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  Columnist: Peter Fotis Kapnistos

First-ever photos of God

Posted on Saturday, 27 June, 2009 | 17 comments
Columnist: Peter Fotis Kapnistos

Perhaps the most incredible space photos ever put on view are enfolded in a great mystery known as "pareidolia." A category of optical illusions, pareidolia is an uncertain impression perceived as something clear and distinct. The astronomer Carl Sagan thought that seeing faces in clouds is an evolutionary trait. "Confirmation bias" refers to the tendency to notice what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore what disagrees with them.

Some psychologists promote pareidolia under clinical conditions to evaluate their patients. The most well known example is the Rorschach inkblot test. The Baltimore Sun in recent times reported: "Pareidolia is common enough, and predates the space program by a millennium or two. We've all seen the Man in the Moon, or faces and images of ships and elephants in cloud formations."

In 1978, some 8,000 people made pilgrimages to the home of a New Mexico woman who discovered a picture of Jesus in a burned tortilla. And in 2001, thousands saw the face of Satan captured in a CNN video and Associated Press photos of smoke billowing from the World Trade Center. (Mike Himowitz, "Space photo contents often are all in eye of the beholder," Baltimore Sun, Feb 12, 2004.)

(Photo 1 - Pareidolia)

Space photos pose a fuzzy hurdle for scientists now programming computers to observe images and to recognize objects. If a computer were taught to make out the symbolic abstractions of modern art, how would it perceive the contents of deep space photos? Some might argue that teaching machines to see "arty abstractions" is simply a waste of time. Yet we surely expect our GPS-fitted cars of the future to identify ordinary road sign symbols, which are likewise graphic abstractions.

In his book, "How We Believe," publisher of Skeptic magazine, Michael Shermer said that our brains are belief engines or evolved pattern-recognition machines that connect the dots and create meaning out of the patterns that we think we see in nature. According to Shermer, we are the descendants of those most successful at finding patterns. This process is called association learning, and is basic to all animal behavior.

Why do people see faces in nature, interpret window stains as human figures, hear voices in random sounds generated by electronic devices or find conspiracies in the daily news? A proximate cause is the priming effect, in which our brain and senses are prepared to interpret stimuli according to an expected model. UFOlogists see a face on Mars. Religionists see the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. Paranormalists hear dead people speaking to them through a radio receiver. Conspiracy theorists think 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush administration. Is there a deeper ultimate cause for why people believe such weird things? There is. I call it "patternicity," or the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise. (Michael Shermer, "Patternicity: Finding Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Noise," Scientific American, Nov 25, 2008.)

I first explored the conceptual problem of space photos when I staged an art gallery exhibition during the 1980s, near the Polytechnic University of Athens, Greece. Various journalists and local television personalities turned up to scrutinize my close-up prints of the "map of the universe."

(Photo 2 - Art and space)

The foremost panoramic optical view of the entire sky was made during the middle of the 20th century under the direction of astronomer Knut Lundmark at the Lund Observatory in Sweden (the first Hasselblad camera in space was Swedish made). To construct the image, draftsmen used a mathematical distortion (Aitoff projection) to map the sky with the plane of the Milky Way along the center and the north galactic pole at the top.

In this way, the oval map is really an optical illusion. What appear to be the distant left and right wings of a flattened plane are part of the same curved space that wraps around us and joins up behind our star system. Accordingly, we are actually located in the center of the curved sky map, although we get the flat impression of being outside of it.

The Milky Way clouds, or the collective glow of stars in the densely populated galactic plane, are accurately drafted and mixed with dark dust lanes. 7,000 individual stars are shown as white dots indicating brightness. The end product is photographic in quality and represents the entire observable sky. The map took two years to complete and is usually referred to as the Lund Panorama of the visible universe.

Alexis Kostalas, one of Greece's best-known performing arts journalists and the official presenter of the 2004 Olympic Games of Athens, was one of several visitors who came to my exhibition to investigate the bizarre power of pareidolia. At first, I considered the space photo stuff to be little more than a speculative task of finding patterns. But since then, remarkable discoveries in biology forced me to enlarge my way of thinking about what the space pictures might possibly disclose.

Astronomers today believe they have come up with solid proof for the existence of a super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy -- right behind the bull's eye or event horizon of our sky map. The accelerating growth of science and new tools of atomic research like the Large Hadron Collider are expected to rapidly produce a technological singularity. Evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) biologists think the best computer is a black hole system and information can be sent into a new universe from an intelligent black hole attractor.

A few years ago, most scientists imagined that nothing could ever escape from a black hole -- not even light. It was understood that a black hole would destroy information about the original quantum state of anything falling into it. Only a mixed disturbance of stray Hawking radiation or irrelevant noise could be emitted as faded energy from a black hole.

But in 1997, theoretical physicist John Preskill bet Stephen Hawking that information was not lost in black holes. Hawking wrote an article in 2005 and announced that quantum perturbations of the event horizon could indeed let information escape from a black hole. Stephen Hawking lost the wager but shed light on the information paradox. He said that we must look at the multiverse as a whole since information going into black holes is saved in parallel universes.

The best opinion among physicists today is that information is preserved and that Hawking radiation is not precisely thermal but receives quantum corrections. In simple terms, this implies that a strong chemical synapse (intelligence-transmitting impulse) of complex organic molecules would most certainly be crushed out of reality by the physically powerful gravitational forces of a black hole. But a weaker electrical synapse of elementary particles below the atom in size could conceivably endure a passive black hole merger without wiping out structural complexities. For this reason, evo-devo biologists think the ultimate universal computer is a black hole attractor.

If a developmental singularity is the ideal computing platform for a universal intelligence merger, how many universal civilizations might be involved in such a merger? The Drake Equation estimates 10,000 communicative civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy alone. Today there has also been an explosion of renewed interest in astrobiology over the search for "extreme forms of life" on Earth and for similar life in deep space.

(Photo 3 - First-Ever Photos)

An international panel from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck institute in Germany and the University of Sydney found that galactic dust could form spontaneously into helixes and double helixes and that the inorganic creations had memory and the power to reproduce themselves.

A similar rethinking of prospective alien life is being undertaken by the National Research Council, an advisory body to the US government. It says NASA should start a search for what it describes as "weird life" -- organisms that lack DNA or other molecules found in life on Earth. (Robert Booth, "Dust 'comes alive' in space," Sunday Times, August 12, 2007.)

I was initially amused to find that nearly all of the visitors attracted to my small exhibit expressed sight of an allegorical humanoid shape pinpointed on the map of the visible universe. Their metaphors ranged from Godhead, Jesus, and Buddha -- to a snowman, Bigfoot, and King Kong. But the pareidolia was the same: a cloudy pyramidal bulb at the center of the sky map looked a bit humanoid to most people.

I understand you've been running from the man

That goes by the name of the Sandman

He flies the sky like an eagle in the eye

Of a hurricane that's abandoned

(America - "Sandman," 1972)

Yet today pareidolia is our least direct concern. Far more important is the possibility that the cloudy bulb on our sky map might be composed of helical plasma structures like those found in DNA. Far more significant is the prospect that an attractor near our galactic event horizon represents an intelligent black hole or developmental singularity with memory and the power to reproduce itself. Today the pareidolia aspect is only an "optional extra" to boost your interest. What you see is what you get.

Today we know that electromagnetic forces in space can hold together helical strands of galactic dust that may contain genetic codes comparable to the DNA information of organic matter. According to V.N. Tsytovich's international panel, these interstellar microscopic corkscrew shapes exhibit the necessary properties to meet the criteria for life. For this reason, our picture puzzle goes beyond ordinary patternicity. It also crosses the threshold of synchronicity. Finding meaningful patterns in noise is not necessarily the same as believing what we see.

Yet a further coincidence is that our sky map pareidolia bears a resemblance to religious hallucinations and ecstatic visions known all through the ages. Remote viewing refers to information gathered about isolated targets using extra-sensory perception. Without a doubt, our all-encompassing panoramic map is an exemplar of the rotundum, a mental image of the self or world soul that emerges subconsciously with the thought of a circle or a sphere.

For the ancients, the kingdom of heaven was really the same as the visible sky. The word firmament is translated from the Hebrew "raqiya," which meant the vault or dome of the expanding sky. The supreme deity was depicted as sitting on a throne in the firmament, reminiscent of an abstract radiant fetus in its protective bubble. Yet the ancients made it abundantly clear that what looked like a man in the sky with a crown of stars was merely humanoid pareidolia.

The full-grown being they spoke of escalated far beyond the measure of man to a cosmic degree of light years -- "he stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." The flying throne chariot was described as a formation of wheels within wheels in the script of Ezekiel. A group of poets throughout the biblical era reiterated visions of a great white throne in the sky. In the West the chariot is the basis of Merkebah mysticism. In the East it's the Car of the Norm.

Endurance is the armor of the Norm,

And to attain the Peace that car rolls on.

'Tis built by self, by one's own self beometh --

This chariot, incomparable, supreme:

Seated therin the sages leave the world,

And verily they win the victory.

(The Pali Canon)

(Photo 4 - Chariot of Light)

Pondering whirlwinds and cosmic fires, Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle boldly proposed that self-organizing plasma could take the form of a molecular quantum computing cloud. Hoyle was responsible for the term "big bang," although he did not believe the big bang theory. His study of panspermia with Chandra Wickramasinghe showed that a sentient "life cloud" might be able to absorb magnetic and light energy from stars and planets, process information, and move in space by using radiation pressure. Hoyle was knighted in 1972 for his theories about the origin of chemical elements in stars. Arvidas Tamulis described a similar kind of life cloud as a quantum computer that uses photoactive molecules converting light energy to magnetic flops at extremely low temperatures in interstellar dust clouds.

Molecular computing clouds are generally pictured as cold black "blobs, slithering things, unimaginable things." Previous suggestions that huge quantum clouds may have "symmetrical limbs" provoked criticisms or claims of the supernatural. But there are some logical pointers to consider. In 2009, researcher Ronen Alon of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel discovered that white blood cells move like millipedes, creating many tiny "legs" that adhere to the lining of blood vessel walls. When scientists looked closely at these limb-like protrusions, using an electron microscope, they saw that the minute legs rapidly attach and detach themselves, allowing the cells to quickly crawl to their destination.

Marine biologist Mikhail Matz from the University of Texas at Austin monitored the Bahamas seabed in 2008. His team discovered that a single-celled organism the size of a grape (Gromia sphaerica) crawls and propels itself with temporary protrusions called "pseudopods." Similar protrusions could perhaps produce supracellular structures containing tunnelling nanotubules, according to recent theories of DNA computing. Former astronaut and physicist Ulrich Walter thinks evolved space-faring creatures would require the same stereoscopic vision and the same hand-eye coordination as humans. Anthony Bragalia says they could be self-engineered, with humanoid limb structures to ambulate within their environment.

A curious detail about our sky map pareidolia is that none of the ancient truth-seekers with testimonies of the throne chariot were ever able to actually get a good look at the occupant. Deep clouds surrounded him (or "something like" a sea of glass mingled with fire). They could, however, remotely view his right arm amid bursts of lightning. Thus, the right arm implied protection. The Torah was supposedly prewritten on it.

Perhaps this "heavenly handedness" was a subconscious idiom of homochirality. It's a logical sign that life in deep space will exhibit a particular handedness. Louis Pasteur discovered the homochirality of organic material in 1848. The molecules that make proteins and DNA all have either a left-handed or right-handed orientation. According to William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute, life may be detectable by examining optical properties to identify regions of space where homochirality exists.

(Photo 5 - Handedness)

Several visitors that called on my exhibit noticed another outstanding example of pareidolia. For over half of the viewers, a forward region of our sky map seemed to resemble a bird's outstretched wing. A longing for air flight and the subliminal lure of plumes and feathers is intriguingly marked in the human genome -- from indigenous tribal myths to Stravinsky's "Firebird." As luck would have it, winged creatures (called cherubim and seraphim in the Scriptures) were colorfully portrayed with the throne chariot. They're personifications of the clouds that transport it.

Additional creatures resembling a lion and a calf as well as a number of elders were said to dwell in the winged cherubim throne. Strangely enough, on the opposite side of our sky map, a sprawling dark mass of cubist-like pareidolia emulates the wretched look of a black sheep's head, lying dead on its side. The book of Revelation described a lamb as it had been slain in the midst of the throne.

Oh set me up with the spirit in the sky

That's where I'm gonna go when I die

When I die and they lay me to rest

I'm gonna go to the place that's the best

(Norman Greenbaum - "Spirit in the Sky," 1969)

(Photo 6 - Firebird)

Were ancient thinkers capable of observing abstract landscape features from our map of the cosmos? Or equally, why should our map display pareidolia of bygone archetypes? Since it's highly unlikely (but not impossible) that ancient geeks possessed sophisticated technologies and the rules of Aitoff projections to sketch out an exact chart, we might accept as an alternative that it could all be due to something hardwired in our genes. In spite of everything, our panoramic map is certainly the mother of all inkblot tests. If we fix our eyes on it long enough, we may well see everything that exists.

Several theories in quantum physics suggest the cosmos may be a discerning entity or a living universe -- one single whole with consciousness. Physicist Gerald Schroeder explained that our human brains might act like data lines picking up information from a collective mind external to the body, and adding individual experiences back into the collective memory. This was allegedly supported by experiments conducted by the David Lynch Foundation where a statistical crime level was reduced for a short time in the locality of a large collective focus.

Complexity theorist James Gardner argued in his book "Biocosm" that the purpose of cosmic evolution is the propagation of baby universes exhibiting the same life-friendly physical qualities as their parent-universe. Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin introduced the idea that every time a black hole collapses into a singularity and a new baby universe is formed with a new space-time, the laws of physics that are born with it are slightly different. John Gibbon reported that baby universes could be different from their parents. Some may lose the ability to grow much larger than the Planck length, and will fade back into the quantum realm. But some may have a little more inflation still than their parents, growing even larger, producing more black holes and giving birth to more baby universes in their turn.

Professor Rudy Rucker, a colleague of Stephen Wolfram ("A New Kind of Science") recently wondered if a world in which everything is said to be alive could hatch a new pantheistic doctrine. He referred to the notion that every physical entity is alive (hylozoism) and the philosophical dogma that everything is conscious (psychism). But our sky map touches deeper than the reach of pantheism. Instead, it implies that primary consciousness could be present in a privileged position -- not everywhere. An attractor interface or fixed point of intelligent interaction between mass and energy might be located near the event horizon of our galactic black hole. Maybe the energy of a developmental singularity outflows nearby, from a higher multiverse of many dimensions, to engage in natural selection and to initiate new universe creation.

The attractor is perhaps similar to Teilhard de Chardin's idea of a colossal biological noosphere. Soviet geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky first popularized the noosphere as a metabolic process, or a mega-organism on a vast scale. Chicago Tribune reporter Guy Murchie said that one huge mind or "thinking layer" surrounding our world corresponds to the noosphere. But even if there's a self-similar manifold, with innumerable attractors for every known galaxy, the information that brought our universe into existence is not confined in time like we are, or the way the universe is. The multiverse singularity is transcending, and can't be reduced to pantheistic logic.

According to evo-devo biology, natural selection ceases to be the driving force of evolution after a particular point, and self-design takes over. The multiverse could correspond to a big bounce, merging two universal phases of expansion (big bang) and contraction (big crunch). Since the differentiation between past and future is meaningless, the multiverse could be gauged either as a forever-looping oscillation (cyclical), or an endless array of parallel universes (Witten's M-theory).

Each phase is driven by natural selection. But after billions of years of relentless evolution and the chronological struggle of blood, sweat, and tears, a logical focus at length is able to engineer and load the initial conditions for its "opposite" phase. In that phase, initial conditions all at once emerge fine-tuned for a life-sustaining genesis not because of a weird or spectacular accident, but because a self-designing developmental platform reverse-assembled them via the universal transcension of an intelligent attractor (computing black hole).

Stephen Hawking thrashed out "The History of the Universe Backwards" with coworker Thomas Hertog in 2007. He said the best way to understand how the universe arose was with a "top-down approach" -- to look at our current cosmic conditions, then work back through the sum of all histories to figure out which theory best fits those conditions. Physicist Paul Davies took a similar view when he argued in his book "Cosmic Jackpot" that the cosmos made itself the way it is, "stretching backward in time to the very beginning," to focus in on bio-friendliness. Physicist Ronald Mallett at the University of Connecticut said a circulating beam of light might reverse space-time symmetries.

Given that matter comes with equal parts of antimatter, maybe each big bounce cycle of the multiverse carries opposite charge, spin, and handedness. However, to maintain thermodynamic constancy, the contrasting phases could also give rise to some distantly masculine and feminine differences. For example, if our subconscious worldview now slants toward the male or Animus (in "him" we live and move and have our being) our archetypal calling to eventually unite with the "other side" is personified as the Anima "bride" -- a beautiful maternal habitat like a celestial city adorned for her husband.

The steady-state multiverse or "self-made universe" has neither beginning nor end in time. It can be described using the equations of physics and does not hinge on any inexpressible or external forces past the big bounce. Still, the attractor's potential to amaze and inspire refuses to go away. According to stem-cell guru Robert Lanza, life creates the cosmos. We can understand reality better by accepting space and time as biological forms of perception rather than as external objects.

The final universal computronium must populate more than a standard memory chip. If every part of a holographic cosmos includes all the information held by the whole, an intelligence merger could also coincide with a Golgotha Event, reduced to chaos by the manifestation of a negative trade off. In the East, "annihilation of the self" is the way to eternity. Perhaps a black hole merger calls for a self-sacrificial unselfish gene.

Widespread anxieties that the Mayan calendar should end in 2012 also underscore the fact that medieval minds "merged a singularity" with the ghost of Golgotha. The BC / AD calendar system marks the life of Jesus as the "dividing point of time" and world history.

Some believe that an untimely earthquake that stretched to the Sea of Marmara caused a fissure in the rock of Golgotha when Jesus died. Also packed together in close proximity to Golgotha's dim thunderstorm zone are the Thera crater (the most titanic volcano in the hemisphere) and the Dead Sea shores (the lowest point on the surface of Earth on dry land).

In "The Collapsing Universe," Isaac Asimov said a mysterious blast estimated at 15 megatons that flattened a Siberian forest in 1908 might actually have been a small black hole. Russian scientist Yuri Labvin suggested that an alien intelligence wanting to save the Earth was behind the Tunguska blast that downed 80 million trees over nearly 100 square miles.

The Shroud of Turin is considered by many to be a photo of God. It reveals a negative contact print image of a crucified man's body on a long piece of cloth. Shroud devotees believe it was the cloth used to bury the historic Jesus.

Radio carbon dating conducted in 1988 on threads of the shroud dated the cloth to several centuries after the death of Jesus. But in a documentary video, Ray Rogers, the chemist who led that project, afterward said those threads proved to be part of a burn repair made to the cloth in the 16th century. The Vatican recently reported that the Knights Templar kept the shroud a secret for over 100 years after the Crusades.

Maybe the most perfect coincidence of all is that the map of the universe has a similar structure as the field of human perception. In mental space, the rotundum (round element) corresponds to the self, the regulating center of the psyche and catalyst of individuation. It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with it.

(Photo 7 - Shroud)

Scientists today are trying to figure out perception as it applies to design. According to Richard Strand, our "cognitive image" consists of an oval perceptual field that focuses on a focal area in its central foreground. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake suggested that our familiar life forms might owe their structure and development to "morphogenetic fields" which form a kind of cosmic template.

In his book, "The Production of Space," philosopher Henri Lefebvre linked together mental space (the space of the philosophers) and real space (the physical and social spheres in which we live). The actuality of space gives rise to a perceptual field in which we have the experience of art. But peculiarly, like the sky map, our perceptual field is also an optical illusion. Due to our binocular vision, separate parallax images arise in each eye to become a single image (stereopsis) by the mental process of fusion. Hearing is also stereophonic (binaural) because we have two ears.

For example, if we stare at the tip of our nose, we get the symmetric sense of a gold spoon-shaped design where the left and right images overlap. What we actually see is the external membrane of the olfactory bulb (fleshy wall of the nostrils). But the circular onion-shaped illusion is in fact the earliest thing our eyes observed after birth.

Like an inner apparition, the pyramidal bulb structure continues to guide us all through our lives. Even if we overlook it, subconsciously it stands for the rotunda, an image of our own self or true face. Infants discover the perceptual field as a central steering mechanism and a zone of contact. With this cosmic template, the mind retains a model of its environment. In effect, the kingdom is within us. It's not just a psychic illusion, but also a bridge of matter and consciousness within a privileged position.

Scientists were recently surprised to find that our mental template of perception bears a strong resemblance to fractal geometry, or the bulb building process of the Mandlebrot Set. In 1999, Jeremy Avnet and Jennifer Carter gave a lecture entitled "Chaos and Neurodynamics" at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They studied EEG attractor formations in the olfactory bulb and processes controlling the oscillations between the inhalation attractor and exhalation attractor. They found that the exhalation process acts as a sort of reset button, causing all attractors throughout the olfactory bulb to vanish. Along with odors, molecular signals called "pheromones" are also detected in the olfactory bulb.

Located just behind the nostrils in the nose's dividing septum are two tiny pits referred to as the vomeronasal organ (VNO), the seat of the sixth sense. Named for the vomer bone, where the septum meets the top of the mouth, the VNO contains nerve cells that sense chemicals called pheromones, secreted by many animals, including humans.

The University of Chicago established proof of human pheromones in 1998. They transmit fear, stimulate courtship behavior, and give rise to the language of love. Our ancestors in all likelihood communicated by a sixth sense, using semiochemical signals.

(Day of Rotunda - MP3 Audio Track)

The vestibular system is a paired set of tiny sensory organs tucked deep into the temporal bone on either side of the head, right near the cochlea of the inner ear. It gives us our natural sense of balance. In 1991, Martin Lenhardt of the University of Virginia discovered that people could also sense ultrasound, using the vestibular system as a hearing organ.

In the East, the mental template is often described as a third eye or golden flower. The Bible hints at a sealed forehead and "apple of the eye" (Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalm 17:8 refers to the "small man" or pupil of the eye). The rotunda bulb may look like an apple or guava fruit to make us wise, but eating it certainly isn't beneficial to the human species.

A Taoist meditation called "The Secret of the Golden Flower" tells how the mental bulb ultimately unfolds its sentient petals when consciousness finally occupies "the square inch field inside the square foot house." According to Newsweek, almost two thirds of Americans say they pray, and many now study "The Cloud of Unknowing," as well as the writings of the contemplatives Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila.

In the East, the mental template's nickname is the little vehicle or individual self, formed in the image of the cosmos or larger vehicle of the world soul. The individual self is "atman," a humanoid idea tiny as a thumb but identical to God in essence. In the West, the "demiurge" originated with Plato and was identified as nous (mind). Another title for the demiurge, "Saklas," is Aramaic for fool or trickster. Given that the individual self is a likeness of the cosmic whole, it can also become antagonistic to the will of universal intelligence. Pushed by faulty craving, rather than bonding with the world soul, Saklas mischievously proclaims himself as God, though even he desires a good outcome.

Do what you want, but think about the Omen

A vision in your mind will lead your way.

Go where you want, but don't forget the Omen

A light at your side will show you where.

(Magic Affair - "Omen," 1994)

In 2009, researchers at UCLA used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who meditate and found that meditation increases the brain's size. Meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the hippocampus and areas within the orbito-frontal cortex, the thalamus and the inferior temporal gyrus - all regions known for regulating emotions. The researchers said they found significantly larger cerebral measurements in meditators compared with controls.

If mind and universe share the same cosmic template and both use developmental attractors to store and send information, how might intelligent black hole mergers come about? Only 10% of our DNA is used for building proteins. The rest is regarded as junk DNA. Russian researchers recently got together linguists and geneticists in an experiment to investigate junk DNA. According to their findings, DNA also serves as data storage and communication.

Russian biophysicist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues found that alkalines of DNA seemingly follow a regular grammar and have set rules just like other languages. They reported that DNA could cause a disturbing pattern in a vacuum that churns out magnetized wormholes (or tunneling nanotubules). Wormholes are the microscopic equivalents of Einstein-Rosen bridges near black holes. They connect different areas of space-time through which information can instantly be transmitted.

Physicists David Hochberg and Thomas Kephart have shown how gravity was strong enough in the very early universe to have provided the energy required to spontaneously create massive numbers of self-stabilizing wormholes. A significant portion of these wormholes is likely to still be around and may be pervasive, providing a vast network of corridors that reach far and wide throughout the universe. It might be easier to discover and use these natural wormholes than to create new ones. (Foreword to James Gardner's "The Intelligent Universe" by Ray Kurzweil.)

Referring to dark matter and dark energy, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku recently said schoolbooks should no longer teach that our universe is made mostly of atoms. In 2009, physicists Donald Coyne and D. C. Cheng showed that mini black holes could be everywhere, and "all particles might be made of various forms of black holes." As black holes lose energy, they slowly evaporate, shrinking in size down to the quantum scale where they may be identical to elementary particles. If everything is in fact made of mini black holes, the basis of biological death could be more directly linked to intelligent black hole mergers, and a Golgotha Event could express those final conditions.

Mama put my guns in the ground

I can't shoot them anymore

That cold black cloud is comin' down

Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

(Bob Dylan - "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" 1973)

Is mind a singularity? For some observers it looks and feels like it. Danny Penman reported that a group of British researchers are now challenging the establishment by launching a major scientific study into near-death experiences. Most survivors say they experienced the rotundum as a circulating tunnel of light.

One study published in the prestigious Lancet medical journal found that one in ten cardiac arrest survivors experienced emotions, visions or lucid thoughts while they were clinically dead. In medical terms they were "flatliners" or unconscious with no signs of brain activity, pulse or breathing. About one in four people who have a near-death experience also have a much more profound - and sometimes disturbing - experience such as watching doctors try and resuscitate their bodies.

Jewish historian Gershom Scholem said the Merkebah mystics practiced a breathing meditation to "descend" to the chariot. The mental template was a backdrop on which they focused their vision. The ganzfeld perceptual field is a state of mild sensory deprivation that purportedly sets off extra-sensory perception and remote viewing. A recent survey by the Pew Forum found 68 percent of Americans say they believe that angels and demons are active in this world.

People in at least three countries, including the United States, believe dreams contain important hidden truths, said researcher Carey Morewedge, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In six different studies, Morewedge and his colleagues surveyed nearly 1,100 people about their dreams. Across all three cultures, an overwhelming majority of the people endorsed the theory that dreams reveal hidden truths about themselves and the world, a belief also endorsed by a nationally representative sample of Americans, Morewedge said. ("Most People Believe Dreams Are Meaningful," LiveScience, Feb 17, 2009.)

Rotunda visions have shaped certain forms of art and architecture. The Dome of the Rock, the Taj Mahal, the Kremlin, and the US Capitol are all geodesic structures called "onion domes." A well-known rotunda edifice in the past was the Byzantine martyrium for saintly relics. The "tryblion" was a saucer or plate used as a measure or seal of weight and volume (kaarah in the Hebrew Old Testament) rooted in the Passover Seder Plate. The followers of a type of mysticism centered in Palestine inscribed prayers and rotunda diagrams on their tryblion saucers to give spiritual protection (Chretien speaks of "un graal," or platter). Lately, visionary artist Ingo Swann integrated the crystal image of a pyramidal bulb in his painting, "Feminine Rising." Coached by Salvador Dali, telepathist Uri Geller flaunted surreal mental spaces on pottery plates.

Brother you don't need to turn me away

I was waiting down at the ancient gate

(Fleet Foxes - "Mykonos," 2008)

"Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter, an academic whose research focuses on consciousness, thought, and imagination. Using examples of Escher's optical illusions, a scrutiny of Godel's incompleteness theorem, and reflections on Bach's compositions along with Zen koans, Hofstadter explained how physical systems (reminiscent of art) acquire meaning despite being made of meaningless elements.

In his book "The Black Swan," Nassim Nicholas Taleb interpreted a symbol for something that could not exist. The expression "black swan" refers to a prevailing, unforeseen, and uncommon occurrence beyond the sphere of normal probabilities. Taleb said that all important scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic achievements are black swans - uncontrolled and unpredicted.

(Photo 9 - Plane)

James Lovelock's "Gaia hypothesis" proposed that the biosphere acts as a superorganism. But we shouldn't be fooled into thinking so-called superorganisms studied today embody a higher intelligence. In fact, they're sub-human. Honeybee communities may produce self-organization, but they don't have the complexity required to build pyramids or skyscrapers. The underlying truth today is that scientists lack the will to respond to a black hole attractor or higher universal intelligence.

Craig Hogan of Fermilab, said we could be living in a giant cosmic hologram as an extension of our understanding of black holes. If information from a higher intelligence were projected out of a black hole, it would show up near the event horizon in a clutter of Hawking radiation. But quantum perturbations would allow at least some conspicuous meaning to arise from the clutter. Could intellectual abstraction be a key attractor to extraterrestrial contact?

Today, information and media literacy (IML) is important. Christie's and Sotheby's fetch high prices. TV stations and film studios prove art's economic value. Nobel laureates praise art's highest merits and say that abstraction is a key to cultural sophistication. Yet, why do our scientists guess that a higher extraterrestrial intelligence would not use visual abstraction, but send us a humdrum math signal instead?

The Inspector General of global officialdom looked at a foreboding silhouette of a male torso with a droll cap, flipping an obscene gesture with his finger. A frustrated bird struggled to free a hatchling with its wing, caught in the man's smiling clenched teeth. "Decadent art," the official voiced censure and guarded his dictatorship.

(Photo 10 - Fearless )

Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd, smiling

merciless the magistrate turns round, frowning

and who's the fool who wears the crown

go down in your own way

(Pink Floyd - "Fearless," 1971)

Inventor Ray Kurzweil said there could be a leap in intelligence that yields immortal life. But if humans may soon become immortal, why do scientists tell us not to believe in gods? According to the Apocalypse, God will be revealed in clouds. Every eye shall see him - and as they say in Sweden: "What may be glimpsed can also be photographed."


Article Copyright© Peter Fotis Kapnistos - reproduced with permission.

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