April 10, 2006
Strings...the Building Blocks of Reality?
I just saw a documentary on where conventional thinking is now, in physics - theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and the latest buzz, string theory. This must have been the most interesting and informative piece of film I've come across in a long time.
Einstein started out with his theory of relativity that explains how gravity provides the orderly nature of the big heavens - galaxies, solar systems and the universe. It was widely accepted by the theorists.
Post-Einstein theorists came up with their own - quantum mechanics, which describe turbulence at the sub-atomic level but contradicts the tenets of Einstein's theory. Finding the equation that validates the two theories to simplify the nature of the universe was regarded Holy Grail. For decades, it eluded them.
Before, the thinking was that the atom is the smallest particle in nature...then came quarks. Now, the smallest is what they call strings - an energy band that determines the shape and nature of things through its unique vibration. It's so small and unquantifiable that if an atom were to expand to the size of our solar system, a string would be the size of a tree. Strings was the theory that unified relativity and quantum mechanics to explain the forces of nature. A brilliant physicist was able to mathematically present an equation that removed the anomalies to unify the the whole. Todate, it's the closest thing to answering the riddle.
We know of 4 dimensions - 3 for space and 1 for time. In space, we have the up and down (1), left to right (2) and front to back (3). As we occupy space, we move through time even without moving (e.g. - waiting). That's the totally of our universe as we know it. The equation formulated by this brilliant physicist however, revealed that on top of the 4 dimensions we know about, there exists 7 more dimensions completely invisible to the naked eye. This is all supported by the math.
This is such a tremendous breakthrough, it shifts the paradigm of conventional thinking. Whereas before, anyone talking about separate dimensions was branded a crackpot. Now, with this new equation, this hypothesis has been validated.
It is explained that a specific type of 'string', the gravitons, are able to transcend through the dimensional barriers because of its closed loop. The other strings on the other hand, have open ends that attach to its dimensional surface and thus remain there.
This is all very fascinating to the physicists but it's really nothing new to the mystics and the yogis, who for thousands of years, through their spiritual pursuit, claim that there are other dimensions the human soul can go to. This assertion has been largely dismissed by the western world, but now, there is a science that mathematically validates its existence.
Perhaps the most common name for such mystical place is the astral planes. It is said that the astral planes contain many dimensions, with kingdoms and inhabitants of varying intelligence. The higher levels have evolved spiritual beings (e.g. - angels) while the lower levels are inhabited by beings of lesser intelligence - mischievous elementals.
In merging the science with the mystic claims of astral travel, I would think that through meditation, we are able to release our gravitons (which essentially still contains our consciousness). Through a process similar to osmosis, it travels out of our physical dimension into the unseen universe (the other 7 dimensions).
I have long wondered about the existence of the astral planes. I've read books and performed prescribed exercises to grease the path for such travel...to no avail. Doing so is the equivalent of warping space and shift my presence through a worm hole. Wow...wouldn't that be the ultimate misadventure for a nomad?
(June 28, 2023) It has been 17 years since I wrote this article and about 60 years since String Theory was hypothesized. In that span of time, I have remained in touch about what's happending in String Theory. But now, it's a different Zeitgeist - there are detractors who make scathing claims that String Theory has not come up with any of its predictions, too many versions offshooting from it (super symmetry, M Theory, etc), it's not falsifiable, its math is too complex and difficult to understand even by smart physicists, cannot be experimented on, and that it has failed. The most vocal is Eric Weinstein who appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast and lambasted the 'stewarts' of String Theory, including Michio Kaku, Sean Carrol and Brian Greene. Interestingly, Eric audaciously states that he's willing to debate anyone in the String Theory community....except Edward Witten, whom he claims is the one guy whose intelligence terrifies him.
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