Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A View of Reality

  1. Mar 20, 2006 #1
    This is a compliation of various trains of thought that I've tried bringing together into a wholistic understanding of reality;

    There is a basic factor which has been overlooked in how we normally conceive of reality. Time has two directions.

    As point of reference, the observer goes from past events to future events, but as frame, these events go from being in the future to being in the past.

    Time isn't a dimension because the frame of reference does not constitute an absolute against which the point of reference transcribes another dimension. It is a process in which the point and frame move relative to their respective influence on one another. Content and context go in opposite directions. To the hands of the clock, it is the face going counterclockwise.

    The unit of time goes from beginning to end, but the process of time is going toward the beginning of the next, leaving the old. A day is measured by the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, but the reality is the earth is rotating the other direction. As our day ends, others are dawning.

    Our lives are units of time going from beginning to end, while the process of living goes on to the next generation, shedding the old like dead skin.

    Think of a factory; The product moves from initiation to completion, but the production line faces the other way, with its mouth consuming raw materials and finished product being expelled.

    This relationship of the process and the unit is one of perspective. A unit at one level is a process at another and vice versa. We go through time as time goes through us. What matters is energy generated, whether calories burned, or wages and profits earned.

    Time is not so much a projection out from the present event, as it is a coming together of factors to define what is present. The past is the influences which define current order and the future is the energy which will motivate that order. When this order is an open set, it absorbs fresh energy, defining it, so the future is a continuation of the past. When the order is a closed set, the energy accumulates in open spaces and the future becomes a reaction to the past. Evolution and revolution.

    Reality consists of energy recording information. As the amount of energy remains the same, old information is erased as new is recorded. This information is a product of relationships of the manifest energy. The only absolute frame is the present, so any action is balanced by an "equal and opposite" reaction. Reality is the energy defining the space. Time is a function of the information. "Past" and "future" do not physically exist because the energy necessary to manifest them is manifesting the present.

    Time, like temperature, is a method of measuring motion, not its cause. Temperature is a level of activity against a prevailing scale. Time is the tensor relationship of the particular point of reference to its context. When context changes, ie. temperature, gravitational, velocity, the rate of change is relative to circumstance.

    The existence of the animal is linear. We travel along a path and the brain originated as a navigational instrument. One side might be more focused then the other, but that's a matter of developing perspective, much like binocular vision is necessary for depth perception. Flora doesn't need a brain because it doesn't have to navigate. Temperature is probably as primal to plants as time is to animals.

    The bottom up processes and top down entities they create, which then define them, are all around us. Democracy is a process. The Republic is an entity. Capitalism is a process. The corporation is an entity. Russian communism failed because it tried to take the process of the economy and turn it into a single unit, strangling fresh input. Chinese communism has so far succeeded because it has turned itself into the worlds largest corporation.

    To survive, an entity must enforce some degree of discipline, otherwise cancers tear it apart. On the other hand, when the police function gets out of hand, it is a form of autoimmune disease and is just as fatal. The pendulum swings back and forth because we don’t want just a flat line down the middle.

    Why is something seemingly logical overlooked in our conception of reality? The mind is a process and its product is the thought. So it's natural for our understanding to congeal as units. Even though science understands objective reality is an illusion, modern physics is still trying to define it in terms of the unit. Be it particle, wave, string, etc. Even time and space are proposed to be ultimately quantized. These discrete units measure out some linear length of time from the moment they are formed until they dissipate, but unit and continuum are two sides of the same coin. One defining, one creating.

    What of our religious assumptions? We have this narrative story about a spiritual entity leading humanity forward. The notion of God started out as a personification of the tribal soul and anthropomorphization of the elements of nature. Three thousand years ago, it was cutting edge logic to combine all these manifestations into one.

    The problem is that one isn’t the absolute, zero is. The medium and median are essence we rise from, not a focal point from which we fell. A spiritual absolute wouldn’t be a singular entity, definable quantity or extreme, but, like zero, both void and center.

    An all-knowing absolute is a contradiction. The absolute has no distinctions, while knowledge is an endless process of distinction and judgment. That is why a triune deity makes some sense; Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Absolute, extant, infinite. Past, present, future. Order, complexity, chaos.

    Good and bad are not a metaphysical dual between between the forces of light and darkness, but the binary code for conscious decision. A bottom up accumulation of billions of years of biological yes/no, on/off, I/O.

    For the process, good and bad are relative. What is good for the fox, is bad for the chicken. For the individual, such distinctions may as well be absolute, at least for the chicken.

    The moral argument for monotheism is that belief in God instills respect for law and order. I would point out that the natural tendency to identify ones own soul as an expression of God sometimes results in the impression that ones natural impulses are potentially infallible. Our current President would be a prime example. If we were instead to view that source of being as the essence from which we are all striving, yet fallible expressions of, then the more natural tendency might be to think before we act.

    All of reality is both absolute and infinite, but when you separate out one point of reference, it is all relative to that point. This is what makes our individuality so overwhelming. We overcome that enormity by focusing on the details of living and this ties us back to the larger whole.

    The reason life sometimes seems meaningless is because the concept of objective ‘meaning’ is static and reductionistic, while life is dynamic and holistic. It is when we distill away all that seems transitory about life, searching for that hard little nugget of value, that we have lost all we threw away and have so little to show for it. Everything has subjective purpose. That is what ties it all together.

    There is a time in one’s life when the father goes from being the model one follows, to the foundation one rises from. I think humanity is nearing that point.


    John Brodix Merryman Jr.
    Sparks, Maryland
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2006 #2
    I guess I didn't say it right last time, but I would like to say right off the bat that this is cool stuff. Give me a while to respond while I think about this stuff.
  4. Mar 26, 2006 #3
    Hey, no problem, it's taken me a lifetime to think it up and or find it out and I'm 46. I suppose most people see it as competition to whatever model they have thought out or bought into, so it's always nice to meet someone willing to think along the same lines.
  5. Apr 19, 2006 #4
    You should read some Jean-Paul Sartre, relatively enough, he thinks along those same lines.
  6. Apr 20, 2006 #5

    Thanks for the complementary comparision and the advice. Unfortunately I'm lacking much in the way of extra time these days.
    I have done a bit of reading on lots of subjects over the years and this incorporates a lot of what I've learned. It's nice to get feedback, because knowledge is an open source effort. And addictive to boot.

    This piece has been a continuing effort and here are some recent additions. I should point out that they are somewhat more controversial, but not many people pay attention anyway, so I might as well let it out.

    Time, like temperature, is a method of measuring motion, not its cause. Temperature is a level of activity against a prevailing scale. Time is the tensor relationship of the particular point of reference moving against context. At the atomic level, the concept of temperature is meaningless, as it is individual atoms moving in context. On the human level, government economic statistics are a form of temperature reading, that of a level of activity against its prevailing scale.

    To the individual, time is a primary concern, as past and future are the path we've traveled and the pitfalls and rewards ahead. Now we are not all traveling along the same path, but are expending and absorbing energy in the same reality. So when considering the mass of humanity, concepts related to the fluctuations of activity, such as the social and economic expansion of liberalism, or the civil and economic consolidation of conservatism, are of more consequence then specifically remembering the past, or planning for the future. Temperature, rather then time, is the more approximate concept for understanding political activity. While particular movements have their own historical perspective, consideration for the past and concern for the future don't have the larger political resonance one would assume they should.
    Why is something seemingly basic overlooked in our conception of reality? The mind is a process and its product is the thought. So it's natural for our understanding to congeal as units. Even though science understands objective reality is effectively an illusion of interacting fields, rather then materially solid, modern physics is still trying to define it in terms of the unit. Be it particle, wave, string, Big Bang, even time and space are considered to be ultimately quantized. These discrete units measure out some linear length of time from the moment they are formed until they dissipate, but unit and continuum are two sides of the same coin. One defining, one creating.

    This search for ultimate answers in terms of the reductionistic units is currently expressed in string theory, but searching the extremes isn't the best way to understand the equilibrium. As content, reality is manifestly quantifiable, but as context, it is equally manifestly wholistic. Studying the ends of the spectrum is fundamentally useful for understanding details, but when you don't find what you're looking for, just adding extra dimensions, or additional universes or whatever until the figures come out somewhat even doesn't really solve anything.

    I think part of the problem originates in the fact that geometry never incorporated the zero. Geometry begins with the point, which is a virtual one, rather then an actual zero. Zero in geometry would be empty space, which would be all potential points, not a fixed one. What this means is that geometry only defines space, it does not create it. Geometry is a product of space, not space is a product of geometry. It is our ability to measure space that is contextually relative and therefore curved, not that space itself is curved. This means empty space acts as the median, so that while our measure of it might curve one way, the equilibrium of the context provides balance and in sum these two forces of expansion and contraction balance out. If space actually expanded, so would our measure of it, the lightyear and we wouldn't be able to detect this expansion.

    Remember that three dimensions are a frame of reference. Potentially an infinite number of frames can define the same space. Sort of like we all live on slightly different planes on the surface of this planet. While a particular map of space may be three dimensional, the actual territory of space is infinitely dimensional.

    As both median and medium, space is the absolute, as well as infinite. Time is a second order measure of motion.

    I may as well admit there are issues with the Big Bang theory arising here. I think we will eventually come to see expansion is a quality of radiation as gravity is a quality of mass. Neither of which we fully understand yet. This will eliminate the need for Inflation theory, dark matter and dark energy. Some agreement here:
    http://www.cosmologystatement.org/ ,http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/mcquasar.asp , http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2404626

    The content direction of time is matter, coalescing out of the energy of space into ever more complex forms, until the intensity reaches the point it burns up and radiates back out again. The contextual direction of time is radiation, breaking down old forms and expanding out to create and inhabit new ones. One goes beginning to end and and the other goes on to the next, shedding the old.
    By assuming the top is good and therefore the bottom is bad creates a mindset which allows those at the political apex to claim more legitimacy then they deserve. When humanity was a tribe in the wilderness, leadership was a consequence of ability. As we settled down and social structure solidified, two effective means of maintaining control for those at the top was to claim representation of something higher and maintaining an enemy to define the us from the other. These methods are still in use today.
    After the structure of debt does collapse and we are putting the financial world back together, a point to consider is that the modern monetary system functions as a form of public commons and it would be wise to regulate it as such. We still operate with the assumption, from the age of metal based currency, that value is inherent in the token, when it is the responsibility of the issuer to maintain the value of the money. Given that in a democratic society, the government is the property of the citizen and its currency is a form of public accommodations, similar to the highway system, it should be governed for the greatest good of the greatest number. This principle would not interfere with the basic rights of private property. In fact, if people were thus encouraged to invest their efforts into maintaining value within every aspect of life, rather then being tempted to drain reductionistic units out to store in a bank, this would lead to a healthier society and environment.
    The thought that's been running through my head today, but isn't really fleshed out, is that the point is made that the Arabs were the first to really conceive of the zero, as though it's an incidental fact of the height of their civilization, but the implications of the absolute really dominate their concept of monotheism. For one thing, they don't moderate their religion with anything so wishy-washy as a triune deity. The don't allow symbols, images, icons, crosses, etc.
    Of course, they do make the same mistake of assuming the absolute as a virtual one, rather then an actual zero and organize it from the top down, rather than understanding it's bottom up....hmmm..

    I should actually study the subject more, but this making a living part gets rather involved. Reality, can't live with it and can't live without it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook