Gerald and Don continue
Aug 19, 1993 12:55 PM
by Donald DeGracia
This is a continuation of my reply to Gerald's latest letter.
<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)>
Interestingly, Gerald, in Beyond the Physical, I evoke the idea of
virtual particles and fields as a modern metaphor to understand what
the "thought-forms" described by Besant and Leadbeater are. However, I
don't want to go off on this here. Instead let me say a little about
my understanding of these concepts and how they fit in to your
About virtual particles, ect. <Scientists have completely ignored the
effects of consciousness on these particle-formation processes. >
Again, my sense here is that its like what I said with Hilbert Space.
Scientists have come up with the idea of virtual particles for reasons
very specific to what physicists concern them selves with. As a matter
of fact the idea of virtual anything stems from the Heisenburg
Uncertainty principle. See, the change in energy is a noncommuting
operator with the change in time. That is, time and energy are
complimentary, which means that, when you manipulate these operators
using matrix algebra, they do not commute relative to one another..
Thus, the more you know of one, the less you can determine the other.
The idea of a virtual particle is that its existence in time is smaller
than the uncertainty alllowed by the Uncertainty principle. Thus, it
is unobservable, thus "virtual". There are a number of technical
contexts where this is a useful explanatory concept. Now, to say
"Scientists have completely ignored the effects of consciousness on
these particle-formation processes. " kind of misses the point. The
idea was *created* by scientists because it serves as a useful
explanatory framework for some physics experiments. To what extent you
can carry the idea out of this context I am uncertain. Are virtual
particles "real"? To a physicsts this is a contradiction. And
furthermore, I think they could care less. Its just like asking "is
Hilbert Space real?" in some metaphysical context. To a physicst it
just doesn't matter.
However, again, the lay public gets a hold of these ideas and
reinterpretes the concepts outside of the context that scientists use
the concept. So, popular accounts of quantum mechanics with a
metaphysical bent will say things like; "virtual particles are a means
by which God can interact with his creation", or what have you.
Really, the statement is meaningless to a physicst, unless the
physicists gets into the field of speculative philosophy, like David
Bohm for example.
So, I don't know what it means to talk about "consciousness's effect on
virtual particles". Scientists don't ignore this. Its simply
irrelevant to how they use the concept "virtual particle". Beides,
scientists ignore consciousness anyway. The scientists who *do* get
into the popular press want to convince us that all of creation is a
random process of evolution and that there is no God anyway. They are
fools, and to adhere to their pronouncements as if they are gospel is a
case of the blind leading the blind.
See, that's why the typical scientist, as Jay pointed out, is more
conservative. The good scientists knows that their ideas apply only to
a very limited context, either experimental or theoretical, and they
don't try to mix their science with speculative philosophy. Its just
so much talk. The yogis have had the right idea since the begining: Go
see God for yourself, then you don't need to worry about words or
New topic:re Leadbeater's The Chakras <The only idea that I have a hard
time with is his image of the snake- like protrusion from the brow
See, I've had numerous expereinces using this organ, so its much more
than a mere idea to me. I have entered the dream world, or whatever
plane I enter, through this organ. I've never seen anyone's etheric
chakras to see whether this organ is there or not, but I've had a
number of perceptions of images when in trance that appear to be at the
end of a tunnel or tube, and I have used Leadbeater's idea as a
explanation for my expereinces. In my mind, knowing all I know about
psychic abilities, Leadbeater's idea fits Ocam's razor best. I think a
couple times I've actually seen chakras. Once, in an astral
projection, I saw my image in a mirror and I had neon glowing circles
at my forehead and heart, though I saw nothing like a petal structure.
Another time I was stiing on a floor wearing what I thought was a very
elaborate robe with beautiful flower decorations running its length and
decorated with gold branching inlays. But then it dawned on me that
this could be the anatomy of one of my subtle bodies. So, again, I
generally tote occult ideas that help explain things I've expereinced
either in altered states of consciousness or in my normal waking
Also, the point of bringing up The Chakras was because Leadbeater
describes how an enegy he calls "vitality" enters the chakras on a
U.P.A. These U.P.A.s are probably a subatomic particle that physicsts
have not described yet, thus the idea seems much along your lines of
<Now, as to the word dimension, I meant it in the sense of a direction
within a continuum>
This is indeed the interpretation given to a dimension in the dynamical
equations of space and time, at least its very clear in the case of
Newton's equations. Its not as clear in Einstein's equations. In
relativity, one speaks of light cones. I like the reference to
Hawkings. You know I love the guy!<g> I don't want to get into the
relationship between dynamics and theromdynamics (i.e. the arrow of
time) so I wont bite at this one!
<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)>
A theory is nice and all, but if it leads to no practicle results than
it is just talk. Just *how* can we moce backwards in time? If you can
solve this you'll be more famous than Einstein!
Besides, the speed of thought is the speed of propagation of a nerve
action potential which is about 5 miliseconds. The speed of light is
3.0e8 meters/second, considerably faster than the speed of thought by
about 10 orders of magnitude!
< Your idea of *proof* by experimentation sounds good, but won't we
each have different experiences and who will know who is correct?>
The idea behind my concept was conveyed nicely in a metaphor by
Starhawk. She spoke of the mind as a house, and this house is
surrounded by a garden that we have cultivated, and beyond this garden
is a wilderness. The house is our conscious mind. The garden is our
subconsciousm mind, or, in occult terms, our aura. The wilderness is
I believe that it will take a strong concerted effort to show the
objective reality of the planes, but I am confident it can happen. My
prescription for obtaining hypnogogic images works, and at this point,
I believe its important to get methods that work out and make them
avalible to anyone who wants to use them. Once we get workable
methods, then we can worry about what it is the methods produce. See,
this is an "engineering mentality": don't care how it works, just that
it does. For example, like I said above, I've had numerous expereinces
that correspond almost to the letter about things Leadbeater has
written. this is why i take Leadbeater so seriously. there is no
question in my mind that there is a "consensus reality" to the planes
just as there is here on the physical plane.
<whatsoever we experience will always tend to confirm our belief system
and strengthen our worldview.>
This is an effect of keeping a sloppy mind. Its good to always work
against this effect. The best method is the experimental method. This
is why science works, because it tests its ideas. This is why its so
important, Gerald, to always try to frame your ideas in such a way that
they can be tested. If you can't test an idea, its not much good. At
least that's my opinion.
< 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, >
You don't need to call it an SEE. That is, of course, one valid way to
look at it. Why can't you just call it, "the result of an experiment"?
<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.>
Really, Gerald, take the plunge. They *are* all relative.
<but rather that they are right for me at this point in my life. >
This is extremely important to recognize. When you see this, really
see and understand this, then there are no delusions.
< and any objective or *ultimate* existence is questionable.>
What to me is questionable is *ideas* claiming some absolute or
ultimate character. Our existence is quite absolute in its
relativeness. Existence is one thing, ideas about existence are
Thanks for sparring me the authority quotes. I respect that move very
much. I only quote if someone can say what I want to say better than I
could. I never quote simply on the basis of authority.
Yea, I got my training as a scientist at an engineering college. I
know all their little attitudes towards each other. Now I'm involved
in the medical field and the same type of relationship exists between
medical doctors (M.D.s) and scientists (Ph.D.s). Its a petty mentality
and I ignore it.
About Chaos theory:
Ok, Gerald, you hit the nail on the head about chaos and
unpredictability: < maybe because the initial conditions, on which the
equations depend, are themselves unpredictable?>
This is it, this is the key. That's exactly right. Uncertainty is in
the initial conditions.
See, Gerald, you have to put all this in its proper historical
perspective. Have you ever heard of LaPlace? LaPlace was a scientists
from the nineteenth century. He believed that, with the laws of
physics, man was omnipotent. LaPlace believed in a type of
determinism. Thus, it became quite fashionable to have this attitude.
See, there is an important principle in human history we need to
recognize at this point. A movement is always followed by a movement
in the opposite direction. A group comes along and says "yes", and
they are later superceded by a group that says "no". There is always
at any time in history some dominant, official ruling mentaility. And
this official mentaility, simply by existing, creates its own opposite.
This opposite is a called a "counter cultural movement".
That's whats really going on here in science today. For the past few
centuries there has been a trend towards absolutism in the
pronouncements of science. At the turn of the century people started
to rebel against this and move towards a trend of uncertainty and
relativism. Einstien was the last great voice of absolutism. Bohr was
the champion of relativism. Chaos theory is just a continuation of the
trend that Bohr represents. Actually, this type of pendular movement
in fashionable philosophies is nothing new in history, its just history
doing its thing. First to one side, then to the other.. Back and
forth like some gigantic lumbering pendulem.
Now, the question is; to what extent do you want to get caught up in
this? Again, to repeat a common theme in my thinking; screw the words.
The yogis have said it right all along: go do it for yourself. Do you
know what Leadbeater had to say about the sway of public opinion? I's
fickle, like the weather. Its a sandtrap for the initiate. Ignore it
and get on with your yoga studies and excersices. That's how I feel.
Controversey is for minds who do not know what they are talking about.
Its more important to learn to discriminate truth, and this comes from
learning to be truthful, not from studying controversey.
So, frankly, I don't care if Nature is deterministic or random. This
is all just tons and tons of hot air. There's better things to do.
Pictures to be drawn, songs to write, I have a wife to love,
experiments to perform, things to see in the planes.
I use ideas, i don't let them use me. Ideas are creatures that live in
our mind, just as E.Coli lives in our GI tract. Most often, the idea
creatures become parasites and they feed off our existence. And we
become vehicles for the idea creatures instead of using them to enhance
our own life.
As a matter of fact, back to this idea about our communication being
impersonal to me. This is the essence of it: I, as a living soul, feel
that some idea creatures merit space in my mind and others do not.
When we speak, it is these idea creatures batteling it out for the
right to stay in my mind. When you challenge my ideas, you are not
challenging me, you challenge these idea creatures. I take none of
this persoanlly because there is nothing personal going on. This is an
evolutionary "survival of the fittest" kind of thing going on between
the idea creatures that inhabit each of our minds. I have no love for
these creatures, no more love than I have for the E Coli in my gut.
But these idea creatures are a part of my anatomy, just as E Coli is,
and, as I keep my body healthy so that the E Coli don't take over my
body, likewise I keep my mind healthy so the idea creatures do not take
over my mind. Thus, again, nothing personal going on here.
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program:
<"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.>
See, this is what I mean about layman's interpretations of science.
Its an affect of the math that Einstein used that it has
singulairities. Einstien didn't build the singularities into the math.
That is to say, its a weakness of the math that the equations blow up
to infinity at certain points. But then, some metaphysical goon comes
along and says that the singularity is a tear in the fabric of
spacetime. No its not. Its a place in the equation where the answer
goes to infinity. Its etches marked on paper, not a tear in space
time. And its poor math modeling is what it is. "One man's garbage is
another man's gold" I guess.
There is a tremendous thrust in modern theoretical physics to eliminate
these singularities from the models of space time and energy. I've
followed this to a certain extent, but I think its all foolish this
thrust for a Grand Unified Field theory. Not only is it preposterously
presumptuous, but, soley on a scientific level, these guy completely
ignore entropy, and, in my mind, entropy is one of the most important
generalizations of modern science. If you can't account for entropy,
you ain't got a "unified" field. So, again,the above quote is
metaphysical hoopla that is 20 steps removed from the actual concerns
I know about using statistics. In my field you can only use statistics
to analyze your results. There are no theoretical math models of cells
or organs. Statistics is the ultimate fudge factor. I give no
fundamental credence to statistics at all. They are simply a bandage
on our ignorance.
Here, see if you can follow this metaphor. Imagine standing on the 5th
floor of a building and looking out to the street below. Below is an
active city street. You see people coming and going from the various
buildings, see the traffic go by, ect. From your window, it all looks
quite random, but you sit there day in and day out observing the street
below. You notice certain regularities: for example, that at 9Am and
5PM the streets fill up more, at noon a greater percent of people go
into the deli accross the street, and at midnight you see there is very
few people on the street. Now you could sit and model this street very
accurately with statistics. So, at noon there is an 80% change that
anyone passing the deli will go in. At 9 AM there is a high chance
that people will enter buildings, at 5 PM there is a high chance that
they will leave buildings, ect. So, now you have come up with a
statisitcal model of the street below.
Now, when you tout statistics and chance like you are, Gerald, what you
are saying is that there is no reason behind these occurance you've
modeled. It just happens that way because God created a random
universe and the best we can do is understand these probabilites of
things occuring. However, this model of the what goes on in the street
below you gives some idea of what a "hidden variable theory' is. For
all of those people are not mere random events only capable of being
observed in bulk, or as a population. Each is an indivdual with very
specific reasons for doing what he or shet is doing. That is, there is
a definite cause and effect in operation for every single event
occuring in that street below you. All of which is completely ignored
by looking at the events on the street with statistics.
See, any model based on statistics cannot say anything about cause and
effect. I refuse to call a model based on statistics a theory. It is
in fact only a rough outline of the charcteristics of the system, what
a rough sketch is to the final painting.
Again, are you going to try to convince me that what we observed in
that city street was random and that there was no causes behind the
behavior we observed? And furthermore, this metaphor even highlights
the initial value problem in that, we observers, situated 5 stories up
simply do not, from that perspective, have enough information to derive
accurate initial conditions. However, if we could go and ask each
person why they did whay they did, we would find perfect explanations
for every event we observed.
Question: Gerald, do you ever use statistics for anything? I know that
in engineering you often use statistics in quality control, and perhaps
to a small degree in process design. BTW, what kind of engineering do
Again, statistics is a purely pragmatical approach to understanding
things. Very much an "engineering" approach <g>. Statistics simply
cannot answer the "hows" or "whys", it only gives broad trends and
As a matter of fact, that so many scientists accept statistics shows
how science has degenerated from its original vision. Scientists have
become lazy. To suggest that statistics is fundamental, as Bohr has
done, is just an admision of intellectual laziness, of the lack of
desire to find the causes behind the statistic patterns we observe in
events. In the case of quantum mechanics you get into a thing called
the "measurement problem" which has to do with the problems of
measuring very small things with big machines, but I don't feel even
this is fundamental. Even you said, <The Uncertainty Principle acts on
the microcosmic level as a Ring-Pass-Not for our human mind.> I don't
believe this Gerald. Its only one point of view. And we've already
established that points of view are relative. We are not absolutely
locked into these machines to understand the subatomic world.
Leadbeater prooved this in Occult Chemistry. So, again, I think that
the schools of thought who advocate statistics as fundamental are just
intellectually lazy people. And even then, these people just reflect
the degenerate character of modern culture.
< 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>
Sorry, its EVERYWHERE and NOWHERE at the same time.
<In other words, in order to reach perfection, which is eternal and
infinite, we must leave this spacetime continuum.>
No, you don't get it. Our entire world is but one infintesmal
expression of the perfection of the infinite.
Lets see, I guess this is it for this letter. All the rest was the
prediction stuff, which I have already addressed in another letter.
So, that's it, another exciteing installment. Let me know your
reactions to all this Gerald. And once again, this is fun. I'm having
fun. Are you having fun?
BTW, I'm going to Toronto for my Honeymoon and won't be back till next
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