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The Ontological Position of Absolutely Nothing
or A Mathematical Approach to Eternal Life
- David Martsolf, January 25, 1979
Transferring mathematical terminology into language yields some interesting results. Examine the equation 1/0 = infinity. This may be translated, “A person undivided is infinite.”
An exciting graphical display may be set up upon this axiom. First, the graph of the equation 1/y = x. This graph offers many possible statements. A person divided by a person is still a person, odd, but true. That person is a person to the other person. Someone divided by two people can be only half a person to either of them unless that person leaves one of them alone.
These statements are all mathematically true. Here are more. The universe is divided by great amounts of nothing, and is therefore infinite.
Physics today finds itself primarily in two camps. Camp Macro is populated by Einstein’s Field and Relativity Theories. Camp Micro holds the aficionados of nuclear force level quantum theory and the problems of causality posed by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Einstein’s final search for a Unified Field Theory that would incorporate quanta and field together in one understanding, one force that would unify the entire universe proved fruitless.
To unite these seemingly opposite notions of quantized energy and field energy, I personally feel drawn. In my painting I handle the unknown often and feel most comfortable with it. As an early student of the temples of science I learned knowns. A definition of terms, which forever separates knowns from unknowns also appears to separate the stairs in a child’s slide from the descending mechanism itself. In Einstein’s dilemma between the quantized stairs and the slide’s field, the problem of the description of the world runs continually into itself. By the necessity of being separate from the rest of the universe and coterminously part of it, we, as life forms, must constantly battle descriptions that separate parts with descriptions that integrate parts into a whole.
While it had on many past occasions been my earnest desire to be a mathematician and physical theorist, and ultimately to have been the man to bring forth the Unified Cosmic Plan in either field or particulate formulation, I would now state that such a theory must inevitably incorporate the unknown as a positive factor, as it presents itself in reality as the basic presence supporting any statement attempting to define the entire cosmos. This idea is anathema to scientific principle, however close scrutiny of any scientific construction finds some such axiom at its base.
Mysticism is the temple that science abhors, yet the two schools are irremediably intertwined. Here, I am not speaking of the mysticism of religious and fantastically devised astrologies, fables, or myths, but of the backbone of our own precious geometries, algebras and physics.
Euclidean geometry has for thousands of years and will forever satisfy the simple workings of three-dimensional bodies present on the face of this planet, however inspect the first statement of its subsequent constructions. “A point is an object which has neither height, width, or depth.” This object, by virtue of its own definition, does no, indeed cannot exist. Yet it does exist, and by its movement in three-dimensional space is used to describe all with which we are familiar. It is this paradox, this mysticism that haunts all of geometry.
In all mathematics the number zero haunts templistic construction, as all numbers divided by it become infinite or ‘undefined’. Such problems cannot be circumvented. They can only be accepted.
In this fashion a Unified Cosmic Blueprint must also accept it. It should be possible to create more than one plan, though by so doing each of these would not be unified over all experiences unless integrated over all plans to a higher plan. The progression leads like a fractal once again through infinite sets. We return finally to the necessity again for one plan. All of our experience points to causality, an infinite causality.
I side with Einstein against Heisenberg’ Uncertainty Principle (in 1979, though I now embrace it in 2014), which has always been an easy out for sub-atomic physicists (written before my first course in probability and statistics).
It has always bothered me to be able to sit outside with the trees, grass, insects, wind, and sunshine, and be at peace with, be one with, the local cosmos, and yet still find it totally mysterious at other times.
February 1, 1979
Another book has been completed tonight, "The New Physics" by John Taylor, 1972. It should be mentioned that these readings take place due to my work as a bookbinder operator, Rumford Press, Concord, NH, 2nd shift. The binding machines sometimes run very well, so that I can mostly sit next to the machine and read.
All the physical theories built up on one another to mimic the real world. This book is wise enough at the end to suggest no end to the mystery and the unanswerable why. All of these readings have occurred as refreshment of material first absorbed years ago.
Now, I must put them down again as I did then. The world of science is the world of the observer. From this position the theorist is always separate. The hope of the scientist upon death is to come to a complete understanding, to recognize all the relationships and to become them all simultaneously. The hopes of the artist painter are as these, and his position in life is also the same.
The next chapters of the Taylor book deal with the search for elementarity and the fall of the laws of physics with the recent problems found in particle parity and time symmetric properties of mesons and pions in regards to interactions with the weak forces. The book ends with gravity and already covered cosmic realities which succeed in pointing out the blindness incurred by being ourselves looking at other selves from the inherent delay in information transference in a universe bounded by relativity and the speed limit of electromagnetic radiation. Even looking at your lover across the restaurant table you are not present with her, but with her past. The fact that there is a present is the basic loneliness and ennui of mankind.
There is a way to circumvent the senses that delivery messages from the past which rarely takes place. Its rarity is probably the root cause of the birth of the sciences, medicine, and religions, the great desire of men to find, or to find again, the lost present which they are, but to which they cannot connect. George Berkeley’s (1685-1753) Immaterialism was simply that man’s bypass around physics to a true understanding of infinity and his attempt to express it.
Insight is also a rare thing in physics, and even at that it may confound reality. Einstein was pictured by George Gamow as a magician and surely Einstein’s tricks are true. They have given physics a life which could march on forever, . . . theoretically. However, many are the physicists who must sit after years spent searching for elementarity with fingers spread on the table who suddenly see infinity arrive between their knuckles. If they don’t have a heart attack they either become empiricist or keep their mouths shut, unwilling to negate their life’s work and worse, its lack of importance.
The truth is that elementarity does exist, but it is not a particle. It is not a measureable energy. In fact, it is nothing at all. Beyond the pale of relativistic space-time is true absolute space. The same space that fills atoms, solar systems, and intergalactic space is nothing at all and is all the same. If is subject to no laws, as true time is also subject to no laws. Time and space are congruent and coterminous. There is no smallest duration of time. Future and past only exist for objects, things that begin and end. One must observe other objects in order to imagine past and future.
These lessons are not taught in organized educational facilities simply because they appeal directly to the person’s self. They require no mathematics, chemistry or physics, even though all who study these subjects will come one day not to need them or even to desire them. The lessons run counter to all established science so that it must perforce be learned at home under the table, or while engaged in doing anything except trying to learn “things”.
Summarily stated, the student will only read these words after he already has found them out himself, and finding no one near to be like him has sought out the work of Martsolf through accident or because he saw the paintings in his past and now remembers that he really had something in mind when he put down all those confusing images on canvas. As it was explained to a small child, “You see, nothing is something.”