Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Illusion of Space and Time

Time is not inherent to the Universe. A detailed search of the Universe will reveal that there's no such thing as 'time', but only this moment... and this moment....and this moment. Some think of time as being one moment piled up ontop of another moment to create four dimensional space. You can imagine it a bit like a polaroid picture being taken of this present moment and then another being slapped on top, and then another, until eventually a worm-like structure appears. This idea of four dimensional space creates the illusion that time is real, and somehow tangible in the Universe, but it's not. The only place where four dimensional space exists is in the human mind. What really happens with that polaroid as it lands on top of the one below, is that the old picture disappears- it ceases to exist and it's replaced by this moment....and then this moment... For more details on fourth dimensional space you can go here...

Over 99% of an atom is empty space. In-fact there is hardly any matter whatsoever. I like how this site illustrates just how empty an atom really is :

The electrons which orbit an atom spin so fast that it enables a mostly empty structure to appear solid to the observer. If we were to shrink ourselves and accelerate our speed of perception, the electrons of that atom would appear to slow down in their orbits. Eventually the atom would become more apparent for its empty space than its solidness, and I can't help but draw on an image of our own solar system to illustrate this (but perhaps another time). What this shows is an inextricable relationship between matter, time and our rate of perception. The rate at which we percieve the spin of an atom designates just how solid(or empty) matter appears to be. Matter is thus revealed as a function of time. Time is created by our rate of perception and is therefore personal to each observer. Time is the product of how we percieve the Universe, and not inherent to the Universe itself.

Time inside an atom is measured in attoseconds. One attosecond is one quillionth of a second. To try and give that some kind of perspective, one attosecond is to one second what one second is to the age of the Universe. One attosecond is the time it takes light to travel the length of 3 hydrogen atoms. 150 attoseconds is the time it takes for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom. These speeds are unfathomably fast, but only in relation to our rate of perception which is measured in 'yawn' milliseconds. The earliest response to stimuli begins at the cerebellum within 2 ms, whilst the first response of the visual cortex is around 50-70 ms. A full state of arousal of the brain takes around 200 ms. So what we have is a vast, almost unthinkable difference in time scales : one millisecond is one thousandth of a second, but if an attosecond were stretched to the length of a full second, a second would last longer than 31 million years.

If I was to speed up my rate of perception from milliseconds to attoseconds, then the rate at which I drop the next polaroid would slow down. If I increased it further, say the speed of light, then I would stop....everything would stop....but only in relation to me; in other words only my experience would have stopped. What's also interesting at this stage is the presence of consciousness and its role outside experience. As the rate of perception increases or decreases, consciousness will have remained invariably constant, and indeed, if my rate of perception were to run at the speed of light would we not find that the only thing to exist would be consciousness? Does this then confirm what the mystics and religion have told us for thousands of years - that it's all One, and that it's all God?

I found this on Wiki and I thought it poignant...

A further name for this irreducible, time-and-space-transcending mysterious Truth or Essence of Buddhic Reality is the Dharmakaya (Body of Truth). Of this the Zen master (Zen Buddhism is a Mahayana school), Sokei-An, says:[10]
... dharmakaya [is] the equivalent of God ... The Buddha also speaks of no time and no space, where if I make a sound there is in that single moment a million years. It is spaceless like radio waves, like electric space - intrinsic. The Buddha said that there is a mirror that reflects consciousness. In this electric space a million miles and a pinpoint - a million years and a moment - are exactly the same. It is pure essence ... We call it 'original consciousness' - 'original akasha' - perhaps God in the Christian sense. I am afraid of speaking about anything that is not familiar to me. No one can know what IT is ...

Friday, 5 September 2008

The God Particle Is A Delusion

I hate to tell another man how to do his job, but I hope those scientists involved with this Large Hadron Collider know what the hell they are doing. They aim to recreate the conditions in the first billionths of a second after the Big Bang, and to finally expose an intriguing atomic particle which has thus far evaded them- the Higgs Boson, or 'God particle'. They want the Higgs Boson particle because theoretically it bestows mass on all other units in an atom, and they need it to unify gravity from Einstein's relativity model to the one that is supposed by quantum physics. Some are also thinking that they might find a little bit of God in there somewhere. But it's so obvious what's going to happen once they switch this thing on - it will smash these atoms only to find more stuff hanging-out in there. And what about God? What everyone appears to fail to notice is that God is already staring out at us.

The Temple of Jerusalem was an immense complex which was built up around one small, but very important room- the Holy of Holies (Kodesh Kodashim). Only once a year, on Yom Kippur, the high priest would enter this room and pray to God on Israel's behalf. It was in this very room that God was thought to reside, and it's interesting because the room was utterly bare. The Holy of Holies was empty.

In the five daily prayers, Muslims face the Kaaba in Mecca, Arabia. It is a cube-shaped stone structure that was originally built by Prophet Adam and later rebuilt by Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that the Kaaba was the first house of worship on Earth dedicated to the worship of one god. Muslims do not worship the Kaaba. It serves as a central focal point for Muslims around the world, unifying them in worship and symbolizing their common belief, spiritual focus and direction. Interestingly, the inside of the Kaaba is empty.

The key concept of Zen is the 'emptiness' of Mahayana. A Zen Buddhist serves only to empty the self, so that a Great Union is formed with the emptiness of the Universe. This relationship exposes that which the mind percieves as empty is actually an empty awareness, or consciousness.

More than 99% of an atom is empty space, and less than 1% is actual matter. The atom looks solid because we are larger and percieve at a rate so slow that the atom appears to spin astronomically fast. It creates the illusion that objects (which are mostly an empty structure) appear solid to the observer. Perhaps science is making far too much importance of this tiny percentage of matter which we can see, but fails to acknowledge the implications of that emptiness which we cannot see; we dismiss it as 'nothing' because it is unquantifiable, but for this very same reason mystics throughout the centuries have beheld it as holy.

So maybe it's not another particle we need to explain the Universe to us. Is it possible that this empty awareness animates all relationships in the Universe from quarks all the way up to gravity on planets? It might pay for science to put down that hammer it wants to crack a walnut with, and start taking a better look at itself. The human mind is not infallible, it is a tool. Tools' sometimes get it wrong. I just want science to be sure of every possible outcome before they pull that lever and send protons whizzing round a ring at nearly the speed of light; if not just for those people of Geneva who are trying to sleep well at night but everybody on the planet.