Wednesday, February 20, 2008


By Michael Moss, Ph.D.

I have been searching for a proper metaphor. Psychology as a science; that’s one metaphor. Psychology as an art; that’s another. Or as a metaphysical spiritual quest. Or, or, or, . . . And on and on and on. I wrote a dissertation to break ground on this subject. Science got me to the point of realizing that my hypotheses are testable. Through hypothesis testing and statistics, I could state rather significantly (using stat) that creativity and intuition are pretty much the same thing. But now it is time for a further exploration that is more philosophical and ideational, and less scientific and correlational. Not to say I feel we should shy away from being scientific. Just that it is important to include science in a different metaphor that supersedes that of science. What kind of metaphor might that resemble?
Brane Theory: a sensibility built upon a structure suggested by physics. A what-if quest for truth independent of human intelligence. Mind as matter, energy, multiverse, relativity, spacetime, quantum mechanics, string theory, M-theory, brane theory. Putting together eastern mysticism, archaic methodology and Jungian synchronicity. Inclusive of ISE: I Ching-Synchronicity Entanglement.
Let’s define terms. Observe human behavior and we see a highly valid, both internally and externally, modus operandi, which is founded upon a century of psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, sociological, and anthropological verities. It is time to look beyond psyche and spirit. To balance all these disparate elements, forces, and values, a setting within something more substantial makes inherent sense to me. I ask, why not set a new way of thinking in a framework suggestive of present-day physics, just as Jung did when he was analyzing Wolfgang Pauli, a major quantum mechanics physicist? Many of Jung’s concepts come from physics, both quantum and relativity physics. Jung uses energy, action at a distance, functionality, and mysticism--ideas current in his generation--in holistic, intuitive patterns. This is why I was originally attracted to Jung’s way of thinking. It resonates with my own way of thinking. But Jung, limited as are we all by the time within which he lived, can only be just so relevant to today’s world. Einstein lived in a relativistic reality and subjected it to the most exquisite analysis to arrive at a mathematically constant symbiosis of where we are relative to where everything else is. Perhaps it is someone else’s turn to attempt to amalgamate current streams of consciousness relevant to ideas framed by current thinking in disparate realms.
Today one of the latest theories in physics has to do with multi-dimensions. String theory or M-Theory posits more than the usual number of dimensions, I.e., more than the 3+1 dimensions. We experience life in a universe that is 4-dimensional: 3-dimensional plus the dimension of time. String theory mathematically posits more than that. We live in a 10 dimensional or an 11 dimensional universe--9 or 10 spatial dimensions plus the dimension of time. The 10 dimensional universe has 4 normal dimensions plus 6 other tiny dimesnions we can’t see. Mtheory wants to say there are branes that are 11 dimensionsl. They are like mem-branes--branes for short. So we live in an 11 dimensional brane, but only see 4 of them--the rest are too tiny, or we don’t know how to see them so we just think of the usual 3+1 dimensions.
Upon reading into physics, I find the metaphor of branes to mean something applicable to psychology. Branes are mathematical examples of physics, but it seems they are similar to brains. A brane is a system of dimensions. There might be more than three dimensions plus the dimension of time in the brane within which we live. A brane can exist, sequestering a set number of dimensions, but influenced by other dimensions that are part of an overall bulk. In the bulk exist branes which follow rules of physics different from our own brane. Think of each person as a brane living in a bulk, influenced by other branes. Each of us lives in our own brane.
Einstein might see this in terms of frames. Each frame is personal and relative to every other frame. Within a frame is a spacetime that is relative to that of another frame. We each of us live in narcissistic, self-centered frames that at lower levels of consciousness relate only selfishly to other branes. But what if our brane is part of a bulk? Then we see other frames relativistically as different but equally valid. What if each frame is contained in a brane and there are different, other dimensional branes to relate to? Then each brane is influenced by forces that interact, connecting the branes, relating them one to another in a relativistic, causal manner.
The brain has segments that interact one with another. Through biochemistry, forces spread throughout the body, coordinated more or less by the central nervous system. Each of these segments relates as a frame to another frame. Complex theory (Jung) breaks down the segments into less conscious, but fully functional psychological points of view. When someone becomes less conscious, that is when a complex assumes control. Whether we call it acting out, passion, psychotic, or unconscious, different points of view/different relativistic universes collide, all within each of us, and something takes control. That center of control might be better conceived as a brane within the brain, following its own laws, in its own dimensions, communicating across the bulk to other branes, influenced by other branes. If a brane is similar to a complex, then the bulk contains all these branes and brains.
What if each brane acts not only relativistically but also through entanglement? Is the bulk somehow coordinated itself so that everything within the bulk is not only interacting relative to everything else in the bulk but is also acting at a distance? That is my surmise. Other ways of describing such “spooky action at a distance” as Einstein once described it include ancient psychological manners of thinking. Let’s include the eastern way of thinking in this mix, specifically the I Ching. According to the I Ching everything is related, not causally, but simultaneously. By using the three coins or the 50 yarrow-stalks to see what the current orientation of the universe happens to be, and by asking a question of the oracle to see how that relates to our particular orientation, people are relating across the bulk, seeing other branes, and relating to how other people relate to the bulk. This is the first principle.
A different principle, that of sychronicity, describes I Chingness in a 20th c. psychological way. Think of synchronicity as acausal and you can see how Jung was influenced by Pauli. Quantum theory describes action at a distance, i.e., entanglement, which I somehow correlates with synchronicity. Something over there is connected to something over here and somehow interacts simultaneously with that something over here. A mother wakes up with a dream of her dieing mother and finds out her mother passed away at the time of the dream. A brane over there acausally relates to a brane over here. Or if two or more coincidences appear to have a meaningful connection, Jung said that was a synchronistic event. The event puts more than one event together. One frame and another and another relate simultaneously “at a distance.” They come from different perspectives, but each, valid internally, is valid externally as well. Frames are part of a whole brane and interact across the bulk with other frames and branes. We, that is, the frame within our brane, have relatively different perspectives and time values from that of other frames in the brane. We are relatively heavy, full of energy, and affect other frames synchronistically.
The third prototype, entanglement, furthers discussion in the sense that what occurred simultaneously in one frame continues to connect, even if found across the bulk in different frames. There is an acausal, quantum connection. Entangled particles interact instantaneously as if they are the same particle. They might have started I the same place at the same time, but drifted apart until they cannot causally communicate because they are farther apart than the distance covered by the speed of light. A change to one particle changes the other faster than the speed of light. Sounds like the I Ching and synchronicity to me. All things relate to all other things are different reflections of the same thing, something described by myself as ISE--I Ching-Synchronicity-Entanglement--not just causally, acausally, and simultaneously.
As a psychologist, I observe this every day. When I go to work, every person operates or functions within their own frame. Each frame relates to every other frame relativistically. I have a point of view which if I express it verbally or nonverbal can mysteriously form within the mind of another person so that they can relate to my point of view. Granted, most of this is one narcissistic person talking to another, but relatively, each person has a frame of mind, literally existing in spacetime relative to every other frame of mind, frame of reference, FRAME. My work consists of helping people talk to each other, helping different parts of each person to talk to each other, and to help all of these relate not just relativistically, but quantumly, and synchronistically. Call it meaning making, creative, or intuitive, if I am in tune with another person, I can tune them up. We can get on the same page, speak the same language, see through each other’s eyes, step into each others’ shoes. My spirit and their spirit have spiritual intercourse. My culture and their culture can either have a culture war or a culture peace. We can conflict, resolve conflicts, be stubborn and resist change, or be change agents. Call it what you will, this psychological action at a distance is similar to multidimensionality, branes, and the bulk. If I think about it mathematically, a simple equation emerges from the chaos of existence: M-theory.
As I understand M-theory, in its present manifestation, everything is vibrating. Overtones of vibrations form matter, energy, spirit, and mind. Physicists might shudder to see how distorted I am making M-theory’s clarity of mathematical reality, but M-theory does not seem to me less than all inclusive both of spacetime, quantum reality, and what we humans call religion. Leaving God out of the equation is both unpsychological and unrealistic. We can’t see God, but we can see God’s effects. Moving on, God is the ultimate spiritual principle that includes omniscience, omnipotence, and ultimate reality. Dead or alive, God speaks. It is not to diminish God that I bring up such essence. God is a perfectly ordinary way of perceiving our world from the perspective of the entirety of existence. We hang our hat on God. God is. Why avoid an externally and internally valid principle of action at a distance? Einstein pointed out that the old man, the ultimate principality of the soul, was the relative nature of existence. But God belongs to all of us, no matter the name of God, and the here and now, the afterlife, includes the multiverse. God is there for a reason but the meaning of God appears to have something more to do with the descriptive nature of the concept. No one can tell a scientist that God can be proved. No religious person can tell me anything more than it is a question of faith. No psychologist can state that behavior, insight, and dynamic forces interact according to laws we understand. In fact, the limitations of all of the above is driving me in my own search for meaning, a quest I have been on for some time, energized by exploration into mysteries of personality, art, and being a part of something bigger than myself. If that’s not Godlike, or natural, then what is it?
For me, it is natural to think big. Everything relates to everything else. Everything is realative. How it does so is an unending source of wonder. How I feel has more to do with the exceptional friends I have, the music that I play, the compositions that I write, and the beyond thought experience of being plugged in when I abandon my ego to relate artistically to another, and another, and a group of others. Then I can see the connection. Then I can do something that expresses the whole and the whole talks back. If we are a part of an entity, then the entity contains everything in it not just in a physical way but in a mental way. We are all mental. Not just crazy mental, but mindful mental. And that mind is best described by M-theory, ISE, and will be described better in the future after we distance ourselves a bit more from the caves, from primordial unconsciousness, from believing we should physically, emotionally, and demogogically control others. It might take more work, but we can do it. We can all plug in, entangle, synchronize.

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