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Oct 02, 2010 at 10:29 PM

images/stories/sevensleepers.jpgRarely Asked Questions -- but questions nevertheless & some of them persistent ones -- including, recently, about the Flux Vortex referred to in the film Avatar. We'll answer these if we can. Note - celebrity spotting is not our thing. 

Vortex energy sites, we have learned, and perhaps quantum physics too, make us a little like the "Seven Sleepers of Ephesus" [image: 18th C. Russian icon of the Seven Sleepers], who symbolize mortal consciousness, embodied mind, and who awakened to find themselves in a transformed world. Thus "rare" questions can be silly (like celebrity-sighting questions), off-target or profound.


  1. Is this site part of promoting some Harry Potter thing?

    A: We'd love it. Can we get paid?

  2. Is there vortex interference on airplane stability around Bryce Mountain? Can it cause problems? Is there a "dark energy" to the vortex? 

  3. A: Inevitable that this would be asked. We don't think people are in general attributing any "Bermuda Triangle" powers to Bryce Mountain. However vortex energy has a destructive side -- for example, tornadoes. In his dream, Descartes (the father of cosmic vortex theory in its post-Renaissance form) was thrown to the ground by a whirlwind, so his initial experience of vortices was frightening and he was relieved to awaken. Vortices involve magnetic phenomena / anomalies, and while we personally do not believe any "dark force" thing about Basye or its remote dwarf vortex (a sort of "Sirius B") at Meems Bottom, there have been some unusual events. The Bridge itself has been victim of a series of destructive acts -- burnings, reconstructions. Perhaps these are within the statistical norm, perhaps not. It is easy to theorize. Basye has an airfield, known for being challenging to land on and in 2006, there was a very unfortunate, fatal small plane crash at about the peak of the vortex area. The plane crashed on Bryce mountain, above Lee Rd. on the N. side of the resort. It concerned an experienced pilot, an instructor, who knew the Bryce area very well and who apparently took off without checking the fuel level. As far as we know, the cause was a mental lapse, nothing to do with instrument malfunction, etc. We are equally if not more disturbed, however, by a murder in 2003 or so, at the Meems Vortex, 12 miles away, by the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, pretty much within the vortex core. It was the work of a Salvadoran gang. A detailed and well written New York Times article on the tragedy tells the story. There was also a bizarre coincidence of that event with a death (by drowning? - we never found out), correlated closely in time, at Sedona's Cathedral Vortex, or more precisely in Oak Creek, which runs at the foot of it. 

  4. How does Neo stop bullets in the Matrix film? -

  5. A: Ah! This would be a teenage nerd question in the "how does Superman fly?" or "how does he see through stuff?" category, except that actually Neo does not stop bullets, he pauses time. He stops the wave of spacetime plasma in which the bullets are approaching him. It would be the stuff of cartoons were it not for the fact that, actually, time in the post-Einstein era is not a fixed quantity, an objective unvarying amount, any more than it is in yoga: it turns out to be elastic, and in the presence of different gravity fields time does run at different speeds. This elasticity is a key part of core vortex experience as well. 

    Thus our thoughts on the topic involve Einstein, Niels Bohr, and the relationship of electromagnetic energy to space and time. The science behind the phenomenon is that spacetime responds to mass and energy by curving; so a clock runs faster or slower depending on where in the cosmic gravity field it is. This is what physicist Stephen Hawking was talking about with his famous example of the twin brothers, one an astronaut, who aged at different rates as a consequence of inhabiting distinct zones of gravity.
    Albert Einstein had youthful fantasy, where he imagined himself running very fast and catching up to light, so that it became for him a visible "standing wave." This may seem fanciful, but it is quite similar to what happens when Neo pauses the bullets in flight: they are caught in a standing wave of electromagnetic energy which is also a wave of spacetime. In the daydream, Einstein is looking at the wave of light as if it were stationary in relation to him because they are both soaring at the same speed. When he figured out this was impossible fundamentally, because of the nature and role of light, and not because of limitations on our ability to run, it eventually led him to the idea that the light-speed is constant regardless of the location, velocity, vector of the observer (the Special Theory of Relativity). However he partially updated this view in his General Theory, which is the one that specifies the effect of gravity on spacetime.

    [image: wing of a Blue Morpho butterfly, detail. Morpho wings have turned out to be nanotechnology showcases, specifically nano-optical technology which engineers have discovered to have nano-wafer structures as precise and delicate as the product of robots; morpho wings are being used as models for light dynamics and manipulation on the near quantum levels. Below, detail of White Morpho wing, both from the Wikimedia Commons, distributed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.]

    All of this leads us toward the notion that the speed of light is not a "speed," it is the steady framework for sublight speeds, the background against which other speeds are perceived -- that's why when it is itself measured,  images/stories/whitemorphoedge.jpgunlike other speeds, it is always a constant. Speeds of any two objects in the universe, based on their direction of travel, can be calculated and the speed of their closing on each other, or diverging from each other, can be calculated based on that information. Two trains on parallel tracks at the same speed are stationary by reference to each other; and traveling at 80 mph and approaching each other, on adjoining straight tracks, they will have an approach speed of approximately 160 mph. But a beam of light traveling at 300,000 kilometers per second, and an observer in a spaceship approaching the light at 150,000 kilometers per second, do not close on each other at 450,000 kilometers per second: the light still approaches the spaceship at 300,000 kilometers per second. A spaceship following a ray of light at one third of the speed of light, finds that the ray is still soaring away from it at the speed of light, not at 2/3rds of that speed. Were it a speed, and not the reference plane for all speeds, a ray of light would move away from us more slowly if were we traveling in the same direction. 

    This is most mysterious, and it seems that light speed is also therefore the rate at which space is "rendered" for the observer; space is time, based on the rate of light travel. Light-time "makes space." The scientific measure of one meter of distance is, in fact, a unit of time (one meter = one 299,792,458th of one second of light travel, call it one three hundred millionth of one second of light-time). The speed of light is constant at different layers of gravity, but clocks images/stories/clock.jpgplaced in those different layers do not run at the same speed by reference to each other (General Relativity). Which, finally, brings us to the question of whether time can be layered in such a way, or experienced by mind in such a way, that lightwaves on the slower layer or body-layer can be perceived traveling along or even pausing while we, moving faster than body-time but not faster than light-time, pluck bullets out of the luminous quantum plasma of gravitationally afflicted electromagnetism. The Wachowski brothers (authors of the Matrix screenplays) call this faster-than-body time layer "bullet-time." Since the speed of light defines how fast space "happens" for bodies ("observers") -- since it is the speed of reality as Stephen Hawking explains -- getting into bullet time may involve seeing spacetime itself as waves: quantum space -- space being created by means of code, in The Matrix. But that would mean that our bodies and our minds may become quantized as well. Now we are on full nerd-alert, and talking to St. Augustine on the mobile phone while texting Patanjali ... 

    -- We hypothesize more about Neo's abilities on our Vortex Energy page, without claiming to really know. And, oh yeah, lest we forget: it's a movie.

  1. Was the Keymaker really a stand-in for French philosopher René Descartes in The Matrix?

    A: Maybe. Or Jean Baudrillard's alter ego. Hey, it's a movie

  2. Did Johnny Depp visit Basye last year? 

    A: No. -- Follow up: "But isn't Johnny Depp a 'vortex energy kind of guy'?" Probably. He's a movie guy.  ;)

  3. Molly Ringwald? 

    A: Who's coming up with these names? Molly Ringwald??? Answer is, not either, but we're not sure -- not like there is a passport check. Doesn't she live in France? The Orkney Springs retreat center brings in all kinds of people, though. 
  4. Emma Stone?

    A: Who? Ok, enough, and we confess we had to look up Emma Stone -- that is, before she hosted Saturday Night Live -- we're just grateful Paris Hilton hasn't been spotted. Umm... nothing against Paris.
  5. images/stories/gnomonmeridien.jpgWhat is the Basye Meridian?

    A: It is a spiritual ley line. [Image: the much talked about Saint-Sulpice Meridian indicated by the purple diagonal. It parallels the actual Paris Meridian by less than 100 meters. The latter used to be the universal zero time line, an honor enjoyed since 1884 by the Greenwich Meridian.] 

  6.  Is the buried treasure of the Shendo that Julia Davis talks about really lost, or did you just say that in the FAQ? Does it exist to begin with?

    A: We think it probably exists / existed. We tend that way because, well..  starting with the fact that we really respect Julia Davis, who was not a teller of tall tales, and she alludes to Shendo troves in her book. If we knew where to look, we'd be digging. Sure, she could have been misled, but we suspect there is something to the reports. The book in question is The Shenandoah -- Rivers of America Series (published in 1945); there is also a reissued coffee table version, called The Shenandoah Valley, with photos by Lucian Niemeyer. We are not sure whether the text in the Niemeyer version is complete, however. 

  7. Is the valley through which Big Stony Creek runs, bordered by Bryce Mountain, a real "flux vortex" like the Giant Hometree in the film Avatar? 

    A: Not in the physical sense, if by flux vortex you mean an energy generating system. The view is that Basye channels energy. But maybe it's just semantics. Try figuring out what a flux vortex is, scientifically, by the way, and you come up with similar notions of transmission, which are in line with the scientific law that energy is not created or destroyed, simply channelled, transformed, transported. This is where optical vortices come in -- they also produce or transport electromagnetic force and play quantum tricks. We'd like to ask James Cameron exactly what he meant.


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