The Metaphysics of World Collapse

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V. Susan Ferguson

“…movement and change are actually prized for their own sake…outward action…fleeting…dispersion…a tendency toward instantaneity, have for its limit a state of pure disequilibrium, which…would coincide with the final dissolution of this world; and this too is one of the clearest signs that the final phase of the Kali Yuga is at hand.” – Rene Guenon, ‘The Crisis of the Modern World’

The French metaphysical scholar Rene Guenon (1886-1951) is considered to be one of the greatest of all in the western world. Guenon was no mere occultist. He was an authority on the Sanskrit teachings, Sufism, Taoism, and many others including western esoteric traditions. ‘The Reign of Quantity’ is his masterwork and was the turning point in my own understanding as he convinced me to accept the Cycles of Time as reality.

Guenon’s ‘The Crisis in the Modern World’ was written in 1942 (three years before my own birth) and describes our current times with prescient and increasing accuracy. In the chapter on ‘Knowledge and Action’ Guenon explains in his razor-like French precision that the modern world, its sciences and philosophies, its very foundations have become completely disconnected from any metaphysical truth. The reason for this is our ongoing Kali Yuga descent into matter and limited five-sense perception, which blocks our understanding of the Invisible Realms that are the support and substratum of this entire universe.

The people who have become prominent in all fields of modern life simply are no longer capable of understanding the real underlying metaphysical principles that are the substratum of the temporal illusory earth we stand upon. Thus the various and always changing theories that become the basis of our lives are profoundly flawed, unsound, and subject to collapse. Rene Guenon: “It is impossible in any way to separate knowledge from the process by which it is acquired.” The intelligence that is now held in high esteem is of the lowest order — regardless of how many corporate global policy institute think-tanks these modern era PhD priests are ensconced within.

True knowledge consists in ‘identification’…

Guenon: “…for all true knowledge essentially consists in identification with its object.” This is the traditional ancient way of immersing consciousness to reach wisdom knowledge and is precisely what the shamans still today practice. In the west and spreading around the globe, this process of intense identification is overlooked and “…they admit nothing higher than rational or discursive knowledge, which is necessarily indirect and imperfect, being…reflected knowledge.” One is reminded of Plato’s shadows in a cave being taken as real.

This ‘lower type of knowledge’ has become more and more valued ‘only insofar as it can be made to serve immediate practical ends.’ Our modern western culture has become absorbed and obsessed with action, scientific and mathematical theories that produce profitable results, and have denied everything that lies beyond the grasp of their own limited five-sense perception. These servants of the corporatist scions are blind to the fact that acts thus disconnected from metaphysical truth degenerate — “from the absence of any principle, into an agitation as vain as it is sterile.”

Sleepwalkers

We still know very little about the mysteries of our universe, beyond what produces short-term profit at the expense of Mother Earth. Reflect on the countless theories, scientific and others that have come and gone like ill winds. Arthur Koestler, the now forgotten genius whose works were highly honored not so long ago, wrote about this in his 1959 book, “Sleepwalkers” in which he chronicles the parade of scientific theories that have been discovered, lauded and discarded.

“The muddle of inspiration and delusion, of visionary insight and dogmatic blindness, of millennial obsessions and disciplined double-think…may serve as a cautionary tale against the hubris of science. … The dials on our laboratory panels are turning into another version of the shadows in the cave [Plato’s analogy]. Our hypnotic enslavement to the numerical aspects of reality has dulled our perception of non-quantitative moral values; the resultant end justifies the means ethic may be a major factor in our undoing.”

Surfing the Surface

Concurrent with our descent into matter has come the need for ‘ever-increasing speed’ and ‘ceaseless agitation, for unending change.’ We have become addicted to surface effects. Recent observations, one might say warnings, from Jaron Lanier and Nicholas Carr reveal that surfing the Internet is reconfiguring the human brain. The evidence is conclusive. We are lost in what Guenon back in 1942 called “dispersion in multiplicity, and in a multiplicity that is no longer unified by consciousness of any higher principle.” This external multiplicity is merely the temporal ‘appearance’ generated by the eternal Real, the One substratum beneath all appearances. And yet the best and seemingly the most intelligent are consumed in its quantitative analysis, a bottomless pit of frantic change for its own sake and profit.

Guenon:  “…in daily life, as in scientific ideas, it is analysis [of external multiplicity] driven to an extreme, endless subdivision, a veritable disintegration of human activity in all the orders.” Nothing is of value that cannot generate profit, while the wisdom that is born from silent contemplation is ridiculed. Thus we live in an intellectual environment suffused in “the inaptitude for synthesis and the incapacity for any sort of concentration.”

High Frequency Trading

What could be more symptomatic of this dispersion into multiplicity, addiction to speed and what Guenon terms an obsession with ‘instantaneity’ than the recent revelations regarding HFT, high frequency trading in the markets. Michael Lewis’ 2014 best seller ‘Flash Boys’ explains that the process of buying and selling have been transformed into a high speed mechanism in which those with the biggest fastest computers and most sophisticated algorithms will always be winning, the ‘front runners’ over any others. The markets have been rigged by the impenetrable wizardry of the science of algorithms. Sophisticated slight-of-hand advantage smacks of criminality and contributes to the collapse of fragile democracies around the planet, allowing the worst to rape the earth.

Guenon in 1942: “It is therefore to be expected that discoveries, or rather mechanical and industrial inventions, will go on developing and multiplying more and more rapidly…and who knows if, given the dangers of destruction they bear in themselves, they will not be one of the chief agents in the ultimate catastrophe.”

Sovereign Debt Collapse does happen…

As odd as my interest in finance may seem to many, I am convinced that the collapse of our current economic system is indeed ‘one of the chief agents’ in the catastrophic events that occur at the close of any Kali Yuga. Complexity theory expresses the notion that complex systems must inevitably collapse as they become more complex and unstable. We are approaching the edges of instability in the realm of fiat money, sovereign debt default, trillions of dollars in derivatives, and an increasing loss of confidence in the world’s reserve currency. Indeed as many far more knowledgeable and brighter that me have publicly stated, confidence is all that remains between our safe secure world and a complete breakdown of civilisation. Once this ‘confidence’ is gone no one really knows what will follow.

Are we being indoctrinated by the globalists to accept a new reserve currency? The Special Drawing Rights, the SDRs created by the IMF are waiting in the theoretical wings to rescue us from financial chaos and oblivion. But who created this instability? In his most recent book ‘The Death of Money’ James Rickards says that the Federal Reserve does not understand that the recent unlimited printing of trillions of dollars, known as QE quantitative easing, can be a perilously irreversible process. The reckless creation of fiat money (along with now $600 trillion in derivatives) may produce a total loss in confidence not only in the dollar, but also in the financial institutions themselves. Once this loss of confidence occurs, a new system must be created to replace the abandoned one.

This entirely new system, often called the New World Order, will be a planetary financial system which has been in the plan stage for centuries, but now actually appears to be gaining success mostly due to the advances in technology, meaning the global access which computer technology allows. Is this all ‘bad’ as the conspiracy researchers have warned us? Surely there is an argument for a more fair system that does not solely serve only one country.

Perhaps.

What worries me is the heinous effects we have already seen that result when corporations are allowed to plunder – (can there be another better description?) – resources in far away lands with impunity. The multinational corporations are poisoning the planet and her oceans. I need not enumerate the plethora of irrefutable evidence, anyone can see the curious disturbing neglect in Fukushima, the consequences of desperate fracking to local water supplies, the obscene greed of GMOs, the insidious ongoing dispersion of endocrine disrupting chemicals EDCs, the insane buying of world water rights, and more. Here clearly we see the results of a loss of individual financial sovereignty and remote control global governance.

While I do recommend that you read James Rickards in online interviews, YouTube, or his books, I have come to believe that his job is to indoctrinate the more financially keen into the IMF’s plan to implement their SDRs and complete control of global finance. In ‘The Death of Money’ Rickards says that when the dollar ceases to be the world reserve currency there are three probabilities: the SDR will replace the USD as world money, the possibility of a gold standard, and the threat of social disorder. I think this threat of social disorder has been carefully inculcated into our consciousness by many bizarre events, which normal peaceful law-abiding citizens have wondered at. Are we being warned? Accept the global system or face the frightening consequences. Anything will be better than lawless mad-max chaos and disorder. But will it?

A done deal?

Rickards says that the substitution of SDRs for dollars as the global currency is now in motion. A ten-year IMF transition plan has been ‘informally endorsed’ by the United States. What? So, we are told this is a done deal. No one has asked the public, there has been no democratic vote, no consensus from we the people. In a rather causal unexpected sentence, Rickards calmly says that money riots would be (his words) ‘squashed quickly’. I see. Resistance is futile indeed. This suppression of money riots is already legal because of a little known legislation passed in 1977, the IEEPA, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Many of the rather frightening rumours floating around the Internet begin to make sense in light of this impending transition. Follow the money, indeed!

Rickards tell us that the IMF is buying time, some say in desperation. Thus the quantitative easing may go on, but he cautions the reader that the plan for a peaceful transition to SDRs or even gold may not occur before the collapse — and because of the prevalence of high frequency trading, collapse of the financial markets will be likely come flash-crash fast.

Money as Water

Money can be understood as the ‘water’ necessary to business and trade; and financial institutions, banks & bonds, are the conduits through which money flows. Rickards says that the large banks, such as Goldman Sachs will be instrumental in the future distributions of the new planetary reserve currency, the SDRs. Thanks to Mike Taibbi’s courageous journalism, we have fully understood how deserving the Vampire Squid is of our complete trust. James Rickards’ publishing company Portfolio Penguin also happens to have published three books that were finalists for the prestigious Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Edward N. Luttwak explains in ‘The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy‘ that the “highest echelon” of the U.S. Treasury, for example Timothy Franz Geithner, “is staffed almost entirely by former or future employees of the leading financial firms” that are sensitive to Chinese enterprises as future clients. According to Luttwak, these financial power elites have no responsibility for or indeed any intellectual interest in the condition of the U.S. manufacturing sector and the subsequent loss of jobs, which they regarded as “uncompetitive and not worth having” — and their willingness to bend to Chinese demands for the sake of making cheap capital available to private finance, has also allowed a tsunami of technology, including aerospace technology, innovated by American enterprise to be given to the Chinese.

I wish I could believe that all this is a rather benevolent and necessary transition. Certainly the obviously very bright and astute Benn Steil of the Council of Foreign Relations makes rational intelligent calming practical arguments somewhat in favour. Steil is extraordinarily knowledgeable and a wonderful writer. He says many in the USA will not be willing to undermine the US monetary sovereignty. However a lack of confidence in a dollar, which is used globally, will undermine the ability of the Federal Reserve to control interest rates, inflation, and contain any domestic financial crises; and therefore inevitably the power of the FED will decline to the point that the sovereignty of the USA becomes, in his words ‘meaningless’.

Unanswered Questions

Can it be that globalization is something that recurs on all planets in their various stages of social and financial evolution, as they move from tribal & clan, to nation states, to global interests? Yet the question remains: Why allow the destruction of the planet herself, the contamination of her oceans, our fields & land, and the air we breathe? Who turns away from planet Earth’s future for mere profit?

This incessant frantic descent into ever increasing multiplicity and complexity is, as Rene Guenon says, the result of “a pretended intuition modelled on the ceaseless flux of things of the senses, far from being able to serve as an instrument for obtaining true knowledge, represents in reality the dissolution of all possible knowledge.”

An intelligence that has been disconnected from the immutable imperishable substratum that lies beneath ‘the curtain of each atom’ [Mahmud Shabistari’s Sufi poem] is necessarily precariously unstable and inclined to collapse. Without metaphysical wisdom, each temporal ‘fix’ our elitist servant PhD’s come up with will only lead us closer to the final moments of this Kali Yuga.

Our sole refuge is a higher consciousness and to individually reconnect with the God essence that dwells within All. Nothing ever dies and as the Bhagavad Gita tells us, ‘The Wise do not grieve.’ Rene Guenon would not have been surprised to witness our current predicament. Guenon offers us one last profound comfort in the final sentence of his brilliant ‘The Reign of Quantity’: “…it can be said in all truth that the ‘end of a world’ never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.”

“[We are] made of the same stuff of which events are made…The mind that is parallel with the laws of Nature will be in the current of events, and strong with their strength.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, from the essay ‘Power’ in “The conduct of Life”

About the Author

V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.

Resources:

– The Crisis of the Modern World, by Rene Guenon, 1942; Sophia Perennis, NY, 2004.
The Reign of Quantity and the Sign of the Times, by Rene Guenon, 1945; Sophia Perennis, NY, 2004.
The Death of Money, The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, by James Rickards; Portfolio Penguin, NY, 2014.
Currency Wars, The Making of the Next Global Crisis, by James Rickards; Portfolio Penguin, NY, 2011, 2012.
The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy, by Edward N. Luttwak; Harvard University Press, 2012.
Money, Markets & Sovereignty by Benn Steil & Manuel Hinds; A Council of Foreign Relations Book, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2009.
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order, by Benn Steil; Council of Foreign Relations Books, Princeton University Press, 2013.
The Sleepwalkers, A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe, by Arthur Koestler; Penguin Arkana, London, 1959.
This Time is Different, Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff; Princeton University Press, NJ, 2009.
Cosmic Evolution, The Rise of Complexity in Nature, by Eric J. Chaisson; Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass., 2001.
The SHALLOWS, What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr; W.W. Norton & Company, NYC, 2011.
‘You are not a gadget’, by Jaron Lanier; Vintage Books, NY, 2011.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Search for the Mind of God

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Stephen Hawking famously ended his 1988 bestseller A Brief History of Time with the statement that, if and when physics finds its long-sought grand unified field theory “we would know the mind of God.”1 Although since then he has reportedly regretted the phrase, and famously announced in 2010 that “God did not create the universe,” his original statement was – knowingly or not – in fact simply a repetition of the underlying quest of the historical scientific revolution.

All its great pioneers, from Copernicus to Newton, were motivated by the passionate belief that by discovering the way the universe works they were not only uncovering God’s design, but also taking humankind closer to the divine. Science was for them primarily a spiritual quest. And, given the evidence, that’s precisely what it should be now.

Despite rather desperately cowering behind the wall of strident rationalism most of them are famous for, the startling truth is that cosmologists and quantum physicists themselves have revealed that the mind of God may be much nearer than we think. Science itself has effectively proven that ours is not a random universe. Science itself has demonstrated it was literally designed for life, which implies a designer… But as science itself – in general – is rather backward in coming forward about this, permit us to explain.

The sensational conclusion that the universe appears to be meant began to be formulated with the famous ‘anthropic principle’ brought to the attention of the scientific community at the end of the 1970s by the seminal Nature paper by British cosmologists Bernard Carr and Martin Rees. The latter, now Lord Rees – Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society until 2010 – recently attracted the disdain of many colleagues by accepting the annual million-pound Templeton Foundation prize awarded for an “outstanding contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Quite something for a mainstream scientist – and of course hugely controversial.

The Designer Universe

At its most basic, the anthropic principle states that all the cosmological data shows the laws of physics are, to an uncanny degree, exactly the ones needed for a bio-friendly universe. According to Paul Davies’ book The Goldilocks Enigma (2006) conditions are, like her porridge, “just right” for organic life. It needs precisely our kind of universe: relatively stable, with galaxies and stars – and this was by no means inevitable: if things were even slightly different matter could never have coalesced, or the universe would be riddled with black holes, preventing the formation of heavenly bodies. Life requires certain chemical elements, primarily carbon, which need stars to manufacture them and disperse them in their supernovae explosions. It also needs planets where the building blocks can be assembled for living beings to develop.

All this requires not only fundamental particles and energies to possess particular values, but the relationships between them must be very precise. Carr and Rees noted that for almost every variation of the physical laws, a bio-friendly universe would be impossible. Yet as Hawking writes, “a series of startling coincidences” make the laws of physics “a system that is extremely fine-tuned” to produce conditions propitious for life.2 Freeman Dyson, the British-born American physicist, writes that there are “numerical accidents that seem to conspire to make the universe habitable,”3 while Paul Davies notes the “ingenious and seemingly contrived ways”4 the laws of physics allow the creation and dispersal of the elements necessary for life – and that we appear to live in a “designer universe.”

More astoundingly, as all the values were ‘set’ by the big bang – if the conditions at the start of the universe had been say, bigger and bangier or smaller and less bangy (sorry for the technical terms), the physical laws would also be different – then life seems to have been an integral part of the design from the very beginning.

One of the first examples of the fine-tuning to be recognised, back in the 1950s, is the formation of carbon – quintessential to organic life – which like all except the simplest three elements is forged in the centre of stars. However, scientists had long realised that according to conventional wisdom, carbon shouldn’t exist at all (or if it did it should be extremely rare). Even the vast temperatures and pressure in stars shouldn’t produce enough energy for stable atoms to form. But we now know there is a lucky fluke – a quantum effect known as resonance – which produces a ‘spike’ that enormously amplifies the energy to exactly the right value. This only happens for carbon.

The scientist who worked out the process, the maverick British astronomer and mathematician Fred Hoyle, was so astonished by the coincidence that he famously described it as a “put-up job.” In a 1957 lecture he observed:

If this was a purely scientific problem and not one that touched on the religious problem, I do not believe that any scientist who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside the stars. If this is so, then my apparently random quirks have become part of a deep-laid scheme. If not then we are back again at a monstrous sequence of accidents.5

The most recently-discovered example of fine tuning is perhaps the most compelling. This relates to ‘vacuum energy,’ a force arising from ‘virtual particles’ that fill even empty interstellar space, and which has a profound effect on the universe, since it determines its rate of expansion and this in turn determines how life-friendly it is. If the universe was expanding too quickly, then gravity would be unable to build galaxies, planets and stars; if too slowly, then all matter would be pulled back to the ‘big crunch’ before life had time to evolve. Obviously, our universe is expanding within that critically narrow range that allows it to be bio-friendly. But only recently has it been discovered how narrow – indeed, wafer-thin – that range is.

It all hangs on the rate of expansion, determined by the balance between the negative and positive energy of the virtual particles. In the mid-1990s, based on new improved data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other sources, cosmologists were finally able to calculate the balance. It turns out that the negative energy cancels out all but an infinitesimal amount of the positive – all but 10120 (that’s 119 zeroes after the decimal point and before the 1).

But the scary thing is that if this number was just one decimal place shorter – 10119 – then the universe would be expanding too quickly: there would be no stars and no planets. That tiny decimal place is the difference between life and no-life. The leading American theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind wrote: “This seems like an absurd accident and we have no idea why it should happen. There is no fine-tuning quite like this in the rest of physics.”6 Nobel prize-winning theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg commented in 1993 that if the extraordinary balancing act of the vacuum energy was confirmed then, “it will be reasonable to infer that our own existence plays an important part in explaining why the universe is the way it is,” but went on, “For what it is worth, I hope that this is not the case.”7 Unfortunately for Weinberg, it has since been confirmed. It is the case.

It’s rather like winning the lottery (we assume). If our numbers come up we might think we’re clever or destined to win but of course it would be just chance. Not so long ago astrophysicists assumed that’s how it was with life: the right conditions just happened by accident. But the anthropic principle has shown that the game appears to have been fixed – as if only our numbers went into the machine. We couldn’t lose. In fact, the ‘coincidences’ involved in the universal fine tuning are so vast it’s more like winning the lottery week after week for several years.

Of course this was unthinkable for most scientists – after all, design implies a designer – so they desperately searched for a get-out clause. Susskind duly came up with the now-ubiquitous multiverse as a way out of the anthropic conundrum: the theory that there are really billions – perhaps an infinity – of universes, each with its own physical laws (since conditions at the big bang were different for each one). The vast majority don’t possess life, but because we live in one of the few that does, we are mistakenly over-impressed by the coincidence that it is spot on for us.

The multiverse hypothesis turns the virtually improbable into the inevitable. This time it’s like entering our lottery numbers into several billion games simultaneously. We’re bound to scoop the jackpot at least once. The multiverse allowed scientists uncomfortable with the implications of the anthropic principle to breathe a sigh of relief.

There is, however, a major problem with the multiverse – and its exotic brother theories, string and M. There’s not a shred of evidence for any of it. Ironically it’s a fundamental aspect of the multiverse that there can never be any, since interaction between universes is by definition impossible. Which also conveniently makes the theory impossible to disprove. As Carr wrote in 2007, the multiverse “is highly speculative and… currently untestable. Indeed, it may always remain so…”8

It gets worse. Being untestable means it violates one of science’s cardinal rules – that any hypotheses should be capable of being tested by experiment or observation. At best the multiverse is an interesting speculation, a possible but unprovable answer to the conundrum of the anthropic principle. But the majority of physicists take it as the answer to their prayers. If indeed they ever admit to praying.

It’s easy to understand why. Hawking, for example, has acknowledged it’s a straight choice between intelligent design (begging the awkward question of the designer) and the multiverse.9 Naturally he champions the latter, as do most of his colleagues, keen to look cool and cutting-edge, and beguiled by the seduction of endless equations – even if by definition they can never lead anywhere or prove anything.

The Anti-Science of the Multiverse

One of the key principles of every other area of science is that it is contingent, the consensus at any time being based on the best data, but with the underlying acknowledgement that future discoveries may lead to major revisions. But here we have hard data pointing directly to a designer universe – and yet the overwhelming majority of scientists prefer to accept the entirely speculative and untestable multiverse, just because one day they might find a way of proving it. In other words, they accept it on faith, their belief in a non-designed universe blinding them to the overwhelming evidence for one that is obviously designed, and that science itself now points to.

The anthropic principle has been conceptually divided between the ‘weak’ version (the universe appears to be designed for intelligent life, but this is an illusion) and the ‘strong’ version (the universe appears to be designed for us because it is). Enter the American John Archibald Wheeler (1926-2008), one of the most eminent modern theoretical physicists, discoverer of black holes and originator of the concept of space-time wormholes, who came up with a new spin: the “participatory anthropic principle.”

Wheeler developed the concept as the logical extrapolation of another weird aspect of quantum physics, the implications of which few other physicists have dared explore. It is accepted that by observing events at the quantum level they will inevitably be changed by the act of observation. The outcome of a particular experiment often depends on how the experimenter chooses to make the observation – in effect theyassign particular values to a subatomic particle.

This is seen most famously in the ‘double slit experiment’, where the experimenter can ‘choose’ whether a beam of light behaves as a particle or a wave even when only a single photon is involved. Bizarre though it might seem, a fundamental principle of quantum theory is that the photon does not take a single path, but takes every possible path simultaneously. They exist as a series of probabilities (‘wave functions’), and only when an observation is made does the wave function ‘collapse’ and the photon take a specific position. As Wheeler declared (his emphasis): “Each photon is governed by laws of probability and behaves like a cloud until it is detected… The act of measurement is the transforming act that collapses uncertainty into certainty.”10 On a much wider scale, every particle in the universe exists as a wave function, ‘waiting’ to be given specific values by being observed.

Wheeler showed that it wasn’t just a question of the experimenter determining through observation how a particle behaves now. In the double-slit experiment choosing how the photon is observed after it has passed through the slit produces the same effect. The observer effectively chooses how the particle behaved in the past – maybe only microseconds ago, but in the past nevertheless (‘backward causation’).

Initially Wheeler’s proposal could only be a thought experiment as the technology allowing a choice to be made in the infinitesimally small period while a photon is in ‘flight’ wasn’t available. But in 2006 a French team devised a method of experimenting for real. Wheeler was proved right.

He then realised the same effect could be obtained if light from a distant star was involved, but the observer on Earth would be ‘choosing’ how a photon behaved when it set out on its journey thousands, maybe millions, of light years ago. The observer effect must be truly cosmic in scale. He then developed the notion of the “participatory universe” – by observing the universe, we are actually creating it, not just now but in the past. In short, we are determining the initial conditions set by the big bang. Physicists aren’t discovering the laws of physics – they are creating them. As he noted: “The past history of the universe has no more validity then is assigned by the measurements we make – now!”11 And in a somewhat Star Trekky soundbite he declared: “We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago.”12

In Wheeler’s vision, human consciousness (and that of any other sentient beings out there) is an integral part of cosmic evolution. The big bang creates the subatomic particles from which galaxies, stars and planets are built. Life forms on planets and evolves to produce intelligent, conscious beings, who through their active observation actually manifest the big bang itself, “the mechanism of genesis.”13 (Wheeler pointed out that this disposes of the multiverse: if consciousness is needed to make the universe, thenonly a universe such as ours, with its conscious living beings, can exist.)

In other words, there is a circular relationship between mind and the universe – human consciousness is in some way necessary for its completion: the universe is evolving from a starting point towards some end, and mind plays a key part in that process. As Bernard Carr commented: “Wheeler has suggested a more radical interpretation [of the anthropic principle] in which the universe does not even come into being in a well-defined way until an observer is produced who can perceive it. In this case, the veryexistence of the universe depends on life.”14

Although to the casual reader this might seem somewhat off the wall, Wheeler’s logic holds up – and, unlike the multiverse, its predictions have been tested experimentally – winning acceptance from other prominent physicists. Among them is Stephen Hawking, who writes in The Grand Design: “We create history by our observation, rather than history creating us.”15 If Wheeler is right, then we play a part in the grand design implied by the anthropic principle. And if for ‘designer’ we read ‘God’, then we are, at least in part, God, or have a share in God’s mind.

Back to the Future

Perhaps the oddest – and most satisfying – aspect of this is how Wheeler’s participatory universe dovetails with the beliefs of the ancients, as Austrian astrophysicist Erich Jantsch (1929-80) noted. Based on the mass of evidence for cosmic purpose, he developed the concept of the ‘self-organising universe’, very similar to Wheeler’s. To him, the universe, through its components – including conscious beings – determines its own evolution. He wrote, “God is not the creator, but the mind of the universe.”16 But although acknowledging that the self-organising universe was prefigured in many mystical religious systems, Jantsch singled out one in particular: “the oldest recorded world view, Hermetic philosophy.”17

Bingo! In fact we had pinpointed the very same tradition while researching our latest book, The Forbidden Universe, as the inspiration for all the great heroes of the scientific revolution: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, William Harvey, William Gilbert, Isaac Newton – even the allegedly arch-rationalist Francis Bacon.

The Hermetic system is a metaphysical and magical philosophy and cosmology contained in a collection of texts known as the Hermetica, ascribed to a legendary Egyptian teacher, Hermes Trismegistus (‘Thrice-Great Hermes’). These writings, of which around twenty survive out of a much larger body, were set down in Egypt during the period of Greek domination, some time after the third century BCE.

They were largely lost to Europe after the crackdown on pagan scholarship when Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century CE. But they survived in the Middle East (where they actually laid the foundations of medieval Arab science), and were rediscovered by Europe in the mid-fifteenth century by an agent working for the great patron of learning, Cosimo de’ Medici – the event that actually triggered the Renaissance.

As we show in The Forbidden Universe, not only did the Hermetica go on to be the driving force behind the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it also – somewhat spookily – outlines a cosmology that fits very neatly with Wheeler’s and Jantsch’s. (This may not be entirely coincidental, as Wheeler’s great philosophical hero was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz [1646-1716], the extraordinary intellect and contemporary of Newton, who, like him, was steeped in the Hermetic tradition – although it was expedient to downplay his interest in matters esoteric.)

The Hermetica, too, celebrated the universe as an emanation of the mind of God, declaring: “… you must think of god in this way, as having everything – the cosmos, himself, the universe – like thoughts within himself.”18 American historian of science Ernest Lee Tuveson sums up the fundamental Hermetic principle: “the world emanates from the divine intelligence, and, as a whole in which each part is an essential component member, expresses the great Mind.”19 And modern Hermetic specialist, American philosopher Glenn Alexander Magee, writes: “Hermeticists not only hold that God requires creation, they make a specific creature, man, play a crucial role in God’s self-actualisation. Hermeticism holds that man can know God, and that man’s knowledge of God is necessary for God’s own completion.”20 Back to Wheeler’s participatory universe…

In the Hermetic cosmology, the universe is God, everything in it is an emanation of God’s mind, and human beings play a necessary part in God’s self-actualisation. In Wheeler’s, consciousness plays a fundamental role in actualising the universe.

But where did the writers of the Hermetic treatises get their ideas? Renaissance devotees of their philosophy believed it encapsulated the highest wisdom of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, that of the pyramid builders themselves. In later centuries there was a more critical view: the texts might have been written in Egypt, but owed more to Greek ideas. However, recent research shows that – while written for a Greek audience – the Hermetic books do indeed contain traditional Egyptian religious and cosmological ideas. In fact, there a compelling case that they came from the most ancient known Egyptian cult: the religion of Heliopolis, as set out in the Pyramid Texts, the oldest magical writings in the world. And as it was indeed the religion of the builders of the great pyramids of Giza, this would vindicate the beliefs of the Renaissance Hermeticists.

In their complex and highly symbolic system, the Pyramid Texts too reveal many parallels with Wheeler’s participatory universe. According to the Heliopolitan theology the cosmos is an emanation flowing out from the creator-god, Atum, expanding from a single point of origin outward to the material world. But it, too, involves a flow from ourselves back to the moment of creation. As specialist in the Heliopolitan religion, American anthropologist Karl Luckert puts it, the universe not only “exhales” from Atum but “inhales.” We might need Atum/God, but he needs us.

So perhaps instead of tying themselves in the knots of string theory and abandoning themselves to the siren seduction of the non-existent multiverse, scientists would be better advised to read the Hermetica. After all, they would only be following in the footsteps of intellectual giants. But they should be warned: there is a creative consciousness involved, as science itself shows. It is a fact: face it. But we must stress that while this ‘god’ bears no resemblance whatsoever to the petty tyrant of the Old Testament, he/she/it is not too hard to find. Simply start the quest with a mirror.

Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince are the authors of the book The Forbidden Universe: The Occult Origins Of Science And The Search For The Mind Of God (Constable, 2011), available from all good bookstores.

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Footnotes:
1. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Press, London, 1988, 175.

2. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, Bantam Press, London, 161.

3. Freeman J. Dyson, A Many Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 2007, 44.

4. Paul Davies, The Mind of God: Science and the Search for Ultimate Meaning, Penguin, London, 1993, 197.

5. In Mervyn Stockwood (ed.), Religion and the Scientists, SCM Press, London, 1959, 64.

6. Leonard Susskind, ‘A Universe Like No Other’, New Scientist, no. 2419, 2003, 37.

7. Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, Hutchinson, London, 1993, 182.

8. Bernard Carr, Universe of Multiverse?, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, 14.

9. In the Sunday Times’ Eureka magazine, September 2010.

10. John Archibald Wheeler and Kenneth Ford, Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1998, 334.

11. Ibid., 337.

12. On ‘The Anthropic Universe’, The Science Show, ABC National Radio, 18 February 2006.

13. John Archibald Wheeler, ‘Genesis and Observership’, in Robert E. Butts and Jaakko Hintikka (eds.), Foundational Problems in the Special Sciences, D. Reidel, Dordrecht, 1977.

14. B.J. Carr, ‘On the Origin, Evolution and Purpose of the Physical Universe’, in John Leslie (ed.), Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, Macmillan, New York, 1990, 152.

15. Hawking and Mlodinow, op. cit., 140.

16. Erich Jantsch, The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1980, 308.

17. Ibid., 308.

18. Brian P. Copenhaver, Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, 41.

19. Ernest Lee Tuveson, The Avatars of Thrice Great Hermes, Bucknell University Press, London, 1982, xi.

20. Glenn Alexander Magee, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2001, 9.

About the Author

LYNN PICKNETT & CLIVE PRINCE’s joint career began with Turin Shroud: How Leonardo Da Vinci Fooled History and – eight books later – they published The Forbidden Universe. They are best known for their 1997 The Templar Revelation, which Dan Brown acknowledged as the primary inspiration for The Da Vinci Code. As a reward for their contribution they were given cameos in the movie (on the London bus). They also give talks to an international audience. Lynn & Clive both live in South London. Their website is www.picknettprince.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 127 (July-August 2011).

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5 Reasons Why More Americans Don’t Protest Against The System

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The Declaration of Independence still stands as an important example of how the tolerance of any man can be exceeded by the actions of an over-bearing and intrusive government. Yet, 237 years after the signing of this document, one has to wonder what has happened to the spirit of fearlessness and rugged self-determination that set the American experiment in motion.

As a form of redress of grievances by a people to it’s leadership, protest is as much of a historical part of democracy as voting is. A near-last resort when the populous is bereft of political power, publicly voicing dissent in an organized, peaceful, and constructive manner is a critical and vital sign of life for a society that wishes to be free. Yet, when a ruling elite and political class become too intrusive, parasitic or too dangerous to the population, protest is often a precursor to violence, therefore the outcome of rebellion and protest is never certain and often disastrous. However, the fate of a people without the will to resist the suffrages of an encroaching tyranny is just as foreboding.

While giving credit to the Occupy movement, those who engage in protest at global summits and party conventions, growing national actions like the Tar Sands Blockade and Idle No More, and growing localized activist movements, the nation has no formidable popular mass-movement for dissent. Apparently the American people have little interest in expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of leadership we have in America today.

Why are the American people so permissive of government abuse, intrusion, waste, corruption, cruelty, and stupidity?

Here are 5 reasons reasons why more Americans don’t protest.

1. Protest is Unwelcome in the Matrix

The matrix cannot function properly when people are in the streets speaking truth to power, therefore, protest is an unwanted inconvenience for the economy, the media and the government.

For this, the government is engaged in squashing domestic protest and the media makes every effort to marginalize and ignore popular dissent. Increasingly, protest and civil disobedience are also being viewed as security threats to be met with near-military force. ‘First amendment zones,’ event permits, and laws that equate protest with terrorism all assist in dissuading Americans from participating, while tricks like agent provocateurs, police intimidation, arrest and assault are used to shut protest events down.

The modern American protestor faces regulations, intimidation and physical threats from military crowd control technologies like flash-bang grenades, the LRAD acoustic weapon, pepper sprays, surveillance of all modern types, and even the prospect of microwave pain ray technologies.

All of this already makes protest and dissent seem rather unpalatable to the average American, but, the media further demonizes protest by highlighting and focusing in on any violence that may occur, while downplaying the peaceful moments where intelligent people come together to articulate valid grievances with an out of control system.

The media tarnishes the image of any protest movement to take advantage of the fact that most people are natural followers, not natural leaders, and that most people are watching the protest in relative isolation at home, separated from friends and neighbors. Creating the perception that protests are dangerous events involving un-American, un-patriotic and irresponsible people who are likely to get hurt, helps to prevent popular support on any single issue from reaching critical mass by convincing the average person that it is too complicated and too risky to get involved.

2. Conflict Consciousness – Divided We Fall

Are you a liberal or conservative? Democrat or Republican? Are you on this team, or that team?

It doesn’t matter at all really, but, we’ve been brainwashed into dividing ourselves into an inescapable prison of bi-polarized pigeon-holes.

We blame our neighbors, friends and families for the mismanagement in the world. We blame those different than us, those in different countries, those with different color skin. We trust in authority, those with matching uniform shirts and batman belts, while we distrust and fight amongst each other. We have become culturally programmed to argue, compete, fight, and win for no real purpose. Winning, and being on the winning team has become more valuable than learning, gaining wisdom or uniting.

In this climate, with a social atmosphere so rigidly divided and so pointlessly competitive, any energy for consensus and widespread concerted action is sapped in inter-personal and tribal-like conflict. We are missing great opportunities for compromise, reciprocity, healing and growth. The consciousness of conflict ensures our self-destruction.

3. Higher Priorities… Work and Play

The American Dream of personal freedom and the opportunity for prosperity as a reward for hard work has been transformed in recent decades, influenced by an ongoing sales pitch about what life should be like for the average person. Convenience, ease, comfort, entertainment, excess, escape, work, money, debt. These are the values most available today.

Americans are working harder than ever, if they’re working at all. The economy is in terrible shape and in decline, and the American lifestyle has become so heavily invested in consumerism and debt that the average person is too dependent on continuity of income to risk even a single paycheck. Protesting is at the bottom of the list of things to do on vacation day.

Outside of work, life for most people has become a screen. Television, movies, the internet, work, handheld devices, iPads, Kindle, whatever. A new version of reality has emerged in the delivery of media and the sophistication of entertainment. Our priorities have evolved to put entertainment and escapism at the top of the list, and increasingly less value on honest government, human rights and justice.

Life is also still very good in America for most in the middle class. Food is easy to come by, credit still widely available. Charity, welfare and government assistance in some form are available to most if sought. Drone strikes and IED‘s are not yet to be seen in the homeland.

Commitment to protest and social change requires personal sacrifice. In our social atmosphere of extreme busyness and dumbed-down priorities, participation in social causes is now too risky, too inconvenient, and insufficiently fun. Our natural and historical energies for rebellion and protest are effectively expired in the office, at the bar, or at the movies, or projected onto a character on a screen.

Life has become a hamster wheel of superfluous labor and deliberate distraction.

4. Mindset of Fear, Apathy, and Resignation

Mindset is everything in our quantum-world, and our emotional under current governs how we relate to and participate in the world. Regarding politics, participatory democracy, and protest, the typical American mindset generally falls into one of three categories:

Fear – We are heavily propagandized to approach life from fear-centered consciousness. Life is to be viewed as a threat. America has already become a police state, and is heavily invested in the combination of fear and security. To the average person, the prospect of facing militarized police and possibly being beaten, gassed, dispersed, arrested and perhaps even criminally charged for voicing dissent is certainly an adequate deterrent.

Brutal, violent oppression of dissent works famously well to stop a protest, and for this, people logically fear getting involved.

Apathy – Apathy is another symptom of our cultural decline, and a mindset that keeps most people from participating in civics or protest. Apathy is a nearly-conscious choice to remain ignorant and distracted about something while pursuing the path of least resistance. Apathy seems to be the number one byproduct of our culture of convenience. People don’t care about the quality of our world enough to become involved.

Resignation – Many Americans understand all too well what is happening to constitutional and lawful government and realize that until a much more massive awakening occurs and far more people take interest, there is little to be gained from protesting. This resignation has led many to focus instead on preparing for the worst, including for scenarios like economic collapse and social unrest. Storing food and developing emergency plans is now seen by many as a more productive use of energy than attempting to influence a corrupt political system by participating in politics or protest.

While there are signs that Americans may be slowly waking from the dream-like state that is preventing any unified form of mass protest, it appears that for now, the formerly American qualities of courage, independence and self-determination have been replaced with fear, apathy, and resignation.

5. People Approve of the Status Quo

Americans, by and large, are still happy to enjoy the lifestyle that the status quo delivers, even if it means further forfeitures of privacy and essential human rights. Additionally, the lack of public opposition in mass is also a de facto approval of the political and economic status quo.

‘It is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission,’ goes the saying, and by not objecting to any scandal or violation, no matter how offensive, the majority of America consents to being governed by this domineering logic.

Whether actively or passively, the majority of America supports any and all actions by our government and the corporate status quo.

Conclusion

America is a wonderful place with a vast and breath-taking landscape and a rich culture of ingenuity and creativity. Americans are interesting and generous people. It is difficult to grasp the contradiction between the beautiful and comfortable aspects of American life and the troublesome developments emerging from our leadership. It not easy to understand the gap between the values extolled in still celebrated Declaration of Independence and the lack of public will to hold the government accountable to even the simple Bill of Rights.

Why don’t more Americans protest things like government spying, endless wars, the fraudulent banking system, the growing police state, the destruction of the environment, genetically modified foods, the assault on natural health, or even torture?

While the above 5 reasons are merely one person’s observations and generalizations about American culture, the patterns that emerge here are useful in helping to recognize opportunities for our own personal and collective evolution.

Please add any additional you thoughts you may have in the comments section below.

About the Author

Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he pursues the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Thousands of people join a march and demonstration to protest health care reform proposed by US President Barack Obama

Source: Waking Times.