Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Omniverse Almanac

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suHQcnCL_GU

Last week, we talked about The Placebo Effect, and new studies indicating that persons taking a placebo who are convinced they are taking helpful medicine will often see a statistically significant improvement in their health. As we discussed, this can make blind drug trials much more complicated to interpret. It also shows that we each may have much more control over our own health than we realize.

A few weeks ago I talked about The Omniverse Almanac, a fictional trilogy that addresses a number of ideas that are near and dear to my heart. You can preview the prologue at extramarbles.com, and I invite you to do so. The range of ideas explored even in this introductory section is extremely broad, so I would like to focus in on just a few short excerpts here:

...The Omniverse Almanac drifted through the cold darkness of space for millennia, entered Earth's gravitational field, plunged through the stratosphere, and materialized on the passenger seat of a Volkswagen Beetle traveling along the Santa Monica freeway on the outskirts of Los Angeles... Due to certain peculiar invariables brought about by the effect of the Big Bang on sub-quantum space, the Omniverse Almanac had survived the Big Bang intact.

...The Omniverse Almanac, which was compiled over long millennia by a race of beings who knew a thing or two about really important matters, states in bold type on the cover underneath the title that:
There is nothing that can enslave a man
as much as the offer of an afterlife

Julia Horner, the driver of the Beetle, was born twenty-six years earlier in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her father was a Methodist preacher and her mother lectured on philosophy at Duke University, a combination from which she had never fully recovered. However, Julia's parents had instilled in her from a tender age with an inquisitive spirit, which had led her to California in search of the meaning of life.

What exactly is the meaning of life? Well, on the very last page of the Omniverse Almanac, just before the bit that reads THE ABSOLUTE AND UTTER END, is an enigmatic answer to this seemingly unanswerable question. "The meaning depends entirely on what you mean by the question, and what you mean by the question depends on what you mean by life."

There is a certain tongue-in-cheek humor to this writing style that I find very appealing. Based upon the excerpt quoted here one might assume the trilogy is going to be similar to the writing of Douglas Adams, but as you'll see when you read the entire text sample the author has provided, there are some very deep issues of metaphysics and sociology which this trilogy will be pursuing. In short order within this opening section, our heroine Julia finds herself being mistakenly processed for the afterlife, talking with a transcendent being about all the suffering in the world, traveling in time through the bush-like branching structure of possible futures, and more. Meanwhile, we are rapidly introduced to a cast of strange and wonderful characters who will no doubt figure into the story to come.

As a work of fiction, of course, The Omniverse Almanac can play by its own rules. As I have talked about many times in this blog, the scientific definition of the omniverse is somewhat different from that which this book uses, and that matters not a bit. The ideas surrounding souls, forms of awareness from other dimensions, and what happens after we die, though, that you will see when you read the full excerpt are clearly very connected to the world of ideas that I have been playing with as part of Imagining the Tenth Dimension.

Those ideas are also tied to Gevin Giorbran and his book "Everything Forever - Learning to See Timelessness". It was Gevin who first introduced me to the term "omniverse", and it was Gevin who introduced us all to an intuitive way of envisioning the "set of all possible states" that the enfolded symmetry of the omniverse represents. Next blog, we'll discuss Gevin's untimely death in more detail, and we'll see how the ideas we talked about in this blog have some connections to that event.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

PS - This project is about thinking about the really big picture. Song 1 of the 26 songs attached to this project sums this up with what could be described as the theme song for this project: Everything Fits Together. A direct link to this video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7aRH0imFe0

Next: Gevin Giorbran - Everything is Forever

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