|By John Pint
"En-ergon is the father of everything, king of all things and, out of it, all forms of contrast originate. Since ‘en-ergon’ is common to everything, it is vital for life itself.”
--Heraclitus, in his book about nature, according to American science writer Gerrit Feekes (1986)
This essay begins with the realization that scientists have devoted a great deal of study to the m in E=mc˛, but not enough to the E.
For many years, Caleb Gattegno studied the characteristics and powers of the human mind. In his book, The Mind Teaches the Brain (Gattegno, 1975), Gattegno makes the case that the mind and the brain are not the same, that the mind is present in the self even before the brain is developed. Gattegno further states that the mind is “a quantum of energy.” This essay was born of an attempt to understand the meaning of the word “energy” in this expression. If Gattegno is right, the mind is a reality, an entity which can be studied, even though it is immaterial and cannot be weighed or measured by present-day technology.
What can Physics make of this? A number of years ago, the very possibility that an invisible, unmeasurable entity could exist would have been dismissed as preposterous by serious scientists. Today’s scientific community, however, grapples with subatomic particles that can’t be properly measured and cosmic phenomena such as dark matter and black holes whose existence may be known only indirectly.
This situation drives the present study, which attempts to redefine the universe entirely in terms of energy.
The proposal of an energy continuum with “hard bodies” at one end and a field of invisible, unmeasurable energy at the other, gives a place both to the mind and to the subatomic particle and to other phenomena which may lie in between.
What follows is a scheme that finds a place for the quantum of energy described by Gattegno.
Let us say that the very fabric of the universe is free, unprogrammed energy, which we will call E. We can represent this by the formula E=∞.
This free energy is the stuff from which everything is made. In its unprogrammed state, it is free of the limits of time and space. It permeates everything that exists.
Intelligence and awareness are some of its characteristics and it is capable of programming itself.
The Energy Continuum
The continuum might be thought of as stretching from free energy to what Newtonian Physics thought of as solid matter.
Everything beyond free energy is programmed energy. The human mind would be an example of a program or structure which we are presently unable to measure or observe directly, but which might be designated as
E1,a level close to but different from free energy.
Further along the continuum we have structures which we can observe indirectly, for example particles being studied in Quantum Physics. Dark Matter may be another example. Still further along the continuum we find what Newtonian Physics considered “solid” matter. Here we could apply Einstein’s formula, but we need to qualify the “E” in the formula in terms of where we are along the continuum. If we could impose a grid on the continuum, we might qualify the energy of which minds are made as
E1and the energy of a subatomic particle as
E2.Perhaps the energy observed in Newtonian Physics might be
E5,but much study remains to be done to distinguish the characteristics of energy at various points along the continuum as it becomes more predictable and less erratic. Therefore, Einstein’s formula might be written as
En=mc2,no longer conflicting with the behavior of energy noted at other points along the continuum, but open to future discoveries which will pinpoint more accurately its place on the scale.
How to order the grid and subdivide it is exactly the job of Physics, which should be considered the study of energy in all its forms, including “non-physical” or immaterial forms whose study will require new tools.
Gattegno, Caleb, The Mind Teaches the Brain. New York: Educational Solutions Inc., 1975.
Gattegno, Caleb, On Death, An Essay. New York: Educational Solutions Inc.,1978.