• In an immaterial, monist, relational world, there is no rational alternative to
the BPW hypothesis. Any network of being would be self-centered. There
would be an organic functionality. Chaos, to exist, would be parasitic upon
that organic network. At most, there would be a functional network of
realms, much as we see with the Mandelbrot, with everything in its
place. There is every indication that our world is spiritually the densest
world, i.e. the center of spiritual gravity.
Mind and matter are the mutual antipodes of our metaphysical deliberations. The tension between them shows no sign of resolution.
In the same vein, the Big Bang is the antipode of God. The Big Bang is writ large across the heavens. God, apparently, is rather more bashful, or is on a major Sabbatical.
On a microcosmic scale the atom is the logical antipode of the self. The atom is tangibly omnipresent, while the existence of the self remains problematic.
The thesis of immaterialism is that these appearances are deceptive, but only for a very good reason. If there is deception here, it is certainly on a grand scale.
Given a creative deity, then surely there would be creatures and a story line. Is not the scale of our world perhaps overdoing it? But first things first.
Why should we even suppose that a creative mind could exist without a brain of some rather elaborate sort, like ours? If a body is not necessary for the creator, why should it be necessary for the creatures, unless, perhaps, we are the body of the creator? After the fact?
One point is that the brain seems to have much more to do with the body than with the mind. There is a strong logical connection between body and brain. We can hardly conceive of one without the other. Yet there is no such stricture between brain and mind. Disembodied spirits are a staple of every culture. It is simply that thoughts seem to have no internal spatial coordination or identity whatsoever. The is no conceivable relation between mental and physical space.
Although a thought might exist without a body, we can hardly imagine a thought without a self. An unperceived thought is nonsensical, as is perception without a perceiver. Neither could there be a perceiver without perception.
If our most serious minds can imagine a spontaneous Big Bang, why do they seem to have difficulty imagining a spontaneous self? Can you and I?
A major hurdle is the space-time barrier. All of the selves we know and imagine exist in space and time. We try to imagine God existing in eternity, with scant success. Our spontaneous, self-organizing self will be responsible for its own spatial and temporal orderings. We are told that the Big Bang is quite capable of manufacturing its own space-time manifold out of God knows what.
In a few billion years matter has organized itself into selves, under formidable circumstances, we are told. Imagine what those spontaneous selves might dream up in an eternity. This is not to be flippant about anything, it's just that we must constantly struggle with the language in these realms. But don't underestimate the ultimate, creative power of the Logos. We are told that God did not.
A very important question is the multiplicity. Cosmologists have no trouble imagining an uncountable infinity of spontaneous universes, each in its own possibly infinite space-time cocoon. What about our spontaneous selves? What would be the ground rules of their cosmic intercourse?
Gods will be Gods. If intercourse is possible, it is inevitable. And how could it not be possible? Where is the supply of cosmic condoms? Where are the communication barriers. Indeed, their might ever only be one spontaneous self. Its actualizing potency distorts the cosmic virtual potency in an unmistakable fashion.
Regardless of whether the other selves were spontaneous or cloned in some fashion or both, from then on, the only conceivable ground rule of intercourse would be love. To put it the other way, the bad seed is ostracized. I think we can presume that cosmic ostracism has its instructive aspect. I don't think any of us would be here if we had not somewhere failed in love. Even Her Spontaneous Selfishness must have had her lapses. We all participate. We all partake. If She had not 'failed' at Self-love, we wouldn't be here, would we? [An cynic might suppose we are a cosmic social disease, but that would be most unfair!]
I do ramble, but there is a lot of territory and not an abundance of signposts. I am just about as much along for the ride here as any reader might be, trust me!
So we have Antipode 1 and Antipode 2: the Big Bang and the Big Spontaneous Self. On the face of it, is not the former much harder to imagine than the latter? Imagine how much scientific and technical discipline and effort have gone into the 'discovery' of the Big Bang. But every time any person engages in a conversation, say, that person is automatically creating a mini-self in her mind to represent her interlocutor. Big Bangs happen. Selves happen. Then what?
Does our existence as consciously minded, embodied beings somehow represent the accidental impingement of these two antipodal Spontaneities? Or what?
Accident shmaccident! Or are we to suppose that God sits around like a Cosmic Cuckoo waiting for a suitable nest to spontaneously appear before dropping Her egg on an unsuspecting Mother Nature. This is tantamount to what the modernized creationists are suggesting when they attempt to marry the Bible with the Big Bang, resulting in a Big you know what!
If we insist on this antipodal equal opportunity, the only thing we guarantee is incoherence. How much longer are the materialists and the dualists going to bang their heads on the Big Bang? Certainly for as long as their paychecks hold out. What will it take to get them to unshackle the mind from all of their arbitrary and artificial constraints? What will the rest of us do about it? If we are incapable of breathing a breath of fresh coherence into the mostly vacuous cacophony of the Internet, what will be our excuse? Will we just let Google take its course?
In the modern world, we love to draw distinctions. I don't know the history of this predilection, but it must be ancient and honorable. Now how do we move beyond it?
Well, OK, I do know a few things of distinction. Descartes was its modern master; his mind-matter distinction being the mother of all distinctions. Ever since Rene, there have been conscientious objectors to this never-ending process of analysis. Holism is a cottage industry nowadays, but it continues to be an uphill battle. Panpsychism is the most frequently raised alternative to this Cartesian pananalytic compulsion. The modern basis of panpsychism is to be found in John Wheeler's remark that no phenomenon is real unless it is observed. His remark gives voice to the quantum measurement problem.
It should be noted that to distinguish is to abstract, and abstractions are first among intangibles. If abstractions are unreal then so is everything else that you can put your finger on, because the very idea of putting one's finger on something is just another, well, idea. Tangibility is a concept. There would be no tangibles if there were no concepts, so there is a vicious circularity or logical regress at the bottom of this and every other distinction that has ever been made. And what do we make of that? Merely another indication of the flimsy flim-flam that passes as modernism.
Consider thirst. Is thirst tangible? Is it causal? If not, then what causes one to crawl a mile across the burning sands to an oasis? Hydro-depletion? Folk psychology meets neuroscience in the middle of the desert. The neuroscientist supposes thirst to be a mere concept, something to be eliminated from any scientific inventory of the world. But what, pray tell, is science if not a humongous pile of concepts?
Thirst is not locatable in space. It is not extended. But neither is an electron, nor is a synaptic event locatable, other than by gross generalization, or, should we say, by abstraction. And what is space if it is not the mother of abstraction? Space had not the slightest pretense to physicality until Einstein attempted a (re?)habilitation of it in his theory of General Relativity. Imagine that! The only recourse that space has to tangibility is totally dependent upon the notions of Riemannian topology.
Clearly the game of analysis is logically and physically bankrupt. And does anyone dispute this? No one that I can find on the Internet is disputing this. The analysts keep on analyzing merely because they don't know what else to do. There is a viable analytic establishment. There is no holistic establishment.
I take that back. There are holistic establishments. They are called religions. It was their ligaments that used to hold the world together, until Rene hit the scene. With postmodernism, we are collectively marking time before the establishment of some new set of ligaments. Only then could a spiritual body take shape. Are the analysts sore afraid? Anyone who does not fear God is whistling in the dark. The mother of all gods is sitting in the wings.
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How did I manage to avoid teleology for this long? Just a minor pedagogical oversight.
What is thirst if it is not teleological? Biologists have eliminated vitalism if they can eliminate thirst. I'm not really thirsty, it's just that my molecules are screaming about their hydro-deficiency, as a result of which my muscles act to decrease my hydro-abstentia. Fair enough? Like all is fair in love and war? The only way I know how to eliminate thirst is to provide water. This is especially true with regard to the spirit.
If abstractions are causal, they act as final causes. Consider numbers. Are number causal? Ask a mathematical physicist. Numbers participate in every causal process upon which she may place her slide-rule. The physical sciences are not science if they are not quantitative.
Causality does not function outside the framework of events. Events cannot exist outside of a functional, i.e. teleological, matrix. And, by the way, when was the last time you saw a quantitative event?
Aristotle realized that the cosmos must be pan-tellic. Why else would we or could we get up in the morning?
Ah, but universals are mere family resemblances. Does this explain a Peacock's tail? Would not the Mr. Peacocks be the laughing stock of evolution were it not for all those potential Mrs. Peacocks? What do the Peacocks know of universals? Perhaps nothing more than Marilyn Monroe. But if Marilyn is not an exemplar universal then who is? Is Marilyn a family resemblance? Well, if truth be known, She does not particularly resemble anyone in my family, but maybe we should ask 'Jumping' Joe.
[Later: Is 'electron' a family resemblance? How do we account for the fact that electrons don't merely resemble each other, but are numerically, physically identical? The lowly electron is the ultimate exemplar of an absolute universality. It only requires a few years of mathematical physics to understand why electrons must obey fermi statistics and thus ensure the stability of material objects. Without this underlying mathematical universality there would exist nothing that could be called matter. And yet we are daily confronted with the spectacle of otherwise intelligent humans touting the unreality of universals. What sort of a joke is this?]
My job is not to defeat analysis. It is to motivate those who will. When I mention Marilyn, it is only in the time honored tradition of the bait and switch, and if sex is not the mother of baiting and switching then who is?
What is the purpose of life if not to discover and/or invent the universal Telos. The problem with the Telos is that it is not a bait and switch. It is the Mother of all mothers. It is not a game. It is Finality.
Well, our little teapot of water is heating up. When will we decide to jump out? When will we decide to stop playing games?
The astronomers look through their telescopes and cannot see God. The biologists look through their microscopes and cannot see Life. Perhaps we need a new Spectacle, or perhaps we just need to stop and think, for a change.
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History & Nature
Within the monism of immaterialism there is a duality between history and nature. History is the foreground, nature is the background. Nature exists as a sub-narrative to the Metanarrative that is our history from Genesis to the Eschaton. That latter span is the extent of real or linear time. That span is significantly less than the mythical cycle of the equinoxes.
The primary story line of the Metanarrative is our long march into materialism. This is an unnatural move away from the cosmic spirit. It is our nearly completed separation from God. By our own efforts we have stretched the spiritual spring out too its maximum extension. In the Millennium we are able to simply coast back home, as it were.
The very unnatural stretching of the spirit is made possible by Nature. Nature exists in two virtual dimensions of nearly unlimited space and time, which complement the relatively real and more modest dimensions of our earthly sojourn. Nature comes with its own coherent sub-narrative that is our scientific cosmology. Nature is the frame on which history is stretched.
The nearly complete harmony of History and Nature comes about through their shared Telos and as part of the Alpha/Omega bootstrap. This includes the scientists who diligently and naively weave the illusory depths of space and time out of the depths of their own spirit, and also with their wielding of spades and grinding of lenses. Thus is God spared the Easter Bunny role of planting fossils, etc. It's not that she is lazy, she rather goes along with that flow of 'male' inquisitiveness. Will the scientists be aggrieved to learn that they were 'tricked' into feathering their own nests? I think they'll get over it, mainly because their hard won talents will not be peripheral to our encounter with the eschaton. They'll just have to learn how to turn their telescopes around. It's part of that little gestalt switcheroo.
Creation is not a trick, so there was no need for a cover-up. The Alpha/Omega loop is complete cycle. The supporting spokes of which exist in our unconscious dream work, and other interdimensional channels. We don't have to understand every last detail of creation in order to navigate the eschaton, which is our first order of business.
God has been concealed mainly by our own attention to detail. This is not wrong. It is nearly the whole plot. We have the whole Millennium now to put everything back in order. The role of the revealer is correspondingly easy. It's just to turn a little valve to begin to reverse the flow of spirit. This is what the intellect is for.
The continuity of the world is maintained automatically in a relational metaphysics. The work of the scientists is involved in the pushing of the necessary continuity to is logical, atomistic limits. Our approach to comprehending the logical completeness of the infrastructure of nature is a portent and aperitif of the ensuing spiritual completion.
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Introduction to God
Wouldn't it be nice if none were needed.... introduction, that is!
But this is not your father's God, and probably not even your mother's. My father was an atheist, but this would probably not have been the God that he did not believe in. But we'll have to ask him sometime.