Friday, November 5, 2010

Thinking Biggest

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M__79OCZX58

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4EwA6BhBdc

The above recently published YouTube video accompanies a blog post from earlier this year of the same name, Our Universe as a Point.

Some people watch my original animation, following the logical patterns as they repeat from one spatial dimension to the next, becoming more and more amazed at how much they're holding within their minds, but then think that I'm somehow copping out at the end when I say "there's no place left to go" at the tenth dimension. I've said this before but it bears repeating - there's no reason for you to stop at the tenth dimension if you're not assigning any logical meaning to these dimensions. The point-line-plane postulate's logic says that you can use this approach to construct any number of spatial dimensions, not just ten.

But when we follow my presentation, moving up from our tangible world of three spatial dimensions, through the logical proposals that time is a direction within the fourth spatial dimension, and the fifth dimension holds the probabilistic quantum waves for our particular version of the universe, and up through the dimensions beyond any possible physical expressions to the place where everything is just patterns of information, the new degree of freedom afforded by each additional spatial dimension eventually reaches a point where we're thinking about the biggest picture of all.

For the people who follow the logic of my original presentation, this is often the moment where they feel like their minds have been blown wide open - because even if it seems contradictory at first, what we're really talking about here is that the tenth dimension, the ultimate ensemble, the omniverse, the omega (or whatever word you choose to use) is a point of indeterminate size: it's the ground state of perfect symmetry that simultaneously contains the potential for all other possible states, but only the potential. It's indeterminate. Which, people are startled to realize, means it's the same as the point that starts this whole presentation.

My twitter friend Jeff Hall (who describes himself as an "Alexander Technique teacher, existential philosopher, mathematician, spiritual person, oh... and IT professional" from the UK) recently pointed me towards a new BBC documentary called "What Happened Before the Big Bang". It features leading-edge speculations from a number of well-known cosmologists, but Jeff knew I would be particularly interested in this quote from Professor Sir Roger Penrose:

"When people asked me what happened before the big bang my normal answer would be to say 'well, you know, the word before, what does that mean? That's just some temporal concept. And if the big bang was a singularity in space-time, then that means the very notion of time loses its meaning at this so-called 'event' of the big bang... so it's meaningless to ask about before because there wasn't a before, that's the wrong kind of notion.'

And I would have gone along with this idea until I've had some different ideas more recently.

The present picture of the universe is that it starts with a big bang, and it ends with an indefinitely expanding, exponentially expanding universe... where in a remote future it cools off and there's not much left but photons.

Now, what I'm saying is that in this remote future, the photons have no way of keeping time, they don't have any mass. You need mass to make a clock. And you have to have a clock to measure the scale of the universe. So the universe loses track of how big it is, and this very expanded universe becomes equivalent to a big bang of another one.

So I'm saying that this, what we think of as our universe, is but one eon of a succession of eons, where this remotely expanding universe of each becomes the big bang of the next. So small and big become completely equivalent."
Wow! Isn't it amazing to see a leading-edge cosmologist saying he's come up with a new idea, and it turns out to be directly connected to what I've been promoting with my project? I'm going to end this blog entry with one of my 26 songs written for this project, this one was written in 2002 and it advances the same idea as Sir Roger has now advanced: that really the big bang is an illusion, and that "before" and "after" the existence of our universe is completely equivalent.

One might interpret Sir Roger's comment above to say that all universes happen one after another, sequentially in time. I think the more correct interpretation of this idea lies in the secret of "before" the universe and "after the universe being equivalent: so we are still, I believe, talking about universes which exist simultaneously, independent of each other, in the indeterminate place which is "outside the system" as Godel liked to say.

Still, how can (as Sir Roger says) small and big become completely equivalent?

When they both represent a point of indeterminate size.

Please remember this: as we discussed in One to the Power of Infinity, indeterminate is not the same as undefined. Indeterminate means all answers are equally true, while undefined means no meaning can be assigned. If the tenth dimension and the "zero" point we start from are both of indeterminate size, then they are equivalent.

Is it kind of a zen thought to say that thinking biggest and thinking smallest are the same thing? Sure it is! But this project is about much more than science or spirituality by themselves, and that's the power of this way of visualizing the dimensions. Thank you to tenth dimension fans around the world who have embraced this project, and enjoy the journey!

As promised here's that song, The Unseen Eye, to finish.

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK29fTLXEf0

Rob Bryanton

P.S.: For more about why there is no "time" when all that's left is photons, please refer back to one of my more popular blog entries from the last few months, Light Has No Speed.
P.P.S: Terence McKenna suggested that there are historical evolutionary pressures that have caused us to be less able to perceive the extra dimensions. What do you think? We'll talk about this more next time in Psychedelics and Spacetime.