Elemental spin

Recall the Brian Greene scene with the spinning skater:

Greene’s point: physical space cannot be the emptiness claimed by Newton. Newton’s nothing-space is disproved by the centrifugal force felt in the skater’s arms and the lateral zone of her body. The fact that she feels this force means that spinning in space has physical reality, and real motion infers real space. The details of this space are another matter. These cannot be discovered except by the structure- and rule-elucidating acts of construction. But the fact of distance away is physical, for it is felt.

On Salvia, we are shown that spinning is intrinsic and always ongoing.

It is hard to locate this spinning now, while writing, years after the fact. In hindsight, it seems that there might be some exteriorization going on, so that I cannot say that the axis of rotation is my center. Is perceptual reception spread out? This seems impossible—every view must be of the familiar conical kind.

It seems, absurd to non-Salvia consciousness as it is, that the totality and all things generally are spinning. This is presented both as objective fact and as proprioceptive feeling, is fundamental—real and intrinsic. Spin is basic: it is simply there and happening as part of our thrownness. And yet—in normal consciousness, we attribute spin to something only when a body (its stuff) rotates in relation to some static spatial frame of reference and its own center.

The elemental nature of spin on Salvia suggests that it is metaphysically basic. Either it is an essence of the fundamental process or stuff überhaupt, or it is an essential feature of the interfacing of consciousness (the subject) with the field of extra-subjective being.

The “deep” experience situation on Salvia is remarkably similar to this one. In it, there is (1) an objective something happening and (2) a feeling and appreciating center with a biography and a self-relation that is informed by interaction with other minds, or subject. And the experience of (1) by (2), the happening that is present to the subject, is the same paradoxical mix familiar from our awareness of physical space: being present, the happening must be identical with consciousness, and thus ideal and internal; but its form is spacious, and full of externality—extra-subjectivity—which is the anchor necessary for “determining” the ideal matter in the subject’s interior. Space is both what is most exterior or non-self, but it is also what is most present and what is closest to consciousness. When we perceive objects, they are already in a somewhere that is waiting for them.

The elemental nature of spin on Salvia presents itself as valid metaphysical data. Descartes and Yeats also held that atoms are vortices. And who knows what poetic metaphors have been used in the past to express the feeling by way of something more attractive or compatible with local mythology.

And it turns out that real interiority of our physical stuff does have spin. The bottommost, basement level of physical being has angular momentum. Of course, there are the occasional and secondary rotation-like movements produced by Brownian motion and molecular flipping; and there is the orbital angular momentum of electrons. But beneath these, in the very core of things, is an intrinsic spin. All fundamental particles have spin as one of the immutable characteristics that define it. And not only elementary particles, but also hadrons and atomic nuclei.

So our true innards are spinning. Our true innermost being is spinning. Our body (as a whole) might not be spinning in relation to the visible material spatial framework around it, but the cores of our distributed material particles are.

The real core of your being is not your center of gravity. The interiority we claim for our centered subjectivity is not the geometrical center of our bodily volume. It is the core of each of our material particles. Your core is the core of all your particles. The notion of “the” core of a collection being to core of each body in the collection is nonsensical only if 3-space is fundamental.

In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says that “The transcendent ultimate unconditioned, whose subjective aspect is called Buddha Nature, is spread over the Earth now, but men do not see it.” The same can be said of fundamental spin. Our true interiors—the interiors of all our nuclei, hadrons, and even the very elementary particles by which matter comes to occupy space—are spinning against this very physical space right now. And yet we do not feel it.

This spinning becomes shown and manifest on Salvia. We see that, relative to us, the whole is spinning—in part. Part of us is transparent to the spinning, so that bodily fixity produces perceptual fixity. That is, my view is fixed and space itself is fixed.