The young baboon in the wild, with that inquisitive and clever look and, above all, a large stone in the shape of a chopper between his hands cannot but bring our imagination back to well over one million years ago, back to our first "?" because it is with a question mark that knowledge started and, likewise, that is the way it proceeds towards its own fulfillment: an infinite path which, so far as we can foretell, we will thread within the frame of a limited time on this planet where, should we not cause our own extinction, is anyhow bound - however far ahead in time - to loose the life giving light of the sun.

Question upon question, painfully and unremittingly, by trial and error and all the way up to the present epoch which saw us walking on the sands of the moon, discovering and pondering the black holes's mystery in the cosmos and far into a deep view within the core our own essence where, however, the greatest mysteries, the only true alternative to our own survival lie undisclosed.

The 'why' we are, the mystery of the universe with this clever and restless speck of dust moving on one of its smallest rocks have always been the catalyzing agents pushing us in the effort to dispel our inner darkness but, apparently, we only gained in debasing our image and in developing immense destructive power to a point where we might have to start all over again, with a stone between our hands.

 


"We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have designed profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last we have succeeded in reconstructing the creation that made the footprint. And Lo! it is our own" [1]

The Theory (?) of Mental Relativity
Franco Dell'Oro - Street 173-1 # 3 - P.O. Box 4543 - Asmara - Eritrea
 
Theory? A 'theory' is like a cloud brought around by the wind even if this is not in conformity with the term's explanation: "A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena" and: "A tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena"[2] As it stands this ad libitum essay is clouds within clouds - a mental exercise, a mental cloze procedure with innumerable blanks to fill in in the proper order, albeit interesting - unless the life-giving water can be condensed and squeezed out of the clouds to make it acceptable.

The contents of the section "symbols", an old writing (circa 1987) did not express itself in terms of spacetime (Mind) or allocated spacetime (mind); however, concerning a most important expression of the psyche - its symbolic life - it was thought useful to link it to this essay without searching again the related material in the recesses of a shrunken brain because, even if somehow apparently it still works, in the last half century it has lost a few ounces; as it happens, it is an ascertained neurological fact that age brings about substantial shrinking in everybody's black box 's painter. Incidentally, this is a strong warning aimed at those who seek immortality in the flesh since, at a very advanced age their black box will turn fairly empty!

Presently, as a very short summary of the previous chapters, we may take notice that, at least according to this shrunk-brain writer, we can paint the picture in the canvas of the mind using, as pastels: the matrix, spacetime, allocated spacetime and the psyche.

The fact that none of this pastels has a tangible existence nor a perceivable chromatic hue indeed complicates everything since the mingling process within this great imponderable lies in a dimension which seems to forbid both verbal expression and coherence; here we are not in the difficult abstract realm of the mind but we are trying to leap beyond the same, beyond abstraction, from something that we can somewhat comprehend, like allocated spacetime (mind) to something which lies deep in the metaphysical field, spacetime (Mind) which cannot be properly imagined due to its inherent property of infinity in both states - to wit, space and time - strictly interdependent on one another so that this condition may occur, and all the way up to its vanishing in a static and unconditional (the terms vanishing, static and unconditional are figurative, necessary but incorrect) matrix which can be imagined - but that is poor human logic - the next, higher step in the hierarchy.

The words 'beyond abstraction' imply something in a different dimension, state or condition; our perceptual world is not beyond abstraction yet, so far as can understand, abstraction is that which sustains it; be that as it may, we superimposed abstraction to abstraction so as to imagine something else beyond that abstraction that is not our material world. One more step of the imagination to try to define that which can only be defined as that which it is, according to an arbitrary name given to it solely to give form to an idea, the "matrix".

A small digression: this 'giving form to an idea' is a prodigious psychical feat; it births something from an apparent nowhere beyond imagination and brings forth a living picture from imagined spacetime resulting in some intractable intellective project!

Since no concept of the mind can enter this inscrutable 'whatever it is' where also the 'is' is stripped of its lexical meaning denoting condition and confinement we must wait for an incredible evolutionary step to comprehend it, or better, two evolutionary steps: one is the physical demise, which will end our earthy experience but will enrich the experience of Life. (In this context, by now we may have well understood that spacetime, 'Mind' and 'Life's experience' - not our life's - but the life principle which enlivens the latter and spacetime are different words that somehow equate a unique principle sustaining the universe.) The other is spacetime thwarting itself as a standing process so as to amalgamate in an inconceivable unconditioned imponderable, the matrix.

We live in a future built with the bricks of our past, but not in the present. There cannot be a present moment so long as time - so we experience it - flows. And we can imagine also a backward flowing time, which means that with a time machine taking us back afar we could modify the future but, interestingly, only that future that had not yet happened. That time might reverse its own direction may not be pure imagination; something like that might be happening at the center of gravity of black holes, where matter is crushed to infinity then reemerging into the cosmos as, noticeably X rays and what else we can only fictionalize. The universe is expanding - if we accept the theory of the Big Bang - due to the residual force of the explosion that originated it. So long as time stands its own course this process will continue until this inertial force will be exhausted and then gravitational attraction will take the lead and pull back the cosmic matter into a collapsing universe, in reversed time, back to a single super-condensed nucleus which at an unsurpassable limit of mass and density will once more explode, another Big Bang and the cosmic story will repeat itself, yet with the addition of the story of the previous experience of being a universe.

Experience! All nature is a metaphor which can be used for useful analogies and recalling this experience of the cosmic continuum in spacetime enables the experience of the allocated spacetime to ponder about its own place within its mental framework. Experience has a different mental compartment, let us imagine a sort of tunnel connecting the mind and the psyche so that experience can shift at will from one to the other, a mutually influencing feedback. Clearly this picture makes this fact quite interesting since we can here see that not only the psyche is acted upon by the mind by working out its pictures, but it too can paint on the mind's canvas co-authoring the brain's work in a necessary feedback loop which, however, lies in a diverse dimension; the work relayed back goes in a different vault of the brain where it stays ready for recall and action whenever necessary. This may apply to something that has become so ingrained, as automatic as drinking a glass of water, as well as some very abstruse anything else, which consequently will increase the stuff's availability inside the vault. Assigning a more tangible location to this mental tunnel considering the brain's anatomy, the connecting links of experience - built up of memory and emotions - can be visualized in the thalamus and the amygdala.

As it happens, all these mental activities affect the brain's electrical field and its radiated output; since this process is electromagnetic waves in character, it is also a sort of transmitter and as such, even if its power is very low, related signals are relayed in physical space. We don't really know if there is some other medium along with the electromagnetic spectra of radiation, but that cannot be excluded; if so, signals related to the brain's electrical field might act in some diverse media in a wider expanse and irrespective of their intrinsic low power. This is a tempting argument if related to parapsychological effects like telepathy, precognition and several more but it is beyond the scope of this essay.

The previous flummox brought us to the point where, likewise in a black hole, we approach a kind of event horizon which will splash us flat on its surface, bring us to the object's core reduced to infinite size and never, for all time, be allowed back to recount such prodigious experience of the utmost annihilation in Truth! Still around our place on this beautiful planet and fully endowed with limited senses and perceptions, however, we notice that we have a set of elements in a mental picture which can be thus resumed:

Quirky cerebrations within a black hole.
(A much later addition to the essay above)

Years after the lines above, my memory is a black hole; I don’t remember places, nor past events, nor people and names and worst of all hardly anything of the interesting readings, not a few, that I go through; not even what I wrote in several preceding essays within a lapse of about thirty years; they appear on this site. Everything is sucked in the monster almost immediately beyond the event horizon, just like if I orbited only a few million strides from the same. A shrinking brain - that is the prettiest definition of 'old age' and an estimated four hundred thousand cigarettes do take their toll! Be that as it may at times something, some quirky notions of my own, emerge from the black hole in the consistence of antimatter and there and then, perhaps pushed on by some quantum worm holes coming out of the quantum vacuum or because time-space reversal happens in the vicinity of black holes I have to race to a pencil or to the keyboard before it gets lost because time in my antimatter universe might be flowing backwards, from the future to the past instead of the very familiar other way around.

However, this flowing backwards time, my shrinking universe, will not collapse onto itself just because its eternity is an inverse eternity; if an inverse eternity and a forward eternity ever meet I cannot reasonably discern so long as I am outside a loony bin but the thought might have some interesting implications, just like Schrödinger’s cat in quantum physics (but in this case my cat will not be dead at a given instant and alive at another instant: it will be both dead and alive at the same time, a dire situation … many a human appear anyhow to be so!) or, for example, the Casimer force of quantum physics, which is an example of negative energy, below vacuum, which cannot be reached in classical physics [3] or more likely, an exchange of information between the two states. Clearly, time is relative to a given system; my earthly hour is longer than a Martian’s hour and terribly shorter than a Plutonian’s hour so that I consider time more an indispensable intellective notion than a reality [4] in itself; of necessity we have learned to measure, [5] relative to our system, everything from a snail’s velocity to a speeding Ferrari to how long it would take us to reach Betelgeuse with our still primitive rockets, up to the velocity of light and from here to compute distances that are relative to our position in space. Back to the forward and reverse time and to the forward and reverse eternity, these are dimensions inscrutable to us but here another thought invades my mind: could the resultant of these inverse “states”,(if so they can be called) as an exchange of information between them, be the substratum of consciousness, a cosmic consciousness of which we are allowed only a single, unique bucket in our life? I will try to express this concept graphically before been forced in a loony bin.

Legend:

Yellow = forward time.
Cyan = reverse time.
Green = resultant from the superposition of yellow and cyan colors. (You get something like that by superposing two photographic filters, yellow and cyan.) Incidentally that is the bucket that we get in our lifetime.
Shades of gray = density of the environmental medium. (Anything from gaseous to super-density, a good example is Mercury as compared to Jupiter; here it applies to our beloved, albeit maltreated planet.) These shades of gray, according to their position on the vertical axis, in turn will affect the resultant from the superposition of the yellow’s forward time and cyan’s reverse time, depicting something like a measure of the degree of consciousness of an organic being; in this specific case Homo sapiens.

Now, consciousness is something still undefined and mysterious; if we equate it to 'human mind' the green oval in the diagram will reflect, according both to the position of the shading screen behind and to the degree of interlocking of the yellow and cyan circles the characteristic of the human mind which it reflects. (Presently I don’t know if such diagram may be somewhat useful for some other purpose, I am just picking up what is suggested from beyond my event horizon and I am simply musing with it without getting anywhere.)

We live in an expanding universe; not me, I (why I italicize the '"me"and the '"I" may be found in the essay BrainJam.htm) am strangely enmeshed in a ubiquitous collapsing universe and there is no hint as to what is beyond this “collapsar” since being an earthling my failing senses are apparently limited to this planetary dimension; but since the rest of the world lives in an expanding universe, how did I get here? Possibly because my expiring allotted time is at a somewhat terminal stage. Not unlikely beyond the senses, beyond these faculties through which the external world is apprehended, there is also a commonly shared something which we call mind although that is not what most people think, if they can think of it as something. I know that I have no mind and not just because my memory is a black hole but because I conceive of it – mind - as, to make an analogy, something like an ocean covering an infinite expanse wherewith an individual's bucket gets its allotted share, which we might henceforth call human mind. (Refer to the diagram above; obviously since any two buckets cannot occupy the same position in spacetime, each has its peculiar characteristics and, supposing that we apply the yellow to the encephalon and the cyan to the psyche we would be lost in an infinity of possibilities in trying to diagnose any Mr. Him's mentality on the globe or my sanity.) That can’t be undone nor can it be repeated. What Mr. Him (or She) does henceforth with the collected "water" is a strictly subjective fact; he may defile it, color the same with interesting insights or perverse notions, or purify it; all in all that is a lifelong adventure for each of us so long as our intellective faculties are reasonably sane. The fact remains that this human mind is not an individual property but, yes, it is an individual resource to be tapped upon according undoubtedly to certain given constraints; that is, to name just the three most important ones, upbringing, environment and culture.

My quantum worm holes are at work trying to push something else on this page; that belongs to the the other side of reverse time, be that as it may it should show up in the bucket later on. All this inconsistent and somewhat senseless jabber was not meant to be published were it not that a single thought "mind is a resource" changed my point of view. Because everything conceivable has been thought and declared about mind but the single word 'resource'! [6] Or, rather, you might have read somewhere that the mind is a "something" tapping a mysterious resource and not the resource itself. With this view in mind than we distinctly see the encephalon as a tool, an incredible tool doing its rightful task with the bucket's contents.

All the foregoing blabber led to one positive conclusion, at least from my point of view, and that is that the mind is a resource. Obviously now I have to come to the point: a resource of what? A resource of the cosmic entity where by ‘entity’ the cosmos is meant altogether as discernible with the faculties with which we are endowed sensorial and extra sensorial, if any - both in its physical and supra-physical states, or dimensions.

But now I will leave reverse time and return to the time perception accorded to me by birthright although this will not clear the ominous black hole in my encephalon. The first deontic step will be to formulate a short list of several words and terms which we will meet reading on with, as far as possible, an exact meaning as related to the context of this essay attached to them so that we may avoid certain pitfalls which are usually brought about by language, language-traps; I take liberty to affix a personal meaning to the terms which follow, in alphabetical order, so that we may stay on track. Between brackets [in smaller characters] the meaning of the corresponding term as it appears in an old dictionary of psychology [7]. Highlighted definitions are from WordWeb, a very good online/offline dictionary. http://wordweb.info/WW6.

  • Awareness: the cognizance of a tangible or supra-physical event in or during the circumstance when it happens. Notably, remembrance (memories) is one of its aspects. [Mere experience of an object or idea; sometimes equivalent to consciousness.] State of elementary or undifferentiated consciousness.
  • Consciousness: the inborn perceptive faculty affecting our sensory system as related to the practical and discriminative knowledge of events, as well as abstract matters. It both relays and gets feedback from the encephalic system as a whole, as such being a pedestal sustaining our status in both the mental, i.e. psychical, and the physical environment. [A character belonging to certain processes or events in the living organism, which must be regarded as unique, and therefore indefinable in terms of anything else, but which can perhaps be best described as a view of these processes or events, as it were, from the inside – the individual is, as it were, inside what is happening: the adjective conscious is ordinarily employed as a synonym for ‘aware’, but this is popular rather than scientific usage.] An alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation.
  • Intellect: The capacity for rational thought, inference or discrimination. The seat of the faculty of reason. [Mind in its cognitive aspect, and particularly with reference to the higher thought processes.] The capacity for rational thought, inference or discrimination.
  • Life (capital ‘L’): the manifestation of life in all its aspects, both as a tangible physical reality and as a transcendental entity manifest not just in space-time but in other dimensions negated to our limited sense perceptions. The manifest reality of Mind. (q.v.)
  • Mind(capital 'M'): a resource of the unknowable cosmic entity, the inexplicable 'beyond'. Through it the cosmos is manifest and, to a limited extent, experienced by sentient beings as discernible with the faculties with which they are endowed both in its physical and supra-physical states, or dimensions. [The organized totality of psychical structures and processes, conscious, unconscious, and endopsychic; philosophically, rather than psychologically, the entity or substratum underlying these structures and processes.] That which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason.
  • Human mind: metaphorically, something like an ocean covering an infinite expanse wherewith an individual's bucket gets its allotted share. Differently stated: a limited capacity to explore or understand that which appears to our mental faculties but which is not an individual's endowment but a trait of the species related to the structural psycho-physical organism within his environment and culture. A human's resource, seemingly within strict boundaries, hence with undefinable but real limits dictated by existential contingencies.
  • Psyche: the progressive outcome, as a constant buildup, of our life experience as a whole: its aspects are consciousness, conscious awareness and sub-consciousness; it is the interface between the human mind and the brain, (a quantum mechanics physicist would say between the 'wave' and the 'particle' and would equate it with consciousness) it is the translator of the picture which will relay the composes, presumptively to the actuator, the brain, which translates it into action, overtly or covertly to man that, as a whole psychophysical entity, is the actor in the comedy of life.[Originally the principle of life, but used generally as equivalent to mentality, or a substitute for mind or soul.] That which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason - The immaterial part of a person; the actuating cause of an individual life.
  • Reality: the perception of the physical environment as it appears to our senses or any other perceptual cognizance which can be proved. [The totality of existing material objects; more abstractly: the sum total of the conditions imposed by the external world on the activity of the individual, to which motor adaptation, on the part of the individual, is demanded.] All of your experiences that determine how things appear to you - The state of the world as it really is rather than as you might want it to be.
  • Supra-physical: it can be somewhat equated to ‘spiritual’ and to transcendence where ‘transcendence’ implies perception beyond the limits of material experience. Also, extrasensory perception.

Whether that small glossary is rational or not [8] something stands out clearly without the need to jump into abstruse quantum theories to get to the point; at the heart of it, it sums up that we are a concoction of abstract notions, that is, the outcome millenary knowledge to which we have made a few additions in tune with our present era and scientific intellectualism. All that it needs to get things going is a good interface, and that is that extremely complex cauliflower-shaped mass of organic matter within the bony shrine, that still mysterious encephalon (the interface between the physical environment and the psyche and between the two there is a sustained feedback) whose factory employs advanced biochemistry and electricity but which does not tell us, so far, how it can so beautifully interact with the abstract universe of our mental endowments. We slice it, stain it to discern between diverse neurons, weight it on a scale, make up maps of its circumvolutions, of its inner small organs and their relations to the machinery bringing it around on the planet and all in all, like whatever else is around us, at the atomic level it is little more than empty space; that is simply marvelous! The next baffling question, to which I will return later on, what is the scope of this extraordinary occurrence? Being an iconoclast I cannot call in question those thousands of mythological gods to be found anywhere or that somewhat shaking but still standing pillar which sustains religious beliefs which, divested of their ethical and sociological intents, sum up to fables and superstition that in the last analysis bring about bigots, idolaters, misunderstanding, conflict, unbelievable cruelty and carnage.

Our life is strictly symbolic and each symbol which makes it up is, in turn, related to another object which itself symbolizes something else and so on so far as our imagination can stretch. [9] For example, what will a common implement like a knife suggest to you? I stretch a little my imagination and I see a nurse applying bandages to a kid’s legs who will later on be struggling on crutches for a few days. If I were a Finnish most probably I would visualize the best way to strip the skin off a reindeer, while a Yoruba tribesman, while sharpening it, might visualize how best to carve his next ebony statuette. The crutches, the reindeer and the statuette in turn will have a symbolic meaning and so on. What will this symbol, "§", suggest to you? Or this picture suggest to your imagination? That is what our intellects have to take care of all days of our life and, of course, culture enters the picture of this lifelong symbolical imagery which pushes us along on our course. We hardly realize that every perception, even this very word is a symbol pointing to something else. This most probably is but an innate protection to proceed smoothly on our way along a given direction; what delirium would result if we had to constantly and consciously choose which one to select of the many relations an image has in our mind as we struggle along?

Before continuing I would like to quote this sentence from Mahatma Gandhi " "At times of writing I never think what I have said before. My aim is not to be consistent with my previous statements on a given question, but to be consistent with truth as it may present itself to me at a given moment. The result has been that I have grown from truth to truth." and apply it to myself but for the word 'truth' because truth is an inaccessible component of the cosmic entity; as we read in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, "I am the Deep. I will not let you hear about it." [10] What we define as truth is relative to he who finds it and perhaps to a restricted circle of people who might share it hence we should always be cautions in this respect and follow the Buddha's wise counsel: "Doubt"! Thence as I return to my lucubrations, someone might incautiously enter the restricted circle while the rest may just say nuts! "... none should be blamed who speaks according to the limits of his knowledge." [11] I do not believe in any final truth not even from myself but accept, with due reservations, what appears rational to my frame of mind. The canvas in the frame of mind, for each of us, will never depict a static picture throughout its life since it is a slave of experience and time.


[1] - Sir Arthur Eddington, Space, Time and Gravitation, 201.
[2] - WordWeb - http://wordweb.info/WW6 - a very good online/offline dictionary.
[3] -In Classical Physics The Unified Field Theory states that there are four different kinds of forces, and there are a hundred and some different elementary particles. However, they still come in two classes. The classes themselves are quarks and leptons basically, and the force particles. What can be stated then is that there is just one kind of entity, and everything follows from that.
[4] - Reality and Bell's Theorem: A mathematical proof derived from physics demonstrating that whenever two particles interact, they are thereafter connected in a mysterious faster-than-light way that doesn't diminish with time or distance and can't be shielded. Also known as the "mechanism of non-locality." Bell's theorem says of Reality that once some things are together they are always connected faster than light, Appearance is not. There are Bell correlations and Bell anti-correlations flickering in the world of particle physics. They eternally hold the world together, which is the basis of all chemical bonds.
[5] - "There's something in quantum physics called the measurement problem, and I could describe that. The main problem in quantum physics is that it describes the world differently when you measure it, than when you don't. When you don't measure it, when you don't look at the world, it's described as waves of vibrating possibilities, buzzing opportunities, promises and potentia. In some ways it's not quite real, and it's all vibrating. It sounds a little bit like drugs doesn't it? All these oscillating possibilities. Then when you look, it's perfectly normal. The possibilities change into actualities, and these actualities are point-like. They're called quanta, quantum jumps, like little dots on the TV screen, or on a color photograph in a magazine. So, to make it brief, the world changes from possibility waves to actual particles, from possibility to actuality, from waves to particles. And the door through which this happens is called a measurement. When you make a measurement, that's what happens, but quantum physics doesn't tell us what a measurement is. What's a measurement? No one knows. It's not in the theory. There are lots of guesses about what a measurement might be. Some extreme guesses are that consciousness has to be involved--only when some entity becomes aware, do the vibratory possibilities change into actualities. That's one guess.
Another guess is that whenever a record is made, whenever something becomes irreversible, not take-backable, as long as you procrastinate your measurement, and refrain from making a real decision, then the world remains in a state of possibility. But as soon as it becomes irrevocable, then it's happened, and it's actual. So you look into nature for irrevocable acts, and that's where measurements happen. But, there are problems with both of these guesses. Physicists don't really have a really good model of what a measurement is. As I say, it's called the measurement problem in quantum physics, and it's the main philosophical problem." --- From an interview to Nick Herbert; see www.Mavericks/her-int.htm.
[6] -(1) Available source of wealth; a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed.( 2) A source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed. (3) The ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems. (From http://www.wordweb.info/WW8)
[7]
A Dictionary of psychology by James Drewer. Penguin Books – Revised edition, 1964.
[8]
- For me it would be mandatory to check the up-to-date meaning of these terms but I do not have an Internet connection, hence for mere curiosity I checked the synonyms of some of them on Roget's Thesaurus and Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus; flabbergasting! No wonder we cannot come to an agreement concerning the mind's assumed properties. If I go through Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam (The Thousand Names of Vishnu) and Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam (The Thousand Names of Devi, the Hindu mother goddess) not only I get less distracted but I do get a much clearer idea of what I am trying to express in these pages. Well, about half a century later I am going to read once more these two publications rather than Silvano Arieti's and Wilder Penfield's before proceeding.
[9] -Within this context I refer you to chapter 6 of the Bidimensional Being, an old dissertate about symbols mostly related to mental processes rather than everyday life in an hectic race for survival; symbols are discussed also in a more recent essay of mine, Lady of the Two Lands in the Shrine is Thy Name ;that is, a much better essay than the present one (a clear indication of what it means to be stranded in a black hole!) although the terms used in the context are not thoroughly consonant as those appearing above.
[10] The Egyptian Book of the Dead– BD99a-b - Edited by Thomas George Allen – (Xerographic copy) - The University of Chicago Press – Chicago – Illinois – 1960.
[11] Mahimnastava of Puspadanta (The Greatness of Siva) verse 1. Translated by Sir Jhn Woodroffe, 1916.

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