Friday, February 27, 2009

Creativity and the Quantum Universe

A direct link to the above video is at

There's an article published in the February Issue of Discover Magazine which really caught my eye - written by Mark Anderson, it's called Entangled Life. Let's look at some excerpts from the article:

Graham Fleming sits down at an L-shaped lab bench, occupying a footprint about the size of two parking spaces. Alongside him, a couple of off-the-shelf lasers spit out pulses of light just millionths of a billionth of a second long. After snaking through a jagged path of mirrors and lenses, these minus­cule flashes disappear into a smoky black box containing proteins from green sulfur bacteria, which ordinarily obtain their energy and nourishment from the sun. Inside the black box, optics manufactured to billionths-of-a-meter precision detect something extraordinary: Within the bacterial proteins, dancing electrons make seemingly impossible leaps and appear to inhabit multiple places at once.

Peering deep into these proteins, Fleming and his colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered the driving engine of a key step in photosynthesis, the process by which plants and some microorganisms convert water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight into oxygen and carbohydrates. More efficient by far in its ability to convert energy than any operation devised by man, this cascade helps drive almost all life on earth.

One of the central controversies surrounding my project is whether it's really correct to apply the thinking of quantum mechanics to the macro world: traditionally, science has taught that the weird world of the quantum wave function--where outcomes are derived from probabilities and randomness, and particles can be in more than one place at the same time--is completely separate from the physical world we see around us. One of the main ideas of my project is that all of these quantum effects occur in the fifth dimension rather than the fourth, and this logical application of what makes one spatial dimension "outside" the previous one works all the way up - we've talked about this logic in entries like Why Do We Need More Than 3 Dimensions, Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions?, and You Can't Get There From Here.

Visualizing the wave function for our universe as coming from the "next dimension up" gives us a way to reconcile how such seemingly strange and unimaginable quantum effects as entanglement and tunneling could be a part of our reality: like the 2D flatlander, who would have some hope of being able to imagine the third spatial dimension as "time" but would find the fourth dimension completely strange and unimaginable, we as 3D creatures are in the same quandary. How can we imagine all this quantum weirdness as being connected to our solid physical world? With my project, I provide a way to visualize the fifth dimension that ties in with that idea and many others.

Here's some more excerpts from that Discover Magazine article:

From tunneling to entanglement, the special properties of the quantum realm allow events to unfold at speeds and efficiencies that would be unachievable with classical physics alone. Could quantum mechanisms be driving some of the most elegant and inexplicable processes of life? For years experts doubted it: Quantum phenomena typically reveal themselves only in lab settings, in vacuum chambers chilled to near absolute zero. Biological systems are warm and wet. Most researchers thought the thermal noise of life would drown out any quantum weirdness that might rear its head.

One of the most significant quantum observations in the life sciences comes from Fleming and his collaborators. Their study of photosynthesis in green sulfur bacteria, published in 2007 in Nature [subscription required], tracked the detailed chemical steps that allow plants to harness sunlight and use it to convert simple raw materials into the oxygen we breathe and the carbohydrates we eat. Specifically, the team examined the protein scaffold connecting the bacteria’s external solar collectors, called the chlorosome, to reaction centers deep inside the cells. Unlike electric power lines, which lose as much as 20 percent of energy in transmission, these bacteria transmit energy at a staggering efficiency rate of 95 percent or better.

The secret, Fleming and his colleagues found, is quantum physics.

To unearth the bacteria’s inner workings, the researchers zapped the connective proteins with multiple ultrafast laser pulses. Over a span of femto­seconds, they followed the light energy through the scaffolding to the cellular reaction centers where energy conversion takes place.

Then came the revelation: 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.

Electrons moving through a leaf or a green sulfur bacterial bloom are effectively performing a quantum “random walk”—a sort of primitive quantum computation—to seek out the optimum transmission route for the solar energy they carry. “We have shown that this quantum random-walk stuff really exists,” Fleming says. “Have we absolutely demonstrated that it improves the efficiency? Not yet. But that’s our conjecture. And a lot of people agree with it.”

This revelation is amazing enough. But then the article goes on to talk about new research that explores other ways in which the quantum world is very much a part of our macro world, imparting unique fragrances to molecules that are almost identical, imparting healing qualities to substances like green tea, and perhaps even directly contributing to consciousness. Please do read the entire article, here are three more brief quotes:

  • Quantum physics may explain the mysterious biological process of smell, too, says biophysicist Luca Turin, who first published his controversial hypothesis in 1996 while teaching at University College London. In 2007 Turin... and his hypothesis received support from a paper by four physicists at University College London.
  • In 2007 four biochemists from the Auton­omous University of Barcelona announced that the secret to green tea’s effectiveness as an anti-oxidant... may also be quantum mechanical. Free radical molecules, by-products of the body’s breakdown of food or environmental toxins, have a spare electron. That extra electron makes free radicals reactive, and hence dangerous as they travel through the bloodstream. But an electron from the catechin (catechins are among the chief organic compounds found in tea, wine, and some fruits and vegetables) can make use of quantum mechanics to tunnel across the gap to the free radical. Quantum tunneling has also been observed in enzymes...

  • Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist and director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona... speculates that anesthetics “interrupt a delicate quantum process” within the neurons of the brain. Each neuron contains hundreds of long, cylindrical protein structures, called microtubules, that serve as scaffolding. Anesthetics, Hameroff says, dissolve inside tiny oily regions of the microtubules, affecting how some electrons inside these regions behave.

Visualizing how much this quantum dance is participating in the creation of the world we see around us is really not that dissimilar to the journeys of discovery that we've just looked at in The Shaman and Modern Shamans. In Music and the Dance of Creativity, we talked about this joyful process of creativity that underlies our universe, and in The Holographic Universe we talked about the new scientific evidence announced in 2009 confirming that for our 4D universe, our "line of time" is not continuous but rather being constructed one planck frame at a time. That new scientific evidence can be added to the list of reasons supporting my conclusion that in order for the quantum world to make sense, we have to see how it is coming from the fifth dimension.

Out of All Possibilities, One is Selected
In entries like Dreaming of Electric Sheep and Imagining the Omniverse, we looked at trying to visualize how our specific universe might be able to "come into focus" from the omniverse, where every possible state exists simultaneously. Let's think about how that is essentially a creative process that we are describing - out of all possibilities, one is selected. Take a close look at Mark Anderson's Discover Magazine article, and his description of how photosynthesis uses quantum effects to achieve such high efficiency. Now, here's a section of that article in which I've substituted some words to help us to see how "quantum weirdness" can also easily be thought of as a description of the creative 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.

Seeing the probability space of our "fifth dimensional hologram" all around us, waiting with new ideas and inspirations for us to bring into our reality simply by observing some aspect of the wave function of possibilities, is another way of understanding how much the quantum world and our macro world are tied together, all part of the same continuum, and all part of the ongoing creative process that is happening at every instant in every part of our universe.

Enjoy the journey of discovery!


PS - Here's a song about how these quantum processes are part of the creation and creativity that is all around us, and that we are a part of as we distill one physical reality from the many quantum paths available to us: it's called "Making It Up as I Go".

A direct link to the above video is at

Next: New Translations of Imagining the Tenth Dimension

Monday, February 23, 2009

You have a shape and a trajectory

George Harrison, born February 23rd 1943, would have been 66 years old today. Happy birthday, George, wherever/whatever you are right now.

A direct link to the above video is at

I've talked many times now about Douglas Hofstadter's wonderful book "I am a Strange Loop". Coincidentally, both my book and Hofstadter's put forth the same idea: traditionally, it was believed that each human being has one indivisible soul. While there is indeed something unique about each person's individual experience, it's much more accurate to think of a 'soul' as being created by an interlocking system of patterns, shared across time and space.

What are some of the ramifications of thinking of things this way? In entries like The Big Bang and the Big O we've talked about how sexuality provides connections across the history of life on this planet and perhaps even beyond. Music is also very much part of the same discussion, and we've looked at music as patterns that connect us together in entries like Music and the Dance of Creativity, The Geometry of Music, and Disorders of the Mind.

Music and sex are examples of the kinds of patterns that can connect us together. There are other patterns we can look at that show us how each of us is on our own individual journey within our physical bodies, each with our own unique pattern within the whole. In entries like Crossing Your Arms to Change Your Trajectory we've looked at how those patterns can be easily affected by adjusting our physicality, and in Changing Your Genes and Changing Your Genes 2 we've looked at the surprising new science of epigenetics, which shows that changes in lifestyle and attitude can cause "bad" genes to be switched off and "good" genes to be switched on.

For about fifteen years, back in the 70's and 80's, I was the music director of the local professional theatre here in my home town of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I recall a casual conversation I had with a young actress who said she was having trouble identifying with the character she was supposed to be playing. I asked her this question: what kind of music do you think this person would like to listen to? The actress immediately got what I meant: music has a physicality and emotional drive to it that can cause a person to change their body stance, adjust their mental attitude, and this is why certain people like certain kinds of music. If you're trying to "get into somebody else's headspace", so to speak, then imagine yourself liking the same music that they do.

Are you depressed? Put on a song that you associate with happy times and your mood will be elevated. Or, put on a song that resonates with your depression, at least you won't feel all alone. With people walking around with headphones and personal music players all over the place, this might seem very obvious; but physicality, mental attitude, and music are intimately tied together, and people who understand how much music affects them can use music very effectively as a way to enhance their activities throughout the day. This is also why it can be so annoying to be forced to listen to someone else's music if you don't want to: it's like their extra-dimensional "shape" is impinging upon your own.

So. Actors, whether they do this unconsciously or consciously, deal with these shapes and patterns that make each of us unique all the time. Watching an actor "become" someone else is a big part of the magic of that profession. An actor can change their physical stance, their body language, their internal rhythms, even the part of their body or face that their voice is "coming from". In other words, they find a way for what we might think of as their "soul" to adopt a different shape and trajectory, and that is something we as human beings recognize and are fascinated by.

Does this all sound too airy-fairy to you? Here's a link to an article from a few months ago in New Scientist Magazine, it was called "Voice Impersonators Use Brain to 'Become' Characters"

WHEN impersonators mimic an accent, celebrity, or do a voice-over for a cartoon, they may use areas of the brain not normally activated during speech, enabling them to "get under the skin" of their target.

Sophie Scott of University College London and colleagues asked seven people to impersonate 40 celebrity voices and a selection of foreign accents while lying in an fMRI brain scanner. Only regions normally activated during speech lit up.

In contrast, when British voice impressionist Duncan Wisbey did a range of impressions in the scanner, many more brain regions were active. The researchers say that this additional activity may reflect greater skill at impersonation. They presented the findings last week at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC.

Several of the regions in question are associated with vision and motor control. Scott suspects they light up because Wisbey thinks about what his target looks like and then imposes their features onto his own body to improve the voice.

Interestingly, Wisbey seems to produce the same pattern of brain activity even when the impression doesn't have to involve a specific individual, for example when mimicking accents. "When we asked him to try a Chinese accent, he said he was thinking about a woman who sells herbs near his house," says Scott.

Isn't that interesting? This is something I've seen myself with my son Mark, who has learned to speak English, French, Spanish, and is now learning Serbian. Each language causes people to hold their mouths and place their voices within their "mask" differently - in a sense Mark is becoming a different person as he speaks these languages.

Why are simple visualization techniques so effective in changing people's trajectory, putting them on a better path? Back in "Information Equals Reality" I talked through this as one way for people to move themselves to different trajectories within their fifth-dimensional probability space.
...imagine a warm ball of energy starting at the base of your spine, gradually working its way up your back, making you sit up straighter, creating a radiant glow out through your shoulders and the top of your head that opens your eyes wider and makes you feel more alert. Do you feel it? It really is that simple to change your energy, because it's all just information.
For people trapped in negative loops of self-destructive behavior, the idea that they can change their trajectory and that the way out is "just around the corner" in their own probability space could be what saves their life some day. To close, here's my song about that idea: it's called "Addictive Personality".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Creativity and the Quantum Universe

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A direct link to the above video is at

In The Shaman, we talked about the definition of Shamanism found in wikipedia:

Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits which affect the lives of the living.
We also talked about visionaries like Terence McKenna, who some have called a Modern Shaman. In the followup to that entry, we talked about other people I would call Modern Shamans, Alex Grey and Grant Morrison.

This time around I'd like to talk about a fascinating fellow who we might call a "technoshaman": John Thomas Bryant. A technoshaman, we could say, is someone who embraces the shamanic principles of there being hidden forces and patterns that come from outside of our perceived reality, but who embraces modern technology as one of the means to study and reveal those hidden connections. John sees technology not only as a conduit for consciousness, but as a new life-form evolving with us inside.

Gravity as a hidden connection

Einstein realized that in order for photons to entangle throughout the cosmos, gravity must somehow cooperate with the movement of light. Einstein resolved the "spooky action at a distance" of quantum mechanics with something he called "Teleparallel Gravitation". Now, Bryant has observed coincidences of solar activity and planetary movements he believes validates Einstein's hypothesis that the Universe has an inherent time-space symmetry.

The great minds of the twentieth century - Einstein, Feynman, Wheeler, Hawking all kept trying to get us to visualize time as being something that exists out there, simultaneously, in the same way that space exists out there and all around us. Now, Bryant is working on a brand new system which shows a deeper understanding of these ideas: Bryant is proposing that time folds over multiple axes, and believes the mysteries of the photon can be sorted out by treating it as an indicator of where space-time folds.

He calls his vision of a manifold of space-time the "astrotome". His system of understanding that "tome", that large "book" containing all possible expressions of mass and energy, is called "Astrotometry". John is providing some tantalyzing glimpses into the possibilities of what it means if the sun is actually our "primary time axis" as John refers to it. Could solar features be entwined with events that are approaching us in time here on Earth, like earthquakes, hurricanes, or volcanos? If every thing and every time exists simultaneously, then reverse-time causality, and resonances and nodes that connect the future, the present, and the past together are easier to visualize. And as I reported not long ago in "Google and the Group Mind", this idea has been confirmed by scientists in the lab: there really are experiments that have been conducted now which prove that the future "leaks" back into the present.

I'd like to quote from John here, because he's able to describe his work much better than I:
In the three dimensional version of Astrotometry, the observed movement of the photon is understood to be a sort of illusion. Astrotometry models matter and energy as node-patterns in standing waveforms. The node-patterns re-materialize from moment to moment in a conservative 3D space where nothing may move without simultaneously effecting and being affected by everything else.

The node patterns are created by "common carrier" waves which ebb and flow from six orthogonal directions. In a seventh movement the resulting node-pattern creates feedback in its carrier as the waves interfere and curl. From the interference patterns the process starts all over. The space where the node-pattern reforms seems the same from the pattern's super-similar perspective. Since time-relative changes in the pattern is the only indication of movement, the relative movement between its moments must be indirectly observed. Astrotometry provides the physics for Aristotle's concept of the unmoved mover: the node-pattern isn't actually moving. Matter and energy are being translated through space by the underlying mechanisms of time which fold through as a part of all physical structures.

What is theorized to be moving is not the photon, but the underlying carrier waves. This is why there is a particle-wave duality. Matter materializes and re-materializes in every moment from underlying waveforms that carry it through space. This mechanism provides an explanation for relativistic time and movement.

In Astrotometry, this space between moments is sorted out by observing super-symmetric movements in the cosmos.
You are to be forgiven if you found the above mind-boggling, I do as well. With John's work, I often feel like I'm watching an icy tip sticking out of the water, and I don't really have a clear vision of the giant form that's lurking in the depths below, even though I keep catching glimpses. Nonetheless, I see a lot of connections between his groundbreaking scientific theories and the ideas I've been playing with in my project, in that he's not afraid of embracing the philosophical/metaphysical/spiritual aspects of imagining connections that transcend space and time.

John has generously created a large volume of work on YouTube as he works through this huge cloud of ideas, and he has three different channels you should check out:

Here's a few of my favorite movies John has posted, but there are many more to choose from, as I'm sure you'll find when you go to the above links.

The Moon Illusion - I believe this is the first video of John's I ever saw. If you've never heard of the Moon Illusion, you'll be in for a surprise! After I started showing this video around to people my brother-in-law Russell told me that this is one of the things scout leaders will show their troops while out on overnight camping trips, and the way to make the moon illusion go away is to bend over and look at it upside down through your legs!

A direct link to this video is at

Visualizing Astrotometry: gets into John's underlying theory more specifically, a useful introduction.

A direct link to the above video is at

On Quake Predictions: John's theories have allowed him to make some very interesting connections between earthquakes and solar flares, this is where we start to understand just how huge the concepts he's playing with really are.

A direct link to this video is at

On the Use of Electrical Technology is one of my favorite movies of John's, I love the physical journey he takes us on while also exploring his unusual ideas.

A direct link to the above is at

Part 1 - October 14 - Sunspot 1005: with this video, John shows us his some of the more ancient mystical connections he sees to his work. This is another of his most far-reaching and challenging videos, I love it.

A direct link to the above video is at

I would invite you to go check out John's website,, for a more in-depth introduction to his work. Also, please note that John wants us to use his website as the central reference for the latest thinking about astrotometry, as for him this is all very a much a work in progress.

In the last video above, John poses this question: "What's the difference between a shaman and a sorcerer? The shaman uses his knowledge to benefit the community, and the sorcerer uses his knowledge to benefit himself." In that sense, John is a shaman: his goals are all about finding ways to understand the world, and to heal it with a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that create the reality we are all a part of. For me, that shamanistic drive is one of things I find most interesting about John's work, and I wish him every success in getting his unusual scientific studies out into the world.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: You Have a Shape and a Trajectory

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Modern Shamans

A direct link to the above video is at

In The Shaman, we talked about the idea that shamanism deals with hidden forces, spirit worlds, and seeing things the rest of us cannot. From there, we moved to Terence McKenna, one of a great many visionaries from the latter part of the twentieth century who were interested in psychedelics as a way some have used for opening their minds up to those hidden patterns that create our reality - an idea that, for me, connects very much to trying to imagine how our reality could be shadows of extra-dimensional patterns and shapes.

By the time some are calling Terence McKenna a "modern shaman", it could be argued that we have moved beyond the proper definition of the word. Shamans, some people insist, are not part of the tribe, they are outcasts who in modern times might be the ones who end up in a psychiatric hospital under surveillance! While McKenna may not have been a "mainstream" figure during his lifetime, I think it would be stretching things to say that he was "not part of the tribe". We talked in that same blog about the ongoing controversy over whether the Native American visionary Black Elk should be called a shaman, when "medicine man" is the more correct term within his culture.

Shamans, Modern Shamans, Technoshamans...
With all that in mind, please accept my apologies if you object to the use of the word "shaman" in the broader definition I'm playing with here. When I think of the phrase modern shaman (an interesting pair of words to search for in google) I think of people who are blending modern viewpoints with ancient mysticism, sacred geometry with physics, spirituality with science. Another useful term that relates to all this is "technoshaminsm". In the wikipedia article on that word we see this:

Technoshamanism is a term used to describe various methods of integrating modern technology into shamanic practice (see shamanism). Methods of doing this include such diverse disciplines as synthetic drug use, modern psychotherapy, and raving.

Technoshamans generally embrace the view that mystical experiences are at least partially biological in nature; as such, they find the use of biological and mechanical means to influence and even induce mystical states and experiences perfectly acceptable. Technoshamanism is strongly related to the modern primitive movement.

Let's look at a few people I would call a Modern Shaman, using my admittedly very loose definition of the word:

Grant Morrison
Ever hear of author Grant Morrison, creator of the critically acclaimed graphic novel series The Invisibles? Here's an example of a successful creative individual who is completely willing to talk about the usefulness of psychoactive substances in his work. He has some very "out there" theories about the nature of reality, our relationship to the fifth dimension, how consciousness is participating in all of that, and how we are all connected together: ideas that readers of my blog and my book will recognize as regular themes, but I have to admit to being completely unaware of Grant Morrison's work up to now. Clearly, Mr. Morrison and I have been exploring many of the same ideas and I would now love to read some issues of The Invisibles... and some day I'd love to hear his reaction to my original eleven-minute animation. I warn you, the following video is laced with profanities and he begins by announcing that he's drunk, but keep watching: I think this is a worthwhile video, as Grant has a unique and intellectually challenging point of view.

A direct link to the above video of Grant Morrison speaking at DisInfo is at

Alex Grey
Alex Grey, on the other hand, is someone I've know about for a while: his website is at Alex is a New York artist whose work blends psychedelic imagery with archetypal images of the body and the spirit. Like Grant Morrison's ideas, Alex Grey's art portrays imagery that seems to be plugged into many of the same memes I've been exploring with my project: multidimensional geometries, auras, chakras, and a spiritual viewpoint that embraces our connectedness are all themes found regularly in the art of Alex Grey. Here's a trailer for a movie about his work called Entheogen:

A direct link to the above video is at If you go to you will see that Alex embraces the concept of technoshamanism, so he ties into all of this discussion very deeply.

The concept of sacred geometry comes up regularly in these discussions of the nature of reality and extra dimensions, but that's another blog for another day.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next - Astrotometry

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Urban Garden Magazine

A direct link to the above video is at
You may recall that a UK magazine about hydroponics and indoor gardening, called Urban Garden Magazine ( published an article of mine last year called "Why The Fifth Dimension is a Dangerous Idea". A couple of months ago, Urban Garden began publishing in the US and Canada, and here you see the cover of their first issue.

Inside, you will find that editor Everest Fernandez kindly decided to reprint my article in this issue to introduce it to his new North American audience, and I'm grateful to him for his support of my project. Last April I published a blog entry when the UK version of the article was published, it was called The Fifth Dimension is a Dangerous Idea. Here's the video I made to go with that blog entry:

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's the cover of issue #2 of the American / Canadian version of Urban Garden: I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of this issue, but Everest Fernandez passed on to me some of the "letters to the editor" he received about issue #1 (and which are printed in this second issue). I'm pleased to say that a lot of people liked my article about the fifth dimension. Here's a bit of what reader "K.W." had to say:

I loved the articles on Are All Cuttings Really Equal? and especially the one on Plant Tissue Culture. In your lifestyle section, Head Testers: Why The Fifth Dimension Is A Dangerous Idea, at first I had no idea why it was included in your publication, but after reading it, you have definitely opened my eyes and changed the way I understand and know time/physics and even look at the world.
To walk away after reading your first issue with so much knowledge and information learnt is absolutely priceless. Sounds funny to say, but it has definitely been a life changing experience after reading your magazine.
Absolutely can't wait and highly anticipating Issue 2

K. W. , Toronto, Ontario Canada
That's high praise indeed! Urban Garden really is quite an eye-catching magazine, and the fact that they are able to give this expensive-looking magazine away free is kind of amazing to me.

Now here's the cover of issue #3 which should be appearing at your local hydroponics supply store soon:
The theme of this issue is "We Can Feed the World". A noble idea, to be sure. But Everest is also pointing us to a way to help the world that I'm sure I'd heard about before, but it hadn't really twigged on me before what a great idea it is. Ever hear of Kiva provides "micro-loans" to third world entrepreneurs: farmers, craftspeople, bakers and cooks, people who could have a better life if only they could get a little "kick start". A farmer in Nigeria needs $600 to buy supplies to grow yams for the local markets? A family in the Honduras needs $1200 to make and sell tortillas? A mother in Guatemala needs $1000 to buy supplies to make earthenware pots? Kiva provides a way for us each to pitch in, even 25 bucks at a time... these funds are pooled and people around the world are helped. And remember, these are not gifts, they're loans: once your money is repaid you can use it again to help someone else. That's pretty darn cool!

So Everest has just started a "grower's group" at kiva for people who support the idea on this third issues's cover. If you would like to join that group click here. Here's what Everest says:

I want to invite you to our lending team, on Kiva, a non-profit website that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world. You choose who to lend to - whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq - and as they repay the loan, you get your money back.

If you join my lending team, we can work together to alleviate poverty. Once you're a part of the team, you can choose to have a future loan on Kiva "count" towards our team's impact. The loan is still yours, and repayments still come to you - but you can also choose to have the loan show up in our team's collective portfolio, so our team's overall impact will grow!

I'm particularly interested in supporting food-production based businesses but it doesn't have to be exclusive.

Best wishes and thanks for your time,


Again, if you would like to join the group, click here. To close, here's my song about the fifth dimensional branches that have already occurred that keep us from being able to make a difference, and how important it is for us all to see that we can change that: it's called "What Was Done Today".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

P.S. - In honor of this entry we started a new poll here that asks a related question: "Plants use quantum physics effects in photosynthesis, and this is why it is such an efficient energy conversion process." Do you agree or disagree? Cast your vote.

Next: Modern Shamans

Monday, February 9, 2009

Other new shows you may not have seen...

Here's some youtube movies we've posted for recent blogs over the past month, if you're not in the habit of going back and looking at older posts you may have missed these, as they didn't come out until several weeks after the blog they're attached to was published. Enjoy!

Google and the Group Mind

A direct link to the above video is at

The Big Bang and the Big O

A direct link to the above video is at

"t" Equals Zero

A direct link to the above video is at

30 - Do You Believe in Ghosts?

A direct link to the above video is at

Lots more shows are being posted over the next couple of weeks at our youtube channel,
Please be sure to check in there from time to time.

Enjoy the journey!


PS - And just a reminder, there's a new collection of DVDs we're selling at the tenth dimension store:

A direct link to the above video is at

Next - Urban Garden Magazine

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Shaman

Before we start this entry, here's a new video we posted on YouTube yesterday which is attached to a blog entry from a month ago: "Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions?". I'm posting it here for all the subscribers to this blog who wouldn't have seen this video back when that previous blog entry was first released.

A direct link to the above video is at And now, on with today's entry!

A direct link to the above video is at

I've quoted author and psychobiologist David Jay Brown before, who had some very kind things to say about my book:

Rob Bryanton's Imagining the Tenth Dimension is one of the most brilliantly-conceived and mind-stretching books that I've ever encountered. Bryanton presents a uniquely compelling model of our 10-dimensional universe, that allows one to visualize and grasp the topography of the higher dimensions in a step-by-step manner. This is must reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of physics, shamanic exploration, or the nature of reality.
Last time we talked about Augmented Reality, new technology which allows us to visualize things that aren't part of our physical world. This time I'd like to look at David Jay Brown's suggestion that my way of visualizing reality is useful for people interested in shamanism. There's an extensive article on this subject in wikipedia, here's one sentence that I think is key:
Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits which affect the lives of the living.
The idea that our reality is created by extra-dimensional patterns and shapes is, of course, central to my project. Whether one thinks of those as "invisible forces" or something more metaphysical, I've been insisting, may have more to with point of view than what it is we're really describing. Regardless, though, a shaman's viewpoint has to embrace the basic idea that I've been promoting here: that there is much more to our reality than the 3D world we see around us, and finding ways to visualize how that could be requires us to embrace a perspective which is "outside" of time, and "outside" of space. What I think is remarkable, though, is that this same "timeless" viewpoint has been central to the theories of many of the great scientific minds of the twentieth century: we've talked about this before in entries like Wormholes and Dimensional Folding and Scrambled Eggs.

Black Elk
Ever hear of Black Elk? He was a Lakota medicine man who lived from 1863 to 1950. While there appear to be varying opinions on whether it's proper to call Black Elk a shaman, I would say there are strong connections between this man's transcendent viewpoint and what is referred to as shamanism in other parts of the world. There's a well-known book called Black Elk Speaks which recounts his visions and insights, in what some are calling "the most famous Native American book ever written". A YouTube visitor named "crazedmystic" posted the following quote from Black Elk Speaks on one of my video blogs a few weeks ago:
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all.
I love this quote, not just because it speaks to the enfolded nature of reality which I am constantly going on about, but because it states it in such a beautiful way. I've tried to portray similar ideas about the connectedness that we all share, and the beautiful hoop, the "zero" that holds all other possibilities in so many other entries: Going to the Light, "t" Equals Zero, Imagining the Omniverse, and The Big Bang and the Big O, to name just a few.

Drums and Trance
What else is central to the shamanistic experience? It's impossible to generalize too much because shamans appear in various cultures throughout the world: still, music, trance, and altered states of consciousness can all play a large role. Have you ever been in a drum circle? This is one of those things that comedians like to make fun of, but there really is something there - the power of the drum, the shared experience of a large group of people becoming physically and mentally entrained through just drumming together, and the trance-like altered states of consciousness that can spring from such an experience can be surprisingly uplifting. One of my favorite books about all this was written by Mickey Hart, well-known musicologist and drummer for the Grateful Dead, called Drumming at the Edge of Magic.

"Altered states of consciousness", of course, can be brought about through various natural means, including dance or meditation, or through more traumatic experiences, but for many people the phrase makes psychedelics spring to mind immediately.

We started this blog with a quote from David Jay Brown. As we discussed in David Jay Brown and Psychedelics, David is a respected expert on psychedelics and their serious study: he is also sometimes a guest editor of the newsletter published by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelics Studies, which you can find at

Which brings us to Terence McKenna, who some have referred to as a modern shaman. Here's a very interesting video showing Terence McKenna talking about shamanism in a way that seems very related to what I've been talking about here: McKenna tells us that a shaman would have to be able to tune into the "bifurcating trees of possibility" (McKenna's words) that are coming towards them from beyond the solid reality they see around them. I'd like to think that McKenna would have appreciated the connections between what he's talking about in this video, and the way that I've portrayed the fifth dimension as being part of our probability space (in entries like Dr. Mel's 4D Glasses and Predicting the Future). In entries like The Holographic Universe and Slices of Reality I've also described the fifth dimension as the place where we can see the underlying patterns of our reality are springing from, another related idea. And speaking of Augmented Reality, in a fanciful moment I find myself wondering if we'll ever get to the point where certain psychedelic experiences could be simulated using an augmented reality interface to superimpose those effects over top of the world we see around us? Now that would be quite the software program.

A direct link to the above video is at

It really is too bad that Terence McKenna passed away in 2000, well before the advent of YouTube, as he has some fascinating presentations out there that are finding a new audience through the medium of streaming video, but without his participation in the dialog we are deprived of the instant feedback loop that can make YouTube and its comments sections so interesting. To close, here's a couple more of Terence McKenna videos that relate to all this:

You are the center of the Mandala:

A direct link to the above video is at

Changing your operating system

A direct link to the above video is at

Next, we'll continue this discussion with an entry called "Modern Shamans".

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist