With the Six Non-Phyiscal
Akiva Lane 2012
thousands of years, the saga of human history tells of empires rising
falling caused by military wars being won and lost.
But alongside these major and cataclysmic
events has been another, continuous war that has been equally
that is the battle for Man's mind.
other war has been a war of ideas, and has been a struggle between
philosophies, three different ways of looking at the world.
We call these three
Scientific, and Barbaric.
first chapter we define these three philosophies, and describe the
dialogues they have between them.
second and third chapters, we trace these three philosophies through
history, seeing how they developed, combined, and alternatively rose
fourth chapter describes a recent theory in theoretical physics called
Superstring theory that we feel has the potential for altering the
balance among the three philosophies.
fifth chapter examines further how Superstring theory - especially its
of there being six non-physical dimensions - can be applied to some
science and everyday life.
sixth chapter explores in greater detail what it might mean for there
to be six
Appendix looks at poetry through the ages and how it reflects the
Man's spirit has undergone, providing insights into the nature and
Religion, Science, and Barbarism.
thousands of years since Man has been on Earth, we have seen that there
three philosophical archetypes. The three philosophies are the
Scientific, and the Barbaric.
person is a composite of these three philosophical personalities
in varying degrees.
Different societies and
cultures at different
times in history have also had a different mix and preponderance of
philosophies, and the way the philosophies have waxed and waned and
with each other in past cultures has affected history through the ages.
happen to have a religious bent, you will recall that these three
are represented by the three sons of Noah: Shem (Religious), Yepeth
and Cham (Barbaric).
maintains that all mankind descended from these three sons.
the other hand, you have more of a scientific perspective, you are
more familiar with Dostoevsky's great novel Brothers Karamazov.
The novel describes the
Alyosha (Religious), Ivan (Scientific), and Dmitri (Barbaric), that
and represent these three philosophical personalities.
could also say that Sigmund Freud's suggested structure of the human
embodies these three perspectives, that he called the superego
ego (Scientific), and the id (Barbaric).
these three philosophical archetypes is important on a personal level
seeing in what balance they exist within us, and how they interact with
other, helps us understand ourselves.
addition we can understand history better by seeing how these
interacted and combined with each other, and have gained ascendancy and
over time in current and past cultures.
describe and examine these three philosophical personalities.
Religious person believes there is more to reality than the physical
we see and touch.
believes that in
addition to the four physical dimensions of height, width, depth, and
that there is a spiritual or metaphysical world.
Encompassing both of these worlds is an
intangible and unknowable God that created the universe.
This all powerful and all
knowing God expects
that we act morally.
absolute good and bad, right and wrong, and we are rewarded for our
and punished for our bad deeds.
religious person focuses his attention on making sure his relationships
optimum - between Man and God, parent and child, husband and wife,
seller, a person and his community - in ways that have been revealed in
books such as the Bible. People possess a spiritual entity called a
there is an ineffable quality called holiness that indicates a high
level and a proximity to God.
Bible says in Numbers "You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
Scientific person focuses his attention on man's great ability to think
that it is man's
wondrous mind and intellect that sets him apart and above other animals.
He maintains that by
putting anything under
the intellectual microscope, it will reveal its mysteries, just as
gloriously demonstrated in the past few hundred years.
Moreover, the truth or falseness of
any proposition can be determined
by careful examination and experimentation -
as exemplified by the Scientific method.
He feels that to accept as true anything that has not been
the senses and passed through the rigorous filter of mental reasoning
demean ourselves and our intellectual power, and is to succumb to
and unverified hocus pocus.
how much that once seemed unknowable has been explained in enormous
he feels it is only a matter of time before Man will understand
Bacon said that the
best method of "searching into and discovering truth... derives axioms
from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken
that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all.'
Barbarian maintains that the goal and purpose of life is to have
to satisfy one's desires.
feels a desire - for money, sex, food, power, honor, whatever - good
becomes defined in terms of how well and how completely he can fill
there is no other good
or bad or morality.
are all mere means to facilitate this gratification.
To him there is certainly no world other than
the world we see and touch and sense.
The Barbarian Personality is often focused on power and
through these means other pleasures can be acquired. Relationships are
important only in that they can be the basis of alliances in the
may be likened to a
jungle, where beasts of prey stalk and hunt their next meal. Indulge
at all costs, with no limits, overcoming any obstacles, is his motto.
Life is short, so gratify
yourself as much as
classic Barbarian Ghenghiz Khan said: "The greatest joy a man can know
to kill his enemies, take away their possessions, clasp their women in
arms, and see those women bedewed with tears."
three archetypes - the Religious, Scientific, and Barbarian - are three
different philosophical perspectives at looking at life and the world.
It is rare that an
individual or a culture is
a pure embodiment of just one philosophy.
Most people and cultures are mixtures and amalgams of
philosophies, with varying percentages and weights of each that change
within a person or culture often result in dialogues between the
components, with each component trying to convince the others why its
and viewpoint is correct and the others are wrong.
If we listen carefully within ourselves - or
to the dialogues that take place within our culture - we'll hear
between these three philosophies, each vying for position, each trying
convince the others.
examples of such debates:
self centered, selfish, immature, and short sighted.
In your desire to satisfy your cravings, you
fulfill a momentary desire, but in the long run you haven't built
value - such as family, community, and the joy of contact with the
into your evil
inclination for immediate pleasure, in the long run you will hurt
must always be on
guard against your sneaky arguments, and can never rest assured that
the battle against your overtures, because it is tempting to sacrifice
future for the present.
true joy and
harmony come from the path of goodness and morality, under the eternal
guidelines of the Creator of the universe.
and believe in your fairy tales and be a goody-goody, you are the loser.
I love my pleasures and
passions, because it feels so good.
talk of goodness and the hereafter is nothing but unproven, ridiculous
fantasies that keep you from enjoying life.
I might not succeed in getting all I want, but I certainly
trying - and I won't let your fairy tales put me in a pleasureless
and deny yourself all
you want, you just become easier game for my wiles, and there will be
understand why you don't fall for those silly, unproven religious ideas
next-world and a Creator.
your ways, reflect about yourself, and use your magnificent capacity
to see how much better you are capable of being.
Look at your craven, depraved ways, and
compare it to what you could become: a mentally aware, sophisticated,
honorable, cultured, fulfilled human being.
Look in the mirror.
plainly see that with education, reflection, and self-examination, you
follow well-thought out goals rather than momentary whims that lead
head is in the clouds with your high falutin dreams.
I won't give up my pleasures for your
I want when I want it.
delaying my gratification for one second.
You've lived in your ivory tower too long to understand my
how much joy I have in conquering and taking from wimps like you.
I prefer a good steak and
a beautiful woman
to the prison of your mind.
unrestricted, and love living life to the hilt.
Your utopia of thought offers nothing to me.
that the mind has great power and abilities, but it is the gift of the
and must be dedicated to His service in perfecting the world.
You are naive in your
underestimation of the
Barbarian, and he'll overpower you just when he's fooled you into
believe you're reformed him.
really used your reason correctly, you'd see there's more to life than
physical world - there's a beautiful spiritual world.
You'd see that our eternal soul has needs
that the mind alone can't satisfy.
around you, and see evidence of the Creator and His Holiness everywhere.
say has no basis in scientific fact.
anyone ever seen a soul under a microscope, or ever provided a
equation for an Almighty Creator?
believe in what I can prove - with experiments and mathematics - and
beliefs are nothing more than superstitions.
Eventually, all people will see that it's reasonable for
us all to
cooperate in a just society, with freedom and fairness for all.
I have too much self
respect than to believe
ideas just because they're written in an ancient book.
it goes, back and forth, in our heads throughout our lives, and in our
for thousands of years.
personalities is some amalgam of the three archetypes, just as
cultures have had different amalgams.
The amalgams often take very interesting forms.
example, let's consider some different amalgams of the religious and
example is the idol
worshipper, so prominent in ancient society.
His religious rites often were centered on promiscuity,
and mockery of
the Divine, obvious Barbarian influences, yet he performed these
rituals in a
religious context. Another example is the religious fanatic, who gorges
passion for anger, and conquering, all in the name of a Divine call.
A more subtle example of
an amalgam of the
Religious and the Barbarian is someone who is outwardly religious, but
inwardly materialistic and selfish.
religious part of him may be genuinely giving and primarily thinking of
influence has infiltrated, he thinks of himself and his own physical
first and foremost.
are also mixtures of the Scientific and Barbarian philosophies.
An example is someone
highly intellectual and
cultured who can prove to himself scientifically that it is correct to
steal, because science shows him that life is a jungle. He is
dangerous because he may uses his scientific skills to dominate and
others all the more effectively.
example of a Religious and Scientific combination, on the other hand,
someone who feels he has used the intellect and scientific reasoning to
the existence of holiness, the soul, and the Almighty in this world.
now going to go through the history of Western Man and see how these
philosophical archetypes have interacted with each other for thousands
philosophically and historically.
has been an important and crucial struggle, because it has represented
struggle for man's mind, just as within each individual it represents
struggle for the person's mind, significantly determining his thoughts
and cultural trends have been a result of the give and take between
now go through history to see how the three philosophical paradigms and
personality archetypes - religious, scientific, and barbarian - have
with each other for thousands of years.
important source of insights regarding Man's early culture is the
Whether you see the Bible as divinely inspired (religious perspective),
interesting history and mythology (scientific perspective), we can
great deal about Man's early cultural perspectives from the Bible.
first book of the Bible, Genesis, suggests that early Man was primarily
to the barbarian philosophy.
the story of Cain who kills his brother when he felt strong,
emotions of jealousy.
generations until the flood were selfish, criminal, and barbaric.
The Bible says:
wickedness of man was great in the earth, and the imagination of the
of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5)...And the earth
corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence (6:11)...The
imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth (8:21)."
doesn't get the impression that the religious and scientific
in great abundance at this time, but rather that the barbarian creed of
makes right', and 'satisfy your desires to the hilt' were predominant.
then describes a flood that, from the Bible's perspective, was meant to
away these undesirable characters.
and his three sons, Shem, Yephet, and Cham, and their wives survived
said before, tradition has it that this
was the beginning of the three philosophies we have mentioned.
religious and wanted to understand and follow God's ways. The word
comes from his name.
has come to
be associated with the scientific mind.
He had a son named Yivon, who's name is similar to and is
with the Ionian peninsula of Greece that became the progenitor of the
scientific viewpoint. (Dostoevsky's character representing the
viewpoint is similarly named Ivan). And Cham is described as someone
can't or doesn't want to control his emotions and actions. His
included Mitzrayim, the ancient name for Egypt, and Canaan, whose
were the barbarous and idol worshipping tribes occupying the part of
East that came to be known as Canaan.
Bible tells a story about the three sons of Noah.
After the flood, Noah raised grapes, made
wine, and one night got inebriated and fell asleep.
While Noah was in this deep sleep, Cham did
something terrible to his father, that the Bible doesn't spell out.
The Talmud offers two
opinions as to what
Cham did: either he sodomized his father (somewhat barbaric), or he
his father (extremely barbaric).
Noah awoke, he realized what Cham had done to him, and angrily cursed
his heinous behavior.
then turned to
his other two sons, and made the following prediction:
will enlarge the domain of Yephet, and he will live in the tents of
interpreters of the Bible explain this enigmatic prophesy as follows:
and Shem will follow their separate, but worthwhile, paths.
Yephet will develop
science and art, while
Shem will develop religion, with the 'tents of Shem' referring to
God is worshipped in.
that both Yephet and Shem will do quite well, expanding their relative
but in the end Yephet will reconcile his worldly wisdom with the
wisdom of Shem, and come to live in the tents of Shem.
scientist will point out that this prediction merely shows the
of the Bible.
the religious person
not only sees this as divinely inspired prophesy, but looks forward to
that the scientist will stop belittling religion and join him in his
barbarian thinks both the
scientist and religious person are ridiculous to be thinking about such
when they could be pursuing wine, women, and song, or their
counterparts of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll).
Bible then tells us how Abraham, a descendant of Shem, formulated and
promulgated the religious point of view, the concept of Monotheism that
maintains that there is one God and that we should serve Him and do
wants. The first five books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch,
Abraham's descendants, Isaac, Jacob, and the rest of what became the
people became slaves in Egypt and were then liberated to receive a
at Mt. Sinai of what God wanted them to do.
Sinai they received commandments that forbade, for example, barbarian
such as killing, stealing, and committing adultery. People are
treat each other well, to create a society with social justice and
justice shall you follow."
your neighbor as yourself."
not afflict any widow or orphan".
As for the descendants of
Cham who were living
in Egypt and Canaan, the Bible says: "After the doings of the land of
Egypt where you lived, shall you not do, and after the doings of the
Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do. (Leviticus 18:24)"
The Jews were admonished
to turn away from
those barbarian and decadent ways, and to be exemplars of the religious
perspective and by example spread religion as a way of life and
were told, "You shall be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy
to the Bible, restraining the barbarian impulse clearly depends on the
love of an almighty and pervasive God:
does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God,
in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with
heart and with all your soul, and to keep for your good the
commandments of the
Lord." (Deuteronomy 10:12)
19 books of the Bible describe what the Jewish people did in the next
years as they gradually spread out in the land of Canaan, that became
maintaining the religious viewpoint and fighting the barbarian
450 years after entering Israel, Kind
David conquered Jerusalem and his son Solomon built a glorious temple
to worship God. There were many great writings, such as the book of
that became part of the Bible.
were also times of backsliding when they were seduced by the
attractions of the
Solomon reverted to pagan ideas. Prophets were constantly railing
temptations of the barbarian way, with varying success.
For example, the prophet Eliyahu had a
showdown with the idol worshippers on Mt. Carmel, and in the end
proclaiming: "The Lord, He is God".
There was even one king, Menassah, who during his 50 year
the teaching of the Jewish religion and permitted only the worship of
that were accompanied by orgies led by male and female prostitutes.
Talmud says that this first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians
standing for 410 years because the Jews weren't strong enough in
barbarian viewpoint, and giving into 'killing, sexual immorality, and
marks the end of the first major confrontation between two of the three
philosophies, the battle between the religious and barbarian
religious viewpoint scored some points, and managed to spread its
some extent in the ancient world, but the barbarian viewpoint was also
popular and was often on the offensive.
years of exile in Babylonia, Ezra returned to Israel with his fellow
built the second temple.
to about 350 years before the common era, and is where the 24 books of
Bible end their narrative. From here on, we have many reliable
sources that describe the rise of the scientific perspective as
espoused by the
Greeks, and the confrontations they had with the barbarian and
around 2500 years ago and lasting about 200 years, the Greek city
states in the
Ionian peninsula saw a great flowering of the human mind and spirit.
The Greeks produced, in
that short time, some
of the great works in literature, mathematics, and philosophy. It
apogee in Athens, with the philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
frequented the public places of Athens and, as recorded by his student
espoused that people should examine everything, especially their own
with the clear and focused light of reason.
He maintained that Man has been given the great gift of
mind to use
relentlessly in the pursuit of wisdom and clarity.
All assumptions must be examined in the
pursuit of truth.
is only one good,
life which is unexamined is not worth living".
recognized that there is a strong tendency in man to be selfish,
and barbaric, and that "Bad men live that they may eat and drink,
good men eat and drink that they may live."
But if a person examines himself and inquires
about all he doesn't know, in time he will become educated and
have the strength to overcome the baser aspects of his being.
his countrymen advocated that hedonism was really the better way.
As Epicurus said:
"Pleasure is the
beginning and the end of living happily."
see Socrates in the Platonic dialogues, overcoming through vigorous
examination, the arguments of those who maintain that it is more
be unvirtuous, and proving that virtue and truth are the better way and
attained through reason.
lack understanding of the beautiful and good, though we learn all else
perfection, it profits us nothing."
alas, those with more barbaric inclinations sentenced Socrates to death
spreading seditious ideas among the young.
Plato and Aristotle were concerned
with how to establish governments that were virtuous and just.
The Republic, and Aristotle in The Politics, discuss what form of
best keeps the barbaric impulses of man at bay.
They agree that the way to battle man's
dangerous barbaric tendencies is with education and a just state.
Barbarian tendencies, they
felt, could be
overcome with education in the path of virtue and an enlightened and
Aristotle says: "It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and
men live only for the gratification of it.
The beginning of reform is... to train the noble sort of
natures not to
desire more, and to prevent the lower from getting more. " (emphasis
tail-end of Greece's golden age, Philip of Macedonia consolidated the
city states, and had Aristotle tutor his son Alexander.
Alexander the Great, as he came to be
Greek empire to much
of the known world.
entered Jerusalem, there was excited expectation from both Greeks and
the two enlightened peoples would become allies in their fight against
Talmud says that when Alexander saw the Jewish High Priest who
the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Alexander got off his horse and paid
him, saying he had seen the High Priest many times in his dreams
had never met before), and the High Priest had been an inspiration to
winning his battles.
honor of the
Greeks, the Jews that year named all their sons Alexander.
philosophical alliance made sense, because both Jews and Greeks
marshaling the higher faculties in people to overcome their common
barbarian without and within.
learned from experience the tremendous destructive potential of the
who's selfishness, lack of self-control, and professed aggressive means
the next hundred years, the philosophical alliance soured. The Greeks
to ridicule the Jewish religion and put idols in the Temple.
The Hashmoniam family of
raised an army, defeated the Greek army, and pushed them out of Israel.
The holiday of Chanukah
victory, and how they cleaned the Temple of idol worship, and lit the
menorah (a candelabra with oil) in the Temple that had been left unlit
the Greeks had taken over the Temple.
turned out there were
important philosophical differences between the Jews and Greeks, that
summarized as follows:
start with the axiom that there is an all powerful God Who revealed His
Mt. Sinai, and the Bible is a record of that revelation. Judaism is
God centered, and claims that Man overcomes his barbarian tendencies
fear and love of God and by following His commandments. This includes
commandments that don't seem to make sense to us, because they are
spring from a Higher Wisdom.
Greeks, on the other hand, claim they start with no axioms, and begin
mind of Man and a clean slate, and say 'Let's see what is true through
ethical imperatives of the Bible, but they were highly skeptical of a
revelation of God at Sinai, because it couldn't be proved.
They took from Judaism
what they felt made
sense, and threw the rest out as possible superstition.
The Greeks focused on Man rather than God,
and on reason rather than belief.
Greeks were also skeptical of the whole concept of a spiritual world
the domain of holiness and God, but rather focused on the physical
because they claim we must use our physical senses to gather
we then analyze with reason to see what is true and false.
They maintained that
belief in a spiritual
world must take a back seat until it is proven.
give two examples that exemplifies the rift between the Jews and Greeks.
First, the Bible mentions:
"Bid them that they make
their generations fringes in the corners of their garments." (Numbers
to the strings
attached to the four corners of the shawls that Jews pray in.
The Greeks applied the
'light of reason' to
this idea, and rejected it
as well as
most of the religious rituals mentioned in the Bible - as making no
the Greeks regarded homosexuality as the 'highest form of love', and
males - including the great philosophers - had boy lovers.
The Jews said that the
prohibits homosexuality as an 'abomination', and therefore was wrong
short, the Jews determined what was right and wrong by looking in the
determined right and
wrong through reason.
came to different conclusions in many areas. In the end, the Jews felt
Greek attitude was in many ways profane and unholy, and the Greeks
the Jewish 'superstitions'.
though the Hashmonains threw the Greeks out of Israel, this
confrontation continued to rage within Israel.
History showed that the Greek philosophical attack
weakened the Jewish
people, and is given as one of the major reasons that the second Temple
the Romans 200 years later.
felt all along that if the philosophical differences between Jews and
could be overcome, then they could put up a more powerful front against
rapprochement did not come about, and the rift remained wide, giving a
berth to the power of the Barbarians.
the Greeks had shone their light on the world, the world stage was set
interplay of the three major philosophies. Barbarism had existed from
of man, from the time people robbed, killed, raped, or injured others
felt like doing it.
Religion had as its main emissaries the Jews and their Bible, who
the concept that there was one God who commands us to be good and to be
mindful of the spiritual aspect of life.
And the Greeks let flower the concept we call Scientific,
that man with
his mind can achieve understanding of himself and the world through
we have shown,
the three philosophies looked at the world very differently, and they
for the mind of Man. A major element of
history is the story of this competition.
today, many amalgams of the three philosophies have been formed, trying
combine what was seen as strengths of each.
Very often the intertwining of ideas is subtle, and it is
tweeze apart which elements of a philosophy or culture came from each
three major philosophies.
mention a few major amalgams.
of Rome occurred soon after the decline of Greece, and built much of
cultural ideas on an admiration of Greek philosophy, art, and politics.
But Rome combined this
with a desire for
power and domination that makes it an amalgam of Science and Barbarism.
In fact it used its Greek
rationality to help
it achieve and maintain its Barbaric goal of world power.
The Romans were excellent
administrators, abilities that come from the Greek reliance on reason.
But its lack of shame and
of control and pleasure come from the Barbarian philosophical viewpoint.
Its rationality that
springs from the Greek
side of its culture helped it maintain a 'Pax Romana' (Roman Peace) for
years, during which it controlled most of the known world.
But the Barbaric side of
its culture contributed
to its tendency for hedonism and cruelty, and led to a moral decay that
eventually made the Roman Empire disintegrate.
was born when Rome was at its pinnacle of power, and flourished as Rome
its slow death. Christianity, obviously, springs mainly from the
philosophical tradition of the Jews. The founders of Christianity were
and regarded Monotheism as the bedrock of their new religion.
With regard to Barbarism
of dissolute Rome,
they responded very negatively, and many of Christianity's early
drawn to Christianity because of their revulsion to the Barbaric side
extent that Rome was
hedonistic, Christianity's asceticism was the opposite.
Though Christianity always places faith above
reason, it borrowed some aspects of Greek philosophy.
Its tendency towards theology, the philosophy
of religion, is borrowed from the Greek love of examination.
And its goal of
proselytizing and spreading
the 'word' comes from the Greek belief that Man can become enlightened
is taught the correct way of looking at the world.
Therefore, Christianity is an amalgam of
mostly the Religious perspective with certain aspects of the Greek
to that was a strong
anti-Barbarism and anti-hedonism that gave their religion, at least
a decidedly 'other worldly' tone.
6th century the other major Monotheistic religion, Islam, was born in
outraged by the
unholy attitudes among Arabs, preached the Religious injunction that
should dedicate themselves to fulfilling God's will and strive towards
however, that anger
and violence were positive means of spreading the holy word.
In a sense, Mohammed took
the attribute of
force that is often associated with Barbarism, and raised it to the
holiness when used to eliminate the 'infidel' and spread the knowledge
practice of God.
new twist gave the
Moslems enormous power, and within a century they had conquered and
under the threat of the sword and 'Jihad' (religious war) - almost the
Middle East and Northern Africa.
Roman Empire aged, the Roman blend of Science and Barbarism was tending
greater percentages of Barbarism.
in reaction to the increase in Roman debauchery and cruelty, Emperor
Constantine converted to Christianity in 315 and declared Christianity
official religion of Rome.
Empire also had to contend with real Barbarians at the gates, made up
Visigoths, Celts, and Vandals, among others, who constantly attacked
In the 6th
century, the Roman
Empire fell to these Barbarian hordes, who destroyed and pillaged
centuries that followed
are known as the Dark Ages, in which almost all people were illiterate,
average life span was about 20 years, and there was almost no
we know it.
was mean and short, and
this gives an inkling to what the world is like when the Barbarians are
control. Partly because many people felt the need for more than
Christian Church, based in Rome, became stronger, and sent out its
to spread the 'word' of Religion to the masses.
Starting around the year 1000, there were a series of
wars, called the Crusades, where Christian Europe sent armies to battle
Moslems in the Middle East. Throughout this period the mind of Western
an amalgam of Religion and Barbarism.
13th century the Far East received a hefty dose of Barbarism, when
Khan took a small Mongolian tribe and built it into an empire that
China, Russia, Northern India, the Middle East, and Europe as far as
He did it by motivating his warriors with the clearly enunciated
philosophy: "The greatest joy a man can know is to kill his enemies,
away their possessions, clasp their women in his arms, and see those
bedewed with tears."
Kubla Khan, started a dynasty that ruled China for over 300 years.
the 14th century became a center of trade that enabled it to accumulate
wealth to support a leisure class.
nobles and the literati they funded had time to rediscover and think
Greek classics and the 'Scientific' philosophy that had lain dormant
refocusing of attention
towards the Greek consideration of the nobility of Man and the power of
mind produced a burst of light similar to that engendered by the Greeks
themselves 1600 years before. The philosophy and art that was reborn in
Italian Renaissance subsequently spread to the rest of Europe and
the next few centuries.
Greek emphasis on reason and examination became the germ of what we
the Scientific Method, where all assumptions are thrown aside in the
what is verifiably true through objective experimentation.
Sir Francis Bacon
(1561-1626), during the
English Renaissance, wrote forcefully that man mustn't let old
stand in his way, but must examine reality carefully to determine what
is power." (Sacred Meditations)
a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he
content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties." (The
Advancement of Learning)
best method of "searching into and discovering truth... derives axioms
from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken
that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all.
This is the true way, but as yet
untried." (Novuum Organuum)
the tool of reason advocated by the Greek 'Scientific' perspective
enormous amount to Man's knowledge, as we enter the period called the
Enlightenment, about 1600 to 1800.
Galileo (1564-1642), who perfected the telescope and made
about the planets, said:
which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop
which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty".
universe... is written in the language of mathematics, and its
triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures."
elements were discovered in the laboratory, the microscope revealed
about biology, and inventions such as the steam engine gave rise to the
industrial revolution which greatly increased people's standard of
scrutiny included, not only nature, but all aspects of man's life. Adam
(1723-1790) examined man's economic life to propose how the free market
can work to increase man's wealth.
Locke (1632-1704) proposed that government is best when it gives its
an idea that heavily influenced the founding fathers of the grand
experiment called the United States.
art and music thrived with the reawakened feeling of man's abilities
enormous scientific breakthrough occurred when Sir Isaac Newton
invented calculus and discovered the laws of gravity that explained how
common set of mathematical laws govern the movement of heavenly bodies
objects on Earth.
and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
said, Let Newton be!, and all was light".
Enlightenment was one of the only periods in Man's history that saw a
partnership between Religion and Science.
The great Religions, over the millennia, had garnered
respect as a civilizing influence over the Barbarian tendency in Man,
Europe, for example, the Catholic and Protestant Churches had a great
moral and political power.
Science's great advances during this period, in explaining the physical
phenomena in the world and providing tools that increase Man's wealth
power, gave Science an enormous amount of respect and even awe.
people, this mutual respect for Religion and Science were not
the contrary, many saw
the grand designs of the universe as evidence of brilliant designs of
Creator, from the 'music of the heavenly spheres' in their geometric
explained by Newton, to the intricate workings of the human body.
In fact, the great
majority of Enlightenment
thinkers were religious men, finding little conflict between faith and
Religion and Science gave considerable hope to Mankind that the
Barbarian could be kept at bay.
alas, a cloud appeared on the horizon, that grew larger and darker as
thinkers that legitimately focused their spotlight of objective reason
experimentation on the subject of Religion itself.
It was, as Yogi Berra said, 'Deja Vu all over
again', creating the seeds of conflict similar to that experienced
Jews and Greeks 1900 years earlier.
Scientific men looked at Religion and asked:
What is the
spiritual world that Religion
talks so much about?
What is the
source of the moral commandments
that tells man to be good?
the Church tried to meet the problem head on, and stifle reason and
example, Galileo was put on
trial for maintaining that the Earth is not the center of the solar
(seemingly implied by a strict literal reading of the Bible), and after
recanting under threat of death, lived under house arrest for most of
remainder of his life.
(1483-1546) had voiced the fear of the Church years earlier:
is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of
things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine
treating with contempt all that emanates from God."
Church's rearguard action against Science was doomed to eventual
because of the tremendous successes and resulting respect that Science
as they feared, some
thinkers began to ridicule religion as being 'unscientific'. These
claimed that skepticism about Religion was justified because they felt
Science had looked for the spiritual world, the soul, and God, and had
they said, could
find no evidence for the existence of these principles that Religion is
Method, they said,
demands that assumptions be thrown aside and that we believe only what
shown with repeated experimentation, and that we should examine
this same discerning eye.
example of this anti-religious position was taken by the English
David Hume (1711-1776). He called religion 'superstition', and
philosophers should go about "opposing one species of superstition to
another, set them a-quarreling; while we ourselves, during their fury
contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure,
philosophy." (The Natural History of Religion).
He concluded that, "Generally speaking,
the errors in religion are dangerous" (A treatise of Human Nature).
threw down the gauntlet, challenging Religion to prove itself.
He agreed that people
sometimes improve their
moral behavior when they believe in the 'fairy tales' of Religion, but
intelligent man should be able to get along without that crutch.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) wrote that when he read
attack on Religion, he saw red, and that it took him 11 years to come
an answer to those attacks.
only was a very religious Lutheran, but he saw that the moral compass
religion provides is essential for the maintenance of civilization.
Kant proposed that there
are two worlds, the
physical and the 'metaphysical', the latter being the intangible domain
soul and God.
said that this
metaphysical realm is governed by a set of laws just as scientific as
Newtonian laws that govern the physical world.
One of the main laws, that determined what was right and
called the 'categorical imperative':
is only a single categorical imperative and it is this: Act only on
through which you can at the same time will that it should become a
law. (The Metaphysic of Morals)
short, if you want to know if it's 'good' to double park during the
imagine that it was a universal law that everyone must double park
universal law results
in good, then it's OK for you to do it. If not, the action is wrong.
things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe...:the starry
above me, and the moral law within me."
(Critique of Practical Reason)
Kant's attempt to defend Religion was valiant, the 19th century saw a
erosion of Religion's power, especially among the 'enlightened', those
prided themselves on being Scientific.
Science waxed, and Religion waned.
Science was producing such a cornucopia of discoveries and
that there was a prevalent belief that Utopia was just around the
by the advancements of Science and the enlightened mind of Man.
Religion was seen by many
as the fount of
superstition that would actually impede man's march towards Utopia.
telling image is described in R.R. Palmer's marvelous book 'Twelve Who
about Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety that ruled France
the French Revolution.
felt that his Reign of Terror had eliminated the retrograde forces
progress, he staged a parade in Paris where he built a mountain called
'Mountain of Reason', and everyone dressed in Greek costumes as they
towards this symbol of man's glorious ability for Rationality that
in the golden age.
miscalculated, because within a few months the Reign of Terror
continued with a
vengeance, throwing France into chaos, Robespierre himself dying on the
felt that they could lead Man towards the light without the help of
but the Barbarians resurfaced and destroyed their plans.
the century, Karl Marx
proposed a similar image of the future, rejecting Religion as the
the masses', and maintaining that Religion was an anachronism that just
befuddled the enlightened mind with superstition and must be
claimed that Man's rationality, in seeing the class struggle clearly,
inevitably inspire Man to eliminate the 'bad Capitalistic classes',
in the ideal
future brought about
by Science alone.
19th century progressed, the belief grew steadily that science by
the power to redeem Man from whatever darkness shackled him.
At least among the
was seen more and more as 'unscientific' baggage from the past that was
jettisoned in the march towards Man's Utopian future. The Reform
Judaism proclaimed that only those parts of their religion that 'made
after rational scrutiny would remain.
And Sigmund Freud reported on how he was using scientific
explore the inner workings of Man's mind itself. It was felt that
reason would soon fill Man's mind with clarity, light, and happiness.
one of the most bizarre events in the history of philosophy occurred.
In 1859 Charles Darwin
published a startling
book called 'On the Origin of the Species'.
Darwin had been a naturalist on board the H.M.S. Beagle, a
that was exploring the Galapagos Islands off the western coast of South
the enormous varieties
of plants and animals he saw there, Darwin formulated his theory of
maintained that animal
life on earth had progressed from the lowliest forms through a kind of
'natural selection', 'the struggle for existence', and 'the survival of
organic being is striving to increase in a geometric ratio... [it] has
struggle for life and to suffer great destruction... The vigorous, the
and the happy survive and multiply...From the war of nature, from
death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving,
production of the higher animals, directly follows."
theory affected the intellectual battle between Religion, Science, and
Barbarism in two very important ways.
First, it maintained that Man evolved from monkeys and
other lower forms
of life, in seeming direct contradiction to the Biblical account that
more important, though Darwin himself never said this, for many it
the Barbarian's view of the world, and gave scientific justification
interpreted Darwin's theory as implying that the strong Barbarian man
vehicle of Man's progress, eliminating through his violence the weak
infirm, those not 'fit' to survive.
Barbarian was seen as 'good', and the wars and violence the Barbarian
perpetrated was seen as similar to the wars of the jungle that
produced higher forms of life. The Barbarian was suddenly transformed
destructive and evil menace to society that Religion had painted him
the vanguard of progress, pruning away the undesirable and weak
society that retard progress.
this turning of the Barbarian into a 'hero' was verified by Science.
forefront of this new philosophical position was the German philosopher
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).
maintained that Darwin's theories could liberate man from the shackles
conscience and religion and go 'beyond good and evil'.
He said that religion - both Christianity and
its Jewish roots - reflected a debased servile mentality that was a
plot by the
weak to oppress the strong.
call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost
perversion... I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind." (The
proclaimed that 'God is dead', and in His place we should pay respect
'Superman', the glorious victor of the jungle who is motivated by the
Genealogy of Morals', he says "The sick are the greatest danger for the
healthy; it is not from the strongest that harm comes to the strong,
sick and guilt about eliminating them is the real 'evil' that holds
he glorified the
'master races', and 'at the core of all these aristocratic races the
prey is not to be mistaken, the magnificent blond beast, avidly rampant
spoil and victory."
enter the 20th century, we see the philosophical terrain has been
transformed compared to the Enlightenment just 150 years earlier. No
does Science and Religion have a partnership to keep the Barbarian at
Science had become extremely
skeptical of Religion's belief in God and the soul, deeming it unproven
Science had made it increasingly confident that Reason, without
the path to the golden age of peace and plenty.
This would prove to be a mere chimera, partly because the
on the warpath, greatly emboldened by the likes of Nietzsche who
Science verified that the Barbarian was correct, good, and history's
pummeled by Science and the Barbarian,
Religion was thoroughly defensive and on the ropes.
this melee stepped the American Philosopher William James (1842-1910),
preaching what he called 'pragmatism'
claimed that we should be religious, even though it's not scientific,
it makes our lives better.
can act as if there were a God; ...consider Nature as if she were full
special designs; lay plans as if we were to be immortal; and we find
these words do make a genuine difference in our moral life. (The
doesn't make us any less scientific because "the evidence for God lies
primarily in inner personal experiences."
large, as the 20th century progressed,
James' belief in the 'pragmatism' of Religion did little
to sway the
Scientist, who felt more powerful on his own as his tools discovered
nature and led to more technology.
fact, some claimed that the essential challenge to Man in life is to
without a crutch of believing in an unproven God, and to develop within
cosmic vacuum one's own morality.
Paul Sartre (1905-1980), one of the proponents of this philosophy of
Existentialism, put it this way:
can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on
but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his
responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets
with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this
(Being and Nothingness)
Religion, Sartre felt a cosmic emptiness: "Everything is gratuitous,
garden, this city, and myself.
suddenly realize it, it makes you feel sick and everything begins to
that's nausea." (La Nausee 1938)
Religion attacked from all sides, and the Scientist asserting that
relative, it was inevitable for the Barbarian - who felt that Science
his side - to take charge.
the new technology of war developed by the Scientist, in just a few
Hitler killed 25 million people and Joseph Stalin killed 50 million
is that they both did
it in the name of 'progress'.
felt empowered by the Nietzschean belief in the primacy of the 'master
did it in the name of
Marx's 'scientific materialism'.
Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: "It is true we Germans are barbarians, that
an honored title to us.
from the shackles of the soul; from the degrading suffering caused by
vision called conscience and ethics."
we stand today in the struggle between the three major philosophical
Hitler and Stalin, the
world was collectively stunned by the enormous destructive power of the
technologically armed Barbarian, especially a Barbarian confident that
thought of such a
Barbarian using nuclear armaments to 'cleanse' the world of his enemies
us all shudder.
Scientist is puzzled why increased knowledge and technology has not
about his Utopia, and is unhappy that many of the tools he created has
used for destructive purposes by the Barbarian.
But he sees little alternative than to hope that further
and plenty will bring it about.
Barbarian is no longer claiming that killing millions of people will
about progress, but he is alive and hearty in the social arena,
benefits of hedonism, materialism, selfishness, drugs, and general
The birth control pill (another gift from science) and the ensuing
revolution has helped this along.
who are Religious claim that the last 100 years shows what can happen
world that derides religion, but still feels ignored by the skeptical
also watchful that
Barbarian attitudes don't infect him with subtle forms of hedonism,
materialism, selfishness, intolerance, and fanaticism.
short, there's a stalemate.
philosophy feels a mixture of confidence and doubt.
In the next chapter we will explore a new
theory in Science that can possibly break this stalemate.
advances of Science in the 20th century have been phenomenal.
In physics, chemistry,
biology, astronomy, engineering,
medicine, and computers - just to name some of the areas - the advances
basic understanding and new technological tools have been astounding.
example, physicists have built enormous 'atom smashers' that use
to speed up elementary particles almost to the speed of light and have
collide with each other.
analysis of the debris, theoretical physicists have come up with
theories explaining the building blocks of matter.
biology, scientists have been able to explain in great detail the
material from which all living things spin themselves into beings.
In addition, they have
been able to perform
'genetic engineering' to transplant genes of different organisms into
other so that, for example, bacteria can produce human insulin.
skyscrapers to microcomputers to heart transplants to jets, the fruits
science surround us and contribute to our lives significantly.
Science has not solved all the problems that it has investigated, and
many areas that remain to be conquered and need to be understood with
One of the
great hallmarks of
Science is that it relishes exploring the unknown, and so often
investigating the shadowy
areas has resulted
in the greatest light of new understanding.
We will mention two of these areas.
great breakthroughs in physics have come about when scientists devise
mathematical formulas that explain and predict physical reality.
The language of physics is
when scientists can plug in concrete values into the X's and Y's and
symbols of mathematical formulas and see that it all adds up correctly,
physicists say their formulas form an accurate model of reality.
described how Sir Isaac Newton used the differential calculus that he
to explain gravity, using the same formulas to describe apples falling
earth and the movement of the heavenly spheres.
In the 19th century James Clark Maxwell crafted formulas
electricity and magnetism, and showed how they are really one force
start of the 20th century Albert Einstein shocked the world of physics
coming up with a set of formulas called the Theory of Relativity that
gravity and the dance of the stars and planets far better than Newton's
To give a
taste of his
revolutionary ideas, Einstein said that time and space form a four
space time continuum, and that matter inside this 'space-time' causes
'bend', and this bending is what we perceive as gravity.
It's hard to visualize
Einstein's model of
the universe, but his formulas were so much more accurate than Newton's
they have been since been established as 'laws', supplanting Newton's
1920's, physics had established that there are four forces in the
gravity, electromagnetism, and two forces that operate within the atom
the strong force and the weak force.
strong force holds the nucleus of the atom together, and the weak force
involved with certain types of radioactive decay.
Using mathematical formulas, physics could
show with great accuracy how each of these forces worked.
together were able to come us with one set of formulas that described
forces that worked in the small spaces of the atom: electromagnetism,
strong and weak forces.
some inexplicable reason, no one was able to bring the force of gravity
this set of formulas, and it remained outside, using the Einstein
holy grail of physics
since that time has been to come up with a 'unified field theory', that
describe all four forces of the universe with one set of formulas.
This is the project that
worked on for the last 30 years of his life, but to no avail.
One of the great mysteries
of modern physics
has been why the mathematics that describes gravity and the large
scales of the
universe is different than the formulas that describe the forces at the
it so important to have one set of formulas, rather than two, that
four forces in the universe?
is that physicists want to model 'reality', and it is assumed that
there is one
reality, not two.
separate sets of formulas indicates that the underlying reality has not
been understood mathematically, and that it should be describable with
of formulas that includes both gravity on the large scale and
(and the strong and weak force) on the small scale.
another related question that modern physics has not been able to
formulas that describes time,
space, and the hundreds of sub-atomic particles that matter consists of.
But what is time and space
and the subatomic
particles themselves made up of?
there a basic building block, a 'smallest thing that can exist', that
universe of time, space, and matter is built from?
The greatest minds of modern physics have
tried to tackle this question and have come up empty handed.
significant area that science does not yet understand well is the mind.
Perhaps this is because
the mind is not
'physical' enough to enable science to probe and examine it the way it
plumbed the intricacies of physics and chemistry.
We all think and are conscious, but science
has only a dim grasp of how thinking and consciousness works. It has
areas of the brain related in some way to memory and various mental
functioning, but how the firing of the synapses of billions of nerve
up to consciousness is not
lack of understanding applies to many aspects of the mind.
Science hasn't really
explained how or why we
sleep or dream, or the exact nature of emotions or feelings such as
anger, or happiness.
has not yet
written the mathematical equation that explains sensation, pleasure,
obviously know that a flame on our finger
hurts, but we don't really understand what it means for us to be
that pain. The multiple kinds of relationships we form that spring from
needs, feelings, and dispositions are more the subject matter of soap
and religious sermons than scientific textbooks.
Why people have certain tastes in other
people or specific kinds of music is not well understood scientifically.
the day we are involved with thoughts and feelings, and it is a great
to science to determine where in the brain the thoughts and feelings
and how they are created and change.
Descartes made his famous pronouncement, "I think
am", but he didn't explain what thinking is or how it works.
Freud published many
important theories about
the mind, including one that describes an ego, superego, and id that is
to the three philosophies of Science, Religion, and the Barbarian.
But science has never been
able to prove
Freud's hypotheses, or point to where - for example - the ego exists.
it is even somewhat a mystery why the mind has remained an almost
and ever distant frontier, and why the nature of the mind and
seems almost as inscrutable today as it did thousands of years ago.
What are the mechanisms of
do thoughts and feelings reside and how
do they work?
does not yet have
the answers to these questions.
now describe a recent breakthrough in theoretical physics that may
several issues we've discussed so far.
two physicists met while working at the giant atom smasher called CERN
were John Schwartz
from the California Institute of Technology and Michael Green from
College at the University of London.
Both had been working independently on the grand problem
physics, a unified field theory that would put gravity and
under the rubric of a single mathematical model.
found that their ideas, methods, and goals were somewhat similar so
to meet every summer to work together on the problem.
They made progress each year, and in the
summer of 1984, while working together at the Center for Physics in
Colorado, they made a tremendous breakthrough.
They devised one set of mathematical formulas that
explained all four
forces in the universe, including gravity and electromagnetism.
They had found the holy
grail of modern
physics, that had eluded Albert Einstein and countless other brilliant
physicists and mathematicians.
announced their findings to their colleagues, and in just a few weeks
had spread like wildfire to the worldwide scientific community.
Journals quickly hailed
the discovery as one
of the greatest discoveries in science, and called it the 'Theory of
Everything' because it explained so much.
The journal Science said it was "no less profound than the
transition from real numbers to complex numbers in mathematics."
this new theory?
found that they could make all their mathematical formulas work when
posited the existence of an extremely small entity from which all
space, and time was constructed.
elemental building block they called a 'superstring'.
It is a tiny vibrating string that twists and
combines with other superstrings.
were able to explain the behavior of all known forces and subatomic
by describing how these superstrings combine and vibrate.
addition, they were only able to achieve their breakthrough and make
formulas work when they posited that this superstring exists in 10
these tiny vibrating
strings of 10 dimensions, Schwartz and Green were able to explain
mathematically all known phenomena, both on the very large and very
hailed as a mathematical
and Green also knew how small the superstring is, because it was only
size that all the equations worked out.
The superstring is 10-33 centimeters long.
To picture how small that is, a superstring
is to an atom as a piece of dust is to the entire solar system.
Put another way, if we
reduced ourselves to
the size of an atom, we would have to reduce ourselves an equivalent
get to the size of a superstring.
decades, physicists had seen the hundreds of kinds of subatomic
could be produced by smashing particles together in the cyclotrons and
particles had been
given exotic names such as mu-mesons, neutrinos, fermions, hyperons,
Green were able to use
superstring theory to explain how these particles are created and
terms of the different ways that superstrings combine and vibrate.
In a way that is hard for
us to visualize,
they also said that space and time themselves are made up of
other words, everything - matter, space,
time, and energy - is made up of only superstrings.
excitement and congratulations quieted down back in 1984, the
others asked themselves a question about the nature of the 10
allowed the mathematics of superstring theory to work out.
It is easy enough in
mathematics to posit a
world with ten dimensions.
they asked, does this mean in terms of the real world?
Einstein had shown that our physical world
consists of a four dimensional space time continuum, consisting of
width, depth, and time. Superstring theory did not dispute this.
According to superstring
our world has four physical dimensions and 6 non-physical dimensions.
Superstring theory posits
that these 6
non-physical dimensions exist because only with 10 dimensions in total
mathematical formulas work out.
does it mean for there to be 6 non-physical dimensions in addition to
physical ones we are familiar with?
answer was a resounding: 'We don't know'.
But the mathematics tells us the 6 non-physical dimensions
definition we can't measure and detect these 6 non-physical dimensions
laboratory because they are not physical, and the scientific
physics, at least up until now, is able only to measure the physical
But what are
these 6 non-physical
dimensions that the mathematics of superstring theory says exist?
has remained a puzzle.
is still very much open to speculation and
puzzling though it may be, we are left with the fact that the
physics that was sought after for at least half a century, that
forces and all phenomena with one set of mathematical formulas, posits
everything is composed of tiny superstrings that vibrate in 10
6 of the dimensions being not physical.
point, it may be useful for the scientists among us to be ready for
necessitated by the nature of the puzzle we are confronted with.
Namely, that superstring
theory - the
'mathematical miracle' called the 'theory of everything' - posits that
are 6 non-physical dimensions, certainly an unconventional idea. Since
definition we won't find these 6 dimensions in the laboratory or see
a microscope - because they are not physical - perhaps we should be
some fresh thinking.
example, there is a book that has been claimed by many to deal with
a non-physical world, and it is called the Bible.
We can look in the Bible to see if there is
anything that hints at some of the conclusions of superstring theory,
the existence of 6 non-physical dimensions.
To our amazement, we can find some interesting topics,
that we will now
religious Jew prays, he covers his shoulders with a prayer shawl called
practice is rooted in a
commandment in the Bible:
them that they make throughout their generations fringes in the corners
their garments, and that they put with the fringes of each corner a
And it shall
be unto you for a
fringe, and you may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of
Lord, and do them, and that you go not about after your own heart and
eyes, after which you use to go astray, that you may remember and do
commandments and be holy unto your God." (Numbers 5:38)
are two parts of the talis.
is the four corner garment itself.
Talmud makes it clear that it must have exactly four corners, and when
dons the talis, he says a blessing that refers to the four corners of
and touches the four corners of the talis.
second part of the talis are the fringes that are attached to each of
corners. What do the fringes look like?
The Talmud says 4 strings are threaded through a hole in
each corner of
the talis, and then doubled over to make 8 strings.
Two of the 8 strings are blue to remind us of
heaven and the commandments the Almighty wishes us to do.
And this leaves 6 white
thousands of years, Jews donned the talis with its attached strings
Bible told them to, with little concern for its symbolism.
We can now see it as a
perfect symbol for the
picture of reality presented to us by superstring theory.
The four corned talis,
that the Talmud says
represents the 4 corners of the world, represents the 4 physical
the world, physical reality.
is coming out of the corners of the talis?
of them are blue to
remind us of the Almighty, and that leaves 6 strings that represent our
strings represent the 6 non-physical dimensions of superstring theory.
This might have something
to do with what
Religion refers to as spiritual reality.
If one would attempt to create a physical model of
superstring theory to
show in front of a classroom, it would be hard to come up with a better
than a talis described by the Bible over 3000 years ago.
The four cornered garment
represents the 4
physical dimensions, and the 6 flowing white strings coming out of each
represents the 6 non-physical dimensions.
the Jews escaped from Egyptian bondage, they lived in the Sinai
the many commandments
that God gave them was to build a movable Temple in which to worship
in Sinai and afterwards when they would enter the land of Israel.
The Book of Exodus, the
second book of the
Bible, describes three times in great detail how this Temple should be
hundred years later
King Solomon built a much larger Temple in Jerusalem that had the same
the principles behind the design of the Temple was that it had several
of holiness, and as one got closer to the center of the Temple, the
the center of the
Temple, in the 'inner sanctum', was a mini building called the
very center of the haichel was the
'holy of holies', a room that contained the holy ark containing the
the law that Moses had taken down from Mount Sinai.
This room was entered only by the high priest
on the holiest day of the year.
other part of the haichel was a room just outside the holy of holies,
slightly less in holiness.
contained three objects.
was a small golden altar where incense was burned.
We will focus our discussion on the other two
objects in this room.
left of the altar was a rectangular table on which was placed twelve
bread every Friday.
how one of the miracles of the Temple was that these loaves stayed
week long. In fact, the priests, before they would eat the bread after
lying on the table all week,
the table up and show it to the watching crowds as evidence that God
plenty and protection in this world.
table represents God's blessing in the physical world.
right of the altar was a golden candelabra called the 'menorah'.
The menorah consisted of a
shaft, out of which curved six arms.
the end of each arm was a cup that was filled with oil and kept
The holiday of
commemorates the kindling of the lights of this menorah after it was
out by the Greeks. The Talmud says that when God described to Moses how
build the menorah, he felt it was so other worldly that he had to be
Heaven to see how it should be made.
examine the table and the menorah, we see that they represent the same
components as in the talis.
a four cornered rectangle, just like the cloth of the talis, and it too
represents the physical world and its four dimensions.
The menorah, on the other hand, with its 6
curving arms culminating in a flame represents the non-physical
Its 6 arms
represent the 6
non-physical dimensions, similar to the 6 white strings that emanate
corners of the talis.
we see that two of the central symbols of the Bible - the talis and the
and menorah in the Temple, both represent a division of the world into
cornered object representing the physical world, and a six string-like
component representing the non physical world.
This perfectly matches the distinction of the world in
theory, dividing the world into 4 physical dimensions and 6
talis and the menorah are clear 'models' delineating the distinction
rectangle representing the 4 physical dimensions and 6 strings
6 non-physical dimensions, just as proposed by the mathematics of
that the 4 physical
dimensions are height, width, depth, and time, but as to what the 6
non-physical dimensions are, we can, as yet, only surmise.
In the next chapter we
will suggest some
addition to the talis and the menorah, however, we can find in the
symbols that make the distinction between a physical world and strings
refer to a spiritual, non-physical aspect of reality, echoing the
the talis and menorah.
three such symbols.
Bible says that when a farmer harvests his field, he must not harvest
corners of the
leave this wheat standing
for the poor, who will come and harvest what is left in the corners for
called 'peyah', the
Hebrew word for 'corner'.
tells the farmer that at the very moment he feels the strongest and
satisfied when he harvests his crops, he should remember his spiritual
responsibilities to his fellow man.
is hardly anything more physical than a field that grows the food we
the wheat left standing in the corners, that looks like strings,
field with the string-like wheat coming out of its corners looks very
to a second symbol, the Bible says that when a person shaves, he should
shave the corners of his face.
Hebrew word used here is also 'peyas', or 'corners', and can sometimes
as curls growing from above the ears in religious Jews.
Here too the peyas are strings that are to
remind us of our obligations to obey the Almighty, in contrast to the
is our physical visage.
describing the third symbol, the Bible says that after the harvest
should live for a week in a 4 cornered temporary dwelling called a
top of the succah is
put twigs, and the Talmud emphasizes that looking up at the twigs is to
us of God and the spiritual aspects of life.
The succah itself is a 4 cornered object that we
physically dwell in,
and the twigs above are string-like objects that is to remind us of the
this chapter by discussing Science's search for a unified field theory,
mathematical model that encompasses all 4 forces in the Universe,
electromagnetism and gravity.
described the breakthrough of superstring theory that says the basic
block of the universe is a tiny vibrating string with 10 dimensions, 4
physical and 6 non-physical.
mentioned that scientists have been scratching their heads, wondering
means for there to be 6 non-physical dimensions.
showed that it is precisely this distinction between a physical and
non-physical aspect of reality that is one of the foundation stones of
religion, with religion referring to the non-physical aspects of
symbols in the first 5 books of the Bible, that religious people claim
authored by God over 3000 years ago, that embody this distinction
physical and spiritual.
4 cornered garment (talis)
6 white strings coming from each corner
4 cornered table inside haichel
menorah next to it with 6 arms
wheat left standing in its corners for the poor
hair left growing in its corners
4 cornered dwelling after harvest
twigs on top to remind us of spiritual
of these symbols, there is an object, usually with 4 corners, that
the physical world, and a string-like component, reminiscent of the
superstrings themselves, that represents the spiritual aspects of
white strings flowing from each corner
of the talis, and the 6 curving arms of the menorah,
most closely match the 6 non-physical
dimensions of superstring theory.
remind ourselves that starting with David Hume, much of modern
scoffed at religion precisely because it was unable to demonstrate the
existence of a spiritual, non-physical world that is one of the axioms
have described how
Science's skepticism about religion has been one factor in opening the
the Barbarian's greater influence in the 20th century.
out of the blue, a great advance in Science - superstring theory -
existence of 6 non-physical dimensions that bears a startling
the talis and menorah in the Bible.
Certainly scientists, who maintain they have an open mind
and have been
unable to explain superstring's 6 non-physical dimensions, can take
hundreds of years scientists have said to religion 'we have no choice
discount you, because we see no indication of a spiritual reality that
science hints at an aspect of reality that bears an uncanny similarity
religion refers to as the spiritual world.
left, however, with a great mystery.
Science and the Bible both indicate there is an aspect of
the world with
6 non-physical dimensions, in addition to the physical dimensions we
does this mean?
will discuss this question in the next
chapter we will be discussing some of the broader implications of
theory with regards to philosophy and our every day lives, and
it might affect the debate between Science, Religion, and Barbarism.
But before we do that, we
want to take the
opportunity to provide an initial hypothesis about what the 6
dimensions might be.
that anything we suggest is pure speculation, and is meant to provide
insights for the investigations of others.
Sometimes when areas of investigation are uncovered it is
hear initial ideas and insights that might stimulate further discussion.
Our hypotheses are of that
nature, meant to
provide some possible insights for others in their investigation and
on this subject.
previous chapter, we described how Superstring theory has been hailed
scientists as a mathematical miracle that gathers all scientific
(space, time, matter, electromagnetism, gravity, etc.) under one set of
is the grand
unification theory of science that puts on the table one set of
explains ALL of reality.
breakthrough, however, has come with a wrinkle, because superstring
proposes that the fundamental building block of the universe is a tiny
that vibrates in 10 dimensions, 6 of these dimensions being
conundrum facing science is explaining
what these 6 non-physical dimensions are, or even what it means for
there to be
went on to demonstrate how some of the major symbols of the 5 Books of
that many maintain were direct revelations from God over 3000 years ago
to be symbols that imply a similar division of the world into 4
dimensions and 6 non-physical dimensions.
The talis that the Jew wraps around himself while praying
and the table
and the menorah in the inner sanctum of the holy Temple also have two
components: a 4 cornered rectangle that the Talmud says refers to the
world (the 4 physical dimensions), and a component with 6 white strings
that the Bible and Talmud emphasizes represents a spiritual world that
domain of an eternal, omnipresent, and omniscient God.
therefore find ourselves in the very strange position that science and
mutually corroborate the proposition that there are 6 - yes count them,
because it points towards a new frontier in man's investigating and
understanding of reality.
also a dilemma, because we can feel at a loss how to proceed in
the suggestion by both science and religion that there is world beyond
physical - that Kant called the metaphysical - composed of exactly 6
"'What is a non-physical dimension, and what does it mean that there
we can get a glimmering of an insight into the possible 6 non-physical
dimensions by understanding what a dimension is.
We can begin investigating that question by
looking at the 4 dimensions of the physical world.
As we know, the 4 physical dimensions are
height, width, depth, and time.
geometry, a line has one dimension, a plane has 2 dimensions, and a
cube has 3
thing we see is that each extra dimension is not separate from the
dimensions, but extends and adds to them.
When we take a 2 dimensional circle and add a 3rd
dimension, it becomes
a sphere, and we have extended it in some way.
And if we now add to the ball the 4th dimension of time,
it can move and
bounce through time, an extension that enables it to do something it
and is not separate from what exists before.
this is true for dimensions 5 through 10, the six non-physical
though these dimensions are
non-physical, perhaps they are in some way extensions of the previous
dimensions in some way, and not separate from them.
Just as the 4th dimension of time gives a
ball the capability for movement, so also dimensions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and
add new capabilities to physical things.
possible that the 6 non-physical dimensions are not somewhere else in
never-never land, but are right here, somehow adding new non-physical
capabilities to the physical things they are extending.
Though we don't as yet understand what these
new capabilities are, perhaps they are non-physical extensions of the
just as a ball in time is able to do more than a ball without time.
another possible source of insight in our investigation of the 6
examine reality looking
for previously unexplained phenomena that are ethereal or non-physical,
hope that they might have something to do with the 6 non-physical
dimensions manifest themselves in some way in world that we are
chances are these manifestations would have resisted scientific
and puzzled philosophers through the ages precisely because of their
if we were given a jewelry box and then looked around the house for
jewelry that have gotten lost over the years because we hadn't had a
box to put them into.
there might be 6 non-physical dimensions is like having an empty
there philosophical pieces of jewelry
that because of their non-physical nature have puzzled science through
ages, and that have defied categorization and understanding, and belong
jewelry box with its 6 compartments?
we don't have to look far to find phenomena that meet these criteria of
non-physical and having puzzled science.
We discussed some of these areas in our previous chapter
mentioned that science has not been able to understand many aspects of
that science and
philosophy is as baffled as ever as to the nature of the mind,
thinking, emotions, and sensation.
phenomena seem to have defied understanding for thousands of years
their incorporeal and non-physical nature.
Though the greatest minds throughout the history have
considerable effort to understanding the mind, consciousness, thinking,
emotions, and sensation, these topics have resisted scientific
we can turn a liability into an asset, and maybe these phenomena have
explanation because they are not physical, and belong in our jewelry
box of the
we are at
it, we want to add some more non-physical phenomena that we have
previously, that have been a source of contention between science and
for quite a while, namely the soul and spiritual reality.
and spiritual reality certainly fit this description of being
and many of
history's greatest philosophers have maintained they exist, but have
able to see what or where they are.
Perhaps these are other non-physical phenomena that belong
jewelry box of 6 non-physical dimensions.
investigation has turned up some non-physical phenomena that have
people throughout the ages.
list of them: the mind, consciousness, thinking, emotion, sensation,
and spiritual reality.
something to do with the 6 non-physical dimensions predicted by
theory and hinted at by the 6 white strings of the talis and the arms
does this mean, and
how can we proceed with an investigation if these 6 dimensions are
to proceed by offering an hypothesis about the 6 non-physical
stated at the beginning of this
chapter, we want to emphasize that this hypothesis is only meant to
further investigation by others on this topic.
examine our list of 'non-physical' phenomena, we may notice an
property about the items on the list.
Some of the items are more 'physical' than others.
That is, some have more of
a connection and
involvement with the physical world than others.
For example, sensations and emotions might be
said to have more involvement with the physical world than what we
associate with thinking and the soul.
this we mean that when we touch something or are angry, we are in a
involved with the physical world than when we think of ideas or pray.
This germ of an insight
can be expanded into
a larger hypothesis about how the six dimensions may differ from each
suggest that it is possible that the 6 non-physical dimensions differ
other in the amount of connection they have to the physical world. This
analogous to how each of the electron rings in an atom vary in their
from the atom.
perhaps the 6
non-physical dimensions vary in stages from a greater to a lesser
the physical world.
there are 6 such
levels, we can draw the following chart:
words, a reason there may be 6 dimensions is that they vary in their
involvement with the physical, from a higher to a lesser involvement.
To expand our hypothesis
further, we can associate
areas from our
every day experience
each of these
flesh out this hypothesis, and describe what each of these 6
dimensions might be and how they might differ from one another.
From Being to Pure Spirit
to this theory, the most physical of the non-physical dimensions is
quality shared by even the most primitive plant or animal.
The Hebrew word of this
level is 'nefesh'.
is the common denominator of all life.
level, 'sensation', is one step less physical than 'being', but it is
conduit through which we maintain contact with the physical world.
When we touch some wood or
are burnt by a
flame, we are operating at the level of sensation.
according to this hypothesis, is half physical and half 'spiritual'.
It is certainly less
tangible than touching
something, but emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness certainly have
'earthy' quality that makes them directly responsive to their physical
level that is only 1/3 physical is thinking, one level less tangible
where the mind is
involved with ideas and thoughts, abstractions that we use to make
sense of the
move one more step away from the physical, we come to the 'soul'.
Here almost all connection
to the physical is
gone, though the soul, at least during life, is intertwined with the
Hebrew word for this
mostly non-physical dimension is 'neshomah'.
we come to the non-physical dimension that is totally non-physical, the
we call 'pure spirit'.
the dimension the soul returns to after a person dies and the soul is
from the body.
six distinct gradations of non-physical dimensions, from the most to
physical, all use terms and concepts we have heard before.
We have no 'proof' that
they bear any
resemblance to what the 6 non-physical dimensions actually are.
This theory springs solely
hypothesis that perhaps the 6 non-physical dimensions vary in stages
physical to not physical at all.
this theory purely as food for thought for future thinkers trying to
with an understanding of what the 6 non-physical dimensions might be.
One interesting aspect of
this theory is that
it includes and categorizes many of the non-physical phenomena that
puzzled philosophers and scientists for eons.
above theory is just an initial foray into the new and uncharted
entails investigating what is the nature of the 6 non-physical
more elaborate and accurate theories
will be put forward in the future by theorists in the fields of
philosophy, and religion.
of our key points has been that there is mutually corroborating
both one of the latest scientific theories in theoretical physics
theory) and one of the oldest religious works (The Bible) indicating
world has part of it 6 non-physical dimensions.
Investigation into this phenomenon calls for a new
Science and Religion, with each contributing insights, theories, and
perspective from both scientific and religious minds will be required
conquer this new frontier.
successful, old hatchets, grudges, and animosities must be buried.
it will be a fulfillment of Noah's prophesy:
will enlarge the domain of Yephet (Science), and he will live in the
precisely such a
Science and Religion that may be needed to reverse the extensive and
inroads that Barbarian philosophy has made into our 'modern' culture
ways over the last 150
years, we have come to accept as a tautology the barbarian dictums of
"Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die", and "Might makes
described in our review of Western philosophy, ever since Hume's
Religion and climaxing with Nietzsche's glorifying the barbarian ideals
saying that the Almighty is dead, Science's cold shoulder towards and
de-legitimizing of Religion contributed heartily towards opening the
box of barbarism in our modern world.
time for a reconciliation, a new partnership between Science and
among other activities, investigate the 6 non-physical dimensions of
and in the process to de-legitimize the Barbarian in our midst.
People who resist this
examine if it is because they have come to enjoy the Barbarian
license, and nihilism too much to subject Barbarism to the same glare
scrutiny they have subjected Religion to in the past.
Barbarism promises pleasure in the short run
and delivers destruction in the long run.
Barbarism mocks and scorns the possibility that there is
the physical world.
Science and Religion that there are 6 non-physical dimensions answers
made the case that the Bible, with its description of the talis and
towards the non-physical, anticipated Superstring theory. The main
focus of the
Bible, of course, is that there is one God that commands us to be good.
This raises the
interesting question as to
where, in relation to the 6 non-physical dimension, might God exist?
If we look
closely at the talis and menorah,
we can see a possible clue.
Bible describes the strings that are attached to each of the 4 corners
talis, it says that one of the strings should be blue.
The Talmud explains that 6 of the strings in
each corner should be white, and two should be blue to represent God by
reminding us of the blue of Heaven.
the 6 white strings represent the 6 non-physical dimensions, then the 2
strings representing God are separate from the white strings yet of a
implication is that God
has something in common with the 6 non-physical dimensions, in that God
physical, but is separate from the 6 non-physical dimensions.
with regards to the Menorah, there is a central shaft that runs through
Menorah that holds the 6 arms in place.
The central shaft has something in common with the 6 arms
in that it too
has a light of oil on top of it, yet it is distinct from the other 6
it binds together.
the 6 arms
represent the 6 non-physical dimensions, perhaps the central shaft
God that holds them together.
this theme is echoed by another 'symbol' described very early in the
7 day week. The 6 weekdays culminate in a 7th special and holy day, the
Sabbath, that is separate from the other 6 days.
We are told that on the Sabbath we should
rest and devote extra effort to sense God and His holiness.
implication in these symbols is that God has something in common with
non-physical dimensions in that God is also non-physical, but He is
this means deserves
investigation by those scientists and religious people investigating
Menorah might carry with it another implication that deserves mention.
The six arms of the
Menorah would fall apart
in disarray without the central shaft that holds them in place.
Perhaps this hints to us
the 6 non-physical dimensions without having a strong love and fear of
'orient' us could lead to disarray.
worship, criticized mercilessly in the Bible, was involved in some
worship of the spiritual, but it didn't have a devotion to God to keep
veering into debauchery, and in some cases was an amalgam of barbarism
Bible tells us that involvement with the spiritual should be
accompanied by an
obedient awe of God.
holy Temple was
a domain of the priests who had to act very carefully. Moses' brother
the first priest, lost two of his four sons the day of the Temple's
inauguration because they did something 'wrong' in its inner sanctum.
Jewish law even prohibits
making a model of
the Menorah, warning us of the awe we are to have regarding its
Talmud tells us that while Rabbi Akiva
and some fellow rabbis were investigating the secrets of the spiritual
one died and another went mad.
this implies that it is advisable to investigate the 6 non-physical
carefully, accompanied by a healthy respect for God's Will.
the time of the Greeks, society has held Science in great veneration
Science has been seen by many as the key that mankind uses to
world we live in.
of Science at any one time has often been popularized into the
the world view, the metaphor, that people use to see the world.
time of Aristotle until Sir Isaac Newton, Aristotelian philosophy,
and other ideas was taught as the way the world really works.
Questioning Aristotle was
overturned in the 17th Century by Newton's concept of the movement of
Heavenly spheres governed by the law of gravity.
The world was seen as a smoothly functioning
clock with a myriad of pieces dancing in synchronization.
We can hear this world
view of how
Renaissance Man saw himself when we listen to Renaissance music, with
clockwork precision of harmonies.
world view was overturned again in the late 19th Century by the
Charles Darwin, and the extension of
ideas by Nietzsche.
this world view that the world is a jungle, and that progress is made
survival of the fittest in the struggle to remain alive.
We can see this world view
reflected in the
resurgence of Barbarism a la Hitler in the 20th century.
20th Century theories, including Einstein's theory of Relativity,
uncertainty principle, and quantum mechanics, is reflected in the
view of the world where everything is seen as relative and uncertain.
examine what view of the world could spring from a popularization of
Superstring theory, that is as yet too new to have been adopted as a
metaphor of the world.
Supersting theory, everything is made up of tiny vibrating strings in
dimensions that combine together to create better arrangements
The metaphor would picture
the world as
filled with music, with the vibrating strings in search of greater
Green and Schwartz, the authors of the theory, compare the superstrings
theory's revelation that there are 6 non-physical dimensions can help
more comfortable with the concept of a spiritual, metaphysical aspect
this metaphor, we see
the world filled with music and spirituality, the vibrating strings
search of greater harmony.
this is a more attractive, and hopefully more accurate, view of the
Nietzsche's jungle or Heisenberg's uncertainty.
Perhaps a popularization of Superstring theory would have
effect on society.
effort by Science and Religion to explore the nature of the 6
dimensions has many practical applications.
We will list a few:
- Perhaps no
aspect of living is
as crucial and central to our lives as relationships.
This includes the relationships we have with
our family (spouse, parents, children, and siblings), friends, and
we work with.
many valuable insights into these areas.
However, understanding harmony and discord between people
and why some
are attracted to others and get along, while others bicker, is really
an art than a science.
much of what goes on in these areas is operating at the level of the 6
non-physical dimensions, and scientific investigation of these
yield a more precise understanding of the mechanisms of relationships.
This would have practical
example, in promoting marital harmony, or developing a questionnaire
for singles that could
predict the likelihood
of a good marriage.
could be asked questions that might determine the nature of the 6
person 'sings' on each non-physical dimension, and the likelihood of
dissonance in each of these dimensions.
Understanding The Mind
- Perhaps the mind
scientific scrutiny and understanding because aspects of its activity
in the 6 non-physical dimensions.
true, study of these dimensions may give us greater insight into
sensation, thinking emotion, dreams, and so on.
Understanding Government And
do some people make better leaders than others, what is charisma, and
reduce the chances of a government veering towards dictatorship or
organizations and work environments make for more effective businesses?
Perhaps understanding the
dissonance that occurs on the level of the 6 non-physical dimensions
us understand these phenomena better.
Reconciling Science and Religion
- As our
outline of history
showed, Science and Religion have not been getting along well with each
for almost 200 years.
cause of this
has been Science's skepticism about anything but a physical world.
Perhaps a mutual
investigation by Science and
Religion into the 6 non-physical dimensions will reopen channels of
communication harmony and mutual understanding.
Overcoming the Barbarian
- The discord
and Religion has empowered the Barbarian, and perhaps a reconciliation
Science and Religion would de-legitimize the Barbarian.
History has shown that a society where the
Barbarian rules eventually destroys itself.
This is also true on the level of a person's individual
philosophy has the appeal of
'pleasure at all costs' and 'abandon', but its inherent selfishness
seeds of personal and social dissolution.
The appeal is seductive, and infiltrates our lives on many
unconscious levels, such as materialism, hedonism, and narcissism.
Those who ascribe to the
Science and Religion would do well to examine themselves to see in what
the Barbarian philosophy has permeated their consciousness and
a greater understanding of the 6
non-physical dimensions will help us understand better why Barbarism
dissonance rather than harmony, and will give us tools to reduce the
Barbarism in our lives.
suggestion of Superstring Theory that our world has ten dimensions, six
'non-physical', is a tantalizing idea, and we naturally wonder what
'non-physical' dimensions might be like. The intrigue thickens when we
the six curving arms of the Menorah and the six white strings of the
suggest the existence of six 'non-physical' dimensions. But this idea
extra dimensions somehow floating around us, extending in some way the
four physical dimensions, is unclear at best and can make us uneasy and
see that a basketball in our hands has height, width, and depth, and
flies to the hoop through time, so we are comfortable with these four
dimensions. We would like to understand the mysterious six additional
dimensions by seeing and experiencing them, but we remind ourselves
might be problematical because they are 'not physical.'
We ask, therefore, what and where are these
six 'non-physical dimensions', and is it possible to see any 'physical'
evidence that they exist or at least impinge on the physical world?
We would appreciate some
to deal with and think about this further.
and religious thinkers should put their heads together while
contribute their objective analytical ability, and their track record
uncovered some of nature’s best secrets.
Religious thinkers can contribute their age-old tradition
the non-physical aspects of the world, that they refer to as the
realm of existence.
will benefit by
mutual brainstorming and exploration.
contribute to this investigation, we will now flesh out and delve
deeper into the
we suggested in the previous
It is only
an initial attempt
to grapple with this enigma of what it might mean that our world
it contains some insights to stimulate the thinking of others in this
are worth a thousand words, so we will try to develop a conceptual
start with two ways of
representing the 'spread' between the physical and 'non-physical'
Figure 1, a black box represent the physical and a white box represents
non-physical. The four physical dimensions are shown, along with a
that is an initial attempt to portray the non-physical world.
Figure 2 uses a
traditional X-Y coordinate
diagram, with the X-axis arbitrarily representing the physical world
four dimensions, and the Y-axis representing the non-physical world
out in a new and different dimension compared with the X-axis.
first question that jumps out at us when looking at these diagrams is:
are the six non-physical dimensions?
one white box and the Y-axis don't look like enough. Where could all six
be, and how might
they be represented?
like to suggest the possibility that there is only one purely
dimension, and that the other five unaccounted for dimensions are
of the physical and non-physical.
might be, in a sense, mixtures or amalgams of the physical and
perhaps serving as stepping stones to bridge the gap between the
non-physical may be as different as oil and water, and these
dimensions serve to mediate between the physical and non-physical,
them to mix and cooperate in some way.
This could be compared to a staircase with five steps
going from one
level to another.
explore this hypothesis in the spirit that it might unearth some clues
what it could mean that the world contains a total of ten dimensions
the physical and non-physical. We hope it sheds a bit of light in the
exploration of this new and uncharted realm.
3 and 4 shows this idea of five intermediate dimensions, each combining
physical and non-physical in different amounts.
We divide the gap between the physical and non-physical in
going from 5/6 physical to 1/6 physical.
We now find we have a full set of ten dimensions.
Dimensions 1 to 4 are
tenth dimension is totally non-physical,
and dimensions 5 to 9 are progressively less physical as they approach
Trying To Understand These
now use these diagrams to try to help us understand what it might mean
there to be five dimensions that are somehow mixtures of the physical
look at the X-Y axis
diagram in Figure 4.
with the physical world represented by the X-axis, the world of objects
use our body and senses to move, touch, and see.
Try to picture being in this physical world
of the X-axis, and looking 'up' at the other six dimensions in Figure
first thing we notice is that the eye in the physical world of the
see the Y-axis at all.
invisible to the eye looking up from the X-axis because it is
that the tenth
dimension, being purely non-physical, cannot be perceived from the
do we see if we look 'up' from the physical world at the intermediate
dimensions that somehow combine the physical and the non-physical?
Figure 5 shows this idea.
Each of the six diagrams
in Figure 5
represents the perspective from the physical world looking up at
five through ten that represent mixtures of physical and non-physical.
Because of the angle of
dimensions, the fifth dimension is most visible, the ninth dimension is
visible, and the tenth dimension is invisible.
on top of each diagram how each of these six dimensions appear from the
point of the physical world.
part of the rectangle represents what the physical world can 'see' of
dimensions five through ten. We notice that the black rectangles get
as we move from dimension five through ten. The black rectangle that
how much the physical world 'sees' the fifth dimension is the widest,
black rectangle that shows how the physical world 'sees' the ninth
implies that from the perspective of the physical world represented by
X-axis, we can somehow sense in progressively lesser degrees the
component of these six dimensions.
fifth dimension, that has the largest physical component, is perceived
from the physical world, and the ninth dimension that has the least
component is perceived the least.
tenth dimension that is purely non-physical is not perceived at all
vantage point of the physical world.
rectangles at the top of each of these six diagrams, that depict how
five to ten are 'seen' from the physical world, are the same as the
in Figure 3 describing the same dimensions.
What Are The Six 'Non-Physical'
to this idea, the tenth dimension is completely non-physical, but
five to nine have a physical component that goes from fairly
that we live
in the physical world, we should be able to see traces of how the
aspect of the fifth to the ninth dimension impinges on the physical
dimension is the most physical and
tangible, and we should find it easier than the other intermediate
to see some evidence of its existence in the physical world.
Then the sixth to the
ninth dimensions would
have a progressively smaller 'imprint' on the physical world, making
physical component harder to 'see' in the physical world.
explain this in terms of the black and white rectangles in Figure 3, we
be able to see evidence of the black component of dimensions five to
the physical world, because the black part of each rectangle represents
of these five
'intermediate' dimensions also has a 'non-physical' component,
the white part of the rectangle, that leaves no imprint on the physical
the dimensions five to nine there is a line of demarcation separating
physical from its non-physical component, where the black part of the
meets the white part.
is as if this
line represents a kind of 'wall', the left of the wall being physical
right of the wall being non-physical.
expand this idea, we will use an image from Superstring Theory that
world is made up of vibrating strings.
Figure 6 pictures that in each of these five intermediate
(in the physical world) can grab a hold of the part of the string on
physical side of this wall and shake it.
This will shake the part of the string that extends into
non-physical part of the dimension.
part of the string that we can grab onto in the physical world, to the
the 'wall', vibrates the entire dimension, both physical and
though from the vantage point of the physical world we can only see the
physical aspect of these vibrations.
intriguing image emerges that in each of these 'mixture' dimensions, we
grab a hold of the physical part of this string and shake the string
extends throughout the entire dimension, even its non-physical part.
Let's call the physical
part of the string
that we can take hold of it's physical 'handle'.
By shaking this physical handle, we can send vibrations
through the entire dimension, including the part that is non-physical.
In the fifth dimension we
have the longest
the ninth dimension
we have a tiny handle, but if we shake it, we are sending vibrations
string into the 5/6ths of the dimension that is non-physical.
Theory tells us that the whole world is made up of vibrating strings
a kind of orchestra whose music is ever changing.
To carry this image a bit further, we can see
each of these intermediate dimensions as vibrating with a kind of music
varies in pitch, intensity, and meter. The music in each of these
can have its own character and melody that varies at different places
hold of the physical
handle in a dimension, we can change the melody, rhythm, and loudness
music in that dimension, and the music extends even into the
portion of that dimension.
Relating This To The World We
image of part-physical, part non-physical dimensions pulsating with
interesting and intriguing, but how can we relate it to anything we are
familiar with in our experience on good old terra firma?
Can we find any phenomena
in the world around
us that bears any similarly to such a description?
mentioned in the previous chapter, there is in fact a class of
has had scientists and philosophers puzzled for eons.
We are referring to activities such as
thinking, feeling, and consciousness.
After thousands of years of scientific scrutiny, these
almost as enigmatic as they always were.
What is consciousness, and what are we doing when we think
a thought, or
feel an emotion?
to probe and
with their instruments, but are still at a loss as to how to explain
It has even
been a puzzle as to why thinking,
feeling, and consciousness remain so elusive, and why they seem less
than the regular physical world of tables and buildings.
we present the proposition that perhaps these enigmatic phenomena such
thinking and feeling have something to do with the semi-physical
have been discussing. Perhaps we perceive only their physical
it's their non-physical component that makes them so enigmatic.
As we mentioned in the
previous chapter, we
made a list that tries to correlate this class of phenomena with the
five to ten. We simply ordered them from what seemed the least physical
is the list we came
are probably many ways to match this class of phenomena with these six
dimensions, and this is just an initial foray.
Before we explain what we mean by each of these terms, we
show in Figure
7 a summary of what we have described so far in this chapter.
The Six Non-Physical Dimensions
now attempt to match the six non-physical dimensions implied by
Theory, the Talis, and the Menorah with phenomena that philosophers and
scientists have found 'ethereal' and inexplicable for thousands of
'non-physical dimensions' we mean those
dimensions that are not totally physical, and have at least a
grant us literary
license in this section, because we will attempt to use the terms as
used in common parlance.
- We will start with the
dimension that is totally non-physical, and match it up with the term
the Y-axis that cannot
be perceived by the physical world at all.
Perhaps this is what religion refers to as the 'spiritual'
the soul comes from before a person is born and where it returns after
Talmud says that when a
feotus is in its mother's womb, there is a flame above its head that it
see from one end of the world to the other, and perhaps this flame
reminiscent of the Menorah) emanates from the tenth dimension.
Maybe we will never be
able to view this
dimension directly from the physical world, but only get a glimpse of
seeing how it mixes in different measures with the physical in the five
'intermediate' dimensions. It is possible that understanding this tenth
better would give us an inkling as to the nature of God.
This is the ninth dimension that is 5/6th non-physical and
has only a
small physical handle to grab onto.
is the part of us that is closest to the spiritual world while we are
and when we look inside ourselves we can barely perceive it because of
Hebrew word for this is 'Neshama', and we
try to engage and rouse it when we pray.
Truly Religious people manage to have the music in this
themselves be richly harmonic and melodious.
- The eighth dimension is the
home of our thoughts, and because it is 1/3 physical, it has twice as
physicality compared to the soul that is only 1/6 physical.
Thinking is somewhat more
tangible than our
soul, but it is still mostly ineffable because it is 2/3rd non-physical.
and those who feel most akin
to the Greek legacy try to imbue this dimension of themselves with the
It is a
strange idea indeed that
as you are thinking right now that you shaking a string with a handle
physical, and that 2/3rd of its activity is taking place in a
is why thinking
seems familiar and yet so enigmatic to us.
- We've matched emotions to the
seventh dimension that is half physical and half non-physical.
When emotions such as
love, anger, and fear course through our body, they feel more physical
thoughts, but they also have a substantial ethereal quality.
A poet might describe
strong emotions as
combining equal portions of Heaven and Earth.
They vigorously engage our body, but there's usually a
enigmatic quality to them that might reflect the half that is
- If we sink our teeth into a
luscious peach, burn our hands on a stove, or get a
massage at a health club, we can feel how
engaged our body is and why we've matched sensation to the sixth
is 2/3rd physical.
has not been able to fully understand what it means to feel pleasure
because it is also 1/3rd non-physical.
Touch the texture of something now with your hand, and
feel how physical
the sensation is, and yet there remains a part of the sensation that is
and hard to explain, and that might be due to the part that is
This is the dimension that the Barbarian is most focused on, in
pleasurable sensations he feels.
- There is a motor-like hum that
seems to exist in all living creatures, and we call this 'being'.
It is mostly physical, but
there is a tinge
of other-wordiness to it, and that is why we match it to the fifth
that is 5/6th physical and 1/6th non-physical.
It is what a philosopher might call the bedrock of
built solidly on the four physical
dimensions of height, width, depth, and time, but it is also one step
them and has a taste, a hint, a sliver of the non-physical world. The
word for being is 'nefesh' and it is a quality we share with an amoeba
blade of grass.
The Shadow of the Tenth Dimension
nature of the tenth dimension remains a great mystery.
According to our model, it is purely
non-physical and cannot be perceived from the physical world because it
'perpendicular' to it.
what is it,
and what is it made of?
see it directly, perhaps we can see it indirectly because it makes up a
part of the five intermediate dimensions that form stepping stones
physical world and the mysterious tenth dimension.
The model suggests that every time we think a
thought, we create vibrations in the eighth dimension, and 2/3rd of
vibrations are non-physical -
non-physical quality that the tenth dimension is made up of.
if the tenth dimension is an invisible wall that casts a white shadow
physical world by its involvement in the fifth to ninth dimensions.
We are somehow involved in
quality in varying degrees every time we sense a sensation, feel a
think a thought.
Religious thinkers have claimed, the 'Kingdom of Heaven is within', and
involved with this ineffable substance of the tenth dimension as we are
Science will be able
to discover more about the tenth dimension indirectly by exploring how
with the five intermediate dimensions.
Theory says the world is made up of tiny superstrings that vibrate like
have extended this idea
to suggest that each of the five intermediate dimensions can vibrate
independently of each other, creating its own 'music'.
This music of a dimension can have its own
character, distinguished by its pitch, rhythm, and intensity.
It can be melodious or
raucous, fast or slow,
loud or soft, repetitive or constantly changing.
Each of us at every moment is playing a
symphony (or at least a quintet) in five part harmony, with each of the
dimensions contributing its own musical accompaniment.
The five dimensions can be in harmony and
synchronous with each other, or they can be out of synch and produce a
dimensions can be quiet or prominent.
person has their own character and personality, perhaps in part because
five part symphony they are playing.
Look at people's faces and into their eyes and you can
almost see and
'hear' the symphony they are playing.
The person's 'music' is being generated from within them,
character tends to be fairly consistent.
It is reflected in a person's voice, generated by
called vocal chords.
person may be
extremely emotional, and their seventh dimension is very active,
changing, while another person may have a very subdued and quiet
person may have a loud
sixth dimension (sensual)
may have a dramatic ninth dimension (soul).
interesting how this explains a difference between the three major
philosophical types that we have discussed throughout this book.
The Barbarian focuses on
the sixth dimension
of the senses, concerned mostly with his own pleasure.
He usually doesn't attach much importance to
the 'higher' dimensions. The Scientist regards the eighth dimension of
as primary, and through books, thinking, and discussion, can create for
a rich world of thoughts and ideas.
truly Religious person concentrates on developing the harmonies of the
of the soul.
feels himself close to
the ineffable tenth dimension, that he senses is somehow connected to
nature of God, and wants to make sure that the music of his soul is
melodic, and pleasing to God.
no reason why a person can't strive to have beautiful music on all five
these intermediate dimensions, and have them all harmonize with each
be considered an ideal
to strive towards.
Barbarian and the Scientist agree that there is nothing besides the
As a result
the Barbarian focuses
on indulging his physical desires, and the Scientist discounts evidence
not perceived through the physical senses.
Perhaps they would change if they saw the importance of
reality, and how the non-physical part of the 'higher dimensions'
world and gives it its character.
example, how would they respond if they could see the affects of their
on the ninth dimension, their soul?
almost one third of our lives sleeping, and we know that we feel
after a good night's sleep and feel tired if we put sleep off for too
has not provided us
with a clear understanding of what sleep is and why we need it so much.
An additional mystery is
why we dream.
Experiments have shown that rapid eye movement (REM) accompanies
if people are woken up as they start dreaming and never get a chance to
they remain extremely tired even though they have slept for eight hours.
Scientists don't know why
this is true.
includes activity on the five semi-physical dimensions.
While we are awake we are essentially in the
physical world, and are active in the physical portions of these
though vibrations in the physical portions have their effect in the
non-physical portions that we can't perceive in the physical world.
when we sleep, we pass over to the other side of the 'wall' and attend
things from the vantage point of the non-physical portion of these
sense we shake the
string from the non-physical side of the wall, that has a resulting
the physical side of the wall in the form of dreams and greater
world probably looks
very different from the non-physical side of the wall, and we need to
there and resolve issues, make changes, and adjust the harmonies from
to the non-physical side of the wall we can't be attentive to physical
and that is why our body becomes motionless and we lose consciousness
physical reality during sleep.
perhaps at the same time we gain consciousness of non-physical reality.
us is a composer and conductor, playing music in five part harmony in
through the ninth partly physical dimensions.
This music defines our character and personality.
How this music harmonizes
with other people's
music determines how we get along with other people.
We get along with some people better than
others because our music harmonizes with some people better than others.
Perhaps someday we'll be
able to measure the
melodies that people generate in the dimensions of being, sensation,
thought, and soul, and watch how these melodies of different people
with each other.
might be possible to
use such measurements to predict how different people will get along.
melodies change over time in response to events around us. We may
well with another person in one dimension such as the eighth dimension
thought, but not on other dimensions.
some of our emotional melodies such as happiness may synchronize well
but other emotions such as anger may be discordant.
It may be that 'love' is the harmony we can
establish with another person in many dimensions.
that a person 'falls' in love and 'falls' asleep indicating that both
'falling' into a speical mode, perhaps because they involve
activity on the 'other side of the wall'.
distinctive aspect of marital relations is that it can intensely
five of the semi-physical dimensions. It can be much more than just the
physical, potentially involving being, sensation, emotion, thought, and
ideally involve music in
all the dimensions.
and leadership is that ability where a person can make other people's
harmonize with theirs.
or business leader can project a melody so strong, on so many
others change their melodies to harmonize with the leader's.
This ability can be good
anarchy, but it can be dangerous in the hands of a demagogue.
But even on a small scale,
try to sell something or when we try to influence or convince someone,
trying to get another person's melodies to harmonize with ours.
cultures and many subcultures develop their own music that expresses
unique about them and reflects their character.
The music evolves as the morés of the culture changes.
As Western music went
through periods called
Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Modern, it reflected changes in
includes Rock, Country, Jazz, Punk, Blues, and Rap to reflect the
they come from.
music has such a great appeal to us because we yearn for a physical
of the activity that is taking place in the five semi-physical
sense that there is
'non-physical' activity happening in these dimensions that is unique to
culture or subculture at this point in time, so we create a style of
strikes a responsive chord and makes it more tangible for us.
is therefore the sum total of the music we generate on these five
the activity in
these dimensions is non-physical, and that is perhaps why an
consciousness has eluded Science for so long.
Understanding the non-physical aspect of these dimensions
will require a
great deal of research.
may find it
difficult to directly measure the non-physical aspects of dimensions
emotion, thought, and soul.
we will able to measure them indirectly by watching the vibration of
'string' on the physical side of the wall, and infer what is happening
non-physical side of the wall.
wonder what it is like on the other side of the wall, in the
is where part of us
originated before we started mixing with the physical world as we were
gestating in our mother's womb, and perhaps that is where we will
our stay in the physical world is over.
Perhaps we visit that realm every night when we sleep. As
conscious now, perhaps a key portion of our consciousness is activity
occurring right now on the 'other' side of the wall, in the
dawn of time, people have written verse about the concerns of their
people feel hope and worry, love and fear, they often try to express
communicate their thoughts and feelings in the form of poetry.
Chapters Two and Three, we traced the development of Western philosophy
until the present, showing how the three main philosophical archetypes
religion, and barbarism - interacted and developed throughout history.
We used the quotations of
help us see the changes in Man's outlook
us further insight and understanding into the changes we described, we
look at some examples of verse that can reveal more about how the heart
mind of Man has changed over time.
Poets can capture the spirit of their time in a few words,
and many of
them wrote about the spirit of science, religion, and barbarism.
We will now examine some
to try to gain a deeper understanding into how the spirit of Man
psalms written by King David in Jerusalem about 2700 years ago are
examples of the religious personality, and give us insights into the
themes that shine
out in his psalms are David's love of God, his desire to be good and
path of the wicked (who we call the barbarian), how small Man is in
God, and his plea for forgiveness.
Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack.
lush meadows He lays me down, beside tranquil waters He leads me.
restores my soul.
leads me on paths
of justice for His Name's sake.
I walk in the valley overshadowed by death,
will fear no evil, for You are with me.
prepare a table before me in full view of my tormentors.
anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.
only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life,
I shall dwell in the House of the Lord for long years.
Psalms are love songs to God, to Whom David expresses his loyalty,
and passionate devotion:
will love You, O Lord, my strength. (18:2)
fulfill Your will, my G-d, have I desired.
soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You. (63:2)
soul cleaves after You. (63:3)
my words be sweet to Him - I will rejoice in the Lord. (104:34)
heart is steadfast, O God, I will sing and I will make music even with
tries to be a good person, and offers his definition of who a good
Lord; Who may sojourn in Your Tent?
may dwell in Your Holy Mountain?
who walks in perfect innocence, does what is right,
speaks the truth from his heart;
has no slander on his tongue, who has done his friend no evil,
cast disgrace upon his intimate;
whose eyes the despicable is repulsive, but those who fear the Lord he
who does not retract, though he has sworn to his hurt;
lends not his money at interest, nor takes a bribe against the innocent.
does these shall forever not falter.
describes the good person as someone who fears and honors God, and is
upright, and generous.
contrast, David depicts the 'wicked' (the barbarian) as being selfish,
indulgent, and oppressive - traits that are related to the wicked
believing in God:
necklace is pride, enwrapping their body in their own violence.
from corpulence are their eyes,
went beyond the fantasies of the heart
consume and speak of foul oppression.
of haughtiness they speak.
direct their mouth against Heaven, and their tongue struts on earth.
the wicked one's haughtiness, he hunts down the poor
are caught in the devices which they have contrived.
the wicked man glories in his personal desires,
the brazen robber blesses himself for blaspheming the Lord.
wicked man, in the pride of his countenance, says: 'He will not avenge!'
his thoughts are: 'There is no G-d.'
fills his mouth with oaths, with deception and malice,
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
waits in ambush near open cities, in hidden places he murders the
eyes spy on the helpless.
lurks in hiding like a lion, he lurks in concealment to seize the poor.
gives us insight into the nature of the barbarian, who emphasizes that
no God, focuses on indulging his own desires,
and takes advantage of others.
in part, the awe that David feels towards God springs from how limited
in relation to God:
heavens declare the glory of G-d,
the expanse of the sky tells of His handiwork. (19:2)
is man that You recognize him?
son of frail human that you reckon with him?
is like a breath, his days are like a passing shadow. (144:3)
is the frail human that You should remember him?
what is the son of mortal man that You should be mindful of him?
You have made him only a little less than the angels,
crowned him with a soul and a splendor. (8:5)
with love and awe, David cries out for God to overlook his shortcomings
shower him with goodness:
me, O Lord, in Your way, that I may walk in Your truth,
my heart to fear Your Name. (86:11)
me favor, according to Your kindness,
to Your vast compassion erase my transgressions.
cleanse me from my iniquity, and from my sin purify me.
my transgressions I recognize, and my sin is before me always. (51:3)
Your face from my sins, and all my iniquities erase.
pure heart create for me, O G-d, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
me not away from Your Presence, and Your Holy Spirit take not from me.
to me the joy of Your salvation, and with a generous spirit sustain me.
my tears in Your flask.
Your record? (56:9)
David's psalms embody the spirit and feelings of the religious
throughout the millennia they have formed a central part of much
us great insight into
the religious mind.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS
now fly over eons of time to the English Renaissance and to another
soul, William Shakespeare.
David and Shakespear the Greeks shone their light on the world, Rome
fell, and the Church put its stamp on the thought of Europe.
We can see in
Shakespeare's writings the
Renaissance's rediscovery of the Greek ideals of the nobility of Man,
Greeks agreed with Religion that one of the challenges of the human
is to ensure that desire does not jump over its boundaries and become
destructive. (The Barbarian is not concerned with this problem).
While Religion assigns
this task of internal
policeman to the fear and love of God, the Greeks assigned this job to
We will see
Shakespeare speaks of love for women, he understands that love is given
parameters by Reason.
Renaissance emphasized the Greek tenet that Man is to be put on a
Devotion was directed more towards other people, and less on God.
Just as King
David devoted most of his
Psalms to expressing his love towards God, Shakespeare devotes most of
Sonnets to expressing his love towards other people, specifically
know, sweet love, I always write of you,
you and love are still my argument.
I could write the beauty of your eyes,
in fresh numbers number all your graces,
age to come would say: 'This poet lies;
heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'
happy I that love and am belov'd. (sonnet 25)
all my loves, my love, yea, take them all. (40)
thou art, and therefore to be won; Beauteous thou art, therefore to be
your slave, what should I do but tend Upon the hours and times of your
are you to my thoughts as food to life. (75)
is my love, to thee I so belong. (88)
love is better than high birth to me (91)
not my love be call'd idolatry (105)
nothing in this wide universe I call, Save thou my rose: in it thou art
of the God-centered orientation of the Psalms and the Middle Ages,
talks very little about God, and instead reflects the Man-centered
of the Renaissance and the Greek philosophy that inspired it:
Adonis, and the counterfeit
poorly imitated after you;
Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
you in Grecian tires are painted new.
no matter how great Shakespeare's love is, he recognizes clearly that
mortal, and that the major enemies of love and life are time and death:
nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defense. (sonnet 12)
in war with Time for love of you. (15)
war upon this bloody tyrant Time (16)
injurious hand (63)
thievish progress to eternity (77)
worms, inheritors of this excess, Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's
that the ravages of Time destroys beauty and love, Shakespeare says
that he can
use his mind, creativity, and art to come to the rescue by
love in his beautiful words.
there is some truth to it, as we are reading
his verses today:
marble, nor the gilded monuments
princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
you shall shine more bright in these contents
unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time.
do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong My love shall in my verse
in black ink my love may still shine bright. (68)
monument shall be my gentle verse. (81)
I compare thee to a summer's day?
are more lovely and more temperate.
winds do shake the darling buds of May,
summer's lease hath all too short a date.
too hot the eye of heaven shines,
often in his hold complexion dimm'd;
every fair from fair sometimes declines,
chance, or nature's changing source, untrimm'd;
thy eternal summer shall not fade
lose possession of that fair thou we'st,
shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men
can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives
this, and this gives life to
Shakespeare so often writes of love's glorious power and of his
ability to eternalize it, he admits that love can have its dark moments.
For example, the woman he
loves can chose
thou hast her, it is not all my grief;
it may be said I lov'd her dearly:
she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
loss in love that touches me more nearly.
writes of the pain he feels when his loved one doesn't treat him well:
eyes I love, and they, as pitying me, -
thy heart torment me with disdain -
later sonnets, Shakespeare focuses on the problem that can occur when
clouds his Reason and causes him to act blindly in ways he would rather
blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
they behold, and see not what they see?
know what beauty is, see where it lies,
what the best is take the worst to be.
my five wits nor my five senses can
one foolish heart from serving thee.
reason, the physician to my love,
that his prescriptions are not kept.
I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
art as black as hell, as dark as night.
admits that in the extreme, love's power to throw off Reason can lead
he refers to as 'lust', and what we have called 'Barbarism'. In this
claims that no person is immune to the potential destruction caused
unchecked passion bursts the bonds of Reason:
expense of spirit in a waste of shame
lust in action; and till action, lust
perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
no sooner but despised straight;
reason hunted; and no sooner had,
reason hated, as a swallow'd bait
purpose laid to make the taker mad, -
in pursuit, and in possession so;
having, and in quest to have, extreme;
bliss in proof; and prov'd, a very woe;
a joy propos'd; behind, a dream.
All this the world well
knows; yet none knows
To shun the heaven that
leads men to this
powerful and prophetic words, Shakespeare tells us that desire that
the boundaries of Reason becomes 'lust' that is 'murderous, bloody,
blame, savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust'.
Shakespeare describes that one of the ironies
of lust is that its promise of joy is illusory, 'enjoy'd no sooner but
gratification, lust goes 'past reason', but 'no sooner' does it achieve
goal than it hates what it did, also 'past reason'.
It's a 'bliss in proof', i.e. expectation (as
in an artist's preliminary 'proof'), but 'prov'd', i.e. in actuality, a
last two lines Shakespeare says that although 'the world well knows'
destructive nature of lust (Barbarism), 'none' are strong enough to
beautiful picture painted by desire as 'heaven', but that in reality
to this hell.'
the light of Reason
and the fear of God are overthrown by 'lust', we careen towards 'hell'.
next sonnet, Shakespeare describes a person who can control his passion
'inherit heaven's graces'.
if such a
person falls, he falls much farther than others:
that have power to hurt, and will do none,
do not do the thing they most do show,
moving others, are themselves as stone,
cold, and to temptation slow, -
rightly do inherit heaven's graces,
husband nature's riches from expense;
are the lords and owners of their faces,
but stewards of their excellence.
summer's flower is to the summer sweet
to itself it only live and die,
if that flower with base infection meet,
basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn
sourest by their
Lilies that fester smell
far worse than
sonnet describes a person who has the 'power to hurt' and the visible
that 'show's, and yet exercises an ethical restraint to act righteously
'unmoved' and 'cold' to the 'temptation' that accompanies power.
Such people can 'inherit
and this benevolence shows on their 'faces', and 'others' become
(servants) of their excellence'.
a good person, who is like a 'sweet' 'summer's flower', succumbs to
he falls faster and lower than 'weeds' who had no such goodness, for
things turn sourest by their deeds'.
Shakespeare warns all people, and especially good people,
to be wary of
the temptations of what he calls 'lust' (what we refer to as Barbarism).
Renaissance spread through Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th
centuries, it was
as if men felt their minds awaken to the powerful potential of Man's
the Greek advice to assume
nothing and examine everything, people put everything under the
examined nature, the
result was an explosion of scientific discovery and invention.
Examining political and
resulted in the overthrow of monarchy and the American and French
also put religion in the crucible of
analysis and sought scientific evidence for God and a spiritual world
following poem, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) expresses the belief
potential to unlock
all the secrets of the universe:
in the Crannied Wall
in the crannied wall,
pluck you out of the crannies,
hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
flower - but if I could understand
you are, root and all, and all in all,
should know what God and man is.
'Sonnet on Chillon', Lord Byron (1788-1824) writes about the Chillon
where many political prisoners were locked up or killed in their
can see how the
popular belief in Mind, Liberty, and Freedom (words all capitalized in
poem) has taken on a religious zeal.
Because of those martyred in this 'holy' struggle, the
'prison is a holy
place' and the 'sad floor an altar':
Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons,
Liberty! thou art:
For there thy habitation
is the heart -
heart which love of thee alone can bind;
when thy sons to fetters are consigned -
To fetters, and the damp
Their country conquers
with their martyrdom,
Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar
- for 't was trod,
his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold
pavement were a sod,
Bonnivard! - May none those marks efface!
For they appeal from
tyranny to God.
Barrett Browning (1806-1861) published 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' in
expresses her love for
her husband and fellow poet, Robert Browning.
In the poem we can see her pledge to the ideal of love,
her belief in
God and the soul ('if God choose', 'My soul can reach'), her commitment
battle for justice ('I love thee freely, as men strive for Right'), and
of a slight disillusion in religion ('I love thee with a love I seemed
with my lost saints'):
Sonnets From The
Portuguese, Sonnet 43
do I love thee?
me count the ways.
love thee to the depth and breadth and height
soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
the ends of Being an ideal Grace.
love thee to the level of everyday's
quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
love thee with the passion put to use
my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
love thee with a love I seemed to lose
my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
shall but love thee better after death.
that all three poems so far have mentioned God.
For the first two-thirds of the 19th century, the 'old
and belief in God still held sway, as reflected in this poem by Gerard
Hopkins (1844-1889) who was a Priest as well as a poet:
be to God for dappled things -
For skies of couple-color
as a brindled cow;
rose-moles all in stipple upon trout
chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
plotted and pieced - fold, fallow,
all trades, their gear and tackle and
things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle,
freckled (who knows how?)
swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle,
fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
third of the 19th century saw a revolution in thought epitomized by
Nietzsche. Religion and belief in God came under greater attack and
and it was believed that Man could become the new 'god'.
This heady feeling of
mastery can be seen in
this poem by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) written in 1888:
of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit
from pole to pole,
thank whatever gods may be
In the fell clutch of
I have not
winced nor cried aloud.
the bludgeonings of chance
My head is
bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath
Looms but the
horror of the shade,
yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall
find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait
How charged with
punishment the scroll,
am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my
century dawned with the enormous hope that Man, after clawing his way
style to the top of the evolutionary heap, could now use his mind to
perfect world, without reliance on what many considered the old
past century had
overcome tyranny, unlocked many of nature's secrets, and created a
Science had not
shown any evidence of God and the spiritual world, and Darwinism mocked
'fairy tales' of the Bible, many felt they would have to do without the
'crutch' of Religion.
is no God' is said four times in the poem by John Masefield, written in
is No God, As I Was Taught
is no God, as I was taught in youth,
each, according to his stature, builds
covered shrine for what he thinks the truth,
day by day his reddest heart-blood gilds.
is no God; but death, the clasping sea,
which we move like fish, deep over deep
of men's souls that bodies have set free,
to a Justice though it seems asleep.
is no God, but still, behind the veil,
hurt thing works, out of its agony.
like a touching of a brimming Grail,
the pennies given to passers by.
is no God, but we, who breathe the air,
God ourselves and touch God everywhere.
alas, the hopes of Utopia were dashed all too soon by World War I.
Many were surprised that
Religion and intoxicated with his feeling of strength, instead of
ushering in a
world filled with Reason opened the floodgates of Barbarism.
The senseless slaughter in
didn't feel like Utopia, as expressed by Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) at
start of World War I:
not young souls be smothered out before
do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
is the world's one crime its babes grow dull,
poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed.
that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly,
that they sow, but that they seldom reap,
that they serve, but have no gods to serve,
that they die, but that they die like sheep.
'gloom' and 'brave despair' is captured by Siegried Sassoon, written
the end of World War I:
still they come and go: and this is all I know -
from the gloom I watch an endless picture-show,
wild or listless faces flicker on their way,
glad or grievous hearts I'll never understand
Time spins so fast, and they've no time to stay
the moment's gesture of a lifted hand.
still, between the shadow and the blinding flame,
brave despair of men flings onward, ever the same
in those doom-lit years that wait them, and have been...
life is just the picture dancing on a screen.
their belief in God diminished and now disillusioned with Man, people
their goals, and tried to accept the idea that life's task was merely
out a small circle of happiness in one's loneliness, as expressed by
Carlos Williams (1883-1963) in 1917:
I when my wife is sleeping
the baby and Kathleen
the sun is a flame-white disc
my shirt round my head
singing softly to myself:
I admire my arms, my face,
shoulders, flanks, buttocks
the yellow drawn shades, -
happy genius of my household?
of Utopia were replaced by concern about world destruction.
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
wrote in 1923 that
from his vantage point, the 'fire' of desire was more likely to destroy
world than the 'ice' of hate, though both were destructive enough to
say the world will end in fire,
what I've tasted of desire
hold with those who favor fire.
if it had to perish twice,
think I know enough of hate
say that for destruction ice
looked longingly back at times when Religion and belief in God had
boundaries, strength, support, and direction.
But such longing was generally thought to be
because Science seemed to have discredited Religion as wishful
unsupported by scientific evidence.
H. Lawrence writing in 1929 describes what he suggests might be a
substitute for religion, an acceptance of this 'immortal chaos':
the ripe fruit falls
sweetness distills and trickles away into the veins of the earth.
fulfilled people die
essential oil of their experience enters
veins of living space, and adds a glisten
the atom, to the body of immortal chaos.
with oil of distilled experience.
grandness and scope of King David, Shakespeare, and even the 19th
appears to have given way to melancholy.
Many felt that love of God and Man is beyond our ability -
or takes too
much energy - and we should be honest with each other about these
as seen in this poem by James Agee (1910-1955):
I know you do not love.
you know I do not love.
we know we do not love.
there is pity in us for each other
better times are almost fresh as true.
the man to his mother.
And you to
And I to you.
we are cowardly kind the cruelest way,
the cliff unmorsel from our heels
knowing balance gone, we smile, and stay
little, whirling our arms like desperate wheels.
next poem, Weldon Kees (1914-1955) 'thinks about the human condition'.
exhudes an existential feeling of ennui and anomie that became popular
40's and 50's.
and death is seen as
somewhat random and meaningless, similar to items that are swept in and
with the waves at the beach, where people die and 'old fruit comes in
left, and dries in the sun':
the bright blue bathing suit
into the water and died,
thought about the human condition.
Pieces of old fruit
in and were left by the tide.
I thought about the human
in and is left, and dries
a dull green bathing suit
into the water and dies.
dry and die in the sun
the seascape arranges old fruit,
in with the tide, glistening
a nondescript bathing suit,
to a pier.
toward the sea.
thinks about the
The tide goes in and goes
are we to do with life in such a pointless and empty world?
(1911-1972) suggests that
instead of paying attention to the annoying 'girls in heaven' or
enjoy ourselves and
had been walking in and out
the world without coming
much decision about anything.
sun seemed too hot most of the time.
weren't enough birds around
the hills had a silly look
he got on top of one.
girls in heaven, however, thought
of asking to see his watch
you would want someone to tell
joke - "Time," they'd say, "what's
mean - time?", laughing with the edges
their white mouths, like a flutter of paper
he'd stumble over
Sherman or Elizabeth B.
muttering, "Can't you keep
big wings out of the aisle?"
there'd be millions of people without
to eat and men with guns just
there shooting each other.
he wanted to throw something
he picked up a baseball.
have the feeling of the aimlessness of life, with people not 'coming to
decision about anything.'
allusion to a possible spiritual world is trivialized into 'girls of
(assumedly angels) that just annoy people with their irritating jokes
time, and laugh 'with the edges of their white mouths, like a flutter
in a madhouse.'
preoccupation with baseball and other such diversions seems as good a
to boredom as any.
came World War II, with a greater display of Barbarism than history had
providing the tools for
Utopia, Science provided the tools to kill people by the tens of
'ism's that were produced by Man's
Reason, instead of leading us to peace and harmony, gave Barbarians the
rationale to kill and destroy in the name of progress.
While the intelligentsia disparaged belief in
God, and Science and Religion squabbled, Barbarism flourished. Though
argue that it was people who abandoned Religion and used Reason to
Barbarism, some blamed what happened on God being 'indifferent', as
this poem by Richard Eberhart (1904-) written in 1944 towards the end
The Fury of Aerial
Bombardment (3 of 4 stanzas)
would think the fury of aerial bombardment
rouse God to relent; the infinite spaces
looks on shock-pried
even, does not know what is meant.
would feel that after so many centuries
would give man to repent; yet he can kill
Cain could, but with multitudinous will,
farther advanced than in his ancient furies.
man made stupid to see his own stupidity?
God by definition indifferent, beyond us all?
the eternal truth man's fighting soul
the Beast ravens in its own avidity?
is suggesting that despite Man's attempts to advance by means of
Reason, perhaps the Barbarian is destined to triumph because the
'Beast' is 'no
farther advanced than in his ancient furies'.
sought refuge in drugs, but that seemed to be a dead end as chronicled
Ginsburg in this poem that became the anthem of the 'beat' movement:
Howl (only first
saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving
themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for
hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to
starry dynamo in the machinery of
poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in
the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across
the tops of cities contemplating
are we left with? What happened to the grand visions of the 19th
predicting that Man's great capacity for Reason and Love were supposed
'because the world
has failed us', as seen in this poem by Charles Bukowski
The Tragedy of the
awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead
potted plants yellow as corn;
the empty bottles like bled corpses
me with their uselessness;
sun was still good, though,
my landlady's note cracked in fine and
yellowness; what was needed now
a good comedian, ancient style, a jester
jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd
it exists, nothing more;
shaved carefully with an old razor
man who had once been young and
the tragedy of the leaves,
dead ferns, the dead plants;
I walked into the dark hall
her fat sweaty arms
the world had failed us
do people despair at loving God with King David's passion, but look
happened to Shakespeare's love between men and women, as expressed by
Brautigan (1935- ):
like two lovers washing
you will bring the soap,
to include some words from a few popular songs, though they may not be
poetry, to give the flavor of our current popular culture.
Here are excerpts from two
songs by The
Beastie Boys from an album that sold four million copies a few years
Fight for Your
Right To Party
pop caught you smoking and he said, "No way."
hypocrite smokes two packs a day
living at home is such a drag
your mom threw away your best porno mag (Bust it!)
and crackin' and rhymin' and stealin'
and rapin', bustin' two in the ceiling
wheelin', I'm dealin', I'm drinkin', not thinkin'
cower, never shower, and I'm always stinkin'
ho ho and a pint of Brass Monkey
when my girlie shakes her hips, she sure gets funky
drink and rob and rhyme and pillage
back on the twentieth century, we can see that Religion has been hurt
skepticism of Science, and Science has not been successful in keeping
Barbarian at bay, as evidenced by the two World Wars.
This has shaken Man's confidence in Religion
and Science, the two great pillars of civilization.
We see this disappointment reflected in
modern poetry, exhibiting a mental state that a psychologist might
the Beastie Boys glorify 'party'ing and romanticize the Barbarism of
an antidote to this depression.
popular culture may give Barbarism legitimacy and credibility because
doesn't find suitable alternative heros from a Religion and Science
feels has been discredited.
both Reason and Religion traditionally warn us about the dangers of a
that legitimizes Barbarism.
that Man's Reason has failed to bring about Utopia.
Possibly Science's ridicule of Religion and
God unwittingly took the shackles off the internal and external
unleashing the forces of Barbarism that has caused so much destruction
and deterioration to our society.
Science could reevaluate its evidence and accept the possible existence
spiritual world and God, then an alliance with Religion could be
reminiscent of the Age of Enlightenment.
Superstring Theory can help move us in this direction. Superstring
Theory is a
preeminent scientific theory that suggests there are six non-physical
shown that several
symbols in the Bible indicate the same idea.
If this similarity is more than a coincidence, then
Science may finally
have evidence of the 'spiritual world' that Religion has always spoken
credibility may make it no longer
necessary for Science to make fun of Religion in order to consider
and Religion represent two of Mankind's great intellectual
they have a great deal to offer each other.
An alliance could provide a sort of 'support group', with
to examine for ways that Barbarism may have cunningly infiltrated into
actions and beliefs.
self-deception is great, and the wiles and guile of Barbarism can be
shows that Barbarism has often wormed its way into Religion.
Examples are the
Crusades, the Inquisition,
intolerance and fanaticism, and the many religious wars.
We can also point to
materialism in religious
circles, and those who abuse the power of religious organizations for
these are the results of crafty Barbarism, always looking for new ways
satisfy its own selfish desires.
Barbarism is anathema to the Religious person who feels the love and
God expressed by King David's Psalms.
who align themselves with the Scientific orientation should also look
taking a stand against the many ways that Barbarism has seeped into our
culture. While intellectually admitting that Barbarism has pernicious
it might be emotionally tempting to continuing to shun Religion because
hard to give up the thrill that Barbarism offers. The taste of
savored, is sometimes hard to renounce.
This is also a struggle that many Religious people face on
world needs Science and Religion to stop its bickering, and to respect
other once again, even if they can't agree on all points. Perhaps such
cooperation and mutual respect will enable us to rein in our common
Barbarism that is threatening us all.
should not ignore and fall prey to the admonition Shakespeare penned in
this the world well knows; yet none knows well
shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.