BY Andre Gaudreault
(NB: My background is French, and I stink in web formatting.)
“To be is to be perceived.” Berkeley
“The question is not to be or not to be; to be is not to be.” Alan Watts
Time is not a line, but a series of now-points. Taisen Deshimaru
I first understood “time discontinuity,” (as a series of “now-points”) as a fundamental discontinuity in the process of reality, as a cycle of being and non-being, in the same spirit as Alan Watts, who was proclaiming at the time that “To be is not to be” (circa 1970).
However, Alan Watts’ being-non being duality was not satisfactory to me; I was not comfortable with the idea of “global non-being.” What happens to the universe when it is not? It took me another ten years to figure that out. It is indeed after I got acquainted with Bohm interpretation of Quantum mechanics, in the mid-eighty, that I realized that “time discontinuity” could be expressed in terms of “Implicate and Explicate order.”
Indeed, here is how I came to interpret the relations between these two orders of reality, in terms of discontinuity: What is enduring, what is (being) is not the reality that we can perceive, the ‘Explicate order’, as Berkeley assumed (To be is to be perceived”), but, what is enduring is the ‘Implicate order’, in which there is no discontinuity of any sort that can be perceived, but only an “unbroken wholeness,”… which cannot. That is why human perception is an illusion. (Gautama Buddha)
Explicate Order (non-being)
“Nothing endures but change.” Heraclitus
The “objective reality” that we perceive is an illusion, since what we perceive is a series of “quantum of action,” for which movement is impossible. Indeed, in this “discrete reality” that I assumed (now-point), “before” is gone forever, and “after” not yet existent, as Zeno already understood, with the motion of arrows, and modern science, with “jumping electrons.” Moreover, in this discrete reality, “locality” is impossible, since motion being nonexistent, there is no possibility of local contact between quanta of action. What is problematic in my understanding of Bohm interpretation, thus, is not action-at-a-distance, but “local action,” Since all that we perceive in the explicate order as “motion” is a series of disconnected “illusive observations” that we make of reality .
“True motion” happens at a “deeper order” on the form of an unperceivable and incomprehensible differential adjustment of “holomovement” (Bohm’s Interpretation). In fact, the “holomovement” of the deeper order is as incomprehensible from a point of view assuming a substantive “space-time continuum” supporting observable motion, as the Heavens were incomprehensible from the point of view assuming that the earth was fixed at the centre of the universe.
All that we are aware of is a series of transitory quanta of action, which we don’t perceive as entities, but which all together make up the “motion picture Time” that we enjoy as a species—each discrete frame not lasting 1/24 second, but 10 –23 s (1/2 Planck time), or somewhere in this range. This is why I believe that it might be dangerous to destroy one elementary particle at this infinitesimal period of time, as the “Cernautes” want to do in their 27-kilometre accelerator, by recreating the conditions of the early universe, when, according to my theory, the original discontinuity between being (Implicate order) and non-being (Explicate order) happened for the first time. They could then inadvertently break a link in the “unbroken wholeness” (more below), thus creating a rip in the fabric of the universe, thus putting a stop to our never-ending reviewing of the “motion picture Time.”
“Nothing changes” Parmenides
Implicate Order (being)
It becomes even more frightening when we consider the possibility that the original Pre-Big Bang singularity, the initial “Being” in which all the potentialities of our evolving order (Implicate order) were contained, could still exist. Indeed, having no dimension but only potentials, there is nothing in this original singularity that can come to an end. It is these “potentialities” of the early universe (Principia) that could be artificially “untangled” in the LHC by an act of destruction. This could be dangerous, since it is possible that the Implicate and Explicate orders are also the two elemental contradictions of the original dialectics, whose perpetual Quantum becoming, usually unobserved at the “deeper order,” is the illusive reality that we perceive at the “higher order.” What would happen if a destruction of a particle of matter is ever observed at this ultimate quantum instant? Is it not possible that the ordered reality that emerges as a series of quantum instants of which we are aware emerges into its antithesis, eternal chaos, as a consequence of our newly acquired capacity to “observe” the destruction of one elementary particle when close to the instant it is one with the “Unbroken wholeness?”
Here is why I believe that the creation of such chaos is possible:
- Firstly, there is the first principle of thermodynamics, which tells us that in any process the total energy of the universe remains the same: Nothing is ever destroyed, but always transformed into something else;
- then, there is the anthropic principle, which stipulates that the universe is fine-tuned “for the existence of (intelligent) life on earth at the present time” (Penrose, parentheses in the original);
- and finally, there exist physical quantities in the universe (physical constants) that play essential roles in this fine-tuning and which are generally believed to be both universal in nature and constant in time. (Wikipedia).
So, is it not possible that to observe (since, at the Quantum level, if it is not observed, it doesn’t exist—and probably at our level too), to observe, thus, the destruction of only one particle of matter, at an instant when it is still implicated with the whole universe, when the process of “entanglement” occurs, could have the consequence of changing the total amount of energy in the universe? Why? Because this particle, which would be annihilated at an instant close to its being implicated with the whole universe, would not have the chance of transforming itself into anything else, as the first principle of thermodynamics states it should, since it would already be entangled with everything else. Therefore, affecting the total amount of energy in the universe, the values of the physical constants depending on it, and thus, the conditions of the actual universe allowing for our existence.
Is it not also possible —if the initial Big Bang is in fact the ultimate instant when all matters of the universe came out of nothing —that this newly created Big Bang by an act of destruction would have the antithetical consequence of returning all matters of the universe into nothing, as I fear?
So, the danger lurking behind the creation of a new big bang is not “only” to “destroy the universe,” as I first believed, but, which would be even worst, to send it into relative chaos, in which we would all be eternally ‘conscious’ (Vs, Hegel’s “absolute consciousness”) of having lost for ever the capacity to exist as complex entities!!!!!!! Thus being dawned to be bored for eternity, in a human-created hell! (I thought of that, while being bored while riding my stationary bike, and thinking: What if the material universe were destroyed, but consciousness remain and I am stuck in this feeling of borness for eternity???)
Experts will probably retort that this is “laughable,” since the force of each collision in the collider is “equivalent to the energy of a flying mosquitoes: “Speculations about [such cataclysmic events] …refer to …. collisions of pairs of protons, each of which has an energy comparable to that of a mosquito in flight.” Okay! But this assertion is even more frightening, when one thinks about it. Indeed, if we increase nuclei to the size of mosquitoes, mosquitoes would be the size of solar systems [Sic]. Can you imagine the mightiness of two of these, and the effect they would have here on earth, if their total energies were concentrated in a car tunnel under the Alps?
It is by reason of this relatively immense force applied on protons that the first instant of the universe will allegedly be “recreated” in the LHC. Again, if my identification of these first instants of the universe to the “eternal” (No beginning nor end) implicate order has a “non-zero possibility” to be valid, could it not be dangerous to recreate their conditions with an act of destruction? Could it not have the antithetical effect of creating eternal chaos out of the evolutionary order that has engendered us, as I fear it would? The committee that concluded that this was not a real threat [sic] grounded their conclusions on the facts that these kinds of collisions happen all the time with much greater energy in the atmosphere and elsewhere in the universe. However, these natural collisions are never closely “observed,” as they would be in the underground detectors the size of “cathedrals,” and thus don’t “exist,” as those at CERN would.
Furthermore, could it be also that to compare these high-energy collisions happening in the atmosphere, to collisions happening in the very constricted beam of energy of the LHC, be the same as to compare the burning of a thousand pounds of loose black powder in the middle of a desert, to the explosion of less powder serving as triggers in atomic bombs? Moreover, I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere, either, that the strange matters that could be “created” by these high-energy collisions have been predicted by the same standard model that predicted the existence of the elementary particles, which have already been detected in profusion in smaller accelerators. Why predictions of the potential destruction of the whole universe made by the same model not taken in consideration?
Something of that nature might have already happened in the RHIC, in the US. However, the process happened so fast that it could not be “detected.” “We expected the particles to be released for a much longer time at these high energies,” said University of Washington physicist John Cramer. “Instead, the time is so short that we can’t measure it. The time has grown shorter with increased energy instead of longer.”
These particles just disappeared without a trace. Literally, since it is by leaving traces in bubble chambers that elementary particles are detected. (At least that’s the way they were detected when I was younger.) But no problems, we are presently putting the finishing touch to another accelerator in Europe, which will be seven times bigger and able to measure events happening even closer to the ultimate Planck time —the ultimate Quantum of action. Then we’ll know, by next summer (2015), whether the simple act of observing the annihilation of particles close to their “implication” with the whole universe will send us into eternal chaos, or not.
It is after hearing from a scientist on the Internet in December 2006 that there where a “non-zero possibility to destroy the universe,” that I first contemplated this possibility of creating chaos with the experiments conducted in the Large Hadron Collider.
Indeed, I already had a similar idea about the destruction of the whole universe, twenty year earlier, when I correlated from a lay point of view the results of (1) Aspect’s experiment to (2) my personal interpretations of the Big-Bang theory and (3) David Bohm interpretation of Quantum mechanics:
- Everything that has once been in contact remains “entangled,” even when light years apart. (Aspect)
- The “singularity” of the early moments of the universe (Big-Bang theory) could still be with us as “eternal” Implicate order. (my hypothesis)
- Reality oscillates between being (Implicate order – “Unbroken wholeness”) and non-being ( Explicate order, Illusive reality). (My hypothesis)
It is then that for the first time (twenty years ago) I became aware that it could be dangerous to destroy– I have updated this twenty year later to: “to observe the destruction of” even one particle of matter, at or close to the instant when it is still implicated with the “unbroken wholeness.”
As I told you before, I can make this claim with authority, since it also came to directly follow from the theory of Dialectical Evolution of Complexity, which eventually developed into a theory of Quantum reality, which play the same role in the explanation of consciousness, inertia, mass and gravitation, and in the riddance of a substantive space-time continuum, as Copernicus’ hypothesis of a moving earth and the Galilean relativity played in the discoveries of gravitation and in the riddance of unnecessary crystalline spheres.
Before I submit these rudimentary explanations to the scrutiny of your expertise, though, and hopefully convince you to agree with me that your experiments could disrupt the “universal equilibrium,” (This essay was originally sent on the form of an email to “contacts” at CERN.) I feel that I need to present myself and define the context in which this notion of time discontinuity came to play a crucial role in my reasoning. I believe that it is important, and ask for your patience. Normally, I should not have to do this, after thirty years, my peers would know who I am and what I did at the university. However, if I am a scientist, I am not a “normal scientist”: I have no peers. Since, after two general baccalaureates, the first received in my twenties, and the second deliberately undertaken in my thirties, to develop a “comprehensive” understanding of “our failures” as a species (Buckminster Fuller), and after a subsequent unspecialized Master’s degree in Zoo-anthropo-sociology, gained in my late forties among unwitting academics, I became a “natural scientist.” In the sense that after all that I came to know as much about science, as natural philosophers of the late seventeen and early eighteen centuries knew about nature, which is to say: Not that much.
Nonetheless, I know enough to know that in science one is bound to find what one is looking for. And what I have been trying to find at the university, from a “comprehensive” point of view, are the effects that our deep-rooted fallacious assumptions about space and time and our inabilities to perceive the intrinsic discontinuity of reality have had on our religious beliefs since the beginning of time [sic] and on our scientific understanding of reality in the modern times.
Actually, I can say “since the beginning of time,” for my theory fruitfully suggests, in the spirit of Ernst Mach, and to some extent David Bohm, that “space” and “time” are not substantial entities existing of all eternity, but the basic cognitive notions (Kant’s a priori) that we had to intuitively conceive, as Homo, to become consciously aware of the opened Savannah at the start of our evolutionary journey into the mental dimension. And much later, as modern humans, the basic cognitive notions (space and time) that we had to consciously substantiate to formulate the laws of motion.
Here is, for instance, how this “comprehensive” understanding of science allowed me to shed light on the limits of David Bohm interpretation of Quantum mechanics. Indeed, when he says that:
In the enfolded order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles,are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. (Wikipedia, my italics)
Here, it is easy for me to see that Bohm has been too much informed by Quantum Mechanics and not enough by the theory of Evolution. Actually, it is not “our ordinary notions of space and time “. . . [that] are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order,” but, on the contrary, it is the notions of the “deeper order” (e.g., waves and particles) that we have abstracted from the notion of space and time that we had to conceived, to “objectify” the world at the start of our evolutionary journey into the mental dimension.
For Bohm, to say that “ . . . our ordinary notions of space and time . . . are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order,” he must assume that the space time continuum exists. Well! It doesn’t. No more than the “ether” or crystalline spheres exists. Nevertheless, I have accepted and even prolifically used the first portion of his statement about “unbroken wholeness.”