Section 5 from The Pressure of Light by Malcolm
“…It is a wonderful thing that the explanation for the Mercury anomaly emerges so convincingly from such an abstract idea.
As you see, the war is kindly disposed toward me, allowing me, despite fierce gunfire at a decidedly terrestrial distance, to take this walk into this your land of ideas.”
– Letter from Karl Schwarzschild, who, through correspondence sent from the Russian front, 1916, provided Einstein with an elegant and unique solution to a difficult problem in his General Relativity work, the point-mass problem.
“Ultimately, according to my theory, inertia is simply an interaction between masses, not an effect in which ‘space’ of itself were involved, separate from the observed mass. The essence of my theory is precisely that no independent properties are attributed to space on its own.
“It can be put jokingly this way. If I allow all things to vanish from the world, then following Newton, the Galilean inertial space remains; following my interpretation, however, nothing remains.”
– Letter from Albert Einstein to Karl Schwarzschild on the Russian Front, 1916
The Pressure of Light has now crystalized in my mind for two years, and while the experience has been a bit scary in a consciousness-changing-way, I maintain faith that it’s all positive. What it means for you, I think (isn’t it humorously-relevant how ‘I think’ is a phrase that’s meant to indicate uncertainty in a statement made?) is that everything in your mind is a memory. All you have to do to make use of that knowledge is really learn to understand that. Your reaction to your thinking, recognized feeling, or experienced awareness, is a reaction to a memory. Your ambition to think about something, is nothing more than an ambition to remember thinking about something, and it’s exactly the same with a desire to feel a feeling or experience an awareness of something: all a desire to experience a memory, nothing more.
You also have memories of life-external, which you sometimes remember without remembering-remembering. That might have happened in a conversation, or in an application of the memory to work that has you very much in the zone; this is you as the philosopher-scientist, experiencing life without any need for internal confirmation of the experience. But you also sometimes remember-remembering events-external, and probably the most important way to make use of this information is by sorting out memories of the external from memories of the internal. Physical movements have long connected with my own mental patterns, in ways that are sometimes impossible to control, sometimes embarrassingly so. Slowly, I’m starting to see it all, where the separation is, how little of the sometimes violently disruptive thinking I’ve experienced is actually internal, and therefore, how beautifully subtle the internal actually is.
The Pressure of Light’s identification of mirror-time provides a means to better investigate life-internal, but it’s perhaps more important that it leads to a better understanding of normal-time. The human mind fools itself into believing there has ever existed an iteration, a connection, or a context: these are all the products of distorted-time. This basic understanding is actually what the second law of thermodynamics is saying. Sure, something might be connected to something else now, but in a universe that is forever evolving into states of increasingly complex patterns of interactions between things, that connection will inevitably change in a weakening way. Any cause and effect relationship observed will be less so next time it happens, just as any contextual connection will be less so later-on, and therefore these things don’t really exist in the universe, at least not with the permanence of character which defines them in the mind. What is remarkable about my discovery is that it delegitimizes all claims about the occurrence of repetition in the universe-external, because those claims are all based on evidence derived from mirror-time. By removing the false-belief that repetition exists in the universe-external, The Pressure of Light redefines normal-time as absolutely heterogenous (which doesn’t really count as an absolute, unless absolute non-absoluteness can be counted as an absolute). Unpredictable, heterogenous-time will in fact be best understood in principle, thus: my principal of infinite-heterogeneity-in-time states that anything that exists in this universe must experience heterogeneity-in-time, so that it may experience direction-in-time over it’s worldline, a direction that flows forward towards infinite heterogeneity.
My principle includes a claim about direction, and to fortify this point, I will build on the last great work of young Einstein, which is his 1921 lecture and subsequent essay, Geometry and Experience. In this lecture he solidifies an epistemological philosophy about Geometry that is described best by this line: “…as far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Einstein sees the propositions of mathematics, and their axiomatic bases, as developed freely from the human mind. The axiomatics basis of mathematics is most simply understood as the fact that all mathematics are built off the statement ‘between two points there is one and only one straight line’. When Einstein states that mathematics applied to reality are not certain, he says so because he himself delegitimized the very possibility of a straight line in the universe-external, by proving there is no such thing as the requisite perfectly-rigid-line in this universe. There is a quick way to summarize why: imagine holding a metal pole that extends 10 lightyears into the universe. Would moving that pole, thus simultaneously moving the other end, not constitute the transmission of information faster than the speed of light? Yes, it would, which is exactly why no matter how rigid of a material you manufacture, that motion you began at your end will still have to travel like a wave down the pole. Straight lines do not exist in this universe.
Einstein speaks a lot about ideas freely conceived of by the human mind, but it’s important to note that he’s never actually talking about thinking as an individual event, as I am in the Pressure of Light, but thinking as something that produces knowledge to be discussed later with a community, and perhaps to be combined with other people’s thought-developed-knowledge, to form collaborative ideas that nevertheless retain their developed-purely-from-the-human-mind quality. Einstein’s epistemological philosophies, which embody so much of David Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature, and which could still provide so much guidance to scientific communities, nevertheless have great value to contemplations about how knowledge accumulates in an individual’s mind alone, and, because of the parallels, his words I believe say as much as anyone needs to know about knowledge built from their remembered-thinking versus knowledge built from events-external, so I’ll print that first part again: “…as far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
You see, beliefs held with certainty are not bad, not wrong, just as mirror-time is actually a real thing; it’s just that no one internal framework describes the universe-external perfectly for each and every individual. Love really is all you need, relieving suffering really is the perfect mission to dedicate your life too, eat the rich really is the only motto needed to solve all social problems, and yes, there is a God; the perfection of these internal, axiomatic frameworks come from a real place, mirror-time, and are only imperfect when applied to reality, just like mathematics. This is where my epistemological philosophy diverges from Einstein’s, because Einstein still believed that any axiomatic framework, no matter how ancient, was still the product of human imagination (as did Hume), even though basic math is as natural to the human mind as language. I believe that a proper understanding of remembered-thinking, of mirror-time, shows these frameworks owe at least some of their structure to a time-state that is real, although non-existent in the universe-external. Where our philosophies re-converge is in the assertion that it is the responsibility of conscious minds to develop axiomatic principles and frameworks that best approximate the external as understood by direct observation. In his 1916 book on Special and General relativity, Einstein put it very well, “The attempt to become conscious of the empirical sources of these fundamental concepts should show to what extent we are actually bound to these concepts. In this way we become aware of our freedom…”.
Normal-time is different, and I think it’s time conscious minds really understand how. The principle of infinite-heterogeneity-in-time defines forward movement in time, a movement that exists not because the second law of thermodynamics inevitably leads to some end, but because time is actually infinite, infinitely heterogeneous. My principle suggest this is what the second law really implies.
Geometry and Experience leads up to a visualization that helps the audience understand why the universe, which at the time was not known to be expanding, is both bounded and infinite, an oxymoron to any logical mind. Because it’s not always easy to understand exactly what Einstein is conveying, at least on a first, second, or even third read, I will offer my own rewrite, designed to be more gentle on the mind, and while I’m doing it, I might as well advocate this new way of thinking about thinking.