talking with quarks

Imagine you are making a cup of tea, and some boiling water drips onto your hand. You feel pain in the part touched by the boiling water. You are aware of your hand, and you are aware of the part of your hand that hurts.

In one sense, part of your hand is talking to you (conveying a message of pain) and you know how that part is feeling (sore). In other words, you and a whole bunch of your cells are having a conversation. But you don’t know anything at the level of, or about each, individual cell. A single solitary cell in your body can not talk with you, nor can you talk with it. (As far as I know, but I don’t rule anything out, ever.)

Now, let’s scale it up. Imagine that the entire universe --or more accurately the whole of reality--is a being, an entity, a person, someone. For ease of reference let’s name this person ETI. You (dear reader) are part of ETI; you are a cell in the body of ETI, much as the cells in your body are part of you.

Say a supernova happens. ETI will be aware that part of zerself is experiencing a significant event. Analogous to the boiling water example above, ETI will be engaged in a conversation with the area of the cosmos affected by the supernova. But ETI will not necessarily be aware or capable of having a conversation with individual stellar systems, planets, or entities upon those planets.

Where am I going with this?

Well, for one thing the above could be relevant to conversations about the existence or otherwise of a so-called “personal god”. Say that god is ETI, or more accurately, that ETI is god. God is aware of the people who are part of zerself, and is capable of having a conversation with large groups or ensembles of people ((hypothetical) examples of messages from god could include the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, etc). But god may not be capable of having a conversation with an individual person.

For another thing, this thought experiment highlights a possible answer to the biggest question of all: the meaning and purpose of life and the nature of reality. I believe the meaning and purpose of life is for every part of ETI to help ETI know, understand, and experience what it is like to be that part. So, the meaning and purpose of my life is to help ETI know, understand and experience what it is like to be me.

So how far down and up can we scale Reality? What we have discovered so far is the progression that goes from ...quarks to atoms to molecules to aggregations of molecules (eg people, planets, whatever) to stellar systems to galaxies to galactic clusters to super-clusters to the universe to the multiverse to ... [?]

Personally, I feel we still have a long (maybe infinite) way to go at both ends, ie scaling up as well as down. Forgive my ignorance but I have a feeling that this is somehow part of what they call gauge theory.

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

mumbo (refresh/home)