# My latest really wacky theory of Mind and Reality: Extra time dimensions

Here's a summary of a wacky theory of consciousness I have come up with which is really *really* out there ;)  Crazy enough to be true?  See what you think.  At the end I have given links to my blog on the 'Betterhumans' e-zine.  One blog entry is a brief popular explanation of the concept of extra time dimensions, and I have also written a 'Short Short' sci-fi story describing what it may be like to be able to *see* in three time dimensions.

So here's the theory:

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It seemed to me recently, that the idea of extra time dimensions could be used to solve the mystery of the mathematics-mind-matter puzzle.  My idea was that reality has *three* time dimensions and I associated one time dimension with the physical domain, another time dimension with the volitional domain and the last time dimension with the mathematical domain.  The idea is that we generalize the notion of 'causality' to include mental and mathematical concepts and we can then say for instance that a mathematical proof is a 'proccess in the third time dimension' :

A leading mathematician has posted the following very interesting quote on his website implying the idea of a mathematical proof as a 'process' in extra time dimensions:

"In some previously unexplored context, the familiar 'shape' of the sequence
of prime numbers is the result of a kind of dynamic or evolutionary process."

http://www.maths.ex.ac.uk/~mwatkins/isoc/briefintro.htm

Physicists Stepehn Hawking has proposed the notion of extra time dimensions in the form of 'Imaginary Time' (adding two I-time dimensions you can recover one extra 'real' time dimension.  Another physicist who has proposed extra time dimensions is Cumrun Vafa who has proposed adding an extra time dimension as part of string theory (he calls his 12-dimensional version of string theory F-Theory).

In e-mail correspondence with the mathematician quoted above, he had this to say to me

"That 'big new idea' that's missing, I suspect, if it ever emerges, may
completely transform human ideas about 'number', the nature of mathematical
reality, the nature of physical reality, and how the two inter-relate.  I
expect major philosophical repercussions.  Something big is looming on the
horizon, but no one's got a vocabulary to describe it yet."

This idea (of generalzing the notion of causality to include mental and mathematical concepts as processes in extra time dimensions) is radical enough but I combined it with another radical idea I had:  the idea that *time' itself* is an *emergent* property of a complex system.  I had the idea that when a  'global work-space' in a complex system imposes 'global constraints' on the system, these global contraints *are* actually a manifestation of the arrow of time... they impose a direction of irreversible change on the complex system.  Further this emergent 'time of arrow' is something over and above the sum of the parts of the system -  the idea is that the time dimension is *generated* by the parts of the system, but the time dimension cannot be completely reduced to the sum of the parts so 'Interactionism' can take place whereby the emergent properties of a complex system can 'feed-back' on the lower level parts.

I treated the universe as a complex system and then had the idea that the physical time dimension is 'emergent' from but exists over and above the individual relations between physical objects.  I believe that in General relativity, space-time as a whole has this property doesn't it?  i.e space-time is an entity in its own right, not just an abstraction used to describe relations between indivual objects.  I added on my proposed extra time dimenions... one for mental concepts, another for mathematical concepts ... this generated 'Mathematical' and 'Mental' universes analogous to the 'Physical' one.

My final radical idea was to equate qualia (conscious experience) with these time dimensions.  i.e The idea is that qualia ARE simply extensions in these time dimensions.

Now here a summary of all my ideas combined, in the context of Baar's 'Global Work-Space' theory and Jeff Hawkin's 'Memory Prediction' framework.  Watch:

If I'm right, what's going in the brain is that there's an emergent
property of the complex system ( the brain) which trascends the sum of its parts and this property is actually a sort of miniature space-time (or a kind of 'pre space-time' ) if you like - there's a slight extension into the extra time dimensions. It's exactly the same mechanism by the physical space-time manifold is emergent from (and transcends) the sum of the
relations between physical objects in General Relativity, only on a smaller
scale.
Look at how it all fits: In the Baars model parts of the complex system (the brain) that were seperate from each other get integrated and impose global constraints on the complex system as a whole. These global constraints also impose an 'arrow of time' on the system (a direction of
irreversible change). This is exactly what happens with the physical universe when we consider the physical universe as a complex system. Parts
of the complex system (the individual relations between physical objects in the physical universe) get integrated into an emergent property ( i.e the space-time manifold in Einstein's General Relativity) which imposes global
constraints on the system as a whole and we interpret these global constraints as a direction of irreversible change i.e a arrow of time.
The 'arrow of time' imposed on the brain by the Baars global workspace allows us to interpret the brain as a memory-prediction system whereby past experiences get integrated with current experiences to make projections into the future.
We can extend Hawkins theory by generalizing the notion of causality to include mathematical and mental concepts by postulating extra time dimensions
then there are  *three* different kinds of causality, corresponding to three actual time dimensions in reality.
We can  generalize Baars 'Global work-space model' by postulating that there is something analogous to it in  *all* complex systems, not just the brain
The Baars work-space is what imposes the 'arrow of time' (direction of irreversible change) on the brain and the proposal is a variant of Type-D Dualism (Interactionism) and strong holism (emergent,
non-reductive high-level properties feed-back on the system).
Qualia are then proposed to be identical to the 'global constraints'
imposed by the global work-space in the form an 'arrow of time'
(direction of irreversible change).  Further this arrow of time is
proposed as an extension into  actual real time dimensions.
The notion of causality has been generalized to include mental and mathematical concepts.  Since there are three different kinds
of causality, there should be three different general kinds of awareness.
The first kind of causality is the physical causality of functional systems (the first time dimension).  We can equate this with awareness of the physical world.
The second kind of causality is -volitional causality - where choices made by a moral agent alter the memetic system (the second time dimension).
We could equate this with *Self* awareness.
And the third kind is *mathematical* causality - where different kinds of logical propositions get integrated (Consistency and Consilience). This last kind of causality is the third time dimension.  I propose that this is a
hitherto totally new kind of awareness that the human brain is
not capable of!  This kind of awareness would involve *direct* perception of mathematical entities!

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My blog entry: Wacky-coool physics theories: Extra time dimensions
http://www.betterhumans.com/Members/mjgeddes/BlogPost/4728/Default.aspx

My blog entry: Short Sci-fi: 'The Time Cube'
http://www.betterhumans.com/Members/mjgeddes/BlogPost/4839/Default.aspx