Well, after fifteen years of tilting at windmills:
In modeling large-scale systems, wave equations are often useful approximations. So, while water at the quantum scale is made up of molecules that bounce around like billiard balls, in our swimming pool waves look perfectly smooth, and we can predict their behavior using wave theory.
A researcher at Cal Tech has applied this approximation to the modeling of very large astronomical objects: super-massive black holes and their entourage of stars and planetoids. In pursuing the mathematics, he discovered that the system behaves according to a wave equation that looks just like the equation that governs slowly-moving subatomic particles: Schrödinger’s equation.
But the equation alone does not generate “quantum” behavior in the objects described by the equation. That is generated by Fermi’s “exclusion” rules. In Fermi’s rules, the particles that make up stable matter all obey this rule: all particles of any one type (such as an electron) are indistinguishable, and therefore the equation describing the behavior of the system must be the same if any two particles are exchanged, with one exception: the amplitude of the wave changes sign.
Going back to our swimming pool, this is like saying that if we exchanged any two water molecules, the wave would turn into its mirror image: where there were peaks in the wave, now there would be troughs (and visce-versa).
I am absolutely certain that this makes as little sense in describing the behavior of supermassive black holes as it does in describing the behavior of pools of water.
That a working physicist could so casually misrepresent the nature of the system reflects the subtlety of quantum concepts, and the tempting ease with which those concepts are used to manipulate public fascination.
When I went out last to the Skeptics Society meeting in Pasadena, I had to apologize to the presenter for my difficult questions. My three sites (Love Returns here at WordPress, and the philosophical treatise at the original everdeepening) are not random ruminations, but develop messages. In interacting with other intellectuals, I tend to drive conversation into those oceans of meaning.
The challenge is their eclectic foundations: physics, philosophy, theology, spirituality, sociology, politics, and psychology. I have been blessed to live in an era during which people exploring at the edges of those fields have been nibbling at each other’s cheese, so to speak. Unfortunately, those feasting on the resources established to support mainstream thinking have also become adept at avoiding discussion of alternatives.
But I am proud of the body of work I have amassed, and believe that it deserves consideration. Since I earn enough to make ends meet, I’ve decided to finance that process through Stumble Upon.
It’s bracing. I set up two campaigns, one pointing at Love Returns and the other to the New Physics page here. I went in pretty hard, setting up to spend $100 a week. In both cases, I decided to target under-forty audiences, expecting that they would be more open to new ideas.
I was warned when I established the advertising campaign for my books. Click-through rates are about 3%. So while views on my sites have indeed mushroomed, only about one in twenty appear to actually click through to read the development outlined in the initial page.
Feedback is limited, much as it is here. New Physics has gotten three likes in 300 views. Love Returns four likes and five dislikes in 500 views. I’m actually surprised that it’s that positive: the target audience are Christians, and I was expecting dogmatism to push the dislikes far higher.
When I was in my first year here, I had a couple of visitors from the Philippines start at the very first post and walk all the way through my blog. That hasn’t happened in either of my Stumble Upon campaigns. People pick and choose their content, based upon the thumbnails on the anchor page.
But people are looking. I can’t maintain $100 a week, given that I’ve got $100 a month already in outlay here and at Wistia for the video feed at Love Returns. I’m not expecting anybody to contact me to ask me to come speak to them. But I think that I’m getting enough click-through activity that I’ll keep it going at about half the current outlay. That corresponds to 1000 views a month between the two campaigns. We’ll see if it tails off at some point.
On my New Physics tab, I have a set of links that document some important facts that are unexplained by modern particle theory. These aren’t obscure points of experience. Rather, they include facts such as “the proton weighs 50 times as much as it should” and “quazars precede galaxy formation.” They are “first order” facts that should cause every particle theorist to blush in shame.
Experimenters at CERN have now magnified the problem.
The reigning theory of the universe holds that it formed from a super-hot gas – so hot that the very fabric of space contained more energy than the existing particles. As the universe cooled, that energy was converted to particles.
One problem with this theory is that energy is converted to matter through a process called “pair production.” You can’t make only one particle – you have to make two.
Specifically, the particle comes with an “anti-particle” with equal mass and opposite charge. The conundrum is that those particles attract, and when they meet, they annihilate each other. The matter and anti-matter convert back to pure energy.
This leads the physicists to wonder: how did we end up with a universe composed only of matter? In principle, there should be equal amounts of matter and anti-matter, and every solid object should be annihilated.
The answer proposed by the theorists was that matter and anti-matter are slightly different – and most importantly in their stability. Anti-matter must disappear through some unknown process that preserves matter.
The experiment reported today attempted to measure differences between the most important building-block of matter – the proton – and its antiparticle. None was detected.
In consequence, everything created by the Big Bang (or the Expansive Cool – take your pick) should have disappeared a long time ago. There should be no gas clouds, no galaxies, no planets, and no life.
If that’s not a reason to be looking for new theories of fundamental physics, then what would be?
Having discovered a central role for women of grace through my interpretation of Revelation, I was hungry for more insight. It arrived for me at Thunderbolt Books in Santa Monica, in the form of Judith Simmer-Brown’s Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism.
As I explained at Love Returns, Unconditional Love cannot judge, for to judge would be to reject experience that must be understood to bring healing. This is the central tenet of Buddhism: the acolyte must avoid attachment to phenomena, seeing them clearly without judgment, and use compassion to transform experience. This principle is called “emptiness.”
Christianity struggles with this wisdom, for it foretells of an era of universal love guided by Christ. When people hurt others, Christians categorize them as “fallen,” as among the goats the Jesus separates from the lambs in the Last Judgment.
Being the least subjective of our great religious traditions, in my reading of Dakini’s Warm Breath, it appears to me that Buddhism has advanced most closely to the underlying nature of reality.
Dakinis originated in Indian Buddhism as carnal demons that protected nature from exploitation. Perhaps understanding that Humanity was going to place itself in opposition to nature, they originally sought to stifle spiritual development. In Tibetan Buddhism, this changed when enlightened persons projected their commitment to compassion and honor for all aspects of reality. Discovering a partner in those practitioners, many dakinis took cause with them, becoming defenders of the wisdom teachings from corruption. Having removed this impediment to relation with the divine feminine, Tibetan masters then encountered the Great Queen Prajnaparamita.
The parallels with the Book of Revelation are too obvious to ignore. The carnal dakinis would be Whore of Babylon; Prajnaparamita would be the Sacred Mother. Indeed, Simmer-Brown explains:
So, she who manifests as Prajnaparamita is the Great Mother of all the buddhas of the past, present and future.
Parjnaparamita has specific characteristics that allow her to serve in this role. She is space. She “shows the world for what it is.” and she “reveals the thoughts and actions of other beings.”
In Love Works, I advanced a model of spirit that explains these characteristics. The primary duality of existence is self and other. To have compassion, we must preserve our self. That is the gift of space, without which all phenomena would collapse into a single point. Space is not empty, but a lattice framework that supports the evolution of spirit.
When an event occurs, space does not transform the event – it does not seek to interpret or change the event. Those that seek the truth are given access to that history, while those that serve the self must fight against the resistance marshalled by the truth.
All events unfold into spirit. To those that do not impose themselves upon the world, instead choosing to negotiate win-win outcomes for all beings, those thoughts are freely available. Those that work for selfish ends trap themselves in their materiality, and so are cut off from this source of wisdom.
As Simmer-Brown explains, the Buddhist knows this through experience, but has no answer to “Why?” The Christian relies upon the promises of Christ, and answers “Why?” with “Because God loves us.”
In the first hundred pages of Simmer-Brown’s beautiful, wise and compassionate treatise, her teachers emphasize that the dakini is the root of Buddhist practice. The bodhisattva is a practitioner of “skillful means” that propagate the dakini’s wisdom. This seems to deprecate the masculine role.
At Love Returns, I offer this: Love seeks to create marvelous relationships. In a wounded world, to do so it must divide into two parts: a masculine part that changes and a feminine part that preserves what is good. Neither is superior or subordinate. Eventually, they unite, and our division from love is healed. Masculine virtues will continually invent new experiences, but only under the guidance of feminine virtues that prepare space to receive those manifestations.
I went out to San Dimas this weekend for the AMP (Apologetics-Mission-Partnership) Conference. Four speakers presented on Friday night, with six more on Saturday. For an Evangelical gathering, the speakers were surprisingly diverse. Several were unapologetic in their religious chauvinism, targeting Islam as well as “marginal” Christians. Others were surprisingly liberal, most markedly the scholar who asserted that between Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22, the Bible was a testimony to human error. This struck me because the organizing agency, Reasons to Believe, upholds the purpose of proving the inerrancy of the Bible.
The most stimulating talk was Dr. Ross on the geological processes that stabilized the climate long enough to allow homo sapiens to cover the earth. One chart in particular was mind-boggling: it turns out that prior to the Laurentian, temperatures oscillated in a 24 F range around the mean. The oscillation is driven by the gravitational dynamics of the solar system and the wobbles of Earth’s rotation, and is large enough that large-scale agriculture is impossible. But when the last Ice Age ended, temperatures settled into a 3 F band. No scientific explanation is known, but that stability allowed humanity to cover the planet and then turn its attention to religious and scientific inquiry.
Given my intentions out at Love Returns Ministry, the most valuable part of the event was the opportunities that I had to talk with young adults. A young man in high school walked up on Saturday morning to ask me whether I understood Dr. Ross’s reference to “large and small dimensions.” I don’t know why he imagined that I would be able to answer the question, but he got a survey of the problems in the reigning model of fundamental physics. He chased me down during the morning break, eager for my opinions. As the conversation unfolded, he revealed that he had taken the evolution side of the creation debate in class. When I suggested that Genesis was evolution, he was taken aback until I made the connection between photosynthesis and “Let there be light.”
Then there were three young adults, two caught up in conversation during breaks and one that I searched out to supplement the response she had been given by the presenter of a talk on how as a Christian to talk to youth about sex and relationships. I focused on two messages: first, that Islam was merely a compression of the Hebrew tutelage to faith, with a shift from history to psychological analysis of the Old Testament heroes. Secondly, I emphasized that the presence of love in the heart was the best guide to our relationships, with the ultimate goal of becoming “spiritual engineers.” I found myself doing most of the talking, but when I stopped to apologize, they all responded with variations of “No, thanks for sharing.”
Far better to receive that than the attentions of the scholars at RTB. They are all so terribly certain of the truths they propagate. What’s important to me, however, is that the future manifest new possibilities – the possibilities allowed by hearts and minds that commit themselves in service to Unconditional Love. A positive reception by the participants in that future (our young adults) tells me that I’m doing the right thing.
When I was working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2004-5, I was housed in an uncleared “holding tank” while waiting for my security clearance to be approved. Many of my office mates were foreign guests that had come to pursue research projects as part of the Department of Energy’s effort to build an international non-proliferation community. Among them was a Bulgarian post-doc that swam aggressively through the psychic pool, claiming the talents of others as his own.
In a social gathering one evening, he found that he couldn’t gain any purchase on me, and instead attacked a close friend of mine. Understanding the ways of the world, I didn’t get upset, simply getting a good bead on him so that I could deal with him later.
That night, when I entered REM sleep I found myself having a series of dreams about the Russian mafia. It was like watching clips from movies. After being bounced through that psychic chain, I came suddenly awake while reading a sign that said “Hard Men.” I was in the presence of a man, deep in Russian, who visualized placing a gun against the top of my head. I could literally fell the pressure on my crown. Pausing to let fear take hold, he then pulled the trigger. I simply refused to accept the visualization, and felt the psychic energy flood out over the top of my head and along my skull.
He paused then, and I led him into a future possibility: “Do that again, and I’ll simply bounce the energy back on you. The visualization of harm is forming in your mind, and so you’ll be unable to prevent its affect from appearing in you. Do you want to go that way?”
He removed the gun and walked off into the psychic mist.
I was diagnosed with situational depression in the course of my divorce, and so couldn’t afford health care for myself when Kaiser identified it as a “pre-existing condition.” I regained my Kaiser enrolment as an LLNL employee, and on my calendar that next week was my first annual health exam. The doctor refused to do the physical assessment, offering only this elliptical explanation: “My father had a massive stroke last week.”
This was my first confrontation with the psychic network used by Vladimir Putin to project his will across the world. I started calling him “Mama Bear” in those encounters. While I can’t penetrate his control of Kremlin, I’ve been working the process described in my book Ma as the “Battle of Sequia.” Every time he reaches out to beat up on good people, I connect with the peace-loving birds and animals of Russia, and take another chunk of land away from him.
In the review of my book Golem, the writer avers:
[Dr.] Balke has a Ph.D in particle physics, so he understands better than most of us the true potentialities of the forces he describes in this paean to our own little piece of green, the planet Earth. Surprisingly, perhaps, for a scientist, Balke gives final and absolute credit to Yeshua, an obvious stand-in for the messianic father of all.
This is true, to a point: the community of particle physicists no longer accepts me. The understanding that Love has allowed me regarding the structure of the universe is uniquely my own. So I possess visualizations of psychic processes that no other does.
The efficacy of these visualizations gives me the confidence to respond pithily to threatening figures such as Stephen Bannon, who yesterday told the liberal press to “Shut up,” claiming that “they didn’t understand how Donald Trump became president” before referring the himself as the “Dark Lord of the Sith.” On the NY Times site (copied to my Facebook timeline) I responded:
Lolz. Dear Bannon, you’re so cute. Trump was elected because his voters wanted to throw an IED into our constitutional system. Unfortunately, IEDs are consumed in the course of manifesting the intended effect. Enjoy the ride!
There is a strong bond between Trump and Putin: I perceived it clearly when watching a clip of Ryan and Trump trying to suborn the will of Chuck Schumer. Ryan smirked like a viper in the background while Trump loomed bearishly over the victim. So Putin (“Mama Bear”) was in the wings when Bannon came to confront me last night.
Psychic parasites achieve their power by using their emotional apparatus to project fear into their victims. But that apparatus was patterned on God’s image: it thrills to the touch of love. So when Bannon came at me, I simply used my visualizations to peel away that part of his personality, telling it:
Come over here where you won’t be abused.
Republicans probably take offense at my political commentary, most directly characterized by Jesus’s edict:
You cannot love both God and money.
But I have been here before: in the aftermath of 9/11, when Dick Cheney and Karl Rove played at being Sith Lords in the psychic field of another poor little rich boy president. In that era, I was again threatened with physical and psychic violence. My response was to pull forward the image of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Death Star:
Destroy me now and I will become far more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
They perceive the endpoint of my visualizations, and walk away. I am less powerful alive than I would be dead – principally because I am still restrained by hope.
If only Hollywood understood the potentiality of love. I’ve done my best to explain it to them, but they are in the habit of trying to turn understanding into money. It is repulsed by their greed, and slips away. So the public is left without empowering visualizations. Instead, when they gather in hope, as at the Women’s March last Saturday, love stretches out to them as a warm affirmation and comforting bond in which they gather the power and will to resist fear.
You are undone, you Sith Lords. You are undone, you bears, eagles, lions, hawks, leopards, vultures and wolves.
You just haven’t yet resigned yourselves to it.
While often cited as an authority in particle physics and cosmology, Einstein didn’t win the Nobel Prize for his work on relativity. That was considered too controversial at the time. Rather, he was awarded the prize for two papers that forced physicists to shift their understanding of waves.
As I’ve pointed out before, the mathematics of waves is seductive. By assuming that a phenomenon is uniformly smooth at any magnification, we are allowed the use of powerful mathematical tools such as differential equations and Fourier analysis. But it comes with a big assumption: that the things described have no structure inside of them.
Einstein’s two papers undermined that assumption. One paper forced the conclusion that light waves were composed of particles called “photons.” The second forced a recognition that water waves were composed of molecules.
Then he spent the rest of his life pursuing a grand theory of physics that assumed that space was uniformly smooth. Go figure, and take note: he failed in his quest.
So have all the others that followed in his footsteps.
In essence, all that I am asking in my New Physics page is that we imagine that space has structure. I’m hoisting Einstein on his own petard.
One of the challenges confronting astrophysicists is figuring out how galaxies form. The problem arises in kind of a round-about way.
The space the fills our universe is remarkably uniform. That’s surprising, because it formed from an extremely violent context. We would expect it to be warped, in the mode of Einstein’s general relativity, causing light to “bend” as it traveled the great distances between galaxies. In addition, until a couple of years ago it was believed that the universe was coasting to a stop. In other words, the mass of the universe appeared to be just enough to keep the galaxies from flying apart forever, but not so much that they would turn around and collide together in a “big crunch.”
These two questions were reconciled with Alan Guth’s “inflationary universe” hypothesis. This holds that the universe was created with an invisible, uniform background energy that dissipated very early, creating most of the matter that we see around us.
One consequence of this model is that matter should be distributed uniformly in the universe. This is a problem for galaxy formation, because if matter is distributed uniformly, there’s no reason for it to start clumping together. There have to be little pockets of higher density for galaxies to form. When only normal matter is included in the simulations of the early universe, galaxies form way to slowly, and don’t exhibit the large-scale structures that we observe in the deep sky surveys.
Worse, when we look around the universe, we can’t actually see enough visible matter to account for the gravitational braking that slows down the rushing apart of the galaxies.
One way of solving these conundrums is “dark matter.” The proposed properties of dark matter are that it does not emit light (it’s dark) and that it has a different kind of mass that causes it to clump together to seed the formation of galaxies.
Today we have a negative result from an experiment designed to detect dark matter. This won’t deter the theorists for long – they’ll just come up with new forms of dark matter that are invisible to the detector (this is an old trick, which caught out my thesis adviser back in the ’80s). But it does seem to make Occam’s razor cut more in the direction of the generative orders proposal for the formation of the early universe. That model doesn’t need inflation or dark matter or a multiverse to work. It anticipates just the universe that we see around us.
*sigh* Just saying.