21st Century Science & Technology

LaRouche in Dialogue with Youth

From the Summer issue of 21st Century Science & Technology (partial text).

Here are excerpts from discussions of Lyndon LaRouche with Youth Movement organizers, at cadre schools that took place during February-May 2003. More complete transcripts can be found on the LaRouche website www.larouchein2004.com and the LaRouche Youth Movement website, www.theacademy2004.com.


May 10, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
How Do We Measure Time?

Question: I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now, about how physical space-time is a multiply connected process. So, I was thinking about this concept of time, and how we have different concepts, like the simultaneity of eternity; but, then you can also think of time as a measure of change. So, then, I started thinking about, what are we measuring that change against?

LaRouche: Ah!

Question: And then, you get in areas of composition, where now you know you’re talking about the Noösphere, and then, there’s still this element of time, and the ambiguities that are presented with it. So, I’d like you to comment on what this element is.

LaRouche: Okay. Well, it goes to the question of curvature, hmm? I don’t know how much discussion among all of you there has been, about this question of Gaussian curvature, and its relationship to the idea of a Riemannian universe. Most of my work, of course, is based on that particular problem, that concept.

Now, as I’ve described it before, but just to situate this for everyone: If you imagine ancient man, that is, ancient intelligent man, looking at the nighttime sky, on a clear night, and seeing a panoply of stars, and also planets, and some other objects floating around up there, and they would imagine the universe to be, in a sense, like a big spherical bowl, a container which they’re in. Now, they don’t know how far distant—that is, how far that surface is from where they’re standing—but they imagine that, someplace out there, there is a point, a surface, which you can see the inside of, and where all these different objects, stars and so forth, might be moving. And you try to measure the relationship among the movements among those bodies, the way ancient people constructed these astrological schemes; calendar schemes for the annual calendar, things of that sort.

Now, you call that the sensorium, this imagination—you project a sphere, that you’re inside a sphere; you’re on some normalized point inside the sphere, and you’re looking up toward the interior surface of the sphere, in which all these objects are moving about as light points: Is that real?

And then, you find out, that it’s not real. It is real, it’s a real shadow of reality, but it’s not the reality as such. This, of course, is the significance of, among other things, Kepler’s discovery. When Kepler discovered that the motion of the planets, starting with Mars, was not circular, but elliptical in form, and discovered two other things. This whole business about assuming that this is the actual surface, on which events are occurring—that goes out the window.

Why? Well, he discovered, in the elliptical function, that the Sun was located at one of the two foci of the relevant ellipse. And he also discovered that the rate of the planet’s motion, along the elliptical pathway, was constantly non-uniform. And what the measurement was. That proved that there was an operating physical principle, invisible to the senses, but whose effect was, nonetheless, visible to the senses. And therefore, you can not simply say, that, from Euclidean geometry, from looking at the universe from the standpoint of Euclidean geometry, you can come up with a mathematical description of the laws of the universe. That’s what he proved, among other things—as others had proved before him.

Chris Lewis/EIRNS

LaRouche and youth movement leaders at a March 2003 conference in Germany.

What is the reality, which they correspond to? Well, think of them as the shadows of something projected upon the sensorium from outside that universe. Think of that universe, the one you think you’re observing, as an imaginary universe—one created by the senses, as an artificial sense, of what you’re actually experiencing, but an image which is determined by the way your sense organs are constructed. Now, what is the real process, which is causing this effect in your sense organs? Well, that’s what Kepler’s law meant, Kepler’s law of gravitation.

Now, how does this reflect itself? It reflects itself, that the planet is now moving—like Mars—it’s moving along the elliptical orbit it follows. At every point you observe it, no matter how finely you divide the points, the rate of motion is changing, relative to sense perception. So, what is regular? What is constant? Well, at every point, on this pathway, you’re dealing with a different curvature, which is intersecting the curvature of some elliptical pathway, as if it were touching it at that point. Call it a “singularity”—the intersection of the curvature of the real action, as against the imagined curvature, which is a shadow of the effect.

Now, to understand the universe, you have to understand the relationship between the two curvatures. The curvature of the function, which is defined by the tangent action, or tangential interference at that point; and the motion within the orbital pathway, as a different surface. The two surfaces give you a sense of mapping of the universe. Now, obviously, the universe is much more complicated then, isn’t it? It’s more complicated, because you have to look at all the curvatures, to see what is really happening in the universe. And you come up with a different kind of universe.

Now, we also have a second thing going on: We have man in the universe. To the best of our knowledge, the number of physical principles, in the universe, as a whole, is predetermined. That is, we don’t determine the number of principles that exist in the universe. We discover them, but we don’t predetermine their existence. But, we’re not aware of their existence, until we make the discovery.

All right, therefore, you have a sense of two universes—or maybe three: One is the sense-perception universe, which is only a shadow, as, for example, Plato defines it; then, you have a universe as you know it, in terms of principles; but then, there’s a larger universe, which includes what you know, and what you have yet to discover, which is the real universe. What happens, therefore, when man discovers a principle? Well, man’s discovery of a principle, is not simply a matter of observation: It’s a matter of intervention. Of willful intervention in the universe. When man, who is a creature of will, discovers a physical principle, and uses it, even though the principle discovered already existed, man changes the order of effects in the universe.

So, therefore, we have three universes to consider: the totally imaginary, shadow universe of observation, sense perception; the universe, as we know it, in terms of physical principles, which is good, it’s real; whereas the shadow universe is merely a shadow universe, but, it is not complete. We have not yet discovered the universe in full. So, there we are: We say, the process now is determined by man’s discovery, and efficient use of, discovered universal physical principles. Ah!

A Riemannian Surface
How do we measure the effect of adding a new physical principle, as a discovery, to the repertoire we already had? In Gauss’s measurements, or in Riemann’s work in general, it’s defining what’s called a “Riemann surface.” A Riemann surface is typical of the case, where you have the intersection of one universe, with the tangential impact of another universe upon it—typical Riemannian surface. In this case, you say, you measure the change in effective action within the universe, as a result of adding the action of this additional physical principle that we discovered.

What that means, of course, in practice is, that relative to man, man’s power over the universe increases. This power is expressed in various ways, but it’s also expressed very simply in quickness. When man discovers new physical principles, and applies them efficiently, the quickness with which man can effect changes in the universe, is increased.

Now, if the quickness of a standard event is changed, if the measuring rod of time is changed, in terms of practice, then there is no such thing as universal, fixed, permanent clock-time. The universe does not go “tick-tock.” The universe speeds up. It speeds up, because of the effects of the processes of principles. It speeds up, because man’s intervention, with new physical principles, speeds up the effective measurement of time. That is, time tends to speed up; time becomes quicker.

So, the idea that people can take a fixed clock-time measurement, and apply that to the universe, and tell me what the actual history of the universe was relative to man—they don’t know what they’re talking about. They may be very good astronomers. They may be good scientists in general, but they still don’t know what they’re talking about.

So, that’s what the anomaly is: that time is not an absolute clock-time, functioning independent of the physical changes in the universe. Time is a reflection of a direction and of relative power of the processes we’re deploying, relative to the universe and relative to man’s actions. So, time is essentially, intrinsically, relative. It is not absolute, in the sense of “tick-tock.”

What Is a Thought?
Question: I was thinking, about thinking, you know: What is thought? Is it a creative form? Are there forms of thought, like, maybe, when I have a conception of something, it’s not in the form of language? I’m not thinking in a thought—well, I don’t know if the thought is the idea; or, if the thought is the communication through the language of the thought that is produced, so—

LaRouche: Well, that’s not such a big problem. It’s a big challenge, but it’s not formally a big problem. The problem is, that society today is so full of all these assumptions, which people are taught to believe, or induced to believe, that what they ought to recognize at first-hand is blocked by the secretion of all of these assumptions.

You’re talking about speaking, as communicating. Talk about music, as a form of communication: What’s the purpose of it? The purpose is communication. What do you mean by communication? Well, let’s take human communication. You have two levels of communication: You have animal communication among human beings—you know, “pass the salt,” for example; that’s animal communication. Then you have human communication, which involves ideas, that is, ideas which exist—they’re real; or they’re conjecturably, possibly real, but their existence lies outside the domain of sense perception, and they can be known to sense perception, only as shadows, cast by reality upon sense perception.

So therefore, you’re trying to express a relationship, between a sense-perceptual frame of reference, and an idea. And the function of language is to communicate the idea, by the way you refer to the sense-perceptual reference.

Now, what you do, is a sense of irony. For example, let’s take the simple case of the stage: You have the use by Shakespeare of the soliloquy. You have the actors on stage; they’re acting. They’re acting out a part. They’re within a context, which is a play. Then you have the soliloquy, which is performed by the actor, who turns from his role inside the play, the context—he turns toward the audience, and he delivers a commentary upon what is going on in the play, or something relevant to it, to the audience.

So, you see the principle of communication is thus illustrated: It’s the relationship between the physical referent, and an idea, which is totally offstage, from a sensual standpoint.

Chris Lewis/EIRNS

Discussion with LaRouche at an East Coast cadre school in November 2002.

So therefore, the question of speech, the question of music, is how to deliver ideas, whose existence is, in a sense, offstage, by means of the way in which you use the stage. So, speech, and music in its literal form, are a stage. Painting, in its literal form, is a stage. The function of Classical composition, whether speech, or drama, or poetry, or painting, is to present ideas, which exist offstage, off the stage of sense perception, and the language which pertains to sense perception.

This involves irony. One of the aids in speaking, as in singing, for the use of irony, has to do with musicality. The bel canto trained singing voice, that is, a voice, which has been trained to sing, and to speak, in the Florentine bel canto mode, is expressing a natural, physiological potentiality of the human speaking-singing apparatus. And there is no difference, between the speaking and singing apparatus, in terms of this characteristic.

Now, this gives you register shifts; it gives you difference in registration; it gives you differences in coloration, and all devices of color. And every device that exists in music, in song, exists in speech. Ancient Classical poetry is an example of this: Ancient Classical poetry is based essentially upon the use of what is otherwise known, in modern times, as the “Florentine bel canto principle,” principle of speech, to sing poetry. And the Classical poetry is used in that form. The remarkable thing about Classical poetry, as we’ve looked at some of these things, with the aid of some experts in India, on the question of the ancient Vedic Sanskrit poems, is that, some of these poems, for example, contain precise astronomical information. Some of this astronomical information, calendar information, is embedded in this poetry.

The people who have transmitted this poetry by oral tradition, in the lack of a written communication, by oral tradition, are able to transmit this over many successive generations with great fidelity—that is, with a minimal amount of error. And the convergence of all the people who repeat these little hymns, is such that, the culture replicates the hymns.

In many cases, the person who is reciting Sanskrit, or Vedic—chanters, do not know the language in which they’re reciting. But, nonetheless, they’re able to communicate these hymns, with relatively great fidelity. And thus, the poetic form, as a Classical poem, as known to the Vedic or Sanskrit, is thus shown to be a medium of communication, in its own right, which is much more reliable than what we would call “prose speech utterance” today.

And thus, the use of musicality in speech, as in singing, is an essential part of the process of communicating ideas. The significance of this shows in irony. Not only metaphor, as such, but irony more generally. You convey a meaning, by a matter of intonation, in such a way, that you convey different levels of irony. The idea, which is always a tension between the sense-perceptual reference, and the idea which exists beyond sense-perceptual reference, is like the actor speaking offstage; also, at another moment, speaking onstage. And therefore, the distinction between the two, enables the human being to communicate ideas offstage—that is, relevant to ideas which exist in the domain beyond sense perception, but are using a language, which, in its obvious function, is designed essentially to communicate references to sense perception.

Sometimes, “pass the salt” can be a statement, which is a poetic idea. Sometimes, it’s just saying, “pass the salt.”

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