Well I suppose I’ve had a busy morning, this morning. No, I didn’t cut a large load of firewood, or finally get that doorway sanded and painted. I didn’t get that letter written to my sister or have a long overdue chat with my brother on the telephone. I didn’t do the vacuuming or service the car. I just reconfigured the universe and forever redefined my understanding of almost everything.
I didn’t mean to. It was sort of accidental. I was, as I so often am, wandering down a particular path of thought when suddenly, I fell into a massive, bottomless hole that I hadn’t noticed before. My thoughts went into free-fall and all of the markers, the signposts and the anchors of my mind, the things that provide me with a frame of reference for my whole belief structure …… were suddenly lost to me. And an alternative vision opened to my mind. One that explained the unexplainable, made the impossible possible and the implausable probable. I had an idea!
I was pondering my notion of empty space once again ….. my conviction that empty space isn’t any such a thing and that it is, in fact, the ultimate solid … infinitely dense. I wrote a little article recently about the idea of travelling WITHIN space …. as opposed to travelling THROUGH space (which is the way we generally imagine space travel). The key difference being that travelling through space would involve having one’s physical self travel from point A to point B while maintaining its physical form i.e. one’s body (presumably encased within some kind of a space craft) would travel THROUGH space. Travelling WITHIN space, on the other hand, would involve having one’s entire self (both physical and non physical) decompiled …. transmitted within space and reassembled at one’s point of destination.
As a side note, my conviction that space can’t be empty, was deepened by the idea that NOTHING could logically pass through empty space (if it was indeed empty). Sound waves need air or some more dense medium through which to travel. Sound waves cannot pass through a vacuum. Ocean waves need water as their medium. No water, no waves. We are taught that all waves are just phenomena that exist within a spectrum. Sound, light, Infra red, radio, microwave et al … are all just waves. So it occurred to me, they all need some medium through which to travel, Light and radio waves, we know, can travel vast distances through space ….. so I have to assume that space isn’t nothing … it has to be something. I don’t think any kind of a wave could travel through nothing!
All this got me to thinking about the seemingly insurmountable difficulties of breaking down a person into their component matter, transmitting them within space and reassembling them (accurately) at some other location. Impossible enough to do that with a person’s physical body … but what about the non-physical aspect of a person’s self. I can easily imagine reducing your pinky fingernail down to its component particles and then reassembling it. But what about you non-physical elements? How do I decompile your belief in karma, your dislike of your neighbour, your love of pizza and classical music .. and reassemble all of that at some alternative destination? All the thoughts of your mind and the beliefs that make you YOU.
The whole concept was presenting itself to my mind as the ultimate impossibility when I began to think about life in the here and now … in our limited little reality. And suddenly, without warning, an alternative idea struck me. What if we are labouring under a total misunderstanding of the here and now? What if we, having completely deluded ourselves about how clever we’ve become, are still blinded by a complete misunderstanding of the fundamentals of what we’ve come to know as physics? Let’s face it, we managed to believe for a very long time, that the world was the centre of the universe. We believed that the world was flat and that, if you sailed too far, you’d simply fall off the edge. And we look back at those beliefs and feel ourselves to be much more sophisticated than our simple, uneducated forebears. But what if the immense journey that we’ve made since those simple times …. isn’t very far at all. What if we are still living under the tyranny of ignorance regarding some of the most simple and basic realities of our existence?
Let me explain. You are sitting in a chair when you decide that you want to move to another part of your home. So you rise up from your chair, you walk to that other part of the house and voila … there you are … in a different place and a different time. But what is it that has actually happened?
Our assumption and our current understanding of physics would have us believe that your physical self rose up from your chair, and walked from that location to your destination … i.e. your physical person moved from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ as an homogeneous, unchanged unit. As you moved along, the air was displaced by your physical self, moved out of your way and filled in the void behind you, as you moved along. Not to digress but if you dare to ponder the complexities involved in your getting out of that chair, balancing your body as it constantly changes its shape and form, using your eyes to identify and constantly update your brain on all the pertinent data regarding your surroundings, your position and your situation …. the physics and maths involved in your simply walking across a room would keep a mathematician and a physicist busy for an age!
But what if ….. we are wrong? What if our (limited) understanding of what’s actually happening, is as naïve as our belief in a flat world, or of being the centre of the universe? What if that ‘simple’ act of moving from one location to another actually follows the exact principles of travel within space. Suppose that your total self (both physical and non physical) at any given point in time is simply a pattern of matter and energy existing at a specific point in space and a particular moment in time. Suppose that the only thing that actually moved …. was the ‘pattern’ that is the physical manifestation of you … and that no matter actually moved at all. Supposing that all that you think of as being yourself, simply moved AS A WAVE through space …. from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’. If you could freeze time and break it up into moments, what you’d see is an infinite number of you, as a wave, at an infinite number of moments in time and at an infinite number of points on your journey across the room; kind of like looking at individual frames from a piece of movie film.
You can easily explain, using what we know about physics …. how the physical you moved (as a whole) through space and time. But what if its totally wrong? What if our understanding of our physical universe is as flawed as our previous beliefs about the shape of the world and its place in the universe? And tell me this. How did your mind make that same journey? How did a non-physical element of your being travel from one physical point to another and emerge basically unchanged at its destination?
It might be possible, that the movement of your body and soul, across a room or across a universe would follow the very same fundamental principles. And just as a physical and a non physical manifestation of your person can make a journey, it might equally be possible for only parts of that persona to make such a journey. We know that a human body can remain ‘alive’, even after the mind has died. Is it not therefore possible that a mind can exist, independent of a body? By now, I’m sure that you’ve concluded that this bloke has totally lost the plot. But before you write off a notion such as this, consider this. If there’s any truth about what I am proposing ….. that the nature of our movement through our environment is as a pattern travelling as a wave (rather than as an object, travelling homogeneously THROUGH space), then a whole range of universally acknowledged but so far skeptically dismissed phenomena might become far more understandable. Things like apparitions for example and auras, so called ESP, ‘spiritual’ communication between individuals, astral travel and much more. Much that we dismiss now as hocus-pokus might become simple, understandable and credible science.
To make such a quantum leap in thinking would involve massive risks …the risk of being totally wrong and worse … of being seen to be totally wrong. The risk of universal ridicule and the terrible risk of stepping away from all the comfortable, familiar beliefs that currently form the framework that is today called science. Hell, if we sail too far, we might even fall off the edge!
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Thank you, Andrew.