The Reflexive Universe by Arthur Young

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I’ve been drawn back to read this book many times. The copy that I have is nearly worn out from use.

It’s difficult to begin to cover the depth and breadth of Arthur Young’s thinking. He must have been a man of great optimism for he writes that as a young man he went to the patent office to review inventions with the intent of finding a way that he could contribute to mankind. He found the helicopter and that it had “ a long history of failure” and that it’s perfection was something that “clearly needed doing”. For 12 years he worked alone overcoming and perfecting it’s design.

Later he continued with Bell helicopter and created the first commercial helicopter in the world. His helicopters are the ones many of us grew up watching each week bringing in the wounded at the beginning of the weekly series, “ Mash”. His patents made him wealthy and gave him time to devote to philosophical interests.

I have found myself often thinking about things he has written. Regarding the modern notion of evolution happening blindly and without purpose, Arthur remarked, “ there never was a machine without a purpose” and “ there never was a purpose without a machine”.

The human body is of course the most marvelous machine ever built and it does occur to many that it’s a bit of a stretch that it could have developed “blindly” and “without purpose” as modern evolutionary theory advocates. Is it not illogical that all other machines required intellect, intention and purpose for their design and development except for the most unfathomably complex machine of all?

The Reflexive Universe takes the position that consciousness itself has it’s own evolutionary path. I often think of Arthur’s statements regarding law (physical laws of the universe) and that contrary to being hindrances to progress, laws are in actuality “ the agents of freedom” for “ by there very surety, man is able to learn and apply them to lift himself up by his bootstraps and become free. Flying machines such as airplanes and the helicopter that Arthur perfected are great examples of this concept. It was only by learning and applying the laws of aerodynamics that man was able to create the airplane and having done so was then able to enjoy the freedom of flying.

Arthur was an extremely well educated man with extensive mathematical schooling. His statements regarding the largely unknown “fourth” derivative are quite compelling. First we have Position. Its derivative is Speed or the change in position over time. Then we have Acceleration, which is the change in speed over time. Modern science has stopped there but even Newton acknowledged the existence of a fourth derivative. Arthur Young finally named it and called it “Control”.

Control is the change in acceleration over time and control is evidence of life. Think of any control and you will soon realize that it is a change in acceleration over time. When you control a car, what you are actually doing is changing the acceleration of your hands and feet to accomplish that purpose. When you speak, you are changing the acceleration of air to do so and so on and so forth. We say “it moved!” when something unexpected is found to be alive and what is movement if not a change in acceleration over time. Arthur suggests that since control is evidence of life that it is there that we may start when looking for mans purpose. Could it be that this universe is a school and all material things within it are its students learning in successive stages to master the art of control?

The primary theme of Arthur’s book is the result of his observation of repeating patterns in the design of all matter and of all life forms. Each “kingdom” as Arthur calls them is a repeat of a previous “kingdom” with something new added. Atoms are nuclear particles with something new added. Molecules are atoms with something new added. Plants are molecules with something new added. Animals repeat everything done in the plant kingdom and then add something new.

Arthur Young’s thinking regarding light is most “enlightening” (pun intended). Arthur acknowledges that the precursor to “nuclear particles” is light. Nuclear particles themselves are made of “light”. This fact has been repeatedly proven by science and we even know exactly how much light is required to make an electron or a proton for instance.

It has been said that man is “just a bunch of molecules bumping around randomly”, but as Arthur Young has noted…molecules are made of atoms, and atoms are made of nuclear particles and nuclear particles are made of light. Therefore, it is more appropriate to say that man is “made of light” or as the Bible states “ ye are creatures of light”.

This is important, because light is not like anything else in the universe. It does not obey the same laws or adhere to the rules of logic. At the speed of light, time stops. Light has no rest mass and therefore no ‘space”. So in fact, man is created of a substance completely outside of “space and time”.

Light has other interesting properties such as those revealed by Quantum Mechanics. We know that photons can become “entangled” with other photons so that in an inexplicable way they become inseparably linked. Even if separated by any distance (the whole universe), when one photon is changed, its twin will also change instantly. For light, space and time do not exist…and it is the base substance from which all things including each of us is made.

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