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ON A RESONANCE THEORY OF THOUGHT AND SPIRITUALITY
Karl Jaspers Forum ^ | August 21, 2001 | Varadaraja V. Raman

Posted on 08/02/2003 4:43:59 PM PDT by betty boop

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To: betty boop
I have been reading and thinking about a book called "The Encounter of man and nature" by Uh-oh a guy named Seyyed Hossein Nasr from a series of lectures at Columbia? NYU?
Don't have it in hand now. His basic thesis is that the scientific view of the world has profaned us and the world by making it so that if we have no use for something, we ignore or destroy it. He touches on Christian and Islamic philosophy, but only as checkpoint type things, not as a basis. I still have half to go, it is highly recommended.
Science looks at things through rose-colored glasses. Then, it has the audacity to state that there is no such thing as "green". Nasr flatly states science is and can be only a part of the total solution.
51 posted on 08/03/2003 12:05:49 PM PDT by djf
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To: betty boop
You might be interested in reading the Jane Roberts/Seth books if you haven't already done so.

In The Nature of Personal Reality (one of many Seth books) some of the "Consciousness" topics discussed are:

The conscious mind, ego as an offshoot, as ever-changing, evolution of, function of, inner knowledge and, matter and, meeting of unconscious and, physical body and, preconceived ideas and, spontaneity.

There is also a good deal of information available at

Seth

52 posted on 08/03/2003 1:42:36 PM PDT by JimVT
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To: djf; betty boop
Perception and knowledge seem to have a gestalt to them, a synergy, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And what could that be? Perhaps the observer somehow takes on the qualities of the perceived thing. Maybe adds to the reality of it. Maybe if we curse some thing or person, we really do in some cosmic sense, effect how real or good they are, some sense we have no ability to measure, but if this measuring rod exists and is extra-cosmic (out of the sphere of our normal existence) that does not necessarily mean it is or is not any less real. I reject logical positivism as a primitive, solipstic(sp?) and hedonistic philosophy, we are active participants.

I second bb's endorsement of your very insightful post.

53 posted on 08/03/2003 2:00:45 PM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Ichneumon; djf; wwcj; P.O.E.; Alamo-Girl; Phaedrus; unspun; RightWhale; JimVT; tet68; tortoise; ...
Universal Thought Field (UTF) via-a-vis Ultimate Vacuum Field

Prof. Raman's "On a Resonance Theory of Thought and Spirituality" is an extraordinarily compact and simple outline of a theoretical "picture" of the structure of consciousness regarded as a universal principle. A friend told me that the paper needed serious reworking because of its spareness of detail, ambiguity, and apparent lack of relevance to scientific questions. On the other hand, I don't imagine that Prof. Raman intended to write about a fully-fleshed-out theory, merely to indicate the general outline or form that some such future theory might take.

In his 1999 article, "The Nature of Man-Universe Connections," Hungarian astrophysicist Attila Grandpierre fleshed out the physical details of something that looks very much like Prof. Raman's general outline. For he, too, is interested in the problem of consciousness and its universality, and wonders what its physical structure might look like.

What Prof. Raman calls Universal Thought Field is, for Grandpierre, the ultimate vacuum field, the fundamental quantum field or substrate in the universe that generates all the other fields. Its preeminent quality is consciousness, intelligence, perception. It is thus, in a certain sense, "alive." Indeed, Grandpierre grounds the life principle in precisely this ultimate field, just as matter is subject to it because this "ultimate vacuum" is the source of all the physical fields that govern the behavior of matter. Similarly, it structures the psi-field (knowledge, intellect, perception, awareness, feeling -- consciousness, mind [which includes the unconscious]). Grandpierre is presenting a "picture," built up on present-day physics and astrophysics, which shows:
 

...that an organizing principle has to be at work at the origin of the solar system and at the ultraresonant interactions between the planets and the solar core. The developed-brain approach to the Universe indicated that there may exist an EM and quantum-vacuum coupling between Man and the Earth, Man and the Sun, Man and the Universe. Moreover, it is indicated that the Sun shows a fundamental openness and ultrasensitivity, which presents it as showing a fundamental life-phenomenon known as perception. Perception is an interaction in which a stimulus enters into the perceiver, which transforms it by its own (biopsychological) laws, selects the information by its own interpretation, and reacts to the selected, developing an answer which energetically is amplified in a 'cosmic' rate R = EÚin/EÚout > 10^10. What is the reason for this 'cosmic rate' amplification? I suggest that the reason is to amplify the information that is important to the Universe as a whole, since the higher rate at which it is amplified, the more easy to transfer it to other macrosystems for further information processing. In that sense the ultrasensitivity of living beings is a participation in a cosmic information processing. In this way we reached a cosmic interpretation of the most fundamental life phenomenon.

This evokes Raman's suggestion of the inter-relationality of UTFs and PTFs (mutually responsive and co-acting) and between PTFs (ditto).

On the physical basis that Grandpierre presents -- and it is so extraordinarily detailed as to beyond the scope of this writing -- "one can construct the following chain of events for an interaction between the mind and brain":
 

In the first step the information is contained and mediated by the vaccum field. These vaccum waves may interact with electromagnetic waves in giving them their information in the second step. The electromagnetic waves then may interact with the biomolecules of the brain, like sunshine interacts with chlorophyll molecules transferring the energy of the sunlight into chemical free energy. Form this available chemical energy the activation potentials of the neural networks are built up. Nevertheless, all four steps could be simultaneously influenced by the vacuum waves.

The frequencies of the vacuum waves obtained here are remarkably close to the observed frequencies at cell divisions. This circumstance suggests that the way vacuum waves interact with material waves can be a resonant phenomenon. The vacuum waves may trasfer their energies and information content to material waves at the same frequencies. The real energy transfer could be necessary only at the onset of some material processes in an upper level of the mind. Here, I suggest a picture in which the different levels of our minds may work with progressively more subtle material carriers, while the deepest one works with vacuum waves without any net energy transfer taking place in the end, because the energy taken out from the vacuum may be put back by the brain itself when reading important information from the psi-field. It could be the reason why only living organisms with a significant free energy content are able to react on the basis of the information read-out.

Grandpierre notes, "The different vacuum waves couple us in a different scale to the cosmos and to our bodies and brains, while the electromagnetic and electron waves present couplings between our environment, our brains, and local neural processes. These couplings to different scales of the outer world represent couplings between our different mind levels, simultaneously. In this context, it is important to note, that these outer sources of information -- the Earth, the Sun, the stars, and the Universe as a  whole -- do show a whole range of generalized organic processes."

In the end, Grandpierre's essay calls urgent attention to problems involving the evolution of cosmic and biological consciousness. The picture that emerges is that "Man and Universe maintain multi-level, dynamic, direct connections." Which is hardly surprising, since physical science has said that the universe is constituted by various fields that structure the activity of their relevant particles. If this view is true, then Man participates in the universe at all levels of his being by virtue of his participation in all its active fields.

I'll conclude with Grandpierre's own summary of his article:
 

Important evidences are presented that may serve for founding research into the cosmological evolution of cosmic and biological consciousness. A picture is outlined in which Man and Universe maintain multilevel, dynamic, direct connections. Not only the formation of the material of solar system is regulated by a cosmic organization activity, but there are cosmic fields like gravitational, electromagnetic, scalar-EM, Higgs, and scalar massless cosmic fields involved in the cosmic regulative processes. The cosmic biological and psychological effects influence significantly the biological and psychical, collective and individual organisational processes. The cosmic connections between Man and the Universe do not represent a one-sided action, but a mutual, meaningful, life-given interaction, in which Man is also an active participant....

In the end, the Universe is a singular, living thing constituted by an active organising factor, "which expresses an activity related to material 'objects,' but the substance of which does not exhaust in physical principles but extends towards much deeper realms of existence."

That is to say: To Mind; Will; Life; and (ultimately, on my speculation) Love.



p.s.: I am speculating about the constitution of the universe in terms of its proportionate contributions of matter, "dark matter," and "dark energy." It seems to me that of these constituents, matter is definitely fully constrained in terms of space and time. The other two, however, seem to be "up for grabs." Perhaps it might be useful to think of these three as qualitatively different, yet mutually-participating and -modifying "spheres of potentiality"  ultimately constrained by the "physics" of the primaeval universal vacuum field. It seems notable to me, that "fluctuations" in the ultimate vacuum do not appear to be subject to space-time constraints, and thus could in fact achieve superluminal velocities.
 
54 posted on 08/03/2003 2:28:52 PM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: betty boop
these outer sources of information -- the Earth, the Sun, the stars, and the Universe as a whole -- do show a whole range of generalized organic processes

Maybe so, but not even at such an elevated level as the simplest bug. The universe and the stars and the sun and the earth and the weather on earth and on down in scale to atoms appear to be dominated by stochastic processes that follow the laws of thermodynamics. These should not be taken as any more than having the potential to support life processes--organic processes.

55 posted on 08/03/2003 3:18:23 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: js1138
I keep wondering what possible difference there could be between something that can interact with the physical and something that is physical.

The non-physical mind interacts with the physical brain....maybe.

56 posted on 08/03/2003 3:28:33 PM PDT by Consort
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To: RightWhale
These should not be taken as any more than having the potential to support life processes--organic processes.

Really you do surprise me, RightWhale. Do you really think such a "minimalist" point of view could possibly accord with/account for the astonishing riot of multiform beauty that is presented to our eyes (and our minds) every day we draw breath on this Earth?

57 posted on 08/03/2003 3:31:21 PM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: JimVT
Years ago, I went from the Jane Roberts books to a tome entitled Thinking and Destiny. That was a major leap into the arcane.
58 posted on 08/03/2003 3:33:02 PM PDT by Consort
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To: betty boop
(b) Every thought generated in the brain creates its own particular thought field (PTF).

Sooner or later, science will come out and say that thought creates matter as others have been saying for ages. Then they can prove it or disprove it. If God created us in his image, then we, too, are creators...on a lesser scale.

59 posted on 08/03/2003 3:41:06 PM PDT by Consort
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To: Consort
The non-physical mind interacts with the physical brain....maybe.

I can accept the possibility that there are aspects of the physical world that are yet unknown, but I challenge you to propose a theory of how non-physical interacts with physical.

60 posted on 08/03/2003 3:44:41 PM PDT by js1138
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To: betty boop
Most people known why we never went back to the moon after Apollo. Most people do not prefer the desert.

Make the desert bloom, now there is a worthwhile occupation.

There are pretty, bright lights in space. There is also a lot of dark dust that isn't pretty at all. In fact, there's a lot more dark dust than bright lights. Don't get too close to the bright lights, they don't care if you exist and won't notice if you are accidentally vaporized or smash into a dust cloud on the way. Looks nice from a distance, will take extraordinary engineering planning to do anything with. It's there, it's our job when we figure out what to do, and we must not fail.

61 posted on 08/03/2003 3:45:07 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: betty boop
Our non-physical selves are probably much greater by far than are our physical selves and operate on a totally different set of laws.
62 posted on 08/03/2003 3:45:40 PM PDT by Consort
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To: js1138
...but I challenge you to propose a theory of how non-physical interacts with physical.

Aside from the non-pysical creator, our thoughts, feelings, and desires are what animate and motivate our physical selves to do the things we do — the good and the bad. Emotions result in physical actions. Is time physical? Matter, energy, space, etc didn't just appear magically. They came from somewhere. Can you think of anything physical that doesn't have a non-physical component?

63 posted on 08/03/2003 3:55:14 PM PDT by Consort
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for all of this! What a wonderful discussion this is.

One thing right off the top of my head...

I believe that Grandpierre's ultimate vacuum field may be closer to the physics than Raman's thought field. But better than either of them (as fields) might be your own speculation of an extra time dimension.

The field theories are inevitably stuck with an arrow of time and causation, whereas under the extra time dimension - cause and effect are overthrown along with past, present and future. And superluminal phenomenon would be expected.

Thus an extra time dimension could host all the same phenomenon as Grandpierre's ultimate vacuum field while offering a much greater explanatory power for anomalies of consciousness over time (near death experiences, collective consciousness, faith healing, remote healing, precognition, retrocognition, extrasensory perception, telepathy etc.)

The extra time dimension would also have a greater explanatory power for dark energy...

64 posted on 08/03/2003 4:07:33 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Consort
Is time physical?

It certainly appears to be.

Matter, energy, space, etc didn't just appear magically.

They certainly appear to be physical.

Emotions result in physical actions.

And physical things -- drugs, etc., affect emotions. What part of emotion is not the result of brain activity?

Can you think of anything physical that doesn't have a non-physical component?

Can you think of anything non-physical that doesn't require a physical embodiment?

65 posted on 08/03/2003 4:12:48 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Is time physical?
It certainly appears to be.

Can you feel, taste, smell, hear, or touch it?

Matter, energy, space, etc didn't just appear magically.
They certainly appear to be physical.

Yes, after they were created from — what? Where did they come from?

Can you think of anything non-physical that doesn't require a physical embodiment?

The soul, if you are into religion. Or whatever can create what is physical and non-physical.

66 posted on 08/03/2003 4:32:29 PM PDT by Consort
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To: Alamo-Girl
But better than either of them (as fields) might be your own speculation of an extra time dimension.

A-G, what I'm wondering is whether the primary field of universal consciousness/primary substrate of natural being may be virtually outside of human space-time altogether. Yet still very much within the scope and range of human intelligence....

To me, this is a perfectly mind-boggling idea.

By the way, I dutifully read the two articles you pinged me to. I enjoyed "Constraints on Extra Time Dimensions" very much. I definitely noticed how the authors decided to "file-off" something they had seen as belonging to a hypothetical "time-brane" -- an additional hypothetical time dimension beyond the 3S + 1T four-dimensional space-time that we human beings are steeped in since birth -- to account for certain inconvenient "leakages" from the matter side of physics. (I gather.)

I was also very intrigued by the authors' analysis of "gravitational self-energy." Good grief, I didn't realize that issues relating to the propagation of charges remain such open questions today. The implications for integrating gravity into any Unified Field theory must be staggering in consequence.

Also read that other paper. It definitely left an impression on my mind, even though it really was written for initiates into the mysteries of string theory. I will not bore you with my take on this (taxpayer-funded!) enterprise, unless you hold hot coals to my feet! LOL!

BTW, I think Grandpierre handles these issues with consummate insight and grace. Which is more than I can say for the publicly-funded crowd that, these days, gives us works like "Evidence for F-Theory."

The paper falls short of its own initial abstract: It does not explain the cosmological constant; and it does not explain, or "pictorialize," any type of "interface" between string theory and macroreality.

What it tells you is: Do further experimentation. Put F-theory right up there with two other fundamental constructs, and you've got a real shot at solving all the problems of the universe some time soon.

And by the way, keep those government grants coming meanwhile....

67 posted on 08/03/2003 4:52:40 PM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: Consort
Sooner or later, science will come out and say that thought creates matter as others have been saying for ages. Then they can prove it or disprove it. If God created us in his image, then we, too, are creators...on a lesser scale.

Absolutely. I have a strong belief that we are fragments of whatever created us. I prefer to use term "Creator" when referring to an original being...which will, no doubt, get me chastised by those who are Bible bound.

There has got to be an eternal plan of which we are a functional part. It makes no sense to me that empires like the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Seleucids, Greeks, Romans (and, one day)Americans existed with souls who were gaining learning experiences (some horrendous, without doubt) and that those experiences are not retained and used, albeit unconsciously, in new later birth experiences. Heck, why not earlier birth experiences!

IMHO, there is an eternal circular learning curve.

I've highlighted a lot of stuff in Jane Roberts/Seth. Below is one of my favorite statements...oft referred to:

"It is important that you continue to realize that consciousness is within all physical phenomena. It is vital that you realize your position within nature. Nature is created from within. The personal life that you know rises up from within you, yet it is given. Since you are a part of Being, then in a certain fashion you give yourself the life that is being lived through you."

Believing that statement unfortunately doesn't give one an automatic ticket to the 'good life.' But knowing that we "create our own reality" can help us get at least some understanding of why we're here, where we've been and where we're going.

68 posted on 08/03/2003 4:55:42 PM PDT by JimVT
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To: JimVT
But knowing that we "create our own reality" can help us get at least some understanding of why we're here, where we've been and where we're going.

It also forms a basis on how we will be judged...our accountability, and gives substance to concepts such as rightness and reason, responsibility, morality, etc.

69 posted on 08/03/2003 5:11:41 PM PDT by Consort
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To: Consort
Of course, if they all that, then the next question will deal with whether or not the creator is external to us at all.
70 posted on 08/03/2003 5:14:06 PM PDT by Consort
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To: Consort
Time is not a spacial dimension, but it is studied as an integral part of physics. Again, help me understand how somethings interacts with the physical without being physical.
71 posted on 08/03/2003 5:36:51 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Time is not a spacial dimension, but it is studied as an integral part of physics.

It doesn't matter who studies it. That doesn't make it physical. It is likely more true that everything physical comes from the non-physical than the other way around. Do you think that all existence is limited to only physical things?

72 posted on 08/03/2003 5:48:30 PM PDT by Consort
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To: Consort
Do you think that all existence is limited to only physical things?

Anything that can be studied is pretty much by definition physical. Anything that is beyond study and experiment is pretty much in the realm of faith.

73 posted on 08/03/2003 5:58:51 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Again, help me understand how somethings interacts with the physical without being physical.

Do you consider mathematics(the mind) as physical?

74 posted on 08/03/2003 6:01:59 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
You might ask the same question of music, art, poetry, etc. Can you point to an implementation of any of them that is purely non-physical? Can you point to anything that does mathematics that is not physical?
75 posted on 08/03/2003 6:05:00 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
This is a fascinating discussion, but it is not at all scientific.

It is more religious/philisophical, which is fun to talk about and think about, but cannot be proven NOR disproven scientifically, therefore it is NOT and cannot be scientifically studied.

Which I believe is the main point of the hypothesis that he put forward.

until we can physically measure, repeat and verify the "soul" or whatever you want to call it, it will be outside the realms of science.
76 posted on 08/03/2003 6:06:21 PM PDT by Aric2000 (If the history of science shows us anything, it is that we get nowhere by labeling our ignorance god)
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To: js1138
Materialism? Lack of faith in the non-physical?
77 posted on 08/03/2003 6:06:30 PM PDT by Consort
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To: js1138
Can you point to an implementation of any of them that is purely non-physical? Can you point to anything that does mathematics that is not physical?

What do you think interacting with physical means? Are you now changing your question to not interacting with the physical?

78 posted on 08/03/2003 6:08:04 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
Mathematics is an activity of humans. Humans are physical.

This is not something that will be decided here. People have differing opinions as to whether mathematics is discovered or invented. I say invented, though there is little hope of convincing anyone who doesn't share my opinion.
79 posted on 08/03/2003 6:12:24 PM PDT by js1138
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To: Consort
Materialism? Lack of faith in the non-physical?

More an assertion that anything that can be known is by definition physical. Even the Bible tells us that we cannot know except through metaphor.

80 posted on 08/03/2003 6:15:42 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Mathematics is an activity of humans. Humans are physical.

Humans are spiritual. Micrsoft Windows is not a floppy disk.

81 posted on 08/03/2003 6:21:03 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
I'm not really trying to win or score points here, just express a point of view. Whatever we are has a body, which according to the church I was raised in, will be resurected. Why?

I can certainly certainly imagine less messy embodiments than what we curently inhabit, but anything I can imagine would have the look and feel of physical existence. This is presumably a limitation of my imagination rather than a limitation of what is possible.
82 posted on 08/03/2003 6:55:06 PM PDT by js1138
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To: betty boop

The Sense of Being Stared At

An Interview with Rupert Sheldrake from the Seattle Post Intelligencer 1st April 2003

 

83 posted on 08/03/2003 7:00:26 PM PDT by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: js1138
Whatever we are has a body, which according to the church I was raised in, will be resurected. Why?

Because of Thomas.

84 posted on 08/03/2003 7:05:24 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Alamo-Girl
The extra time dimension

A second timelike dimension would have to be folded up to very small size like the other extra dimensions. If the second timelike dimension were similar to the first in size, just orthogonal, it would make too many things possible. If all things are possible, then evolution is dead and change is impossible, so there is a phenomenological contradiction. OTOH it would eliminate the need for the Big Bang.

85 posted on 08/03/2003 7:11:26 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: RightWhale; betty boop
Thank you so much for your post!

Indeed, the compactification of extra spatial dimensions is an artificial construct.

For instance, under ekpyrotic cosmology, the inception dimensions are deemed parallel and thus, there is no big bang.

Likewise, in 5 dimension space/time such compactification is not necessary:

Welcome to the homepage of the 5D Space-Time-Matter consortium. We are a group of physicists and astronomers working on a five-dimensional version of general relativity. Our work differs from Kaluza-Klein theory (the basis of superstrings) in that we do not assume compactification of the extra dimension. This means that new terms (those involving the 5th coordinate) enter into physics, even at low energies. In 4D spacetime these can be interpreted as matter and energy. We move them to the right-hand side of the 4D field equations and take them to describe an induced energy-momentum tensor. In fact, we have shown that no 5D energy-momentum tensor is required. 4D matter of all kinds can arise as a manifestation of a higher-dimensional vacuum. This is one way to realize Einstein's dream of transmuting the "base wood" of matter into the "pure marble" of geometry -- that is, of unifying the gravitational field, not just with other fields but with its source.

Generally speaking, the objection to extra time dimensions is the aversion of converting from a time line to a plane. Causation is essential to physics as is timeline order (this before that, that after this.)

If our time dimension is a plane and not a line, the past, present and future are all seen at once and the cause/effect can be inverted to effect/cause.

Therefore, IMHO the artificial aversion of science is a prejudice which may stand between us and truth.

86 posted on 08/03/2003 8:25:38 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for your post! I agree with your assessment of the f-theory article. The other one was much more informative!

A-G, what I'm wondering is whether the primary field of universal consciousness/primary substrate of natural being may be virtually outside of human space-time altogether. Yet still very much within the scope and range of human intelligence....

Precisely! And that is exactly what your extra time dimension introduces to the mix.

I enjoyed "Constraints on Extra Time Dimensions" very much. I definitely noticed how the authors decided to "file-off" something they had seen as belonging to a hypothetical "time-brane" -- an additional hypothetical time dimension beyond the 3S + 1T four-dimensional space-time that we human beings are steeped in since birth -- to account for certain inconvenient "leakages" from the matter side of physics. (I gather.)

Precisely! That's why I became so excited. Your speculation fits a number of mysteries - including accommodating the consciousness field outside 4D physics and potentially evidencing the same via dark energy.

I was also very intrigued by the authors' analysis of "gravitational self-energy." Good grief, I didn't realize that issues relating to the propagation of charges remain such open questions today. The implications for integrating gravity into any Unified Field theory must be staggering in consequence.

Absolutely! That is what underscores the quest for quantum gravity and the structure of space/time at the quantum level.

IMHO, they will find the answer to the quantum riddle in geometry. And that answer will come not from quantum mechanics but astrophysics - cosmology and astronomy!

87 posted on 08/03/2003 8:34:46 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; unspun; Phaedrus; ALS; Doctor Stochastic; RightWhale; RadioAstronomer; ...
You said: Am writing an article on the physical basis of consciousness ... and you said, This article from Prof. Raman is an extraordinarily elegant outline of where I think I want to go with this.

Your article is going to be about consciousness; Prof. Raman's article mainly addresses "thoughts," (whatever he means by thoughts). There is a great difference between, "thoughts," and consciousness. Our thinking is certainly conscious, but my kitty is conscious, but doesn't think. I assume you will be careful to make this distinction which Prof. Raman does not.

If you would be so kind, you might tell us what you mean by consciousness. I'm not asking you for an explanation of how it works, only what you mean by that term. Does the word "qualia" fit your notion of what the content of consciousness is?

Hank

88 posted on 08/03/2003 9:46:06 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: AndrewC
Point taken, but the problem of interaction between matter and non-matter is not my invention. I forget who first formally posed the problem, but its been around for centuries, and I don't think it's easily brushed aside.

I think the problem is even more interesting now that physics is dealing with "dark matter" and "dark energy" -- phenomena that defy traditional concepts of what is physical, and yet they exist.

Is anyone prepared to assert that dark matter and energy are non-physical? We know them only because of their subtle and elusive effects on the structure of the universe. How would any hypothetical non-physical substance that interacts with matter differ conceptually from these phenomena? If something interacts with matter, it will come under the perview of physics, regardless of whether it fits traditional concepts of matter.
89 posted on 08/04/2003 5:45:36 AM PDT by js1138
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To: betty boop
A nifty idea, but it doesn't really allow us to say anything new except "I have this idea." :p

Don't misunderstand, I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but if it can't be quantized, it isn't very useful as far as science goes.

For example, if this UTF has a field nature, it should also have a particle nature too, which is used to transmit the effect. For it to be a useful theory, it needs to answer questions like: What is the particle's mass, what is the range of this new force, what is the speed of propagation, and so on and so forth.

90 posted on 08/04/2003 5:58:31 AM PDT by Constantine XIII
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To: js1138
Point taken, but the problem of interaction between matter and non-matter is not my invention.

I think you need to be a little careful with your terms. Matter/non-matter interaction is an everyday thing, I think that what you and many other people might mean is natural/supernatural interaction. That is a completely different question.

91 posted on 08/04/2003 6:02:19 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Physicist
Ping!
92 posted on 08/04/2003 6:05:17 AM PDT by Constantine XIII
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To: AndrewC
I don't think I'm mis representing the question. You refer to ideas as if they exist independently of their embodiment. Interesting if you can cite an example.
93 posted on 08/04/2003 6:06:06 AM PDT by js1138
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To: Ichneumon
Agreed.

You can construct a spirituality out of auras and supernatural beings. Of you can call them fields and detached consciousnesses. It's important not to confuse the use of physical nomenclature with physics.

94 posted on 08/04/2003 6:17:01 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Constantine XIII
Constantine XIII, thank you for your post. Grandpierre elaborates the physics in his article, "The Nature of Man-Universe connections," which you can read here:

http://www.konkoly.hu/staff/grandpierre/noetic.html
95 posted on 08/04/2003 6:30:54 AM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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To: js1138
I don't think I'm mis representing the question.

Energy is non-matter. Matter/energy interaction is not a mystery.

Now if you want an example of something using something that is not-matter, then I propose that all examples of Microsoft Windows be destroyed except for one compressed, encoded file. That one encoded file is beamed, using any frequency you wish and compatible with transmission, at any remote galaxy. Upon completion of the transmission the remaining file is erased along with the decoding key. Does Microsoft windows exist?

96 posted on 08/04/2003 6:34:44 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
Energy is non-matter.

That's news to me. I could have sworn matter and energy are interchangable and that there was a famous formula defining the equivalence.

Now about the little windows thought experiment. Does a text exist if the only copy of it resides in the form of an unbreakable cipher, for which the key is lost? I would argue that this is equivalent asking if a flammable object exists after it is burned. If an object cannot be reassembled, it does not exist, at least not in any usual sense. If the hypothetical message can be decrypted, then it exists.

97 posted on 08/04/2003 6:52:13 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
That's news to me.

If you wish to play word games leave me out.

98 posted on 08/04/2003 6:53:36 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
I'm not playing word games. I'm trying to find out why folks think there is some non-physical aspect to consciousness. I think there is some misunderstanding about what the word physical means to science.
99 posted on 08/04/2003 7:11:07 AM PDT by js1138
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To: Hank Kerchief; Alamo-Girl; Phaedrus; ALS
Hello Hank! Prof. Raman's article deals with the subject of consciousness primarily from the human scale, if I might put it that way. That is why there is such an emphasis on "thought."

What Grandpierre suggests, however, is that consciousness is a far more generalized and pervasive phenomena that all "living systems" possess, even quite "humble" ones, such as an amoeba. Here's an interesting selection from Slavoj Hontela that elaborates this idea:

"Let us to observe the behavior of an Amoeba in the microscope’s visual field. We can see there an Amoeba, of Proteus species, slowly moving by stretching out its pseudopodia, looking probably for food. We place now with a glass pipette close to her few powdered pigments of a dried Chinese Ink. The amoeba stretches one of her pseudopodia to a pigment grain closest to her (evidence of a chemotaxic reaction or ability !) and involves the grain into her pushing it down to the nucleus where the digestive vacuoles are present. It is certainly interesting that the pigment transported through the pseudopodia towards the nucleus, doesn't yet touch the nucleus capsule when obviously the Amoeba recognized the undigestibility of the Chinese Ink pigment, the further transportation in the direction to the nucleus stops and the foreign body is quickly pushed back and finally eliminated from the Amoeba's body.

"From this observation it is possible to make already several conclusions:

"1) The amoeba was able to recognize and approach the foreign body which might be its potential food,

"2) A. was able to mobilize her pseudopodia giving them the appropriate message to approach this pigment and engulf it.

"3) With a certain delay which was obviously necessary to process the information related to the characteristic of the foreign body and the realization that it is indigestible follows another set of messages and the pigment was eliminated.

"We have to presume there were neuro-biological elements equivalent to those of more developed organisms and obviously there were present a appropriate number of genes ....

"The second phase of the observation experiment was even more interesting because it brought to the evidence the proof of the presence of memory. We have removed the pigment from the underlying microscopic glass dip, we put there a new drop of clear water and again placed there another pigment grain of Chinese Ink. The Amoeba stretched the pseudopodium to the closest pigment but did not touch it and, in contrary pulled back from the pigment grain. Obviously it preserved the memory for the identification of the indigestible pigment!

"It would be an exaggeration to speak about the mind or thinking but the period of might be 30 seconds which were passed by between the pigment taking and eliminating it; evokes the impression that the Amoeba needed a certain time to process the obtained information, i.e., it was 'thinking.'"

Grandpierre's definition of "perception" is probably the most generalized WRT the meaning of consciousness in its unversal sense:

"Perception is an interaction in which a stimulus enters into the perceiver, which transforms it by its own (biopsychological) laws, selects the information by its own interpretation, and reacts to the selected, developing an answer...."

Qualia is a very useful precept; but it seems to have a somewhat limited application (i.e., referring preeminently to human subjective states).

100 posted on 08/04/2003 7:23:10 AM PDT by betty boop (We can have either human dignity or unfettered liberty, but not both. -- Dean Clancy)
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