A world without a past

What philosophical consequences derive from the latest findings of quantum physics

The aim of the circle of friends is to honor the life and work of the mathematician and philosopher, Kurt Goedel. In particular we want to promote his work more widely and devote ourselves to his hardly recognized proof of 1949 about the misunderstanding of the nature of time


A world without a past

Kurt Goedel’s incompleteness theorem with the evidence of the unverifiability of true arithmetic statements is well known. Virtually unknown, however, remained Kurt Goedel’s proof that time in a universe in which the relativity theory applies, does not exist, at least not in the common way as we know it. Kurt Goedel published it in a book on the occasion of Albert Einstein’s 70th birthday: Goedel, Kurt, 1949.  An example of a new type field of cosmological solutions of Einstein‘s field equations of gravitation1
He also discussed this in his later essay: Goedel, Kurt, 1956: Eine Bemerkung über die Beziehungen zwischen der Relativitätstheorie und der idealistischen Philosophie2 (English translated title: “A comment on the relation between the theory of relativity and idealistic philosophy”)
In 2005 Prof. Palle Yourgrau published in his book World Without Time an easy to understand explanation of Goedel’s proof, see here.

Because his findings were so radical, there has been almost no open debate about it.
My suggestion is to seek an explanation for the conception of time in the form of life (in German: „Lebensform“,  see here).
Different „Lebensformen“ are based on different concepts of time:
For example, the concept of time described by John Mbiti in his book African Religions and Philosophy3 in original African ways of life is fundamentally different and corresponds with their oral tradition: so to speak a „spiritualized“ horizontal worldly experience, similar to that found with the Pirahã Indians. Time, or the right time, the Kairos4, is guessed, not determined by measuring or clocks. Another similar proposal, as an explanation, is the only apparent passing of the past, but in fact a continued presence in a…

 World without a past.
Such an interpretation of Goedel’s finding has found a new basis due to the following message:
On December 9, 2015 Toby S. Cubitt, David Perez-Garcia, and Michael M. Wolf reported in the journal „Nature“, that a mathematical problem, which is basic to many fundamental questions of particle and quantum physics, is definitely unsolvable: even with the theoretically complete knowledge of all microstates it is impossible to determine the macrostate of a material! See: Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable, here5.
Complete original text in English: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.04573v2.pdf
Supplementary Discussion: http://eprints.ucm.es/38062/1/spectral-gap_supplementary.pdf
Here a quote by Michael Wolf, professor of mathematical physics at the Technical University of Munich: „But up until now, such [in principle undecidable problems] were found only in very abstract corners of theoretical informatics and mathematical logic. No-one had expected something like this right in the heart of theoretical physics. However, our results change this picture, …because the insuperable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of the macroscopic properties of a microscopic description.“

With that, the hopes in physics are ruined, just as Kurt Goedel dissapointed the hopes of the Hilbert program in mathematics.

If it is in principle no longer possible to delimit or distinguish between macro conditions and micro conditions, then the micro conditions also apply to the macro conditions.  Quantum physics can no longer be limited to a nuclear micro world, but instead is applicable for entire physics.

Accordingly, one can no longer talk on the one hand about a rigid, causal occurrence, but rather about different risks and probabilities that are calculable and thus so far predictable. In constructive matters only necessary safety margins can be estimated to be plausible.

On the other hand that has the effect on the conception of time that presence should be understood as the integral over a merely apparent past. It is like a puff pastry made of transparent layers of simultaneous moments (within the same inertial system), which have been compressed, or like many layers of translucent foils, fused with each other, transparently resulting in a revealing image, namely the present. Scripts and images (power constituting pre-scripts) simulate a „delamination“, resulting in local islands of a temporality. Correspondingly, a previous occurence seems to be finalized to the present, converting into an alleged „past“.

In transparency, all repetitions, the similar they are, all the more they reinforce the contrasts. The “past” remains fixed in the present, is contained there, therefore present, not past. Although consecutive moments can be counted, the possibility of counting is in itself again only a resonating repetition. This resonating resembles a rigid wave in a “formation of waves“, constantly widening in an accumulative charged information „field“. Thus could be explained as a solely ever increasing entropy. Entropy is an expression of such an increasingly complicating world.

Reactions are enforced “vertically” by repetition, even deterministic. But especially because reactions horizontally “create” interactive changes, they are unpredictable and the effects of resonating causes – and in particular the reasons for certain actions – are “opaque“. Despite determining causes there is neither any limitation of the ability to act, nor any safe predictability.

Probably this concept should be supplemented by a description of the beginning of everything:
My fundamental point is that quantum physics is the basal, and in it space and „time“ is blurred. However, the theory of relativity is secondary and in all “big bang“ concepts “time“ could have first only appeared from previously expanding fields, energy and particles, when they were slower than the speed of light.

It is therefore only a case of adjusting the theory of relativity to quantum physics, no longer of a quantization of the theory of relativity.
For the beginning of the universe I therefore propose a concept of a habitualizing  universe, in which the natural constants (in particular the fine-structure constant) first formed, adopted, assumed and defined into a rhythm, so to speak.

Our currently widespread intuitive time concept with causality, as well as the Theory of Relativity, can only be perceived or conceptualized within a „Goedel horizon“. Outside this horizon, and before the end of the imagined period of a „cosmological inflation“, the world’s realm is without a past, the laws of which are still noticeable or appear in quantum physics, etc. [added 8/2017]

About the original state it can only be said that it either had always begun (infinitely back in time) and/or contained all of space. Both conditions are possible and only a (false) projection gives a deluding impression that the world had a definite datable beginning and arose from the singularity of a void. There is much more evidence that these false projections “embezzle”, so to speak, a covert unknowable part of the universe, which is outside this retro projection. It might include for example the suspiciously invisible „dark matter“.

An “habitualizing” world replaces the concept of natural „laws“, thus being habits instead of laws. Or habits which have become as if they were laws.
Accordingly, recollections or memories are based on filtering, thus forgetting and not on a „recording“, the thesis being that all past remains present. Thus a new explanation for blindsight is offered and ahabitually acting automatically or unconsciously as well as an intuitive premonition.
Phylogenetics is explicable and it is not the ontogenetic that is unclear, but rather that memory or recollection without location for the record is the unsolved problem in physics and biology, which could be explained by this suggested approach. In this respect, Rupert Sheldrakes6 concept – while correct – has not been thought through quite enough. He got stuck in a biologistical swamp, trying „scientifically“ to prove something which is not able to be proved, because it only shows up „mystically“, as Ludwig Wittgenstein describes it.  In the “hidden variables“ of the interpretation of quantum physics, as conceptualized by David Bohm7, it is undetectable, like „invisible“, thus no calculations are available for confirming or refuting this.
So only speculation is „allowed“, if at all.
So everywhere undecidedness and uncertainty surprises us.

Franz Bockelson in September 2016

1Reviews of Modern Physics 21(3): 447-450
2in: Albert Einstein als Philosoph und Naturforscher, hrsg. von Paul Arthur Schilpp, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 406-412
4Greek kairos:
A point of time without reference to other points of time (Louw and Nida:1989:628) In a number of languages there is no general term for ‘time’ or ‘occasion’. In some contexts it is simply not necessary go have such a term
6 http://www.sheldrake.org/books-by-rupert-sheldrake/the-presence-of-the-past-morphic-resonance-and-the-habits-of-nature

One Reply to „World without a past“

René Talbot says:

In this regard I would like to refer to my following speech, which I made in 2002 at the Radical Philosophy Association conference at the Brown University in Rhode Island, USA:

The Answer on the Mind-Body Question as a Crucial Means for Social Control and Oppression

Please do not be surprised if at first you don’t find a logical connection between the different concepts I am about to mention. It has consciously been constructed as a patchwork consisting of 6 pieces, which I will call „patches“. This patchwork makes itself comprehensible as a complete picture only at the end, although still another whole set of pieces of the puzzle may be missing between them.


Patch #1
First a few basic considerations on the Mind-Body question:

It concerns only two terms and the logical possibilities concerning its relationship are quite clear to see:
I begin with the mainstream statement – and would like to mention straight away that in my opinion it is wrong.

This position, which I will hereafter refer to as „a)“, maintains that mind and body is identical and/or the mind is inferable as a function by the body, thus the mind – mental experiences etc. – can be researched via the body.
Just as a footnote: typically esoteric people are just as convinced of this relationship, except that they state the opposite, namely that the body is inferable by the mind.
To make this quite clear:
The mind is the direct product of the brain. The investigation of the brain results in a complete explanation of the mind. This is the paradigmatic prevailing position starting more or less with Immanuel Kant, since he first used the metaphor to locate „mental disorder“ as a „head illness“. Why I connect this position with a relationship to alleged „mental disorder“, I will explain at the end of the lecture.

This viewpoint was reinforced and strengthened by William Griesinger. Mental disorder is from now on no longer only in the head – but further reduced to brain illness and from there on it is only a small step for example to the Viktor von Weizaeckers or Carl Schneiders, the alleged „scientists“ who themselves finally thought to have traced the mind, deviant or not, with their brain slices of freshly murdered victims. The same fanaticism also inspired for example Oskar Vogt, the director of the Emperor William Institute for brain research in Berlin as well as the Soviet scientists with their brain collections and brain slices of Lenin and other deceased „geniuses“.

Since the 1940’s, associating the brain with a functional apparatus (the computer, which was built shortly thereafter) belongs into exactly the same category, which has since been known as the so-called „cognitive turn“. Once again an algorithm was searched for, according to which the brain was to function and how they could be simulated electronically. At this time arose psychiatric electro shocking as a particularly evil form of torture. This fantasy has now become very dominant by the massive use of computers and the knowledge of software as locatable information on molecular material. In fact this association only has to do with a language exclusively in a command structure: The imagination of the „master race“ and/or military is served. At last it is possible to give orders which are unconditionally obeyed, even if it is only by the keyboard – the old dream of having power.

a1) Also known as the biological primate. In this way the biological becomes paradigmatical and determining, either as genetic teachings or as brain metabolism and/or any kind of electrical process. In order not to get completely lost in an untenable position a), it is conceded that there are possibly undetermined events in the brain and in interaction with the environment and their feedback some unpredictable things happen. Usually however only the banal concession is thereby made „that everything is not yet investigated and in the future a complete explanation will be able to be given“.
In a nutshell: one admits to some unclear points in the determination of the relationship „mind/body“, but these are marginal. a) + a1) are represented by the entire psychiatrist clique including the psychoanalysts and naturally the drug industry.

Contrary to position a) +a1) there is the viewpoint that „Mind“ and „Body“ are entities which are completely independent from each other, hereafter refered to as „b)“. With it accompanies firstly a distinction of ones own thoughts in contrast to the result of an examinable deterministic cascade, and secondly the subjective, private unknowable information of a basic undeterminableness of the mental. It should be noted that as a radical consequence, one can refer to Goedels „Incompleteness Theorem“ [see The Godelian Argument, by J. R. Lucas, discovered 2011]….

Published fully here: https://irrenoffensive.de/providence.htm