§ Stephen Aizenstadt is the Chancellor and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Studies. He is a dream expert and his work is called “dream tending.” The school’s mission is also its vision, “anima mundi collende gratia.” Their focus is, “Tend the soul of world while working in the world.” What an ambition! They say in their online introduction, “The intensity of that calling is the seed impulse carried within the dreams of many. When cultivated, this soul spark, rooted in the animated presence of the deep psyche, opens to personal fulfillment and a more just and fertile planet.” More dreams…
My goal in writing is to have them expand that mission and vision to include the universe.
Friday, 23 September 2016
In 2011 a New Orleans high school geometry class began mapping the universe as a coherent whole. The simple math and geometry yielded rather unusual results. We started from the most simple shape after the circle and sphere, the tetrahedron. Dividing the edges in half, connecting the new vertices, we discovered four half-size tetras in each corner and an octahedron in the middle. We did the same process to it and the little tetras. Within the octahedron were six half-sized octas in each corner and eight tetras in each face. Now we had an entire family to continue dividing. In about forty-five steps we were down among the protons and fermions. That’s wild and crazy, but we went the additional 67 steps down to the Planck base units.
Nobody, but nobody had ever taken that path while awake! It is truly an Alice-like rabbit hole to wonderland.
Back up in the classroom the next day we decided to multiply by 2. Such a novel idea. In just over 22 doublings we were up to the International Space Station . In another 20 doublings we were on our way out to the edges of the solar system (and the distance it takes light to travel in a day) . In just nine more doublings we’re out a full light year . It didn’t take long  to get out to the Age of the Universe and the Observable Universe.
The universe in a box! Our story: http://bblu.org
But so what? First, we were quickly told about Kees Boeke, a Dutch educator who in 1957 used base-10 to discover a universe in 40 jumps. It was a Cosmic View as he described it, but it was quite novel and very educational. Notwithstanding, it wasn’t granular enough, it didn’t mimic cellular production, it didn’t mimic bifurcation theory or cellular automaton, it didn’t have the Planck scale, they had no geometries, and they had no idea how old the universe was and how big it was (so he missed about 12-to-14 jumps)!
For our discussions, I believe the most important part of the scale is the first 67 notations. We learned that those 67 had never even been intuited, never-mind actually being put down on paper. A few within the physics community quite rightly say, “It’s too small to be meaningful.” They are right because it is not physics. It is not physical. It is mathematical. It is logical. It’s ordered (however we have found the chaos as well). It is symmetrical and relational, yet we have also found the asymmetries, randomness, never-ending, never-repeating sequences along with a raft of dimensionless constants. Yes, it was getting really wild and crazy in there.
Now, I am a dreamer. I was a student at NYU in 1967, quite poor and actually physically hungry. I volunteered for a paid sleep study. With a bit of suggestology, perhaps hypnotism, I began recording my dreams. I was good at it. I filled journals. They kept me on. Ever since that time, every night I go to the movies. Some are disconcerting, but I have a pre-wake analysis session each morning to discern meaning. That’s been going on now for over 50 years…
In 1970 I was part of a think tank in Cambridge, Synectics. We closed our eyes and empathically became an object that was a close analogy to a problem as given. Animate or inanimate, we became chromosomes, eyes, lamps, chairs, cars, engines, dirt, copper… and so on. In that period a heighten reality started to kick in. Moments of perfection. Pure discovery. The Ah-ha. And, that’s when I started investigating this stuff as a mathematician and scientist would. There is a long story to follow, but that’ll be for another time if there is another time.
As an introduction, is it OK? Might I send another note about where I think dreams just might fit into this cosmic scale of things? Thank you.