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Response to Don on Chaos

Aug 17, 1993 07:32 PM
by Gerald Schueler


I want to thank you for your lengthy and thoughtful ideas.
I suspect that we are in agreement with most of this, but
semantics are getting in the way, except for one problem which I
will get into.  I write this in the spirit of loving and friendly
discussion, and nothing more (I don't know anyone here enough to
be personal, and wouldn't do that anyway).  I hope to tread on no
ones toes.

My reason for using subatomic particles was not out of any
*need* to evoke them, as you say.  But rather that they
(especially virtual fields and virtual particles) help us to
understand the boundary line between matter and energy (which is
an expression of spirit - matter's polar opposite).  Yoga has
taught for centuries that the mind influences the body.  Quantum
physics helps me to understand how this can come about.  Thats
all.  Indeed, I agree wholly that <the levels of cause and effect
are biochemical (cellular) and physiological> as well as

Matter and spirit/energy unite at the realm called a virtual
field, where matter in the form of subatomic particles rise up
into existence at a random location and then dissolve again into
"quantum foam" or whatever.  Scientists have completely ignored
the effects of consciousness on these particle-formation
processes.  But they do relate matter and energy - the uniting
factor being a combination of space and time (ie the speed of

I have enjoyed Leadbeater's CHAKRAS for many years.  The
only idea that I have a hard time with is his image of the snake-
like protrusion from the brow chakra (I believe you said he
called it the 'anima' somewhere - not to be confused with Carl
Jung's inner femininity).  He is the *only* psychic ever to
mention or describe such a thing, and his confusion of it with
the Egyptian Uraeus Serpent (a symbol of wisdom shown on the
headdress and statues of several Kings) doesn't help me at all.
Until someone else confirms this, I remain a skeptic.  But not of
the psychic power itself, call it anima or whatever you want;
this ability is true enough (but why single out one psychic
ability with an etheric "organ" and none other?).

Now, as to the word dimension, I meant it in the sense of a
direction within a continuum.  We can move (our monadic essence
has inherent Motion) through space in three dimensions, and we
can move through time in one dimension/direction (Hawking, your
favorite scientist, calls this the Arrow of Time) making
Einstein's famous four dimensions.  My theory is that we can also
move backward in time (by going faster than the speed of light
with the speed of thought which is faster, and thus time has two
dimensions or directions) and also move through the Cosmic Planes
of Manifestation via consciousness as a fifth dimension.  The
planes of nonphysical matter can be considered as measured digits
along the axis of consciousness, in a manner of speaking.  So I
talk about a space-time-conscicousness continuum.

Your idea of *proof* by experimentation sounds good, but
won't we each have different experiences and who will know who is
correct?  But I agree with you that personal experience is really
all we have (other than blind faith, of course).  I know from my
own life so far that our experiences can change dramatically.  I
have been an Episcople, a Christian Scientist, a Unitarian, a
Buddhist, and a Theosophist, as well as a believer, a non-
believer, and an agnostic at various times.  My worldview has
changed greatly over the course of my life, and may change some
more.  I have discovered that there is a law at work here -
whatsoever we experience will always tend to confirm our belief
system and strengthen our worldview.  Always - until we reach a
point where an experience simply cannot be defined by our belief
system or be described within our worldview.  When this happens -
called a significant emotional event, or SEE for short - we enter
a dark night of the soul, so to speak, and our belief system will
change accordingly and our worldview will expand accordingly in
such as way as to assimilate the new experience (or we will die
as a way of coping out of the whole business).  This kind of
process continues throughout life, making me wonder if there is
any worldview or belief system that is *right* or *wrong* but
making me rather suspect that all are relative.  For this reason
I do not claim that my own theories are *right*, but rather that
they are right for me at this point in my life.  This, I believe,
is what relativity is all about.  Life exists relative to each
living person (ie to an observer), and any objective or
*ultimate* existence is questionable.

Which brings me to chaos and the whole business of our
worldviews.  I sense that you, like most folks, believe in a
harmonious paradise-like existence somewhere.  Obviously it is
not on this Earth.  Christians like to think it is in the
heavens.  Buddhists believe in Buddhalands where everyone follows
the dharma all day long.  I do not want to break, or even to try
to break, anyone's worldview (a SEE is no fun to experience).  So
I am uncertain as to how to precede.  I was going to add a lot of
quotes from various books and authorities - but I don't like it
when someone does that to me, preferring to hear their own
opinions.  So I won't.  I am not a scientist, but rather an
engineer.  The term 'fudge factor' comes from my old college days
at the University of Maryland, where engineers (who considered
themselves to be practical people) snickered at scientists (who
engineers considered to be perfectionists and egg-head
theoreticians).  The engineering professors used the term 'fudge
factor' as a snide contemptuous slap at scientists whose
mathematical attempts toward perfection always ended in a special
term, usually on the right side of an equation, that was
'experiential' in nature and often required tables to find the
right amounts.  The scientists couldn't give the engineers a good
reason for the extra term, except that it was needed in order for
the answer to come out right.  So we called it a fudge factor.
Nowadays this term could probably be considered a chaos factor (I
have been out of engineering classes for many years, so don't
have a clue as to what it is called today).

Anyway, I have not read any mathematical books on chaos
science, but rather several contemporary books written for lay
folks like myself.  For example, CHAOS by Gleick, and TURBULENT
MIRROR by Briggs and Peat.  These books say that randomness and
unpredictability are at the very heart of chaos science, and that
they exist as realities in the world around us, and that science
(and us lay readers) must face them and understand them. For
example (I said I wouldn't introduce a quote, so forgive me this
once):  "The equations of Einstein's general theory of relativity
are essentially nonlinear, and one of the amazing things
predicted by the theory's nonlinearity is the black hole, a tear
in the fabric of spacetime where the orderly laws of physics
break down." (p 24 of TURBULENT MIRROR).  As to statistics, they
apply not only to quantum theory, but also to macrocosmic
theories of solar systems and galaxies, and also to all living
things including us humans beings (all living beings are said to
be complex dynamic open systems and thus subject to chaos or
unpredictability.  You write <Randomness implies unpredictability
and this is just not what is going on in chaos theory> which is
against all of the books that I have read to date.  Or are these
authors taking chaos theory further than they should be?  These
writers use the weather as an example of chaos and
unpredictability - maybe because the initial conditions, on which
the equations depend, are themselves unpredictable?

When we use statistics on living beings, we must always
realize that they pertain only to populations, not individuals (I
believe that this is also true of subatomic particles in quantum
physics).  Thus we can say that one in nine women will get breast
cancer this year, but we cannot say with certainty that Mary
Jones will get breast cancer.  Why not?  Because dynamic complex
open systems are not predictable.  Period.  The Uncertainty
Principle acts on the microcosmic level as a Ring-Pass-Not for
our human mind.  As we go farther and farther into the cellular
and molecular and atomic and subatomic aspects of things,
predictability lessens and uncertainty grows.  But, interestingly
enough, predictability is possible through statistics if we are
willing to only look at whole populations.  Thus we cannot say
where a particle is located at any point in time, but we can
predict where most particles will be located.  All I have tried
to do is to use this same principle on our level of everyday life
using the idea of karma - which is both individual and
collective.  Collective karma is predictable.  Individual karma
is not.  If a plane crashes, was it because each and every
passenger did something bad in a past life that warranted his or
her death in just such a fashion?  Is karma an endless wheel or
unforgiving law that would render life a machine always striving
for balance?  Exoterically perhaps, but not esoterically.  People
die in a plane crash (or war, or hurricane) because of collective
karma.  Statistics can tell us how many planes will crash next
year and how many people will die (ie population).  But it can't
tell us the exact plane, or give us an exact date (ie sample).
Why not?  Because complex open systems are unpredictable; they
are all subject to the chaos factor.

I am not at all sure that you understand or appreciate the
Law of Dualities.  But the Law of Cycles is indeed a valid law
(every cycle has a high and a low and thus a dual nature to it).
There is no question of an "unresolvable duality" because every
duality can be resolved as Buddha demonstrated with his Middle
Path.  That <duality is only seemingly real> makes me think that
you missed the point I was trying to make.  Duality is as real as
Maya.  Every manifestation below divinity (the highest plane,
call it what you will) is dualistic.  The "underlying unity" as
you have it is called nonduality by the Vedantists.  To get
there, you must, in fact, leave this universe (ours is not the
only universe).  In other words, in order to reach perfection,
which is eternal and infinite, we must leave this spacetime
continuum.  When we leave (and of course, it is consciousness
that Moves) we will no longer be subject to time and space.

I do not want to change your mind, nor anyone else's mind on
this (by the way, what do you others think?).  I am not trying to
convert or preach here, but rather just trying to get my point
in.  So I will close by making you a prediction.  I predict that
sooner or later, at some point in your life, something will
happen that you will simply not be able to assimilate into your
current worldview.  Perhaps you will have an accident, or a loved
one will suffer or die, or some other purely chaotic event will
jump into your personal life and disrupt it without your
permission.  Whatever this event will be (I will not predict the
exact event) you will not be able to see how your own karma could
have let it happen, nor a loving God (or Goddess), nor anything
else.  You will rail at the Powers That Be and cry out "Why Me!"
and receive no answer.  At that very instant in your life, I want
you to remember this discussion about chaos and ask yourself what
other explanation could there be (and the idea that we mere
mortals simply *don't know* or don't have enough data will no
longer be found to be satisfactory).

Actually, I don't mean to single you out, Don.  I make this
prediction for everyone who reads this.  It will happen, in this
life or the next, but likely in this one (it has already happened
to me and my wife, and will likely again).  Most folks are so
locked into what HPB calls the molds (or is it grooves?)of the
mind, that they will die rather than change their worldview.  I
hope that theosophists are easier molded.  Enough for now.


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