Creation vs. Evolution
It has only been a few months since the last foray into Creation. That last attempt turned out to be a two pronged attack on the subject. The first prong was an attempt to recruit pantheism to the cause of creation. Creation is hard put to find a point of repose within the pantheist schema, or lack thereof. Furthermore, the western shoe has a hard time connecting with the mayan tires. The fact that maya has no tires to kick, may exacerbate the problem, if you see what I mean. Think of one shoe tapping. Never mind.
Kickable tires were more available when we turned to the problem of emergence. Emergence is the evolutionists' answer to Creation. Strain though they do, nothing notable or non-biological has yet to emerge from the exertions of the emergentists. They simply cannot forego the skyhook of teleology and downward causation. Anytime that a physicalist departs from the Lucretian picture of atoms swerving in the dark, she is asking for metaphysical trouble. One trouble is that any emergentist ontology is bound to collide with epistemology. The epistemic/ontic divide is insufficiently robust to withstand the cross-currents of biosemiotics, the 'Ome explosion', and the like.
Failure of one's opponent is one matter, one's own success is another. How are we to ward off Samuel Johnson's fateful kicking of the stone, in refutation of immaterialism? A mere dream atom is altogether insufficient.
Sam is distracting me. This is not a stone kicking contest, this is about Creation. Ex nihilo is our problem. It would seem that a symphony can be created ex nihilo, but can a stone? Why should it seem so much more difficult to create a stone than a symphony. Mozart was a mere genius, while Sai Baba is a spiritualist for all his alleged siddhi. A symphony is created out of the mind, a stone out of atoms. With the 'dream atom', I wished to suggest that atoms had a similar provenance, but tell that to Sam. Sam never met the big Baba, and neither have I.
The emergentist would contend that given atoms, symphonies are bound to follow. I contend quite the opposite.
Here's the problem. Creation and evolution are two extremes. Many of us seek a golden mean, but that is not so easy if you are not a dualist or a deist, as are the Intelligent Designers, for instance. An IDer sees God as a literal micromanager. I beg to differ, but the IDers do have a point: where would Mozart be without a flagellum? And I'm sure that Sam would agree.
Why didn't God just commission Gabriel to create the 'Jupiter'? Who needs Amadeus with all his flagella? That is such a good question that I probably don't have an answer, but you know me, I'll give it the ol' messianic try. And I don't have to answer every question that comes down the pike. All I have to do is give the skeptics a run for their money.
God need not be a micromanager. Once she gave the BPW process a kick-start, she could kick back and watch us sweat the details. Serves us right, huh? I'm sure there is a hole in the heavenly fence for the angelic sidewalk superintendents. God did not create the parasites. God created creation. God created ecology. Nature has its cycles, we have our norms. Our norms complete the ouroboros.
Two details come spontaneously to mind: Amadeus' flagella and Sam's stone. I would blame both of them on 'ecology', rather than on either God or evolution. This is about relationalism and the manifold of (felt) meaning. And let me not forget cycles. That's what I was using my PDA to cogitate upon during this last intermission.
What's with a cycle? This goes back to the e/pi syzygy. Nowhere do epistemology and ontology become more conflated than in mathematics. I suggest that the lowly cycle is the inheritor and manifestor of this amalgam. In the game of reductionism, I replace atoms with cycles. The cycle is the common denominator of all emergence, from the ouroboric A&O cosmic cycle, down to the orbital atom and the spinning flagellum. There are many cycles, but only one cyclicity. There is an irreducibly vital, even panpsychic core to the phenomenon of cyclicity. There is no such thing as an objective cycle. There is a normative recursion and even self-identity at the core. Counting is one such vital cycle at the heart of mathematics.
Does not cyclicity obviate the whole problem of Creation? It would seem so, according to the pantheists. But then they hardly appreciate the singularity of the BPW. That is precisely where the theism is irrevocable.
Relationalism in a global context is a web of cycles contained in cycles. The space-time manifold is constructed of such a relational web in the style of Penrose' 'twistors' or 'spin-nets'. The cycles become aligned into a cosmos rather in the fashion that our neural nets are aligned into a conscious self. Is it magic? Yes, there is always a bit of that: enough to keep everything interesting. The world wide web is another manifestation in another space.
Flagella and stones are nothing if not ensconced in a relational web. 'Being kicked by Sam' bespeaks a web of startling proportions. No cycle is an island.
I would understand if you were to compare my authorship of these pages (un)favorably to that of a monkey supplied with an electric typewriter, knowing that no disrespect for our simian foremothers was thereby intended on your part. Nonetheless, watch out, as with the apocryphal conspiracy theorist, some day, some theory may turn out to have been correct.
What I wish to say about immaterialist creation is that we can have our immaterialist cake and eat it too. Both George Berkeley and Samuel Johnson will turn to have been correct. In keeping with the spirit of the BPW, we can have the best of both their worlds, and of all worlds, for that matter. Our dream atoms will turn out to be eminently kickable.
How do we arrange to have our BPW and eat it too? By using evolution, of course. But not exactly as the Darwinians are wont to understand it. It is notorious that some of my Christian sistren are down on Darwin, and I sympathize. It is no secret that Charles harbored the most serious reservations regarding his own theory. A monkey on a typewriter is capable of vastly more moral and aesthetic motivation than are the cosmic rays that are alleged to help rearrange our DNA codon letters.
Unlike the cosmic rays, God has a plan. That plan includes Amadeus' flagella, but not directly. God dreams up evolution, rather in broad outline, but then, using teleology to its utmost, is able to implement it mostly in reverse order. That's cheating! Well...., all's fair in love & Creation. But what if a Kim Jong Il, just as a for instance, were to come along and nuke it? Wouldn't that mess up the plan? Well, that's a pretty big 'if'. The way I reckon it, that's just not going to happen. Either a Bush, a Bubba or a Baba would intervene. But, hey, don't take my word for it. Let's just wait and see.
You question whether it would be possible to reverse engineer evolution, Kim Il or no Kim Il. I'm telling you that where there's a will, there's a way. If the reverse engineering of evolution would keep Samuel, George and maybe even Charles, happy, well, God would just outdo herself. The big payoff is that with the overarching evolutionary schema providing an enormously cohesive coherence, our dream atoms become, as I have earlier remarked, eminently, relationally, kickable and, yes, eatable, potable, and otherwise functionally promoting of cosmic intercourse. The only downside is that with all the kicking going on, we kickers are also wont to kick the bucket. But, hey, just how much of this lovely cake can one person possibly eat? You don't want to get a BPW stomachache, do you? And, besides, how many proms can a parent put up with?
The only thing that anyone of any metaphysical persuasion could find wrong with the idea of evolution is the materialism implied by it. What is right about it is its internal coherence. Who is to say that we cannot have the coherence of evolution without all its materiality? There is nothing wrong, and almost everything right with natural spontaneity. Why go through the labor of an arbitrarily imposed, top-down creation, when there exists a schemata for a 'natural' creation? Why should God not let 'nature' do what nature can do best?
It is my contention that the BPW entails an optimal balance between God and nature. I see absolutely no reason to believe that this optimal balance is not being achieved, considering especially that we now stand at the threshold of the Millennium.
The obvious way for God to empower her Creation is to exploit natural spontaneity to its utmost. An evolutionary style of coherence is the ideal agent of that spontaneity. Thus are we able to achieve an optimal balance between the creative push of spontaneous adaptation and a teleological pull. We and nature push, while God pulls. In the process we are also exploiting the positive powers of vitalism, panpsychism and pantheism, while avoiding the incoherence of dualism and deism. And who is to say that such a BPW is not possible? Why should we suppose that we are not its living testament?
The only problem with evolution is evolutionism, i.e. the granting of metaphysical exclusivity to matter and chance. The extraordinary properties of mind and consciousness ought to give lie to evolutionism, materialism and naturalism. All to obviously, there are more things than atoms under the Sun.
Outside of the 'fundamentalist' or 'hard core' ranks in both science and religion, almost everyone is willing to accept the compatibility of science and religion. Belief in a teleologically directed evolution provides the basis of the alleged compatibility. This is a minimalist teleology. It is a residual teleology that is left after granting everything else to scientific materialism.
I take strong exception to any minimalist teleology. There can't be a teleology without a telos, any more than there can be an expanding universe without a Big Bang. Teleology entails an Omega. Teleologists don't deny the Omega, but they take pains to postpone, downplay and ignore it. Gradualism and a strong distaste for any millenarian enthusiasm are the benchmarks.
Appending an Omega or Telos to the Big Bang cosmology borders on the incoherent. It becomes a deus ex machina. Yes, one can imagine a universally convergent evolution, but converging on what? Surely not just on a Tiplerian or Transhumanist computer in the sky. At some point there would have to be a Teilhardian spiritualization of matter or at least a separation of the two. The cosmic logistics of the Teilhardian Omega would be prodigious and unseemly, at best. The main problem would the unreasonableness of of any temporal coordination. Would every potentially life bearing planet have to wait for upwards of billions of years for the very last planet to reach its Omega, or would each planet just go popping off on its own Omega like so many spiritual supernovas?
If each planet were to converge on essentially the same Omega, this would seem to transform a spiritual process into a virtual assembly-line. The planetary redundancy would then serve no qualitative purpose, unlike the multifarious communion of souls within a given world. With a virtual infinity of worlds, no world is essential. Any given world is spiritually expendable.
One might try to imagine that there are more than the apparent four levels of being, i.e. atom, cell, self, God. We might be to our planetary god as she is to a cosmic being, and so on. This (unlimited?) polytheism has no conceivable rationale. It would remain logically incoherent to us. There would be no coherent end of the possible levels. Salvation would ever only be partial and provisional. The story would have no conclusion. We would feel just as lost and disoriented in that spiritual infinity as we feel now in our spatial infinity. Even the concept of the BPW would become incoherent. Without an overarching rationale, every conceivable world exists, and there is no longer any essential meaning for creator or creature.
Polytheism, pantheism and atheism become indistinguishable, according to our non-prophetic sisters and brothers. An essential God is a singular God with a singular salvational economy. Only that one God ultimately speaks to us, and only to that one God do we ultimately answer. That Being is our Creator and the Creator of our one best world. That is the Alpha and Omega of coherence. That is the one light. All else is merely a shadow.
A personal and loving Creator is necessarily self-containing and all-containing. Such is the best possible Being. If you can conceive of a more sublime being, this would be an auspicious time to reveal it to the world.
Thus may the Telos and the Logos be identified. The evolutionary schema that we call nature exists to serve the Telos. Nature can be fully comprehended and appreciated only in its teleological, eschatological context. In that sense, nature is a pure creation. We are the creatures who increasingly identify with the Creator. The evolutionary schema underlies the coherence of the world. God is the author/conceiver of that and all other schema and rationales.
Much of the above has been a roundabout rationalizing of what most, even semi-educated, people would consider a giant leap backward, reverting to a pre-Copernican worldview. There is no point in trying to soft-peddle this mind-boggling conclusion.
Regarding the impending immaterialist implosion and inversion of the scientific worldview, atoms and evolution come off relatively unscathed, but the stars....well, they've gotta go. Isn't that a bit like the dentist telling her patient that his teeth are OK, but the gums have to go? Sorry, about that....about the bad joke, but not about the stars. I've been warning NASA all along that they're going to have to do some serious retooling. Ultimately we have to choose between inner space and outer space. Metaphysics cannot treat them as equal without succumbing to a complete incoherence. Even the most rabid Creationists would hardly contemplate such a radical inversion of the modern worldview. I am simply following the path of immaterialism to its logical conclusion. I can do no other, without doing violence to the power of reason.
Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to pick up the pieces of the shattered materialist cosmology, and begin the reconstruction of its immaterialist successor. I will not be offering anything like a finished product, rather I will apply some very broad, preliminary brush strokes to a work that is going to be in progress for the duration of the Millennium.
But what are the pieces that are pickupable? A ubiquitous feature of the scientific world are its cycles, yet cycles lack a definite ontological status. The inference is that they might serve as a bridge between materialism and idealism. It's worth investigating.
Very often the notion of cycle and process are interchangeable, and I would commend to you Whitehead's Process Philosophy. Even several years ago, when I attempted to study PP, much of it was beyond my ken. Do not blame Alfie for any significant part of what may follow.
I contend that non-trivial cycles, and almost all are, are irreducibly phenomenological. Even the swinging of a simple pendulum can be far from trivial if it is not grossly abstracted. I have already attempted to rhapsodize on the metaphysical depth of cyclic phenomena. The organic world is composed almost entirely of such processes, and the inorganic world is hardly innocent of same. Organic cycles cannot be identified without consideration of their functional context. The biological cycle is the basis of biological holism and, yes, vitalism. Let the reproductive cycle be a case in point, and then recalling how ontogeny tends to recapitulate phylogeny helps to underscore the unbounded scope of even the most basic of cycles.
Quite simply, biology is not a science of objects, it is a science of processes. There is an unbounded, relational network that is truly cosmic in scope. Given this relational, process oriented perspective, even physics gives up the ghost of its abstracted linearity. Causality and functionality can hardly be disentangled on any level. That entanglement, mathematically formalized in the quantum domain, is pervasive. Organic and inorganic, epistemic and ontic are distinctions that lose their thrall under the aegis of any pragmatic concern.
The otherwise mind-boggling move from materialism to immaterialism may be greatly facilitated by focusing on the lowly cycle as a point of reflective equilibrium, while the rest of our world is stood upon its head.
Let us shift our gaze back to the stars. Recall poor Ptolemy. His epicycles have become the icons of an obsolescent worldview, the objects of our sophisticated derision. Yet, our literally exploding cosmological models seem on the verge of self-deconstruction. No longer do we have to contend with mere epicycles, now we confront epi-cosmoses. The only way to avoid the functional implication of the Anthropic Principle is to multiply our Big Bang hypothesis ad infinitum. 'Many Worlds' are breaking out all over: in modal theory, particle theory, in astrophysics, quantum physics, etc. It would seem that we have leapt from the Ptolemaic play pen, into a seething cauldron of exploding, inflating, laminating cosmoi. Goodbye Cosmos, hello Apeiron.
With 20/20 hindsight, perhaps Cardinal Bellarmine should be attributed more than a bit of metaphysical prescience. I am not suggesting that we renounce the history of science. I am merely suggesting that science has its own internal agenda and Aparat. Consider the possibility that human destiny may transcend those and any other particular strictures, including especially any implicit ones of my own.
The bio-cycles could, without great difficulty, subsume the epicycles, in so far as we can lend ontological credence to Anthropics. Your basic terrarium with 24x7 fluorescent lighting might be a nice place to visit, but who would want to live there? Your more sophisticated models will have built-in light, tidal, climatological and even astroidal impact cycles, etc., etc. Everyone of these cycles may add enormously to a dynamic, hierarchical network of ecological niches. The Terrestrial, multi-cyclic model of terrarium is world class, is it not? Perhaps it may turn out to be the best possible terrarium.
Perhaps God did dream up the Sun, but how do we explain sunburn? An Eskimo could dream of the Sun all winter long and still turn out peaked in the spring. Sunburn is a process. It is a spin-off of a plethora of much more functional processes, most of them cyclic in nature. Heliotropism is observable throughout nature, not just on Pompano Beach. So which came first, Helios or the Heliotrope? For the immaterialist, that is just another chicken-and-egg type problem with, I would submit, a similar, and even quasi-evolutionary answer. It's just cycles all the way down, ma'am!
In the beginning there was just the Alpha and the Omega, and before that there was just the Om. The cosmic, phenomenological symmetry breaking is virtually all cyclic in nature. Call it cycle inflation, if you will. Cycles beget sub-cycles. Species beget subspecies. The more sub-cycles you cram into the Krebs cycle, the more metabolic bang you get for your citric or photosynthetic buck. That is just thermodynamics if you are into physics, and it is also information explosion if you are into metaphysics. Information multiplies and mutates in the dissipative economy.
At least to a first approximation, the linking of cycles into a network requires nodes of intersection and interaction. At that point the network takes on the appearance of an extended Feynman diagram: the points of interaction are connected by 'propagators' into a lattice structure. If the interactions are strictly binary, as in the Feynman case, the lattice will be two dimensional, but that is not the case biologically.
Reminiscent of projective geometry, there is an approximate duality in networks between the loops and their intersections. This partial duality helps us to avoid an unnecessary ontological commitment to the particles in lieu of the loops. Materialist, analytic thought reifies the particles at the expense of the process. Relational thought focuses on the network. On the relational view, the particle nodes serve as accounting tokens for the vital, underlying processes they represent. The processes are teleological and subjective. The particles are purely objective, or so our thinking has gone. Quantum theory forces us to consider the interactive cycles as being essential to the observational protocol of QM. A chemical cycle is a minimal self-measuring and recording system. As such, it is the minimal building block of a quantum world. Quantum theory and ecology are gradually nudging us toward a more relation view of the world.
The logic and raison d'etre of particles is just their atomicity: their supposed independent, objective existence. A persistent cycle, however, must be part of a dissipative system which must include an energy source, ultimately of a solar variety. This brings us back to helios and heliotrope. The heliotrope is a node in a vast ecosystem. That entire ecosystem, including helios, could be logically reconstructed in holographic fashion from the information that is explicit and implicit in that one organism. The same is not true of the Sun. In an atomic world, the Sun is the ultimate atom. In a relational world, the heliotrope is a paradigmatic node.
In a cycle based, panpsychic world, heliotrope holds sway over helios. In the great thought that is the universe, the phenomenological ecosystem is virtually self-spawning, self-reifying and ramifying. The solar logos emerges as a coordinating nexus of the various metabolic nets. This evolution is circular and teleological. Its linear chronogram lends only one, highly abstracted, distorted, perspective, which is not representative of the cosmic system taken as a whole. Or understandable bias toward the prophetic breaking of temporal symmetry leaves us mesmerized by a singular arrow of time. As we approach the apparent Alpha/Omega ouroboric discontinuity, we will become more cognizant of the non-linear dimensions of time. We too easily view time as just another objective fixture of the world, brushing over its paradoxical and subjective nature. Only in the fullness of time does its supposed linearity become less imposing.
Sun and atom, S&A, are the very useful cognitive spin-offs of our cosmic cycle. In as much as those abstractions serve the larger order, we attend to them. When they threaten to subvert that order, it is time to rebalance our thinking and restore them to the larger context. That process is just beginning. It has no conclusion short of the eschaton itself.
Sun & Atom are two primary nodes in our relational network. They define our spatial manifold in the way that A&O define the temporal. S&A/A&O are the anchors of our space-time physical reality. Every microcosm, every cycle reflects these four nodes. The Sun is the organizing nexus for the sky, as is the Atom for the earth. A&O organize history.
Who is the Atlas who holds up the sky and Sun? And how is it so held? God, as the author of our BPW terrarium, has scripted the four anchors of our reality in broad outline. We creatures work out the details that will necessarily reflect the Anthropic Principle. Our habit formation, our memories gradually flesh out the broad outline given to us. The principles of object oriented programming, OOP, may be reflected in the process.
Coherence is necessarily maintained throughout. Logic cum mathematics provides the analytical skeleton of the coherence. Logic and math are flexible to a degree, and they too become optimized in and through the process of habituation. The mathematical structures such as the Monster Group are upheld in our collective memory.
I have not given much emphasis to the role of memory. This is not an oversight. It reflects the trepidation I have in tackling such an enormous, convoluted issue. Suffice it to say that I conscientiously abstain from all materialist rationales for memory. Show me where the laws of physics are stored and I'll show you where your memories are stored. Even the physicalists throw up their hands in despair.
As a teleologist, I contend that memory and anticipation are two sides of the same coin. Creation, to an optimal degree, works backward as the reification and final cause of our memories. As a direct perceptionist, I don't make any hard distinction between the world and our collective comprehension of it. That object/subject amalgam is the basis of coherence. Creator and creatures are the partners in the amalgamated coherence. The S&A/A&O/MG (monster group) are the cornerstones of our coherence. Exactly how that works, the cosmic 'mechanics' of it..., my guess is about as good as yours. Relationalism is the fact of cosmic existence. Which fact strongly implies that nothing more nor less than the BPW can logically exist. It exists in the eternal potency of its self-organizing logic and, yes, its love. Nothing else can compete. Everything else is a mere shadow. As the Sun is the organizing nexus of the sky, so is God of love. God writes the book of love. The Sun is a significant prop. How much more than this will we need to know in preparation for the eschaton? Our need to know is part of the coherence, and curiosity is, of course, a legitimate need.
On further thought, I suggest as a sixth anchor the reproduction cycle. Thus we have:
A&O/Repro/S&A/MG as the Big Six.
This may seem a mixed bag of tricks, but such is our diversity. A would-be creator must pay special attention to the interaction and integration of these primary components. As for the seventh component, I haven't a clue at this point.
With just these six components, one is well on the way to the creation of the BPW. Is this too easy? It's not rocket science or even brain surgery, but it is a very extended exercise in staying focused.
I have been on the lookout for a Creation scheme from the beginning of this metaphysical quest. The individual six items listed above have been prominent in my mind for much of that time. The Monster Group is the most recent addition, and that has been a focus for a year or more. The A&O scheme coincides with my shift to eschatology some fifteen years ago. Atoms are a holdover from my years in physics. The Sun is the granddaddy of cyclical phenomena. Reproduction is, well, inescapable.
The six items segregate conceptually into groups of three, perhaps as two interlocking triangles in the fashion of a star of David. The two triangles are logically connected mainly between the reproductive and atomic vertices. One may consider reproduction as the primary biological cycle, and, as such, it represents all metabolic phenomena. Metabolism, in its turn, provides the primary rationale for the existence of atoms.
The atom may be depicted as a miniature solar system, and thus may it partner with the Sun as the twin organizers of the large and small. Deciphering the mechanics of the solar system has been the primary impetus behind mathematical progress since the beginning of recorded history, up until the last century when its role in that regard was supplanted by the atom. The solar and atomic mathematics is essentially represented in the singular structure of the Monster Group.
The above six aspects of creation are the ones which demand the greatest attention on the part of the creator. If these can be implemented, somehow, by hook or by crook, the rest can be filled in, to a larger extent, by us creatures. You might well object that the above list ignores the most important part of creation: the creatures. If there is a special creation on the part of the human, it would be mainly as in the image of God. That then would not qualify as a separate creation as in the other six items above. The imago Dei is more to be seen as part of God's self-creation, a matter that I have alluded to from time to times in these pages.
Besides any special human spirit or consciousness, there is the question of speciation. I am suggesting that speciation can best be subsumed under the category of reproduction, and I will attempt to justify that logical dependence in what follows.
From the perspective of the creator there is a six-point plan of creation. Let us attempt to divine how this plan might best be implemented.
Please allow me to recapitulate some basic points:
Lest there be any doubt as to what I'm doing here, let me remind you that it is speculative philosophy, with the indicated emphasis. There is a widely held opinion that the materialist worldview is due, at the least, for serious revision. I am among those who are skeptical of the prospects of any mere revision. I am reasonably convinced that the mind-body problem is sufficiently severe for materialism so as to warrant the adoption of an immaterialist system. That is the work in progress on these pages.
Obviously the human mind has a capacity for reasoning and rationalizing. Every cultural system including the modern and postmodern ones provide frameworks for the deployment of our reasoning abilities. Down through the ages it has been the myriad versions of rational theism and/or gnosticism which have provided the widest latitude to the reasoning impulse. I propose the immaterialist BPW scheme as the logical culmination of this tradition.
I believe that the materialist tradition has been a necessary and useful phase in the evolution of human thought. The problem of the mind, however, presents not just another puzzle for science to solve. It appears to be presenting an ontological challenge of the highest order. We have to ask ourselves, which is the cart and which is the horse. I am suggesting that materialism has put the cart before the horse. I proceed here to restore the horse to its proper position, and examine the consequences. If immaterialism is to be more than an exercise in mysticism, it must make a strong appeal to rational theism. The concept of the BPW provides, I submit, the necessary foundation for any rational scheme of Creation.
Evolution is a powerful ordering principle, indeed, it is the primary rationale behind the entire modern worldview. Postmodernism, for all its sound and fury, has hardly dared to even ruffle the feathers of evolutionism. What I propose here is an immaterialist, idealist version of evolution. The world is a great thought rather than a great machine. Let us see how that thought evolves. Let us see how the phenomenology of evolution may be explained and exploited from an idealist, theistic perspective. And that is what we have been doing. I am not here to challenge evolution, I am here to repossess the phenomenality of it on behalf of the Creator.
That rational theism is a minimalist theism can hardly be overemphasized. This is not going to be the Hollywood, special effects version of Creation. This is the Tom Sawyer version. This is the Anthropic version. God sets the minimal stage and then lets the actors run the show. We are the mainly unwitting actors.
The minimalist 'props' or organizing principles for Creation might consist of the six items I suggested yesterday. This is simply a first approximation. It is a very rough sketch meant only to stimulate further thought. Let us proceed in that spirit.
How might these 'props' be deployed? The primary organizing principle for Creation is simply the historical narrative. God is responsible for the A&O as well as for the significant prophetic events. To the extent possible, we actors are then left to our own devices. The extent of our freewill is a factor to be balanced in accord with the BPW concept. The creation of the narrative proceeds in a manner not unlike the creation of an author setting out to write the Greatest Story Ever Told.
A reproductive cycle serves multiple purposes. Each life history is a partial reflection of the cosmic history. The parent-child relation reflects the relation between Creator and creature. Sexual reproduction and mutation ensures maximum diversity and novelty, with minimal divine intervention. A universal genetic schema maximizes the continuity of 'nature'. How is the reproductive cycle implemented? I submit that it is implemented in the process of creating even the first creature. Creation and Creator are a reflection of each other that comes about through a (deliberate?) cosmic symmetry breaking between primordial (cosmic) self and other self. This same symmetry breaking is partially manifested in the distinction between Alpha and Omega. Time is a product of the symmetry breaking as manifested in the ouroboric, A/O cycle. There is a reciprocal temporality between Creator and Creation. The existence of one complements the other. God pours herself, even sacrifices herself, into the Creation which then completes the cosmic reality. Sub specie aeternitas, there is but one singular spirit. To put it most succinctly, the reproductive cycle is but the logical spin-off ouroboric cycle.
Given a reproductive, genetic schema, the existence of an evolutionary tree could almost be an afterthought. It would be a waste not to exploit the logic and rationale of evolution to flesh out nature in as spontaneous a manner as possible. That does not mean than evolution is to be taken as a literal fact, but rather as a narrative device. I would suggest that dinosaurs, for instance, existed in a parallel 'prehistoric' virtual sub-world unto itself, a kind of Jurassic Park if you will, whose logical overlap with Creation proper is witnessed in the fossil 'record'. Thus permit me to suggest that the quasi-linear phenomenological time as we now experience it covers a period not much greater than that of recorded history. We're talking something on the order of the time frame of the mythologically crucial equinoctial cycle of ~ 25K yr. The details of nature are filled out by us creatures in teleological, Anthropic fashion, somewhat in the reverse order of history. Creation can then operate on the assumption that all's well that ends well. According to one well-known theory of dream psychology, our dreams are created in a similar retroactive fashion in the process of awaking under a particular stimulus. Dream time is purely subjective in that case. The eschaton is simply the awakening of us into God. Like I say, this is nothing more than the roughest of sketches. If you are hereby provoked to compose a more credible rationale, my mission will have been accomplished.
Notice that here and throughout, I am not drawing a hard distinction between the why and the how of creation. Given a primordial cosmic will, no prior constraints on the operation of this creative will need be, or even can be, posited beyond the internal ones of self-consistency. And perhaps the alleged optimization scheme is best regarded as but a part of the internal consistency. Logically Creation has no seconds, and so the matter of choice is moot.
To my way of thinking, the most difficult thing to create, setting aside God's self-creation, would be the Sun. This is the most objectively physical item on our list of six. The Sun is our source of light and energy. It cannot be conceived as just another component of the ecosystem. It is clearly a dominating object.
Conceptually, light and energy are very different things, and it is not at all obvious that they should be combined electromagnetically. Our dreams are illuminated, evidently without benefit of the Sun or any other particular source. Why should our waking illumination have such a specific source, and how is that source put in place, etc.? And how about all that photoelectric and thermodynamic stuff?
The idea of a Sun would take the Creator rather far into the realm of physics. Solar dynamics just about covers the physical waterfront. This is a major deal. Heliotrope is one thing, Helios is quite another. That is a very asymmetric relation. Where does one start?
We're modeling creation as something of a divinely organized lucid dream that is being shared with various proto-creatures, which participate in it on various levels. God has to get the ball rolling and then arrange for the creatures to pick up the slack and fill in the details. Availing ourselves of teleology, this is a push and pull exercise.
Illumination is a funny thing. Think of the light bulb over the head of the cartoon character, or the halo on the religious icon. They represent a deep mystery about thought, consciousness and their distinction from the unconscious. Can we think without any audio-visual-tactile imagery? Consciousness is phenomenal, or it is nothing. That phenomenality can only involve the known sensory modalities: the ones engaged by the external world. Can we entertain abstractions without phenomenality? I have been partial to felt meaning over pure meaning, although I would be at a loss to describe the feeling of 'constitutional government'.
Where do thoughts and memories go when they are not being thought or remembered? There are many thoughts that we hash over, put aside, and then take up again. Then there are those occasional thoughts that seem to spring to mind, unbidden and almost fully formed. There must be mental processing that is unaccompanied by phenomenality.
Panpsychism is the notion that the mind pervades the world, I submit it is the world the pervades the mind. I am not a fan of representationalism where there are two worlds, the real one and the mental one. An idealist has no need to posit two worlds. There can be different perspective without there being different worlds. The world is a great idea which exists in the collective consciousness and unconsciousness. On the day side of the Earth the Sun is conscious, on the night side it is unconscious, more or less. My train of thought is usually precariously balanced between the literal and metaphorical, and don't ask me to tell which is which. .
Given a three dimensional world, there is bound to be something like optics. Surfaces will convey or broadcast information in a more or less lineal fashion. This is true even for sonar. But why and how do we have independent sources? If everything is already in the mind why bother with optics and all the rest. Why not just have a memory like access to the whole world: kind of like remote viewing, but all the time? There would be no communication or transportation problems. Things might work like this in heaven, if there is such a place, but, evidently, not down here. I would suggest it has something to do with metabolism, i.e. with reproduction and the like. There must be a connection between the Sun and reproduction. Did I mention Pompano beach?
Metabolism demands the conservation and sequestration of energy, which in turn require that there be discrete sources of energy. Furthermore, consideration of communication bandwidth calls for an optical-visual type of channel. And so does the consideration of discretionary communication, as opposed to a more intrusive or telepathic mode.
Optics, however, is not feasible without there also being a distinction between sources and sinks. Otherwise there could be no flow of information. Consider, for instance, the structure of the eye and the camera obscura. With optics as with energy, there is a logical requirement for discrete sources. In as much as optics involves the flow of information, it must also entail a flow of energy. Given then, two disparate requirements for energy sources, we might wonder about their possible relationship.
Here is a further consideration: in order to minimize the number of sources and maximize the area of dispersion, it behooves us to employ remote sources, very remote. Thus do we come to embrace a single, combined and remotely placed optical-energetic source. Furthermore, we need a 2 + 1 dimensional configuration to maintain separation of source and sinks. For a dynamical system there will have to be a constant force field to maintain a vertical segregation. If we then wish to avoid external supports, we are on the brink of reinventing a planetary system, and along with it a Newtonian dynamics. Furthermore, photo-energetics will require a rationale for balancing the two. There will have to be photo-metabolic pathways and reactions. This entails a photo-electric effect of some kind, which, in its turn entails a Planck relation between the energy and the cyclicity or frequency. These considerations put us on the verge of reinventing the Bohr model of the atom with its planetary electrons, solar nucleus and discrete energy states.
What we have witnessed in the last several paragraphs, and in previous pages, is a redeployment of the Anthropic Principle in a more fundamental fashion than how it was originally introduced. Originally, the anthropic principle was intended to start with the physical world as a given, and then see to what extent this world is constrained by the consideration of biology. Here, in keeping with our immaterialist bias, we deploy the anthropic principle in a more phenomenological and thoroughgoing fashion.
Coherence becomes a primary consideration. Given a phenomenal ambience, how would that ambience be structured or organized to optimize its coherence. And why coherence? Coherence, Creation and Cosmos are all of the same stamp. They imply a subject/object polarity, but not a dichotomy. To avoid the dichotomy, the polarity is conveniently made circular or reciprocal. The creator/creation polarity is made reciprocal in some kind of Alpha/Omega schema. There must also be a macro/micro reciprocity as between creator and creature.
Reciprocity is impossible without coherence and vice-versa. Reciprocity and coherence imply mutual and universal comprehension. But reciprocity also entails a dynamic cyclicity of comprehension. Coherence is not a stasis. There need be a dialectic circuit in the broadest sense. A dialectical, evolutionary, reciprocal scheme is what the doctor ordered. The optimal such would be a singular 'recycling' of the spirit. Gnosis and agnosis are thus complementary and dialectically dependent. Continuity must also be juxtaposed with discontinuity on all levels, and thus do we come to the consideration of an eschatological/salvational/revelational scheme that invokes the Alpha/Omega discontinuity of the ouroboric sort.
The prophetic tradition incorporates these dialectical structures in a relatively pure fashion. Pantheism falls rather short in taking advantage of any spiritual dialectic. It is a reflection of a gratuitous cosmic pessimism and even despair. Any step beyond materialism will entail theism or pantheism. Why settle for the inferior product, when its complement is freely offered? In the end, can there really be a choice?
How do we sit now with the Sun? I show that the Sun is the minimal logical nexus of various considerations. Further, it is my contention that in an idealist system, logical necessity is tantamount to ontological prescription. It stands to reason that the how and why will not be disparate questions as they are in a dualist system. It is not just that the Heliotrope begets Helios, but rather that heliotropism, it its widest possible sense, begets and maintains Helios. And I certainly include the Pompano sunbathers and the Egyptian solar worshipers as significant elements in the phenomenology of heliotropism. God is responsible to load the dice of nature in a heliotropic fashion. Then the anthropically stabilizing, concretizing elements kick in. I have no doubt that more than a few of the actual exigencies of this bootstrapped creation process my be found recorded amongst our various creation myths.
The BPW does not have to be the most difficult world to create. To the contrary, considering the great reciprocity of the bootstrap model we employ, it may even be the easiest, if not the only world that may be created. This is not to deny anything of Creator or Creation, but rather to keep them in the proper relational, reciprocal, dialectical context.
Have we solved the creation problem? Indications are that we are headed in the right direction, and that is what counts. Once we take off our materialist blinders, new vistas open up. In short order we will have moved to take up intellectual and spiritual residence in these wide open spaces. Breaking down the artificial mental barriers is all that is required. All we have to do is break the ice of materialism, then we discover the ocean of the spirit, which is our rightful home, our promised land.
What finally can we say of the Monster Group, our remaining sixth element of Creation? The MG is to math as the Sun is to metabolism. It is an organizational nexus. I have already indicated that the MG should not be treated as something independently given. Mathematics is no more immune to relationalism than is anything else in our relational world.
Do the axioms determine the MG or vice-versa? I submit the latter. Teleology can operate in mathematics as elsewhere. We are told that there exist only 26 sporadic groups, of which the Monster is the largest. I suggest that we will discover an infinity of virtual sporadic groups. We will find logical spaces in which there are infinite analogs of the sporadic family. Furthermore, we will discover among the 15,000 pages of proof of the 'classification theorem' that there are hidden assumptions which speak to the admixture of simple axiomatics along with much more subtle anthropic-style biases. Am I needlessly sticking out my neck on this seemingly esoteric matter? Is this just another example of a postmodernist-style of critique run amok? Rather, I submit that an anthropo-theocentric idealism will turn out to be the one vital justification of the entire postmodern endeavor.
The above matter has to do with the 'unreasonable' effectiveness of mathematics in the 'real', physical world. Members of the sporadic family play a very significant role particle theory. No, I mean to say it is the exceptional groups that play this role. And guess what? I don't know the difference. I must have missed that class. It's back to the drawing board, sports fans.
OK, Richard Borcherds points out in his moonshine lecture that there are indeed intimate relations between the sporadic and exceptional groups, having to do with the geometry and string-theory physics of 26-dimensional spaces. He also points to the syzygy problem, which he says may not necessarily be related to the moonshine, but I would be willing to speculate that it rather points to some super-moonshine. The point of moonshine is the unreasonable coherence of mathematics. It is more organic than anyone could have supposed naively. The MG turns out to be a core feature, or a nexus of a significant part of the organicity. The unreasonable effectiveness of math indicates that the coherences of mathematics and the rest of the world, are, in some manner, mutually supportive. It would be hard to imagine that this mutuality could be accidental, even if we were not idealistically biased.
It is also difficult to think of math in vitalistic terms. There must be another dimension of mathematical 'time' in which the organism can live. The math we know is just one optimized slice of that organism. In that larger dimension of mathematical gnosis there could be an infinity of sporadic groups.
There must be many undiscovered relationships between the sporadic groups. Some of those relations must be extensible to a continuing sporadicity in some significant sense.
I invite you to inspect the Proceedings of the Organic Mathematics Workshop, as well as Complex Zeros. Also recall the Ramanujan phenomenon. What these considerations point to is that panpsychism is likely to entail a panmathism, which is just the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics along with our ability to ascertain and entertain same.
We think of panpsychism as being a touchy-feely phenomenon comprising a manifold of vital felt meanings. But now we suspect that this same manifold includes a vital, organic panmathism. The touchy-feelies and the mathematics complement each other in a fashion that escapes our present understanding. Undoubtedly, the comprehension of this super-coherence will entail a whole new understanding of understanding.
Consider the discoveries of Neptune and the Omega particle. How does our enhanced panpsychism help to explain such developments? The Omega, per se, is fairly straight forward in that it completed a fairly obvious grouping of the elementary particles based on their quark composition. The quarks, however, bring us to the threshold of the MG. That particle accelerators should be able to tap into our Ramanujan style collective unconscious is a bit more esoteric. Particles have to have properties, and those properties will cohere in an optimal anthropic fashion. Particles push reality beyond the limits of feeling and meaning. Beyond those limits, the only source of coherence is math and the MG. Relationalism demands that any available source of coherence be used to the utmost in any phenomenal setting. Quantitative organicity is a logically necessary offshoot of the qualitative, panpsychic manifold. Panmathism might be viewed as being the exoskeleton of the qualitative manifold. It couldn't not exist and be accessible in instrumental and psychological fashion.
Neptune presents a somewhat different picture. Telescopes are a logical off-shoot of our energy-optical system. We were bound to turn them on the starry, planet filled sky. From a purely metabolic point of view, only the Sun and Moon play a role. All the rest is gratuitous. The fossils are a direct product of the evolutionary logic lying behind the ecological context of biology. There is nothing so anthropic for the stars. They are window dressing in a rather pure sense.
Suppose there were no stars. It would be, well, quite unnatural. Nature abhors a vacuum. A blank sky would be a psychic vacuum. Evolution would be incoherent without a cosmic context.
What could that context be? The cosmic background could either be a steady state or not. The Big Bang phenomenology lends itself to considerably more coherence than does the steady state. Well, all of its incoherence may be ascribed to a single singularity. It is tidy that way.
That is the why of the stars, what about the how? The Sun, in all its glory, as we discussed earlier, is closely tied to the heliotropism that pervades nature. Given a fair nudge in the heliotropic direction, the ecological web ought to be able to snare itself a Helios, rather like our own phenomenological Sun, without undue difficulty. The Pompano sunbathers would hardly constitute a critical component of the nearly universal heliotropism.
Such is not the case for the stars. The logically prior presence of the Sun and Moon will certainly help to prime our ontological star pump, but we may need some additional input of the Pompanic variety. What I am groping for here is an astro-archeo-mythological system. This astro-tropic system will be a substitute for the less anthropocentric heliotropism employed above. Star worship may not be quite as gratuitous as Sun worship. The fact that the entire megalithic culture was laid out on a foundation of astro-geodesy is noteworthy. Sacred geometry, calendri, feng shui, etc. were all a part of the ancient, high cultural wisdom. The ancient hierarchy, with divine collusion, did hold the stars and planets to their appointed rounds, using every psychic, projective power at their disposal.
The enchanted, vital, zodiacal, mythopoeic sky, was gradually devitalized, perhaps in a metamorphic-pupal fashion. Yes, that original sky was our psychic cocoon, shielding us from all the other things that might have gone bump in the night. Our psychic boundaries were ever so much thinner and more fluid back then. Now we may be seeing a bit of a reversal. Is not the Hubble now helping to revitalize the sky, awakening us to a more organic worldview?
All of this just to set the stage for Neptune? Did Neptune not arise out of that same ocean of unconsciousness? But first things first. Among the first things seen as the telescope was pointed heavenward were the four Galilean Moons of Jupiter. Surprise?
Those moons didn't have to be there. There might have been only three. How did they get there if the Big Bang didn't put them there? As I've said before, it was magic. Idealism is no foe to magic, so you may as well get over that scruple. And on the same subject, how 'bout those Saturnine rings? God truly outdid herself.
The Jovian moons and Saturnine rings I would chalk up to a Jurassic Park type phenomenon. Somewhere God has a creation park or virtual alchemical laboratory, if you will, in the dim recesses of her mind. Genetic and fluidic experiments abound. Randomness is given a freer reign. Whenever a sapient creature stumbles upon a blank stretch of Creation, Creation Park is accessed in an alchemical fashion that will maximize the aesthetics and minimize the incoherence. Novelty will be a factor. A bit of Xerox Parc will add to the flavor. Add in a strong dose of teleology, pop it in the oven for a few minutes and presto-kazzam, you've got yourself a world class Creation system.
Is any of this less credible than a Big Bang cum Darwin? That is a very subjective judgment, I would submit. You pays your money and you takes your choice. I say that a little cosmic intelligence might go a lot further than a Big Bang. I don't expect any hard core materialists to be persuaded. But there are people sitting on many different ontological fences, and if even a few of them feel the sweet breeze of cosmic reason, my mission is accomplished. And then even God gets to rest sometime.
Some progress has been made, but each bit of progress points up the distance remaining. There are still significant gaps in the coherence. There is also the need to find a way to balance upward and downward causation. Idealism should not be forced to take the opposite extreme from materialism in this regard. The emphasis on cycles was meant partly to offset this tendency. Besides the reproduction cycle in the Big Six, there are also included the Sun and atom as a means of facilitating upward causation.
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.
With ecology there is the diversity issue again. Ecology and 'evolution' are a clever way to maximize diversity and minimize divine interference, both prerequisites for our BPW. History, as we know it, is a spin-off of the evolutionary appearing phenomenology. It comes almost gratis. If the Millennium were just floating in a vacuum, reality would be greatly lacking in depth. I doubt that we are presently in a position to truly appreciate the quality of the depth that our reality has inherited. It is still mostly buried in our psyches. Much of the meaning of the Millennium will hinge upon the, almost literal, unearthing of the omnipresent relational totality of our theocentric cosmos. This is the completion of history. Nothing is wasted. Can you believe that? You won't have to believe when you see.
We have grown so accustomed to our heavily filtered memories, that the prospect of removing the filters may seem daunting if not downright terrifying. We have grown comfortable in our tiny egocentric cocoons. Like the prisoners on Bastille day, we turn away from the greater light. That terror is the one remaining shadow before our dawn. We can only face that light together, and we surely will. It is our only destiny.
So much for history.
I still struggle with the issue of free will, and no small issue it is. I doubt that it can be fully resolved short of the Omega, but struggle we must.
In the best of worlds there is an optimal balance of freedom and security. But in the best world can we still be free to mess things up? There must be limitations on our freedom. How severe must these be? Is the best world predetermined, even on the personal level? Sure we can make mistakes, but we can only make the best possible mistakes. This is beginning to sound paradoxical. Can we avoid paradox?
The quality of the BPW depends on the capabilities of its creator and creatures. Can there be any logical limits on God's creative capability? There cannot be an absolute distinction between creator and creatures. If God is perfect, the creatures must be perfectible, at least in total. There are layers of mind each with its own version of will. We are by no means presently aware of all these levels.
The egocentric version of will in ordinary consciousness is likely to be largely a social construct or a figure of speech. But this is a far cry from the prospect of our being mere automatons. We struggle, usually, to do the right thing. This struggle is real. We try hard to do our best. That is who we are. We are not self-made creatures, however. Our lives are shared with many. We cannot avoid being judgmental or finding fault. Life is surely a learning process.
Creation goes around and comes around but once. This is no carousel. Conceivably Creation could have been less than it is, but it could not have been anything more. It is infinite in its qualities. There are levels of historical consciousness that we cannot plumb with our present egos. That is where most of the action is. The infinite, all consuming present and presence still lies in our relative future. That is a given. That point of completion is unavoidable. All our freedom is relative to that singular determination. Our freedom is consumed thereby. All reasonable possibilities are realized therein. That is its fullness. No stone is left unturned. Freedom is a spectrum of possibility, imagined or otherwise. That spectrum is our final rainbow. No experience is wasted or untasted. No soul is untried. We are all that. It is you and me, and in the end it is us, it is God.
Should we just lean back and enjoy the show? Yes, we can and will do that when appropriate. We will know when. We are not foolish. Much of our present anxiety and alienation is rather superficial. No need to belittle our present distress, but we will see the omnipresent light and come to a full understanding, ASAP. We will not then disown our present limitations. We will appreciate and appropriate them as never before. Do not be in a hurry at this juncture. As we learn to savor every aspect of our lives, we gain our gnosis.
It is quite likely that historical determinism leaves ample room for individual free will. The caveat would be that individuals in some types of historically sensitive roles would be less able to exercise free will than would most others. The trajectory of a life may be pieced together from different sets of experiences. The same experience might be lived from various perspectives. Memories would be interchangeable to a degree. The fate of each experiencer would be determined after the fact. Life episodes may be multiply experienced from many seemingly unrelated perspectives and trajectories. The sense of it all is worked out in due course. Everything evens out in the end, from the perspective of the omni-presence.
This is far from a final rationalization of free-will and historical determinism. There are undoubtedly many ways to skin this particular cat. Its ramifications and relations to other phenomena are widespread. A seeming overdetermination of almost every aspect of our world and existence is to be expected. No one said that the BPW would not be convoluted. It goes with this cosmic territory. Let us simply try to maintain a maximal metaphysical flexibility.
Atoms fit into this seemingly overdetermined scheme only in a greatly abstracted fashion. We have atoms without the accidents. Cyclical phenomena, and that includes almost every phenomenon, greatly reduce our our dependence on the particularity of atoms. Atomicity provides the rationale that logically links the innumerable variations on the cyclical themata. Averages over ensembles of atoms are what is needed in most cases. These averages can be worked out in a relational manner without resorting to ontological atomism. The intelligence resides in the cyclical networks and not in the putative individual atoms. This is the BPW version of panpsychism.
Can the logical consistency of all phenomena and experiences be maintained at an intermediate, panpsychic level without overburdening either God or atoms? This is an area of metaphysics that still requires much effort. Creatures must play a significant role in this regard. Our collective conscious and unconscious is the primary domain of the necessary panpsychism. There must be both centripetal and centrifugal forces at work in the cosmic consciousness. Their balance demands explanation. It demands intelligence.
The identity of indiscernibles in the experiential domain may be the primary centripetal factor. This should operate in an automatic fashion, and ought play a significant role in our Omega episode. Coherence becomes its own self-gravitating force. Decoherence may require more intelligence. Virtual accidents could be exploited, but there would have to be considerable oversight.
There are a limited number of universal cycles which are individuated ad infinitum by the interactions of the creatures. The reproductive/metabolic scheme provides quantitative and aesthetic limits on the general proliferation. Individuation comes about as the individuating creatures press upon the envelope of Creation. Fertility is a prime force in this regard. So are imagination and creativity.
I have been taking a defensive posture vis a vis the information explosion. This is inconsistent with my upbeat account of communication technology. This is flirting with incoherence. The alternative is something more radical in the way of coherence than what I have entertained to date.
I have given lip service to the notion of an eschatological resurrection or recreation of the past, although I don't presently recall where. This is certainly the implication of an ultimate, all inclusive presence. Perhaps I may have to venture further down that path to avoid the casting of aspersions on the family photo album.
I need to dig up some previous references: Gospel of the Real,.... Whoa! Stop right there! Resurrection of the dead?? Isn't this a bit much? Young Earth is pushing the envelope of credulity, but now the 'night of the living dead.' Golly! Well, logic and coherence are stern taskmasters. Mine is to reason why and then do and die. I can't turn back now.
Here's another reference: Millennium & Eschaton. One of my favorite postcards depicts the mayhem of this judgment day. Let us calmly recapitulate the path that led us to this seemingly comic book ending.
It has everything to do with relationalism. We're talking ancestor worship and Mormon genealogy. Yes, relationalism begins at home.
There is, of course, the question of heaven and survival. There is also the question of memory. If memory is not stored in our individual atoms, then it is out there in the universal, etheric or akashic record. There is thus no particular reason to expunge individual, eidetic memory upon death.
The overriding issue is presence. In a relational scheme, relations are not accidental or ephemeral. Relations are essential and eternal. They are internal. There is a cosmic gnosis or omniscience or ultimate Presence that we realize as the all inclusive Omega. This is the universal resurrection or hierogamos. Everything that lives, lives there in that eternal presence. All historical trajectories converge therein. It is the white hole of consciousness: the one source of spiritual light.
Photographs are one manifestation of the akashic record. The Internet, besides its real-time instant messaging type of connections, is also functioning to make present all records in a more or less coherent fashion. This, like the telephone, will gradually transform into a 'wireless' or telepathic form. We are becoming more wired to our past. At some point those wires will give way to clairvoyance or to a universal eidetic memory. Photographs and telephones are the material tokens of an eternal Presence. They do not compete with that Presence. They are its portents.
The past, then, is just a shadow or projection of the eternal Presence. This is what I mean by saying that Creation is a final causation. It is teleological, primarily. Our real past lies in our future. The Alpha is subsumed by the Omega. This hierogamos is our resurrection and rapture. It is the end of agnosis.
Gnosis is awesome and awe-full. Some will cling tightly to their egocentric agnosis. They will need a full Millennium to prepare for gnosis. The rest of us will move on through.
The past is a trawling net whereby we troll for souls. Every last one is caught up in its seine. History has a very fine mesh. If you think you can slip the traces of a cosmic, Mormon-style genealogy, well think again. The accounting may be greatly facilitated by the reckoning of some 10^10 souls. This being the anthropic, BPW ratio.
All this simply to provide an immaterialist rationalization of the family photo albums! These are not, then, the epiphenomenal detritus of a materialism run amok. They are the self-gravitating, self-cohering subversion of all atomistic schemes. Mater is transformed, thereby, into an in-form-ation which is self-consuming in an eschatological 'potlatch' of the gnostic kind. Some may think of it as the nasty kind, but they do know better.
I was hoping I would not have to learn how to take teleo-Photos, but there may not be a free choice. If coherence becomes self-gravitating, then the Omega will be a black hole of coherence. Gee, maybe I should be more worried about the eschaton. There will be no 'hair', as the cosmologists are won't to say. The Alpha would be the corresponding white hole, perhaps. Maybe that's why we should worry more about globalization in its possibly eschatological context.
It remains difficult to perceive the family photo album as finally caused, with or without Mormonics. That is why we will need the Alpha-Omega suspension stretch if we wish to go the teleological route. We will hope to get a before and after the fact version of a dream-like free will. I hope this is not getting too convoluted, but the BPW is very likely to be overdetermined, and then some, so we may as well get used to it.
There would have to be a plethora of symmetry breaking, coming back from the Omega. I'm not real sure how that would be managed. It probably reflects the symmetry breaking going forward from the Alpha. Getting the first and final causes to properly interface in the middle is going to be a trick. That may have something to do with JC1 and the symbolism of the cross.
I have virtually no idea of how this is supposed to work. Some prophet am I! In constructing suspension bridges, we do one strand at a time, and perhaps the JC1 event was the crux of the first strand. That would have been a stretch, cross or no cross. That event would be a natural focus for a great deal of final causation.
We may well ask ourselves what sort of free will might possibly be involved in such a crucial event. Overdetermination does not an automaton make. It increases the stress of the moment. The many modalities of reenactment feed into the force field of the event. There are elements of Being John Malkovich involved in the production. And, thankfully, this was before CNN, although they probably would have missed it anyway.
Any given event may be experienced from many perspectives, and many are. Every experience of an event may contribute to its overall meaning, but the specifics of that experiential process are beyond our present understanding. There is no logical reason why each 'vicarious' experiencer could not contribute to the the willed component of the event. Nor is it clear that each experience of the same event need have a diminished input into the outcome of that event. If there is a sum rule relevant to free will, it is surely not linear.
A principal point is that free will need not be only applicable to instances of forward or effective causation. It could operate under various non-materialist causal regimes, and especially in teleological contexts. The whole point of will power is to effect the final outcome. Just because a final outcome is known, does not mean that it was not caused by an act of will.
It may not always be clear that omniscience and determinism are quite distinct issues. The knowability of my future actions does not remove from me any performance or moral burden. Indeed the knowledge of a favorable outcome ought to improve our morale and abet our performance. It is only the detailed knowledge of one's own future that would cause consternation.
Now back to those pesky photos once more. For now I put phones and photos in the same bin as being necessary for priming the telepathic and eidetic pumps respectively, in an eschatological context. Does this make sense? I'm not sure, but it's the best I can do for now. If I am negligent in the photo album department will my family miss out on the Rapture? This could be unfortunate! No, the beauty of teleology and the BPW is that all of these interface (interfaith?!) problems work out in the end. Keep the faith, baby, and keep the kodachrome handy, just in case. It's all in the One mind.
Technology cannot be gratuitous. Information and communications seem to cause a problem for immaterialism unless they can be internalized to the larger scheme, as in internally related to it. The global mind will need priming via the global brain. That is the big transition problem. Technology is integral to that process. There is a push and pull aspect to technology. It pulls us into the uttermost aegis of materialism, and then spits us out on the other side. It is the active, self-subverting aspect of materialism. Without it, materialism would be but a pale shadow of the almost vital force by which we are presently enthralled. Being enraptured by technology is a prerequisite for the Rapture. Imagine when we are first able to see through the veil of technology. My understanding of this business is mainly theoretical. It is not fully internalized. It won't be until it is socialized.
Any more questions on this subject?
This started out as creation vs. evolution. How did we get hung up on the photo album? Perhaps I need a recap. I seem to have set a new record for parchment usage on this page. My apologies.
After looking at Creation is some detail, I settled upon the Big Six. These were the logical anchors for our BPW. If these could be implemented then we were well on our way to the BPW. In retrospect it is Atomics that carries most of the burden for the materialist appearance of our immaterial world. Much of the atomics can be subsumed under various types of natural cycles, cycles that could be evolved and habituated in reasonable fashion. It is the technological side of atomics that seems to break the natural cycles. But by the same token, nature must be 'broken' if we are to implement the cosmic cycle. Now I'm in hot water with the ecologists! There has to be a tension between God and Nature. We can be theocentric or naturo-centric, but not both. These centrisms point respectively to immaterialism and materialism. Pantheism is not a coherent alternative. The information and communication explosion are how we bend the Atom of nature to its own subversion in a (quasi) cosmic 'quantum measurement' process. The eschaton is our 'delayed choice.' The Alpha is subsumed by the Omega. Being 'wired' is an integral part of the suspension bridge that closes the ouroboric circuit.
This is by no means intended as a final explanation, but if it allows us to move along, it will be justified.
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