Infinity, Again

Where the Mind loses itself.

To grasp air itself.
Captive, such elusive prey.
Thus infinity.

Infinity is the mystery, the paradox that confines you, the place your analytical selves cannot go.

Three millennia of modern civilization find you at a well-worn crossroad to which you seem oblivious.

Zealots of religion still hold sway over their compliant flocks with little progress since messiahs strode the Earth. Litigious factious modern science besots equally fervent techno-flocks, while technology, its nescient child, delivers cargo cult magic to rapturous financial applause.

That your blindness to the signposts at this mental impasse is an arraignment of intellectual shortcomings, I won’t press.

But, kind and noble guardians, I should explain to you their likely path and the dark territory invited.
They fail to leap the trivia of 'What is life, the Universe and everything?' which begs that perennial and fearfully irresolvable query: 'What is consciousness?' That, after all, begets 'everything.'

Infinity is the mystery, for it is where your analytical minds falter.

If we define ‘infinity’ as the largest measure of anything, such that no quantity can be added to it, the paradox arises... just add one.

Mind fuses at each enigma; following an interminable linear series that will eventually ask: Who is God's God?

Mathematicians might agonizingly prove computational power is consumed in the cyber-like dreams of simulated beings. Are thoughts part of the physical universe? Prima facie asserts this likely, but beware duality, ambiguity, chaos, and the conscious atom.

Will virtual cellular automata achieve sentience and deduce the physical laws of their confinement?

Defining infinity a poor idea

Mind almost intuitively already knows infinity (a proxy for non-existence) and reviles all quests for its meaning or understanding.

Still you persist in a quest to control the universe by conquest. Victory in that will be yours, but a hollow one bereft of meaning or understanding.

Sentient self-aware mind embodies a process to ponder the meaning of life and the universe that (it seems) spawned it, and cold hard science can be its symbiote - or a consuming monster.

Your most likeable De Chardin's audacious leap of faith into speculative science delivered an elucidating slant that pared centuries of scientific dross from modern thought, declaring "our eyes are the eyes through which the Earth finally beholds her own beauty."

Still derided by conventional scholastic plodders for science too spiritual, theories tenuous, and postulates too poetic, he stands god-like above and before them beholding his vision: a silver thread from amoeba to Omega; evolution a four-dimensional structure whose start and end be implicit in the process and visible to those not demanding proof.

So, dear Earthlings (I’ve so wanted to call you that), imagine past the bounds of the universe - beyond the big bang, the big collapse, and that final impossibility, the big equilibrium - and ask what existed before (not after, that is the same thing).

Ignore inevitable nothing. If nothing exists before and after the universe there is no meaning to “now,” bubble-from-void or not.

Lost lessons of your misplaced ancients

Given the apparent vastness of time and distance, eons and parsecs beyond comprehension, and stepping back to the most skeptical and aloof viewpoint, a little voice says that nothing about existence and the universe in particular makes any sense whatsoever.

Play the childhood infinity game on the meaning of creating universes, one after another, trying simultaneously to grasp a ‘forever’ to which you can always add ’some more.’ After but a few iterations, futility sets in (not to mention, a gripping vertigo-inducing fear).

Your ancestors obsessed upon these thoughts across monastic generations, free from modern trivia-cluttered ersatz that consumes and dilutes your precious inner life. They saw - before competitive free-enterprise science destroyed humankind’s creativity - deep inescapable truth.

Civilizations have perished in this tellurian gestalt that archaeology will never know. Lost ancestors of stupendous insight did repeatedly what few living ’scientists’ or ‘philosophers’ today imagine … despite humanity’s critical mass in the twin nexuses of scientists profuse and information surfeit.

These bicameral fathers were exquisitely tooled to fathom the riddle of life, the universe, and the limits of infinity (oxymoron alert). To them Earth was neither flat nor the centre of anything, despite priests scare mongering the masses. Nor did stars adhere to a fixed sky, or a burning chariot scribe from dawn to dusk.

Their universe was huge, cold, and limitless, which they knew from the odysseys of mind, from both wake and sleep dreaming, from unfettered, non-analytical, intuitive speculative thought, and personal experience traveling their lands.

Journey with these, your wise and ancient mind navigators. Travel back with me to before the pyramids of Egypt, before Mayans, before history itself. Simple arithmetic showed them infinity, so they asked: “If one should travel upon the Earth toward the dawn, and journey long enough, would you not appear out of the sunset? Yes. Of course they knew this. 

“If one should fly as the bird, but towards the sun, or moon, or a star - which is far away, and one did not move circular wise as the first journey, would one ever return?” At this query they sensed Einstein’s dreams, equivocating both “Yes, and from the opposite direction to initial - but it might take forever.” Possible, yet impossible, like all else they knew.

They knew the universe would “wrap their traveller around” despite his straight path. They knew this would take increasingly infinite energy, and therefore the trip would extend forever. But the rule would not break.

Something was amiss, they sensed, and upon this logical trap another truth was revealed.

The analytical, “conscious” mind, a subset of its physical, perceived world, could never understand, never document, determine, or model, this world. The (modern/analytical/conscious) mind will never encompass the universe. Being less than the whole, unable to be God-like in all places at once, the vast time/distance would see changes occur in its absence [and despite Tipler's ingenious Physics of Immortality].

An odd corollary presents itself, that God cannot experience or ‘be aware of’ the trials of his minions, those corpuscles of his universal being - any more than humans experience their own cellular and chemical interactions.

Where are you now, my dear dissecting inquisitors? How many great minds, that beheld truths you sought for centuries, vaporized from skulls smashed by barbarian axe?

Lessons lost, so still you fumble

Mankind and modern science has set itself a monumental distraction from which recovery seems moot. The entire effort of humanity struggles on the event horizon of a whirlpool of fervour fermented by the singularity of analytical minutiae-obsessed thought.

The only “big picture” boasted of science is a crowning myopia termed “Grand Unified Theory” which lethally distracts all and sundry from their slide to the conceptual plughole down which Earth’s effort is headed.

Analytical science is a doomed quest. It must create a Universe to understand one. Einstein’s fumbling genius is but the prelude to eons of slow futile research that aims to describe the indescribable, to model nothing less than the entirety of time and existence. If you beheld a universe in your mind’s understanding, the implicit supreme aim of ratiocinative science, you would attain little more than a weaning child knows of his ancestral heritage.

Even if, as Hindu deities, you dreamed your own Universe between drum and flame, naught more is revealed.

What is this thing, this ‘mind,’ that expands endlessly and effortlessly to enfold and absorb universe upon universe, time upon time - infinitely?

An open-ended instrument of conception, perception - and maybe with all things considered, deception.

And what is “Infinity”?

It is your salvation, not a laboratory mouse.

To Dear Guardians
Regarding people of the planet Earth
With Respect and Love
Your Faithful Student

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