Did you know that nothing can actually travel into a black hole? In fact, both no-thing and no-when make it there, since space and time are actually the same force (AKA spacetime). As gravity increases, time slows down, and somewhere and somewhen inside a black hole, everything stops. Hawking Radiation describes the quantum effect of energy leaving a black hole, so it really isn’t “stuck” in there either. And then there are white holes, wormholes, exotic matter, and all manner of undiscovered windows into other dimensions and universes… It may be in the future we’ll discover that “black” holes are the brightest things in our galaxy: frozen portals of sky, infinitely bright, colorful, full-spectrum light shows.
Two old guys are out for a walk. One old guy turns to the other old guy and says, “I’ve got this big tree. It’s useless. It’s full of knots, gnarled all over, bent up and twisted in every branch, thick and squat and leaning. Lightning hit it and it wouldn’t break. Forest fires roar through, and it doesn’t even have the decency to burn. Sometimes it has fruit that is hard and tastes awful. It’s leaves are noxious. No carpenter will touch it. Chainsaws and axes can’t even get through its bark. They call it the stinktree. It’s that big thing by the road over there–totally useless.” The other old guy replies, “My friend, your tree is in bliss. It’s totally authentic, it never compares, and it knows all the goings of the earth without ever being touched by life’s ups and downs and extremes. Your stinktree has just one use: go learn from it.”
Some doomsayers are on the crusade about the upcoming AI takeover. Already we can see Silicon Valley gearing up for innovations in the robotics world: automation of the economy, computer manufacturing, “white-collar machines,” self-driving cars… many parents are already raising their kids with smartphones and tablets. Some people think we can stop this tsunami wave of machine domination, but it seems pretty clear we can’t. But fear not fellow carbon based lifeforms, machines will never be faster than human beings. Software and hardware will always be limited by the speed of light, while humans have the ability to go much, much faster. The answer to the coming “takeover” isn’t to stop AI, it’s to start IA. IA stands for instantaneous awareness, AKA intuition, transcendental awareness, cosmic consciousness. It’s what happens when, through meditation techniques and ontological exploration, the human mind can again perceive and participate via the quantum field it generates from. Also noteworthy: groups of living organisms–found in some diverse ecosystems and communities–are far more complex than any machine or software will ever be. Most cities on earth are really just out-of-control supercomputers. Ff only we could harness that processing power…
The Hebrew Bible has a very unusual angel that has always fascinated me. Its name is Metatron, highest of the archangels in the tree of life. I’ve heard of electrons, protons, neutrons, lifetrons, gravitrons, megatrons, Tron (1982, Disney), cosmotrons, climatrons, perceptrons, but never a “metatron.” Tron is a fascinating suffix that indicates “control over” and has defined our ability to understand, largely through scientific imagining, the nature of our universe. But here is a “meta” tron, sitting in the ancient Kabbalah. Meta means intrinsically beyond, like being self-aware of being self-aware or learning how to learn. In quantum mechanics I once read about something like a “meta particle” called the Sole Atom. You see, if you were a singularity (god-like creator being) and you wanted to generate your own universe, perhaps to explore what it felt like to be you being you in an infinite variety of ways, you would only need One Particle to accomplish the task. A “Sole Atom” would not have to slow down to travel at the speed of light, nor travel any distance to get around… rather it would appear to instantaneously create form and symmetry for all consciousness, energy, and matter to exist and subsist. It makes us consider that the entire universe is constantly being created and maintained by a single particle moving at infinite speed. That’s one very, very fast archangel.
If you wanted to summarize all religion, philosophy, ontology, spirituality in a single word, it would have to be identity. In fact, you might summarize all science, psychology, politics, mathematics, and history within the same concept. This becomes especially true if you can define identity as: I AM. What am I today? How many I’s am I? How many am’s can my I be at any given time, simultaneously? If I identify with something outside of what I am, doesn’t that make the thing I’m identifying with also what I am? In fact, if you could truly identify with something–a cat, a fig, a myth or archetype, a political ideology, a profession, a color–you would become it’s embodied form. The identification process is a quantum computer which sets parameters and negotiates new programming for our evolving, co-created reality. That is why spiritual traditions inevitably, at their core, teach human personalities how to identify with the divine. What “human” and “personalities” and “identify” and “divine” mean has to do with the culture of the spiritual tradition. You can reverse engineer the process too: ask yourself this question, what do I most deeply identify with? If you could truly answer that question, you would discover what you were (what you am?) at your very core. There are no limits to the identity game; it ends in endlessness. The only thing keeping you from growing, learning, evolving, enlightening, expanding, transcending is how big you let your I Am be.
When you imagine something, you’re brain processes information in a downward direction. Conversely, directly perceiving with the senses makes information flow up. Physical reality flows from occipital lobe to parietal lob, while imagination flows from parietal to occipital. Yet, we know that our senses aren’t always trustworthy, our reality is (ultimately) subjective/relative, that sometimes imagination can feel more real than reality, and that sometimes reality can feel surreal, like mere imagination. What does an orange elephant smell like? A blue one? Take a moment and see if you can snuff the difference. You may have to use your “imaginary smell,” but again, isn’t your sense of physical “ordinary smell” also just an act of imagination? Your imagination is merely interpreting your limbic system interpreting firing olfactory bulbs which are interpreting epithelium receptors which are interpreting nasal mucus solutions which are interpreting vaporized odor molecules. Even the Bible wasn’t translated so many times. All that work probably makes it feel really real. And if I asked you to imagine smelling a rose, might it just be you and your neo-cortex/limbic system remembering? Or would you be recreating the smell of the rose in your mind (just imagining)? If we add a spiritual twist, noting the role of the pineal gland and an understanding that there are extrasensory perceptions in the pre/frontal brain (though we might lump them together and just call them “intuition”), what’s really imagining what? Or better yet, who’s really imagining who? It may be that imagination and perception of reality are just flows of energy–neither are really “there!” Yet, if we pay closer attention to our flow, and the qualities of energy therein, it may be that both physical perception and imagination have hidden depths and mysteries yet to be discovered.