SEVENTEEN: DETERMINING WHO WE REALLY ARE
© Copyright 2022, Edward R. Close, PhD
“That whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
This is one of my favorite quotes from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. There certainly are a variety of reasons why there are many things of which one cannot speak, but that doesn’t mean that those things are not important. On the contrary, often they are very important. And I think it is appropriate to begin this post by paraphrasing Wittgenstein’s famous quote in this way:
Things of which we cannot speak, because words are completely inadequate, thereof we must remain silent. But, conscious of their truth, we must point to their existence with the best analogy we can muster.
I think the reader will understand why and how this paraphrase is appropriate in the context of this post.
A prerequisite for solving the problems of spiritual awakening mentioned in the last post is knowing exactly who you are. “Who are you?” is not a trivial question in the context of these discussions, and answering it properly is not a trivial task. Most people, when asked who they are, provide an answer like “I am a teacher, a writer, a computer programmer, a sales person, a mother, a senior citizen, … whatever that person’s current occupation or role in this life may be. This kind of answer is encouraged more than ever in today’s toxic culture of “identity politics”, where those who want to control you think they can do so by demanding that you conform to the standards of a specific group that they define so that they can either control you, or in some way eliminate you. This kind of shallow identification is not what we are talking about here.
Determining who you really are is done by a consciousness focusing process that I have referred to in earlier posts as “Self-Inquiry”. The logic of Self-Inquiry is a process of sequential elimination of non-essential identifications, allowing you to move deeper and deeper into the heart of consciousness, until only one thing is left: the essence of your existence. The process is analogous to the mathematical process of infinite descent, a method of proof developed by the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat. It shouldn’t be too surprising that the process of Self-Inquiry is analogous to the mathematical process of the quantum calculus of transcendental physics and TDVP, that led to the discovery of gimmel, because the nature of the end result in both cases, is the same: Discovery of the non-physical essence of reality.
In the quantum calculus of dimensional distinctions, expressions describing quantum phenomena, are nine-dimensional Diophantine equations (equations whose real-world solutions are quantal). They are called Diophantine equations in honor of Diophantus of Alexandria, who introduced the concept around 255 AD. The method of infinite descent was developed in modern times by Pierre de Fermat about 1635 for the purpose of identifying solvable Diophantine equations. And the application of the method to analyze the combination of quarks to form protons resulted in the discovery of the non-physical essence of reality present in every stable atom was first accomplished by this author in 2011 and amplified in co-authored works with Dr. V.M. Neppe during the next few years. In this post, we shall see that application of the method of infinite descent in the form of Self-Inquiry results in the discovery of the non-physical essence of consciousness.
Diophantus and Fermat are just two of many evolved souls who reincarnated from past periods of higher mental virtue from time to time, specifically to help humanity survive the dark ages of materialism. As we go on in this series of posts, we will see how all things are intimately and ultimately connected by the all-encompassing field of the non-physical essence of reality, revealed in the logical process of infinite descent, the analytical method of the last apex of conscious reality in the cycles of solar time, in 12,501 BC. More about this later. For now, let’s get back to the process of determining who we really are.
Let’s suppose that you are a carpenter. Have you always been a carpenter? No. After you retire from a lifetime of building things, are you still a carpenter? No. The point is that the word carpenter is inadequate to describe the real you. You existed before you were a carpenter, and you still exist when you are no longer a carpenter. The word “carpenter” is not you, it’s only a useful role you play for a certain period of time. Replace the descriptor carpenter with butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, - anything – and the result is the same: remove the name and the activity, and you still exist.
Now let’s move a little deeper. Each of us identifies intimately with our own physical body and its relationship to a certain line of souls reaching all the way back into the completely forgotten past. Your body consists of a combination of complex interacting semi-autonomous organic structures, formed and stabilized by gimmel in the same way that Primary Consciousness forms and stabilizes all atomic structures including organic lifeforms. At this point in time, most people believe that they are the physical body, no more and no less. But is this true, or just a belief arising from life-long identification, similar to the identification with a profession or any other group of sentient beings, like a profession or a family?
There is a growing body of empirical evidence strongly suggesting that individualized consciousness survives the physical destruction of the body it inhabits. In fact, there is a wealth of very convincing observations and data, from both scientific experiment and personal experience that I have gathered and written about, proving that individualized consciousness is immortal, existing before physical birth and after the death of the physical body. However, I am not going to take up valuable time and space here repeating details of that evidence because most of you who are likely to read this, already know about this evidence. For further information on this subject, see the works of Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia, Dr. Vernon Neppe of the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, Dr. Gary E. Schwartz of the University of Arizona, Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove of New Thinking Allowed, Dr. Alan Ross Hugenot, Publications of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences. and many more.
The purpose of this blogpost is not to convince anyone that consciousness exists independent of the physical bodies it temporarily occupies. That is simply a fact that everyone will eventually experience. The purpose of this post is to present a cogent picture of the comprehensive model of reality we call TDVP and suggest practical applications within the context of TDVP that can help those who are ready to expand their own individual consciousness beyond material identification, and farther, for those who have already experienced OBEs or NDEs. To that end, let’s continue this exploration of Self-Inquiry.
Because of intense identification with the ephemeral physical bodies that we inhabit during this lifetime, and the trauma of birth, physical life, and death, we almost completely forget who and what we really are. To regain that lost memory, we have to reverse our attention and abandon our hypnotic fascination with physical stimuli. We must turn the spotlight of our mental focus around from the distracting events in the world, events that are beyond our control, to the ever-existing multi-dimensional field of consciousness to discover who we really are. This is a lot easier to say than it is to do! This deliberate turning around from the singular focus on our involvement with the material world, to focus on the pure consciousness of the spiritual world, is identical from an objective point of view, with repenting in the Biblical sense. See Revelation 2:3–5:
And you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent …
While you may not remember it, every one of us now alive has actually asked to be born. We choose to brave the temporary pains of birth and death again and again, in order to experience physical existence, and we forget that our “first love” was the Infinite Love we experienced in Pure Consciousness, the place from whence we fell.
The proper frame of mind for effective Self-Inquiry is one of alert attention, free of imaginary expectations and random thoughts. Most of the prayerful meditation techniques taught in the various spiritual traditions are designed for calming the mind so that we may connect with the transcendental reality of Pure Consciousness, so prayerful meditation is the best way to prepare for Self-Inquiry. But for anyone who does not already have a well-established meditation practice, I would like to suggest the following: Start by making yourself as comfortable as you possibly can, avoiding the position you habitually assume for sleep. As you probably know, distracting localized physical discomforts are sure to arise, but they can be mitigated by alternately tensing and relaxing the muscle or muscle group involved.
The next two steps are very important. They are simple and easy to describe, but difficult to accomplish: First, withdraw your attention completely from everything outside of your skin, especially including sensations on the surface of your skin. Difficult? Yes, but absolutely achievable. You already know it is achievable because it happens every time you go to sleep. You just have to learn to do it without going to sleep. Second: Focus with increasing intensity on feeling the reality of your existence within the world encompassed by your skin, from head to foot, in all your body’s cells. It is helpful to study anatomy and learn where every organ, bone, and muscle is located in your body. This is not absolutely necessary for successful Self-Inquiry but will make the process easier to master.
It is likely, when first attempting this, that as you try to intensify the feeling of conscious existence within the boundaries of you own skin, you will find yourself tensing certain muscles in your hands, feet, jaws, neck, and stomach as part of the effort. Avoid this. It will block your progress into Self-Inquiry. As soon as you realize that you are tensing up as part of attempting to increase the intensity of your awareness, back off, relax those muscles, and refocus on the simple awareness of existence. In this way, as you intensify your focus on the existence of consciousness, you will be able to disconnect mental effort from physical effort.
When you are fully focused on the reality of your conscious existence, in this relaxed, alert state, you are ready to initiate conscious Self-Inquiry. Notice that the rhythmic movements of air in and out of your lungs, and of blood circulating throughout your body, will begin to slow down and become more natural and regular. Notice also, that your body, a complex combination of symbiotic living organisms with which you were identified, continues to function very well without your conscious involvement.
When you have successfully completed the steps of infinite descent described above, you will have moved beyond shallow identification with the temporary roles and titles of earthly life, including name, family, profession, position in society, etc., and you will have repented of your love affair with the external world by withdrawing the energies of your conscious attention from it and focusing them on the conscious life existing within your physical body. And finally, you will have realized that you are not actually part of the complex of organisms that make up the physical body.
At this juncture, it may seem that you are left with only two options, both of which appear to end badly. You can continue the descent, in a very real sense, into the bowels of the physical body, descending from the largest organ to the smallest organ, to the largest complex molecule, to the smallest molecule, to the largest cell, to the smallest cell, to the most complex stable atom to the simplest atom, and on to nothingness, without ever finding out who or what you are. Or you can just return to the vicinity of the surface of your skin, where “the wages of sin is death.” – Romans 6:23.
The conclusion in either case is that there is no such thing as consciousness. But consciousness is the only that thing we experience directly. How can it not exist? So, we have reached a Reductio ad absurdum, and I can hear Niels Bohr saying: “Hvor vidunderligt! Vi har et paradoks! Nu kan vi måske gøre nogle fremskridt!” How wonderful! We have a paradox! Now perhaps we can make some progress! And I agree! In fact, I am happy to report that the paradox has already been resolved. To understand how, we must go back to the next-to-last step of the descent traced through the organs, cells, molecules, and atoms above. That smallest atom happens to be the simplest atom, the ionized hydrogen atom, also known as the proton.
The proton, composed of two up-quarks and one down quark, is the most stable object in the physical universe. In 2011, I applied the dimensional quantum calculus I had developed in 1986 to the quark combination to determine why it takes three quarks to form a proton, and why the result is so stable. To my surprise, I discovered that the proton could not be stable, and wouldn’t have the mass it has, unless there were several quanta of something non-physical present in each of the quarks. This became the basis of the mathematical-physics proof of the existence of gimmel, the non-physical third quantized essence of reality. The paradox is resolved when we realize that consciousness is non-physical and non-physical gimmel is the logical end result of Self-Inquiry.
Here, at last, we see that the infinite descent to gimmel, the non-physical essence of reality that makes the stable proton and the physical world possible, and the infinite descent into the essence of what you and I really are, is actually the same journey! The first is a description of the journey in symbols of mathematical logic, while the latter is a description of the actual direct experience of making a personal journey into the essence of consciousness.
I am very much aware of the fact that understanding something intellectually after hearing or reading about it, and actually experiencing it for yourself, are two entirely different things. I have written about the discovery of gimmel and the process of Self-Inquiry before, both on this blogsite and in peer-reviewed papers and other publications. Both Dr. Neppe and I have speculated that gimmel must be related to consciousness for a variety of reasons, but in this post, I am saying something quite different:
In this post, I am saying that the quantum-physics infinite-descent demonstration that proves that gimmel exists, is actually a mathematical analog of the first-person infinite-descent process of Self-Inquiry that proves that consciousness exists. Gimmel and individual awareness exist as finite quantized forms of the essence of consciousness embedded in the infinitely continuous field of Primary Consciousness, and you have access to that field. Everything that exists is immersed in it, and you become aware of it through the process of Self-Inquiry.
The structural forms that make up physical reality are finite logical patterns that exist in the infinitely continuous field of Primary Consciousness, and the laws of form that govern those patterns to be discovered by sentient beings like us, are the natural laws of science.
In future posts, I plan to discuss questions 2 and 3 listed at the end of Part Sixteen.
ERC – 3/25/2022