ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
© Copyright July 2022, Edward R Close
Christians are encouraged to ask God for things. In the Bible we find: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" - Matthew 7:7.
And Jesus is quoted again in John 16:24, saying: “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”.
Asking and receiving
One evening about seventy years ago, inspired by the equations and powerful explanations of physical reality revealed by a man named Albert Einstein, I stood on the bank of a pond on my parents’ farm in South Central Missouri, looked up into the twilight of the gathering darkness of a warm summer evening, and spoke to the God of my ancestors – the God to whom my mother taught me to pray every night before going to sleep, the God who my father assured me heard every word and responded in the most appropriate way to every prayer. I looked up, trying to express the burning desire of my heart, and said aloud: “God, I want to know everything!”
The immediate response I received exceeded anything I could ever have imagined or can ever hope to adequately describe. I have written about this before. The first time was in my first published book: The Book of Atma, (Libra, 1977). [Used copies of the book are available on Amazon. For those who might like a new copy, I still have a few]. Memory of this experience is described on pages 48 and 49 of The Book of Atma, but you might want to read pages 43 to 49, or more, to get a better sense of the experience in a more complete context.
Seventy years have passed, during which time I have studied mathematics, science, the meaning of life, and explored the roots of consciousness. I have also explored rivers, caves, and jungles, around the world. I have worked and lived in a dozen states and half-a-dozen countries, published books, articles, and papers; but I am still trying to explain what I experienced that evening. Why? It is human nature to want closure, absolute certainty, perhaps even the ability to explain the inexplicable. But the most amazing and inexplicable thing of all is the fact that we, you, and I, in this moment, exist as conscious beings, capable of learning and growing in physical strength, mental acuity, and spiritual virtue, in a finite universe that is rapidly expanding into infinity! Why and how is this possible?.
How is it that we are conscious? And what exactly is consciousness? For me, discovering that, because it is primary, consciousness cannot fully explain itself was key to answering these profound questions. I have to say that it was the essence of the answer I received that summer evening in 1952, even though it would take me years to understand, and even more years to discover that one must learn to leave the body and be born again to embark on the path of Self-realization. I know now that the spontaneous experience of expanding consciousness I experienced that day in 1952 was not the first, or the last occurrence an out-of-body experience (OBE) for me.
I had a near-death experience (NDE), a dangerous type of OBE, in the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau of Egypt in 2010. When my research partner, Dr. Vernon Neppe heard about it, he remarked that, while the question of the meaning of the experience was an important one, at least for me personally, the more important question might be: Why was I the only one, among all of the people who entered the pyramid that afternoon, to have such an experience? I know the answer to that question now, but it is very difficult to explain. Part of the answer is that, with a background in the study and teaching of mathematics over the course of several lifetimes, I was consciously and sub-consciously aware of the history of mathematics in human thought. In particular, I was aware that in 1931, an Austrian/American mathematician named Kurt Gödel published two proofs known as the incompleteness theorem.
Because there is some confusion about what the word “theorem” actually means, I think I should provide a precise definition of the word here, before discussing the incompleteness theorem in this context. The words theory and theorem are sometimes confused because they sound very similar, but, in fact, the meaning of the word theorem is almost the exact opposite of the meaning of the word theory. A theory is a hypothesis, something that may be true, but has not yet been proved, while a theorem is a logically precise statement that has been proved mathematically. A scientific theory, even one that is favored by many scientists, is still open to debate, challenge, and testing. On the other hand, when a quantitative hypothesis, called a conjecture, has been proved with mathematical logic, it is elevated to the status of a universal truth known as a theorem.
The Incompleteness Theorems
Rigorous mathematical proofs like Gödel’s are tedious, even for many mathematicians, especially because of the narrow specialization that is encouraged and institutionalized by the academic structure of modern universities. However, no serious attempt to understand the nature of reality can be undertaken without reference to the universal incompleteness of logical systems proved by Gödel. That’s how important the incompleteness theorem is. Fortunately, why it is so important, is not that hard to understand. Defined as everything that actually exists, reality is the pre-eminent logical system within which all consistent logical systems must exist, and the truth of Gödel’s incompleteness proof applies to all consistent logical systems, including reality itself.
In this post, I will only discuss the conclusions of incompleteness, without the lengthy details of rigorous proof. For those of you who might like to work your way through the complexities of the mathematical logic leading to the conclusions, I would like to recommend the little book (barely over 100 pages) titled Gödel’s Proof, New York University Press,1986, by Ernest Nagel and James R Newman. It was written for the “non-specialist”, in a very readable, narrative style, with historical details that put the proof into proper context and emphasize its importance to modern science and mathematics.
It is worth noting that when Harvard University awarded Gödel an honorary degree in 1952, his incompleteness theorem was cited as one of the most important advances in logic in modern times. Einstein remarked to a colleague toward the end of his life when his health was failing, that some days, he only bothered to go to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in order to talk with Kurt Gödel! In my opinion, one of the most likely reasons for this was the implication that Gödel’s proof has on the idea of a “theory of everything” (TOE), an idea made popular by Einstein’s successful combination of universal gravitational and electromagnetic forces in one consistent system of mathematical logic in the theory of relativity.
Despite the complexity of the proofs, the universal truths revealed by Gödel’s incompleteness theorems are really simple, as most profound truths are. Understanding the incompleteness of consistent logical systems leads to the conclusion that in any consistent model of reality, including the hypothetical TOE dreamed of by many theoretical physicists past and present, contradictions will arise that cannot be resolved with the logic of the system within which they are stated. Gödel’s proof dashed the hope of ever developing a complete axiomatic system of mathematical logic, something that was arguably the most important goal in the famous 23 Problems of Mathematics listed by David Hilbert, who was considered by most to be the leading mathematician of the time. The conclusion that no logically consistent system can ever be complete is consistent with the accelerating expansion of reality indicated by the red shift in the light from distant stars.
Red shift data implies that the visible 3-D universe is expanding, with the most distant objects moving away from us at velocities approaching the speed of light. The experimentally verified equations of relativity imply that the maximum relative velocity of accelerated objects in our universe is limited to speeds less than the speed of light. This means that, even if we were able to travel toward the most distant star at a velocity very near the speed of light, the edge of the visible universe will have receded even farther than the distance we will have traveled in the time taken to reach the point where the edge of the expanding universe was relative to the Earth’s location when we started the journey. Finally, the TDVP model, based on empirical data from the Large Hadron Collider, and verified with explanations of Standard Model paradoxes and puzzles, implies that reality occupies nine finite dimensions expanding into and out of the infinity of Primary Consciousness. Thus, reality is Infinite, and human consciousness, confined in a finite body, is incapable of comprehending it.
The way out of this “Catch 22” intellectual bind, has been glimpsed by many during lucid OBEs, and the infinity of Primary Consciousness has been fully experienced by spiritually advanced souls who have transcended the currently prevalent zeitgeist. But even though memories of some aspects of it may be retained by some after they return to “ordinary” finite consciousness, the experience of the Infinity of infinities of Primary Consciousness cannot be described in the finite terms of any language. Like reality itself, logical systems of conscious expression are expanding into infinity as reality evolves in ways that support the positive growth and expansion of individualized consciousness .
The Rubik’s Cube, a Simple Analog Model of Reality
An analog model is a model whose elements are analogous to the basic elements of that which is being modeled. The analogy can be in the form of miniaturized versions of the things being modeled, or in the form of finite elements that relate to each other in the same way the elements of the things being modeled relate to each other. The nine mutually orthogonal, one-sub-cube thick planes of the cube are analogous to the quantal planes of the physical, mental, and spiritual realities, and they interact, when rotated, in the same way that the dimensions of those planes of reality interact with each other in the expanding universe.
The Rubik’s cube, considered by most people to be just a toy, or, at best, an infuriatingly frustrating puzzle, is, in fact, an amazingly accurate analog model of the geometric dimensional structure of physical reality! Ernö Rubik, the Hungarian architect who built the first 3x3x3 articulate cube of wooden blocks in 1974, called it the “Magic Cube”. He used it as a geometrical model to teach mathematical set theory to students in his classes at the Budapest College of Applied Arts, where he was a professor of Architecture from 1971 to 1979.
After being rendered in plastic and featured at the Spielwarenmesse (Toy Fair) in Nuremburg Germany in 1979, the Rubik’s cube became available on the world market as a novelty in 1980. In 1981, I bought one and took it with me to Saudi Arabia, where I was employed as the environmental planner for the industrial city of Yanbu at the west end of the trans-Arabia pipeline on the Red Sea. During the Hijra month of Ramadan that year, because I was not yet eligible for vacation, I was in Yanbu with some extra time on my hands, so I spent some of it solving the cube. Fast forward 30 years, to 2011, after two more trips to the Middle East, one in 1985, and one in 2010, I discovered that the cube could be used to model the nine dimensions of the Hydrogen atom, the simplest and most abundant element in the universe, an atom comprised of the three dimensions of the electron, combined with the six dimensions of the up and down quarks in the proton! This became the inspiration for the model I used for application of the quantum calculus to describe the innate dimensional structure of objective reality, including the dimensions of space, time, and consciousness.
Reality, thoughts that make up individualized consciousness, and equations describing the laws of nature, are of course not the same things in the 3D-1t world of finite things, but they do reflect the same eternally consistent innate logical system of Primary Consciousness, which is the mind of God.