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"A Third Theory of Relativity"
by G.E. Nordell

{A 2007 variation of a section of Chapter 35 of my book
"Working Minds: A Philosophy of Empowerment",
which was published in two parts in the WMail philosophy ezine in 2001.}

        Science has recently gotten more certain that Newtonian physics does not provide an entirely accurate view of the Universe. Newtonian physics does indeed work very well in the strictly physical world – engineering, mechanics, energy, electronic communications – but does not coincide with the rules that operate inside the subatomic or interstellar realms of quantum physics. In quantum physics, scientists take atoms apart, experimentally and theoretically, and eventually the measurements describe a universe where light is a wave AND a particle, depending on the experiment, which defies Newtonian law.
        And recent advances in satellite data-gathering have reconfirmed the sticky parts of Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity, even a couple of ideas that he gave up on due to the then-impossibility of empirical proof. (Remember that Einstein's first paper on the Special Theory of Relativity was published back in 1905, and his General Theory of Relativity in 1916.)

A MODEST QUANTUM PROPOSAL
        Well, I have developed a personal notion that I call the Third Theory of Relativity. This Third Theory posits that:
         a) the reason that the speed of light in Einstein's Relativity formulae is a constant is that that speed is our frequency of existence in the Universe: We are defined by the speed of light which we are able to perceive;
        and b) the Universe is made up of a band of frequencies, like the radio or wireless telephone spectrum: We live at (are locked into) a 'station' whose frequency is 186,000 miles per second [the official, local speed of light] and cannot observe the other frequencies, just as you cannot get broadcast television on an A.M. radio or vice versa: the other frequencies are designed out of the hardware.

        This notion, the Third Theory of Relativity, connects to several other as-yet-unproven possibilities:
        1) Carlos Castañeda describes the access provided by Yaqui sorcery to various numbers of parallel worlds. The number of worlds in this 'Separate Reality' [his term] is specified in his books variously as six or seven or ten or eleven. One of these parallel worlds that he experienced is depicted as desert-like, and given as a realm easily accessed by 'mystics', suggesting that this particular separate world is the very desert where the historical mystic Jesus of Nazareth spent 40 days being tempted by 'Satan'. The other described parallel worlds are NOT places that you or I would want to visit.
        2) There is an increasingly-dominant department of quantum physics called 'string theory', which holds that sub-sub-sub-elements of atoms are strings of force. And guess what? The monster equations that prove string theory are equally valid when solved for six or seven or ten or eleven dimensions. Put those concepts together and you have the multiple dimensions of string theory being accessible by means of the non-technical traditions of Yaqui sorcerers!
        3) Recent data from observations of supernovae has verified the mysterious 'repulsive force' that occupies empty space, a function of Einstein's cosmological constant. That such a force, and what is termed 'dark matter' are occupying 'empty space' sounds paradoxical, but physicists keep finding more data confirming the matter.

        The next step in the Third Theory of Relativity is to suggest that the long-missing theoretical mass of empty space is invisible to Mankind's instruments because this mass is comprised of the other dimensions. These non-standard dimensions – besides our standard four: Length, Width, Depth, and Space-Time – are those which exist inside worlds that operate on different frequencies of the speed of light than this local frequency-world, and these parallel worlds are made up of the non-normal (to us) other dimensions described in both string theory and Yaqui tradition.
        Somehow the psychedelic-soaked practices of Yaqui sorcery provide access to alteration of human perception such that visits to the other [non-normal] frequency-worlds are both possible and consistent over time. (Were these visits pure fantasy or hallucination, they would not be consistent among so many objective observers.)

A LITTLE COSMOLOGY
        Whatever I imagine as The Way That The Universe Works, whatever elements might be objectively True, you will not likely see any corroboration in print, unless you study Quantum Physics and the like. So you are probably seeing these strange ideas here first. This area of Science is a form of science fiction to most people, that is, a fictive construct based on pieces of scientific data as well as imagination. Classic sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, however, made up some stuff in the 1940s and 1950s that was so accurate scientifically – though pure fiction – that the F.B.I. investigated him for possibly breaching National Security on then-top-secret projects. Clarke, merely a very educated civilian, made it up totally, and hush-hush scientists were working on the exact same matters behind supposed walls of tightest security.

        Now I must confess that I listened to Art Bell's radio program – "America's #1 late night talk show" – for a while, while working graveyard shift security at Playa Vista. Art Bell is basically an entertainer, and only secondarily a journalist, so I soon perceived his on-air strategy of bringing on several contradictory guests over several shows and seeming to agree with each one. The listeners are left on their own in trying to separate the hype and the wishful and-or paranoid thinking from the rare nuggets of Objective Reality: the data presented disagrees all over the place, but what if some of it is true? And which pieces are Objectively True?
        None of it True? Impossible, I say. Something has been going on, outside the Culture-Structure. Some of the on-air, live calls on Art's radio show are too damn real to deny their content.

*          *          *          *

        One such interesting subject that I heard discussed on Art's show is the difficulty that astrophysicists are encountering of late in pin-pointing the location of Magellan and other probes that are deep into the outer reaches of our little solar system. The old, pure Newtonian formulae do not work, which is a mind-wracking puzzle to those tied to J.P.L. and N.A.S.A. computations.
        How the two-way transmissions from these probes works is that Earth stations send to each probe, the probe captures and time-stamps the transmission, and then the probe transmits back a time-stamped collection of data that was recently – micro-seconds previously – gathered by that probe as it is whizzing past and between the outer planets. But the time-stamp business doesn't work right: part of the transmission occurs as if Newton is exactly right, and part shows the position of the probe itself as being much closer to the Earth.
        Big problem for the scientists, but in order to prevent confusion for the Culture-Structure, this matter has been kept quiet: The scientists just recompute using corrected Newtonian formulae.
        The mathematical conclusion from this problem points to the speed of light – the holy constant of all Relativity – as gradually changing. But of course, this cannot be so, or else Einstein and Planck and all the rest have made serious errors: the formulae would no longer be God's [or Science's] Absolute Truth.
        So the space scientists adjust for their factual findings and blame instrumentation, or solar flares, or 'some unknown factor', but hold steadfastly to the original dogma – and secretly shake their heads and wonder what the hell is going on.

        My humble Third Theory of Relativity was formed back in 1982, as part of the design of a science fiction screenplay entitled "Nostalgia". So this particular recent scientific puzzle caught my attention on Art Bell's show immediately, as espoused by several different guests.
        The other piece that fits here is the recent measured increase in solar activity: major changes the like of which have never been observed by [modern] Science.

FITTING IT TOGETHER
        So here is how this fits together, and where Science has long innocently been mistaken: Astrophysicists and nuclear physicists have made the mistake of thinking that Space is an Objective constant. Perhaps not so. My Third Theory of Relativity posits that the missing mass of the Universe – the WM3 Force? 3R Force? – that shows up in various computations is accounted for by the various non-standard – dare I say para-normal? – dimensions, which the tri-dimension-bound scientists of the Culture-Structure cannot admit to, nor indeed even perceive of.

        What makes the speed of light variable is the fact – the scientific heresy – that the energy in all of Space is like a fluid! I repeat: like you think of a fluid. Energy exists, whatever it is, and may just move around the Universe like a warm current in the salty oceans of Earth, or like the El Niño phenomenon. In fact, exactly like El Niño, whatever is that phenomenon's cause.
        The energy of the Universe may just move around, like weather, wafting its way across the Universe like clouds in the Terran atmosphere, or like the tides & currents of the oceans. One of the possible effects might well be a rise (or drop) in the local speed of light, just as the heat absorbed by El Niño raises the temperature of the water in the eastern South Pacific Ocean, causing havoc with weather patterns all around this fragile globe. Exactly parallel to how the advent of extra energy in this corner of the Milky Way could raise the activity of Sol, our local star-sun. The increase in pure energy could also alter the effective speed of light.

        Remember that the Holy Biosphere is at most 100 miles thick [give or take] and that the Planet Earth [or Terra] is 8,000 miles in diameter. The solid mass of rock that makes up this Planet is 80 times the diameter of the gaseous and very mobile and very fragile atmosphere, so it doesn't take much to alter normalcy. Just heat the solid rock-and-magma mass of the Terran orb a few degrees and the fragile, gaseous outer surface – the atmosphere and the Holy Biosphere – is globally warmed, with no chance of correction to 'normal'.
        Deep space contains next to Nothing, almost limitless emptiness. While there is less objective matter to transmit such qualities as heat, there is also no barrier to the unobserved transmission of ethereal 'clouds' of energy that just sneak in and alter the conditions of this terribly lonely and isolated backwater corner of the Milky Way Galaxy, this obscure sector of the uncharted Universe.

[copyright 2001 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]


The complete essay/chapter section was published in two parts: Essay #11 and Essay #13 in 2001.

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