I am re-organizing my library into a more efficient grouping by author and subject. A friend is also re-ordering his library but is doing so by time – when his books were published. His idea is that with a time-organization one can better track and understand inter-related evolving thought. The motivation is to get as close as one can to “current moments” of unfolding creative thought and listen in. Creativity is central to any project – learning about creativity and how to be creative is through the books on one’s bookcase – they are alive.
My on-going experience with my library is interesting and suggests an approach to being creative. My experience reminds me of the scene from John Kerr’s book and the movie, A dangerous method, when Freud and Jung first meet in Freud’s home library. They discussed psychoanalytical issue for 13 hours straight and the library scene from the movie gives us an indication that their relationship was going to be challenging. In this scene Freud reprimands Jung about the need to uphold the rational tenet of science and toying with the occult or mysticism could not be tolerated. In the midst of this exchange there is a loud “cracking” sound coming from the book case to which Jung says, “See, I felt that something was going to happen, I had a burning feeling in my stomach.” “What?” says Freud. Jung then describes the experience as a catalytic exteriorization ephemeron, to which Freud scoffs at and then Jung says, “It is going to happen again” and it does. “This is nonsense,” says Freud, “we can’t be involved with telepathy, parapsychology, singing bookcases, fairies at the bottom of the garden – it won’t do.” This topic is one what eventually came between them leading to the dissolution of their friendship and collaboration in 1913.
Freud and Jung library scene
I have been experiencing “a singing bookcase phenomenon” of sorts. As I work at writing, moving around the rooms containing my library, a book or paper seem to “push” itself into my vision. So, I pick it up to see what it wants me to notice. I note first when it was published, study its table of contents, then re-read the last chapter, then the first chapter to see how its contents might fit into my project. I am amazed how often the contents are related to what is unfolding in my work.
A library phenomenon appears in the movie Interstellar. Joe Cooper, a NASA pilot is on a mission across galaxies to address apocalyptic issues confronting Earth, has to eject from his damaged space-craft and lands in a Tesseract library, a 5-dimensioal cubic space, with a 3-dimensial space-time area created for him to communicate with is daughter Murphy back on Earth. Cooper sees Murphy in her bedroom facing her library and his first effort to reach her by banging on the book case does produce a “cracking” which knocks a small figurine on the bookcase to the floor. Murphy senses there is “singing” coming from the bookcase and begins to explore what it is. Here are two clips depicting Cooper entering the Tesseract and thinking about how to communicate with Murphy.
Cooper landing in the Tesseract
Make him stay Murph
Cooper needs to discover a way to “quantify a connection” between Murphy’s 3-dimensional space-time world and the 5-dimensnioal space-time universe he occupies. He realizes that he is where he is in order to communicate with Murphy so she can complete the NASA work all are focused on. Cooper realizes that “all” that is needed is in Mruphy’s bedroom, “every moment, infinitely complex, and that They, (We in the future) creators of the Tesseract Library, have access to infinite space-time. However, They can’t find a specific position in space-time and that is why Cooper has landed in the Tesseract.” Cooper states, “I am going to find a way to communicate with Murph but how – love – my connection with Murph is quantifiable – it is the key.” He realizes that Murphy can be reached through the watch that he gave her, still on Murphy’s bookcase. Cooper has his new understandings of Tesseract quantum data translated into Morse Code which he transmits as sos movements to the watch’s seconds hand.
Murphy, in the time since Cooper left, has become a mathematical physicist leading the effort to save Earth, takes this new information and re-calculates her mathematical equations to address the impending catastrophic end facing Earth. An interesting speculation, can the Tesseract code sent to Murphy also be the code to comprehend love. The concept of love is at the center of many projects now studying the emphatic civilization.
Interstellar – Quantifiable Connection Scene
In a effort to bring this science fiction film close to current scientific theory, director Christopher Nolan hired Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist to serve as consultant and executive producer. Thorne laid down two guidelines: “First, that nothing would violate established physical laws. Second, that all the wild speculations… would spring from science and not from the fertile mind of a screenwriter.” Nolan accepted these terms as long as they did not get in the way of making the movie. Thorne describes work on the wormhole and black hole travel scenes saying, “we discussed how to go about it, and then I worked on the equations that would enable tracing of light rays as they traveled through a wormhole or around a black hole—so what you see is based on Einstein’s general relativity equations” (Wikipedia). A question for Dr. Thorne, “What are the mathematical equations to create the experience of a Tesseract?”
Reading Wikipedia’s entry on the movie and what influenced Nolan provides a peak into the working of this movie director’s mind. One could follow any one of these links to explore its impact. However, the thread we are tracing is that of the Tesseract that Cooper finds himself in and which Wikipedia defines geometrically, “as a four-dimensional analog of the cube; the Tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of six square faces, the hypersurface of the Tesseract consists of eight cubical cells. The Tesseract is one of the six convex regular 4-polytopes.” Here is what it looks like to unwrap a Tesseract and how this 4D-world is explained.
Unwrapping a tesseract
4D World Explained
Okay, what really struck me was how a Interstellar Tesseract Library now seems to be “singing” to me as I began thinking about sharing this unfolding experience with you which began with a recent dream I had of examining a cube. Continuing with Wikipedia’s entry for Tesseract, one reads that the word was “coined and first used in 1988 by Charles Howard Hinton in his book A New Era of Thought, from the Greek τέσσερεις ακτίνες (téssereis aktines, “four rays”), referring to the four lines from each vertex to other vertices. Hinton’s table of contents shows that there are two parts, each with 11 chapters, and with 8 appendices – a long book. Chapter 1 begins thus:
It may be thought to be unduly long ; but it must be remembered that in these times there is a twofold process going on—one of discovery about external nature, one of education, by which our minds are brought into harmony with that which we know. In certain respects we find ourselves brought on by the general current of ideas—we feel that matter is permanent and cannot be annihilated, and it is almost an axiom in our minds that energy is persistent, and all its transformations remains the same in amount. But there are other directions in which there is need of definite training if we are to enter into the thoughts of the time.
Then I am surprised by what next pushes forward – it is the recent “High Plain Reader” cover story about the 47th Annual UND Writers Conference “The Art Of Science,” April 6-8, 2016, which lists the authors and artists presenters who incorporate science into their work. As I read through the presenters bios, I noted Allison Leigh Holt a multimedia artist whose work is “a mixture of science fiction, philosophy, cognitive science, and modern physics.” In reading this, what stood out for me was my library book, that I had just started to re-read, by Herbert A Simon “The science of the artificial”. Simon examines the concepts of cognitive science and psychology the very topic Allison Holt is presenting. The name Holt also attracted me in that I am also studying Richard Holt’s 1973 Spring Jounral article “Jung and Marx”. Holt places these two scholars’ ideas besides each other to see if a “space can be opened” for us to think about how their ideas are interrelated.
My Erich Fromm book, “Marx’s concept of man”, is now clamoring for attention and suggests that one “open space” we might explore is Chapter 4 – “The nature of man”. One quickly realizes that Marx and Jung have almost identical ideas on man’s nature. However, with these similar ideas on man’s nature – they create different methods to analyzing what man is up-to. Integrating these two flows of thought is somewhat like solving several Rubic’s Cube puzzles blind folded and to do this one uses Tesseract logic. We need to engage in “a dialogue between divergent ways of experiencing, comprehending, and describing reality”, this is a wounded researcher’s research with soul in mind.
I am sensing Charles Howard Hinton is shaking hands at UND’s Writers Conference this week.
Interstellar – Handshake
Steven A Scherling