Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Thought Experiment: The Largest Prime Number

While in some teachings the mind—and especially identification with thinking—is seen as a source of suffering, clearly science has accomplished a great deal in making life more “livable” on many levels. I also believe that it is through a sense of awe as we decipher reality that we can open to a relationship with much higher levels of being and intelligence. Try this:

Even the worst math student knows what a prime number is – it’s a number that can’t be divided by anything but itself, and the number 1.

Throughout history prime numbers have been deemed sacred and special, but recently with computers and later supercomputers, the largest prime number has been calculated, each time as a result of more processing power. The record is currently held by 243,112,609 − 1 with 12,978,189 digits.

If you try to conceptualize this it may give you a headache.

As far back as the time of Euclid, it was known that the number of primes is infinite—there must always be one larger than the one discovered—and that the limits of our knowledge or discovery are set by the ability of our brains and to calculate mathematically—and ultimately by our surrogate brains, the computer.

But then it can be speculated, isn’t the power of Mind itself—the ability to know or calculate, also infinite—vastly beyond our own limited intellectual capacities whether cranial or computer?

Isn’t the ability to conceive or calculate a number that is infinitely large a Mental Property—and since such a number must exist, so must such an mental capacity also exist beyond our comprehension ?

When we begin to fathom that everything is information (as scientists are now ascertaining) or energy based on frequency, the meaning behind such a realization becomes profoundly powerful.

Existence is literally an infinite mind.

Look at it this way. No matter what you call a circle, or what size it may be on a two dimensional plane, the relationship between its circumference and diameter will always be pi – a mathematical constant that in our civilization we note as 3.1416.

The Egyptians encoded this number, as well as the constant phi – 1.618 – which is the ratio of the famous Fibonacci sequence of numbers where each equal to sum of the previous two numbers – probably because they understood that this related to infinite Mind – it was part of the foundation of all existence.

No matter how the number was signified (we use Arabic numerals) the mathematic relationship is an absolute value in space-time.

Space-time is a function of intelligence.

Philosopher Ken Wilber calls this Higher Level of Intelligence “Big Mind.” Eckhart Tolle refers to the Infinite Intelligence that runs our bodies – our breathing, circulation, digestion and so on.

We have now discovered that the instructions for these organic processes of Life (DNA), is also a logical system based on a code that has been partially deciphered by supercomputers. Like a computer code, DNA can be decoded according to the pattern of four letters, A, C, T and G, representing four chemicals that actively perform tasks according to the instructions of the program.

Beyond Life itself, then, in its almost infinite complexity, is an Order that works mathematically—the programmer may not be “a being” (God as He or She is frequently thought of through our anthropomorphically conditioned religions) but rather Being (or Existence) itself.

In other words, when we deeply consider that just as the infinity of the universe is beyond our mental comprehension, so too the reality of a mathematical entity (the largest prime) must actually exist, but is beyond our capacity to ever know with our own limited mental faculties (even as extended by our growing capacity to compute artificially).

Although we experience a limited rational mental faculty through our brains, compared to “what is” in terms of the vast Intelligence behind Existence, we know very little.

Existence will always be beyond our rational minds to know, and yet it too is ultimately infinitely Intelligent, and not haphazardly random.

As Einstein famously said, he could not believe that God plays dice with the Universe.

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Corporations Aren’t People—They’re A Lot More Powerful

In school most of us learned that humans are the dominant species on the planet. Many religions also assert that we are at the apex of evolution or the animal kingdom. We have “dominion.”

But after hearing Romney’s famous remark, “Corporations are people, my friend,” and in view of the recent Supreme Court ruling, I think it’s time to reexamine that concept.

When I went to Walgreens yesterday I couldn’t get the posted price until I joined their “club.” Ditto Ralphs, Vons, CVS and any other large chain. Blue Shield recently “migrated” my plan to another system, leaving me without reports on my claims. AT&T subjected me to weeks without a dial tone or Internet connection after “upgrading” my service. None of them gave a sh*t.

It is abundantly clear to anyone with a mind that the dominant species on the planet is – the Corporation. At one time it may have been the nation-state (think Greece) or perhaps even a large homogenous religion. But clearly the corporation, although it may not be a person, is an imposing organism.

Let’s think about who/what “we” are. First of all we’ve evolved from a number of subspecies and are made of trillions of individual cells, each one with its own instruction set (DNA) to begin an entire new human. These cells have organized themselves into units called organs and systems (circulation, digestion and nervous system) all composed of these cooperative sub-units called cells.

Neuroscience has recently suggested that our sense of individual identity (a Self) is merely the electrical combination of neural systems coordinated in our brains; and in face we’re really an interdependent organism that is part of a much vaster system called Life.

In fact biology has found that most of the cells in our bodies aren’t even “us” at all – they’re other micro-organisms, both beneficial and toxic, that we host oblivious to their existence.

So is it so far-fetched to go beyond metaphor and assert that corporations, composed of systems and cells of humans who are themselves composed of systems and cells, and running according to instructions (software and by-laws – and of course profit motive/intentionality) that have been created by humans, but now run automatically regardless of how is on the board of directors or CEO.

(If the CEO goes to jail, which rarely happens, the corporation continues according to its DNA).

If you object that a corporation doesn’t have a body—where is it written that all life is embodied? Don’t many ideas seem to have a life of their own, and besides, corporations seem to incarnate nicely into buildings and even “campuses,” not to mention shopping malls and golf courses.

We can also note how much corporate DNA has changed with technology. One used to be able to talk to a human representative of a corporation and occasionally get a human response to a problem. Now the systems in place (both technological and instructional) make that virtually (pardon the pun) impossible.

Unfortunately these dominant life forms do not understand much about natural life forms. The corporation consumes people and excretes profit. The chickens that lay the eggs that nourish the corporation’s humans at breakfast are mere commodities on its spreadsheet – they have no organic reality – just as if you ask a modern kid where do eggs come from, they will say Vons or Ralphs.

So it is hardly surprising that a dominant life form that is completely abstract (a mind form) would despoil the Gulf of Mexico and use public relations to clean it up, spreading corporate propaganda to its human cells rather than assuming “responsibility” because the concept of responsibility is simply not in corporate DNA.

(The exception to this is in the famous corporate “mission statement” that purports to support human values but is generally irrelevant.)

Of course corporations are also responsible for many of the positive modern conveniences we cherish, and our employment and material sustenance, especially in the “developed” world.

But it might be time to ask if the “systems” of control may not have gotten out of hand, a la “Terminator” or “The Matrix.”

After all, in 2008, when Treasury Secretary Paulson convinced the President and Congress that we were on an economic precipice that required an infusion of a trillion dollars into the banks (mega-corporations) and he was asked how he knew, he replied, “the computers told us.”

Uh oh.