|Part of this upward causation initiative is the Jurassic Parc strategy. The JPc is intended as a way to short circuit evolution in an ouroboric fashion. It is a combination of Jurassic Park and Xerox Parc, or biological cum intellectual incubator. Yes, perhaps this is just a slight, experimental extension of the Garden of Eden strategy. If we go that route, there is then the problem of interfacing the mental realm with the JPc/GoE. This is the residue of dualism that is still present in the tension between upward and downward causation. I need to reduce or rationalize this tension. This may also be related to the problem of rationalizing the effectiveness of mathematics.
One of the problems associated with downward causation is the achievement of dynamical stability. The mutually stabilizing influences of the Big Six were chosen accordingly. The MG provides a form of downward causation mainly in regards to the atom. Cyclical processes are perhaps the principal stabilizing influence.
Next to explaining the Sun, the atom is the biggest challenge for the immaterialist, and it may even be bigger. We will at least have to bring out the big guns.
Materialism and atomism are virtually synonymous. Atoms rule. Atoms make the world go 'round. A great explanatory bulwark has been erected upon the diminutive atom. How can immaterialists tap into that bulwark without becoming mere atomists? Clearly we will need to make the best of the immaterialist ingredients in quantum physics. However, a primary reliance on QM would make us overly reliant on atoms.
It appears that vertex algebra may be a connecting link between QM and several areas of mathematics, including Fermat's theorem and the MG. Riemann's hypothesis has its own links to QM via quantum chaos. There must be a quantum connection between the physical effectiveness of math and the observer participation. These multiple links are part of the explanation for the coherence of the world. Atomic physics is an exercise in working out the implications of the observable symmetries.
Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
I wish to argue that dreams inevitably lead to atoms. It may be a long way from dream stuff to a nuclear weapon, yet that is where the logic of the BPW does lead. In the dream state the 'why' and 'how' become naturally intermingled. Coherence requires atoms. Without an 'atomic logic' our dream world would dissolve.
No one questions our ability to dream of atoms, but they do question the efficacy of those dream atoms per se. How does a mere dream impart that efficacy? What is the force of coherence? I claim it is the most powerful force in the world. It is the only force. Correction: coherence and the life force are the only ones.
And did I hear anyone mention love?
But today it is atoms that are the main challenge. I am still inclined to assign metaphysical priority of atoms over the stars, i.e. the Sun, but it remains an open issue of perhaps more than academic import.
I believe I have mentioned the close association between atoms and cycles: a primary cycle being of the chemical type. Consider also the hydrological and meteorological cycles. Water is the substance of life as we can either know or imagine it to be. Life without water remains inconceivable and possibly even incoherent. As the basis of life, water must have uniformity. It must have elemental and formal properties. It must be capable of transport in at least two phases. It is the formality of water which speaks to its necessary atomicity.
More accurately, it is the characteristic formality of water which underlies its evident atomicity. Evaporation is an essential form. Logically that form is nothing if not atomic. When we dream of clouds and rain, we are dreaming of atoms at work, even if our individual dreams are not sufficiently lucid to make this internally obvious. And it is, fortunately or not, only a small logical step from singing in the rain to nuclear Armageddon.
Clearly there cannot be just one substance. With other substances to account for, something like a periodic table is called for. If you would like to invent a better periodic table than the present one, be my guest, but don't expect me to hold my CO2.
Evidently I am attempting to conflate logic and ontology. Formality is the main bridge. Is Plato the key? How do we bring the forms from heaven down to Earth? How do we incarnate them? Who is our Prometheus? I can and do say that the forms reside in our collective unconscious, but then what?
Formality is a very significant aspect of coherence. Logic is or concerns the formality of forms. What gives logic its dominion? What gives rules their rule? Is there not a computer in the sky? Where is the engine of logic?
Contradictory thoughts will eventually cancel out, but coherence is more than the logical residue of random thoughts. There is a vitality of thought. Coherence does grow in creation. Which came first, coherence or forms? Forms are the atoms of thought. Atoms are the forms of substance. But how do we get from thought to substance? The spontaneity of individual, creative thought must somehow give way to the formalized collective thought structures that make up our world. These two layers of mental reality replace the traditional mind-matter dichotomy. Atoms and logic constitute significant connections. I would also draw parallels between memory and substance. If long-term memories are not just stored in molecules, as seems quite unlikely, then there is likely to be a close connection between them and the world they are supposed to represent, a kind of retroactive direct perception.
Our spontaneous thoughts gradually condense upon the requisite collective forms, and form a collective memory that is the world. Our individual memories tend to be time slices. Our collective memories that make up the world are functionally segmented into the likes of Chevy's and Fords. Atoms are just the logically ultimate segments. But I can't drive around in my memories, can I? Not except in my dreams, and that is just what we do in the Big Dream we call Reality. And why do we need to rustproof our dream mobiles? How to explain those fender benders? That is where the atoms come in. After all, the bent fender is a memory in its own right. It certainly is a recorded observation, quantum or otherwise. It is the logic of atoms that forms the basis of these 'externally' or collectively recorded memories that we call History.
Can we thus atomize our history without becoming atomists? It is at this juncture that we turn to the quantum. It is the quantum that ensures the effectiveness of mathematics. By nearly the same token can it ensure the atomic effectiveness of our memories. There is, for one thing, a very definite downward causation and even teleology involved in quantum physics, entailing the macroscopic measurement process in its innumerable forms. Whence derives this quantum logic? QL ensures the coherence of our perceptions. QL transforms the probable into the actual, according to the consensus interpretation. But it could work the other way, as well, with the logical atom serving to balance the upward and downward causes. Is this still not giving too much independent reality to the atom, as Samuel Johnson conferred upon his well kicked stone?
Independence is the nub of it. Entanglement is the game; rare by the materialist view, but the rule here. Super-entanglement is only indirectly observable. Even on the classical determinist view, there is no independence. Perhaps Sam was anticipating the quantum when he waxed prosaic over his pet rock. Super-entanglement looks ahead to the post-quantum not back to the pre-quantum.
With super-entanglement, all observers participate in every act via the collective side of the mind. The world memory is the sum of all entanglements. When you add final causation via the Omega, the individual atoms give up their individuality, as if they ever had any to begin with, to the primordial cosmic atom, call it Atom-Kadmon.
Quantum entanglement remains a mystery. Idealism exploits a similar process in its relationalism. I should not be held more accountable than the materialists in explaining the entanglement. The idealist rendition of atomic physics relies on this relationalism.
Avoiding superposition of objects and other contradictory perceptions is a major task in any metaphysical scheme. Even dream states are usually free of such perceptions. A relational system, however, may automatically avoid such contradictions. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is necessary in standard atomic physics to avoid spatial superpositions. It derives from the anti-symmetry of the Dirac equation for Fermi particles. Photons have no such restriction.
Fender bending, as referred to above, does seem to favor an account that is upwardly causal. Relationalism and its attendant downward causation seems, naively at least, to be too convoluted to account for such direct, instantaneous phenomena. Perhaps our linear concept of time is to blame for this material bias. The putative time reversal suggested by dream recall might alleviate this problem of simultaneity. And this is where we may have to leave the matter. The subjectivity of time is a major part of any idealist scheme. Then we need to account for the universal, shining present. I would submit that the universal presence is much more compatible with idealism than with materialism. One just appeals to the universal consciousness. Voila. We're talking about the intersubjectivity of time.
Realize then that there are no accidents, despite all those fender benders. But is it not a stretch to appeal to the PSR for every little bender? Statistics do not argue against idealism. Accident avoidance and the lack thereof, can be subsumed under the rubric of universal telekinesis. God does not have to play traffic cop. But have we now rendered atoms to be superfluous? How does Atom-Kadmon enter into this new picture?
Can we say that Atom and Adam have comparable roles? On the Feynman view there exists but one electron traveling back and forth in time. This is notably teleological, and not unlike the absorber theory of radiation. Still, how does that ever loving fender know how to bend, without the brute participation of those atoms? Are there Platonic forms for bent fenders? Heavenly fenders are not supposed to bend.
I suggest that we can work out the basics of fender bending from a few bulk phenomenological parameters of materials science. These are the only 'forms' we need in the vast majority of real-life situations. Atomic physics, per se, does not exist outside of very specialized, ad hoc, laboratory settings.
Can matter be conserved on other than an atomic basis? Evaporation is not strictly a bulk phenomenon. Who is going to count the atoms? Is there a teleological, relational way to conserve matter? Can we appeal to the hydro-cycle. Just because atoms don't individually exist does not mean that they can misbehave in particular situations. We can still think in terms of bulk vapors rather than particulate gases. I am aware that Pierre Duhem took a similar path almost a century ago. Can we still arrange for PV = kT? This latter is adequately formulaic, is it not?
Perhaps what I am trying to suggest is that the cosmic Atom serves as a teleological form relative to the other formal material processes. As such, the Atom serves to coordinate these processes and thereby render them mutually coherent. In other words we have replaced the atoms at the bottom of the causal chain with an Atom near the top of the chain. The causal power of the Atom has been changed from mechanical to formal. All of the forms are endowed with an innate intelligence in keeping with their particular roles. In the final analysis there is only one cosmic intelligence.
Another way to construe this problem is in terms of the classical philosophical tension between universals and particulars. As with any idealist system, there is a shifting of emphasis from the particular to the universal. Particularity is primarily the province of the creatures. The world they inhabit is furnished mainly with universals, which are particularized relative to the individual creatures. The creatures are a particularization of God's consciousness. The spreading web of creation is contained by the expanding ouroboric cycle. It expands to its optimal dimension. In that cosmic process the microcosmic cycles are optimized relative to the creatures until everything has settled into an optimal ensemble. This is the world dream that we experience as if in lineal sequence upon our eschatological wakening toward the Omega.
There may be a problem here as we attempt to flesh out creation in a more or less logically continuous fashion. What are the logical steps? With the six items mentioned earlier, we have a starting point. Many steps remain.
Here's my problem at this juncture. Early in the process of moving from the universals to the particulars, one must specify the some things about the ultimate quantities involved. How much of the creation can be carried out while focusing on the universal qualities before having to take up the multiplication problems? As much as possible we would like to leave multiplication to the creatures, as in 'be fruitful and multiply'. But then we have the usual problem of reconciling the bottom-up and top-down aspects of creation; or, in other words, the efficient and final causes, or, perhaps, the Alpha and Omega. How far can idealism go in employing efficient causes without reverting to materialism? To what extent and by what means can Creation be decentralized without reverting to atomism? I seem to be running into a no man's land between idealism and materialism. At the very least I'll need some heavy-duty panpsychism. How smart do the atoms have to be here? Do they have to be individuated. That can occur only through the agency of personal consciousness. No?
The problem of creation is not unlike a programming problem. I have pointed to object oriented programming on several occasions. I wonder if we can have cycles residing inside of each other, and, if so, how can their intelligences be coordinated? Certainly we want to use the notion oop's notion of inheritance. What would be the substrate for an object oriented phenomenology? Would it have to be computational?
The global memory bank, if non-atomic, should be usable. Can we give memories intelligence, like an object oriented data base. Certainly if we run creation partially backward from the Omega, we want the memories to be actively summoning or recruiting their way back to Alpha. We can run the qualities backward and the quantities forward. The memory substrate just needs to be activated in some fashion. The apparent passivity of our memories is likely to be misleading.
If it weren't for photos, this would be a breeze. Just a minor obstacle, photos are. Just a fly in the idealist jam. It may be that photographic records are more of a theoretical problem than a practical one. Painting would not be much of problem for the teleologist, but security cameras, that is another thing. Cameras cannot be construed as intelligent or imaginative. What is the psychological role of photos? Their purpose is to jog memory.
It is not clear to me that there is any real distinction between idealism and teleology, although photo realism does tend to focus on the latter. One thing to remember about teleology is that all means only point to an end. Photos point to an independent past, but are those photos independent? There is no great distinction here between photos and fossils; it is a matter of quantity, at most. The top of Shell mountain looks like the photo morgue of a city paper.
The photo problem is not unlike the measurement problem. It's not the record that matters. It's the record of the record that counts. It's like Wigner's friend. With the eschaton in the wings, it's like the big eye in the sky. The Big O is a black hole for all records: all information. Moving forward we generate more information, but where does it all end up?
And let us not forget eidetic imagery. I contend that this condition must actually be a disability, considering the regressive manner in which it is distributed. And I suspect further that this disability is peculiarly human. Photography is an eidetic extension. We non-eidetics have to function more like painters in using imagination and mnemonic devices like cosmology and metaphysics to organize our minds.
There is direct perception of the past in lieu of memory. But that is not right. The past is the aggregation of our memories and records, which, in turn, are the disaggregation of the telic, qualitative vision of Creation. Creation is realized teleologically through the memories of the creatures. All records are ancillary to that basic, eidetic process.
What happens to the present? Only the present ever shines. The present waxes omnipresent like God. It is God: the cosmic Presence. Does this solve the problem of the family album? Is Grandmother created out of faded tinctures? Who created the Mona Lisa? Each creature and creation is its own telos, but it is all coordinated, obviously. We are as much the products of our children as of our parents, and they represent only a portion of the picture. The Alpha and Omega become omnipresent through every one of us. We are each the capillaries of that circulation. None of these explanatory issues can be or need be settled at once. Things fall into place on their own accord, just as do we creatures, just as does Creation. Everything in its own sweet time. Everything is already here now, we are just gradually awakening to that one simple fact.
In the above attempt to rationalize photographs I forgot to include cycles. Cycles can solve quite a few problems for us idealists. Much of the world is rationalizable thereby. All of it is if we include the cosmic cycle.
With robust cycles, record keeping may be subsumed under ritualization or just habituation. The information of records is all redundant. There may exist very complex, ritual based societies where records are virtually non-existent, and that used to be the norm. What is our modern infatuation with information? What is this I hear about a Digital Age? Is this really necessary?
I put considerable stock in Julian Jaynes' 'Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind'. Back in the old days consciousness was different. It was clan based more than ego based, nor was there our sense of asymmetry between past and future. When you are completely embedded in a robust tribal cycle there is very little need to distinguish past and future. All sense of time is ritualized to a high degree. The cosmic cycle is included in the tribal mythos. There is just an all inclusive sense of presence. This was our Garden of Eden.
Why couldn't God leave well enough alone? What was it about that apple? The Tree of Truth? Give us a break! Well, it does have something to do with the Internet, I believe. Yes, and also something about a global village or was it a brain?
The Garden of Eden was the qualitative Alpha state. We have to include the global scale of quantity if we are to complete the cycle to Omega. It is a big leap from the clan to the globe. There had to be a major symmetry break to go from the qualitative vision to the quantitative world. There was bound to be history. History is not everyone's favorite subject. Couldn't God have left out that chapter, skipped that subject? If not, why not?
In a word: diversity. If you go to all the trouble to make a creation, one clan just won't do. There really needs to be more than one clan. So at some point there is going to be a clan clash, and the rest is history. At what price? My only advice is don't sell history short if you haven't seen the end of it. We may be that lucky, and I'm not implying anything premature, either.
The historical information explosion does seem to preclude teleology, but I'm not convinced it must. My argument is that the amount of information we produce, enormous though it may be, is ancillary to our own eidetic memories. These memories are not separate from the world they depict, the omnipresent one. There is ultimately a total access to the one eternal BPW reality. Any experience can be reexperienced, although that may be an academic point. I am impressed by the 'reincrantional' type of memories that some people claim, although I would chalk it up more to a telepathic like process.
I don't think we need to make too big a distinction about whether a particular experience is first hand or not. Experiences are not owned, since there is ultimately just one owner of all experience. The rest of us here are just subletting our lives, illusory egos that we are.
I have been reading The Matrix and Philosophy in which several of the essayists try to make something out of fate vs. free will. Again, I am not convinced. Free will and the BPW need not be incompatible. Free will is a necessary aspect of consciousness. Consciousness would be nothing were it not floating in a sea of possibility. The depth of consciousness is tantamount to the depth of possibility. Remember, the best possible world cannot, by definition, be the only possible world. True free will is not is not something atomic. There are no atoms of anything, pace Democritus and Epicurus. Freedom is relational, unless it is just nothing more to lose. Freedom is necessarily more convoluted, much more. It is neither a simple, nor a simpleton. Freedom must be informed. Total freedom is totally informed. Thus omniscience and freedom, far from being contradictory, are mutual necessities. Ignorant freedom is just the illusion of spontaneous randomness, not unlike that of a radioactive nucleus.
The existentialists posit ourselves as willful atoms tossed into a meaningless universe. It may be an interesting literary device, but that is about the extent of it. Intuition is the basis of human freedom. Intuition is our fallible pipeline to omniscience. We follow our hunches, ultimately, knowing intuitively that we all end up in the same place, somehow. Is this fate? It is the logic of the game of life. It is the Alpha and Omega. Freedom is everything in between. It is the ocean of possibility. When the game is over, we will have tested almost every possibility, in almost every possible state of consciousness, certainly on the micro scale. Even the eschaton is a possibility that is open to relativization. The Alpha is the Omega. We are still much too ignorant to speak with authority on the subject of freedom. In the meantime we continue to follow our hunches.
Is Grandmother born out of photographic tinctures? Yes and no. Grandmother is an aspect of the eternal Matrix we call life. Is she your Grandmother? Yes, and also mine, ultimately. Photos are just another, often deceptive, mirror of reality. We can experience photos in our dreams. Those may be more real in their ontological representation than the ones on our desks. We don't ever really experience a photograph, we can only experience memories. We don't see memories either. We just experience the world as it always is, and is coming to be, as we finally wake to our own omniscience.
So much for the teleology of photographs and fossils.
Having rationalized historical records to a degree that is, hopefully, reasonable for the time being, we must revisit history itself. Yes, we can identify the Alpha with the Omega, but that is only on the backside of this reality loop or pump. The front side remains history.
From the perspective of heaven, or even of the Millennium, history appears as a rather long and bleak stretch. Some even prefer to think of it as a vast wasteland. Has history been a waste? Why couldn't we just proceed directly to the Millennium? Why all the preliminaries?
I gather that the Millennium must be rooted in some fashion, and the historical fashion turns out to be the best possible one. No, I think I mean the evolutionary fashion. Is history ancillary to evolution, which in turn is ancillary to the coherence of a universal metabolism and ecology? That is a partial answer.