oneness (or the observer’s perspective/perception), and all the threads are the ones within. One can look at the tapestry and say We Are All One, and then one can look at a thread and say We Are All One. It is not so much that we forego the trees for the forest or the forest for the trees, as looking closely at a thread. It works in the other direction, too; the tapestry does not end at its borders. Think of the tapestry as our known universe, and the threads as people-ing, earth-ing, sun-ing, solar system-ing, hell, it could even be universe-ing.

Let us not end here (wherever ‘here’ may be; our imaginary 90-degree turn), as further question beckons: What is I?

The Portal*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“Limits to Growth” by anua22a
“Homage to Bosch” by ellenm1
“The Portal” by Neil Carey
“Buzzz” by Gloria
“…and so on to Infinity…” by anua22a
“Inside the Riemann Sphere” by fdecomite
“Quantum_reflections_003” by Caitlin Tobias

This post originally appeared on EXPLORINGtheLATERAL here.

Radical Openness

RADICAL OPENNESS – An anthem on the power of IDEAS created by Jason Silva at Therapy Studios.

Presented at TEDGlobal 2012

Inspired by the ideas of TED, Chris Anderson, Richard Dawkins, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Steven Johnson, Kevin Kelly, Ray Kurzweil, Imaginary Foundation and many others.

Dedicated to those who believe in IDEAS WORTH SPREADING!!

[quoted from the description box of the video on Vimeo]

Religion and Science

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein

Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and desire are the motive forces behind all human endeavour and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present itself to us. Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions—fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal connexions is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates for itself more or less analogous beings on whose wills and actions these fearful happenings depend. One’s object now is to secure the favour of these beings by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them well disposed towards a mortal.

I am speaking now of the religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases the leader or ruler whose position depends on other factors, or a privileged class, combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.

The social feelings are another source of the crystallization of religion. Fathers and mothers and the leaders of larger human communities are mortal and fallible. The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes, the God who, according to the width of the believer’s outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even life as such, the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing, who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God.

The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, which is continued in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions. The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in a nation’s life. That primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The truth is that they are all intermediate types, with this reservation, that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. Only individuals of exceptional endowments and exceptionally high-minded communities, as a general rule, get in any real sense beyond this level. But there is a third state of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form, and which I will call cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to explain this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvellous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear in earlier stages of development—e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learnt from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer especially, contains a much stronger element of it.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no Church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with the highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as Atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it. We thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to religion very different from the usual one. When one views the matter historically one is inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and for a very obvious reason. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events—that is, if he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man’s actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God’s eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it goes through. Hence science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear and punishment and hope of reward after death.

It is therefore easy to see why the Churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest incitement to scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion which pioneer work in theoretical science demands, can grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labour in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics!

Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a sceptical world, have shown the way to those like-minded with themselves, scattered through the earth and the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man strength of this sort. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.

You will hardly and one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.

By Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, Secaucus, New Jersy: The Citadel Press, 1999, pp. 24-29.

What is Schizophrenia?

EXPLORINGtheLATERAL

What is Schizophrenia?  

“A good question, with no simple, short, or straightforward answer, since each sufferer is unique and schizophrenia is a complex phenomenon. In general, schizophrenia is an extremely introverted, psychospiritual mode of perception, or way of relating to the world; or state of consciousness involving (what I have called) ‘extreme empathy’. This simultaneous blessing and curse is due to a fragile, fragmented, dead, or lost ego, or conscious personality structure. The normal, ego-enforced boundaries between the self and the world have broken down, such that schizophrenia sufferers – for better and worse – find themselves identifying with everything within their scope of perception. It is because of this ego loss, or ‘dis-integration’ that psychosis, shamanic initiation and mystical experience are so inextricably bound. The schizophrenic person may appear to family, friends and doctors to be lacking in emotion, but in reality is in a state of intense…

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Quantum Consciousness

Consciousness could occur at the fundamental level of spacetime geometry when the brain stops being perfused. It doesn’t dissipate but remains together by entanglement. So an individual’s personality, consciousness, memory, soul if you will, could be entangled in a quantum sense and persist as fluctuations in the time scale of the universe. ~Dr. Stuart Hameroff

 

[A]sk the question is consciousness a continuum or is it a sequence of discrete events? I think there’s a lot of evidence that consciousness is a sequence of discrete events. It appears continuous but just like if we see a movie or a video it appears continuous but it’s actually a sequence of discrete frames. I think consciousness is also a sequence of discrete frames. ~Dr. Stuart Hameroff

What do you think?

To Understand Is To Perceive Patterns

INSPIRATION:

Albert-László Barabási, author of LINKED, wants you to think about NETWORKS:

“Networks are everywhere. The brain is a network of nerve cells connected by axons, and cells themselves are networks of molecules connected by biochemical reactions. Societies, too, are networks of people linked by friendships, familial relationships and professional ties. On a larger scale, food webs and ecosystems can be represented as networks of species. And networks pervade technology: the Internet, power grids and transportation systems are but a few examples. Even the language we are using to convey these thoughts to you is a network, made up of words connected by syntactic relationships.”

‘For decades, we assumed that the components of such complex systems as the cell, the society, or the Internet are randomly wired together. In the past decade, an avalanche of research has shown that many real networks, independent of their age, function, and scope, converge to similar architectures, a universality that allowed researchers from different disciplines to embrace network theory as a common paradigm.’

Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, writes about recurring patterns and liquid networks:

“Coral reefs are sometimes called “the cities of the sea”, and part of the argument is that we need to take the metaphor seriously: the reef ecosystem is so innovative because it shares some defining characteristics with actual cities. These patterns of innovation and creativity are fractal: they reappear in recognizable form as you zoom in and out, from molecule to neuron to pixel to sidewalk. Whether you’re looking at original innovations of carbon-based life, or the explosion of news tools on the web, the same shapes keep turning up… when life gets creative, it has a tendency to gravitate toward certain recurring patterns, whether those patterns are self-organizing, or whether they are deliberately crafted by human agents”

Patrick Pittman from Dumbo Feather adds:

“Put simply: cities are like ant colonies are like software is like slime molds are like evolution is like disease is like sewage systems are like poetry is like the neural pathways in our brain. Everything is connected.

“…Johnson uses ‘The Long Zoom’ to define the way he looks at the world—if you concentrate on any one level, there are patterns that you miss. When you step back and simultaneously consider, say, the sentience of a slime mold, the cultural life of downtown Manhattan and the behavior of artificially intelligent computer code, new patterns emerge.”

James Gleick, author of THE INFORMATION, has written how the cells of an organism are nodes in a richly interwoven communications network, transmitting and receiving, coding and decoding and how Evolution itself embodies an ongoing exchange of information between organism and environment.. (Its an ECO-SYSTEM, an EVOLVING NETWORK)

“If you want to understand life,” Wrote Richard Dawkins, “don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology.” (AND THINK ABOUT NETWORKS!!

Geoffrey West, from The Santa Fe Institute, also believes in the pivotal role of NETWORKS:

“…Network systems can sustain life at all scales, whether intracellularly or within you and me or in ecosystems or within a city…. If you have a million citizens in a city or if you have 1014 cells in your body, they have to be networked together in some optimal way for that system to function, to adapt, to grow, to mitigate, and to be long term resilient.”

Author Paul Stammetts writes about The Mycelial Archetype: He compares the mushroom mycelium with the overlapping information-sharing systems that comprise the Internet, with the networked neurons in the brain, and with a computer model of dark matter in the universe. All share this densely intertwingled filamental structure.

An article in Reality Sandwich called Google a psychedelically informed superpowered network, a manifestation of the mycelial archetype:

“Recognizing this super-connectivity and conductivity is often accompanied by blissful mindbody states and the cognitive ecstasy of multiple “aha’s!” when the patterns in the mycelium are revealed. That Googling that has become a prime noetic technology (How can we recognize a pattern and connect more and more, faster and faster?: superconnectivity and superconductivity) mirrors the increased speed of connection of thought-forms from cannabis highs on up. The whole process is driven by desire not only for these blissful states in and of themselves, but also as the cognitive resource they represent.The devices of desire are those that connect,” because as Johnson says “CHANCE FAVORS THE CONNECTED MIND”.

*Source