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Sunday September 12, 2004: Math and Creativity

      

           The discussion started off by defining multidimensional reality.  M. had mentioned in his email that, for him, multidimensional reality had a specific meaning.  "Whilst science can say nothing about emotions: it has no laws or even symbols relating to them, I wonder if a form of mathematics will arise that can represent them.  After all when you prick your finger, matter and emotion are clearly related."

            Multidimensional reality, for me, included dualistic and non-dualistic awareness, physical reality, rational/abstract thought, dream states/lucid dreaming, intuition, psychic awareness, mystical states, etc. -- any form of awareness that interprets and defines our existence.  I wrote M. that all these dimensions had an underlying reality and that I believed there were common rules that would apply to everything from quantum physics to God consciousness.  The fascination came from the issue of whether a mathematical formula could ever be devised to take into account creativity and free will.

              The patterns, seen from higher dimensions, certainly would suggest it was possible, in the same degree that quantum physics may not be able to predict where a specific particle may be at a specific time but can define generalized action of all similar particles. I need to quickly confess that quantum physics is not my strong point; I only have the broadest and most generalized understanding.  Still, I think the problems that quantum physics initially ran into defining potentiality are similar to what we're looking at here.

               What I can do is describe patterns that define the boundaries of free will and creativity, and explain why neither 'pre-destination' nor 'free will' accurately describes the reality we live.  For now, let's separate out four factors: outer and inner limitations; inner and outer influences. I also need to assign a problem for discussion: let's say the buffer in my bank account has dipped unusually low.  I know I have large bills coming due in the next few months and need to have enough money in my checking account to cover the bills.  I also know that my regular paychecks will not be sufficient to cover these larger bills. I can use free will and creativity in dealing with the problem.

              Outside limitations: Rather than think of the path we travel as being a thin and flexible (or circuitous) line, think of it as a broad ribbon. The edges of the ribbon are the first restriction on free will and creativity. We have freedom to wander right or left or to any spot in between, but we cannot go past the edges of the ribbon without removing ourselves from the definition of being human.   

            Bear with me because we are so acclimated to the boundaries of the ribbon, it may sound foolish. If I want additional money, I cannot eat wood chips or pet my neighbor's cat and expect my bank account to suddenly grow larger. I cannot pluck feathers from my arms, lay eggs, or grow pears on the tips of my fingers to sell in market. This is the first restriction and we've grown so accustomed to it that we never even take these options into consideration. It holds equally true that an electron has great flexibility in its movement, short of behaving in a way that lies outside the range we define as being an electron.

           Inner limitations: Faced with the general money problem I have a wide range of options, but in reality, I will consider very few.  I may consider taking out a loan; I might transfer money out of savings or investments; I could sell items over EBay; I might take a weekend job. Some options are possible but highly unlikely (buying lottery tickets, taking money from my children's savings). 

          Other options are outside the range of choices I consider viable, though to other people they may be very viable. If I am short on money, I will not consider hustling drugs or sex on the street, robbing a bank, taking a hostage for ransom, or spending the weekend at a casino. Neither will I engage in leverage brokering, drilling oil off the shoreline of Lake Michigan, playing the futures market, or asking for a $5,000 advance to write a book on the sex life of garden slugs.

          Seen from a higher level, there is a limit in the number of choices any one person will consider for their particular situation. So, although we want to believe that free will and creativity make prediction of future actions impossible, these are the first two restrictions.

                To be continued........

Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 at 08:56AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

A point emerging from your discussion on 12 Sep. is that we do not have 'free will' at all. In short, I would agree with that in the sense that we have only 'freedom of choice'.

Regards, Mike
September 12, 2004 | Unregistered Commentermike brown

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