LOVE AND QUANTUM GRAVITY

The title for this blog post is actually the title I use for chapter four in my upcoming book Proving God. The purpose of this adventuresome book is to unify science and theology—in a way that will offer new insights to both the New Paradigm science (relativity theory, quantum theory and string theory) and biblical interpretation (exegesis). My aim is to offer novel and rational ideas that can be applied toward measureable social transformation.

The basic material for this book comes from my 35-year study of the remarkable ideas of scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. His ideas are remarkable because he claimed that LOVE was fundamental reality (esse) and the a priori law-giving universal substance by which creation comes forth through orderly causal process.

Of course, such a premise—that the physics ruling the universe on the fundamental level is something we usually associate with a human emotion such as romance or a value like empathy—would obviously have dubious merit among the proponents of the natural sciences. So to add potency to my book I decided to apply this psychical dynamic to the toughest problems facing physicists today.

One of toughest of the challenges facing today’s scientists is QUANTUM GRAVITY. Without a solution, scientists will be unable to unify the laws of the universe. String theory attempts to offer a solution but it never ventures beyond physical explanations and remains unproven. Is there any precedence for a physicist to suspect that non-material values, such as justice, ethics, morality, or empathy should enter into the equation of describing fundamental reality?

Yes! But this is not your father’s (patriarchal) physics and would equally embrace the feminine worldview.

Not long ago someone (who remains unknown) came upon my blog from a link to a most interesting site. I “clicked” on the link and an article entitled Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity appeared. The article was written (in 1994) by Professor of Physics, Alan D. Sokal, at the Department of Physics, New York University (NYU). Not too shabby! You can read it here: http://tiny.cc/Cjwb1

Sokal described his paper as a “subversive undertaking” because it challenged the scientific community that the very foundation of their worldview must be rebuilt on the principle of social ideology—otherwise it could not be considered legitimately postmodern. He offered no final answers but simply as an “idea starter,” suggested that a final science would have to be in line with an “emancipatory” and “ecological” (holistic) perspective capable of transforming society in positive ways.

That is precisely what my book attempts—to show that the ultimate laws of nature are the same as the laws of mutual love! Mutual love is the essence of social ideology and will redefine the content of science—even leading us to a plausible scientific theory of Quantum Gravity. So Swedenborg was way ahead of his time! And my book will present all the startling evidence.

http://www.provinggod.com

P.S. I have just been informed by a physicist friend that I fell for a hoax concerning the Skokal article. See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal affair

Rather than remove the post I will keep it as is. My book is not a hoax and even if I fell into a trap (because I trust people) the Sokal article is based on a real premise – a premise that it attempts to make fun of – that love is the ultimate science.

So perhaps the laugh is on me for now. It doesn’t hurt my relationship with my readers that I can laugh at myself and embrace a little humility. But I am quite amused that the hoax itself is based on the real direction science must ultimately take – fundamental reality is psychical not physical!

Certainly it is no hoax that the issue of Quantum Gravity has not been solved. And, my book “Proving God” indeed offers novel ways of approaching this elusive topic that are anything but superficial. The Sokal article offers no solutions to quantum gravity anyway. My book does! I was only fooled into thinking a scientist was interested in expanding science to include VALUES. There are many, many serious scientists attempting such a challenge.

This has been a hoot for me and I am going to enjoy it! So please have a laugh on me as well.

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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 http://www.staircasepress.com
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24 Responses to LOVE AND QUANTUM GRAVITY

  1. sks says:

    Wow, somehow it gets even better, knowing this original article was a hoax. I was intrigued by your book’s premise before, but this makes it even more interesting.

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear sks,

    At least I won’t be accused of boring my readers!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. I was highly skeptical upon reading the first part of your post. Then I saw you mention Sokal’s paper (which is actually quite well-known among those who know something of physics—and if you did, it is highly likely that you would have too), and my skepticism deepened to near certainty that you were on the wrong path.

    I was almost disappointed to see that someone else had already tried to burst your bubble—and your reaction to this attempt did not increase your credibility in my eyes.

    As a reality-check: If Swedenborg’s theories held the key to issues like these, do you not think that they would already have been explored? Consider their erstwhile popularity and the time scientists, philosophers, and theologicians have had to explore and develop them. Further, if you erroneously saw value in Sokal’s hoax, is there not a possibility that the same applies to Swedenborg’s works?

    You are taking a one-in-a-million shot.

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear skeptic,

    Thank you for responding. Please do not feel you have lost your chance to burst my bubble. I openly seek different viewpoints.

    I am not a physicist so Sokal’s paper was unknown to me. I am a student of Swedenborg’s ideas – scientific and theological. More scholarship has been placed on his theological ideas than on his scientific contributions.

    In fact, my book offers new insights as to how Swedenborg anticipated much of 20th and 21st century scientific thought. I have explored things that have either been overlooked or were not sufficiently grasped by previous Swedenborgian scholars.

    Even with that said there is an organization called the Swedenborg Scientific Association (SSA) which is still making discoveries based on Swedenborg’s discoveries. His contributions to science are still being evaluated and are far from being exhausted.

    The value in Sokal’s hoax is that it stumbles (accidently) upon real issues that point out weaknesses in a science based on a material philosophy. If I am taking a one-in-a-million shot my new book will keep you on the edge of your seat. Wouldn’t any new attempt at addressing Quantum Gravity be of interest to you? Even if I were on the wrong path I might offer something that could open up new doors and considerations.

    By the way, the foreword to my book was written by a theoretical nuclear physicist. That should increase my credibility – even in your eyes.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. sks says:

    GodGuy, I’ve been reading your work for quite awhile now and one of the things I like most is that you are not afraid to dig deep into a topic and propose interesting new connections where others don’t seem to be able to put two and two together. You challenge us all to think outside the box of what we’re taught in “school”, where the main goal of an academic community is often to preserve the status quo more than to truly explore new territory. I like your fearlessness in expressing ideas and the way you push us all to be open-minded and think creatively about topics that could easily seem as carved in stone and irrelevant to my life as they do in the textbooks that we read and take for truth mostly because some teacher’s test requires it as a “right answer”. Thanks for keeping it interesting and reminding us to question things!

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear sks,

    I am glad you find my posts helpful. I had plenty of warning to take the Sokal hoax off my blog. But I found it helpful for two reasons. The first is that science really has to address its male bias and bring in a feminine worldview to the table if it wants to advance. The second is highly personal – it serves as great material for my own spiritual growth.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  7. String theory is being strongly criticised for being “not even wrong”, with a well-specified meaning of being “not falsifiable” (= convincingly verifiable) in principle and thus remaining only a possible guess or purely abstract construction without any testable link to reality, which is not acceptable for science.

    Now you seem to persist (despite my previous aversion) in stating that your Love-based vision is a greater kind of SCIENTIFIC knowledge than those conventional pointless abstractions. However, it suffers from exactly the same major problem: it’s not falsifiable, at least according to your own description (or else you’re trying to carefully hide its falsifiability on these pages, even after my repeated request to demonstrate it). If there can be no observable and unambiguous evidence that “quantum gravity” (or anything else because you do try a theory of everything) originates from that qualitatively different but ontologically real entity you call Love, then your vision is nowhere better than string theory. It’s not only “one-in-a-million shot” (hello, Michael Eriksson), it’s rather not even a scientific shot at all, but only another “not-even-wrong” assumption and thus not even (any) science at all (though maybe a great new religion!). Because anything at least vaguely scientific, however “original” it may be, should already be falsifiable (and then any falsifiable science CAN actually be wrong and very often is).

    Note that I do not reject the “originality” of your assumption: let Love be as real as the electromagnetic field, here or elsewhere, just as you want it to be. I do not deny either your right to believe in whatever construction being “very plausible”, appealing (“good”) or even definitely perceived by you personally (spiritually, or logically, or diabolically, or in any other way). Simply if you state, as you do here, that there is a qualitative, fundamental progress in your “scientifically” strong approach (even stronger than the whole traditional science!) with respect to usual religious, inexplicable (but maybe intuitively “really felt”) belief, THEN you should cite its falsifiability, i.e. a realistic possibility to unambiguously verify it, today or in a near future (better avoiding any imitations, taking into account the strength of your statements).

    When you say in a recent comment here that it’s better to be good than right (i.e. promote e.g. love instead of fruitless abstractions), I can also accept this as a positively oriented attempt (not necessarily the result, though, see Sokal’s and other NUMEROUS publications and books about the real harm such particularly good intentions actually produce). But again, any its classification as SCIENCE, and a greater, extended kind of science, needs also a greater, extended kind of REAL, testable consistency (rather than only personal subjective conviction about it, which is otherwise normal for any adherent to any idea).

    Let’s better be honest and call it what it is (according to your own various presentations): a modern, New-Age, “scientifically tailored” belief system (suitably extending unconventional Swedenborg’s theology), which is indeed different from canonical religions explicitly denying any reference to anything like scientific knowledge. In that quality it might be quite interesting, eventually popular and in addition avoid the “Sokal’s list” of pseudo-scientific imitations (lowering considerably its status). Don’t do like Obama and his electoral supporters, don’t say “yes, we can” well before being able to demonstrate any real progress (and often without the slightest idea about what they actually “can”).

  8. Moreover, even within a purely theoretical, much weaker criterion of consistency, you have at least two additional problems.

    (1) That corrupt traditional science, such as string theory, can well be wrong, or even as wrong as not even wrong, but at least it remains (allegedly) based on a MULTIPLY VERIFIED TOOL of mathematics. It’s a very weak, insufficient argument, but your construction cannot apparently cite even this one: you’d probably agree that love and good, while being quite honourable feelings, motivations and moral rules, can hardly be classified as strongly confirmed tools for finding a correct scientific result. If I correctly DERIVE something mathematically (which CAN be verified objectively), this IS an argument in favour of my results (though eventually indeed a very insufficient one). But if I only LOVE the exceptional GOODNESS of my mental construction of the world, then I can only make appeal for a blind, inexplicable, religious support from others with the same FEELING of (subjective preference for) love and goodness. It DOES WORK (actually much better than science!) meaning that you CAN be successful and even very successful with it (which is your major purpose, as far as I can see), but again, not everything that works and even not every successful, strongly supported kind of knowledge must be classified as science. Between us, even conventional science cannot any more be classified as a scientific form of knowledge (while still remaining exclusively successful): it rather becomes … a blind belief too containing, in particular, quite supernatural “postulates” and magically “hidden” entities (your Love could well be among them!) always accumulating for a hundred years already! – here’s your desired unity between science and religion, though occurring closer to the religion side… But if today’s official science becomes as “objective” as astrology, does it really mean that any astrology can be considered a scientifically objective form of knowledge?

    (2) Even if Love is indeed the underlying universal reality and even beyond any truly scientific evidence for it, what tells you that this statement alone can be considered as a decisive argument in favour of a particular vision about it? It’s like stating that mathematics is an efficient tool of science would be already considered as a scientific knowledge in itself. Even if Love (or any OTHER, equally possible “really new” entity) is real, it may have an infinite variety of detailed properties and respective descriptions, where YOUR concrete vision may well be as wrong as e.g. conventional science or religion, while some OTHER concrete description of Love may well be much closer to reality. Only realistic falsifiability can help distinguish OBJECTIVELY (scientifically) between wrong and right statements above real Love (tell him, girls! 🙂 ), but in its absence, MANY equally subjectively plausible ideas about Love can be advanced and endlessly discussed without any reasonable solution, as it always happens with a kind of knowledge known as theology (full of allegedly very logical arguments, including those from great scientists of the past and present). My love of Love is deeper than your love of Love, now try to disprove it… Only Love can decide, which means that we should wait until our meeting in paradise in order to be able to see the decisive argument… And if we finally meet in hell, it would imply that it’s the Roman Catholic Church (or Buddha, or Mohammed) that was right all the time… 🙂 In the meantime, see you in Las Vegas, one day, to cast dies to decide (by God’s hand) who’s right. At least it’s more efficient than both good intentions and official science methods (thus, a recent post-factum research confirmed that the most advanced thinking tank’s advice to American Presidents during decades was less efficient than simple coin-tossing decisions would be). God loves chance more than (official) science, apparently. Or was it all just a bad coin toss, finally?

  9. Sorry, “my previous aversion” in my first comment above stands for “my previous warning”.

  10. thegodguy says:

    Dear Andrei,

    Yes, my book does propose that LOVE is as ontologically real as electromagnetism. In fact, love is the “a priori” force behind all causal process. And I am glad you find such a premise at least honorable (if not provable).

    I am also glad that you would accept Swedenborgian ideas as beyond the usual canonical approach. Swedenborg was first a SCIENTIST. And he approached theology from a scientifically plausible perspective. Therefore, he should not be quickly dismissed.

    I am not against science but scientism – or truth system based on a strictly material ideology.

    Swedenborg would not embrace string theory as it stands because it uses classical strings to vibrate on a multidimensional spacetime pretzel (called Calabi-Yau space). Swedenborg’s approach to a multidimensional universe is much simpler – he uses distinct principles of action to create the various kinds of “spaces” within the hierarchical scheme of a layered universe. These principles of action, through the removal of constraints (the inert qualities of geometry) span everything from the world of matter to the non-local and non-physical (non-classical) dynamics of the spiritual world. String theory cannot do that!

    You are going to enjoy my book!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  11. Sue says:

    The Sokal paper had just come up in the comments section a couple days ago when A. Kirilyuk was agreeing that academic lingo can actually be nonsense sometimes. Well, you are probably too busy to follow all your commentators’ links, but that was a good one. The name Sokal (sokol) is ironic because it means rigorous organized gymnastics. The exact opposite of what that journal was evidently willing to publish. The professor’s name should have tipped them off. Pretty funny story. You get credit for taking it in stride with some humor.

    Moral of the story: take time to really read A. Kirilyuk’s comments. They are pertinent. He’s offering you some wonderful counterarguments.

    Have you ever tried to read poor, dear Thomas Aquinas’ “proof of God”? It’s very long. For a casual reader like me, I have to conclude he didn’t prove God exists, he just wore me out with too many paragraphs. Maybe he figured no one could disprove him because no one would take the time to follow his logic.

    One nice thing about proving/disproving God is that it’s all just an academic exercise. It’s fine to try. IMHO it can’t be done. And it wouldn’t matter anyway. If you can prove God exists, it doesn’t mean He really does, it just means you can use logic very creatively. If you can’t prove He exists, it doesn’t have any effect on whether He does or doesn’t exist.

    But as topics for books go, it is a wonderful topic.

  12. Glenn Schoen says:

    Actually, and this doesn’t make the rounds all that much, but Aquinas never completed his work, having realized–and articulated–that it was all so much straw.

    Back to Swedenborg.

    It appears that if Swedenborg is successfully brought to the table, he will be bringing with him a self-signed dismissal slip. His self-signed dismissal slip may be recognized in his own statements. For example, “The Lord alone knows the quality of the affection of each individual” (AR 364), “The affections of the life’s love of man are known to the Lord alone” (DP 197), and “the internal affections of the thought from which the external exist never make themselves manifest to man” (DP 199.2).

    If Swedenborg is correct in what he says–that the internal affections never make themselves manifest to man, and that only the Lord knows their quality–why would science (whose main interest has not to do with what cannot be detected, measured or (ultimately) empirically verified) be interested in pursuing the subject?

    While I agree with the basics of that which you attempt to prove, admire your dedication, and appreciate your enthusiasm (and I wish it to be known that I am sincere on these points), I also think that M.E. above has been overly generous in estimating the chances of successfully proving it in any way that science (or ‘scientism-ists’) might accept as constituting “proof”.

    In fact, if what Swedenborg says is correct, then the correct estimate of said chances are 100% nil. Therefore, in order for you to be right, Swedenborg must be wrong.

    Nonetheless, if you do succeed in proving your claims, perhaps we can transport you back in time and put you on the prosecution team for the OJ murder trial, where, though the truth of his guilt was obvious, it was deemed to not have been proven.

    (Fortunately, while the ‘intellectual crowd’, i.e., the criminal court, failed in legally establishing the obvious, the ‘heart crowd’, i.e., the civil court, did not. This, however, was because the latter’s standards of proof are different.)

  13. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    Thanks for your response. I am not a professional or full-time blogger and most of my time is spent promoting my new book. My blog is just one element of this challenging process called marketing.

    It is easy for highly intelligent people (like Andrei) to bog me down with tough questions and wonderful counter arguments. Furthermore, It is easier to ask a tough question than answer one, especially within the format of a blog and my limited time.

    I like Andrei and feel that he sincerely seeks to make the world a better place. My only disagreement with Andrei is that he wants to settle real matters of dispute without reading my book. Won’t happen!

    If you check out the Table Of Contents for “Proving God” on my website:
    http://www.provinggod.com
    you will see the spectrum of issues that I address such as the science behind true spiritual growth and its real obstacles (including hypnosis operating within the human habitual mind).

    Proving God will matter because I have chosen to unify science and theology in order to accomplish such a feat. In fact, I even show scientific principles operating within the pages of God’s Holy Word. No one is expecting such things! This seven-year project is no walk in the park!

    Hoax or not, the Sokal article touches on real issues that must be addressed to advance science – that the content of science must include noble VALUES.

    My book goes in that direction and illustrates that the universe was created for a noble purpose. The fine-tuning of the laws of the universe allow for such a noble purpose to happen. The human race must become aware of that purpose.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  14. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Are you saying the chances of you buying my book are less than 100%?

    By the way, Swedenborg did believe that God could be proved rationally – one’s freedom does not suffer from offering rational proof. What I cannot do is make God appear in a courtroom!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  15. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Hmmm? May I ask you a question?

    Are you well-versed in Swedenborg’s scientific doctrines? Many Swedenborgians are not. My book is an eye-opener even to serious students of Swedenborg’s theological writings.

    What you may not know is that my book has already been favorably reviewed by some of the top Swedenborgian scholars in America.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  16. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear GodGuy,

    No, I am saying no such thing.

    In fact, I don’t live all that far from your publisher’s office, and have toyed with the idea of hoofing it over there to see if I might procure a copy before the book’s actual release. What say you re my chances of being successful in this endeavor?

    My comments above are not meant to be dismal. Your book makes an argument. There will be those seek to counter it. A standard practice in countering arguments is to undermine the premises upon which they are built. Since at least some of the arguments in the book are based upon things written by Swedenborg, there will be those who seek to either discredit him, or consult his writings in search of things suggesting they don’t say what it is purported that they say, or that they’re not properly understood in the right context, etc. (Yes, people who have barely touched Swedenborg will claim to know his writings better than those with decades of experience. In fact, those decades of experience may not be seen as establishing credibility, but as an indication of having been out in the sun too long.)

    The more right you are, the harsher and more relentless the criticism will be. That’s the way the world works. And sooner or later, someone is going to mention something like the above. Forewarned is forearmed. Hopefully.

    I do cheer you on,
    Glenn

  17. Glenn Schoen says:

    My apologies, I didn’t see your second response until just now.

    Regarding your reviewers, I have had many an email interaction with one of them. He too is dedicated and enthusiastic, but seemed to misunderstand my ‘fault finding’ as an attempt to tear down, rather than as the effort that it was to point out weaknesses in need of shoring up. Although this was my impression of his responses, it may be that I was misreading him.

    While I am somewhat familiar with the doctrines of series, forms, degrees, his ideas on ‘tremulation’, etc., I would not consider myself as one who is “well-versed” regarding his scientific doctrines. I do have several of his scientific works, but have not had the time to delve into them as I would like. So, one of the selling points of your book for me, are your statements re undiscovered scientific truths therein, or such truths previously paid little attention to.

    Glenn

  18. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    No need to apologize. But I do hope you realize that it is difficult to shore up a short blog post or even a couple of short blog posts – that is why I have written over 350 of them!

    It is also why I wrote a rather lengthy book.

    I think that I have indeed uncovered new insights from his scientific works. The trick was re-interpreting these insights within current scientific language. If I succeed Swedenborg will find his proper place in the history of human ideas!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  19. Martin says:

    Actually, Alan Sokal is a respected physicist, and that is his real name. (Sokol means
    hawk or falcon in Czech, and the 19’th century movement was grounded in Czech nationalist aspirations in the context of the Hapsburg empire; it has nothing to do
    with Alan Sokal or his paper). His paper was not a hoax as such but an experiment on
    the complete lack of rigor and sense among certain “intellectuals”; what he did was
    string together a series of buzzwords and references to outrageous statements by real
    academics to see if there was any attempt by his readers to actually see if he was making
    any sense. His basic “claim”–that the laws of physics are a purely social construct–can
    be tested by stepping out a second story window.

  20. thegodguy says:

    Dear Martin,

    I actually liked Sokal’s paper. I find that some of his outrageous statements actually made sense – whether he meant to or not! For instance, I believe that understanding reality also includes a “female” interpretation which favors observing relationships in nature over simply dead mathematics. Thank you for contributing to this conversation!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • If you think that observing relationships is something female and that mathematics is dead (in the sense of inhuman? narrow-minded? inflexible?), I suggest that you 1. have read too much feminist propaganda 2. would do well to study physics and higher mathematics for a few years.

  21. thegodguy says:

    Dear Michael,

    If you had been following my blog posts with any consistency or read my new book “Proving God” you would not have made the above statement. The notion that LOVE operates on the fundamental level of the universe is not even imagined or entertained by today’s theoretical physicists – especially those who cling to a purely materialistic ideology. The complex mathematics behind string theory offers no insights into the mystery of agency in the universe or why nature strives towards relationship building.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • I wrote a three paragraph answer, but decided that it was probably a waste of time. Thus, I will limit myself to saying that:

      o Your comment is actually not a counter-argument to mine (and I contend that your knowledge of both science and scientists is too shallow and incorrect for you to criticize it/them).

      o I will not delve deeper into this before I have reason to take you seriously.

      • thegodguy says:

        Michael,

        It is up to you whether or not to take me seriously. My problem is with scientism not science. Physicist Richard Feynman once told a friend’s mother that love was more important than physics. My new book “Proving God” attempts to show that LOVE IS PHYSICS and first causal principle in the universe.

        Spiritually yours,
        TheGodGuy

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