"the feet of Bhagavan are everywhere. So where can we gather except at his feet?
Time and space are no barriers to the gathering of hearts." Sri Ramana Maharshi

Celebrating the life of David LaChapelle

Celebrating the Life of David LaChapelle: Visionary teacher, see-er of souls, wisdom keeper and devoted follower to the great stillness. Friend to many. Dream coach, author, publisher and speaker. Chanter, painter, builder, philosopher and patriarch. His body let go. His gifts live on...

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Contribution from Stephen Griffies


During the Silverton retreat Aug2008, I was awake one night for a few hours in the library (as was Barbara Cecil, as I recall, also downloading some ideas) contemplating information, entropy, energy, and consciousness. In sum, I was downloading a conjecture that a rational description of consciousness would involve notions from information theory. As consciousness, using David's broad sense of the term, forms the underlying foundation for reality, information theory in turn must play a basic role in describing our universe through the laws of physics.

The notions regarding information theory and consciousness are not new nor unique, but they seemed to gel in my mind through a convergence of past thoughts, osmosis from the retreat, and David's ability to open portals to new mind states.

Shift ahead 1.5 years.

Friday at work, I found an article on my desk, placed there by a friend who shares my love of compelling theoretical physics ideas. The article is titled "
On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton" by Eric Verlinde, one of two Dutch twins, both renowned leaders in string theory. (His brother Hermann is a Princeton physics professor.) In this article, which you may find on the web and throughout the blob-sphere, Verlinde describes gravity as an emergent phenomena, much as pressure from a gas emerges from the zillions of molecules hitting the side of a container. Gravity is thus not a fundamental force of nature, rather it emerges from something deeper. Verlinde is the first to pose some nontrivial and semi-concrete arguments to support this conjecture. The connection to my retreat experience is that central to the "deeper something" in Verlinde's paper is information. Specifically, gravity arises as an "entropic force" associated with the maximization of entropy related to the information contained in the position of material bodies (or something like that...).

Information theory has been around since the 1940s (Claude Shannon at Bell Labs invented it to help understand the transfer of information through electrical circuits), and has arisen over time to be of such a fundamental nature that it now, potentially, is at the root of how physical reality (e.g., the forces that make up our physical world) works. That, to me, is a mind blower, with that late night in Silverton a tiny tip of the iceberg of what appears to be unfolding in the physics community...

I remain amazed with the elegance and deep insights in Verlinde's paper, which, though nontrivial to grasp, is readable in essence by nearly anyone with a basic graduate physics education (OK, so not everyone has a physics graduate degree, but still, it does not require a specialization in string theory nor loop quantum gravity!). Interestingly, his paper appeared just over 100 years after Einstein's insights regarding special relativity.

There is a nice article in New Scientist about Verlinde's ideas


Thanks for indulging me as I share this synchronicity. A significant portion of my excitement sits not so much with the details of Verlinde's ideas (which will take me years to digest), but with the wondrous connections that David orchestrated, with that orchestration continuing to unfold in elegant ways.

Deep love,


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