Chris, I'm not a mathematician or physicist by any stretch, but I am
a curious person and would like to know more about the CTMU
(Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe). I am particularly
interested in the theological aspects. Can you please explain
what the CTMU is all about in language that even I can
Thanks for your interest, but the truth is the CTMU isn't all
that difficult for even a layperson to understand. So sit
back, relax, kick off your shoes and open your mind...
Scientific theories are mental
constructs that have objective
reality as their content.
According to the scientific method, science puts objective
content first, letting theories be determined by observation.
But the phrase "a theory of reality" contains two
key nouns, theory
and reality, and
science is really about both. Because all theories have certain
necessary logical properties that are abstract and mathematical, and
therefore independent of observation - it is these very properties
that let us recognize and understand our world in conceptual terms -
we could just as well start with these properties and see what they
might tell us about objective reality.
Just as scientific observation makes demands on theories, the
logic of theories makes demands on scientific observation, and these
demands tell us in a general way what we may observe about the
other words, a comprehensive theory of reality is not just about
observation, but about theories and their logical requirements.
Since theories are mental constructs, and mental
means "of the mind", this can be rephrased as follows: mind
are linked in mutual dependence at the most basic level of
linkage of mind and reality is what a TOE (Theory of
Everything) is really about. The
CTMU is such a theory; instead of being a mathematical
description of specific observations (like all established
scientific theories), it is a "metatheory" about the
general relationship between theories and observations…i.e., about
science or knowledge itself. Thus,
it can credibly lay claim to the title of TOE.
and reality - the abstract and the concrete, the subjective and the
objective, the internal and the external - are linked together in a
certain way, and this linkage is the real substance of "reality
theory". Just as
scientific observation determines theories, the logical requirements
of theories to some extent determine scientific observation.
Since reality always has the ability to surprise us, the task
of scientific observation can never be completed with absolute
certainty, and this means that a comprehensive theory of reality
cannot be based on scientific observation alone.
Instead, it must be based on the process of making scientific
observations in general, and this process is based on the
relationship of mind and reality.
So the CTMU is essentially a
theory of the relationship between mind and reality.
explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality
possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness.
That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some
respects like a mind. But
when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose
mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and
scientific definition of God. This
implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of
God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind.
They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only
parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest
source of knowledge and power that exists.
This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is
like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call
the soul or spirit,
and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human.
the attempt to formulate a comprehensive theory of reality, the CTMU,
finally leads to spiritual understanding, producing a basis for the
unification of science and theology.
The traditional Cartesian divider between body and mind,
science and spirituality, is penetrated by logical reasoning of a
higher order than ordinary scientific reasoning, but no less
scientific than any other kind of mathematical truth.
Accordingly, it serves as the long-awaited gateway between
science and humanism, a bridge of reason over what has long seemed
an impassable gulf.
on the CTMU
Hey Chris, what's your take on the theory of Max
Tegmark, physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study at
Princeton. He has a paper on the web which postulates that
universes exist physically for all conceivable mathematical
structures. Is it as "wacky" as he postulates?
Since Max claims to be on the fast track to a TOE of his own, I just
thought I'd offer a few remarks about his approach, and point out a
few of the ways in which it differs from that of the CTMU.
Many of us are familiar with the Anthropic Principle of
cosmology (the AP) and Everett's Many Worlds (MW)
interpretation of quantum theory. These ideas have something
in common: each is an attempt to make a philosophical problem
disappear by what amounts to Wittgensteinian semantic adjustment,
i.e., by a convenient redefinition of certain key ingredients.
Specifically, MW attempts to circumvent the quantum measurement
problem - the decoherence of the quantum wave function - by
redefining every quantum event as a divergence of universes,
shifting the question "what happens to the unrealized possible
results of a measurement when one possibility is exclusively
actualized?" to "why can we not perceive the
actualizations of these other possible results?", while the AP
shifts the question "why does the universe exist?" to
"why is this particular universe perceived to
exist?" Both MW and the AP thus shift attention away from
objective reality by focusing on the subjective perception of
objective reality, thereby invoking the distinction between subjectivity
and objectivity (what usually goes unstated is that
mainstream physical and mathematical science have traditionally
recognized only the objective side of this distinction, sweeping the
other side under the rug whenever possible).
Perhaps intuiting the MW-AP connection, Max Tegmark (formerly at the
Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton) has effectively combined
these two ideas and tried to shift the focus back into the objective
domain. First, noting that MW is usually considered to involve
only those universes that share our laws of physics (but which
differ in the initial and subsequent conditions to which those laws
are applied), Tegmark extends MW to include other universes with
other sets of physical laws, noting that since these sets of laws
are mathematical in nature, they must correspond to mathematical
structures...abstract structures that we can investigate right here
in this universe. And that, he says, may explain why this
universe is perceived to exist: the conditions for the evolution of
perceptual entities may simply be the mean of a distribution
generated by distinct physical nomologies corresponding to these
mathematical structures. In other words, the conditions for
the existence of "self-aware substructures" (perceptual
life forms) may simply be the most likely conditions within the
distribution of all possible universes. And since the latter
distribution corresponds to the set of mathematical structures in this
universe, the hypothesis can be tested right here by mathematical
Of course, Tegmark's attempt at a TOE leaves unanswered a number of
deep philosophical questions. First, what good does it do to
"anthropically" explain this universe in terms of an MW
metauniverse unless one can explain where the metauniverse came
from? What is supposed to prevent an informationally barren
infinite regress of universes within metauniverses within meta-metauniverses...,
and so on? Second, what good is such a theory unless it
contains the means to resolve outstanding paradoxes bedeviling
physics and cosmology - paradoxes like quantum nonlocality, ex
nihilo cosmology, the arrow of time, and so forth? Third, what
is the true relationship between mathematics and physics, that one
can simply identify sets of physical laws with mathematical
structures? It's fine to say that physics comes from
mathematics, but then where does mathematics come from?
Fourth, where are the mathematical tools for dealing with the
apparently ultra-complex problem of computing the probability
distribution of universes from the set of all mathematical
structures, including those yet to be discovered? Fifth, what
is the real relationship between subjective and objective reality,
on which distinction both Many Worlds and the Anthropic Principle
are ultimately based? (Et cetera.)
Since one could go on for pages, it seems a little premature to be
calling Tegmark's theory a TOE (or even a reasonable TOE precursor).
And although I 'm not saying that his theory contains nothing of
value, I'm a bit puzzled by the absence of any mention of certain
obvious mathematical ingredients. For example, topos theory
deals with topoi, or so-called "mathematical
universes" consisting of mathematical categories (mapping
algebras) equipped not only with the objects and morphisms possessed
by categories in general, but special logics permitting the
assignment of truth values to various superficially nonalgebraic
(e.g. "physical") expressions involving the objects.
Why would any "TOE" purporting to equate physical
universes to mathematical structures omit at least cursory mention
of an existing theory that seems to be tailor-made for just such a
hypothesis? This in itself suggests a certain amount of
oversight. Tegmark may have a few good ideas knocking around
upstairs, but on the basis of what his theory omits, one can't avoid
the impression that he's merely skirting the boundary of a real TOE.
contrast, the CTMU deals directly with the outstanding paradoxes and
fundamental interrelationship of mathematics and physics.
Unlike other TOEs, the CTMU does not purport to be a
"complete" theory; there are too many physical details and
undecidable mathematical theorems to be accounted for (enough to
occupy whole future generations of mathematicians and scientists),
and merely stating a hypothetical relationship among families of
subatomic particles is only a small part of the explanatory task
before us. Instead, the CTMU is merely designed to be
consistent and comprehensive at a high level of generality, a level
above that at which most other TOEs are prematurely aimed.
The good news is that a new model of physical spacetime, and thus a
whole new context for addressing the usual round of quantum
cosmological problems, has emerged from the CTMU's direct attack on
deeper philosophical issues.
Einstein says that gravity is a result of "mass-energy"
causing a curvature in the four dimensional space time continuum. At
the planck scale, (10^(-33)) centimeters, is space still
continuous?, or is space discontinuous? I have read books
saying space time may have holes or breaks in continuity. Are
these holes related in any way to "gravitons", or reverse
time causality? (Question from Russell Rierson)
A mathematical space is continuous if it has a metric that
withstands infinitesimal subdivision. To understand what this means,
one must know what a "metric" is. Simplistically, a metric
is just a general "distance" relationship defined on a
space as follows: if a and b are two points in a space, and c is an
arbitrary third point, then the distance between a and b is always
less than or equal to the sum of the distances between a and c, and
b and c. That is, where d(x,y) is the distance between two points x
d(a,b) <= d(a,c) + d(b,c).
If this relationship continues to hold no matter how close together
the points a, b and c might be, then the space is continuous. On the
other hand, where the distance concept is undefined below a certain
threshold, metric continuity breaks down on that scale. Since the
Planck limit is such a threshold, space is discontinuous below the
Planck scale...implying, of course, that it is discontinuous,
period. Not only is it "granular" in a slippery kind of
way, but the grains in question are effectively without spatial
Because space and time are undefined below quantum limits, they no
longer have extensionality or directionality. But if we interpret
this to mean that anything, including causality, can
"flow" in any direction whatsoever, then reverse causality
is conceivable on sub-Planck scales. In fact, some theorists
conjecture that on these scales, continuous spacetime becomes a
chaotic "quantum foam" in which distant parts of the
universe are randomly connected by microscopic
"wormholes". That's pretty much the party line among physicists.
Now let's bring philosophy to bear on the issue. At one time, space
was considered to consist of "ether", a quasimaterial
"substance" through which physical objects were thought to
swim like fish through water. But since the introduction of
Einstein's Theory of Relativity, nothing material remains of empty
space; although it is permeated by fields and "vacuum
energy", these are merely contained by space and are not
equivalent to space itself. Space has instead become a mathematical
abstraction called a "tensor field" that confers relative
attributes like location, direction, orientation, distance, linear
and angular velocity, and geometry on physical objects and energy
fields. Because empty space, as abstracted from its contents, cannot
be observed and has no observable effect on anything, it is not
"physical" in the usual sense.
That which is immaterial is abstract, and abstraction is a mental
process that "abstracts" or educes general relationships
from observations. So from a philosophical viewpoint, saying that
space is immaterial and therefore abstract amounts to saying that it
is "mental"...that it is to some extent composed of mind
rather than matter. Although this runs against the scientific grain,
it is consistent with our dominant physical theories of the very
large and the very small, namely relativity and quantum mechanics.
In relativity, space and time are combined in an abstract manifold
called "spacetime" whose "points" are physical
events that can be resolved in terms of mutual behavioral
transduction of material objects, a process fundamentally similar to
mentation. And quantum mechanics characterizes matter in terms of
abstract, immaterial wave functions that are physically actualized
by interactions of an equally immaterial nature.
What does this mean regarding the continuity of spacetime? Simply
that like spacetime itself, continuity and its quantum-scale
breakdown are essentially mental rather than material in character.
As Berkeley observed centuries ago, reality is ultimately
perceptual, and as we know from the subsequent debate between Hume
and Kant, perception conforms to mental categories... categories
like space and time. So rather than being purely objective and
"physical" in a materialistic sense, space has a
subjective aspect reflecting the profoundly mental nature of our
Gravitons, though subject to some of the same reasoning, are another
Does the CTMU allow for the existence of souls and
From the CTMU, there emerge multiple levels of consciousness.
Human temporal consciousness is the level with which we're familiar;
global (parallel) consciousness is that of the universe as a whole.
The soul is the connection between the two...the embedment of the
former in the latter.
the CTMU, reality is viewed as a profoundly self-contained,
self-referential kind of "language", and languages have
syntaxes. Because self-reference is an abstract generalization
of consciousness - consciousness is the attribute by virtue of which
we possess self-awareness - conscious agents are "sublanguages"
possessing their own cognitive syntaxes. Now, global consciousness
is based on a complete cognitive syntax in which our own incomplete
syntax can be embedded, and this makes human consciousness
transparent to it; in contrast, our ability to access the global
level is restricted due to our syntactic limitations.
while we are transparent to the global syntax of the global
conscious agency "God", we cannot see everything that God
can see. Whereas God perceives one total act of creation in a
parallel distributed fashion, with everything in perfect
superposition, we are localized in spacetime and perceive reality
only in a succession of locally creative moments. This
parallelism has powerful implications. When a human being dies, his
entire history remains embedded in the timeless level of
consciousness...the Deic level. In that sense, he or she is
preserved by virtue of his or her "soul". And since the
universe is a self-refining entity, that which is teleologically
valid in the informational construct called "you" may be
locally re-injected or redistributed in spacetime. In
principle, this could be a recombinative process, with the essences
of many people combining in a set of local injections or
"reincarnations" (this could lead to strange
effects...e.g., a single person remembering simultaneous "past
In addition, an individual human sublanguage might be vectored into
an alternate domain dynamically connected to its existence in
spacetime. In this scenario, the entity would emerge into an
alternate reality based on the interaction between her local level
of consciousness and the global level embedding it...i.e., based on
the state of her "soul" as just defined. This may be
the origin of beliefs regarding heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo and
other spiritual realms.
If I have
interpreted you correctly, you maintain that the universe created
itself. How did this come about? What existed before the Universe
and when did the Universe create itself or come into being?
- Celia Joslyn
You're asking three distinct but related questions about cosmology:
how, when and as what did the universe self-create?
universe can be described as a cybernetic system in which freedom
and constraint are counterbalanced. The constraints function as
structure; thus, the laws of physics are constraints which define
the structure of spacetime, whereas freedom is that which is bound
or logically quantified by the constraints in question. Now, since
there is no real time scale external to reality, there is no
extrinsic point in time at which the moment of creation can be
located, and this invalidates phrases like
"before reality existed" and "when reality
created itself". So
rather than asking "when" the universe came to be, or what
existed "before" the universe was born, we must instead
ask "what would remain if the structural constraints defining
the real universe were regressively suspended?" First, time
would gradually disappear, eliminating the "when" question
entirely. And once time disappears completely, what remains is the
answer to the "what" question: a realm of boundless
potential characterized by a total lack of real constraint. In other
words, the real universe timelessly emerges from a background of
logically unquantified potential to which the concepts of space and
time simply do not apply.
let's attend to your "how" question. Within a realm of
unbound potential like the one from which the universe emerges,
everything is possible, and this implies that "everything
exists" in the sense of possibility. Some possibilities are
self-inconsistent and therefore ontological dead ends; they
extinguish themselves in the very attempt to emerge into actuality.
But other possibilities are self-consistent and potentially
self-configuring by internally defined evolutionary processes. That
is, they predicate their own emergence according to their own
internal logics, providing their own means and answering their own
"hows". These possibilities, which are completely
self-contained not only with respect to how, what, and when, but
why, have a common structure called SCSPL (Self-Configuring
Self-Processing Language). An SCSPL answers its own "why?"
question with something called teleology; where SCSPL is
"God" to whatever exists within it, teleology amounts to
the "Will of God".
there a reason
for reality to exist?
Specifically, some mathematical proof that would prove that a
reality must exist? This
would of course lead in to the more common type of questions, like
"Does *this* reality exist?" Perhaps there's a
mathematical or logical proof somewhere that shows that *something*
must exist (reality by default), or that total-non-existence can't
exist by it's very definition.
See the above response to Celia.
I think I
got clued in by an old Alan Watts text that said (I think) "If
you can agree that you are not separated from reality, then you must
agree that your 'self'-awareness is also reality's awareness of
itself." This is
of course continued to "if God exists and cannot be separated
from reality, then your awareness is also his awareness of himself,
etc etc". I think
this approximates some of what you have said, but doesn't require
the upper level math(!). - Bill
If Watts said these things, then he anticipated the CTMU (loosely
speaking, of course). But whereas Watts used conditional (if...then)
formulations, similar statements are unconditionally supported by
certain elements of mathematical structure that he omitted.
my own self-awareness and inability to separate from reality, *I*
have no doubt that this reality *does* exist (the proof is in the
pudding). So while I do
not need "proof" that there is a reality, that I am part
of that reality, and that my awareness is reality's awareness of
itself - I do not know WHY all of this stuff exists (myself
there *is* a reason that reality MUST exist, then that would also be
the reason that *I* exist. Which is probably what I am really
wondering. Is the
answer that giving myself a reason to exist is the reason for my
existence? - Bill
The first part of your "why" question is answered at the
end of the above response to Celia.
Since the meaning of life is a topic that has often been
claimed by religion, we'll attempt to answer the second part with a
bit of CTMU-style "logical theology".
each SCSPL system, subsystems sharing critical aspects of global
structure will also manifest the self-configuration imperative of
their inclusive SCSPL; that is, they exist for the purpose of
self-actualization or self-configuration, and in self-configuring,
contribute to the Self-configuration of the SCSPL as a whole. Human
beings are such subsystems. The "purpose" of their lives,
and the "meaning" of their existences, is therefore to
self-actualize in a way consistent with global Self-actualization or
teleology...i.e., in a way that maximizes global utility, including
the utility of their fellow subsystems. Their existential
justification is to help the universe, AKA God, express its nature
in a positive and Self-beneficial way.
they do so, then their "souls", or relationships to the
overall System ("God"), attain a state of grace and
partake of Systemic timelessness ("life eternal"). If, on
the other hand, they do not - if they give themselves over to
habitual selfishness at the expense of others and the future of
their species - then they are teleologically devalued and must
repair their connections with the System in order to remain a viable
part of it. And if they do even worse, intentionally scarring the
teleological ledger with a massive net loss of global utility, then
unless they pursue redemption with such sincerety that their intense
desire for forgiveness literally purges their souls, they face
spiritual interdiction for the sake of teleological integrity.
is the economy of human existence. Much of what we have been taught
by organized religions is based on the illogical literalization of
metaphorical aspects of their respective doctrines. But this much of
it is true: we can attain a state of grace; we can draw near to God
and partake of His eternal nature; we can fall from God's grace; we
can lose our souls for doing evil. In all cases, we are
unequivocally answerable to the System that grants and sustains our
existence, and doing right by that System and its contents,
including other subsystems like ourselves, is why we exist.
Sometimes, "doing right" simply means making the best of a
bad situation without needlessly propagating one's own misfortune to
others; the necessary sufferance and nonpropagation of personal
misfortune is also a source of grace. Further deontological insight
requires an analysis of teleology and the extraction of its ethical
for a couple of qualifiers. Because we are free, the teleologically
consistent meaning of our lives is to some extent ours to choose,
and is thus partially invested in the search for meaning itself. So
the answer to the last part of your question is "yes,
determining the details of your specific teleologically-consistent
reason to exist is part of the reason for your existence".
Secondly, because God is the cosmos and the human mind is a
microcosm, we are to some extent our own judges. But this doesn't
mean that we can summarily pardon ourselves for all of our sins; it
simply means that we help to determine the system according to whose
intrinsic criteria our value is ultimately determined. It is
important for each of us to accept both of these ethical
Humor me, Chris. Why does this work, and why in God's name would
someone do this? I'm sending it to you because you know
Mondale, Southampton, NY
only takes about a minute.......Work this out as you read. Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've
worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things,
First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to
have chocolate. (try for more than once but less than 10)
Multiply this number by 2 (Just to be bold)
Add 5. (for Sunday)
Multiply it by 50 (being a bit stupid) I'll
wait while you get the calculator................
If you have already had your birthday this year add 1751.... If you
haven't, add 1750 ..........
Now subtract the four digit year that you were born. (if you
should have a three digit number .....
first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times
you want to have chocolate each week). The
next two numbers are your age.
IS THE ONLY YEAR (2001) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE
IT LASTS. IMPRESSIVE ISN'T IT?
One reason people find this amazing is that it seems to reveal a
mysterious mathematical connection between your age and your
appetite for chocolate. Otherwise, why would it yield your age
even though all you're feeding in is the number of times per week
you want to eat chocolate? Shouldn't the randomness of your
appetite for chocolate mess up your age? How does your age get
in there in the first place? It must happen when you subtract
your year of birth. But shouldn't subtracting your year of
birth destroy any information regarding your appetite for chocolate?
The procedure is structured in such a way that the number you choose
simply gets bumped up a couple of place values, where it can't cross
wires with the basic age and birth-year arithmetic. To see this,
assume that you don't like chocolate and want to eat chocolate 0
times per week...i.e., that your chocoholic index is 0.
Then what you start with is:
x 2 + 5) x 50 = 5 x 50 = 250.
subtract 250 from 2001. What do you get? Presto!
- 250 = 1751
+ 1751 = 2001,
simply calculating the current year by adding 1751.
now we've got the current year, 2001. But what happens when
you subtract your year of birth from the current year, provided
you've already had your birthday? You get your age!
That's how the age and birth-year arithmetic was reverse-engineered.
what happens if you start upping your chocoholic index one binge at
a time? If you up it from 0 to 1, you get
x 2 + 5)50 = 350
of 250, which means you're adding 350 - 250 = 100 to your age.
If you up it to 2, you get
x 2 + 5)50 = 450
means you're adding 450 - 250 = 200 to your age. And so on and
so forth. Multiplying your chocoholic index by 2 x 50 = 100
simply moves it up to the 102 (hundreds) place, where it
can't affect the 101 and 100 (tens and ones)
places containing your age. It's a red herring!
author of this trick states that it can only be used this year
(2001). Is that true? Well, yes and no. It's true
as long as we insist on adding the "magic number" 1751.
But it's false in the sense that we can update or backdate the trick
to any year we like by instead adding a number equal to that year
minus 250. For example, next year we'd add 1752, while in the
year 2101, we'd add 1851.
if you want to eat chocolate ten or more times per week? No
problem. But in that case, you end up with a number of more
than three digits. The 101 and 100 places
still contain your two-digit age, while the higher places contain
your 2, 3 or n-digit chocoholic index.
we change this trick into a new one? Sure! Choose the
number of fast-food burgers you want to eat per day - your
"Wimpy index" - multiply it by 4, add 12, multiply the
result by 25, add 1701 (1700 if you haven't had your birthday yet),
subtract your year of birth, and marvel at the results. This
is sufficiently close to the old trick that you should be able to
see how to cook up as many such tricks as you like. [Note that
the product of the first and third numbers equals 100 - that's the
multiplier that bumps your Wimpy index up two places - while the
fourth number equals the current year minus the product of the
second and third numbers.]
would someone do something like this? It's just a bit
of mathematical legerdemain that probably has the person who cooked
it up laughing himself (or herself) silly over how gullible,
innumerate and greedy for chocolate most of us are!
couple of questions about the CTMU:
Michael Langan said in his introduction following:
"Thus, if D(S) contains supraphysical components, they are
embedded in S right along with their physical counterparts (indeed,
this convention is already in restricted use in string theory and
M-theory, where unseen higher dimensions get "rolled up"
to sub-Planck diameter)."
I understood it right, the supraphysical component in string- and
M-theory is called supraphysical, because the model does not assume
it to be part of the physical universe. Taking on that thought and
considering the definition of the REAL UNIVERSE in the CTMU I have
to doubt that the supraphysical component is even part of the REAL
universe. Does anyone know where my mistake in thought lies?
As noted by Berkeley, we can know reality only through perception.
So our theories of reality necessarily have a perceptual or
observational basis. But as noted by Kant, the process of
observation has substantial internal complexity; it is a
relationship of subject and object with sensory (phenomenal) and
cognitive (categorical) components. So reality is at once monic,
because uniformly perceptual, and dualistic, because perception has
two complementary aspects. Thus, the "dual aspect monism"
of the CTMU. Now consider physics. Because physics is governed
by the scientific method, it deals exclusively with phenomena. Thus,
it effectively diverts attention away from the cognitive,
categorical aspect of perceptual reality, without which neither
phenomena nor scientific theories could exist. Because physics is
irreducibly dualistic and takes the fundamental separation of mind
and matter as axiomatic, it cannot provide us with a complete
picture of reality. It can tell us only what lies outside the
subjective observer, not within.
definition, reality must contain all that it needs to exist;
equivalently, anything on which the existence of reality depends is
real by definition (if it were not, then reality would be based on
nonreality and would itself be unreal, a semantic contradiction). So
attempts to explain reality entirely in terms of physics are
paradoxical; reality contains not only the physical, but the
abstract machinery of perception and cognition through which
"the physical" is perceived and explained. Where this
abstract machinery is what we mean by "the supraphysical",
reality has physical and supraphysical aspects. Physical and
supraphysical reality are respectively "concrete" and
"abstract", i.e. material and mental in nature.
question is, do we continue to try to objectivize the supraphysical
component of reality as do the theories of physics, strings and
membranes, thus regenerating the paradox? Or do we take the CTMU
approach and resolve the paradox, admitting that the supraphysical
aspect of reality is "mental" in a generalized sense and
describing all components of reality in terms of SCSPL syntactic
operators with subjective and objective aspects?
advice: we take the CTMU approach, relegating the scientific method
to the phenomenal side of reality theory - after all, M-theory is
beyond the empirical scope of the scientific method already - and
recognizing that the universe is everywhere both subjective and
objective, rational and empirical, mental and material. Anything
else would lead to reductio ad absurdum.
Scientists understand how
the universe was made. My question is, where did the matter, or the
energy which eventually became the matter, come from to form the
Cannarsa, Glen Head, NY
By definition, there is
nothing outside of reality that is real enough to contain reality.
So reality is self-contained. A self-contained medium must provide
that which is necessary to its own existence. So if energy is
necessary for the existence of reality, reality must find that
energy within itself. Because matter consists of energy according to
Einstein’s famous equation e=mc2,
this applies to matter as well.
That is, the universe, using its own energy, made its own
matter. How could it do
this? By configuring
itself in such a way that the matter it made would be
“recognized” as such by other matter.
What came first, the
chicken or the egg? Those
are your choices...either the chicken or the egg.
Any other answer is wrong.
to popular belief, this age-old dilemma actually has a very
straightforward solution. First,
you must specify what kind of egg you mean. If you mean “any kind
of egg”, then the egg came first (because chickens were preceded
on the evolutionary timeline by, for example, egg-laying fish,
insects and dinosaurs). If, on the other hand, you mean “a chicken
egg”, then you must specify whether this means (a) “an egg laid
by a chicken”, (b) “an egg containing a chicken”, or (c) “an
egg laid by and containing a chicken”. In cases (a) and (c), the
answer is by definition “the chicken” (if the answer were “the
egg”, then the egg could not have been laid by a chicken).
case (b), the usual and most interesting interpretation, the answer
is “the egg”. This is because interspecies mutations separating
a new species from its parent species occur in reproductive rather
than somatic DNA, i.e. in germ cells rather than body cells.
(Germ cells include the sperm and egg cells produced in the
reproductive tracts of male and female animals respectively.)
Since germ cells are merely produced, but
not somatically expressed, by the parents of the organism(s) whose
biological information they encode, their expression begins in the
egg containing the offspring. So
the egg contains a chicken, but was not laid by a chicken.
(See how easy that was?)
Q: My question
is this: If you could answer the question what is the
mathematical difference between visible light and invisible light,
i.e. ultraviolet rays, wouldn't this answer the question concerning
the importance of further study into what is defined as physical.
After all how do you perceive ultraviolet rays-- as a sunburn or
plant growth. Therefore, although not visible there indeed may
be other energy forms that coexist right where we are, having an
impact on us, without our knowing its source. It is not
visibly physical yet its effect on us is very physical.
A: Visible and UV light differ
in frequency, or number of waves transmitted or received per
second. Because light always travels at the same speed (c =
~300K km/sec), higher frequency means shorter waves:
= c/frequency (where lambda = wavelength)
more energetic, higher-frequency light has a smaller wavelength
than less energetic, lower-frequency light. Unfortunately, the
tiny light sensors in our retinas, called rods and cones,
cannot detect short-wavelength UV light.
question seems to be this: how can we call UV light “physical”
when we cannot directly detect it? The answer is twofold but
simple: we can call it “physical” because of (1) its perceptible
physical effects on animals, plants, minerals and detection devices,
and (2) our need to acknowledge the full definitions and logical
implications of our perceptions and concepts.
(2) is why reality is not merely “physical” in the concrete or
material sense. In order to exist as a self-consistent
perceptible entity, reality must ultimately make logical sense; our
perceptions of it must conform to a coherent cognitive syntax
containing the rules of perception and cognition and incorporating
logic. This syntax tells us that if light exists below
the maximum visible frequency, then in the absence of any extra
constraints, it can exist above it as well.
having identified the physical cause of light to be photon emission
by subatomic oscillators called electrons, we are compelled
to recognize the existence of "light" at whatever
frequencies such oscillators may exhibit, right up through X and
gamma radiation. The logical component of our cognitive syntax
ultimately forces us to define and cross-relate all of the concepts
in terms of which we apprehend reality, including light, in a
logically consistent way.
Chris. I saw you on TV and heard what you had to say about
God. I have also read your description of the CTMU. I
have had the same thoughts as to our existence in the mind of GOD.
I think that the evidence of evolution that exists in the universe
has to be linked with creation as a tool. I have only 11.75
years of School and not very high IQ so please excuse the grammar,
A: Hi! You don’t need to apologize for the 11.75 years of
school – I don’t have much more myself! Regarding
evolution and creationism, the linkage is simple: since Biblical
accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but
metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in
light of scientific evidence also given to us by God.
Hence, the CTMU.
Q: God said he would reveal his existence (reality) with numbers.
Do you see yourself as part of this end time promise?
A: If God made such a promise, then one could say that the CTMU is at
least a part of its fulfillment. This is because the number
concept is actually far more general than most people think it is.
one time, a "number" was a positive integer. As the
years passed, new kinds of number were discovered: 0, negative
numbers, rational numbers or fractions, irrational numbers that
cannot be expressed as fractions, complex numbers, and even
transcendental and transfinite or "infinite" numbers.
Noting that each kind of number is associated with an algebraic
system like a number field, we finally realized that a “number”
is any element of an algebraic system. Because the CTMU
embodies an algebraic system called SCSPL, it too is “numeric”.
And since this system is the basis of a proof of God’s existence,
the CTMU might be said to “reveal the existence of God with
Q: I have
read your CTMU and some of the Q & A on the Ubiquity website
regarding the CTMU and find it extremely fascinating. Much of
the information resonated with many of the things I have been
contemplating for the last year (or so). I wanted to know if
you had any further writings on the topic especially related to the
following areas. (1) The nature of the interaction(s) of the
multiple levels of consciousness. (2) The nature of the
connection with God via our "souls". Or just in
general, the nature of the soul. Is it a more complex syntax
in which we are embedded that facilitates this communication with
God? Are we all embedded in it? (3) The nature of
morality. Do "moral laws" have a basis in reality
(loosely speaking). That is, if moral laws are mental
constructs, how do the mental constructs of higher levels of
consciousness affect the lower levels? That is, how does what
"God thinks is right" affect us (lower forms of
consciousness)? I realize that, to a degree, the above
questions are really all the same, but if you have any essays or
thoughts on these matters I would love to hear them.
have more questions and thoughts but I can save those for later...
A: Yes, such writings exist, but they are (as yet)
mostly unpublished. Don’t worry, I'll get them out there
somehow. As for your specific questions on morality, the
following should suffice. In the CTMU, “what God thinks is
right” is encapsulated by the Telic Principle. This
principle, a generalization of the Cosmological Anthropic
Principle, asserts that by logical necessity, there exists a
deic analogue of human volition called teleology.
due to the fact that God’s Self-creative freedom is distributed
over the universe, i.e. His “Mind”, human volition arising
within the universe is free to be locally out of sync with
teleology. This requires a set of compensation mechanisms
which ensure that teleology remains globally valid despite the
localized failure of any individual or species to behave
consistently with it. In part, these mechanisms determine the
state of your relationship to God, i.e. your soul. If
you are in harmony with teleology – with the self-realization and
self-expression of God – then your soul is in a state of grace.
If you are not, then your soul is in danger of interdiction by
teleological mechanisms built into the structure of the universe.
Q: What does cognition have to do with physics or math? The laws
of nature (physics) are not related with perception of those, I
think. Animals use those laws better than human without having
a single idea what gravity or electricity is. Math is
abstract. The laws of nature are discovered, not invented (I
study psychology which from my point of view is not science for many
reasons, maybe it will be some day). If theories are mental
constructs does that mean that gravity (not as a term) exists only
as an abstract concept?
A: Abstract laws are more general than the concrete, physical
matter-and-field systems that obey them. If we divide reality
into the concrete, and the abstract but non-concrete,
math falls under the latter heading due to its generality.
That is, concrete physical reality exemplifies mathematics,
but mathematics is not confined to any particular physical
model; equivalently, the laws of physics are a mere subset of the
laws of mathematics. So mathematics inhabits a higher (or
alternatively, more basic) level of reality than the material world.
the human mind can reason both inductively (from the specific to the
general) and deductively (from the general to the specific), it
spans both levels. Therefore, mathematics is mental as
opposed to merely physical in nature. Because, as we
have just noted, the laws of physics are a mere subset of the laws
of mathematics, and because (as you write) the laws of nature are
discovered, not invented, physical reality is ultimately mental in
character as well. However, although this applies even to
gravity, we are corporeally locked into a physical compartment of
abstract mental reality within which we are not free to treat
gravity as a mere “concept”. This helps explain why we
can’t fly by the power of thought alone.
the book "The Age of Spiritual Machines" Ray Kurzweil
believes by 2029 humans will live among machines that convincingly claim they
are self-aware. How does the CTMU deal with non-biologic
A: Kurzweil’s prediction implies that within three decades from now,
AI machines will be able to pass something called the Turing Test,
a hypothetical scenario devised by the mathematician and seminal
computer scientist Alan Turing. To pass this test, a machine
located behind a partition must convince a human interlocutor that
it too is "human", i.e. that is possesses "human
the CTMU shows that a generalized form of self-awareness or consciousness
distributes over every part of reality, any machine that exhibits
self-awareness or explicitly claims to be "conscious" will
to some extent be telling the truth (indeed, if your toaster could
make such a claim right now, it too would be “telling the
truth”, although not in a fully human sense). On the other
hand, it is not yet clear whether Kurzweil’s AI-style machine
consciousness, though ostensibly of a higher nature than that of
your toaster, will be entirely human in character.
2000 by Christopher Michael Langan (All