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Rama is a metaphor for our universe

Rama is a metaphor for our universe.

In 1972, the famous science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel entitled Rendezvous with Rama. In the opening of the story, scientists discover a mysterious object entering our solar system and send a team of astronauts to investigate. When they land, the astronauts find that what they thought was an asteroid is instead a massive hollow cylinder.

Suddenly, a door in the end of the cylinder opens to admit them, and the mystery deepens. A strange world is asleep inside. The remainder of the novel deals with the intriguing processes of the artificial world that Clarke calls “Rama,” named after a Hindu God, relating to the god-like attributes of the cylinder’s unknown makers.

We humans are inside a surprising, self-contained reality much like Rama: a mystery-filled universe that is gradually awakening and changing before our eyes. On the vast scale of the multi-billion year lifeline of the universe, we have only recently “opened the door” to our own Rama. Our developing human mental capabilities and tools have increasingly revealed its secrets, enabling us to go “inside” this reality. In the 5,000 short years of mankind’s scientific history, we have barely begun our exploration of the universe.

Let me be very clear. I believe science is both magnificent in its achievements and limiting in its assumptions about reality. Science has many enthusiastic proponents. In this book I am not an opponent but someone who, after studying engineering and physics realized that the universe holds much more than the mathematics and concepts of those disciplines can ever uncover let alone understand. I want to help you make the journey I made to discover other, powerful ways of knowing reality.

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