Besides his major cosmological idea of the constancy of the speed of light Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity also included another concept called the relativity of simultaneity. This second concept means that everyone experiences simultaneity differently from his or her own frame of reference.
As an example, someone walking through the streets of a city will experience new things successively. However, a person looking down at that same city from the top of a mountain will see all the things happening on its streets below simultaneously. The same thing happens when the person on a city street gazes upward at the mountain. He or she will see everything that is happening on top of the mountain simultaneously.
Amazingly, more than a hundred fifty years before Einstein’s famous theory, Emanuel Swedenborg had made use of these very same ideas of frame of reference and the relativity of simultaneity beyond mere observation of physical phenomena. He applied these concepts to describe the operations of the human intellect and spirit.
In his great work Rational Psychology (1742) he applies these very same concepts to discrete human cognitive functions, such as physical eyesight, memory and its imagination, rational thought, and finally, spiritual revelation. Each of these functions represents a distinct kind of “seeing” and function as distinct observers whose frames of reference come from different dimensions.
Therefore, information that had entered successively through a person’s eyes is seen simultaneously in the memory through its imagination (mind’s eye). The imagination can look upon all things of the memory in the same way someone can see everything down in the city from a mountain. From this higher vantage point (frame of reference) the relative simultaneous function of imagination can then combine things seen by the eye into more abstract combinations. This leads to ingenuity and creativity.
From a higher frame of reference, the rational mind can look simultaneously at all the things we have ever imagined and combine them into higher rational ideas – like ideas concerning justice and ethics. Whereas imagination abstracts things seen in the physical world, rational thought starts with the abstractions of the imagination. So rational thought takes us from worldly cleverness to acquiring the judgment of truth (which partakes of one’s character and life-choices).
Above the cognitive function of reasoning and judgment, there is another “observer” with an even higher frame of reference. This higher, spiritual mind can simultaneously observe all our best reasoning and from its greater vantage point recognize universal and eternal truths.
So in Swedenborg’s multi-level theory of cognitive function, we are given examples of the relativity of simultaneity operating beyond the spacetime continuum and representing discrete mental functions operating in different dimensions.
However, in order for a higher mental function to operate simultaneously relative to a lower one (like between imagination and reasoning), speeds of operation and signal transfer must even surpass the velocity of light. This insight will someday change our whole outlook on the causal structure of space.
In my next book, Proving God, I will show that Swedenborg added new constants and invariables to cosmology, which generate the layered scaffolding of reality. This top-down order manifests in both the discrete structure of space and the hierarchical structure of the human brain and mind.
From these ideas I hope to show the way to a correct theory of quantum gravity, which includes metaphysical assumptions about the nature of reality.