Seeing Past The Edge*
An Original Work of Non-fiction
By: David G. Yurth
All Rights Reserved
For three hundred years we have been taught that physical stuff and spirit stuff are so mutually exclusive that they cannot be accommodated by the same model of the physical world. The sciences of modern medicine are so severely crippled by this notion that they cannot explain how Mind couples with the body or understand how the body really functions. In fact, the brand of scientific investigation we are engaged in today denies that there is such a thing as Mind, operating separate and apart from the body.
Why does it matter what Science and the Standard Model of physics say about such things? It matters because our belief in the sufficiency, reliability and accuracy of that model determines in large measure what we believe about ourselves and the world we live in. If the model we rely on is severely flawed, we can expect our beliefs to be flawed and our behaviors to be dysfunctional. Few would disagree that the current state of world affairs suggests we are far from understanding how nature really works or our proper place in it.
The number of books which attempt to reconcile consciousness with physics is long and growing at what seems to be an accelerating rate. The fact that so many are being written and published suggests a significant sea change may be afoot. As a community, more and more of us are asking basic questions about the workings of the Cosmos and the nature of Being. We are not finding the answers we seek within the rigorous disciplines of science or the institutions of religion. Left with only our intuition and the basic tools architected into the nature of our being, many have begun looking for answers within.
This is certainly not the first book of its kind nor is it likely to be the last. Nevertheless, the writing of it serves at least two important purposes. First, coming to a point of understanding which makes it possible to even attempt such a task has been evolutionary for me. In the most real sense, the process has changed my life. Second, in the process of researching the subjects which are embraced in these pages, I have discovered some things which I have not seen discussed in quite this way before. If the publication of these insights serves to clarify our collective understanding, then it will have been worth the doing.
During the process of creating the manuscript, readers and reviewers of many different stripes have commented that because the manuscript is widely encompassing, many of the terms and concepts I have included are not known to the average reader. This often requires repeated reference to the index or endnotes. This process is unnecessarily disruptive. Accordingly, beginning with Section One, I have attempted to mitigate this problem by laying out the groundwork, a roadmap of sorts, which defines the dimensions of the field and cites the order of engagement. In the first chapter, to further facilitate this process, definitions are provided for each of the most important concepts, terms and ideas.
In addition, since many of the primary sources I refer to are not generally known in the West, Chapter One also provides some background in the form of a summarized chronology. While many of the people whose work is referenced in the book are winners of the Nobel Prize for something or other, many others are not. In some important cases, the information arising from these so called secondary sources has not been accepted into the lexicon of the Standard Model of physics. When subject matter deemed essential to the fabric of the model I am creating arises from the work of someone whose work has been disallowed or ignored by mainstream science, I provide background information in either the text or endnotes which describes what happened and why it is important.
Perhaps more importantly, at the end of most chapters I summarize where the subject matter has taken us in relationship to everything which has preceded it. In this way, it is hoped that you will be able to sustain a sense of positioning with regard to the information contained in each portion of the book. In addition, if you open the book to any chapter without having read the chapters preceding it, all you have to do to catch up is read the summary at the end of the preceding chapter. The need for this mechanism arises from the fact that the range of subjects considered here is sufficiently diverse to confuse someone who is not familiar with some of the more arcane subjects. Accordingly, it is hoped that by providing a repeated, cumulative point of reference, which tracks the evolution of the concepts contained in the model, you will be able to maintain a sense of connection with each new set of concepts as they are added.
Three basic concepts lie at the heart of the model described in these pages. These include the principle of Complementarity, the nature and fundamental importance of Information and a definition of Consciousness. In order to have a cogent conversation about the dynamics which operate at the heart of all things, we are compelled to define our terms about these and other important concepts. This is problematical because the process of defining terms automatically imposes a set of perceptual and semantic filters which skew our interpretation. Since it is true that all perception is the result of projection, this means that we will certainly fail to come to consensus on some key issues simply because the language we use and the filters which define the scope of our perception cannot find coherence. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable. It is, I suggest, one of the underlying reasons why so many others have attempted to tilt with the same windmills I have focused on here.
Nevertheless, while you may disagree with the way I have framed them, the definitions I have provided are reasonable. I do not mean to suggest that they are altogether precise – the nature of language precludes us from making that claim. Instead, what I have attempted to do is define my terms in such a way as to allow you to grasp the concepts and make your own interpretations, without necessarily being bound by my parochial notions about such things. Again, as you work your way through these pages, you will discover as I have that this is not always possible. Some things simply are what they are.
This book asks a simple question.
“Where do we go for valid, meaningful information about the workings of Nature and the Cosmos when a larger telescope, a more powerful microscope, the rigorous practices of science and the institutions of religion can no longer be relied on to answer our most basic questions?”
The model which has arisen out of the work reflected in these pages suggests something quite profound. The rules which govern the workings of the universe are both simple and elegant. The dynamics which operate at all scales of the Cosmos are uniform, universal and scalar. When the data are carefully examined in the absence of preconceived notions, I believe these conclusions are inescapable.
The notion of complementarity is not new but it is difficult to visualize. As described in the ancient poetic literature of the East, the notion that the Cosmos arises from a universal causal plane in which duality does not yet exist, is several thousand years old. In quantum mechanics, which is the product of 20th century thinking, experimental evidence demonstrates that sub-atomic particles of a variety of different types do, indeed, behave in accordance with ancient Vedic principles. At various places in the book, I provide references to the Vedas and explain where they come from and what they mean.
Electrons are comprised of an information set which includes all the attributes of mass, measurable as discrete particles, and energy bundles, measurable as quanta of energy and waveforms, with discrete states of energetic oscillation. As important as this discovery is, we have also discovered that the principle of complementarity is not restricted to just this limited set of sub-atomic conditions. We have reason to believe that the principle of complementarity is the single, most fundamental attribute of the Cosmos. As we shall see, the cosmological implications which arise from this assumption are significant.
It is a simple concept. Where there is energy there must also be matter – indeed, at a primary level, matter and energy are equivalent, indistinguishable and contemporaneous. Wherever local, linear field effects operate (specifically, gravitational force, electromagnetic forces, strong and weak nuclear forces), we must also find non-local, non-linear field effects at work. This suggests something equally important – if this assumption can be supported with experimentally verified evidence, it means that our notions about gravitational fields, electromagnetics and the nuclear forces will have to be fundamentally altered from their present form. A significant proportion of the book is devoted to examining non-linear phenomena and non-local field effects, describing what they are and evaluating how they work. Since we have no mathematical expressions to describe such things, this makes for an interesting, albeit often frustrating topic of discussion.
As an abstract notion, the idea that Information can be viewed as discrete by its primary nature, is also relatively recent. It is not just a product of the age of quantum physics, differential calculus and the digital computer. Interestingly enough, information is characterized in a way which is quite consistent with the rules of complementarity. In engineering functions, information is managed in terms of its complementary pairs, in either analog or digital form. Computer engineers have discovered that information cannot be specifically segregated into just one form or the other. In fact, it is the fundamental underlying duality of information, its complementary nature, which enables information to be transported, stored, manipulated and shared.
At the root of it all, we have reason to believe that information is the fundamental building block of the Cosmos. Not an indivisible, primary particle. Not a primal, disconnected waveform of energy. Just information. This is a new notion which is finding validation in a wide variety of disciplines. Again, the implications of this notion are important. They call into question one of the most generally accepted of all our cultural legacies, the notion that there is, at some infinitely minute scale, a primary, indivisible particle which is the primary building block of the Cosmos. If our insights are valid, it appears that instead of finding a fundamental, primary particle, we are more likely to find a primary manifestation of a digital/analog information set, oscillating into and out of physicality at a primary level, with measurable, predictable frequency.
At some point in our discussion, we are compelled to ask the fundamental question, the only one that really matters.
“Is consciousness, as reflected by Descartes’ Cogito, ergo sum, merely a manifestation of a sufficiently sophisticated complexity in matter, or does matter arise from a causal plane of Consciousness, as described in the ancient book of verses known as the Vedas?”
This is not the question asked by science. Instead, science operates a priori on the premise that physical stuff is, by definition, fundamentally distinct from what Descartes called “spirit stuff.” After three centuries of working in this way, we have inherited a cultural prejudice which altogether denies that physical stuff and the stuff of Consciousness are in any way related.
As a matter of practicality, I have opted to define consciousness in terms which attempt to embrace both scientific and metaphysical conceits. For the purposes of this discussion, consciousness is defined as
“.an underlying, primary field comprised of undifferentiated information which is characterized by infinite potential, operating in a manner which is self-referential in all-where/all-time and at all scales.”
In the language of the ancient Eastern traditions, this is referred to as the One. In the language of physics, it is referred to by Maxwell and Whittaker as the primary field of infinite scalar potential.
In order to have a discussion about consciousness, we have to begin with some basic assumptions. As soon as we narrow the discussion in terms of specific assumptions, someone is going to take exception to the assumptions we have used. That is the nature of such discussions and is perhaps one of the reasons why so many books have been written about the subject. Since our discussion is based on the notion that everything is comprised solely of information, it soon becomes apparent that the rules conventionally applied to information theory, especially the rules of complementarity, are problematical.
In order to engage in a discussion about these matters, we are left with two complementary, incomplete and fundamentally apposite means of expression – language and mathematics. Both are ambiguous and both are imprecise in their own way. Neither is more privileged than the other and both are subject to the same rules of complementarity. Indeed, both forms of expression are comprised of symbols which are combined to express ideas, concepts, notions, intuition, abstractions and relative frames of reference. In the final analysis, we cannot find completeness of meaning by relying on one to the exclusion of the other. Rather, we have to find a way to express our insights in terms of both in order to approach a level of understanding which satisfies the demands of the basic questions.
This is also problematical. In the West, particularly in North America, our culture is not fluent in the language of mathematics. We do arithmetic pretty well, so long as it applies to the balance in our bank account or the value of our stock portfolio. But when it comes to anything much more challenging than that, as a society we simply check out. The notion that mathematics is the province of genius, that the common man cannot understand it and might as well not even make the attempt, pervades our society like a plague. It is the same plague which once reserved reading as the exclusive province of the cult of priests, of males, of scholars and the privileged classes. It is a notion which is as invalid today as it ever was.
Nevertheless, in order to have this discussion, we are required to rely to a limited extent on mathematical terms and deal with a variety of important mathematical constructs. I only use two formulas in this book. One is the equation made famous by the Second Postulate of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, E=MC2. The other is the formula developed by Benoit Mandelbrot, Z D Z2+C, which defines the feedback functions which characterize fractal geometries. Both are simple and both are essential to our discussion. This does not mean that you have to be conversant in higher mathematics to meaningfully engage in the discussion. In fact, there are no differential equations anywhere in this book. But the notions embodied in these formulas are quite profound. Because we, as a society, have come to rely on them to describe how Nature works, the time has come to decide whether this reliance is well founded or misguided in some fundamental way.
The Standard Model of Science
Throughout the book, I repeatedly refer to the Standard Model. For scientists, mathematicians and engineers, this term has a generally uniform meaning. For others who are not so familiar with the disciplines of science, particularly particle and plasma physics, quantum mechanics and other such arcane and esoteric things, this term can be misleading. For the purposes of our discussion throughout, when I refer to the Standard Model I mean the model currently in use by mainstream science which attempts to define the way the world works in terms of mathematical constructs and expressions. The model is comprised of mathematical formulations which seek to define and describe such things as gravitational forces, electromagnetism, the forces which operate in the nucleus of the atom, thermodynamics, the properties and behaviors of light, mass, force, acceleration and so on.
The Standard Model as currently constructed represents the officially sanctioned set of rules, assumptions and expressions which are accepted by the scientific community and taught in colleges and universities. It rests on several fundamental assumptions which are carefully reconsidered in this book. The historical basis of the Standard Model is almost as important as the expressions and assumptions embodied in the model itself. In the final analysis, the Standard Model is a cultural expression of the way we view the Cosmos. To the extent that its primary assumptions, rigors and means of expression are invalid, incomplete or in error, our way of thinking about such things will also be flawed.
Several fundamental principles embodied in the Standard Model are specifically challenged. The strategy I have employed to conduct this discussion is intended to provide you with (a) sufficient information to understand what the Standard Model claims, (b) an analysis of experimentally verified evidence which calls the assumptions of the Standard Model into question, and (c) citations of additional, experimentally verified evidence which provide sufficient information to either amend or replace any assumptions which appear to be invalidated. This is, I submit to you, the essence of the best of science.
The book is divided into two separate sections. Section One takes on the task of evaluating the Standard Model in terms of its assumptions about physical stuff. The windmills I tilt with include (a) the fundamentals of information theory, (b) the rules associated with self-organizing systems; (c) the role of fractal geometries in nature; (d) the relationships between fractal geometries and holograms; (e) light-based phenomena, including superluminal effects; and (f) the reconciliation of the four primary fields with non-local field effects, all of which suggest there is something much more fundamental afoot than our current formulations can accommodate.
By the end of Section One, which consists of nine chapters, the physical rules comprising the new model should become both apparent and understandable to you. If they are not, the fault is certainly mine. Nevertheless, after reducing the current miasma of conflicting laws, rules and theories to a set of disarmingly simple, elegant rules which describe how the physical stuff works, I then take on the challenge of reconciling those rules with the stuff Descartes left out.
Section Two, which contains eleven chapters, begins with an overview of a broad range of subjects, experiments, observations, practices and applications related to the study of consciousness. While I do not pretend to dispose of the entire subject in a single chapter, I have defined the terms related to the subject in such a way as to enable you to evaluate what we can observe, measure, test and replicate about it. Section Two explores what we know about consciousness from a variety of impeccably documented perspectives. I define what it is, examine how it works and investigate its attributes.
In the process, I repeat some of the most important questions which have been posed by others in the context of the new model. By so doing, I hope to demonstrate that the new model is sufficiently robust to not only accommodate what we already observe about consciousness-related phenomena, but also to provide a basis for predicting discoveries not already in the lexicon. Again, this is the true test of the reliability of any hypothesis. After subjecting the model to independent peer review over a period of several years, I am satisfied that the model is sufficiently robust to warrant taking your time and attention.
The questions we ask are fundamental. What is Mind? How is Mind related to matter? Can the mechanisms which couple Mind and matter be identified, measured, tested and validated in a way which is unequivocal and universally consistent? How is it that descriptions of the fundamental inner workings of the Cosmos, from the smallest scale to the largest, as described in terms of the high order mathematics employed in such expressions as super string (M) theory, are anticipated and precisely mirrored by ancient books of religious, poetic verse? How is it that the fundamental structure of physical reality in this dimension can be described with equal precision using both the rigorous methodology of empirical science and the disciplined practice of meditative introspection?
Is Mind timeless? Does individual Mind pre-exist physical mortality? Does it survive physical death? Does consciousness as we have defined it operate according to the same rules and principles which are manifest in physical reality? If so, how do we discover the truth about such things? Does Mind operate independent of physicality, or does Mind arise from physicality? Does physicality arise from a causal plane of consciousness? What rules operate in common with both the causal plane of consciousness and physicality in this observable dimension, if any?
At each step, I have relied on the best information I could find. I have evaluated my sources to make certain that they are reasonable, well documented and fairly presented. Many of the references contained in the list of suggested readings, hyperlinks, the bibliography and endnotes are not commonly available or easily accessed. Access to many of the sources cited in the endnotes has been made available to me because of personal relationships I have worked hard to develop over the years. To the extent that those references are privileged and not generally available, I have attempted to extrapolate salient information to help explain the points in question. In all other aspects, however, the sources I have cited are available to everyone.
The question of sources is an important one. It bears directly on the credibility of the assumptions employed to construct this new model. Western science has long engaged in an incestuous relationship with the publications which broadcast its findings. In order to compete for funding, scientists are compelled to publish or perish. This becomes problematical in a number of respects because it frustrates our ability to be circumspect in our work. The notion that scientists operate with dispassionate detachment, that they are capable of evaluating the work of others without consideration of the relative merits of their own, is simply not realistic. Perhaps in an ideal world we might eventually aspire to this level of integrity and enlightenment, but in the real world of science and research budgets, prestige, fame, awards and notoriety, all combine to exert political power and control over budgets, content, proprietary intellectual property and philosophical influence. The fact of the matter is that dispassionate peer review is a myth.
The Myth of Peer Review
Unfortunately, the peer review process is used more often than not to protect privileged intellectual turf rather than to foster innovation and achievement. As currently practiced, the peer review process allows the reviewer to remain anonymous and thereby enables senior scientists to prevent publication of leading edge discoveries by their juniors or those less well known or politically connected. This is especially true when new findings challenge the existing order. Peer reviewers with ulterior motives are allowed to operate with both anonymity and impunity. As a result, senior scientists often succeed in unreasonably disenfranchising and often stealing the breakthrough work of others with impunity.
Likewise, mainstream scientific publications exert a very effective strangle hold on competing points of view. Accordingly, it has become standard practice for the leading lights of science to prevent dissent and engineer social policy by specifically controlling the kinds of science which are officially reported. Thus, the work of scientists which has not been published in mainstream peer reviewed publications is usually dismissed out of hand as unworthy of consideration. In our vaunted view of our own scientific primacy, we also dismiss the value, credibility or reliability of work produced in other countries if it has not been published in one of the accepted peer reviewed journals published in the West.
I have always taken issue with this practice because it is suicidal. If left to my own devices, I would solve the problem by summarily eliminating the anonymity allowed to peer reviewers by compelling them to publish their identities along with their comments. I would require them to declare conflicts of interest and shine a bright light on their review methodologies. As you will discover, much of the ground breaking work which makes it possible to answer the most challenging questions has been conducted by dedicated scientists in other countries whose work is simply not known in the West. I have cited their work where appropriate and leave it to you to decide how relevant, valuable and reliable it is.
A Parting Comment
In the final analysis, this book provides a unique framework for examining the issues which fill its pages. The precepts embodied in the model are the result of the work of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dedicated, competent, deeply committed people. Some of them are scientists, some engineers, technicians or inventors. Others are genuinely enlightened practitioners of a wide variety of metaphysical arts, whose discoveries, methodologies, techniques and insights have lighted our way to an exciting new level of understanding about how the Cosmos works. To the extent that the conclusions I have drawn from their work are justified and supportable, I am pleased to share them with you. To the extent that I have misinterpreted their work or taken it out of context, the fault is entirely mine.
Regardless of how far we push back the envelope of our understanding, we are compelled to run up hard against the ultimate mysteries. What is life? and What does it mean? are questions we will probably always struggle to find answers for. Nevertheless, if we can understand more clearly how the Universe operates, if we can gain some insight into the relationships between Mind and physicality, it may then become possible for us to alter the suicidal, destructive cycle of madness which has come to characterize humanity’s stewardship of the planet.
This book is not just about technology, although improved technologies may make it possible for us to develop better means of measurement and testing. Nor is it just about science. Clearly, science and technology do not, by themselves, enable us to live more fully or completely. Nor is this book just about consciousness, although it is becoming increasingly clear that without some understanding of what consciousness is and how it works, we cannot hope to have any real understanding about the workings of the Cosmos and the nature of being.
In the final analysis, this book is about people. Its findings and discussions are based on the work, insights, genius, values and sacrifices of people. In the process of evaluating their work, I have had occasion to examine their lives, values and personal histories. As a result, much of what is discussed here is profoundly interesting and very personal to me. As you will see, some of the work I refer to is simply wonderful. The insights arising from the best work are both inspiring and uplifting. Unfortunately, some of what I needed to know came to light as the result of work by scientists and technologists which can only be described as demented and genuinely diabolical.
Taken together, the information considered in these pages constitutes an authentic cross section of the values, insights, opinions, findings and experimentally validated discoveries of people from all over the earth, across a span of more than 9,000 years. The most magical part of this journey of discovery has been the realization that the information needed to understand the workings of the Cosmos is not now and never has been the special preserve of any single discipline, privileged class, means of expression, culture or heritage. Where information about the inner workings of the Cosmos is concerned, there is no room for privileged access or arbitrary control.
During the process of writing this book, I discovered that we are all inextricably connected to one another and the planet we live on. Because we are all on the inside of the great system, looking outwards for understanding and meaning with the tools of science, and looking inwards for meaning with the disciplined practices of metaphysics, the answers we seek are contained in all of them, taken together, rather than in any one of them, separately considered.
This book is an expression of my personal values more than anything else. From time to time, you will see traces of the deep-seated rage I feel about the way we have perverted what we know to hurt each other and damage the planet we live on. My anger is not unilaterally directed only at those who practice science without conscience. You will also see expressions which border on the ecstatic when I discuss some of my personal insights. What I discovered during this process fundamentally altered my view of myself, my role in life and my appreciation for the sacredness of all things.
More than anything else, I hope you will come to share my commitment to cut through the proscriptive linguistic, cultural and semantic filters which make it possible for us to take refuge behind our own bigotry. Like you, I want to know what really makes nature work, not just what is filtered through the mainstream scientific journals, not just what the institutions of religion trot out as truth, not just what I discover through my own introspective practices. To the extent that this book helps you discover how the Cosmos works, the work will have been worth the doing. To the extent that you find occasion to disagree with my conclusions or methodology, you are invited to share your observations, criticisms and suggestions with me. My hope is that you will find the information contained in these pages as exciting and compelling as I have. And most importantly, I hope you have a good read.