RAPPOPORT INTERVIEWS TESLA
JUNE 9, 2011. Bringing back Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the famous inventor, for an encore involved a few emails to Limbo, where he is continuing his experiments.
I expected the conversation would be like pulling teeth. You know, taciturn, dour, bitter. All that. But happily, it wasn’t the case. As with Orson Welles, another one of my interviewees, I was surprised to find that Tesla shares many of my views.
Q: How’s it going?
A: Fairly well, Jon. Working hard as always.
Q: Anything new to report?
A: Sure. Turns out the universe is an illusion, when you drill down far enough. And I have.
Q: Illusion in what sense?
A: It’s too real.
Q: Excuse me?
A: You have to be suspicious when things get too real, when you can’t wave a hand and make an ashtray on a table disappear. Look for a con. See?
Q: Actually, I think I might.
A: For a long time, I was working to tap into inherent energies in the Earth, in space, and I solved all that. I have the inventions built now, fully functioning. It’s in the bag. You reached me at an opportune time, because I’ve got a guy who’s handling the promotion on it. All open source. He’ll be distributing complete blueprints to several planets, actually. Earth included, of course. But then I needed something new to do, so I started applying high power resolution to sub-atomic phenomena, and I came up with a few exciting wrinkles.
Q: Let’s hear about that.
A: Let me give it to you as a metaphor. Because so many things do, in fact, turn out to be metaphors. Anyway, you travel far enough into micro-micro landscapes, and you come across a man holding up a sign that says: THIS IS REAL. See what I mean? It’s a form of hypnosis. THIS IS REAL. THIS IS THE MOST REAL IT GETS. So you have to think somebody is pulling the wool over your eyes.
Q: It’s a scam.
A: Full scam.
Q: And who is this man with the sign?
A: Just a prop. Depending on what angle you’re looking at him from, he appears in different guises. That’s where cultural programming comes in. Whoever a particular culture would consider the most elevated authority figure, that’s who this man with the sign looks like.
Q: Who does he look like to you?
A: Donald Duck. But that’s because I’ve developed a bit of a sense of humor. It was a long time coming. You remember a guy named Lenny Bruce?
A: Well, Lenny and I have been hanging out. He’s kicked his habit, and he’s clean. But he’s still the same basic Lenny.
Q: I would never have expected…
A: I know. Weird, isn’t it? He’s something. Anyway, what I’m saying is, physical reality, this whole universe, is a…
Q: Virtual reality.
A: Not exactly. No. It’s constructed as a kingdom might be, except there is no king. So the natural inference is, there IS a king. But no, there isn’t.
Q: Rather confusing.
A: Sure. The whole hierarchy of species, for example. From simple to complex. The progression from very tiny particles to whole galaxies. It looks organized. And it is. But that’s a feint. It’s a diversion in a shell game. A lot of effort was put into making the universe seem real in an imposing way. But as I said, this is a clue. When someone goes around pounding his chest all the time and telling you who he is, you begin to wonder what’s going on behind the facade. On Earth, people live in a very provincial monopoly in which, for instance, energy is controlled by a small number of people—so it’s natural pioneers would look for other sources of energy. As I did. And I found them in abundance. There never was and never will be a scarcity, unless it’s imposed. But that’s just the beginning of a much larger story. From my perspective now, when I look at physical reality, I see facades.
Q: Stage flats.
A: A man running around with a sign that says THIS IS REAL.
Q: Can you do something with that? I mean, can you invent something that makes use of that?
A: An interesting question. You can always do something with something. Do you know? You can guide it, expand it, constrict it, you can work it like salt-water taffy. But when you’re basically dealing with nothing, it’s different.
A: If you have facades, what’s in back of them? Nothing. The show’s not going on back there.
Q: I see.
A: Nevertheless, I wanted to explore that.
Q: Explore nothing.
A: Sure. Wouldn’t you?
Q: I guess so.
A: It’s a challenge. What do you do with nothing? I wish more philosophers and scientists had asked that question.
Q: You don’t mean a vacuum.
A: A vacuum sucks in matter and energy. Nothing doesn’t do that.
Q: What’s it like being in nothing?
Q: Is nothing a space?
Q: Then how do you describe it?
A: Lenny said it was like a long moment when his mother stopped talking at him.
Q: If it isn’t space, how do you move around in it?
A: Turns out you can move around in no-space. You’re in a void. What was the other thing Lenny said about the void? It’s like Alzheimer’s, except your mind is very clear and you remember everything.
Q: Can you use it?
A: Well, as an inventor, naturally I was interested in the possibility. It took me a while, but I did come up with what I call the physics of potential. Nothing happens, but anything and everything could happen. If you took the moment before a thought occurs, and expanded it to infinity, what would you have? You’d have consciousness of possibility. You’d have a moment with no end to consider whatever you wanted to consider. A plan, an idea, a design, an invention, a work of art, an action. I was already acquainted with this, in a much more limited sense, because as you probably know, I was able to visualize a new invention as a completely finished entity before I ever laid a finger on materials and built it.
Q: The physics of potential.
A: The universe is, from this perspective, the creation of overall amnesia.
Q: People might have trouble understanding that.
A: I’ve never waited for people to catch up to me. They have to grapple with what I’ve done. Most of the time, they don’t want to. So why should I be concerned? When you leave the infinite moment of potential, and let’s say you make a universe, you develop amnesia about what you left behind, which is that nothing where it all started.
Q: You’re not just talking semantics.
A: No, this is very real. The void is the absence of creating. It’s not a thing. It’s just a word you apply to not creating. You don’t create ANYTHING. You stop because you want to. And when you do that, you have an energy potential that is infinite. Here’s another metaphor. The universe you’re living in is a cartoon. You’re in a consensus reconstituted can of orange juice.
Q: And what does Lenny call that?
A: The Big Bong.
Q: Why do we buy the idea that the physical universe is so real? Why don’t we see the little man with the sign?
A: Because you want real. Real is a very interesting experience. For a while. If you ran around pulling out a chunk of sky here and a chunk of sky there, the illusion would become obvious. So you institute laws that connect everything together—or seem to. If you pull out a chunk of sky you get a huge explosion and things go haywire. At least, that’s what you firmly believe. Actually, you can remove things and nothing happens. You just have a steady hole. But everyone denies that.
Q: You mean there is a conspiracy to maintain the basic laws of physics?
A: Yes. A consensus.
Q: You destroyed a consensus when you found a way to tap into unlimited energy and send it to people all over the world.
A: No. I destroyed the monopoly of a few men.
Q: Which is why they cut you off.
A: They told themselves a little story. That I was crazy. Of course, they really knew why they shut off my funding.
Q: So anyone can create a universe.
A: Of course. That’s obvious. Just as there is no scarcity of energy, there is no scarcity of universes. It’s a walk in the park. But One Universe is a kind of religion. I had inklings of that while I was doing my energy experiments on Earth. But now I see the fuller picture. People think they’re free from the demented ideas of religions. But they have their own. Universe. One Universe. And it’s a humdinger. One reason it works so well is there is no visible church. Universe appears to be neutral. Dogma isn’t labeled dogma.
Q: What’s it like seeing all sorts of other universes and being able to travel to them?
A: It’s quite enjoyable. I would say relaxed. You give up this whole ridiculous idea of entropy, according to which usable energy is diminishing. But people want entropy. They want that idea that existence is limited. Like I say, it’s a religion. If a person thinks he’s limited, then he wants to posit an energy supply that’s limited.
Q: You always did opt for abundance.
A: Why shouldn’t I? It’s a better concept than scarcity. It’s a key in the door that opens out into infinity. Infinities, actually. For the intellectuals out there—there are supposed to be more possible moves in chess than the number of quarks in the universe. So imagine that a chess game could begin with the pieces rearranged on the board in all possible ways…and for each configuration, figure out the number of possible moves starting from that configuration all the way to the end…you know, and add all those up, and you would only begin to fathom the number of infinities that are possible. But you see, a much easier and more direct and true thing to say is a person can create universes. As many as he wants to.
Q: But you’re not really talking about science.
A: Of course not. I’m talking about desire. What a person wants to create. You really start learning about desire when you use your imagination with great intensity and scope, because most of your desires ARE discovered/invented through imagination. This is life. Full life. It’s not mathematics. It’s not dry. It’s passion taken to higher and deeper levels. When I was standing in the middle of one of my electric-lightning spouting machines, the essence of that was BEING ALIVE.