Sense of Order and a limited edition of reality
My wife asked me to dry the washed clothes. I went to the terrace of my house to hang the clothes. I picked the wet clothes from the washing machine. I put them in a bucket. I carried it to the terrace. I hung each cloth on the cloth line.
Now you may be wondering what I am trying to convey here. I get you. I will now restate what I said.
I carried it to the terrace. I picked the wet clothes from the washing machine. My wife asked me to dry the washed clothes. I hung each cloth on the cloth line. I went to the terrace of my house to hang the clothes. I put them in a bucket.
Obviously this is nonsense. You will tell me that the statements are jumbled. Why do you feel it that way ?
Because it cannot be any other way. There is only one way I could have dried the clothes on the clothes line in the terrace of my house. There may be minor alterations. May be I could have taken an elevator instead of walking up the stairs. But to dry the washed clothes, I need to find the wet clothes which is likely to be in the washing machine before walking up the stairs to the terrace. This kind of ‘’one leads to another’’ is the causality that pervades our day to day experiences.
A large part of this is due to our memory. Our memory stores all our experiences. Whatever we encounter with our sensory experience gets stored. This is done in the way it happens in front of our eyes.
For example, you do not see Apples on the ground lifting themselves up and getting attached to the branches. None of us have ever witnessed such a thing. You don’t get to see rain drops going back to clouds. You don’t see the birds flying backwards, nor the leaves of a tree folding themselves into the barks and disappearing into the ground. We can imagine such things. But we know it is absurd. We have never witnessed such a reality.
The sequence of events happening in our world or actions we do are always in a certain order. This makes us conclude that there is a sequence or an order to all the events that have led us to our current state. This makes this world a deterministic place. If we know the current position of things in this universe, and if we subtract all the effects that have happened on those things, we can almost tell when, where and how everything came about.
But the truth is we are limited beings. Our idea of the world is only by what we can perceive through our sense organs. And they are limited by the visible light of the Electromagnetic spectrum of which visible light is only a subset. A large part of what happens around us is assimilated by our brain through this tiny little vision of visible light. There is a huge loss of information in our perception as is. We augment with mechanics and optics. But still in our normal day to day experience which is what is being stored continually within us, our data sets do not represent the full reality.
It is possible that even a Fly or a Dog may perceive this world differently than us. Their senses may tell something beyond just what they see. And there may be planets where life forms may have developed X-Ray vision or Infrared based vision and they may be walking backwards or sideways because they may see a more microscopic world. Their sense of order of things may be vastly different.
Our ability to see things in a certain way, because of our limitation, make us to fit everything into that pattern of cause and effect. This brings in the notion of Time. We are beings with inbuilt wiring to recognize an order in everything and therefore implicitly are governed by the dimension of Time.
Suppose our vision covered a larger aspect of Electromagnetic spectrum and we could just not see macro objects like Cars and Humans alone, but every action that is happening at the atomic level. Now we will see a more continuously changing world around us.
Because in our normal world, you see me writing this blog, you see the table and chair which are not changing much. You see my hands writing this. But if your eyes could see me at an atomic level, I will disappear and you will begin to see a swirl of tiny particles or energy points.
It is like suddenly you added a million more frames to the video and you are going through each one of them. It may be just few seconds on the clock outside. But inside it may be a life time for those particles. If we can experience that world of tiny specks, we will still try to see an order, identify the particles by names and try to see causality in the way the particles interact with one another. This is because that is how we have learnt to perceive reality. That is our wiring.
But the notion of time and space that exists for us may no longer be the same if you happen to live in that particle zoo. The nature of reality you experience there if you are able to live as a photon or an electron could be very different. There may not be any order in the way things are happening there and hence may not be governed by the laws of nature we perceive in the macro world.
Suppose you can see the atoms that exist between objects in this macro world and see their movements, then you no longer can see Cars or Trees or Humans. You will just see that everything around you is connected and flowing and evolving as a continuous wave where in you are immersed and the atoms in your body are all jiggling and moving all around. At this point, your sense of order may no longer exist. It is like you are dreaming a non-linear sequence of events. You lose sense of time and space which you are used to in this present macro world.
Well, the whole point of this is to say that what we perceive is a very narrow aspect of reality. We do not have all the parameters that determine the true nature of existence. Our brain is made to imagine, extrapolate in an orderly world. Time exists because our brain perceives order in things. It is this determinism that has given our sense of right and wrong and our morals. Even if our perception increases by a fraction beyond visible light on the Electromagnetic spectrum, our notion of order of events and hence time may be very different making us perceive a different reality.
In a way Humans are trying to build a reality similar to the story of five blind people trying to figure out an elephant by feeling it in parts. Yet that is the best bet in front of us.