The next significant breakthrough that Einstein was to make was the realisation that space and time becomes curved in the presence of gravity.
As however gravity is an especially weak force in normal circumstances this curvature is so small as to be undetectable. However in the presence of matter with a substantial degree of mass the gravity force can exercise a significant degree of influence in warping surrounding space time. Einstein also postulated that gravity would cause light to bend in the vicinity of such mass. Indeed Rutherford's experimental verification of this in 1919 was accepted as proof of Einstein's General Theory thus paving the way for universal acclaim.
Once again there is a fascinating holistic correspondent to the curving of spacetime. Not only is this of interest in its own right but ultimately it throws considerable light on the true relationship of the electromagnetic to the gravitational force (demonstrating why a fully unified field theory is untenable in conventional scientific terms).
From the accepted physical perspective gravity arises in the presence of matter (with the actual force exercised depending on the degree of mass involved).
Corresponding appreciation of the holistic nature of curved spacetime arises from the complementary experiential loss of matter (with again the actual force experienced depending on the psychological weight i.e. mass involved).
As we have seen grief is synonymous with the psychological notion of gravity. And grief is experienced in human terms through the loss of what - literally - matters most to us e.g a loved one, a job, health etc.
The question then arises as to how the profound experience of grief can substantially curve psychological spacetime!
The key here is to recognise that the customary linear understanding of spacetime (resulting in absolute notions) is based directly on a rational interpretation (corresponding to conscious understanding).
However as we know from a psychological perspective, the conscious is in continual interaction with the unconscious mind. And whereas the conscious corresponds directly with analytic type appreciation of reality, the unconscious corresponds with holistic appreciation.
Furthermore just as conscious (analytic) understanding is of a direct linear nature (where the polar opposites of experience are separated) unconscious (holistic) understanding is of a direct circular nature (where the polar opposites are experienced as complementary).
So for example following the death of a loved one, grief is the typical reaction. This intensification in psychological gravity arises as the direct consequence of the personal loss experienced. This in turn leads to consequent loss with respect to a truly important set of phenomenal relationships (that thereby carry special weight). So we have therefore a considerable death with respect to psychic matter. This changes the focus inward in an unconscious search for holistic meaning.
And it is this holistic quest (relating to circular understanding) that therefore causes curvature with respect to the psychological experience of space and time.
Though difficult to bear, grief therefore can play an important role in the authentic development of holistic meaning as opposed to specific understanding of a conscious kind.
However because of the complementarity of the physical and psychological aspects of experience this explanation of the psychological nature of curved spacetime (entailing, both conscious and unconscious aspects) has necessarily a physical counterpart.
We cannot properly understand physical reality without incorporating in a qualitative manner both linear and circular type understanding.
The problem once again with the conventional explanation of curved spacetime in Einstein's approach is that it is confined in formal terms to a rational (linear) interpretation.
In other words though Einstein clearly realises the curvature of spacetime in quantitative terms, he does not recognise that this equally applies to the very mental constructs we use to interpret this reality.
Once again the standard default interpretation (i.e. 1-dimensional) that Einstein employed to the very end of his life strictly does not allow for any curvature of spacetime in a qualitative sense. Such curvature only begins to occur at higher dimensions (e.g. 2-dimensional) that we have looked at in previous contributions.
Indeed proper appreciation of the true nature of curved spacetime (in qualitative terms) provides the key to understanding why Einstein's subsequent search for a unified field theory was ultimately doomed to failure. We shall return to this important issue later!