Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Universal Order of Design - part II

This is a continuation of the previous blog entry, discussing the theory of Arthur M. Young which he described in his book, The Reflexive Universe.  In that blog, I have made a few corrections to the theory based upon modern findings in science, plus I started to fill in some of the gaps based upon the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg. What is this, and how is it related to Swedenborg?  Well, it is a theory of everything. It is a theory that properly describes the universe around us. And if there is a gap in our knowledge, it exposes the gap, and it will tell you, "something is missing here." And it will tell you how that something should behave. All of the universe can be divided into seven states of existence, and each state corresponds to the other. Thus it is strongly related to Swedenborg's system or theory of Correspondences.

Before diving deeper into this, see the previous blog, The Seven States of Creation.  And just to sum up the conclusion in that blog, here are the seven states of existence, as I see it, as it is slightly different than what Young is saying:
1. Space-time.  Scalar fields and 0-spin "particles". The Higgs-Boson belongs here.
2. Subatomic particles.  Force mediating particles, and matter particles. (Light belongs here)
3. Atoms.
4. Molecules.
5. Plants.
6. Animals and Man.
7. (an unknown, higher state of existence).  This is where Emanuel Swedenborg comes in. It is an area of knowledge that can only be revealed and experienced, as science cannot measure it.
Each of level or plane of existence has seven substates of existence.  And the order of each substate corresponds to the substates of the lower or higher orders of existence. And this ties in with Swedenborg's doctrine of Correspondences - how all things are symbolic of internal spiritual states. "As above, so below." A pattern that emerges is that in the first four planes of existence, matter is constrained further and further, losing degrees of freedom.  After the fourth plane, life forms start to regain their freedom, breaking free of their material constraints. Each of these states have seven substates. Young, unfortunately, left the subatomic level blank.  For that, I proposed the following seven substates:
1. Gravitons (gravitational force).
2. Photons (electromagnetic force).
3. W and Z Bosons (weak nuclear force).
4. Gluons (strong nuclear force).
5. (?? - other stuff)
6. Baryons (protons, neutrons...)
7. Leptons (electrons...).
We see how the substates of the subatomic world correspond with the higher planes of existence: in the first four states, matter is being constrained into a smaller and smaller space, until it gets bound in a nucleus by the strong nuclear force. And then in the subsequent states, instead of force carrier particles, we now have fermions - the particles that compose matter.  I mention this again, because I had a lot of problems with the fifth substate - where I put "other stuff".  From the pattern, I expected a fermion particle with a half spin.  I looked around, and found something called a "skyrmion" - a hypothetical state for bosons where they behave like a fermion. But, I think I was wrong on that point.

So what goes there?  Well it turns out, I found another fermion with a half spin - a thing called a "quark."  Quarks are the building blocks for the higher level fermions.  For example, three quarks make a proton:

And quarks are essential to understanding the Standard Model, as can be seen from this diagram:

Moreover, under certain extreme conditions, quarks can exist as free standing particles:

Under sufficiently extreme conditions, quarks may become deconfined and exist as free particles. In the course of asymptotic freedom, the strong interaction becomes weaker at higher temperatures. Eventually, color confinement would be lost and an extremely hot plasma of freely moving quarks and gluons would be formed. This theoretical phase of matter is called quark–gluon plasma.

CERN announced in 2000 that there was indirect evidence for this quark-gluon plasma which they called a "new state of matter."  Here is another quote which talks about this quark-gluon plasma:

A millionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was an incredibly dense plasma, so hot that no nuclei nor even nuclear particles could exist. The plasma consisted of quarks, the particles that compose nucleons and some other elementary particles, and gluons, the massless particles that “carry” the force between quarks (See Nuclei Knockdown). Gluons are the particles that quarks exchange as they interact, or, in the language of modern physics, gluons “mediate” the strong force between quarks. Since quarks make up protons and neutrons, this leads to the force that holds protons and neutrons together in a nucleus.

(See the article, Quark Gluon Plasma on Physics Central).  So, the quark particle is a bit more satisfying to the theory: quarks are a preexisting state needed to compose higher level fermions. And now, everything on the right side of the diagram has half-spin, which is what the pattern of the theory was indicating. I had trouble with it because I never heard of this quark gluon plasma before. What I am also seeing is how prior states influence posterior states: the prior plane to the quark is a gluon.  The prior state to the W/Z bosons (weak nuclear force) is the photon (electromagnetic force): these forces are 2 aspects of the electroweak force. The theory helps us model and organize the jumbled knowledge of science.

In the previous blog, I covered the first 2 DVDs of Arthur Young's explanation of the theory of the Reflexive Universe.  Now lets go through the third DVD:

PART 3 OF 4 (1/6)

Young talks about how for any area of knowledge, we do not fully learn from that knowledge until we put it into action. And this is what Swedenborg says: knowledge and understanding do not become "living" until it is put into action or applied to one's life. Understanding of how to live, that is a higher state we generally call wisdom. Which is interesting - as far as I can tell, Arthur M. Young never knew of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Young relates the third level (Atoms) to "Concept". This is something I hope to correct or realign later, based on what we know from Swedenborg. But Young is on the right track. Swedenborg was better able to see how physical reality corresponds with our internal spiritual states. Ironically, Young moves on to discuss "archetypes" - a concept of Carl Jung - which Jung happened to borrow from Swedenborg. When Young tries to map the various levels to different states of human experience, he is forced to not describe the first level.

PART 3 OF 4 (2/6)

Young associates substance, or matter, with "value."  Why? what we value is what "matters" to us.  Again he hits on a truth, for Swedenborg associates all substance and matter with love. The form of that matter is the truth.

Of the seven levels of existence, Young's favorite is the molecular kingdom - because in science, that is what we know most about, its the most deterministic state of reality. For understanding this better he consulted with Charles Price, a well known chemist who was head of the American Chemical Society. Molecules have seven states of order, as follows:
1. Metals
2. Simple Compounds
3. Nonfunctional Compounds (Covalent Bond)
4. Functional Compounds
5. Nonfunctional Polymers
6. Functional Polymers (Proteins)
7. DNA. From this seventh, life forms can now be built.
This is the order that Charles Price came up with, after Young approached him with his problem. For Young it was invaluable, as it helped him understand the other planes of existence.

PART 3 OF 4 (3/6)

Here Young describes as he was developing the theory, it became much bigger than what he originally expected. He begins to describe what makes animals different from plants: animals are attracted to things, and need food. Animals are "animated" - they have more freedom of movement to plants, as plants are for the most part stuck where they are and can only move up and down. Young struggles with some of the terminology, but the way Swedenborg would describe it is that plants tend to be symbolic manifestations of truth, whereas animals are symbolic manifestations of love and affection. For Young, the goal of the animal world is to establish the soul, and the goal of the soul is to reach immortality.

It is here Young tries to explain his belief in the immortality of the soul, as no substance in the world is ever destroyed - it is only transformed. On this topic, Swedenborg is more clear: while man is indeed endowed with an immortal soul, animals are not. This is why man becomes the foundation for the seventh plane of existence: in the seventh plane are the states of eternal life.  When Swedenborg's vision was opened, he was indeed surprised by what he saw: souls, which become angels, retain their human form. And there are many levels of existence in the spiritual world, complete with their own substances and forms.  This he describes in his works, Heavenly Arcana, and Heaven and Hell.  But the strange thing that was shown to Swedenborg is that there is a substance that exists beyond the world of atoms - and he called this a more pure substance. Swedenborg states while the simple believe in life after death, most scientists will deny that the soul exists, because they cannot see or measure it:

"One who is sensual or believes only in his senses denies that there is a spirit, because he does not see it, saying, — "It is nothing, for I do not perceive it with my senses. What I see and touch, that I know exists." The scientific man, or one who draws conclusions from the sciences, says — "What is the spirit but perhaps a breath, or heat" — or some other thing recognized by his science — "which being extinguished it vanishes? Have not animals also a body, senses, and something analogous to reason? And these they say will die, while the spirit of man will live." Thus they deny that there is a spirit. Philosophers, who would be more discerning than other men, talk of the spirit by terms which they themselves do not understand; for they dispute about them, contending that not a single word is applicable which takes anything from what is material, or organic, or that has extension. Thus they so abstract it from their conceptions that it vanishes from them.
"And those who are somewhat more sane say that it is thought; but when they reason about thought, because they disconnect it from anything substantial they at length conclude that it will vanish when the body expires. Thus do all who reason from sensual, scientific, and philosophical considerations deny that there is a spirit; and as they deny that it exists, they believe nothing at all that is said about the spirit and about spiritual things." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 196.2-3).
Swedenborg states that the soul is not just simply thought, but resides throughout the entire body, and after death retains its human form:
"It was said above (n. 4652) that man is a spirit, and that his body serves him for uses in the world; and it has been said occasionally elsewhere that the spirit is the man's internal, and the body his external. They who do not apprehend how it is with man's spirit and with his body, may suppose from this, that the spirit thus dwells within the body; and that the body as it were encompasses and invests it. But it is to be known that the spirit of man is in his body, in the whole and in every part of it; and that it is its purer substance, both in its organs of motion and in those of sense, and everywhere else; and that the body is the material part that is everywhere annexed to it, adapted to the world in which it then is. This is what is meant by man's being a spirit, and by his body serving him for uses in the world; and by the spirit's being his internal, and the body his external. From this also it is manifest, that man after death is in an active and sensitive life, and also in the human form, in like manner as in the world, but in greater perfection." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4659).

And Swedenborg speaks of "degrees" and "planes" of development so that man may become a spiritual being:
"Thence it is that man as to his interiors, if he lives in good, is a heaven in least form, or, that his interiors correspond to the three heavens; and thence it is that man after death can, if he has lived a life of charity and love, be transferred even into the third heaven. But that he may be such, it is necessary that all the degrees in him should be well terminated, and thus by means of terminations be distinct from one another; and when they are terminated, or by means of terminations are made distinct from one another, every degree is then a plane, in which the good which flows in from the Lord rests, and where it is received. Without those degrees as planes, good is not received, but flows through, as through a sieve or a perforated basket, even to the sensual; and then, not being directed to anything on its way, it is changed into what is filthy, which appears to those who are in it as good, namely, into the enjoyment of the love of self and of the world, consequently into the enjoyment of hatred, revenge, cruelty, adultery, and avarice, or into mere voluptuousness and luxuriousness" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5145.3).
PART 3 OF 4 (4/6)

Young here talks about how why one cannot remember one's past lives. Thus from the theory, he probably saw a similarity with the ancient Greek view of how the soul makes a descent into matter in order to acquire experience.  This is incorrect - and it is an easy mistake to make, for under certain conditions (hypnosis), one can have memories of things that one did not experience. This is caused by a spiritual influx of like-minded souls into one's memory. Swedenborg is clear: there is no such thing as metempsychosis or reincarnation. The soul is created at conception, from the seed of the father. But this is another topic, and it is not central to the theory.

What is more interesting, is that Young feels that animals have a "group soul."  It explains why animals of a species behave in the same manner: this is what we call "instinct."  It is an innate knowledge that animals are born with.  Humans do not have instinct: instead, humans must go through a longer learning period, and then learn how to apply their knowledge. And humans can decide what to learn, what to focus on. This is not true of the animals. Swedenborg describes different animals as representations or different aspects of the human personality. The human psyche is diverse, and one can choose to adopt or follow a way that corresponds to the behaviour of a particular animal.

PART 3 OF 4 (5/6)

How is man different from animals? Whereas animals have a "group soul", each human has an individual soul. And from what Swedenborg said, I would take this further: an individual human soul is the group, or the collective, of all the behaviours of the different animals. One can be as clever as a fox, or dumb as a donkey. Evil like a snake, or innocent as a dove. These figures of speech are not just figures of speech: there is a hidden truth in them. The human soul is still a higher state of organization, and our behaviours can change and grow and correspond to different animals at different times. Whereas one "group soul" rules over many individual animals, one individual human soul contains within him/her all the different personality types that correspond to different animals. And this concept is key to understanding what is the seventh plane of existence.

PART 3 OF 4 (6/6)

Throughout these lectures, Young is trying to describe the different states of human action. I will summarize it in a different way: most people are familiar with the principle of cause and effect. Swedenborg extended this concept to end, cause and effect. The "end" is one's intent.  Everything begins with intent or purpose. Then there is the thought of how to execute one's intent.  The effect is the action of one's thought of how to execute one's intent. The three states are intent, thought, action.  And when one puts something into action, one sees the effect, and there is a feedback to one as to the result.  We learn from that, and begin the process all over again.  So, if a religion places all of religion in just belief or meditation, it is false: it is ignoring the principle of action. Until thought is put into action, it has no effect on our eternal life. Every action we do, will be judged from our intent.

Young moves on to discuss the importance of symbolism - symbolism is the language of dreams. The first four stages of descent is a symbol of how God became the Word, and the Word became flesh through the virgin birth.


Now I would like to stop and take another look at the seven states or planes of existence again:

1. Space-time.  Scalar fields and 0-spin "particles". The Higgs-Boson belongs here.
2. Subatomic particles.  Force mediating particles, and matter particles. (Light belongs here)
3. Atoms.
4. Molecules.
5. Plants.
6. Animals and Man.
7. (an unknown, higher state of existence).  
Of these planes of existence, the one we know the least about is the seventh. The next one that is hard to grasp is the first plane of existence - the plane of space and time. Young did not recognize it, and incorrectly placed the subatomic photon at that level of existence. This is because most people, due to Newtonian physics, think that space is nothing. Space is not nothing: the theory of relativity states that it is a field that could be warped by gravity. And this is why in the second plane I considered the graviton as a first order particle higher than the photon: for the first order of the subatomic world (the graviton) corresponds to the first plane of existence (space-time).  Moreover, if we look at the sequence of subatomic particles in the second plane of existence, they have spins of 2, 1, 1, 1, half, half, half. The graviton has a spin of 2 (according to theory), the force mediating particles have a spin on 1, and matter particles have a spin of a half.

There is another reason why I placed space-time in the first plane of existence.  One observation Young made is that the level of the planes of existence in the arc show similarities to each other. Here is his diagram again (which in IMO incorrectly places light in the first plane): 

Higher planes of existence have greater degrees of freedom than lower planes of existence. So, this would mean that the first plane of existence, space-time (which is everywhere), corresponds to the seventh plane.  So what is the seventh plane of existence?  The seventh plane of existence is the spiritual world, the after-life, which is beyond space and time.  And this is a critical point in understanding the realms of heaven and hell: they exist beyond space and time, and yet they influence things that are in the world of space and time. How do we know this? This is something that was explained to Swedenborg when he became aware of the spiritual world in his visions. Here is what he says about space:
"All things in heaven appear in place and in space, just as in the world, and yet angels have no notion or idea of place and space. Because this cannot but appear as a paradox, I wish to present the matter in clear light, as it is one of great importance.
"All going from place to place in the spiritual world is effected by change of state of the interiors, so that change of place is nothing else than change of state. In this way also I have been conducted by the Lord into the heavens, and likewise to the earths in the universe, and this as to my spirit, while the body remained in the same place. In this way all the movements of angels take place; hence they have no distances, and if not distances, neither have they spaces, but instead of them states and their changes.
"As changes of place are made in this way, it is evident that approximations are similarities as to state of interiors, and that removals are dissimilarities. From this it follows that those are near to each other who are in similar state, and those at a distance who are in dissimilar state; and that spaces in heaven are nothing else than external states corresponding to internal. It is from this cause that the heavens are distinct from each other, and also the societies of each heaven, and the individuals in each society. From this likewise it is, that the hells are entirely separated from the heavens; for they are in a contrary state" (Heaven and Hell, n. 191-193).
In the spiritual world, space is determined by how much you love another person. When one says, "I feel close to you", that happens to be true in the spiritual world: that soul will become closer to you. The spiritual world corresponds to our internal states of thought, feelings and emotions.  Spirits and angels will group together according to their similarity in love and truth.  But what about time? In the spiritual world, angels exist beyond the idea of time:
"That angels know nothing about time, though all things move onward with them as in the world, without any difference at all, is because in heaven there are not years and days, but changes of state; and where there are years and days there are times, but where there are changes of state there are states.
"That there are times in the world, is because its sun to appearance advances successively from one degree to another and makes times that are called times of year, and at the same time revolves about the earth and makes times which are called times of day, and both by stated alternations. Not so with the Sun of heaven. This does not by successive progressions and revolutions make years and days, but to appearance changes of state, and these, as shown in the preceding chapter, not by stated alternations. Hence it is that angels cannot have any idea of time, but in its place an idea of state.
"Since angels have no idea from time, like men in the world, neither have they any idea about time and matters of time. They know nothing of the terms of time, such as year, month, week, day, hour, today, tomorrow, yesterday. When they hear them from man — for angels are always associated with man by the Lord — in place of them they perceive states and what belong to states. Thus man's natural idea is turned into a spiritual idea with angels. For this reason times in the Word signify states, and the terms of time, as named above, signify spiritual things corresponding to them." (Heaven and Hell, n. 163-165).

When we understand that the seventh plane of existence is beyond space and times, and that events in the spiritual world correspond to events we feel inside of us, we come to a closer understanding of God: for God it outside of space, and outside of time. I will again quote from Swedenborg:
"There are two things proper to nature, space and time. From these man in the natural world forms the ideas of his thought, and thence his understanding. If he remains in these ideas, and does not elevate his mind above them, he can never perceive anything spiritual and Divine; for he involves the spiritual and Divine in ideas which come from space and time; and so far as he does this, the light of his understanding becomes merely natural. To think from this light in reasoning about spiritual and Divine things, is like thinking from the thick darkness of night concerning those things which appear only in the light of day. From this comes naturalism" (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 69).
Not only does God exist outside of space, but He exists outside of time. And yet He can be found in all things, for God is Order:
"As the Divine is in all space without space, so It is in all time without time. For nothing which is proper to nature can be predicated of the Divine, and space and time are proper to nature. Space in nature is measurable, and so is time." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 73)
"He who does not know and cannot from some perception think of God apart from time, is utterly unable to perceive eternity otherwise than as eternity of time; and then he cannot help falling into error in thinking of God from eternity; for he thinks from a beginning, and a beginning is only of time. His error in this case is that God has existed from Himself, from which he falls readily into the origin of nature from itself. From this idea he cannot be set free excepting by the spiritual or angelic idea of eternity, which idea is apart from time; and when it is apart from time, the Eternal and the Divine are the same; the Divine is Divine in itself, and not from itself. The angels say that they can indeed perceive God from eternity, but by no means nature from eternity, and still less nature from itself, and not at all nature as nature in itself." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 76)
So, we now have a better understanding of the seventh plane...thus I said when Young states that the seventh corresponds to higher levels of consciousness, he was close to the truth: for our internal states are governed by our alignment with the spiritual world. But what, specifically are the seven substates of the seventh plane? That I will consider in a future blog, if I have time.

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