Stuart Hameroff on Quantum Consciousness

Professor Hameroff discusses the quantum mechanism of consciousness in the brain and it’s implications, for instance, in terms of time symmetrical processes taking place (that is, backwards in time) in the brain, and the potential for quantum coherence of the mind outside the body.

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Socrates and the Death of Scientific Optimism

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From an article by Jonathan Amos, “Stonehenge design was ‘inspired by sounds'”

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, “The Birth of Tragedy, Out of the Spirit of Music”

And now we should not conceal from ourselves what lies hidden in the womb of this Socratic culture! An optimism that thinks itself all-powerful! Well, people should not be surprised when the fruits of this optimism ripen, when a society that has been thoroughly leavened with this kind of culture, right down to the lowest levels, gradually trembles with an extravagant turmoil of desires, when the belief in earthly happiness for everyone, when faith in the possibility of such a universal knowledge culture gradually changes into the threatening demand for such an Alexandrian earthly happiness, into the plea for a Euripidean deus ex machina! People should take note: Alexandrian culture requires a slave class in order to be able to exist over time, but with its optimistic view of existence, it denies the necessity for such a class and thus, when the effect of its beautiful words of seduction and reassurance about the “dignity of human beings” and the “dignity of work” has worn off, it gradually moves towards a horrific destruction. There is nothing more frightening than a barbarian slave class which has learned to think of its existence as an injustice and is preparing to take revenge, not only for itself, but for all generations. In the face of such threatening storms, who dares appeal with sure confidence to our pale and exhausted religions, which themselves in their foundations have degenerated into scholarly religions, so that myth, the essential pre-condition for every religion, is already paralyzed everywhere, and even in this area that optimistic spirit which we have just described as the germ of destruction of our society has gained control.

While the disaster slumbering in the bosom of theoretical culture gradually begins to worry modern man, while he, in his uneasiness, reaches into the treasure of his experience for ways to avert the danger, without himself having any real faith in these means, and while he also begins to have a premonition of the particular consequences for him, some great wide-ranging natures have, with an incredible circumspection, known how to use the equipment of science itself to set out the boundaries and restricted nature of knowledge generally and, in the process, decisively to deny the claim of science to universal validity and universal goals. Given proofs like this, the delusion which claims that with the help of causality it can fathom the innermost essence of things has for the first time become recognized for what it is. The immense courage and wisdom of Kant and Schopenhauer achieved the most difficult victory, the victory over the optimism lying concealed in the essential nature of logic, which is, in turn, the foundation of our culture. While this logic, based on aeternae veritates [eternal truths] which it did not consider open to objection, believed that all the riddles of the world could be recognized and resolved and had treated space, time, and causality as totally unconditional laws with the most universal validity, Kant showed how these really served only to raise mere appearance, the work of Maja, to the single, highest reality and to set it in place of the innermost and true essence of things and thus to make true knowledge of this essence impossible, that is, in the words of Schopenhauer, to get the dreamer to sleep even more soundly (World as Will and Idea, I, 498). With this recognition there is introduced a culture which I venture to describe as a tragic culture. Its most important distinguishing feature is that wisdom replaces science as the highest goal, a wisdom which, undeceived by the seductive diversions of science, turns its unswerving gaze onto the all-encompassing picture of the world and, with a sympathetic feeling of love, seeks in that world to grasp eternal suffering as its own suffering. Let us picture for ourselves a generation growing up with this fearlessness in its gaze, with this heroic push into what is tremendous; let us picture for ourselves the bold stride of these dragon slayers, the proud audacity with which they turn their backs on all the doctrines of weakness associated with that optimism, in order “to live with resolution,” fully and completely. Would it not be necessary that the tragic man of this culture, having trained himself for what is serious and frightening, desire a new art, the art of metaphysical consolation, the tragedy, as his own personal Helen of Troy, and to have to cry out with Faust:

With my desire’s power, should I not call
Into this life the fairest form of all?

However, now that Socratic culture has been shaken on two sides and can hang onto the sceptre of its infallibility only with trembling hands, first of all by the fear of its own consequences, which it is definitely beginning to sense and, in addition, because it is itself no longer convinced with that earlier naive trust of the eternal validity of its foundations, it’s a sorry spectacle how the dance of its thinking constantly dashes longingly after new forms in order to embrace them and then how, like Mephistopheles with the seductive Lamias, it suddenly, with a shudder, lets them go again. That is, in fact, the characteristic mark of that “fracture” which everyone is in the habit of talking about as the root malady of modern culture, that theoretical man is afraid of his own consequences and, in his dissatisfaction, no longer dares to commit himself to the fearful ice currents of existence. He runs anxiously up and down along the shore. He no longer wants to have anything completely, any totality with all the natural cruelty of things. That’s how much the optimistic way of seeing things has mollycoddled him. At the same time he feels how a culture which has been built on the principle of science must collapse when it begins to become illogical, that is, when it begins to run back once it is faced with its own consequences. Our art reveals this general distress: in vain people use imitation to lean on all the great productive periods and natures; in vain they gather all “world literature” around modern man to bring him consolation and place him in the middle of artistic styles and artists of all ages, so that he may, like Adam with the animals, give them a name. But he remains an eternally hungry man, the “critic” without joy and power, the Alexandrian man, who is basically a librarian and copy editor and goes miserably blind from the dust of books and printing errors.

Of Mice and fMRI’s

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Nenad Druzic, 500 Pix

Before returning to the density matrix, I want to cover one more base. This is not a polemic, it is a parody of a polemic. I’ve heard that humor is serious business.

On a lecture, TVOntario, regarding the ethical basis for social reform, discussing experimental results in mice, from December, 2006:

I wonder, does she mean that compassion is a biological response, apparently observed in the brains of mice, albeit without explaining how, on earth, an observer would know whether the brain activity of a mouse could certainly be interpreted as something more complex than a mouse could possibly articulate? I mean, how can a mouse understand compassion, first of all, and second, even if it actually felt something close to compassion, a mouse could neither deny nor affirm this conclusively. Third, how does the observer decide what event in the life of a mouse would most probably elicit compassion, as opposed to any other, specific mouse emotion? Finally, how does a scientist prove that a mouse experiences such distinct, linguistically abstruse, equivocal, airy-fairy, unseeable, “unreal”, completely invisible things as what we call, broadly, “emotions”?

Her argument from science, as I understand it, is that observers assert that certain “brain activity” equals the presence, in the consciousness of the mouse, of some form of compassion. Is this assertion also bolstered by some kind of behavioral, active interaction, a compassionate response, an act of compassion on the part of the mouse? The brain activity alone is an argument from silence, literally, as the mouse cannot speak.

Also, what is this researcher trying to say about compassion? It appears that she is boldly and recklessly trying to argue that compassion is a priori biological. She presents an argument from science that is, at best, ridiculously unclear and, at worst, an embarrassment to clear thinkers everywhere. She argues that an altruistic concept like compassion is the result of an evolution of species, that compassion is somehow necessary for the success of species. Further, she argues in a circular manner that the presence of the alleged compassion is evidence for its evolutionary contribution.

My feeling on this, with respect to this earnest person, is that she is entitled to her opinion, but if she is going to advocate the “religious” beliefs of her mentors and colleagues, if she is going to participate in the proselytization of disciples of a “new magic”, a trojan horse in the form of a hollow, positivistic science that can, with its magic machines, actually see the unseeable, if you are going to pretend to see the Emperor’s new MRI picture of compassion, then you will be surprised when the horse opens up and you are conquered and taken prisoner by the hidden army of uncompassionate, intellectually imperialistic propositions that you have invited into your trusting and reasonable soul.

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Painting by René Magritte

Whereas you are, by this argument, being led to believe that we can have an ethics and a moral code independent of, and in fact, in the absence of God, in the name of tolerance and an inoffensive, nonpartisan, “common” reason why we should all try to behave, and that no one group can lay claim to a “right” (as opposed to everyone else’s “wrong”) ethical code, that no nation or institution or individual can “lord it over” any other, it is, in fact, being argued that science, an institutional authority, will lay claim to the “right” kind of inoffensive moral code and science will lord it over everyone, because it says that it can see, it can reveal the unseen, intangible qualia of emotions that the rest of naive humanity has primitively attributed to the silly, immature, unscientific notion of spirit, or soul, or some other such invisible, unparsimonious entities that now only children are dull enough to believe in, like Santa.

Out of the horse comes the aggressively coercive dogma, the arguments that rely more upon distraction (or, if you like, outright deception) in the form of science’s bells and whistles, technological gadgets which really do little more than make pretty pictures and wavy lines, to confirm what a talented student of biology would see without such aids. This argument is, as I said, boldly and recklessly advocating a belief system, with the good-hearted qualification that she believes her argument from science will compel anyone to accept it because, it is assumed, science is the only source of truth. She believes that, by definition, science is unbiased because it is ideologically positivistic in that its propositions spring entirely from observation and not from abstract, conceptual or “airy-fairy”, unsubstantiated claims. She “believes in” science.

She does the scientific, or “right” thing, she thinks, by referring to experimental “evidence” to support her observation that compassion is clearly better than the lack of it, and that the value assigned by religion in the past to this disposition, this emotion, this puzzling, clearly problematic tendency of people to empathize with weaker, obviously unsuitable evolutionary candidates, flys in the face of evolutionary theory in that what is ethically and morally best is survival. If one is weak, according to evolution, it is good that one does not outperform a strong member of a species. The ethics of evolution would imply, even select for and favor a feeling much different in the strong. Evolution, one would think, should result in a strong organism which reveled in its strength; a strong, or better adapted, or some such competition-oriented individual with a biological engineering which generated drives or tendencies that also were dedicated to eliminate weakness; a species that recognized weak individuals to be avoided or destroyed, and that would be chemically, or morally, stimulated by this purely biological necessity. To push the extreme of hyperbole, evolution would result in an organism which would actively seek to secure its evolutionary success by aggressively pursuing a moral code and an ethical agenda which held that the destruction of the weak was good, fine, the highest and best of intentions and the most rewarded of accomplishments.

Thus is revealed her dilemma, that compassion is not something one would expect to find in an evolved species. She reveals her unstated assumption in her identification of the need to place compassion at the center of an evolutionary ethics, thereby making her greatest weakness, her achilles heel, the illusory but clever and somewhat mystical champion of biology. She turns a weakness into a strength, not with scientific evidence but with rhetoric and the very, I believe, deceptive claim that science can take a picture of compassion. One is not convinced of this by demonstration of any kind; one is simply told an astounding, smoke and mirrors story about mice.

It is the epitome of irony that one would be so invested in one’s belief system that she does not realize that simple reliance on a sketchy reference to the scientific process does not constitute an argument but is nothing more convincing than a Christian’s reference to the biblical “history”, or a physicist’s reference to “existence”, or a child’s assertion that “my mommy said so.” She does not see that the claim her experts are making, with the interpretation of the evidence as part of the evidence, concerns a problem that intelligent, coherent thinkers have wrestled with since God knows when, a huge problem, the problem of consciousness and its relation to the physical body, the mystery of different states of consciousness – this problem, it is claimed, is easily solved by scientific technological gadgets, in fact, abracadabra, alacazam, we have a picture of consciousness!

She believes this without question, especially since the specific compassion of a lab mouse has been recorded, since lab mice are the clichéd, unquestioned standard of evidence and it is understood that anyone who carefully observes lab mice must know what they’re talking about. The claim her experts make is so astounding, so truly outrageous, that one must wonder why the amazingness of this scientific power, the power to read the mind of a mouse, a power formerly claimed only by charlatans and swindlers, psychics and mediums, a mystical, godlike power, why the claim to this mystic authority, this disdainful technique used by those whom science shuns and excommunicates as opportunistic, predatory, egocentrics who get all the attention and who, from the point of view of science, have way too much influence over people and need to be put in their place, why this claim to mystic authority, to be a seer like the prophets of old, why this totally unscientific claim is quietly slipped past you, so you don’t get too excited like those religious fanatics. She claims a human power so immense it staggers the mind and she is not the least impressed by the ease with which she tosses out the answer to a question she clearly does not understand.

On The Significance of the Genetic Contribution of Mary

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500px.com

May 2005

What if scientists built a time machine and a biologist traveled to Israel 30 AD? She could perhaps obtain a skin cell scraping or a lock of hair from Jesus and genetically analyze it. What would she find?

It follows from Jesus’ being truly human that he would have DNA in his cells but whose DNA would he have? It follows from current scientific understanding that Jesus must have had a blood type compatible with Mary and hence, a genetic affinity with her. If Jesus was truly human, this biological necessity would be fulfilled. Here we have an interesting irony in the biological descent of Jesus in that Adam (the first) begat Eve, whereas Adam (the second) was begotten of Eve (Mary). Further, the descent from Adam indicates that biologically, Jesus is begotten of God because Adam, genetically, was begotten of God. So this genealogy is very important as indicating descent from the original, divine genome. Moreover, it is (narratively) from this divine genome that apparently all humans are descended (barring, of course, the problematic narrative accounts indicating that there already were humans in the world before Adam and Eve descended from Eden.)

It seems the biblical accounts describe all human DNA as divine in nature and origin. It follows that Mary’s DNA is also ‘Adamic’ and this would not contradict the divinity of Jesus as a human begotten of God, since this is exactly what Adam was. So the scientist’s analysis would probably at least identify the x component of Jesus DNA to be from Mary. The y component would not correspond to Joseph. Statistical analysis might indicate that there is a slight probability of a complete zygote occurring spontaneously and this would explain the immaculate conception indicated by the witnesses.

Adam was not God, yet Adam’s DNA was constructed entirely by God. So what, exactly, is the difference between Jesus and Adam if it is not purely biological, since both posses DNA and both were not the result of ‘natural’ zygotes formed by the combination of the DNA of a natural mother and father? The question is one of identity. How did Adam know his identity – how did he define himself? Self-definition is the prerogative of consciousness, not biology. God gave Adam a DNA-produced ‘consciousness-machine’ and God communicated with this machine. According to the narrative, God’s presence was perceived by Adam’s consciousness-machine.

The story of Genesis 2 reveals that God walked in Eden, God was there and Adam perceived him and spoke with him. So God was perceived on a sophisticated level, the level of speech. God had already provided an environment for Adam, and created Adam’s perceptual apparatus to perfectly correspond to this environment. The environment was perceived as it was by the consciousness-machine. Since he could speak, Adam demonstrates a level of consciousness capable of self-definition (according to Dennett), so even if Adam is ‘metaphorical’, he represents an advanced stage of human development, a moral stage.

Adam was able to make sophisticated discriminations about himself and his environment, and to articulate these, such as naming the plants and animals, for example. Therefore, Adam is able to discriminate between himself and God, the person presenting on his visual and auditory fields. Via the simple discriminations offered to his consciousness-machine, according to the narrative, Adam concludes, “I am not God.” As an aside, some apocryphal manuscripts indicate an altered physical state of Adam after the Fall – it is described that he wore a ‘garment’ which was taken away when he left Eden. It is also described that the animals in Eden could speak, therefore demonstrating a type of consciousness they now (post-Fall) do not. One could describe this as a ‘broken symmetry of consciousness’, in that where once there is believed to have existed a higher level of consciousness, this is not evident at our current lower level of consciousness.

In Adam’s naming of the plants and animals, he demonstrates a highly sophisticated discriminatory process and creative linguistic ability, thereby defining himself as well – “I am not any of these.” So Adam becomes an individual, self-defined, and discovers that he is alone. He discriminates differences as well as similarities between himself and God that rule out identity with God, even in ‘kind’. Adam has specified (i.e. ‘species’) himself. When God creates Eve, Adam defines her differently and even names her accordingly as attached to himself in ‘kind’ – ‘Adam’, ‘Adamah’.

The similarities between Adam and Eve and God are apparently overwhelmingly visual, hence, ‘image’ of God is the term used to specify ‘human’. Extra-canonical literature punctuates this similarity of God and his ‘image’ by giving the image special status among all created things. Adam and Eve are then given simple instructions about ‘what to do next’. They are to administrate their environment, which is given to them to look after. They are given one simple moral condition, a choice regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What is good and evil? Do they know or don’t they (assuming the snake is a liar)?

Yes they do, because on their own they comply with the moral imperative and once they break it, they know they have. Their consciousness already possesses this moral capacity, which is a thought-based conceptual realm, an abstract realm. How else could these abstract characters even live in this abstract ‘story’ environment – i.e., the story about them is the story from them. They possess the qualities from which the story derives. And so, we have ‘the fall’ of Adam and Eve. There is a distinct change in Adam’s perception of his identity, which he is able to articulate, meaning that he is conscious of it, and he is conscious of his alienation in time-space.

Alienation implies before/after (time-space). Eden was eternal for Adam – no before-Eden, no after, just ‘forever-Eden’, continual growth, beauty – consciousness of a different order, seeing the presence of God, speaking with the animals, eating the fruit of the Tree of Life. It is a static (myth-like) picture, as opposed to the dynamic, changing environments post-Fall. He is now separated from his former Eden-identity, his Eden-consciousness, his Eden-self. He now must redefine himself completely apart from God, a moral definition schematized in narrative. So he calls it ‘punishment’. Death is the result. Adam’s immediate physical perception, consciousness of God, had continually sustained and restored him. His alienation has real, physical consequences and so, Adam dies and returns to dust.

Contrast the identity of Jesus as it is revealed by his self-definition. Jesus is not conscious of alienation; in fact, he is conscious of complete identity – “I and the Father are one.” How he is conscious of this is a good question, which probably cannot be answered definitively, but there is evidence in favor of it. This evidence is presented by the witnesses, i.e., the New Testament documents, numerous historical persons, The Church, etc. This evidence is not for Jesus in the shaping of his consciousness, it is evidence of Jesus, given by him because of his conscious identity. Many of his speech-acts resulted in the evidence, indicating his sophisticated moral self-understanding: the resuscitation of Lazarus when he spoke to the corpse, as well as other resuscitations cited by the witnesses; his speaking to the physical elements, such as the storm which responded to his command. Jesus was born with this identity and he exhibited his self-differentiation in terms of ‘kind’, his species, by his authority over the whole entire created order as demonstrated by ‘miracles’.

There is no recorded period of Jesus’ life which exhibits any lack of this self-realization on his part. So, in terms of the question of genetics and their importance for the identity of Jesus as God as human, it seems the genetics are the physical setting for Jesus’s consciousness-machine which ran only the identity, “I am God” as his narrative centre of gravity. What it was like to be Jesus is impossible (and you know we do not use this word lightly in these days of probability theory) for us to know beyond the extent of our own conscious experiences, which for the most part do not include storms responding to our command or corpses coming back to life.

All I am saying, apart from the question of how he could have this consciousness, is that he did, and this is what defines him as God. We have also argued that the presence of DNA in his body does not rule out his divine identity but rather, was necessary as the seat of his consciousness, however mysterious the relation between the two remains at this point.

Adam’s Blind Spot

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When Adam asked for a companion in the Garden of Eden, the Lord did not give him a video or a magazine, he gave him a real woman. Now here’s the punchline – even Adam, the perfect man, couldn’t handle her!

May 2005

It seems to be a blind spot among moderns that humanity is “fallen”, that the present status of humanity cannot be used for moral modeling. We all know that the story of the Garden of Eden contains an appropriated Goddess myth, re-modeled as a polemic against the goddess theology and ancient matriarchal paradigms, such as those of the Egyptians, since woman gives birth to, or creates, man. In Eden, man gives birth to woman, and God “gives birth” to both via creation from “dust.” Recursively, God creates life from nothing or, as later writers asserted, from his word. The myth also asserts that “the man” (“Adam”) which God created was able to live eternally in Eden, that there was no death.

Now, where does this notion of eternity come from? And the incredible idea of a human body that is indestructible, that does not age or decay? These notions definitely do not come from observation of anything in nature. Even the ancients could not help but notice that one of the fundamental qualities of nature is that things are “corruptible”, to use a Pauline term, that they decay, or degrade, or explode (as volcanoes), or are subject to catastrophe (disease, injury); that plants die, that nature does not exhibit, even at first glance, “eternal” qualities – mountains erode, sands shift – nature is in a state of flux.

Modern science, in its pursuit of the fundamentals of nature, has discovered that substance is fundamentally unstable. They cannot explain what holds it together, except to say that there is a “force”, defined by the Plank constant, an “energy”, but no particular reason for it.

In the search for fundamentals, the progression can be illustrated by, for instance, the question why there are two sexes. Genesis 1 and 2 also try to explain this theologically. So science asked, what are the fundamentals of humanity? Well, first of all, there are two “kinds” of human, male and female. So the next question was, what is the fundamental cause of this? And they found that, well, there are only two kinds of chromosomal patterns determining sex, xx and xy, a genetic basis. So, what is the fundamental cause of genetic differences? It was found that DNA is a double helix string of protein molecules, four in kind, which are arranged in apparently infinite combinations, like musical notes can be, and that one of these combinations was specific for sexual identity of two kinds. So then, what is the fundamental cause of protein differentiation? Well, it turned out to be that proteins are constructed of fundamental particles called molecules, in different combinations. In fact, all matter is constructed of these particles, so a greater fundamental cause was discovered which not only explained sexual differentiation, but material differentiation and properties, connecting humans and all living things to “the dust”; that is, to inorganic substances because they are made of the same stuff.

So science discovered a fundamental physical principle that placed humans in the universe as a variation of simple substances. But still, where did the life come from? There must be a more fundamental principle than just molecules, because there also exist non-living molecular structures, salt for instance, and “complexity” itself does not seem to explain the difference between living and non-living substance – especially since life could not be produced by experimental means from simple substances (i.e., Alchemy), or found anywhere else except Earth.

So what is the fundamental structure of molecules? Well, atoms and their combinations. So the properties of atoms were investigated to discover what fundamental qualities they exhibited and it was found that they were, in turn, composed of even more fundamental particles – electrons, protons, etc. – which explained how and why they were able to combine to form such a variety of substances, exhibiting such a variety of properties.

In the discovery of quantum physical reality, scientists also discovered that the whole entire universe is “dying”, that the substance of the universe exhibits the quality of entropy – the progression from greater organization to lesser organization, from higher energy states to lower states, and that, eventually, according to any theory (string and wave theories of the universe included) the universe will be destroyed.

So where does the notion of eternity come from if all observations of the world render non-eternal results? In a world that constantly and consistently exhibits death and decay, where could such an idea have come from? How is it even an evolutionary concept, since evolution appears to be a function of death? Evolution seems to require death as the basis for selection in that selection would not be necessary if death were not an inherent property of the world.

The notion of eternity is unexplainable in terms of the universe that we live in. The universe does not naturally present this idea to the mind and neither does evolutionary development. Eternity is an absurd notion from the point of view of the world in which we live. So where did it come from? It could have come from simple opposition – the logic that since things die, perhaps there are things that don’t die, that are opposite in quality. This is a sophisticated logic, not a “survival” logic; it is a playful logic, not a “serious” logic. It is a logic that came from stories, from fictions or myths, that allowed minds to play, to explore, to imagine worlds beyond their own where things were different.

Perhaps the impetus for this was the phenomenon of dreams or of recounting histories for the benefit of the group, or some combination of both, which blossomed into story telling and entertainment – pure mind-based activities that human beings found to be important for social cohesion – to share same understandings (“memes”) for the purpose of communication, so that individuals could operate in the same conscious frames of reference. In this way, they could decrease the options for interpretation, limit the scope of sounds into words that became ever more specific in reference, and place these words in contexts, or juxtapositions, leading to the development of social groups which could command more power by the cohesion produced by the commonality of language and of the epiphenomena of shared understandings of origin, of purpose, of meaning, of the relation between individuals in ever growing, more complex societies, as humans became ever more reproductively successful.

So we are back to reproduction again and the question of eternity. The story of Eden is an example of this playful logic of opposition – that woman is not God, or God is not woman, based on the creation of humans in her womb (related metaphors, “mother earth” or “mother nature”), and that man is not God, or God is not man, because man came from dust. But where did the dust come from? Where did the Earth come from? The ancients reasoned that they must have come from somewhere, from someone, that life has an origin, and it must be a living origin, a “father” metaphorically, because of the new, patriarchal paradigm, and that this father could not, in turn, have a father. A finite recursion of fathers must have had an original father, hence, “In the beginning…”; not the beginning of the father, however, but the beginning of the world. So where did the father come from? Logically, he must have always been, he didn’t come from anywhere – he is eternal (“ageless”).

So, why are his sons and daughters not eternal? A darn good question! Apparently they somehow “lost” this quality of their father, becoming no longer of the same “kind” as him. This seems tragically like punishment, but punishment for what? They must have done something to deserve punishment, and quite a harsh one, it seems, as the difference between living and dying is of primary importance. Why should people die if their original father is eternal?

This is a complex line of reasoning, a moral, intellectual level, which, according to Robert Persig, is higher than social, biological and organic levels (Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, 1991). It is completely thought-based, conceptual, as opposed to practically or materially based, as in social communication, biological survival and organic existence. Therefore, the answer posed by the Genesis narrative is also posed on a moral level. They died because of a moral reason. This is profound – that physical results are based in moral causes. This reasoning also seems to explain a great many other causes and results: the existence of “evil” in the world and evil inclinations in human disposition. It is asserted that the entire world was degraded on a moral basis and that actual, physical death was the result. Moral degradation was also a result, entangled in the entire, complete separation of humanity from the physical and moral perfection, the “being of the same kind” (speciation) as the father.

The man and woman, humanity, are “cast out” of this state, metaphorically. They “descend” and God “ascends”; reality suffers a symmetry breakage and two realms of being emerge – one destructible and one indestructible. So, the notion of eternity appears to have a moral basis, developed from a sense of alienation created by the tragic reality of death.

That death is a moral tragedy and not just a physical one, is very important. It means that the Fall of humanity, illustrated by the story of Eden, is thought-based, not physically-based; it is moral, not scientific. This is the blind spot. It is our thoughts (consciousness) not our physical actions, that cause death. Thoughts and physical actions are not integral. One cannot derive thoughts from actions and actions cannot be derived from thoughts because it can be demonstrated that people often do not know why they do things. Otherwise, there would be no need for psychology or sociology or anthropology or neurology or cognitive behaviorology, etc., etc. It seems that no one can really say, definitely, what actions are derived from what thoughts.

Hence the moral dilemma of humanity – how to discern moral thoughts from immoral ones, actions being non-determinant or irrelevant. Who can say which thoughts are moral and which are not? No one; hence the studies of philosophy, theology, etc. It is a blind spot, this inability to discern, and people will deny it because it is a true blind spot – it does not register. We seem to think we know, in fact, we are often taught to think we know. However, it is a biblical (narrative) truth that we do not. Our thoughts, which are products of a morally bankrupt physicality, the universe included, cannot be moral of the “kind” that God is moral. We are faced with an impossibility (improbability) – to have moral thoughts. Just how “fallen” are we, some may ask? It is not a viable argument that we are only partially fallen, as death is as complete a punishment as anyone could imagine.

Further, how to discover moral truths from “revelation” or “revealed truth” if our thoughts are completely immoral? “Who will save me from this body of death?” (Paul).

A Matter of Perspective

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Dariusz Klimczak, 500px.com

Here’s something to hold us over until I get a better handle on Penrose’s argument for consciousness from gravity.

April 2005

If we think about geometrical concepts, e.g., circles, squares, or hyperspheres, we notice that they are, first of all, imaginary and second, perfect. These imaginary objects do not change, do not move, they are static, localized, timeless figures. In a sense, they are eternal. Conversely, natural, or real physical geometries are not perfect; they are dynamic, they move and change, form and decay, constantly, chaotically, some more slowly (i.e., stars, galaxies, etc.) and some more quickly (i.e., uranium atoms, weather patterns, plants, etc.). This reflects the biblical concept of the Fall, not only of humanity, but of the entire universe – that the state of existence in which we find ourselves is one of alienation and contingency, a probabilistic reality and not an absolute one.

Our ability to conceive these perfect geometrical objects is a spiritual ability, and one must agree that the great mathematicians were obviously inspired. They themselves admit that their insights are of God (e.g., Einstein). This makes them prophets in a sense, seers of the mysteries of reality, leading us toward an understanding, a communication with God through an understanding of the universe. In order to reach these pure geometrical forms, to touch them, we must enter their realm, the realm of perfection, of unchangeability, of timelessness, spacelessness, stillness.

The realm exists and is shown to exist by mathematical language which describes reality. Mathematics has been demonstrated to describe reality by the technological advances and scientific discoveries of the last century or two especially. So science supports the biblical assertion of a realm of perfection which really, physically exists in higher dimensions. Science also posits and even calculates the enormous amount of energy required to realize this realm.

It seems as though the biblical writers, the ancient prophets, received information, often in the form of mental images or of words, of a unified universe that exists eternally, right now. Somehow it is imminent and present, as God is imminent and present, only we, or most of us, cannot see it. I believe we are only blinded by our perspective, the way we look at things, or have been taught, conditioned, to look at the world – and in talk of dimension, perspective is the appropriate word. For instance, take the blindness of Aristotle and Ptolemy to the fourth dimension – time/location, or timespace. We had to wait 2000 years for Einstein, et.al. They could have discovered it but they put on blinders, in effect, blinding everyone else who followed their creed of 3D space.

In recent science, we discover the higher symmetries of reality in the mathematics of theoretical physics, such as the 5D symmetry of spacetime/matter-energy of general relativity, or the symmetry of the wave theory of the universe with the 0 cosmological constant, i.e., that infinite universes with infinite wormhole connections magically “turns into” a 0 cosmological constant in 10D space, and that rather than there being 10^100 times the observed amount of excess radiation appearing in the vacuum (the expected amount based on symmetry-breaking equations), there is none! Kaku calls this “magical”, one of the most astounding symmetries discovered to date. Then there are the symmetries of string theory, in which both gravity and quantum mechanics “turn into” each other in 10/26D space, or that certain modular functions reflect the numbers 10 and 24(+2) – the exact number of necessary dimensions for a field theory of gravity.

Add to these astounding correlations the fact that string theory was discovered “by accident”, or “too early”, that the equations cannot be solved, that modular functions were given to a child in his dreams (see Kaku, Hyperspace, pp. 172-4: “Srinivasa Ramanujan was the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. He has been compared to a bursting supernova, illuminating the darkest, most profound corners of mathematics…Working in total isolation from the main currents of his field, he was able to rederive 100 years’ worth of Western mathematics on his own…Ramanujan used to say that the goddess of Namakkal inspired him with the formulae in dreams.” ), that the solution to Einstein’s gravity equation was given as if by answer to prayer by an obscure scholar using Reimann’s field equations in 5D, equations which had been ignored for 60 years – that the most beautiful equations ever seen by theoretical mathematicians, the general theory of relativity, were revealed conceptually and not discovered experimentally! – and we begin to see that even scientists are discovering some disturbing, coincidental, almost mystical emergences of answers to questions that cannot be proven, even though they appear to be right both intuitively and by mathematical “beauty” or correlation or “simplicity and elegance.” The string field equations cannot be solved and yet, there they are!

How do scientists explain this? Well, they don’t, and some won’t even acknowledge the equations of string theory because they feel they are an affront to science itself – not being provable, either by math or by experiment – i.e., the Plank length at 10^-35 m contains too much power to ever be “explored”, the 10th dimension is a realm of infinite power/energy – we can’t see it and we can’t go there, or the 10D field equations are too complex, infinite in length, and cannot be solved to a degree of certainty.

Thus we find that science does not adequately explain reality by its own standards, that is, by experiment, observation or theoretical or mathematical proof. Scientific speculation is fraught with belief systems, hypotheses, theories and models which science itself admits do not adequately or completely explain the phenomena it observes in the universe. In short, the problem of science can be epitomized by the question, “If science has explained reality, why is there still science?”