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Experiencing Infinity

PostPosted: September 13th, 2017, 9:16 am
by Infinite_Observer
Do you think it would be possible for the human mind to experience brief understanding of infinity and maintain sanity. I have had several I guess you could say episodes where it seemed like my consciousness was experiencing infinity and trying to make sense of it and it was very unsettling and extremely terrifying. Each time it happens it takes an hour or more for my brain slowly pick up the pieces and reconnect with reality. I hope readers dont think im crazy or something. Other than that I have never had any sort of psychological issues, no depression or anything like that so Im not sure if it is a major problem but is pretty scary when it happens. Just curious on peoples thoughts of what might be happening. My cousin is major psychonaut and he says it is my third eye opening but Im not sure I really believe in all that stuff. Time will tell.

Re: Experiencing Infinity

PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 10:48 am
by Don Juan
Infinite_Observer wrote:Do you think it would be possible for the human mind to experience brief understanding of infinity and maintain sanity. I have had several I guess you could say episodes where it seemed like my consciousness was experiencing infinity and trying to make sense of it and it was very unsettling and extremely terrifying. Each time it happens it takes an hour or more for my brain slowly pick up the pieces and reconnect with reality. I hope readers dont think im crazy or something. Other than that I have never had any sort of psychological issues, no depression or anything like that so Im not sure if it is a major problem but is pretty scary when it happens. Just curious on peoples thoughts of what might be happening. My cousin is major psychonaut and he says it is my third eye opening but Im not sure I really believe in all that stuff. Time will tell.


Would you like to share your episodes of infinity in detail?

Re: Experiencing Infinity

PostPosted: September 16th, 2017, 9:46 am
by Braininvat
There are areas of the brain that mediate our sense of spatial extension and enable us to imagine a state of unboundedness - I think that unboundedness - an indefinite extension along some dimension - is something we can at least conceptualize. But not literally experience - given that experiencing something infinite would have no endpoint. Your mind would travel forever. And a bit more. :-)

I think our math forum has some threads on infinity that you may find useful. The search function, I can't stress this too strongly, is really your friend.

I would venture the thought that what we conceptualize, when we try to imagine something being infinite, is that no boundary exists that decisively concludes something. We don't actually have any way to grasp, say, an infinitely long object, like a wall. What we do is rather to look down the length of the wall and imagine that it never ends. There is no boundary in that direction. On the surface of a sphere, we get a watered-down sort of infinity, where the wall could go around the world (a world with no oceans in the way, one presumes) and so it has no endpoint, but we just keep going around and around, eventually retracing our steps earlier. Or, in space, we could do the same with a closed universe, a Riemannian manifold, in which space curves so that you can head in a direction and eventually find yourself back at your starting point. One could cycle "infinitely" along a line, in this way, but of course it would take infinite time to do so, because we have a finite speed below the speed of light.