The integration of natural science and spirituality is accomplished by putting consciousness into the equations of the quantized relativistic model of reality. This approach, with a quantum calculus based on the precise empirical data provided by the Large Hadron Collider, leads to the discovery of gimmel, the non-physical third form that must exist in addition to mass and energy, in order for there to be a stable universe.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
AROUND THE WORLD
to the other side of the world is an interesting experience, and I think readers
might be interested in what it was like for me. So, I’m taking a pause in the
story to go back to my notes about my first trip from the United States to Saudi
Arabia. (Reminder: To read previous posts in this series scroll down or type "Memories" in the search box.)
The flight from SFO in San Francisco arched up over
the northern US into Canada, following the “Great Circle” or Polar Route, over
Nova Scotia, across the Arctic Ocean, over Greenland and Iceland, Scotland, the
Shetland Islands, across the English Channel, down into Frankfurt, in the heart
of Germany. As the flight started, it was a clear night, and I could see the
reflection of the moon in the rivers and lakes below as we flew over northern
Minnesota and Canada.
The sun came up over the Arctic, skimming along the
northern horizon, long enough for me to see that Greenland and Iceland were
mis-named. Greenland was covered with ice and snow, while Iceland was green!
After a short time, the sun went down, and I marveled that a whole day had
passed in a few hours! Of course, during the twelve-hour flight, nine hours
were “lost” due to the progressive crossing of time zones. My head began to
spin as I tried to calculate what day and time it was over the English Channel.
It would be about midnight the day after I left California when I landed in
Jeddah. There was an eleven-hour time difference between Los Angeles and Jeddah.
It would almost noon in LA.
We landed in Frankfort and I marveled at the
cleanliness and orderliness of the German airport. Police with small arms were
evident around every corner. An enclosed pedestrian bridge crossed the autobahn
from the airport to the Sheraton Hotel. I looked forward to the opportunity to
practice my German. I had learned some German as a child, because two of my
grandparents were of German descent, and German would be one of the languages I
would choose to fulfill the PhD language requirements. A polite and efficient
bellman accompanied me to my room and complemented me on my pronunciation of words
of die Deutsche Sprache. After a
short night, I flew on to Athens, and then to Jeddah, on the Red Sea in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
My heart ached, leaving Jacqui and our young son
Joshua in Pasadena. It was the first time we had been apart for any length of
time. The Company promised they could follow in about thirty days, after my
arrival in Yanbu and completion of the appropriate paperwork. But, as the plane
descended into the Arabian night, I felt the enormity of the thousands of miles
separating us. When I stepped out of the airbus in Jeddah, I sensed a world so
different that I thought: “Could this even be on the same planet?” The smells,
a mixture of hot desert air, strange spices, and sewage, was like nothing I had
ever smelled before. The Arabesque curves of multi-colored neon lights dazzled
me as my eyes searched for any hint of signs in English. There were none.
It took hours to get through customs. They searched
every nook and corner of my luggage for the forbidden: alcohol, pork products,
and “pornography” (anything showing the female form). The customs official
scowled at my passport and muttered “Amreeky”.
“You drink alcohol.” the inspector stated, as he
rummaged through my socks and underwear.
“You got girly pictures?” he asked as he dribbled
ashes from the cigarette dangling from his lower lip into my suitcase.
He finished rummaging and let me close my suitcase.
Before he waved me on, he said:
“You not drink alcohol, no girly pictures, no smoke, no
cuss at me, I think you not Amreeky!” He grinned, revealing uneven, brown
Saleem, the Saudi representative of the Company,
greeted me as I exited customs and hustled me through the crowd of taxi drivers
to a waiting car. By the time I reached my hotel room in downtown Jeddah, it
was 2:30 am. Saleem had informed me that I had to be on the bus to Yanbu
at 7:30 sharp. It would not wait for me! I looked around the hotel room. There
was a raised arrow on the corner of the desk, pointing toward Mecca, and a prayer
rug was folded nearby with a copy of the Koran lying on top of it. The Koran
was beautifully decorated with sweeping Arabic characters. I hadn’t learned to read
Arabic yet, but I found a copy of the Koran in English in the desk drawer. Since
I couldn’t sleep, I began to read the Koran.
On the bus ride the next morning, I began to get a
look at the Arabian Peninsula. We travelled along in a desolate desert land parallel
to the Red Sea, north from Jeddah (Variously spelled Jeddah, Jidda or Jiddah,
in English: the first vowel does not appear in the Arabic spelling of the word.)
The rugged igneous Hejazi peaks flanked the coastal plain on the east. My
training and interest in geology and hydrology made me curious about their
origin and weathering. I hoped to get a chance to see them up close while in Yanbu,
perhaps on weekends.
About noon we stopped at a cross road village called
Badr, about 250 kilometers north of Jeddah. There were a few mud and rock
buildings, some stunted palm trees and a clump of acacia shrubs. Villagers in
grey robes and checkered head scarves stared at the bus blankly. While the
driver filled the tank with diesel fuel, I went inside and purchased a package
of cheese and crackers and a bottle of water with some of the Saudi currency
(riyals) I had purchased in Jeddah. A few minutes later, we were on our way
again. On the outskirts of Badr, Bedouins herded a small flock of black goats.
About an hour later, the bus pulled off the road and
entered a gate with impressive Arabic lettering arching above it. I learned
later that it read: “Madinat Yanbu Al-Sinayah” (Yanbu Industrial City). The
Saudi symbols of crossed swords and palm trees flanked it on either side. There was just a gate, no fence. I had
studied the plans for the industrial city before I left Pasadena, but what I
saw here was what looked like a group of boxcars sitting in a wide wadi (dry
wash) between the Hejazi Mountains and the Red Sea. I stepped down from the bus and the Somali bus driver said:
“Company man comes soon”, closed the doors and drove away.
I set my suitcase down on the sand and looked at the box car
radiating heat in front of me. It was silent, as if abandoned here in the
desert. I looked around. I was completely alone. The only movement was a dust
devil, whirling like a fat rope dancing in the mid-day heat waves between me
and the black mountains to the east. I looked down at the dust settling on the
black polished surface of my shoes.