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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Martin Rees and the Frontiers of Knowledge

The cosmos: it's bigger than your worldview

For those with a fascination with frontier science, you might like to listen to this Martin Rees lecture entitled, “What we’ll never know”.

The audio can be found on the BBC website.
The talk has also kindly transcribed online and can be downloaded here

It’s part of a series of lectures called the Reeth Lectures. Rees is the President of the Royal Society, or at least was at the time of the lecture, with his retirement imminent. I find Martin Rees to be a refreshingly open-minded scientist, with a strong ability to accommodate those with differing scientific and cultural views. He is certainly no Richard Dawkins, and expresses his strong belief that science and religion must learn to must co-exist.

In this lecture Rees discusses some of the cutting edge domains of science, and addresses the limits of human understanding. Topics he covers include the discovery of life elsewhere on the universe, space programmes, time travel, the big bang and much more.

As I have often opined on my blogs and in my writing in general, there are limits to the human intellect in its typical current state of development; but this development does not represent the limits of human perception in its current potentials. One thing Rees does not address is whether there are other ways of knowing which can deliver understanding of some of these frontier domains of inquiry. My experience with meditative and visionary states, and the development of Integrated Intelligence, have allowed me to see that such other ways of knowing exist and are available to all of us. 

 Martin Rees grasping the point. But are the big questions like water: the harder one grasps, the less the mind can hold the answers?

It costs billions to fund scientific endeavors like space programmes to attempt to answer the fundamental questions that martin Rees addresses, yet there are at least partial answers to them available via a strong commitment to expanding the intuitive capacities of the mind as they exist today. Integrated Intelligence won’t deliver mathematical answers or empirical proofs, but it does enable a deepening into relationship with the world and cosmos; and in that empathic state, there are profound knowings that are available.

Martin Rees represents the affable limits of open-minded rational inquiry, or what I like to call critical rationalism. There is certainly much more that we can and will know using critical/rational inquiry, so I not suggesting we desist in its deployment.

The one statement Rees makes which epitomises the limits of scientific inquiry as they currently exist, is as follows.

Some have speculated that other universes could exist 'alongside' ours.  Imagine ants crawling around on a large sheet of paper (their two-dimensional 'universe'). They would be unaware of a similar sheet that's parallel to it. Likewise, there could be another entire universe (with 3-dimensional space, like ours) less than a millimetre away, but we would be oblivious to it if that millimetre were measured in a fourth spatial dimension, while we are imprisoned in just three.

Because of the way his cognitive development has been delimited by modern science and education, Martin Rees, somewhat ironically, cannot see just how true that statement is, that the there are indeed other universes sitting right before us, and that intelligent life is already interacting with us from other realms of existence.

I certainly don’t pretend to understand more than a tiny piece of the scope of those other dimensions, but I think it is reasonable to assume that one day science will come to explore and understand them at a much greater level, and with that exploration, we will allow ourselves to relax and permit other ways of knowing to inform our understanding of the cosmos. Intelligence is not confined to the brain, and mental influence is not confined to local space and time. I have seen this to be true beyond any doubt.

It is perfectly reasonable to assume that other intelligent life forms from other worlds and other universes and dimensions know this at a level far beyond what any human can perceive, and that they currently utilise this non-localised space/time and integrated intelligence to connect with other life in the cosmos – and us. This would certainly help to explain many of the things that I have seen and experienced in my own lifetime (UFOs, spiritual entities, ESP, out of body experiences etc), and those experienced by mystics, alternative researchers and teachers such as Whitley Strieber, Esther Hicks, John Mack, Rupert Sheldrake and so on.

Undoubtedly we (I’ll include myself and the reader as lesser known explorers in the same waters) are making mistakes in our thinking and perception. Yet unless we step offshore to explore the oceans of the cosmic mind, not only will we never make mistakes, we will never learn from those mistakes.

Still, I suggest you take the time to listen to Martin Rees lecture and to the teachings of other learned scientists and thinkers who may not necessarily hold a spiritual perspective on life and cosmos. We have much to learn from each other. The truths that I write about here will make themselves known in greater scale sooner or later, and in the meantime we should relax and listen to each other in the spirit of open-minded and humble exploration.


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