Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cool here, not clear

They say flower pictures are better when taken in overcast conditions. Well, guess what we have here in Bellingham? Cool, cloudy, windy conditions this morning, the temperature not even 60 degrees. Taken yesterday at the Farmers' Market, I thought this picture of the red, white and blue (and yellow, purple and pink) bouquets was quite lovely.

I am almost finished with the book, Biocentrism. (This link will take you to the author's page about the book.) I've been reading about quantum mechanics, Zeno's paradox, entropy, the Time Train, and much more. Here's an excerpt from the chapter entitled, "No Time to Lose":
That time is a fixed arrow is a human construction. That we live on the edge of all time is a fantasy. That there is an irreversible, on-flowing continuum of events linked to galaxies and suns and the Earth is an even greater fantasy. Space and time are forms of animal understanding -- period. We carry them around with us like turtles with shells. So there simply is no absolute self-existing matrix out there in which physical events occur independent of life.
When I was younger, I read quite a lot of science fiction, and I especially loved stories where people in a spaceship would travel to a distant world at close to the speed of light. They would return home to find that all their contemporaries had died long before because of the time differential. This was fascinating to me, particularly when I learned that is exactly what would happen if we could indeed travel at near light speed. To learn that the galaxies and stars sent their light to Earth billions of years ago and they no longer exist as I see them boggles my mind.

At the end of each chapter, Lanza presents a Principle related to his theory of biocentrism. The farther along in the book I travel, the more interested I am. He also tells stories about his childhood, how he got to be a doctor, and about his family dynamics. He'll inject a little unexpected humor now and then that makes me laugh out loud. Although I have a few more chapters to read, I'll be a little sorry when it's over.

Although none of the ideas in the book are completely new to me, they are all put together in a way that has expanded my idea of consciousness, time and space, life and death. It's actually comforting to look at things through the lens of biocentrism. It allows for the possibility of the death of loved ones being something other than what I have experienced. Lanza's sister was killed in an auto accident not long after she had married Ed, the love of her life, and things were looking up for her. From the chapter "Death and Eternity":
Christine had recently lost more than a hundred pounds, and Ed had bought her a pair of diamond earrings as a surprise. It's going to be hard to wait -- I have to admit -- but I know Christine is going to look fabulous in them the next time I see her . . . in whatever form she and I and this amazing play of consciousness assume.
The book also has two appendices, one on the Lorentz Transformation and the other on Einstein's Theory of Relativity. They look a bit daunting, but I will make my way through them in appreciation for the author's ability to take me into his worldview.


  1. Djan,
    You've piqued my interest enough so that I'm going to look for this book. A dear friend very recently lost her daughter to cancer. We (my friend and I) as atheist/agnostics can't rely on the promise of the hereafter to comfort us. An alternate view of time/forever/eternity might help my friend; our current view is no help at all.

  2. As an agnostic skeptic fully grounded in time and space, I really don't know what to say. Maybe this is one of those times when I say nothing. :)

  3. Have you read Stephen Hawkings' A Brief History of Time? I highly recommend it.

    Happy 4TH!

  4. I have always been fascinated by time travel, and the concept of time.

    When my mother passed away, I took comfort in knowing that in another place and time, she was alive and well, with her parents and her sisters, riding their horses in the sunshine of South Africa. I truly believe that at another place in time, this is happening. One day we will be able to move through time.

  5. I'm glad you're enjoying your book and it's certainly made you think, hasn't it. Lots of theories to puzzle and perplex and digest. Enjoy it and save me the trouble of reading it by telling me all about it? (please)
    Blessings, Star

  6. That book looks interesting and I’ll look it up at the library. I just finished books written in the 1800s – now I am ready to read a mystery for a change.

  7. It sounds like a great summer read. That's a fine review. Thank you!

  8. I just ordered the book from and they have shipped it already. Looking forward to it.

  9. Like you, I have been fascinated with science fiction books when I was a kid, I read 2,000 Leagues Under The Sea and watch sci-fi films, my favorite is the Fantastic Voyage, if you happened to see it. I hope to find the book you are suggesting, sounds interesting.


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