The Universe Might Just be Spacetime Foam
To try and solve the mystery of what fills the universe, scientists have been exploring the possibility that it's actually full of bubbles. In 1955, influential physicist John Wheeler proposed that, at the quantum level, spacetime is not constant but "foamy," made up of ever-changing tiny bubbles. As for what these bubbles are "made" of, recent work suggests that spacetime bubbles are essentially mini-universes briefly forming inside our own.
The spacetime foam proposal fits nicely with the intrinsic uncertainty and indeterminism of the quantum world. Spacetime foam extends quantum uncertainty in particle position and momentum to the very fabric of the universe, so that its geometry is not stable, consistent, or fixed at a tiny scale. Wheeler illustrated the idea of spacetime foam using an analogy with the surface of the ocean, as retold by theoretical physicist Y. Jack Ng at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in an email:
Imagine yourself flying a plane over an ocean. At high altitudes the ocean appears smooth. But as you descend, it begins to show roughness. Close enough to the ocean surface, you see bubbles and foam. Analogously, spacetime appears smooth on large scales; but on sufficiently small scales, it will appear rough and foamy.The idea is that in spacetime foam, every point in spacetime has the huge amount of vacuum energy--the lowest energy state equivalent to "empty space"--predicted by quantum theory, but behaves differently to other points. For any particular way in which a point in spacetime is behaving, the exact opposite is equally as likely to occur at another point in spacetime. This is the feature of spacetime foam which “cancels out” the extra energy and expansions at a tiny scale, resulting in the lower energy that we observe at the scale of the whole universe.
Professor Steven Carlip at University of California, Davis says for this to work, one has to assume that at the quantum level, time has no intrinsic "direction." In other words, there is no "arrow of time." According to Carlip, in the quantum world, this isn't such a wild suggestion. “Most physicists would agree that we don't know at a fundamental level why there's an arrow of time at all,” he said.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: So, what if each bubble was a conscious point of view from which we each create our own universe? To explore this deeply, use our Deep Insight Elixir.
Psychedelic Experiences from Staring at Eyes
In 2015, a psychologist in Italy figured out how to induce a drug-free altered state of consciousness by asking 20 volunteers to sit and stare into each other's eyes for 10 minutes straight. Not only did the deceptively simple task bring on strange 'out of body' experiences for the volunteers, it also caused them to see hallucinations of monsters, their relatives, and themselves in their partner's face. The experiment, run by Giovanni Caputo from the University of Urbino, involved having 20 young adults (15 of which were women) pair off, sit in a dimly lit room 1 metre away from each other, and stare into their partner's eyes for 10 minutes.
A control group of 20 more volunteers were asked to sit and stare for 10 minutes in another dimly lit room in pairs, but their chairs were facing a blank wall. The volunteers were told very little about the purpose of the study, only that it had to do with a "meditative experience with eyes open".
Once the 10 minutes were up, the volunteers were asked to complete questionnaires. Symptoms were noted, such as a loss of memory, seeing everything in distorted colours, or feeling like the world isn't real can be brought on by abuse and trauma; drugs such as ketamine, alcohol, and LSD; and now, apparently, face-staring. "The participants in the eye-staring group said they'd had a compelling experience unlike anything they'd felt before," Christian Jarrett wrote for the British Psychological Society's Research Digest at the time.
Reporting in journal Psychiatry Research, Caputo said the eye-staring group out-scored the control group in all the questionnaires, which suggests that something about staring into another human being's eyes for 10 uninterrupted minutes had a profound effect on their visual perception and mental state.
Jarrett explains: "On the dissociative states test, they gave the strongest ratings to items related to reduced colour intensity, sounds seeming quieter or louder than expected, becoming spaced out, and time seeming to drag on. On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 percent of the eye-staring group agreed that they'd seen some deformed facial traits, 75 percent said they'd seen a monster, 50 percent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner's face, and 15 percent said they'd seen a relative's face."
So what's going on here? Researchers Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik explain that it's likely to do with something called neural adaptation, which describes how our neurons can slow down or even stop their responses to unchanging stimulation.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Simple meditation has also been shown to induce psychedelic-like experiences. As we directly perceive ourselves as being one with our environment, some perceptions are heightened, while others are minimized. Use any of our Meditation Elixirs to comfortalby enhance and expand these experiences.
Our Reality is Not What's Actually There
What is reality and how do we know? For many the answer is simple: What you see--hear, feel, touch, and taste--is what you get. Your skin feels warm on a summer day because the sun exists. That apple you just tasted sweet and that left juices on your fingers, it must have existed. Our senses tell us that reality is there, and we use reason to fill in the blanks--that is, we know the sun doesn't cease to exist at night even if we can't see it.
But cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman says we're misunderstanding our relationship with objective reality. In fact, he argues that evolution has cloaked us in a perceptional virtual reality. For our own good. The idea that we can't perceive objective reality in totality isn't new. We know everyone comes installed with cognitive biases and ego defense mechanisms. Our senses can be tricked by mirages and magicians. And for every person who sees a duck, another sees a rabbit.
Using evolutionary game theory, Hoffman and his collaborators created computer simulations to observe how "truth strategies" (which see objective reality as is) compared with "pay-off strategies" (which focus on survival value). The simulations put organisms in an environment with a resource necessary to survival but only in Goldilocks proportions.
Consider water. Too much water, the organism drowns. Too little, it dies of thirst. Between these extremes, the organism slakes its thirst and lives on to breed another day. Truth-strategy organisms who see the water level on a color scale--from red for low to green for high--see the reality of the water level. However, they don't know whether the water level is high enough to kill them. Pay-off-strategy organisms, conversely, simply see red when water levels would kill them and green for levels that won't. They are better equipped to survive.
"Evolution ruthlessly selects against truth strategies and for pay-off strategies," writes Hoffman. "An organism that sees objective reality is always less fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees fitness pay-offs. Seeing objective reality will make you extinct." Since humans aren't extinct, the simulation suggests we see an approximation of reality that shows us what we need to see, not how things really are.
"In like manner, we create an apple when we look, and destroy it when we look away. Something exists when we don't look, but it isn't an apple, and is probably nothing like an apple," Hoffman writes. "The human perception of an apple is a data structure that indicates something edible (a fitness pay-off), and how to eat it. We create these data structures with a glance, and erase them with a blink. Physical objects, and indeed the space and time they exist in, are evolution's way of presenting fitness pay-offs in a compact and usable form."
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: The Success & Achievement Crystal creates a field that enhances the perception of pay off, so that circumstances that would have seemed non-advantageous become opportunties for a pay off.
Health & Healing Hack of the Week
This is another traditional QiGong method of getting the "chi" flowing in the body, and greatly assists the lymphatic system and blood to improve cellular function and get circulation going where it has stagnated. Simply stand, or sit, and begin shaking the arms, the legs, and torso--at whatever comfortable rate for you. Get some motion going in the pelvis and hips, as well as the mid- and upper spine and neck. Rotate the shoulders and knees and ankles, too, getting as much motion as is comfortable. This is fun to do to rhythmic music, and has a multitude of benefits, especially applied to oxygenation and overall cell metabolism. Dancing is in this category as well, so get creative and get moving! From 25 No Cost Health & Healing Hacks by Boyd Martin)
Quantum Healer of the Week
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Company & Product News
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Gem Elixir for the Month
"Stone of Unconditional Love and Infinite Peace"
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