There is a remarkable connection between Gödel, reality shifts, and Mandela Effects, and it’s something I happened to run across recently while re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, Axiogenesis, by philosopher Nicholas Rescher. The passage I read was the very last section of the book on the last two pages, “Gödel’s Conspiracy Theory,” having to do with Gödel having come to believe that important documents and writings were being intentionally hidden and withheld.
Kurt Gödel was a good friend of Albert Einstein, who frequently took daily walks with him to discuss Gödel’s ideas about math and science. Gödel is famous for his discovery of a third category in logic beyond “right” and “wrong” that is more in keeping with quantum mechanics: “undecidable.” Gödel’s genius was to prove that undecidable sentences exist within every meaningful mathematical system, and this is the basis for his famous incompleteness theorem. Einstein was not Gödel’s only fan; the philosopher Karl Popper compared Gödel’s proof to an ‘earthquake,’ and John von Neumann commented, “Logic will never be the same again.”
Gödel was called the ‘greatest logician since Aristotle, and ‘a Mozart of mathematics,’ and each of his theorems has established a new branch of mathematical logic. Gödel chose to focus primarily on mathematical topics that were also philosophically relevant, starting with the foundation of mathematics. Gödel introduced the notion that extensive systems sometimes have logical inconsistencies when he arrived at a mathematics conference in September 1930 and said, “Given the consistency of classical mathematics, one can even give examples of sentences, which, although correct in content, are unprovable in the formal system of classical mathematics.”
This statement may seem benign and innocuous, but it was anything but. While attendees of that conference made no official response at that time, Gödel was really saying that there exist mathematical statements that are correct, yet which are unprovable. And these sentences can even be specified in concrete terms. As paradoxical as it sounds, Gödel offered mathematical proof of unprovability, pointing out how there exists a kind of ‘quasi-paradoxical self-negation,’ as John von Neumann called it, referring to the way a formal-logic system emerges out of itself to make statements about itself.
Gödel suffered from paranoia, and experienced severe mental crisis which led him to being admitted to a sanatorium to help him overcome suicidal tendencies. Awareness of Gödel’s paranoia led his favorite professor, Philip Furtwangler, to wonder, “is his illness a consequence of the evidence of unprovability, or is his illness a necessary condition for dealing with such questions?”
Gödel had an obsessive fear of being poisoned, and only ate food prepared for him by his wife, Adele. When Adele was hospitalized for six months and unable to prepare his meals in 1977, Gödel wasted away and died.
Despite such paranoia and obsessions, when it came to the world of ideas, concepts, proofs, and foundational principles in math and science, Gödel’s thinking was exceptionally focused and clear. Which makes the mystery of the missing documentation particularly fascinating.
Mystery of Missing Documentation
Gödel’s own hero was Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, whose works he studied intensely in his spare time. Gödel believed some of Leibniz’s important writings had not only failed to be published, but had been destroyed in manuscript. Gödel felt he had seen evidence indicating that Leibniz had developed anticipations of game theory, the paradoxes of set theory (“cloaked in the language of concepts, but exactly the same”), Helmholtz’s resonance theory of hearing, and the conservation of energy law–yet he was unable to find that evidence, despite numerous threads appearing to lead in those directions.
Gödel’s friend Oscar Morgenstern at Princeton University has called Gödel’s beliefs about such things “fantasies.” When Gödel attempted to show Morgenstern where he’d seen references to all these things in the various writings of Leibniz, in some cases neither the cited pages nor elsewhere was any writing on these topics by Leibniz to be found. In other cases, the writing stopped just before the cited passages, or the volumes containing those passages were never published. Gödel believed the reason for all these omissions to be that he was “systematically sabotaged by his editors.”
Alternative to Conspiracy: Real-Life Incompleteness
When I first read about Gödel’s concern with regard to missing Leibniz papers and writings, and especially when I heard that he’d noted there had been specific places where such writings ought to be, yet weren’t, I immediately recognized a familiar pattern that I often see when reality shifts, and the official history no longer matches what I know to be true. When I notice writings that have changed or gone missing, I realize there is a possibility that there may have been a reality shift in which things appear, disappear, transform or transport.
After 20 years of studying this phenomenon, I’ve noticed that one of the best ways to experience more reality shifts in one’s life is to pay more attention to such things. It seems completely logical to me that another way to experience more such things is to be aware of the intrinsicic incompleteness in the universe. It makes sense to me that knowing that some things can never be proved, and that there will always be indeterminancy at the root of even our “hardest” most fact-based math and science might just be enough to invite these experiences into one’s life.
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