A Breakthrough in the Quest for a Theory of Everything

Geoff Ward, 23 January 2024, Medium

The philosopher and cultural historian Nicholas Hagger claims to have solved one of the greatest problems of science by proposing a Theory of Everything to explain completely, and embrace, all aspects of the universe. Scientists are now being called upon to test it.

Nicholas Hagger started thinking about a Theory of Everything in 1991 when he read Theories of Everything: The quest for ultimate explanation by the cosmologist, theoretical physicist and mathematician John Barrow (1952–2020), a foremost expert on the subject.

In the following year, on the morning after he’d given a talk to five hundred scientists and mystics in Winchester, Hagger happened to have breakfast with Barrow and asked him: ‘Where do love and order come into your mathematics?’ Barrow replied that he was not prepared to go outside his area of cosmology, the materialistic level. Yet Hagger was convinced from that day that a Theory of Everything must include love, order and harmony.

A theory of everything, or a unified field theory, an encompassing theoretical framework of physics to explain completely and connect all aspects of the universe, has eluded science so far and remains one of its major unsolved problems.

Two theoretical frameworks, on which all physics stands, have been arrived at: general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity focuses on gravity for understanding the universe, the macrocosm with its galaxies, stars and planets; quantum mechanics, in its Standard Model, deals with the three non-gravitational forces — the strong and weak nuclear forces and the electromagnetic force — in the microcosm, molecules, atoms and sub-atomic and elementary particles.

For a Theory of Everything to be achieved, these four forces would somehow need to be united, and Hagger claims that his theory succeeds in doing this — representing a major breakthrough — such success having been made possible only through his cross-disciplinary Universalist approach to the universe, as he states in The Algorithm of Creation: Universalism’s Algorithm of the Infinite and Space-Time, and a Theory of Everything (O-Books, October, 2023).

This article is a sequel to my recent review of The Algorithm of Creation to which it would be useful to refer by way of background. The review can be read here. An algorithm is defined as a finite set of instructions carried out in a specific order to perform a particular task; a set of commands that must be followed, for example, for a computer to perform calculations or other problem-solving operations.

Hagger saw that he could set out a Theory of Everything based on his ‘algorithm of Creation’; eventually he would have a hundred ingredients, the algorithm’s elements or conditions, to which he would give mathematical symbols.

‘The origin and creation of the universe and the entire life of Nature, animals and humankind, can be seen as permutations of +A + –A = 0,’ writes Hagger. The many variations of this algorithm, he says, have acted as rules which have controlled the creation and development of the expanding universe, its evolution and the rise of human history, religion and science, and its ultimate fate.

Wisdom of the East

The formula was given to Hagger, then a professor of English literature at Tokyo’s Keio University, in 1965 by the Japanese poet Junzaburo Nishiwaki (1894–1982) after Hagger asked him: ‘What is the wisdom of the East?’ By way of reply, Nishiwaki wrote on a business card: ‘+A + –A = 0, Great Nothing’. This came as a revelation for Hagger (again, see my review of The Algorithm of Creation).

Hagger had gone to Japan in 1963 to seek and find the wisdom of the East and believes he found it two years later, in the Taoist +A + –A = 0, and that his Theory of Everything and algorithm of Creation includes the wisdom of both the East and the West.

The 0 is zero, the ‘Great Nothing’, whose emptiness is also a fullness: the One in which opposites, all contradictions and differences, are reconciled into harmony. The opposites, for example, can be Being and Non-Being, Being and Becoming, life and death, time and eternity, the finite and the infinite, the metaphysical and the scientific.

The equation +A + –A = 0 describes the process of the development of Creation by reconciling contradictions and opposites once they exist. In 1992, Hagger reversed this to 0 = +A + –A to explain the origin of the universe from Nothingness as Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel Laureate in physics and philosopher of science, who then held that the universe came out of a singularity, watched as Hagger wrote. This happened at a conference at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Hagger recalls that Sir Roger had ‘a big approving smile on his face’.

In the following year, Sir Roger provided an endorsement for Hagger’s third book The Universe and the Light (1993): ‘Holistic concepts have a profound role in modern mathematics and physics, and need not be mystical; Hagger’s broad sweep over the holistic scene is not so constrained by scientific desiderata.’

In combining the two formulae (obverse and reverse), the algorithm of Creation thus combines both the origin and the development and the end of the universe. Hagger arrived at the algorithm in three stages: in 1965 (+A + –A = 0) and in 1992 (0 = +A + –A), as described above; and then in 2021/22 (0 = +A + –A = 0).

The partial approach to the algorithm of Creation, +A + –A = 0, applies to stages after the Big Bang — the widely accepted theory for the expansion of the universe and the creation of matter — while the full algorithm of Creation combining the full origin, development and end of the universe is represented by 0 = +A + –A = 0, the arising from, and return to, the One.

Hagger formulated an algorithm of Creation of four symmetrical variables of 0 = +A + –A = 0 and a hundred key conditions for them which drew on twenty stages of the origin, development and end of the universe which he had identified. These twenty stages proceed from the first Nothingness through the formation of the observable universe, the origin of life, civilisations of history, and human unification in a World State to the end of the universe in the final Nothingness.

The hundred conditions, or ingredients, for the algorithm of Creation include, for example, all differences, Being, Big Bang, civilisations, DNA, evolution, gravity, higher consciousness, intuition, non-duality of mind and matter, order principle and purpose, quantum vacuum, spiritual love, space-time, universe, and World State.

Below is a table showing the conditions with their abbreviations, followed by tables showing four matrices for the universe based on 0 = +A + –A = 0, and also the universe in matrix form. The tables are taken, with permission, from The Algorithm of Creation.

Fully comprehensive

The full algorithm of Creation, arrived at in 2021/22, is 0 = +A + –A = 0, the four variables making possible four columns/matrices in the tables. The two partial approaches to the algorithm of Creation (showing from after the Big Bang in 1965, and before the Big Bang in 1992) are combined (in 2021/22) to form the full and complete algorithm of Creation that makes the matrices possible, and applies to other universes (if any) and all possible forms of Creation. In other words it is fully comprehensive, no longer partial approaches (obverse and reverse).

Hagger told me: ‘The entire metaphysical and secular strands in all philosophy and writings during the last 5,000 years are within the hundred conditions, which express the essence of all human thought about the scientific nature of the universe. Together, the hundred conditions summarise the essence of Everything, and include all disciplines.

‘A Theory of Everything has to include whatever has been thought at any time in the past, and reconcile all the apparent contradictions and differences into an underlying unity. Only Universalists can approach a full, as opposed to a partial, Theory of Everything.

‘Clearly, a Theory of Everything has to work at the scientific level, but it should not ignore the evidence of individual experiences reported within the world’s religions and by metaphysical philosophers. In other words, it can’t just be based on Aristotle’s science, it has to include Plato’s contribution to human thought about the universe, and unite the two by reconciling their contradictions.’

Hagger states in The Algorithm of Creation: ‘As many of the ingredients or conditions have already been tested, and as the four forces including gravity were all unified at the start of the first second after the Big Bang, my Theory of Everything is not a misnomer.’ He adds that his theory is within the definition and function of what a Theory of Everything should show as outlined in Prof Barrow’s Theories of Everything.

‘Over to the scientists,’ Hagger now says, ‘some of whom will be baffled at the inclusion of an “unproved” religious and metaphysical strand. The point is, all human thought has to be included in a Theory of Everything. It’s not enough to include all measurable scientific knowledge and omit the thinking of the likes of Plato as being outside a Theory of Everything, because that makes it a Theory of Partial Everything.’

Hagger now waits for mathematicians, physicists and astrophysicists to test his hypothesis fully. Already, Sir Roger Penrose and Bernard Carr, professor of mathematics and astronomy and president of the Scientific and Medical Network, are being made aware of Hagger’s work.

Nicholas Hagger