Sunday, April 15, 2007

Gravity and Light

In an ideal world, every interface should be able to be boiled down to a simple interplay between only two currently available choices, so that even a very limited input device (one operated by a physically challenged person, for instance) can navigate, right from the very first yes or no. Finding what the most basic choice is can be the hardest part of designing an interface!

Some people are not comfortable with the idea of "Thoughts Become Things", because it feels so counter-intuitive to the observed physicality we see around us. Is everything just vibrations and constructive interference patterns? Is a person's consciousness and our physical reality all just a reflection of a complex vibration across the dimensions? In the model proposed in "Imagining the Tenth Dimension", we begin by talking about the geometric concept of a point. Later in the book, it becomes clear that this "starting point" can be in any dimension we choose to imagine it (if it's in the third dimension it could be at position x,y,z; in the seventh dimension it could be at position t,u,v,w,x,y,z; and so on). If the tenth dimension encompasses all aspects of indeterminacy, then no matter which of the nine dimensions you choose to place that first "point", its position collapses out a particular reality from the multiverse... in other words, it becomes the first yes/no, and by its selection it is already reducing the available options to a certain subset of the indeterminate whole.

I would argue that no matter what dimension you place that first point, the first thing that point defines is the value (or range of values) for gravity in the universe (or universes) that you are selecting. Physicists tell us that gravity is the only force that travels across all dimensions. Therefore, even if the information is irrelevant to the discussion at hand, any reality (ours included) can't have an indeterminate value for gravity. What do I mean when I say this information could be irrelevant? Well, for instance, if I define a set of co-ordinates in the third dimension to create a cube, I can determine the volume of that cube. Whether that cube exists in our universe or in some other universe with a different value for gravity, I can still determine its volume. But as soon as I am imagining a cube that physically exists, I am defining it as being in a real three-dimensional universe, which means that even though I am only assigning the x,y,z co-ordinates and values for this cube, its existence as a real object necessitates that it also be part of an implied subset drawn from the wave of quantum indeterminacy: a reality defined from the ninth down to the first dimensions. If gravity is everywhere, then any subset of reality must be limiting the available choices for gravity.

What if the point I'm thinking about is in the seventh through ninth dimensions? Then we can imagine our point, because it is of indeterminate size, as encompassing multiple values for gravity. Whether it would actually be possible to create a three-dimensional reality from a seventh-dimensional point encompassing a range of values for gravity is a science fiction question, a challenge for the imagination.

The second thing that can be locked in is the value for how close one point can be to the next in the reality we are choosing to examine. For our universe, this value is known as the planck length, and its value tells us why nothing in our universe can travel faster than the speed of light, and why our reality breaks down into quantum indeterminacy when we try to examine things that are closer to each other than the planck length - it's because "time" is not continuous, it is granular. Time gives us this illusion of being a continuous fourth-dimensional line, but it's actually being created by a series of three-dimensional points each representing our universe in a particular state-space, and each of those points is one planck length away from the next. While it's entirely possible to imagine a universe constructed from points that are closer together or further apart than the one we live in, they would be part of some other subset of the multiverse.

But how can something as complex as physical reality be boiled down to just a vibration across the dimensions? Here's an analogy: think about a sound wave. Using the interplay of only two factors, amplitude and frequency, we can create something as simple as a sine wave, or as harmonically complex as the human voice, or as dynamic as a thunderstorm. In the digital realm, the degree of accuracy with which a sound can be represented is reflected by the number of bits used to represent the amplitude, and the sampling rate used to represent the frequency. Once the bits and sampling rate are high enough (and any audio geek will tell you these numbers should therefore be much higher than the 16 bits and 44.1K sample rate of a CD), any sound imaginable can be properly represented.

The speed of light, then, shows us the "sample rate" for our universe, which determines what frequencies can be properly represented in the waveform of our physical reality. As we approach the speed of light or the planck length, reality breaks down, it can no longer be properly represented.

Consciousness, in its own way, can be boiled down to an interplay between gravity and light, but consciousness is not confined to the physical world, so those words can easily be used metaphorically. Still, an idea can have a certain gravity (or lack thereof), and a frequency (or mix of multiple frequencies) which, like the amplitude and frequency of any other waveform, allows us to create any idea imaginable. In Imagining the Tenth Dimension, I argue that the clouds of memes and spirit that exist across time are part of what we take on to become a unique personality, and because those factors are not rooted in the limited physical realm, they can be transmitted across generations, and also be responsible for simultaneous inspiration or the sudden ascendency of new memes. The biggest-picture-of-all memes which have existed since the beginning of our universe have such a long waveform that they could easily be represented by a much lower sample rate - but since time is really an illusion, what we are really talking about here is just another way of viewing our slice of the multiverse.

Enjoy the journey,


P.S. - the new "Utopia" issue of What Is Enlightenment? magazine is now hitting the newsstands. Please flip to page 26 and read the fantastic article by Senior Associate Editor Tom Huston about the Imagining the Tenth Dimension project.

The link to this video can be found at

A link to this video can be found at

A link to this video can be found at

A link to this video can be found at

Friday, April 13, 2007

Seeing Eye to Eye

Each living creature has a grid of awareness that represents their point of view, their interface with reality, their way of looking at the world. That interface is comparatively simple for an amoeba or a fruit fly, but just as unique as our own. Each of us has a personal matrix that represents our beliefs, our history, the set of memes or the society of mind that drives us forward and keep us interested in "what happens next". It is that desire to continue that sums up the difference between things that are living and things that are not, and this is true at both the physical and the spiritual levels of our reality.

But there I go getting all metaphysical again. There are the hard determinists who have a great deal of problem with any framework for discussion that involves there being more than one reality, more than one timeline for the universe. This point of view is easy to understand: we look back in time and see a predictable, provable universe which obeys the second law of thermodynamics. We see the evidence of only one timeline stretching back to the big bang, so why should there be more than one stretching into the future? The timeless multiverse and determinism would seem to be drawn from two separate and incompatible belief systems, two mutually exclusive grids of awareness.

I've been told that there are oriental languages where the colloquial phrases for time involve "looking forward into the past", and alternatively "looking behind us to see the future": these phrases imply that the past is easy to see, just as if we were looking straight ahead of ourselves, while the future is something that we can only catch hints of, because it is behind us. I would argue that the future is hard to see because it is being drawn from the indeterminate wave of possible branches available to us from the fifth dimension, and some people (including those who have viewed the tenth dimension animation) would agree, while there are others who will never see eye to eye with me on this idea.

Everybody's heard the corny old saying, "the eyes are the window to the soul". Isn't it interesting, though, how eye contact is such an important part of human interaction? Even in the animal kingdom, eye contact is an important part of interplay, with modes of making/avoiding eye contact quickly establishing social order or provoking/avoiding conflict. What is it about eye contact with another person or another animal that tells us so much so quickly about their attitude, their tension, the speed of their internal clock, their health and vitality, their way of looking at the world? What does trying to see eye to eye with with a snake tell us about how close their point of view relates to our own, and why is that so different from looking into the eyes of our more nearby mammal cousins? Eye to eye contact, as simple as it appears, is surprisingly complex.

It's also intensely personal, in that it is impossible to look more than one person or creature in the eye at the same time. In psychology and philosophy, the concept of the "Other" relates to this idea - and an important part of the development of consciousness is when we become aware that there is a difference between our internal world of thought and the external world of physical reality and other people. This is not to say that the two worlds are in conflict - but rather, to say that eye contact appears to be a way for two creatures to see within each other, and to see how much their points of view agree and disagree with each other at some basic primal level.

In Imagining the Tenth Dimension, we start from the traditional binary viewpoint, that there is a way to describe every particular thing about the Universe as being the result of saying "these are the things that something is" and "these are the things that something isn't". To quote from the book:

Cosomologist Jacob Bekenstein estimates that if you were to digitize all aspects of the universe as we know it, it would take approximately 10 to the hundredth power bits of data. That’s the number one followed by one hundred zeroes! So, if you were to have data storage in your computer equal to that amount, it might appear that you should be able to re-create and search through all aspects of the universe. It’s amusing to note that particular number, one followed by one hundred zeroes, has a name that was coined by Milton Sirotta in 1937: he called it a “googol”. That word is commonly spelled “google” today. Is this a coincidence? It would seem we have revealed the ultimate goal of the world’s most popular search engine–that all aspects of the universe will be catalogued and searchable within its google-sized confines.

The concept of the Other gives us a simple description of the interplay between our internal "observer" and the external physical world, which occurs at any conscious moment. As physical creatures, we are all participating in a consensual reality where the basic laws of physics are locked in, and the laws of thermodynamics seem to be moving us from the big bang to entropy. Gevin Giorbran's "Learning to See Timelessness" shows us how the interplay between grouping order and symmetry order provide a dynamic tension to create the world we see around us. With the concept of the multiverse as presented in its extreme form here, we are supposing that each of us are in our own unique reality, while we also share a consensual reality constrained by the laws of physics and the fact that there are only a certain number of possible branches available to us within the fifth dimension at any single instant. The extent to which those two realities (our internal world of conscious awareness and our external world of observed reality) are at odds with each other tells us much about the uniqueness of our own point of view, or how unusual our own sets of circumstances might be, and can be used as a way to imagine how the dynamic tension between grouping and symmetry could be what is locating each of us in our own particular realm of time, space, and shared history within the multiverse. Each of us are in our current position on a point in the third dimension, with a trajectory in the fourth dimension which can be changed at any moment by accessing the fifth dimension paths available to us. Those changes happen for the world (and the universe) at important "cusp" moments, and personal cusp moments can happen whether we choose them or whether chance and the actions of others choose them for us.

Dan Winter's Implosion Group (always good for a densely packed and potentially overwhelming collection of thought-provoking tangents) has a page about the twinkle in the eye which appears to relate to these ideas as well. My song "The Unseen Eye" is also related, as it talks about the nature of reality as being the result of a certain state-space being observed by our consensual reality, out of all of the other possible state-spaces which potentially exist out there in the timeless multiverse. When two creatures look in each other's eyes, they are seeing a summation of where they are in the ten dimensions, and the Unseen Eye is the combination of the internal and external points of view that combine to create the reality those two creatures share. Is The Unseen Eye God? If you like. It really depends upon your own unique "point" of view, doesn't it?

The link to this video can be found at

Here is a previous blog which prints out the lyrics for this song.

Enjoy the journey,


Monday, April 9, 2007

What is Enlightenment?

Since this project was launched, I have always been careful to describe this as a "new way of thinking" rather than an established scientific theory. As it says on the back cover of my book, it is "not about about mainstream physics. Rather, Imagining the Tenth Dimension is a mind-expanding exercise that could change the way you view this incredible universe in which we live".

I have always liked the idea that the best scientific theories seem to have an inherent elegance or "rightness" to them that allows the general public to have at least some intuitive understanding, even if they can't do the heavy math or analyze the deep theories behind the science. As we move towards a time where we have philosophers and scientists seeming more and more to agree on what's happening out there in the timeless multiverse, we begin to feel that both factions really and truly are talking about the underlying structures of reality. As I said a few blog entries ago, it's like gophers popping their heads out of their burrows and catching sight of each for the first time.

I am very pleased to note that the upcoming issue of "What is Enlightenment?" magazine is doing a feature article on my Imagining the Tenth Dimension project. Senior Associate Editor Tom Huston has written a two and half page article, "Your 3-D Universe Is So Passé" which will be part of their issue entitled "Searching for Utopia". This magazine is on newsstands at stores like Borders, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, Whole Foods, etc., and I invite you to pick up a copy.

My song Everything Fits Together, for me, sums up the concept of enlightenment - the idea that there is an underlying order to the universe which we can intuitively understand and relate to is key, as well as the idea that there is an inner peace we can all strive to achieve once we perceive that underlying order.

Here again, and for the new visitors to this blog from What Is Enlightenment, are three videos for that song: Everything Fits Together. Here also are two links to previous blogs about this song: one which prints the lyrics, and one which gives a bit more discussion about the ideas behind the song.

A link to this video can be found at

A link to this video can be found at

Enjoy the journey,


Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Dark Side

Goths (and many of the subgenres of metal music) embrace the following mythos: it's okay to be fascinated with the dark side. In fact, there are future versions of yourself where if you use a little bit of ruthlessness and self-serving evil now, you will get to the future you're interested in, where you will have all the things you want.

Sure, a rising tide lifts all boats, but it's very hard to imagine a world where everyone knows The Secret and yet no one in the world has profited at the expense of another - and as critics have pointed out, no matter how much you tell a starving child in Africa about The Secret, they are not going to be able to manifest their thoughts into actions and become millionaires.

Still, this dichotomy between self-serving action and action that benefits the world is what makes The Anthropic Viewpoint so interesting for me: people have to know that there is a version of the future where you make the best of whatever the combination of your own set of choices, random chance, and the actions of others have dealt out for you.

That's what's holy about people who make the best of a bad situation, be that a person debilitated by disease (the much-celebrated "indomitable human spirit"), or a person who lives a simple but fulfilled life. That's what's sad about people who don't believe that there is anything more to reality than the hard physical world we see before us: if you don't have any faith that something good has been at work to get us here, and that something innately good is still moving us forward on the branches of the reality tree we are climbing, then you are more likely to leave this world unhappy to be going into the abyss.

In my book, I suggest that anyone wanting to create fiction about time travel would do well to use the self-consistent version of the multiverse depicted in the tenth dimension animation, the ramifications of which are discussed in the other ten chapters of my book. It's easy to imagine this multiverse as being where Star Wars took place - and Terry Gilliam movies like Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, Time Bandits and Tideland* (as well as much of the writing of Philip K. Dick) all come from various parts of that same limitless alternate reality that exists in our minds, in our dreams, and out there somewhere in the sixth dimension. Maybe we can't get there from here, but those versions of reality are still part of the big Joseph Campbell-sized archetypes which are part of the shapes and vibrations that help to motivate us as quantum observers to create the fourth dimensional line we are drawing in a fifth dimensional plane that is derived from the rounded shapes and sudden bifurcations of the sixth dimension.

Fractals and the bifurcations of Chaos Theory give us ways to see the repeating patterns in nature and history which are exactly the same as the shadows cast from higher dimensional objects: in this case though, I am proposing that those higher dimensional objects can be thought of as meme-systems in the higher dimensions. We already know that we live in a universe that prefers order over disorder, and creativity over stasis (just two examples of the many possible systems at play), because that is part of what has defined our universe from its very beginning. Based upon the established trajectories from the big bang to now, those biggest-picture-of-all memes will likely always be part of the universe we live in.

While "using the Force" may only be an idea created for a movie, it is not that much different a concept from having faith in a higher power or using The Secret to gain advantage. When George Lucas via Star Wars talks about "embracing the dark side", this is about what happens when you pursue a version of the future where you and a few others profit at the expense of the future of most others around you - which also makes this whole discussion very political, because politics is about the eternal struggle between the demands of the powerful, and the basic needs of the masses. A path chosen that gives one group of people selfish power over many others is the downside of politics - power and money tend not to encourage altruistic motives, unfortunately. When politics manages to really be about democracy and the choices of a few benefiting the world, we are looking at great leaders indeed. The dirty little secret of The Secret, then, could be that if you are not happy with your current lot in life, it's possible that is because you are living in a version of the universe where someone else has used their power to turn thoughts into actions by creating a world where they have profited, but as a result you have been deliberately placed at a disadvantage! In other words, if you're not taking control of your own future, then somebody else who cares very little about your welfare might be doing it for you.

Finally, just for fun, here are two related videos by Ryan Hill for my song "Seven Levels". If reality stems from the tenth dimension, but our own universe and all of its basic laws (including the memes that prefer order over disorder, etc.) are locked in as a point in the seventh dimension, then there are really only seven levels (and six degrees of freedom!)to the reality we are experiencing. By the time we move to a different point in the seventh dimension and up, we are no longer in the universe we have already occupied for the past 13.7 billion years. Instead, we have moved into the other universes which are decoherent with our own... but that's a whole different discussion!

A link to this video can be found at

Enjoy the journey,


* I should mention that I have been a Terry Gilliam fanatic for decades, and was very fortunate to have a song written by myself and my son Todd sung on camera by one of the characters in Terry's recently released film Tideland.

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist