Scientific discourse in India is juxtaposition by the hemoglobin in the atmosphere because our gurus are a sophisticated rhetorician intoxicated by the exuberance of their own verbosity! It is difficult to find a guru who is not well-versed with terms like uncertainty, infinity, energy, space-time curve etc.!
One such term that recently caught my attention is singularity. Every Indian guru knows for sure that what existed at/before big bang was “singularity” (and for reasons best known to the gurus; this, and every such fact, also unequivocally proves that our ancestors had discovered everything from black hole, string theory and anything else materialistic West will discover tomorrow).
As I am not one of those fortunate ones enlightened by any guru, singularity has always been an illusive beast that I can’t imagine by closing my eyes, so I muse a lot about it. And this musing has thrown up a question that is (if not down right petrifying) extremely interesting.
Is human mind equipped to look at deeper structure of reality?
Singularity is a concept used in various fields to describe a state of incalculability. It is a zone where mathematical description of reality brings forth no workable results. Singularity is where the God starts misbehaving. Mind, even with its infinite ability of turning reality into abstraction, has no tool to hold it. And yet, there is nothing really dramatic or rare about singularity; as while doing maths, you can meet it around every next corner!
It is this mathematical commonness of singularity that has made me question the notion of using mind as an appropriate tool to look at reality (possibly) existing at the plane that is beyond our day-to-day existence.
To explain this better, I will need an apple and a knife! If we use a sharp knife to cut an apple into half and carry on this halving, we can continue doing it only till the point that the sliver is as thick as the edge of the knife. A sliver thinner than the knife’s edge is a sort of singularity as it is a state impossible to reach in real life. But, instead of the real knife, if we use the mathematical operation of division, the same halving could continue till infinity because there is no reality-barrier.
If we flip the above phenomenon, it brings forth a startling possibility. It is entirely possible that, as our mind uses abstraction, a method of modelling reality, it could be misleading us into looking for the qualities in reality that reality need not have!
Our mind is a great tool, but its original purpose was limited to keeping us alive in real world. It has developed tools for a given purpose that we are now putting to new use. It can be a false assumption that the same tools that allowed us to work on a given plane of the reality are good enough to tackle it at every level.
We are living in the age of counter-intuitive concepts that have appeared before us while cutting deeper into the fabric of reality. This counter-intuitiveness is, may be, an indicator that human ability to convert reality into a process-able abstraction now needs to be questioned as a valid tool to understand reality at this level as reality need not be abstract-able beyond a point.
If we look back at history of science, we have always reinvented maths to match with the reality that science unveiled; but that process could have reached a dead-end now. The new-age reality needs a new-age mind, the one equipped with tools beyond mere abstraction. And this can happen only of we allow our minds to muse over such questions instead of accepting make-believe answers borrowed from our ancestors.