Dating with the Energetic Body

The world of internet dating requires that you expose yourself to a lot of potential matches.  That is its beauty as well as its curse, because one thing that becomes apparent very quickly is that we match some people’s energy field better than others.  With some people you feel a spark and with others you don’t, and it’s hard to put a finger on what makes that happen or not.  The spark has become something of a fascination for me.

I know that my physical body has particular likes and dislikes. There is a certain look that sets me all aflutter.  Sometimes another woman will look at a man who I think is handsome and say, “Not at all,” so I know that my particular likes are very subjective.  Subjective to what?

Some think that our biological programming for self-preservation makes us search for mates who are genetically similar to us.  The shape of our mate often matches the shapes of our relatives.

Others believe that women are looking for mates outside their gene pool because this will produce healthier offspring.  For example, it has been shown that women prefer a man’s smell that is not like their own.  The assumption is that she chooses a different smell as a way of selecting genetic diversity.

For whatever reason, most of us have a physical “type” that we are attracted to.  When we see it we feel a spark.

But we are more than just a physical body.  We also have an energetic body that extends from us and becomes activated when other people are around.  When we find an energy body that we really like, we feel ours respond.  When we find one we don’t like, we are repelled.

Any discussion of the energy field that surrounds us is very subjective because we can’t actually prove that such a thing exists.  Most of us know through personal experience that it exists, but it can’t be duplicated or tested with the scientific method.   Therefore our personal energy field is a subjective force, some have even called it a cognitive force, and that’s a difficult realm for science to explore.

Whether our energy field is “good” or “bad”, positive or negative, really depends on who is looking at it.  What one person finds to be good another might find to be bad.  There is nothing about my personal energy or anyone else’s that is definitive.  Everything depends on the perspective from which it is viewed.  If this explanation resembles the perception puzzle of quantum physics, it is no surprise, is it?  The closer we get to the truth, the more we realize how subjective the truth is.

Personal energy is a subjective force, but that doesn’t mean that none of our objective principles apply to it.  I think the principles of electromagnetism apply to it very well.  Thinking about my personal energy and your personal energy as real forces that we simply don’t know how to measure yet helps me understand why we behave the way we do.

The “spark” that we get when we meet someone with the right body, or the right mind, or the right attitude is our recognition of energy compatibility.  What I mean by energy compatibility in the physical sense is that the positives and negatives match up, the harmonics of the waves are in synch, and the frequency is at the same pitch.  When waves of energy are in harmony they converge and become stronger.  When the waves are not in harmony they become destructive.  It is very much like electromagnetism.

When I am sitting across the table from someone and trying to get to know them on a date, I’m not thinking about the electromagnetic experience we are having, but I sure am feeling it.  The difference between someone I “click” with and someone I don’t is quite noticeable and it may depend on whether our energy fields are compatible.

In physics an energy field, or electric field, is naturally created around electrically charged particles and this field can exert a force on other electrically charged objects.  Since I know that I am composed of billions of electrically charged particles in my cellular makeup, it must be that I also create an electrical field around my particles.  I produce my own energy but I am also influenced by my interactions with other people and their energy fields.

I have an image in my mind of what the energy body might look like.  I don’t think it is one ball of energy, but countless balls of energy that are held together in what appears to be a single mass.  Each ball interacts with the others to create a cohesive energetic shape.  Each of those balls holds a particular kind of energy (be it emotional, physical, mental) and carries with it a charge that varies throughout time.  Our energy body is quite dynamic and the charges can change.  Whether that charge is electrical or magnetic is somewhat unimportant.

Electricity and magnetism go hand and hand, so if I am an energy field I must also be a magnetic field.  A simple explanation of Maxwell’s theory of electricity is that if you have an electrical field you will also have a magnetic field, and vice versa.  Einstein took it further in his theory of special relativity and stated that a magnetic field and an electric field are just two perspectives of the same thing.  What appears to one observer to be an electric phenomena may appear to another observer to be a magnetic phenomena.  Special relativity blends electricity and magnetism into a single, inseparable phenomena called electromagnetism.  So, we can talk about electrical fields or magnetic fields, but we are basically talking about the same thing.

As far as we know, every object is affected by the presence of a magnetic field, but some materials react more strongly than others.  Humans, therefore, are not immune to the presence of someone else’s magnetic field but we would expect to react more strongly with some than others.

The magnetism of an object depends upon its electron configuration.  In most cases, electrons want to pair with electrons of opposite charge so that their net magnetism is zero.  Electrons are somewhat unstable when they are alone and they like to pair up, just like humans.

What usually happens in the physical world is that a solitary electron will either pair up with another electron of opposite polarity or it will move into a shell of lower energy electrons where it will have a net zero magnetic effect.  Now doesn’t that sound just like life to you?  We either pair up with a mate or move into a shell of friends where our energy doesn’t upset the balance.

Paired electrons are required to have magnetic signatures pointing in the opposite direction (be bipolar) so that their combined magnetic field is cancelled out or neutralized.  When we succesfully pair up with a mate we no longer broadcast an attractive force.  We have become balanced as a pair.

An unpaired electron, on the other hand, is free to align itself in any direction.

When two materials come into contact and one of them has a strong magnetic signature, the other will align itself in opposite polarity so that the net magnetic effect is zero.  This is how electromagnetic energy is balanced in the physical world.  Opposites attract to create a net energy balance. I think it must be very similar in the subjective or cognitive world.

Just like our electrons, we long to be in balance and, like electrons, we sometimes leap in order to bond.  The spark felt when we meet someone we really like is the equivalent of a billion electrons achieving balance at once.  That is magnetism. It is the attraction factor which draws two particles together or sends them apart.  Once the attraction factor is established the process becomes more electrical in nature, but initially it is a magnetic response.  If we apply this to our lives we can see why we need to be attracted to someone to get a relationship started.  We know the stuff that comes later is more important, but we need the initial magnetism and the electrical dynamics to get things started if we are to live in a future state of net zero.

In the physical world as we know it, magnetism is always expressed as a positive and a negative – a dipole.  Even if you cut a magnet in half, you still get a dipole.  There is no evidence in the physical world as we know it for a monopole – something that has only one pole.  Quantum theory says monopoles should exist, but we haven’t found any evidence of them yet.  The grand unification theory and the superstring theory both support the possibility of monopoles.

A monopole is therefore a theoretical particle that carries a single magnetic charge, much in the same way that a particle carries an electric charge.   You can imagine how puzzling it is for physicists who can’t understand why we don’t see monopoles in the physical world when the mathematics seem so solid.  Did Maxwell and Einstein have it wrong by saying that electricity and magnetism are two perspectives of the same thing?  If an electrical particle can have a singular charge, why can’t a magnetic particle? And why don’t we see any evidence of it in the physical world?

What would a monopole act like?  Theoretically, the mutual attraction of a north and south monopole would initially draw the particles close together.  But once they got close to each other they would no longer have an attraction for each other.

That sounds very much like some of the doomed romances that people get into. The immediate attraction is quite strong, but the closer we get the weaker the attraction becomes.  It makes me wonder if the elusive monopole might be within our personal energy field.

Maybe some of the packets of energy that make up our personal energy behave like monopoles.  If we create a personal energy field which is based on our thoughts, emotions, and memories, and if that field is composed of discrete packets of energy that represent something specific and carry a specific charge, then maybe some of those packets or balls of energy have a single magnetic charge instead of a paired charge.  Maybe the reason why we don’t see monopoles in the physical world is because they only exist in the subjective or cognitive world.

I don’t know how to tell if someone has the right energetic configuration for me except by how I feel.  I am not able to see the energetic field of another person, and even if I could I would also have to be able to see my own energy field to figure out if we are a match.   I know some people say they can see other people’s auras, which is a representation of our energy field, but I wonder if anyone can see their own?  I suspect it is quite difficult, maybe even impossible, to view our own energy field.

I can’t see the energy lines of the earth’s magnetic field either, but there are several animals that apparently can.  Pigeons, for example, have magnetite in their beak that helps them line up the magnetic pathway back home.  They may also have magnetic receptors in their retinas which allows them to actually see the magnetic field lines with their eyes.  There are some bacteria that line up and move along magnetic field lines.  Sharks have receptors around their mouth and nose that are very sensitive to electrical changes.

If electromagnetic principles are consistent throughout the universe, then it stands to reason that they are consistent in us as well.  If animals are using magnetism, we are probably doing it too but are simply not aware of it.  We think our choices are in response to triggers like memories, feelings, intuition, or intellect.  Those things certainly exist, but when you peel back the layers they all end up being an electromagnetic force.

The biggest breakthrough in science of this century will be the realization that our thoughts and emotions create an energy field that follows the same rules and principles of the physical world.  However, it is not the same world.  The cognitive world is a place all its own, a dimension that has not been explored by science.  Within this dimensional world we very well may find the elusive monopole buried deep in the physics of our thought, emotions and instinct.

Now that I have that all figured out, I think I will put it out of my head for a while and simply enjoy the experience of meeting someone who creates a spark in me.  I hope it is a simple spark I feel and not a monopole spark because monopole sparks don’t seem to lead to stability, but only time will tell.

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Sidetracked by Samuel Coleridge

Sidetracked by Samuel Coleridge

I got sidetracked by Samuel Coleridge today and he really got me to thinking.

Are we punished for our sins, and can we make penance that releases us from those sins?  That is a question that man has asked for as long as we can remember and probably longer still.

The results of our actions can follow us, clinging to us like the smell of a rotten albatross that has been hung around our neck to remind us of our foolish choices.  The “albatross around my neck” is a phrase that comes from a poem written in 1798 by Samuel Coleridge called “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.  Two hundred years later it still rings true and paints a picture of sin, penance, redemption and love.

The story is told by an ancient mariner to a man he meets on the street, just outside a church where a wedding is about to begin.  There is something in the eyes of this man on his way to the celebration that makes the mariner believe he must hear his story, that he must learn what the mariner learned.  Despite his protests, the Mariner holds him, first with his boney hand and then with his words, until he has finished his story.

There was a ship with 200 men that had sailed south to the seas of Antarctica and they were in danger of becoming stuck in the floating ice and dying in its clutches.  Without a southerly wind to push them away, they were doomed to die in the frigid waters of the deepest latitudes of exploration.

Out of the clouds and mist came an albatross, and the men cheered because along with the albatross came the south wind they needed.  The ice parted and the ship sailed free, and the bird followed them for many days.  One day, for reasons we are not given, the mariner aimed with his crossbow and shot the bird dead.

Soon after, the wind also died and the other sailors blamed the mariner for their bad luck.  He had killed the bird that brought the southern wind, and now they were stuck in the doldrums.  They were no longer cold, but blistering hot.  Day after day they sat in the parching sun, waiting for the wind, as their water and food ran out.  From this scene we get the classic lines:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The other sailors blamed their bad fortune on the mariner’s killing of the albatross, so they tied an albatross around his neck and made him wear it to remind him of what he had done.

One by one the sailors died until only the mariner lived and he saw the blame in each dead man’s eyes.  The souls of his shipmates passed the mariner like the sound of the arrow he had shot from his crossbow, and he knew there would be no forgetting what he had done.

For seven days he lived with the dead men and felt no kinship with anything, not even the animals of the sea, which he called “slimy creatures.”  He tried to pray, but nothing would come from his lips except a hoarse whisper and still he cursed the sea.

As long as he cursed others, he was cursed himself.  One day he was watching the sea-snakes in the waters, creatures that had repulsed him before, and suddenly saw them as beautiful.  He found himself blessing them for their life and beauty and sending them love.

Almost immediately the albatross fell from his neck and dropped into the sea, and he saw the beauty of every life that lives, even that of the albatross, and he was able to pray again.

[Side note:  Notice that the mariner did not take off the rotting albatross even though all his mates were dead.  He chose to continue wearing the weight of his sin, even though there was no one to stop him from tossing it off.]

Afterwards he slept in a delerium, and thought his dead mates had risen up to sail the ship again.  When he woke the ship was sailing, but still there was no breeze.  It was not the wind but the ocean that was moving him and it was taking him home.

As he lay on the boat filled with dead men two voices came to him in his delerium.  One voice said that he was loved as much as the albatross.  The other said his penance was done.  No longer would he wear the albatross as a reminder.

He sailed on a mysterious wind that brought him to within sight of the lighthouse of his homeland.  He might have gone unnoticed and drifted past the harbor, except that above each of his dead shipmates a golden apparition appeared, 200 of them shining like a beacon to catch the attention of those on shore.

A pilot, a boy and a monk rowed out to greet the ship with the strange lights.  No sooner were they upon it than the skies turned dark and the water rumbled, and a whirlpool appeared that cracked the ship in two and sucked it under.  The mariner was left floating in the water while his mates drifted down to their final resting place.

The mariner was hauled into the small rowboat, and for a moment they were all caught in the maelstrom of the whirling winds, screaming and scared.  It was the mariner, weakened but forgiven, who finally picked up the oars and rowed them back to shore.

The mariner was home again, but the experience had changed him.  Now, when he sees something in the eyes of a man who needs to learn something, he is compelled to tell his story.  He has to share what he learned.  He tells the man who has now missed the wedding,

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

So, this is a story of love, after all.  It is a story of forgetting that we are all loved for whoever and whatever we are.  It is a story of the damage that our forgetfulness can cause.  It is a story of penance that we need to be released from.  It is a story of redemption once our lessons are learned.

I feel the albatross around my neck.  I smell the rotting stench of the carcass of that which should have been loved but instead was killed.  I have aimed my crossbow at those who I deemed ugly.  I am brought to my knees in humility for the beauty that I have taken away from the world.

I am the ancient mariner, and the likes of me will probably never die.  I am not a woman to pray, my mind doesn’t work that way, and yet I better find a method to feel the love that the ancient mariner found for every living thing.  He survived so he could teach, and today he taught me.

If you would like to read the complete poem of “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Coleridge, go to http://poetry.eserver.org/ancient-mariner.html

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Are Allergies Causing Your Cravings?

Have you ever had an allergy to something?  Most of us have, and the reaction can range from mild to severe.  We usually try to stay away from things we are allergic to.  But did you know that your body often craves the very thing it is allergic to, and actually draws you towards it?

Craving a food to which we are allergic is apparently a fairly common occurrence in nutrition, and one that is documented by scientific research.  According to studies, we become addicted to foods as a way of adapting to our allergic reaction to them.

Addiction is a chemical process, and this is a clear example of how our body takes one chemical reaction (the allergy) and responds to it by creating another chemical reaction (the addiction).  Once the addiction is in place, then we start craving the substance (in this case the allergen) in order to avoid going through withdrawal symptoms.  A cycle is set up so we keep exposing ourselves to the thing that makes us sick.  It’s crazy, but true.

Researchers have found that most addictive people have problems processing sugar and carbohydrates and are very protein deficient.  In some treatments people are taught how to recognize and modulate their feelings by paying attention to the foods they eat.

Certain foods can help produce serotonin.  Carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates likes sugars, can change our mood from boo-hoo to oh-well for about an hour or two.   That’s why we like candy or ice cream when we are feeling sorry for ourselves.

When you pair carbohydrates with proteins it actually restricts the production of serotonin.  That is probably why addictive people are protein deficient.  They instinctively know that it doesn’t help make them feel good.

Healthy foods that are known to increase serotonin levels include walnuts, many mushrooms, pineapple, banana, kiwi, plums, and tomatoes.  Notice how many of these are tropical foods, and you know how pleasant the Pacific Islanders are.  Maybe their natural food source wired them for more happiness than those of us from European descent.

Other researchers have shown that when we have high levels of the hormone cortisol because of too much stress, we tend to crave high energy foods like fats and sugars.  These will cause an increase in abdominal fat which blunts our feelings of stress.  There is something in the fat cells, researchers believe, that stops us from feeling stressed out.

It is fairly common knowledge that stress produces a ring of fat around the abdomen.  I thought it was because the adrenal glands, which produce the cortisol, are located above the kidneys, which is right around the abdominal section.  There is more cortisol around the mid-section than anywhere else.

I always thought the fat was caused by the cortisol.  But this study suggests that the fat is a defense mechanism and an attempt to buffer the cortisol.  This suggests that if you got rid of the belly fat but didn’t control the cortisol levels, you would actually feel worse without the fat than with it.

I am a believer in the cortisol effect on body shape.  When I got rid of some of my stress I lost a lot of belly fat without even trying.  I was glad to be done with it, but looking back now I feel a bit different about my belly because maybe it was there to protect me.

You’ve heard the saying “fat people are always such happy people.”  Well maybe they are happy because their fat dulls the effects of stress-induced depression.  Maybe there is a very sound biological reason for carrying some fat on us.  If we want to survive in this stressed out world, it makes more sense to be a little fat than to be fashionably slim.  Slim doesn’t give you any cushion against the stress of the world.  A little chubby seems like it could be the perfect place to be.

But I digress.  What I want to talk about is how we sometimes crave the very thing we are allergic to.  A cycle is set up:

allergic reaction –> addiction –> craving –> exposure –>

allergic reaction –> addiction, etc.

To an outsider this cycle would look like very poor decision making.  Why would someone keep going back to something that makes them feel bad?  Well, because our chemicals tell us to.

I am increasingly in wonder at how much of what I call “me” is actually controlled by the chemical processes that my subconscious controls.  I am beginning to understand why so many people, including me, do things that are contrary to their well-being.  We are all a bunch of addicts, and we sometimes crave the very thing that will undermine our well-being.

Some of us are allergic to stress, and yet we crave it and keep finding it.

Some of us are allergic to attention, and yet we set ourselves up to be in the spotlight.

Some of us are allergic to fear, and we find ways to be afraid over and over.

We are all just a bunch of addicts trying to cope with our addictions.  It helps me see people (and myself) in a more sympathetic light when I recognize that destructive behaviors are really just destructive chemical patterns.

It is fascinating that changing our diets has the potential to change these emotional addictions.  Food is a direct link to our chemistry.  It gets broken down in our stomach and gut into molecules which then react with other molecules to produce chemical reactions.  Changing the molecules in our body will change the chemical reactions and maybe break the cycle of craving what is bad for us.

It is kind of ironic that I would come to this conclusion that one of the most direct routes of changing our body (and brain) chemistry is through food, because I have had a real aversion issue with food for several years.  I don’t get much enjoyment out of food on a daily basis, and I find it a nuisance kind of chore to have to feed myself.  Improving my nutrition has been at the top of my list for some time.

In a very real sense, food is medicine.  The right kind of food in the right amounts and the right frequency is the key to feeling good.  Everybody needs something different, I suppose, because everybody has a different chemistry that their brain is creating.  That’s why one diet will never work for everyone trying to lose weight.  There will always be as many ways to address the problem as there are people who have a problem.

When you get down to the core of what we are as biological systems, chemistry becomes King.  That’s why pharmaceutical companies have grown so fast and gotten so big.  Scientists get it that chemistry is everything, so they try to alter it with drugs.  Sometimes they work very well.  Sometimes they have really bad consequences.

I don’t think food alone can cure the diseases we face, but they are an influence.  If we only relied on food to keep us healthy we would probably have a lifespan of about 40 years, like in the old days.  In order to live 80 years in this stress filled world, we need some help.  Drugs have given us many more years than our ancestors enjoyed.  But I think most nutritionists would agree that we wouldn’t need so many drugs if we just fed our body with better food.

Ultimately, to break the allergy-addiction cycle a person has to first become aware that the cycle exists, and then consciously try to break the cycle in whatever manner works.  Sometimes that will mean drugs; sometimes that will mean determined thought.

It is important that we have this discussion about craving the very thing we are allergic to.  In the discussions I want to have in the coming days I will be referring to one example of this — being allergic to attention.  In order to explain what I will be saying, I want you to understand what I mean when I say allergic to attention.  It is the allergy-addiction cycle at work.

In some people you may find a pattern where they do things to attract attention to themselves, but actually are uncomfortable when a lot of attention is put on them.  They are allergic to the stress of people putting a lot of attention on them (through expectations, obligations, or praise) but they act in ways that draw attention to themselves.

This allergy-addiction pattern is very interesting to me.  It is a cause-and-effect pattern that is scientifically proven, and I want to see if it applies to emotional patterns as well.  I think it does.

I think it is part of the Geography of Life.  It adds one more piece to our understanding of  why some people (including me) behave the way we do.

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Is Gravity an Illusion of Something Else?

The following article was forwarded to me by a friend in Bend.  It is a perfect addition to the train of thought I have going here.  We must be open to the idea that we haven’t figured everything out in science yet.  We can’t get too comfortable in explaining things the way they have always been explained.

As we develop our minds as a global society, the stream of consciousness gets raised higher and higher, and new ideas and thoughts spring up in the minds of humans.  The new idea in this article is that gravity is actually a different kind of force than we originally thought.  It’s not that we were wrong before, but we might not be understanding it as completely as we are capable of.

What I am doing here with my essays is trying to use our understanding of science in a new way to expand our understanding of the unknown.  I see a connection here, much like this guy sees gravity in a new way, and although we don’t have all the answers we offer a new way of looking for them.

If we look at the things we already know with a new set of eyes and an open mind we just might find that there are connections going on that we haven’t figured out yet.  But we can figure them out.  The stream of consciousness will make sure of it.  Ideas will be cast down into people all over the world, in little drips and drops of thought that fall from overhead.  We will always learn what it is we are capable of learning.  New ideas can and will take hold and expand our understanding.  This man is an example of that.  He has an idea that makes sense to him, and even though it is contradictory to what others have always said, he is telling it to the world and getting some attention in the process.  You go, guy!

From the Bend Bulletin, July 10, 2010.

Believe in gravity? Better think again

By Dennis Overbye / New York Times News Service

Published: July 13. 2010 4:00AM PST

It’s hard to imagine a more fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of life on the Earth than gravity, from the moment you first took a step and fell on your diapered bottom to the slow terminal sagging of flesh and dreams.

But what if it’s all an illusion, a sort of cosmic frill, or a side effect of something else going on at deeper levels of reality?

So says Erik Verlinde, 48, a respected string theorist and professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam, whose contention that gravity is indeed an illusion has caused a continuing ruckus among physicists, or at least among those who profess to understand it. Reversing the logic of 300 years of science, he argued in a recent paper, titled “On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton,” that gravity is a consequence of the venerable laws of thermodynamics, which describe the behavior of heat and gases.

“For me gravity doesn’t exist,” said Verlinde, who was recently in the United States to explain himself. Not that he can’t fall down, but Verlinde is among a number of physicists who say that science has been looking at gravity the wrong way and that there is something more basic, from which gravity “emerges,” the way stock markets emerge from the collective behavior of individual investors or that elasticity emerges from the mechanics of atoms.

Looking at gravity from this angle, they say, could shed light on some of the vexing cosmic issues of the day, like the dark energy, a kind of anti-gravity that seems to be speeding up the expansion of the universe, or the dark matter that is supposedly needed to hold galaxies together.

Verlinde’s argument turns on something you could call the “bad hair day” theory of gravity.

It goes something like this: Your hair frizzles in the heat and humidity, because there are more ways for your hair to be curled than to be straight, and nature likes options. So it takes a force to pull hair straight and eliminate nature’s options. Forget curved space or the spooky attraction at a distance described by Isaac Newton’s equations well enough to let us navigate the rings of Saturn, the force we call gravity is simply a byproduct of nature’s propensity to maximize disorder.

Some of the best physicists in the world say they don’t understand Verlinde’s paper, and many are outright skeptical. But some of those very same physicists say he has provided a fresh perspective on some of the deepest questions in science, namely why space, time and gravity exist at all — even if he has not yet answered them.

“Some people have said it can’t be right, others that it’s right and we already knew it — that it’s right and profound, right and trivial,” Andrew Strominger, a string theorist at Harvard, said.

“What you have to say,” he went on, “is that it has inspired a lot of interesting discussions. It’s just a very interesting collection of ideas that touch on things we most profoundly do not understand about our universe. That’s why I liked it.”

In a provocative calculation in 1995, Ted Jacobson, a theorist from the University of Maryland, showed that given a few of these holographic ideas, Einstein’s equations of general relativity are just a another way of stating the laws of thermodynamics.

Those exploding black holes (at least in theory — none has ever been observed) lit up a new strangeness of nature. Black holes, in effect, are holograms — like the 3-D images you see on bank cards. All the information about what has been lost inside them is encoded on their surfaces. Physicists have been wondering ever since how this “holographic principle” — that we are all maybe just shadows on a distant wall — applies to the universe and where it came from.

In one striking example of a holographic universe, Juan Maldacena of the Institute for Advanced Study constructed a mathematical model of a “soup can” universe, where what happened inside the can, including gravity, is encoded in the label on the outside of the can, where there was no gravity, as well as one less spatial dimension. If dimensions don’t matter and gravity doesn’t matter, how real can they be?

Paper has received little attention

Lee Smolin, a quantum gravity theorist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, called Jacobson’s paper “one of the most important papers of the last 20 years.”

But it received little attention at first, said Thanu Padmanabhan of the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India, who has taken up the subject of “emergent gravity” in several papers over the last few years. Padmanabhan said that the connection to thermodynamics went deeper that just Einstein’s equations to other theories of gravity. “Gravity,” he said recently in a talk at the Perimeter institute, “is the thermodynamic limit of the statistical mechanics of ‘atoms of space-time.’”

Verlinde said he had read Jacobson’s paper many times over the years but that nobody seemed to have gotten the message. People were still talking about gravity as a fundamental force. “Clearly we have to take these analogies seriously, but somehow no one does,” he complained.

His paper, posted to the physics archive in January, resembles Jacobson’s in many ways, but Verlinde bristles when people say he has added nothing new to Jacobson’s analysis. What is new, he said, is the idea that differences in entropy can be the driving mechanism behind gravity, that gravity is, as he puts it an “entropic force.”

Think of the universe as a box of Scrabble letters. There is only one way to have the letters arranged to spell out the Gettysburg Address, but an astronomical number of ways to have them spell nonsense. Shake the box and it will tend toward nonsense, disorder will increase and information will be lost as the letters shuffle toward their most probable configurations. Could this be gravity?

As a metaphor for how this would work, Verlinde used the example of a polymer — a strand of DNA, say, a noodle or a hair — curling up.

“It took me two months to understand polymers,” he said.

The resulting paper, as Verlinde himself admits, is a little vague.

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I can’t say “heart” when I mean “love”

Sometimes you have to take a stand for what you think is right and wrong.  That’s why I am taking a stand against the symbol ♥ in the written language.

Why is the slogan “I ♥ New York” is pronounced “I HEART New York” instead of “I love New York?”  Why is the movie “I ♥ the Huckabees” pronounced the same way?  Why are we saying HEART when we mean LOVE?

I’m quite sure that the first time the heart symbol ♥ was inserted into a slogan it was as a clever substitute for the word “love.”  The graphic designer who did that never expected us to say HEART.  They expected us to make the connection in our minds and say LOVE when we see the heart.

But everyone says HEART now when they see the symbol.  Did someone train us to say that, or did we all come up with it on our own?

I just can’t do it.  I find it very contrived and almost stupid to say “heart” when it means “love” and sounds so much worse to my ear.  “I heart New York?”  I don’t think so.  Since I can’t do it, I have to make sure that I never utter a sentence or title that has the heart symbol ♥ in it.  I will refer to it in some other way rather than say “heart.”

Every time I see the ♥ I am going to say “love” instead of “heart”.  The only time I am going to say “heart” is when I’m talking about it here.  It’s a symbol, for crying out loud!  It stands for LOVE, not heart.  The fact that we feel love in our heart isn’t good enough reason to say “heart” instead of “love.”

Here is a pattern in the geography of life that I am not content to simply observe.  This one, I want to change!  I want to hear LOVE instead of heart. I refuse to perpetuate this stupid idiom.

Oh, what a rebel I am (haha) to take such a firm stand against the improper use of ♥ in writing.

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Revenge . . . sweet or sick?

I wrote about revenge several weeks ago, and admitted that I liked thinking about it but didn’t want to actually do it.  Well, I changed my mind.  I did it and it feels surprisingly good.

Revenge is not a very holy feeling, I will admit.  It is based not only on anger but on reverse compassion.  I don’t know if we have a good word to describe what reverse compassion is.  Compassion being able to empathize with someone’s suffering and having a desire to stop their suffering.  Reverse compassion is being able to imagine someone’s suffering and having a desire to increase it.

Increased suffering.  Oh, yeah.  Bring it on.  What kind of a bitch am I, you might wonder, who wants to increase suffering in the world?  I am a bitch who wants to survive, I guess, because I needed to transfer some of the suffering to someone else if I wanted to survive, and frankly I’m surprised how well it has balanced things out for me.

For most of us, we rarely have any reason to seek out revenge.  Nobody is doing anything so severe to us that warrants an act of revenge.  People who need acts of revenge are those who feel that some situation was so unfair it had to be balanced by their negative actions.

People with very weak personalities will seek revenge for every petty infraction they imagine happening to them.  I’m not talking about that kind of revenge.  I’m talking about the kind of revenge that you save up for and dish out only once or twice in your whole life.  I’m talking about revenge that comes from a deep sense of injustice.  Somehow, things aren’t right in terms of how much responsibility each person is carrying for their actions, and that is what breeds revenge.

I manuevered two acts of revenge recently, so of course I am going to defend revenge.  I am going to explore why revenge worked so well for me, and what I am supposed to learn from it

I will begin my defense of revenge by saying that both ideas came to me in what we call a flash of inspiration.  I didn’t sit around for hours thinking things through.  Both ideas came to me fully formed (and in retrospect, pretty damned near perfect) and ready to go.  It was as if they were given to me by that great stream of consciousness that circles around us.  I thought of them as divine inspirations.  Who am I to argue with the divine?

The first idea I didn’t argue about in my head at all.  I put it in motion almost instantly and enjoyed everything I hoped to accomplish. I am not angry at the person any more, I feel the scales have been balanced, and I didn’t hurt them too bad in the process.  I had to hurt them in some way, of course, because that is the whole point of revenge.  If you don’t deliver some hurt, you haven’t balanced the scales and that’s what it is all about for me.  Balancing the scales.  My first act worked perfectly and I feel the world is a happier place now because of it.

How is that possible?  How could me acting in revenge and causing someone else to suffer result in more happiness?  I’ve got a few ideas, but I’ll hold off for a bit and let you consider it.

My second act of revenge came in the same way.  It just plopped into my head while I was driving.  I argued with myself on this one, but eventually gave in to the idea.  It took me about 10 minutes of argument before I succumbed.  This one was a bit more technical than the first one, so I had to get my head in the right place before I carried it out.  The position I needed to be in was anger with a sense of justice.  It wasn’t that hard.

My second revenge act is much slower than the first.  It also has more lessons.  Embedded in the revenge are lessons for me in patience, in self-responsibility, and in creativity.  There are so many good lessons in it, I just can’t believe it is anything other than divinely inspired.  I couldn’t come up with something so perfect on my own.  I have to assume that the stream of consciousness contributed to this idea.

As I started putting the pieces together to carry out the revenge, I noticed a sense of calm coming over me.  I didn’t stop the revenge, but I reveled in the feeling that I was experiencing.  I took the revenge through the first two phases, and everything worked exactly as I had hoped.  I caused some suffering, but it eased some of mine.

As I mentioned, this particular act requires some patience on my part.  The remaining pieces of it have to be measured out carefully and delivered at the right time. I have to exercise restraint if it is to work according to “the plan.”  Waiting gives me time to look at my thoughts and decide exactly what my approach should be.  I had already started planning the next phase, and yet after taking some time away from the issue I see how I could do it even better (and more purely) than the way I had first imagined.  Waiting is a good thing and helps me learn the lessons of my revenge.  I’m all about learning.  That’s why I will carry on with the plan even though I am carrying less and less anger.  The scales have already started to balance.

So what is it about revenge that is making me feel so much better?  I suppose some might say it is proof that I have gone psychotic, but unfortunately that is not the answer.  If anything, these acts of revenge have made me less psychotic.  Psychotic was feeling like there was too much being put upon me.  Sanity is feeling like there is a sharing of the shit we all have to face.

In the classic view of mental energy, revenge would be a negative emotion and therefore should spawn only negative things.  It doesn’t make sense to me using the classical framework how revenge actually made me feel better and more capable of carrying on. Yes, it caused others to suffer, but it made me feel like things were in balance and therefore my world was better.  How could negative energy make me feel better?

The answer to this lies in analyzing our judgment of revenge as a negative emotion.  Emotions are energy, I firmly believe that.  But whether an energy is good or bad is purely a human and spiritual decision.  In the physical realm of things I think positive and negative energy hold the same relative value.  There is no judgment of whether the energy is good or bad.  There is simply a judgment of whether there is balance.  This is the Geography of Life in action.  Our emotions are energetic patterns that follow the same principles of all energy.  Balance is always being sought.

In my case, the energy was way out of balance and revenge was a way of addressing the imbalance.  I needed to shift some of the negative energy in the direction it belonged so that I wasn’t holding it all. In terms of physics it makes perfect sense, but in terms of morality it doesn’t.  What makes something that sounds bad actually be good?

In the physical world of energy, there is no judgment of whether revenge is right or wrong.  There is only judgment of whether the energy is balanced.  Evidently my revenge must have accomplished that because I feel better.

So, I ask the question:  Is revenge ever appropriate?  I have to answer with a resounding, “Yes!”  I don’t think it is something that we should have to engage in very often.  If the scales of balance are getting that far out of whack all the time, I need to reassess whether I am creating the need for revenge or if it is real.  But if there really is an injustice, I think the right kind of revenge can balance things out. (I’m still opposed to revenge that causes property damage, by the way.)

In my life (and I speak only for myself) I take on too much responsibility and therefore allow others to take on far less than they should.  I don’t know why some people take the low road of doing less than they know they should, but they do.  Me taking on their responsibility doesn’t do them any good at all because we all need to be responsible for ourselves.  Creating an environment where others are taught (through my actions) that they are not responsible is a negative thing for me to do.  I have done that, and now I have to balance the scales.  It’s time to call a couple of people out on their bullshit, and doing it is making me feel better in the process.

Is revenge bad?  Obviously, I’m not wasting any sleep over guilt feelings on this one.  I’m going to explain it with my understanding of the physical world and say that revenge is just a way of transferring energy, and there’s no judgment in that.  It is what it is.  I did it and I liked it.  But I hope I don’t have to do it again.

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Reincarnation and Worm Holes

This is reprinted from an earlier essay I wrote, but I think it fits into this blog very well so I am posting it again.

I was watching a show about a boy who was born with memories of another life.  When his mother asked him how he got here, he said a hole opened up and he fell through it into this life.

As luck would have it, the same night I also watched a show about black holes and the subject of worm holes came up.  I suddenly thought, “What if reincarnation is basically falling through a worm hole?”

If we believe that the design of the universe is basically repeated over and over in everything within it, using worm holes to describe reincarnation isn’t a stretch of the imagination at all.  In fact, it makes sense.  Dying is like entering a black hole.  Being born is like being ejected from the white hole.  And being reincarnated is like falling through a worm hole.

Let’s review a few facts about cosmic holes.  As you read this, think about what you have also learned about birth and death of humans and notice the similarities.

There are three basic types of cosmic holes:  black holes, white holes, and worm holes.

Black holes begin as really huge stars that collapse upon themselves.  They are areas where the gravity is so dense that it creates a huge sucking vacuum.  At the center of a black hole is a particle with extreme density and this particle is called a singularity.  The force of gravity of this singularity is so strong that everything that comes near it is drawn towards it, even light rays.

If you were somehow to be inside a black hole looking out, the opening would look like a brilliant glow as the light rays were being swept in.

The intense gravity of a black hole causes time to warp.  The rule is that the more gravity there is, the slower time moves.  This has been proven by monitoring two clocks, one on the earth and the other in a rocket going up into space.  As the rocket leaves the gravitational field of the earth, it actually appears to be moving faster than the clock back here on Earth.  .

In the center of a black hole time would move extremely slow and eternity would take on a whole new meaning.  If you were inside a black hole for 5 minutes, you might return to find that 500 years had passed here on earth.  Black holes slow down time so much that if I were to watch you getting sucked into a black hole it would look to me as if you had come to a complete stop.

One other aspect of black holes that is interesting is that they produce quasars, which are the brightest pulses of light known in the universe.  The theory is that the light burst doesn’t come from the black hole itself (nothing escapes a black hole by definition) but from the swirling gases that surround it’s opening (also called the “event horizon.”)  Keep this in mind that even a black hole emits energy in a roundabout way.

White holes are the opposite of black holes.  Instead of being a dark spot that sucks everything in, a white hole is a brilliant spewing of things outward.  In fact, some theorize that it was a white hole that started the entire universe in the big bang theory.  White holes are purely theoretical, but the mathematics supports their existence.  (For you mathematical types, the equation for a white hole allows for the square root of a negative number which is normally a mathematical impossibility.)

Because they only emit particles and gases, nothing can enter a white hole.  This is just the opposite of a black hole which assumes nothing can exit from it.  Some theorists say that a white hole would quickly run out of material and turn into a black hole, so the subject of whether they could actually exist still quite open to debate.  The reason why anyone even considers it is because they can be proven mathematically with some bending of the normal rules.

White holes and black holes essentially represent two different universes.  What if white holes are the backsides of black holes in a parallel universe?  Matter goes in through the black hole and comes out through the white hole on the other side.  The only way of entering a white hole would be through a black hole.  (Which is kind of like saying the only way you can be reborn is to die.)

Time is very different in a white hole.  It would be opposite of a black hole, and therefore time would move backwards instead of forwards.  Therefore, scientists say that a black hole represents a future event and a white hole represents a past event.

The theoretical bridge between these two alternate universes is called a worm hole.  Worm holes provide a shortcut through space and time and are formed like a tube or umbilical cord between two spacetimes.

We don’t have physical evidence for worm holes, but they can be proven mathematically.  A worm hole would theoretically link a black hole to a white hole, and they could exist in other situations as well.

The trouble with worm holes is that they are inherently unstable.  Einstein said that nothing would be able to pass through a worm hole because they pinch off too fast.  In order to make a worm hole stable, it needs something called “exotic matter.”

Exotic matter is also hypothetical and used in particle physics.  It is any material that violates one of the basic rules of physics, such as having a negative mass or being repelled by gravity instead of attracted.  The mathematics of such a particle are totally supported, but they predict a behavior of the exotic matter so bizarre that it violates our understanding of the universe.  Either our math is wrong or our understanding of the universe is wrong.

So let’s put this all into the perspective of being reincarnated.  It first starts with an assumption that some part of our awareness is retained after death.  If it weren’t there would be nothing to reincarnate.

The next assumption is that we use these theoretical descriptions of cosmic holes and alternate universes as analogies to God and the metaphysical.  You will find that there are many similarities and the assumption isn’t hard to reach.

We start our journey by being born and it is like a quasar shot from a white hole.  We are made up of particles emitted from the white hole, some new and some recycled.  We arrive and live our time here on earth.  Then it is time to die.

Dying is like crossing the event horizon of a black hole.  You can hover near death and sometimes escape death, but once you cross the event horizon there is no return from the black hole of death.  To the observer it will look like you have stopped.  Gravity will compress you and slow time down.  It will seem as if time has ceased to exist, just like we always suspect will happen with death.  It would seem as if an eternity were spent in the black hole, and the closer you were to the center the more dramatic the effect would be.

At the core of the black hole is a single particle called a singularity.  Maybe God is a singularity?  Is that why God is eternal?  Maybe time has slowed down so much that it doesn’t even appear to move any more.

Some people report seeing a bright light during a near death experience.  At first glance this seems inconsistent with my theory that death is entering a black hole.  But two explanations can be offered.  The first explanation is that if you were inside a black hole looking behind you, you would see a mass of light entering through the hole.  Seeing the white light may be the person looking back on what they are leaving.

The other explanation is that we can sometimes see the brilliance of the white hole at the other end even as we are entering the darkness of the black hole.  Keep in mind that not everyone reports this bright white light.  Some people see nothing during their near death experience.  However, those who do report a bright light obviously are not making it up.  They are seeing something that needs to be explained.

On the other side of the black hole is the white hole, which is essentially rebirth.  Under normal processes it kind of like a giant intestine where food goes into the hungry mouth and comes out the other end as something completely different.  By the time matter goes through the black hole and out the other side to the white hole, it would have lost most of its initial integrity.  We would be nothing but individual particles of energy that are recycled in random bits to form new life.

But the presence of a worm hole would change that.  If a worm hole opened it might allow particles that were not yet fully disintegrated to take a short cut to the white hole.  Bits and pieces of us that are still integrated would be available for rebirth in the white hole.

This is consistent with the theory of reincarnation because the memories that a living person feels are never the totality of the dead person.  It is just bits a pieces of that person which are reincarnated.

Most of us are not born with reincarnated chunks.  Most of us have bits of particles that come from many different sources.  They help give us natural talents and handicaps, but we have no conscious memory of where they came from.  Our particles were thoroughly recycled by the black hole/white hole digestion experience.

When that rare case of reincarnation does occur, and evidence suggests that it does happen, there has to be a method for those undigested particles to skip out of the black hole and into the white hole.  A worm hole would be the logical route

Understanding my own life and death as the same process that happens with the life and death of matter in the universe makes a lot of sense to me.

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