April 6, 1999
In a Heartbeat
The question of the day: How long is a quantum (or package) of human consciousness?
There are two quantums to consider here. The ﬁrst is the period of time it takes to perceive the image or light of some form. The second quantum is the period of time it takes to register any type of conscious consideration of an idea, thought or form.
Rob gave an interesting answer to the ﬁrst quantum. He said: “I’d say 1/60th of a second. My reasoning being that since lights run at a frequency of 60Hz—and it looks like a continuously burning light instead of one that’s blinking on-and-off 60 times per second—but by turning the frequency down you can actually see the light blinking, then our consciousness must be ‘snapping pictures at either 60 Hz or darn close to it. The frequency of the bulb is synchronized to the frequency our consciousness moves through time.
“Akin to ceiling fans—on the low setting it looks like a set of spinning blades, but the highest setting reveals a blurred circle.”
That’s a very interesting observation Rob. On this quantum I was thinking of the time each frame is shown in moving pictures to create the illusion that the motion on our TV’s, or the movies, is continuous. If I remember correctly the number of pictures shown per second is between sixteen and thirty-two. Sixteen pictures per second pretty much creates the illusion of continuous motion, but thirty-two pictures create a perfectly smooth ﬂow that tricks our consciousness completely.
Let’s throw this out again to the group. Does anyone in the group know of any research that has been done that tells us the shortest period of time that our consciousness can register? Rob makes a good case for 1/60th of a second.
The second quantum is the period of time it takes to consciously register any thought. This period of time is approximately one heartbeat which, in a person in good condition, is about one second. It was not an accident that the human race created the second as a measuring unit for the smallest period of time in standard use. Whoever established the second did so because it was very close to the smallest period of consciousness that the ancients could comprehend.
It is interesting that a second is one sixtieth of a minute and Rob gives us evidence that it takes one sixtieth of a second to perceive light. This correspondence gives credibility to this idea.
If this is correct it would explain why we need about thirty pictures a second for smooth movement of ﬁlm. The one thirtieth of a second between pictures would be composed of seeing the picture for one sixtieth of a second and adjusting the mind between pictures for another one sixtieth of a second accounting for the one thirtieth of a second for each picture.
Now within the main quantum, or one second of human consciousness, there lies an eternity of time where billions of tiny lives are in motion and events are transpiring that would astound us if we could but observe all that is going on around and within us.
Rick spoke of the possibility of registering time periods that are extremely small. Is it possible for us to become aware of time periods like a thousandth or a millionth of a second or less? Does contact with the lesser lives hold a key to this?
Many of us are aware that the Earth itself is a living being. If our quantum of consciousness is a second, then how long of a period would a quantum of consciousness be for the earth? In other words, how long of a time are the heartbeats of the earth, and what would correspond to the heartbeat of the earth?
Copyright by J J Dewey
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