Energy as the Way to Understand Time
I'm betting even a quick glance at this version of the Consciousness Formula will prove interesting to most people. Defining "time?" Pretty intense.
So where do we start? We're going to start with something surprising. We're going to start with "energy." Where it comes from. And where it goes to.
Energy? Why energy? Well, it turns out that understanding "energy" is the key to understanding the Time variable. And visa versa. In other words, time and energy have a close relationship.
How exactly does this relationship work? To see, we're going to look at how energy comes in existence. What, in fact, makes us call something, "energy?" And what makes us say this something has had its energy used up?
We'll do all this by exploring a sequence I call, the "Cycles of Energy," beginning with the idea that, while there is actually only one literal cycle of energy, there are actually two perspectives from which we can observe this cycle. I call the first perspective, the "non personal" perspective, and the second perspective, the "personal" perspective. How are they different?
From the "non personal" perspective, "energy" is anything which "powers our world." Thus, in this class of energies, I include all the things we commonly categorize as being actual, physical energy sources; things like water, wind, coal, sunlight, gas, oil, and so on. This class of energies is the non personal class.
From the "personal" perspective then, "energy" is that which "powers us," our own personal, internal energies. Thus, in this class of energies, I include things like our goals, desires, motives, will power, inspiration, determination, and spiritual connections. These things comprise the personal class of energies.
Two classes of energy. One cycle of existence. How exactly does this cycle work? Before we look more deeply into how each energy works, we'll first explore what makes these two cycles of energy alike. And different. Starting with how we philosophically separate these two classes of energy.
The Philosophical View:
Seeing the Two Energies as the Same Energy
In this section, we're going to discuss how these two classes of energy are the very same thing. And what makes us deny this sameness, starting with the obvious; that they are physically different. Indeed, in many ways, they are physically different. On the surface, anyway. Even so, in the greater, philosophical sense of how we define something as "energy," they both refer to the very same thing.
How can this be? Because in a very real sense, while both classes of energized objects (beings and non beings) are, in many obvious ways, really quite different, at the core level, they are also very much the same. How? They both follow the same basic set of laws regarding energy; the laws of physics. We just act as if the laws which govern these two groups are separate and distinct.
What I'm saying is, because both the energized "objects" in our world (coal, oil, gas, and so on), and the energized "people" in our world, physically exist in the same world, they must follow the same set of laws. Translation. We're made of the same stuff. So we must be the same, at least at some basic, core level.
So what keeps us from acknowledging this sameness? Simply put, it is the way we separate things into that which is conscious and that which is not. We literally separate everything in our world based on whether we think it is capable of being conscious. Because we do, we usually do not make much of that we are all made of the same stuff. To us, being conscious makes us better than the other group. As well as separate and distinct from them.
Are we, indeed, conscious and therefore separate from things like coal and oil? Of course. However, this perceived separateness has a down side. It leads us to believe that the laws which govern people, and the laws which govern energized objects, are also separate and distinct. They are not. But because we like to believe we choose most of who we are and what we do, we think we can even chose the laws by which we live.
Can we? Of course not. At best, we can choose only the ways in which we will respond to these laws. Similarly to how we can at best choose to use the energized objects in our world only in ways in which our physical laws will allow.
Taken one step further, the influence of this one set of laws (the laws which govern physics) does not end at the obvious physical limitations either. All physical laws mirror themselves in the way we see ourselves; in our philosophies and psychologies. At least with respect to how we get energized and dis-energized. Thus, as far as energy goes, the laws which govern our physical world (the laws of physics) and those which govern us as people (the laws of philosophy, psychology, theology, and so on) are, at their most basic level, simply semantic mirrors of each other.
Are they the very same set of laws though? Yes. But because these laws focus on different aspects of our world, we state them in different terms. These different terms do not change the facts though. Thus, no matter how we mentally attempt to separate ourselves from our world, we remain very much connected, in that we both follow the same set of laws. Including that these seemingly very different groups of thing adhere to the very same cycle of existence, both physically, and non physically.
Does all this sound like it is me who is merely playing with words? If so, I can very much understand. Know, however, that human beings have been saying these same ideas for thousands of years. For instance, both Pagan and Hermetic philosophy, and Jewish mysticism (Cabbala), hold these ideas to be a fundamental truth about how our world works. All three philosophies teach that every process we see in our world is mirrored in human nature; that the nature of our world, and the nature of people is, at its core, the same exact nature.
Sadly, we usually dismiss these beliefs as being unscientific and worse, as being merely naive and or primitive. No surprise, we see people who believe these philosophies the same way. Or that we believe we are fundamentally superior to these people.
Technically, are we? Perhaps. But as people are we superior? In truth, this belief is mere ego. So what makes us believe it is so? I would guess believing we are progressing feels good to most folks. It gives us hope for the future. Thus, if we are constantly getting smarter, and if we are constantly learning more and more, then things must be getting better. And they are right. In some ways.
At the same time though, we are also getting worse. More lonely. And more unconscious. Why? Because we ignore an equally important truth about us and our world. We ignore the fact that we achieve this so called "progress" at the expense of our being able to consciously connect to our world. We literally know much less about the underlying nature of our world than people did thousands of years ago. Why? Because we focus so doggedly on how we are different from our world. And better.
In a general sense then, we could say that the way we learn, and progress, is by exploring ourselves and our world as if we were very separate objects. People are not coal. Oceans are not birds. These are all separate things. Unfortunately, by doing this, we lose touch with the very nature of how we and our world interconnect, not just functionally, as interdependent objects, but rather as actual, objective wholes.
Said in simpler terms, "we" are not "in our world." We are the world. At least, we are a part of it. Thus, we are never literally separate from any part of our world, any more than ocean waves and oceans are separate from each other. Or clouds from the sky. So why do we focus so on seeing these separations?
We focus on these separations simply because it is built into our nature to learn by dissecting. We literally break down and sort everything into groups. Everything from the things in our world to our very personalities and behaviors.
Do we gain anything by doing this? In one sense, I suppose, we do. We get to understand the physical and non physical properties of the parts which make up these things. However, in doing this, we forget a very fundamental truth. This truth is that to dissect a thing, kills it. Why? Because the very nature of every person, place, and thing we seek to know exists only when the thing is in its natural state.
What am I saying? That knowing things by their component parts is a valid way to explore the nature of a thing's component parts. In essence, this is the heart and soul of the "scientific" method. As valuable as this method is though, it has value only if we remember that to dissect a thing is to destroy its nature; moreover, that to truly know anything, we must know its nature. Or as Socrates might have said it, a "thing" is "its nature when all that is not unique to it is stripped away."
Said more simply, we can know the nature of any thing, including energy, only by exploring it in its natural state. Thus, while taking things apart may yield some clues as to how they work, dissecting things also destroys any chances we might have to know the nature of these things. This ends the minute these things are taken apart.
So is all this just philosophical rhetoric? Before dismissing it as such, please consider this. Because we rarely focus on that we and our world are all one and the same, we rarely seek to know ourselves by looking for similarities. Yet our language acknowledges these similarities constantly. For instance, have you ever noticed how we call the laws which govern our physical world, "Nature," with a big "N"? At the same time, we call the laws which govern ourselves, our personal "nature," with a little "n"? Or simply, "Human Nature," again, with a big "N"?
Along the same lines, have you also noticed how often we use the word, "energy," to refer to both the current state of the world and our current state of being? For instance, we often say things like that we are living in an "energy crisis." We also say things like, "I have no energy today," or, "I really feel energized after that vacation."
That these words overlap is no mistake. We intuitively know we and our world are one. We just do not pay much attention to this fact, let alone speak about it. After all, those that do speak about it usually get dismissed, as being too new-agey or as having made more of this than is really true. In a sense, we treat these semantic overlaps as if they are merely coincidences.
These overlaps are not mere semantic coincidences. In fact, were we to actually pay more attention, our language frequently reveals the truth about many things, including that we do see ourselves as mirrors of our world. Unfortunately, because we, by nature, prefer to see ourselves as superior to, and so, separate from our physical world, we rarely sense how deeply we actually do connect to all things, including that energy affects everything the same way.
Now to those who were enjoying the algebraic nature of how I had been writing, please accept my apology. I know many of you must be gagging. Please know, however, that to truly understand either energy or time, these digressions into philosophy are necessary. In fact, without them, we cannot know the nature of time.
So am I saying that the pagans and Hermetic Greeks were right about this connection? Yes, I am. I am also saying that, by understanding how these ideas apply to energy, we get to understand how "time" itself works.
Where do we go next? We'll begin by taking a cursory look at how non personal energy cycles; from charged to discharged to charged again; from useful to useless to useful again; from waste to energy to waste again. We'll begin with how energy comes into being.
Where Does Energy Come From?
After all the risks I've already taken, I see no point in carefully easing into this idea either. I might as well just blurt it out. Where does energy come from? It comes from fusion.
All energy? Yes, all energy.
In a way then, energy is simply what happens when things get concentrated and focused. Fused together. And the more concentrated and focused things get, the more powerful the energy they contain. Or said more accurately, the more concentrated and focused things get, the more energized these things become. They are, after all, not separate from this energy. They are the energy.
Yet another way to say this is that energy comes from making connections, and this idea is true as well. Or said more succinctly, when things "connect," they form patterns, and it is these patterns which create what we call, "energy." Patterns like magnetic lines, and sound waves, and radiant heat, and visible light.
All these things come into being from fusion reactions, where "fusion reactions" are simply that some raw material gets concentrated and focused. This is what fusion is. Or what the "energizing process" is, if you will.
Yet one more way to refer to what is happening here is to say that these "patterns" are emerging from "chaos." Said in other words, energy comes from making order out of chaos. Here again, this idea is also true. Thus, once again, we return to Chaos Theory and to one of its basic tenets; that there is a state in our world in which things are unordered, and a state in which they spontaneously become ordered.
Most physicists deny actual chaos exists.
Even most Chaos Theorists.
They are wrong. Most things in our world are chaotically unorganized. Not just in appearance. Literally. To see this, you have but to look at a cloud and watch how it moves. Or notice how, with all our science, we can't reliably predict weather, even with a Cray super computer.
Even the static on our television sets is chaotic, this despite the fact that many of us try to see patterns in this chaos. And what happens when we organize these patterns into television broadcasts? We create energy. Both positively charged and negatively charged. In us. And in our world.
Where Does Energy Go To?
So where does energy go to? It dissipates through fission. All energy? Yes, all energy. In a sense then, energy never gets used up. It simply gets recycled through dispersion back into the Universe, like the energy of a mob when it gets disbursed.
We could also say that energy dissipates through disconnections, and this idea is true as well. In a sense, then, energy just "fizzles" out, as in the existing patterns which make up the energy dissolve back into chaotic randomness.
Here again, most physicists would choke at hearing this seemingly naive statement. Too bad. By defining "energy" as something which metaphysically gets "used up" (in other words, as something which no longer exists), we generate another kind of energy. A personal kind. The energy of fear. More on this later.
So how do we normally define "energy." What makes us, in fact, call something "energy?" The simple truth is, we call things "energy" if they can generate a dramatic change in other things. This is it. This is the whole deal. For instance, we call coal, "energy," because when we burn it, we generate a dramatic change in temperature in and around this burning coal. Oil the same thing. Gas, too.
What about things like static electricity though? Doesn't static electricity simply discharge?
Ever been told the voltage of a static electric discharge? Even simpler, have you ever been on the receiving end of a good dose of static electricity? Believe me, it's no picnic. More so, computer tech's, and any folks who deal with electronic chips, know that the static electricity from a careless tech can instantly destroy a whole computer motherboard with no remorse at all. At least, none that we know of.
Ever consider what actually gets "destroyed" in these cases? Obviously, a chip. But what exactly does the static electricity destroy in this chip? The answer? It destroys the pattern in the chip. In other words, this static discharge reorganizes the physical pattern which exists within the chip. Translation. It chaotically reorganizes the chip's inner circuits, which destroys the chip's ability to connect both to other chips and to the outside world.
In other words, these miniature, violent events change the very nature of the patterns contained within these chips. In doing so, they render these chips useless. Or at least, powerless.
What about what we've been exploring though; how energy relates to time? How does this destruction relate energy to time? Very simple. Energy is simply a pattern of changing information, referenced to a point, or points, in time. Because this pattern changes over time from organized data to random data, it also changes the meaning of this previously organized information.
As for where time comes into this equation, the meaning of an energy (say, an energy source like coal), divided by the information it contains (the actual pattern of the carbon which defines it as "coal"), is what time is. In other words, time is simply how we refer to the form in which raw materials presently exist, from very energized, to very dis-energized. Or from very "charged" to very "discharged" to use physicists' terms.
Said in other words, "time" is not an actual thing. It is only a way to refer to where in this cycle of being energized some particular information is. From information like coal, to information like people. Thus, "time" is simply a reference point in the cycle of energy.
Can you begin to see why Einstein said that all time is relative? It is relative to this "cycle of energy." At least, with regard to the perspective from which we are observing this cycle.
Admittedly, all this must be hard to grasp. I have, after all, offered no visual evidence for this cycle of energy. This then is what we'll do next. We'll explore the actual, visual cycles of energy, starting with the cycles of non personal energies.