A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khTlSGfZWiU
Poll 40: "People who focus on the "now" rather than their possible future paths are more likely to be moody, indecisive, and envious." Poll ended May 26 2009. 45% agreed while the majority disagreed.
A number of visitors to the blog had some trouble accepting this supposition, which relates to a specific entry I published last month called "The Time Paradox". In it, I talked about a book of the same name by Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University. In a promotional video for his book he tells us that tests given to children showed a clear link years later to which of them were more successful and well-adjusted as they entered adulthood: four-year-olds were offered the choice of a marshmallow right now, or two marshmallows if they were willing to wait for twenty minutes. Those children who jumped at the single marshmallow rather than thinking about the greater future reward coming if they would wait, to use Dr. Zimbardo's words, grew into young adults who were more likely to be "moody, indecisive, and envious". Those who did wait went on as adolescents to score an average of 210 points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and to be much more likely to be rated by independent examiners as "competent" or "attentive", while those who were not able to delay gratification were more likely to be described as "sulky" or "irritable".
As I mentioned in my previous blog about the Time Paradox, the difficulty some people have in accepting these results may be connected to the current popularity of Ekhart Tolle's writing: The Power of Now, he tells us, is better than the ego-based striving for tomorrow and fretting about the past. Sometimes, though, living in the Now is living in a trap of endlessly repeating negative patterns, and that is not the way to make your life better. Who would disagree that "attitude affects outcome"? What psychiatrist would disagree that healing can't really start until it comes from within? What entrepeneur would disagree that "the eye of the tiger" is how you get to the future version of yourself that you hold as your heart's desire? What athlete would disagree with the power of positive visualization techniques? What health care provider has not seen people who lose their interest in tomorrow, their will to carry on, and death follows?
All of these are related to the processes of engaging not just in the "now", but in the branching future paths that exist as potential for each of us. In The Placebo Effect I talked about the surprising results of medical studies showing how difficult it can be to test new drugs when patients given placebos will also do better because of their assumption that they are being given some new treatment. In Changing Your Genes Part 2 I talked about the amazing new science of epigenetics, which proves that people can actually change their own gene expression through changes in lifestyle and attitude. And in Creativity and the Quantum Universe, I talked about how this "engaging in the future paths" concept has been proved to be basic to our universe and to the basic structures of all living things.
And where are all these future paths that hold this amazing promise, these powerful tools that people around the world are using to moving beyond a "now" that is not to their liking and to a possible "then" that exists within their set of all possible future states? According to my way of visualizing, this is all within the fifth dimension, within a probability space that connects to Everett's Many Worlds and the hidden patterns of the universe, and which each of us are navigating within one planck after another right at this very "now".
Welcome to a better future you. And enjoy the journey!
Next: A compilation of Polls 31 to 40
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Regular readers of this blog will remember that for much of 2008 I was posting monthly updates of the most popular blog entries here:
. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08
. September 08 . October 08 . November 08 . December 08 .
Top 100 Blog Entries of 2008.
Back at the end of March we looked at a Top 26 blogs 1st Quarter 2009 Report. At the time I noted that a glitch in the transfer of Feedburner over to Google had resulted in more long term reporting being messed up, and that's why these monthly updates haven't been able to happen this year... but I'm pleased to report that as of a few days ago this has been rectified.
So, let's get back to it! Here are the top blogs for the last thirty days:
1. Mindwalk and Twitter
2. Polls Archive 35 - Do We Come From a 5D Hologram?
3. Polls Archive 36 - Do Plants Use Quantum Effects?
4. Polls Archive 34 - God? Or the Multiverse
5. Polls Archive 37 - Do shamans see other Dimensions?
6. News From the Future
7. Polls Archive 38 - Do musicians have more empathy?
8. Polls Archive 39 - Can memories be transplanted
9. The Stream
10. WWF Augmented Reality
And as of May 29th, 2009, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. As you'll see if you compare this to the last time I had a properly tallied list, the much larger (and growing!) number of people visiting my blog this year has definitely weighted this list towards blogs written in the past six or seven months.
1. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (new)
2. Slices of Reality (new)
3. Augmented Reality (new)
4. The Holographic Universe (new)
5. Urban Garden Magazine (new)
6. Modern Shamans (new)
7. Scott McCloud and the Brothers Winn (new)
8. The Comedian (new)
9. The Shaman (new)
10. Astrotometry (new)
11. Our Non-Local Universe (new)
12. Going to the Light (new)
13. "t" Equals Zero (new)
14. You have a shape and a trajectory (new)
15. New Translations of Imagining the Tenth Dimension (new)
16. Illusions and Reality (new)
17. Where Are You? (new)
18. The Musician (new)
19. Dark Gravity Across the Dimensions (new)
20. Dr. Mel's 4D Glasses (2)
21. The Big Bang and the Big O (new)
22. You are Me and We are All Together (1)
23. Google Suggestions - March 09 Update (new)
24. I Know You, You Know Me (3)
25. The Time Paradox (new)
26. Scrambled Eggs (4)
By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. And as always, here's a reminder that the Tenth Dimension Forum is a good place to converse with other people about these ideas.
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Polls Archive 40 - Now vs. the Future
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Two blogs ago, we talked about "Evolution's Fast Lane". Last blog we discussed "Does the Multiverse Really Exist?". This time let's tie those ideas together.
My friend Chuck Salyers has been encouraging me to learn more about Dr. Bruce Lipton, so I'm now waiting for my order to arrive from Amazon: an audio book called Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and How to Get There From Here. Bruce Lipton's body of work, including his popular book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles seems to be saying many of the same things I have about our role as quantum observers, the new science of epigenetics, and understanding that we have much more control over our reality than we've been led to believe: which is not to say that I can use my free will to make my skin dark and not have to worry about sunburns, but it is to say that there is not just one inevitable path that each of us and the entire universe are moving upon.
Here's what Dr. Lipton's website says about his work:
The new sciences quantum physics and epigenetics are revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter, challenging established scientific theories and prompting a complete re-evaluation of life as we have known it.But wait, you might be thinking, isn't epigenetics only about how an individual can better manage the genetic hand of cards they've been dealt? What does that have to do with evolution? Here's the answer, found in an article published last week in Science News, which talks about the concept of epigenetic inheritance. Not only can modifying your lifestyle change how your own genes are expressed, this can also change what genes you pass on to your offspring!
One of the shining lights to emerge from these new sciences is cellular biologist and best selling author, Bruce Lipton PhD, whose book, The Biology of Belief, was awarded 2006’s Best Science Book of the Year.
Lipton maintains that pivotal to this shift in thinking within the scientific community has been groundbreaking insight into the function of genes.
Where does all this lead us? There was an article published in Discover Magazine this month that takes the question of "how much control do we have over our reality" to a fantastic conclusion: here's a link to the article called "The Biocentric Universe Theory: How Life Creates Time, Space, and the Cosmos." Let me quote from the article, which was written by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman:
I've talked about similar ideas with my project, with entries like The Flipbook Universe, The Past is an Illusion, Google and the Group Mind, and The Big Bang and the Big Pie: if we are to accept the idea of "reverse fine-tuning" of past conditions (and many quantum physicists do), this requires us to adopt a timeless perspective, which means that as we visualize the multiverse we are "outside" of space-time, in a place where "the distinction between past, present and future is meaningless" (one of Einstein's often-quoted phrases). Biocentrism takes these ideas to an extreme, but if physicists like Seth Lloyd and Anton Zeilinger are correct when they say that Information Equals Reality, then what are we really talking about here? Each of us is navigating through a data set that already exists, as we just discussed in "Does the Multiverse Really Exist?". In entries like Your Fifth-Dimensional Self and in my book, I've talked about how this means there is already a "best possible you" that exists within the multiverse, and recognizing how you are already connected to that version of you is a way to help yourself get there. This will also be the subject of my next entry, "Now vs. the Future".
Biocentrism holds that the universe is created by life and not the other way around. This is an explanation for and extension of the participatory anthropic principle described by the physicist John Wheeler, a disciple of Einstein’s who coined the terms wormhole and black hole.
Even the most fundamental elements of physical reality, space and time, strongly support a biocentric basis for the cosmos.
According to biocentrism, time does not exist independently of the life that notices it. The reality of time has long been questioned by an odd alliance of philosophers and physicists. The former argue that the past exists only as ideas in the mind, which themselves are neuroelectrical events occurring strictly in the present moment. Physicists, for their part, note that all of their working models, from Isaac Newton’s laws through quantum mechanics, do not actually describe the nature of time. The real point is that no actual entity of time is needed, nor does it play a role in any of their equations. When they speak of time, they inevitably describe it in terms of change. But change is not the same thing as time.
One of my most popular videos over at YouTube shows another way of visualizing the data that we're moving through, one planck length at a time as we select from our fifth dimensional probability space. As Brian Greene says in the New Scientist article we discussed last time, How to Map the Multiverse, ultimately what we are talking about is like a landscape of different universes that are all just as real as the one we find ourselves to be in. Here's that YouTube video, it's called "Imagining the Omniverse".
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6D3CgF8_qk
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Top Ten Blogs, May '09 Report
Sunday, May 24, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9187JKkKxx4
Our universe is provably non-local. In Our Non-Local Universe, I began with a quote from physicist Bernard d'Espagnat that sums this up nicely. Bernard was awarded this year's $1.4 million Templeton Prize for his work on quantum physics and what he refers to as the veiled reality, you can read about his award here. What does it mean if our universe is non-local? It means there is more than the physical reality we see around us, and there can be instantaneous connections that transcend the limitations of space-time. The fact that Shamans deal in such connections is something I've remarked upon before, and of course the Templeton Prize is awarded to people who have advanced human knowledge in ways that are willing to embrace spirituality. It's clear, then, that d'Espagnat's body of work teaches that there is a metaphysical/spiritual interpretation to non-locality that fits in with the science of quantum mechanics, despite how uncomfortable many physicists continue to be with such discussions.
Life is a quantum process, which uses non-locality to simultaneously explore possible paths and then choose whichever is the most advantageous. In Creativity and the Quantum Universe, I talked about the work of Graham Fleming and his colleagues at the University of California which has shown how electrons use non-locality to make photosynthesis so highly efficient, and this is a paragraph from an article in Discover magazine I quoted from back then:
Instead of haphazardly moving from one connective channel to the next, as might be seen in classical physics, energy traveled in several directions at the same time. The researchers theorized that only when the energy had reached the end of the series of connections could an efficient pathway retroactively be found. At that point, the quantum process collapsed, and the electrons’ energy followed that single, most effective path.Quantum mechanics and the multiverse are connected. I've talked many times about the proof published by a team of scientists at Oxford under the direction of physicist David Deutsch, a story which New Scientist Magazine declared to be one of the most important science news stories of 2007. The team's proof equates the branching possibilities of the quantum world with the branching parallel universes of Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation, an idea which is also advanced in my original animation. Since quantum mechanics is one of the most extensively confirmed of all the theories of reality out there, this proof offers an indirect confirmation of what I've been saying - the multiverse is real, and the decisions any of us make from moment to moment are how each of us navigate through a fifth-dimensional probability space which makes scientific sense (I say more about this in The Holographic Universe).
The other universes of the multiverse are just as real as our own. As I've remarked before, string theory predicts that there are 10 to the power of 500 possible universes. Critics of string theory have said this demonstrates that string theory proves nothing, because it doesn't provide a way of explaining why our universe is in the unique configuration we find it to be. I've been saying, with my book, this blog and with songs like The Anthropic Viewpoint, that the other universes are just as real, they're just not the one we find ourselves to be in... and that there are most likely forms of life in some of those other different-initial-conditions universes that are (just like us) marveling at how unlikely it is that a universe exists which seems to be uniquely "tuned" to allow them to live there.
Early this month New Scientist published an article called "How to Map the Multiverse". In it, I was thrilled to see well-known physicist Brian Greene saying things that echo my own project so nicely. Here's an excerpt from that article, which was written by Anil Ananthaswamy:
String theorists are beginning to accept that their ambitions for the theory may have been misguided. Perhaps our universe is not the only one after all. Maybe string theory has been right all along.
Brian Greene, certainly, has had a change of heart. "You walk along a number of pathways in physics far enough and you bang into the possibility that we are one universe of many," he says. "So what do you do? You smack yourself in the head and say, 'Ah, maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.' I have personally undergone a sort of transformation, where I am very warm to this possibility of there being many universes, and that we are in the one where we can survive."
Greene's transformation is emblematic of a profound change among the majority of physicists. Until recently, many were reluctant to accept this idea of the "multiverse", or were even belligerent towards it. However, recent progress in both cosmology and string theory is bringing about a major shift in thinking. Gone is the grudging acceptance or outright loathing of the multiverse. Instead, physicists are starting to look at ways of working with it, and maybe even trying to prove its existence.
The whole article is definitely worth reading, please check it out. And of course, those of you who have been following my project for the past 3 years will recognize how happy it makes me to see mainstream science coming around to my way of thinking! I thought I would test the waters a bit now and launch a new poll question that asks if you agree with the following statement:
There is a multiverse of other "different-initial-conditions" universes out there, and they are not just theoretical, they are equally as real as the universe in which we live.Now's your chance, let me know what you think. And enjoy the journey!
Next: The Biocentric Universe
Thursday, May 21, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE0D-ZPcMhI
Here's a link to an article published on the National Geographic website a couple of days ago about the "Missing Link" fossil discovery - Darwinius masillae, a 47 million year old lemur-like skeleton with primate-like characteristics. The term "missing link" is often mistakenly used to describe some kind of half-man/half-monkey, as if humans had evolved from apes. This fossil shows a much clearer indication of what a "missing link" really is: apes evolved from a creature like this one, and humans evolved from this same creature: this would be the common ancestor that we both share.
With my last blog entry, "The Stream", and with the previous entry to that, we talked about the rising paradigm of web 3.0, where not only will data be coming at us faster and faster, but the web itself will start to wake up, connecting and filtering that deluge of information in ways that allow us to use it all more effectively. No question, these are exciting times, and I've talked about the feeling of rapidly accelerating change that appears to be moving us all to a new mode of existence from a number of perspectives: some of those past blogs include Google and the Group Mind, The Past is an Illusion, and Randomness and the Missing 96%.
Here's a link to an article from Science Daily that was published well over a year ago (isn't that just a bit strange? In this "hurry up" world of instantly updated communication, I now feel tempted to apologize to you because this link is not to something that is fresh and new!). This article talks about the work of a team of anthropologists studying the human genome who say they have evidence that during the past 5,000 years human beings have been evolving 100 times faster than at any other time in the history of the human race! This flies in direct contrast to the common wisdom, that we as a species have not changed much at all in the last hundred thousand years.
What has caused us to change so much? There are many factors listed in the article, but all of them can be connected to how the way we live now is substantially different from our ancestors one hundred or two hundred generations ago. The tiny incremental changes over tens of millions of years that moved us from Darwinius masillae to homo sapiens are now, according to this study, moving at a much faster pace since the first versions of modern civilization began to rise.
Disease factors, diet, competition, all of those natural selection processes operate differently when humans are grouped together in larger and larger numbers. But I think we should also not overlook the mental factors that have changed as the rise of civilization has gradually modified the way we interact with each other, and the ways we think about ourselves. I would say this is easily connected to the science of epigenetics, which shows that not just changes in diet or lifestyle, but changes in mental attitude can actually change the way genes are expressed: I've talked about this in entries like Changing Your Genes, Changing Your Genes Part 2, You Have a Shape and a Trajectory, and The Musician.
The fact that humans are changing so much ties very nicely to the general theme of accelerated change that we see in our increasingly expanding universe, in our genome, and in our technology. Are we on the verge of some kind of tipping point? More and more people seem to think that is exactly where we're headed.
To finish, here's the video for Google and the Group Mind:
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbblBvi65Ok
Enjoy the journey!
P.S. Speaking of rapidly accelerating technology, here's an announcement about a new DVD technology that uses five-dimensional encoding to store the equivalent of 2000 movies on a single disk! Thanks to my buddy John for forwarding me this link.
Next: Does the Multiverse Really Exist?
Monday, May 18, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz2Lx4DLNUQ
Two days ago, I was awakened by a vivid dream. The content was unusual enough that I immediately sat down at my computer and published it as my last blog entry, which was called News From the Future.
If you read that entry, you will have noticed that I omitted the fact that this story had come to me in a dream. Why did I do that? Because I know that there are many out there who have been trained to reject dreams as nothing more than random bits of junk, just the brain sorting through its data. On the other hand, I know that there are regular readers of this blog who completely accept the idea that dream states are plugged into extra-dimensional patterns, alternate realities not part of our own, and in that sense are not that different from the visions a Shaman might witness while in an altered state of consciousness.
It's possible, too, that both might be equally true: that the brain, in the process of sorting through recently acquired memories, is plugging into memes that exist in the sense that Richard Dawkins meant when he originally coined the term: memes are information patterns, ideas, or beliefs, that exist outside the restrictions of linear time.
At the end of that previous entry, I listed some of the recent news articles I had read in New Scientist and Scientific American which seemed to connect to my dream, and I also listed some of my blog entries which have played with similar ideas in the past. Clearly, the idea that some unconscious/subconscious part of my mind was fitting all those ideas together is easy to see, regardless of whether you believe in ideas advanced in blog entries like Creativity and the Quantum Universe and Our Non-Local Universe which say that there is now scientific proof that our universe is connected together in ways that transcend the limitations of the fourth dimension. Could there really be a "stream" of connectedness that our minds are sharing, as Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor proposed in her marvelous My Stroke of Insight?
I've talked a few times before about twine.com, the brainchild of web 3.0 pioneer Nova Spivack. Here's a link to a recently published essay of his called Welcome to the Stream: The Next Phase of the Web. In it, he discusses the quandary I presented in News From the Future: as tools like twitter make the web increasingly fluid, how does an end user make sense of the deluge? How do we filter the sludge out from what we really need? Nova concludes his essay like this:
Dreams of wealth aside, what I find so fascinating about these ideas of convergence and increasingly instantaneous connection across minds is the possibility that technology really could give us some bootstraps to pull ourselves up into a new mode of connectedness. In that sense, what we are talking about could be related to Kurzweil's Singularity just as much as it could be related to Zen Buddhism. And with my own project, getting people to see their underlying connectedness has been a running theme from the beginning. Here are some past entries where I've explored those ideas further:
The emergence of the Stream is an interesting paradigm shift that may turn out to characterize the next evolution of the Web, this coming third-decade of the Web's development. Even though the underlying data model may be increasingly like a graph, or even a semantic graph, the user experience will be increasingly stream oriented.
Whether Twitter, or some other app, the Web is becoming increasingly streamlike. How will we filter this stream? How will we cope? Whoever can solve these problems first and best is probably going to get rich.
Tens, Google, and the Expanding Universe
I Know You, You Know Me
You are Me and We are All Together
Where are You?
Poll 34 - God? Or the Multiverse?
Poll 37 - Do Shamans See Other Dimensions?
Finally, I wanted to mention a new scientific study just published by researchers from UCLA, who used high-resolution MRIs to discover that people who meditate regularly had "significantly larger volumes" in certain key parts of their brains. Isn't that amazing?
Enjoy the journey,
PS - Here's an article published yesterday by TechCrunch called "Jump Into the Stream".
Next: Evolution's Fast Lane
Saturday, May 16, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGAmV4V4By4
Wired Magazine has their popular "Found: Artifacts from the Future" page. I'll call this one "News from the Future".
MacDonald's Now Twitter-Compliant
MacDonald's has announced a complete transition to a revolutionary menu which responds to the consensus of twitter feeds from around the world. The new menu is advertised as "MELF: Moral, Ethical, Local and Fifth-Dimensional". Industry pundits are applauding the restaurant chain as being the first to take this bold leap.
"We've always been about the kids," says MacDonald's CEO Ralph Johnson. "When the practice of giving children twitter accounts at birth became commonplace earlier this year, it became impossible for us to ignore the consensus of what the young people of the world really want."
Much has been written over the past few months about the ubiquitous network of tweet generators that sense the thoughts of newborns, aiding in communication between parent and child. The surprising revelations that all children have already-developed opinions about right and wrong, the existence of consciousness in all living things and its persistence after death, and the need for thinking beyond our current spacetime position within the multiverse are still being resisted by an atheistic old guard.
The additional twitter feeds from animals around the world that are now coming online appear to have been the tipping point for MacDonald's. "Now that we can see the rich internal life of a cow, a chicken, or even a fish, it became impossible for us to go on creating this amount of psychic damage in the universe", says MacDonald's Marketing Director Joy Redwood. "Luckily, new advances in vat-grown tissue have come along just in time to allow us to make burgers that taste great but don't tear big holes in the spirit world."
Can a major restaurant chain be profitable while creating products that utilize local suppliers wherever possible, create very little environmental or psychic damage, and engage in a consensus vision of moving our planet to the most desirable position within our fifth-dimensional probability space? CEO Johnson says it's already a given."This is the modern way. Everyone and everything has a say, and when you listen to the consensus you prosper. Presented in those terms, I've had no problem selling this to my shareholders."
Enjoy the journey,
PS - some related articles:
Mindwalk and Twitter
Google and the Group Mind
Creativity and the Quantum Universe
The Fifth Dimension Isn't Magic
New Scientist Review of The Playful Brain
New Scientist on Animals and Language
Scientific American - Latest news on vat-grown meat
Digital Signals Blog on new visualization tools for making sense of the Twitter deluge
Next: The Stream
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTdGVci6Ebo
Poll Question 39 - "Is it possible that a person who has received a heart transplant could take on bits of the memories or behaviors of the donor?" Poll ended May 12 2009. 43% agreed that this could be "Possible", while the rest said "Impossible".
Back in Poll 33, we asked whether this way of visualizing reality could allow for the possibility of meeting another version of yourself, living another life, right here in the present. The question we're looking at here is somewhat related to that concept, but does require us to make another major conceptual leap if we're going to accept this additional supposition.
Check out the following set of videos, which is from a program shown on the Discovery Health channel a few years ago. This is from a documentary series called Mindshock, and the episode is called "Transplanting Memories?".
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sudmW97FZA0
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky6eEiVbgMg
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei6FmA6-N14
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY5SiWHDInQ
As we can see from the poll results, the idea that a heart transplant patient might take on memories or behaviors from the donor is pretty "out there", and more people disagreed than agreed with this as a conjecture. Would the poll results have been somewhat different if every person answering the poll were obliged to watch at least part of the above documentary? Perhaps. Certainly, for many of us this is a new idea: and to be clear, this "transplanting memories" concept is not a conclusion I arrived at in my book or have promoted with my project up to now. The idea does seem to be connected to Rupert Sheldrake's ideas about morphic resonance, though, and Sheldrake's work has received some attention in my book and in this blog. Here are some of the past blogs where I've talked about related ideas:
Are Animals and Kids More Fifth-Dimensional?
Souls as Interlocking Patterns
Magnets and Souls
"Transplanting Memories" is not without its detractors - like many of the other ideas we've explored here in this blog, there are skeptics who automatically ridicule the above documentary, and that extends to any suggestions that there could be unseen connections linking our reality together. Setting those knee-jerk reactions aside, though, requires us to think about the possible consequences of this - if some imprint of a certain organ's previous owner remains, does that mean a heart from a murderer or a suicidal person could dramatically alter the behavior of the recipient? The mind boggles at the implications.
In blog entries like Auras, Ghosts and Pareidolia, Do You Believe in Ghosts?, Ever Seen an Aura?, and Going to the Light, I've looked at some of the possible ways that a person's unique patterns might continue on after death. For me, the idea that a transplanted heart from a murderer could cause the recipient to become one too seems too far-fetched. It seems more possible to me that some parts of the donor's awareness might continue to focus on the timeline of the recipient and exert some minor influences , but I'm reminded of what hypnotists say - no person in a hypnotic state can be induced to do something that goes against the basic morals of that person. I think the same could be true of the subtle influences seen in these situations: the patient might find themselves becoming interested in a new food or willing to listen to a kind of music that previously held no interest for them, and there are transplant recipients interviewed in the above documentary who experienced just such effects. But like the hypnotized subject, these people are not going to take on any new characteristics that they wouldn't already have been willing to accept regardless of where they came from.
Although the source of these new influences might seem troubling, when you stop and think about it this is not particularly different from the process of growth, discovery and taking on new patterns that each of us goes through within our lives each and every day. As I say in my song Change and Renewal:
Every minute of every dayAm I the same person I was twenty years ago? No! And neither are you. We learn, we change, we grow. But there are threads that connect us each to our previous selves, and the unique journey each of us is on is what makes this all so interesting.
I keep changing, I keep changing
Nothing ever stays the same
All replacing, rearranging
Every cell that’s in me now
Was not the same when I was born
In an endless constant flow
Renewing when they’re old and worn
Enjoy the journey,
Next: News From the Future
Monday, May 11, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gVNysRC6l4
Poll 38 - "Learning to play a musical instrument can rewire your brain in ways that make you more empathetic, more sensitive to other people's emotions." Poll ended April 27 2009. 91% agreed while the remainder disagreed.
This poll was created as a companion to a series of blogs created in March that focused on empathy, and in particular an entry called "The Musician", in which I quoted from an article written by Hazel Muir which appeared in the March 5th edition of New Scientist magazine:
Musicians are fine-tuned to others' emotionsTo read a longer excerpt from the article, please refer back to my blog entry The Musician. Based upon the above poll results, the idea that learning to play a musical instrument might heighten a person's ability to feel empathy seems to have already "struck a chord" with visitors to this blog, so I'll not belabor the point here. For further reading, here's a collection of some of my previous blog entries where we explored how empathy fits in with this way of visualizing reality:
Musical training might help autistic children to interpret other people's emotions. A study has revealed brain changes involved in playing a musical instrument that seem to enhance your ability to pick up subtle emotional cues in conversation.
"It seems that playing music can help you do all kinds of things better," says Nina Kraus from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. "Musical experience sharpens your hearing not just for music, but for other sounds too."
Are Animals and Kids More Fifth-Dimensional?
Local Realism Bites the Dust
The Big Bang and the Big O
Where Are You?
Illusions and Reality
To finish, here's a song about vibrations, entrainment, and empathy: "Positive Vibes".
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzUIpJzCjNI
Next: Polls Archive 39 - Can Memories Be Transplanted?
Friday, May 8, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kWjfkFIQCk
Poll 37 - "In his book 'Supernatural', Graham Hancock notes the remarkable similarities between ancient cave paintings from across tens of thousands of years and around the world. This shows that ancient shamans were able to see patterns from other dimensions." Poll ended April 11 2009. 38% agreed while the rest disagreed.
I've only recently finished reading this book. (At almost 500 pages, Supernatural is not a book you read in a night!) Along the way, I've alternated between wrestling with my own in-grained skepticism and a feeling that Hancock is lifting the veil on extremely important material. His work connects to a number of the ideas I've promoted with my project: that our reality is connected together in ways unseen, that there are patterns that exist outside of spacetime that are participating in the ongoing process of creation, and that there are a number of ways for people to become more sensitized to these hidden processes. In my book, I lumped altered states resulting from meditation, trance, repetitive tribalistic activities like dance and drumming, and visions seen under the influence of hallucinogens as all being part of the same kinds of processes that could be allowing people to glimpse these patterns, and my song "From the Corner of My Eye" is also about that supposition. In my blog entry The Shaman I added more traumatic experiences such as fasting or intense pain to that list (as these are also not uncommon in shamanistic practices from around the world), but while doing so I noted that even though all of these altered states I've listed may somehow be related, many people immediately jump to the conclusion that any discussion of altered states is really just talking about drugs. This, I think, is unfortunate because it can allow some people to jump to the conclusion that altered states are "unnatural".
For the last century in particular, most of us have had it drummed into us that anything seen under the influence of mind-altering drugs is not to be taken seriously, that it is merely the chemistry of the brain being disrupted, and no good will come of it. When I was writing my book, including psychedelics in the list of useful altered states for sensing extra dimensions was an intuitive leap based upon reading other's reports, since I have no experience with these substances myself. Still, as I've documented elsewhere, I was surprised upon the release of my book to be contacted by so many people who had taken LSD, mushrooms, and so on, telling me that what they saw under the influence of these substances seemed easier to explain within the context of my way of visualizing the dimensions. Nonetheless, I have to admit that most of what I thought they were talking about were geometric patterns and time-shifted artifacts... glimpses into the fifth spatial dimension. Almost six months after launching my project, I decided to set up an "altered states" area over at the tenth dimension forum as people with seemingly-related drug experiences kept contacting me. Since then, I've heard more and more stories from persons using DMT, ayahuasca, salvia divinorum and other drugs, and those people have described some really mind-boggling visions: but to me these were no more mind-boggling than the insights revealed, for instance, in Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's journey into the connections of her own mind to the universe that she recounted in her marvelous "My Stroke of Insight".
In Supernatural, Graham Hancock provides a context to altered states of all kind that is much deeper than what I had suspected, but now that he has done so I see more of the same connections in the stories I have been told by people writing to me in emails or at my forum. He makes some very persuasive arguments that the visions seen under those states have remarkable connections and similarities across tens of thousands of years and around the world, and this highly-detailed repetition alone indicates that our minds are really being allowed to "tune in" to other modalities of existence that actually do exist, but which were inaccessible without entering these altered states (in the same way that a radio can "tune in" to different radio stations - the waveforms coming from those other stations are already out there, just waiting to be heard).
To be clear, what Hancock is referring to here is not just similarities in geometric shapes or visions of bright lights, he has a long list of iconic images and creatures that occur again and again from the recorded visions of ancient man right up to modern time. He makes the bold assertion that these experiences are at the root of the development of civilization, and that all of the world's religions have as their source the ecstatic visionary experiences of those who shared their visions of these "other worlds" with others around them.
I would suggest reading the following blog entries, in the order below, if you would like to follow my reasoning for supporting the challenging conclusions of Graham Hancock's groundbreaking book. And if you have read the above paragraphs and decided to reject these ideas outright (as did 61% of the visitors answering the above poll question), I have some sympathy for that position: it is only through the process of reading Mr. Hancock's book that I have come around to an acceptance of these ideas, and I am almost certainly not going to convince any skeptics in a few paragraphs when it took Mr. Hancock almost 500 pages to carefully lay out his case for these ideas.
The Holographic Universe
You Have a Shape and a Trajectory
Creativity and the Quantum Universe
Where Are You?
Our Non-Local Universe
Illusions and Reality
To finish, here's a somewhat tongue-in-cheek song about those ancient mysteries that connect ancient shamans to you and I: "What I Feel for You".
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w06IRgChaMY
Next - Polls Archive 38 - Do Musicians Have More Empathy?
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODAjIzHyzhk
Poll 36 -"Plants use quantum physics effects in photosynthesis, and this is why it is such an efficient energy conversion process." Poll ended March 25 2009. 72% agreed, the rest disagreed.
This was another poll created as a companion to a specific blog entry, in this case "Creativity and the Quantum Universe". That post was inspired by an article published in the February Issue of Discover Magazine which really caught my eye - written by Mark Anderson, it was called Entangled Life. The article is an interesting summary of lab experiments and serious theoretical propositions that suggest plants do use quantum effects to make photosynthesis such an efficient process, and that such effects as entanglement and tunneling could also be imparting unique fragrances to molecules that are almost identical, imparting healing qualities to substances like green tea, and perhaps even directly contributing to consciousness.
Here's the video for "Creativity and the Quantum Universe":
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBNv8LMbEPA
Essentially, then, with this poll question I was asking whether visitors agreed with the suppositions advanced in Mark Anderson's article and reported in my blog, and I'm pleased to see how many were willing to agree with this idea. While I would encourage you to go back and read my blog entry and that Discover magazine article mentioned above, let me underline the interesting parallel I suggested back then.
Paragraph from Discover Magazine article:
Instead of haphazardly moving from one connective channel to the next, as might be seen in classical physics, energy traveled in several directions at the same time. The researchers theorized that only when the energy had reached the end of the series of connections could an efficient pathway retroactively be found. At that point, the quantum process collapsed, and the electrons’ energy followed that single, most effective path.
My paraphrased version to show how creativity might be a quantum process:
Instead of haphazardly moving from one idea to the next, as might be seen in work that has no focus, creative ideas travel in several directions at the same time. By simultaneously exploring a set of connections, the "eureka" of a new inspiration can be found. At that point, the exploration process is "collapsed", and the creative person follows the new idea that they find most inspiring.
Several weeks later, in Our Non-Local Universe, I continued the discussion of how our world is connected together in hidden ways that transcend the limited "now" of space-time, and how the principle of non-locality is an accepted fact in mainstream science. With this project, I am insisting that this non-locality is direct evidence of extra dimensions, and that a great many other seemingly mysterious processes can also be understood when we see how the information that underlies our reality exists in additional dimensions. I find it fascinating that this "timeless" perspective is gaining ground, as more and more people accept that our universe is just one of a multiverse of many other universes, and that perhaps all of those universes and multiverses might be assembled into one perfectly balanced underlying symmetry state which physicist Tim Palmer has recently called The Invariant Set and which I (and others) have referred to as The Omniverse.
Which leads back to the parallels I drew above, between the accepted viewpoint that our universe is non-local, between scientific evidence that plants use non-local effects for photosynthesis, and my notion that all life is a creative process, and which means that creative processes are non-local. While 79% agreed with the non-local nature of photosynthesis being what makes it so efficient, I wonder how many visitors to this blog would be willing to follow me further out on that same limb if I were to re-write the poll question in the same way that I re-wrote the above paragraph. What if I were to ask for agreement/disagreement on this statement?
Life uses quantum physics effects such as tunneling and entanglement to engage with reality "outside" of space-time, and this is true of all creative processes.For me, this statement logically follows, and is a very important part of understanding the way of visualizing the dimensions that I'm exploring with this project. As I say in my book and have repeated in this blog, I would define "life" as any process that is interested in "what happens next", in other words that finds ways to use the non-local nature of our universe to allow itself to thrive and continue. That would be just as true of the first chemical reactions that became the seeds of life in the primordial soup as it is for you and I. Would you agree? Let's find out. You will now find a poll question over to the right here at the tenth dimension blog which asks that question.
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Polls Archive 37 - Do Shamans See Other Dimensions?
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Here's a movie my friend Chuck Salyers recently told me about, a 1990 film by Bernt Capra called "Mindwalk". This is a film about ideas, sort of in the style of My Dinner With Andre, but with content that is more akin to films like Waking Life and What the Bleep Do We Know. If you have an hour and fifty minutes to spare, and are willing to slow yourself down and accept its more peaceful pace, this film is worth watching. It blends together a number of discussions about politics, connectedness, quantum mechanics, and how everything fits together. In other words, it relates very nicely to the generalist's perspective and playful synthesis of seemingly unrelated topics that I'm often playing with in my project.
A direct link to the above video is at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9107401959308808776
One of the things this movie mentions is Systems Theory. This, according to wikipedia is...
an interdisciplinary field of science and the study of the nature of complex systems in nature, society, and science. More specifically, it is a framework by which one can analyze and/or describe any group of objects that work in concert to produce some result. This could be a single organism, any organization or society, or any electro-mechanical or informational artifact."Informational artifact" is an unusual term which ties to a number of my past blogs: if, as some quantum physicists say, Information Equals Reality, then finding ways to visualize the creative processes and hidden connections of our surprisingly Non-Local Universe is the goal of my project. What's the difference, then, between a physical artifact and an informational artifact? They're just two ways of describing the same thing.
In many ways Mindwalk was ahead of its time: what a shame it's never been released on DVD, I think it could develop a substantial following today. The growing feeling of connectedness this movie talks about is certainly much more established now, as like-minded people around the world find a way to share their voices through connections that could hardly have been imagined back in 1990.
Which leads me to the darling of the moment, Twitter. Is tweeting a useful tool for establishing connectedness, adding an immediacy that surpasses even what Google is capable of conveying? Yes, that's one of the promises held within instant distributed communication. Critics of Twitter have always looked askance at this constant stream of 140-character-long tidbits: how can any of us separate out the signal from the noise, the zeitgeist from the inane? My own twitter feed is at www.twitter.com/10thdim, and I've moved it up to near the top of the right hand column here at my blog. As you'll see, I'm not micro-blogging to tell you what I had for breakfast (not that there's anything wrong with that sort of thing!), rather I am trying to make my twitter feed a stream of links and thoughts relevant to my tenth dimension project.
Right at the top of this blog's right hand column you'll see I've added a "Tweet this" button. If you'd like to share my blog with your followers on Twitter, this button works in two different ways: it sends out a very general "this is interesting" tweet if you're looking at my blog's main page, and it creates a much more specific tweet if you are viewing a specific blog entry.
Further down in the right hand column, you'll see a blue box filled with words, kind of like this one:
What you're looking to the left is just a picture, it will never change. But over in the right hand column you'll find the live version of this box, provided by twitscoop.com, which will be different every time you come back to the site, as it tracks what words are being used most often right now in the tweets passing through twitter. Is one of the current words you see there interesting to you? You can click on it and be taken to a page showing all the most recent tweets that have included that word. There is also a "Hot Trends" button you can click on at the top of the box that will track the words or phrases that have seen the most activity for the last half a day or so. If you actually go to their site, a larger version of this cloud updates in real time, and you can watch as one word grows and another shrinks away as the conversations change from minute to minute.
Data cloud visualizations like these can reveal moments of synchronicity - why, for instance, did "10th" and "awareness" happen to come up when I took this picture? They can also reveal intense groundswells of opinion, news as it is being made, new memes that are capturing the attention of the world: which is why I've called this window "Twitter Memespace", to show how this is yet another way of thinking about information patterns that connect across time and space.
Is what you see in the Twitscoop window profound? Only occasionally. One of the ways to grab more layers of meaning out of the microblogging world is to apply filters. For instance, there is a site called Twistori that provides you with a list of six emotionally charged words - love, hate, think, believe, feel, wish - and clicking on any one of those gives you a real time scrolling list of tweets that include that word.
Unlike Twitscoop, though, Twistori is a dead end. There's no way to see the name of the poster, or click on each of the tweets as they go by if you wanted to see more from that same poster or perhaps even follow their feed. In other words: none of the connectedness I was just talking about is possible here, this is only a voyeuristic window into what people are saying.
I started my blog in January 2007. My second post was called "Everything Fits Together", and it too was about connectedness. Coincidentally, in that entry I mentioned a site called wefeelfine.org, which Twistori was inspired by. Created by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, "We Feel Fine" gives us fascinating real-time visualizations of people's emotions as expressed in recent blog entries: any sentence that includes the phrase "I feel" or "I am feeling" becomes part of the presentation. Blog entries can also be sorted by gender, location, local weather conditions at the time of the post, pictures attached to the blog, and even a color coding based upon the emotional word attached to the "I feel" phrase. Unlike Twistori, though, any of the entries that come up in these visualizations can be clicked on, and you can read the entire entry, allowing much more possibility for connections to be made to the original poster.
When you go to wefeelfine.org, click on the box labeled "Open We Feel Fine". The first window you are presented with is called "Madness", and it is a swarming cloud of dots (blog entries) and rectangles (pictures) that are color-coded according to the emotion expressed. The emotional word attached to each of these dots or boxes appears as you pass your mouse over the shape, and you can click on any of them to see the full entry that they came from.
As with all of the different views, you'll notice that there's a bar across the top of this window that lets you filter what is shown by a variety of parameters. Meanwhile, down in the bottom left, there are six words: the first was "Madness. The second is called "Murmurs", and it gives you something more similar to the twistori experience, with the added bonus that you can still click back to the original post. "Montage" shows a screen full of pictures posted to blogs or flickr that have an "I feel" phrase attached to them.
Next is the "Mobs" window. Pictured at left is a screen grab from that window, sorted for only entries that appeared on April 29 2009. You can see that "I feel better" was the most common phrase that day, followed by "I feel good", then "I feel bad". As you look through the almost seventy emotional words in this screen grab, does a certain overall feeling start to arise? How would you say we're doing over all? This is interesting, but there still seems to be quite a lot of variation here, just the usual diverse sets of emotions you would expert a large crowd of individuals to express.
The next window is called "Metrics", and it shows how much the currently cataloged emotions are different from the average:
As you can see here, on April 29 2009, over five times as many people felt "behind" compared to the average occurrence of that word since this site was launched in 2005. If you were to look at the results for all of 2006 by comparison, you would see that over five times as many people felt "wanted". The possibilities for sorting this information are endlessly fascinating! Want to find the most common emotions expressed by Canadian women in 2008 on days when it was snowing? You can go amazingly deep into the data.
The last window is called "Mounds", and it looks at the results overall, with quivering colored mounds representing each emotion. This is similar information to the Mobs window, except that it doesn't allow you to sort down to subcategories. I should mention that many of these windows scroll as you get to their outside edge, so for instance if you move your mouse over to the right edge of the Mounds window you will be able to see smaller and smaller blobs representing the other emotions and how often they occurred.
I'd love to hear from visitors to this blog about other websites they think are doing a good job of drawing sense from the noise. Other data visualization websites I've tweeted about recently are neoformix, Opinion Space, Visual Search Engines, Designing for Big Data, TwitterSpectrum, The Allosphere, and Virtual daVinci.
To finish, here's one of the 26 songs attached to my project, this one is about the memes that rise and fall over time in modern society. It's called "Insidious Trends".
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCMe9uGs8iA
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Polls Archive 36 - Do Plants Use Quantum Effects?