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On objective consciousness.

The article below was originally published by the Houston Jung Foundation. Since publication it became one of the most read articles on their website, so I decided to republish it here, as is, unedited.

The Objective Consciousness Revisited – Understanding the Nature of Consciousness

In a significant revision of his earlier article “The Objective Consciousness,” Robert
Heyward explores the fundamental foundations of consciousness and the primal duality of
subject and object. (cgjungpage.org)

Any answers to the hard problem of consciousness will need to satisfy two distinct and differing
lines of inquiry. Firstly they must align coherently with our scientific understanding of the
universe, and secondly they must answer those questions which arise from the subjective
experience consciousness brings to each individual. The physical sciences still offer no
satisfactory answer to consciousness upon either front, while a plethora of mostly irrational
metaphysical notions remain for the moment the only source of any wisdom on the matter.
Obviously, any metaphysics we do use to approach an answer must be freed of superstition, yet
superstitious alternatives to scientific answers remain as ubiquitous and counterproductive as
ever. Projected numena and qualia generally contaminate all metaphysical constructs, and this
has ever resulted in the positing of metaphysical entities whose essential nature is not
coherent with the known laws of the universe or, at least, that part of it which we know as
reality”. This is not to say that consciousness might not arise from an entity or function of
whose existential nature we are currently unaware, but that any such entity must – by the
fundamental ground of its sheer existence – share the properties of all known things and be
thus in some part “knowable” through its continuance with all being. As in all cases, the
question is: at what point do all things share an essential nature?”
Physical science insists that all things share the primal physical nature of the universe, that
they all came from the mysterious original atom which somehow became unstable, and by
exploding into time created the energetic laws of the universe and the primal particles from
which all things have descended. Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? But the scientific-materialist take on the universal creation myth is a little narrow, to say the least. Thus the
“hardness” of what it calls the “hard problem of consciousness” results – as an artifact of its
own limited and essentially subjective outlook: in which only those entities whose properties
are measurable are considered “objective”. Even a particularly stubborn materialist, however,
will assert that the sky is blue, and that “blue” is indeed an object within his consciousness to
which he is subject every time he looks at a clear sky. “So – exactly what is blue? you ask him.
“Hmm,” he replies. Now that’s a hard problem.”

Both scientists and scientific philosophers have been arguing over the right way to approach
the hard problem for some time. One of the foremost of these thinkers is Professor David
Chalmers of the Australian National University, and I quote here from his paper, Moving
Forward on the Problem of Consciousness”:
A further set of issues is raised by my appeal to fundamental laws in a theory of
consciousness. Mills thinks that because I invoke such laws to bridge physics and
consciousness, I am not really solving the hard problem at all (Price suggests something
similar). At best I am providing a sophisticated set of correlations, and finding such
correlations was an easy problem all along.
Mills reaches this conclusion because he construes the hard problem as the problem of giving a
constitutive (or “non-causal”) explanation of consciousness in physical terms. If the problem is
construed that way, Mills is quite right that it is not being solved at all. But to define the
problem of consciousness this way would be to define it so that it becomes unsolvable: one
might call that problem the “impossible problem”.
I prefer to set up the hard problem in such a way that a solution is not defined out of
existence. The hard problem, as I understand it, is that of explaining how and why
consciousness arises from physical processes in the brain. And I would argue the sort of theory
I advocate can in principle offer a good solution to this problem. It will not solve the impossible
problem of providing a reductive explanation of consciousness, but it will nevertheless provide
a theory of consciousness that goes beyond correlation to explanation. (Quoted with
permission of the author)
Whilst Chalmers here limits the hard problem by the recognition that experiential states of
consciousness certainly exist but must be somehow subjective to an explanatory physical
modality, my contention is that if we are to truly understand the apparently objective nature of
consciousness as experience, then it is indeed the “impossible problem” with which we
ultimately have to deal. Current scientific thinking continues within the assumption that
consciousness arises within a purely physical state limited by the terms we currently accept as
“physical law”. Thus the scientific materialist, by the very limits he seeks to extend, limits his
own investigative field and makes his own hard problem”. For indeed, while it might be
acceptable to suggest that educated or adapted consciousness only and always arises at a
certain level of organizational complexity, and thence to infer the laws governing the rise of
such a conditional consciousness, this in itself does not in any way approach the real problem
of “whence consciousness?” Chalmers argues that we might have to accept a pre-existing and
indefinable fundamental law of nature which co-operates with physical laws to create what we
know as physical awareness or the conditional consciousness of the brain. In this way the hard
problem is averted by the a-priori acceptance of a metaphysical absolute. Now whilst this may
be the only way of approaching the problem from the external, scientific viewpoint, even
thinkers like Chalmers leave the explanation of the metaphysic off the agenda. Like magnetism
or gravity, it just is, and is thus placed in the unanswered basket with all other supposedly
fundamental forces of nature.
Physical science has no option but to step around the hard problem in this manner, for whilst
at a deeper level it can be seen that it is created by a primal limit to human understanding, for
materialistic science it is merely the logical impasse that results when one sets the laws one
does understand as arbitrary limits to a system whose essential nature has yet to be
discovered. To do any more than this, it becomes necessary to see how the interposition of
conscious functions moulds not only our world view, but also the apparent laws we discover
within it; to understand that our scientifically objective view of the cosmos is in fact seriously
flawed – the subjective result of our maintaining the deeply ingrained bias that “seeing is
believing” whilst living in a universe that clearly defies such commonsense. Wherever we look,
at the edges of our understanding we now find ourselves ringed by the paradoxes created by
this viewpoint and the explanatory fantasies we build in our attempts to step around them.
Nowhere is this more visible than in quantum physics, where the extraordinary behaviors of
sub atomic particles are regarded not as the paradoxical artifacts of an incomplete view of the
universe, but the essential realities of a mysterious and, at its microscopic limits, irrational and
intractable natural world.
The strange and ineffably twisted geometry of relativistic space/time too, presents more as a
paradox created by wrong thinking than a worthy description of a logically framed reality. Yet
we are expected to accept such paradoxes as part of the natural order: that whilst all things
macroscopic remain true to our sense of logic and geometrical reason, at some certain
fineness of description they dissolve into irrationality.
Physicists seem to be able to step quietly about the paradoxes of relativity and quantum
physics without scarcely a furtive glance while they weave ever more fantastic theories to
explain them, yet confronted with the paradox of self awareness in a physical system they take
a different line, asserting that no real paradox exists: that understanding consciousness is
simply a matter of figuring out how the brain works; that the hard problem exists only though
lack of data.
The truth is that the hard problem is just as hard as giving a clear, geometrically reasoned
answer to how the apparently finite speed of light can be measurably the same in any
reference frame. The fact that this is indeed the way the behavior of light appears subjectively
to us, and that you can work a calculation to make things all add up ok in the end doesn’t
wash away the underlying logical paradox, any more than does the answer that consciousness
simply happens in complex systems and that understanding self awareness is just a matter of
completely describing the system in which it occurs.
The materialistic philosophy which pervades current scientific thinking in regard to the brain
sees consciousness only as a process; a process which relies for its existence on nothing else
but a suitable arrangement of functional parts. Moreover, that none of these parts in
themselves need have a particular specificity for consciousness to the point where it is
generally accepted that if all the functioning parts of the human brain could be replaced with
electronic circuits, no essential difference would or could be determined between the operation
of the living brain and its electronic counterpart. Such are the “commonsense” notions which
flow from seeing consciousness as an epiphenomenon within an essentially “physical” universe.
More enlightened thinkers such as Chalmers reject this notion, yet rely for their approach on
the acceptance that willy-nilly, self awareness must be the product of a fundamental condition
ultimately reducible to physical laws.
The problem with such formulations is that they clearly avoid any and all of the evidence
indicating that consciousness cannot be only an epiphenomenon; that the paradoxes and
discontinuities within our apparently material universe not only offer direct evidence for its
phenomenally objective nature as a fundamental universal dynamic not definable by
consciously apprehended physical laws, but also offer ways to envision this dynamic and its
correlations to experiential “self awareness”.
In a previous paper, (Relativity Revisited – 1997), I showed how the light speed paradox arises
as a subjective artifact of conscious objectivity; that consciousness must exist as a functional
part of the universe and not merely as a subjective counterpoint within some magically
created, self aware limbo of brain process; that it must, in physical terms, participate spatially
within the material universe.
Whilst it was satisfying to come even this far on the quest for an answer, my ideas still offered
little access to the real problem itself, i.e. that of whence consciousness?”
To discover more about this, it is necessary to revisit below some of our most basic ideas about
the universe, and understand the essential nature of these as conscious notions.
Whilst the interests of science in this problem are obvious, the universe of discourse which
shapes its investigations creates a limiting factor which precludes science as practiced, i.e.,
through a series of specialized and narrow endeavors, from seeing the true breadth of the
problems conscious subjectivity creates even within its own postulations. For this reason alone,
it is highly unlikely that scientific endeavor will ever reach an answer to the “hard problem”
without encapsulating it within an already subjectively flawed view of reality. This is already
seen through the attempts by mathematicians and physicists to posit conscious functionality
and its relationship to lineal time via the activity of quantum effects in brain tissue – a process
which seems to be little more than a mirroring back into the unknown of an already subjective
take on another unknown. Such attempts merely illustrate how conscious subjectivity mediates
the percepts and concepts of science at a deeper level than that at which it currently allows in
its view of the universe.

Our personal need, however, is to know the answer to our own peculiar and individual
awareness, and the meaning, if any, that it might have within the seemingly aloof and hostile
universe in which we find ourselves – where our life-long struggle for survival only ends in the
mystery of death and the apparent annihilation of all that we are and all that we have been.
Impersonal science has no problem with the notion that we are just mortal, chemical
creatures: the accidental artifacts of a set of purely functional and arbitrary natural laws
pertaining within an essentially fortuitous and meaningless universe. But personally we do
have a problem with such an idea, a serious and inescapable problem. For, whilst we might
agree that science has outlined the facts as they seem, we know deeply and intuitively that
within no such arbitrary and essentially meaningless universe could our most extraordinary
qualities of experience arise simply as after effects; as nothing more than a kind of
meaningless gloss upon an otherwise pristine and purely mechanical functionality.
Thus the quest for understanding is essentially a personal quest, even if we should cloak it
with the appearance of disinterested scientific inquiry. Being individuals, our lives are the only
grist we have, our experiences the only “real” phenomena we can truly bring to the mill of our
reason without their subordination to a collectively held, external philosophic position. And
whilst it might be incumbent upon us to understand and work within these positions, that any
one of them might be superior to our own recognitions and understandings is the very
question we need to answer. Does neurological science currently explain everything to our
satisfaction? More importantly, in its current form, can it? Does theology or spiritual philosophy
offer any answers? Or are they flawed as they are by assertions discontinuous with our
accepted consensus reality – unlikely to be real answers at all and more likely to be just
panaceas for our underlying uncertainty?
Whilst it is true that many experiences suggest that all is not quite right with our “Monday
morning” view of the world, by accepting the answers of religion, spiritualism or so called new
age metaphysics we merely leap into a box canyon of belief where science is replaced by
superstition and primitive thinking. And while we certainly cannot ban unusual experiences
from any inquiry into the nature of consciousness merely because they defy our preconceived
ideas upon natural law, they must be viewed carefully and the projections we make upon their
seeming otherness carefully defined and discarded.. These experiences, which Jung also found
intensely interesting, are almost always considered to pose questions and offer hints which
might illuminate the metaphysical nature of consciousness, or the impossible problem, as
Professor Chalmers puts it.
The conclusions we often reach, however, are not always as valid as first might seem to those
who confront or investigate such phenomena, let alone those – followers of Jung included –
who reify or envision the human collective unconscious as a metaphysical entity rather than
understand it as a projection of those archetypal dynamics initially proposed by Jung.
The evidence of veridical or truth telling clairvoyant experience might overrule the notion that
consciousness is limited to and by brain function alone, but it does not rule out the possibility
that consciousness is fundamentally a dynamic of a purely physical universe, provided we
accept the more fantastic ideas of quantum theorists. This however merely puts the problem
back into its original question begging form, ie, how do qualia arise, irrespective of their point
of physical origin? For instance, whilst the Penrose Hameroff quantum model might provide a
hypothetical mechanism via which consciousness might couple to the physical, it in no way
provides any access to the problem posed by the existence of the experiential, nor an
explanation of how qualia relate to physical states. The Penrose-Hameroff idea merely shifts
the problem one step further into the micro world – in the same way the problem of the origin
of sub atomic particle “charge” in physics is shifted in one theory by attributing its origin to the
properties of even smaller particles, the origin of whose inferred properties being no less
mysterious than that for which they were invented to explain.
The real problem here, both for the investigation of consciousness and for physics is that posed
by conscious distinction itself – ie, that the objectively physical is always external to
consciousness; always an object of consciousness, thus making all mechanisms we posit to
explain consciousness also objects of consciousness. This is the endless circle at the bottom of
all conscious logic, the fundamental subjectivity of reason, the very root of the “impossible
problem”.
Argument from the Jungian Perspective
Jung’s initial position was the archetypes of the collective unconscious are the “images” of the
instincts, i.e., the subjective side of the instincts; on the one hand rendered as psychic
“objects” to the experiencing mind and on the other understood as those autonomous psychic
determinants of behavior and perception arising from the “architecture” of the species
neurological structure.
If we look at the archetype as the result of the inherent architecture of an organizing principle,
we can see how it can give rise to a multiplicity of form. In essence the entire physical world is
derived from the mechanics of particle behavior, from the architecture of energy/matter
transformation. The entire periodic table of the elements and the complex and reactive
processes inherent in their chemical relationships all build from the few simple parameters or
organizing principles governing the way in which energy is shaped and transformed.
Within biological organisms, basic neurological structures provide the “arch” or ruling patterns
which lay beneath complex survival behavior. Jung recognized that such behavioural dynamics
echoed within the psyche as instincts, predetermined patterns of psycho/physical coordination
which acted sub-consciously and under all circumstances where the instinct was called by
external circumstances to activate.
Where Jung becomes unclear is just how these inherent patterns of the psycho/physical
system attain a reflective or “imaged” condition within the psyche and thereby become the
organizing principles of the subjective psychic position. It is clear enough that they appear to
do so, but unclear as to how such a condition actually might arise.
If we accept there is an inherent subjective system within the neurological “psyche” in which
the requirements of the instincts are “imaged”, and that these images are organized via the
hierarchy of archetypal dynamics, then how could this subjective point of view have come into
being, to have been – necessarily, in a purely biological context – derived only from the
conditional laws of matter?
Looking more closely, however, we see that the archetypes not only govern the behavioral
dynamics of consciousness, but also the apprehension of subjective images. Color, sound,
smell – sensations of all kind – are defined not by their initiating physical nature, but by
architectural principles unrelated to the physical systems from which they derive, and exist as
objective products within what appears to us as a purely non-physical system of organization.
For example, color is a totally subjective phenomenon, related by the cognitive processes to
data arising from an optical system capable of discriminating a range of photon energy levels.
Color only arises in the subjective percept as the artifact of an internal process. This suggests
a pre-existing matrix of subjective imagery must be read to derive it i.e., that colour is the
result of an archetypal mediation between cognitive data and a matrix of innate yet objective
data.
This same innate relevance applies to all sensory imagery – sound, taste, smell, etc, and it
would appear that the biological mechanisms partake of this matrix to the extent only that
they are capable of discrimination. That is – color perception is not created by a chromatically
discriminative optical system, but that when chromatic data is available to the cognitive
processes it can be referenced against an innate archetypal matrix, allowing the perception of
color within the experiential visual process.
From this it follows that key perceptive data such as colour, tone, smell, taste are absolute
factors continuous with an objective psychic factor not reducible to the mechanics of a
biological nervous function merely informed by learning data.
This leads to the conclusion that there must be a co-related subjective position inherent in all
seemingly purely objective states. That there is an “inside” and an “outside” to all things, that
the subjective position is not something which “arises” with biological awareness, but is an
inherent condition, the “other side” of “isness” which cannot be seen as separate from and is
conversely always the complement of “objective” matter.
When we recognize this, we can see that for “life” to arise, the conditions of both objective and
subjective organization must be met before any coordinated system of survival, self replication
and evolution can occur.
This pondering of the nature of the archetypes leads us to the difficult realization that either
the duality inherent in our logical processes cannot lead us beneath its own nature to any
appreciation of the true unity of being, or, that within this particular universe, the duality of
subject and object is in fact the rational operator; that energetic organizational principles and
their inherent subjective images are the twin “co-operators” and co-creators of sentient
existence.

Here we might make a metaphysical hypothesis: that psyche is not only an objective function
(as suggested in my paper on relativity), but also that this objective function is no mere empty
category, but is informed, i.e. with the absolute images from which percepts are built. This in
turn suggests that it is a point of connection within and to a pleromic cosmos in which all
absolute data are manifest, both that of the apparently objective and also of the apparently
subjective i.e. that qualia are in fact entities within an opposing “subjective” universe which is
nothing other than the innate or hidden side of that particular objective or material universe
defined by the properties of our organs of perception.
At this point one can see how Jung’s and Pauli’s idea of the two opposing cones meeting at a
central mediating point reflects not only the above argument, but also the impassable limit of
our conscious logic, because this point where matter and psyche meet seems ever to remain
both above and behind conscious awareness; an ineffable mediating entity of experiential
being. Thus this unconscious root of awareness remains projected as the creator of the
experiential cosmos, as an ineffable unity ever inferring itself beneath our irrevocably
subjective conscious distinctions, and whether posited as the unifying principle of the individual
psyche, or that of the cosmos itself, it seems this primal archetype cannot be rooted out of our
metaphysics.
To the logical, scientific mind, this is hardly a satisfactory position, the ambiguity at this point
so great that we either lapse into silence or fall back, either to the never ending quest for a
rational, materialistic answer or the ace up the sleeve certainty of some spiritualist position
both of which remain collectively entrenched, unsatisfactory and ever at odds, not only with
each other but also with much of the experiential reality they each claim to illuminate.
Is there a third position a transcendent function we might access here? Is the limit of our
reasoning ability reached once we exhaust all possible avenues of investigation within our
current notions of the world around us? Or is this merely the result of our scientific subjectivity
the result of our blind pursuit of a materialistic answer to everything?
It is here that we need not only to review those paradoxes inherent in our current vision of the
cosmos, but also those otherwise inexplicable and apparently veridical subjective experiences
and recognize that these offer, at the very least, a path beyond the apparent limits of our
thinking. To understand this, however, requires a complete reassessment of physics and
biology from a point of view which sees consciousness as an objective co-creator of reality
rather than a fortuitous after effect of physical law and biological development.
In a further essay I intend to define the argument from first principles and then consider the
matter of those apparently metaphysical dynamics which predispose us to believe usually quite
without foundation that consciousness implicates a entity separate and distinct from the
physical. In this essay I hope to make clear that such distinctions are the product of a
subjective viewpoint whose explanation leads to the only path beyond the impossible problem”.
Robert G Heyward – 2006

Universal Grok – why it is necessary.

Just as physical science in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had to be covertly performed under a politico-religious system hostile to anything which did not conform to its dogmatic metaphysics, those who investigate the nature of mind in the twenty first century, whilst perhaps not in immediate danger of flogging or being burned alive, nevertheless find themselves in a similar, and no less hostile, intellectual environment.
The enantiodromic inversion which installed a dogmatic physicalism as the new “scientific” religion of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries continues to maintain its grip, not only within the halls of academe, but also upon the minds of the population at large. Like the peasants of old who had their religion doled out by a privileged and secretive priesthood, the modern populace is largely reliant upon a mainstream media soaked in the grimy waters of a political, social and economic system supported by and heavily indebted to a continuing mass belief in materialist dogma.
For the scientist or philosopher who refuses to be constrained by “ismatics”; who treats all facts as data for inclusion and inquiry and whose philosophy is not merely the result of an apriori set of mind for which it acts as an intellectualized system of validation, then the environment is indeed one of hostility, where the “rebel” academic suffers offhand rejection by a regime so entrenched in its own funded and fortified castles of intellect that it can afford to ignore any theory which does not support its dogmas, while the “non credentialed” thinker is completely ignored and left to beat his head against a stone walled intellectual aristocracy in which both money and celebrity are now worshipped above all else. Had Faraday (a bookbinder’s apprentice) or Einstein (a patents clerk) lived in today’s intellectual climate, it is doubtful their ideas would even have got a first hearing, let alone a second look.
Be that as it may, it is worth noting that, for the truly “scientific” philosopher, truth, or at least finding the path toward it, is the only worthwhile pursuit, regardless of whether its discovery or elucidation bring merit or derision, recognition or open hostility. Indeed, being a “dog in the street” philosopher has certain advantages. One can take all facts as data without their being first filtered through the “fact grid” of the dogmatic consentium, and one can engage with such facts and allow them to lead where they will, without the need to justify one’s scientific rigour to one’s peers or within a paradigm in which only certain methodologies are considered “scientific”. Little wonder then that the outpourings of academic philosophy are becoming more dubious and futile, straitjacketed as they are by the grip of a dogma just as primitive and intellectually bankrupt as mediaeval theology ever was.

In physics, even the recognition that consciousness limits the observation of microscopic phenomena has not in any way undermined the apriori materialist belief that “observation is king”; that microscopic phenomena “are what they are”. This is because physics, like the mind sciences, remains enthralled by and subject to the objective fallacy; the unquestioned idea that there is an imaginary third person view of the cosmos in which our purely human observations and beliefs about phenomena are perfectly objectified. Not only is this notion false, it entrenches an anthropocentric vision of the cosmos in which the limiting subjectivities of human observation become objectified as universal functions. Because of their subjective derivation, these functions are always paradoxical, and because of their relationship the edge parameters of human consciousness, they are always found at the limits of observation. Thus we discover “indeterminacy” in particle physics, “relativity” in motional geometrics and the strangeness of Hubble’s Constant and the need for “dark matter” to make our cosmological ideas add up.
The problem is that science, while perhaps rightly believing that we do not live in a human centered cosmos, does not recognize that the universe we consciously interact with; the universe we construct by observation, is indeed human centered; that it’s apparent microscopic and macroscopic limits and laws are set by the very nature of our own consciousness. Thus the objective fallacy produces a third person universe created out of the investigative building blocks of a past and ongoing science which does not understand that once these blocks have taken us to the edge of the known or the visible, they cannot take us beyond. To continue to build upon the paradoxes and fallacies created by our own subjective limits is only to build ourselves into a fantasy universe, where we unwittingly become subject to our own projected imagination.

Consciousness – The Argument from Relativity

The real difficulty that arises when we attempt to understand the nature of conscious awareness is not only that, once begun, it must expand into a science of everything, but also that it ultimately must descend to the ground of being itself, the essence of which no language – verbal, mathematical or geometrical – can possibly describe or encompass.
David Chalmers calls this the “impossible problem”.
However, there are significant problems in all and any of the current approaches to a science of mind, and these must be addressed, for if they remain built in to the current accepted matrix of data, then philosophy merely continues to circle about a set of unregarded, apriori and essentially faulty assumptions.
It is, of course, quite possible these assumptions are not unregarded in certain philosophies – that they are biases which fulfill a prior psychological need of the philosopher. When philosophical debate divides into opposing camps, we are not seeing the result of purely rational thinking, but thinking which is biased by predetermining collective psychological factors.
Daniel Dennett’s “challenge” to David Chalmers actually illustrates the precise nature of the problem to be dealt with, for it can be reversed just as easily and with the same justification. The difficulty can then be seen, not as a true philosophical problem, but as a function of bias – a bias underwritten by the objective fallacy which not only plagues modern philosophy, but which is so fundamental to the core ideas of modern physics that its effects are completely invisible. I shall explain, but first, let’s take Dennett and turn him about.
Here is what he said:
“Until Chalmers gives us an independent ground for contemplating the drastic move of adding “experience” to mass, charge, and space-time, his proposal is one that can be put on the back burner, way back.”

Now let’s turn him about:
“Until Chalmers gives us an independent ground for contemplating the drastic move of adding the autonomous reality of mass, charge, and space-time to the obvious and immediate reality of experience, his proposal is one that can be put on the back burner, way back.”

This reversal of his point of view reveals the bias in Dennet’s question, that is, the extraordinary notion that “science” has somehow disposed of the subject/object problem; that it is now, somehow, quite acceptable to believe an independent object exists, while at the same time disregarding the simple fact that an “object” can only and ever be something “experienced”.
The fact that a certain statement can be reversed and yet still argued for, means that beneath it lies a true philosophical problem; a problem which, in this case, is a function of our inability to formulate an expression of the “ground of being”.
Essentially, this inability disposes us towards having to make a choice between one or the other aspects of the dichotomy which follows, but such choices are often made too far beyond the roots of possible knowledge, simply because what is known has not been sufficiently investigated for its aptness to any deeper understanding. The point is simple enough, that is, that our current knowledge of the universe poses significant issues which, if investigated further, might deepen our philosophical position and, that consequently for philosophy, the “uncertainty”, ineffability and paradox which awaits at the “ground of being” lies at a far greater depth than we currently realize.

Over one hundred years ago, the Michelson-Morley experiment overturned our “classical” objectivity, with its proof that the speed of light is the same in all frames of reference; that something with an obvious velocity to a fixed observer could and did go past a moving observer at the same speed. How were we to deal with this paradox? The e Lorentz transformation, which had already made possible a mathematical, appreciation of electromagnetic phenomena were also found to be apt this problem, But the Lorentz transformation is nothing more than a Pythagorean equation which transposes a fixed co-ordinate value to that “real world” set of variables which must apply if the fixed value is also to be set as an “absolute”.
Basically, what the Lorentz transformation does is to fix the observer parameter and transfer the variables to the observed phenomena. But, since it is merely a Pythagorean formulae based on the “fixing” of one side of a right angled triangle, by geometrical conversion, the formula also allows us to fix the “absolute” side as a “solid” or “instantaneous” dimensional line, and thus transpose the observed variables as a function of the observer.

If we do this, we find that the only necessary variable produced in the equation is the observers own motion in time, whilst all the paradoxical “relativistic” observer effects such as time dilation, shrinkage and mass increase can now be seen as subjective artifacts of this motion. Time dilation and shrinkage become the subjective perceptual result of any spatial motion. Mass increase is the most interesting however, because its actual observed effects in particle physics allows us the opportunity to show how the same mathematics we use to relate our classical “observer” space to “relativistic space” can be used to remove the logical paradox of its existence.

If we transpose the Lorentz transformation, we end up with a trigonometric formulae based on the angle of the speed vector.
This angle, Q = ARCSIN v/C, where v is the measured or estimated speed of the mass. The Lorentz factor of relativistic mass increase is then given by 1/COS Q.
This is equivalent to the real increase in the kinetic energy of a mass traveling along a spatial vector at 45 deg. to the time vector with an actual velocity V= c times the square root(2/COS Q), its kinetic energy KE=1/2 MV squared, and its transposed equivalent Lorentz mass increase therefore equal to KE/c squared.
In other words, a particle approaching the “infinite velocity” of light does not increase in mass due to some magical relativistic effect, but because its true kinetic energy manifests as apparent mass; the same amount the Lorentz transformation would predict if the actual and measured velocity of the particle were identical.
Velocity is the ratio of distance to time, and, since we find spatial motion has no effect on the measured speed of light, if we rigorously adhere to our classical logic, it is clear we are trying to measure an instantaneous function, where the component producing the observed velocity is motion in time: the observer’s own motion in time.
Saying light has a velocity of 300,000,000 meters per second is merely a translation of our temporal motion along a spatial co-ordinate measured in seconds; one maintaining a constant and conserved 45 deg. relationship to the three co-ordinates of “visible” space.
Any attempt to measure the velocity of light in any frame of reference will result in the same fixed velocity, because it is an artifact of the observer’s own temporal motion. And this motion, regardless of his actual velocity in the “time” dimension, will always produce the same speed for light because a fixed distance in “time” (Side A of the 45 deg right angled triangle) maintains a conserved equivalent distance to “visible” space. (Fixed or “instantaneous” Hypotenuse)
This equivalence does not alter in the slightest the predictions of relativity theory for an observer; merely removes a mistaken subjective function from what is, in fact, a true absolute and re-establishes a stable background to energetic relationships. It also provides a new perspective for our understanding of wave/particle relationships and the discontinuities of Quantum physics.
Our investigation of relativity shows that the observing awareness must act within the same fixed spatial system it observes, i.e. that it is an objective factor, which, in motion along a spatial co-ordinate, not only generates the subjective notion of “time” but also, since it must participate in the physical universe, must also take up “space” within it.

But what we end up with, via Einstein’s 1905 thesis, is instead, the acceptance of a paradox in which all values of mass, time and space are relative to an “absolutized” yet finite value of the speed of light. After Einstein, our rationalization of space and motion became twisted into a “space time continuum” which although mathematically envisionable, remains essentially illogical to the percepts of classical understanding.

Why it was that no-one had posited the opposing “classical” explanation at the time. Surely Einstein and the rest of those early theoretical physicists weren’t so mathematically inept as to not be able to rearrange a formulae and test the variant possibilities this produced? Einstein had been disturbed by the implications of quantum mechanics and was also desperate to create a unified field theory – something which is impossible in Quantum mechanics alone as it cannot relate the “classical” base of relativity and field theory (where infinite functions remain possible) to its essential cosmic view in which such functions cannot exist. Surely someone would have recognized the mathematical relationships.

Possibly the reason why the redeeming argument was not taken up is more simple. For one thing, the problem appealed to abstracting mathematical psyche of people such as Minkowski, who developed the new space/time modeling, but the main reason; the same reason that the investigation of all phenomena, even in the mind sciences, is plagued by the necessity of creating endlessly reductive mechanisms to explain their observed dynamics : Observation is king!
The strength of this psychological “law” was then – and remains – sufficient to enthrone a paradox, where the simple observed fact that the speed of light is the same in all reference frames means that the cosmos must be how it seems – regardless of the affront to classical, rational logic and its understandings.
There is, however, still the question of why scientists such as Einstein did not, simply as a matter of course, further investigate the mathematical implications of the Lorentz transformation; something well within the scope of the average year eleven student. I do not believe that they did not intuit the ramifications, but that the implications for the materialist science of the day were simply so overwhelming that, psychologically, it was virtually impossible not to accept a new, even if paradoxical, notion of physical reality rather than confront a classical, albeit “timeless”, interpretation of the cosmos which would then, by necessity, require interaction with, what would have been to them, a paradoxical and essentially non physical conscious function. This, of course, is how things remain today – even within the mind sciences.

Nevertheless, if we take up the challenge offered by the transposition to the observer of this one variable, i.e. motion along a fixed time line, we find some interesting and, for physics, serious, implications.

(a) First of all, as above, the light speed paradox is resolved. (First implication for physics: a photon is not a moving particle but a fixed energy state linking two points in space.)
(b) What we shall, for the moment, call the “conscious function” which moves in “time” must form what we will call a participatory “gap” or spherical intersection with the dimensions of space. The size of this “gap” will then set an absolute limit to observed space/time/energy interactions. (Second implication for physics: The observed quantification of mass/energy transformations in time is actually an artifact of this observer “gap”.
(c) If we recognize the implication that the underlying dimensional space is “timeless” and hence pleromatic, we can see that within the limits set by the time/space gap of consciousness, all possible energy conditions co-exist. (Third implication for physics: “non local” effects can be seen as the result of this fact, that in a given time limit all experimental outcomes within this limit are possible. This also produces what physics observes as the “wave function” of a particle.)
It is possible to go on and relate virtually all observed particle phenomena to this model and in the process all observed paradoxical dynamics become explainable. But particle physics is tedium ad-nauseum. Let us move on.
In western philosophy, argument over the primacy or illusory reality of the physical world has been going on since before the time of Plato and Aristotle, but in general a materialistic, or at least, “objective as real” philosophy has become the norm within scientific pursuit, while in eastern philosophy it was long held that the self is an aspect of Atman and that the visible or objective world is merely an illusion spun by Maya, the goddess of physical interaction.
During the thousands of years of argument over, and ascendancy of, either of these possible visions of reality, there have always been psycho/mythological reasons to validate each point of view. There has, however, never been a true way to choose for one over the other, except that such choice is essentially natural to the psychology of the individual and the culture in which his psychology is enacted.
This situation changed, however, with our observations of the behaviors of light and those of sub atomic particles.
Just like indeterminacy, the light speed paradox is a simple, observational fact. It cannot be stepped around nor chosen against. It can only be resolved in two ways: Einstein’s way, which forces us to accept a new reality where the paradox is enthroned in a space/time continuum geometrically definable only via mathematics, or, through its resolution via the same simple, objective mathematics, which then forces us to recognize that our relativistic and quantized “reality” is an observational artifact; an artifact of interaction between a “functional awareness” and an absolute, pleromic and timeless cosmos.

So, what are the implications if we were to accept this view of the cosmos? First of all, while we must recognize that our observed reality is actually an artifact, an experiential reality, this in itself in no way effects or changes the apparent physical laws or “truths” discoverable within that reality. What it does do, however, is allow a deeper speculative basis for the reasons why these laws exist and how they arise in their experiential form.

First we have the problem of the arbitrary absolutes: the speed of light, Plancks constant, electron charge, the gravitational constant and a few others, none of whose values are a function of interaction, but, within the observed cosmos, are purely arbitrary. Why are these values what they are? Well… they just are, answers the physicist. So what specificity creates these particular values? We don’t know, answers the physicist.
All the bases for these arbitrary absolutes become visible within the new view.

Secondly, we have the problem of motion, “force” and “field”. Field phenomena are particularly gritty for physics, as they are essentially mechanically unexplainable. Force and motion are interesting however, for whilst both are measurable and mathematically definable, they cannot be conceptually realized within a purely physical system of co-ordinates. We are so familiar with the “experience” of motion and force that we do not even consider their basic physical inexplicability.
In a cosmos generated by the interaction of a moving conscious functionality with a timeless co-ordinate system, force and motion become explicable products of dimensional freedom, and this, of course, leads into to all the questions of mind/matter interaction.

The above is only a minor sampling of the possible implications and the answers which flow from this thesis. The deeper and wider aspects flow into all areas of our experience and knowledge, and whilst the reality it presupposes appears to be esoteric in the extreme, every one of the implications flows only from a purely scientific rationalization of the data. Back to Dennett, where I hope you can now see why it is scientifically valid to turn his position around, to invert his “objective as real” orientation, and in the process expose the “leveled” position of both arguments.

Much of our scientifically created view of the cosmos is not “truth” but a construct of possibility acceptable to the current “consentia academia”. This consensus has, for a long time, been blind to its own philosophic position, ie, one underscored by the “observational fallacy”, where a “third person” or godlike view of the world is taken for granted as a valid means of understanding phenomena.
Such a view allows for the creation of theories such as the “big bang universe” and the positing of such “mathematically possible” phenomena as black holes, and of course, that seemingly never ending host of demon particles quantum physics demands if its explanations are to hold any mathematical water. The problem with such an “objective physical” view of the universe is that it abstracts itself from the very experiential observations upon which it is founded. Consciousness then becomes a deus absconditus, neither required, nor indeed, to be found anywhere.
It then becomes possible to posit the impossible, ie, to attribute to matter all that exists on both sides of the argument, and completely annihilate the very subjective viewpoint upon which its own argument rests.

Physics and Consciousness – A New Alignment

Imagine the argument between classical physics and quantum physics as an argument between two groups of cave dwellers trying to decide what rain is. One group suggests that “cloud” condenses into a quantity of “water” which then falls, forming droplets in the air. The other group suggest that a small quantity of “water” is condensed from “cloud” by the actions of a host of little demons, who then each throw their droplet at the ground. Unfortunately, each theory fits some of the observable facts, therefore it becomes necessary to formulate a way in which the observations within each theory can be contextualized. This of course produces an endless array of demon mathematics to account for observed continuous phenomena, and the projection of this process into all subsequent theories about the nature of “watery” things.
The problem is that if anyone were to ask either group what “clouds” and “water” actually were, all they would get would be the old “deer in the headlights” stare.
You see, if neither group actually know the fundamental nature of what they are observing, then none of their theorizing and mathematical fiddling actually has any basis in reality, it only has a basis in a strictly limited “cave dweller reality”.
Modern physics is essentially the same as geocentric, flat earth astronomy. It all seems to work as long as you don’t ask any of the harder questions. As long as you are prepared to accept that your observation of the earth being flat and in the centre of the universe is absolute and correct, then even with all its complexity and paradox, you “know” that your astronomical theory is “true”. “I mean, “ says the astronomer, “it all works, so how could it not be?”
As we now know, the geocentric, flatlanders were completely wrong; that what they thought they were observing was an illusion created by the limitations of their ability to observe – or, and just as importantly for science, their inability to entertain possibilities they (a) could not otherwise prove, and/or (b) refused to accept as possible.
And this, of course, is exactly where we stand at the moment in regard to physical science, with its deliberate blindness to any data or possibility that might bring its otherwise vast, unwieldy, paradox ridden monument of theory crashing down.
A lot of people think it’s time something was done about this situation. I have been one of these people ever since I realized that from the turn of the 20th century, our way of understanding not only the universe around us, but our place within it, was becoming seriously out of alignment with many of both the empirical facts of science itself, and those of human experience.
One of the most dogmatically held notions in physical science is that “matter” is all there is. Clearly this is not so, unless you have invented a theory, or set of theories, in which the problem of action at a distance is rationalized within this matter is everything viewpoint. Put simply, if matter is all there is, then a “field” has to be a “material” function. To make a field a material function you have to invent things, you have to insert little mathematical “matter” demons into the picture so that you can correlate the known geometric facts about “fields” with your “matter is all there is” theory. The question then becomes, are invisible matter demons real, or are they just an invention which has become necessary because your ideas about “matter” and “fields” are in fact seriously flawed to begin with?
Another notion, which has become a dogmatic of physical science is “indeterminism” along with is corollary of “probability”. Put simply once again, indeterminism results from the inability of an observer to determine both the position and the momentum of a subatomic particle. Particles only become particles to the observer once they are observed, and then only their momentum or their position can be known, but not both. Particles exist only as fields of energetic probability until they are observed, the probability of their position and motion defined by their “wave function”, which tells us the limits within the observed constants of nature that it might exist. Now, the question is, is indeterminacy truly a function of “particles” or is it a function of how we see “particles” in the first place? Funnily enough, physical science now recognizes that the observational process, i.e. the consciousness of the observer, is necessary to “collapse the wave function”, yet it still cannot see that perhaps the whole indeterminacy/probability paradox is not a function of “matter”; that it might in fact be a function of consciousness itself.
Another problem is the light speed paradox, Put simply once again, we can measure the speed of a beam of light from a stationary source passing two points in space and we get a fixed value “C”. But we find that even if we are moving these points rapidly away from or towards the source, we still get the same value. How is this possible? Well, logically it isn’t. Light (or electromagnetic radiation) is the only thing in the universe capable of this logic defying feat. But does light really defy logic in this manner, or is the real problem that our logic only seems to fail here because we are not apprehending the reality behind the observation; not conceptualizing what the observation is actually telling us?

These three basic problems, i.e. the nature of fields, or “action at a distance”, the problem of indeterminacy and the light speed paradox have only and ever been resolved by creating “demon theories” to accommodate them to the “matter is all” dogmatic of modern physics. Perhaps by removing the demon theory and trying to see the real logic behind any one of these phenomena might reveal the reality behind all.

The next three papers will address this issue and hopefully lead us into a new way of seeing, not only how the observed universe is seen to be what it is, but how life and consciousness, far from being merely the accidental products of a “matter is everything” universe, are in fact the fundamental core of its existence.

Science, Religion and the Objective Fallacy

Introduction.

The answers of current science apply only within a materialist view of the cosmos, constrained not only by the limitations of such a view, but also an insidious need, driven by intellectual pride and fear, to defend the monolith of its making at all costs. Fortunately, there are some scientists, philosophers, medical and psychological professionals who are beginning to recognise the nakedness of this worn out objectivist emperor.

Recognizing there is real evidence for a need to revise our understanding of the universe is one thing; getting such evidence past the “watchers at the limits” of our current scientific religion is another altogether. But, for those willing to inspect and understand this evidence it becomes clear just how blind we are to our inherent nature, and how the false beliefs we hold about ourselves create those universal interpretations we call our “scientific” and religious “realities”.

To Jung and other great thinkers we owe our understanding of how unconscious psychic dynamics manifest as projected religious phenomena and beguile us into creating our mythologies. There is nothing new to be said here. Nevertheless, the mechanics of religious projection give us a clear example of how the objective fallacy operates. Both place “out there” something structured by dynamics of which we are unconscious, but while projection creates an invisible, metaphysical reality that is only “real” in the mind of the projector, the objective fallacy underwrites the way in which all “obvious” physical reality is perceived, investigated and understood.

So is science wrong? That depends. Science as a method of enquiry is possibly mankind’s greatest intellectual achievement. But even the best tools fail when used improperly, or for the wrong purpose. And there is always the case where those using a tool believe they are using it correctly, even if the work they are shaping seems to be falling apart. Should this anomaly be pointed out in the case of science, the answer will be: “we must go where the facts lead.” Assuredly, provided we utilise all the facts, and we are certain that the facts themselves are not, in truth, artifacts.

Science and the Religious Function

Jung liked to say that the foundation of all fanaticism is doubt. There is a difference between knowing and believing, and each one of us really does know this difference, even if there are times we would rather not admit it. We know it in much the same way as we know when we are awake. When we are asleep it is quite possible for a dream to have us believe we are awake, but when we are awake there is no way we could ever mistake the fact that we were. We know it in the same visceral way that we “know” something is, for us, a fact rather than our merely believing it is. When our life, livelihood or self esteem depend upon a belief system, then we have to deny within ourselves that we know this difference between knowing and believing. In effect we repress the truth: i.e. that we don’t truly know, so that we can enhance the grip belief has upon our feelings. The repression of the one creates the enhancement of the other – the greater the doubt, the more forceful the expression of belief becomes. It all depends upon the amount of doubt we have to swallow, and in both religion and science some of these doubts can be a fairly hefty meal, so some serious proselytizing is required to maintain the force of our belief in them.

There is, of course, a great difference between the belief of those who could not know, and that of those who ought to know. A person brought up in rural circumstances and whose work and thoughts have ever revolved about the soil and seasons could not be expected to make a good choice when presented with a falsehood about particle physics. It would be a very different story, however, should a physicist insist that such a falsehood was actually true.
For those who could not now, there is always some positive value that makes a certain thing worth believing, the belief fulfils a need which would otherwise go begging until it found another. Thus it is satisfactory to contain these possible falsehoods with a certain equanimity, and also to believe such things to be “really true” without any need to repress the knowledge that we “know” they may not be.
For those who ought to know, however, the story is very different. They know exactly what the hard questions are and where these lurk within the structure of their belief systems. Thus if complete belief is demanded, the fervor of their devotion to the “truth” must not only overwhelm and obliterate the facts which make up the essence of such hard questions, it must also repel them from any situation where such facts might be accepted as data needing further interpretation.
This situation reveals to us why, at learned edge of any subject, one will find a group whose devotion to their own belief system precludes the possibility that any other than they could have the truth, and the possibility that their truth could in any way be false. The cult like exclusivity of such thinking is legend in both religious and scientific matters and its effect made even worse by the fact that the route to knowledge and validation in such subjects is often controlled by those who have the greatest vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
In this way, science as practised becomes the enemy of true science, for all facts, all that is “known” is the data for true scientific enquiry. By its very essence, science is the business of uncovering and denying falsehoods. When it begins to deny facts for the sake of creating and maintaining incomplete, or indeed false, representations of reality, it is science no longer, but merely religion in a new guise.
All this, of course, has been said before. But in the face of the dominant and ultimately nihilistic viewpoint of our current high priests of the cosmic all, it needs saying again and again.
Let us look, with respect to the problem of “mind”, at this most prevalent attitude in the modern sciences, i.e. that of the materialist or physicalist.

Mind, and its representative phenomenon of awareness, is either something in itself, or it is nothing. The physicalist view, which rules most of our scientific disciplines, insists that it is nothing. Indeed, the entire physicalist explanation of the universe stands or falls by this assertion, which is why it is so vehemently defended by those who have invested their lives in those scientific and philosophical pursuits which see both the universe and the human being as only the result of physical processes based on “natural” law. Mind is merely the result of brain process. Human beings are chemical robots, created by chance and hence enslaved to the contingencies of survival in a meaningless universe.

To assert that all subjectivity arises from “matter” (matter, which to “exist” can only be the object of a prior subjectivity), the default position then requires that matter must be essentially identical to God, who, of course, the physicalist asserts, cannot exist. Nevertheless, by insisting that “something” (an a-priori subjective apprehension) can “exist” (another subjective term) even if it is, like God himself, unknowable and has never been known, the physicalist makes a metaphysical assertion by which he then refutes his own position. Whether blind to the irony of his position or not, the materialist asserts the absolute a-priori nature of matter: it must be that way, you can see that it is.

The attitude of the materialist or physicalist philosophy is that of pure extroverted sensation, for which “seeing is believing” is not merely a motto, but exemplifies the exact correlation between sense perceptions and subsequent ideas about the nature of reality. This is not to say that extraverted sensation cannot admit the possibility of the unseen, but that any such must be reducible to physical functions and dynamics, even if they are the “ineffable” first causes of matter. Psychologically, this raises the problem of the missing or “inferior” function of introverted intuition; that function which amongst other things, apprehends for the intuitive individual his relationship to the dynamics of the unconscious. For the extraverted sensation type who has become totally immersed in a materialist viewpoint, his estrangement from the “spirit within” is complete, even though it remains active within his unconscious and hence projected into the world, not merely as a “deus absconditus” but as an absolute negative, a “deus nihilum”.
(See Richard Dawkins; The God Delusion for a classic example.)
For him, God must not exist, and through this very assertion, his intimate, even if negative, connection to the hidden god within is assured. His assertions about reality and his one sidedness evoke the very shadow of the creator himself. But chasing God from his universe always leads him back to the point of non reduction, the beginning, where the ineffability which clings to matter can no longer be negated but represents itself in the very image of that which he asserts cannot be true. By attributing to this projection everything which belongs to that which he denies in himself, the ineffable nature of his “primal matter” becomes indistinguishable from the dark nature of God. The active denial of God is no less a religious fervor – albeit a negative one – than that of God’s active affirmation. Thus does fervent materialism ultimately and always complete the circle that leads back to the unspeakable unity beneath all psychic apprehension – in this case, to the dark side of God; in psychological terms, to the negation of the soul.

Where extroverted sensation is supported by feeling rather than thinking, a differing form of materialist philosophy prevails, i.e., that of secular humanism. Where materialism offers no escape from the nihilism of its ideas, humanist philosophy, in its need to find connection and meaning in the world, discovers these things within the natural sphere of human life and its relationships, its culture and connection to the world. In its simplest form, as represented through the every day culture of western society, secular humanism sees the process of life in purely evolutionary terms; its moral and ethical philosophy based on the idea of the greatest good for the greatest number. Science, particularly social sciences based on behavioural psychology are its henchmen and supporters, and while the “spiritual welfare” of the individual might be considered important, such consideration is based only upon the notion of contentment, i.e. if believing in some metaphysical notion of the world makes you happy, then all is well. Nevertheless, secular humanism has no place for the possibility of any real metaphysical truths; such things are the product of human mythology; dreams and legends reducible to the homeostatic needs of our biological survival mechanism. Indeed, in the case of religious doctrine and dogma, this assertion is not wide of the mark, but humanism leaves the case for any real, personal experience of “otherness”, the initiating or original religious experience, open only to those biophysical explanations it supports.

Regardless of the individual perspectives of scientists themselves, “Science” as peddled to the masses through media and education denies mind, or consciousness, as an object and rejects all and any metaphysical implications of its activity. In the face of all evidence to the contrary, this one-sided and essentially religious position remains the guiding shadow of academic science, defending the dogma from heresy and all the while casting its protective gloom over the regal, scientific nakedness.

Science, Magic and the Metaphysics of Clunk

“From ghoulies and ghosties,
And long-leggedy beasties,
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!”

Whenever we try to explain anything unknown using the mechanisms and laws of the known human world, we are dealing in what I call the metaphysics of clunk, i.e. using physics to explain metaphysics, or using what we believe is objective to explain the subjective. The metaphysics of clunk are not only most visible in the outpourings of spiritualist and so called “new age” philosophies, they also underwrite the explanatory mechanisms of parapsychology and virtually all so called “religious” phenomena. They are also, of course, the metaphysics of the objective fallacy, and are nowhere more visible than in the realm of quantum physics, and thus by default, those philosophies which attempt to use quantum physics as an explanatory principle for both psychological and parapsychological phenomena.

Up until the twentieth century, the metaphysics of clunk worked. It was quite reasonable to suspect deeper physical mechanisms behind as yet unexplained phenomena, and in most cases, such explanations were indeed forthcoming. But science hit a wall somewhere around the turn of the twentieth century. Suddenly it seemed that the pure geometric logic which underwrote the cosmos must be wrong; suddenly a logically insurmountable paradox arose, and the only way around it was found through quantum physics. From that point on it seemed as if the divergence between pure geometric logic and our perceptions of the cosmos would have to remain, for there was no uniting principle apparent between the logic of the observed and the logic of the observer.

Logic is an essentially geometric function, in many ways abstracted from the fixed geometry of the world we perceive, but also inherent within the nature of mind itself.
It is the pure rational function par excellence and as far as we know, it is only in the realm of psychological behavior where it can be gainsaid. To put the point very simply and bluntly, the reason why physics, both relativistic and quantum mechanical, requires so much suspension of disbelief for us to accept its vision of cosmos, is not because it hit a physical wall, but a psychological one. Science hit the subjective wall of its own observational processes, and it still hasn’t accepted that such a wall exists as a truly invisible subjective function, for it continues to believe in the “objective reality”, not only of its observations, but also of the narrow, mechanistic and essentially materialistic hypotheses that follow from such observation.

The upshot of all this is rather sad, and amusing at the same time. Once, we were only misled by the objective fallacy operating invisibly between us and what we observed. Now we are misled by the objective fallacy intervening between us and the results of observation which it has already underwritten. For instance, when we try to use quantum theory to explain conscious mechanisms, we are using an already falsely attributed objective “fact” to try and explain the mechanism of what lies beneath it. Watching such thinking in action can be teeth grindingly frustrating, even amusing, but what is sad is that such thinking refuses to recognize even the simple logical fallacy in trying to explain subjective experience by objective mechanisms, whether these be subject to the objective fallacy or not.

It wasn’t just physics, however, that hit a subjective wall near the turn of the twentieth century. It looked like the whole materialist scientific edifice was about to take another far more serious hit with the rise of parapsychology.
But it didn’t.
Why? Well a library of books could be written on this subject, but suffice to say, it simply didn’t notice, nor care. The priests of the holy particle simply sermonized louder and longer, drowning out most of the local noise and not caring about what they couldn’t hear going on outside the church walls. The results of paranormal investigation continue to pile up, while the high priests of materialist science continue to ignore them, now in the most public and expansive ways possible in our media driven society. In TV specials and mainstream media articles we are bombarded with pop culture scientific propaganda telling us how both we and the universe came into being, how it will all end and everything that is likely to happen in between. And all doled out in careful sound bytes aimed at the five minute attention span and all underwritten by the materialist view of the presenter, who is ever so careful never to mention the existence of the vast array of armament now ranged against both his “theory as fact” presentations and his philosophic prejudice.

Getting the message out has never been more important and academic science is now right into the mainstream with its own culture of celebrity, hitting the prime time with slick voiceovers backed up by a dazzling array of digitally enhanced wonders. One has to ask why, but the answer is simple enough. What would happen if all those people out there started asking the hard questions; if they all started saying, “well, show us how all these other things fit into your view of the cosmic all, and then maybe we will accept your other ideas.” Of course, this would never happen in any such simplistic way, but the undercurrents are there, and academic science knows they are. Indeed, there has never been a time when the ground under our scientific view of the universe has been as uncertain as it is now. The fact that few in mainstream society realise this remains the ace up its sleeve. So people like Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Roger Penrose et al, keep pushing the bluff, and hope they never get caught out. After all, tenure and funding depend on you’re being the man with the goods, so you’d better make sure everyone believes you’ve still got them.

The INTJ in-extremis. Martyr to Uncertainty.


Whether you agree with the more defining forms of personality typing or not, the fact remains that there is a particular way of being a person; a particular relationship between ego, unconscious and the world beyond self which accurately fits with the MBTI type known as INTJ.
Like all personality types cast in this way, there is a wide variance of “strength” or closeness to type under the INTJ heading. My concern here is not merely with the INTJ personality which most closely matches the finer definition of this type, but with the INTJ type “to the max”, where strong inner awareness and high intellect join in a personality tour de force of rare magnitude, and the fact that this extreme personality, for all its innate capability, often remains both unfulfilled and unable to access a place in this world where the possibility of such fulfillment might even be an option.
I want you to meet the INTJ in extremis. Why? Two reasons. You might have a relationship with someone like this and it could be worth your while to understand them better than you do now. Or, if as you read this, you find me describing yourself, then you may be one these rare people. And if you are, it might be a good thing for you to know you are not alone – because that is one of the strongest and most self evident truths the INTJ in extremis holds: that regardless of spouse, children, friends or social position, they have been, are, and ever will be, alone.
In outlining some of the most important traits of this personality and why they lead to the places they do, we need to understand that by their very nature these traits not only both create and enable isolation, but also that in themselves they are for the most part hidden beneath a persona which has been, both voluntarily and involuntarily, constructed to adapt the personality to a modern world essentially hostile to its nature. Certainly, there is an extremis position for all types, but in this essay I want to show how the defining characteristics of the INTJ in extremis can lead to those places where this personality can martyr itself. Crazy saint, drug addict or serial killer, the end result is often martyrdom – to a process beyond our normal human capacity to withstand.
One of the most prominent yet sometimes scarcely visible characteristics of the INTJ in extremis is their intelligence. Not the kind of head trip, super computer intelligence of the INTP genius so often portrayed on film and television by the dorky nerd in the lab coat, but the silent and penetrating awareness of the unseen alien hiding in the walls, whose supremacy is only apparent after the fact. “Alien” is actually a good word to describe the intellect of the INTJ in extremis, for, unlike the genial, self absorbed intellect of our INTP thinker, whose highly visible and often revered thinking ability often channels itself into those streams of applied science, politics or philosophy beloved of our modern, materialistic consumer society, the intellect of the INTJ in extremis is neither genial nor revered, for it is in many ways indeed alien to the mores, ideals and goals of modern society. And trying to manipulate it to serve such goals can be like prodding a cobra with a very short stick.
A second characteristic, actually a symptom of the extreme INTJ personality, is addiction to sensual gratification. While almost always overtly rationalized and controlled, the INTJ in extremis is a junkie; food, nicotine, alcohol, hard drugs, auto-erotic sex, it makes no difference, they are always stuck on something which not only makes their life bearable, but is also seen by them as a necessary adjunct to a reasonable existence: their addictions are a part of them, without which they would reckon life not to be worth living.
Another and possibly the most debilitating symptom suffered by the INTJ in extremis is a hidden, yet sometimes overwhelming vulnerability to states of extreme anxiety. This vulnerability is often countered in overt life by equally extreme forms of hair-splitting carefulness combined with a conservatism which finds its expression in unusual and highly individual ways.
This anxiety stems from the most important defining characteristic of the INTJ in extremis: that of “maxed out” introverted intuition, an uncontrollable trait that not only sets them apart from the rest of the human world, but also places them at odds with just about everything they see in it. Often it is only within the innocent world of animals and untouched nature that they find a sense of certainty, while the human world is seen as little better than the unconscious embodiment of all they see as stupid, and therefore evil.
Above all, to the outside human world, the INTJ in extremis is a secret known only to themselves. To casual acquaintances of other types they would mostly likely appear to be reasonably well adapted, quiet, kindly, unremarkable individuals who make no effort to draw attention to themselves nor involve themselves in groups, gatherings or contentions. In other words, just another ordinary, if somewhat overly introverted person. But they have to be this way, for there is no acceptable, socially adapted persona available to them through which they might express what lies beneath. And it is what lies beneath in this, admittedly extreme personality that makes it so rare, so misunderstood and, indeed, so perilous – either for those few truly able to bring themselves into contact with it, or, more often, those who are forced by daily circumstances to do deal with it.
It is often said that there is a fine line between genius and madness. Rightly so. The original meaning of the word “genius” suggests one who is possessed by a spirit, demon or “genie”, and our modern usage merely assimilates to the self of the “genius” or mad person something which was once considered an external, godlike or spiritual controlling influence. Indeed, if we look at the roots of both words we find the same thing – essentially, a form of possession by the gods. In terms of mythology, the only difference between what we now call either “genius” or “madness” comes down to just which of the gods are in possession of our personality. From Jungian psychology we see these gods as archetypal influences which form the inner topology of the “Self” or the total, if not fully “realized”, person. We also know from Jung that the process of becoming “Self aware” requires conscious recognition of, and interaction with, these archetypal influences, and that as long as we remain unconscious of their power in our life, we remain susceptible to “possession” by them.
While the INTJ in extremis might not interpret the influences within them as either gods or archetypes, they know them only to well. They are quite aware that their life long susceptibility to these forces has created the person they now are, and bemoan as they might the miseries they can bring, few if any would prefer to live altogether without them.
The question could be asked whether INTJ in extremis is the result of a neurotic adaptation to the world. Certainly, their adaptation to the wider social and economic consensus could easily be interpreted this way, but not their adaptation to reality, to what actually “is” and why it is. In fact this divergence is simply an artifact of the INTJ in extremis’ position that what “is” results mostly from a faulty adaptation to reality by the rest of the world; that consensus “reality” is for the most part a false attribution by those who cannot see beyond a blinkered, cultural viewpoint. Indeed, if the INTJ in extremis has a bête-noir, it is the obvious blindness of others to the incoherence and falsity of almost all “mainstream” political, scientific, cultural and religious dogma.
The INTJ detests dogma of any kind. Their classic viewpoint is: “When I discover for myself that what you are saying is true, then I will believe you.” The INTJ in-extremis, however, will never “believe”, for they know that rarely, if ever, does even personal experience represent the reality that lies beneath. It would be a rare INTJ who did not find the ideas expressed in the film “The Matrix” condign to their way of seeing the world, even without it’s “machine intelligence” sci-fi interpretation. For the INTJ in-extremis, the notion that we are trapped from birth into a game playing role in a matrix of illusion is not only blatantly obvious, but also one of the main reasons why they find it so hard to adapt to the mores of the collective world. Nothing is certain, and without certainty, there can be no commitment.
Thus, above all else, the INTJ in-extremis seeks for certainty, for something “true” in the most absolute sense, to which they might hitch their wagon. In essence, the INTJ in-extremis is a mystic in search of the ultimate ground of being. Without an answer to this quest, only the illusory sensual satisfactions of the shadow can sustain them in their isolation, where, left to themselves, it will be the upon cross of these satisfactions, destructive of both body and soul, that this personality will ultimately martyr itself.

On Being or Becoming… a Writer

Now that the internet has all the communication media dragging along behind its bloated and sagging lowest common denominator ass, it seems anyone who can string a few words together without making too many spelling mistakes can be a “writer”, which by default means that virtually anyone with a computer and an internet connection can be a “freelance writer”.

Unfortunately, along with this automatic assumption comes its apparent concomitant: thousands of badly educated, inexperienced people with 500 word vocabularies now actually calling themselves “freelance writers” and flocking into this new, already overcrowded cyber-world – every one of them expecting to make a dollar out of it.

They won’t, and it doesn’t take the better ones long to realise that the internet is a giant sweat shop where only those in control make any money out of the willing slaves who swarm to its tempting, brightly colored hype like flies around an outback dunny. A few, a very few, finally realise that there is only a limited number of honest ways to make money out of writing, and that every one of them depends upon four basic but absolute essentials, lacking any one of which, a writer looking to make a living from his craft will find it hard going indeed.

I suppose you want me to tell you what these things are. Alright, but don’t be too disappointed when you realize I haven’t given you the secret keys to success. They are the keys, but just not secret – they never have been. In fact they are so glaringly and boringly obvious that a lot of people seem to think they just don’t matter. How wrong they are.

Number One: Know your subject. No, that doesn’t mean having all the information at your Google-powered fingertips. I mean know it, experience it, live it, and understand it to that level where you can question it, make new hypotheses about it or put it into practice. It doesn’t matter if you are writing non-fiction or a novel, if you are not the world authority on your subject, your characters or your story, then you had better know at least enough to make a reader think you might be. Never, never, never fake it. And don’t rewrite or regurgitate anything someone else has written unless you know it conforms to the criteria above.

Number Two: Know how to write. Oh dear, I can hear the cries of the high school dropouts already. Sorry, but if you cannot write your own language in a formally correct manner; if you have no understanding of punctuation and why it is necessary; if you do not understand grammar and why it is necessary; if you do not know how to spell the words you wish to use or cannot be bothered to find out, then you are not, and never will be, a writer.

Number Three: Hone your skill and create your talent. Writing can be done well, or it can be done poorly. It can entertain people or it can make them yawn. At worst, it can drive them so crazy with frustration that they will never read another word you write. The difference is in the art: the way you use ideas; the way you structure your thoughts: the way you use metaphor, image and analogy to either inform, describe, amuse or grip your reader. Without this talent your work will be pedestrian and lack the freshness and wit that makes people want to turn the pages, to hear and see more. A story or novel written without such skills reads like a junior school diary, a plodding “he said, she said” shopping list of poorly presented characters and events. Learn your craft. Read the best writers, and then read more of them: let their different skills and talents bleed into your mind, until you can at least write something which contains the kind of literary dynamics they use. Then find and build your own unique way of being a writer and forget them.

Number Four. Do not give your work away. Do not write anything you consider worthy of your true talent for anyone – unless they are willing to truly pay for it. Your work should be worth at least as much as a highly paid tradesman. Do not sell yourself short. Make sure you know your markets, target them, and insist on the correct remuneration. Don’t waste your time flogging yourself to anyone and everyone like some literary whore. If someone likes your work and wants you to write for them, that’s nice. You can even take it as a complement. Then get down to business. Don’t get sucked in by the old “we’re doing you a favor” bullshit. They’re not. If they didn’t want your work they wouldn’t ask for it. And if they do want it – well they can bloody well pay for it.

Some of you might ask then, why do I write this blog? Because I have the time; because the real writing I used to do made me money. Dollar for word, it made me what I consider – and what a lot of other freelance writers would also probably consider – a reasonable amount of money. Perhaps writing is not your life; perhaps you just do it for fun. That’s great; you’ll never have to worry about what it really takes to make it in the business. But there are some, I know, who really want to do just that, and that brings me to my other reason. A vast number of good, well written books are out there which deal with the subject of writing well, building your skills, and marketing your work. But it is blatantly obvious that only the people who are doing well have taken all that information to heart and made it useful. And just in case you think I’m preaching to the converted here, don’t kid yourself. Reading around the blog universe is enough to see that only a few of the people who like to write actually appear to make any effort to write well. As for the rest – if they are, well, they’re just not getting it.  So, sometimes, I write about writing too – and hope that maybe someone, just one person who really does want to be a writer, does get it.

Is the hard problem of consciousness really “hard”?

When we try to think about what it is that is aware within us, and how it is aware, we come up against a what can only be described as a “semantic wall”.  Regardless of whether we subscribe to a materialist or dualist philosophy, this wall remains. While the “problem of consciousness” is easy enough to express, ie, how organized matter might possibly create qualitative “subjective experience” from otherwise non qualitative causes and effects, the actual mechanism of such subjectivity remains impossible to even image, let alone describe. Although a dualist conception allows us to posit a “subjective mirror side” to reality in which qualia  present as entities or effects which are “experienced”, the semantic problem remains, for whether we posit to this subjective side all those qualia which might be “triggered” by brain events, we still need to describe the “awareness mechanism” which experiences these qualities. This kind of  “qualic mind/effective brain” dualism only appears to answer the question, as the actual machinery of experience remains ineffable. In fact, the  process of “being aware” refuses to fall into place within any purely mechanistic theory of consciousness, no matter how the complexity of its explanations might evolve.

Trying to explain the “awareness mechanism” always produces this endless explanatory regression, or gap. In the materialist explanation there is simply no place for a subjective function unless posited – usually by a kind of intellectual sleight of hand – as an arbitrary and otherwise unexplainable process, while the dualist idea falls down the moment we try to explain awareness by applying causal geometric and mechanistic concepts to the phenomena of “mind” and how it might interact with “matter”. By doing so, we simply re-create the very problem we were trying to solve by positing a mind/brain dualism in the first place.

So, on the surface of things, it would seem the problem of consciousness is not merely hard… it‘s really, really hard.

Trying to describe mind in purely objective terms simply does not work, for nowhere in such terms –  whether they refer to subjective processes or not – is there a conceptual ability to describe a “subjective mechanism”. While we might have a language in which we can describe subjective experience, we have no language in which we can conceptualize the actual subjective process. No spoken, written, geometric or mathematical language can image “subjectivity” as a process, for all language is created from the formalized subjective experience of objective data.  Language actually builds us into a semantic “consensus reality” in which no subjective process is actually explainable, even if the process itself is a phenomenon of our experience.

Does this mean the really, really hard problem of consciousness could not be answered, even though you or I might have somehow actually discovered or experienced the answer to it?

Let’s leave this question for the moment, while we clarify some ideas and locate some reference points.

First, it is necessary to discriminate the learned processes of mind from the fundamental idea of awareness, i.e. the ability to actually have “subjective experience”. It is this function of awareness about which the problem revolves. All other processes indicative of mind or consciousness in action can be visualized and possibly resolved within a purely mechanistic and objective system of inquiry. Consequently, and only because of its common usage in psychological literature as a term for the higher functions of mind and their development, I will not use the word “consciousness” further in this essay, but  terms such as “awareness” or “fundamental subjectivity”, as a way of making this distinction from complex or developed consciousness clear.

Second, I want to strongly press the point that, since all human experience is subjective, there is no way to set the primacy of any particular part of its purely perceptive experience. For instance, in terms of a primary awareness, there is no process by which it is possible to determine that sensory phenomena are any more or less “real” or “illusory” than any other phenomena to which this primary awareness is subject. Such determinations as might be made in this regard are in fact merely arbitrary, being relative only to the to the particular metaphysical position of developed consciousness and can have no place in an argument regarding the fundamental process of awareness itself.

 

Is primal awareness an “objective” condition?

 

Is it possible that some aspect of primary awareness intrudes upon the world of experience to the extent that it’s effects are visible within the “objective” cosmos?

Absolutely. Time, in both its subjective and apparently objective forms, is one of these aspects, and I have argued in a previous paper* that the arbitrary functions and constraints definable within quantum physics result from another.

Indeed, if there were no way in which the physical could intrude into the mental then their would be no experience at all, and it consequently follows that this “blurring of boundaries”, which is the “space” in which awareness takes place, must also see a similar intrusion of its operational world into the apparently objective world of experience.

That this intrusion mediates a hidden subjectivity within physics and its “third person objective” view of the cosmos can be shown through the paradoxes it creates and the need to posit arbitrary physical functions to “particles” and “fields” which cannot be further defined by inquiry.

* (see appendix)

But understanding that awareness or some phenomenological aspect of it intrudes into the world it sees as objective reality does little more than reiterate the understandings of the ancient Chinese, for whom the great diagram of Fu-Si represented the most fundamental statement possible about the world.

 

Is there a way to imagine awareness?

 

This question, as you will see, automatically begs the problem we are trying to elucidate. By “imagine”, what do I mean? Everything the word imagine conjures to our mind involves the imaging of objectified phenomena. For instance, an often used term for subjectivity is “reflection” or the mirroring back of reality. But this image falls down immediately we try to “see” awareness as a property of reflection, for the process already has a hidden observer, ie, the one “seeing” the reflection. Awareness once again “removes itself” from the image associated with it.

This endless game of hide and seek is seen by materialist philosophers as a kind of bugaboo, an unreal and false condition produced by the (admittedly, as yet unexplained) self or identity process of brain consciousness. Now, whether or not it is currently explainable in terms of brain function, for the materialist this process must  nevertheless exist, ergo the “hard problem”, at least as we conceive it, must not exist – indeed it cannot, for if it did, then it would be impossible to assert that awareness arises from nothing more than certain complex states of matter. For the materialist, the hard problem devolves to a purely physical conundrum which in time will – somehow – be fully explained.

But, however unfortunate it might seem, the process will never be explained in such terms, for the materialist viewpoint is itself nothing other than a product of the same “objective fallacy” which already rules out the explanation of subjective mechanisms. Yet even within the constraints of the consensus reality in which materialism thrives, its view of mind still suffers from a serious flaw; an Achilles heel which has already taken so many direct hits that it is surprising materialistic notions of mind continue to be held as anything more than quaint philosophical anachronisms.

Put simply, the materialist notion of the psyche stands or falls by its necessary adherence to purely “physical” properties of matter. That is, there can be no question regarding its being affected by phenomena which cannot be physically explained, or, if such psychic phenomena exist which appear to be non physical, then these too must be ultimately be explainable in physical terms.

Now, because paranormal psychic phenomena do exist and because some of them are of such a nature as to be truly unexplainable in physical terms, the materialist notion of a purely physical psyche is automatically invalidated, for such phenomena show that at least some part or process of the psyche must be essentially “non physical”.

This, of course, has been the state of the argument for a long time, but the materialist position has not changed, simply because those who cling to it refuse to allow for such phenomena within their explanations, usually by denying their existence as “real” effects.

 

Parapsychology and fence walking – or is it sitting?

 

Parapsychologists assert that the phenomena they study exists; that PK, ESP etc are objective phenomena and thus able to be studied and analyzed by due scientific process. So why has more than 100 years of such scrutiny produced no answers whatsoever to the question of how such phenomena occur?

We know that certain states of consciousness are sometimes conducive to them, but that they can also occur outside such conducive states. We know an awful lot about the mythology projected upon such paranormal phenomena, but we haven’t a clue as to whether this mythology contains even a germ of validity outside the subjective context in which it is produced.

True enough that the parapsychologist is somewhat behind the eight ball, for he has no clear explanatory grid into which he can fit his findings, nor is there even an agreed working hypothesis of mind/brain function he might borrow for this purpose. Nevertheless, he continues to investigate, using what seems to have become a tried and true method  – not only in parapsychology but also in physics –  the good old reductio ad infinitum, or the causal explanation of one unknown by the mysterious operation of even greater unknown.

Thus, it is not the shade of poor old Uncle John who tells the medium where he hid his last will and testament, but her seemingly infinite powers of ESP, which roam the ether and collect just this important piece of information.

But giving a new name to the unknown hardly counts as science, unless you are determined to assert that the idea of communication with a “spirit” is far less agreeable than the existence of an essentially infinite and god like power of perception.

“Would you like six, of half a dozen, Madam?”

It might seem more scientific to assert ESP as a function, but it explains nothing at all – indeed one might argue that, regardless of its obvious mythological derivation, the spiritualistic explanation does at least offer a phenomenological grid in which everything fits. Whereas, what, how or why, is ESP?

If it seems I am arguing the spiritualist view, I certainly am not. I am merely pointing out the fact that without a clear explanatory dynamic which includes the mechanical relationship of consciousness to matter, parapsychology, for all its investigations, will remain little more than a taxonomy of the paranormal, full of all the either’s, or’s and maybe’s  it has held since it began.

 

Science and the Objective Fallacy.

Amusingly, the Encyclopedia Britannica article on consciousness relates one notion of the Skinnerian school of thought as being that, since the subjective factor of “mind” cannot be objectively apprehended as anything other than a physically reactive human functionality “we can only say that people behave “as if” they were conscious.” But how can you suggest that people behave “as if” they were conscious unless you agree that “conscious” behavior exists in the first place? Secondly, and far more importantly, how can we negate the subjective viewpoint of the mind and thence posit an only external, objective vision of human behavior, when the subjective position, i.e. our own “subjective” awareness, is all that we actually have by which to assess such behavior? That without this subjective awareness of human states unique to mind, there could be no psychology in the first place?

But this conceited inversion of logic we see in the behaviorist school of thought is not so much amusing as it is downright dangerous. Not only does it make a nonsense of the most inspired yearnings and capacities of the human mind and heart, its affect within the physical sciences promotes the vision of a hostile universe in which conscious life is little more than a kind accidental and often unfortunate fungus which occasionally spreads across planetary systems when the physical conditions are fortuitous.  It is true that his notion – that we are somehow a mere artifact or product of the extremely limited cosmos we apprehend – has ever set the background to even our most religious apprehensions of our place in the universe, but as a built in assumption within the materialist science which now has us in thrall of its technological magic, it is no longer a merely limited philosophical viewpoint set by a lack of greater knowledge, but a damning limitation of our humanity; a despicable creed which insists we cannot be anything other than that which the feted high priests of either religion or materialist science tell us we are.

Let us be quite clear about this. Today’s materialist science insists that life arises purely from the fortuitous mechanics of matter, and that consciousness is a secondary product of life’s evolved complexity. Thus, they assert, that in the profound silence and utter darkness of non-being, where no thing is aware, where neither stimulus nor registered reaction exist, things nevertheless “happen” between particles of energy in such a way as to form not only the “universe” but also the structures of life. Further, that at some point, at some miraculous moment, out of no thing, awareness suddenly becomes.

Science’s vision assumes an a-priori and objective, third person viewpoint from which it  posits the activities of “matter” before it became aware. I am quite sure science is not here championing the existence of God, so what is it doing? It is reasoning after the fact, taking its own human awareness for granted within a vision of the cosmos which pre-existed awareness. Science conveniently forgets that there is no such vision of the cosmos; that without some other godlike consciousness, there is no prior existence to anything. But science insists that matter precedes awareness. Thus in its view, matter must contain all the intelligence of nature’s evolved forms within itself; within its own laws. The laws of matter therefore pre-exist all creation. Matter then becomes the creator of all things, and reveals itself to us as no more, and no less, than God himself.

Within a reasoning which places all but mind into an objectified cosmos, there is no escape from this ultimate agreement between science and religion. The two are forced together, and indeed, were never separate in the first place. They differ only in the one minor area of focus, and both reveal to us the same ultimate position: that the workings of the entire universe are revealed in the study of its apparently objective parts, and that regardless of how you conceive him, whether as law or as love,  whether you come to him through the study of his justice or his mercy, an unknown and indescribable God rests at the bottom of all things.

The longed for eschatological peak of science’s investigations is the ultimate “theory of everything” in which all is explained. Some scientists and mathematicians believe we are even close to such a universe collapsing explanation. Study of the apparent facts and explanations science has amassed reveals a very different story however: a story whose reading  shows us that the scientific mind lives in a fantasized cosmos little different to those found in religious mythologies; a kind of “just so” universe in which the apparent or “objective” facts are overlaid with a grid of metaphysical explanation, any part of which has no more fundamental substance than its need to fulfill an explanatory role within a particularly biased representational image of archetypal forms.

Here, we encounter – both in religion and science –  the metaphysics of clunk working on the grandest of scales. The universe reveals itself to us as no more and no less than the projected imagery of our most discriminating ideas. Ideas which, at bottom, both arise from and are constrained by the laws relating what we call “psyche” to its material representation; laws whose function, and the specific values which arise from their dynamic relationship, create the very substrate and logic of our perceptions. Without an understanding of these laws; without a clear picture of our own conscious relationship to the cosmos we perceive, there can be no “ultimate theory”; nor can we assert, beyond our “commonsense” fashioning of subjectively satisfying explanations for phenomena, that we know anything fundamental about the universe in which we find ourselves.