In this short article the author makes the case that Dewey Larson's assertion of space and time as fundamentally quantized is an equal contribution to his much better known "motion as the sole constituent of the physical universe." In addition, the phenomena of boundary crossing, required by all quantum concepts, is shown to be a process of much under-appreciated complexity and importance. Finally the author speculates that crossing the quantum boundary may be a phenomena of the "Astral Plane."
Dewey B. Larson's Reciprocal System of theory is most noted for its concept of replacing "a universe contained in space and clocked by time" with "a universe of motion composed of space and time." Equal to this contribution however, is his bold assertion that space and time themselves are composed of discrete units or quanta. It is interesting that Larson almost never uses the term quantum and, as was pointed out in the last issue of Reciprocity, "…he looked upon these quantum-mechanical phenomena, like the tunneling, with hesitation."
The question about whether space and time are continuous, infinitely divisible, or come in chunks has been argued for thousands of years. The most basic mathematics of modern science, the (infinitesimal) Calculus, was highly controversial when first proposed by Leibniz, Barrow, and Newton for just this reason. Just as it is much easier to build a wall with bricks than with sand, Larson must have figured it would be easier to build a physical universe with quanta rather than with "infinitesimals."
Now, to the very basics…
It's hard to decide where to start, but to the mystics in the ISUS audience, it would be easy. If you lean toward Egyptian mythology, you would begin with Tum creating Atum out of Nun. For the students of Vedanta, one would turn to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. But this, after all, is an article for an advanced physics journal.
There is not time in a short article for even a brief introduction to number mysticism, but we?'l need a little bit to be able to get started. A good reference is Serpent in the Sky, John Anthony West's introduction to R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz's Egyptological ideas. In what de Lubicz calls the "Primordial Scission", One, the Absolute or Unity, becomes conscious of itself and creates Polarity or Duality. Duality by itself, unchecked, is an invitation to chaos, but Duality is reconciled by the simultaneous creation of Three—the Trinity. One cannot become Two without becoming Three, because becoming is the third force. Bruce Peret, among others, believes this principle is behind the three-dimensional fundamentalism of Larson's universe.
One can argue that the Primordial Scission is forever unfathomable and incomprehensible to human faculties, but all beyond this first act is, in principle, open to inquiry and understanding.
In the author's work, the "first unity breaking" of the Unity of Source is considered to be the duality between The Word and The Void. (See Figure 1) The third or reconciling principle is Divine Creation. The Word could be thought of as Divine Consciousness or perhaps the Tao. It is, of course "The Word" referred to by the beautiful first line of John's gospel in the Christian Bible. The Word reaches into the Void to begin the process of divine creation. It is wonderful that the RS theory agrees so completely that the first physical creation results in "let there be Light."
Since this is a physics article, and physicists are mainly concerned with physical things, we will ignore all the richness of phenomena that result from the "second unity breaking" that occurs when The Word creates duality out of itself. This means we'll not discuss Divine Love, Divine Knowledge, Divine Will; or the Mental Body, Emotional Body, and Etheric Body which comprise three-fourths of a human. We'll not touch on Co-Creation with Source, and most of all, we'll not even consider the major question of why would we have created this messy physical universe of reduced dimensionality in the first place.
This is great because there is much to be written in future articles.
Almost all creation stories begin with creation ex nihilo—"out of nothing." While this seems paradoxical at first, when it is considered deeply, one realizes that the polar opposite of Nothing is Everything! So the Void is defined as "nothing and everything at the same time." Note how our language starts to fail us as we seem to need a temporal expression to somehow bang the two ends together into one "at the same time."
Some people think of the Void as both a vacuum and a plenum. Another interesting conception of the Void is that it is composed of total random, for only total random could be perfect order. It is also a state of being, which is incomprehensible. This is tongue-in-cheek, but note that the Void is all "hardware", as the "software" is contained in the Word. The hardware is infinitely capable, but is capable of nothing without the software.
Another light-hearted explanation of creation ex nihilo is given by G. Spencer-Brown in the Preface to the 1994 Edition of his Laws of Form: ?The idea that the creation must be a consequence of "something" is moronic. No "thing" can have any consequence whatever. If there were originally "something", it would poison the whole creative process. Only "nothing" is unstable enough to give origin to endless concatenations of different appearances.
There are numerous dualities which could be created out of the Unity of the Void to construct a universe, but let's consider two of the most fundamental. (See figure 2) We are incapable of dealing with a "being" universe, only an eternally becoming one. In order to understand becoming, we must contrast change against permanence. One way to do this is to create motion out of space and time. Now we have something that can "become." This part of the construction of the RS theory is well known.
The other "second unity breaking" is more subtle, but is quite necessary when you think about it. It goes something like this:
In order for nothing to become something, without becoming everything, it must have a boundary.
You can't bring "something" out of the Void unless you can define where it begins and ends! It looks like the need for a quantum is pretty fundamental after all. Spencer-Brown also says, "…every duality implies triplicity: what the thing is, what it isn't, and the boundary between them." (italics mine)
The idea of a "boundary crossing" seems so ordinary that we rarely pay much attention to it. But in the case of the boundary between the S-frame of the Material Sector and the T-frame (and the equivalent in the Cosmic Sector) we have a "boundary crossing" of extraordinary importance. The RS theory is justifiably proud of the fact that it has eliminated many of the infinities that plague the current mainstream theory. However, when interactions take place in less than one unit of space (or time), we encounter a "zero-crossing" region. The origin of the S-frame is considered to be at zero speed.
This produces a "you can't get there from here" sort of problem: In the Material Sector, speed would be defined as S/T. Therefore, to be able to get to zero, S must go to zero or T to infinity. S can't go to zero due to the Quantum Postulate, and an infinite T means we have bumped up against a "higher reality." Dr. Nehru's article in Reciprocity, Volume XXVI, No. 1, explains how this boundary crossing produces the phenomena of Quantum Non-locality, since this boundary is both "everywhere" and "everywhen."
Generally when we encounter phenomena with these types of infinities, it means we have bumped up against some sort of "higher dimensionality", like when the inhabitants of a two-dimensional plane world run across five circles whose boundaries exhibit really strange effects. Only later do they learn that it was some three-dimensional human who had stuck his hand part way into their world. It would be hard for the Flatlanders to realize that the five separate circles were connected to a higher reality.
If you study the "planes of existence", "composition of entities", etc. in the classical (and modern) esoteric literature, you will discover a wide variation in the names of the layers and even the number and purpose of each layer. Most systems have seven layers, which relates back to number mysticism, and there is even a modern seven-layer version called the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Model. One wonders if the "protocol stacks" which route our digital data through the worldwide Internet know they have such an ancient heritage.
One major concept of these systems is that the higher planes "interpenetrate" the lower planes. For the purpose of this discussion, let's consider an existence of just three layers. At the bottom is the Physical Plane, which is best described by Larson's RS system. The concept of a "Life Unit" borrowed from our sister universe, the Cosmic Sector, to make our cells disaggregate/divide when gravitation is telling them to do just the opposite is most intriguing, but in this current construction it is probably still part of the physical layer—and definitely needs further study.
Just beneath the Primordial Scission is the Spiritual Plane, full of angels, other wondrous things, and much closer to the Unity of Source. How we got from there to this messy physical existence is the subject of endless speculation.
In between those two planes is a layer which we call the Astral Plane. We might note that the Astral layer of classic Theosophy generally translates to the "Emotional Body" in our system. The concept of the Astral Plane as the interface between the Spiritual and the Physical is largely taken from Barbara Brennon's work.
Since time and space form the fundamental basis for our physical existence, they do not exist in the Astral Plane at all. So whatever goes on there, would from our physical perspective, appear to be eternal. And vice versa, from the vantage point of the Astral Plane, all time and all space of this universe would be instantly visible.
So what goes on in the Astral Plane? Certainly the struggles of Larson's "Ethical Man" take place there. (Don't forget, because the Astral interpenetrates the Physical, "there" is also "here") Even though time and space do not exist in the Astral Plane, Duality certainly exists, perhaps even evil and good. Our Emotional and Mental Bodies live there. "Astral travel" takes place when these guys go wandering around and leave the physical body at home. This is not so odd as it sounds—most of us do this every night when we dream. Our system considers the "Etheric Body" to be the interface layer between the Astral and Physical world, and connects to the Chakra system.
Since crossing the quantum boundary produces non-local effects with infinite implications, and since the Astral Plane is, by definition, the next higher dimensionality, we would like to offer that these phenomena take place in the Astral Plane.
An interesting consequence of this hypothesis is the following calculation: Since the space-time Progression is flying along at the speed of light, and since we are inextricability bound to the material aggregates of this corner of the galaxy, then each atom of our physical body must enter and exit a unit of space-time every 1.52 x 10-16 seconds. That means that every atom of our body crosses the quantum boundary (2 x 1/1.52) or 1.32 x 1016 times a second!
Think of it, every atom of your body gets to take a brief (very brief) "Astral holiday" away from this mundane physical existence many (very many) times a second.
But then, time and space do not exist in the Astral Plane,… so what do "very brief" and "very many" mean there?
We hope that this article has piqued the reader's interest that our hard science might benefit from consideration of the higher planes, that "boundary crossing" is more complex than most would consider, and that the RS "quantum" theory is a major contribution to the understanding of our exciting world.