Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Know You, You Know Me

(October 9th 2008 would have been John Lennon's 68th birthday. Happy birthday John, where ever/what ever you may be right now.)

A direct link to this video is at

What can I say? I'm from the baby boomer generation, and I remember the intense excitement of the Beatles' influence in the 1960s. As a tribute to those times, this blog and the next ones are using Beatles lyrics for their title: today's entry "I Know You, You Know Me" is from the song "Come Together", a call to action if I've ever heard one.

Whether you're talking about the sixties, or today at this very minute, the overwhelming feeling that we are all part of something big, a wave of change sweeping the planet, is a powerful experience. Today, there are people all over the world who are coming to believe that their new-found common ground of connected experience is going to allow them to make a difference, in ways that the baby boomers could only dream about.

As I've said before: it's all about connections. I believe that each of us every day are witness to emotional and intellectual connections across time and space that reveal things about the underlying structures of reality, and all we have to do is open our eyes to see.

A New Way of Visualizing
I came up with my way of visualizing reality over twenty years ago while working on the music for a play about the end of the world. I kept drawing pictures of branching timelines and folded dimensions on napkins, some people got it and many didn't, but I remained convinced that I had stumbled upon something that revealed a basic truth about our reality. After an accident during surgery in 2004 resulted in me almost bleeding to death on the operating table, I woke up saying to myself "I have got to get this idea out into the world" and eventually that's what I've done. It's all about connections, and finding the common experience that each of us shares without even realizing it.

An Interconnected System
Marvin Minsky talks about each person's consciousness being made of an interconnected, multi-layered system. Douglas Hofstadter talks about the systems within our consciousness that we share with each other across time and space. My approach builds from their ideas, says that we are not each a self-contained soul, but rather an interconnected collection of memes across time and space. Some of us are more connected to each other than others, because our systems overlap more! I've written a lot about all that in my book and in my blog.

My song "Connections" is one of the 26 songs attached to this project that explore the cloud of ideas related to this project, and the last verse of the song takes the idea of each of us each being part of a larger system to its logical extreme:
I think I met myself today
I think I saw my eyes
Another me in another body
Livin another life
If you've ever had that experience you know exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes you can just look into someone else's eyes and say to yourself "I Know You".

Saying "I Am You" to somebody else who has not worked through this line of reasoning will, in most cases, not be something they can accept. We each know there is something unique about our own awareness: but the idea that your or my individual consciousness is part of a much larger Observer system makes as much sense from a quantum mechanics viewpoint as it does from a spiritual/metaphysical viewpoint. In my book I said this:
Whether the observer came into existence 13.7 billion years ago or one second ago, the result will be the same: out of all the possible timelines which could have existed prior to this moment, through the act of observation we are now experiencing one of them as our own present, and our own history.

The reader may notice here that it would be very easy to substitute “God” or “The Creator” in place of “the observer” in the above paragraphs. In fact, if the reader is comfortable with the concept of each of us being an expression of God, “created in His/Her image”, each with a holy spark within, then the two viewpoints are quite compatible. On the other hand though, the image of a God who is separate from, standing in judgement of, and meting out punishment to us all is much less compatible. What we are describing here is a reality where each of us is creating an expression of a specific aspect inferred within the “white noise” of the tenth dimension through our individual roles as quantum observers. If the reader finds it easier to accept the phrase “I am an aspect of God” than they do the previous sentence, then they should feel free to use that as their jumping off point instead. As we discussed before, the tenth dimension as we are conceptualizing it here is really the boring part of our discussion, because it simultaneously contains all possibilities. If we choose to imagine a Creator-God who is manifesting Himself/Herself through each one of us, we are imagining an observer who is cutting cross-sections out of the tenth dimension to examine the much more interesting and highly detailed subsets of reality which are contained within the dimensions below.

In We're Already Dead (But That's Okay) I called it "option-itis": if there are too many choices, things become less interesting, or they become overwhelming. As I've said many times before, thinking about all options simultaneously is not something we can easily do, which is why this way of visualizing the dimensions works: because it takes all the options of one dimension, adds another new set of options with an additional dimension, and continues the process all the way up to every possible expression of the information that becomes our reality in one enfolded, simultaneous state. With this project, I'm calling that state the tenth dimension, but in doing so I always want to make sure people recognize that this "perfectly balanced state that holds everything else within it" has many other names!

Here's something I wasn't aware of: human beings are genetically extremely similar to each other, much more so than other animals on our planet. According to a recently released study, the genetic record indicates that about 100,000 years ago we as a species were almost wiped out - there were only a few thousand, perhaps even only a few hundred of us left! So, in that regard, the idea that we are all connected together has a very real physical and genetic explanation. Next blog, we'll continue with our Beatles titles and our discussion of the ways we're all connected together with an entry titled "You Are Me and We Are All Together".

To finish, here's a song about the parts of our consciousness that we share, and which exist outside of our physical bodies: "I Remember Flying". A direct link to this video is at

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

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