Friday, February 13, 2009

We're getting close - chapter 16 from way back when I was oh so young and naive

Look, I'm just trying to put emotion back into the universe. I think it is there and belongs there. I don't mean the cold dead stars that are still abstractions to us. I mean here. There's no physical universe. That's a propoganda ploy to keep you from believing in yourself. You're not a number or a feather in the wind. You exist because you feel and because all history wanted to make you You're not an accident. It's OK. It's alright. Calm down.

Nor can you escape. You aren't what you see or even what you feel; emotionally alone. You're also all the little molecular attractions that keep you bound in this world at this time. It's not so bad. They don't want you to leave.

I've known about the physical universe for years. As soon as I learned about relativity I knew. It was a vision, an excitement, an elation. It was a memory.

But I also knew that I couldn't know what I knew, and that I didn't have the words. And without the words, you know nothing. I had no confidence. I listened to the voice of authority. And I became neurotic, and depressed and suicidal, and useless and lazy and all those other things the voice of authority hates so much -- even while it is the cause.

If I can do anything now in this world, I hope to be able to give men the confidence to believe in themselves. No one has any true authority over you. But you must believe that your life is meaningful. Take heart, and don't be afraid.

Don't get me wrong. It is crazy to think you know something. That you have something to say, but nobody's listening. No. If you have something to say, you say it. If it isn't understood, then you say it better. You don't give up.

And words aren't important. There's nothing to discover about truth. It's always a matter of remembering --sometimes it's the difficult matter of finding the words for what you remember. Sometimes you remember it alone. Sometimes you paint a picture or sing a tune or cry or shout. Words don't mean anything without the connection -- and a connection that's forced is a rape -- nothing less. Don't believe what "they" tell you.

I'm getting carried away again. What I knew years ago in the little cabin up in Canada was quite simple. Einstein had added the dimension of time to the others -- those of the physical, spatial universe -- the perceptual, and with time, moving universe -- and it was added for the first time on equal footing with the other three.

The trouble was that we couldn't deal with time on an equal footing. It could be done mathematically, but we can't. Time defines the dimension by which we can be circumspect about the rest, but we can't be circumspect about time -- we're stuck in it.

Then Einstein had the further stroke of genius to equate gravity with acceleration in his general relativity. Now when I heard that, I started reeling. It wasa true epiphany. I knew that, and it's kept me going since.

Einstein spent his life looking for some universal field theory. Something to unite gravitational, electromagnetic and all the other "forces" in the universe whereby things move together or apart without colliding as actual billiard balls seem to do, or which hold things in some constant relationship -- electrons to nucleuses and all those other metaphorical descriptions of what is really unknowable except by a complex system of trust and belief which differs very little from abstraction.

And Einstein balked at quantum theory. "God doesn't play dice." Well, I don't believe in god. And I never thought I was a number. But I guess I didn't really believe in myself either. I mean really believe, in the way a truly religious person really believes in God. I didn't believe that my life meant anything and, without knowing it, I set out to prove it, while at the same time wanting to prove that it did mean something. All answers are paradox -- obviously. Everybody knows that. Except that somewhere along the line we've been conned into believing in absolutes. The woman's knowledge has been forgotten.

Look. God is an abstraction. Now. In this age. Time is an abstraction. Space, molecules, electrons, percepts, concepts. Emotion is an abstraction. We use a language by which we know our mind is shared, and we try to describe things that aren't universally shared. We use metaphor. We use terms that we are familiar with to refer to something unfamiliar.

"This boat is as cold as a witch's teat", to give a paradoxical example. I have no idea how cold a witch's teat might be. I use it to mean damn cold. People laugh (the first time they hear such a thing) because it's jarring and also because it reverses the metaphorical process.

Wouldn't it be a pretty rotten joke if we were so mixed up that we thought a "witch's teat" was something we were familiar with and cold was a surprise. Because that's the way metaphor usually works. Yet we often describe truth as though it were an abstraction. We use the physical world as a metaphor for reality, when we know there's more to it than that. And ultimately, we believe what we hear in words --from authority -- even though we, all of us, remember something more true.

I knew when I learned about Special and General Relativity that there was some hanky-panky going on. Time was mathematically equivalent to the other dimensions, but not conceptually. We didn't really want time to be equivalent, because we believed so strongly in progress --that we are going somewhere. There has to be direction to time, we reasoned, because our whole entire utter existence would be meaningless without it. We might as well go backward as forward. We might as well return to the caves. We might as well blow up the world. Hell, it's all meaningless anyway. Play like you mean it, though. Play tough. Play hard. You got to believe, man. Get the spirit.

We got the spirit, but it's all a game. When the goal isn't real. When you've invented it. It just isn't the same. A game is exciting for a while. But it isn't life.

They tell me that time cannot be an equivalent dimension because, mathematically, you end up with imaginary numbers when you consider it to be so. But that depends on the way all the machinery of mathematics leading up to that result has been applied. Mathematics can be a very elaborate game indeed when it is not connected. In math, anything is possible. But let's not get lost in the maze. It may be tremendous fun -- it may be true artistry. But don't pander beauty for truth unless you really believe that is the only connection yourself. Don't try to convince.

No. Progress has to be real. It has to. It has to. We resort to the "human conditon" to explain the directionality of time. It has no direction, but we are bound as though it does.

Sure. Bound, as always, by ignorance and hatred.

I was bound. I couldn't bear it. As obvious as it was -- blaring over every radio speaker in the country -- "Ail we need is love". Sure, we all know that. But we don't really believe it. We have no faith. None at all. We can't believe it's all a game -- that we have to invent the goals. Yet some of us seem to believe that. And all of us act that way. Like it's all a game. It doesn't mean anything.

Look. Time is like the other dimensions. When length -- the dimension along the direction of motion -- shrinks, it's presumed that it goes back to normal when the motion slows to subrelativistic rates. But time, presumably, can't do that because when it slows -- I mean really slows, not just apparently -- then everything changes. But we can't assume that means a different universe. So we suppose it to be the same one aging more slowly.

But that's really rather preposterous. That's our point of view -- the proud originator. We don't know what the universe looks like from high enough speeds to change the measurement of dimensions. We don't know what energy on the way to becoming matter looks like or vice-versa, because we can only experience the end points and the explosion in between. Time slows from our point of view for something in motion. We see a part of the "object" which remains in our universe. But the rest is in a universe beyond -~ other --and we don't perceive or conceive that universe -- Yet.

We don't know how to enter other universes and return. We can't even maintain our own. We're going to either perish of neglect, because we don't care -- or we're going to blow ourselves to the other side, by making the fast trip from matter to energy. Funny thing is, only a few pounds get to make the journey -- the rest of us just blow-up.

The only way to unite with what is other is to feel. To find the entrance spontaneously because it feels right. The only entrance to other universes is to let go. It may take some time. But we may be immortal right now.

It's easy to go to the moon and back. Perceptually --conceptually -- all the molecules remain in touch. Hell, the moon's bound by our gravity, and the tides of the world's life-blood are tied to the moon's. There's no time shift. We didn't go nearly fast enough, and we only lost touch for a while on the dark side. Propogandists will tell you the spaceboys came back younger. Don't believe them. We were all changed.

Motion takes time. That's the definition. Changing takes time. Growth, learning, loving, leaving -- they all take time. You just can't have it all now. There's no instant gratification. You have to earn the moment. And you can't escape time any more than you can escape your skin. Bound by a conspiracy of love and utter devotion, your fate is the earth's.

Oh, sure, we could send one astronaut off at a pretty high speed. We could even arrange that he accelerate forever without our help. I don't know how he'd ever find hiway back. We haven't mapped the universe at that speed. He might map it as he goes -- to make sure he could get back. But in order to go very fast at all he's going to have to accelerate for a very long time -- unless he breaks all the physical laws we know -- and for all that time the universe will be changing.

Changing change. Acceleration. Gravity. Maybe he could bring along some super-micro-miniature computer to find his way back through the new world. There'd have to be test missions at ever increased speed and distance. It all takes time. We don't know if we've got a decade left. Even if the physicists are right. Even if he'd come back younger, he'd have to be damn sure that an older world would care. A much older world, because it takes so damn long. He'd have to be sure that the world would still be there -- in either sense. He might not be able to find it.

The universe doesn't care much if you turn it around between mass and energy. It's all a matter of point of view. Bonds are made and broken all the time. Hell, as far as it's concerned you can burn up the whole goddamned earth to shoot a little seed into the blackness of space. "'Cause that's what you'd have to do. It's not "ready for take off". It's ready for jack-off. We haven't seen the face of the universe and we're just shooting into outer space. And nobody's seen God's face for eons. How do we know God's a woman?! Better save our act.

No, the universe doesn't care. We can play fool and try to replace the dirty smelly dangerous randomness of nature with what we've synthesized. We can pull the metal levers on plastic lighted boards with our rubber-gloved hands. We can do it all. The universe will have a good laugh. What a joke! Smelly little man whose own body is beyond his control wants to take over itsy-bitsy planet earth whose control is so simple.

Let's see now. Where's the key. Who knows what's under the hood? But if I could just find the key to turn the damn thing on. Why won't it start. Must be doing something wrong. Have to call in a mechanic. I don't know what's under the damn hood. What makes it all go. God damn it.

Fuck you Earth. A kick in the tires and walk away.

Yeah, right.

Where to, bud?

Like man, spacey. Way Out!

Oh wow.

Hey man, stay cool.

Yeah, man, quit you shakin'.You ain't goin' nowhere.





"This is God. You can't write this. This is classified."

Fuck you, God. (it's only words)

"That isn't nice."

We're not gonna blow it, man. This ain't your show no more. Leave us alone. We ain't coming crying to you. You got other places, man. Other souls need saving. Dig?

Let's come off the stage and live. Let's greet each other again. Take off the masks. Remember who you are. Only you can know. I begin to remember who I am. Don't leave me so alone. Let's not forsake one another. We have never been so alone. We have killed our father as the ancient prophecy said we must. We have slept with our mother. And we must not blind ourselves. We must not. We must open our eyes and see that we have no choice. There is no choice. I am so alone. Help me.

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