Tuesday, May 10, 2011
...and up/down, forward/back, here/there, past/future, me/you, them/us...
It seems odd to me that in an age where everything seems to have fragmented into a million conflicting pieces (the 20th and 21st centuries) was also the age that science discovered what the philosphers of antiquity already knew: that the Cosmos is one eternal and unbroken whole.
I would like to quote from Ken Wilber's No Boundary,pp.34-35, to begin what I hope will be some continuing information on this blog about the nature of reality, the transpersonal realms including the Imaginal, and the nature of spacetime as it is perceived in these various places: But the 17th century scientists didn't just resurrect the meta-boundary of number and measurement and then sophisticate it. They went one step further and produced (or rather, perfected) an entirely new boundary of their own. Incredible as it seems, they came up with a boundary on the meta-boundary. They introduced the meta-meta-boundary, better known as algebra.
Put simply, the first boundary produces a class. The meta-boundary produces a class of classes, called number. The third or meta-meta-boundary produces a class of classes of classes, called the variable. The variable is best known as that which is represented in formulas as "x," "y," or "z." And this variable works like this: just as a number can represent any thing, a variable can represent any number. Just as five can refer to any five things, "x" can refer to any number over a given range.
By using algebra, the early scientists could proceed not only to number and measure the elements, but also to search out abstract relations between those measurements, which could be expressed in theories, laws, and principles. And these laws seemed, in some sense, to "govern" or "control" all things and events marked off with the very first type of boundaries. The early scientists produced laws by the dozens: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Force is equal to mass times the acceleration of the en-forced body." The amount of work done on a body equals the force times the distance."
This new type of boundary, the meta-meta boundary, brought new knowledge, and, of course, explosive new technological and political power. Europe was rocked with an intellectual revolution the likes of which mankind had never seen. Just imagine: Adam could name the planets; Pythagoras could count them; but Newton could tell you how much they weighed.
Notice, then: this entire process of formulating scientific laws was based on three general types of boundaries, each building on its predecessor and each being more abstract and generalized. First, you draw a classifying boundary, so as to recognize different things and events. Second, you search among your classified elements for ones that can be measured. This meta-boundary allows you to shift quality to quantity, classes to classes of classes, elements to measurements. Third, you search for relationships between the numbers and measurements of the second step until you can invent an algebraic formula embracing them all. This meta-meta-boundary converts measurements to conclusions, numbers to principles. Each step, each new boundary, brings you a more generalized knowledge, and hence more power.
With this information from Ken Wilber, I think we can begin to see how scientists felt an ever-increasing need to break the world down into its constituent parts--indeed just to 'break' the world as one would 'break' a horse. The thing was, humanity wasn't becoming more civilized or moral in pace with these incredibly huge advances. Many tragedies happened because of this and continue to happen because of this. I wonder sometimes what the world would be like today if mankind didn't have such a strong urge to classify and 'break' things down into their individual components? I also wonder if the descriptions brought back to us from those who have had experiences with 'the other side'-or at least the denizens of these strange places-from UFO contact, to encounters with gnomes or nature-spirits, to entheogenic/meditative experiences etc. I wonder if these people are telling us of a world or level of reality that isn't so broken down? Or maybe more-so?(heaven help us if that is the case!) The image is of the 'radio active' galaxy Centaurus A. Thanks for your awesome comments and peace to anyone stopping by!