Bonus Time

For eleven days I sat in a room with death
Thinking about love, feeling my body
Weaken as the beatings of my
Heart continued to slow.

But the light of love within my heart
Calmed me and brought me peace.
I saw this guiding light shine
Even on death and
Through death.

Before taking death’s hand I wanted
To leave behind words telling of
What I had found at the
Endpoint of these
Waypoints.

I wrote that I saw that “The One”, the
Spirit that quickens all life and
Inspires all awareness.
Is Love itself.
God is Love.
Love is
God.

I saw that I, one of the many,
Co-inhere with “The One”
Through Love.
It was surrendering to that
Simple but profound truth
That brought peace to
My failing heart.

The wheel turned. As death left the room
He told me to remember that
I was now on bonus time.
We parted on good
Terms.

Now a miraculous bionic bonus maker
Beats away beneath my collar bone
Keeping my heart pulsing in pace
With my life’s demands.

I will live as I have lived but with renewed
Resolve to bring awareness and
Gratitude to as many
Of my moments as
I can manage.

I will try to write of what I have seen
With clarity and beauty and let the
Light of love guide my way
In these days of my
Bonus time.

 This poem was first published on December 24, 2014, on my webpage http://rogerhillonline.com/Waypoints.aspx

What is the New Darshan?

Why new?

A darshan is a “vision of the divine”. It is a fundamental step in the development of a complete ontology, the foundation of a “world view” that provides an understanding of the physical and spiritual (transcendent) aspects of human life.

For adherents of scriptural based religions, their “world view” is derived from the authors and interpreters of the sacred texts and their darshan is basically their faith that the sacred texts are the “word of God (or Brahma)”.

For those who cling to the “world view” of material realism, there is no place for darshan because of their faith that transcendence does not exist.

Throughout history there have been spiritual movements based on a darshan that is not scriptural based. Prominent among these is Buddhism. In the classical world these darshans were compatible with a “world view” that assumed that the physical Cosmos was static: infinite and eternal. Therefore, in an Old Darshan the “vision of the transcendent” had no need to include the concept of creation or a Creator. The Old Darshan has provided important spiritual insight and guidance to countless people over many centuries.

But now we know from scientific observation that our Cosmos had a beginning: it is not eternal and it is not static – it is, in fact, expanding at an accelerating pace. The purpose of this blog is to describe a New Darshan that is compatible with the observations of modern science and incorporates valuable understanding of the transcendent that the Old Darshan has provided. The spiritual aspect of the New Darshan is its focus on Oneness and the attempt to avoid the dualism that has plagued so much of the world’s religious, social and political history.

What’s new?

The scientific roots of the New Darshan emerge from recent studies using Quantum Theory of the smallest objects in spacetime, and studies in Cosmology of the origin and nature of the entire universe (spacetime itself).

– Quantum entanglement:

Experiments in quantum entanglement made over the last 30 years or so have proven beyond a doubt that entangled quantum states exist in a nonlocal reality. “Nonlocal” means that entanglements exist outside of our “local” 3D+1 reality. In our “local” reality effects follow causes by a finite amount of time because information cannot be transmitted in 3D+1 faster than the speed of light. (The description of our local spacetime as “3D+1” is based on its structure of 3 observable space dimensions plus one dimension of time.) The nature of the nonlocal reality where quantum states are entangled and causality does not apply is not subject to direct observation using local instruments. But the existence of nonlocal quantum entanglement is an established observational fact. The existence of a nonlocal reality is often described as a quantum paradox.

– Wave/particle duality:

The origins of quantum mechanics go back more than a century. It has proven to be one of the most successful scientific enterprises of all time. Its equations have been used to predict observations of quantum phenomena with incredible accuracy (e.g., to 10 decimal places in the case of some experiments in quantum electrodynamics.) But paradoxes have been part of the theory from the very beginning.

The first was the wave/particle duality of matter and light. Neils Bohr resolved this paradox to his satisfaction, with what is now known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, through the advancement of the idea of Complimentarity. This said that either the wave or particle nature would be revealed by the type of quantum observation chosen by the observer, but not both. In this interpretation, the key element to resolving the paradox is “choice”.

Perhaps the most paradoxical of the wave/particle duality experiments is the famous Young’s double slit experiment. In this experiment an opaque screen, in which two slits have been cut, is positioned between a source and a detector of light. Modern versions of this experiment have passed single photons or material particles like electrons through a double slit arrangement and provided for detection of single particles on the downstream side of the slits.

After passing many single particles through the apparatus, an interference pattern is observed showing that, at the position of the slits, the single particle was actually at two places at once. That is, though beginning and ending its journey through the apparatus as a point particle, it behaved as a wave at the position of the slits. (For more on this, please see .)

If the observer chooses to determine which slit the particle actually passes through, the wave nature of the particle is not manifested: the interference pattern is destroyed. Here, again, “choice” is the key element in resolving the paradox.

The most recent form of these experiments, known as “delayed choice” experiments, have demonstrated that the timing of the choice (whether to determine the actual “slit” or not) does not affect the outcome of the experiment. This is true even if the choice is made nonlocally: that is, in situations where, in order for the choice to effect the particle at the beginning of its journey would require faster than light communication. In other words, in these experiments, the choice to determine or not the actual path will effect the outcome even if the choice is made after the particle is already inside the apparatus.

So, here again, as in the entanglement experiments, quantum behavior is explainable only by the existence of a nonlocal reality and is observed to be determined by nonlocal choices. This, again, is described as a quantum paradox. (See for example http://www.pnas.org/content/110/4/1221 .)

– General relativity.

For the last 50 years, or so, observational Cosmology has focused on the reality and consequences of the Big Bang: a unique event that lies at the very beginning of our expanding 3D+1 spacetime. The time with which we measure change in our Cosmos began in the Big Bang (t=0).

There is no scientific way to observe what went “before” the Big Bang or what exists outside of spacetime. But Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, which has had great success at explaining the observations of modern Cosmology, is based on the idea that the Big Bang emerged from the nonlocal reality of a Singularity. Being outside of spacetime, the Singularity is unobservable and is a subject for metaphysics and mathematical imagination, but not empirical science.

Another aspect of General Relativity is the discovery of what is called the “fine tuning” of the physical Cosmos. The initial conditions of the Big Bang and the physical constants that determine the dynamics of the expansion of the Cosmos had to be “fine tuned” with incredibly improbable values in order for stable matter to exist and for the Cosmos to persist for the last 13.8 billion years.

It’s not possible for me to put an accurate value to the total improbability of my existence, but just the fine tuning of the initial energy densities in the Cosmos that allows the persistence of the Cosmos alone is of the order of 10-60 . And the symmetry-breaking that allowed there to be an excess of matter over anti-matter in the early universe has a probability of the order of 10-9. Then there is the exact balance among the fundamental forces and particle masses that permits stable atoms to exist and then the quantum tunneling processes that permits stars to burn and explode providing the chemical elements that make up the rocky planets. (Recent measurements with the Keppler space telescope indicate that there are probably about 1022 such planets in the Cosmos.)  And then there is the improbability of the emergence of self-aware beings on our planet along with little details essential to human life like the fact that solid water is lighter than liquid water. I can’t be sure, but I guess the probability that I am sitting here writing this has got be less than something like 10-100. This is a pretty fair definition of a scientific miracle.

There is no scientific explanation for this miracle. There is only metaphysics and mathematical imagination. Many scientists of the material realist persuasion see the miracle as just a highly improbable accident: a random event among an infinity (or very large number, like 10500) of Big Bangs creating other (3D+1?) universes.

New metaphysics.

The metaphysics of the New Darshan includes the hypothesis that the nonlocal reality of Quantum Mechanics is consciousness itself. It is choice that collapses all quantum wave-functions and resolves all quantum paradoxes. And the essence of consciousness is choice.

This hypothesis is not new with me. I suspect there are many scientists and thinkers who have come to the same conclusion. The great physicist, John Archibald Wheeler, who wrote the book on General Relativity and proposed things like black holes, worm holes, and the “delayed choice” experiments of quantum theory, looked deeply into the quantum nature of things and introduced into physics more than 30 years ago, the phrase “It from bit”. Wheeler is implying that the most elementary aspect of nature is information (not matter/energy). And the process of creating reality and doing science is the process of creating “its” from “bits”. A “bit” is a yes/no question and the process of creating an “it” is a choice – an act of consciousness. This is what Wheeler meant by his characterization of our Cosmos as a “participatory universe.”

This metaphysical hypothesis was explored at great lengths by the quantum physicist, Amit Goswami, Ph.D., in his book The Self-Aware Universe (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, N.Y., 1995). Goswami proposed that consciousness is the ground of all being and defined the essence of life with the Cartesian phrase “Opto ergo sum” – “I choose therefore I am“. The subtitle of Goswami’s book is “how consciousness creates the material world”.

I propose to extend the New Darshan with the hypothesis. that the first “it” in our Cosmos was the first Planck bubble (a quantum region of unified forces, complete uncertainty, where only probabilities exist, about 10-35 m in diameter) This first “it” emerged from the Singularity and began the Big Bang.


The metaphysical principle of “as below, so above”, would imply that this process of the creation of the first “it” of reality was also a conscious choice. This would imply the startling metaphysical hypothesis that the Singularity is alive and is the source of all consciousness and life in the Cosmos.

My hopes for future postings on this blog.

In the blog posts that will follow describing the New Darshan, I will explore the scientific implications of the possibility that the Singularity of the Big Bang and the nonlocal reality of Quantum Mechanics are one and the same. I will attempt to identify teleological aspects of evolution that support the hypothesis that the universe began with a conscious choice. I will explore the spiritual aspect of the New Darshan in terms of the dynamics of consciousness and creation. These dynamics are intimately related to the unitary process of co-inherence. I will address the morality that flows from the New Darshan as emphasizing the equality of all self-aware beings and the value of cooperation in the development of global human society.

(Some of the intellectual ideas of the New Darshan have been expressed in the language of my heart as it opens to the inevitability of death in my recent poem,  In Time. )

A new start.

I have been away from these pages for several years now. During this time I have been trying to deepen my understanding and continue my quest to make sense of things. Some of my recent writings have been posted on my website as poetic writings  and a magazine.  In my private writings I have been trying to clarify my vision of a New Darshan that was the original subject of this blog. Several people have recently been kind enough to respond to these blog posts so I am inspired to return to this endeavour and attempt to share my vision.

Thank you for your interest.

Namaste.

A theological question- What is the nature of Spirit?

If the Big Bang was not a random event but a purposeful event arising from outside spacetime (Spirit), then Spirit can be considered as the Creator of our Cosmos. What can we know about the Creator? Nothing that can be observed by science directly. But, perhaps, something of the nature of the Creator can be inferred from the nature of creation.

One of the most striking aspects of the material universe, aside from the fact that it had a beginning, is the fact that it is expanding and it has been doing so in accordance with the law of General Relativity from 10-32 seconds after its birth until the present day. The miraculously fine-tuned conditions that permit the material universe to have survived for 13.7 billion years were built into the singularity and the initial conditions of the Big Bang itself. The creative principles are still operative today in the form of physical laws that are knowable to human awareness through the observations and reasoning of science. There is no evidence that Spirit has ever interfered with or altered the creative principles instilled in spacetime from the time of its birth. It is only logical that Spirit, all that exists outside of spacetime, has no influence on that part of the material universe that exists completely within spacetime. There does remain, however, the mystery of how Spirit initiated the Big Bang – the mystery of Creation that is beyond human awareness and understanding.

But there is a part of creation that is not completely contained within spacetime – awareness. A thought may originate in the electromagnetic activity of the brain, but are thoughts or their products, ideas, completely material? Can they be measured or localized? Are our relationships with each other purely material? Is love purely material? Can the human appetite for the good, the true and the beautiful be completely explained by physics and chemistry?

From the dawn of human civilization people have given testimony to creation myths and to their belief in an afterlife not confined to spacetime. Human awareness came into its dualistic existence with one eye on the material world and one eye on the spirits. It is through awareness that Spirit, the Creator, influences and interacts with the material world of spacetime. This influence and interaction occurs through what we call inspiration or mystical experience.

For centuries the material eye of awareness has focused on the world around us and brought forth the beauty and wonders of science and art. At the same time the theologians of the world have focused awareness on inspiration and mysticism and brought forth the faiths and narratives (religious beliefs and ontologies) at the heart of the world’s cultures.The earliest consensus of the theologians is that Spirit is singular- the Creator, God, Allah, Brahman is the One and only.

If the theologies are true and the Creator is One, all theologies will arrive at the same truth. The theology I’m most familiar with is Christian theology. The inspiration at the heart of the Christian faith is that the Creator is Love itself. (1John 4, 16). Arguably the greatest of Christian theologians, Saint Thomas Aquinas reasoned in the Summa Theologica that “Truth is the equation of thought and thing” and so it follows that the Creator ” is Truth itself”. If awareness is the act of understanding producing the equation, it follows that Spirit, the Creator, is Awareness itself.

So the reason that Spirit can influence and interact with the material world through awareness is because Spirit is Awareness itself.

Another aspect of Christian theology that defines the nature of Spirit is the doctrine of the mystery of the Trinity that states that the Father,  the Son and the Holy Spirit all co-inhere as the One God. Generalizing this to the nature of Spirit just presented would argue that Spirit (the Creator, God, Allah, Brahman) is the co-inherence of Awareness, Truth, and Love as The One.

(This question is explored further in the three somewhat theological poems  “IHS”, “Flow of Creation” and “Ṛta” posted in November, 2011, on my Waypoints webpage.)

A metaphysical question – Was the Big Bang a random event?

I suspect most of my colleagues would naturally prefer to think of the Big Bang as a random event. But the only way for an event to be both random and miraculous is for there to have been a very large sampling of events. In other words, an event with a probability approaching zero is bound to occur in a population of events approaching infinity. The assertion of randomness implies that there are a large number (approaching infinity) of other Big Bangs in some larger Cosmos.

This is the observationally unverifiable metaphysics of the “multiverse”. From a physics point of view, this is a logical choice: especially considering that there are  plausible mechanisms for Big Bang type events – such as random energy fluctuations in an infinite quantum vacuum. (Note that this involves a leap of faith that the quantum behavior observed in our spacetime also exists outside of spacetime.) The choice of the multiverse is a significant challenge to Occam’s razor since it amounts to postulating the existence of a very large number of unobservable objects to explain the existence of one object.

But physics is not the only source of knowledge about our existence. What does your intuition tell you? Does everything about you and your life appear to be the result of randomness? Can randomness explain everything you see about you? Do you not sense that there is a purpose to your life (even if you’re not too sure what it is)?

Time (entropy) has an arrow. The discovery of epigenetics, the evidence of master genes, and symbiosis and cooperation in biology all argue that evolution is not a purely random process: it, too, appears to have a direction. The logical candidate for that direction is toward the evolution of ever more complex awareness.

On earth, biology mysteriously emerged from the material world of physics and chemistry. Microbiology reveals that the simplest forms of life demonstrate awareness: single cells process information from the environment and from each other and adapt their behavior accordingly. As multi-cellular organisms evolved, the brain developed, making possible the emergence of animal intelligence and awareness.  After the brain evolved to the level of complexity of the human brain (1011 neurons in a network of 1014 synapses), the self-aware human mind with all its amazing capacities mysteriously emerged. And the process continues. (What will mysteriously emerge from the linking of human minds in the network of the noösphere? Doesn’t your intuition tell you that it will be a higher form of awareness – like global consciousness?)

As a self-aware being with free will, I choose to believe that the purpose of the Cosmos is the evolution of awareness. And so I choose to believe that the Big Bang was a purposeful and not a random event. Furthermore, I choose to label all of whatever scientifically unobservable existence there may be outside of our spacetime with the name Spirit.

The Big Bang – a miraculous event originating outside of spacetime.

All scientific observations of the Cosmos made to date are consistent with the idea that our universe emerged from a single, vanishingly small object in an explosion that occurred about 14 billion years ago – the famous Big Bang. The coordinates of space and time that we use to describe our observations and frame our theories also began with the Big Bang.

The reason is easy to understand. Spatial coordinates measure the distance between objects and time measures change. In a universe that contains only one object, there is no way to measure distance and, if the one object remains one, nothing changes. So spacetime and the possibilities for observation began with the Big Bang and the subsequent multiplicity of material objects.

The single object from which the universe emerged is outside of our spacetime and the nature of that object is therefore unobservable – a scientific mystery. The nature and origin of the original object or the nature of existence outside of our spacetime are, of course, not outside the reach of our imagination, mathematics or metaphysics. But it should be kept in mind that any such speculations are beyond the reach of verification by scientific observation.

The fact that our universe contains stable matter in structures that have survived gravitational forces for almost 14 billion years is just one in a long string of facts that lead scientists to describe the Big Bang as being  “fine tuned.” By this we mean that the conditions present at the initiation of the Big Bang and the physical laws governing the stability and composition of ordinary matter had to be incredibly “fine tuned” in order for you and me to be here now. It’s hard to put a probability number against “fine tuning”, but just the one fact of the universe surviving gravity has a probability of only about 10-60. Our existence is so scientifically improbable that it can arguably be called “miraculous”. The Big Bang therefore qualifies, to this scientist’s mind, as a miraculous and mysterious event.

Quantum Entanglement

As above so below– (The Emerald Tablet)

 

Once upon a time
there were two quantum states
|Alice> and |Bob>
born into a family
coaxed by coherence into sameness.
Entangled in oneness, so that
knowing one you knew them all.

 

But |Alice> and |Bob> were twins
born with instructions to conserve a zero
so that if |Alice> was made to spin one way,
|Bob> would spin in the opposite way.
And vice versa.
Entangled
            Coherent and
                    Correlated.

 

The physicists that played with |Alice>’s spin
observed to their surprise and chagrin
that |Bob>’s spin instantly became opposite
no matter how far away he was from his twin-
maybe, even, on the other side of the galaxy.
By the laws of special relativity,
this is impossible – it just should not be.
It seems these playful people have uncovered a
quantum mystery.

 

You see, in our world of ordinary matter and energy
nothing can move faster than the speed of light
not even information.
A solution to this mystery might be that
|Alice> and |Bob> exist not only in our world,
but are also somehow present
in a virtual world
where information can travel at a
speed of infinity.

 

There is such a world in the basement of our spacetime:
The rabbit hole of the vacuum, the world of zeroes,
the world of unity, where there is
no causality.

 

The playful people have seen that as either of the twins
get more involved with our ordinary world
(and less with the virtual world?)
they lose track of each other: they decohere.
They become free from their obligation to unity
and become completely
Uncorrelated,
             Unentangled and
                     Incoherent.

 

Isn’t physics fun?

 

 

This poem was first published on June 10, 2011, on my webpage http://rogerhillonline.com/Waypoints.aspx

What is co-inherence, anyway?

The term co-inherence was coined by the English writer and theologian Charles Williams (1886-1945) to describe a concept that was central to his rather unorthodox theology. This concept was derived from the Christian mystery of the unity of God in the three persons of the Trinity. Williams extended this to the idea that the unity of mankind consisted of their analogous co-inherence with  each other. Williams believed this applied to all of mankind.

A limited definition of co-inherence has been given as “Things that exist in essential relationship with another, as innate components of the other.” I say “limited” because the phrase ” innate components” doesn’t fully capture, to my mind, the mysterious origins of the concept.

Williams’ original concept of co-inherence, as it related to Christian theology, can be expressed in the following diagram ( though I have added an unorthodox twist by identifying co-inherence with the Holy Spirit.) If Muslims took to heart the concept of co-inherence, they might understand that their God and the Christian God are one and the same.

                 Father
                        Son
                            Co-inherence (Holy Spirit)
                               =God, Allah

In the co-inherence diagrams given below I hope to provoke a sense of what I mean by the term co-inherence in a broader sense. Some of these (after a little meditation) may expose the mysterious nature of co-inherence but as someone who studies quantum physics, I have become quite accustomed to including mystery in my world view.

The initiation of the Big Bang is a mystery. Quantum entanglement is a mystery. Complementarity as exposed in Young’s double slit experiment is a mystery. The phenomenon of emergence in complex adaptive systems, such as the emergence of a self-aware mind from the network of synapses in the human brain, is a mystery. But these things all happen, and so might co-inherence.

               These parts                             These parts
                         Those parts                            Those parts
                            = Sum of the parts                   Co-inherence (Network)
                                                                                   =The Whole
                Brahman
                       Atman
                            Co-inherence (Love)
                               =The Self
                Me                 Me
                    You                 You
                     = Duality             Co-inherence (Love)
                                                      =Oneness
                Creator
                        Creation
                           Co-inherence
                               =The One
                 Awareness
                          Matter
                                Co-inherence (Life)
                                    =The One
                  Spirit
                       Matter
                            Co-inherence (Awareness)
                               =Creation
                    Spirit
                         Matter
                              Co-inherence (Love)
                                  =Awareness
                 Love
                    Awareness
                         Co-inherence (Bliss)
                             =The One
                 Spirit
                       Body
                            Co-inherence
                               =Man

More down to earth diagrams might be:

            Wave                               Wave
                 Photons                            Photons
                = Duality                                  Co-inherence (Field)
                                                                    =Light
                 Musician
                        Instrument
                            Co-inherence
                               =Music
                 Subject
                        Object
                            Co-inherence (Verb)
                               =Information

Perhaps you can suggest others.

Scientific Darshan

A darshan is a “vision of the divine”. It is the fundamental step in the development of what the philosophers call an ontolgy, the foundation of a “world view”. This blog will explore the development of an ontology and world view based on the darshan presented in the following poem, first published on August 10, 2011, on my webpage http://rogerhillonline.com/Waypoints.aspx . The meaning of this poem will be made clearer, I hope, as the blog develops.

                                 SCIENTIFIC DARSHAN
 The old darshan of the Upaniṣads is:
              Eham      Self                                  A
                  Etat         Not-Self                           U
                      Na            Negation                        M
                 =The Self is not the Not-Self            =AUM

 

 That is the darshan of a static Cosmos
where Being is.
Buddha’s clear eyes saw no relevance
for a Creator in a Cosmos both static and infinite.
His darshan for the Creator of such a Cosmos is
Emptiness.
The old darshan for the Self has been used throughout
our brutal history to support the dynamic:
Self
                      Not-Self
                                 War.

 

 In the millennia since the time of the Vedic Rishis
science has taken the measure of the
size and the mass of the Cosmos.
It is scientific reality that our Cosmos
had a beginning and we are evolving.
We live in a material Cosmos that is dynamic:
where Being is Becoming
and spacetime is expanding.

 

 For our Cosmos a new darshan could be:
               Self                                  Self
                    Not-Self                           Not-Self
                              Awareness                            Love
                                     =Creation                      =Co-inherence
where the darshan for the Creator is
                        Creator
                                   Creation
                                         Co-inherence
                                            = The One

 

 This scientific darshan cannot be used
to justify dynamics that lead to ignorance, or hatred,
duality, or War.
This scientific darshan calls for dynamics that lead to an
expansion of Awareness and Love
and acknowledgement
of Unity.

 

 Which darshan would you embrace?
Why cling to a darshan for a Cosmos
in which we do not exist?