The Wolff in Buber’s Forest

Milo Wolff proposes that all “matter” in the universe is in fact made up of a mesh of scalar waves – whose nodes are points of convergence of waves. (Do I have that right Tim?). Read more at

http://www.quantummatter.com/beyond-point-particle/

If so, then all is connected. We all perceive all together instantaneously.

In my last blog I referred to a passage by Martin Buber in which he cites reality in relation to a tree. I complete that passage – because it seems especially to speak to our potential perception of this..

 I consider a tree.

I can look on it as a picture: stiff column in a shock of light, or splash of green shot with the delicate blue and silver of the background.

I can perceive it as movement: flowing veins on clinging, pressing pith, suck of the roots, breathing of the leaves, ceaseless commerce with earth and air – and the obscure growth itself.

I can classify it in a species and study it as a type in its structure and mode of life.

I can subdue its actual presence and form so sternly that I recognise it only as an expression of law – of the laws in accordance with which a constant opposition of forces is continually adjusted, or of those in accordance with which the component substances mingle and separate.

I can dissipate it and perpetuate it in number, in pure numerical relation.

In all this the tree remains my object, occupies space and time, and has its nature and constitution.

It can, however, also come about, if I have both will and grace, that in considering the tree I become bound up in relation to it. The tree is now no longer IT. I have been seized by the power of exclusiveness.

To effect this it is not necessary for me to give up any of the ways I consider the tree. There is nothing from which I would have to turn my eyes away in order to see, and no knowledge I would have to forget. Rather is everything, picture and movement, species and type, law and number indivisibly united in this event.

Everything belonging to the tree is in this: its form and structure, its colours and chemical composition,its intercourse with the elements and with the starts, are all present in a single whole.

The tree is no impression, no play of my imagination, FL;#no value depending on my mood; but is bodied over against me and has to do with me, as I with it – only in a different way.

Let no attempt be made to sap the strength from the meaning of the relation: relation is mutual.

The tree will have a consciousness then, similar to our own? Of that I have no experience. But do you wish, through seeming to succeed in it with your self, once again to disintegrate that which cannot be disintegrated? I encounter no soul or dryad of the tree, but the tree itself.

 

 

Consciousness, the rose and the fire

 

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 Eliot

Any static theory of consciousness feels incomplete. Reality is much closer to a process than a material. Whitehead’s “Process and Reality”, is impenetrable, but so much is clear. Consciousness, our awareness of self and the universe, is transitory, fleeting for most of us. This is to be expected if reality is the intersection of process and the material. It takes intense meditation and study to be able to hold oneself within the stream of the process that is reality as it pours through us. (I am told).

To quote Max Tegmark (New Scientist “Solid, Liquid, Consciousness”) “consciousness is a process that can occur in certain physical systems”. Whilst he invents new language (consciousness is for instance renamed as perceptronium) – it’s an old truth restated. As old, or older than zen. The mathematics are apparently called “Integrated Information Theory” or IIT for short. The system conditions necessary are interesting involving a fluctuation dynamic balance between various factors – system integration and internal separation for instance.

Reality may in fact be the same thing as consciousness (since observation crystallises out particular reality from the infinity of potential). In any case both are a process within a material setting. Matter doesn’t exist without the process of observation and the process can’t flow unless it is materialised. Just as gravitons need material to interact with to create weight. Matter matters – like the zip travelling through time, along the zipper. In this metaphor, what is reality? The changing space that the opening zipper reveals?

And what of the observer phenomenon? After 100 years of quantum investigation there is still no explanation of who or what the “observer” is. In the quantum world at least the observer certainly affects the observed – crystallising out one particular reality from the infinity possibilities that exist. Tegmark states “recent papers have argued that the observer is the key to understanding other fundamental physics mysteries, such as why our universe appears so orderly, why time seems to have a preferred forward direction, and even why time appears to flow at all”.

But is this not what we, each of us are? Fundamentally we observe. For me at least, the words observer and soul are interchangeable – as are the words observation and witness. As Teilhard de Chardin puts it – together we are the phenomenon of man and through us “the universe becomes aware of itself for the first time”. And Teilhard de Chardin also makes the powerful case that consciousness must have been a property of matter from the outset (his inner and outer), and that evolution has led along the path to emergent self-awareness and will eventually lead to (re)unification with God’s love at the Omega Point – when individual units of consciousness, our separate selves – unify and merge.

It seems to me that the separate strands of enquiry – scientific, spiritual and philosophical – are converging or possibly a better description is co-emerging; and toward a knowledge of the presence of God’s love. A rose is a rose by whatever name – love, connection, truth, God.

The Priest and the Physicist – emergent convergence

This week’s issue of the New Scientist features an article by Max Tegmark – “Solid, Liquid, Gas, You” – which is an exposition of his article (see previous post) in Cornell University Press. Essentially it posits consciousness as a different state of matter, in the same way that solid/liquid/gas are different phases. There appears to be some evidence for this. The argument is that as matter complexifies in certain circumstances consciousness arises as an “emergent property” (see God as an emergent property).

This is a mechanical version of Teilhard de Chardin’s hypothesis – that consciousness has always been within matter and inherent in it, and that evolution is the story of phase shifts toward an awareness or consciousness of the glory and love of God. Put another way – what would you call the system where in an emergent reality the whole universe were self-aware, conscious.

What Tegmark calls “Perceptronium”, de Chardin would call the love that is God.

 

 

Donald Winnicott, being and doing..

I was introduced to him last night. Someone to rank with Jung, Pauli, Buber and Teildhard de Chardin…

Wikipedia entry on his view on “being”

“One of the elements Winnicott considered could be lost in childhood was what he called the sense of being. “For Winnicott, the sense of being is primary, the sense of doing an outgrowth of it…Premature development of the ego-function means doing too much, being too little”:[21] a false sense of self. The “capacity to ‘be’, to feel alive…the baby’s lifeline, what Winnicott calls its ‘going on being'” was essential if a person was not to be “caught up in a false self and a compulsive cycle of ‘doing’ to conceal the absence of ‘being'”.[22] One antidote to the potential loss of being was the child’s capacity for playE

Are archetypes predominantly negative?

It seems to me we are mostly ruled by our unconscious. We believe we are floating on the surface of a variously sunlit or storm-racked sea. Whereas in fact we are driven by deep ocean currents far below the surface of our mind. And what forms and drives those currents? These are the tectonic plates, reefs and undersea mountain ranges and chasms that Jung named archetypes.

I’m increasingly aware of these archetypes within. It appears that what drives most societies are negative archetypes – those arising from fear, sadness and anger. Whereas what forms most personal relationships are positive – love and joy. (Incidentally – is there archetypes for surprise?).

Or rather, the archetypes for love and joy operate at a personal rather than societal level, since they arise out of intense connection. Whereas the big beast archetypes for fear and anger work at the societal level (the wolf is outside our family house – will he eat us up?)

If so, and if we do want to live in love and joy – then our journey and is a personal one and we (note to self really) should beware being drawn into societies emotional concerns.

But then I’m only rediscovering old truths. Give unto Caesar that which is Caesars, and Caritas begins at home..

love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness, fear