The Calculus of Love

Loss, Cry, Redemption

The sensation of loss is the consequence of boundary and separation – the disintegration from the beginning which we all struggle in our own way to heal.

But.. another word for disintegration (at least in Maths) is differentiation. The very boundary that signals loss enables an integration. The one that is created from the re-combination of two is infinitely larger than the original one that is single.

Loss is poignant; sometimes almost more sweet than bitter. This is because it resonates with its antithesis. Connection. Loss and Connection – in other words the sensation of differentiation and integration. Together these create the harmonics of life. It is not that you can’t have one without the other – it is that one IS the other.


The tides of love (differentiation and integration)

“All manner of thing shall be well/When the tongues of flame are in-folded/Into the crowned knot of fire/And the fire and the rose are one” TS Elliot

I think that Elliot was pointing to a fundamental symmetry between the material (fire) and spiritual (rose) world. We have to think outside physics to find the answer to the apparent material asymmetry introduced by the dimension of time.

Time is the only thing that we know that is not symmetrical. We can travel backward and forward through space, but only forward in time. This flows from the second law of thermodynamics, where disorder (entropy, chaos), always increases. That in turn flows from the initial conditions of the Universe, which was highly organised.

There must, I believe, actually be a symmetrical partner to time. If you like – something that is running backward, creating order from disorder, which matches and balances the movement toward chaos that we observe in the material Universe.

Everything in the world is dual. Without boundary we could not know existence. Boundary defines by breaking one into two. Forces balance, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When singular differentiates into dual (when one becomes two) it creates symmetry. Everything is symmetrical, and in a state either of differentiation or integration, separation or unification. This appears to me to be a fundamental truth – equally so in psychology (see all the writings of Carl Jung) and physics. Except for time. Time is different. It’s asymmetrical. It flows only forward. There is an arrow of time.

Why is that? After all – ever since Einstein’s special and general relativity was proved, we know that time is only the fourth dimension of space-time. We should in theory be able to travel forward and back in time, just as we can in space. But we can’t and don’t. We are all travelling forward at the speed of light through space-time. (Which is why there is time-dilation. If we travel rapidly through space, we use up some of the time component of that speed and therefore we travel more slowly through time). Since we’re in motion in space-time and with a direction – forward– we have momentum. Our momentum in time is simply mass multiplied by the speed of light. mc (massxspeed of light). We also know that E=mc2 (energy is mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light). That means that “we can consider energy to be momentum in the time direction” (Andrew Thomas). In turn that implies that it is the existence of time (and a time direction) that creates energy – and therefore mass and the material world.

Haven’t we heard this all before, but in a different language – long before the discoveries of physics. “Let there be light” – spoken by God, the word existing beyond time . Doesn’t this translate into – let there be a universal speed of light (168,000 miles/second) and time. From this energy and mass flows, and therefore the material Universe.

I believe that the flow of time in the material world – creating disorder from order, is matched by a flow in the spiritual world, where order is being created from disorder. I also believe that this creation of order can be observed in the evolution of consciousness. Ideas are not material. I believe, with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, that at some point (his Omega point) we will evolve to a Universal consciousness of God. I believe that God, existing beyond time, is made manifest in this material Universe by Christ; and that manifestation is perfect Love.

That, I believe, is the answer to the apparent time asymmetry. Spirit is the symmetrical partner of Energy (=matter). This makes sense for me of that great Christian poet – TS Elliot’s final lines from The Four Quartets. The fire is the material world (energy) and the rose the spiritual (love) and it is in their integration through the loving unifying sacrifice of Christ through (the crowned knot of fire), that all manner of things shall be well.

Or perhaps more simply – as Derek Walcott puts it:

“Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than the love that took its symmetry for granted when it was whole”.

France v Britain

Macron’s victory yesterday points up a fundamental difference between Britain and France. Macron like all French presidents is part of the elite. Trained to rule as a benign (we hope) dictator with 79 other graduates of his year. France thinks intellectually and runs top-down. The model is Platonic and they have in mind rule by a philosopher-king. That’s very different from the UK where we think of ourselves since Magna Carta as a kind of muddle-through bottom up democracy. Practical and empirical solutions versus intellectual and theoretical. 

Ah but… UK has arguably more centralised power (since Thatcher and Blair) than France, and the French have the threat of the mob (think 1967) and their people’s revolution. 

We probably aren’t very different in the actualitee, but our national mindset certainly is …

Commitment and creativity

True art requires utter commitment. That applies to creativity of any type. The artist is a vehicle to “body forth” the new idea. 

Here is Martin Buber’s take 

“This is the eternal source of art: (I) am faced by a form which desires to be made (by me) into a work. This form is no offspring of (my) soul, but is an appearance which steps up to it and demands of it the effective power… The work does not suffer me to turn aside and relax into the world of It; but it commands. If I do not serve it aright it is broken, or it breaks me.”

I think that “bodying forth” is an accurate description of creative birth. I also have a note to myself on commitment. My wife (a psychoanalytic psychotherapist) talks of “claustro-acrophobia”, roughly translated as – sitting in the fence. Well, true originality requires utter commitment to the relationship with the idea. Otherwise the idea is broken and so am I…

Mindfulness is the nuclear fuel of reality creation

So… it is observation that crystallises concrete reality from infinite possibilities. So says Neil’s Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. 

(In quantum mechanics, wave function collapse is said to occur when a wave function—initially in a superposition of several eigenstates—appears to reduce to a single eigenstate (by “observation”). … In 1927, Werner Heisenberg used the idea of wave function reduction to explain quantum measurement.)

In effect we, our conscious selves, are engines of observation and therefore at the cutting edge, creating reality. 

What of mindfulness? This is how to jet propel or nuclear power this process. Why? Simple, as observation intensifies , by the living in the present in connection with life around, so does the creative crystallisation process.