Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Symmetry and Archetypes: Its a Small Universe !

Carl Sagan said that "there's something terribly beautiful, austere, glorious, majestic about the fact that the same laws apply everywhere". This is called Symmetry - a property of our universe where the laws of nature are the same in all parts of the cosmos (except inside the singularity, perhaps).
This post mainly shows the connection between the laws of nature and universal concepts. The Laws of Nature include the laws of physics, atomic laws, chemical laws, and so on. And the universal concepts are the archetypes.
Cosmic Laws and Universal Concepts are linked via Emergence. Let us follow the chain of emergence: The laws that govern the most basic elementary 'particles' give way to the behavior of atoms which follow atomic laws, producing molecules that follow chemical laws, which made possible the emergence of biological life, animals and ecosystems, which supported the evolution of conscious beings - able to perceive and ponder itself via concepts and paradigms. These concepts and archetypes are very similar to Plato's Forms, and they will be perceived by any intelligent and sentient being in another part of the universe, by way of symmetry.
There will be a difference in language, of course, but nevertheless, these Archetypes or Platonic "Forms" will be understood, in one way or another. Like Mathematics, there will be a common ground between us and sentient beings that live thousands of light-years away in another galaxy. If its just distance that separates us from extra-terrestrials, but they are only a "thought" away, then it means that Symmetry makes the universe seem smaller. Its a small world universe after all. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

2-Minute String Theory Introduction loaded with Archetypes

I've often mentioned String Theory as one theory that hinges upon a simple string to understand the inner fabric of the universe. Amazing what the power of archetypes can do! Check out this 2-minute introduction of what String Theory is and notice the process of archetyping involved to make an otherwise abstract idea into a simple concept, easy to understand and even seeds more ideas.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Song, Self, Soul and Spirit

I remember a transposer software that automatically generates the chords in a different key for a song. Transposing is useful as it helps us sing a song at a more comfortable pitch if the song is either too high or too low for the range of our voice.
Why is it that even if one raises or lowers the key, one can still recognize the song? Regardless of which octave it is on, the distinct character of the song is retained. This property brings one thing to my mind - each one of us is a song.
We all have our unique character, personality and identity. Its what we call the self in philosophical terms or the soul in spiritual jargon. Is it possible to preserve or extend the "self" even when the material substrate from whence the mental life arises is destroyed? It cannot be denied that the brain supports much of our consciousness. Marked changes to the brain from injuries, drugs, strokes, senelity, surgery or illnesses such as Alzheimer's literally changes the mind. How can one's sentient life and consciousness can be regenerated, extended or even resurrected if it depends on a fragile piece of crumpled meat? Let us explore a premise : There is some sort of a "metadata" repository of an individual's moment by moment slice of consciousness through time. Our very existence leaves behind trails of information regarding our "self". A history. Consider this scenario : If all of my very self, my soul, and everything that makes me who I am - past, present and future - were laid out flat and static as one long page of musical piece frozen in time (think of Julian Barbour's Time). Now if a Superbeing that transcends all dimensions were to change bits of the past chords of my life and rearrange notes here and there, then my soul's "DNA" loses the unique essence of who I am - it would be the utter destruction to my soul. Every single bit of past experiences has molded the "me" in it's entirety. The choices I made in the past shaped my identity. Had I chosen different decisions, I might have been a different "me" - another song with a different tune.
Throughout life, an individual's soul is being written out on this current octave- the physical world. Each day is like a musical bar, and every minute we are leaving 'notes' as the universe records the 'musical piece' of our soul. Whether we like it or not, our very existence leaves behind trails of information regarding our "self" as time goes by. Could it be really true that each one of us will eventually give an account of one's life? For if there's a record, then it can definitely be played back by the superintellect who owns such a "database" (Heb. 4:13, Ecc 12:14).
Time goes by, i.e, it "moves forward" because there might be another octave that everything is destined to move into - a higher key, a higher dimension (such concepts of higher dimensions already have a mathematical description used in the field of String Theory that they call the Calabi-Yau Space). In that higher plane, it may be possible to completely regain our personality, memories, consciousness, and mental life. Somewhat like 'porting' or transposing the 'self' into a higher platform. Could resurrection really be possible? Only if Someone 'ports' our soul, a Cosmic Musician who must transpose everything for us to ever get a shot at a future life.
Is there something beyond for us? Or is there nothing at all? Something or Nothing, Eternal or Ephemeral. Its our choice what to believe now, but whichever is our choice, that is our faith.
But if one is still challenged by the question of life beyond death or the even existence of a personal self to begin with, then perhaps the Song metaphor will give an insight. Each individual is a song.
It is amazing how a glimpse of some understanding about the human soul can be gleaned from the field of music. As Ludwig von Beethoven said, "Music is a higher revelation than philosophy." Indeed, music has been providing insights throughout the ages over mysteries of nature. We hear phrases such as "harmonies of nature", "music of the spheres", and "Cosmic Symphony". Its no wonder why String Theory, which probes the very fabric of the universe is hinging upon the metaphors provided by music. Our universe simply screams of such archetype patterns for us not to notice.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Transcending Causality: You Have A Choice

Negativity is contagious. Having a difficult person to deal with at work or at school can bring you down. The oozing negativities from mean people can sometimes spill into others, transferring the negative energy and perpetuating an ugly workplace or a stressful environment. It may seem natural that a person saturated in a nasty environment may become rude too, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Humans can break free from cause and effect. You can set yourself free from being influenced by irate people. Say to yourself, "I am because I am, and not because of you", its a mantra I am willing to share in order to stop the spread of the "mean-ness disease". If you know yourself to be a naturally lively person and you're starting to become unfriendly too because of constant contact with rude people, then tell yourself that you have a choice on how to be. To be is exactly how you are apart from the ugly influence of nasty people. You can still be nice. Its not easy though, and a lot of hard work and patience is required to break free from the patterns of this world. Life is what we make it, and not what others do.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What Makes Life Beautiful?

In this world, beauty can often be found on a system whose state is somewhere between being ordered and random. The sunrise is a magnificent scene because it is on the threshold between night and day. The sunset is a splendor because it is midway between day and night. The amazing variety of species is partly due to minute errors in the genetic transfer of traits in the offsprings, thereby allowing a tantalizing animal and plant diversity. Music itself lies between a monotone and white noise, and the best of it is at its peak of complexity. Poems look like a jumble of words and yet it still makes a pretty sense. The best things hangs in the balance between order and chaos. Indeed, Complexity Theory specifies that any system functions at its best when in the borderline between order and disorder. Its almost saying that a little bit of chaos is a good thing. A little bit of 'defect' makes things pretty.
Is this the reason why some artists allow or induce some 'disorder' or drama in their life to make it more colorful? Is this why a husband and wife sometimes get into a bit of argument to learn more about their marriage and each other? Is this why we sometimes need a li'l bit of pain to 'feel' life? Could this be the reason why we do crazy stuff in order to escape boredom? Is this the reason why we laugh? Is this why we humans engage in extremely dangerous 'sports' activities so we can 'live on the edge'?
At the heart of the matter, we know that we are alive, but we know too that we are here only for a moment, and then gone...not knowing what will happen next. This makes life beautiful. Because "Living" is a tip-toe in the fine line between life, and death. Knowing the fragility of life, as well as its transcendence is what makes the glimpse of life worth an eternity.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Computation: A Tool to Decipher Nature's Patterns

If you've ever wondered about the shape of seashells and how the patterns on their outer shell came to be, then its worth to revisit "A New Kind of Science" (NKS) from Stephen Wolfram. Using the sheer power of computation to model the inner details behind nature's shape-making processes, Wolfram has provided a breakthrough insight to learn how shapes and patterns arise in nature. NKS, together with its software Mathematica gives a toyful learning environment to play with the inner workings of nature. With Cellular Automata, we discover that nature follows some pretty simple basic rules to come up with interesting patterns, such as those of the seashell.Computational Tools of Deciphering Patterns
Complex as our world may seem, it runs on basic discreet laws that can be deciphered. This idea is in unison with the focus of Archetyper.com - to recognize patterns, basic laws and simple rules within different emergent levels of the natural world. This task ignites the sense of wonder and awe that comes with living in a universe as mysterious as ours, and provides a continuous stream of insight to understand our world better.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Sleep of Death and the Life of a New Day

The Sleep of Death and the Life of a New DayGood Morning, in my previous post, I have introduced the question of the afterlife that all sentient beings ask of whether one's "self" or consciousness will be able to extend indefinitely after death. And I have outlined the conundrum of not being able to know what the real answer is. I note that knowing and believing is different from each other. Many believe in the afterlife, but no person truly knows the answer to the question.
As an Archetyper - one who looks into fundamental patterns and principles to understand confounding issues,
I will attempt to provide only some insights (not answers) regarding the afterlife.
The key, to begin our investigation, is sleep. Sleep is our mini-death experience. Although the brain continues to churn in deep sleep, many hours are lost from our stream of consciousness. Often on a good dreamless sleep, the last thing we remember was the night's lullaby as we wake up to the new day. Being able to sleep and then waking, is an experience worth celebrating, especially if and every time we wake up. For it is a mini-taste of rebirth or resurrection, a new day of life. Indeed throughout the ages, man have noticed that sleep is the closest thing to death in terms of subjective experience and its symbolism or abstraction. No wonder Shakespeare have written "To Die: To Sleep" and the famous rub, "For in that sleep of death.." The Bible also considers sleep as an analog of death. In Daniel 12:2 "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.."
I wish I could say, "Congratulations! You are immortal!" based on these, but I am not here to declare, but rather to share the patterns I see, and stir the intellect.
With sleep as the starting point, the trail leading to an archetype concept is easy to follow. We sleep because we are biurnal creatures that evolved the circadian rhythm due to the light and dark experience. And this is because of the night and day cycle caused by the earth's spin around the sun. And our sun, the earth, and us are borne of star-stuff, made from remnants of a previous star that died as a supernova.
Note the patterns on different levels that are also chained together: Light and Dark. Night and Day. Sleep and Awakening. Life and Death. Death and Rebirth.
The patterns reveal that it is possible for Consciousness to be re-created, rebooted or re-instantiated. A person may live again, but whether the Personality can be kept fully intact on the next instance of Conscious life is a deeper mystery.
The important thing is that we are here and now, ready to face a new day. Congratulations, you are alive. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Different Spin on The Afterlife

Is there life after death? The Archetyper muses on the AfterlifeAhh. We come to the ultimate question that a sentient being ever asks in this darn world. Is there life after death? Am "I" going to live on after my heart stops beating and my brain dries up like a prune? Questions of the afterlife conjures up answers that we have been taught, taught ourselves, or 'been exposed to. People that subscribe to a major religion such as Christianity or Islam will definitely say yes without hesitation and then describe heaven or hell. Staunch atheists will smile and be content (or proud) of a temporary life which ceases completely upon death. Agnostics will simply shrug that we don't know - none of these answers can be proven. And even if, in our modern times a person who has been clinically brain-dead beyond all doubt - rises from the dead after three days in the morgue, it's still not a good basis to prove the after-life. Why? Because for a person to prove it for himself, he must experience it first-hand - to die and then live again. The 'self' that asks the question must go through it personally in order to truly answer it beyond all doubt. In other words, it must first happen to you before you can truly know whether the afterlife is real or not. I guess we will never truly find out until it happens to us, right?
But now here's the rub: What do the patterns tell us? Are we provided any glimpses at all?
The answer might surprise you. And it has been staring us in the face - everytime we wake up.

{ See next post for conclusion }