They say that our knowledge of Creation will only be truly unified once we manage to define a theorem of everything. This was the topic of an article last year in the New Scientist. “The secret that links numbers and shapes!
Mathematically, it means uniting 2 distinct realms which are arithmetics on the one hand, and geometry on the other hand, which believe it or not, is still a challenge being tackled by the most brilliant minds around the world. In physics, it is about reconciling quantum mechanics (the realm of numbers and discrete quanta) and the theory of gravity (the realm of spacetime geometry).
Philosopher and polymath Gottfried Leibniz himself was distinguishing 2 kind of truths: Truths of reasoning, and truths of fact. It was in a time when there were two schools of thoughts. The empiricists held that knowledge is derived from experience, while the rationalists claimed that knowledge can be gained through rational reflection alone. Leibniz was a rationalist himself, but he introduced a twist in his debate: His claim, which he makes in most famous work, the Monadology, is that in principle all knowledge can be accessed by rational reflection. However, due to shortcomings in our rational faculties, human beings must also rely on experience as a means of acquiring knowledge.
To see how Leibniz arrives at this conclusion, we need to understand a little of his metaphysics—his view of how the universe is constructed. He holds that every part of the world, every individual thing, has a distinct concept or “notion” associated with it, and that every such notion contains within it everything that is true about itself, including its relations to other things. Because everything in the universe is connected, he argues, it follows that every notion is connected to every other notion, and so it is possible—at least in principle—to follow these connections and to discover truths about the entire universe through rational reflection alone. Such reflection leads to Leibniz’s “truths of reasoning.” However, the human mind can grasp only a small number of such truths (such as those of mathematics), and so it has to rely on experience, which yields “truths of fact.” So how is it possible to progress from knowing that it is snowing, for example, to knowing what will happen tomorrow somewhere on the other side of the world?
For Leibniz, the answer lies in the fact that the universe is composed of individual, simple substances called “monads.” Each monad is isolated from other monads, and each contains a complete representation of the whole universe in its past, present, and future states. This representation is synchronized between all the monads, so that each one has the same content. A map of the internet shows the innumerable connections between internet users. Leibniz’s theory of monads suggests that all our minds are similarly connected. According to Leibniz, this is how God created things—in a state of “pre-established harmony.” Leibniz claims that every human mind is a monad, and so contains a complete representation of the universe.
Is that what we are? 7 billion and counting of monads, crawling on the surface of planet Earth, each of us holding a representation of the Universe, and possibly a fraction of its true nature, each of us a tiny piece in the giant jigsaw puzzle of the “Theorem of Everything”? And is there a way for us to visualise at times this grand unification between the numbers and discrete entities running across our minds, and the seemingly continuous spacetime reality we are flowing along? Can our senses capture and interpret the deepest and remotest vibrations of the Creation, and trace them back to the first Godly impulse, to the fingerprint of God?
It starts with the latest episode of this musical podcast, Canopy Sounds, titled “Alfa State”, which takes me to a different state of awareness. As the beat flows in my ears, I try to imagine the rare beauty of this first manifestation of the Creator, which spawned this universe into existence, how whole and subtly asymmetrical it must be, this vital principle which pulsates beyond the horizon of the big bang and is the source of all things.
The intuition is that we are entering here the complex land of fractal mathematics, with a unique multi-dimensional shape weaving the laws of physics and the fundamental particles, in a divine forge showing all the attributes of supersymmetry from the distance, but actually wonderfully rich and complex in the inside.
I fire up Magic Music Visualisation, and start combining fractal shapes and shaders, until I get this faint reflection of what I have in mind.