Can you weigh and measure a thought or idea?

A human thought or idea is not a physical thing like a potato or rock. Yet ideas and thoughts do seem to have their own peculiar metrics (system of measurement).

Are ideas less real than solid rocks? The importance of probing such a topic is to help us to come to some rational conclusion concerning the ontological reality of non-physical “stuff” like spirit. Unless thoughts are simply the outcome of physical processes (epiphenomena) then how we think and feel offers experiential proof of the operation of the human spirit. There are reasons for believing that thoughts operate beyond the physical realm of space and time.

As I have stated in previous posts, if you share half of an apple pie with another person you are left with half of an apple pie. But if you share half of the information in your memory with another, you still retain all your information. Clearly, ideas are not under the constraints of physical laws yet something very real was indeed transferred from one person to another.

Thoughts and ideas have a basis in reality because their presence can produce detectable causal effects on the physical world. Human invention and novel technologies in the world are profound examples of such effects in everyday life.

Thoughts, while non-material, represent finite quantities and qualities. This allows us to evaluate, discern and form judgments of various ideas. In other words, we instinctively give weight and measurement to mental ideas (just as scientists assign weights and measures to the objects of the physical world).

Thoughts can also have relationships therefore they can represent ratios, proportions and can be combined into more complex and coherent structures (scientific theories and belief systems).

Weights and measurement of human ideas has its origin not only in a non-physical reality but from God’s heavenly kingdom. God’s heavenly kingdom consists of all things spiritually good and spiritually true. Weight in the spiritual world represents how good something is as to quality. Measurement represents the extent of its good as to quantity (the measure of its truth).

These spiritual “weights” and “measures” are self-evident to the human psyche since the more important an idea is to us, the more “weight” it carries and the “bigger” it becomes in the scheme of things.

So the ideas we give the most weight to and judge as bigger and more important to all others, determines the quality and measure of a person’s non-physical reality or spirit. Therefore, the individual disposes his or her spirit to the qualities and boundaries of the values that each chooses in life. This becomes our psycho-spiritual habitat.

The purpose of religion is to offer the human race the best choices, so that we can each enjoy eternal life in a realm consisting of heavenly goodness that is equal to the measure of our individual efforts to love the neighbor. God’s Kingdom is a kingdom of mutual love.

What weight do you give to God’s commandments? How do your thoughts measure up?



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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4 Responses to Can you weigh and measure a thought or idea?

  1. As the individual DNA was discovered in the biological science, I believe that it can be scientifically proven that the human individual thought can be measured, transferred and stored as any other form of energy present in our ever-extending Universe.
    I am prepared to confidentially discuss this revolutionary concept only with a very selected team of scholars, approved by me and only after a confidentiality agreement is signed between all the interested parties.
    Dr. Dante N Bini Architect

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Dr. Dante N Bini,

    What you say is certainly possible. All energy is under law (constraints) which gives the parameters and form to the flow of force. Thoughts and feelings are real forms and represent geometrical principles in action!

    I too have a new book coming out, so it will be a while before I can personally review your website. But my readers are welcome to visit your various sites!

    Spiritually yours,

  3. Toward New Frontiers in Research: Thought as Quantifiable Energy?
    Following the Discovery of Artificial Dna (J. Craig Venter)
    by Dr. Dante N. Bini, August 2010
    English translation by Anne Milano Appel
    In 1953, two Nobel Laureates, the biologists Francis Crick and James Watson, discovered and identified a substance called Deoxyribonucleic. This acid is the genetic material (or polymer formed by nucleotides, among them, adenine) and is present in all human nucleate cells.
    This genetic material, which may be expressed and geometrically illustrated as a double helix of winding strands connected by a series of bonds, determines the individuality of each and every one of us, making us distinct and unique.
    We can perhaps define it as a unit of measurement, a common denominator, yet unique to each individual. Architecturally it might be represented as the basic component of a structure consisting of numerous bricks, whose composition and arrangement determines the form of the building, making it distinctive and identifiable.
    This genetic material may also conceivably be viewed as a kind of “interpretive key”, not only for living beings, but also for those who came before, even establishing the particular epoch. The time period is determinable through a different but equally extraordinary method of measurement, achievable through an analysis of the radiocarbon content of organic materials which may be found: for example, from a single strand of hair of a person who died thousands of years ago.
    Deoxyribonucleic acid with adenine, known as Dna, has long been recognized as genetic material, but only recently has it been applied to a process capable of identifying its carrier with absolute precision. This test was hailed by Time magazine as the most important discovery of the year 2008.
    Like everything governed by the Universe, Dna too, may ultimately be traced back to a particular formulation of energetic expression.
    The various forms of energy that preside over the microcosm are expressed with almost elementary logic within the immensity of the macrocosm as well, eventually leading to the vastness of the Universe in its full expanse. A Universe that the Hubble Telescope tells us consists of over 120 billion galaxies, each of which may contain a trillion stars. As we know, the galaxy in which our solar system is found is called the Milky Way. The size of the Universe is impossible to visualize in our mind and is sustained by an Energy that is said to have originated from the Big Bang. It therefore appears that the Universe had a beginning, that it has been evolving – as shown by the fact that it is constantly expanding – and that it will likely come to an end itself, as demonstrated by the various galaxies in the process of extinction of which it is an integral part. According to some observers, 23% of the mass-energy density of the intergalactic volume of the known Universe is made up of “dark matter” whose origin and function we know little of. Another 4.6% consists of well-defined interstellar material, while the remainder is “dark energy”, which is responsible for the continual expansion of the Universe. And that’s not all: astrophysicists have also discovered the existence in the cosmos of matter super-compressed by gravity, theorized to be in vast chasms (black holes) where even light loses its fundamental properties. It would seem that the immensity of space with its 120 billion galaxies, along with an intergalactic volume inconceivable to the human mind, full of dark matter, dark energy and super-compressed invisible matter, is in perfect equilibrium. But if the Universe is in perfect equilibrium, why does it continue to expand as a result of that same dark energy?
    It is said that energy is a force which can neither be created nor destroyed, but which may be transformed or converted. If this is so, then how should energy be conjugated? In the case of electricity and magnetism, for example, the same unit of measurement is applied to two different forms of energy because it is assumed that they are different manifestations of the same physical phenomenon. But is this simplification correct? Isn’t the definition of energy that we have invented, limiting?
    If an idea is conveyed through verbal communication, for example, we must assume that the sonorous energy, expressed through the voice, is the instrument that enables a thought conceived by one brain to be transferred to another brain. Should we therefore conclude that verbal communication and thought are measurable by the same unit of measurement because they are two forms of energy that could be different manifestations of the same phenomenon?
    It is commonly known that thought can be expressed and transmitted in time and space in a myriad of ways, through speech, writing, poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, fashion, drawing, and so on.
    A thought conceived by an astronaut on the Moon must exist, even if it cannot be transmitted in the vacuum of our satellite. In fact, if we transform the voice, that thought, into a different form of energy means, through radio waves for example – using a microphone inserted in his helmet – we enable Neil Armstrong to proclaim that his one small step on our satellite represented a giant leap for Mankind.
    It has been shown that the brain reacts to external stimuli: at the sight of an apple, electrical contacts are lit, on a cellular level, in the same area of the brain where an electrical stimulus can be identified upon hearing the word apple; or using the sense of smell, the fragrance of an apple corresponds, in the same area of the brain, to a stimulus analogous to that detectable by the sense of taste when biting into an apple.
    All these stimuli lead to a unique electrical formulation and, as indicated, can be demonstrably localized in certain areas of the brain that are clearly identifiable and definable. These attributes make the idea of the apple measurable just as they make the resulting effects measurable: the sight of the apple, its fragrance, its taste bring about a judgment that concludes with a decision and a choice that is manifested on a cerebral level. Indeed, if the apple is judged to be “rotten” or “wormy”, it doesn’t get eaten. If this sequence of cerebral stimuli associated with thought and produced by it were genetically and structurally identifiable, it could help us measure that thought and define its unit of measurement that could be quantified by analyzing the related codifiable electrical or magnetic stimuli.
    We can therefore say that, if thought can be transformed into energy, it should be possible to identify a code that defines its essential structure. How might the “Dna of thought” be defined if it were identifiable and codifiable?
    Of course, when entering that “unchartered universe” defined by Gianfranco Dioguardi as “Philosophy of Science”, one must be intellectually prepared and proficient to avoid having one’s thoughts wander about as though they were in a nebula in space awaiting that gravitational force that might shape them into a galaxy. Nonetheless, if it could be numerically shown that thought is energy – energy that is ascertainable and codifiable unitarily – one could conclude that thought, even once its originating matrix (the brain) is gone, can remain “vaporized” in the cosmos and will not be able to be destroyed because it is fundamentally pure energy. The thinking of history’s great philosophers, or the music of the great masters, which has had the good fortune to be transcribed and codified and then reproduced, has become immortal, at least until the end of mankind’s existence.
    If having demonstrated that thought, like energy, continues to exist even after its vehicle, the matrix or instrument (the brain) declines – the way light emitted from a flashlight remains as energy, even after the battery has run down – it could be deduced that thought too, cannot vanish into naught; thought lingers just as light generated in the past continues on in time and space, so that if a hypothetical “mirror” were found such light could be reflected and still utilized, even after the total destruction and complete obliteration of the original battery in question. In fact it is common knowledge that we can still see the light of spent stars that vanished from the Universe millions of light years ago; we can measure, encode and reflect it wherever we want, even after the death of the “generating” stars. Their light will expand infinitely, though it may change direction as it approaches “black holes” or disappear if swallowed up by them, nullifying its speed of 186,400 miles per second, by means of an immense force: the pull of gravity which drammaticaly transforms the material, making it infinitely compressed and unimaginably heavy so that a spoonful of it can weigh 1,000 tons! The light imprisoned in the abyss of that black hole will escape, perhaps, only when the latter has imploded, catastrophically redistributing its powerful energy in space. Given the immensity and mystery of the cosmos it is easy to abandon the attempt to understand or explain its phenomena. But the power of human thought does not give up: new explorations are added to others, the search for “whys” does not stop with the discovery of phenomena, but goes beyond them, advanced by intuition, by creative imagination, later corroborated by scientific analysis and finally by the confirmation of documented findings. Why then don’t we try to understand the scientific essence of that thought whose power reaches extremes so far-flung as to exceed all universal horizons, deciphering and surpassing all other energetic forces in the Universe? A Universe that in the end will have to yield and reveal itself to this thought by which it will necessarily be conquered and subjugated because it very existence will at last, be known?
    One might conjecture that thought can be expressed by the brain since the latter is able to absorb external reality, becoming cognizant of “experiences” perhaps even before birth, within the maternal womb. One might also affirm that, as its growth evolves, the brain’s capacity to absorb, select, interpret, verify, sustain or reject the experiences which enrich it becomes even more complete and sophisticated as it trains itself over time, classifying, codifying and capturing those experiences in its cells’ energy. At birth, the first instinctive thought that the brain processes is that of nourishing the body. This innate thought, which also determines the first actions and physical movements of the newborn in search of a source of nourishment, could be demonstrable through electrical phenomena that as such are measurable, just as the infant’s biological Dna is readily identifiable. Both the formulation of the newborn’s Dna and the development of the first instinctive electrical stimuli have a single existential origin: Energy. Indeed, in the absence of energy, neither electrical stimuli nor the formation of Deoxyribonucleic acid in cells could exist.
    Is it possible to affirm that everything that exists in both the infinitesimal microcosm and the infinite macrocosm originated and is sustained solely by energy?
    We know that Energy is measurable and that it is possible to formulate its unit of measurement. Everything which is caused, produced and sustained by energy is expressed in various forms in space and time: Thought shows that it is capable of intuiting, discovering, identifying, verifying, proving and demonstrating our surrounding reality in a surprising asymptotic process that has enabled us to achieve a cognizance that each year offers us unimaginable vistas in both the micro- and the macrocosm. We have said that thought is the primary force that exists in the Universe because it will eventually be capable of revealing that Universe to us. But if thought is a form of energy which, though it can be transformed, cannot be destroyed, and which continues to exist in space and time – like the light of that star that vanished millions of light years ago yet can still be seen in space or disappears temporarily if imprisoned by a “black hole”– in what form will that light reemerge after the implosion of the “black hole”? If thought in its energetic form cannot cease to exist – just as the Dna of each of us in its energetic essence is identifiable and cannot vanish even if transformed – where will it end up?
    Is it possible that it may reassociate itself or rise again and recompose itself in time as a result of congenital affinity?
    If one believes that Man’s mental stance is the result of his thinking, one can say that the human mind is an elaboration or product of his thought. By so doing the conflicting dualism between the two concepts, thought and mind, topples, since the second derives directly from the first. The insights that thought can achieve are revealed though mental processes as instruments of thought whose creativity has no limits: just think of the American biologist J. Craig Venter who already has actually reached the point of creating artificial life. It appears in fact that this year (2010), after more than half a century of study, the Institute he directed was successful in creating an artificial Dna by producing a synthetic cell capable of generating man-made organisms that are capable of reproducing!
    If the most unapproachable mysteries of life have been breached by human thought – as in the case of the creation of synthetic biological Dna, artificial intelligence, the reproduction of artificial organisms, the inarrestable discovery of the complex immensity of the Universe – one realizes that the unimaginable power of thought cannot be halted. Indeed one must conclude that thought can be none other than the expression of that Dominant Energy that the first Greek philosopher Anaxagoras called “Cosmic Intellect”. If it were actually possible to trace thought back to pure energy, and as such be able to measure it, would it be absurd to theorize the discovery of a quantifiable method of identification that characterizes thought?
    If it were not, as we navigate toward new frontiers that lie beyond the confines of Science, between Metaphysics and Ontology, where thought’s unit of measurement could be identified as Me-On, a notion of “artificial being” is possibly too beguiling because it does not recognise that the “being” is no more than the product of applying energy to “matter” in a novel way?
    If a thought, being the outcome of a cerebral process, results in the production of energy, which is perpetual, and whether the thought is expressed in a way which is presently understood or not, will it ultimately have a physical expression which is capable of quantification?
    All rights reserved : Dante Bini

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Dr. Dante N Bini,

    Thank you for sharing some of your info with my readers. It is almost a full year since you sent your first comment. My book “Proving God” is now available on Amazon and I think two chapters in it would be particularly interesting two you: Chapter Five (The Doctrine of Forms) and Chapter Six (Love, Neuroscience and Hierarchical Design). I show how “love” is in the cockpit of the human intellect and that worldly ideas, abstract ideas and spiritual ideas come under distinct (non-classical) geometries.

    Spiritually yours,

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