They call it 'The Other Side' - which is a bit of a joke - its rather like comparing the head of a pin with the Sahara desert - where the physical universe is the head of the pin, relatively, and the whole wide Sahara is the so-called "Other Side".
From the point of view of Systematics, one ought to be able to do things in I-space, on "The Other Side", that in the physical universe would seem paranormal. One ought to be living in a boundless everlasting 'Lucid Dream', so much more real than so-called "reality". One ought to be able to have anything one wanted, and to not-have anything one did not want; to be able to be anywhere at will; to communicate without words
It might be thought, then, that the observer is unaffected by information - can just drift around in I-space at will. But there are influences....
You will find in OOBEs that there is often a "pull" in a particular direction. In the case of an early OOBE, late one Friday night, alone in my hotel room, I found that a brightly colored bedspread had that effect, slowly I drifted towards it, it had an influence. OK - that's what happened in the physical universe - but how about in I-space.
I wrote a piece around 1984 for the IANDS journal - that is the near-death experience people at the University of Connecticut - called 'Data-Space and Where You're At'. Basically, it said that in I-space (then called Data Space) your location was determined by what you thought, or your cast of mind - if you were into sunrises you'd be in amongst sunrises, if you thought of sinister figures in dark alleys that's where you would be. It wasn't put as simply as this of course, and was backed by the empirical research of Swedenborg, Monroe, Hubbard, Patanjali, Lewis, Suzuki, the reports of Moody and others.
But there are other factors that affect location - in fact there is a whole "physics" of I-space that is almost a mirror-image of physics in this universe. We call this 'Observer Dynamics' - it deals with the Observer in his natural environment - that of information, and we use the word 'dynamics' rather than 'physics', so as not to be confusing.
Force - in I-space? Does it exist?
'It was when the Great Way declined
That human kindness and morality arose;' Tao Te Ching, Chapter XXVIII.
The great Orientalist, Dr. Arthur Waley, in his translation of the Chinese Classic, "Tao Te Ching", describes how in Ancient China, in the age before "human kindness", there was no definition of Bad and Good.
Professor Nora Chadwick in her book 'The Celts' describes how in the Celtic religion the idea of 'sin' was absent.
'A beautiful dignity hangs over Irish mythology, an orderliness, a sense of fitness. All the gods are beautifully dressed and most are of startlingly beautiful appearance. It is only by contrast with other mythologies that we realise that the 'land of promise' contains little that is ugly. There is no sin and no punishment.
The heathen Irish erected a spirituality - a spiritual loveliness that comes close to an ideal spiritual existence.'
Sometimes, to get a wider perspective we have to step outside our own culture. Of course none of this would go down too well, today, for we are the Children of the Fall. What the ancient Chinese and Celts were talking about was an age before "morality" was invented. Of course this seems a horrifying prospect - to us, who consider that the absence of "morality" means depravity - no morality = depravity.
Well, mankind is the only creature on Earth that has morality - and he is also the most depraved of creatures.
You can be sure that even Osama bin Laden (the instigator of the Sept 11 2001 NYC Twin Tower atrocities) believed he was right, he was justified. That was his code of morality.
'It is because every one under Heaven recognises beauty as beauty that the idea of ugliness exists'. Tao Te Ching, Chapter II.
Dr Waley mentions the ancient Chinese teaching that once you have defined a 'good' you have also defined a 'bad'.
It's like this.
If we say that ripe oranges are good we imply that unripe oranges are bad, and that is how it begins.
Now what we are dealing with here are the concepts of very early Man, they are pre-historical precepts. If you go to the Biblical Book Genesis then you run into this again. There are some very sophisticated concepts there although we are so smart today we reject it all. The Hebrews picked that stuff up in Ur - the city of the Chaldeas - and where the Chaldeans got it from is, essentially, unknown.
The Tree of Knowledge
In the Beginning was the Meaning and the Meaning was God and the Meaning was with God ...
In the same area as Ur you get the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and the area of the reputed Garden of Eden, where primitive man and woman walked in innocence. Adam and Eve. And what did they do wrong - they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thus their innocence was lost.
Why the "Tree" of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
Well, what we are talking about is a Knowledge tree, an Information tree - and some of you will have already seen the connection and worked it out.
You see, once you define one thing as good, it doesn't end there. As already mentioned, by defining a good you also define a bad. But it doesn't stop there, for the Good also defines a "Worse-than" and a "Better-than", and the Bad defines its own "Worse-than" and "Better-than" - and so on, and so on.... The seedling that will eventually become the tree is beginning to sprout.
Those of you who are into Information Technology will recognise binary splitting and the formation of a tree function. That is what it is actually called - a tree function.
So - in this case what you get is the Good and Bad Knowledge Tree. The tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.
It took only one definition - one seed - one "bite" - for the polarisation to spread throughout that person's information field. Loss of innocence.
The Good is attractive and the Bad is repulsive. So you can't roam around at will any more. You now have, essentially, force fields. The attractive and the repulsive.
Attraction pulls in, and repulsion pushes out. Call them Good and bad if you like.
Pavlovians, Behaviourists and materialists generally used to talk about the Pleasure/Pain principle and how it controls our lives. But it is neither pleasure nor pain that do the controlling - it is the attraction (of pleasure) and the repulsion (of pain) that produce our predictable behavior patterns. And other factors can have heavier fields than those attractions and repulsions.
In I-space you get, as it were, mental force fields - due to the Good-Bad polarisation.
Some time ago as a member of General Systems Research, head-quartered in Ann Arbor, I wrote a piece on the analogies between emotional behavior and physical phenomena, which is quite relevant to what we have here.
Some mental phenomena can be described in terms of mechanical analogies or electrical analogies. The benefit of this is that we can see how things work, better.
The electrical analogy. If you are new to electronics there are a few easy basics to learn here.
In electronics a force-field would be called a potential gradient.
It is the size of the potential gradient that determines the strength of the force.
The force is strong if the potential - if the attraction or repulsion - is strong. Or it is strong if the gradient is steep. A reasonably attractive proposition for this week has a stronger pull than a very attractive proposal for 10 years from now.
In electronics you will come across the word 'transient'.
In electronics a "transient" is a sudden change of electrical force - of electrical potential.
In mental terms you also get transients - ranging in force from quite mild to traumatic.
A mental transient could be something like this.
Things are going fine, going smoothly - totally cool, attractive - then, suddenly - everything goes wrong, becomes repulsive.
Mentally you go into a "nose-dive" ... Niaaaoooow! A transient.
When you get a sudden change of potential like that you get a release of mental "energy" - you get emotion. Anger, grief, apathy....
The type of emotion depends on the magnitude and direction of the transition.
If everything has been terrible for a long, long time and then - suddenly - everything goes right - ooooEEEE!!! A transient. The type of emotion released is different from that when the transition is (G>B), The bad-good (B>G) transition gives a different energy characteristic from a good-bad (G>B) transition.
You see the "physics" creeping in?
There are rules. And that is what physics is - rules.
Now if the transition is really slow you will get a slow release of a low level of emotion, and the type of emotion will differ.
The spectrum of emotions we will cover in another lecture.
What I want you to take a look at next is something we call overshoot and undershoot. You get it in electronics and you also get it in mental phenomena.
If the transient is rapid enough and is G>B then you get undershoot.
With undershoot the person goes beyond the actual level of Bad that is involved and tends for a while to view everything as bad. If the transition has been quite abrupt and strong they will tend to see things as much worse than they really are for a while
And you get the same thing with a B>G transition - the person will tend to over-react as though everything is absolutely wonderful, and it will take them a little time to recover their perspective. We call this overshoot.
But it gets even more fascinating. In electronics a really fast transient may induce something we call "ringing". This something like an electrical "pinnng!! - like plucking a string and making it vibrate.
"Ringing" is a fast alternation +-+-+-+- or, in this case, GBGBGBGB....
The picture shows three examples of a transient. In the first, a sharp transient shows a bit of overshoot. In the second picture the transient is a little sharper and even bounces around a little following the overshoot. The third picture shows a sharp transient inducing "ringing."
Mentally, you only get the ringing phenomenon in extreme cases.
If you get a huge unexpected B>G transition, a true shock, then the behavioural phenomenon known as ' tears of joy' can ensue, the person alternately laughing and crying. This is the B>G>B>... alternation. A common descriptive phrase is one's mind 'being in a whirl', and with this spin you get the alternation and energy release. Tears are the means for cooling the eyes and the laughter is a form of spasmodic ventilation for the upper body which also has a cooling effect.
Behaviourally, the person may turn this way and that, 'not knowing which way to turn'.
It is important that the transition is unexpected. Remember we are dealing with the mind and expectation means that the information is already there although not yet realised materially. If it is already there then there won't be much of a shock.
You get a similar thing with an unexpected G>B transition of considerable shock. Here the alternation of crying and laughing is known as hysteria.
Doing science, and that is what we are doing here, you have to ask "silly" questions, like -'Why when we get bad news suddenly do we make loud noises and hyperventilate involuntarily?' What we are talking about is laughter and sobbing.
The loud involuntary noises help to maintain the spasmodic condition, they are "positive feedback".
The moving air, in and out, provides a cooling effect, absorbing released energy and transporting it away.
And what about this liquid that is flushed over the eyes - what possible reason could there be for that - there seems to be no rational reason for tears - tears of laughter or tears of sobbing.
So - you can see a physics emerging. There are rules.
There is an interesting point connected with all this that will not be familiar to anyone unfamiliar with the rather specialised mathematics we use in engineering. But it is necessary to bring up this point - it is fundamentally important and will keep coming up, time and again, and you will get familiar with it - and even, in some cases, perhaps, be enabled to see the energy.
What we are talking about is a vortex.
"Ringing" is also a vortex. In engineering we would portray the ringing as a rotating vector of diminishing amplitude in considering its SHM, and would see it in the complex plane as a vortex. A vortex is probably the most important feature of mental space. You will be hearing more about it.
Vortices were an important part of physics itself, at one time. People like James Clerk Maxwell whose vector mathematics formed the basis of much analysis in electronics, and Thompson, discoverer of the electron, both favored the vortices approach. Then Relativity and Quantum Mechanics came along - and for a time the subject of vortices faded away. Now it is making a comeback - according to some, it is 'the science of the future'. The Black Hole is a vortex.
Algebraic - based on or referring to the mathematical method of problem solving known as algebra.
Behaviourists - followers of the Behaviourist school of psychology which formulated its analyses according to the way that a person acted in response to stimuli.
Complex plane - a method used in advanced electrical engineering to work out problems involving transients using the idea of a 2-dimensional plane on which the problem can be graphically represented, and the algebraic equations used in that context.
Dynamics - the scientific study of changes
Empirical - having to do with experiments.
IANDS - International Association for Near Death studies
I-space - abbreviation for Information Space.
Information Space - the concept of the universe of information, whether real or imaginary, subjective or objective. It is called 'space' to enable methods of mathematical analysis to be used.
Magnitude - the size of something.
OOBE - the abbreviation for Out-of-the-body-experience.
Pavlovian - relating to the school of psychology founded by the Russian, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, which describes behavior in terms of conditioning.
SHM - Simple Harmonic Motion; a method of describing the motion of, for example, a pendulum, or a wave.
Systematics - 1 the study of evolution. 2 the study of systems.
Tao Teh King - the title of a book reputedly written by a Chinese sage called Lao Tze about 500 B.C.. The title means 'The Way and Its Power'
The Other Side - a term used to refer to the hereafter by spiritualists and the like.
Vector - a mathematical way of representing force, (for example), showing not only its magnitude but also its direction.
Vortex - a contracting spiral, in outline having the form of a cone. Alternatively, an expanding spiral, in outline having the form of a cone.