By now both of us realize that the titles of these longer pages are not meant to be either descriptive or prescriptive, but are more for the benefit of Google than for anything else. This site has become, in this last year, primarily a philosophical diary or 'blog'. Instead of titles, I just use markers. The markers tend to reflect whatever was the last subject on the previous page. Nonetheless, permit me a very brief embellishment.
I owe more to Hegel than I know. What I do know of his work comes third hand, mainly from people with very different agendas from my own. I'll wager that much of my substance will find its precedence therein. My dialectical predilections certainly will.
The dialectic is the primordial cycle or bootstrap. It is the original breaking of the Matrical symmetry. It is also the Tao, with its yin and yang. Hegel was rather less the personalist than myself. I am more into the I-Thou dialectic of Martin Buber. The I-Thou precedes the I-It. Georg was more the absolutist, but I don't know that his absolute was any more or less objectifiable than my Matrix. Martin's dialectic was more relational than Georg's.
Moses and Mohammed are the antithesis of the Matrix. Jesus (X) is the synthesis. Then there is the Alpha and Omega. History is their dialog. X is the dialectical nexus or cross-roads of the cosmos and of history. The Matrix is the dialectical source.
I attempt to synthesize the prophetic and pantheist traditions. Previous syntheses, e.g. Hegel's, have tended to be weighted toward the pantheist, impersonal side. This leans heavily the other way.
The dialectical juxtaposition of thesis and antithesis will help to maximize diversity. It is our job here to leave no stones unturned. We exercise every option.
Now that was short and sweet.
[This topic is continued below, and is taken up again on 1/3/04.]
Not to change the subject or anything, but how 'bout that there intentionalism? As I scanned the previous topics, this one seemed most in need of a review, and hopefully a brief one.
A mental monist has no perception problem, and, to a first approximation, no problems of any kind. Well, the only problem is to create problems. Somebody must have done a good job of manufacturing problems, since we seem to have no lack in that department. Problems are created by conflict. A conflict is an obstacle between me and my desire. It is a separation of subject and desired object. Or it may be that one desire gets in the way of another. The BPW thesis is that our problems are optimal.
The materialist looks at our limited forms of separation and surmises that atomism is the natural state of affairs, and that relations are epiphenomenal. Holding the world together is the main problem. For the mentalist it is just the reverse.
The materialist is gradually being coaxed into the perspective of the mentalist. Now we are both faced with the problem of explaining symmetry breaking, which is not unrelated to the separation problem.
Dialectical materialism is another example. The thesis creates its antithesis. This is a symmetry breaking separation. How does this happen? The formation of the thesis, or a distinct idea, would be the hard part. The BPW thesis may be the first and last. God thinks to herself, 'If we are going to do anything at all, let's do it right.' But there must be a prior self to have the thought, then the BPW becomes the antithesis of the primal self. Logically prior to the self is the toti-potentiality of the Matrix. The realizing self is it's antithesis. The primal self could be X. 'Why hast thou forsaken me?' This is the primal separation. M & X come 'before' the AZO/QRP. X then is the prototype of Z, and it is X that gets pulled into the spark gap, or head-tail, A/O (history) gap of the ouroboros or primal Zoo-cycle. That is the dynamic of the incarnation. Every time I do genesis, it will be a variation on the theme. Self-realization is the A&O of Creation. X is that. We are the preamble to X. History is its parturition.
All of this is in the one gnostic presence. There is no agnosis, no knowledge problem, until there is absence. Absence is local. Holism is global. All systems are maximally entangled. Freedom derives from the symmetry of 'redundancy'. Metabolism/atomism is the measure of our removal from the boundary conditions of optimality.
I am enjoying the Music of the Primes by Marcus du Sautoy (2003). It gives a good account of the prime politics, but I must reiterate my objection to Platonism. Plato gives a bad name to idealism. His is a non-relational idealism. His forms just seem to float free in the void, unattached. This is not how it works. Sautoy quotes Hardy:
"317 is a prime, not because we think so, or because our minds are shaped in one way rather than another, but because it is so, because mathematical reality is built that way." (G. H. Hardy, A Mathematicians Apology, 1940)
This is just silly. Great minds can and do so easily talk themselves into absurd corners. What is 317? It is scratches on a paper, in the first instance. It also refers to a place in an abstract sequence. The most important point is that no members of that sequence can exist outside of that sequence. A number is the epitome of contextuality. Where does that sequence exist? That sequence exists only in the context of its normative usage.
Objection? A computer may be programmed to test for primality. It will usually print out '317' in the appropriate context. But what is a computer? Yes, I have one sitting in front of me, which could instantiate a universal Turing machine, albeit with finite memory. However, it is still just an artifact existing only in a normative context. If it began to fail, only a teleologically motivated, socially embedded agent could ultimately determine its lack of propriety.
Objection: physical processes instantiate many mathematical forms, including, arguably, primality. We would never have evolved if primality had not previously been physically manifested. But does this not beg the question of Creation? Mathematical physics is just one necessary part of the greater coherence of the world. It is a manifestation of the inherent relationalism of reality. The relationalism may only be grounded in the mind-like ambience of the Matrix. The relations are internal and, as such, may exist only in a larger teleological context.
Marcus draws our attention to two species of cicadas, often found together in the woods, having life cycles of 13 and 17 years, respectively. He points out that the relative primality of their cycles has selective advantages. We are left to infer the usual reductive explanation: numbers & atoms (i.e. selected DNA) are all we need to understand. It does seem rather straight forward, but I must not succumb to such blandishments. Permit me then to object.
Is this natural phenomenon not reducible to mathematical physics, at least in theory? I'll be the naysayer. I detect teleology. What I see happening in those woods is a microcosm that cannot be isolated from the macrocosm, and I'm not talking ecology. I'm talking ontology.
But here, possibly, is an additional piece of evidence for the Platonists: predator-prey dynamics readily generates prime numbers. Thus do we have a natural prime number calculator. However, the notion of a 'natural calculator' is illegitimate. To speak of cicadas as calculating would be to anthropomorphize them.
Suppose, instead, that one of our physical constants turned out to be a prime number, for reasons comparable to those given here. Would this not vindicate a Platonic interpretation of mathematics? Or would this attribution be another form of anthropomorphism? I could rather argue for the evident unnaturalness of physics. It might well constitute further evidence for panpsychism.
Neither quantity nor quality may be adequately naturalized. That leaves the very concept of nature without proper reference. Numbers are the individuation of quantity. They are our attempt to anthropomorphize quantity. But where would quantity be without numbers? It would seem that natural intelligence must come before nature. Ironically, physics, imbued as it is with mathematics, is turning out to be the least natural aspect of nature.
The crux of the unnaturalness of physics lies in the centrality of the e^i*pi = -1 syzygy. This coincidence remains our exhibit A for panpsychism. The problem of primality is an off-shoot of this. All of this, in turn, lies in the archetype of Pi, which relates significantly to all of the abstract structures and symmetries of the world. It is Pi that holds together the ouroboric dialectic of the cosmos. Pi and X are the seeds of cosmic intelligence and the BPW within the Matrix. We have already considered the dialectics (and here) of the Archetypes. Such dualities play a fundamental role in every religious and spiritual tradition. Pi is the ultimately abstract distillation of the Matrical potency. Abstract, yes, but an abstraction that also happens to provide the foundation for physics, in an elegantly holographic fashion.
This brings us back to the Music of the Primes. Is it proper to refer to the primes as the 'atoms of arithmetic'? It is this reductionism which causes us to be surprised at every new manifestation of the organicism of mathematics, the Riemann Hypothesis being the case in point. To understand the primes, we must first understand pi, and to understand Pi, we must understand the Archetypes. One may stare all day at the printed notes without hearing the symphony. Ramanujan could hear the symphony, but could not rationalize it. We attempt the rationalization, in dialectical fashion. Mathematics exists only in a cosmic context. We attempt to describe the context.
I originally got mixed up with numbers on these pages in an attempt to rationalize the Monster Group. I counter the alleged Platonic or mind independent nature of the Monster with the organicity of mathematics. The organicity of mathematics is evidenced particularly in the ubiquity of Pi and the centrality of Riemann's Hypothesis concerning his zeta function. It should be noted that Pi, along with 'e' and 'i', plays a critical role in the zeta function.
Previously I have contrasted (and here) Platonism and Pythagoreanism. Scientists favor Pythagoras' monism while philosophers favor Plato's dualism. I see Pythagoras as a stepping stone first to immaterialism and then to the BPW. Plato and Spinoza are obstacles. They both discount the coherence of the world: Plato because of his dualism, Spinoza because of his mystical atheism. Both would probably subscribe to Kant's impenetrable, mind independent Noumenon. In the cosmic Presence of the Eschaton, I would suggest that the residual noumenon is absorbed into the phenomenal, eternal Present. This is gnosis with a vengeance.
Return now to Hardy's alleged independent reality of '317', but that is not quite what he claims. He says that 317 is a prime, regardless of what anyone else might think. Or, as we noted previously, some cicadas are likely to have prime numbered life cycles, human conventions notwithstanding. Both true. But wait. Wherever 317 exists, it will be a prime, but that does not entail that 317, per se, is mind independent. One might even imagine a cicada with a 317 year life cycle. Would that not prove Hardy's point? I will argue no.
We simply return to the notion of a cycle. A cycle is irreducibly normative. The counting of them is necessarily conventional. This is the whole point of positing R & Pi to be Archetypes of Creation. The normativity of logic and math is inescapable. Does this entail that mathematical truth is relative to human convention? No, but it does entail that mathematical and human normativity have the same source. Thus are we unable to avoid the posit of a cosmic normativity, which is logically ascribed to a self-reflecting cosmic intelligence. Morality stands to reason only to the degree that it may reflect this self-same Source. Are we hereby conflating mathematics and morality? Yes and no. They differ only in the type of logic involved, but not in their desired universal teleology.
The 'Pythagorean' scientists pull a cheap shot, even if it is usually unwitting. They are much too quick to justify their mysticism vis a vis scientific materialism by a usually gratuitous appeal to a Spinoza style of atheism, thereby departing from the more coherent gnosis of the Pythagorean and neo-Platonic tradition. It would appear that Pythagoras stands to be rescued from these neo-Pythagoreans, but we need not divert to historical ad hominems.
Math and morality are equally grounded in the Matrix. Their full realization is mediated only through the teleology of history. '317's' claim to existence is, along with everything else, relative to that Telos. The telic 317 may only be barely recognizable relative to Hardy's 317. Only time can tell. The personality of every number and every human is subject to teleological revision.
The singular existence of mathematics is just a shadow of the singularity of the BPW.
The Monster Group need be no more or less teleological than a biological cell. As in the case of the cell, I do not have to point to any particular part of the MG in order to argue cogently for its global functionality.
The problem for the materialists might now be to point to something that is not normative. I'm not presently aware that they are able to do this. This becomes a big problem. Should we feel sorry for them in their logical predicament? No, I think the rest of us should take this opportunity to move ahead with our lives. We should feel much less restricted by their obsolete absolutism. Our argument then must focus on the incoherence of the postmodern pluralists. We must ask them to justify their incoherence in light of the modern pandemic of alienation and nihilism. Should we not give meaning a chance? For how long must must we refuse to ask ultimate questions?
It was James Barham who first impressed upon me the normativity of the reproduction cycle. This is a simple but profound observation. Is there any observation that points more clearly to the logical necessity of panpsychism? Is any other observation more crucial to the inevitable ascendancy of immaterialism? If there be such, then consider the case closed. All we need now is to find an articulate materialist with whom to discuss this point. Are there any left? Where is Jaegwon (and here, etc.) when we need him? Pragmatically, I doubt that he would want to be entangled in the politics of the BPW, but there don't seem to be any other physicalists of his evident ability.
Fear of the political ascendancy of fundamentalism (and here, here, here, here, etc.) greatly inhibits the long overdue intellectual debate between materialists and anti-materialists. The fundamentalists have managed to reduce this discussion to its lowest denomination. Vociferous bad thinking and narrow thinking drives out the rest. However, when this inhibition is finally overcome, as someday it must, it is likely then to burst forth in a more dramatic fashion than it would have otherwise. This drama will surely play into the prophetic type of scenario being outlined here. In that case, we need not wax impatient with the historical choreography. A good drama is always worth the wait, even when the wait may be longer than a lifetime.
I have been reading Robert Brandom's Modality, Normativity, and Intentionality (c. 2000). It is an excellent overview and modern history of these topics going back to Kant. From Robert's list of publications, we may surmise more than a passing interest in idealism. Any idealism, however, is well covered here by his attention to linguistic detail. His point is, nonetheless, that M, N & I are inescapable in any type or level of discourse. Early in the last century there were attempts to reduce M, N & I to the purely descriptive and extensional language of logical empiricism. But Kant had already demonstrated the illegitimacy of any such attempt at 'naturalism' even, and especially, in scientific discourse. It seems that if our philosophical colleagues had properly done their Kantian homework we might have been spared a century of analysis. Robert certainly underscores James Barham's thesis. I trust, however, that we managed to learn a thing or two on our analytical junket.
May we then infer idealism from Robert's rendition of Kant, or are we merely reestablishing the rules of our language game? We return, yet again, to the allegation of an Epistemic-Ontic Divide. There is such a divide just in the case of a robust intrusion of Kant's noumenal realm. Only thus did Kant attempt to shield us from what is about to transpire by way of a radical, and probably BPW style of, immaterialism. Well, Manny, you gave it the old college try.
The uncovering of the noumenal is just the task of any final revelation. The physicists were pinning their hopes on a final TOE, but they appear to have succumbed to the non-trivial blandishments of the Monster Group. They have failed to appreciate the esoteric, holistic and intensional potency of Pi. We step into this breach by picking up on Pi along with AZO/X/QRP, and thereby attempt to steal the show from under their noses. All the while we remain in stealth mode, under the academic radar, protected by the Fundamentalist/Creationist cloud of chaff, reinforced, perhaps, by a bit of acronymously (qv) and anonymously generated fog. Never discount the cosmic choreography.
Am I rushing things just a bit? Is my impatience showing? It must be that time of year.
A correspondent picks up on Mere Words:
Your thinking on words caused me to combine your thoughts with some of mine. You may be amused, or perhaps some new thought may occur. Who knows
A word is a sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning.
Words have context, dictionaries list definitions along with examples of actual usage. These definitions and examples demonstrate the external relations or contexts in which a word may be properly used.
But, what about the words content? Words contain information, but where is it? The only information explicitly contained in a word is in its letters or its sound pattern.
We are subject to the impression that words have an intrinsic individual content or essence or something intrinsic that we refer to as their meaning. But we cannot point to a meaning, the same way that we point to a definition.
What seems intrinsic to words is their ability to refer to or direct our attention to other things.
Referring is not a physical process, referring is an act rather than a process. Action, as opposed to process, requires an acting agent. It is the agent which determines the act of reference.
The agent is our attention or our soul current.
Words meanings are used to associate -- to connect or join together.
The mantra words are used out of context.
Thus the mantras are simply used to associate the disciple’s attention with a particular inner region and to the ruler of that region the Master who gave him those words.
Any word would do, provided that it was given by the Master, that is the key.
Thus the process of meditation is one of associating or connecting our attention (our soul current) with that of the Master. Thus we are intrinsically connected to him.
But, by the same reasoning words are used to connect our attention to objects of the world. So going inside is just a matter of letting go of one connection?
This is where the Wing-Walker’s Law comes in: Never leave hold of what you've got until you've got hold of something else.
And I respond with my own version of free association:
Master/mantra/disciple is a microcosm. In the macrocosm it would be Matrix/logos/humanity. The logos is also the primordial set of archetypes, possibly AZO/X/QRP. With John, the logos is identified more specifically with X. X is the anthropos, Adam/Kadmon, or Christ. Christ is the Christian mantra binding us back to the Matrix, which is the Source of being and substance, or the Tao.
The logos is also the Zim-zum, the Om, the ouroboros, and the ten thunders of creation. It is the initiator of the cosmic dialectic of the I-Thou, yin-yang. And it would also, in the end, be closely related to the Telos.
With the Omega, there is a letting go, going to the Christ or cosmic soul within. Immaterialism is the intellectualization of this mainly spiritual process of turning ourselves and the cosmos inside-out. Christ just seems to be the easiest handle for the most people, very convenient, and something very personal, tangible and user friendly.
In such a fashion must we reinitiate the creative dialog. In our analytic sojourn, we have lost all sense of context. That context must now be reestablished in a concerted oracular fashion as we prepare for the Millennium.
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