I. A Few Thoughts on Time
Marc Chagall, Time is a River Without Banks
I have always believed in the world of timeless truths. I find comfort in the conviction that although all visible phenomena are constantly changing, beneath flows a stream of eternal meaning, like a fountain spouting symbolic forms and images that in fact create and sustain the manifested world. And yet I cling to a fascination with Time, a strong need to solve its mystery and perhaps this is why I often come across books or articles on the subject, never consciously looking for them. In the latest issue of The New York Review of Books there is a very interesting article entitled Time Regained!, which compels me to wrestle with this subject yet again. The article is a review of a book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe by Lee Smolin, who goes against the contemporary understanding of time in quantum physics (time is an illusion) and announces that time is very real. The basic idea is that there is no thinking outside of time and we are always time-bound. Furthermore, Smolin believes that the belief in timeless truths is misguided and harmful. I obviously disagree with him (if I did not I might as well erase my entire blog) but there are a few arguments of his that I find quite interesting. He also broaches the subject of space, which is inextricably connected with time.
I am convinced when he talks about misguided scientists who believe that their current discoveries are eternal truths. And yet paradigms shift and fade away and hardly scientific discovery is safe and immutable, unless we speak of mathematics perhaps. I am strongly convinced that a lot of truths which are deemed spiritual nowadays will be treated as scientific facts in the future. Scientists would benefit enormously from being humbler and more inclined to recognize that they are sons and daughters of their time and have no claim of the future that they know little about. A constant evolution is a fact of life, Smolin says.
II. Space Means Connections
The Water Bearer
The question of time is intertwined with the question of space. What Smolin suggested in relation to space came as quite a shock to me. He writes: “Space, at the quantum mechanical level, is not fundamental at all but emergent form a deeper order” – an order of connections and relationships. A network of relationships is a deeper reality out of which physical space emerges. He mentions Leibniz, who also believed that space is the relationship between objects that it contains. This ties in with what I have managed to gather from my reading of quantum physics discoveries, which seem to claim that space is in fact a projection of information stored on the two-dimensional surface that surrounds the universe. What we experience as reality may be a 3D hologram of the ultimate 2D reality existing on the surface of the universe. It is very hard to wrap one’s mind around this. But think of the Internet, Smolin says. It does seem to annihilate space and transcend physical dimension. Connectedness is the new buzz word and something very real and very tangible.
Making connections between distant objects is an everyday occurrence for an increasing number of people, whose minds have begun to tune in to the New Age of Aquarius. Aquarius is connected with the higher mind, group awareness, awareness of universal connections and interconnectedness. While in the age of Pisces we relied on intuition and mystical experience, which could not be rationalized or translated into scientific terms, in the Age of Aquarius we will have tangible, scientific evidence of ‘supernatural’ phenomena. The Water Bearer pours the living waters of the Spirit onto the manifested world. This is an act of creation, out of this water all life comes. But the Age of Aquarius has not come yet, we need time to evolve towards it. The information is already there, stored somewhere on the brink of the universe, but evolution takes time and more time. The ruler of Aquarius is Uranus, who was a Greek god castrated by his son, Cronus (the Roman Saturn). The sky god Uranus symbolizes an ideal and timeless vision that is brought down to earth and embodied in time (time and matter are presided over by Cronus). Every ideal suffers when confronted with reality, brilliant ideas sometimes require a long time and effort before they can be implemented. The myth of Cronus and Uranus teaches us that in our sublunar world we are ruled by cycles and this is why we need to wait patiently before the ripe time comes for a change to take root.
III. The God’s Particle
Peter Higgs must be the most patient person on the planet. It took half a century to prove his theory of the so called God’s particle. I went on a tour of CERN, the nuclear research centre in Geneva, a few months ago and I remember that the scientists were on the brink of announcing that Boson’s theory is proven now. They also told us that this came as no surprise to them because Higgs’ theory was the only logical explanation of the phenomena they had been observing for a long time. It turns out that space is not a stage or a passive container but an actor and it plays a leading role in a cosmic drama. Higgs wanted to find out what creates mass and why different particles have different masses. He compared space to an ocean or an energy field, in which particles are immersed, pushing through it and interacting with it, thus gaining mass. Bosons are non-matter particles which are force carriers, or messengers that act between matter particles. Mass is crated through interaction with the Higgs field.
The conclusion of Higgs’ discovery is that relations, links and connections are indispensable to form all living matter. I find it incredibly neat that Peter Higgs’ Sun sign is Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury (Hermes), the divine messenger of the gods and the archetype of the mind. Thanks to Higgs we know now how everything was created and we can state that it was created by linking things together, by particles interacting with the Higgs field, which is permeated with Higgs particles. To me this discovery can be connected with what the alchemists claimed many centuries ago. This is what Jung wrote about Mercurius: “When the alchemist speaks of Mercurius, on the face of it he means quicksilver (mercury), but inwardly he means the world-creating spirit concealed or imprisoned in matter.” Mercurius stands at the beginning of alchemical work. He was fluid, dynamic and with infinite capacity for transformation and penetration. The Gnostics called Mercurius logos spermaticos (the generative principle of the Universe) and believed it was scattered all over the universe. Also from the Bible we learn that Word/Logos was at the beginning of creation and it was the Mind that created all there is.
I think it is a sign of the times that we can make these connections between ancient spiritual knowledge and modern science.