This post is a long overdue follow-up on the Electric Universe conference I attended and presented at in Arizona in mid June. For a brief summary of what the electric universe theory (EUT) is about, see the previous electric universe post and or visit the Thunderbolts Projects website. This post is split into two parts. The first part gives my general feedback on the 2016 Electric Universe conference. The second part explores why the EUT matters to non-scientists, such as myself. As this is a long discussion, it will be presented over two separate posts.
Part I. EU 2016
When I was first invited to present EU-inspired spoken word poetry at the conference I had no idea what to expect. My first thought was that I might be out of my element because I do not have a background in science. One of the organizers, Jean Hafner, kindly assured me that the EUT is interdisciplinary and attracts people from all walks of life, and that is exactly what I found. While the EUT deals largely with cosmological science, I met people from all walks of life, from mechanical and electrical engineers and physicists to filmmakers, writers and people in the healing arts. As promised, the conference was “an interdisciplinary adventure.”
I was pleased to find other non-scientists at the conference. While the main presentations and talks were highly technical and scientific—as they should be given that the EUT posits something new about cosmological science—there was space for voices from other fields and disciplines. This attests to the EUT’s emphasis on connectivity, both in cosmological science (i.e., the EUT posits that the cosmos is far more connected—through electric currents and streams—than gravity-based cosmology would have us believe) and in its approach to the study of the cosmos. While it is based on cosmology, the electric universe theory also draws on anthropology, history, literary studies, the study of ancient mythology and other disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach to the study of the cosmos reflects a much-needed return to classical scientific and philosophical models, such as that of the ancient Greeks, which did not overly specialize and divorce synergistic disciplines from one another.
For me, the emphasis on connectivity is part of the appeal of the EUT. Without giving away the content of the various 2016 EU conference talks, since they have not yet been released online, part of what I took away from the talks I attended was that the universe is organized, and that it is a synergistically holistic and dynamic system that needs to be studied and approached as such. While we must study its components, we must also treat the cosmos as a totality that is more than the sum of its parts. It is only through this approach to the study of the universe—i.e., as a synergistically holistic and connected system—that we can begin to grasp both its elegance and its simplicity. This means that the theories and methods by which we study and explain the universe should be equally elegant and simple, hence the title of this year’s conference: “Elegant Simplicity.” In my poem “Electric Sky”, one of the poems I presented at the conference, I describe this as a type of truth that is at once both simple and sublime.
Part II. The Appeal of the EUT for Non-Scientists
So what is the elegant simplicity of the electric universe theory, so to speak, and why should non-scientists pay attention to it? I cannot speak for others, but for me, the general answer is that cosmology is the mother of all science and philosophy. If our cosmological paradigm and narrative changes then this has the potential to change and affect everything. A shift in cosmological science will have implications for other fields and disciplines, including my own—the humanities and social sciences. But my interest in the EUT is not purely academic; the EUT holds interest for me as both a scholar and an artist. I believe the task of the scholar and the artist is, or should be, very similar: the pursuit of knowledge, truth and splendor; to look out into the world and universe and reflect them back, either directly through facts and knowledge or more indirectly or metaphorically through nuanced art and creativity.
As it continues to shed new light on the nature and development of the universe, I believe that the electric universe theory will have transformative impacts on science and scholarship as well as art and creativity in all of its forms, including the science and art of healing and understanding human consciousness. The EUT has the potential to reveal or illuminate some hitherto unknown or understudied truths that will be, or should be, of great interest to scientists and non-scientists alike. I classify the appeal of the electric universe theory to non-scientists into three categories: historical; structural/systemic; and discursive (meaning, relating to discourse).
I will discuss and explain these categories in the next post
To be continued…