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All and Everything

(image of
table showing Note, World, Part, Whole)

The Ray of Creation is the means by which the different levels of energy and matter are created in our world, according to the fourth way. The Big Bang theory of modern cosmology, and its various related offspring, is the way the process of creation is seen by most contemporary physicists. Relating the two explanations in their most general terms is the intent of this discussion. The chief difference between the two is that the ray of creation is specifically organized in terms of scale, that is, according to practical importance from the perspective of personal possibilities. Contemporary science deals with (imagines, really) an "objective" viewpoint unrelated to scale, or at least believes in a possibility to so view things.

The big bang theories posit a "singularity" at the beginning of the universe some 10 to 20 billion years ago. While the nature of this singularity is at least currently beyond the power of modern physics to describe, the "expansion" of this singularity can be theoretically discussed. The reason the singularity expanded is not known. It is considered possible that it was a chance occurrence, as in the "chance" that operates at subatomic levels (see A Note on Quantum Probability). It is the expansion that created the universe as we know it, through a process of cooling (dissipating energy), thereby allowing the conglomeration of ever-denser matters.

The ray of creation begins with a unity (the Absolute) as the origin of the universe. This unity, of its own will, divides itself into three conscious worlds. The three worlds then, in emulation of their creator, create three more worlds, but this time the new worlds are not conscious, so this "World 6" contains three conscious and three mechanical "worlds" or laws. This process continues, creating ever more worlds which are less and less energetic (have a lower "density of vibration") and more and more dense (have a higher "density of matter"). The process can be summarized like this:

1—the original unity
3—the first three worlds
6—the first three worlds plus the three worlds they create
12—the first three worlds plus the six worlds plus three more they create
24—the first three, plus the six, plus the twelve, plus three they create
and so on, but not infinitely

The rest of this essay discusses each of these levels or worlds in turn. In the table at the top of this essay, these worlds are assigned their "notes" in the descending octave known as the ray of creation. Each level or world is characterized as being composed of a smallest component (for example, atom, molecule, and so on) which corresponds to a largest level of structure (for example, star, planet, and so on). A more detailed discussion of this relation of each level's small part to its large whole structure is provided in my essay Beautiful Symmetry. Note too, that this process of creation called the Ray of Creation is an example of repetitions of one triad, which is one of the six processes, in this case the process of creation or growth, as I describe in The Six Processes.

It should be noted that when discussing universal, galactic, particle, and light scales in terms of the fourth way and modern science, the discussion is necessarily very theoretical, almost philosophical. While the associations I make seem to me convincing, the most important point is to perceive the principle that fourth way ideas elucidate scientific discovery. The specific facts of science mentioned here may well have to be revised to keep abreast of new discoveries, but the principles that map them to fourth way ideas will apply as well (ultimately better) to the new discoveries.

The Structure of Worlds: Part and Whole

World 1, The Universe and the Photon

To begin with, whether in ancient myth or modern science, there is light. This is the moment of birth of the universe, called in modern physics the "big bang" and followed by "inflation" in which the universe rapidly expands to a large fraction of its current size. As modern physics has nothing to say about the big bang itself (quantum physics breaks down approaching that "moment"), we will not discuss any kind of creation of world 1, and treat it only as already existing and including everything.

Know, think, and depict
that the Creator is One
there is no other
and before One
what do you count?

from the Sefer Yetzirah

In modern physics, the fundamental unit of light is recognized as the photon. The only way to picture the universe as a unity is to picture it as a whole, and the size of the universe is determined by the speed of light. It is as big as light could travel in the duration of its existence. Therefore light, the photon, determines the whole of the universe in terms of size and shape. It also determines the universe in terms of substance, because all substance is derived from the fundamental particle of light, the photon, also known as the quantum of action.

Light also determines the duration of the universe. World 1 is eternal. Eternal in the sense that it always exists. The universe, whether a singularity, a hyper-expanded heat-dead entity, or something in-between, always exists. The photon has no life span, no theoretical exhaustion of its existence.

World 1 is the most energetic world. In the fourth way, it is described as having the highest density of vibrations and the lowest density of matter. In modern physics, attempts to theorize about this world seek a unity of forces instead of the three or four currently recognized (see A Note on Gravity). The forces are now divided, but the theory is that at an earlier time closely associated with the big bang, the energy levels were so high that the three forces were still a single force. The various attempts to quantify this idea are called Grand Unification Theories. In the fourth way, the Absolute, or World 1, is viewed as dividing into three forces by its own will.

World 1 is so rarefied that its fundamental component, the photon, has no rest mass. It is not only not matter, it is not energy. It is action, the fundamental unit or quantum of action, something unquantifiable, immeasurable, a mystery—like the universe itself.

So the universe as a whole is our World 1, and the fundamental particle of World 1 is the photon. In unity, time and space have no meaning or at least none we can understand—the universe contains all time and all space, and the photon is localizable in neither time nor space. A photon does not exist in the ordinary sense at all—you can never see it before it reaches its destination because if you see it it is gone, having reached its destination in your vision of it. A photon is not a thing, it is an action. But photons, able to carry extremely high energies, can "collide", creating the first (relatively) lower energy particles which will come to form the next world, World 3.

World 3, Galactic Structure and Particles

"Know, may God prosper you, that the [Creative] Command is essentially based on unevenness in which triplicty is implicit, since three is the first of the uneven numbers. It is from this plane that the Cosmos is created."
Ibn al 'Arabi, the Bezels of Wisdom

Things come in threes here: Three electrons of medium mass (electron, muon, tau); three neutrinos of vanishingly small mass (electron neutrino, muon neutrino, tau neutrino); and two families of three quarks of various mass (strange, down, and bottom; and charm, up and top) each of which come in three colors. Of course, the very ideas of "particle" and "color" are only convenient labels—our language and thought have no means of accurately representing this world. Regarding time and space we are not in much better shape here—time and space are the same thing, or ways of looking at the same thing, and Einstein's "space/time" is how this is commonly referred to. In world 1, time and space are meaningless. In world 3 they form space/time. They do not become separate time and space until world 6. (See also There Shall Be Time No Longer.)

"Space and time are the same thing, really. One way it looks like space, another way it looks like time."
P. D. Ouspensky, A Further Record

While modern physics has much to learn of this world, we can speak a little of it in terms of theory. In this regard, current excitement about neutrino investigations is interesting. Neutrinos were thought to have no mass, but recent experiments indicate clearly for the first time that neutrinos have mass, though it may be exceedingly small. But this discovery would help explain something that has puzzled physicists for a long time, namely that the number of neutrinos predicted by theory is not detected. One explanation for this (and this explanation required that neutrinos have some mass) is that the neutrinos spontaneously change into each other, so that experiments to detect a particular type of neutrino are inherently limited. This "changing into one another" seems to fit well with the idea that in World 3 the three forces are also each other.

These worlds that exist without yet having our kind of space and time may well have something to do with the well-known mystical experience, echoed down the ages and cultures as an experience of timelessness, and where all is connected, all is one. I have more to say about this in There Shall Be Time No Longer, but here I only want to point out that the "worlds" we are talking about have a practical, psychological significance as well, and it is at this level of World 3, that we, or some of humanity anyway, may have direct experience. We know our eyes are attuned to one segment of "electromagnetic" vibrations, our ears to a specific range of compressions in the air, and so on, and in the same way we have several psychic functions, each with its own range of perceptivity. Obviously the energies we are talking about at this level are extremely refined, and the fourth way considers them rarely if ever properly perceived except as the result of a long and disciplined and fortunate work.

The relation of the particles in this world to time in modern physics is unknown, but experimental lower limits have been set which give them a lifespan almost as great as the current age of the universe. While we may not be seeing the eternal existence we saw for world 1, it would seem to be the closest thing to it.

The world of these subatomic particles probably also explains what is called the large scale structure of the universe. This is a kind of first formation of structure after the big bang, in which extremely minor fluctuations in energy distribution in the expanding universe caused sufficient irregularities to keep matter from later being equally distributed, and so, form-less. These irregularities became, according to various theories, what are called sheets, or bubbles, which later allowed the formation of galaxies within them. Such large-scale structures are almost impossible to visualize, let alone map, because they in fact precede form, set the stage for formations, so to speak. An attempt to image a slice on such a scale shows fibers consisting of countless galaxies that looks like this:

(image of
galactive filaments)


These sheets, sometimes theorized to be more like the surface of inconceivably vast bubbles, somehow gave rise to the first stars and star conglomerations of some sort. Contemporary astrophysics has different theories about the organization of galaxies, and much is unknown and only guessed at at this time, so there is no point in taking one or another of these theories as support or refutation of the idea that sub-atomic particles must determine them. We do know that stars did form, and we know the result.

The fine fluctuations in energy discussed above that seem responsible for, or closely connected with, first structure in the universe, essentially "creation", are what is called the cosmic microwave background. In recent years, scientists are finding strong evidence to support the existence of "acoustic oscillations" closely associated with this initial creation. I suppose I would alienate half of my readers if I were to suggest a correspondence of "acoustic oscillations" with the mystical "Word" here, so let's just safely say that the correspondence is striking. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" says the mystical prologue to the Gospel of John. This term, Word, "logos" in the Greek, seems to me to be finely chosen. Note that it is singular—we do not read that in the beginning were the words. It comes from unity, and leads to multiplicity.

The first stars, called first-generation stars, produced the first, lighter elements: the hydrogen, helium, and so on that begin our periodic table of the elements and lead to the formation of galaxies such as our own Milky Way.

In short, unity or light (World 1), gave rise to particles and bubbles or sheets (World 3), which give rise to the atoms and galaxies of World 6, discussed next.

Three Mothers: Alef Mem Shin
A great, mystical secret
covered and sealed with six rings
and from them emanated air, water, and fire
and from them are born Fathers
and from the Fathers, descendants

from the Sefer Yetzirah

World 6, The Milky Way and Protons

"Time holds to God the place of grandson."
Philo of Alexandria

I'll use the proton to illustrate the particles called baryons—primarily protons and neutrons—which comprise this level. The baryons seem to be crucially involved in the creation of galaxies, required for the growth of the black hole at the galactic core as well as the first-generation stars that begin to form around it. As we might expect, a proton (or a neutron) consists of three particles of the higher world: in particular, they consist of three quarks.

The simplest element, so simple it might just as well be seen as the dense side of world 3 as the light side of world 6, is hydrogen. Composed of a single proton and electron it is the only element without a neutron in its nucleus. Progressively heavier atoms acquire additional electrons and protons, and so require neutrons in the nucleus to keep the positively charged protons from repelling each other. The next simplest atom for example, helium, has two protons and two neutrons in its nucleus, and two negatively charged electrons surrounding it: six particles, it is the holotype of world 6 micro-structure.

First-Generation Stars

We have here, connected with the origin of galaxies, the beginning of stars. Since we are discussing the Ray of Creation, in particular our Ray of Creation, we must discuss the first generation stars at this point because our Sun (world 12, the next level discussed in the next section), is a second-generation star. First-generation stars, associated with baryons, form the first of the elements, the lighter elements.

Here we have for the first time structures localizable in space and time. It is possible to know the exact position and speed of an atom. Atoms can be fixed, say, in a quartz crystal. Part of the atom, part of world 6, is world 3, though, and that part cannot be fixed. Inside of the atom, you are still limited to knowing the electron's position and momentum only approximately, with the tradeoff of one for the other as quantified in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle which applies to world 3.

"[...] space begins only in World 6. Absolute and World 3 are beyond space or out of space. Space is limitation and that begins only in World 6."
P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous

Each world "adds three laws of its own", but the laws are no longer conscious but mechanical. We see this in the atom, a sort of mechanism composed of three interacting but separate forces or particles: the active proton, the negative electron, and the neutralizing neutron. On the large scale, instead of amorphous sheets, we now have the clearly defined appearances of galaxies, with definite super-massive centers, and far-reaching arms that spawn new stars, and hence new atoms.

A single star can produce the smaller atoms—hydrogen, helium, up to carbon, maybe iron. But that is the limit of first generation stars. In order to produce ever-denser elements, stars must act in combination, and the structural combination of stars is called a galaxy. The Milky Way is said to be a typical galaxy, disk-shaped with old stars at its center, and new stars produced in its out-stretching spiral arms.

World 12, The Solar System and Atoms

Second generation stars, already containing the elements created by first generation stars now add a new level of complexity to the universe by going supernova, dying in an explosion of energy and matter that shoots the heavier elements out into the galaxy. This material may then be used in still more star-creation, and the process continues. This is the complete engine of atomic creation: the use of the fusion reactions of stars to generate ever denser elements, denser atoms, until our whole table of elements exists.
"And once again into the Cup that he had used in blending and mingling the Soul of the Universe He poured the remains of the Elements He had employed, and mingled them in much the same manner; they were not, however, pure as before, but in the second and third degree."
Plato Timaeus

The sun in our solar system is a second or later generation star and, like other stars, produces energy by nuclear fusion, in the process creating heavier elements. At this point, our sun is young enough that it is still burning hydrogen, the lightest of elements, and it does not contribute to the 100-plus list of elements currently available on Earth. These heavier elements were already available when our solar system formed, and the planets of our solar system formed of their accretion and are rich in them. Again we can only look at theories of solar system formation, as this is far from a decided issue in modern science. A common one views the early solar system as a disk composed of "dust and gases"—essentially the range of atoms and already simple molecules like hydrogen gas—that slowly cools, contracting to form the massive center which becomes the sun, surrounded by satellites formed of the dust and gas at distances of some sort of harmonic interval. These satellites, our solar system's planets, represent a new development, a new stage in the evolution of the universe, a new level in the ray of creation.

The sun on the planetary scale, and the atom on the particle scale, determine the possibilities of the star system, in this case our solar system. Matters cannot be created of anything but the atoms available, and planets have no energy source but the sun. But this combination is enough to produce the next step, the combination of atoms on the planets in diverse molecules, molecules with new structures, different properties, than their constituent atoms.

World 24, The Planets and Molecules

On the planets, conditions are very different from those on a star. For one thing it is much cooler, that is, less energetic, and heavier matters crystallize out, allowing the linking of atoms of like as well as unlike elements to form the complex world of molecules. The form and variety of molecular combination is controlled partly by the planet's relationship to the sun. The molecular combinations formed in the furnace heat on Mercury will vary greatly from those formed in the unimaginable cold on Pluto. But possibilities are also determined by the planet's nature which is only partly determined by its place. For example,Venus and Mars are reasonably close on the scale of the solar system, yet Venus's atmosphere affords it a kind of protection from solar and cosmic energies that the tenuous atmosphere on Mars cannot.

And it is in this very property of atmosphere that something new becomes distinguishable. One planet in this solar system, Earth, has demonstrated, on the scale of planetary time, what can only be called an intelligent atmosphere. An atmosphere no longer the sole product of planetary and molecular forces, but one that evolves based on the introduction of a new development and which in turn protects that new development, feeds it and is fed by it.

Between Worlds, Nature and the Cell

As an example as to how the fourth way can help one "put things in their place". I wanted to mention here a book I recently read called The Cosmic Serpent. In it, the author recalls his time with shamans from the Amazon, and in particular their use of hallucinogenic drugs. As an ethnobotanist, he got involved with the shamans primarily because whenever he would inquire of the natives of the rain forest where they got their astonishing knowledge of plants (knowledge often so sophisticated it seemed impossible to learn the various combinations by trail and error) he was invariably told that the plants themselves revealed their properties to the "ayahuascos", that is, to the shamans when they were under the influence of mixtures of the ayahuasca vine and other native plants.

Of course, as an educated Westerner, he claims he didn't believe the plants told them anything, but he couldn't figure out what they meant, what they were really trying to tell him, these people that otherwise were so straightforward. His dissertation lay elsewhere, so he left the rain-forest, finished his schooling, and went to work trying to help the natives of the rain-forest protect their lands. But that answer— "we learn it from the plants"—continued to bother him.

I won't go into the whole story here, but I do recommend this book as an honest account which seems to me one of the modern works which begins to illustrate some part of what I elsewhere refer to as the new science. What I want to mention here is the astonishing conclusion he arrived at: no less than that the shamans experienced themselves and the world around them from a molecular viewpoint, literally responding to their own and the biosphere's super-saturation with DNA.

But this should come as no surprise to us: Rodney Collin speaks specifically about gaining access to molecular consciousness. One of the tenets of Collin's exposition is that access to a "lower" world simultaneously allows access to a "higher" world. In this case, conscious access to the molecular world should bring access to the consciousness of the planetary world. There are in fact a few mentions of perceiving the earth as a whole, and perceiving it over the time of its existence in this book, although the author had not, of course, known this theory and so had not looked for that.

In brief, how this relates to the cellular world is that DNA may well be the "bridge" for us between the world of nature and the world of the planets and solar system. The very instrument of the "shock" that bridges the fa-mi interval of the Ray of Creation.

World 48, Earth and Organics

I've used the term "organics" here to reflect the kind of matters of which the Earth, and primarily its surface, is composed. The term is intended to connote not only the products and action of living things on the surface, but the environment that makes it possible, particularly water in liquid state. Most of this has to do with the interactions and combinations of the chemical elements carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. They combine to from the amino acids, building blocks of proteins.

One way to understand this level is to contrast it with next level, the Moon. The activities of life produce an enormous surface dynamic that inter-penetrates the very mineral forms of Earth, due to the processes of erosion and sedimentation caused by wind and water, processes that are altogether absent on the Moon. Limestone mountains, ocean salinity, coral atolls, nitrogenous soils, and much more are only possible with this organic interaction.

World 96, The Moon and Minerals

The end of our ray of creation consists of mineral forms that are very rigid, having high melting points and resistance to fracture. Erosion is negligible, and water, if any, is frozen. There is no protective atmosphere, and no magnetosphere.

One of the curious ideas connected with the Ray of Creation is that it is growing, much as the bud of a tree limb grows on a tree. In this theory, a planet, for example, may one day become a star, and a satellite may one day become a planet. This is very different from the modern scientific view of the accidental collision of "lifeless balls in a dark attic".

One apparent objection to the Ray of Creation as a growing ray might be that the rocks of the Moon's surface are almost certainly about the same age as the Earth. In other words, the Moon is probably approximately the same age as the Earth. But it may be interesting to look at this in a different way: that is, the Moon is composed of the same material as the Earth was in its infancy. Common Moon rock, anorthosite for example, is rare on the Earth's surface, and in the few places it is found are estimated to be over a billion years old. While the Earth and Moon themselves are estimated at 4.5 billion (U.S. billion, i.e, thousand million) years old, very little ancient rock has survived under the dynamics of the Earth's surface. Should similar dynamics begin to occur on the Moon, one could expect some similar developments.

But what are the differences between a planet and a satellite of a planet? In general, a planet has a magnetosphere and an independent rotation. With the Moon we see a lack of magnetosphere and no independent rotation. How rotation or magnetospheres develop is poorly understood, but I think it is interesting to reflect on the fact that the Moon, which is believed to have a nickel-iron core, passes through the Earth's magnetic field once a month, at every full Moon. It reminds me of the way you magnetize an ordinary nail: repeatedly rub the nail against a magnet in the same direction, that is, in cycles.

Among other things, a magnetosphere would begin to protect the Moon from bombardment by everything from cosmic rays to meteors, and may well be required for the formation of a stable atmosphere. If the Moon is beginning to acquire a magnetosphere, it may be seen as beginning to "grow".


Note 1- A Note on Quantum Probability
Quantum action is fundamentally different than the "chance", say, of winning the lottery. We can produce equations that very accurately describe, for example, the possibility that a photon will have a certain "spin". There are certain probabilities that are well known, but we can never be sure, until we check, just what the photon's spin state is. Apparently similarly, we use probabilities, say, in insuring automobile drivers, or predicting odds of winning the lottery.

But let us take a simple "macro-world" (as opposed to quantum world) probability: I flip a penny in the air and it lands either heads or tails up. The probability of any side landing up is known to be 50%, that is, in the long run, half the time the penny lands heads-up, the other half of the time it lands heads-down. Sure, we know that.

Now consider a quantum particle that can be in a state in which it can be described as having "spin up" or "spin down". Until we measure the spin, we can't tell which state the particle is in. But when we do measure it, we find that approximately half the time it is in "spin up" state and half the time in "spin down" state. The more measurements we make, the more exactly the ratio becomes 50/50, just as with the probability of the penny landing heads-up or heads-down.

So what is the difference? This, I think is really a very powerful point, precisely because these two cases seem to be the same thing, under the same laws, only different in size or scale. But the difference between the two is about as fundamental as it can possibly be. In the case of the penny, we flip a coin and can only give a 50% chance that it will land heads-up. Why? Because we are ignorant of all the conditions. We don't know exactly how much force is applied, what the angle of ascent is, the atmospheric density, the relative hardness of the surface it hits, its original position, and many. many other variables. In the long run these variables even out, and produce our 50/50 probability.

Conversely, in the case of the quantum spin of a particle, our inability to predict the state of a particle prior to measurement is not based on an ignorance of conditions but rather, the probability is the condition, the probability is the law and subject to no others. There are no "hidden variables". This is difficult for us to realize, trained as we are in a way of thinking to continually look for underlying causes, never trained to deal with final causes. We have to do that training ourselves.

Note 2- A Note on Gravity
Ouspensky indicates there is no such thing as gravity, it being unnecessary if the universe is a six-dimensional solid (see
The Theory of Six Dimensions). It is interesting to note that while modern science posits a fundamental particle that carries gravity, called the graviton, no such particle has ever been discovered. Oddly enough, and unlike electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces, gravity remains an unproven theory.

It seems to me possible that there is no such thing, and what we call gravity is acceleration. Einstein pointed out that the effect of acceleration was indistinguishable from the effect of gravity. This would seem to make it unique—we do not correlate the other forces with derivatives of motion.

It is my guess that what is called gravity has to do with angular momentum, and this angular momentum is manifested as the revolution, rotation, and, perhaps, precession, of everything in the universe.

I should add that recent perusing of a physics news group on the Internet shows me that there is a lot of discussion about just this issue (i.e., just what the heck is this "gravity"), and I notice in a book by Roger Penrose his insistence that gravity is fundamental and not a result of something more fundamental. The fact is, we just don't know. Newton, generally credited with "discovering" gravity, in fact only said it is "as if" there were such a force. There is a tremendous effort currently underway to detect "gravity waves" and gravitons, so perhaps we will know more in the near future.

Finally, this whole discussion of the three/four forces of Nature (electro-magnetic, strong, weak, and gravity) reminds me of nothing so much as the ancient four elements. When Gurdjieff discussed the law of three, he included a fourth condition in which a matter is taken as separate from the three. I am only musing, but I suspect there is a connection.

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