Archive for Plane

Mindfuck #2: Time and Space

Posted in All, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by marushiadark

“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.” ~ Rod Sterling

When I was in high school, I joined the Math Team because I had great interest in math.  I was better at it than most people I knew and enjoyed it a lot.  If I was being fair, I would have to say that I was probably the weakest link on the team, but I still took great pleasure in going all the same.

Our coach had ordered a great many copies of the book Flatland, A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbot.  He didn’t know what else to do with them, so he gave each of us team members a copy of the book to keep.  I read it with great interest, despite the first half being very difficult and abstract material for me at the time.  But it was a book that would forever change my perspective on life.

I was maybe only fourteen or fifteen years old at the time, but after reading Flatland, I became intensely fascinated with the notion of there being other dimensions besides the three that we live in.  In the years following, I would encounter Flatland again many times.

When studying Dante’s Inferno in my junior year, I tried to apply the concept of multiple dimensions to the different levels of hell.  In my AP Physics class, we watched What the Bleep Do We Know? and I recall having in-depth conversations with my teacher about hyperforms.  I even tried to draw out my conceptions of them on the white board.  Eventually, I bought the sequel to What the Bleep? and there came across a retelling of Flatland in the adventures of Dr. Quantum.  I also became fascinated with books like The Hitchhiker’s Guide series and movies like the Cube triology, which had similar themes of dimensionality in them.  It was from watching the movie Hypercube that I first learned the word “tesseract” and their visual example struck deep to my core.

In college, I came across this little gem of a video by the late, great Carl Sagan and my fascination with Flatland was once again renewed.  At about the same time, I also happened upon a most excellent video on Moebius Transformations and their connection with dimensionality.  I also just recently learned that there was a movie made in 2007 about the tale of Flatland, narrated by Patrick Steward, which I’m interested in seeing.

Such obsessions with dimensionality also pushed me to learn about things like black holes and wormholes.  As you might well imagine, I spent a great deal of my time thinking about those too.  In particular, I hold a special place in my heart for Alcubierre Drives and Krasnikov Tubes.

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man.  It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.  It is the middle ground between … the pit of man’s fears and the sum of his knowledge.” ~ Rod Sterling

My fascination with dimensions was equalled only by my fascination with time and my obsession with time travel movies like Timeline, Back to the Future, Clock Stoppers, and Time Cops.

Most people know that we live in a world of three dimensions: height, width, and depth (or x, y, and z).  Some will even say that we live in a four-dimensional world with time being the fourth dimension.  But even as a teenager, I never really bought that time was the fourth dimension.  To me, dimensions were more a thing of space than of time.  After all, you could have a “2-D” movie that was changing over time.  Should we relabel that a “3-D” movie?  And should all the new “3-D” movies coming out be relabled as “4-D” movies?  I bet they’d sell even better if we did.  And what about a “1-D” object (a line) or even a “0-D” object (a point)?  Can’t those move in time as well?

Most people know that velocity / rate / amount of change (v) is equal to distance (d) divided by time (t).  Your car moves at a rate of fifty miles per hour, for instance.  But the equation v = d/t can also be written t = d/v in which case time is defined as the distance between two points divided by their change in distance.  In order for there to be time, there must be at least two things and a change in their relationship.  That’s all that time is.

If we perceive lots of change, like when we’re having fun, then we say that time flies.  Conversely, if not much is changing, it appears as though time is dragging on.  How can time change?  It’s not a physical object.  Numbers and objects can change, but time can’t change.  Time is merely an associative thing created in our minds with no real counterpart in the physical world.  It’s like a metaphor, it doesn’t actually exist in reality.  When you look at your clock, you’re checking the relationship between the hands and the face.  Without a change in that, there is no time. If you look at the motions of the sun in respect to the earth, it’s the same.  No motion, no change, no time.

Consequently, that explains the phenomenon known as time dilation as well.  The observers are observing different events, different changes in the same objects, so in their minds, the time appears to be different.  But it’s simply a difference in perception of change, not the actual change itself.  We are defining all this stuff backwards.

It’s like that familiar episode of The Twilight Zone where the man presses the watch to “stop time” and everything else around him stops moving.  He didn’t stop time, he stopped the people around him.  Time continued as long as he was still moving and doing things in respect to everything else.  The movie Clock Stoppers is similar in that the kids don’t stop time, but are actually moving very fast in comparison to everything else.

Why can’t we tell what happened before the Big Bang?  Because there is no object besides the singularity to give us a sense of time.  That’s why the Big Bang is said to have created space-time, because space is defined as the distance between two points and time is defined as the change in their relationship to one another.

Why do we say that God always existed?  Because before God made the universe, there was just God – one object – and time did not exist before he made something else.

To me, the concept of a fourth dimension always brought to mind a fourth spatial dimension, like height, width, and depth.  I don’t really know what to call it, since no one’s yet come up with a name for it.  Maybe I’ll do that now and call it “inth,” as in “inside,” “inner,” or “inward,” since most fourth-dimension projections appear to show one thing inside the other.

It’s hard to imagine what such a realm would look like because we only live in three spatial dimensions, and anything that enters our space from the fourth dimension would necessarily appear to us as being three-dimensional.

How do we know if something is coming from a higher dimension?  Well, one way would be to take the various trends of lower dimensions and apply them to higher ones.  For instance, a line is a point traveling in a direction.  A square is a line traveling perpendicular to itself.  A cube is a square traveling perpendicular to itself.  So a hypercube, or tesseract, would be a cube moving perpendicular to itself.

In another example, a circle is a point rotated around a point.  A sphere is circle rotated around a point.  And a torus is a sphere rotated around a point.  So in one light, a torus is a four-dimensional object.  And then a hypertorus would be a torus rotated around a point, thereby creating a fifth-dimensional object.  Pretty neat, huh?

It’s important to realize that these are, as Carl Sagan puts it, just three-dimensional projections of four-dimensional objects.  Just as the denizens of Flatland can only ever see a slice of the whole form, so we can only ever see a slice of the whole hyperform.  It’s also important to realize that, although higher dimensional objects are made of an infinite number of intermittent component parts between their two ends, the objects themselves are considered one object, not several.  A cube is just a bunch of squares lined up between two squares, thus making a hypersquare, which we call a cube.  It’s a more holistic level of conception.

So imagine that the tesseract in the previous link is not two nested cubes, but really an infinite number of cubes lined up between the inner cube and the outer cube, thus making one single hypercube.  In the case of the torus, imagine many spheres all packed tightly together to make one single hypersphere, i.e. a torus, with an inner and outer radius, instead of just a radius.  And in the case of the hypertorus, imagine that there are infinite toroids all pressed together and overlapping as they go around the center, thereby creating one single hypertorus with an inner and outer hyperradius, as well as inner and outer radii.

That’s one way of understanding hyperdimensional objects.  But this becomes more difficult when we consider more complex hyperforms, and so we must rely on more abstract ways of thinking.

“The deepest level of truth uncovered by science and by philosophy is the fundamental truth of unity.  At the deepest, subnuclear level, you and I are literally one.” ~ John Hagelin

If you look at a tree, it has many roots and many branches.  These are all individuals and each of them different.  And yet, they are all connected to one another.  They are all the same tree.  They are just different parts of the tree.  If we stick the tree in the ground, the roots are covered and we can’t see them because of the limitations of our three-dimensional vision.

We are like the Flatland square that can only see the outside of objects that pass through its dimension.  However, the sphere is operating at a higher level of consciousness in its three-dimensional world and can see everything inside the square and even pass through its insides.  Were we gifted with four-dimensional sight, we would be able to see through the ground and through the tree and be able to view it in its entirety all in one glimpse.  We could see its insides and its outsides, and its front and back as well without even having to rotate it.

Even though the tree is divided in space by the plane of the ground, thus limiting our ability to see the whole thing, we understand that there is more to it than we can see and that it’s all another part of the same tree.  In much the same way, philosophers and religious leaders have told us for thousands of years that we are all one with God.

In this case, our individual bodies would simply be the roots and branches of a very large God tree, the Tree of Life.  In the Book of Genesis, the Tree of Life gave man eternal life, because he was still in the realization that he was connected with God and that everything is all part of the same holistic God, which is all that exists, therefore there is no time.  Thus, everything was eternal. Man was like the Flatland sphere, able to move in and out and through the world of lower dimensions at will and could see everything at once and, theoretically, be everywhere at once, because he was not limited by the interactions of lower dimensions.

However, as soon as man took from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, his consciousness changed.  He became dualistic, seeing himself as a separate entity from the other beings around him, forgetting that they were all just other branches of himself.  He entered the lower dimension, the lower consciousness and became like the sphere turning into a planer circle and then forgetting it was actually a sphere.

In this realm, there was now time and so there was death – or at least apparent death.  There was nothing to suggest the parts that left simply didn’t go somewhere else only to reappear back in the plane in another point in time in some other form (hint, hint).

So now man was bound to the motions and rules of interaction on the lower plane.  If any part of him moved along the higher plane and did something spooky like levitate, pass through solid objects, have actual knowledge beyond his five senses, disappear, or appear in multiple places at once, it was a fluke or magic or an act of some higher dimensional being.  But the reality of it is that he is the higher dimensional being and he’s simply forgotten.

We can speculate as to the reasons why God would suddenly become more dualistic and enter a lower level of consciousness.  My personal belief is that he was just bored and tired of being alone in an eternity of nothingness and emptiness as far as his all-seeing eye could see, so he decided to split his consciousness up and put on a finger-puppet show for himself.

I mean, think about it.  What would you do if you were stuck in a void for all time?  It’d probably drive you mad as well.

Pride and Prejudice

Posted in All, Politics, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2010 by marushiadark

“The folks who conducted to act on our country on September 11th made a big mistake … they misunderestimated the fact that we love a neighbor in need.  They misunderestimated the compassion of our country.  I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the Commander-in-Chief, too.” ~ George W. Bush

Today is the ninth anniversary of September 11th 2001, a day that means a great many things for a great many people.  It evokes anger and sadness and feelings of pride in our nation and hatred of its enemies (whether you believe those enemies to be foreign or domestic).  It’s a day that is burned into the memories of everyone who was alive to remember what happened.  It’s one of those days, like Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy Assassination, that changed the course of history forever.  But that doesn’t mean we should let it change us forever.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families and to the people of this country as a whole.  Mostly because I believe that 9-11 was nothing more than an excuse made by the Bush Administration and the economic puppetmasters behind them to drag us all down to hell.  I know there are many who disagree with that sentiment, but that’s rather irrelevant at this point.  What matters is what effect that great tragedy has had on the American people and what legacy it’s left behind.

Here are nine thoughts for 9-11:

  1. I Share Your Pain – Today I learned a very sobering truth: that my favorite uncle was in Building 7 nine years ago to the day.  From what I can gather, he was in the building for some sort of meeting.  When the planes hit, the meeting was adjourned and he intuitively got as far away from there as he possibly could.  He hailed a cab and crossed back over to the Jersey side within a short period of the bridges being closed.  He’s still alive, thank God, but it’s apparent to me and my family that he had someone watching out for him (and us) on that day.  For the past few years, I was told he was either a few blocks away or across the street from the buildings when it happened.  I had no idea that’s where he actually was.  I don’t know what kind of shape our family would be in if he’d died that day, as he’s more or less the humorous one in our family.
  2. Who Dunnit? – If you were in the buildings and got out before they went down, or knew someone who did, or knew someone who didn’t, or had a loved one that was involved in the aftermath or the rescues … wouldn’t you wanna know what REALLY happened on that day and why the towers REALLY fell?  For all our talk about honoring the victims and their families, wouldn’t the greatest honor be to get to the bottom of the dirt with a bulletproof, watertight, beyond any reasonable doubt investigation?  If the Bush Administration wasn’t the group that caused it, they most certainly knew about it in advance and did nothing to prevent or deter it.  Yet we gave them an eight-year pass, carte blanche, to wreck havoc and destruction on America.  Don’t the victims deserve a little more than that?  I think they do, considering I was very nearly a victim of it myself.
  3. Rescue Remedy – There’s no question that the men and women who risked their lives to rescue people caught in the 9-11 tragedy are heroic and deserving of the highest rewards we can bestow upon them.  Unfortunately, our own government doesn’t think so.  Many of the rescue workers contracted fatal lung diseases from the asbestos fireproofing that was used in the WTC buildings, along with other diseases.  Michael Moore, in his movie Sicko, invited them to travel to Cuba to receive medical treatment, but when it came time for the United States government to offer its own support, it turned them down for the sake of political expediency.
  4. You Mosque Be Joking – A great deal of controversy has arisen over the conversion of an old Bloomingdales in Manhattan into an Islamic community center.  Opponents claim that the mosque is too close to Ground Zero and that this is disrespectful to the victims.  Opponents say they’d be happy if it was moved five or six blocks away, yet Masjid Manhattan has been four blocks from Ground Zero since 1970 and no one seemed to have a problem with that.  Furthermore, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is on record as having said that both he and a number of the victims’ families support the right for Muslims to build their Islamic Center in lower Manhattan within two blocks of Ground Zero.  Anyone that believes in American freedom would have to go back and reread the First Amendment, which states that no law shall be passed that prohibits the free exercise of religion.  Of course, any person of faith takes actions that infringe upon the rights of others is not protected.  This brings up the second major objection to the building of the mosque, which is the belief that it is funding and/or funded by terrorism.  However, as Jon Stuart points out, Alwaleed bin Talal, the same person accused of linking the mosque with terrorism, is also the majority owner of Fox News.  Point being, not all Muslims are terrorists.  Let them build their fucking mosque!
  5. Engineering Disaster – America claims to be a bastion of freedom, but we’re also well-known for our ability to overgeneralize.  Sadly, many people presume that all Middle Easterners are terrorists and all Hispanics are illegal immigrants.  Now it seems we’ve found a new demographic to link with terror: engineers.  Why are so many terrorists engineers?  Good question.  Could it possibly be because engineers have the technical capacity to, I don’t know, MAKE BOMBS?  Currently, there’s a debate about which came first: the engineering degree or the radical belief.  Personally, I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as that.  Some people probably had radical beliefs and then figured they could best apply those beliefs by studying engineering to learn how to make bombs, hack data, and take down buildings.  Others probably became engineers and then were targeted by radical groups for their unique skills.  Probability states that at least a few of them would turn under pressure.  Just watch the movie Traitor for an example.
  6. What’s in a Name? – In the category of things that are disrespectful to the victims of 9-11, few people seem to be talking about the so-called Freedom Tower, whose name is reminiscent of things like Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.  Such childish tags arose in protest of all things French.  Even Congress took up that banner in an effort to appear more politically “correct” in a post-9/11 world.  Why did we do that again?  Oh, right.  Because France expressed strong opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – the invasion that kicked off a war that many Americans now believe was both illegal and immoral.
  7. Extenuating Circumstances – In the past few years, most of us have had terrible experiences in airports.  From unbearable wait times, to unwarranted searches and seizures, to limitations on baggage, to moms being forced to drink bottles of breast milk because of suspicions that it might be a combustible liquid, to increased air fare costs to pay for it all, air travel has become one of the least enjoyable forms of travel.  Rather than actually check all these things at the door before entering the airport, travelers are forced to go through a maze of hoops and bullshit protocols that don’t really prevent anything from happening.  All of these inconveniences are the result of measures implemented in a reactionary, band-aid approach to dealing with lapses in security.  It’s only a matter of time before someone finds a new way around current airport security and then even tighter measures are imposed upon the millions of passengers that have no intentions of harming anyone.
  8. Serve and Protect – As a result of September 11, the Bush Administration enacted many new policies including the USA PATRIOT ACT, illegal wiretaps, detainment and torture of non-hostile American citizens, closure of the borders, and engaging in a very costly war.  All of this was done under the guise of protecting the American people, but all we really did was trade a foreign enemy for a domestic one.  We were angry and scared and looking for vengeance when cooler heads should have prevailed; and that energy and drive and unwaivering pride and patriotism, along with the lives of many young men and women who volunteered for armed service after 9-11, was all used to advance what amounted to nothing more than an economic and political agenda.
  9. How Long Will We Sing This Song? – The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the events that followed were by no means the first of their kind and I very much doubt they will be the last.  Though it’s a day that changed the course of history, we cannot let our fear and grief and anger get the better of us.  Tragedy happens and life will go on.  And at some point, we will each have to decide for ourselves what the appropriate point in time will be when we stop living in the past and start living in the moment.  Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but those who continue to live in the past are already repeating it.  Let us take what we have learned and move on with our lives as best we can.

“If you’re sad, then cry.  When there are no more tears to cry, you still have to live.” ~ Fearless (2006)

The events of September 11 came dangerously close to home for me.

Those who are old enough to have lived through the event say they know exactly where they were when Kennedy died.  For those who are old enough to remember the events of 9-11, I think the same principle applies.

To this day, I remember being in my freshman year of high school, having just gotten out of homeroom when the principle announced to everyone over the PA system that we were to have an emergency assembly.  I turned to one of my classmates who was sitting next to me in the auditorium and asked what this was about.  He had a set of headphones on and told me that someone had just flown a plane into the World Trade Center.  “Bullshit!” I said.  Imagine my surprise when the principle finally got up on stage and announced to the entire school the very thing my classmate had just told me.

We got let out immediately after our principle explain to us what was happening.  I remember standing in the living room of my childhood home watching the events unfold in real time on television.  I didn’t understand, back then, all that was going on, but something deep inside of me awoke that day and I took it all in with a sense of wonder and terror that most reserve for encounters with the divine.  Though it wasn’t the first instance of such things in my life, I think that day was the day my innocence was finally broken and I stopped being so naive to the world around me.

When President Bush finally announced his intention to go to war with Afghanistan, I intuitively wondered how in the hell they were able to pin this on Afghanistan so quickly after the event just happened.  At first, I only had questions.  Years later, I began to finally come to some definite answers and I didn’t always like what those answers were, but I’m starting to become more accepting of them because I found even more answers that gave context and peace to the scary ones.  And those answers began to become freedom for me from my negative emotions.  I just hope that everyone can find the same answers and peace and freedom that I found.