The Story of The Unit Simulacrum and Whole PI

Ruiz, Don Miguel, The Four Agreements - A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Amber-Allen Publishing, San Rafael, CA, 1997.

Chapter Two – The Triacylglycerol Lipidome


Modern Methods for Lipid Analysis by LC-MS

Long before I started working on chapter seven of my recent book Modern Methods for Lipid Analysis by Liquid Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry and Related Techniques, I had seen the movie The Matrix. I immediately knew that it was something special. I didn’t know exactly what it was about the movie, but I knew that it was a paradigm shift in thought. It was the perfect metaphor for the concept presented in Castaneda’s books that described the relationship between the dream world and reality. Unfortunately, Castaneda left love out of the equation. Don Miguel Ruiz presents the similar Toltec philosophy in The Four Agreements. The Matrix represents an important precedent. I felt that it is the most concrete visual form to date of the idea of the perception-based construct that we live in. There are many other aspects to the movie that represent useful metaphors that will come up later. For now, I just want to explain how I came to understand the concept of the simulacrum.

In the bonus DVD that came with The Matrix, there were interviews with the cast. They said that the Wachowski brothers required each of the four main lead actors, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving, to read three books to understand the principles that the movie was trying to get across: Illusions, Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah; Out of Control; and Simulacrum and Simulation. Since I was such a fan of the movie, I, too, wanted to understand more about what the writers were trying to say. I sent off for Illusions and Simulacrum and Simulation. Illusions was a quick read and was very enjoyable. Simulacrum and Simulation was very thick prose, and was like hacking through a jungle with a butter knife. Nevertheless, in just the first few pages, some important concepts came across. Among these was the idea that a simulacrum is a construct so complete that it renders the original on which it is based obsolete. These things served as the necessary background for what I was about to do.

While writing Chapter 7 in Modern Methods, I was looking for ratios that could be used to help describe the structural characteristics of TAGs. I started with the simplest case, where a TAG has only one single fatty acid in all three positions, AAA. No matter how it fragments, it gives an [AA]+ diacylglycerol fragment and an intact molecule ion, [MH]+. The mass spectrum of an AAA TAG looks like Figure 8. As mentioned in Chapter One, the [MH]+/[DAG]+ ratio can be correlated to the amount of unsaturation in the molecule. Polyunsaturated AAA TAG give a large [MH]+ and a small [DAG]+, so give a large [MH]+/[DAG]+ ratio. Saturated TAGs give a small [MH]+ and large [DAG]+, so give a small [MH]+/[DAG]+ ratio. The [MH]+/[DAG]+ ratio has an inherent Critical Limit that determines whether [MH]+ is larger than the [DAG]+, or if the [DAG]+ is larger than the [MH]+. This inherent Critical Limit is 1. The Critical Limit is shown in Figure 9. At the point where the [MH]+/[DAG]+ ratio is exactly equal to 1, if the [MH]+ were to decrease by the least amount, the [DAG]+ would be the base peak, and would be set to 100%. On the other hand, if the [DAG]+ were to decrease by the least amount, the [MH]+ would be the base peak and would be equal to 100%.

This page first posted to the Web on December 22, 2006.


Mending the Sacred Hoop—

The Meaning of Whole PI


is in the process of editing.  It is not yet in its final form.