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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Polytheism – the only logical position (A modern definition).

The term Polytheism is a term that for many conjures up images of a belief system that may / should be consigned to history. In a world where monotheism has provided various frames of reference that stipulates that the top of any otherworld hierarchial system must, by default, be the ultimate in “power” and therefore should be the only “true” way, is one that for many, is no longer applicable.

The actions and the internal power bases of these religious frameworks documented throughout recorded history point to widespread failings in both interpretation and direction. These failings have led to death on scales that only major natural disasters compare to. Without wanting to apportion any sort of blame here, which is neither my intention nor interest, I am going to document why I have been led to the conclusion that Polytheism is the only logical position for me to hold in regard to otherworld interpretation.

As is documented on this site, I take an interest in the latest scientific advances and discourses. The modern scientific age is one that has, through various channels and circumstances, led to an understanding in the natural world that is demonstrable beyond the intuitive. This has led to advances in technology which take our interactions with this planet and all the processes present herein and beyond, to an altogether new level. Some of these advances are being made on the backs of theoretical models that cannot work without major rethinks into the reality of existence.

One such example is Quantum Computing. The principles of how this works is one that even within my lifetime, would have been dismissed as fanciful and based in imagination and yet, we now find that the possibility for such a machine and the idea that a position or particle could exist in a minimum of two states simultaneously, enforces the position that our perception of the physical realm we exist in is not the actual totality of that existence.

This may lead one to re-evaluate the nature of their interactions, with areas of existence that were previously based purely on intuitive perspectives, now being moved into theoretical scientific areas. Of course, any scientist for whom his / she’s livelihood depends upon these areas, steers well clear of any theological interpretations because these interpretations are difficult to qualify and therefore moves their work out of the measurable and (primarily) observable.

So, with the rise of theoretical models used to generate the evolution of technology, the changing nature of existence continues to be shown and demonstrated to us. This evidence then challenges us to reconsider our belief’s about the nature of this existence.

If we are fortunate enough to read what may be considered good quality literature about these scientific subjects, hopefully written by individuals in a position to write authoratively, then it becomes clear that the case for different realms of existence is now much stronger, whether these realms are described as alternative or many universes / worlds or whatever the current scientific language deems appropriate at this time.

The probability of such realms actually existing has now moved from the restrictions of questionable religious frameworks into the more open environment of the scientific disciplines. It would appear that the majority of current scientists now implicitly recognize the existence of realms not previously evidenced beyond the historically dubious writings of some religions. The weight of evidence is moving to strengthen the case for the existence of realms of reality that, although not sharing exactly the conditions we currently live in, never the less by their speculated existence, don’t violate the commonly held laws of nature evidenced throughout our own universe.

If the conditions needed to accommodate the creation and substinance of such alternative realms / universes are indeed universal, then the weight of probability would suggest that the possibility of different forms of life existing there would be strong. Their conditions of existence would be different from ours simply because their environment would dictate how they would experience their lives. Therefore, their experiences may share some commonality to us, but in some instances may be completely different.

The closer the environmental conditions to our own universe, the closer the potential commonality between any potential life forms. Therefore, it occurs to me, that the only question is whether the individual has, through personal or reasoned discourse, experienced any interactions with other potential life forms. The more that these theoretical scientific ideas are shown to be grounded in a reality that may be used for, say, technological evolution, the greater the probability that other forms of environments condusive to some form of life, may actually be based in reality.

These environments will be proven by scientific methods and as such, their consequences may be assessed scientifically thus taking some of the interpretations of these interactions away from some of the unproven religious conjecture evidenced elsewhere.

Therefore, if we accept that the potential for the existence of different “other-world” realms is increasing with scientific discourse, then using the model of life evidenced on Earth, it would be entirely consistent to assume that any or all life existing in these other realms would not be restricted to just one interpretation or example. Speaking personally, this is the strongest reason why I rejected the monotheistic model. I cannot think of any situation where life has occurred that has resulted in just one interpretation. It goes against the regenerative nature of life evidenced here on Earth. Therefore, if one places the notion of a God into another realm of existence, the model of life presented to us implies that this example of another independent life form would not stop at just one example. I would suggest that it would be a more reasonable position to assume that there would be more than one example or individual.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2010 in Cosmological Worldview

 

Personal Cosmology

Following my recent posts filed under Scientific Discussion, I now turn my attention to clarifying my continuing developing cosmological world view. The last year has seen me doing more reading than in probably any year in the last 20 years. There is no doubt in my mind that there has been a purpose for this, though it is a purpose that until I started this blog, wasn’t immediately obvious to me.

It is interesting to read the latest scientific revelations and increasingly they are confirming the general ideas that the wiser sages over time have been asserting, that this thing called life is a primarily illusional thing. The nature of existence is a common pursuit for both science and religion and for a period of time, the idea of keeping any form of religious overtones out of mainstream science was a framework that worked well. However, as with most things in life, the edges are now beginning to blur with our developing technology enabling us to go beyond our limited vision and to observe that which has remained hidden from human eyes.

I have found that studying the latest scientific advances is resulting in a clearer picture for my developing spirituality and I am finding that far from being polar opposites, the developments in science are complementing and adding to my personal cosmology which is becoming both more cohesive and better structured.

My work with Brython is one that started with the desire to find out if there was any native spirituality associated with Britain. I had found that the context of the main religions was not appropriate to me (that is not to say they are not to others, this was a purely personal viewpoint). So I looked into Paganism and for an initial period, this gave me pointers as to the potential that lay within the very broad parameters of that term. Soon after that initial foray, I came across Druidry and this seemed to be “pushing the right buttons” being an ideology specifically linked to Britain. However, the further I studied, the more the realization that this particular path was one that was more subject to personal revelation than to quantified frames of reference. As an engineer by trade, for me to develop any sort of cohesive and relevant spiritual framework, it had to have its basis in more than just subjective experiences.

Fortunately, my attention was drawn to Brython and it’s public forum at Caer Feddwyd and here I found discussion that was based around facts with an idea to reconnect with Britain’s lost spirituality using the proven and speculated results of the likes, but not exclusively, of archaeology and other available scientific areas. This type of interaction suited me because it referenced back to documented evidence and it didn’t exhibit the usual flame wars evidenced elsewhere on Pagan forums where subjective disclosure is treated as fact and is generally not up for either discussion or analysis.

My dealing with Brython therefore, pointed me in a direction whereas I started to read and comprehend scientific disclosure in the likes of biology, physics and even chemistry, areas that as a student did not hold a great fascination for me at that particular period in my life.

The more I have read, the more the pieces of this spiritual jigsaw have fallen into place. I feel that I am now at a stage whereas I can now start to attempt to create a “whole” picture. I don’t believe that this picture will remain static as more revelations from both science and other associated areas will require analysis and the model will require movement to accommodate these new pieces of information. That is part of the beauty of life, it is not static and it would appear to me that part of the purpose of life is to experience and adapt to the changing circumstances and environments.

It soon became clear to me that the animistic viewpoint, one that advances the notion that all materials possess in greater or lesser degrees some degree of consciousness was one that I could relate to from both a subjective and substantiated viewpoint. This possession of the animating force evidenced in living things led me to consider through study of primarily biology, the mechanisms needed to be in place for this transference to take place. People discuss and postulate upon the nature of consciousness, but I would rather establish working mechanisms that provide a means by which to establish if such a thing has the potential to manefest, than to take for granted that it actually does.

This led to the my first post. As I stated, the idea that consciousness is seated primarily in the brain comes about by the illogical conclusion that consciousness only manefests itself through the higher functions of the brain, such as thoughts. Yet, if we look at the processes involved in creating and then maintaining these pathways and the fact that the brain is in a constant state of recycling with a chemical activity that is akin to a boiling vat of chemicals, then if one adopts the materialistic viewpoint that once that synaptive pathway has been created it is there permanently, the documented evidence disputes this. It is known that every part if the brain is recycled regularly therefore it is dismantled and then rebuilt completely. Synaptive pathways are thought to be formed by experiences, so if they are dismantled, the logical position would assume that for that same pathway to be rebuilt, that same experience must have to be experienced again precisely. Groundhog day on a colosal scale!

So, if this is an illogical ideal, then what may constitute a possible answer? One possible answer I would suggest, would be the notion that the cells, being the primary providers of information, may store these experiences like a mini hard drive for the renewal processes of the brain to draw upon and supply the blue print for the reformation of these synaptive pathways. This suggests also that these experiences are not primarily seated within the brain, but become assimilated by the whole biological body. Consciousness may be viewed as the operating system a computer uses to operate the overall system, with the independently operating cells (CPU’s) providing the user information. This information is then processed by consciousness (the operating system) through both user interfaces (I am thinking of this like a computer screen that presents information to the higher functions) and storage of that information (the unconscious aspect of consciousness used to run the programs in the background).

Therefore, I would suggest we have a possible mechanism for the interaction between consciousness and biological body.

In my next post, I then went on to speculate as to a possible delivery method for consciousness by comparing the known attributes of both consciousness and gravity. Quantum mechanics, which is used to qualify a lot of what is termed “new age” ideas, is getting quite specific about how particles seem to possess the ability to pop into and out of reality. People in the know openly state that if you think you know how quantum mechanics work, then you obviously don’t! So whilst being a fascinating subject full of possibilities, I would prefer to base my conclusions on presently quantifiable scenarios when at all possible. This is why I chose to compare attributes instead of potential make up.

Finally, I went on to suggest some potential mechanisms that may explain how the third part of consciousness, that being time, may interact with this process. The most important mechanism here was that of the zipping process of different realities. If the position that all outcomes for all interactions are an actual physical reality somewhere in this or other universes is correct, then the ability of the individual to collapse similar realities at a set rate hints at a possible mechanism for this interaction to take place in. It would appear logical that different rates of collapsing or zipping different realities together would result in different subjective experiences. Further more, if this is the case, then assuming that the rate of zipping or collapse is not a universal constant, different rates may result in different realities. Someone or something that could zip or collapse realities at a different rate to you would experience reality differently from you and may not even be real to you in the normal sense of the word.

Would that mean therefore, that their existence was a reality or not?

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Cosmological Worldview

 

The Mechanics of Time?

My previous two posts in this series have speculated as the possible mechanisms by which consciousness may arrive and be experienced by the human individual. I now turn my attention to the question of the third component that creates the experience, that of time. At its basic definition, time is a direction which the individual experiences consciousness, usually defined by the biological body. However, it has been asserted by many great scientific thinkers that time is an illusion. Albert Einstein famously stated “This distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion.”

Current scientific theories are now actively promoting the concept that time is actually in reality, a series of 3 dimensional frames and that these frames are present at all times from both past, present and future. The simplest analogy to use would be the role of cinematic film with its series of captured images. The direction of time, times arrow as it is known is discussed in many books but at this present time, my thinking is influenced by this book that I am currently reading.

The concepts are quite involved and I could not do them justice without trying to do a post that would be at least 3000 words, which would not benefit anyone, so I’ll try to incorporate the general ideas with my own. To get around the many of the problems of a physical universe, science is now becoming quite fluid in its approach. This fluidity is now encroaching into areas previously assigned to the realms of the mystical. For many of the current models to work, there has to be an imposition of extra dimensions, dimensions that have been variously described by different physicists over the last 30 years or so. Here is one of the more generally known.

Our experience of time may be a result of our biological processes that create the direction our brain experiences these frames. If the premise that these frames exist in the universe individually and independently is correct, then time would be the mechanism used to direct the progression of these frames through the human or other biological brain. This tying of time to the biological brain is well evidenced by studies that have shown that animals experience time differently to humans. The difference seems to be that the human brain seems to possess a larger hard drive (to use a computer analogy) which provides humanity with a larger capacity for memory (episodic memory) and the ability to foresee or pre-empt the future, something not evidenced at all in the animal world.

If time is the direction by which we experience our lives, then much like a cinematic projector, it would appear to be reasonable to assume that different rates or increases in the numbers of these frames the brain processes could affect our perception of time. It is commonly evidenced that at times of great stress, such as in near death experiences caused by accidents, the perception of time slows for the affected individual. One may assume that if the frame reality of time is correct, then the brain may actually be processing a greater number of frames and much like a projector, if you speed up the number of frames processed in a given time, for example, lets say the brain process 20 to 40 frames per second to create “ordinary” reality (reality experienced as normal by the individual), then if that process accelerates to 60 frames per minute, reality will appear to be slowed down because of this information overload. Inversely, if we reduced the number of frames to say 10 frames per minute, then the resultant reality will appear to speed up. However, unlike a mechanistic projector that would present these images in a sometimes disjointed way because the change of information may be greater than we usually evidence, there are studies that suggest that the brain may actually “fill” these gaps by using information gained previously or may even “best guess” in anticipation. This best guess ability may be why, when questioned about a situation, witnesses sometimes appear to come up with conflicting information. One individual’s processing abilities may not be quick enough to deal with all the information so that individual’s perception is partially built by their brain filling in the gaps, whereas another individual’s processing power may be sufficient to do the job accurately.

Another of the current models of science at this time is the many worlds syndrome which I have dealt with before. Part of this asserts that all possible outcomes for interactions are present in the cosmos and that reality is a coming together of the greater number of similar outcomes. Assuming that the frames of reality scenario is correct, then one more function of the brain may be assimilation of these other realities. Think of this like a giant zipper, but instead of just two sides zipping together, many sides from different areas are thus zipped together to form our reality. The greatest number of similar scenarios present are zipped together resulting in our reality and time is the direction with which these realities are zipped together thus creating ordinary reality. The greater number of similar realities zipped together result in a cohesive and stable environment, but if this zipping ability varies from individual to individual and some individuals zip realities not so similar in outcomes, then their perception of reality may vary from what may be considered to be the “norm”. They are susceptible to a greater number of different frames of reality and as such, may experience reality differently.

This also raises the possibility that because this processing in humans is fixed, although I suspect that the rate of information the human may assimilate may be increasing because of technology, assuming one accepts the premise of other life forms, they may possess the ability to zip realities together much in the same way as humanity although their rates of zipping may be different from ours and as such our two realities may not be synchronized the same, resulting in different realities. Because we do not share the same rate of reality zipping as them, our perception of them is limited, however, if we can alter our rate of zipping by such practices as meditation, we may place ourselves in a position of creating a rate similar to theirs and as such, may actually change our own reality and therefore may have some limited experience of their reality.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2010 in Scientific discussion

 

The Human Conduit

In my previous post I raised the potential perspective that consciousness, as a living process, was one that may work by influencing the smallest living parts of the human being, the cell. Of course, cells are not specific to humanity but are evidenced in most other forms of life on Earth, so they are to me, a natural contender for being part of the mechanism that consciousness uses to manifest itself here on Earth. As I have mentioned before, as an engineer by trade, I am motivated to construct mechanisms and processes that both explain and demonstrate the transformation of energy (particles, waves, etc) into different forms. By creating and working with these processes we develop the ability to make better informed judgments by working from a basis grounded in proven and evidenced facts.

The matter of consciousness is one that can be most perplexing. We know it exists because the results are evidenced in all of us. Yet, because of earlier attempts to define its purpose through the teachings, writings and theological frameworks of human religions, it has been subjected to different interpretations that were solely the results of second, third or multiple parties interpretations of experiences they were not part of. This is, in my opinion, the great failing of the religious frameworks that are based upon the writings of person(s) of dubious historical fact.

Therefore, the reader will find that my own approach is one that seeks to develop a workable framework that has enough basis in fact or evidence to be usable for people to develop their own experiences without the need for an “overseer” to translate and define those same experiences. If the framework has basis in demonstrable facts, then the results of using this framework provides that person with a basis to develop their own experiences knowing that other people may also be gaining the same or similar experiences (hopefully).

Therefore, my own viewpoint and motivation is one that seeks to remove the need for a third-party interpretation and to place in the hands of the individual, the framework with which to both develop and correlate their experiences. Some of my conjecture will prove to be challenging and I am happy to respond to any and all questions about what I am proposing.

Using my previous conjecture that consciousness may provide the cell, or even the bacteria present in us and all other living matter, with a potential interface for the absorbtion of this consciousness, I now turn my attention to the possible contenders for the transportation of this consciousness. In the universe we know as being based in our present reality, there are four known forces. As far as everyday living for humanity is concerned, the electromagnetic force would appear to be the most obviously influential one. The electromagnetic force is responsible for the transportation of light and heat, probably the two most physically evidenced properties experienced by humans.

As we progress in scientific areas, we are now (probably) living through a part of human history rich with potential for advancing our understanding of the known cosmos, overturning centuries of both misinformation and just plain wrong concepts of what actually represents reality. One of those concepts was best described by the old adage “I’ll believe it when I see it with my own eyes”. We now know that what we see with our own eyes is provided by the electromagnetic force yet we do not know the process, fully, to describe how light, hitting the surface of the eye, is transformed into the usable information perceived by the brain. What we do know, from recent work, is that the range of light humanity can actually perceive only represents 0.0000000001% of the total light spectrum. “I’ll believe it when I see it with my own eyes?” actually, I don’t think I want to restrict myself that much thank you!

The electromagnetic force is also responsible for the delivery of the heat of the Sun, necessary for the majority of life on Earth. Therefore, it is probably the most directly experienced force as far as everyday living is concerned. Does this, therefore, make it the favourite for being the carrier of consciousness? I would suggest not and will develop my thoughts.

Two other forces are the weak and strong nuclear forces. The processes and purposes of these forces are not well-known at this time and would appear to be involved in the workings of particles and protons in the very small-scale of the quantum mechanical world. One thing these forces share in common though, is they are evidenced as being present in the known universe and at predictable strength. One of the consequences and suggestions of the M-brane scenario is that the observed universe, now that it has been observed and confirmed as being essentially flat, restricts interactions with this universe through the available dimensions of that same universe. A flat universe, therefore, restricts its dimensions to left and right, up and down (limited) and forward and back. It is also been suggested that space / time may represent a fourth / fifth dimension, but either way, these forces are restricted by the nature of a flat universe.

This also lends itself to the speculation that this flat physical universe acts as a restricting factor on these three forces, tying them to a predictable magnitude of both size and power. Therefore, if one is of the opinion that consciousness is not tied to this physical universe, but permeates other realms of existence or other (brane or other) universes, I would contend that this very nature of consciousness rules out the three forces discussed. If these forces are limited by our flat physical universe, I would suggest they are not good candidates for the transportation of consciousness.

Therefore we turn our attention to the last known force, that of gravity. Gravity is a force that has been the thorn in the side of physics for most of the time it has been known to science. It is speculated to being a major player in the formation of the universe (creating the conditions for the singularity of the Big Bang theory to develop) but unlike the other three forces, its relative strength is not proportional as is thought it should be. This weak force of gravity (proportionally) therefore, has meant that rather than deal with the consequences or reasoning of why this should be, physicists have actually chosen, in a lot of instances, to take gravity out of a lot of their theoretical equations and indeed, it is only possible for a lot of these very same equations to work without the disproportional influence of gravity. Upon learning of this course of action, I couldn’t help but think of the child who, not wanting to hear what it’s parents were trying to say to him / her, stuck their fingers in their ears singing La La La at the top of their voices! If we don’t see / hear it, it doesn’t exist!

However, for the purpose of this piece, the actual properties of gravity, especially using recent scientific speculation, lends itself to presenting the case as a potential part or full transporter of consciousness. This may not be as instantly outrageous as it appears at first sight. As we have speculated, one of the properties of consciousness is its apparent ability to transcend the physical and influence the non physical. Current scientific speculation into the many worlds or universes theory speculates that the existence of these other worlds / universes is only detectable by using the force of gravity. Gravity, it has been suggested, is so weak here, because it is the only one of the known forces that has the properties to pass through our universe and into another one. It has further been speculated that if we could use gravity in the same way as we use the light properties of the electromagnetic force, this would give us a window into these alternative worlds / universes. In short, it presents one of our best means to verify, at this time, the existence of other universes.

This speculation, therefore, may lead one to conclude that the properties of gravity are not dissimilar to those of consciousness, using our current understanding of what actually constitutes consciousness. It would appear to possess the same qualities as consciousness, to transcend both the physical and non physical (or scientifically, the non proven) yet has a direct influence in both creating the conditions of both the formation and continuation of the physical universe. It would also appear to be central to mechanisms observed in black holes, contenders also for potential viewpoints into alternative universes.

So, if we take the leap and suggest that gravity is a possible contender for the transporter of consciousness, we have a possible means by which this consciousness is experienced by humanity. We could not exist on this planet without the effect of gravity weighing us down and thus preventing us from spinning off into the vacuum of space. It is felt by each and every one of us in a direct way.

If therefore, gravity may be the mechanism by which consciousness is “delivered” to the Earth, part of the function of the physical body may be the transference of this consciousness (which may actually be a constituent of gravity) into the biological processes of the human body. Therefore, the human body (and indeed, most other biological bodies known and possibly other forms of existence speculated at currently ) may well be viewed as conduits for an energetic transference of this consciousness from its “raw” state present in gravity, into a different state transformed by the biological body.  The term transmutation springs readily to mind here. There is not a part of the Earth or indeed our solar system (and further, I would suggest there is good evidence to suggest no part of our known universe) that is not subject to gravity and if one takes the viewpoint that there is not one part of creation that is not subject to consciousness, the similarities are striking. The human body, the conduit, may be a transmutation device that realizes the potential of consciousness through the biological processes inherent in all of humanity. Other lifeforms may also demonstrate this transmutation effect to a greater or lesser extent.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Scientific discussion