Symbolic Reasoning

Published on by Catherine Toulsaly

I once stumbled upon The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám through the artist Elihu Vedder who wrote about how we each are a connected piece of an intangible chain, a link among kindred spirits. Whether they are encounters in real time or whose legacy we inherit, they sow in our hearts lingering feelings about a kind of collective thinking that blossoms in time and space. Consequently, we are also convinced that our words, actions, and existence will plant a seed in future minds. 

John Locke wrote that something has existed from eternity, something that has always been there as if it were by the necessity of its own nature (1). Three hundred years later, Max Plank argued that something may be a chameleon force by which all matter originates and exists. Within such a prerequisite relationship of reference (2), whatever exists should have in time and space cause of its existence.

Words, signs, and symbols that we consciously select as a vehicle for expression and their translation into terms of reference depend upon the freedom of the acting being fueled by an inner feeling stitched in the depth of time. Reason would have us believe, however, that as much as we cannot anticipate the future, the accidental character of events does not allow us to conceive all the stages and occurrences the Universe has gone through from its initial conditions, let alone at its quantum state.

No matter how hard a knot it is to untie, the Universe is a beautiful story that each generation stubbornly keeps writing in the course of its exploration. At each fork in the road, its history is endlessly splitting, adding details to the story. It does so, Steven Weinberg pointed out, every time a macroscopic body becomes tied in with a choice of quantum states. Choice breeds a kind of hesitation observed by Georges Lemaître when the early Universe was not hurried into existence between two distinct periods of rapid expansion. Could there have been periods of stasis at other points during its evolution?

The choice of quantum states offers a rationale for the formation of a Multiverse. To the mind’s eye, it is a string of universes brought into being at every knot made on the thread of time through chains of past, present, and future events, and so creating a tightly knitted patchwork. Whatever the mirror faces of the first kaleidoscope-like moment, a thread was sewn through the shadows, on which universes expand. 


There was the Door to which I found no Key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see:
Some little talk awhile of ME and THEE. 
There was—and then no more of THEE and ME.

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The Astromomer-Poet of Persia Rendered into English Verse by Edward FitzGerald with an Accompaniment of Drawings by Elihu Vedder

There was a Door

There was a Door

A theoretical debate over the structural composition of such a landscape involves questions such as whether fundamental components vary across the Multiverse. Is there an overarching set of laws and means and a relation to each other? Beyond boundaries, emergence occurs at junction sites like the tunneling of black holes. And so we wonder whether there is such a thing as a simple event at the core of it all. 

But the more we dig in, the more we unearth compound events whose shape and form are polydimensional. If not a real physical entity, the Multiverse is a polydimensional structure across which transmogrified particles and transposable forces resonate with echoes sent around and through. The various dimensions contained in such a resonance chamber ring through invisible walls. 

Polydimensionality describes how universes — physical or otherwise — are capable of complex resonance in proximity to each other. If chance is an extensional criterion, what is, then, worth valuing? The eye catches words like component and extension. It remembers the sight of feelings. Inside the polydimensional structure of the Multiverse, integrated components like matter and spacetime transmit motion to one another. 

Without feelings, the Multiverse would have no resonant form. In The Parable of the Apple (3), matter wraps geometry as with the dimple that arises in the apple because the stem is there. Reality appears when spacetime tells matter how to move and matter tells space how to curve, as if they were aware of each other. In reality, matter is an outward appearance, a physical manifestation of spacetime which responds with periodic disturbances.

When we say that no belief is an island, we imply that no probability is an island either. Ideas have context. When we say that universes in the Multiverse are like islands in an ever-inflating ocean (4), we mean that they are seemingly detached and even isolated but intrinsically connected. Each given position in the Multiverse reflects the range of probabilities that a particle is at that position until the probability fades away and is replaced in real time by an observational fact. 

The Multiverse describes a spray of possible axes of association, whose relations to one another are not necessarily in real time. Physicality is not what I have in mind. Concepts of polydimensionality and probability relate to each other in the imaginary time.  Perception is multileveled. There exists an information resonance above and beneath the surface. While it is revealed in real time through symbolic means of geometry and complex numbers, the source lies in imaginary time. 

Then of the THEE IN ME who works behind
The Veil, I lifted up my hands to find
 A lamp amid the Darkness; and I heard,
 As from Without—"THE ME WITHIN THEE BLIND!"

Behind The Veil

Behind The Veil

The process of assigning a fixed interpretation becomes an extension of a theory of probabilities. It is an argument in favor of existentialism whose basic principle of freedom allows to confer a degree of reality. It entails the manifestation in real time of spacetime,  a fixation of a momentary phase (2).  In the exploration of the Universe/Multiverse, science and philosophy together aim at deciphering the conditions of attunement within such a resonance-body (5). 

Information runs through a web of symbolic means dependent upon the appropriation of elements to be components of reality. It is indeed a consequence of human perception that we interpret the Universe in real time.  In the end, what we question is the concept of reality itself. 


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 the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.

Coming and Departure

Coming and Departure


(1) George Boole, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, on which are founded the mathematical theories of logic and probabilities

(2) Nelson Goodman, Languages of art: an approach to a theory of symbols

(3) Charles Eisner, Kip Thorne, Archibald Wheeler, Gravitation

(4) Thomas Hertog, On the Origin of Time

(5) Jan Zwicky, Lyric Philosophy

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