HomeHistoryJohn DobsonSolar Sidewalk AstroEvent CalendarSA Event ProgramsEvents We SupportProjects/PartnershipsRecognitionArticlesTelescope PlansshopContactsAstronomy NewsNewslettersDark SkyPlanet EarthGalleryLinksResourcesFlyersIYA 2009


By John Dobson
Published 2004-10-22 13:59:57
From 2004

Most of the modern scientists have misunderstood Einstein's 1905 equations, and many of the modern Vedantins have misunderstood Vedanta


Einstein's 1905 geometry puts time in as anti space so that the time interval between two events must be subtracted from the space interval to get the total space-time separation, which alone is objective. But the total space-tme separation between the events stands at zero if the space and time intervals between the two events are equal. Now Einstein didn't like that the space-time separation between two events could go to zero, and said that the only thing we can understand by its going to zero is that a light beam could get from one event to the "in vacuuo." But the equation says that the separation goes to zero, and it's the equation that we test.


The mathematician, Minkowski, didn't like the minus sign on the square of the time interval under the radical in Einstein's Pythagorean equation for four dimensions, so he changed it to a plus sign and put the square root of minus on in front of the tme interval. Gerard Pardeilan said that we owe that extravagance to the "First Church of Minkowski." That was very confusing, and the square root of minus one ran through the books for decades on end. And Einstein said, "Since the mathematicians have got hold of relativity, I myself don't understand it."


But if we're going to measure both time and space intervals for our separation equation, we need to find commensurate units, like years and light years. And what is known in the trade as the speed of light is not the speed of anything at all. What's called the speed of light is simply the ratio of space to time. Thirty billion centimeters is equal to a second, and one light year is equal to one year. If you see an explosion a light year away, you'll see if also as a year ago, and the separation between the two events is zero. The separation between us and what we see, and between us and what affects us by gravity, has always been zero.


Now I have met only one physicist who take that separation equation as Einstein wrote it in 1905, and he says there are no "photons." That's because, for what are know in the trade as "photons" and "gravitons", there is no separation between their emission and absorption events. The objective space-time separation goes to zero. They simply don't exist.


Let me continue with a quote.


"Quantum mechanics, the double slit experiment and Feynman's "sum over histories" are the observational evidence that the geometry of what is known in the trade as the real world is four dimensional, and that space and time come into that geometry as a pair of opposites so that the space-time separations between the emission and absorption events for what are know in the trade as "photons" and "gravitons" are zero. That allows us to see, by mistake, a Universe as if spread out before us, yet with zero separation between us and what we see, and with zero separation between us and what affects us by gravity. It's like a dream.


"Gravity, electricity and inertia are the observational evidence that we are seeing, in time and space, and underlying existence which is not in time and space, and is therefore changeless, infinite, and undivided. The changeless shows through in the misperception as inertia; the infinite shows through as the electrical energy of the minuscule particles; and the undivided shows through as gravity and the attraction between opposites."


That's a quote from the Little One in the science fiction story, The Moon is New. The Little One has presented the evidence for Einstein's geometry, and she has added the suggestion that there might be an underlying existence showing through in our physics.


First we need to understand that if we have mistaken the underlying existence for what we see in time and space, we must have seen the underlying existence, because you can't mistake your friend for a ghost without seeing your friend. And if you friend is tall and thin, the ghost will be tall and thin, and if your friend is rolly polly, you'll see a rolly polly ghost. So the Little One has said that the changeless, which must show through, shows through as inertia, and the infinite and the undivided show through as electricity and gravity.


Einstein's famous equation, E = mc2, says that there's no such thing as matter. There's only energy, which those ancient physicists in India said, long ago, was the underlying existence showing through. This famous equation has been misinterpreted over the whole planet as meaning that mass could converted to energy. But that would be different equation, E + m = K, where K stands for a constant. And since in Einstein's day we were measuring mass in grams and energy in ergs, we had to now how many ergs make a gram. That's the c2, in that equation. It simply says that the number of ergs that make a gram is the square of thirty billion.


Einstein took that equation the way he wrote it, that there's no such thing as matter, and referred to that equation as "the equation in which energy is set equal to mass." And toward the end of his life he wrote, "Matter had fallen out of the physics as a fundamental concept." He never made that usual mistake. Most probably he never even saw how it is taught in school.


So much for where our modern scientists have slipped up. How about our modern Vedantins, where have they slipped up?


First we need to go back to those early Vedantins, the early physicists, a few thousand years ago. They saw that the Universe is made our of energy, and they even had Einstein's E=m built into their Sanskrit language. Now their word for the Universe was Jagat, the changing. But they were smart enough to see that change is seen with respect to something else. If you're going down the highway at sixty milers per hour, it's with respect to the highway. So those early physicists saw that there must be, underlying the Universe which we see, an existence not in time and space and therefore neither changing, finite, or divided.


Their question then was, "If what exists is changeless, how do we see change?" And they saw that it must be due to a mistake. So they studied mistakes. Now the notion that we have mistaken that underlying existence, Braham, for the world which we see, and that the underlying existence shows through in what we see, is the root of Advaita Vedanta. That's why those early Vedantins studied mistakes.


And they pointed out that in order to mistake a rope for a snake, there are three things that one must do. First, one must fail to see the rope rightly. That they called the veiling power of Tamas. Then, one must jump to the conclusion that it's a snake. That they called the projecting ower of Rajas. And finally, one must have seen the length and diameter of the rope, in the first place, or one never would have mistaken it for the length and diameter of a snake. That they called the revealing power of Sattva. You can't mistake your friend for a ghost without seeing your friend. The underlying existence must show through.


This where the Sankhyans slipped up. They failed to notice that the first cause of our physics is a mistake and that the underlying existence must show through. Then, of course, they also failed to notice that the three Gunas, i.e., Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva are related to three aspects of that mistake. That was their big slip. Nature, Prakriti, the first cause, was said to be made of the three Gunas, but it wasn't thought to be a mistake. Prakriti was said to be active but insentient. And that's another slip. Nature is sentient. Protons discriminate protons, electrons, neutrons, spin up, spin down, gravity, electricity and inertia. None of our physics would work if matter were insentient. Prakriti was said to dance for the Purushas, which are sentient. And the name of the game was isolation from the Prakriti. This is very different from Vedanta.


Many of the modern Vedantins have slipped up here, by going along with the Sankhyans in their use of the Gunas, and thus, overlooking the importance of the revealing ower, they tend to see Maya, nature, as a "thing" like the Prakriti of the Sankhyans. They fail to see that there is only the underlying existence showing through in the revealing power. They don't even mention the revealing power, and they attribute the veiling and projecting powers to ignorance.


This is Sankhya, not Advaita Vedanta, not even Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta says there is only the underlying existence. There is nothing else to see. This whole Universe is nothing but that underlying existence, Brahman, as seen in space and time. And the name of the game is to see through the mistake.


Again I quote the Little One in The Moon is New. She often referred to Sri Ramakrisna as the Old Man in J.D.'s shrine, and she said, "The life of the Old Man in J.D.'s shrine is the observational evidence that the underlying existence may be addressed as Mother, and that it's possible to reach Her through many different paths."


John L. Dobson Hollywood March 20, 2004 For Swami Swahananda