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Archive for March, 2010

The reason that Aristotle said that there isn’t a fourth dimension is this: you can’t draw a fourth mutually perpendicular line in the corner of a cube.

Aristotle also said that women have fewer teeth than men because they have less blood.

I do have to say though, looking at the above trivector, you can’t draw a fourth perpendicular (9o° angle)  line in this 3 dimensional object (the cube corner)…unless you hop outside the third dimension to do it.

Now, in my plan (the one where I begin to utilize the fourth dimension in my effort to balance my ancient conflict triggered fight or flee mechanism) I don’t need to remove myself from the third dimension. Which is good because according to Clifford Pickover in Surfing Through Hyperspace, entering into the fourth dimension with this body would would likely prove difficult for our organs. We have a 2 dimensional retina for heaven’s sake! We’d need to upgrade to a 3d retina to be able to see properly in the fourth dimension. We have 3d hearts, 3d livers, 3d brains…who knows what would happen if they were suddenly thrust into a 4 dimensional world?

What is necessary for my plan of action, is that we have a relatively satisfactory trust that the fourth dimension does, indeed, exist. Yesterday 8,970 of the world’s smartest physicists eagerly awaited the start up of the Large Hadron Collider because they think there might be a fourth dimension. Also, somebody spent 10 billion dollars on this project because they, too, think there might be a fourth dimension. (The physicists are doing a couple of other things with the LHC besides looking for the God particle, but those things aren’t that important to me, so I’m going to pretend that they aren’t there.) It’s a pretty compelling reason to believe in the fourth dimension, don’t you think? Other people believe in it. Smart people. And rich ones too. And they’re all probably very attractive! What more do you need?

Ok, I imagine that somebody might want a little more information before taking this leap. Read on:

The first dimension is a line. It has no depth, only length (in red). The second dimension is the line squared, shown in the picture as a plane (blue). The third dimension, the one that we know and love, is the original line cubed (green). So what would the fourth dimension look like?

There it is. The tesseract. It is the original line swept out into the fourth dimension. If you watch, you can see the cube in the middle for a moment, before it sweeps out into hyperspace and becomes the bottom, then the side, then back inside…and on and on. Except that in the fourth dimension, it is all of these places at the same time. Because in the fourth dimension beings are not limited to experiencing time linearly, everything is happening all at the  same time.

That might have been confusing, but close you eyes for a second. Well, I mean read this first, and then close your eyes. Imagine that you are the original line (just height) in the aforedisplayed figure (the red, blue and green one). You expand sideways to give yourself width, but you are flat (no depth). Your world is flat. You cannot see outside your flatness, because you are two dimensional and you have no eyeballs (they are 3d). In other words, you could only see something beside you on your paper thin world and it would look like a line. If a three dimensional being were to enter your flat world from the 3rd dimension, you could only see it as the edge of a circle that gets bigger and then goes away, like this:

(drawing by Edwin Abbott, Flatland)

Imagine what it would be like to be flat like that and have that be your whole world. You would have no real idea at all what a sphere or a cube would look like, because you only see 2 dimensional shapes, and at that you can only see them from one side.

Now imagine that someone comes along with a basketball pump and pumps you up like a balloon. Now you have height, width AND depth. You can peel yourself out of your flatland, stand up and experience the third dimension! Wow! You feel great! (willing suspension of belief, because your 2d organs can’t work properly here in the third dimension).

If there is a fourth dimension, and I think there is, we are limited by our 3rd dimension in the same way that a 2d beings are limited in theirs.

Can you feel the fourth dimension? Close your eyes again and try. Imagine that you can open up into a hyper-direction that you didn’t even know existed! Maybe its called deighth. (That’s depth, height, and width all mixed together.) Feeling the fourth dimension is the first step in utilizing it for assistance. Meditate on that for a while…

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Aristotle said that the fourth dimension didn’t exist. Aristotle also said that women have a lower temperature than men and are lower life forms. Times, they are a changin’.

Scientists and mathematicians have extrapolated theories using thought experiments and mathematical equations that point to the existence of the fourth (and higher) dimensions. Einstein defined the fourth dimension as time. Theodor Kaluza suggested that everyday things that we look at might have hidden, tiny dimensions within them.  Modern physicists have been contemplating, experimenting and honing theories trying to understand the mysteries of a multi-dimensional universe.

Today at 1:05 pm, at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, after 16 years of trying, scientists recorded the first proton collisions at 7 trillion electron volts. 7 trillion electron volts is a super duper seriously lot of energy. The collider takes two particle beams (hadrons) and sends them out onto a 17 mile race track where they pick up as much speed as they can (nearly the speed of light) before they smash together. The scientists hope that when the hadrons smash together a Higgs boson (aka the God particle) will be released.

This Higgs boson, which is, by the way, a theoretical particle (in other words, a lot of folks have spent a lot of time and a lot of money on finding something that might not exist), is said to have the ability to move between dimensions because it isn’t affected by our gravitational pull. In other words, if we find the Higgs boson, we might find out how to travel to a nearby dimension. Wow! That’s pretty neat.

All in all, this seems like a timely time to explore possible uses for this fourth dimension (which I fully believe exists) for my own benefit. More specifically, I’d like to devise a plan to use the fourth dimension as an aid in making decisions under (perceived) attack. How convenient that the scientists have made their discovery just as I am exploring this question! Perhaps we are linked in some way…

In my last post I spoke about how I read self help books in order to help me make good choices toward a healthy and happy life. However, human physiology is such that when I am presented with conflict, my ancient genes flare sending me into fight or flight mode and all my carefully laid plans for health and happiness evaporate into the cosmos as if they never did exist at all.

How can I take advantage of all the time and money and intellect that has gone into the search for the Higgs boson? How can I use this monumental historical event to accelerate myself forward into new, healthier horizons?

I have a plan. It’s going to take a few days to fully germinate though, so, check back tomorrow…

UPDATE: Read the plan for using the 4th dimension as an anger management tool HERE and HERE.

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(painting by H. Goltzius)

Something has been bugging me about my last post. It was in the part where I was talking about making decisions based on clarity and love and some stuff like that. This posting came right after the fight in which I blamed my partner for making my life miserable by saying everything is my fault. (Don’t loose the classic irony there.)

I have been reading stuff all my life about making these great choices based in love and clarity and saving the world one blissful choice at a time. I have a self-help book addiction. I love to make a foamy latte on a rainy day and read all about how to be a better person. It’s so great to bring a really nice self help book to the beach and get really good at getting ready to make the right choices for my life. Unfortunately, often when I’m faced with the choice on making the clarified, light n’ love filled decision, I’m being attacked. Or, I should say, I feel like I’m being attacked. Who can make loving decisions when they feel like they are being attacked?

My stomach hurts (demon babies), my heart is pounding (preparing me to fight my attacker or to run away–sending all the blood [read oxygen: what I need to think properly] away from my brain), I’m in a cold sweat (who knows what that’s about?)

All because my girlfriend asked me if I forgot to turn the dryer on.

Of course I didn’t forget! Jeez! Why do you always have to assume the worst! my brain shouts, now fully depleted of oxygen. But my biceps are poppin’. My calves are rippin’. I am ready for fightin’ or fleein.’ Neither of which work particularly well in this situation, by the way.

Where is Eckhart Tolle when you need him? And why does admitting that I made a mistake make me feel like I’m going to die? And how can I make good decisions when I’m about to die?

I’ll need to consult my books…

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(painting by H. Goltzius)

In my last blog I mentioned that Rudolf Steiner believed that when we try to bend another person to our will, we create a demon. He also said that when we lie we create phantoms. When we make bad laws or rules that create disharmony in our communities we make spectres appear.

Whether or not you believe that actual beings are formed and move into the world when we make unethical choices, you have to admit, making those unethical choices sure doesn’t feel very good. Ok, well, maybe making them feels fine, but afterwards things don’t feel good. Usually.

In the book A new Earth, Eckhart Tolle says that every person has something he calls a “pain body.” He says that over time people collect pains–grievances, regrets, guilt, anger, sadness–that accumulate in our energy field. From the time we are little babies until this present moment, when we experience something painful but choose, for whatever reason, to not deal with it in the moment, we then collect it up and use it later on to make ourselves or other people miserable.

I think that the most important idea here is that your pain body is not you. It’s your pain body and it comes and goes. Eckart Tolle says that we are, at times, temporarily possessed by our pain bodies.

I personally get a little stomach ache when I don’t tell the truth about something. Or when I do or say something at the expense of another person. Or when I take something that doesn’t belong to me. Those little stomach aches are demon labor pains. Not a pretty picture, I agree, but I’m a writer and I need to draw forth the good, the bad, and the ugly. (I didn’t make that last bit up, somebody else did.)

So I got the demons part, now for the power. Another Eckhart Tolle bit will bring it home: Our pain bodies never, ever go away. We have to learn to dis-em-power them. Pain body comes up, we feel crappy, we say “Hey! My pain body has been triggered! But that’s not the real me! Here I am inside, cozy and loving,” and then we feel a little bit better and we take a tiny bit of fun out of the drama of feeling crappy. And then it might go away faster! That’s what Eckhart says anyway.

If I can make my choices based on clarity and love, rather than everything that is wrong with  the world, my life is better. Not sayin’ it’s easy…just sayin’. We choose what we want to empower in our lives, both on a large scale and on a small one.

Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. … What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. –Martin Luther King Jr.

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(painting by H. Goltzius)

I got into a fight with my partner a couple of days ago and she said to me that she hopes that someday I can find the perfect partner: a partner who will be chipper and available when I want her to be but who will go away when I’m busy, a partner who will say all the right things at all the right times, a partner who agrees with me whenever I need her too…she went on for a while. I can’t remember the rest.

Why can’t we make everyone be what we want, just by asking? Why does it always hafta turn ugly? I wanted her to tell me she loved me, to be nice to me, to tell me that I’m right. But the way I was asking her to listen to me was by telling her all the things she does wrong, all the ways that she has failed me, and all the things I must put up with to be with her. I tried to make her feel bad so that she would do what I wanted her to.

The word power has multiple definitions depending on whether you’re talking about physics, mathematics, computers, music, literature, sports, or social science. That last one is the one I’m talking about. And it’s the hardest one to get it to work right.

Power is a tricky, tricky little thing. It’s not baaaadd, per say…but it’s one of those things that you have to really be smart/wise to use it right, to not get carried away. Sort of like coffee or money or cheese. Having these these things around is wonderful, but once you get a little too much of any of them, well, bad things can happen.

Rudolf Steiner says that some demons (real demons) are formed when people try to bend other people to their will, ie, use their power inappropriately.

Mankind at present is still very far removed from [full understanding of] what it is to value and esteem the freedom of another. Think only how the modern man for the most part wants to overrule the mind of another, how he cannot bear someone else to think and like differently, how he wants to work upon the other’s soul.

[Demons] existence is solely due to the the fact that intolerance and oppression of thought have in various ways been used in our world. Thus we have learnt again today to know of beings which are just as real as the things which we perceive through our physical senses, and which very definitely produce effects in human life. (from Nature Spirits)

My therapist used to ask me if I would rather be right or happy. Based on my track record so far, it appears that I would rather be right. Humility is not my strong point.

humble. (L. humus, ground, soil). To exhume is to take out of the ground. The L. adj. humilis, one the ground, lowly, became Fr. humble, whence Eng. humble, mainly in the figurative sense. “To eat humble pie,” meaning to submit to humiliation, is a transfer because of the sound, from umble-pie, a pie made of umbles, from numbles, the entrails of deer. (Dictionary of Word Origins, Joseph Shipley)

We made up, but I have to admit, I tucked the numbles in my napkin and made a big fat demon. Gotta work on that one.

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Probably everyone has had the experience of having an inspirational moment. Maybe it was a workshop or conference, maybe it was the birth of a child, maybe it was a great book you read–we’ve all felt how great it feels to experience inspiration (L. in, into + spirare, spirat–, to breathe).

But how long does the feeling last? Once you’ve birthed that new feeling, how many times are you able to do it the new way, to resist your habit, before you get worn down and tired, and you slip backward?

Sometimes you never do. Sometimes it’s a year. Sometimes it’s five minutes. Making an homunculus is hard…educating one is even harder. I’ve been thinking for a couple of days now on what to write about how one would go about metaphorical homunculus education. All the same dadburn things kept coming up–meditation, be here now, forgive and forget, blah, blah, blah–but it all seems so old and so damn hard! I’m remembering all those “wise people” stories about how you already are/have everything you want, you just need to open up your eyes and realize it. You know, like when the Buddha held up the flower silently and that one fellow goes and get enlightened? That’s what I mean.

My experience is that it is easy enough to open up your eyes and realize happiness (to make the homunculus) but to keep happiness alive and flourishing long term is really, really hard, without first joining some sort of convent. And probably even then it might be hard.

So. I guess I’m forced to do the trick that I do when I don’t know the answer. I’m going to get a book, one that seems right, I am going to say my question in my head, and I’m going to open the book to a random page. Then I’ll read it and see if it makes sense. If it does, I’ll write it here:

Something is happening now that should not be happening, and it is preventing me from being at peace now. What you are doing or failing to do now is preventing me from being at peace. The above are assumptions, unexamined thoughts that are confused with reality. They are stories the ego creates to convince you that you cannot be at peace now or cannot be fully yourself now. (Eckhart Tolle-A New Earth)

Hm. That didn’t work for me. Next:

Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself–to serve. Humans often do this–in touching the infirm and sick, in serving the ones whose minds have left to wander, in relating to the poor, in loving the very old and the very young, or even in caring for the other who has assumed a position of power over them. (William Young-The Shack)

Eh. Still nothing coming up for me exactly. I need a tie together. Something that will really sing…I’m going for the big gun, my most favorite book for random looking:

God speaking: Begin by being still. Quiet the outer world, so that the inner world might bring you sight. This in-sight is what you seek, yet you cannot have it while you are so concerned with your outer reality. (Neale Donald Walsch-Conversations with God book 1)

Ho hum. Perhaps I’m being cynical today, but all these answers appear tainted with skypieism. (This is a term first coined by me, based on the lyrics written by labor organizer Joe Hill, leader of the Wobblies. The Preacher and the Slave song chorus:
You will eat, by and by,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

Tell your friends) I mean, they are good reads and all, but wow, easier said than done, dudes!

1. It would appear that there are no hard and fast rules for metaphorical homunculus education. 2. It would appear that all you can do is try really hard to do it right and that sometimes some people get better at it. 3. It would appear that people who try really hard get better at it than people who don’t try really hard. And probably people who try medium get medium results. I hope that this helps. Thank you for reading.

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Paracelsus says that to make a “little man” who can do your bidding, one must mix together semen and horse manure and let it putrify for forty weeks. My last statement in TOEAHWZ: part 1 was a thinly veiled metaphor describing the connection between 1.) birthing a little man out of carefully tended but powerfully rancid fluid and 2.) finding the ingredients to birth a new existence out of the rancid slop of a traumatic experience. I worked pretty hard on that metaphor…so…I hope you got it.

Ekhard Tolle says that people who have more pain in their lives (or past lives) have an (easily overlooked at times) advantage in that they

often reach a point  where they feel their life is becoming unbearable, where they can’t take any more pain, any more drama. One person expressed this by saying plainly and simply that she was ‘fed up with being unhappy.’ Some people may feel, as I did, that they cannot live with themselves anymore. Inner peace then becomes their first priority. Their acute emotional pain forces them to disidenitify from the content of their minds and the mental-emotional structures that five birth to a perpetuate the unhappy one. (from A New Earth)

Sounds a little cheap to me, sort of doesn’t-it-feel-good-when-you-stop-smashing-yourself-in-the-head-with-a-hammer?-ish. But I think I understand the point. The worse the situation, the more powerful the ingredients to burn out the unnecessary and birth a new idea of who you are (as long as you don’t die first).

Anyway. Paracelsus doesn’t stop with the warming of the shit. Oh no, he goes on to say that the homunculus

should be afterwards educated with the greatest care and zeal, until it grows up and begins to display intelligence.

Now, I’m going to, just for a brief moment, delve into what homunculus education would look like for ye olde Paracelsus. I don’t know, but I imagine anything born out of rancid semen and cooked manure wouldn’t be overly hygenic. Would he have his own little book set that he could smut up with his poopy little fingerprints? Did homunculus have his own little desk and oil lamp? I can just picture  Paracelsus pacing in front of the tiny wooden desk (which would probably be located inside some sort of a large custom made glass beaker with a cork stopper in the opening to keep the homunculus from escaping) reading Latin or Greek vivaciously, homunculus reluctantly taking notes and sneaking angry glances at his captor.

However, the actual homunculus situation is one that I am not prepared to go too far into right now, because my interest is all wrapped up in the metaphor. In the metaphorical twin situation, the one I referred to above, the person is educating his/her new idea or plan of action that was distilled out of an otherwise awful day/month/year/etc. Which some of us have sometimes. Not to point any fingers.

How does one educate his or her homunculus, metaphorically speaking? I’m not sure yet. I need another day on it. Look for part three, coming soon.

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