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Editorial Board
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Christian Bernard, Imperator, AMORC
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Julie Scott, Grand Master, AMORC
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Shelley Higgins, MA
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William Kuruvilla, PhD
Mark O. Lambert, JD
Stuart Malkin, PhD
Gabe Moretti, MS
Kristin Pfanku, MA
Forrest R. Pitts, PhD
Veronica Rivera, MD
Franoise Saint-Onge, PhD
Richard Schultz, PhD
David Stein, MS
Pieter Wagener, PhD
Robert Waggener, PhD
Bryan Young, MD
Translators
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Current Issue
Editorial
Letter from the Editor
Submissions
Medical Pluralism and the Quest for Therapy: The
Dilemma of HIV and AIDS Patients in Zimbabwes
Rural Gandanzara Area
by Godfrey Museka
A Review on Antigravity, Levitation, Resonance, and
Devices Inspired by the Ouroboros Serpent
by Christopher G. Provatidis, Ph.D.
Sciences Mysteries "This Far and No Further"
by Dave Stein
Deriving Maxwell's Equations From An Inspiring
Walk In The Hills
by Robert Watson and Thomas L. Selby, Ph.D.
Rebuilding the Bridge Between Science and
Mysticism
by Paul J. Werbos, Ph.D.
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Medical Pluralism and the Quest for Therapy: The Dilemma of IDV and AIDS Patients
in Zimbabwe's Rural Gandanzara Area
Godfrey Museka (godiemuseka@gmail.com), Lecturer, Deprutment of CmTiculum and Arts,
Faculty of Education, University of Zimbabwe
Go directly to the text of tl1e paper.
Abstract
Since disease and illness rue intricately inte1woven in the social status of a given social
group, and defined and understood differently in different social contexts, this ruticle seeks to
explore how HIV and AIDS are perceived, with regrud to aetiology, in ru1 environment of
medical pluralism by focusing on a specific ethno-religio-cultural group, that is, the Manyika
people of rural Gandanzrua ruea of Zimbabwe. Given the plurality of the Manyika medical
system, this ruticle investigates the provision of medical services to HIV and AIDS patients
by these systems, the medical space occupied by each system, and the dilemma faced by
these patients in decision-making criteria with regard to therapy-seeking and selecting
behaviour. Due to the role of close kinship ties, the patient's dilemma is aggravated by the
nucleru and extended family understanding of diseases and illnesses and their role in
selecting therapeutic procedures. Info1med by the phenomenological approach, this study
shows that the Manyika people of this mral setting, like various other mral ethno-religio-
cultural groups in Zimbabwe and Africa, have complex disease aetiology which in tum
dete1mines their therapy-seeking behaviour and choice. The dilemma is fmther compounded
by the fact that these people dichotomise diseases into natural and supernatural. As such, it is
not surprising that three medical systems co-exist, in opposition and in mutual borrowing.
These are: biomedicine; African traditional medicine; and Christian spiritual healing. With
the aid of face-to-face interviews ru1d general observations, this reseruch established that
iITespective of social status, the Manyika people try to overcome this dilemma by practicing
medical syncretism when faced with complex diseases or illnesses they cannot easily
comprehend, for example HIV and AIDS.
Le pluralisme medical et la recherche de traitement : Le dilemme des patients vivants
avec le VIH et le sida dans la region rurale de Gandanzara au Zimbabwe
Godfrey Museka
Resume
Puisque les maladies et les infections sont etroitement imbriquees clans le statut social d'un
certain groupe social, qu'elles sont definies et comprises differemment en fonction des
contextes sociaux, cet article tente d'explorer comment le VIH et le sida sont per9us, d'un
point de vue etiologique, clans un environnement de pluralisme medical en se concentrant sur
un groupe culture! ethnique et religieux, fom1e des Manyika de la region nuale de
Gandanzara au Zimbabwe. Compte tenu de la pluralite des systemes medicaux auxquels ont
acces les Manyika, l'objectif de cet ruticle consiste a examiner l'offre des services medicaux
aupres des patients atteints de VIH et de sida en fonction des divers systemes; d'etudier la
place de chacun de ces systemes et le dilemme auquel sont confrontes les patients en ce qui a
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 1 www.rosecroixjoumal. or g
trait aux criteres de selection d'un traitement et d'un type de compo1tement. En raison du role
des liens de parente etroits, le dilemme des patients est encore plus complexe si l'on tient
compte de la comprehension des membres de la famille nucleaire envers les maladies et les
infections et de leur role lors de la selection des procedures therapeutiques. A l'aide d'une
approche fondee sur la comprehension phenomenologique, cette etude demontre que les
Manyika de cette region rurale, comme bien d'autres groupes culturels ethnoreligieux du
Zimbabwe et de l'Afrique, possedent une etiologie complexe qui a des effets sur leurs
comp01tements et les criteres utilises lors du choix d'un traitement. Le dilemme est encore
plus grand puisque les membres de ce groupe font un tri des maladies en fonction de leur
caractere naturel et smnaturel. Ainsi, il n'est pas surprenant de constater la coexistence de
trois differents systemes medicaux, qui s'opposent ou sont en inteITelation. Il s'agit de la
biomedecine, de la medecine traditionnelle africaine et de la guerison spirituelle chretienne.
C'est grace a !'utilisation des donnees d'entrevues en personne et des observations faites sur le
teITain que cette recherche indique que peu importe le statut social des Manyika, les membres
de ce groupe tentent de smmonter ce dilemme, lorsqu'ils sont face a des maladies ou
infections complexes difficiles a comprendre comme le VIH et le sida, en combinant les
diverses doctrines medicales qu'ils connaissent.
Pluralismo Medico y la Busqueda de Terapias: el Dilema de Pacientes con HIV y SIDA
en el Area Rural de Gandanzara en Zimbabwe
Godfrey Museka
Res um en
Como las afecciones y las enf ermedades es tan elaboradamente entrelazadas en el estado
social de un grupo social dado, definido y entendido de f01ma diferente en diferentes
contextos sociales, este aiticulo busca explorar como el HIV y el SIDA son percibidos con
respecto a la etiologia, en un ambiente de pluralismo medico, concentrandose en un grupo
etnico-religioso- cultural, esto es, los Manyika del area rural de Gandanzaia en Zimbabwe.
Dada la pluralidad del sistema de salud de los Manyika, este aiticulo investiga los servicios
medicos para pacientes con VIH y SIDA por parte de estos sistemas; el espacio medico
ocupado por cada sistema y los dilemas de estos pacientes en los criterios de toma de
decisiones con respecto a la b(1squeda de tratamientos y su comp01tamiento de selecci6n.
Debido al papel de las relaciones de parentesco, el dilema de los pacientes se agrava por la
comprensi6n de las afecciones y enfennedades de parte del nucleo familiai y la fainilia
ampliada y su papel al escoger los procedimientos terapeuticos. Visto el enfoque
fenomenol6gico, este estudio muestra que los Manyika, al igual que otros grupos etnico-
religioso- culturales de Zimbabwe y Africa, tienen etiologias complejas, lo que a su tmno
detennina la forma de buscai y seleccionai el tratainiento. El dilema se complica aun mas
por el hecho de que ellos dicotomizan las enf e1medades en natural es y sobre natural es. Como
tal, no es sorprendente que estos tres sistemas medicos coexistan. Estos son:, biomedicina,
medicina tradicional Africana y sanaci6n espiritual Cristiana. Con la ayuda de entrevistas
personales y observaciones generales, esta investigaci6n estableci6, que sin importar el
estatus social, los Manyika tratan de superar este dilema practicando sincretismo medico, al
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 2 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
enfrentarse a afecciones o enfe1medades complejas, que no pueden entender con facilidad,
por ejemplo VIH o SIDA.
Pluralismo Medico ea Busca por Terapias: 0 dilemma de Pacientes com HIV e AIDS
na Zona Rural de Gandanzara no Zimbabue
Godfrey Museka
Resumo
Considerando que as doenc;as estao intiman1ente entrelac;adas com o status social de um dado
giupo, definido e entendido de modo diferente em contextos sociais diferentes, este aitigo
busca explorar como o HIV e a AIDS sao vistos, com relac;ao a etiologia nmn ambiente de
pluralismo medico focal izando num especifico gii.1po etno-religioso-cultural, ou seja, no povo
Maniika da zona mral no Zimbabue. Dada a pluralidade do sistema medico Maniika, este
aitigo investiga a prestac;ao de se1vi9os medicos para pacientes com HIV e AIDS atraves
<lesses sistemas; o espac;o medico ocupado por cada sistema, e o dilema enfrentado por esses
pacientes nos criterios de decisao com relac;ao a busca de terapias e ao comportamento de
selec;ao. Devido o papel de lac;os intimos da fainilia, o dilema do paciente se agiava, com o
entendimento do nucleo f amiliai e da fainilia em geral, sobre as doenc;as e seu papel na
escolha de procedinlentos terapeuticos. Infonnado pela abordagem fenomenol6gica, este
estudo mostra que o povo Maillika deste cenario rural, como varios outros gmpos etno-
religiosos-culturais no Zimbabue e na Africa, tern uma etiologia de doenc;as complexa que
por sua vez dete1mina a sua escolha e seu compo1tainento na busca por terapias. 0 dilema e
ainda agravado pelo fa.to <lesses povos dicotomizar as doenc;as em natural e sobrenatmal.
Como tal, nao e surpreendente que tres sistemas medicos co-existam, em oposic;ao e em
aproveitainento mutuo. Sao eles: a biomedicina, a medicina tradicional africana, ea cura
espiritual crista. Com a ajuda de entrevistas 'ao vivo' e obse1va9oes gerais, esta pesquisa
dete1minou que independente do status social, o povo Maillika tenta superai este dilema
praticando sincretismo medico quando enfrentam doenc;as complexas que nao podem ser
facilmente compreendidas, por exemplo o HIV ea AIDS.
Medizinischer Pluralismus und die Suche nach der Therapie: Das Dilemma von HIV
und AIDS-Patienten in Zimbabwes landlichem Gandanzara-Gebiet
Godfrey Museka
Zusammenfassung
Da Leiden und Krankheit in komplizierter Weise mit dem sozialen Status einer bestimmten
sozialen Gmppe verwoben sind, und damit in verschiedenen sozialen Zusammenhangen
unterschiedich definiert und verstanden werden, versucht dieser Artikel herauszufinden, wie
HIV und AIDS walugenommen werden bei der Ursachenforschung, in einer Umgebung des
medizinischen Pluralismus, und <lurch die Konzentration auf eine spezielle ethno-kulturell-
religiose Gmppe, <las heifit dem Volk der Manyika im landlichen Gebiet Gandanzara in
Zimbabwe. Auf dem Hintergrund Mehrfache arztliche Versorgungssysteme bei den Manyika
untersucht dieser A1tikel die arztliche Versorgung der HIV und AIDS-Patienten <lurch diese
Systeme, den Versorgungsumfang den jedes System besetzt und <las Dilemma der Patienten
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 3 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
was die Entscheidungskriterien bei der Therapiesuche und -auswahl angeht. Wegen die
Rolle, die enge Verwandtschaftsbindungen spielt, wird das Dilemma des Patienten ve1tieft
dmch das jeweilige Verstandnis der Krankheit und das Leiden durch die Kem- und weitere
Familie und deren Rolle bei der Auswahl therapeutischer Verfahren. Aus einem
phanomenologischen Ansatz heraus zeigt die Studie, dass das Volk der Manyika in dieser
landlichen Umgebung, wie verschiedene andere ethno-religios-kulturelle Gmppen in
Zimbabwe und Afrika eine komplexe Krankheits-Aetiologie haben, die ihrerseits deren
Therapiesuche und -auswahlverhalten bestimmt. Das Dilemma wird noch komplizie1ter dmch
die Tatsache, dass diese Leute Krankheiten in nattirliche und tibemattirliche unte1teilen.
Daher ist es nicht verwunderlich, dass drei medizinische Systeme ko-existieren, in
Opposition zueinander und gegenseitiger Anleihe. Diese sind die Biomedizin, die
traditionelle afrikanische Medizin und die christliche spirituelle Heilung. Mit Hilf e von
personlichen Interviews und allgemeine Beobachtungen hat diese Nachforschung
herausgefi.mden dass, unabhangig vom sozialen Status, das Volk der Manyika versucht tiber
dieses Dilemma hinwegzukommen, indem sie einen medizinischen Synkretismus praktizieren
im Zusammenhang mit komplexen Leiden oder Krankheiten die sie nicht richtig verstehen,
wie zum Beispiel HIV oder AIDS.
Background
HIV and AIDS have for the past few decades geometrically propelled the death rate,
pruticularly in Africru1 communities, to unprecedented levels. Statistical data provided by
Aseka shows that sub-Sahruan Africa, of which Zimbabwe is a constituent, accounts for 30
million people living with the HIV and AIDS vims, compared to 7 million in Asia and 2
million in Latin America and the Caribbean.
1
Inhabitants of the Gandanzara ruea (Manyika
people) under chiefMakoni are not spared by this pandemic, as Gundani notes that a smvey
carried out in the ruea around 200 I shows that half of the women attending matemity clinics
were HIV positive, prompting the chief to reintroduce virginity tests.
2
HIV and AIDS manifest in multifaceted ways, exhibiting bewildering symptoms thereby
compelling both the infected ru1d the affected into pragmatic therapy seeking in various
medical systems, in this case, biomedicine, traditional African medicine, and Christian
spiritual healing, commonly associated with African Initiated Churches. This three-
dimensional approach to disease and illness can best be understood by having an appreciation
of the religio-cultural orientation of the inhabitru1ts. The majority of people in this area are
dualfaith bearers, meaning officially they are Christians but in practice they are
traditionalists. This behaviour is most common among followers of the mainline chmches,
such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and United Methodist. There rue also a plethora of
African Initiated churches, the largest of them all being the Gospel of God Chmch in
Zimbabwe, commonly referred to as Johanne Masowe. The area is also replete with
traditional and apostolic healers of high and modest repute. The medical landscape is ftuther
decorated by the existence of three clinics and one rural district hospital (Rugoyi). Given this
pluralistic medical background, it cru1 be asked whether the Manyika people find any
inconsistency in consulting specialists in either the modem, traditional, or spiritual medical
systems, when faced with HIV and AIDS. To what extent does this pluralism influence their
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 4 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
theory of illness and their illness behaviour? Do they have any hierarchy of resort and if so,
how is it related to the multiplicity of medical systems?
Against this backdrop, this study seeks to investigate the HIV and AIDS patients' therapy
choice and therapy seeking behaviour in a medical pluralistic milieu, using the case study of
the Manyika people of Gandanzara area. The Manyika disease a.etiologies also need
interrogation because they influence in no small measure people's opinions, attitudes, and
perceptions about the HIV and AIDS epidemic. These variables, in tum, dete1mine people's
behaviour and choice of therapy. To this end, this paper is an attempt to discover some of the
important religio-cultural determinants of behaviour when faced with HIV and AIDS-related
illnesses.
Methodology
In this qualitative research, I find the phenomenological approach most appropriate because it
enabled an in-depth and objective investigation of the phenomenon of medical syncretism
with regard to HIV and AIDS patients and their significant others. Though difficult to define,
this paper adopts Merleau-Ponty' s definition that phenomenology is a '"style of thinking,'
meaning an effo11 to describe the actual state of affairs as disclosed by the phenomena of the
world."
3
In connection to the principles of this approach, absolute priority was given to the
infected and affected people's point of view because, as noted by Kristensen, the believers
understand their own practices better than anyone from outside.
4
Because the researcher was
studying a community in which he belongs, the distance factor, which often blurs most
phenomenological researches, was greatly minimised. Through this approach, I was able to
discover the eidos, the essence of the religio-cultural phenomenon of medical pluralism and
how the various Manyika medical systems intersect in the light of HIV and AIDS. Moreover,
because this is anemic study, data was collected through interviews and general
observations. This method plus the various theoretical perspectives explained below informed
this study.
Cultural Perspectives
Every social group has a unique understanding of illness and disease aetiology, hence
Fabrega, cited by Sindiga in Sindiga et al, defines ethnomedicine "as the study of the
different ways in which people of various cultures perceive and cope with illness, including
making a diagnosis and obtaining therapy."
5
As such, an ethnomedical approach to health
issues revolves around the idea that each cultural group handles its medical problems in a
relatively unique manner. This handling largely depends on the group's cosmological views,
value system, beliefs, and practices as well as institutions that have developed over the years
to cater for different diseases and illnesses. Fm1he1more, each culture has a unique
understanding of illness and disease causation, peculiar medical semantics and classification,
and a variety of practitioners. These attributes are however not static but dynamic; hence
people's beliefs and response to disease and illness change over time.
The total smn of the group' s "beliefs, strategies, behaviour and interactions with ...
environment that pe1tain to sickness, its management, and health status" is refeITed to as an
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 5 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
ethnomedical system.
6
In other words, an ethnomedical system is constituted by the resources
and responses available to a particular group in order to overcome its health challenges.
Although other medical systems may be inco1porated, the core concepts, beliefs, and
practices of the cultural group dominate. In view of these observations, this article examines
the Manyika people's medical system for three major reasons, that is: to discern medical
systems that operate within this cultural group; to develop theories that explain how these
medical systems operate and change with time; and eventually to reflect on how these
medical systems function and serve community members in relation to the HIV and AIDS
epidemic.
From an ethnomedical perspective, diseases and illnesses are defined within a specific social
milieu, but in a situation where medical pluralism prevails the definitions could be multiple
and composite. Janzen, quoted by Sindiga in Sindiga et al, defines medical pluralism as the
"existence in a single society of differently designed and conceived medical systems."
7
Such
systems usually co-exist, though characterised by competition, confrontation, and mutual
b01rnwing. In view of this plurality, Chavunduka, Gelfand, and Shoko concur that the Shona
see no contradiction in taking both traditional and biomedicine simultaneously for the same
episode of illness.
8
Because the Shona and the Africans in general utilise different medical
systems separately or jointly, there is constant flow of patients between doctors of both
philosophies.
Africans, argues Aguwa, uphold the naturalistic and supernaturalistic views concerning
disease aetiology.
9
Accordingly, diseases are dichotomised into those that require the
attention of biomedicine and those that can be handled by traditional medicine. It is important
to note that although many African cultural groups categorise diseases and illnesses
according to cause, they regard traditional and biomedicine as complementary. In addition to
these two medical systems, Aguwa also talks about Christian-based practices of religious
therapy, referred to, in other circles, as faith healing.
10
Thus, illnesses that frequently occur
and abrnptly disappear are considered to be natural. Such fleeting diseases include coughs,
colds, stomachaches, and headaches. These diseases are either allowed to heal naturally or
they are referred to biomedicine or traditional therapeutists, also known as herbalists. In this
kind of situation, the choice of treatment is self-determined and hinges on perceived cost,
acceptability, accessibility, and dependability of the medical system.
By contrast, supernatural or abnormal illnesses are persistent and life-threatening. Such
illnesses usually start as nonnal (natural), but because they persist they are re-assessed and
re-interpreted as abn01mal (supernatural), thereby compelling the sick and the significant
others to seek explanation.
11
The supernatural perspective is closely related to the African
people' s cosmological views. Many African societies believe that the supernatural beings
break into the human affairs with either beneficial or detrimental effects.
12
The implication
being that, prolonged life-threatening illness is in essence perceived not as mere physical
condition but as a religious matter. This dichotomisation, however, seems to be more
cognitive than behavioural.
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 6 www.rosecroixjournal.org
Similarly, Nyamwaya in Sindiga uses the "how'' and "why" theo1y in his explanat ion of
health and illness in Afri can communities. Whilst the "how" component relates to the
biological factors contributing to the aetiology of an illness and the interventions deemed
appropriate to eradicate the illness, the "why" component refers to the people's explanation
with regard to the paiticularity of an illness which relates to the social and spiritual factors
that are thought to be relevant to the timing of an illness.
13
Such socio-spiritual factors
include the breach of taboo, effects of a curse, God or ancestral punishment for individual or
communal sins, or affliction by alien spirits. Chavunduka echoes similai sentiments by
avening that supernatural illnesses call for explanation (why).
14
For them, these illnesses aie
generally attributed to the neglect of ancestor spirits (mid::.imu), angered spirits (ngo::.i) , alien
spirits (mashayi), and witches and sorcerers (waroyi).
15
Because of their peculiarities, socio-
spiritual illnesses aie refened to diviners or diviner-therapeutists.
This categorisation of illnesses into "how" and "why" is however not this simple but
complex. Apart from being a physical condition, illness is also socially defined; hence
people's definition of illness vaiies from one stage to another. During the initial stages,
illness is presumed to be n01mal but if it persists, the perception of abnonnality creeps in. In
this regard, Chavunduka noted that nowadays most Shona people make biomedicine their
first choice but if the condition deteriorates they tum to traditional medicine.
16
It is imp01tant
to note that before people leave biomedicine to traditional medicine or vice-versa they would
have changed their own views about the cause of the illness. Thus, views about the cause of
illness are closely tied to the lag-time between the onset of illness and the expected healing
period.
Erasmus, cited in Chavunduka, stresses the perceived differences in beliefs sunounding the
aetiology of various diseases as detennining factors in the choice of therapy.
17
Diseases
classified as natural are thus commonly referred to scientific doctors or herbalists, while those
considered to have an essentially supernatural cause are taken to the diviner or diviner-
therapeutist. However, in his simultaneous theo1y, Gonzalez in Chavunduka contends that it
is not so much a question of one or the other medical system, but an issue of what shall be
sought and obtained from the specialist in different medical systems.
18
To this end, the same
malady is often brought to the attention of the traditional healer and to the scientific medical
practitioner. This syncretism is often done consciously. However, it can also operate at the
sub-conscious level in that a patient may take or apply a substance believed by him/her and
the specialist to ameliorate the sickness and also unde1take an act, usually ritual, which may
or may not directly involve the body, but which is believed to have a positive effect on
health.
Bourdillon observes that due to close kinship relationship in African conununities,
therapeutic decisions are rarely made by individuals but by the whole family and in some
instances, the extended family.
19
As such, the definition given to illness by the sick individual
and his social group or significant others at any given time is the most impo1tant dete1minant
of illness behaviour. Chavunduka added that most patients and their significant others make
an assessment and an evaluation of the illness primarily in terms of their own understai1ding
of diseases, and the influence of the dominant medical beliefs of the society in which they
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 7 www.rosecroixjournal.org
live appear to prevail with regard to the choice of therapy.
20
The dichotomisation of diseases
into natural and supernahu-al is therefore a consequence of these beliefs.
Romanucci-Ross posits that for every society which uses both indigenous and biomedicine
fo1ms of therapy, there is a "hierarchy ofreso11," indicative of the usual sequencing in the use
made of existing medical service alternatives.
21
This means illness is first refeITed to a
medical system deemed to be more reliable until subsequent developments prove them
wrong. Info1med by these theories, this paper explores, from a phenomenological
perspective, factors influencing the HIV and AIDS patients' therapy choice and therapy-
seeking behaviour, using the case of the Manyika people of Gandanzara area under chief
Makoni in the Manicaland province of Zimbabwe.
The Manyika Medical Systems
Press defines medical system as a "patterned, inte1Telated body of values and deliberate
practices, governed by a single paradigm of the meaning, identification, prevention and
treatment of sickness. "
22
This definition emphasizes the socio-cultmal attributes of medical
systems, some of which might be unique to a specific system. Three medical systems were
delineated within the Manyika cultural group. These are; the biomedical, traditional, and
Christian-oriented spiritual/faith healing. While the traditional and Christian-oriented
spiritual healing have a lot in common, the biomedical system is very different from these
two systems in te1ms of the concept of disease aetiology, diagnosis of health problem,
therapy management and choice, range of practitioners, therapy procedures, and mugs plus
other phannacopoeia. These differences place people in a serious dilemma when faced with
disease and illness they cannot easily comprehend. The existence of these medical systems
side by side, in isolation, confrontation, and muhial boITowing, influences in no small
measure the HIV and AIDS patients' therapy-seeking and selecting behaviour. These medical
systems have attributes that pull and push patients toward and away from them. Because of
the weaknesses of each system, patients often see themselves in a quandary, as they
demonstrate by moving from one system to another in their quest to find a lasting solution to
their health problem(s).
Biomedicine
Fabrega defines biomedicine as the Western-oriented knowledge, practices, organisation, and
social roles of medicine.
23
The Manyika biomedical system is made up of one rnral district
hospital (Makoni Rural District Hospital, generally known as Rugoyi), three clinics (Morris
Nyagumbo Memorial Clinic, Matotwe, and Mukuwapasi), and a nun1ber of Village Health
Workers (VHW). As noted by Mcivor, the rnral health centres (RHC) were established to
provide basic promotive, preventive, curative, and rehabilitative care.
24
Each RHC was to
serve a catchment population of 10,000 people who should be within a walking distance of
eight kilometres. It is important to note that these centres were established before HIV and
AIDS intensified and their focus was on epidemics such as malaria, tuberculosis, chicken
pox, etc. The VHW programme, launched in 1982, again before HIV and AIDS were a public
secret, aimed at providing one village health worker for every 500- 1,000 people. Their role
The Rose+Croix Jomnal 2012 - Vol 9 8 www.rosecroixjournal.org
was/is to promote basic hygienic standards. Ever since the discove1y of HIV and AIDS, these
facilities have hardly been modified to fight the pandemic. The VHW' s duties have since
dwindled to simply distribute family planning pills. The clinics suffer from acute shortage of
trained health workers and inadequate supplies of medicines, which translates to non-
availability of services. All twelve patients met and interviewed at the hospital and at three
clinics complained about the practice where they are prescribed paracetamol for different
ailments.
Following these difficulties, HIV and AIDS patients from this area have to go to Rusape
General Hospital for testing and screening before accessing the life-prolonging drugs.
Participants complained that most patients die before they even access the Anti-Retro-Viral
(ARV) drugs due to the long waiting list. It was, however, pleasing to note that the hospital
now dispenses ARVs to those who would have managed to outlive the long wait.
In biomedicine, disease and illness are viewed as physical/mechanical disorders or mere
organic malfunctioning, with negligible relationship to a person's socio-religious experience.
This means that the heatment of diseases within this system is limited to controlling and
eliminating physical symptoms. With regard to the Manyika people, the biomedical system
contradicts their values, beliefs, and practices, in that it largely focuses on the disease and not
the patient. In other words, it is concerned with the physiological rather than social factors in
the disease situation. This explains why some Manyika people do not seek biomedicine even
when it is accessible.
Traditional Medical System
The Manyika haditional medical system is basically ethnomedical in that disease and illness
are defined within a given social context. Ampofo and Johnson-Romauld define traditional
African medicine as the
totality of all knowledge and practices, whether explicable or not, used in
diagnosing, preventing or eliminating a physical, mental or social
disequilibrium and which rely exclusively on past experience and observation
handed down from generation to generation, verbally or in writing.
25
Under this system, disease and illness are inextricably bound to the values, beliefs and
practices of the Manyika people. Thus, disease and misfortunes have a socio-religious
explanation; as such the treahnent process goes beyond addressing the symptoms. Instead,
deep-seated causes and ways of preventing the disease from recuffing are sought.
The Manyika traditional medical system is constituted by diviners, diviner-therapeutists,
therapeutists (herbalists), and traditional biI1h attendants. Diviners are primarily concerned
with f011h telling the cause of an illness, usually through the rut of throwing and interpreting
divining bones, dice, or lots. However, most diviners among the Manyika are diviner-
therapeutists meaning apart from forth telling (divining) they also prescribe and dispense
medicines. By contrast, therapeutists do not divine but have vast knowledge of herbs, and
they prescribe or prepare herbal concoctions for the treatment or cure of disease and illness.
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 9 www.rosecroixjournal.org
Traditional bitth attendants are women endowed with the ability to assist prospective mothers
to deliver. They discharge key pre- and post-natal care for the mother and the baby. Disease
and illness, misfortunes, or complications during delive1y are in most cases explained morally
or supernaturally.
Christianity-based Faith Healing
This medical system is also et.hnomedical in that disease and illness are explained in tenns of
beliefs and values that characterises the people's cosmological views. Deep-seated
explanations are sought over and above the visible symptoms. A key figure or practitioner in
this system is the prophet, who is spiritually gifted to fo11h tell or diagnose illness by
appealing to the "holy spirit." Unlike diviners, faith healers do not use divining bones or lots.
Faith healing, among the Manyika people, is usually practiced by African Initiated Churches
(mapostori) and Pentecostal churches. Both members and non-members seek the services of
faith healers. Disease and illness are usually explained in supernatural or moral te1ms.
The concept of disease causation, together with the three medical systems that exist within
the Manyika ethnic group, throws the HIV and AIDS patients into a predicament with regard
to therapy-seeking and selecting behaviour, the01y of illness, medical behaviour, and
"hierarchy of reso1t" in handling their medical conditions.
Findings-Manyika Disease Aetiologies
The Manyika people, like the generality of African ethnic groups, maintain a ve1y close link
between health and traditional cosmological beliefs. Health, medicine, religion and magical
practices are so intertwined, hence Aschwanden noted that among the Shona, "reality and
mythology are inseparable in everyday life. "
26
They presuppose each other and require one
another because together they complement each other in creating a greater reality. By and
large, responses from paiticipants showed that both traditional and modem perceptions of
health and disease aie prevalent in present day Manyika commtmity of Gandanzara aiea.
Members of this comrrnmity broadly dichotomise illness into two, that is, "normal" (natural)
and "abno1mal" (supernatural), and this categorisation pre-dates HIV and AIDS. "No1mal"
illness is thought to arise from natural biological processes, occurs frequently in the life of
individuals, and is mild and of fleeting nature. Following this, "normal" illness, which
includes diseases such as coughs, colds, stomachaches and headaches, is taken casually. By
contrast, "abno1mal" illness is persistent and life-threatening to the extent that causal
explanations are imperative.
It is also interesting to note that if "no1mal" illness persists and becomes severe, the Manyika
people define it as "abnormal" and explain it in terms of spiritual or socio-moral causes.
Spititually, "abnormal" illness is thought to be sent by ancestor spirits (mid:::.imu) , avenging
spirits (ngo:::.i) , alien spirits (mashayi), and witches or sorcerers (waroyi). "Abnormal" illness
is also related to socio-moral factors, for instance, the breach of taboos like adulte1y,
mai1ying a woman dedicated to a spirit (tete wemusha), and incest. The question of causation
(why is the person ill?) and the question of mechanization (how is the person ill?) are usually
evoked in relation to "abnormal" rather than "nom1al" illness. These questions aie
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 10 www.rosecroixjournal.org
inteITelated, and both influence the kind of explanation that is arrived at as a course of action
for dealing with the illness.
The Manyika conception of HIV and AIDS-related conditions is not simple and
straightfo1ward. Their classification of HIV and AIDS into either "no1mal" or "abn01mal"
illness depends on factors such as the individual, family, and community's perception and
definition of the visible symptoms, life histo1y of the sick person, family history, and
religious affiliation. The complex and multifaceted ways through which HIV and AIDS
manifests aggravates the whole situation.
HIV and AIDS manifests in a variety of ways. People interviewed demonstrated a general
understanding of common HIV and AIDS symptoms, which include loss of weight, skin rash,
swollen lymph nodes, diaIThoea, tuberculosis, change in skin and hair texture, etc. Other
health conditions like pneumonia, severe headaches, backaches, mental illness, miiscaiTiage,
etc, were hardly interpreted in terms of HIV and AIDS unless if they occur simultaneously
with the aforementioned symptoms. Information gathered through interviews revealed that
the Manyika people consider illnesses they perceive to be indicative of HIV and AIDS to be
"normal" while those illnesses thought not to be indicative of HIV and AIDS are first
interpreted as "normal" and later on as "abnonnal" if they recur in a severe manner. HIV and
AIDS are generally thought to be a moral illness, in that the infected person is regarded as of
loose moral or having been infected by a loose partner. In vernacular they say, "aka:orwa"
or "akapiwa chirwere" meaning he or she was infected by a loose wife or husband, or
"akasiirwa chirwere," meaning he or she was infected with the late wife or husband. If the
sick person was not maiTied then people say, "ane chekufamba ichi" or "ane chema-:-uwa ano
ichi, " meaning he or she is infected with the disease of loose morals or he or she is infected
with today' s disease, respectively.
However, in cases where HIV and AIDS symptoms aie not interpreted as HIV and AIDS
symptoms, the sick, together with his or her significant others, seek for a causal explanation
from the scientific and or spiritual realms. In this situation, HIV and AIDS cease to be a
typically moral challenge.
Concerning the life histo1y of the sick person, if the sick individual were known to be of
loose morals, the Manyika quickly explain any depreciation in health morally, with minimmn
consideration of the symptoms. Conversely, if the sick person' s sexual forays were unknown,
then ill-health is likely to be explained in terms of other causes such as ancestor, alien, or
avenging spirits, especially if the symptoms aie not ve1y obvious to the community members.
Family history also influences people's explanation of ill-health. If an individual is from a
fainily known to be haunted by avenging spirits and suffers ill-health without showing visible
or community-defined HIV ai1d AIDS telling symptoms, then the HIV and AIDS-related
illness is likely to be attributed to the spirits.
The study also established that religious affiliation plays an important role in deteilmining
how HIV and AIDS symptoms are viewed and inte1preted. Six out of ten, that is, 60% of the
participants who practice both African Traditional Religion (A TR) and Christianity explained
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the death of their relatives in te1ms of the HIV vims. The other fom, that is, 40%, attributed
the death of their relatives to witchcraft, although other observers alluded to the fact that the
late relatives had died from HIV and AIDS-related conditions. The four argued that witches
are taking advantage of the vims, take innocent people' s life, and use HIV and AIDS as a
scapegoat. All the ten paiticipants agreed that people can also contrnct the vims if ancestors
are not happy. Ancestors register their disgmntlement by allowing misfortunes such as HIV
and AIDS vims to attack the living. It was interesting to note that five members of The
Gospel of God African Church, commonly refeITed to as Johanne Maso we, the largest
African Initiated Church (AIC) in the area, and five people randomly chosen to represent
several other AIC's in the area, unanimously agreed that ill-health is due to witchcraft
activities. None of them attributed the community's increased death rate to HIV and AIDS.
Reasons for these different explanations from the perspective of religious orientation need
thorough research and aie beyond the scope of this aiticle.
Some Manyika people also opine that HIV and AIDS were invented and imported into
African societies by Europeans in an endeavour to wipe out the black race. Yet for others, it
is a divine punishment against the moral rote of the society. The dual interpretation of HIV
and AIDS, depending on the peoples' understanding of the visible symptoms, as "no1mal"
and "abnormal," does not only indicate people's dilemma but also defines the therapy-
seeking and selecting behaviour of the sick person and his or her social group. However,
before navigating the issue of therapy-seeking and selecting behaviom, it is important to give
a reflection of the Manyika medical landscape.
HIV and AIDS Patients' Therapy-Seeking and Selecting Behaviour in a Pluralistic
Medical Environment
At the outset, it is impo1tant to stress that there exist no technology an10ng the Manyika
cultural group that is used to verify whether or not a person is infected with the HIV and
AIDS vims. Diseases and illnesses thought to be related or unrelated to HIV and AIDS are
therefore defined by the community. Thus, most HIV and AIDS patients among the Manyika,
together with their significai1t others, make ai1 evaluation of their illness primarily in terms of
their own understanding of diseases. Unfortunately, HIV ai1d AIDS symptoms begin to show
when the illness is already in its advanced stage. V aiious scenarios, indicative of the dilemma
the Manyika people face in handling HIV and AIDS, were discovered.
The eaily symptoms of HIV and AIDS infection fit well into the Manyika people' s natural or
n01mal category of disease and illness. As such, the eaily symptoms aie taken casually and
are often refeITed to the nearby clinic or local therapeutist. However, as the condition
deteriorates ai1d HIV and AIDS' characteristic symptoms begin to manifest, according to the
judgment of the c01mnunity, therapy preferences also change. Defining symptoms, together
with the agenda, announced or concealed, of the nucleus and sometimes extended family,
also dete1mine the "course of action" or treatment response. If the sick individual and the
fainily are operating within the "announced" agenda, the subject matter of the illness is
disclosed and the social group may advise accordingly with regaid to medical choice. Under
this circumstai1ce, biomedicine is usually the first choice. Although other medical practices
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such as praying, fasting, exorcism, appeasement ritual, etc, may be pe1fonned, biomedicine
remains a priority. By contrast, if the sick and the family are operating within the concealed
agenda, as is the case with the majority of the Manyika people, largely due to stigma and or
denial, scapegoating prevails, particularly through witchcraft accusations, or other
supernatural explanations are offered.
Data obtained through interviews and observations show that the dilemma of the HIV and
AIDS patients aptly manifest in the three levels of interaction of these medical systems which
in the words of Nyamwaya are: sequential zigzag, supplementary, and complementarity.
27
These interactions usually take place after the sick person and his/her social group have
changed their definition of illness. The change of definition is due to the general
classification of disease and illness into "no1mal" (natural) and "abn01mal" (supernatural)
and points to a degree of unce1tainty as to whether the illness is n01mal or abno1mal. The
syncretic behaviour also shows desperation on the pait of the sick person and his/her social
group. In the sequential zigzag mode, a patient starts using either of the three systems and
then move on to the other systems. There is oscillation among the three medical systems as
the illness intensifies. This behaviour is necessitated by the realization that treatments from a
particulai medical system are not bringing the desired results. The illness is reassessed and
redefined, thereby compelling a change of direction towards another medical system.
The supplementary relationship occurs where the HIV and AIDS patient is depending
primarily on one medical system but also uses medicines and practices from other systems to
enhance good health. To achieve a better appreciation of this illness behaviour, it is vital to
distinguish medicine and practice. While medicine presupposes application or introduction of
substances into the body to ameliorate the existing state of the body, medical practice is any
act undertaken by the sick individual or someone else for the purpose of promoting good
health without necessarily involving the body.
28
Responses from participants show that the
Manyika believe in both medicine and medical practice; hence they refer HIV and AIDS
suspected cases to biomedical practitioners to relieve pain and symptoms, but also to
traditional medical practitioners and faith healers to get rid of supernatural forces that may
worsen the condition. This explains various channs from traditional medical practitioners and
faith healers that are often tied around the wrist, ankles, neck, or waist of the sick person or
placed in the house to ward off evil spirits and witches who may want to take advantage of
the compromised immune system.
Complementaiity is by far the most common relationship and exists in situations where
people consider resources from the three medical systems as necessarily vital for complete
healing to take place. It manifests when the chronic illness is thought to involve natural,
psychological, and spiritual factors. Illness behaviour is cyclic because the individual moves
or is moved from the clinic/hospital to a religious shrine for rituals or therapeutic ceremonies
at home or vice versa. Herbs, charms, and holy water are even administered to clinic/hospital
admitted patients. In this mode, there is a constant flow of patients among specialists of the
three systems.
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The aforementioned behavioms show that the Manyika people, like various other cultural
groups who share plmalistic medical configurations, learn to use and rely on different aspects
of the prevailing systems of medicine (the concept of mutual accommodation). This makes it
difficult to plot a hierarchy of resorts (treatment options) chrut for the Manyika people; rather
what is impo1tant is to understand factors which influence their choice of specific therapeutic
alternatives. The Manyika people's choice of therapy vruies according to the stage of illness
and the definition given to illness, presumed acceptability, accessibility, and dependability of
a pruticulru medical system. Stigma, agenda, desperation and religious orientation also
influences therapy-seeking ru1d selecting behaviom in no small measme. Unfo1tunately,
because of space, a detailed analysis of these factors is beyond the scope of this article.
Conclusion
The three medical systems that exist within the Manyika medical landscape rue of parrunount
significru1ce in the provision of medical services to the HIV and AIDS patient. Whilst the
biological (natural) interpretations of the HIV and AIDS-related illness requires biomedical
attention, the psychological and spiritual (supernatural) definitions given to the related
ilh1esses require the se1vices of diviner, diviner therapeutist, or faith healer (prophet). As such
the systems occupy an equally significant space. Although a specific system may be primruily
preferred, the Manyika people generally utilise resources from the three medical systems,
sequentially or simultaneously, in their quest to achieve complete healing.
Phenomenologically, they are not in any dilemma, because they systematically negotiate their
way from one medical system into another or use resources from the three different: medical
systems concurrently without seeing the inconsistencies involved and despite the need to
stick to one medical system for ce1tain illnesses.
End Notes
1. Eric M. Aseka. "HIV I AIDS in Africa: A Socio-Cultural Perspective." Accessed August 27,
2011. http://www2.aau.org/aur-hiv-aids/ws/kenyao6/docs/hw.africa-socio-cultural.
2. Paul H. Gundani, "Continuity and Change in the Zimbabwean Religio-Cultural Landscape in
the Era of HIV/AIDS," in Zimbabwe: The Past is the Future, ed. Harold Bany (Harare:
Weaver Press, 2004), 98.
3. James L. Cox, An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion (New York: Continuum
Publishing Group, 2010), 25.
4. Clive Erricker, "Phenomenological Approaches," in Approaches to the Study of Religion, ed.
Peter Connolly (London and New York: Continuum, 1999), 80.
5. Isaac Sindiga, "African Ethnomedicine and Other Medical Systems," in Traditional Medicine
in Africa, ed. Isaac Sindiga et al. (Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers Ltd, 1995),
18.
6. Sindiga, "African Ethnomedicine," 18.
7. Sindiga, "African Ethnomedicine," 23.
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 14 www.rosecroixjournal. or g
8. Gordon L. Chavunduka, Traditional Healers and the Shona Patient (Gweru: Mambo Press,
1978), 52. Gordon L. Chavunduka, Traditional Medicine in Modern Zimbabwe (Harare:
University of Zimbabwe Publications, 1994), 69. Michael Gelfand, Witch Doctor: Traditional
Medicine Man in Rhodesia (London: Harvill Press, 1964), 114. Tabona Shoko, Karanga
Indigenous Religion in Zimbabwe: Health and Well-Being (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing
Limited, 2007), 57.
9. Jude C.U. Aguwa, The Agwu Deity in lgbo Religion: A Study of the Patron Spirit of
Divination and Medicine in an African Society (Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishing, 1995),
21.
10. Aguwa, Agwu Deity, 124.
11. Chavunduka, Traditional Medicine, 69.
12. Aguwa, Agwu Deity, 22.
13. David 0. Nyamwaya "A Case for Traditional Medicine in Official Health Services," in
Traditional Medicine in Africa, ed. Isaac Sindiga et. al. (Nairobi: East African Educational
Publishers Ltd, 1995), 32.
14. Chavunduka, Traditional Healers, 12.
15. Chavunduka, Traditional Healers, 12.
16. Chavunduka, Traditional Healers, 40.
17. Chavunduka, Traditional Healers, 38.
18. Chavw1duka, Traditional Healers, 38.
19. Michael F.C. Bourdillon, The Shona Peoples: An Ethnography of the Contemporary Shona,
With Special Reference to Their Religion (Gwen.1: Mambo Press, 1976), 152.
20. Chavunduka, Traditional Healers, 55.
21. David 0. Nyamwaya, "A Case for Traditional Medicine," 32.
22. Herbe1t Aschwanden, Karanga Mythology: An Analysis of the Consciousness of the Karanga
in Zimbabwe (Gweru: Mambo Press, 1989), 96.
23. Horacio Fabrega, "A Commentary on African Systems of Medicim:," in African Health and
Healing Systems: Proceedings of a Symposium, ed. Stanley P. Yoder. 217-235 (Los Angeles,
CA: Crossroads Press, 1982), 242.
24. Sindiga, "African Et.hnomedicine," 22.
25. Chris Mcivor, Zimbabwe and the Struggle for Health: A Community Approach for Farm
Workers (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations [CIIR], 1995), 34.
26. Sindiga, "African Et.hnomedicine," 19.
27. Nyamwaya, "A Case for Traditional Medicine," 33.
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 15 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
28. Chavlmduka, Traditional Healers, 39.
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Zimbabwe. Gweru: Mambo Press, 1989.
Aseka, Eric M. "HIV I AIDS in Africa: A Socio-Cultural Perspective." Accessed August 27, 2011.
http://www2.aau.org/ a ur -hi v-aids/ws/kenyao6/ docs/h w .africa-socio-cultural.
Bourdillon, Michael F.C. The Shona Peoples: An Ethnography of the Contemporary Shona, With
Special Reference to Their Religion. Gweru: Mambo Press, 1976.
Chavunduka, Gordon L. Traditional Healers and the Shona Patient. Gweru: Mambo Press, 1978.
Chavunduka, Gordon L. Traditional Medicine in Modern Zimbabwe. Harare: University of Zimbabwe
Publications, 1994.
Cox, James L. An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion. New York: Continuum Publishing
Group, 2010.
EITicker, Clive. "Phenomenological Approaches." In Approaches to the Study of Religion, edited by
Peter Connolly, 73-104. London and New York: Continuum, 1999.
Fabrega, Horacio. "A Commentary on African Systems of Medicine." In African Health and Healing
Systems: Proceedings of a Symposium, edited by Stanley P. Yoder, 23 7-252. Los Angeles, CA:
Crossroads Press, 1982.
Gelfand, Michael. Witch Doctor: Traditional Medicine Man in Rhodesia. London: Harvill Press,
1964.
Gundani, Paul H. " Continuity and Change in the Zimbabwean Religio-Cultural Landscape in the Era
of HIV/AIDS." In Zimbabwe: The Past is the Future, edited by Harold Barry, 87- 105. Hamre:
Weaver Press, 2004.
Mclvor, Chris. Zimbabwe and the Struggle for Health: A Community Approach for Farm Workers.
London: Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR), 1995.
Nyamwaya, David 0. "A Case for Traditional Medicine in Official Health Services." In Traditional
Medicine in Africa, edited by Isaac Sindiga, Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha, and Mary Peter Kanunah, 30-
39. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers Ltd, 1995.
Shoko, Tabona. Karanga Indigenous Religion in Zimbabwe: Health and Well-Being. Aldershot:
Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2007.
Sindiga, Isaac. "African Ethnomedicine and Other Medical Systems." In Traditional Medicine in
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The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 16 www.rosecroixjournal.org
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 17 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
A Review on Antigravity, Levitation, Resonance, and Devices Inspired by the
Ouroboros Serpent
Christopher G. Provatidis, Ph.D.
Go directly to the text of the paper.
Abstract
This paper is an attempt to review the state-of-the-art on several physical principles related to
the movement and levitation of objects. Not only normal, but also paranormal, phenomena
are discussed. It is believed that this work contributes to a better understanding of present
technologies and techniques used. Starting from ancient times, the antigravity properties of
the caduceus canied by Hermes in Greek mythology are discussed. Next, strange paran01mal
phenomena related to the levitation of inanimate and living objects are systematically
presented. The meaning of ether and its role in antigravity phenomena is discussed to an
extent. Some magic tricks are discussed. In addition, the philosophical imp01tance of the
nun1ber eight (8), which if rotated by 90 degrees forms the infinity symbol ( oo ), is introduced.
Based on the latter figure-eight shape, a recently announced the01y in physics that shows
promise for antigravity effects is discussed. Apa11 from a better philosophical understanding
of nature, the final technological objective of similar research could be the ability to perfo1m
interstellar crnises in the future.
Une etude sur la notion d'anti-gravite, de levitation, de resonance, et des outils inspires
par le serpent Ouroboros
Christopher G. Provatidis, Ph.D.
Resume
Cet article examine l'etat actuel des connaissances des divers principes physiques lies au
mouvement et a la levitation d'objets. On y presente des phenomenes naturels et des
phenomenes paranormaux. Cette etude pennet une meilleure comprehension des technologies
actuelles et des techniques utilisees. A vec un retour vers les temps anciens, on y traite des
proprietes du caducee qu'Hennes transportait selon la mythologie grecque. Par la suite, on y
presente des phenomenes parano1maux etranges en lien avec la levitation d'objets inanimes et
animes. La signification de l'ether et son role clans le phenomene de l'anti-gravite font
egalement l'objet de discussion. On y parle aussi de certains trncs de magie. Enfin, on discute
de l'imp011ance philosophique du nombre 8 qui, une fois couche sur le cote ( oo ), prnnd la
fo1me du symbole de l'infini. En se basant sur ce dernier point concemant la fo1me du
nombre 8, l'aiticle presente une theorie recente et prometteuse en physique en ce qui a trait
aux effets de l'anti-gravite. Outre l'acquisition d'une meilleure comprehension philosophique
de la nature, un des objectifs technologiques ultimes d'une recherche similaire pounait etre la
capacite de faire des voyages interstellaires clans l'avenir.
Una revision de Antigravedad, Levitacion, Resonancia, y Dispositivos inspirados en la
Serpiente Uroboros
Christopher G. Provatidis, Ph.D.
Res um en
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 18 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
Este ai1iculo en un intento de revisai lo ultimo sobre ciertos principios fisicos relacionados
con el movimiento o levitaci6n de los objetos. No solo se discuten fen6menos normales sino
tambien los paranonnales. Se cree que este trabajo contribuye a un mejor entendimiento de
las tecnologias o tecnicas actualmente utilizadas. Comenzando desde los tiempos antiguos,
son discutidas las propiedades de antigravedad de los Caduceos cargados por He1mes de la
mitologia Griega. Luego, se presentan en forma sistematica, los fen6menos paianomiales
extrafios relacionados con la levitaci6n de objetos inanimados y animados. El significado del
eter y su papel en el fen6meno de la antigravedad se discuten ampliamente, como tambien
algunos tn.1cos de magia. Ademas, se habla de la importancia filos6fica del nfunero ocho (8) ,
el cual si es girado 90 grados f01ma el simbolo del infinito ( oo ). Luego se discute una teoiia
fisica recientemente anunciada que muestra efectos prometedores de la antigravedad y la
fonna del ultimo m'.imero ocho citado. Apaite de un mejor entendimiento filosofico de la
naturaleza, el objetivo tecnol6gico final de investigaciones similares puede ser la habilidad de
realizar viajes interestelares en el futuro.
Uma revisao sobre a Antigravidade, Ressonancia, e Dispositivos inspirados
na Serpente Ouroboros
Christopher G. Provatidis, Ph.D.
Resumo
Este estudo e uma tentativa de revisao da tecnologia de ponta dos varios principios fisicos
relacionados ao movimento ea levitas;ao de objetos. Sao discutidos nao somente fen6menos
nonnais mas tambem paianormais. Acredita-se que este trabalho contribui para um
entendimento melhor das presentes tecnologias e tecnicas utilizadas. Comes;ando desde os
tempos antigos, sao discutidas as propriedades antigravitacionais do caduceus carregado por
He1mes na mitologia grega. A seguir, sao apresentados de modo sistematico os estranhos
fen6menos paianormais relacionados com levitas;ao de objetos inanimados e ai1imados. E
discutido dentro do possivel o significado de eter e seu papel no fen6meno antigravitacional.
Sao discutidos alguns trnques de magica. Alem disso, e feita uma introdus;ao sobre a
importancia filos6fica do numero oito (8), que se girado 90 graus forma o simbolo do infinito
( oo ). Com base na ultima f01ma da figura do oito, e discutido uma teoria recentemente
aimnciada na fisica que mostra o potencial dos efeitos da antigravidade. Alem de uma melhor
compreensao filos6fica da natureza, o objetivo final de pesquisas tecnol6gicas semelhantes
podem ter a capacidade de realizar cmzeiros interestelares no futuro.
Eine Besprechung der Antigravitation, der Levitation, der Resonanz, und der
Verfahren, die durch die Ouroboros-Schlange angeregt werden
Christopher G. Provatidis, Ph.D.
Zusammenfassung
Dieses Forsch1mgspapier ist ein Versuch, den Stand der Wissenschaft in bezug auf
verschiedene physikalische Prinzipien im Zusammenhang mit der Bewegung und Anhebung
von Objekten zu begutachten. Es werden nicht nw normale sondem auch paranormale
Phanomene besprochen. Wir glauben, dass diese Arbeit ztl einem besseren Verstandnis der
gegenwrutigen Technologien und Techniken beitragt. Beginnend in uralter Vorzeit werden
die Anti-Gravitationseigenschaften des von Hermes in der griechischen Mythologie
getragenen Caduceus besprochen. Als nachstes werden eigenru1ige pruano1male Phanomene
im Zusan1menhang mit der Anhebung von leblosen und belebten Objekten systematisch
The Rose+Croix J ownal 2012 - Vol 9 19 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
vorgestellt. Die Bedeutung des Athers und seine Rolle bei Anti-Gravitationsphanomenen
wird besprochen. Einige Zaubertricks werden auch besprochen. AuBerdem wird die
philosophische Bedeutung der Zahl acht (8), die wenn sie um 90 Grad gedreht wird, das
Unendlichkeits-Symbol bildet ( oo ), eingefiihrt. Auf der Grundlage der vorigen Figur der Zahl
acht, wird eine klirzlich angeklindigte Theorie in der Physik, die vielversprechend fur die
Erklarung der Anti-Gravitationseffekte ist, besprochen. Abgesehen von einem besseren
philosophischen Verstandnis der Natur, konnte das endgtiltige technologische Ziel derartiger
Forschung die Fahigkeit zum interstellaren Reisen sein.
1. Introduction
In Greek mythology, the god Hermes was always holding his caduceus, which was a sho1t
staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings (Fig.1 ). There are many
paintings, vases and sculptures on which Hermes is represented holding his caduceus, either
standing or, at most times, flying (Fig.2). A recent dissertation reveals the secret symbolism
of Hennes' caduceus, which "represents the first triad of Linear World Law in the creation of
the DNA of the universe, and the hidden information of energy production at the intersections
of the serpent helixes."
1
Fig.1: The caduceus of Hermes in Greek mythology.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus,
http://img57.imageshack.us/img5717 500/zhuk2si3. jpg)
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 20 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
Ho 1 ~
Fig.2: Several images of Hermes holding his caduceus.
(Sources: fr.wikipedia.org, giantbomb.com, myastrologybook.com, thespiritualsanctuary.org,
wisdompo1tal.com, pottery of fifth century BCE: Rome-Vatican museum.)
The two entwined se1pents are found also in the Oriental world, as shown in Fig.J.
According to a recent publication by the well-known Russian newspaper Pravda, in Oriental
mythology gods have the same distinguishing feature of flying.2 But even ordinary m01tals,
albeit very few, also possess this unique art.
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 21 www.rosecroixj oumalorg
Fig.3: An extension of the Greek caduceus in the
Oriental world.
(Source:
http ://www.gnosisellas.gr/images/stories/2dvvcav. j
Q&)
"For example, Indian Brahmans, yogis, saint hermits, magicians and fakirs master the art of
levitation. The Indian Vedas contain even practical guidelines to levitation. However, most
ancient Indic words and concepts lost their meanings and concepts through the years, which
makes it impossible to translate the priceless ancient text into modem languages. As to
ancient levitators, they could raise themselves up to 90 centimeters above the ground. They
did so because the position with feet above the ground was more comfortable for them in
tenns of their religious rituals. They never levitated to staitle anyone. In ancient times
levitation was practiced in India and Tibet. Buddhist texts say that in 527 A.D. Hindu founder
of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma, visited the Tibetan Shaolin Monastery and taught the monks
to control the body energy, which is a mandatory condition for levitation. Buddha himself
practiced levitation too, as well as his mentor Sammat who could stay in the air for hours."
2
As everyone can understand, the cancellation of gravitation is the main topic to deal with.
Newton (1642-1727) himself often told the st01y that he was inspired to formulate his the01y
of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree. Generally, all heavy bodies tend to
fall onto the ground when they are released. In contrast, light objects such as a feather can be
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 22 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
caught by the wind. Also, during the evaporation of liquid and the sublimation of solid
bodies, the produced vapors tend to rise into the atmosphere, in the opposite direction of the
gravity force.
One centmy after Newton' s death and many years before the great inventions were achieved,
in the second half of the eighteenth century the bright mind of the French writer Jules Gabriel
Verne (1828-1905) captured a great number of these inventions long before their
announcement, including those related to the travel of man to the moon. A second bright
mind is the English writer Herbert George Wells (1866-1946), whose gravity-blocking
substance "Cavorite" is included in his work "The First Men in the Moon. "
3
Both Verne and
Wells predicted the future technologies, including the transportation of man to the moon.
Today their books are considered to be classical (Fig.4).
In simple terms, in order to move obj ects there are three main ways, as follows. The first way
is to use friction, like the motion of the wheels of a car on the ground, like the tracks of a
tank, or like the friction in the legs of a fly on the wall or the ceiling. The second way is to
use the principles of aerodynamics or hydrodynamics, as happens in the lift of helicopters and
airplanes as well as the drag in ships, in which the drag or/and the lift forces are produced by
the circulation of the fluid along the boundary of the object. The third way is to exploit the
principle of action-reaction, as when firing a gun, where the exit of the projectile results in
backward movement of the weapon (principle of conservation of linear momentum).
The aforementioned third way is applied for the propulsion of small space vehicles using
huge rockets. However, the use of the latter is problematic, because a huge amount of energy
is spent for traveling only the first 200 km from the surface of the Eaiih. According to
Wikipedia, "Present-day launch costs are ve1y high ranging from $1 0,000 to $25,000 per [kg]
from Eaiih to low Earth orbit, though some countries subsidize launches to prices neaier
$4,000."
4
Not only that, and not only do the rockets cause contamination of the environment,
but also the interstellar travels are not possible using the present technology.
The Time Machine
H.G.Wells
(a) (b) (c)
Fig.4: The front pages of the books (a) "Extraordinary Travels" by Jules Verne, (b)
Frontispiece in "The Men in the Moon" and (c) "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells.
The Rose+Croix J omnal 2012 - Vol 9 23 www.rosecroixjomnal.org
(Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hetzel front cover.mg,
http: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memnoonfront.jpg,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Timemachinebook.JPG.)
From the above discussion it becomes evident that the novel method of applying a propulsion
force outside the framework of the three aforementioned ways must be a real breakthrough,
which will be something seemingly against the usual physical laws. Preliminaiy findings
based on Einstein's theories ofrelativity have not worked, in the sense that they lead to
extremely low antigravity forces.
5
"
7
As a result, it is quite nonnal that people who wish to
contribute to this breakthrough shall be open minds of high level and proper mentality that
they can challenge the conventional technology and rely on the physics of the future.
We all know that physics is the descendant of alchemy. The evolution from alchemy to
Newton's physics was long.
8
Despite the high level of tmiversity physics, only a small part of
the complex nature has been explored. There are still many paiano1mal phenomena, which
today we sometimes characterize as magic tricks, which have to be understood in terms of
physics.
9
From the practical point of view, if these peculiai phenomena are claiified, then the
space propulsion indust1y may have a great benefit in the reseaich of interstellar trnvels, and
later this technology will be transfened to more terrestrial applications.
For the sake of brevity, in this paper some of these phenomena are roughly categorized in
three broad categories: antigravity, human levitation, and resonance/parano1mal phenomena,
despite the fact that these three te1ms are not quite independent of one ai10ther. Again, it is
only a first rough attempt to put different things in an order.
2. Antigravity
Although antigravity - as knowledge - existed from the dawn of civilization, only recently it
acquired a scientifically theoretical form. The relevant technology, although ve1y impressive,
remained on the sidelines for obscure reasons. But to understand antigravity, we need to first
understand the mechanism of gravity. An excellent treatise on gravity and antigravity, from
both physical and Pihilosophical points of view, was written by David Pratt in 2001 and
revised in 2007.
10
'
1
Moreover, in the following text of this section we review additional
sources,
12

14
which below have been properly extended.
Despite the simplified mathematical models of Newton and Einstein, gravity is hypothesized
not to be an attraction, but a push. The most fundamental particles, which make up matter,
suck ether from all arotmd. The aforementioned movement of the ether to aggregated
material such as the eaiih is the essence of the gravity. Channeling the flow of ether around a
body (so that the ether does not affect the body) can levitate the body so that it becomes
weightless, or rises. The interaction with the ether can be done in several ways, including
sound, magnetic, electrical, thermal, electromagnetic, or even by the power of mind. Of
course, all these indicate a relatively strong direct correlation between the fundamental forces
to link the ether, which is called the "fifth element." However, this theo1y (known as the
"unified field") is still incomplete because there are few scientists working with more than
three dimensions and even fewer accepting the existence of the ether. But what makes the
theory inaccessible to the scientific world is the lack of adequate mathematical formulation.
Maxwell himself, when he worked on electromagnetic theory, made use of quaternions
(numbers of the quatema1y system) and mathematics beyond the thrne-dimensional vectors,
but the scientific community of the time accepted only the vector components and cut off the
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 24 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
"transcendent and fantastic elements." Although the theoretical background of antigravity
lacks a mathematical foundation, its techniques demonstrate efficacy and can surprise even
the most discerning skeptic.
For example, acoustic antigravity is a technique to control the ether flow through sounds, a
technique that seems magical to the observer. But the baITiers between magic and ethereal
science are fuzzy. Fmthe1more, when the sound antigravity was developed it was mainly a
religious phenomenon. In Tibet, the monks had become adept at this and could lift huge
boulders to very high altitudes (200-300 m) very comfortably, even without physical contact.
Their only tool was the feast of haimonious sounds of the prayers that they sang, along with
the som1ds of drums and trumpets. Certainly the noise sources have a special geometiy in
connection with the subject' s head, and the frequencies of the sounds were caiefully selected
to keep the ratio 1 :4:5 (e.g. Do-Fa-Sol). Witnesses of such demonstiations included the
Swede Dr. Jarl (Fig.5), whereas the second case involved an Austrian named Linauer, who
observed them while at a remote monastery in n01thern Tibet during 1930.
11

15
According to one the01y, the gravitational field is nothing but an expression of the electric
and magnetic fields. Therefore, the weight of a body is associated with its magnetic potential.
But since all material bodies have weight, they should be magnetic as well. Of course, the
relationship between weight and magnetic potential is not lineai, while the coITelation is not
bidirectional; since it is real, antigravity can be achieved using only magnetic media.
Unfortunately, the effect of magnetic fields on living organisms (in terms of antigravity) is
ve1y small. For example, for the levitation of a man, a special huge oval magnet of strength
around 40 Tesla is needed; it is worth mentioning that the creation of such a magnetic field
requires the power of about 1 GW, which is aiound three times the energy needs of a laige
island like Crete, Greece.
14


.U.-- ,
T T,_,....,_.
Fig.5: Dr Jarl's sketch showing how Tibetan monks were able to raise stone blocks
into the air using the power of sound (source: From References [
11
] and [
15
]).
The Rose+Croix J omnal 2012 - Vol 9 25 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
At the time UFOs reportedly began to appear in America (194 7), electro-gravity technology
had already begw1 to develop. Thus it made possible antigravity based exclusively on electric
instruments. Five years later, Thomas T. Brown was able to evolve the technology enough to
be practically feasible for antigravity (activation voltage: 50 KV, power requirements: SOW).
The next few years he developed more technology, wrote books on the theoretical
background of the physical phenomenon, which was later called the Biefeld-Brown effect,
and built several flying discs.
16
A mild reaction of electro-gravity is the ionization of air
around the flying crafts, making them look like bold colors that rotate - a pictme swprisingly
similar to the repo1ts of most UFO observers in the USA. Experimental demos of aluminum
foil lifters of triangular and hexagonal shape can be found on the Internet, I ?a for which an
explanation was later given.
17
b On the same topic, very recent scientific publications have
given a full explanation in te1ms of computational fluid dynamics.
18

19
Less popular, but much more interesting, is the caused by heat. Although so far
levitation through the1mo-gravity has not been achieved ,
0

21
Peter Fred
22
claims to have
managed to reduce the weight of an aluminum hemisphere by 2.9% by heating it with 3 KW
infrared for 530 seconds. Additionally, he managed to express the relationship between heat
and gravitational acceleration g for a spherical body as: g = 8nRQIM, where Q is total heat
flux that exits, Mis its mass and R is its radius.
Another way to overcome gravity is by the use of electromagnetic means. This is perhaps the
best-known method and more understandable. In its simplest version it uses crossed
electromagnetic fields.
23
Finally, there is metaphysical antigravity, which utilizes pme human energy. This is a
technique known through esotericism and researchers of the occult. Professor Thury claimed
that there is a strange substance that pe1meates all matter, which he calls psychode, or psychic
"aether.
11
The interaction of the mind over the psrchode exe1ts a force, "ectenic force,"
24
which is equivalent to Crooke's "psychic force."
5
The intended use of that power (in people
with stable and strong intention) or unintentionally (in paiticularly sensitive individuals) can
cause levitation phenomena. This distinction was made by HP Blavatsky,
26
according to
whom the levitation is due to the strongly focused minds of these people.
Of course, there are other techniques, such as that developed by Viktor Schauberger,
27
based
on etheric energy, utilizing the phenomenon of the v01tex. In 1930, the great Austrian-
Ge1man inventor managed to build flying vehicles based on a technique he developed by
investigating this mysterious technology.
16
Unfortunately, after the Second World Wai the
drawings of its machine1y fell to the Americans and his discoveries were bmied in the
postwar silence. In other parts of the world, there were similar inventors who had knowledge
of this phenomenon even though they did not build antigravity machines.
Today, the main contributors in antigravity technology aie:
28
Townsend Brown
( electrogravitics, 1920), Viktor Schauberger (flying saucers, 1929), No1man Dean (Dean
drive, 1959), John Searle (the Searle effect, 1969), Robert Cook (Cook's device, 1980),
Eugene Podkletnov (superconductive materials, 1992), Eric Laithwaite and William Dawson
(1999), Vladimir Vitalievich Roschin and Sergei Mikhailovich Godin (magnetic system,
2000), Boris Volfson, (inflationary vacumn state, 2005), Franklin Felber (antigravity
propulsion and relativistic hyperdrive, 2005), and Jochem Hauser and Walter Droscher
(gravitation space propulsion, 2007). Review papers are [
6
] and [2
9
]. An edited book and a
The Rose+Croix J ownal 2012 - Vol 9 26 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
review paper with compiled information up through 2010 is authored by Marc Millis.
30

31
In
brief, he divides the relevant technologies into three main categories as follows: (i)
propellantless propulsion approaches (26 methods), (ii) faster-than-light approaches (4
methods), and (iii) energy conversion approaches (9 methods). Based on Laithwaite' s
experiments,
32
a new time dilation the01y has been recently repmted.
33
The role of rotation is important, and it has been a matter of inspiration and research. There is
a general feeling that physical laws may be somehow "violated" in rotating systems, and in
any case even simple laws are a matter of interest.
34
There has been some work on relativistic
rotating masses by Browne.
35
The are also a source of inspiration,
36
-
38
although
their capability has been disputed.
3
.40 Also, in all drawings of flying saucers made by Viktor
Schauberger (Fig.6) or those created by science fiction enthusiasts, the rotation dominates
(Fig.7).
41

42
It is worth mentioning that the channel through which the fluid moves, in the area
of the axis of symmetry ofFig.6, is very similar to Hennes' caduceus. Is it by accident so?
Fig.6: A typical flying saucer (Viktor Schauberger).
(Source: http://i44.tinypic.com/kafi42.jpg.)
dol-rslort
c.,1r1pea1 fcrce
Despite the apparent complexity of antigravity, it was and is simple and practical, and of
pruticular impo1tance to humans. The techniques developed rue a strong testament to the
power of humankind and its potential interaction with nature while respecting the
environment. It is not unrealistic (not utopianism) to imagine a world where antigravity will
play the dominant role in the movement of people and the transpo1t of goods on the planet.
It's just a matter of time and maturity.
Fig.7: Flying saucers ofViktor Schauberger
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Schauberger).
(Source: http://www.evgars.com/new page l.htm.)
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 27 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
3. Levitation of objects
Levitation is the process by which an object is suspended by a physical force against
gravity.
43
For levitation on Eruth, first, a force directed vertically upwruds and equal to the gravitational
force is required. Second, for any small displacement of the levitating object, a reh1rning
force should mru1ifest to stabilize it. The stable levitation can be nahlrally achieved by, for
example, magnetic or aerodynrunic forces.
Levitation techniques rue useful tools in physics reseruch. For example, levitation methods
are useful for studies of molten materials because they eliminate the problem of reaction with
containers and allow deep undercooling. The containerless conditions may be obtained by
opposing gravity with a levitation force, or by allowing an entire experiment to freefall.
44
In brief, we can distinguish nine broad categories of levitation in inanimate objects, as
follows: (1) magnetic, (2) electromagnetic, (3) electrostatic, (4) aerodynamic, (5) acoustic, (6)
gas film, (7) optical, (8) Casimir force, and (9) buoyant levitation.
4. Human (Paranormal) Levitation
4.1 General
Levitation in a paranormal context is the alleged rising of a human body into the air by
mystical means.
45
It is generally believed that at present, there is no compelling evidence to
suggest that paranormal levitation is a real phenomenon. The scientific and empiricist
communities traditionally attribute such incidents to tricke1y, illusion, auto-suggestion, and
unseen natural causes.
According to Simon Hruvey-Wilson, who has authored a Ph.D. thesis on human levitation,
46
there are two serious books on this topic. The first is by the French Catholic reserucher
Olivier Leroy
47
and the second is by Steve Richruds.
48
Haivey-Wilson states that,
traditionally, most levitation repo1ts have originated from seven groups: (i) mysticism, (ii)
shrunanism, (iii) people supposedly possessed by demonic spiritual entities, (iv) those
subjected to poltergeist activity, (v) spirihlalism, (vi) people who believe they have been
abducted by aliens, and (vii) mrutial arts such as qigong.
The spirihlalists and religious communities tend to inte1pret mystical levitation as the result
of supernatural action of tuning in to the Holy Spirit, spiritual energy, a deity, or sometimes
resulting from the influence of a poltergeist. Levitation is an aspect of psychokinesis. Y ogic
masters claim that mystical levitation cru1 occur as a siddhi during higher levels of
consciousness, such as mystical raphire, euphoria, or astral projection.
In the traditions of religions, many reports on human levitation have appeared.
1) In Hinduism, it is believed that some Hindu gums who have become siddhas (those
who have achieved spirihlal powers) have the siddhi (power) of being able to levitate.
The power of levitation is called in Sanskrit laghiman (lightness) or dardura-siddhi
(the frog power). It is said that Hindu Sadhus have a history of pruanonnal levitation
and that when one progresses on the path of spiritualism, levitation comes naturally.
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 28 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
Autobiography of a Yogi has accounts of Hindu Yogis who used to levitate in the
course of their meditation. Levitation is said to be possible by mastering the Hindu
philosophy f ~ Yogi Subbayah Pullavar (1936). Shirdi Sai Baba, an Indian YQg!,
is described in the Sri Sai Satcharitra to have mastered the art of levitation while
sleeping, and the Transcendental Meditation movement claim that practitioners of the
TM-Sidhi program of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi achieve what they call "Yogic Flying."
2) In Buddhism, it is recounted as one of the Miracles of Buddha that Gautama Buddha
walked on water by levitating over a stream in order to conve11 a brahmin to
Buddhism. Yogi Milarepa, a Vajrayana Buddhist gum, was mmored to have
possessed a range of additional abilities dming levitation, such as the ability to walk,
rest, and sleep; however such were deemed occult powers.
3) In Hellenism (the pagan religion of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome), according to
the testimony of Philostratus, Apollonius of Tyana underwent heavenly assmnption
upon his death by levitating into Elysium.
4) According to some New Age teachings, it is believed by the adherents of the
Ascended Master Teachings (a group of New Age religions based on Theosophy) that
the Ascended Masters have the ability to levitate.
5) In Gnosticism, Simon Magus, a Gnostic who claimed to be an incarnation of God (as
conceived by the Gnostics ), reportedly had the ability to levitate along witlh many
other magical powers. As a dissenter from the 011hodox Christianity of the time, this
was branded by Christians as evil magic and attributed to demonic powers.
6) In Christianity, there are many Catholic, Roman, Eastern Roman, and Byzantine
Orthodox Saints who claimed to have levitated.
78
They include Saint Bessarion of
Egypt ( d. 466), Saint Francis of Assisi ( 1181- 1226), St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-
1787), St. Joseph of Cupe11ino (1603-1663), St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582),
Ignatius of Loyola (1491- 1556), Saint Martin de Pones (1579- 1639), Blessed
Mariam Thresia (1876-1926), Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), Seraphim of Sarov
(1759-1833), and Padre Pio (1887-1968). In addition to holy persons, there are
reports also for the so-called "Demonic" Levitation in Christianity: Clara Ge1mana
Cele (1906) rep011edly levitated in a rigid position, and the effect was apparently only
reversed by the application of Holy water, leading to the belief that it was caused by
demonic possession. Another example is Magdalena de la Cmz (1487-1560), a
Franciscan nun of Cordova, Spain.
Moreover, many mediums have claimed to have levitated during seances, especially in
the nineteenth century in Britain and America. Many have been shown to be frauds, using
wires and stage magic tricks. The most prolific and well documented levitator (of himself
and other objects) was Daniel Dunglas Home. He was said to repeatedly defy gravity over
a career of forty years. He was reputedly observed levitating out of a building through a
third sto1y window and back into the building via a different window. He could also cause
tables and chairs to rise feet into the air and was never demonstrated to be a fraud by
hundreds of purportedly skeptical witnesses, except one. He remained in full
consciousness throughout these feats, and attributed them to the action of some kind of
magical energy. Home's fame grew, fueled by his feats of levitation. Physicist William
Crookes
49

50
claimed to have obse1ved more than fifty occasions in which Home
levitated, many of these at least five to seven feet above the floor, "in good light." More
common were feats recorded by Frank Podmore: "We all saw him rise from the ground
slowly to a height of about six inches, remain there for about ten seconds, and then slowly
descend." One of Home's levitations occurred in 1868. In front of three witnesses (Ada.re,
Captain Wynne, and Lord Lindsay) Home was said to have levitated out of the third sto1y
The Rose+Croix J omnal 2012 - Vol 9 29 www.rosecroixjomnal.org
window of one room, and into the window of the adjoining room. "It was so dark I could
not see clearly how he was supported" [outside of the three story window]. A
characteristic lithograph of Daniel Dunglas Home is shown in Fig.8.
Fig.8: The levitation of Daniel Dunglas Home at Ward Cheney's house interpreted in
a lithograph from Louis Figuier, Les Mysteres de la science 1887.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daniel-Dtmglas-Home-levitation.jpg.)
Significant information is provided by Helena P. Blavatsky (1831-1891).
26
Her work is
devoted to the Theosophical Society that was established in 1875 in New York, aiming at
studying similar topics. Blavatsky was trained in human levitation and similar feats dwing
her visits to Nepal and Tibet, among other cow1tries. In her work Isis Unveiled, which is full
of interesting notes, she proved to be capable of handling large amounts of information in
many disciplines, not only contemporary info1mation but also info1mation from the distant
past. She was fond of Schopenhauer (1788-1860) and Kant (1724-1804 ). In many places in
her book, she argues against the famous professors F araday ( 1791-1867) and Tyndall ( 1820-
1893), who were both strongly faithful. It is worth mentioning that both professors were
discoverers of diamagnetism, which is the property of an object which causes it to create a
magnetic field in opposition to an externally applied magnetic field, thus causing a repulsive
effect. From her book, one can find extensive literature related to the fight between
conformist scientists and supporters of magic, in which many people were involved (Count
Agenor De Gasparin (1810-1871 ), Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), Roger Gougenot des
Mousseaux (1805-1876), Jules de Mirville (1802- 1873), and Sir William Crookes (1832-
1919), who developed eight possible theories,
4950
et cetera). We also learn that in 1850 the
French Academy established official committees to investigate topics such as human
elevation arid turning tables (rotating tables for which the motion is induced by the mind of a
mentalist), whereas earlier, the Imperial University of St. Petersburg established another
committee under the leadership of the renowned chemist professor Dmitri Ivanovich
Mendeleev (1834 -1907).
The Rose+Croix J ownal 2012 - Vol 9 30 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
Concerning controlled levitation experiments, the only somewhat compelling and thorough
case of controlled scientific tests perforn1ed recently were those of Nina Kulagina, a Russian
"psychokinetic," in the 1960s. She demonstrated the power to levitate small objects
repeatedly under conditions that satisfied Russian, Czech, and American scientists, although
she never levitated herself. She levitated objects such as table tennis balls, wine glasses, and
matches under conditions engineered to make use of hidden magnets, wires, and similar
"tricks" seem impossible. However, two things should be taken into consideration: first, these
feats a.re conunonly reproduced on stage by illusionists, and, second, scientists can be fooled
by tricks of skillful illusionists - as was proven by James Randi's Project Alpha in 1979. In
fact, Kulagina's use of a stick was actually photographed by parapsychologists.
Concerning possible scientific explanation, some physicists think that levitation, if
scientifically confirmed, could be the result of the mind "tapping into" the quantum vacuun1
zero point energy in an altered state of consciousness.
45
4.2 A Skeptical Approach
As stated above, until not too long ago, human levitation was seen as an issue of occultism
and was ridiculed by many scientists. Yet the past four to five years have seen more coverage
both in popular media and in scientific literature. The Russian newspaper Pravda
2
presented a
full ai1icle on Febrnary 29, 2008. It covers the period from Oriental mythology through 1999,
referring to an experiment in Japan. In Japan in 1991, a scientific paper about some
intelligent tricks of human levitation was published.
51
Two other scientific papers from the parapsychological and the consciousness point of view
are [
46

52
] , whereas a quite recent mathematical approach based on geometric topology was
presented by the same Japanese professor who also published in 1991.
53
Concerning older
literature, one of the most compact texts is that of Madam Helena Blavatsky,
26
which has
been translated into many languages.
As mentioned above, the study of the mechanics of magic tricks is ve1y impo11ai1t and may
lead to promising findings.
9
In addition, there aie several technological means to create
illusions.
54
Below we refer to some events the author has identified from Internet sources, events that
have been characterized by some as reality and by others as tricks.
I. Indian trick No.J
Along with the history of levitation, the English professor Steven Connor
55
has described
performances by the Dutch magician Wouter Bijdendijk on 22 October 2007. Bijdendijk,
who perfonns under the name Ramana, hovered cross-legged outside the White House,
apparently without suppo11. An investigation revealed a Dutch TV video that shows him not
only to be cross-legged but also in contact with a vertical beam.
56
Another independent BBC
video revealed that the existence of the ve11ica1 beam is closely related to the secret of Indian
yogis for centuries, which is only a trick.
57
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 31 www.rosecroixjournal.org
II. Indian trick No.2
In contrast, another event is the so-called "Indian rope trick,"
58
which, to the best of our
knowledge, is not a trick. The key point is that the supposed magician uses repetitious music
in order to tune the rope's dynamical behavior with the sound energy. This physical
phenomenon is called "resonance" and is repo1ted even in high school books (of course not
for the Indian rope). When the rope unfolds from the basket in which they have folded it and
assumes a ve1tical position, it becomes so stiff that a small child can climb up it. On this topic
there is rich scientific literature. One of the first papers is by the academician Ilia
Blekhman,
59
but it was written in the Russian language and the English translation appeared
many years later. Examples of relevant Western literature are [
60
-
65
].
/IL The Criss Angel Phenomenon
Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, better known by the name Criss Angel, is an American
illusionist. He is best known for starring in the television show Criss Angel Mind.freak and for
his live performance illusion show Criss Angel Believe at the Luxor casino in Las Vegas,
Nevada in aitistic collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. Criss is also the creator of
MagicPlace.com website, which is billed as a lifestyle portal for all things magic that also
sells his magic kits.
66
In a way similai to Indian trick No. I , in some festive TV programs, we have seen him
levitate above the ground,
67
from building to building,
68
or walk on the water of a swimming
pool.
69
The usual answer is that this is none other than individual or collective hallucination
or delusion. The other possibility is that they may all be tricks, as suggested in relevant
videos [7
12
1 that reveal the aforementioned [
67
"
69
) cheating and entertainment tricks,
respectively.
IV. A Shamanism Trick
Another exam.fie is an Africai1 shainan perfonning levitation,
73
who is debunked by
Trickbusters.
7
5. Resonance and Paranormal
In physics, "resonance" is the tendency of a system to oscillate at a greater amplitude at some
frequencies than at others. These are known as the system's resonant frequencies. At these
frequencies, even small periodic driving forces can produce large amplitude oscillations,
because the system stores vibrational energy. In physics and chemistiy, resonance appears as
mechanical, electrical, acoustic, orbital, nuclear magnetic (NMR), particle, shape, Feshbach,
and Fa.no resonance.
The aforementioned phenomenon extends from physics to many other fields, such as
psychology and consciousness, where there are morphic resonance, limbic resonance,
synchronicity, etc. A branch of physics explores normal and paranormal phenomena like
love, telepathy, etc. Although some scientific papers aie reviewed below, a detailed approach
is outside the scope of this paper, which focuses mostly on technical matters.
What is colloquially called the paiai1onnal, academics refer to as paiapsychology. In his book
An Introduction to Parapsychology, Dr. Harvey liwin (2004) claims that parapsychology's
three basic concerns are "authenticity, underlying process, and phenomenology."
75
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 32 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
Ostensible paranormal experiences have been the subject of continuous scientific
investigation since the founding of the British Society for Psychical Research in 1882. During
this extensive period, certain categories of analysis emerged to become salient within both
the professional discipline and popular culture. These are exemplified by such standard
nomenclahire as extrasensory perception, telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance,
psychokinesis, survival of the human personality after death, and reincarnation (see [7
6
], and
papers therein).
Although the existence of phenomena such as telepathy
77
or remote viewing is not doubted,
skeptics frequently claim that because they are largely internal experiences, they are hard to
define or measure. In contrast, human levitation is clearly visible and hard to fake.
6. Devices Inspired by the Ouroboros Serpent
An extensive analysis concerning the Ouroboros serpent as well as the meaning of the figure
eight (8) and the closely related symbol of infinity ( oo) is provided in Appendix A.
In the sequence, two innovations related to the figure eight shape will be reported.
6.1 Gearless power transmission
Given two separate coaxial shafts, it is possible to determine a mechanical system between
them so as when one shaft turns clockwise the other turns anti-clockwise. This system is
called (mechanical) differential and consists of four gears as shown in [7
9
). The
aforementioned differential device exists in all tenestrial vehicles, from the smallest
passenger car up to the heaviest truck.
After thirteen years of intensive concentration and meditation by the inventor, the Ouroboros
serpent showed the way in the early 1980s. Since the motion should be continuous, the cyclic
and constant motion of the Ouroboros serpent reflected to a concrete design as shown in
Fig.9.
The entire technical study, accompanied by numerous publications in the period 1981-1987,
was reported in 2003.
80
Besides the differential device, the same idea is applicable to
gearboxes and novel motors.
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 33 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
ii II
11 II
Fig.9: Perspective view of the figure eight shaped cam-track disk in a gearless
differential mechanism.
(Source: Comiesy reference [
80
]; it concerns the European Patent Number: 0066122,
USA Patent Number: 4,509,388, Canadian Patent Number: 1195144, Japanese Patent
Number: 1612048, Korean Patent Number: 26451, Spanish Patent Number: 512.403,
Argentinean Patent Number: 228.492, Brazilian Patent Nmnber: 8202966, Australian
Patent Number: 548573.)
The above idea led to a specific device that was successfully demonstrated in the Eurorcean
Exhibition EUREKA (Bmssels, Belgium) in December 1983, where it won first prize.
0
The
next year, October 1984, it was demonstrated in the international exhibition FIAC in Grande
Palais in Paris, France. The late journalist Constantine Stamatiou (1929-1991) wrote in the
daily newspaper NEA
81
(Athens, Greece) that FIAC was a trade fair covering an area of
15,000m,
2
divided into 135 galleries, with 2,950 creative works and 500 creators, where
eve1y kind of "innovation," including devices of pe1petual motion, could be found.
6.2 Figure-Eight-Shaped Antigravity Mechanism
6.2.1 General
The operation of the Ouroboros serpent, and particularly its self-reflexivity, was again a
source of inspiration for another, much different problem, which is the antigravity effect. As
mentioned in Section 2, antigra:vity is a controversial matter that, according to various claims,
can be achieved by several means. A state-of-the-art has been presented in an international
Conference,
82
whereas another paper was recently published.
28
For the completeness of this paper, it is necessary to point out that the idea of using
aggregated masses to produce the so-called ine1iial propulsion is a ve1y old concept. The first
application on record is probably the use of dumbbells (halteres; in Greek : M t ~ p c ~ ) that
have been used in athletic games such as the long jwnp in ancient Greece.
83

84
As illustrated
in Fig. 10 and Fig.11, the jumper holds the dmn bbells by passing his hands through the
openings (the latter shown in the right side ofFig.11), and he rotates them on the ve1iical
plane. In this way the linear momentum of the dumbbells is transferred to the body of the
jumper, thus increasing its velocity and the length of the long jump.
The Rose+Croix J omnal 2012 - Vol 9 34 www.rosecroixjomnal.org
Fig.10: Young boy holding a discus at the
palaestra. Near him, a pick to prepare the
landing ground for the long jump and a pair of
dmnbbells (halteres) used to maintain
equilibrimn during the jump. Interior of an
Ancient Greek Attic red-figure kylix, 510- 500
BC, Louvre Museum, Paris.
(Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Discobolus K
leomelos Louvre Gl 11.jpg.)
Fig.11: Dumbbells (halteres) used in
athletic games in ancient Greece, National
Archaeological Museum, Athens.
(Source:
http:// en. wikipedia. org/wiki/File:Halteres f
rom ancient Greece.JPG.)
Twenty-five centuries later, in the mid-1950s, a US citizen named Norman Dean proposed
the use of two contra-rotating eccentric masses to convert rotary motion to unidirectional
motion.
85
He claimed that in this way one could achieve thmst, thus producing motion of the
object to which this system was attached. Since then, Dean' s mechanism was internationally
named the "Dean drive" or "Dean space drive." This subject attracted the attention of many
scientists, science fiction writers and philosophers.
86
-
90
In the pure scientific domain, from the
book of the reputable Russian academician Prof. I.I. Blekhman, which was translated into
English twelve years ago,
91
we learn that the applicability of Dean's drive to air or space
propulsion has been discussed in two Russian n g u ~ e works. As was previously mentioned,
Prof. Blekhman dealt also with the Indian rope trick.
A brief explanation of the incapability of Dean's drive could be that every rotating mass
passes through a point at a ce1tain velocity; exactly after a whole period of 360 degrees, the
same mass passes through the same point at exactly the same velocity. As a result, the change
of linear momentum is zero. Therefore, since no other external force is exerted, the net
impulse per period vanishes; thus inertia propulsion is not possible. From a different point of
view, when the mass traces the upper half of the circle the conesponding impulse is positive,
while when it traces the lower half it becomes negative (both of equal absolute value). This topic
has been thoroughly studied during the last three years,
92
-
94
while he has recently cooperated to
extend it to its electromagnetic equivalent.
95
6.2.2 Rotating gyros
The first scientific attempt to study rotating gyroscopes is probably attributable to Bruce
Eldridge De Palma (193 5-1997), who was working at MIT as a lecturer in photographic science.
Based on photographic experiments, he claimed to have measured a delay in a falling gyro or an
increase of its maximum altitude in an oblique shoot. His work was published in a parareligion
book.
96
Thi1teen years later, Hayasaka and associates measured a weight reduction of gyros
when rotating in the right direction (spin vector pointing downward);
97

98
he showed that the
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higher the gyro revolutions per minute, the higher the weight loss. This finding was disputed by
many others.
99
-
106
One of the latest papers concerning gyroscopes, and pruticularly Laithwaite's
experiments, is a paper by Wayte,
107
who repo1ted a weight loss of eight percent (it is noted that
the aforementioned loss has been calculated as a time integral of measured impulse of the
reaction force).
In their monograph, the Coneas
108
comment of the controversial findings by some of the
aforementioned reserudiers,
99
-
106
who emphasized that all relevant experiments were conducted
at quite different angular velocities and provided explanations based on the resonances of the
aetherometric mesh.
Moreover, after twelve years of reseruch, Benjamin Solomon
33
concluded that time dilation
can be the source of gravitation effects. He has also presented the hypothesis that time
dilation causes a shift in the center of mass.
For completeness, it is worth mentioning that in the field ofrelativistic physics based on
rotation, the first clear reference to antigravity was made by Forward
5
in 1963, although he
uses findings by Thirring-Lense in 1918-1921 that were translated into English by Mashhoon
et. al.
109
Clearly, when a horizontal ring rotates ruound its vertical axis of symmetry, not only
the usual Newtonian centrifugal force but also axial relativistic force appears; the latter is the
antigravity force. In this context, one of the most recent papers is that ofTajmar.
7
6.2.3 The Physics of the Dean Drive
Concerning the Dean space drive, the results obtained in previous works
92
-
94
show that it
works like a catapult, by transfo1ming the angular momentum of the eccentric rotating masses
into linear momentum of the object. In this way, it is possible for the object to move upwards
like a projectile in a ve1tical upwrud trajectory and then fall down.
As was previously mentioned, the circular path on which the eccentric masses move causes
positive and negative vertical impulses when the mass moves above or below the horizontal
level through the center, respectively. The latter movement cancels the effect of the first
movement and prevents the system from producing a thrnst. Therefore, in order to overcome
the cancellation resulting from the lower part of the motion, many attempts have been
made.
28
6.2.4 The Revolutionary Change in the Shape and Operation of Dean Drive for
Achieving the Selective Cancellation of the Centrifugal Force
As previously mentioned, the inspiration to overcome the cru1celing action of the centrifugal
forces, that is, to selectively strengthen the action of the centrifugal forces in the upper or the
lower pait of the circular path traced by the aggregated masses, came first from the
Ouroboros serpent; a relevant video showing such a "flying" snake is [
110
]. The idea was
fuither reinforced by the motion of the hummingbird (see Appendix B).
The analysis of the figure-eight path, which transfo1ms the circumference of a circle (on
which an eccentric mass moves), is as follows.
The tra.nsfo1ma.tion of the "wrong" circle into a figure-eight shaped pa.th is achieved by
deforming the "circle" in two successive ways. First the "circle" is folded by rotating its lower
prut aiound the ve1tical a.xis of symmet1y, thus producing a crossed figure-eight shape, which
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 36 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
entirely lies on the vertical plane. Secondly, the latter planar path is further bent in such a way
that it lies pe1fectly over the surface of a hemisphere, the latter having a center 'O' and a radius
! These two successive defonnation steps lead to a new, fully tlrree-dimensional, cmvilinear
path that lies entirely above or entirely below the center of the hemisphere; hence it is called a
"figure-eight-shaped" path. Clarifying further, in this final configuration of the mechanism, the
immobile end of every connecting bar is pinned to the center of the hemisphere while the
second end carries the coITesponding mass. Consequently, one could say that, in this way, the
proposed procedure creates a new path on which only the upper half, or only the lower half of
the initially considered circular path, operates. Despite this fact, it has been theoretically verified
that the maximum upward force is equal and opposite to the maximum downward force; thus
anti.gravity is still impossible.
82
The mechanical device capable of producing the aforementioned
figure-eight-shaped path has been presented in [2
8

82

111
] and for completeness, it is shown in
Fig.12.
In brief, the device consists of two electric motors. The first motor produces the figure-eight-
shaped path on which the yellow concentrated masses at the ends of the two rods move; the
trajectory is shown on the right pal1 ofFig.12. The second motor produces a spin of the entire
frame around the ve1tical axis of symmetiy.
It is of particular interest that, if the second rotation is characterized by an angular velocity
that is not an integer multiple of the first one, a non-rational ratio of the two aforementioned
rotations ensures that the mass should never pass through the same point in the 3D Cartesian
space; illustrative simulations for several ratios may be found in reference.
112
In other words,
the synchroni:;ation between two rotations, the first being the 8-shape, is the teclmical
solution to produce mechanical anti.gravity.
Fig.12: The prototype anti.gravity mechanism. On the left, the arrows show the directions of
the two simultaneous rotations, while on the right t11e figure-eight-shaped path is clearly
illustiated from two different views.
(Source: reference [
112
].)
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 37 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
6.3 The Correlation between the Two Proposed Mechanisms
As was mentioned above, both the differential device and the antigravity mechanism were
inspired by the Ouroboros serpent. In the first device, the figure-eight shape is the real curve
that is prut of the cam-track-disk of the differential (Fig.13, left), which aims to transmit the
power from the engine to the wheels. In contrast, in the second device, the figwe-eight shape
is not a pruticulru materialized component but merely the path fo1med by the rotating masses
mounted at the ends of the two rods (Fig.13, right); the vertical center line denotes the
direction towrud which motion can be easily made.
4D
100
i a
100
Yaxis (mml 2!>:1 mo "200 ICO a 100 200 a:;o
Xa'ii:is {mm)
(a) (b)
Fig.13: A comparison between (a) the first (differential mechanism) and (b) the
second (antigravity device) figure-eight-shaped curves.
(Source: references [
80

112
].)
7. Conclusion
This study systematically examined not only vruious theories of antigravity but also prototype
devices that have ach1ally been constmcted. The deep knowledge of physical principles
related to the movement and levitation of objects is a conditio sine qua non for the successful
replacement of conventional rockets and the development of future space vehicles capable of
performing interstellar travel. Despite the strong technological character of the latter need, a
good knowledge of parapsychology is believed to play a significant pedagogical role and
enable enlightened scientists eventually to achieve this goal. Additional inspiration will also
come when trying to decode ancient writings such as those related to the caduceus cruTied by
Hermes in Greek mythology, which was supposed to cause antigravity effects, and also when
trying to mimic nature.
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is called Mehen; this is the earliest known representation of the Ouroboros, and the entire figure,
with its captions, refers to the genesis and the end of time."
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The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 43 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
APPENDIX A
Number Eight, the Symbol of Infinity and the Ouroboros Serpent
A.1 The Number Eight
In ancient Egyptian culture, "four" is the number of totality and completeness. "Eight," as
four doubled, and hence intensified, appears to be used symbolically in some cases, as when
the god Shu created eight heh deities to help supp01t the legs of the goddess Nut in her guise
as the great heavenly cow. The number often appears in relation to Hennopolis, the "City of
Eight," where the eight-deity "ogdoad" led by the go Thoth was revealed.
113
The contextual connection between the number 8 and the name of Jesus is amplified in this,
one of the greatest alphanumeric identities linking the Greek and Hebrew languages to each
other and to the central doctrine of historic Christianity:
114
Jesus The Salvation of our God
I ri aouc;
=888=
1 l i 1 ~ N n111ur
Iesous Y eshoth Elohenu
The many numinous ramifications of this number are discussed in the Gematria Reference
under the Number 888.
In Christianity, the number 8 has the following meanings:
The spiritual Eighth Day, because the number 7 refers to the days of the week which
repeat themselves.
The number of Beatitudes.
The Anti-Christ, the eighth king according to the Book of Revelations.
Also, eight is considered a lucky nmnber in both the Chinese and Japanese cultures.
A.2 The Role of the Symbol of Infinity
It has been previously written that the Tarot fortune-telling card deck consists of seventy-
eight cards and has been traced back to Renaissance Europe. The nineteenth-century French
physician Gerard Encausse, writing under the pen name of Papus, conjectured that the
Egyptian magi may have purposefully created Tarot cards as an alternative way of ensuring
the survival of their sacred knowledge. In paiticular, many taioists teach that Arcana 1
through 10 portray principles governing the creation of the physical miiverse, while Arcana
11 through 21 describe matters relating to human evolution and spiritual development. A
detailed description can be found in [
115
].
The sto1y of creation makes its ttue stait with Arcanum 1. The Maiseilles aicanum depicts a
magician wearing a hat in the fom1 of an infinity sign, whereas the corresponding Rider-Waite
tarot deck is shown in Fig.14a. In a very similai Egyptian fresco, the magus (priest) stands
before a cubical stone altai-, he weais a white robe secured about liis waist by a serpent biting
its tail, the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity and also the symbol for the cosmic ocean,
Nun.
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0
t
,

STRENGTH.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o
(a) (b)
Fig.14: Typical mystical uses of the figure eight or the symbol of infinity, in the
Rider-Waite tarot deck: (a) Arcana 1, (b) Arcana 8 or 11.
(Source: http://i327. photobucket.com/albums/k464/jlehmann1030420/magicianBIG.jpg,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RWS Tarot 08 St:rength.jpg.)
A.3 The Role of Ouroboros Serpent and the Role of Figure-Eight
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail (Fig.15). It often
represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-
creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon
as they end. It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in
or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities that it cannot be extinguished.
The Ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also
been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the
alchemist's opus. It is also often associated with Gnosticism and Henneticism. Cad Jllllg
interpreted the Ouroboros as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche.
116
The
Ouroboros is contained in the Egyptian Book of the Netheiworld.
117
The Ouroboros was popular after the Amama period, the latter marked by the reign of
Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten (1353- 1336 BC) in order to reflect the
dramatic change of Egypt's polytheistic religion into one where a sun-god, Aten, was
worshiped over all other gods.
The infinity symbol ( oo) is also sometimes depicted as a special variation of the ancient
Ouroboros snake symbol (Fig. 15b and Fig.16). The snake is twisted into the horizontal eight
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 45 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
configuration while engaged in eating its own tail, a uniquely suitable symbol for
endlessness.
00
lt'mni!icate: INfl I l''I'
Th" m N ~ l d Formul.1:
Oumboroo<: CTERNIT'I'
SOLVE T COACUIA
(a) (b)
Fig.15: The Ouroboros serpent in two different options: (a) single loop, and (b) figure-
eight-shaped.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Serpiente alguimica.jpg. )
Fig.16: Several figure-eight-shaped Ouroboros snakes.
(Source: http:l/nemetwr.pa-sy-a.gr/2010/05/22/00-00/feminist masonic 8 snake.jpg.)
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 46 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
APPENDIXB
The hummingbird
Hummingbirds are birds that comprise the family Trochilidae (Fig.17). The hummingbird can
hover almost motionless thanks to the extreme elastic deformation of its wings, of which the
tips f01m a figure-eight shape (the entire figure-eight shape is shown better in a video,
whereas only half of it is shown in Fig. 17-right). Hummingbirds possess an extraordinary
capability: in order to hover, a hummingbird's wings move back and fo1th horizontally
drawing a nanow but elegant figure-eight in the air with each full stroke. The stroke is
continuous -like a Mobius strip- which is the symbol of infinity. The hummingbird can
hover for 50 minutes, while moving its wings 53 times per second (approx. 3,000 rounds f,er
minute).
118

119
The interested reader may consult many Internet videos such as those in [
12
].
Fig.17: The hummingbird eating from natural (left) and artificial (right) source.
(Source: http:// en. wikipedia. org/wiki/File: Colibri-thalassinus-001-edit. jpg,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NQv89pCYU8&feature=fvst.)
The Rose+Croix J oumal 2012 - Vol 9 47 www.rosecroixjoumal.org
Science's Mysteries - "This Far and No Further"
Dave Stein
Go directly to the text of the paper.
Abstract
Science and its underpinnings, mathematics and logic, are shaking their own foundations, with
profound implications not only for the scientific method but also for the relationship between
science and mysticism. For example, recent advances in quantum physics, and continual re-
interpretations of earlier findings, are calling into question the notion of the detached observer -
a notion fundamental to the contempora1y scientific method - as well as the reductionistic
approach of attempting to \mderstaud an entirety in tenns of its components.
Other findings indicate that uncertainty, randomness, and inconsistency may be basic to nature,
with pervasive implications for the predictive and descriptive capability of science. Indeed, it is
at the level of the chaotic, quantum substrate that mystical laws may operate. As for science's
foundational mathematics and logic, they rest on axioms that, in a striking parallel with some
Western religions, are unprovable, consensus-based, and ultimately accepted "on faith." Beyond
these gatekeepers to knowledge lies yet another. Stated differently, "This far and no finiher. "
Like religion, science has mysteries that are beyond its reach.
Increasing studies of consciousness, intuitive processes, and some of the healing modalities can
be expected to magnify the limits of reductionism-based science. This is because these studies
generally do not yield the repeatable results that the scientific method demands. It is envisioned
that the scientific method will need to evolve to encompass subjective experiences that have been
traditionally regarded as outside its realm - and that are inherent to mystical teachings and
consciousness research - perhaps staiiing with a framework that recognizes the
interconnectedness of the obse1ver ai1d the observed.
This paper concludes with commentaiy on cultural, social, ai1d academic trends that - in parallel
with developments in science - highlight the limits of reductionism.
Les mysteres de la science - Jusqu'ici et pas plus loin
Dave Stein
Resume
Les notions fondamentales propres a la science, aux mathematiques et a la logique sont remises
en question, ce qui entraine de profonds changements en ce qui touche a la methode scientifique,
mais egalement a la relation entre la science et le mysticisme. A titre d'exemple, les decouvertes
recentes en physique quantique et l'etude constante de !'interpretation des decouve1ies anterieures
entrainent la reconsideration de la notion de l'obse1vateur neutre, un principe fondamental de la
methode scientifique contemporaine et de la methode reductionniste, qui tente de comprendre
l'integralite d'un concept en s'appuyant sur les elements qui le composent.
The Rose+Croix J omnal - Vol 9 48 www.rosecroixjomnal.org
D'autres constatations demontrent que !'incertitude, le caractere aleatoire et les incoherences
constituent la base de la nature, ce qui a des repercussions profondes sur la capacite de
description et de prediction de la science. En fait, c'est au niveau du substrat quantique et
chaotique que les lois mystiques semblent intervenir. Tout comme les mathematiques et la
logique a la base des sciences, ces lois sont fondees sm des axiomes qui, parallelement avec
certaines religions occidentales, ne peuvent etre prouves, sont generalement acceptes et d'une
ce1taine maniere sont fondes sur la foi. Abstraction faite de ces gardiens du savoir, il existe m1
autre monde de connaissances. On y fait reference dans !'expression Jusqu'ici et pas plus loin.
Tout comme la religion, le domaine de la science possede egalement des mysteres encore
inexpliques.
Un nombre de plus en plus croissant d'etudes sm la conscience, sm les processus intuitifs et
ce1taines approches de guerison devraient pennettre de repousser les limites de la science fondee
sur le reductionnisme. Cela s'explique par le fait que ces etudes ne foumissent generalement pas
les resultats repetitifs que recherche la science. I1 est a prevoir que la methode scientifique devra
evoluer afin d'englober les experiences subjectives qui ne sont pas integrees traditionnellement
dans ce domaine, et qui pomtant, font patties inherentes de l' enseignement mystique et de la
recherche de la conscience. Peut-etre faudra-t-il commencer par reconnaitre l'interdependance
entre l'observateur et le phenomene observe.
Cet aiticle se termine pru un commentaire sur les tendances culturelles, sociales et universitaires,
qui parallelement au developpement de la science, soulignent les limites de l'approche
reductionniste.
Los Misterios de la Ciencia, Basta Aqui y No Mas
Dave Stein
Resumen
La ciencia y sus bases, las matematicas y la 16gica, estan sacudiendo sus propios fundamentos,
con grandes implicaciones, no solo al metodo cientifico, sino tainbien en las relaciones entre la
ciencia y el misticismo. Por ejemplo, los recientes avances en fisica cuantica y las continuas
reinte1pretaciones de hallazgos anteriores, estan cuestionando las nociones del observador no
implicado, una noci6n al metodo cientifico contemporaneo, como tambien al enfoque
reduccionista paia tratar de entender la totalidad en te1minos de sus componentes constitutivos.
Otros hallazgos indican que la incertidumbre, la aleatoriedad y la inconsistencia pueden ser
basicas en la naturaleza, con pentrantes implicaciones a la capacidad predictiva y descriptiva de
la ciencia. De hecho, es a este nivel de sustrato cuantico ca6tico que las leyes misticas pueden
funcionar. En cuanto a las matematicas y 16gica fundamental de la ciencia, estan basadas en
axiomas, con m1 paralelo impresionante con algunas religiones occidentales, son imposibles de
demostrru-, basados en consensos y al final, son aceptadas "como actos de fe". Mas alla de estos
guardianes al conocimiento, hay aun mas. Dicho de fo1ma diferente: "Hasta aqui y no mas."
Igual que la religion, la ciencia tiene misterios que estan mas alla de su propio alcance.
The Rose+Croix J omnal - Vol 9 49 www.rosecroixjomnal.org
Se espera que los crecientes estudios sobre la conciencia, los procesos intuitivos y algunas
modalidades de curaci6n, amplifiquen los limites de la ciencia basada en el reduccionismo. Esto
se debe a que estos estudios no producen resultados repetibles que el metodo cientifico demanda.
Se contempla que el metodo cientifico debera evolucionar para abarcar experiencias subj etivas
que han sido tradicionalmente consideradas como fuera de su dominio, y que son inherentes a las
ensefianzas misticas e investigaci6n de la conciencia. Quizas, comenzando con un ma.rco que
reconozca la interconectividad entre obse1vador y lo obse1vado.
Este articulo concluye con un comenta.rio de las tendencias culturales, sociales y academicas que,
en paralelo con los desa1rnllos cientificos, resaltan los limites de reduccionismo.
Misterios da Ciencia-Ate Aqui e Nao Mais
Dave Stein
Resumo
A ciencia, sua l6gica e matematica fundamentais, estao agitando seus pr6prios fundamentos,
com implicas:oes profundas nao somente no metodo cientifico mas tambem na relas:ao entre
ciencia e misticismo. Por exemplo, recentes avans:os em fisica quantica, e reinterpreta9oes
continuas de descobelias anteriores, estao pedindo que o observador tenha uma no9ao imparcial
- uma nos:ao fundamental para o metodo cientifico contemporaneo - hem como uma abordagem
reducionistica na tentativa de entender a totalidade com rela9ao a seus componentes.
Outras descobe1tas indicam que a ince1teza, o acaso, e a inconsistencia sao fatores fundamentais
da natu.reza, com implica9oes difundidas na capacidade descritiva e preditiva da ciencia. De fato,
e a nivel do substrata quantico e ca6tico que as leis misticas podem operar. Quanto a 16gica e a
matematica fundamentais da ciencia, elas pennanecem na hip6tese que, num paralelo
surpreendente com algumas religioes ocidentais, nao podem ser comprovadas, baseadas num
consenso e por fim sa.o aceitas "na fe". Alem dessas posi9oes de conhecimento ainda existem
outras. Declaradas de fom1a diferente, "Ate Aqui e Nao Mais". Como a religiao, a ciencia tern
misterios que estao alem de serem alcan9ados.
0 crescente numero de estudos sobre consciencia, processos intuitivos, e algumas modalidades
de cura tern como expectativa aumentar os limites da ciencia com base no reducionismo. Isto
acontece porque estes esh1dos em geral nao produzem os mesmos resultados repetidamente
conforme exigidos pelos metodos cientificos. Preve-se que o metodo cientifico tera que evoluir
para incluir experiencias subjetivas que vem sendo tradicionalmente consideradas como estando
fora de seu dominio - e que sao inerentes aos ensinamentos misticos e pesquisas sobre a
consciencia - talvez come9ando com uma estmtura que reconhes:a a interconexao do obse1vador
e do observado.
Este estudo foi concluido com comentarios sobre tendencias academicas, culturais e sociais que
- em paralelo com a evolu9ao da ciencia - destacam os limites do reducionismo.
The Rose+Croix J omnal - Vol 9 50 www.rosecroixjomnal.org
Die Geheimnisse der Wissenschaft - Bis hierher und nicht weiter
Dave Stein
Zusammenfassung
Die Wissenschaft, und die Mathematik und Logik, die diese untermauern, zeniittet ihre eigene
Basis mit tiefgreifenden Auswirkungen nicht nur fur die wissenschaftliche Methode, sondem
auch fur die Beziehung zwischen Wissenschaft und Mystizismus. Zurn Beispiel stellen die
neueren Fo1tschritte in der Quantenphysik und dauernde Neuinterpretationen fu.iherer Ergebnisse
nicht nur die Vorstellung eines objektiven Beobachters in Frage - eine Vorstellung, die in der
gegenwa1tigen wissenschaftlichen Methode grnndlegend ist - sondern auch den
reduktionistischen Ansatz des Versuchs, das Ganze auf der Gnmdlage seiner Einzelteile zu
verstehen.
Weitere Ergebnisse zeigen an, dass Unsicherheit, Zufaelligkeit und fehlende Konsistenz
gnmdlegend in der Natur sind, mit weitreichenden Auswirkungen ftir die Fahigkeit der
Wissenschaft vorauszusagen und zu beschreiben. Was die der Wissenschaft zugnmdeliegende
Mathematik und Logik angeht, so bemhen diese auf Axiomen die, in auffallender Parallelitat mit
westlichen Religionen nicht zu beweisen sind, auf Konsens giiinden und letztendlich ,,auf gut
Glauben" akzeptiert werden. Jenseits dieser Torh'i.iter des Wissens liegt noch eine andere Art
Wissen. Anders ausgediiickt, ,,bis hierher und nicht weiter." Wie in der Religion gibt es in der
Wissenschaft Geheimnisse, die jenseits ihrer Reichweite liegen.
Die zunehmende Menge der Forschung tiber das Bewusstsein, intuitiven Elfahrungen und
einige Heilungsmodalitaeten stellen wahrscheinlich die Grenzen der aufReduktionismus
geg1iindeten Wissenschaft heraus. Das kommt daher, weil diese Studieren im Allgemeinen
nicht die wiederholbaren Ergebnisse erzielen, die die wissenschaftliche Methode fordert. Wir
stellen uns vor, <lass die wissenschaftliche Methode sich entwickeln muss, um subjektive
Elfahrungen, die traditionelle1weise als auBerhalb ihres Bereichs liegend angesehen wurden -
und die der mystischen Lehre und der Forschung tiber <las Bewusstsein angehoren - mit
einzuschlieBen. Unter Umstanden fangen wir mit einem Rahmen an, der die Verbindung
zwischen die Beobachter und die Beobachten anerkennt.
Dieses Forschungspapier schlieBt mit einem Kommentar zu den kulturellen, sozialen und
akademischen Trends ab, die - parallel zu Entwicklungen in der Wissenschaft - auf die Grenzen
des Reduktionismus hinweisen.
INTRODUCTION
Like the religions and creation myths that predate it, contemporary science provides a framework
for attempting to understand the universe. Replacing Western religious dogma with a new
consensus-based scientific authority that is grounded in repeatable experiment and observation, it
is itself based on a protocol known as the scientific method.
Contemporary scientific protocol is based, among other things, on the notion of the "detached
observer" or experimenter, who is separate from - and impaitial to - that which is observed. In
this sense, and in other ways, too, it is reductionistic, attempting to understand the whole in tenns
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of the pru.ts. A classic illustration is the notion of "action-at-a-distance" that underpins the
inverse square law equations for gravitational force and electrostatic force. In te1ms of this law,
a mass m
1
"over there" at a distance R "from here" exe1ts a force on a mass m2 "over here";
electrical charges behave similarly.
However, scientific advances are now calling into question the notion of the detached observer,
perhaps rendering him/her an anachronism. Actually, it is not always the advances themselves
that ru.e new; instead, their impacts are now becoming better understood as they ru.e continually
reinterpreted and may well be increasingly pervasive in next-generation science. For example,
since the advent of quantum mechanics, it has become more readily apparent that the process of
observing or measuring something influences the outcome - a phenomenon that is, however,
generally inconsequential in everyday life. In a rough sense, this is because at quantum scales,
the mass-energies used to make the measurements are comparable to the mass-energies of that
which is being measured.
1
But the mechanism of influence does not stop here. The act of
choosing the experiment itself influences the outcome. Case in point: an electron can manifest as
a particle or as a wave, depending on how one chooses to observe it. One cru.1 ru.gue that this
applies in the social sciences and other walks of life as well - even in public opinion polls -
since the answer to a question is often influenced by the way in which the question is framed.
Thus, just how "detached" is the observer or principal investigator?
QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT - THE END OF REDUCTIONISM?
The proverbial plot thickens. Not only does the act of observation influence the outcome; not
only does the act of choosing the experiment influence the outcome - the notion of separateness
or reductionism may itself need to be re-addressed, specifically, in the context of the Einstein-
Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) pru.adox and "gedanken experiment" first proposed in 1935 and
perf01med years later by Alain Aspect (1982).
2
As commonly interpreted, the results of this
experiment challenge the reductionistic notion of "action-at-a-distance," as this would require a
superluminal signal that violates special relativity. Instead, the results suggest an
interconnectedness or " quantum entanglement" that seemingly pe1mits "instantaneous
communication" anlong the pru.ticles involved without requiring the forbidden superluminal
signal. But if the particles involved in the experiment are indeed quantum entangled, then one
might ask how "separate" they are and indeed what "communication" means.
3
To a number of
physicists, the results of this experiment point to a larger "system" whose properties depend on
its entirety and are thus beyond analysis in te1ms of its components - in their parlance,
nonlocality. If so, then how scalable is this notion of larger system, and with what implications
to reductionist-based scientific fran1eworks based on an "over there" and "over here," together
with a seemingly detached observer?
4
More profoundly, if quantum entanglement calls into question the notion of "communication"
and "signal" - perhaps even the notion of separate pru.ticles - then one might ask how scalable
the notion of entanglement is. Conceivably it extends to the macroscopic level and to all things.
Indeed, the eminent physicist David Bohm has postulated that an ''unbroken wholeness"
underlies the seeming separateness of the everyday world.
5
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THIS FAR- AND NO FURTHER
Compounding this challenge are other limitations inherent in science and mathematics, and now
perhaps even in their foundational deductive logic - limitations that scientists themselves have
been among the first to acknowledge. One such limitation is randomness. Quantum mechanics
describes nature as probabilistic as opposed to detenninistic. For example, the radial wave
function for an electron orbiting an atom predicts the probability that the electron is at a distance
ri, r1, r3, etc. from the nucleus of the atom when its position is measured. It does not predict a
specific value for the electron' s distance from the nucleus. Furthermore, the radial wave
function predicts radial distances at which the probability of finding the electron is relatively
high, interspersed with radial distances at which the probability is :::,ero - in other words,
discreteness. During the early years of quantum mechanics, this probabilistic aspect of quantum
mechauics was resisted by no less of a physicist tha11 Albert Einstein himself, who is reported to
have stated, "The theory [quantum mechanics] says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer
to the secret of the ' old one.' I, at any rate, am convinced that He [God] does not throw dice" -
Einstein' s own role in ushering in quantum mechanics notwithstanding.
6
In response, physicist
Neils Bohr, father of the Bohr Theory of the atom, allegedly retorted, "Stop telling God what to
do." Years later, the prominent physicist Stephen Hawking offered his own perspective: "God
not only plays dice but sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen." Hawking' s quote
alludes to the possibility of hidden variables; however, an alternative possibility that is gaining
increasing acceptance
7
is that unce1tainty and inconsistency may be intrinsic to nature and that
indeed chaos may underlie the more predictable orderly macroscopic everyday world - a notion
consistent with the concept of a violently fluctuating, turbulent "quantum foam" as a descriptor
of space-time at small scales, turbulent to the point that directions of space and time lose their
meanings. This randomness, this quantum chaos, may have profound implications for the
predictive and descriptive capability of science - and it is at the level of the chaotic, quantum
substrate that mystical laws may operate.
Further limiting what can be known is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which prohibits
simultaneous knowledge, with arbitraiy precision, of two conjugate variables - e.g., position and
momentum (along the san1e axis), angular position and angular momentum (relative to the san1e
axis ofrotation), or energy uncertainty and the duration of the unce1tainty. Arguably, it does not
make sense to even talk about two conjugate variables simultaneously. The product of the
uncertainties is at best on the order of Planck' s constant, a lower bound. The Heisenberg
unce1tainty principle supp01ts the contention by some physicists that unce1tainty is basic to
nature and that beyond a ce1tain point, nature is unknowable in the objective scientific sense
8
-
again with profound implication for the predictive capability of science.
But it is not only at the quantum scale that the capability to know - objectively and scientifically
- is limited. At the cosmological level, the modem accepted "creation myth" - the Big Bang -
may have an event horizon that puts it forever beyond hun1an reach - a possibility suggested by
the eminent physicist Stephen Hawking.
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BUT NOT EVEN TIDS FAR
Even the mathematics and logic that underpin science itself have their own inherent limitations.
For example, in quantum logic, the Law of the Excluded Middle (i.e., that eve1ything must be
"tiue" or "false") no longer rigorously applies. Taken to the extl'eme, this challenges the notion
of binary, "either-or" thinking - with possible eventual implication to "us-them" thinking and
counterpoint-based identity in eve1yday life.
A further fundanrnntal limit to deductive reasoning - indeed to the axiomatic mathematical
systems that underpin the sciences - is captured by Godel' s theorem, which itself is not exactly
new. According to mathematician Kurt Godel, the consistency of a finite mathematical system is
provable only at a level external to itself, and this in tum argues against the completeness of the
system.
9
In addition to giving rise to paradoxes - e.g., the Barber of Seville paradox
10
- Godel's
theorem represents an inherent limit to axiomatic mathematics and to what can be known or
expressed in te1ms of it. This represents another fundamental limit to deductive reasoning.
Indeed, science, mathematics, and logic are shaking their own foundations.
JUST THE COUNTERFACTS, PLEASE
It is not only new discoveries by which science, mathematics, and logic are "proving" their own
limitations. Continual reinterpretations of old discoveries - even going back as far as Thomas
Young's double slit experiment in 1802- are playing a role as well.
In Young's double slit experiment, photons pass through two slits and impinge upon a screen
(for example, photographic film). If the photons are regarded as electromagnetic waves, then
wave mechanics describes and predicts the alternating bright and dark bands recorded on the
photographic strip, bands that conespond respectively to constiuctive and destiuctive
interference. This is straightfo1ward.
But suppose that the intensity of the photon source is reduced to the point that only one photon is
in transit at a time. Over a period of time, the photographic film still records the interference
pattern that wave mechanics describes! In this case, what is interfering with what, if only one
photon is in tiansit at a given time? What is the "wave" now, except a description of the
statistical distribution of the photon paths? The fact that the interference pattern is still obtained
is the impact of the path not taken - an arguably counterintuitive phenomenon known as
counterfactuality, which has implications for logic and for scientific experimentation. Thus,
counterfactuality can be regarded as the effect, on an obse1vable outcome, of the mere existence
of an alternative that did not actually occur.
11
Continuing, if the experiment is repeated with an attempt made to identify the path through
which each photon passes (e.g., by adding detectors near the two slits), then the interference
pattern is destioyed and the well-known single-slit pattern is observed!
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BEYOND THE HUMAN VANTAGE POINT
Perhaps the most fundamental limitation to what can be known objectively - scientifically - is
the inability to (objectively) transcend the human experience. The universe is unknowable in an
objective, scientific sense independent of human measurements and observations. One might
regard this limitation as an extension of the anthropic principle.
12
SCIENCE - A NEW RELIGION
Scientists have long known that science, itself a means to understand the universe, at best only
describes and predicts; it does not "explain" except in terms of consistency with other accepted
(that is, consensus-based) obse1vations and facts - and as discussed above, the predictive
capability of science is now under assault. At some point, science and the mathematics and logic
that underpin it rest on fundamental axioms and postulates that are beyond deductive proof and
accepted only by consensus and "on faith." In this sense, science differs from religion only in
the level of consensus involved and the source of its authority, replacing religious teachings,
doctrine, and dogma with a consensus-based scientific authority that demands, among other
things, the replicability of experimental results. An additional resemblance is that science, like
some religions, has its own mysteries, the answers to which lie beyond its reach.
AND NOW, PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Although many regard science as a rebellion against religious dogma and the authority of
religious establishments, especially the establishments of "revealed religions," it substituted its
own authority - scientific consensus grounded in results that can be replicated - for the authority
that it sought to supplant. In doing this, it has left little room for the magnified role of personal
experience that is inherent in physics of consciousness research, especially personal experience
that cannot be reliably replicated under seemingly controlled conditions - but that as
"nonconsensus reality"' (Mindell 2000, 25ff, 67, 209, 258ff, 587, 592) cannot be disproven.
Indeed, contemporaiy science is arguably ill-equipped to accommodate anecdotal evidence
beyond evidence aggregated from large statistically-significant population san1ples. Apart from
the influence of subtle energies not yet understood, one possible reason for this non-repeatability
in certain experiments is the mutual influence and indeed the entanglement of the obse1ver with
the observed. From another vantage point, non-repeatability may stem from the chaos and
indete1minacy believed to underlie the more predictable and orderly macroscopic world.
Another mechanism for non-repeatability is the possibility of hidden vaiiables, that is, subtle
influences that aie not taken into account or perhaps not even understood. For example, recent
research suggests a correlation between space meteorology - for example, the variations in the
Schumann resonances with solai activity - and the effectiveness of intuitive processes and some
healing modalities (Oschman 2000, 97-104, 107-110). Other research corroborates the power of
intention, that is, "mind over matter" - results for which vaiy according to test subject and other
influences (Jalm and Dunne 1987, 46, 52, 72; Oschman 2000, 227). Additional subtle influences
that have been proposed are local geological conditions (Oschman 2000, 187) and local electric
and magnetic fields including magnetic shielding (Oschman 2000, 97-98; Higgins 2007; Higgins
2010).
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THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONFLUENCE
Although randomness, uncertainty, counterfactuality, inherent limitations of axiomatic
frameworks, and the demise of the detached observer herald profound changes in the scientific
method (albeit not immediately), these changes are not happening in isolation. Indeed, social
and cultural factors may well magnify the impacts of these limitations. With the increased
interaction among the cultures of the world - for example, via travel, communications,
commerce, and education (including self-development) - there is an increased cross-flow of
ideas, philosophies, and perspectives among peoples, cultures, and regions. In comparison with
cultures generally characterized as "Western," Asian cultures are generally more holistic and less
reductionistic in their approach to nearly eve1ything, including philosophy, religion, medicine,
business relationships, and even warfare. This is underscored by the fact that in contrast with the
individualism that characterizes the United States and parts of Europe, Asian cultures tend to be
more group and personal relationship oriented.
13
A confluence of Asian cultural influences and
advances in particle physics may pave the way for a scientific method that is less reductionistic
than the present one - and indeed the term "particle" itself has a reductionistic connotation.
To this confluence one might add the complex interrelationships among environmental,
economic policy, and business decisions - intenelationships illustrated by ripple effects that
sometimes progress full circle and that are not captured by near-term focused utility functions.
14
One can envision that these complex interrelationships will give rise not only to more holistic
approaches to social issues but also to a way of thinking beyond "us-them" - a way that
synergizes with the complementary holistic framework that is emerging in science and through
Asian cultural influences.
Foresight studies
15
and the organizations that enable and support them might well be a fourth
player in this confluence. By their very nature, foresight studies are holistic and interdisciplinaiy
as they examine the cross-cutting implications of technology advances, social trends, and policy
decisions - implications fai beyond the realm of the academic depruiments that mitrnr the
departments in governments and corporations. Fm1hermore, foresight studies and analyses
requite more than extrapolative thinking - they require discontinuous, nonlineru thinking that
anticipates the othe1wise m1expected events, known in the profession as "wild caids."
THE OUTLOOK
Religion and contemporary science face a common challenge - people rue seeking answers that
are seemingly beyond both. In this quest, an increased role can be expected for personal
experience that is not readily accommodated either by consensus-based religions or by
contemporruy science.
A complete characterization of the scientific method to come would be premature, as "this fru
and no fmther" itself recedes with time. One can be sure that there will be scientific advances
that are not yet envisioned. Like many scientific laws and findings before them, the Heisenberg
unce1tainty principle, quantum logic, counterfactuality, and even Godel's theorem may
themselves be ove1tumed someday, as scientific principles, laws, and discoveries are raiely final.
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Nonetheless, it is reasonable to anticipate a new scientific method that emerges from the seeming
irreconcilability of personal experience and the entangled observer with the scientific method
and consensus-based science- one that encompasses subjective experiences that are inherent to
consciousness research, perhaps starting with a framework that recognizes the
interconnectedness of the obse1ver and the obse1ved. One can expect the new scientific method
to be based on complementary ways of thinking that even challenge traditional notions of
academic authority - experiential in addition to consensus-based, and holistic in addition to
deductive and reductionistic.
Equally premature would be speculation on the remaining "tenure" of the scientific method as
we presently know it. Less disputable is the growing possibility for substantial changes in
scientific protocol.
In addition, mutual eruichment of the physical sciences, cultural cross-flow, the social sciences,
and foresight studies can be anticipated. For example, one might anticipate enhanced awareness
to the complex interdependencies ("entanglements") that characterize social issues - and perhaps
even a re-convergence of science and mysticism.
APPENDIX - THE EINSTEIN-PODOLSKY-ROSEN (EPR) PARADOX AND ALAIN
ASPECT'S EXPERIMENT
Alain Aspect' s 1982 experiment, based on the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen "gedanken experiment,"
demonstrated the quantum entanglement of two particles emitted by a system - the alternative
being a superluminal signal that is forbidden by special relativity. The experiment is based on a
quantum mechanical prope11y known as "spin" (not the same as mechanical spin in everyday
life). Specifically, it is based on the fact that spin is a conserved quantity and that quantum
mechanics permits knowledge and measurement along only one spin projection axis at a time -
for example, left-right or up-down but not both. (Electrons, for example, have spin projections
of D (1/2)(h/2D) where his Planck's constant. For brevity, this is often expressed as D 1/2,
where the signs differentiate between left and right or up and down.) Subsequent measurement
of spin projection along another axis destroys the knowledge gained from the first measurement.
In Ala.in Aspect's experiment, a system--M--emits two particles--A and B--in opposite
directions. As spin is a conse1ved vector quantity, the total spin ofM, A, and B after the
emission must equal the spin ofM prior to the emission. This forces the vector sum of A' s spin
projection and B's spin projection to equal zero. Thus, if A has spin up, B must have spin down.
Until measured, the spin of A and Bare indeterminate.
In one variation of the experiment, the choice of axis against which to measure the spin
projections of pai1icles A and B was made after the particles were emitted and in transit. If the
up-down axis is chosen and a measurement of particle A indicates that it is spin up, then particle
B must somehow instantaneously "know" that its spin must be down. If the left-right axis is
chosen and particle A is found to be spin left, then particle B must again instantaneously know
that it must be spin right. Thus, pai1icle B (not measured) must somehow instantaneously
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"know" to manifest a spin opposite to that of A, relative to an axis chosen after the particles are
emitted. But such an instantaneous communication requires the forbidden superluminal signal.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Groff, Linda. "Intercultural Communication and Negotiation: Insights on the U.S. -
Japanese Relationship," FUTUREtakes Vol. 8, no. 1 (2009), accessed September 10, 2011,
http://www.futuretakes.org/docsN olume%208%20no%20 l /v8nl article2.pdf.
2. Higgins, Shelley. 2007. "The Effect of Magnetically Shielding a Dowser," The Rose+Croix
Journal 4, 45-54, accessed September 12, 2011,
http ://www.rosecroixjoumal.org/issues/2007 I articles/vol4 4 5 54 higgins. pdf.
3. Higgins, Shelley. 2010. "The Magnetic Characteristics of Intuition," The Rose+Croix
Journal?, 13-51, accessed September 12, 2011,
http://www.rosecroixjournal.org/issues/201 O/articles/vol7 44 82 higgins.pdf.
4. Jahn, Robert G., and Brenda J. Dunne. 1987. Margins of Reality. San Diego: Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, Publishers.
5. Mindell, Arnold. 2000. Quantum Mind. Portland: Lao Tse Press.
6. Oschman, James L. 2000. Energy Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone (an imprint
of Harcourt Publishers Limited).
7. Rosen, Stephen M. 2004. Dimensions of Apeiron. Amsterdan1: Rodopi,
As a macroscopic analogy, consider using a the1mometer with a bulb the size of a basketball to
measure the temperature of water in a bathtub. Unless the thermometer bulb and the bathtub water are at
thermal equilibrium at the outset, the very immersion of the large bulb into the water itself changes the
water's temperature, the "accLu-acy" of the the1mometer notwithstanding.
2
See Appendix.
3
An extremely crnde analogy - consider a fish in an aquarium and two observers, each looking
through a separate side of the aquarium. If the observers are somehow unaware of each other's presence,
the movements of the "two" observed fish will be correlated- as one might expect, considering that they
are the same fish!
4
The interconnectedness has a possible parallel with the Ayurvedic perspective of the observer,
the observed, and the process of observing.
5
Interpreted in this context, the New Testament passage - "As ye do unto the least of my brethren,
so ye do unto me" - can be regarded as a quantum mechanical statement.
6
In 1921, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on the photoelectric effect,
a quantum phenomenon.
7
For example, Rosen discusses this at length.
Ibid.
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9
(Actually, this is one of his theorems.) In 1931, mathematician Kurt Godel proved that no
axiomatic mathematical system can prove its own consistency and completeness through deductive
reasoning.
10
It has been argued that paradoxes and pseudo-paradoxes - for example, the legendary barber who
"shaves himself if and only if he does not shave himself' - are inevitable consequences of finite
axiomatic systems.
11
Hypothttical analogy- suppose that the macroscopic world behaved similarly, and imagine a
person driving from point A to point B with a choice of several possible routes. Even if the vehicle is the
only one on the road at the time (such that traffic volmne is not a factor), the mere existence of routes not
traversed influences the driver's experience of the route chosen! The implications of the double slit
experiment, and of the more elaborate similar experiments that followed it, continue to be subjects of
study.
12
In one of its simple fo1ms, the anthropic principle states that the universe is the way that it is
because otherwise we (humans) would not be here to notice.
13
These cultural differences are discussed at length by Groff.
14
For example, employer downsizing in a given geographic area can precipitate ripple effects in
which progressively fewer people can afford any company's goods and services, in tum leading to more
layoffs in a vicious circle sense. A wave of home foreclosmes can result in neighborhood blight,
ultimately impacting the very financial institutions that initiated the foreclosure actions. Pollution in one
part of the world recognizes no geopolitical boundaiies and can have far-reaching impacts across the
globe. Uncompensated ove1time and a workaholic culture entail hidden healthcare costs.
15
Also known as future studies.
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Deriving Maxwell's Equations From An Inspiring Walk In The Hills
Robert Watson and Thomas L. Selby, Ph.D.
Go directly to the text of the paper.
Abstract
An argument in reasoning using only experience is proposed. The aim of this work is to prompt the
reader to step outside conventional boundaries related to understanding our universe and analyze the
world primarily through personal experience. Hindsight is used as an analytical tool to demonstrate the
possibility of this occurrence and references are made to the area of physics and Maxwell's equations.
This work stretches the boundaries of scientific reasoning, both in format and convention, to
demonstrate to the reader the value of one's own experience towards a greater understanding of
physical laws. Phenomena of light are used as a point of interest, but any naturally occwTing
obse1vable would suffice. Simplicity is demonstrated as a fundamental part of the solution, and
reasoning in one's own experience is reinforced. This is done, not in a manner that is meant to replace,
or even challenge, current scientific methods. One of the goals of this work is to assist the observer in
moving beyond what might be believed to be fact, but instead is a limiting factor in the progress toward
understanding something far greater.
Modification des equations de Maxwell a la suite d'une marche inspirante dans les collines
Robert Watson and Thomas L. Selby, Ph.D.
Resume
Un texte argwnentaire lie au raisonnement base uniquement sur !'experience est propose. L'objectif de
ce travail est de forcer le lecteur a aller au-dela des frontieres conventionnelles qui touchent a la
comprehension de notre univers et a analyser le monde principalement a l'aide d'experience
personnelle. Le recours a la distanciation, outil analytique utilise pour demontrer la possibilite de cette
realite, et les references aux domaines de la physique et des equations de Maxwell font l'objet de cet
article. Ce travail permet de repousser les limites du raisonnement scientifique, a la fois la fonne et la
convention, pour demontrer au lecteur la valeur de !'experience individuelle par rappo11 a la
comprehension globale des lois de la physique. Le phenomene de la lumiere est l'un des points d'interet
utilise, ma.is tout phenomene naturel observable qui se produit powrnit etre suffisant. On y presente la
simplicite comme l'une des parties fonda.mentales de la solution et on accentue !'importance du
raisonnement fonde sur !'experience individuelle. Cette argumentation n'a pas pour objectif de
remplacer ou meme de s'opposer aux methodes scientifiques actuelles. L'un des objectifs de ce travail
est d'aider l'observateur a aller au-dela de ce qui peut etre per9u comme un fait, mais qui en fait est un
factew qui freine l'acquisition d'une comprehension encore plus evoluee du monde qui nous entoure.
Derivando las Ecuaciones de Maxwell de una Inspiradora Caminata por las Colinas
Robert Watson and Thomas L. Selby, Ph.D.
Resumen
Se propane wia argumentaci6n de razonamiento utilizando solo la experiencia. El objetivo de este
trabajo es incitar al lector a salirse de su zona convencional del entendimiento con relaci6n a la
comprensi6n del universo y analizar el mundo primordialmente a traves de la experiencia personal. La
The Rose+Croix Journal 2012 - Vol 9 60 www.rosecroixjownal.org
comprensi6n retrospectiva se utiliza como una henamienta analitica para demostrar la posibilidad de
esta ocmrnncia y se utilizan referencias al area de la fisica y las ecuaciones de Maxwell. Este trabajo
amplia las limitaciones del razonamiento cientifico, tanto en fo1mato como en convencionalismos, con
el fin de demostrar al lector el valor de la expe1iencia propia para el entendimiento de las leyes fisicas.
Se utilizan fen6menos de la luz como un punto de interes, sin embargo cualquier fen6meno natural
observable se1ia suficiente. Se muestra la simplicidad como una pa1te fundamental de la soluci6n y el
razonamiento de la experiencia propia lo refuerza. Esto se realiza, no para reemplazar o siquiera
desafiar los metodos cientificos actuales. Uno de los objetivos de este trabajo es ayudar al observador a
ir mas alla de lo que se cree que son Hechos, pero en realidad, se trata de un factor limitante en el
progreso hacia la comprensi6n de algo mucho mas grande.
Derivando as Equac;oes de Maxwell a Partir de uma Caminhada Inspiradora pelas Colinas
Robe1t Watson and Thomas L. Selby, Ph.D.
Resumo
E proposto aqui um argumento sabre o raciocinio de se utilizar somente experiencias. 0 obj etivo deste
trabalho e ale1tar o leitor para ir alem dos limites convencionais relacionados ao entendimento de nosso
universo e analisar o mundo, primeiramente atraves da experiencia pessoal. A perceps:ao e usada como
uma fenamenta analitica para demonstrar a possibilidade desta oconencia e sao feitas referencias a
area da fisica e <las equa9oes de Maxwell. Este trabalho amplia os limites do raciocinio cientifico, tanto
no formato quanta na conven9ao, para demonstrar ao leitor o valor da pr6pria experiencia de uma
pessoa em rela9ao a um entendimento maior <las leis da fisica. Os fenomenos da luz sao usados como
um ponto de interesse, mas qualquer variavel que ocone naturalmente seria suficiente. A simplicidade
e demonstrada como mn.a parte fundamental da solu9ao, e e refor9ado o raciocinio sabre a pr6pria
expe1iencia de uma pessoa. Isto e feito nao de uma maneira que tem como objetivo substituir, ou
mesmo desafiar, os metodos cientificos atuais. Um dos objetivos deste trabalho e ajudar o observador a
se mover alem do que poderia ser acreditado como verdadeiro mas, ao inves, ser como um fator
limitante no progresso em dire9ao ao entendimento de algo muito maior.
Die Ableitung von Maxwells Gleichungen aus einem anregenden Spaziergang in den Bergen
Robert Watson and Thomas L. Selby, Ph.D.
Zusammenfassung
Wir stellen eine vemlinftige Diskussion die nur <lurch Elfaluung basie1t ist, vor. Das Ziel dieser
Arbeit ist den Leser dazu zu bewegen, aufierhalb der konventionellen Grenze unseres Verstandnisses zu
treten und die Welt primar aufgrnnd von personlicher Elfahiung zu analysieren. Der Blick zmiick wird
als analytisches Werkzeug benutzt um die Moglichkeit der Realitat des Vorfalls zu demonstiieren, und
es wird Bezug genommen auf <las Gebiet der Physik und Maxwells Gleichungen. Diese Arbeit streckt
die Grenzen der wissenschaftlichen Dberlegung aus, sowohl in der Grofienordnung als auch der
Konvention, um den Leser den Wert der eigenen Erfahiung hin zu einem besseren Verstandnis der
physikalischen Gesetze zu demonstrieren. Als interessantes Detail werden Lichtphanomene benutzt
aber jedes nati1rlich vorkommende Phanomen worde ausreichen. Als fundamentaler Teil der Losung
wird Einfachheit demonstriert, und was die eigene Erfahiung angeht, sollte bei dieser
Vemunftstiberlegungen verstarkt werden. Dies soll nicht in einer Weise stattfinden dass gegenwaxiige
wissenschaftliche Methoden ersetzt oder auch in Frage gestellt werden. Eines der Ziele dieser Arbeit ist
dem Beobachter jenseits zu Unterstuetzen und zu helfen mit dem was als Tatsache geglaubt werden
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koennte, was aber ein limitirener F aktor ist auf dem W eg hin zum V erstaendnis von was vi el Groesser
ist.
Introduction
Hindsight is a wonderful thing! With this ve1y thought in mind, let's reflect on our present knowledge
and peer into the future of what might be known.
Natural Philosophy
Here will be presented an argument in the spirit of natural philosophy that is not entirely empirical in
the traditional sense. The aim is to guide the reader to question what empiricism actually is and how
these ideas are used today to f01m what is believed to be "hue" in scientific thought. What is suggested
here is provocative heresy, but is to be read with an open mind
7
not because it is to be deemed "right"
or "wrong," but simply because it raises issues and points of discussion which may be ignored by our
modem philosophy of science. In this work, we are not confining ourselves to the philosophies of John
Locke and David Hume (Locke 1894 and Hume 1748), or any scientific "method" based on hypotheses
and rigorously reproducible experimentation. Instead we are looking into nature as our personal
laborato1y and relying solely upon our own judgment of our personal experience. In a sense we are
following our own inner guide and interpreting the world in broader te1ms, which steps outside the
traditional reductionist viewpoint. It is a light-heaited analysis, but it neve1theless raises unanswered,
unasked, questions. By curious paths we shall derive Maxwell's laws defining the physical laws of
electi-omagnetic force (Maxwell 1865), or at least be led to hypothesize them from an almost a priori
aigument just as the Aristotelians would have wanted to do. This is done to challenge the philosophy
of the scientific method and its definition, its self-imposed limitations, its assumptions and
presumptions-but not to replace it. We seek rather to enhance its depth of enquiry and step outside
the box. Indeed, it is a call back to the simple trnth of Aristotle's syllogisms (Smith 1989) as applied to
empiricism, and how this method can be extended to the maximum in the case of fundamental physics.
Let us take a stroll in the hills, let us obse1ve the flow of the eddy the stream, the river, the waves
emitted by a stone thrown into water, their reflection and even interference. Let us sit on the heatl!i at
night and watch the moon and the stars, and planets revolve about us as we obse1ve from the apparent
motionlessness of our position, seemingly oblivious to the angulai motion we are undergoing. Let us
observe the changes in intensity of a camp fire as we add firewood and feel the coITesponding changes
in temperature and sense the coITelation between light and heat. Let us obse1ve the light emitted or
reflected by any source, whether by day or night; the rainbow ai1d its relationship to the Sun as we
inspect a waterfall from different angles; the reflection of our image on the surface of a pool; or the
refraction that disto1ts our depth judgment as we grasp for a fish in the sti-eam. Let us obse1ve a flash of
lightning and the odd delay that the lightning ai1d the thunder present us with and seek to understand
why this delay occurs. Could we desire a better laboratory for the obse1vation of nature than nature
itself? Let us observe all this ai1d see how far we might get with little but pure mathematics, recognition
of the power of empiricism and a little pragmatism to guide us in the understanding of these
phenomena. Phenomena eternally available, or so we must hope, for all humanity to obse1ve, record,
and wonder. Let us apply natural philosophy alone without sophisticated experimental equipment, with
no more accuracy of measurement than one can constrnct with one's hands from forest wood and stone
in a brief sojourn, and the few but powerful laws of nature bequeathed to us by Newton, which in any
case we could prove to ourselves quite quickly with limited tools, assuming we knew the mathematics.
But let us also add another ingredient, a sense of unity in that which we obse1ve, that will manifest as a
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sense of mathematical elegance, and see if it can aid us in our quest for understanding. That is, we will
seek out the simplest or most elegant description, the description that has the greatest explanatory
power.
Whilst this approach is not necessarily a practical way fo1ward for science, the time has come to
reappraise our assmnptions about empiricism, because empiricism, rightly, has become the dominant
approach used to investigate physical reality. Above all it may be possible to learn something from the
methods of the ancient Greeks, and apply a more personal philosophical approach to fundamental
science. In order to do this we will take a fresh look at Newton's laws (Newton 1726),
electromagnetism and other steps in the development of fundamental science. This will be done in a
flash, or a seeming flash, relative to the historical developments that took place in these sciences over
the years, which were long and tortuous, taking decades of work by large numbers of scientists. It will
also be fast relative to any n01mal steps in the process of learning these systems or applying them. We
will move over and through these momentous theories at break-neck speed as if they presented no
hindrance at all, extracting only the philosophical insight we need for our argument. What we are doing
will not therefore be rigorous in the usual sense, and it cannot be claimed to be "proven." However, it
will be an intuitive grasping nevertheless, with its own internal logic and merit. We will in particular
stait with the Newtonian conception of physics.
The Nature of Light
Let us assume that we already know experimentally, or by careful observation of nature, all about
ine1tial frames from a Newtonian conception, that is, elementruy mechanics, and the laws that go with
it (Borowitz 1968). We have two possibilities for inertial frames that make physical sense based on
this, the original Newtonian one and the later one of special relativity (Einstein 1905). Both work with
the data hypothesized, that is a Newtonian limit, and the evidence presented casually by our walk in the
hills. But now let's say we want to fit the phenomenon of light into this framework. Since we can look
at light reflected and refracted, it reasons that it is composed of some s01t of wave made of component
frequencies. If we have any doubts about this, the hills furnish us with ample opportunities to
experiment with waves in water and the play of light on water so as to see the similarity between
reflections and refractions in water and in light. In addition, we can see the beautiful and paradoxical
display of the rainbow, that would require of us some analysis of pigmentation with local flora in order
to unravel the complexity of our own senses. We should not consider too deeply ideas that light might
be corpuscular, despite the fact that corpuscular versus wave models go back to the ancient Greeks, let
us instead tiy to explain only what we can directly obse1ve at this point, and that is waves. Let us
imagine ourselves 300 years ago or more, with nothing but curiosity and nature to guide us, but with
one important historical anachronism, one impossible gift from the future: every conceivable
mathematical and methodological and philosophical tool, eve1y future paradigm without prejudice, so
that we may effo1tlessly select the most appropriate for our needs. But no technology! Instead, our gift
is a rather unfair amount of hindsight.
Methods
What so1t of wave is this phenomena we call light? What can be deduced from our own personal
obse1vations and limited technology?
Light as Phenomena
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We know that some aspect of light can be more or less added, that is summed together. It may not be
absolutely clear that this is in any sense linear, but linearity is a good first approximation, at least for
our sought-for quantity that is hypothesized to underlie the phenomenon of light. There is an assigned
zero intensity, and then there are gradations of relatively higher and lower intensities. There are no
negative intensities because we have referenced, or calibrated, our zero intensity to a fixed scale from
which we will analyze all phenomena. To a first approximation we have, underlying light, something
that can be added together and multiplied by a real number. Secondly this underlying something must
be invariant in ine1tial frames in some meaningful sense-it must therefore be a tensor-in the same
three-dimensional space that we typically observe obj ects; othe1wise all so1ts of contradictions or at
least complexities will arise. Ine1tial frames do not make sense without tensors (Lovelock 1989 and
Bishop 1980) if we are to use generalizations of geomet1y. How arbitraiy (and therefore complex) it
would be for key physical geometrical objects not to be tensors, even in the absence of curvature.
Notwithstanding the fact that Newtonian physics does not really pass this test, with our mathematical
advantages, we must surely look at tensors anyway. This is the unfair advantage we bring with us to
our trek: if we are to see the world geometrically, which is to say, naturally, we must look for natural-
tensorial-descriptions. If necessaiy we might have to change Newton's laws to make it work!-and
this is exactly what Einstein did.
A Geometrical Approach
This geometrical approach is of course a paradigm possible only since Riemann (Reimann 2004 ), and
not actually integrated into science historically until Einstein. And indeed putting such an argument
ahead of that which is understood to be empirical fits no feasible working paiadigm. Historically, and
empirically, it could never have happened like this. Nevertheless, Einstein made this change, although
he based his theories on considerably more robust empirical data than a mere walk in the hills. Thus,
the aigument could have been constrncted from geometrical considerations alone, almost a priori,
without any of the solid evidence that was actually used historically. It could have been proposed from
an aigument such as the one presented here. And this is not something usually discussed by empiricists,
perhaps because it smacks of a priori thinking. But is it?
The combination that is apparent in a rainbow (whether in the sky or a waterfall, as one might observe
from a walk in the hills) is cleai evidence that the underlying "something" directed from the Sun is
constituted from many frequencies also added together in some way. We seem to be at least dealing
with real number fields in this case. It would be difficult to argue at this stage that complex nun1bers or
non-linearity need come into play, even if in some final analysis they do. Let us be both practical and
far-seeing and seek the simplest, most elegant options whilst we still can. That our predecessors chose
simple vectors instead of tensors reflects a partial attempt in this direction, but the tensors of
differential geometiy aie simpler in some sense than the ai'bitiaiy space-plus-time vectors of Euclidean
space-plus-time. To think otherwise is to place a physical notion of simplicity above a mathematical
one. In this physical approach to the world, addition is more complicated than the complex fluid
dynamics of drinking a glass of water. Just ask any child about this difficulty. But mathematically the
opposite is trne. If humanity were more mathematically-minded would it not be clear to the casual hill-
walker that tensorial objects are in fact required?
Given four-dimensional space we must associate light (or the underlying phenomena which we are
hypothesizing) with a tensor on a four-dimensional space. Maybe a vector, maybe a scalai, maybe a
metric tensor, maybe some convoluted gauge the01y- or maybe a differential form (whether in a
Euclidean or Minkowskian/Lorentzian space). So we can at least fix our search space to this
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mathematical region if we wish to develop a first approximation theory of light from our walk in the
hills. We need not bother with cmvature of space-time, unless we consider refraction a function of it.
But this does not tally with our experience of mechanics. In any case the lightning's flash is far faster
than thunder; cmvature does not seem pai1icularly relevant to light.
From hindsight we are cheering the differential f01m tea.in, a specific subset of tensorial objects, which
in any case encompasses the vector and scalar options to some extent. But our hindsight must be
pa1tially put aside for this derivation; we must still find the logical way through to the modem position
if such exists. Any tensorial object at this point is as good as the other, although perhaps we might
favor simple over complex explanations: discounting tensorial objects of greater dimensionality than
four, discounting complex numbers, complex vector bundles, complicated gauge theories and so on. If
it turns out we could obtain two equally valid explanations, we would start with the simple one as a
preference. So pragmatically we can reduce our search to real tensors of no more than rank four,
looking fuither only if no satisfactory model arises, and discounting the more complicated options if
simpler ones work.
Mathematical Models and History
As perhaps calculus was the stumbling-block to the Greeks who failed to derive Newtonian mechai1ics
from their observations, one wonders if the difficult step for scientists in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries with respect to Maxwell's laws might not have been a lack of differential geometry, in
particular differential forms (Kuhnel 2002 and Lovelock 1989). This includes, of course, their
attachment to a practical sense of space and time. They remained wedded to a practical vector
description of electricity and magnetism (or at least a non-differential form description) even until after
Einstein. Yet any sufficiently astute mathematician trained in twentieth-centmy mathematics,
regaidless of experimental sophistication, could reach the point thus described from a mere walk in the
hills. And one wonders quite how much of this need in fact be hindsight after all. Mathematical tools
are powerful things. Perhaps we could imagine a Caitan living amongst the Greeks doing just this and
discussing his mathematical tools with Pythagoras? But doing this we are demeaning the inlpo1tance of
the vast historical development of pure mathematics upon which, in truth, each generation builds only
its small layer. Were it so easy, the Greeks would have at least had Newton's laws. But they didn't.
Nevertheless, such would have been easily within their technological and experimental capabilities, if
any real technology is needed at all-it wasn't the technology that was limiting them in this regaid, and
they weren't far off in terms of mathematical sophistication either. Perhaps even more significant here
is the philosophical position of the modem with respect to the Greek, the faith we have in our
experience that mathematics can, or could, describe all tl1at there is in physical form, and the
confidence and accuracy and plain usefulness that comes from the empirical scientific method which
although available to the Greeks was not so well-developed at that time.
Phenomena, Models, and Simplicity in Reasoning
Where possible, the Greeks preferred the a priori reasoning similar to our walk in the hills (that which
we aie entertaining here). Such a method cannot be advocated as efficient or even humanly possible as
an approach to advancing science. However, there aie mai1y things we have mistakenly thought not
humanly possible only to be later enter1ained and educated by our own ignorance-as many spectacles
of human performance do almost routinely. But let us out of curiosity see just how powerful their
methods could have been, in theory at least, and integrate something from it in our own quest. So, we
must ask, which tensor best describes light-or that phenomenon which we are hypothesizing lies
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behind light? And in which inertial system do we observe: Euclidean or Lorentzian? Our options still
appear wide open.
We can close down these options with a bit of astuteness based on principles already known, and by
appealing to mathematical simplicity. We will want conservation laws to be present in the physical
system governing light, at the ve1y least conservation of energy-this follows from our Newtonian
conception where conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum loom large. There are
many ways to do this with tensors: the metric tensor has zero covariant derivative, the Einstein tensor is
source-free, differential forms have a zero double exterior derivative, that is the derivative of closed
f01ms is zero, and we could add in by hand, aitificially, a conse1vation law defined for almost any
tensor. And given various fwther constraints there are no doubt many other ways-such as the Bel-
Robinson tensor, which is conserved on 4D Ricci flat Lorentz manifolds, and other super-energy
tensors. Of all of these, however, the two simplest and above all self-contained methods aie to consider
either the always-conserved Einstein tensor and the conserved closed differential forms, in that their
exterior derivatives are zero. And it is the simpler possibilities that should manifest in nature with the
simplest consequences, and thus the most readily obse1ved. All the other obvious methods require
additional constraints, they lack naturalness, that is, simplicity and explanatory power, and can thus be
discarded as not appropriate to a first attempt to explain light. The first implication of differential
geometry being, as Riemann understood long before Einstein, that cwvatures of metrics could be open
to consideration as potentially describing reality, such as forces. And he did this on mathematical
elegance grow1ds alone. Thus, even though the Einstein tensor is used to describe gravity (Misner
1973), we cannot assume such a posteriori knowledge, herein. For all we know such a natural tensor
may describe light waves rather than gravity waves-and if we appeal to mathematical elegance from
the knowledge acquired only through our walk in the hills, such a natural way to produce waves must
also be initially allowed in the mix.
In any case we have reduced our search space of the underlying field to a finite list of the "simplest"
possibilities likely to arise on our casual stroll: Einstein's tensor (here given labels) in either (Ei)
Euclidean or (Eii) Lorentzian weakly-curved space or space-times; and 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4-fonns, once again
in either Euclidean or Lorentzian flat space or space-time (labelled FOi, Fli, F2i, F3i, F4i, FOii, Flii,
F2ii, F3ii, F4ii, respectively). And nothing else-if we failed to find a suitable contender for our
description of light using these simplest of options, then perhaps the next step would be an order of
magnitude more complex, essentially intractable search space, at least for our walk in the hills, and
indeed this is the case for modem physics of gauge theories, the search space being so much laiger. In
addition we ought to consider sound waves (Sei/Seii) and transversal displacement (Tei/Teii) waves in
some so1t of "ether", assuming that the conse1vation laws are taken care of essentially by a mechanical
process not incompatible with Newton's laws, as early investigators assumed. Thus we have sixteen
reasonable options at this point. We have at least nanowed the search space to something manageable.
Results and Analysis
Of course in historical tenns we have just waved away most of the history of science in this analysis.
For many decades scientists assumed a corpusculai model of light, let alone reducing the search space
to tensors, let alone again to a few choice ones. With hindsight the path was always there, potentially to
be done in a single wave of the hand, a single bat of the eyelid. Humanly possible? No! Only with the
grossest hindsight is this possible for hwnans-but possible in principle it remains.
A Further Reduction of Options
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In reducing these options we will first see if there are any obvious reasons to discount any, in the sense
that some of the options may be contrruy to observation. Take (Ei) and (Eii) as cases in point. We
discount them because they require that light or some aspects of light distort the paths of other objects
in motion, as gravity waves would. It might of course simply be that the effect is too weak to be readily
noticed, as they rue with gravity waves, but this does not remove the problem: we have another source
of a force that appears to move the paths of all objects- the Earth, and this seems to emit ve1y liittle
light relative to a typical light source, such as say, a camp fire. It must surely be "stuff' or "matter" that
is the source of curvature under these two hypotheses, yet there is no apparent connection between the
Earth, or matter, and light. By the principle, or "sense," of unity, which we have hypothesized, this
whole consideration leads to more questions than answers, both (Ei) and (Eii) can thus be readily
discarded, at least according to our methods. But is this sense of unity justified? Nowhere is a sense of
unity mentioned in any treatise on the scientific method! We must make observations based on
carefully planned and executed experiments and deduce our laws from those results, all the while
taking current scientific theories relevant to that field of investigation into consideration. This is the
nature of scientific investigation. Surely our reasoning here is but exploiting hindsight and knowledge
of general relativity? And of course it is, but where does the fault lie-in our lack of reasoning or our
lack of empiricism? Einstein deduced general relativity from little more in reality than the Michelson-
Morley experiment, no great body of new data at all, and a healthy dose of mathematical elegance. But
it could have been hypothesized just one logical step before even that experiment had been undertaken
in the mid 1800s. And the case here is given to suggest that a tensorial view, coupled with the sense of
unity that that embraces, would have led to it even earlier, such that it could have been apparent even to
the Greeks or, merely from our walk in the hills. This whole question is left as unanswered and maybe
unanswerable, the objective here is to taunt the reader for his sureness of the scientific method, and
maybe lay beru its assumptions. Because hidden deep within it are indeed assumptions, assumptions
about what constitutes evidence and experiment and deduction, and they are assumptions without
proof. They may not be fully correct even though they may work well.
Let us take (Sei/ii) and (Tei/ii) similarly. Either way we must have a parallel system of moving,
oscillating components (as indeed do exist in the fonn of charges), that are to exist as it were in parallel
with our mechanical system of masses and heat/sound vibration. Despite the fact that this is a correct
view of what is actually happening within atoms and molecules, as light passes through a medium, we
will discount it as not satisfying our sense of unity! The criteria of a sense of unity has surely led us
astray. However, a finer analysis shows that this is not tme. For we have discounted options (Sei/ii) and
(Tei/ii) only relative to the other options with which we hope to display a higher degree of unity. And
indeed through Maxwell's laws this will indeed take place. Or to put it another way, equally, we can
accept (Sei/ii) or (Tei/ii) if and when we can find the unifying factor, which will be the electromagnetic
field, and thus the rugument is subsumed by the remaining options. And the remaining options will
prove to be a more powerful stai1ing point- and eventually lead to a transversal model (in some
specific technical sense) of electromagnetic waves. It does not seem here that we are using hindsight,
because the argument has specifically eliminated that which is tme--despite the fact that it has not
eliminated (yet?) that which is more hue. The astute reader will have noticed that by this curious
argument we have already reduced our search space to differential f01ms; a powerful mathematical tool
not available in any state of refinement in the era of Maxwell, let alone our Newtonian hill-walker.
Such a reduction to mathematical elegance is itself promising.
But of course an argument such as this cannot but be tainted with undue hindsight or even artificiality,
it would need to be proven in the lab. But, let us not censor an argument on that account, on account of
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unavoidable impe1fection, we may put fo1ward a hypothesis and test it later. Above all let us not deny
this argument on the basis that nobody would ever have done it like this, that it is historically absurd-
the sheer possibility of such farsighted insight with such little data is all that is being discussed here,
not its likelihood or feasibility, which is as already mentioned not likely humanly possible. As
historical actuality it is quite impossible. Here however, all that is requested is an open mind simply to
follow through the argument and see the point, and then dismiss it as useless or interesting as the case
may be. Of course, any conclusions about the nature of reality from this method would need firm
verification, so perhaps in any case all we are doing is identifying an approach that could have led to a
good hypothesis, rather than a theory- and that may or may not be so. Given such provisos let us
continue our walk in the hills after some time to stop, rest, and think.
Empiricism, Reductionism and Unity
Let us for a moment analyze the foundations of empiricism more directly, not in a negative sense, but
more out of curiosity. The idea that we can observe something and draw conclusions from the observed
data makes total sense, and is extremely powerful. Indeed instrnmentation used to analyze data has
advanced and become more powerful, but is still bound by our own understanding of both the design of
the instmment and our ability to analyze the data the instrnment is producing. While telescopes, lasers,
and computers have extended our understanding, all roads to analysis, and hence empiricism, always
come back to the observer. Further experimentation and hypothesis testing is then possible, and
fundamental to science, enabling a feedback that has more or less led to our understanding of the
world today. But deep in the foundations of this simple, common sense, and conect, practical principle,
lie a few assumptions that should be teased out for inspection: how exactly do we draw conclusions
from data we obtain, regardless of the source? Additionally, is that different from how we should or
could draw conclusions from data from our own experience? In other words, what is the basis upon
which we do and should discern patterns in data and, as it were, join the dots? The answer of course is
as best one can with one's senses and intellect, always seeking simplicity and clarity. But herein lies the
problem: our ability to find patterns is limited by our viewpoint (humanity), even our personal talents,
and what is simple for us may not be simple "objectively," that is, to a more insightful other. Our
concept of what a pattern is, a mathematical pattern in this case (which is bound up with this concept of
simplicity) is defined to some extent by this subjectivity. We may, by utilizing the process of
empiricism, be routinely missing patterns that some other intelligence would deem obvious, or merely
tricky. And indeed that is what is happening when we fail to apply advanced but elegant mathematical
tools, or even more broad sweeping philosophical tools, that do not yet exist or are not yet familiar to
us, despite their potential. By way of analogy, every school child knows how difficult algebra can be,
yet the constrnction of algebra is elementaiy and elegant as a mathematical concept. It is complex from
one perspective, but simple from the other. It is mathematically powerful and elegant, but it is
considered difficult and unnatural. How many more systems in our universe have this prope1ty? How
much more the mathematical basis of relativity, fan1iliai in detail to no more than 1 in 10007 Thus, at
the very root of empiricism lies the concept of mathematical elegance, something difficult to define,
and indeed elusive by its ve1y nature; the ultimate truth of which must always lie beyond our grasp.
And it is argued here, though this cannot be proven, that this is a part of the concept of a "sense of
unity" as applied to the physical world to which the aiguments here defer. Or to put it another way,
seeking any pattern in nature is an implicit search for unity. The concept of unity being either (i) alien
to modem empiricism as conceptually too a priori, or (ii) a part of empiricism only via our humanity,
that is, as a human endeavor rather than an "objective" one. Either way, empiricism is not quite the
same product as that which it is sold to be: pure objective rationalism. That does not exist, unless one is
able to set aside any and all viewpoints prior to investigation.
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We have here a fundamental criticism of a philosophy often used in science, which, while not strictly a
pait of empiricism often dominates it: the mindset of reductionism. What is proposed here is nothing
less than a philosophical .reason within empiricism why science should leave reductionism behind as a
useful but now potentially misleading doctrine, or as a tool to be used, but not to be assumed in all
cases. That reductionism is limited and may miss key interpretations that observed data in fact
suggests. That reductionism by itself is a false assumption based on ai1 over simplification of
empmc1sm.
Discussion
What then of experimentation when reductionism is questioned? How does one investigate the
fundamental laws of nature, and learn about the Universe around us, without devising carefully
executed experiments that are isolated from any chai1ce contamination that might bias the results (that
is, without sepaiating the elements reductively)? Additionally, is it possible to consider the principle of
Unity while carrying out experiments in isolation? Are these not contradictions that arise once
reductionism is challenged?
The idea of Unity is, by definition, not reducible to anything other than itself At the same time, it
includes all components. However, we, the obse1vers of this elegant universe, have throughout history
drawn boxes aiound natural phenomena and named the components inside for our own benefit,
somewhat artificially. We create definitions that need to be expanded upon later, or need fuither
mathematical treatment to be considered more accurate than the same measurements of yeste1year. We
have measured the speed of light to great accuracy, yet in aieas that aie new to us, such as daik matter
and daik energy, our previous conceptions of matter are once again defied. We devise the limitations
and boundaries of our world, and then investigate fmther to remove them. An open mind and the search
itself is the resolution of these contradictions. There can be no rule to say how one must search
however, or how best to have an open mind. For if one knew, it would not be a search, and the mind
would be already closed.
So, in this spirit let's continue our walk, we have tan-ied long on our hill top, and it is getting late and
darkening as we reach the dusk of our day's journey. Let us keep our minds open if we dare, and our
ideas free from chains if we are strong enough and of keen wit. From the grand vistas of the hills, we
plunge now into the forest of details, where differential fonns lurk in the shadows of the mathematical
wilderness ...
A Closer Look at Details: Differential Forms
We have in fact been led, albeit via long and vaiied paths, to surmise the impo1tance of differential
f01ms from eve1yday obse1vations. And we may go further still. By noting the direction of lightning as
having three dimensions of extension, we aie looking for a 3 vector to express the force. Herein lies a
problem: how do we get a 3-vector out of differential forms? In fact we have the same problem for
gravity, but in this case we cannot discount cmvature and we would be led by parallel arguments to
general relativity, and the gravitational field as a 3-vector as a limit via the Einstein tensor of
Lorentzian spacetime. There are two ways out (i) the electric force isn't a 3-vector at all but really a 4-
vector and (ii) that the 3-vector isn't so much a 3-vector but three components of a 2-foim, distributed
as is the case in fact in the Faraday or Maxwell tensor, where three of the available components aie
taken by the electric field, and three by the "magnetic" field. We might ask, why go to this latter
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complexity when we could just have the force as a 3-vector arbitrarily placed or appended to space as
was done by Maxwell? And the answer is simply that we are looking for a more fundamental
explanation and the unity that comes from looking at, and for, genuinely natural mathematical objects,
that is, genuine simplicity, not human simplicity. Thus: a 4-vector, yes, but a 3-vector, no. Or, let us say
that a 3-vector makes sense with respect to Newton's laws, so that we in fact have some sort of
displacement going on (as indeed with the charged ion in lightning), and we are led via a previous
argument (the one regarding transverse waves) back to a search for the underlying field, in terms of the
"simplest" possible mathematical objects, regardless. We would have to be looking at 4 vectors or
differential forms, and the only way to make that work will turn out to be the Lorentzian signature of
special relativity.
So, we now have two options (or four including both the Euclidean or Lorentzian variants). We can
discount the O-fo1m (a simple real numbered function) as insufficient to code the three dimensionality
of our sought-for force, although it could be the potential of our 1-fonn force. And we can discount 4-
fmms for the same reasons. The application of a "magnetic" field in a 2-form is possible without any
loss of explanato1y power, as a transverse wave uses up only half its available dimensions for
oscillation (it uses only one of the two available axes). But with greater numbers of components this
possibility reduces, or at least becomes far more complicated. We should first look for an explanation
in tenns of the electric field being described by a I-form (as this offers the simplest model). Failing
that, in terms of a 2-form (as indeed is the case). Discounting 3-forms only in that they are subsumed
into 1-fonns as their hodge dual.
And perhaps the point of this tall tale at this point in our jomney is that the concept of genuine
simplicity can be humanly complex, for although such perception as presented here with hindsight is
quite possible, as said previously, no human being would ever likely have done things like this from the
outset. Yet the argmnent continues.
At this point we can strut to think about the Euclidean space plus time model (somehow represented by
a 4D manifold), ru1d the only viable and straightfo1ward mrulifold alternative in 4 dimensions, that of a
3+ 1 Minkowskian/Lorentzian space-time as in special relativity. Now, given that we are looking at
fonns (a l-fo1m or a 2-form) to describe relativity, we must ask, if the case is Euclidean: what has
happened to rotations from space to time and how do they represent changes of coordinates? We have,
perhaps without knowing, simplified our reasoning into a trap by assuming differential geometrical
objects, whereby the Euclidean model becomes m1tenable, and special relativity must result. The
rotation from space to time has been brushed under the carpet, as an impossible maneuver. From a
differential geometry perspective, Euclidean space plus time was a "complex" mathematical strncture
from the outset, regardless of how our brains are wired to understand it. That is, space and time as
understood by Newton and Euclid are not single geometrical objects, but some more complicated
convolution. Mathematically the unification of space ru1d time in relativity, in a Lorentz manifold,
makes a priori sense, and is fru simpler in a deeper sense. The Greeks could have stumbled upon it with
a bit more mathematical sophistication by almost a priori reasorung, but history left it to a more
technological society rooted in the other side of the same coin: empiricism. How much better to
combine both, as perhaps Einstein and others did. Could this use of such a syllogism, of synthesizing
two sides of the same coin, two seeming polru opposites that rue in fact one, be the key to breaking into
new paradigms?
Maxwell's Equations as a Result
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We are now left with strictly two options: a l-fo1m or a 2-form description of electric force within
special relativity. The first would conespond to a scalar potential, the second to the vector potential of
electromagnetism. We need to generate a wave, for which the simplest way for the 2-form is Maxwell's
laws: in terms of the 2-foim F, it is simply that the exterior derivative of the hodge star of F is O; i.e.
Maxwell's laws without source, which we know suffices, and that ample radiative solutions exist for
our purposes. We notice that the simplicity comes from the fact that both F and *F are 2-forms, an
occurrence that only happens for 2-forrns in 4 dimensions. Finally applying the same hope to a l-fo1m
force field, we observe no such simply apparent wave solutions. That possibilities exist is tme without
a doubt, but they are somewhat forced and require more "complexity" than the simpler Maxwell's
equations. It is as if with Maxwell's equations the universe has chosen the only possibility available to
it in te1ms of "simplicity," and mat11ematical elegance. At least given t11e data provided by a walk in
hills. If one sees a few dots on a graph approximating a curve, one is empirically justified in lining
them up, but the same thing can be said for far more mathematical objects than our limited brains are
programmed to naturally perceive. Joining the dots of our observations of our walk in the hills, we
might declare: "differential f01ms, tensors and a Lorentzian space-time metric." The fact that reality
might comply with or be subject to such reasoning, or even allow us to constmct such reasoning with
hindsight, is peculiar. Yet this peculiarity comes from our own difficulty in perception, our own
labeling and classifying, our reductionist ways. It is an aitifact of our own thoughts. It is like being
frightened by our own moonlit shadow as we exit the forest and start on the path back home.
What Have We Gained?
We have, despite much success with Maxwell's laws, not yet been led to hypothesize the Lorentz force
law or the paiticle nature of the electron, or the non-existence of monopoles, or many other things
fundamental to electromagnetism. The success presented here in devising an argument that appears to
naturally lead to Maxwell's laws seems not to go any fmther. But Maxwell's laws (albeit source-free in
this case) are far enough for the purposes. Perhaps it would be better to say that even if it did go further
(as it may well, after all: cannot one look at the embers of a fire and consider their the1modynamics
staiting from Newtonian mechanics alone? Might not this lead to the quanh1m of action?), we would
need in any case to test our deductions, to finally obtain empirical certainty from what would otherwise
remain mere supposition based on astute obse1vations. That is, what in any case remains is the need to
do some tangible experiments and prove what we have smmised from obse1vation, something at which
modem science already excels. But yet one still wonders how far astuteness alone can go in fo1ming
hypotheses, and what this tells us about the real nature of empiricism. How the two sides of syllogism
can be better hainessed. Seeing a simple pattern in data from an observation is not in fact a matter that
is necessarily simple at all, for mathematical simplicity may hmnanly appear complex, even impossibly
complex, at least at first, and nobody can be tmly sure that at any one moment we are not simply being
blind to a deeper simplicity of reality, an alternative joining of the dots, that makes far more sense.
Perhaps it is this that one is looking for in the development of new fundamental physical theory,
however much it must be (and it must be) confirmed by further experimental tests? In sh01t, the basis of
the analysis step of empiricism is that ve1y mathematical elegance that could othe1wise be criticized as
unempirical, the method the Greeks tried to use without sufficiently developing experimental work. But
at the same time that does not prevent such reasoning from being a powe1ful guide, the complementary
other side of the coin to supplement an experiment. And although one could criticize the Greeks for this
one-sided approach, this would be unfair by any human measure, and would show our cultural one-
sidedness too, rooted in practical technology, because in theory at least the Greeks might have
developed further their analytical methods to compensate, as exemplified by the argument presented
here. And at the same time modem science could learn from a more tmly philosophical approach to
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fundamental science, that is, we could take on board the philosophy of the Greeks and discover new
powerful theoretical and philosophical tools in the process, and it may be that it is exactly a move
towards such a heightened and inspired approach that is needed to break the cmTent dead-lock between
quantum mechanics and general relativity that seems cmTently so intractable to experiment or even
standard theoretical speculations.
Conclusion
Thus we return by evening from our walk in the hills having crossed much interesting, sometimes
difficult, yet always beautiful tenain, and feeling greatly inspired. And considering the work we have
m1dertaken, feeling strangely rested. Our path now takes us home via familiar and pretty lanes, the
sight and smell of flowers and fields, the distant sight of houses and the surprisingly friendly and
welcoming presence of man and toil. We cast our eyes up to the heavens, and contemplate how the
stars seemingly so insignificant and equal are each a distinct and vast world unto themselves separated
from each other as much as from us by inconceivable distances. We glance back briefly at the hills and
the forest and wonder where we have just been. And then again the Milky Way carelessly sprinkled
above, we pause to imagine what strange paths may take us there tomorrow. For one journey is but the
logical extension of another, long journeys but extensions and continuations of sh01ter ones.
But not today, as we reach the threshold of familiar lands, and streets; here our brief walk in the hills
reaches its end.
References
Aristotle. Prior Analytics. Translated by Robin Smith. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1989, 8- 16.
Bishop, Richard L and Samud I. Goldberg. Tensor Analysis on Manifolds. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications,
1980.
Borowitz, Sidney and Lawrence A. Bornstein. A Contemporary View of Elementary Physics. New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1968.
Einstein, Albeit. "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Korper." Annalen der Physik, vol 17 (1905): 891.
Hwne, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 1748. http://www.gutenberg.org.
Kiihnel, Wolfgang. Differential Geometry: Curves - Surfaces - Manifolds. 2nd ed. Providence, RI: American
Mathematical Society, 2002.
Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Vol. 1. 1894. http://www.gutenberg.org.
Lovelock, David and Hanno Rllld. Tensors, Differential Forms, and Variational Principles. Mineola, NY:
Dover Publications, 1989.
Maxwell, James Clerk. "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field." Philosophical Transactions of the
Royal Society of London, vol. 155 (1865): 459-512.
Misner, Charles, Kip S. Thome, and John Archibald Wheeler. Gravitation. New York: Freeman Publishing,
1973.
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Newton, Isaac. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated by Andrew Motte. New York: Daniel
Adee, 1729.
Riemann, Bernhard. Collected Papers. Heber City, UT: Kendrick Press, 2004.
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Rebuilding the Bridge Between Science and Mysticism
Paul J. Werbos, Ph.D.
Go directly to the text of the paper.
Abstract
Prior to 1600 or so, science and mysticism were mutually suppo1tive, complementary approaches
to advancing human evolution. However, most of the recent scientific work on consciousness
and neuroscience has weakened the level of connection, and even led to harmful stereotypes
about what mysticism actually is. This paper reviews that background, and provides a brief
introduction to new developments in mathematical neural network the01y , including a model of
intelligence aud mind which is fully compatible with mysticism (at least of the Pythagoreau or
Stoic schools). It is hoped that this new bridge between fields will help raise the appreciation of
mysticism, and assist in its long-te1m mission of fostering the fullest flowering of human
potential, including mind, body and soul.
Reconstruire le pont entre la science et le mysticism
Paul J. Werbos, Ph.D.
Resume
Avant les annees 1600 environ, la science et le mysticisme etaient per9us comme des approches
en interaction et complementaires a l'evolution de l'homme. Toutefois, la plupart des travaux
scientifiques recents sur la conscience et la neuroscience ont affaibli cette interconnexion, creant
ainsi des stereotypes dommageables lies a la veritable nature du mysticisme. Cet aiticle aborde
cette question en plus de presenter une breve introduction des nouvelles avancees liees a la
theorie mathematique des reseaux de neurones, y compris un modele de !'intelligence et du
cerveau entierement compatible avec le mysticisme, a tout le moins avec les ecoles de pensee de
Pythagore et du stoi'cisme. Esperons que ce nouveau pont entre ces deux domaines pe1mettra une
meilleure appreciation du mysticisme et contribuera a la poursuite de son objectif a long terme
visant l'epanouissement du plein potentiel humain, notamment celui de l'esprit, du c01ps et de
l'fune.
Reconstruyendo el Puente entre la Ciencia y el Misticismo
Paul J. Werbos, Ph.D.
Resumen
Hasta antes de alrededor del aiio 1600, la ciencia y el misticismo se apoyaban mutuamente,
siendo enfoques complementarios paia el avance de la evoluci6n humana. Sin embargo, recientes
investigaciones cientificas sobre consciencia y neurociencia debilitan el nivel de conexi6n y
hasta llevan a estereotipos dafiinos sobre lo que realmente es el misticismo. Este aiticulo analiza
los antecedentes y proporciona una breve introducci6n a los nuevos desaiTOllos de la teoria de
redes neuronales matematicas, incluyendo un modelo de inteligencia y mente, el cual es
completainente compatible con el misticismo, al menos con las escuelas Pitagoricas y Estoicas.
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Esperamos que este nuevo puente ent:re campos ayude a elevar el aprecio del m1stic1smo y
ayudar en su misi6n de largo alcance de fomentar el florecimiento del completo potencial
humano, incluyendo mente, cuerpo y alma.
Reconstruindo a i g a ~ i f o entre Ciencia e Misticismo
Paul J. Werbos, Ph.D.
Resumo
Antes de mais ou menos 1600, a ciencia e o misticismo se apoiavam mutuamente, com
abordagens complementares sobre os avan9os da evolu9ao humana. Contudo, a maioria dos
trabalhos cientificos recentes sobre consciencia e nemociencia enfraqueceram esse nivel de
conexao, e ate levaram a estere6tipos prejudiciais sobre o que e reahnente o misticismo. Este
estudo revisa este contexto hist6rico e fornece uma breve introdu9ao sobre os novos
desenvolvimentos da teoria de rede nemais matematicas, incluindo um modelo de inteligencia e
mente que e totalmente compativel com o misticismo (pelo menos nas escolas pitagoreanas ou
estoicas). Espera-se que es ta nova ponte entre estes can1pos ajude a aumentar a valoriza9ao do
misticismo, e ajudar na sua missao a longo prazo de promover o pleno florescimento do
potencial humano, incluindo a mente, o corpo e a alma.
Die Brilcke zwischen Wissenschaft und Mystizismus wiederaufbauen
Paul J. Werbos, Ph.D.
Zusammenfassung
Vor dem Jahre 1600 haben sich Wissenschaft und Forschung gegenseitig untersttitzt und waren
einander erganzende Ansatze bei der schreitend menschlichen Entwicklung. Jedoch hat die
meiste gegenwa1tige wissenschaftliche F orschung tiber <las Bewusstsein und die
Neurowissenschaft den Grad dieser Verbindung geschwacht und sogar zu schadlichen
Stereotypen daiiiber, was Mystizismus eigentlich ist, geftihrt. Dieses Forschungspapier sieht sich
diesen Hintergrnnd an und liefe1t eine kurze Einfuhrnng in die neuen Entwicklungen in der
mathematischen Nerven-Netzwerktheorie, einschliefilich eines Modells der Intelligenz und des
Geistes, <las vollstandig vereinbar ist mit dem Mystizismus (wenigstens der pythagoraischen oder
der stoischen Schulen). Wir hoffen, <lass diese neue B1iicke zwischen den wissenschaftlichen
Bereichen die Wertschatzung des Mystizismus erhoht und ihn in seinem langfristigen Auftrag
der Fordernng einer vollkommenen Entfaltung des menschlichen Potentials, einschliefilich Geist,
Karper und Seele, behilflich ist.
The Big Picture
For centuries and centuries, mystery schools such as the Rosicrncian Order and its Asian cousins
have provided exercises and disciplines aimed at enabling people to develop the full natural
capabilities of the body, mind and soul, with a strong special emphasis upon the soul. But in
recent decades, many scientists have found it ever more difficult to reconcile what they learn
from science with the very idea of soul. There have been many efforts to build a kind of weak or
fuzzy treaty between the world of mysticism and the world of science. There have been a few
promising images of how they might fit together in a more useful and substantive way, such as
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the Gaia hypothesis and the work ofTeilhard de Chardin, but the hard-core study of mathematics
and the brain has been ever more difficult to reconcile with the pursuit of mysticism. Until now.
The goals of this paper are: ( 1) to review a new understanding of the mathematics of intelligence
in the brain which has emerged from research in neural networks,
1

2
and (2) to suggest a simple
augmentation or extension of that understanding, which is not only consistent with mysticism,
but provides a new basis for appreciating it, strengthening it and increasing its ability to achieve
its fundamental goals.
Of course, there are many varieties of science and of mysticism which are not compatible with
each other. The very words "science" and "mysticism" mean very different things to different
people. The twentieth century Anglo-American school of philosophy rightly stressed how often
people can become lost i.J.1 totally meaningless arguments when they assume different or fuzzy
definitions of the words they use, and are not really careful about definitions and common sense.
The next section will describe what I mean by "science" and by "mysticism" - or, in other
words, what kinds of neuroscience and mysticism are ready for a new partnership.
This paper will make little or no effort to try to persuade people who have made fundamental
personal commitments to varieties of mysticism, science, religion or ideology which rule out this
kind of partnership, or people whose experience is not yet rich enough for them to see the need
for it (as I once was myself). This is necessary here for two reasons: (1) there is a huge number
of such varieties on earth, well beyond what a single journal paper can discuss in detail; (2) there
are fundamental limits to the power of words alone i.J.1 liberating people from prisons which they
construct for themselves at the nonverbal level of their mind.
2
Nevertheless, I do remember quite
clearly the time when I did not have enough experience to j ustify believing in the soul, and I
remember how strong and valid the arguments were against the soul, before my own personal
experience compelled me to become open-minded and then to grapple with a much larger base of
experience. After that experience, to deny the soul would be a gross exercise in denying reality,
as crazy as denying or opposing the existence of grass or trees or the feelings I share with my
wife. Most people take different paths to becoming open-minded, but I will make a few
comments about my own path, for the benefit of those readers who may be groping with similar
issues.
The first person approach in this paper would be unfamiliar both in traditional forms of
mysticism (where removal of "I" and of "the little self' is an imp01tant exercise) or in non-
normative objective science.
3
But in the new synthesis,2 we vigilantly respect the distinction
between what we can learn, scientifically, from the database of shared experience which all
humans can agree to, versus what we can learn from the larger database of experience in "first
person experience." Both are an important part of human culture. There is an analogy here to the
relation between non-n01mative social science, and modem rational policy research, which can
benefit each other but are quite distinct and legitimate social intellectual activities.
Science is simply not ready yet to affnm the existence of the soul based on evidence which all
humans can agree to. Thus the relevant data and tentative conclusions do need to be qualified by
the word "I," or even by specific names, in order to avoid the pretense that these are matters
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which we could all agree to even if we had a perfect ability to infer the implications of our
limited experience.
Many scientists and people striving for human progress would also object strongly to the
hierarchical foims of organization which have been inherited from the past in all ancient schools
of mysticism and religion. Of course, similar concerns apply to the issues of modernizing
universities and corporations.
4
The Rosicmcian Order has often discussed the need for 108-year
cycles of decay and rebirth, in order to avoid the kind of entropy which has been seen in many
large historic organizations. Lewis
5
played a major role in consolidating and enhancing the
heritage of Rosicmcians and other schools of mysticism, in a way which served as a kind of tool
or augmentation for the rest of society, including the highly decentralized and democratic
stmctures of Quaker meetings. The development of new foims of organization and c01porate
culture is an important area for research and for policy, but it is well beyond the scope of this
paper. This paper will mainly focus on science and mysticism as systems of ideas.
This paper is mainly written for those readers who are open-minded and free enough that they
can seriously ente1tain the possibility of a new integration of science and mysticism. It will begin
by portraying a picture of what science and mysticism are really about, as systems of ideas, in
the modem world. Though I am not cmrently a member of the Rosicrucian Order or of any other
school of mysticism East or West, I feel great gratitude for what these schools have provided to
me and to others in the past, and a need to highlight the unique impo1tance of the heritage which
they offer to us all. I also feel great gratitude for what I have learned from the Rosicmcian
writings and actions of Raymond Bernard and Christian Bernard (filtered of course through my
own consciousness), but those subjects are also beyond the scope of this paper, which is aimed at
a level of experience which, while not universal, is more consciously familiar to a larger
audience.
Science, Mysticism, and the Rosicrucian Order: A View of the General Background
Science and ]l,fysticism in General
Years ago, a great controversy empted when Webster's dictionruy included a "definition" of
"Jew" as an avaricious and evil sort of person. Similar definitions of words like "mysticism" and
"sustainability" have become very common, and are often defended as axioms by people
committed to attacking those concepts. However, mystics - like Jews and people committed to
sustainability - have some right to their own concepts and traditions, and to the use of the word
which refers to these core concepts. Here, when I refer to "mysticism," I will basically be
refeITing back to the ve1y first sentence of this paper. Here, "mysticism" refers to systems of
disciplines and exercises which attempt to enhance the first person experience of life, in order to
advance the full natural flowering of the body, mind, and soul, with a special emphasis upon
attaining the full maximum potential of the soul. It is about direct experience, first and foremost,
and not about words. The rose symbolizes that flowering.
Mystery schools have existed and have learned from each other for untold centuries, all over the
world. It is hrud for me to refrain from saying more about that incredible hist01y here.
Nevertheless, the modem form of mysticism as reflected in the Rosicmcian Order was strongly
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reshaped by the maj or change of culture in the West from about 1300 to 1600, which will be my
starting point here.
Circa 1300, intellectual debates in the West all ultimately raised the questi on: "How is it that we
can know anything at all? What is the foundation of knowledge, the ultimate rock we can depend
on?" Some said The Book, and developed elaborate henneneutic reasoning attached to The
Book. Some said "Authority - ultimately, the living embodiment of Christ, the Pope." Some said
Pure Reason, which generally ended up being some interpretation of Aristotle. He1meneutics,
Aristotle, and the Pope all contributed to the Great Inquisition, and to the enforcement of rigid
doctrines such as the doctrine that the eai1h is the center of the universe. Dangerous abenations
of politics like that continue to this day, in the West and elsewhere.
But in those days, new thinkers like William of Ockham pioneered a new approach, which took
direct experience as its foundation. We each as individuals ultimately have two foundations we
can build upon- the histo1y or time-series of eve1ything we have seen or sensed directly, and the
full use of our intelligence (which includes both deductive reasoning and inductive learning,
verbal and nonverbal, mathematical and nonmathematical). Our ability to learn from experience
depends on certain basic principles such as Ockham's Razor which science is now beginning to
understand fai more precisely.
1

6
In natural life we rely heavily on using that natural leaining
ability long before we understand it more objectively; with full self-awareness, we express that
natural ability to its fullest, and our scientific understanding of it supports its operation.2
This new emphasis on the empirical approach led to two strong new cunents of culture, both of
which initially flowed together. There was the "scientific method" as promulgated by Francis
Bacon, which grew into the great scientific revolution, later analyzed by historians such as
Kuhri
3
. Kuhn defines "science" as the exercise of two or three basic disciplines - the full use of
intelligence to leain what we can from experience, and a focus on what we can learn from
shared, replicable experience such as laborato1y experiments. There was also the reinvigorated
Rosicrucian Order, also supported by Bacon at the same time, with auxiliaiy organizations such
as Scottish Rite Freemasomy strengthening the eff01t to take a more modem and liberated
approach to life in general, not just to science. Visiting the dining hall and chapel of Trinity
College of Cainbridge University, one can easily enhance one's feeling for the truly powerful
rivers of thought which flowed from there (ai1d still flow in various ways). In the world of
religion, the Society of Friends (Quakers) worked to create a similai revolution, and there were
imp01tant connections at times between all of these traditions. H. Spencer Lewis,
5
for example,
worked intensely through at least three of these channels, in his effo1ts to advance human
evolution.
A certain degree of secrecy was necessaiy at times, unfortunately, because of powerful groups
committed to murdering people who think for themselves. Historians have noted that Leibniz
resigned loudly as a secretaiy of a Rosicrucian body, in protest against that policy, and he is
well-known to have been in conflict with Newton. But for purposes of this paper, the ideas are
what matter, not the historical personalities.
All these traditions ultimately rely on the full use of intelligence and leaining from experience to
enhance our understanding, as a foundation for our spiritual development and as a channel for its
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expression. The main difference is that science, as a special niche in our society, focuses on
shared and "replicable" experience, while mysticism consciously tries to address the full range
of first-person experience. In a sense, science is like poet:Iy - a ve1y specialized discipline,
defined by the constraints it imposes in order to achieve a certain kind of power or effect.
Mysticism is like prose, which is more inclusive. The two will never be the same, since different
databases of experience lead to different inferences, but they can learn from each other and shar e
concepts. Mysticism in this sense includes science as one part of its database.
Preliminary Journey from Science to the Soul
But now I must move on, and make a sharper distinction.
Science actually has some ability to reach beyond the laboratory, and correlate neural network
mathematics with those types of first-person experience which anyone can see fairly easily.
Science can make sense of Freud' s concept of "sanity" and of Confucius's concept of "integrity"
as inte1preted by those Confucian scholars who do not believe in the soul at all.2
At a time when I did not believe in the soul at all myself, I could easily see the logic of ttying to
achieve that kind of sanity or integrity. I tried to understand intelligence in the brain, in part
because I knew that greater integrity would allow me to be far more effective in using my mind,
but also because I felt that a better understanding of this mathematics would help us get rid of
wrong ideas about the soul which cripple people and cause wars and other problems on a large
scale. Like most of the other founders of the neural network field, I was deeply excited by one of
the two books which launched the neural network revolution, by D.O. Hebb.
7
Hebb argued that the probability of soul or of paranormal abilities is ve1y low, despite laboratory
evidence which would be convincing for any other theory about the mind, because of the strong
prior probability against the idea. Sagan has popularized this line of thinking by saying
"extraordinary claims r equire extraordinary justification." Hebb argued for a low prior
probability, based on the apparent physical impossibility of those kinds of connections between
hun1an minds and the l arger universe. All of this rested heavily on his understanding of the laws
of physics.
Ironically, the effort to achieve greater integrity and to understand the brain was one of the main
causes of life experience which forced me to change my position. (Other causes may include
some kind of genetic predisposition, and concern for the fate of humanity as a whole.) That was
not the intention, but the effect was evident. In truth, it happened in stages, as one thing
happened after another. But one very unmistakable experience of quoting a speech before it was
given
8
made me resolve in 1967 that I would henceforth be open-minded. I did not immediately
accept the existence of paran01mal effects or of the soul, but in Hebb's language-I adjusted my
likelihood function enough that I resolved to be truly open-minded, and to assume a kind of 50-
50 attitude towards the possibility of soul and paranormal phenomena. I also resolved to not let
this get in the way of my clarity of thought or effectiveness, and to work hard to understand just
what was really going on here.
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Of course, many people have not yet reached that point. That is why mysticism is not for
eve1yone. The pursuit of sanity or integrity really should be for eve1yone, and is legitimately
something to pursue through the shared channels of science and general culture.
2
It is also ve1y
important as a preparation for more serious mysticism, because lapses in sanity which may be
haimless in eve1yday life can become fai more serious when amplified by the power of the soul.
But in essence, mysticism is there to provide a path for those who are ready to move beyond
what is shared by everyone. It takes the discipline of sanity, and extends it to a larger domain of
expenence.
Back when I was open-minded and groping for deeper understanding, in 1973 or 1974, I
obtained a copy of the simple booklet from AMO RC, Maste1y of Life. Mai1y of my schoolmates
at Haivard would have been ve1y turned off by that book. For example, I knew proud
intellectuals whose pride would lead them instead to things like the Order of the Golden Dawu or
Gurdjieff, which use big words and provide great play for he1meneutics. The simple common
words in Mastery of Life were in many ways the direct opposite. Yet because of my trnining in
pure mathematics, I understood the importance and power of concise statements put in the
simplest possible te1ms. Also, I had had lots of experience with people saying they didn't
understand my equations (including PhDs on the Haivaid faculty!), urging me to find ways to
say complex and tricky things in words that people could understand. Reading that little book,
caiefully, and t1ying to read between the lines as deeply as I could, in a quiet meditative
environment (as the book itself called for), was ve1y encouraging to me, and I decided to go
fuither, in order to learn more. Even though I could not fully tmst other people's accounts of
their first-person experience, I felt I should do what I could to learn as much as possible from the
experience of other people, from all times and cultures.
To be honest, I should note that Mastery of Life was certainly not the only thing I read or learned
from in those tinles of groping. For example, I probed into other schools, and I also probed into
paiapsychology.
9

10

11
Yeais later, I was intrigued to see how certain types of mental discipline
11
were also cmcial in the most successful efforts along those lines in the West; however, because
those eff01ts addressed the cognitive aspect of integrity, but not the emotional or affective pait,
and were not as well-grounded in understanding the phenomenon, they were limited in many
ways in what they accomplished.
Before going on, I should mention another aspect which raised my interest in the Rosicmcian
Order. In trying to understand what could possibly explain my personal experience, and how to
rebuild my understanding of reality, I immediately realized that my experience to date was still
far too limited to answer most of my questions. I knew I could find lots and lots of theories about
the soul, from dozens of sources which I could not fully tlust (in pait because of how much they
contradicted each other, and in pait because of obvious political and historical biases). Also, I
ah-eady began to feel that our inner nature calls for us not only to understand the soul, in
intellectual te1ms, but to strengthen it and express it in life. This is quite different, of course,
from believing in the soul or invoking it as an excuse for things we want to do for mundane
reasons. I ce1tainly did not want to tum into a "spiritual couch potato," the kind of person who is
furiously loyal to some theories, like a football fan who is furiously loyal to one team, and claims
to worship physical activity, even as he spends his life on the couch swilling beer, watching other
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people exercise on television, as his own body, mind and soul all slowly deteriorate away to
nothing.
But how could I expand the database of experience, and get more reliable hints from the more
direct experience of others? In late 1972, when I was regularly visiting the libra1y of the Harvard
Medical School to read books about the brain, I also read through all the back issues of the
Journal of the American Parapsychology Association - which were interesting, but only got me
so far. At one time, my housemate (a Harvard anthropologist) showed me a simple book, entitled
something like "How to Help Yourself with ESP," which I might have rejected with contempt
just a year or two before. But then I was intrigued by the fact that it contained a number of very
straightfo1ward exercises or experiments, which I could t1y for myself, drawing my own
conclusions. I had no interest in whether the book was ultimately hue or false, and I did not
approach this with any kind of slavish devotion to the book; I was detennined to t1y to see as
much as I could for myself, using the book as a kind of hint about where I might get more access
to these phenomena. Two of the exercises did work out for me, with some adjustment, and
helped me begin to appreciate the need for a wider perspective. I then began to realize how much
I needed to work with others, drawing on the best that had emerged from cenhiries and centuries
of exercises and experiments.
The beginning monographs of AMORC stiessed the need to build two foundations first, before
going too far into the most serious exercises or experiments. They stressed the need to try to
develop understanding, first, as a basis for action, and the need to develop a kind of deeper
et11ical balance (which basically con-esponds to integrity). This happens through at least two
spirals. The key position of this paper is that to progress still further, we need to spiral around
these foundations one more time, and deepen the understanding and the ethical foundations still
fui1her. The next section describes the basics of how new science can contribute to this.
Neural networks, the Brain, and the Soul
Science, mysticism, and Quakers are all "big tents." They all understand that progress requires
respect for a diversity of views. The unification proposed here is not such a big tent; it draws on
particular strands of mysticism and of science. On the mystical side, it draws on the Pythagorean
and Stoic viewpoints, which are among the strands which continue to exist within the
Rosicrucian Order.
5
Of course, the mathematics available to the Pythagorean view has advanced
quite a bit over the past two thousand years.
In the Pythagorean view, mysticism and the soul have nothing to do with the supernatural or with
"miracles" which violate the laws of nahire. They are governed by the laws of nahire, just like
the mundane side of life. "As below, so above" (or vice-versa). The laws of nature can be
understood in mathematics, in principle, even though we still do not know them completely yet,
after thousands of years of serious progress which has yet to reach fulfillment.
In this view, mysticism is not about escaping reality or escaping from t11e complexities of life. It
is the exact opposite. It is about strengthening one's sense ofreality, and one's demand for
realism. It is about opening up to a much larger reality, embracing all of what we see eve1y day
with our mundane eyes but also embracing more, and doing our best to create a harmonious
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balance - such as the "alchemical marriage" - between the elements of that large and complex
reality. The sheer complexities of real life can be ve1y overwhelming at times, and even
frightening (especially if one sees some of the dark thoughts which exist in our world); however,
for the tme mystic, it feels safer to be in the light than to be in the darkness, even if what one
sees poses difficult challenges, and even if one cannot cope with eve1ything at once. Mysticism
is about strengthening soul, mind and body, so as to better rise to these challenges.
The best survey data now available
12
suggests that a majority of productive PhDs have had the
kind of personal experience which leads them to go beyond the simple mundane view of life
which I believed in as a teenager. Most often, they are frightened by that experience, and revert
to fonnal religion as a way to acknowledge but also to avoid that experience. The true mystic -
like Heisenberg, Schrodinger and DeBroglie - faces up to the situation, and acts on the fact that
they would feel more secure in the light than in the darkness.
Even though I criticized some of the wrong uses of Aristotle, the Stoic tradition and modem
science both have a great debt to some of his better ideas. Aristotle proposed that humans are
born with some inner sense of "telos,'' some sort of inborn purpose, which we see simply as
following natme in the pursuit of "happiness," which is basically how we sense "telos." These
ideas stimulated the philosophy of utilitarianism, by philosophers like John Stuart Mill and
Jeremy Bentham, which tried to express Aristotle's basic ideas in a more mathematical and
consistent way. Finally, the great mathematician John Von Neumann developed a concept of
"cardinal utility function,'' U, which led to the new formulation which I have pioneered.
2
The new mathematical understanding of mind is still a big tent, in a way. It certainly does not
require belief in soul or in mysticism. But it also makes full room for it, and provides a vehicle
for the fuller expression of mysticism.
For those who prefer pictures or equations over words, I will first copy over the two most
important figures in my recent reviews,
1

2
and then explain only a few of the most basic aspects
of what they mean.
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Figure 1. How we actually reverse-engineer the brain with mathematical neural networks and
make use of what we learn.
Mouse-level
General
1 Generation In telligence
Universal
Figure 2. Mathematics reveals levels and levels of consciousness
13
or intelligence, based on ever
more universal underlying principles.
For hard-core mathematical science in this centmy, the number one challenge is to "reverse
engineer" the higher- order learning abilities of the smallest mammal brain, the mouse, as
illustrated in Figure 1. We now know the principles which make this possible, but the work
needed in education, follow-through, implementation and application is ve1y great.
1

6
From
building on what we know from the mouse, science also has a foundation for better
understanding the hmnan mind and human potential, in a more qualitative way.2 That second
stage takes us to the top of the mow1tain in Figure 2. The new mathematics makes perfect sense
for those who would be happy to stop at the top of the mountain. However, there are certain
limitations apparent even in the most refined and cultivated human brain which learns to emulate
the top of the mountain. In my view, first-person experience and mathematics both tell us that
there is still another level of mind, beyond what we can actually see in the mundane individual
brain. At the present time, first-person experience and the strengthening of the soul and the brain
are the main vehicles we have to better understand that next level - though we also have work to
do in improving our knowledge of the underlying laws of physics.
14
,1
5
But even so, all levels of
intelligence or mind have important things in common.
Aristotle described mind as an aspect of the "fonn" or organization of the cosmos, not as a kind
of substance. All mind must have a foundation in some kind of substance. When we look at our
world with mundane eyes only, the only minds we see are embedded in physical brains and
organisms. In the augmented view, we simply conclude that the relevant substance is not just a
matter of neutrons, electrons, and light governed by classical physics; rather, there is more
substance and life that we do not see, and also a few relatively small but significant changes in
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how the physics works. When we look out at the world through our eyes - the "I" who is looking
out is not just the consciousness embedded in our brain, and not just the esoteric consciousness
embedded in that other substance, but a hybrid of the two. We are a symbiotic life form, a
symbiosis of "body" and "soul." In order to extend the mundane concept of sanity or integrity2 to
the entire self, it is necessaiy that we achieve what Rosicrncians call "the alchemical maITiage" -
a kind of hannonious muh1al support of both parts of the self, consistent with the modem
concept of "Paieto optimality. " The details of that process are very important, but beyond the
scope of this paper.
In this view, all "mind" may be viewed as systems which process info1mation. The brains we see
with our mundane eyes basically have three parts: ( 1) the intelligence or consciousness, which
learns over time how to be ever more effective in understanding its environment and in
maximizing its utility function U (i.e. happiness or telos); (2) the primary emotional system
which actually provides us with this sense ofU, and also gives us some indications of what
specifically makes us happy; (3) other, older things, like sens01y input, muscle output, and haid-
coded blind reflexes. In other words, mind as we know it simply cannot be divorced from
purpose and happiness. Where there is no sense of purpose, no emotion and no sense of value,
there is essentially no mind and no consciousness. The primaiy emotional system speaks to us in
feelings and in images, not in words or mathematics, but we can use words or mathematics to try
to understand it better and see it more cleaily, just as we use words and mathematics to tiy to
understand what we see through our eyes.
Could it be that the universe itself is some other kind of mind, a mind which does not have any
kind of purpose and is not engaged in learning? If so, it is not "mind" as we see it and understand
it. Such another concept of mind is essentially meaningless, until one somehow specifies the idea
more than I have ever seen anywhere. Trying to develop such a concept is a valid intellectual
challenge,
14
but for now I do not yet see the real need for it, in explaining experience. The
concepts of symbiosis, life, ai1d purpose seem powerful enough to explain everything I have
encountered at any level of life.
As life becomes ever more complicated, all of us naturally wonder what we can really count on,
what is most imp01tant to us, and where our commitment should be unmistakable. The
fiusti"ations and difficulties of life often tempt us to a variety of reactive and trnly i1rntional
behaviors. In my view, "sanity" or "integrity" means always remembering our basic innate sense
U of what we really like and what we really do not like, for its own sake. Thus in my own life, at
times of challenge, I often find myself affirming the old Rosicrncian phrase "life, light, and
love." (And sometimes I remember that old woman in the musical Cats, who sang about
"remembering what happiness is." It is said that that musical was inspired by ideas from
Gurdjieff on how to become an Immortal, which were cleaily inspired by ancient Taoism,
probably by way of Sichuan province and the old Silk Road. But other followers of Gurdjieff
have told me: "Hey, he is just telling you to store your most important data on the hard disk,
instead of RAM, so that you won' t lose it when you shut off for the night.")
Light, life, and love - what could I add after that? We never outgrow that foundation. But in
actuality, the full pursuit and service to light, life and love is a never-ending challenge,
demanding intelligence, flexibility and all the abilities of our minds and souls. The very
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existence of the human species is at risk over the next few millennia, and it will depend very
heavily on that small number of people who are most completely conscious and competent and
willing to work hard and creatively on behalf of life, light, and love. Figure 1 moves out from the
brain, to ask: What can we do to preserve and strengthen life and sustainably on the planet earth,
and also to extend it beyond the planet ea1th to outer space, and also to strengthen our common
growth in inner space, where we are all connected together and depend upon each other? The
rose on the yin-yang symbolizes the latter.
The cultivation of integrity at a mundane level
2
is really not so different from cultivation of
integrity at a higher level. If you read that more mundane guide to human potential carefully, you
can see how "as above, so below" applies at many levels. When I spoke on this new synthesis at
the main Confucius Institute in China in 2011, we were in agreement - but the Chinese inf01med
me that the ve1y word "integrity" is expressed in Chinese as "zheng qi," as coITect or balanced
"qi." A member of the Confucius family showed me his old eagle statue, which he used to
symbolize the higher esoteric side of his life, which rises above the old astral dragons and etheric
tigers which are more familiar in the common life of China. Perhaps if more of us learn how to
really emulate this eagle, we might be able to fly to a place of real smvival.
Summary and Conclusions
This paper defines a new synthesis, to make a stronger connection between hard-core
mathematical science and hard-core experience-based mysticism. The neural network field does
not propose to redesign the human brain or the human mind, but it does offer a higher level of
understanding and self-awareness than is possible without making full use either of science or of
mathematical thinking.
The principles described in this paper are relatively simple, and more like a set of axioms than a
body of theorems and knowledge about life. Life is more complex; the more detailed papers cited
here are windows into some of that complexity. Even so, axioms are important. The effort to
always remember the basic axioms and build upon a solid foundation is especially imp01iant
when life becomes more complex and there are no easy answers other than continuing the eff 011
to keep learning and growing and smviving and appreciating what we are building upon.
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