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.


Unknown said...

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.

Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack...

Rob Bryanton said...

Isn't quack more of a medical term? Personally I prefer the term crackpot, as that is the term the scientific community uses for the work of those with no formal training in the relevant sciences. Since I'm not a physicist and I'm not pretending to be one, I'm completely comfortable with that term, and I say so in the book.

Some have pointed out that even calling this a "crackpot theory" does a disservice, since a theory has a formal structure for presentation, and this is much broader and less rigorous than that.

If we call this a "framework for discussion", we might be a little closer. Since this project is about the discussion of a set of ideas which many find a certain attraction towards (and which it appears you, island, do not), that is as far as I am willing to push things. If you do not believe that the linear arrow of time as we experience it is an illusion and that the multiverse includes a branching set of possibilities extending out from this moment, then you are certainly entitled to that opinion.

Thanks for writing,


Unknown said...

heheh, well if it isn't a theory, much less, a crackpot theory, then maybe it's a medical condition???... ;)

No, I think that the arrow of time is as fixed as the second law says that it is without speculation or unfounded leaps of faith beyond what is observed.

ESPECIALLY not to multiverses that aren't even falsifiable.

But I have a real theory, so... ;)

I really didn't expect you to post my crack comment, but you might check out my blog through my profile.

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist