The Joke’s On You
Copyright©1987, 1991, 2001

“The Great Conversation”

Narrator: What follows is a synthesis of seminal ideas and reactions to them. For the most part, they are part of the unpublished manuscript, The Joke’s On You. Originally, it was under the more general title: Songs of Mystery, the origin of which cannot be explained beyond its title.

Some of these quotes are from (or refer to) some of the best thinkers our planet has produced. Others are from the common-sense resistance to change. And given the liberties taken, none of the borrowed quotations or ideas should be interpreted as their authors’ agreement with any conclusions reached on these pages. They are used for precedence, confirmation and credibility, not vindication.

What follows stands almost entirely alone, but on firm ground. It focuses on an ancient idea, or ideal, which has surfaced only on rare occasions in history and hardly ever gets mentioned in publication. But it prompted one writer to exclaim that among the highest priorities of the planet is the distribution of this idea. And that "In seventeen years, not one moment has passed that found me without complete humility at the thought of this power." (Ken Roberson. ben Abraham, New Gravity)

So listen well to the following conversation. For "You are in truth eavesdropping, innocently enough, on the top secret of the physical universe."

Although intimately connected with the Logos, men keep setting themselves against it.

Things, as we are aware of them through our organs of touch, taste, sight, and hearing, are all in constant flux and therefore, our sense organs cannot give us knowledge. (Heraclitus, 500 BC)

Light as the ancients well knew, is a product of heat, burning or fire:  

This world which is the same for all, no one of the gods or men has made; but it was ever, is now, and ever shall be an everliving fire, with measures of it kindling, and measures going out. (ibid., Before Philosophy)

The doctrine of perpetual flux, as taught by Heraclitus, is painful, and science, as we have seen, can do nothing to refute it. (Bertrand Russell)

When the present existence has ceased to make sense, it can still come to sense again through the realization of its form. (G. Spencer Brown, Laws Of Form) 

Form itself, inorganic as well as organic, is created by the imprint of rhythm on matter. (Alan McGlashen, Gravity and Levity, pp. 129)

From the smallest individual detail to the vastest aggregations, our living universe has a structure, and this structure can owe its nature only to the phenomenon of growth. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Like all things in the universe, life is and can only be a 'size' of evolutionary nature and dimensions. (ibid.)

Size, gunslinger...Size! The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life, but size. Size encompasses life. (Steven King, The Dark Tower) 

[Why is it, that] ...each atom, each 'elementary particle', turns out to be a bottomless well? (Stanislaw Lem, One Human Minute, 1986) 

For aught we know an atom may consist entirely of the radiation that comes out of it. (Bertrand Russell)

Narrator: I've always thought it highly coincidental that the word physics comes from an Indo-European root that means, among other things, "to grow." The ancient Sanskrit root for Brahma, the ultimate reality, means "to grow". And Mater, the source of the word matter, is the source of Demeter, the Greek goddess of growth.  

The first western philosophers: "...their aim was to determine the nature, or physis of these things [that exist; that are accessible to the senses]...The word physis had at that time but few of the overtones of the word nature by which we translate it. The word originally pertained to the act of growth [!] and to the source from which growth springs, so that to seek the nature of a thing was to seek the one underlying, living and generative reality from which the manifold things that exist spring...For the Milesian school, ("the first philosophical school of Greece")...reality is thought of in terms of growth and generation. (Frank Thilly, A History of Philosophy)

His philosophy [Anaximenes], which is a more exact formulation of Anaximander's doctrine, may be summarized in the following words: infinite matter, a perpetual motion of condensation and rarefaction that is something like a plastic principle, necessity directing the motion. (Alfred Weber, History of Philosophy)

Physics is the science of measurement. Quantum physics is the science of measuring that which refuses to be measured. Consequently, "...size of the atom is no clearly defined term." (E. Schrödinger, Nobel, 1933)

The wave phenomenon [rhythm!] forms the "body" proper of the atom. (ibid.)

Schrödinger first supposed that the electron is actually spread out and distributed in space... (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Schrödinger proposed that the particle concept be entirely discarded and his concept of wave function be given all the physical reality, which meant that the electron was to be pictured as spread out continuously throughout space. (Atomic Scientists, Boorse, Motz, Weaver)

The major difficulty with this view was that the wave-packet, though initially small and compact, eventually got fatter. Real electrons didn't do this. (Barry Parker, Search For A Super Theory)

Didn't they? We'll see about that shortly. First, some needed clarification. Irwin Schrödinger proposed his famous wave equation just before he came out with his atomic model. He wasn't out to prove atomic growth. He simply did not realize the implications of his discovery. His idea (via Louis de Broglie's matter-waves) came about by the realization that atomic entities can be brought about the same way a musical note evolves: the standing wave; the synchronous nodes of a vibrating continuum!

The continuous wave concept explained and thus contained the discontinuous particle, or quanta. The reverse certainly wasn't true. Thus it seemed a higher order of truth and eventually "gobbled up" all rival theories. But the model it produced implied the most drastic, disturbing and destructive changes in our notions of size. And so other players in the game quickly decided to throw out the baby and keep only the bath water. That is, to drop the model but keep the equation because of its incredible accuracy. The equation, enhanced with a fourth dimension to include relativity, then became "the centerpiece" of quantum mechanics. The model, however, is one of the best-kept secrets in science. For whenever the name Schrödinger is brought up, people are usually hard pressed to think of anything but "Schrödinger's Cat."

Meanwhile, his spreading wave-function was vindicated by the experiments of G.P. Thomson in 1927.

The results of the experiments make it necessary to suppose that the waves extend over a considerable region... The point which represents the energy of the electron is guided by the waves that surround it, and extend possibly to an indefinite distance in all directions... It seems as though the whole conception of size is a mistaken one... Hence Galileo's idea of the particle acted on by no force which goes on forever in a straight line must be abandoned. It is not that the particle would stop but that it would spread, for that is what waves do... But how can a particle spread? (G.P. Thomson, Nobel: 1933)

And here he unknowingly begins to answer his own question:

Now the waves that accompany an electron definitely do not travel with the speed of light. According to de Broglie's theory, they travel much faster. The waves, in fact, must be regarded as perpetually running through the electron from behind so that the electron is always receiving a fresh supply [!]. But there is a kind of peculiarity in the waves which is associated with the electron and moves with it. This peculiarity is called the 'group' [also, "wave-packet", "crowd waves", and "disturbed area"]. (Ibid.)

The single waves always rise alternately in front of, and behind, the electron, so that they become intensified in the space between in such a way that a constantly created structure ["disturbed area"] occurs which moves at precisely the same speed as that of the electron. (Schrödinger)

In other words:

Nature's source of movement is always from within itself. (J. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games)

It is the electron that is the key to the universe. (J.W.N. Sullivan, The Limitations of Science)

In the system of waves constituting the electron there is a "disturbed area"... These disturbed areas [wave-packets] reveal the position of the electron. But we cannot say that the disturbed area is the electron. For any such area has a tendency to spread, and if the matter of our world consisted of a number of disturbed areas it would by now have spread indefinitely. (ibid.) Note: emphasis mine.

The highlighted phrase above says point-blank why there was such a scramble for a new interpretation of physics (hence, the "new physics"). It was discovered that a new application could be transformed into a new interpretation:

...can nature possibly be as absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments? Werner Heisenberg

Max Born, at Gottingen, found it difficult to accept Schrödinger's wave packet interpretation. He could see the path of an electron in a chamber specially designed to display tracks of particles, and it didn't expand with time [faulty logic-#1]. The more he thought about it, the more he became convinced that psi [the Greek symbol Ψ, the "wave function"] gave only the probability of finding an electron at a given point... (B. Parker)

We have two possibilities. Either we use waves in spaces of more than three dimensions...or we remain in three dimensional space, but give up the simple picture of the wave amplitude as an ordinary physical magnitude, and replace it by a purely abstract mathematical concept...into which we cannot enter... (Max Born)

 I am emphatically in favor of the retention of the particle idea. (ibid.)

You, Maxel, you know that I am very fond of you..., but I must once and for all give you a basic scolding... Such pointlike single particles are completely out of the question within the atom, and if one still thinks of the nucleus itself in this way one does so quite consciously for reasons of expediency. (Schrödinger)

"Reasons of expediency." Remember that phrase.

Schrödinger's wave-function described the evolution of the fractional density of an atomic element. And if the fractional density increases then so would the probability of finding it!

Hopefully, the reader will appreciate the significance of what is being said here. The implication that all of natures building-blocks can get "fatter", and be "spread-out and distributed in space" is so profound as to practically defy conception. Atomic growth completely belittles and defiles the act of scientific measurement (It makes measurement a radically relative, proximity effect). More to the point, it belittles physics, the science of measurement. For it introduces infinity, and "Nature does not have physical quantities that are infinite" (H. Pagals. [This is just one of many unproven grand assumptions of Science]). Therefore, the scientists of absolute measurement, the physicists, cannot allow it:

...the length of a meter stick expands, the atom expands? Then how can it make any sense to speak of expansion at all? Expansion relative to what? Expansion relative to nonsense. (Wheeler, Taylor, Thorne, Gravitation)

...a dissolving wave-packet in Schrödinger's theory can under no circumstances be regarded as an "expanding electron." (Fuchs)

It must be emphasized that the electron itself is not to be regarded as spread out... (Encyclopaedia Britannica, emphasis in original)

Born, Fuchs, Parker and the entire physics establishment, it seems, are conveniently forgetting what should be patently obvious. How can you see expanding particles or particle tracks in an expanding medium which is constructed entirely out of those same expanding particles with the finite eyes of man-also constructed with said particles?

Now the physicist, in short, made up of a conglomeration of the particulars he describes, no more, no less, bound together by and obeying such general laws as he himself has managed to find and record. (Brown)

Now it must be said here that in 25 years or so of searching, I've never come up against an even remotely valid argument against atomic or material growth. Either no one wants to bring attention to it, or, there simply isn't any. With a sigh of relief, writers always defer to the probability wave interpretation; as if these existential mathematics are not just a fruitful application but are a proven fact-which they are most definitely not. But as Brown's quote implies, we wouldn't see any 'spreading' in most experiments simply because all the objects in the experiment, including the experimenter, would follow suit. And in perfect proportion, or "absolute perfection of dimension." Other objections are simple remarks like "naïve", "meaningless", or perhaps the most famous (above), "nonsense." But as Niels Bohr, the Copenhagen patriarch said:

Only nonsense stands some chance of being the truth.

Louis de Broglie, who started the whole idea of matter waves, said:

The 'psi-oscillation', the existence of which so clearly results from the observable phenomena, must have a more concrete and real meaning than is assumed by many today. Certainly it would be too naïve if one should imagine the electromagnetic and guiding waves of the particles to expand in an elastic substance like a material medium. (emphasis mine)

However, in the meantime it complies with scientific realism to assume that they are a type of oscillation of still unknown nature, which expands with a finite speed through space. (quoted in Physics For The Modern Mind, by Walter Fuchs ; Macmillan, pp. 163)

Bertrand Russell gives final say on the matter:

It is useless to argue that radiations cannot come out of nothing. ...modern physics, therefore, reduces matter to a set of events which proceed outward from a center. If there is something further in the center itself, we cannot know about it, and it is irrelevant to physics.

The importance of this last statement by Lord Russell must be emphasized for a couple of reasons. First, he is saying point blank that matter is the result of something that proceeds "outward from a center." I've not heard this admission from a scientist before. Ever. Secondly, and more importantly, "if there is something further in the center itself," WE SHOULD DO, AND SHOULD HAVE DONE, EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO FIND OUT ABOUT IT. Yet it is Russell who helped lead the retreat and collapse of modern philosophy with his distaste for religion and deductive reasoning and his unshaken belief in a scientific epistemology.

Eventually, Science had to make some kind of acknowledgment to the overwhelming evidence of atomic expansion. What they did was admit to the "spreading" of an unobserved atomic entity. For, in the new physics, "No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon" (John Wheeler). In the quantum world, nothing whatsoever exists in between observations and/or measurements. When someone comes along and observes it, why then it simply collapses! Instantly, with absolutely no time elapsed, it performs its famous quantum leap and deflates like a popped balloon. "A pretty piece of juggling science does here" (Banesh Hoffmann). Or, as John von Neumann put it, "and then a miracle occurs." Is this clever or what?

Because it is so tiny, it takes only one billionth part of a billionth part of a second for the atom to spread out into fuzziness [read uncertainty]. And it continues to spread out until you come along and observe it. At that instant, depending on which experiment you perform, the atom is reduced to size. Just think, without you all atoms would spread out into the universe at an alarming rate. (Fred Allan Wolfe) note: emphasis mine

...the results of any quantum mechanical measurement make sense only if it is assumed that the wave function "collapses" in a sudden and discontinuous fashion. Since this collapse is not covered by the Schrödinger equation, and indeed appears to violate it, an additional assumption or some other interpretation is required to explain this "collapse of the wave function"... Thus every interpretation brings into the theory something which is not in the observations and equations themselves. (D. Bohm, F. D. Peat, Science, Order and Creativity)

It would seem that we must come to terms with this picture of a particle which can be spread out over large regions of space, and is likely to remain spread out until the next position measurement is carried out. (Roger Penrose)

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four, vol. 1, pp. 830)

The "collapse of the wave-function" is an integral part of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. This interpretation is part of the "expediency" Schrödinger alludes to (above) that allows a physicist to get on with his work without having to think about the absurd philosophical consequences, which are many and can be all-consuming. Schrödinger soon retreated from the new quantum revolution, saying, "I'm sorry I had anything to do with it." Einstein had already left it with similar feelings: "The more successful it becomes, the sillier it gets." So an incredible situation (atomic and thus universal, material growth) is replaced with an array of empirically and logically impossible situations for the sake of expediency, finitude, and the self-perpetuation of Science. And speaking of "nonsense":

It is probability that is causally determined into the future, not individual is probability that we can measure and observe...(Heinz Pagals)

But another physicist says:

No one has seen or ever will see probability. It is a mathematical abstraction, and any picture of it is also an abstraction. When you go looking for an electron, you don't find its probability; either you find an electron, or you find nothing. (Roger S. Jones)

Part 2 covers the two faces of gravity, the fourth dimension, entropy, and the ether. Part 3 (in progress) covers cosmology, the logos of Heraclitus, the complexities of "seeing" and the built-in deception in our modes of perception.


Part 2


Schrödinger spoke of a constant, or "close relationship", in which the size of the atom is somehow determined by its wavelength. And that this size relationship "...does not in fact have the dimension of a length, but of action, i.e., energy x time." Ironically, this quanta of "action" has a close relationship to additional evidence of atomic growth through the fourth dimension and the greatest of all physical mysteries in science and philosophy, gravity.

Density multiplied by volume in space gives us mass, or what appears to be the same thing, energy. But from our space-time point of view, a far more important thing is density multiplied by a four-dimensional volume of space and time; this is action.

The four-dimensional world is no mere illustration; it is the real world of physics...thus length and duration are not things inherent in the external world. (Sir Arthur Eddington)

One of the biggest lessons that Einstein's special theory of relativity teaches us is that, in reality, this world is four dimensional. Although humans experience a three dimensional world in which time seems to flow, reality itself exists in space-time-in which time is a dimension on a par with space... (Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality)

Between any two neighboring point-events there exists a certain relation known as the interval between them... But the term 'interval' is not to be taken as a guide to the real nature of the [four dimensional] relation, which is altogether beyond our conception. (Eddington)

Now remember, Schrödinger spoke of a size "relationship" above regarding "action" in three dimensions. Eddington then speaks of an equally cryptic "relation" as an interval of "action" in the fourth dimension. The former is speaking of quantum theory and the consequent spreading of matter-waves, the latter is speaking of relativity and the expansion of the spatial universe-two aspects of the new physics that are seen as total and irretrievable opposites.

Physicists can 'experience' the four-dimensional space-time world through the abstract mathematical formalism of their theories, but their visual imagination-like everybody else's-is limited to the three-dimensional world of the senses. (Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, pp.150)

Vision in the fourth dimension must be affected without the help of eyes...[but]...the idea of the fourth dimension ought to have arisen from observation of a series of progressively growing or diminishing spheres or cubes... One of the clearest and most comprehensive forms of motion in the fourth dimension in this sense is growth, the principle of which lies in expansion. (P.D.Ouspensky, A New Model of The Universe)

Direct observation, measurement, and experience of the fourth dimension patiently awaits and interminably invites any physicist who deigns to drop his credentials and consider why and not how they fall. (Kent Robertson ben Abraham, New Gravity)

There is something seriously missing from our understanding of gravity. (A. Zee, An Old Man's Toy)

This statement intends that the entire material/spatial universe is expanding/accelerating-electrons, neutrons, protons, and the space between/separating them... The entire physical universe and all spaces and material within it is a proportionately accelerating field. This acceleration is responsible for the phenomenon termed gravity. (Kent Robertson ben Abraham, New Gravity)

On the earth it is not obvious that the effect of gravity we experience is equivalent to the ground accelerating up. But it is-gravity is precisely equivalent to non-uniform [accelerated] motion. (Heinz Pagals, Cosmic Code)

Question almost any scientist on the meaning of gravity and he will at once pull a long face, like a country parson asked to explain the doctrine of the Trinity, and murmur something about its being the most mysterious force in the universe. Do not be deceived by his vagueness. Behind it lies an implacable determination to defend the Sacred Cow. (A. McGlashen)

No one knows why specimens of matter attract one another. The best that can be to associate the attractive force with some property of matter. (Physical Science For Liberal Arts Students)              

The fact that astronomical bodies attract each other over distances of many millions of miles is one of the great mysteries of nature. (Modern College Physics, White)

The origin of inertia is and remains the most obscure subject in the theory of particles and fields. (Abraham Pais, Subtle Is The Lord)

Gravity and inertia are two different words for exactly the same thing. (Martin Gardner, Relativity Explosion, pp. 77)

Another short clarification is in order here which involves inertia and gravitation. Because the origin of both is such a mystery, even physicists are confused on this point. Galileo discovered that in a vacuum, all bodies-viz. A hammer and a feather-fall at the same rate (confirmed). Now this is truly an amazing phenomenon because it means that a feather will accelerate toward the center of the earth at the exact same rate as a 5 ton boulder: 32 feet per second squared (32' per sec2). This baffling mystery could be explained, however, if mass had two faces: inertial mass, the "tendency" to remain inert, and gravitational mass: weight, or the tendency to fall. When applied equally, one simply offset the other; a heavier body had more cosmic laziness.

This explanation lasted until Einstein came along and recombined the two masses in his principle of equivalence, the foundation of general relativity. Thus mass reverted to its original singular state as the resistance to acceleration which once again invoked the mystery. It is further compounded when Einstein conceived, not just the two masses, but gravity itself as dualistic: both as the resistance to acceleration and geodesics in curved space-time. In schools and textbooks, however, the falling bodies mystery is still explained away by inertia offsetting gravity; the very same schools and textbooks teaching relativity! The mystery and confusion has a "tendency" to disappear though, when we let the world grow. For on Einstein's elevator, all things are carried along at the same rate.

Beware! The law of Inertia is not the simple ideal proposition you would like to make of it. It is a vast complexity. Gravitation is not one elemental uncouth force. It is a strange, infinitely complex, subtle aggregate of forces. And yet however much it may waggle, a stone does fall to earth if you drop it. (D.H. Lawrence)

The moral to be drawn from the general survey of the physical that we have omitted some general counter-agency. This counter-agency in its operation throughout the physical universe is too vast and diffusive for our direct observation. (Albert North Whitehead)

It occurred to nobody that the phenomena which were explained by "gravitation" or "attraction" on the one hand, and the phenomena of "weight" on the other hand, are totally different phenomena having nothing whatsoever in common. (P.D. Ouspensky)

The gravitational field is in its nature such as if it were produced, not only by the ponderable masses, but also by a mass-density of negative sign, distributed uniformly throughout space. Since this factitious mass-density would have to be enormously small, it could make it's presence felt only in gravitating systems of very great extent. (Albert Einstein, Sidelights On Relativity pp. 44)

In fact, 80 percent of the inertia of local matter arises from the influence of galaxies too distant to be detected by the 200 inch telescope. (Dennis Sciama, Unity of The Universe, pp. 127)

It would seem that the expansion of the universe is another one-way process parallel with the thermodynamical-running down [entropy]. One cannot help thinking that the two processes are intimately connected; but if so the connection has not been found. (Eddington, The Expanding Universe, pp. 123)

It has never left. In ancient China, it was called ch'i. In ancient India, it was called the causal body (also "golden lotus"). Here in the west it has many names: logos, the ether, spirit, Holy Spirit, or, "the breath of God" just to name a few. Our reemerging cosmology, the engine that animates the cosmos in body, mind and soul, is liken to a breathing machine going through its cycle of existence; or perhaps like a giant heartbeat:

When you listen to another's heartbeat, you are in truth eavesdropping, innocently enough, on the top secret of the physical universe. For the heart's alternation of systole-diastole, expulsion-dilation, giving-receiving is the rhythm to which all creation dances. (Alan McGlashen).

The big bang is but the cosmic heartbeat!

The processes we have here ventured to contemplate will be renewed forever, and forever, and forever; a novel universe swelling into existence, and them subsiding into nothingness, at every throb of the heart divine...and now-this heart divine—what is it? It is our own. (Edgar Allan Poe, Eureka)

The power of God displayed itself not only in the creation of the world of things, but equally in the limitations which he imposed upon each. The heavens and the earth stretched themselves out in length and breadth as though they aspired to infinitude, and it required the word of God to call a halt to their encroachments. Haggadah, early Kabbalah, from The Other Bible

The kingdom of the Father is spread out upon this earth, and men do not see it…The Kingdom is within you and it is without you. (Didymas Judas Thomas, the twin, The Gospel of Thomas; from The Other Bible, pp. 307)

The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened. (Jesus of Nazareth, Math. 13:33)

Such is the kingdom of God: like a man who casts seed in the ground. And he sleeps and raises up day and night, and the seed springs up and grows while he is not aware of it. (Ibid. 4:26)

...and then man rises into the Harmony, the world of the spheres. In the first zone he leaves behind the force to grow and decrease. (Hermes Trismegistus, Poimandres from The Other Bible, pp. 572)

Narrator: Remember where we started?

We see now that the first distinction, the mark [of distinction] and the observer are not only interchangeable but, in the form, identical. (Brown)  

Part 3

To be alive is to undergo ceaseless change. Man fears change and seeks to deny it by imposing on it a principle of permanence...

To understand nature, and himself, man must accept change and identify the universal form of process which underlies the variety of particular processes. Understanding means the recognition of the simple form, common to all change. Man does not know nature or himself until he has discovered this underlying unity. (LL Whyte, emphasis added)

Panta Rhea, only process is real" (Heraclitus)

William Blake claimed that perception was the universal, the perceived object was the particular. What is discovered by man is never the 'universal' or cosmic 'truth.' Rather, the process by which the mind brings about a discovery is 'universal.' (J.C. Pierce, p.1)

Knowing nature at the expense of being nature is why we don't understand nature.