Ground State of Universe – History

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The following is quoted from the book The Tao of Physics.

“The term ‘physics’ is derived from this Greek word [physis] and meant…, originally, the endeavour of seeing the essential nature of all things… The Milesians… saw no distinction between animate and inanimate, spirit and matter. In fact, they did not even have a word for matter, since they saw all forms of existence as manifestations of the ‘physis’, endowed with life and spirituality…

“Heraclitus [c. 535 – c. 475] believed in a world of perpetual change, of eternal ‘Becoming’. For him, all static Being was based on deception and his universal principle was fire, a symbol for the continuous flow and change of all things. Heraclitus taught that all changes in the world arise from the dynamic and cyclic interplay of opposites and he saw any pair of opposites as a unity. This unity, which contains and transcends all opposing forces, he called the Logos.

“The split of this unity began with the Eleatic school, which assumed a Divine Principle standing above all gods and men. This principle was first identified with the unity of the universe, but was later seen as an intelligent and personal God who stands above the world and directs it. Thus began a trend of thought which led, ultimately, to the separation of spirit and matter and to a dualism which became characteristic of Western philosophy.

“A drastic step in this direction was taken by Parmenides of Elea [c. 515/540 -c. 450] who was in strong opposition to Heraclitus. He called his basic principle the Being and held that it was unique and invariable. He considered change to be impossible and regarded the changes we seem to perceive in the world as mere illusions of the senses. The concept of an indestructible substance as the subject of varying properties grew out of this philosophy and became one of the fundamental concepts of Western thought.

“In the fifth century B.C., the Greek philosophers tried to overcome the sharp contrast between the views of Parmenides and Heraclitus. In order to reconcile the idea of unchangeable Being (of Parmenides) with that of eternal Becoming (of Heraclitus), they assumed that the Being is manifest in certain invariable substances, the mixture and separation of which gives rise to the changes in the world.”

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The unity of the universe is defined by awareness. AWARENESS may be identified as the Divine Principle. Identifying this principle further with a personal God seems to be the result of human bias. Spirit and matter are not really separate. They both are aspects of existence.

Parmenides was looking for a reference point for all change. He simply assumed it to be a Being. But, logically, if the unity of this universe is defined by awareness, then the reference point shall be “absence of awareness.” This is similar to the mathematical view that the reference point for all numbers is zero.

The red herring here is the assumption of a Being, or Cause, as the reference point. This assumption seems to satisfy a human-centric viewpoint. But it does not take into account the consideration that the Being, or Cause, itself requires a reference point.

This problem does not arise when we accept the “absence of awareness” as the reference point.

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Comments

  • vinaire  On October 15, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    From the Tao of Physics:

    At the beginning of modern physics stands the extraordinary intellectual feat of one man: Albert Einstein. In two articles, both published in 1905, Einstein initiated two revolutionary trends of thought. One was his special theory of relativity, the other was a new way of looking at electromagnetic radiation which was to become characteristic of quantum theory, the theory of atomic phenomena. The complete quantum theory was worked out twenty years later by a whole team of physicists. Relativity theory, however, was constructed in its complete form almost entirely by Einstein himself. Einstein’s scientific papers stand at the beginning of the twentieth century as imposing intellectual monuments-the pyramids of modern civilization.

    The magnificance of the Special Theory of Relativity is yet to be explored fully. It helps us see that there is no awareness in absence of relative motion. It, therefore, provides an interface between physics and metaphysics.

    Awareness and motion are one and the same phenomenon at the core.

    The new way of looking at the electromagnetic radiation comes from the wave nature itself that provides the quantum states. It tells you that matter is ultimately not solid but has the form of a wave.
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    • Chris Thompson  On October 15, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      If you are proposing a ground state, are you also proposing that ground state is relative?

      • vinaire  On October 15, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Yes. It is a relative transition point on the “awareness – non-awareness” dichotomy.

        • Chris Thompson  On October 15, 2014 at 9:39 PM

          It seems this definition has been evolving. A relative ground state seems consistent with anything I know about my existence, whereas a type of absolute ground state seems unknowable within the metes and bounds of the universe.

        • vinaire  On October 15, 2014 at 9:46 PM

          Yes the latest evolution of understanding starts with Universe and Awareness.
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  • vinaire  On October 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    The key error in the Special Theory of Relativity is that all its frams of reference uses matter as the base. It is therefore matter-centric.

    There is a wide difference between the speed of light and the speed pf matter (planets). Therefore, the speed of light appears virtually constant from the matter-centric view. Even matter represents a wave of very high frequency. Taking it as a reference point colors our view of the electromagnetic spectrum as having a constant velocity throughout.

    But if we take the “ether-centric” view, where the frame of refernce is based on a theoretical wave of zero frequency, we have a very different view. Now we see the the speed of the electromagnetic radiation to vary all over its spectrum, as if this speed of EM radiation is a function of frequency.
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  • vinaire  On October 15, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    From the Tao of Physics:

    In relativity theory, the Newtonian concept of an absolute space as the stage of physical phenomena is abandoned and so is the concept of an absolute time. Both space and time become merely elements of the language a particular observer uses for his description of the phenomena.

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    It is an error to look at just one frame of reference. Reality is best viewed by combining observations from all possible frames of references. It is only then that one gets a proper four-dimensional view of space-time with parallax.

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