On the shores of Kinneret, a Sabbath breeze curls through the trees
The brown birds chirp and bounce about. The golden flowers bring the bees.
The children run and laugh and shriek. The birds pass small seeds beak to beak.
I sit alone and watch the scene; the blue, the pink, the red the green.
The love of life is all around. Discovered truths and those not found.
My eyes drift round, my ears hold fast to that I know just cannot last.
At least for me, this lonely soul, who wishes one day to feel whole.
To play my part in this grand play. For that I’ll hope and even pray.

Sitting on a grassy slope, gazing down on the sea of Galilee stretching 7 kilometers or so to the desert hills that rise up from the other side, I watch as gust after gust of a strong wind coming from behind me raise ripples on the water.  They move away from me at a fast clip growing larger and larger with distance.  By the time they’re 200 yards or so away I see that white caps begin to form.  The turbulence grows until it gets lost off in the distance.

I’ve come here from my home in Tel Aviv with a new friend from Liverpool named Marcus.  We met in a Pizza joint on Allenby Street, began talking and formed a quick friendship.

Marcus had just arrived here from India.  Israel was his last stop on a nine month trip he was taking to clear his mind and try to connect with his sense of spirituality that was a driving force in his life.

When I heard that, I jumped at the opportunity it represented.  “A thinker!  Someone I can bounce my ideas off!”

So here we were, a month or so later, a week before his scheduled return to the UK.  He was explaining to me about his thoughts on the purpose of cultivating spiritual growth; how each go-round in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth was there for each of us to develop a different aspect of ourselves, whether it be compassion, humility, strength etc.

When he was done, I decided to take the plunge…

“Marcus, though I understand and appreciate all you’ve just said, I have to tell you that I see the whole matter from a completely different perspective.  I see spiritual cultivation as being important, but for a completely different reason.  It’s important so that we can finally get the blinders off our eyes and see the world for what it is… What’s REALLY happening.  It’s all right there in front of us, yet we have trouble seeing it because of our experience of conscious attention.  This is what causes not only the illusion that we are somehow separate from everything else around us, but also the illusion that we have some sort of ‘soul’ separated and apart from the universe as a whole…”

And I was off!

Pointing to the receding ripples that grew into waves before us I continued:

“Marcus, you see those waves?  That’s my image of what we and everything else in the universe is.  Waves on the ocean of the universe.  You and I and that pebble and the star Sirius are waves.  What is a wave?  It’s an organization of a part of the sea into a particular shape that travels for a while and then disappears.  Think about it for a sec.  What happens to the water when a wave crashes on the shore?  Shit!!”

Just as I asked that question, the light plastic chair that I was sitting on sideways to the slope of the hill tipped over and tossed me to the ground.  Even before I landed, the laughter began welling up within me.  I lay on the ground and howled with merriment at the irony of this happening synchronistically with my words.

Marcus offered me his hand and helped me to my feet.  “Good one, that!”

That it was, but I was only getting started.  I had to express these ideas that had been cycling round in my mind over the last 9 months like loose socks in a dryer.

“What happens when a wave hits the shore?  It recedes back and is reabsorbed by the sea.  Some of the water that was once in the wave gets instantly picked up by the next one and crashes again.  Some of it goes to the bottom where it remains for who knows how long?  That’s what happens to us and to everything else in this ocean of a universe.

You know, I read in some science book that each one of us has in his own body thousands if not millions of the same atoms that once were part of Jesus Christ…!”

Marcus look at me dubiously, “I have to say that sounds crazy.  You say you read it in a science book?”

I continued, getting more and more excited.  “Yes!  The point they were making was that every atom in the world is continually being recycled from one thing into another.  Air Jesus breathed became a part of him and then was released back into the environment one way or another.  Those atoms keep moving around, forming thing after thing, animal after animal, person after person.

Statistically, when you calculate the number of the atoms that make up our body, it all works out.  The same for Moses, or maybe even Napoleon, though maybe there hasn’t been enough time since him.  In any event, just as those waves rise and then disappear pushed by the wind, so we rise and disappear pushed by “Gamoz.”

The main thing we get out of spiritual cultivation is an understanding of what we are and why we’re here.  There is indeed a purpose to the universe, namely ever increasing interconnectedness, complexity, creativity and beauty.  We have no way to know what if any final end state will result,  but we can see plainly from the Big Bang until right now with you and me talking about all this, what the unbroken and continuing direction is.

Your talk of a soul reminds of the story told about Pierre Simon Laplace.  He explained his theories to the emperor Napoleon who then asked him, “Where does God come into this?” to which he replied, “I have no need for such a hypothesis.”

I have no need for the hypothesis of a separate soul for each human anymore than I have a need for the same for each pebble.  It’s all one thing, and if there’s a soul there’s only one soul.  But the hypothesis of one soul isn’t necessary either.  What’s necessary is the recognition that the universe contains a fifth force beyond the four that science now maintains is all there is.

By adding in this force, Gamoz, a creative aesthetic force, just about all the paradoxes and problems presented by current scientific theory disappear.  As a side benefit, we get an answer to the spiritual question of “Why am I here?”  You are here as the cutting edge, at least in this corner of the universe, of what Gamoz has managed to produce over the last 13.5 billion years.  As such, your purpose is to continue being creative and artistic while holding on to the advances already made.

Of course, this is exactly what the Chinese were saying with their concept of Yin and YangYin is the nurturing part that preserves the advances and Yang is the creative part that continues to advance interconnectedness, complexity and beauty in the universe as it has since the big bang.  Also…”

Marcus held up his hand to stop this deluge of thoughts that I poured on to him with the staccato intensity of machine gun fire.

“Maybe let’s take a break and not talk for a while… I think I want to meditate.”

“OK.  Sure, no problem…”  I answered, unable to hide the disappointment in my voice.  Finally I had someone I could talk to about these ideas which had been ricocheting in my mind over the last few years, and now he was cutting me off.

I can’t say I blamed him.  It’s way too much for a casual conversation to cover.  I knew the only way to fully explain it was in a book.  A book I had avoided beginning to write for the last six months.  Talk about intimidating!  Who was I and where do I get off writing such a book? Talk about Chuzpah!

And yet, reductionist science seems to have lost its insistence on empirical reasoning.  Instead, the focus seems to have become crazy metaphysical notions like the Anthropic principle and the even crazier Biocosm theory, all designed to find ways to explain what Brian Greene says is the deepest question in all of science.  Why is the universe seemingly so fine tuned to allow for the existence of life?

Understand, these are hardened scientists pushing these theories.  Theories that have no way of ever being tested.  Theories that Richard Feynman would have laughed at.  Why are our best scientists turning into metaphysicians all of a sudden?

It’s so obvious why, it’s almost funny.  This is not an ordinary scientific question.  It’s a question that raises the specter of “Intelligent design,” something that science simply cannot allow to be even put on the table.  A God?!!!!  Yikes!  Quick, come up with something… ANYTHING that will allow us to continue to work without that hypothesis.

And so we get the Multiverse theory to explain that since our universe is only one of a googolplex universes out there, it’s OK that ours is “finely tuned” for life, because none of the others are.  We’re in the one that is because we are here at all.  There’s nowhere else we could be. Besides, this dovetails quite nicely with M-theory which came out of String theory.  M-theory turns out to make no specific predictions about the way the laws of the universe should be.  Instead it allows for a googolplex of possible combinations of which our laws are only one.

So we get an untestable hypothesis, backed by tautological reasoning and a theory that fails to make specific predictions.  Sound familiar?  It’s exactly the same sort of hypothesis that Laplace said he had no need for.  But Laplace lived before the advances of science were able to produce the numbers that now require some sort of hypothesis like that, right?

Wrong.  There’s a much simpler hypothesis that requires no safari into the highlands of metaphysics to work.  A hypothesis that’s so obvious that it’s hard to understand how the whole scientific establishment could have ignored it for all these years.  A hypothesis that can be tested, albeit not simply.

Two of the deepest scientific thinkers of our time, Robert B. Laughlin and Stuart A. Kaufman have both understood that the current scientific worldview is no longer supported by the discoveries of science itself.  Laughlin believes that the focus needs to shift to the new science of complexity and emergence.  Kaufman argues that the “endless creativity” of the universe needs to be recognized, and we need to redefine our understanding of “God” to refer to this natural process that we have no hope of reducing to natural laws.

The Gamoz hypothesis builds on the works of both these great men and proposes that we recognize this creativity not as a substitute for the divine nor as complexity and emergence alone, but rather as a natural force of the universe.  A creative and aesthetic force that has powered the universe up the highway that we can plainly view behind us, thanks to the advances made by reductionist science to date.

Marshal McLuhan famously observed that “We drive into the future using only our rear view mirror.” Terence McKenna remarked that the only thing good about this is that it is better than driving with no mirror at all.

I believe the rear view mirror that our reductionist science has developed gives us an excellent handle on projecting into the future.  Fourteen billion years of the road traveled behind us give us the definite impression that the road is pretty straight, with very few curves and no switchbacks at all.

This long, straight road may indeed be heading us into a brick wall just over the horizon, but the far more likely conclusion is that it will continue to move more or less in the direction it always has; more interconnectedness, creativity and beauty.

Einstein had a “beginner’s mind” as Gary Zukov points out in The Dancing Wu-Li Masters.  That’s what made it possible for him to come up with the Special theory of Relativity.  All he did was change the biggest paradox of his time, the constant speed of light, into a postulate from which he redrew reality.

That is what is needed here as well.  The paradox is of a universe that has evolved from simple plasma, (the highest possible state of disorder) immediately following the big bang, to one where I’m writing this and you are reading it.  This seeming violation of the second law of thermodynamics is only made possible by such extreme fine tuning of the universe that reductionist scientists are forced to come up with theories that makes the luminiferous aether seem reasonable in comparison.

And so, with great trepidation, I now set out to lay before the world a theory that takes this paradox and makes it into a postulate.

Gamoz is the name I have given to this fifth force of the universe.  It is a creative and aesthetic force that has guided the development of the universe from before the big bang and before the emergence of the other four forces.  The name came out of the original name I thought of for the book; Galaxies and Mozart: The Creative Aesthetic Force of the Universe.

I chose galaxies because according to our present physics they shouldn’t exist at all and should fly apart from centrifugal force.  That’s what has given us the supposedly “scientific” chimera of “dark matter.”  In addition, ask yourself if you’ve ever seen a picture of an ugly galaxy.  Well, have you?

I chose Mozart because music represents one of the higher achievements of mankind.  It is one that raises the aesthetic force of the universe out of the physical world and into a new dimension.

Music is humanity’s way of making the passage of time beautiful.

In the end I decided to forgo the original title, even though it was much more lyrical and much more explanatory of what the book was really about.  If there’s no word for a force or an object, it simply doesn’t exist as far as humans are concerned.  If we had no word for gravity, there wouldn’t be any as far as we’re concerned.  The use of the word in the scientific sense of “force that gives weight to objects” was first recorded in 1641, only 30 odd years or so before Sir Isaac Newton published his Principia.

And so, I combined the two poles of my original title and came up with Gamoz.  Whether or not this is the word that is ultimately used to describe this creative aesthetic force is of no concern to me.  What matters is that the force itself becomes recognized, if not necessarily acknowledged.

My hope is that the Gamoz hypothesis will help end the marginalization of our own species to the level of spectator status in a universe that knows nothing of us and cares nothing for us.   This has been the philosophic thrust of science since the days of Copernicus.

If greater complexity and beauty is what the universe has been building since its inception, then clearly our own human enterprise takes on an immense new importance.

Humanity is the vehicle by which the power of Gamoz has leapt from the purely physical, to other dimensions entirely.  Beyond music which beautifies time, poetry and theory beautify “ideas.”  Ideas exist only in the minds of human beings, but humans and their minds are as much a part of the universe as are planets, stars, galaxies and black holes.

While the human neo cortex is acknowledged to be the most densely complexified matter known to exist in the biological world, this complexity has flowed out of the domain of animal organisation and into domains of culture, language, consciousness and the higher values of ethics, religion and love.

It is obvious then that our role in the universe is about as far away from spectator status as can be imagined.  We are the cutting edge of what Gamoz has been doing since the big bang, at least in the small corner of the universe that we can access.

Therein lies the reason I felt obligated to write this book.  The metaphor I like to use is the difference between the ways a C minus student tends to act versus a valedictorian.  The valedictorian feels a sense of obligation to those around him simply because of his high status, acknowledged by all.  The C student tends to simply try to get away with as much as he can, given that nobody thinks much about him at all.

Science, by marginalizing humanity has made us a planet of C minus students.  Is it any wonder that we continue to plunder and waste the resources of our world with scarcely a thought of the future?

This has to end. Our society has brought us to the brink of exhaustion of any possible future whatsoever.

If we recognized the central role we play in everything the universe has been doing for the last 13.5 billion years, perhaps there’s a chance that we’ll start behaving with the thoughtfulness and care of the valedictorians we truly all are.

Joseph Wouk
July 6, 2009


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: