If we're trying to build an image which reflects "all aspects of reality", how do life and consciousness fit into this picture? Erwin Schrödinger's definition of life is that it's "a unique process which creates pockets of negative entropy". Physicists talk about the beginning of the universe being the most highly ordered/lowest entropy version of our universe, and how the "arrow of time" represents an overall climb in the amount of entropy, despite the efforts of life within these little pockets where (as Dylan Thomas put it so beautifully) it 'rages against the dying of the light'. This theme of life and consciousness being like a fire, a spark, that somehow engages with space-time and our fifth-dimensional probability space to keep itself moving forward is the theme of a number of the 26 songs I created for this project. I talked about those songs and this way of thinking about life and creativity in a blog entry called Novelty.
The phrase "self-excited circuit" comes from a paper published in 1979 by physicist John Wheeler, you can read about it in the wikipedia article on Digital Physics. As part of his "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU)", Christopher Langan (who some readers will know as "the smartest man in America") has published an animated version of the simple drawing Wheeler created for his paper on the self-excited circuit, showing a "U" (standing for universe), incorporating an eyeball representing the quantum observer, looking at its "tail" that represents the "information" side of the "information equals reality" concept that we talk about regularly with this project. Wheeler also coined the phrase "'it' from 'bit'"which ties nicely to these discussions.
In my follow-up book to Imagining the Tenth Dimension, which is a collaboration with visual artist Marilyn E. Robertson called O is for Omniverse, we devoted the letter "J" to John Wheeler:
j is for John Wheeler, a famous physicistHere's a video showing the letters "I" and "J" from that book, you can see a lot more if you go to omniverse.tv.
who drew a strange eyeball looking at its tail
as a way to imagine that some branches of our line
might be changed in the past as we look back from today
so the branching tree that extends from "now"
is even more surprising: it branches either way
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA_epL_rEW4
Next: Timelessness and the Ultimate Ensemble
Previously in this series:
Wrapping it Up in the Tenth Dimension
Imagining the Ninth Dimension
Imagining the Eighth Dimension
Imagining the Seventh Dimension
Imagining the Sixth Dimension
Imagining the Fifth Dimension
Imagining the Fourth Dimension
Imagining the Third Dimension
Imagining the Second Dimension