Of The Universe And Loops

By Michael Larkin

(This is a guest essay. Michael did a beautiful job framing the ideas in a previous post of mine, "Mind as a hyper-dimensional membrane," in a poetic story form that can be much more appealing and understandable to many readers. This has emerged from a long discussion thread in a forum, which you can find here. I am glad to herewith open the precedent of publishing high-quality, original content in this blog that is not of my own authorship.)

Moebius strip, a one-sided loop. Source: Wikipedia.

I am one of the Cosmic Wanderers: I have observed many different universes, and am here to tell you the story of yours.

Think of it as an infinitely thin, infinitely flexible membrane that extends further than can ever be imagined. Picture yourself as that membrane at rest – perfectly flat, unperturbed: like being in a deep, dreamless sleep. At some minimum possible level, you are aware, but do not stir. All the potential that you have to be and to do (when you are awake) is there, but dormant.

The universe is never completely like that. Think more appropriately of yourself as being mostly in a dream state: you are more active, and I can see undulating patterns in the-membrane-that-is-you dance and interact in fascinating ways. You have been dreaming for countless eons. You have yet to fully awaken, but interestingly, I spy that some regions of your surface have formed into patterns that are like intricate standing waves that loop back on themselves, and have become aware that they are aware.

The awareness of which they are aware is of course that of the whole membrane-that-is-you, but each is limited in how much of your potential to be and to do it can activate. Some loops can activate more than others, be awake more than others, each according to its particular configuration, and how it perceives its environment.

Each is connected through the membrane to all other loops. It is easy for each to resonate with others at certain frequencies, and thus they can perceive and communicate amongst themselves, albeit often in distorted ways. It is harder for them to perceive or communicate at other frequencies, but some can do so.

Most loops imagine themselves to be separate entities, not realising that they are connected by the common ground, the-membrane-of-all-potential that is you. They are interacting in countless ways, thinking they are trying to achieve all sorts of things, but in the end, these are their distorted attempts to achieve your global awakening. The less the distortion, the better the attempts; the more subtle and intricate their folds, the more they can activate of your potential.

Gradually, ever so gradually, more and more of your potential is being realised, even though loops can sometimes, through misconceived attempts, become less subtle, less evolved. At some point, inevitably, you will be completely awake, completely activated potential. But not yet.

So now, my dear loop, I see you have questions:

What determines what is possible? Only that is possible which is inherent in the potential of the whole membrane. That potential always was and always will be. Only upon full awakening, upon universal awareness of awareness, will it be fully activated. How awesome that will be! It is even awesome to contemplate, as I know you do, what as-yet-unrealised potential there might be.

Will I be annihilated upon full activation of the membrane’s potential? No. You will be part of the fully actualised potential, in full and undistorted communication with all the other activated parts of that potential. There will be no part of which that can’t be said. You will have a genuine individuality of configuration, as will all the other parts, and you will all comprise an integrated whole that cannot dispense with you without being less than it is.

It is a very rough metaphor, but think of how a protein is formed in a cell. It is produced as a string of amino acids that spontaneously folds, and the folds may fold again and those yet again – primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary – producing a complicated three-dimensional structure that is the active protein. The universal membrane is already partially folded in places, which generates higher degrees of self-awareness. Eventually, the membrane will be completely folded, completely self-aware, completely active and awake.

How do the undulations and patterns that are not yet self-aware loops manifest themselves? In ways that are typically predictable and repetitive. You think of some of the most basic of them as fundamental particles and forces. You don’t yet know what they all are, nor all of their possible interactions.

At what point do patterns within the membrane become awake, that is, able to form a loop intricate enough to be self-aware? Remember, I said that only the membrane at complete rest is pure awareness. Where oscillations and patterns arise, however elementary, there is more than that, if not yet self-awareness. There is a gradient of awareness, until at some point, localised self-awareness is possible.

How close is this story to the truth? As close as you can currently comprehend; by no means completely accurate, but still useful. Think of a fuzzy image of something in a microscope or telescope. You get the general idea of its shape even at the lower resolutions. As the resolution gets better, you can discern more. As you evolve, you become like an instrument able to resolve more and more detail.

Copyright © 2012 by Michael Larkin. Published with permission.

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