Yup, just as you thought, the above image is evidence of a universe previous to the one in which we now find ourselves.  In a recently published paper, Roger Penrose (cf 12/18/09) and Vahe Gurzadyan theorized that these concentric circles are vestiges in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) of the cataclysmic end of the preceding cosmos in the collision of two supermassive black holes.

  A young universe is characterized by very significant homogeneity.  With time however, it becomes less uniform, objects coalesce, and (with luck?!) life appears and evolves.  Many cosmologists agree so far. 

  The new theory suggests (I think) that at the later stages of a universe, particles all become massless.  As they do, they begin to constitute black holes.  Ultimately, since massless particles must move at the speed of light and thus time would stand still, the universe becomes infinitely small.  The black holes explode, collide, and voila, big banged, the whole thing starts over again.

  Not surprisingly, other researchers posit different explanations for the recently discovered rings pictured above. Physics blogs are atwitter.  In the last entry I read on one however, Gurzadyan and Penrose say that: “…the low variance circles occur in concentric families, and this key fact cannot be explained as a purely random effect.  It is however a clear prediction of conformal cyclic cosmology”.

  Now, what really interests me is the relationship between the nature of the universe thus described and the nature of consciousness as described by Alan Wallace and others*.  They posit that there is a ‘substrate’ unstructured consciousness from which individual psyches arise and evolve.  “The human mind emerges from the unitary experience of the zero-point field of the substrate, which is prior to and more fundamental than the human, conceptual duality of mind and matter.”

  The substrate is layered above a “Platonic world of abstract realities that can be discovered by human investigation, but are independent of human existence”.  This concept has been advocated by respected physicists such as Wolfgang Pauli and “stems from an awareness of the unreasonable power of mathematics to describe the nature of physical processes.”

  Furthermore, Roger Penrose and many if not most others agree that “mathematical realities are not determined by physical experiment, but arrived at by mathematical investigation.  You don’t have to look far to find how math underpins our universe.

  Now for the best part.  Wallace describes how experience of the  Platonic archetype realm can be achieved.  The process begins with deep meditative contemplation of an archetypal form such as the concentric circles above.  No matter what you think by now, you have to admit it is interesting (and cool!) that patterns such as that atop this latest meander of mine can be found throughout our universe and at any scale.

*cf Post of 12/10/10 Nope I haven’t recently eaten any

**Hidden Dimensions, The Unification of Physics and Consciousness, B Alan Wallace, Columbia 2007

***To read about the Penrose/Gurzadyan theory of conformal cyclic cosmology start with the article on page 101 of the December 4, 2010 Economist.




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