from RobertLanza website
- What happens when we die?
- Do we rot into the ground, or do we go to heaven (or hell, if we've been bad)?
But if you remove everything from space, what's left? Nothing.
I was a young boy when I realized there was something unexplainable about life that I simply didn't understand. I learned this from one of the last smiths in New England, when I, as a child, tried to capture a woodchuck on his property.
Over his shop a chimney cap went round and round, squeak, squeak, rattle, rattle. One day the blacksmith came out with his shotgun and blew it off. The noise stopped.
The woodchuck's hole was in such close proximity to Mr. O'Donnell's shop that I could hear the bellows fanning his forge. I crawled noiselessly through the long grass, occasionally stirring a grasshopper or a butterfly. After setting a new steel trap that I had just purchased at the hardware store, I took a stake and, rock in hand, pounded it into the ground.
I followed him into his shop, which was crammed with all manner of tools and chimes of different shapes and sounds hanging from the ceiling.
"This thing can injure dogs, and even children!" he said, poking the coals with a fork.
"I tell you what," he said. "I'll give you 50 cents for every dragonfly you catch."
I said that would be fun, and when I parted I was so excited I forgot about my new trap.
The next day I set off with a butterfly net. The air was full of insects, the flowers with bees and butterflies. But I didn't see any dragonflies. As I floated through the last of the meadows, the spikes of a cattail attracted my attention. A huge dragonfly was humming round and round, and when at last I caught it, I hopped and skipped all the way back to Mr. O'Donnell's shop.
As long as I live I will remember that day. And though Mr. O'Donnell is gone now, there still remains in his shop that little iron dragonfly - covered with dust now - to remind me there's something more elusive to life than the succession of shapes we see frozen into matter.
Before he died, Einstein said,
"Now Besso [an old friend] has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us… know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
It's here at last, where we approach the imagined border of ourselves, the wooded boundary where in the old fairy tale the fox and the hare say goodnight to each other. At death, we all know, consciousness is gone, and so too the continuity in the connection of times and places.
"like those that Hermes won with the dice of the moon, that Osiris might be born."
Without consciousness, space and time are nothing; in reality you can take any time - whether past or future - as your new frame of reference. Death is a reboot that leads to all potentialities.
But it probably won't rattle for long.
August 18, 2010
Recent discoveries require us to rethink our understanding of history.
"The histories of the universe," said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking "depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history."
More recently (Science 315, 966, 2007), scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus, and showed that what they did could retroactively change something that had already happened.
Of course, we live in the same world. Particles have a range of possible states, and it's not until observed that they take on properties. So until the present is determined, how can there be a past?
"The quantum principle shows that there is a sense in which what an observer will do in the future defines what happens in the past."
But what about dinosaur fossils?
"We are participators," Wheeler said "in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past.
Before his death, he stated that when observing light from a quasar, we set up a quantum observation on an enormously large scale. It means, he said, the measurements made on the light now, determines the path it took billions of years ago.
Like the light from Wheeler's quasar, historical events such as who killed JFK, might also depend on events that haven't occurred yet.
History is a biological phenomenon - it's the logic of what you, the animal observer experiences. You have multiple possible futures, each with a different history like in the Science experiment.
"We must re-think all that we have ever learned about the past, human evolution and the nature of reality, if we are ever to find our true place in the cosmos," says Constance Hilliard, a historian of science at UNT.
"The universe," said John Haldane, "is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."
Is Death the End? - Experiments Suggest You Create Time
November 04, 2010
When I was young, I stayed at my neighbor's house. They had a grandfather clock.
- But is this really a paradox?
- Or rather, is it proof that time (motion) isn't a feature of the outer, spatial world, but rather a conception of thought?
"It seems," said physicist Peter Coveney, "that the act of looking at an atom prevents it from changing".
Theoretically, if a nuclear bomb were watched intently enough - that is, if you could check its atoms every million trillionth of a second - it wouldn't explode.
"There is no way to remove the observer - us - from our perceptions of the world… In classical physics, the past is assumed to exist as a definite series of events, but according to quantum physics, the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities".
That night, while lying awake at my neighbor's house, I had found the answer - that the missing piece is with us.
"the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
"Time and space are but the physiological colors which the eye maketh," said Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay 'Self-Reliance.'
"But the soul is light; where it is, is day; where it was, is night."
March 24, 2010
We think we die and rot into the ground, and thus must squeeze everything in before it's too late.
Life is a flowering and adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking, an interlude in a melody so vast and eternal that human ears can't appreciate the tonal range of the symphony.
Biocentrism extends this idea, suggesting that life is a flowering and adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. Although our individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the "me" feeling is just energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn't go away at death.
A series of landmark experiments show that measurements an observer makes can influence events that have already happened in the past. One experiment (Science 315, 966, 2007) confirmed that flipping a switch could retroactively change a result that had happened before the switch was flipped.
"You're a little unwell," she said, handing me a cup of sand. "It's medicine. Drink this and you'll feel better."
The affection that existed between Bubbles and me was a strong one, for being my older sister, she had always felt that it was her job to protect me. I can remember standing at the school bus stop with my little mittens and lunchbox, when one of the older neighborhood boys pushed me to the ground.
"You touch my little brother ever again," she said, "and I'll punch your face in."
But all this was a short event, and stands like a wild flower along an asphalt road. Little by little her mind began to deteriorate. Although I'd seen a lot of medicine by then, it was a matter of some emotion to me to see her child taken away. The deep remembrance I have of her being utterly without hope, restrained and sedated with drugs.
Bubbles was still a pretty woman, and was found in the park once, quite distressed, her hair hanging in her face and her clothes torn; of which she knew as little as us. A while later she was pregnant, and I can only understand that someone had taken advantage of her again. I remember her looking at me in embarrassment, holding the baby in her arms. He had a cute face, and I thought, didn't look like anyone we knew.
Soon after, my big sister - a once proud woman - lost even the remembrance of where she lived.
This tale of Bubbles is one that has a thousand variations, told by many families, of tragedy interspersed with joyous times. But plays of experience, even ones like that of my sister, are never random, nor the end of the story.
"Whenever anything in nature seems to us ridiculous, absurd or evil," said Spinoza "it is because we have but a partial knowledge of things."
Life has a power that transcends any individual history or universe.
Five Reasons You Won't Die
January 20, 2011
We've been taught we're just a collection of cells, and that we die when our bodies wear out. End of story.
You're not an object, you're a special being. According to biocentrism, nothing could exist without consciousness
Remember you can't see through the bone surrounding your brain. Space and time aren't objects, but rather the tools our mind uses to weave everything together.
"It will remain remarkable," said Eugene Wigner, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 "in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality."Consider the uncertainty principle, one of the most famous and important aspects of quantum mechanics.Experiments confirm it's built into the fabric of reality, but it only makes sense from a biocentric perspective. If there's really a world out there with particles just bouncing around, then we should be able to measure all their properties. But we can't. Why should it matter to a particle what you decide to measure?Consider the double-slit experiment:if one "watches" a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through slits on a barrier, it behaves like a particle and creates solid-looking hits behind the individual slits on the final barrier that measures the impacts.Like a tiny bullet, it logically passes through one or the other hole. But if the scientists do not observe the trajectory of the particle, then it exhibits the behavior of waves that allow it pass through both holes at the same time.Why does our observation change what happens? Answer: Because reality is a process that requires our consciousness.The two-slit experiment is an example of quantum effects, but experiments involving Buckyballs and KHCO3 crystals show that observer-dependent behavior extends into the world of ordinary human-scale objects.In fact, researchers recently showed (Nature 2009) that pairs of ions could be coaxed to entangle so their physical properties remained bound together even when separated by large distances, as if there was no space or time between them.Why? Because space and time aren't hard, cold objects. They're merely tools of our understanding.Death doesn't exist in a timeless, spaceless world.After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said,"Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us…know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."In truth, your mind transcends space and time.Reason TwoConservation of energy is a fundamental axiom of science.The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can't be created or destroyed. It can only change forms. Although bodies self-destruct, the "me" feeling is just a 20-watt cloud of energy in your head. But this energy doesn't go away at death. A few years ago scientists showed they could retroactively change something that happened in the past.Particles had to "decide" how to behave when they passed a fork in an apparatus. Later on, the experimenter could flip a switch. The results showed that what the observer decided at that point determined how the particle behaved at the fork in the past.Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply powering a projector.Whether you flip a switch in an experiment on or off, it's still the same battery responsible for the projection. Like in the two-slit experiment, you collapse physical reality. At death, this energy doesn't just dissipate into the environment as the old mechanical worldview suggests. It has no reality independent of you.As Einstein's esteemed colleague John Wheeler stated,"No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon."Each person creates their own sphere of reality - we carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which energy just dissipates.
Reason ThreeAlthough we generally reject parallel universes as fiction, there's more than a morsel of scientific truth to this genre.A well-known aspect of quantum physics is that observations can't be predicted absolutely. Instead, there's a range of possible observations each with a different probability.One mainstream explanation is the 'many-worlds' interpretation, which states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the 'multiverse'). There are an infinite number of universes (including our universe), which together comprise all of physical reality.Everything that can possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death doesn't exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them.Like flipping the switch in the experiment above, you're the agent who experiences them.Reason FourYou will live on through your children, friends, and all who you touch during your life, not only as part of them, but through the histories you collapse with every action you take."According to quantum physics," said theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, "the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities."There's more uncertainty in bio-physical systems than anyone ever imagined.Reality isn't fully determined until we actually investigate (like in the Schrödinger's cat experiment). There are whole areas of history you determine during your life. When you interact with someone, you collapse more and more reality (that is, the spatio-temporal events that define your consciousness).When you're gone, your presence will continue like a ghost puppeteer in the universes of those you know.Reason FiveIt's not an accident that you happen to have the fortune of being alive now on the top of all infinity.Although it could be a one-in-a-jillion chance, perhaps it's not just dumb luck, but rather must be that way. While you'll eventually exit this reality, you, the observer, will forever continue to collapse more and more 'nows.'Your consciousness will always be in the present - balanced between the infinite past and the indefinite future - moving intermittently between realities along the edge of time, having new adventures and meeting new (and rejoining old) friends.
February 10, 2011
You've laughed and cried. And you may even fall in love and grow old with someone, only to be ripped apart in the end by death and disease.
The universe leaves you dead or grieving with a hole in you as big as infinity.
- Can life really be reduced to the laws of physics, or are we part of something more noble and triumphant?
- Are we part of a depraved cosmic joke, the product of a vast and ruthless universe?
The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little bit above the level of a farce and gives it some of the grace of a tragedy.
"for it is hard, very nearly impossible, to shake off one's earliest training."
What is the nature of this thing we call 'reality'?
"There's no way to remove the observer - us - from our perceptions of the world," said Stephen Hawking. "The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities."
"The most important thing I learned," said Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut's novel 'Slaughterhouse Five,' "was that when a person dies, he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist."