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Field of consciousness and the Tao Te Ching


Hyperspace Clues to the Psychology of the Pattern that Connects in the light of 81 Tao Te Ching insights (Part #2)


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The individual, in framing and dealing with reality, can be understood as being at the centre of a field of consciousness offering a range of possibilities. This field can be understood as organized in many ways. The Tao Te Ching has long provided a much respected pattern of insights -- possibly to be understood as a distillation of awareness about awareness. For the purposes of this exercise, the focus here is on how the 81 insights of the Tao Te Ching might be understood as ordering the range of potential modes of awareness -- both explicit and implicit.

In the accompanying exploration of the 9-fold Higher Order Patterning of Tao Te Ching Insights, much attention was given to their possible disposition in a 9x9 matrix -- as an array of insights (disposed in a peacock's tail in some cultural symbolism). Crudely this could then be seen as constituting a kind of setting for a children's game. As with hopscotch, for example, an individual might move from one cell to another -- with each cell being associated with a different perspective, insight or mode of awareness. And with each cell offering different kinds of connectivity to other cells. The challenge in that exploration was to find more powerfully integrative ways of ordering such an array -- hence the exploration of magic squares, and the possible relevance of mathematical objects of higher dimensionality, such as hypercubes. The emphasis however was on how any such order was to be comprehended.

For mathematicians the exploration of hyperspace (according to the admirable description of Michio Kaku: Hyperspace, 1994) is based on the "field" theory originated by Faraday -- inspired by an agricultural metaphor. For him, a field occupies a region of three-dimensional space such that at any point in the space a collection of numbers can be assigned that describes the magnetic or electric force at that point. In its development by Georg Riemann (1854), a collection of numbers at every point could be introduced to indicate how much the space was bent or curved. On a two-dimensional surface, a collection of three numbers at every point completely described the bending of the surface -- whereas in four spatial dimensions a collection of 10 numbers was required at each point to describe its properties.

Riemann's metric tensor in 4 dimensions
with the information necessary to describe a curved space. In this case, 16 numbers are required to describe each point. 6 of them are redundant (eg g12 = g21) leaving 10 independent numbers. These can then be arranged in a square array
g11 g12 g13 g14
g21 g22 g23 g24
g31 g32 g33 g34
g41 g42 g43 g44

With this device Riemann could then describe N-dimensional space with a metric tensor that would then resemble a chess board that was NxN in size. In the quest to provide a unified description, the metric tensor could be expanded to N-dimensional space then portions of it -- in the form of rectangular pieces -- could be identified as corresponding to different forces embodied in the unified description. Whereas Maxwell's classical field equations for electricity and magnetism are 8 in number, these collapse into a single relativistic equation when time is treated as the fourth dimension -- because they then possess a higher symmetry. The development of theoretical physics over the past century has essentially been based on the search for the field equations of the forces of nature.

Riemann's metric tensor in 5 dimensions
as expanded by Kaluza (adding a fifth column and row) so that the 4-dimensional metric of Einstein could be unified with the electromagnetic field of Maxwell -- unifying the theory of gravity with that of light.
g11 g12 g13 g14 g15
g21 g22 g23 g24 g25
g31 g32 g33 g34 g35
g41 g42 g43 g44 g45
g51 g52 g53 g54 g55

This approach was then extended by Kaluza, as indicated above, to provide a basis for unifying Einstein's metric with that of Maxwell. Further expanding the metric tensor in this way subsequently allowed all known forces (gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces, and most fundamental particles) to be integrated into the unified description. Note that by slicing the metric tensor into its rectangular components, these are respectively descriptive of particular forces.

Super Riemann tensor
expanded with the addition to the fifth dimension of supersymmetry to deal with (some) fundamental particles (adapted from Kaku, 1994)
Gravity
(Einstein)
Light
(Maxwell)
Weak+Strong
nuclear force
(Yang-Mills)
Quarks-leptons
(Matter)
Light
(Maxwell)
.
Weak+Strong nuclear force
(Yang-Mills)
.
Quarks-leptons
(Matter)
.

The question is whether it is fruitful to consider the magic square disposition of the 81 insights of the Tao Te Ching (in the accompanying paper) as in anyway corresponding to such a metric tensor. Each numbered insight would then hold an aspect of the information which -- with that associated with other numbers -- would define how much the "communication space" was bent or curved at that point. Recall that the geometry of such curvature in space-time had been determined by Riemann and Einstein to be indicative of the forces operating at that point.


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