|But this is still not the end. What is the one venue in which Mr. P. has allowed himself to be openly questioned? Right here in the Aquarium. This is it folks. What may we then conclude? We may conclude only one thing: relative to the most important question, there is an incredible lack of demonstrable curiosity. Is not 'incredible' the correct word here? I can think of no more accurate adjective. If you are reading these words, you are the second most curious individual known in the world. Given a rational individual with access to the Internet, and some command of English, and a modicum of curiosity about the meaning of life, this would be the furthest that she could go on the Internet toward satisfying that curiosity. The next step would be to email me about the continued pursuit of this issue. That has not happened. Not yet.
If you were in this spot, would one test of your rationality not be to be feeling a touch of paranoia, or even more than a touch? Would not the most rational response be to feel that the whole situation was a set up of some strange kind? How else might this be explained? To whom might I now turn to obtain a reality check? The only one in the world seems to be Mr. P. If this is a game, it is completely rigged. It is curiously self-contained. There is a notable lack of recourse. One time I did attempt to consult a psychiatrist about this situation. I think you could well imagine the response, or lack thereof. This right here is the closest thing I have to a couch, or to a reality or sanity check.
Why me, Lord? Where is everyone else? How do they manage to be so incurious? Are they just pretending not to care? Am I here on this spot just because of a ten minute encounter with Sophia some twenty-five years ago? Why me, Sophia? Enough about me.
Back to dreamer vs. dreamee. If the self is something essentially social, then there can be precious little distinction. If we are created in the image of God, then God must be an essentially social being. Does this contradict an essential aspect of monotheism? Yes and no. It defeats any absolutist rendition of monotheism. The God of the BPW is the relationalist version of monotheism. Within the pantheon, the Creator is readily distinguished: a very distinct personality. This is just the X factor. She is our Dreamer, we are her dreamees. In a relational world, there can be no ultimate distinction. Could there exist a non-relational world. Sure. Just ask the scientists. They call it atomism.
There you have it. Dreamer, dreamee, it's six of one and a half-dozen of the other. The only question is whether an immaterial self is possible. The next question is whether a material self is possible.
Frankly, I think you could shuffle atoms around for all eternity and never come up with a self. In fact, if quantum theory demonstrates anything it is just that there can be no such thing as an unobservable or unobserved atom. It is not at all clear that observation can entail anything less than a self. Any evidence to the contrary is based entirely on the presuppositions of scientific materialism.
Even if a material self were possible, that would not speak directly to the nature of our own selves or to the possibility an immaterial self. It is only the functionalists who claim that science is presently in a position to explain the self, and functionalism overlaps with materialism only at that margin. Functions are a far cry from atoms. There exists no reductionist scheme for functions.
Relationalism implies the existence of a singular Matrix, i.e. a source or ground of being. Any resultant being then implies the existence of a non-contingent relational nexus. That nexus can hardly be anything other than the socially creative self. That is what I refer to as the Creator/Dreamer. If we are anything more than atoms swerving in the dark, we must be chips off of that Block. The BPWH flows directly from this excruciatingly obvious preamble. What more could I or anyone else say about this whole matter?
The Zodiac arises out of the cosmic potentiality as a nexus of quasi-real relational nexi or quasi-selves. To take their reality to the next level, these beings conspire to play games. For that to transpire there must be an agreed upon set of rules with an appropriate venue. An obvious suggestion is a minimalist physics in a limited space. If we wish to make contact with our own reality, the Mayan ball-game of Pokatok presents itself as a suitable candidate. Each of the zodiacal psyches would present itself in this game as one in a set of reasonably similar avatars. The game would progress as a shared lucid dream. It would be an excellent exercise is synchronized concentration. I would further opine that the Pokatok game brings us nearly half way to the BPW. Heck, it is even further than half way if you allow to include that gestational reincarnation addendum. And this latter item ought not to be a big deal within the given context.
Would not this simple scenario sound rather more believable to the ingénue as the basis of reality than would a quantum atom? It is a presumption here that we may have outsmarted ourselves when we take the quantum atom to be an absolute basis of reality, rather than as one of many useful models. I am just suggesting the most coherent alternative to the atomic model of reality. And if you can grant me this much, the we are half way home already. There should hardly be a contest between these two models. What compels the former is the technocratic turn of our history. If history is to take another turn, the BPW will be the leading, or perhaps the only coherent candidate. Where is the competition?
Before trying to figure out the next step of Creation, let us recapitulate and check for missing links. One area that may need more work concerns the ball playing avatars.
It appears that we may have touched on a sensitive issue here, and we're not even talking about the avatars. Just consider the ball. To what degree is there a reality that corresponds to the appearance? Is there actually anything out there behind all those appearances? It certainly does seem like it. We can see a tree in the distance and then walk over to it and feel its bark, smell its blossoms and hear its leaves rustle in the breeze. We may even climb up in its branches. How much more real can it get?
This self-presentation of the tree has to do with our spatial perceptions. It is not that these perceptions are deceptive, but they may not be fundamental. These perceptions are neither relational nor functional. We generally suppose that our relational and functional understanding is derived from our spatial perception. I suggest otherwise.
The brain is supposed to act as a behavioral transducer. It transforms the external picture into a functional map that our body is able to act upon in the appropriate proprioceptive manner. As a mentalist, I contend that the 'internal' functional map is closer to reality than is the planar map allegedly projected upon our retinas. Perhaps the projection actually works in the reverse direction. The Pokatok ball exists functionally in the minds of the avatars. The resulting 'synchronization' problem is not a problem when we recall that there is ever only a single source of all relational being, which can therefore never become asynchronous. There is no asynchronous protocol for the cosmic web. There is ever only one cosmic mind, which now has the illusion of being a multiple personality.
Will this work? We'll just have to see if and where we can poke holes in it. After a hard days work, reality can often end up looking and feeling more like Swiss cheese, but by the morning it has usually managed to pull itself back together. Which is the real world: inner functional or outer spatial?
There has only ever been one Pokatok game: the first and the last. Our world is just many variations on that one theme. All the physical and biological cycles are derivative therefrom. It can be our singular microcosm. We have pushed that Pokatok envelope to its logical limits. It is about time for us to start wrapping things up and getting our lives back in order for the finale.
We'll have to work out the cloning process that allows us to do so much with so little. We seem to be getting a lot of bang for our buck. The dia-logos is our vital cloning process. It appears most starkly in the planting scene outside the ball court, as mentioned above. How big a problem will agriculture be for us immaterialists? To what degree might farm and sport overlap in their metaphysical basis? I have already suggested that floral and faunal reproduction should be closely related problems. Human reproduction might even be given a logical priority in the ontogenetic scheme of the BPW.
Can we institute a basic floral cycle without first having to implement every last metabolic detail? How do we apportion this cycle as between final and efficient causes? The more that we may appeal to teleology, the less work do we make for ourselves.
Recall the high school chemistry experiment of growing those blue crystals out of a solution of copper sulfate? For the immaterialist, it is a problem that is similar to growing a plant. Must we invoke quantum physics to get these crystals started? We take a crystal, dissolve it in water, let some of the water evaporate and then watch the crystal reform. Then repeat. How about that? The phenomenology of dissolving is usually reversible. Every substance will undergo some such process in the appropriate circumstance. Glass melts, diamonds burn. What is the teleology? It has to do with entropy. What is entropy for the immaterialist? What is it for the BPW? Do we chalk it up to planned obsolescence? Is that not what mortality is about? Here also is the logical basis of metabolism. Here is the conservation of matter and energy. Mathematical structures don't have this problem. Or do they? What if one is a constructivist? Can construction exist without deconstruction? Not according to the postmoderns.
Finally, it may be simply a matter of time. I don't mean abstract 'physical' directionless time, but phenomenal, directed time. Without time, there is no history, no dramaturgy, no metanarrative. Such time is not possible without entropy and atoms. The mere fact of a narrational semantics requires the existence of atoms subject to quasi-reversible processes. And, yes, the rest is history. Or is it now just physics? Physics does not come close to explaining phenomenal time, and I would argue that phenomenal time is inconceivable outside of a teleo-logic.
Am I promoting semantics over physics? Yes, indeed. A semantic system relative to a physical system is like a monetary system relative to the cash system. The latter is mainly for show. It is the invisible hand that finally counts in the monetary system; it is the telos that counts in the semantic system. Green eyeshades and pocket protectors are not strictly necessary in either case.
The invisible hand in the semantic system is just you and me as the eyes and ears of God. Yes, we are the normalizers. Even the paranormal has its time and place. Much more than that, however, threatens to upset the system, and before that it threatens our sensibilities. We do keep the trains running on time. The eschaton, after all, is just the caboose on our glory train. Well, if you want to be technical about it, it is the engine!
Is Pokatok irreversible? Imagine trying to play it with a reversible memory. Without entropy, how could the players ever decelerate? At the least, they would need flywheels in order to do that. Instead of using flywheels, they eat the breakfast of champions, which, conveniently, is being grown right outside the stadium.
An important fact about the BPW is that it is a package deal, and not the kind that is put together with string and sealing wax. The Matrix is the seal. But the Matrix is not the point of maximum entropy. It is the point of maximum potency. The BPW is its permanent appendage. The world is just the Matrix as refracted through the diffraction grating of our individual minds. That requires work, our work. The analytic tradition results in an increase in information and a decrease in entropy. The molecular biologists are its latest, and probably its last installment. We metanarrators are semantically repackaging the existing information, which technically does not effect the entropy.
Strictly there was not a first planting or a first ballgame. Their cyclical potentiality was gradually brought forth by the potency of the Telos. But then at some point there was a psychological pole shift which managed to permanently break the cyclical time symmetry. My only scenario at present is just the one given above.
Atoms still need some work. They have to do mainly with biological cycles. These cycles require the replenishment of information and energy. They are not reversible.
The chain of being, i.e. creator -> humans -> cells -> atoms, has to do with the distribution of intelligence. The intelligence is found in the functional cycles logically entailing these forms. Cycles are the phenomenal substance of the world.
There is also the issue of multiplicity. Could there be a participatory creation without multiplicative cycles? The creational diversity inherent in the combinatorial possibilities is just the attraction of atomic matter. This is just the logic of our sojourn into matter. This is the central support for our bridge from Alpha to Omega. We and the atoms are chips off the Matrix. We are the droplets that make up the rainbow coalition of creation. The cosmic holography could hardly function without the logic of atoms. That is the logical envelope against which we may push the matricial potency to its limit.
We have not yet minded our P & Q archetypes. They must entail the input of the telos. They balance the first and final causes. They ensure and facilitate the anthropocentrism of the entire holographic process. This is the p-IQ of the atoms. Otherwise they would be inert. The dynamic substantiality of atomic matter resides finally in the singularity of the Monster Group, which, in its turn, resides in the manifold symmetry of Pi. This is how our rainbow coalition becomes the unbroken circle of the Omega. This is the finality of Pi. Every possible color of the Matrix is diffracted through it. The MG is the invisible hand made visible. Pi is the link between mind and the agora, i.e. between logic and space.
Another aspect to be noted of the ballgame is its tendency to transform ritual or cyclical time into a functional or linear time. This is a microcosmic symmetry breaking. Temporal presence is thereby focused. This microcosmic synchrony is followed up by the cosmic synchrony arising out of the symmetry breaking in the pole position contest. There is probably a logical similarity between these primal 'contests' that is not yet visible.
The revolutionary shift from materialism to immaterialism is the transformation in our understanding of the world from mechanical to functional. The mechanical aspect of the world is then seen as merely one aspect of its functionality. Atoms no longer constitute an absolute reality. Quantum physics forced us, very reluctantly, to make a small step in this direction. The BPWH requires that we leap across the remaining conceptual divide. The phenomenology, fortunately, will be transformed in a much more gradual manner, as we better grasp the meaning of the various functions, instead of merely reacting to them. We begin to comprehend the relativity of being.
The problem we face right here is the inauguration. On what formality do we stand, before we are willing to undertake this revolution? Can it be a purely deliberative process, or must there be a coercive element? Must there be a big stick? Perhaps holistic health will provide an impetus sufficient to transform our metaphysical assumptions. If this were to be the case, we would probably have to wait until molecular biology proves to be less of a distraction than it has been recently. It distracts all of us from the larger, more functional picture. The catch is that the balance between conventional and alternative medicine will be strongly influenced by our own perceptions and expectations. The placebo effect speaks strongly to this point.
It is apparently very difficult for even a few people to undertake such a large adjustment in their thinking merely on a contingency basis. Immaterialism will still appear to most folks as a trackless wilderness. It may require further years of concentrated effort here, before the next most motivated and properly positioned person may find these environs sufficiently surveyed so as to avoid a discomfiting disorientation. A related problem will be to also get a better resolution on the messianic dimension of any such undertaking, but it is hard to see how this contingency might be resolved short of an actual transformation.
My beef here is that although theism and pantheism have been with us since the beginning of recorded history, we have not previously attempted a coherent synthesis of the two worldviews. Having noted this historical fact, what is it that now prevents us from pursuing this path? Is this an opportunity that we can well afford to overlook? On the scale of all intellectual endeavors, why should this one not be given a high priority? Just on the face of it, should that not be the case?
We might wonder at this point if what we are confronting is a positive avoidance of coherence. Coherence is simply taboo: 'forbidden to profane use or contact because of what are held to be dangerous supernatural powers.' [M-W Dict.] This is, of course, true for paranormal phenomena. Science, however, in regard to the paranormal has taken a different tack. It denies the existence of all anomalous phenomena. There is the presumption of normativity applied to nature. Furthermore, there is a disallowance of any forces not sanctioned by physics. Cases in point are vital forces and mental powers.
Denial, however, is just an ontological form of taboo. In practice the denial takes the form of a collective censorship of scientific speech and activity. As with any human activity, there are implicit and explicit boundaries. The theistic scientist crosses one such boundary frequently, which is acceptable as long as there does not occur a blurring of the boundary in the process. Scientists advocating Intelligent Design must expect to find themselves under constant attack by the more established authorities. This is all part of the fence building and maintenance effort. Good fences make good neighbors.
Postmodernism celebrates these fences. The BPWH sees them as an obstacle to the larger truth. This view consigns the BPWH to being subversive to the established order. It is not a subject that may be taken up lightly. There is an explicit threat to the historical order. This is the eschaton. The irony is that any order is either arbitrary or essential. The BPWH points to a larger essential order that supervenes on all historical contingency. With a stroke of the pen it legitimizes every historical fact, while at the same time it invalidates virtually every existing rationale or explanation for those facts by simply posing a rational Telos.
I arbitrarily search on telos & cosmos (5,000 hits). Near the top I find Narrative Telos- The Ordering Tendencies of Chance, a dissertation for English by Victoria Alexander, CUNY 2002. There are some other good selections as well, which I shall peruse: Against Philosophical Appeasement, Anthony and Mary M. (Maggie) Mansueto. The others among the first hundred are less provocative. The general effort is to append a telos to a material world, following mainly Teilhard. One might as well pin a tail on a donkey.
The Mansuetos make a provocative case against the nihilism of materialism and atheism. Their Marxist oriented liberation theology also falls into the dualism of the Teilhardian cosmology. Immaterialism would be pushing their Marxist envelope to the max. I am looking at the back issues of Anthony's journal, 'Dialectic, Cosmos, and Society', for any idealist articles. There is no indication of any such articles in the more recent issues despite the lack of any editorial prohibition of same.
Victoria's thesis is billed as the most thorough explication of teleology to-date. I don't doubt it. It is written in a clear and provocative style. She was mentored by a physicist at the Santa Fe Institute, James Crutchfield. That this exposition of the largely scientific uses of teleology had to be written by a non-scientist is indicative of the scientific taboo surrounding this general idea. I am about half way through this dissertation and am finding that it is world class. I have learned more about teleology in the last two hours than I have in my whole life. Our intellectual logjam relative to metaphysics is beginning to break loose. If you are living down stream from the Aquarium, you might consider moving to higher ground.
Permit me please to add yet another sidebar. I refer frequently to the chain of being. One version of this is God -> human -> cell -> atom. From this sequence one might infer a possible analogy: cell is to human as human is to God. These ratios do happen to involve one of my favorite numbers: 10^10. I have long supposed that we might be thought of as the brain cells of God. This has some strongly pantheist overtones. I feel motivated right now to carry this analogy a bit further, with your patient indulgence. Yes, there is a spatial relation between our neurons, but more importantly they are embedded in a neural network, which can easily be represented as a matrix. My simple point is that you and I, relative to the cosmic mind are embedded in a very similar sort of subconscious telepathic network. That is how we are embedded in the Matrix, a partial projection of which is God's mind. Now hold on. Amidst all of the electrical activity in our brains, and with only a modicum of very transient external input, we are magically able to reconstruct a remarkably stable worm's eye view of the 'world', which is phenomenally impressive. Now I am saying that in God's mind there is an even more impressive and more stable functional 'representation'. But the caveat is that it may not actually be merely a representation of the world. It may just be the real world. Yes, this is a vicious circle. No, it is a sublime circle. It is the reality behind what we naively refer to as the 'world'. This metaphysical cycle circulates in both directions simultaneously. This is the 'mechanism' of our participation in Creation. Perhaps I should set this idea aside before I have second thoughts. What is real and what is appearance? This need not be an easy question.
And here is your homework assignment: how do atoms fit in, what role do they play in this reality circuit? If you come up with the correct answer before I do, you will go to the head of the class.
The atoms find themselves entangled in a non-spatial quantum matrix. It is, however, controversial as to whether quantum phenomena play a significant role at the level of the electrical connectivity between neurons.
There is another analogical ratio here. Creatures are to cosmos as atoms are to cell. Creatures and atoms participate in a similar peripatetic, interchangeable fashion in the information and energy economies of their respective spheres. There is a functional, microcosmic similarity to their respective 'ballgames'. There are two complementary microcosms: self and cell. This cannot be a gratuitous fact about the world. Likely it points to a yet to be discerned level of connectivity. It is also likely that the archetypes of QR&P play a role here. The MG may also be viewed as a kind of microcosm that could enter into this same context. In this case there is yet another analogical ratio: group elements are to the Monster Group as cells are to the body. This second analogy is structural rather than functional. And let us not forget the planetary model of the atom. In the sky it is the milky way that takes an ouroboric appearance. The nodes of intersection between the lunar, planetary and galactic planes were often considered to be waypoints in the transmigration of the souls. Pi inhabits the node of intersection between the logical and geometrical realms. Q&Pi combine to constitute the node between the mathematical and physical realms. X is the narrational node between cosmos and microcosm. Let's see now, have I left anything out of this witches brew? Dig deep, doggie in the bottom. What we may have here is a recipe for the Adam Kadmon or Cosmic Anthropos that somehow constitutes our reality circuit, or else it is a Rube Goldberg contraption. The previous question concerning atoms has now been blown out of all proportion.