Part 3: The Crisis of an Infinite Fractalverse

Hold-On To Your Capes…

 

Infinite Crisis #5, April 2006 ~ Art: Jerry Ordway

In Part 1 we established how our current grasp of physics leads many physicists to the conclusion that we may very well live in—

and therefore (Naturally)
…Be ONE with

—a Fractalverse: an endless, self-replicating matrix of countless ‘universes.’

In Part 2 we focused on illuminating how this relatively recent scientific sense of Reality—as an infinite, fractaline tree—is nothing new…

…that it is merely an alternative way of appreciating what has been recognized by wise-ones, shaman’s and visionaries throughout history.

 

Having laid this groundwork, it’s fairly apparent that what we really have here are two sides to the same coin…

…complementing and mirroring each other…
…amplifying the probability that we need to take this subject seriously.

 

This leads us to Part 3.

Here we will lighten our load a little, moving—for the most part—past the heavier, cryptic corners of theoretical physics and ancient, occult knowledge…

…to explore this topic from a more down-to-earth point-of-view…
…that of our popular culture.

Through this more mainstream medium, we’ll consider the notion of how a limitless array of universes may be forever influencing us

…and finally get a glimpse of what this Fractalversal vision portends for our trajectories as individuals
…and as a species.

Let’s get started.

 

Understanding the significance of what it means to potentially
BE a Fractalverse is something that is not easily grasped…

 

When talking in terms of hard-nosed, ‘laws-of-physics,’ such persuasions may lay so far outside of one’s wheelhouse that the ideas are easily cast aside as esoteric humdrum for the eggheads of the world to sort out. Similarly, if one does not hear the call of the wild mystic within, the arcane arts of our ancestors can be just as confounding and beyond comprehension…and thus may hold little relevance for day-to-day living.

Fortunately, there is a far-simpler way to envision this fractaline, Multiversal awareness.

It’s a pathway that each of us is intimately familiar with already…
…despite usually taking it for granted, almost every minute of every day:

Story.

The NeverEnding Story (by Michael Ende) features a talisman known as AURYN, which is distinctly reminiscent of the Ouroboros—a serpent, shaped in a circle, eating its own tail. Auryn, however, features two serpents, entwined in a symmetrical ‘celtic’ knot, each biting the other’s tail.

Arguably, Story would appear to be the first Real tool of mankind.
It is consequential communication…in its rawest form.

 

For example…

…the basic need to alert a companion that there’s a potential threat around the corner—
That is a type of Story.

In order to describe such a fathomable future, a picture of this possibility first appears in our mind’s eye…followed by the fundamental faculty to actually impart that inner vision to another person in a meaningful way.

While other creatures appear to exhibit such instinctual traits, our best guess is that they are fleeting…having little impact on long-term memory.

For humans, however, this capacity to recursively conceive of and convey concepts that transcend our present moment are traits which anthropologists and psychologists have long cited for what made humans different from the other life forms on this planet…

…contributing, in part, to us becoming the dominant, Story-hungry species we are to this day.

———————

Of course…over time, these initial, primal expressions eventually evolved into what is now our ancestral lore
—our customs…our rituals and philosophies…
…our original, spiritual sciences.

 

 

Like their primitive predecessors, these more elaborate, ceremonial elocutions helped keep us alive
…allowing us to transmit knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next.

As the ages passed, these nourishing narratives took on a life of their own…
…becoming legend.

Such sagas were inevitably overshadowed by new ‘sciences’…
…and came to be regarded as religion…as myth…

…as fairy tales.

 

These archetypal epics grew into fables that our forefathers would tell of strange creatures and of other worlds

…of parables about the origin of man…of the end of the world…
…of gods and demons…dragons and wizards…

…of trolls that live under bridges and who would gobble-up little children, given half-a-chance.

———————

On and on, tales of wonder and horror…of lands separated from our own by mist…
…accessible at twilight…the witching hour, and so-on.

This gave us Samhain…All Hallows Eve…Halloween…
…an age-old, morphing and mutating western tradition that—today—still flimsily honors the ancient, life-affirming festivals of prior generations…

…who ‘knew’ all-too well the thin veil dividing worlds…
…and how it would sometimes lift.

 

Stories to educate…Stories to entertain…
…Stories to scare us…and Stories to exhilarate.


 
Eventually, figures like Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm would collect such folklore and share them with the masses…
…spooking and inspiring generations, worldwide.

Then came the Lewis Carrolls and L. Frank Baums of the world…
…Imagi-maniacs that transported us—via their stunned protagonists—into never-before dreamt-of realms

…places that, nonetheless, seem so eerily familiar
…speaking to something deep within us…in our collective psyche
…to that Monomythic mindscape which Campbell & Jung know so well.

So much do they resonate with us, that—to this day—we continue to reinvent and retell these tales…
...over and over again.

But…
…just what, exactly, are we trying to tell ourselves?

 

 
Other legends of literature emerge to feed the hunger…
Mary ShelleyJules VerneH.G. Wells, and the like.

With their work, the modern sciences begin to blend with the tales of old.

New worlds of fantasy come into view…
…worlds we can Imagine might be Real…if only we understood their mechanics.

 

In the 20th century, our bandwidth for media explodes

 

…a species that was once restricted for millennia to the transmission of information via words and pictures alone, suddenly—over the course of roughly a hundred-fifty years—has it all:

The telegraph gives rise to the telephone
The photograph flickers, and soon we have film
The phonograph introduces music into our homes, that needn’t be ‘live’…

…radio…television…the internet…

I tell ya’…
…more Story than you can shake a stick at.

 

And yet…there was still something about PULP!

 

The literature of yesteryear

…all that we had in terms of telecommunication until the mid 19th century…

…received a facelift via the popular, pulp fiction of the 1920’s & 30’s.

Action! Adventure! Romance!

Vivid—and sometimes shocking—these visually stimulating Stories spawned many of the classic heroes of the era…

…sparking the serial genre…

…and—ultimately—served as the progenitor of the modern comic book.

 

And it is here we will focus for the moment…

…for, while one hardly needs to hunt for evidence of how pervasive the theme of parallel worlds has become in our media in recent years…

…it’s these pulpy, comics specifically

—a medium which happens to be the closest relative to our earliest forms of recorded, pictographic information

—from whence the notion of a ‘Multiverse’ has its deepest, thickest roots in our current pop culture.

Here is where several key elements to our working hypothesis of the Fractalverse are harbored.

 

In fact, in the last few decades, this Multiversal theme has gone from being simply a regular staple of Storytelling used to season the sequential art form, to becoming the outright focal point of the entire cosmogonical continuity of some of the most mainstream characters that generations of fans throughout the world have come to know and love.

DC comics, for example—

—home to the ever-famous Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman—has effectively woven the Multiverse into the heart of the adventures that their ever-inflating collection of characters embark on.

Its first official Storyline dealing with the subject of a duplicate Earth was Wonder Woman #59…
published in May, 1953.

 

Then, nearly a decade later—under the guidance of legendary DC editor Julius Schwartz—writer Gardner Fox took the idea of a parallel Earth to a whole new level…

…to a place that has since come to be the keystone of the Multiverse trope…arguably forming the basis for what has essentially inspired and influenced the ‘alternate universe’ genre ever since.

 

The tale in question revolves around one of DC’s other flagship characters—The Flash—and appeared in the seminal, September 1961 issue (#123), “Flash of Two Worlds!”

The cover promises, “A SPECTACULAR STORY THAT IS SURE TO BECOME A CLASSIC!” —a truer prediction there never was.

For those who don’t know, much like Mary Shelley’s creature

…The Flash—AKA Barry Allen—received his abilities, in part, to a serendipitous stroke of lightning

…making him, “The fastest man alive.”

In this Story, Barry’s speed accidentally results in him vibrating out of his ‘universe’…

…arriving in a tangent universe where another man—Jay Garrick—has the same gift of speed…and is also known as The Flash.

 

What makes this Story so relevant, though…
…is its insight into the mechanics of the ‘Multiverse’…

You see, years before—in Barry’s first appearance in comics (Showcase #4 ~ Oct. 1956)—the seed for this Reality-bending adventure had already been sown…

…for in that origin Story, it was revealed that Jay Garrick—DC’s first, Golden Age Flash from the 1940’s—was a fictional character on Barry’s Earth.

 
Jay’s velocity-fueled, heroic exploits were documented in comic books that were published in Barry’s ‘Real’ world. In fact, it was Jay’s crime-fighting adventures as The Flash that then inspires Barry to don the now-familiar, lightning emblazoned costume and thwart criminals himself.

When these two mirages of Mercury meet in The Flash #123, Barry explains this metaphysical observation to Jay, establishing that Gardener Fox—the writer credited with ‘creating’ Jay’s ‘fictional’ character in the 1940’s—must have been sensing this other Reality via a dream-state.

 
The two speedsters likewise link Jay’s choice to end his career as The Flash to the strangely simultaneous decision by the publisher to discontinue the comic…exposing a stroke of synchronicity betwixt the seemingly ‘unrelated’ events.

In our world, we know that the transcendental factor connecting these two outcomes was a waning public interest in the Stories. While this translates to a mundane, economic choice for the publisher…

…from the context of this hero’s journey, it implies an empathetic resonance between the audience and Jay’s own ambition to maintain the mantle of The Flash.

This type of audience participation in the Story is a key ingredient in what is often referred to as sympathetic magic. This Super-Natural sounding principle is far more grounded in physics than its name might suggest, and is a vital variable when considering the wider ramifications of the Fractalverse…

…but we’ll save that rather esoteric subject for Part 4.

 
More to the current point
, while there are a handful of earlier publications exploring the topic of alternate histories or parallel Earths, the narrative told in issue #123 of The Flash marks a milestone in modern Storytelling, introducing into the collective conscious an astonishing proposition…

…the musing that any fictional world we ‘dream up’ is actually Real

…existing alongside us in a tangent Reality…
…of which we are otherwise blissfully oblivious.

———————

This idea presents another, incredible implication…

…that we, ourselves, may literally appear as characters in our own Stories…
…enjoyed by audiences in other Realities.

 
Barry gets a taste of his own medicine in The Flash #179 (May 1968), when he arrives in our world

…and quickly discovers that his adventures—even his inner, silent thoughts—are intimately rendered in a comic book bearing his moniker…

…realizing that here, he is but a fiction…

 
This brings us to a critical concept…
…concerning this notion of what it means to BE a Fractalverse…

We all accept that when we digest data which we recognize as non-fiction—or TRUEthat we are essentially peering into a window depicting that ‘Truth’…through whichever medium we are immersed in.

Be it literature, film, music, comics…
…we subconsciously acknowledge that we are viewing something we consider objectively Real.

Now, extrapolate that same experience to what we dub Fiction.
What is Fiction?

By default, we presume fiction to be ‘false’—UNTRUE.
Made-up. Imaginary…

…even when the material has elements of Truth embedded within.

And yet, even for those Truths…
which we take for granted…

…we understand that in those momentsas we contemplate them—they basically arise as peripheral fabrications in our Imagination.

Unless we viscerally engage with a given, physical Fact, we simply operate on faith that all these otherwise, immediately intangible Truths exist ‘out there somewhere’…because ample evidence has convinced us of this.

 
In this way, the only meaningful difference between Fact and Fiction…
…Real and Imaginary…
…is whether enough people agree with it, or not.

These days, this largely hinges on what we’ve shown to be empirically repeatable…
…or scientifically verifiable.

 

With that in mind, it was once a ‘FACT’ that man-made flight was
Physically impossible…

…but thanks to the unending stamina of the Imagination…
…the Wright Bros. effectively changed Reality.

 
So, in this Spirit, let us conduct a thought experiment…

…lets assume that we do exist as part of an infinitely varied, geometric structure…
…and accept that the math of such a construct predicates the repetition of existing patterns
…and that each of us, as individuals, constitutes such a set pattern…
…recurring, endlessly…in supposed ‘alternate universes.’

 

Pushing this exercise to the Outer Limits…

…lets give our Imaginations some room to play around in…
…and ponder the possibility…
..that maybe…just maybe…

…all these fictional fancies that come to us aren’t just fairy-farts erupting in the neurons of our brains…

…but thatjust as Gardner Fox enjoined us to Imagine—they’re are somehow Real
…residing in one of the countless universes that physicists are demanding we at least consider exist.

————————————

If True

…then logically—beyond being mere windows into other Realities—it would mean that all media…

…all Stories

…are actually conduits of causality, connecting contiguous worlds.

———————

Think of it—

—clearly, we see the effect these so-called ‘fictional’ worlds have on us, even now:

Just as Barry was inspired by Jay…
…we too are influenced by the both of them…

…ad-infinitum, as we extrapolate this to all our heroes…
…be they Real or Imagined.

———

It’s undeniable that our world is literally shaped by these stories.

If it turns out that these ‘fictional’ worlds truly do exist, such a fact would upend our understanding of physics…
…and our grasp of the Nature of Reality itself.

With these ideas firmly entrenched, now’s a good time to head back to the gym and flex our physics muscles for a few minutes…though this time, hopefully, there’ll be a little less pain, and, well…you know the rest…

 

The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Hugh Everett III

 
In 1957—a scant four years before the “Flash of Two Worlds” graced comic book racks across the US—American physicist Hugh Everett III put forth the first physics-based argument for what we’re now referring to as the Fractalverse…predating Alan Guth’s proposal of the Inflation model by more than two decades.

The key to Everett’s premise—commonly known as the Many Worlds Theory—was based on his extremely controversial interpretation of the bizarro physics of quantum mechanics.

Earlier that century, physicists had come to the conclusion that at very small scales, individual particles of matter appear to have properties that cause them to behave like waves…which—at the time—defied common sense, and still confounds physicists to this day. This wave-particle duality is the beating-heart of quantum physics, and can be very clearly demonstrated by the double-slit experiment.

 

The Double-Slit Experiment

If you can wrap your head around the results of the double-slit experiment, then you’re well on your way to appreciating just how Wyrd Reality is.

It’s a mouthful to explain, though, so I’m going to let my good friend Dr. Quantum take care of it for me, via this-here video clip, from “What The Bleep Do We Know!?: Down The Rabbit Hole“:

The basic take-away from the experiment is this:

Until an individual particle is closely monitored, its whereabouts can only be approximated. This—in a nutshell—is what Werner Heisenberg coined as the Uncertainty Principle. On the surface, it may sound like common sense…

 

…but as the double-slit experiment shows us, it also leads to very strange outcomes.

Case-in-point…prior to pinning that pesky little particle down, it apparently abides in what are dubbed ‘Superpositions’meaning it occupies numerous ‘locations,’ simultaneously.

Also…these plurality of potential ‘positions’ actually interact with one another…producing waves of probability. It’s only the act of measuring the so-called particle’s precise coordinates that then neutralizes this wave phenomenon.

As if this wave-particle duality isn’t odd enough…combine that with the realization that its behavior as a wave or a particle is dependent on whether or not it’s being watched

 

…and you’ve suddenly entered the Twilight Zone.

“I think that on this point modern physics has definitely decided for Plato. For the smallest units of matter are, in fact, not physical objects in the ordinary sense of the word; they are forms, structures or—in Plato’s sense—Ideas, which can be unambiguously spoken of only in the language of mathematics.”

Werner Heisenberg, Father of the Uncertainty Principle ~ As quoted in Quantum Questions, edited by Ken Wilber, pg 52 (2001)

For more on the Uncertainty Principle, check out this brief, TEDed Video.

 

This mind-boggling…fantastic Fact of Nature
reveals that Reality responds to the Conscious observer.

The human race is still striving to comprehend what this ultimately means.

At the very least, it is critical to emphasize that with a solid century of quantum mechanics under our belts, the wider physics community has gradually arrived at the conclusion that the fabric of Reality is fundamentally Mental.

(Pun intended.)

“Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as a creator and governor of the realm of matter.”

Sir James Jeans, British physicist, astronomer and mathematician.
The Mysterious Universe (1930) , p. 137, 1937 ed.

 

OK…

…so, if you weren’t aware of these peculiarities of [quantum] physics before, hopefully this has filled in a few gaps. It’s a lot to digest…and is pretty heavy stuff, when you get down to it.

Understanding that particles manifest in multiple places at once—unless someone or something is paying close attention to them—has incredible implications…

…especially for how we react to the world around us…
…the decisions we make…and the life we collectively create.

———

We’ll examine these philosophical ponderings more acutely in Part 4…

…but for now, suffice to say that the spiritual traditions of our ancestors have been voraciously vocal about these very values.

Prayer, meditation, ritual, ceremony…
…all tools of the trade when it comes to mind over matter.

———

The thought I’d leave you with in this moment, is that the only thing keeping the doors of our perceptions shut on this front is that the general public is still largely ignorant of these agreed-upon Facts of Physics.

Part of what this series of articles is aiming for…
…is to help in the evolving effort to blast these doors wide open.

 

“The physicist may be satisfied when he has the mathematical scheme and knows how to use it for the interpretation of the experiments. But he has to speak about his results also to non-physicists who will not be satisfied unless some explanation is given in plain language. Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be the criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached.”

Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy, pg 168

For years, the physics community concluded that the quantum effects observed in the double-slit and other experiments only occurred at the microcosmic scale. Contrary to his contemporaries, Hugh Everett assumed that age-old adage of ‘As Above, So Below’…surmising that, however matter behaves at small scales, it stood to reason that it must likewise persist in comporting itself that way when arranged into larger structures…

…such as you and I.

Everett also broke from the conventional (Copenhagen) conviction that a particle’s many, probable superpositions would simply ‘collapse’ into a single, stable ‘Reality’ when measured. Instead, he posited that all the particle’s superpositions continue to co-exist

…but in different, quantum-state ‘universes.’

Schrödinger’s Cat

Briefly, to help cement this particular facet of Everett’s equations…

…If you’ve ever heard of Schrödinger’s cat, this is the famous thought experiment that explored the notion of how—under certain conditions—quantum mechanics would allow a cat to be considered as both alive and dead, at the same time.

 
Erwin Schrödinger came up with this mental exercise to point out how ludicrous he felt the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics was.

Everett, however, turned Schrödinger’s Imaginary experiment on its head, arguing that rather than a such a perplexing paradox, what you’ve got is actually two divergent, quantum-state ‘universes…’

…each existing independently of each other.

One where the cat is alive…
and one where the cat is dead.

 

For the sake of simplicity…

…I, again, offer you a quick video that should help put this all into perspective…
…this one from TED Talks’ online education series, TEDed:

 
So anyway…
…to reiterate the radical ramifications of this ‘Many Worlds’ theory…


First of all.
..
…it asserts that every particle in existence—including those that make up you and I…the dots on this screen and the chemicals in our brains—perpetually resides in an infinitude of tangent superpositions.

This, then, effectively constitutes an endless spectrum of ‘relative,’ potential combinations.

Secondly…
…the act of discreetly detecting any one of these particles temporarily interrupts that tiny bit of matter from interacting with its other ‘selves.’

The observer, therefore, is able to briefly determine which of those multitude of quantum-state ‘universes’ he or she happens to coexist in with that particular particle.

Finally…
…this means that for each of the other, possible ‘universes’ that exist for a given particle, there is—of course—another, ‘parallel’ observer.

 

“From the viewpoint of the theory, all elements of a superposition (all ‘branches’) are ‘actual,’ none any more ‘real’ than the rest.”

Hugh Everett, as noted by journalist and science writer Peter Byrne in Scientific American.

 

Translating all this to English, the Many Worlds premise suggests…

…that we exist as a bifurcating, quantum-state Fractalverse…
…of virtually-infinite observers, in immeasurably discrete diversity.

 

“Anything that can happen will happen—and it will happen infinitely many times”

Alan Guth, Father of Inflation Theory

 

Double Slit Waves ~ Quanta Magazine

 
Despite the skeptics who disregard these arguments and claim that there is no way to experimentally test for these proposed ‘other universes’, I would argue that the wave patterns observed in the Double Slit Experiment are—in actuality—direct evidence of ‘interference’ from the plethora of other realms a particle is superpositionally coexisting in…

…meaning we are already exposing these other universes…albeit minutely.

With proper experimentation, perhaps this may one day lead to a larger window with which to peer into these other worlds.

 
The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Inflation Cosmology

Illustration of Diverging Timelines ~ Superflux

Placed alongside the mathematical prognostications of Eternal Inflation, it becomes easier to Imagine that these are simply two angles from which to view a singular phenomenon. In other words, I think it’s fair to posit that the infinitely inflating, cosmic tree of ‘bubble’ universes that Guth and Linde describe could be the very branching, quantum-state ‘universes’ espoused in Everett’s equations.

Regardless, both theories tell the same tale:

Just as Barry Allen’s and Jay Garrick’s two Earths are essentially quantum variations of one another—vibrating at different frequencies—so too may we be one of a never-ending spectrum of alternate US’s.

 

BTW…
…this is where things start to get Really interesting.

———

So let me be clear what we’re aiming at here…

Although we’re not-yet able to viscerally verify these Fractalversal postulates, they quite possibly define the True Nature of Reality. Given that there are multiple efforts afoot to validate these and other ‘Multiverse’ hypotheticals, we may have confirmation of this far-sooner than we think.

Now…

…consider the Fact that these mathematical models just-so-happen to reflect tenets that our ancestors took for granted…namely, that the structure of the Cosmos is a vast, Multidimensional World Tree of Creation.

Next…

…combine that with the corporeal consensus amongst physicists that the fabric of Reality is more fluid than we normally tend to think of it as…

…and that it responds to the conscious observer. Such Facts undeniably bring the physics community that much more in alignment with those that walk on the spiritual side of life.

With all this in mind, it seems high-time that the rest of the world take notice of these notions, as well.

 

So…
…wrapping up this-here Story…

 

While the extremely esoteric exercises of our predecessors may be well-over many of our heads, much of the basic knowledge they possessed has effectively woven its way into the narrative of our lives…

…influencing and inspiring us through the ages…
…again and again.

Now, over the last century, we’ve seen some of those very wisdoms become apparent in our most fundamental laws of physics.

If the Stories we pay so much attention to are part of some deep-buried, multidimensional message to ourselves…

…hiding out in our collective unconscious…

…then I say let’s dig out the damn decoder ring and decipher this $#@!

 

There appears to be a New Physics emerging in front of us…

…the Physics of Fractalversal Consciousness…
…and Story would seem to hold a key to understanding it.

 

Art…
…Artist…Audience…

…a Great Trinity if ever there was one.

 

If we can begin to embrace these ideas with a True sense of their potential
…building a critical-mass consensus of awareness…

…then perhaps we can start to Really remember who and what we are…
…and why we’re here.

 

Chew on that, as we get ready to move into our fourth and final segment on the Fractalverse…

…its increasing likelihood

…and what that means for you and I—for us all—moving forward…

 

P.S. –

For those with the time and inclination, here’s a Rockin’ documentary about Hugh Everett’s Many Worlds Theory, produced in cooperation with Hugh Everett’s son, Mark Everett. It originally aired on BBC/NOVA in 2007/2008.

 
Also, I thought I’d share an interesting ‘tweet’ I happened across while putting this article together…as it points out some synchronicity I had not noticed before…

…which is that my timing with this series coincides with the 55th anniversary (June 14, 1961) of Barry’s inter-dimensional, quantum leap in the “Flash of Two Worlds!” The first Fractalverse article went live on June 10, 2016…only four days prior! Sweet!

 

Lastly…if you wanna’ kick back and watch something supremely cool…

…Here’s a video adaptation DC comics did of one of their more acclaimed, Elseworlds, Superman Stories:
Red Son.

It’s fun…and it seriously hits the spot on this subject…
…especially the ending.

Feel free to comment on it and all the rest!

E!

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