Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Special Relativity - a new perspective

In his famous 1905 article where he introduced his "Special Theory of "Relativity", Einstein successfully challenged our conventional notions of space and time.

This world view maintained that measurements of space and time were absolute for all observers. For example, if one carefully measured the length of a car, then this distance would remain the same for all observers (irrespective of movement). So for example from this viewpoint as a car accelerated, its length would remain the same (despite the increase in speed!)

However Einstein convincingly demonstrated that such understanding is in error and that the actual distance crucially depends on the relative movement of what is measured. Though we do not notice such differences at speeds significantly less than that of light, they do exist. For an object travelling at 87% of the speed of light, measured length would be just half of that registered in static terms.

Such differences equally apply to time with a moving observer for example measuring time as passing more quickly relative to that of a static counterpart.

Thus for someone once again travelling at 87% of light speed, measured time would be just half of that registered by a static observer (for the same event).


However there is a crucial limitation to Einstein's findings (which is not recognised by conventional science).

Einstein's interpretation merely applies to quantitative measurement of both space and time.

However there is an equally important sense in which qualitative interpretation of measurement itself varies depending on the relative psychological motion of the observer.

You might well ask what this actually means!

Well! we can give a very interesting and important answer.

Conventional scientific appreciation - certainly with respect to Relativity - is based on a purely static interpretation of objects i.e. that are considered as existing independent of the psychological constructs of the observer. (This corresponds to quantitative measurements of space and time taken at rest.)

However more refined appreciation of phenomena unfolds with contemplative type spiritual development. Here dynamic interaction as between the opposite polarities of experience (such as external and internal) increases and ultimately reaches its maximum where phenomena finally disappear with only pure spiritual light remaining. (This in turn corresponds with quantitative space and time measurements from the standpoint of an object in motion.)
The ultimate state of spiritual emptiness is experienced as a present moment (where time does not pass). In complementary physical fashion at "light speed", time does not exist and phenomena no longer have measurable spatial characteristics.

The clear implication is that the qualitative measurement of space and time itself varies depending on the degree of contemplative awareness of the observer.

In other words, what we call Conventional Science, relates to the most passive state of interpretation (where dynamic interaction between physical and psychological aspects of understanding is formally ignored).

However, higher stages of understanding - relating to more advanced intuitive states of observation - certainly exist. And when one approaches space and time from these higher stages, we obtain a quite distinctive interpretation (compared to the standard static model).

In my own approach, I especially distinguish three "higher" stages of understanding that give rise to Integral Science. These are (i) 2-dimensional corresponding to the Integral 1 approach. This is based on the holistic mathematical distinction of both positive and negative "real" (conscious) polarities corresponding to external and internal aspects (ii) 4-dimensional corresponding to the Integral 2 approach. This is based on the additional distinction as between "imaginary" (unconscious) polarities corresponding to whole and part aspects and (iii) 8-dimensional corresponding to the Integral 3 approach. This is based on the further additional distinction as between "complex" (intersection of conscious and unconscious) corresponding to fundamental form and emptiness aspects.

The interpretations of Integral Science lead to qualitatively different conclusions from those of Conventional Science.

This intimately applies to interpretations of Special Relativity. I will illustrate such differences in a further contribution.

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