• PoeticUniverse
    Clue to something: normal matter makes up less than 5% of the universe.


    Could there be more to this world—
    Those of the undrawn shades unfurled?
    Is there a universe alongside this bright zone,
    A parallel, twilight world overlapping our own?

    Are there shadow beings all about us,
    That we can only perceive as blankness?

    They’d be made of but the dark matter,
    Yet lively with their own kind of chatter,
    These shades flowing right on through us—
    We the lighted plus to their dark minus.

    These pale shadows of our attendants,
    Are not as us of light’s extent,
    But are as black clouds of a coal sack;
    Nay, they’re not even dark or black,
    But are of an invisible bivouac.

    Dark matter and its shadows traverse
    The bulk of our missing-mass universe.
    The shades of evening draw us on—
    We must look to the past, upon the first eon.

    Two distinct families of matter
    Were created in the Big Freeze batter,
    Just those two that did then so accrue
    When they were frozen out of the primordial stew
    As the fetal universe was cooling,
    When the heartiest gruel was stewing.

    The normal universe and the shadow universe
    Can interpenetrate, neither averse
    (Or even “adverse” to rhyme the verse)
    Nor to coerce; they just cannot interact,
    As they have no contract.

    If the shadow universe was richly sown
    It could have evolved along with our own.

    Shadow planets could form
    Around shadow stars as norms
    And become populated with swarms
    Of those shadow beings lukewarm.

    They would be invisible specters, unseen phantoms,
    Unobserved presences, indiscernible apparitions,
    Imperceptible wraiths, unnoticed spirits, magic places,
    Inconspicuous spooks, and hidden traces…

    But first we must ask what makes a universe,
    Such as ours, the one in which we immerse.

    It is the forces that count for everything,
    Matter being but a secondary singing,
    For atoms exert forces through space,
    Especially of the electromagnetic race;

    So then, it is forces that disburse
    The currency of a rich universe.

    This is why we don’t fall through a chair—
    That mostly empty space of thin air
    When we decide to sit down there.

    Space is a kind of a large-scale limitation
    Of an underlying discrete network of connections.

    Atoms would not even know at all
    That their companions existed, with no call,
    Without the push or pull of the forces’ thrall,
    For then they themselves would be as pall
    As some ghosts passing through a wall.

    The four forces hold our world together
    In its diversity of shape, structure, form, and color.

    Some forms of our matter don’t feel
    All of the four forces as real:
    Neutrons have no electric charge
    And so they don’t care, Marge,
    About that e/m force at large.

    Suppose some form of matter didn’t feel
    Any of the four forces that became real?

    Dark Matter doesn’t appear to discourse,
    Not having the resource of its own special forces
    To bind it together; no packhorses.

    All it can feel is the force of gravity,
    And perhaps the weak force’s changeability—
    Which is for decay and not stability;
    In fact, both forces are weak, a pravity.

    You cannot hold a person-size lump
    Of matter together with just gravity’s slump;
    So then, no interesting lumps can form
    In the dark universe, not even unicorns.

    Even making a star or a planet
    Is difficult with just gravity alone working on it,
    For the electromagnetic force is crucial
    To slowing any of the material
    Down enough to hold it in one place;
    So then, there can be no shadow race…

    …No veiled hints, obscured suggestions,
    Unknown impressions, out of sight suspicions,
    Nor any supposed tinges, shimmering glimmers,
    Resembling semblances, or ghostly whispers.

    What has no light is but a dark shade,
    With no creatures therein made.
    So dark matter is not a source for being,
    Although it’s a large matter to us unseeing.

    And yet is it we who are the outsiders,
    Our luminous bubbles of foam the riders,
    The stars, planets, and us the striders—
    On the vast ocean of dark matters much wider.

    We humans as from the matter that’s bright
    Seem to be an afterword of the Cosmic scheme:
    Not dark mats, we glow-surf on waves of light,
    A tiny minority in the grand regime.

    We were an afterthought, with no forethought,
    Although perhaps made possible, nonetheless,
    By the dark matter—since it was oblivious
    To much of the great primeval blast,
    It forming filaments that could last,

    Attracting our regular matter
    That was everywhere splattered,
    Into the pearls of the galaxies
    Strung along like cosmic necklaces.

    Far from being the Magnificat,
    We are more insignificant
    Than we ever imagined,
    For whatever is our measly count,
    Compared to dark matter and dark energy,
    We’re quite the rarity.

    PDF: https://austintorn.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/dm-8.5x11-jpg-300-dpi.pdf
  • PoeticUniverse
    But let's pause for a while and ask ourselves: Aren't we even near to the answer or at least getting closer to it? How long more should we wait before realizing that we are chasing phantoms?

    Therefore: Shouldn't we at some point accept the fact and admit that we cannot solve the mystery, give up, and move on, creating other useful and fruitful questions?
    Alkis Piskas

    Myself when young did eagerly frequent
    Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
    About it and about: but evermore
    Came out by the same Door as in I went.

    — Omar Khayyam

  • Alkis Piskas
    Myself when young did eagerly frequent
    Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
    About it and about: but evermore
    Came out by the same Door as in I went.

    Your poem tried to create a confusion in me. But I din't let it do so! :)
  • PoeticUniverse
    InterestingJack Cummins

    Memory’s ideas recall the last heard tone,
    Sensation savors what is presently known,
    Imagination anticipates coming sounds;
    The delight is such that none could produce alone.

    Time for a Summer Party with a concert in the park starring the Spheres…


    The music of the night was in the breeze,
    A prelude borne by the airy musicians
    Of the trees: the evening calls of the birds
    That opened for the cosmic symphony.

    The Music of the Spheres played in the park
    That night—flung down by our Father, the Sky,
    Through the soft night, to our Mother, the Earth,
    Then to us, their audience and progeny.

    The planets joined in a concert to the
    Merrie Monthe of Maie, arrayed as follows:
    There was Venusia, the Bringer of Peace,
    Singing side by side with warring Marsius.

    Flitting about was the wingéd Mercuria,
    The speedy messenger who conducted
    The orchestra, melting all of us who
    Were touched by her wand of burning desire.

    And mighty Zeus, was there, full to the brim
    With the jollity of the fat man’s belly.
    By Jove, came Saturnus, so very gray
    With age, lumbering into the party.

    Thence sat Urania—the magician, and
    The old sea captain—King Nep, the mystic,
    But not Pluto; he was downsized, no more
    One of the harmonics—an underworld!

    Jupiter’s music was round and robust,
    While Saturn’s boomed with sounds of grandeur
    And the old venerable melodies;
    But Mercury soon picked up the pace.

    Next flowed the serene love songs of Venus,
    Followed inexorably by Martial marches.
    Now was the time for Urania’s magic—
    She played musical jokes and surprises.

    At last, their music came to mesh as one,
    And our wanderers of the night floated
    Away on the haunting, mystical strains
    Of King Nep’s tune, into the May Flower moon.

    Now we’re touched, so touched by the night's lights,
    Afraid that we’ll ne’er be the same again.
    Can you sense the euphony of the spheres?
    Can you fathom the theory of everything?

    PDF: https://austintorn.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moonlight-sonata-8.5x11-jpg-300-dpi.pdf

  • Jack Cummins

    I like your 'music of the spheres played in the park'. Summer is the time of music festivals and it feels so miserable that Glastonbury and other music festivals are on hold. I prefer the smaller festivals, but how I would love to be at one this summer. I would love to be leaning back on the grass, with faint traces of cannabis drifting through the air, listening to some obscure band, while contemplating the mystery of existence.
  • 180 Proof
    The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.

    If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that — in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we're starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That's not an entirely despicable role for us to play.
    — Stephen Weinberg, d. July 23, 2021
    (Emphasis is mine.)
  • Jack Cummins

    I think that the words which you emphasize show how the mystery of existence is linked to the question of whe is the meaning of life. Of course, the main link is the human part in trying to figure out a role in the grander scheme of everything and trying to create a sense of importance.
  • PoeticUniverse
    music festivalsJack Cummins

    Plus even too hot in some places to go out…

    Nevertheless, the Earth and the moon will be joining us and the planets at the music festival and singing and telling everyone about their worldly love as actually kind of twin planets…

    Then Parmenides will make an appearance, he the great one who shocked the Philosophic World way, way back with his One of Necessity. (in case you want to look him up.)

    RIP Weinberg.
  • PoeticUniverse
    listening to some obscure band, while contemplating the mystery of existence.Jack Cummins

    And lo, a masterpiece is performed at the music concert, surprising Jack and all:

  • Jack Cummins

    I think that you probably go to rather different music events to me, but it probably goes back to what music we were brought up with as children. I was raised on pop and rock. When I get to know people, at first they sometimes imagine that I would like classical music and are surprised to find that I am mostly into alternative rock. But, I guess that we are all inspired in different ways.

    Generally, I gravitate the alternative side of creativity and towards creative bohemians, and have some empathy with the description by Keroac, in, 'On the Road', as he says that, the
    'people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing..but burn, burn, burn like roman candles in the night.' The reason for this preference is because I think that it captures more of the essence of the mysterious side of life.
  • PoeticUniverse
    more of the essence of the mysterious side of lifeJack Cummins

    Up next on stage,

    ‘Calm Beauty’ by Michel Montecrossa

    (Sung from these Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat quatrains,
    with some slight changes)

    When You and I behind the Veil are past,
    Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
    Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
    As much as Ocean of a pebble-cast.

    One Moment in Annihilation’s Waste,
    One moment, of the Well of Life to taste—
    The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
    Draws to the dawn of Nothing—Oh, make haste!

    Would you that spangle of Existence spend
    About The Secret—quick about it, Friend!
    A Hair perhaps divides the False from True—
    And upon what, prithee, may life depend?

    A Hair perhaps divides the False and True;
    Yes; and a single Alif were the clue—
    Could you but find it—to the Treasure-house,
    And peradventure to The Master too;

    (the shape of the ‘alif’ arabic letter looks like a hair, plus it represents the Beginning or Allah)

    Whose secret Presence through Creation’s veins
    Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains;
    Taking all shapes from Máh to Máhi and
    They change and perish all—but He remains;
    (Echoes of Parmenides)

    And fear not lest Existence closing your
    Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
    The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour’d
    Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.
    (cyclic universe or multiverse)

  • 180 Proof
    To be a broken record (no reasons given yet on this thread to change that), existence is gratuitous and not "mysterious" – the only reason for it all that does not beg the question with an infinite regress is that there isn't any reason for it all – and so we find ourselves each one meaningful to oneself (conatus) and then, to the degree we're a sentient species, recognizing each other as also meaningful to herself and so shared (eusocial) meanings (i.e. kinship, morals, dance, myths, communities, etc) emerge and are cultivated through time. This suggests, in thinking it through and forgoing the woo, that the meaning of life is 'simply lucid gratitude' for this gratuitous existence which affords each one of us the surplus means to cultivate shared meanings and thereby, as best we can, flourish. Thus, :fire: around which we still gather sharing light, warmth, cooked foods, intelligences, stories, heat, makings ...
  • PoeticUniverse
    the only reason for it all that does not beg the question with an infinite regress is that there isn't any reason for it all180 Proof


    (The Hubble Deep Field—click)

    Rhyme Without Reason
    In No Space and No Time

    Fields form and exhaust reality;
    They are continuous; there is no Space!
    Reality maintains itself in place—
    It’s the net of objects interacting.

    Copernicus’ revolution is complete;
    An external entity isn’t required
    To hold the universe. God’s not needed,
    Nor a background of Space and Time.

    There isn’t a ‘now’ all over the place.
    The relational nature of GR
    Extends to Time as well—the ‘flow’ of time
    Is not an ultimate aspect of reality.

    All’s Relational: no entity
    Exists independently of anything;
    There are no intrinsic properties,
    Just ‘properties’ in relation to what’s else.

    All interactions and events are
    Quantum entangled with everything;
    Impermanence goes all the way through—
    What Nagarjuna means by Emptiness.

    The fields are not from anything: causeless!
    Or ‘not from anything’ is of lawless
    ‘Nothing’, which can’t form to remain.
    There’s no reason, then, to the ‘mystery’.

    This realization of Impermanence,
    No Absolutes, and Emptiness
    Is Nirvana.
  • Jack Cummins

    I agree that sentience is important, and I am not sure that there is any absolute 'reality' behind the way we construct our own meanings, but I do believe that it is an ongoing area of philosophy debate. In saying this, I am aware that it raises and questions the ideas of Kant and Plato in a really big way. I am not saying that I think that they had all the answers, but I still believe that some of their ideas about categories, such as Plato's forms, are still useful for trying to explain some 'mysterious' underlying aspects of reality and existence.
  • 180 Proof
    I can't follow which post (of mine or whomever's) you have just replied to with your last post. Anyway, tell me how Plato's otherworldly Forms "explain" "mysterious ... aspects of ... existence" (i.e. thisworldly living).
  • PoeticUniverse
    Plato's formsJack Cummins

    Omar Khayyam, through Edward FitzGerald great transmogrification from the Arabic, has it:

    For in and out, above, about, below,
    ‘Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
    Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
    Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.


    To which I added, in my 'Extended Rubaiyat':

    We are phenomena’s projected face,
    Well-painted from noumena’s unseen base;
    It’s as a lamp lights up a paper shade,
    We figures revolving around in space.

    Our being blocks the view of the Ultimate,
    Nor to gaze at it can we our selves acquit.
    E'en the wise can’t step beyond their nature—
    All mothers’ sons stand helpless before it.

    We are magic lanterns shining here; 
    Our spirits are the lights in there.
    From what bright star came the gleam in your eyes? 
    From what distant sun came your smile, light-wise?

    Come, light your lantern and mine with good cheer;
    We’re magic lamps; our spirits dance in here.
    Our beginnings and ends are of nowhere,
    So, let’s radiate, since for now we’re here!

    Our minds and senses interpret and dispense
    The base reality into the colors and sensations
    Of the phenomenal world from the noumenal;
    We may become either rainbows or ugly stains!

    Mind, like Shelley’s prism of many-colored glass,
    Strains the white radiance of Eternity
    Into our being—until death tramples us—
    And then back we must go—to stardust.
  • PoeticUniverse
    explainJack Cummins

    The music festival ended a while ago, but Jack is still there as the only one left, he lying on the grass on a blanket with a pillow under his head and savoring the atmosphere and the highs brought forth by the concert and its audience smoking pot…

    He hears some voices in the sky from beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. This is not yet the promised Worldly Love Story, but it’s a prelude to it…

    Good and Evil sprang from Wrong and Right,
    When from naught twin Genii split day and night.
    “Oh, fear not that black’s might can vanquish white;
    Darkest night can’t e’en quench the smallest light!”

    “I’m the darkest,” boasts the Shadow to the Night.
    “No,” gloats Midnight, “compared to me you’re bright.”
    “You floodlights!” crows Starless Space, “Stop your fight.
    The darkest plight is the lack of Love’s delight!”

    Reason moons to Passion, with logic cool,
    “Quench thy inner fire, lest it burn us, fool.”
    Blazes Venus, “I know What I feel, not Why;
    ‘Tis better you take heed of me—I Rule!”

  • hope
    Can we explain the mystery of existence?Jack Cummins

    Reality is eternal, omnipresent, infinite, and beyond the mind.

    You can't explain it, you can only be it.
  • Jack Cummins

    I think that you are right to say that reality is 'beyond the mind', because even though we can only know about it through our minds, and what others describe, it is so much larger than our own experiences. That is probably the benefit of communicating with others, because it gives so much more understanding of reality than one's own subjective experience, and this is involved in the exploration of our existence, including scientific models and descriptions.
  • hope
    exploration of our existence, including scientific models and descriptions.Jack Cummins

    The mind is nothing but a map of the territory. Creating a map of something unknown does not make it known. It merely copies it so we can use it.
  • PoeticUniverse
    such as Plato's forms,Jack Cummins

    Like our shades dance the walls of Plato’s cave,
    We’re 3D shadows of 4D’s enclave…
    It’s like a lamp lights up a paper shade—
    We are as figures thereupon portrayed.

    We are magic lanterns shining here; 
    Our spirits are the lights in there.
    We’re the One’s Candled Magic Shadow-show,
    In which we Phantom Figures come and go.
  • EnPassant
    Existence and God are the same thing. Existence is not a property of any created thing. Created things are properties of existence. Necessary existence is existence itself, God. Contingent or created things are properties. Existence and being are not the same. In the 'beginning' there is existence. Through creation existence evolves into being/life. To say that God created the universe is to say that existence evolved into being.
  • javi2541997
    Existence and being are not the same.EnPassant

    I guess this principle depends in the philosophical point of view you are considering in. According to Cartesian logic, existence depends a lot of “being” which is connected to awareness. This is why Descartes wrote his famous theory and phrase: “cogito ergo sum”
  • EnPassant
    I guess this principle depends in the philosophical point of view you are considering in. According to Cartesian logic, existence depends a lot of “being” which is connected to awareness. This is why Descartes wrote his famous theory and phrase: “cogito ergo sum”javi2541997

    Yes but what is the 'I Am'? That depends on how you use the words 'existence' and 'being'. Sometimes they are interchangeable. I am using 'existence' to mean that which is, eternally; the positive thereness of what is on the most primordial level. Being, in my vocabulary, means what is alive and conscious. Created, sentient beings. Existence becomes being in the way a lump of bronze becomes a statue of an eagle, a horse etc. The bronze is just there, the horse or eagle emerge into being.
  • theRiddler
    It can't, logically, ultimately be explained, because first and foremost it is experienced.

    In addition to that, there's no possible way of determining whether it's abstract or mundane.

    The chemicals that make up the brain also cannot explicitly be trusted to relate a 100% detailed and accurate version of reality or events.

    So, no, there's no hope whatsoever of this place being fully understood, ever, period. But we should describe what we can.
  • Deus
    Well existence is certainly a mystery, the biggest one there is and the concept of God is incomprehensible something that has no end or no beginning defies logic.
  • Outlander
    Why would we wish to do that we wish we to avoid? ignorance is bliss. Would anyone disagree?
  • Jack Cummins

    Hopefully, it is not simply a matter of ignorance is bliss. Understanding may be about looking at everything in detail, and when I started this thread about a month ago, I was certainly not suggesting that we should only see mysteries as opposed to looking for critical analysis of the many complex aspects of philosophy.
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