Time Maps: Part 1

In spite of many predicting when the 2nd coming of Christ will be, Jesus himself said no one would or could know:

Jesus said that the answer as to when “becoming” will be achieved is not accessible to Homo sapiens’ consciousness:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. –Mark 13:32

Thus, only the Father knoweth the hour – even as something in the unconscious can calculate time without consciousness’ awareness that it is calculating it.

Preston Harold goes on to compare a physicists understanding of time with Jesus’. He says…

But Eddington does try to picture what the physicist knows of time in a way that the layman may grasp it. Jesus also drew a word-picture so similar to Eddington’s in many respects He must have been alluding to all that men can know of the mystery of time: primarily, that consciousness cannot penetrate its secret “now” although in the unconscious time’s function or working is grasped.

Eddington explains that “Physical time is, like space, a kind of frame in which we locate the events in the external world…We have seen that there is an infinite choice of alternative frames; so, to be quite explicit, I will tell you how I locate events in my frame.” First, he depicts a number of events, represented by circles, located a trandom around the cross encircled, representing “I,” here-now, enveloped in an event.

Figure1

Figure 2 extends the line of the cross, vesting “I” with a past: “myself” drawn through “I, here-now,” into the future.

Figure2

Figure 3 depicts time as “I” am related to the world or activity of others and it may be observed that “my now” and the “now” of another are not one and the same; nor is the past and future line of time-seeing precisely the same.

Figure3

Figure 4 shows a drawing of “Father Time,” as a space-time frame involving “Absolute Past” and “Absolute Future” and “Absolute Elsewhere.”

Figure4

Eddington says, “No observer can reach an event in the neutral zone [Absolute Elsewhere], since the required speed is too great. The event is not Here for any observer (from Here-Now); therefore it is absolutely Elsewhere.”

Yet, “I” am enveloped in the “disappearing act” of time and although “I” cannot see “Absolute Everywhere,” somehow “I” must touch upon this realm, for it converges upon the “event” and “myself” passing, or being passed, through it as may be seen in Figure 4.

Whew! That’s quite enough for today. In the next installment we’ll look at how these diagrams pertain to the words of Jesus. Until then, peace.

Time the Conundrum

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Jesus often preached and taught on the “coming of the kingdom,” an idea which has held captive the imagination of his followers for millennia. Many have predicted the return of Jesus, also known as the “second coming” (and along with it the kingdom of God) for generation after generation, only to be let down and confounded by the failure of their prognostication. But this understanding concerning the coming of the kingdom just will not do. Preston Harold helps us to get a hold on reality:

All that Jesus said of the coming of the kingdom does not refute its existence and present operation, but serves to identify that of which He speaks as being completely involved both in being and in becoming, just as entropy is involved in that which is and is coming to be – with becoming in the universe – which is to say, time.

It is time – real time and the meaning of time – that unites the unconscious and nature’s supreme law which, in Jesus’ teaching, therefore, share the words: kingdom, heaven, realm, and reign of God. In the physicists’ view, entropy “points time’s arrow,” and the unconscious in man is capable of calculation of time, as is demonstrated in posthypnotic response to suggestion made to the second after a span of minutes, days, months, or even years.

If one will not concede that Jesus’ references to the kingdom of heaven pertain to the unconscious and to the working of supreme natural law in man’s being and throughout the universe, he must ask himself anew what these passages refer to and concede that they cannot deal with any sort of eternal abode for the “redeemed” because Jesus says that “Heaven and earth shall pass away…” but not “my words,” not consciousness’ manifestation.

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How many Christians are willing to “ask themselves anew what these passages refer to?” How many teachers are willing to leave behind the comfortable and traditional teachings and lead the Church into a new understanding of the teachings of Jesus? The modern knowledge of the quantum realm and the second law of thermodynamics have thrown the door wide open to understanding “open secrets” of scripture in a way that our current times demand. It is TIME for us to grasp the purpose of TIME!…

The passing away of “heaven” indicates that the unconscious domain will at some point no longer exist as such because its content and power will be realized – herein is the becoming, or the coming of the inner kingdom unto each man. The passing away of “earth” indicates change born of the operation of the second law of thermodynamics, and it indicates also that flesh expressed by partial consciousness will pass away as a material embodiment born of complete comes into expression. But Jesus said of the kingdom’s coming – of time’s working in the unconscious and in the universe through entropy’s increase – “The kingdom of God cometh not through observation (Or, with outward show)…” as man expected it to come in His day. Perhaps it is as unlikely that the “end of the world” will come as the physicists expect it today as that it will come as the early Christians expected it, for the meaning of the supreme natural law and its working in universal terms is not yet known – cannot be known entirely until the innermost workings of the universe are known, and until time’s meaning is grasped.

Jesus said that the answer as to when “becoming” will be achieved is not accessible to Homo sapiens’ consciousness: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but only the Father.”

We will continue exploring time in our next post. Until then, peace…

The Power of a Seed

How does a sage from a past civilization which hasn’t developed advanced mathematical equations and concepts describe unseen reality? How does one communicate simultaneous truths which on the surface contradict one another but beneath the surface depend each upon the other? Preston Harold asks:

How could the ancient describe the measure of the random element – spreading, increasing? The concept of entropy is enfolded in a mathematical formula, and mathematics may be thought of as the language of size. Descriptions which fit the incomparable size of entropy’s shoe, as well as the nature of it’s measure, and its significance, are found in Jesus’ words pertaining to the reign of God, the realm of heaven, the coming of the kingdom. He likened its “smallness” and its “largeness” to a mustard seed – “less than any seed on earth,” which grows “larger than any plant.” He invoked the working of the reign of God with the shuffling, spreading, and action of energy throughout the whole… He said, it is “like dough…buried in three pecks of flour, till all of it was leavened.” Jesus said this working is begun: the seed is sown, the dough is buried. And the kingdom of God, which involves the concept of the end of the world, will come – just as the physicists envision the heat death of the universe when nature’s supreme law is fulfilled.

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One must remember here, though, that in order for there to be increase of the seed or leaven, that death is a necessary factor. “Unless a seed falls into the earth and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit.” –John 12:24 Which leads me to ponder that if the earth and universe are on their way to heat death, what is the mission of the planet earth? Why do we exist at all?

In a letter to the Anthroposophical Society in January 1925, Rudolf Steiner asks just such a question. I will quote the letter at length…

The question must arise: What is the significance of the earthly realm for the macrocosm (universe)?… In the far distant past, the macrocosm so lives that there ceases to be any question of “calculating” the manifestations of its life. Out of this living condition man is then brought forth as a separate being, while the macrocosm enters more and more into the “calculable” sphere. But in this it undergoes a slow process of death… In the present cosmic time, a dead macrocosm is existing…we have grown accustomed to focus our attention on the spacial magnitude of the Universe, and to look on the earth as a speck of dust, insignificant compared to the great universe of physical space. Hence it will seem strange, to begin with, when spiritual vision unfolds the true cosmic significance of this so-called “speck of dust.”

Consider the world of plants… In spring and summer, forces of growth show themselves in plant life. In the growing, sprouting process, the seer’s consciousness perceives not only what brings forth the abundant blessing of the plant life for the given year, but a surplus of germinating force. The plants contain more germinating force than they expend upon the growth of foliage, flower and fruit. This surplus of germinating force flows out into the extra-earthly macrocosm… Now in the same manner a surplus of force streams out from the mineral kingdom… Likewise there are forces proceeding from the animal nature…It is thus the spirit-seeking consciousness beholds the essence of the earthly realm, which stands as a new, life-kindling element within the dead and dying macrocosm

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The life of all this earthly realm becomes clear and transparent when we feel at its foundation the germ of a new Universe. Every single plant and stone appears in a new light to the soul of man when he becomes aware that each of these beings is contributing by its life and by its form to this great fact: that the Earth in its unity is an embryo – the seed of a macrocosm newly arising into life.

So according to Steiner, the earth itself is a seed for a whole new universe. That’s a pretty great thought for sure, and makes one deeply contemplate the power contained within a seed.  What thoughts does this kindle in you? Until next time, peace.

The Test of a Poet

Albert Einstein believed that the creative principle itself resides in mathematics and in his “Essays in Science” he says, “In a certain sense, therefore, I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.”

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Preston Harold asks:

If the pure thought of an ancient led him to realize that there is but a single reality – all manifestation of matter, mind, and energy but different aspects of it – and if he grasped the nature and significance of its supreme law so that he must state the entropy concept as it relates to time, as it works within the universe, how would the ancient have done it? He could speak as a poet, using simple words fully…

From what we read of Jesus in the gospels (especially the synoptics), he certainly knew how to use simple words to their maximum effect, distilling the principles he was espousing with breath-taking economy. Within Jesus’ simple words, though, we find infinite meaning if we have the ears to hear.

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Many of the passages reporting Jesus’ teaching are as profoundly beautiful as a poem and as complex as the equation concerning the generation of waves by wind that Eddington presents. Others, such as “The kingdom of God is within you,” are as profoundly simple as Einstein’s famous E=mc squared. Can a poet express truly, albeit symbolically, abstract concepts such as are enfolded in a mathematical formula?… Jesus must meet the most severe test of a poet in describing the many aspects of the second law of thermodynamics and its significance. A poetic statement indicating that energy operates always in changing arrangement resulting in increased measure is found in two of Jesus’ enigmatic remarks about the working of God.

It is these two remarks of Jesus we will look at in our next installment. Until then, peace.

The Random Element

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Preston Harold says that entropy is a measure of disorder, of the increase in the random element. Sir Arthur Eddington asks, “When a stone falls it acquires a kinetic energy, and the amount of the energy is just that which would be required to lift the stone back to it original height…. But if the stone hits an obstacle its kinetic energy is converted into heat energy. There is still the same quantity of energy, but, but even if we could scrape it back together and put it through an engine we could not lift the stone back with it. What has happened to make the energy no longer serviceable?”

The short answer to his question is the random element. Once the stone hits the obstacle the molecules in the stone constantly collide and rebound, and this continuous shuffling of energy can only decrease organization. The hitting of the obstacle has introduced the random element.

Eddington points out that “Organization of energy is negotiable, and so is the disorganization or random element; disorganization does not forever remain attached to the particular store of energy which first suffered it, but may be passed on elsewhere.”

Ah, so where does that energy of disorganization go? Where is it passed onto?

Preston Harold reminds us that all is one:

Entropy, then, is concerned with changing arrangement, within and without. Like the number one, it is definite, but its measure cannot be spelled out, for one draws all from zero into infinity. Like one, entropy’s significance is too small or too large to be captured on paper… Introduction of the concept of entropy turned scientists from the view that everything could be discovered by microscopic dissection of objects; it demands consideration of the qualities possessed by the system of the whole.

Entropy has opened science into the realm of quality as well as quantity, it has lead it into considering seriously a holistic view of the universe; all the little microscopic parts don’t exist separately from a greater whole. The question for us at this point is:

Did Jesus realize that what is now called the second law of thermodynamics is life’s supreme law that operates throughout creation?

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We will begin exploring this possibility in our next post. Until then, peace.

Entropy, Entropy; All is Entropy!

ecclesiastes

Vanity of vanities, says the teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity….All things are wearisome; more than one can express….There is nothing new under the sun. -Ecclesiastes chapter 1

Thus is the poetical scriptural witness to the second law of thermodynamics. It is the law that entropy always increases. The International Dictionary of Physics and Electronics states:

Application of the “second law” of thermodynamics leads to the conclusion that if any physical system is left to itself and allowed to distribute its energy in its own way, it always does so in a manner such that this quantity, called “entropy,” increases; while at the same time the available energy of the system diminishes. This law applies to the universe as a whole, hence the proposition that the total entropy increases as time goes on.

Sir Arthur Eddington says:

“The law that entropy always increases…holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature…if your theory is found to be against [it] I can give you no hope…From the property that entropy must always increase, practical methods of measuring it have been found. The chain of deductions from this simple law have almost been illimitable.”

Might there be a “yes, but…” response to this iron-clad law? Is all really vanity? Is there any hope that can rise above and beyond this theory? Preston Harold comes to the rescue:

As physicists understand this law today, it appears to spell in some billions of years the heat-death of the universe. But as Dr. Rolf Alexander points out, the anti-entropic nature of living things may point to a “simultaneous process of entropy and creation…the process of nature observed by physical science are but a fraction of the picture…”

Here we see the door opening into the realm of “both-and,” leaving the area of “either-or.” Not either creation or destruction, but both creation and destruction. And in the Hindu god Shiva we see that the ancient Shaivas, the oldest sect of Hinduism, had a hold of this concept millennia ago.

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Preston Harold continues:

Structural alterations are going on in the realm of physics, and physicists themselves project that there are other laws yet to be discovered, so that all one can say with certainty is that the real meaning of entropy in universal terms may not yet be known.

Ah, the realm of not knowing; the unknown. So frustrating to some of us. Seems to be connected to the “both-and” realm which is full of paradox and uncertainty.

In our next post we’ll continue to explore the second law of thermodynamics and more specifically the “random element.” Until then, peace.

Chapter 6: Nature’s Supreme Law

To begin Chapter 6, which focuses on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, Preston Harold sets us up nicely:

The realm of physics is paradoxical, topsy-turvy, poetic, as inexpressible in the last reaches as any mystic revelation that has confronted man.

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In his “The Nature of the Physical World” Sir Arthur Eddington writes, “Sir William Bragg was not overstating the case when he said that we use the classical theory on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the quantum theory on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.” Preston Harold says this shift of theory is necessary because scientists have had to divide their laws into different compartments, classic and quantum. Eddington continues, “Unfortunately, our compartments are not watertight…The classical laws are the limit to which the quantum laws tend when states of very high quantum number are concerned…The disagreement is not very serious when the number is moderately large; but for small quantum numbers the atom cannot sit on the fence. It has to decide between (classical) and (quantum) rules. It chooses [quantum] rules.”

Preston Harold pulls us into the realm of religion:

Here, the first parallel may be drawn; when large numbers are concerned, men must operate under classical law, outgrown from the Ten Commandments, and humanity at large will tend to operate according to the classical patterns history presents; but operating within each human being are quantum psychic laws that contradict the classical picture he presents, and as an individual, he is subject to these laws primarily. Just as one psychic law – the Golden Rule – bridges the dichotomy between man and society, so the physicist deals with one law that fits in either quantum or classical compartment. This is the second law of thermodynamics which, in Eddington’s words, “has been equally successful in connection with the most recondite problems of theoretical physics and the practical tasks of the engineer.”

'I thought the Golden Rule covered all this?'

In our next installment we will hone in on the second law of thermodynamics and explore it’s meaning and consequence. Until then, peace.

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