For something to exist, like an experience of awareness, part of an apparent continuous consciousness, there must be a relationship across at least one boundary (one difference in potential, or at least one signal/transfer of information). A relationship exists when we sample our environment and it responds to our sampling (the same can be said …
Many of us look out at the universe and think, Wow, it’s so vast, so big. Upon seeing the vastness of outer space, immediately we say, “It makes me feel so small.” Why do so many of us resonate with that sentiment?
The idea here is that we can never know what is behind our observations, since, perhaps, we live in, as John Archibald Wheeler calls it, a participatory universe, the universe of the observer. Observers who sample at their RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW then process the results, generalize about them, and give them meaning, only to “stash them …
Is there a difference between reaching into the past to find someone you loved but can no longer reach and reaching into the future to find someone you love (or might love), but might never meet? Let me give you an example. People around me are forever mourning the loss of touch with a …
Analogs: What We Can Know What is the essence of what we can know? That is a vastly different question than What is Behind What is? Studying the applied math we use to solve scientific problems, we learn the extent of that language, what we are capable of understanding. The energy equation and its solutions, …
Where did we come from?
How did we form?
And what will become of us?
Strange that a little droplet of water expanding into sluggish oil should give us some insights into ourselves, into our birth, life, and death. Here goes:
Before our droplet can change shape, before information can cross its boundary and endure as a change in that boundary, there must be a 100% probable Here and Now for it to sample. But, for man or droplet, such does not exist at this early stage. Nothing makes sense–there is no recognizable sequence in the samples.
We’re starting with one puzzle piece of information, and nothing we’re sampling connects up to it. That’s what making sense (also making space and time) looks like. Our system must first sample possible locations to create the sequence of locations we call space. Our system must sample sequences of logical next steps to create its own time. It must sample its environment at regular intervals in order to become aware of its own duration. (The natural vibrational frequencies of tuning forks are good examples of a regular sampling rate at a boundary.)
The only boundary configuration that works for longterm thought and memory is complex. One might think of it as the product of the natural selection of creating duration in space and time. At first our droplet’s boundary is too curved to interact, then it becomes so flat that random perturbations from its environment can change it, but the changes will not endure. Only when boundary shapes change for good can sequences in space and time form. The experiment ends when again the boundary becomes so curved no new information can be acquired and the droplet can no longer respond to its environment. We would no longer be aware of our existence.
Next, we’ll explore how similar is the birth, life, and death of the human brain and how, as a complex system, its end might differ from the droplet’s.
When starting from the human side, the spiritual side, the side of the mind in working our logic—when we talk about life, death, and what may, or may have existed before life and after death—we must consider the three words that are title to this piece.
From the scientific language, the philosophy growing from our fluid experiment, we are brought to the realization that Krishnamurti’s “What Is,” the virtual reality of our minds, is where we exist and that we become aware of reality from birth by representing our boundary, our difference, our change, our sampling of “What Is Behind What Is” and then generalize that information into the fleshed-in, virtual world of our minds, the multifaceted world we call “What Is.”
We say that the boundary we represent seems to condense or collapse out of “What Is Behind What Is,” each time we reach out to sample it.
The question important to me is not “Do we exist after death?” nor is it “Are we aware of our existence?” but “What happens to the configuration, the boundary, that was uniquely us, after we die?”
The conclusions we hope to come to will be that no matter how improbable, all perspectives exist, just not always here and just not always now. They live on, perhaps until the time two or more such perspectives can collapse across a boundary to create the essence of an existence, an existence in the here and now. The awareness of awareness (How we become watchers instead of simply responders).
But what is the nature of perspectives as they statistically and momentarily bump into and separate from one another? What causes them to hook up in the first place? (For those possible answers, see menu items “Sampling and Statistics” and “Space and Time.”)
So, our main question might be “If we cannot know the nature of What Is Behind What Is—how it operates in the arenas of the before and after lives—how can we possibly predict the chances of a before life or after life based on this life? (the one we’re in the process of constantly sampling in the here and now)
As an analog our expanding-droplet experiment can tell us what is possible to describe using our mathematical language (solutions to the general energy equation) that illuminates both the change in energy across a boundary and the experience of that change, The Flow.
To discover how experimentalists, as observers, generalize anything about their worlds, visit the Sampling and Statistics topic under the MENU on the RHS of this HOME page.
Basically, all anyone can sample is what is Here and what is Now. That seems obvious, but is it? When we reach out in any number of ways to sample our universe, what if nothing is there? Is there nothing because there really is nothing to be sampled? Or, is there nothing only because it is not right here, but somewhere else. It is not here because, it exists, but not now, not at the moment we tried to sample it.
We all know when we interact with anything that it exists. But does it exist if we attempt to sample it, as it eludes us?
If every time we sample something, we find it, then we say it is 100% probable. What we don’t always say is: it’s 100% probable here and now.
But what happens when it isn’t here and now? What are its chances, or its likelihood of existing then?
Many times we categorize such improbable events as nonexistent or figments of the imagination, especially in scientific inquiry where they need to be reproducible–able to be sampled over and over again. For how long?
A high curvature relationship occurs at the beginning and the end of our two-fluid experiment.
A tiny bubble has such a high curvature/small radius that it is difficult for random vibrations to deform it.
As the water-based fluid flows into the oil-based fluid, into the crests (fingers) of the unstable waves at the boundary, their tip radii get very small and their curvature very large, thus damping out vibrations there.
In both cases (beginning and end), the curvature at the boundary of the two-fluid system is so large that the boundary cannot be made to deform. In this case, there exists no relationship across the boundary. Therefore, no recognizable existence there.
In our two-fluid experiment, where a water-based fluid tries to push an oil-based fluid out of the way across a boundary, we can describe four basic relationships. The first three relationships require a certain amount of interfacial tension at the boundary to carry interactive information from one fluid to another. The fourth and last relationship has little or no tension on the boundary. Molecular diffusion occurs and therefore we call it a degraded relationship, where, because of the static at the boundary, little information gets through. [continued]