Annex V Learned Ignorance

Here is how I rationalized my decision to become a generalist.  I persuaded myself that I did not have to learn anything in depth, since I was the unconscious product of all the great minds in history who had influenced all my teachers and of everything else that had “nurturally” structured my mind up to this point. I felt that, this way, the “mistake” that I assumed we made when we first became conscious of our social nature, around the time of the agricultural revolution—mistake which I assume is still concealed deep in the teaching of all these “giants,” whether he be Plato or Einstein—would not be an obstacle to my search for it.

This is what I actually did. Consequently, my search for this mistake has been conducted during all these years, not in a state of competition on crowded shoulders of “giants,” but alone in their empty foot steps.  It is there indeed, in the footsteps of these giants, that I have been less affected by the standings of the specialists riding their shoulders, while ignoring me, than by their dropping.  It is their also that I was incognito stocking my mind with knowledge, as if it were a gondola of a lighter than air balloon, which I was always planning to use for trips over their heads. It is also there that I have had all the freedom to go wherever I needed to go and do whatever I needed to do, while all the time receiving good passing grades, no matter what; my originality always winning over these specialists’ ignorance of what I was doing.  

All along, though, I always had to “reinvent the wheel” every time I needed concepts already defined by past or present giants –which eventually gave me the liberty to adapt these rudely reinvented concepts to my specific needs.  For instance, it is this self-determination that eventually made me picture the field of quantum mechanics as a make-believe Wonderland at the bottom of black holes, in which specialized physicists have to let go of their sense of reality to create a Pleiades of nonsensical particles, theoretically staged to explain the dimensions of reality that they theoretically invented and to which we never had to adapt during our evolution, thus never having had to develop any concepts for them, as we have gradually developed the concepts of space and time, during the millions years of our evolution. To comfort them, though, I must say that I also came to see the field of social sciences, in so far as I am a zooanthropologist, as a zoo full of theory-spinning scholars, going nowhere in their cubicles, as domesticated hamsters in spinning wheels, and the university system in general, as a society of “individual savants,” perfectly good at what they do, but absolutely incapable of applying their compartmentalized knowledge to solve the global problems of humanity, thus inadvertently exacerbating them.


“Scientific thinking proceeds within a framework of presuppositions that it is the business of the scientist to use, not to argue for and still less to challenge . . . No doubt scientists can change their presuppositions, but they seldom do so consciously; their usual practice is to take them for granted. Metaphysicians, however, necessarily take a very different attitude toward presuppositions. It is their business to tell men how to understand the world, and this means that they must, among other things, put forward and argue for a set of interpretative principles. (Metaphysics, Encyclopedia Britannica, my emphasis.)

If I am somebody, I am a self-proclaimed “metaphysicist.” 

My supervisor told me once, while listening to me opening myself to him about all that, that the three smallest books that have ever been written were books about German humor, English fine cuisine, and French humility. He told me then that the one on French humility was so small that nobody has ever seen it. Soon after, I sent him a letter written in French, in which I was telling him that I had never seen this book, but that I had heard of it. It was a book of one sentence, which was of one sentence, was my Syntax (9th grade) Latin teacher , frère Alfred’s maxim, : “L’humilité c’est la vérité,” Truth is humble.

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Annex IV Absolute Consciousness

I came to this idea of “Absolute Consciousness” while tinkering about the dialectic of water: Water is both the synthesis and the antithesis of hydrogen and oxygen.  It is the synthesis of the combustion of hydrogen in an environment of oxygen, and becomes itself their antithesis, since it extinguishes fire. Neat, I thought. This was to me the first materialistic instance of Hegel concept of dialectics, in which the synthesis of a dialectical opposition becomes their antithesis. Salt is another one. It is the ‘synthesis’ of two nasty substances, one poisonous, the other explosive, which has the antithetical effect of enhancing the flavour of what we eat.

And Consciousness in all that? Well, I went on to make the same tinkering about Energy and Matter, and realized that they were also antithetical, in that energy is a ‘conserved’ process, while matter is ‘entropic’ and reactive. And life, the synthesis of energy/matter (their complexification), is antithetically ‘negentropic’ and active, while Consciousness, the synthesis of all that, is also their antithesis in that it is ‘syntropic’ (destructive creation) and proactive. Neat, again! These are the reasons for my “Homocule” in effigy below: Life is 60% H2O. Maybe that is why we look like this?

All this tinkering has been made to support my main working hypothesis, which is an adaptation of Hegel’s ‘Absolute Mind’ and Charon ‘Proto consciousness’ stipulating that: The first element of the universe is not matter, but consciousness. Indeed, if nothing has been created after the Big Bang, but everything evolved in complexity from elemental principles (Ervin Laszlo, Evolution: The Grand Synthesis), then it is very probable that consciousness was already there at the beginning as “Absolute consciousness,” in which all the elemental principles of the universe were already present. This idea is very prolific when modern science is taken in consideration. 

                                                        Homocule

 

 

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Annex III Sound of a Violin

The sound of a violin is a very convincing instance of what I want to put across regarding subjective awareness, objective consciousness,  and the fallacy of objectivism. In this instance , indeed, it is very easy to see that, outside of a perceiving brain, a violin creates no sound, but only motion. First, there are the vibrations of strings, which are amplified by the body of a violin and transformed by it into acoustic waves going through the atmosphere. No atmosphere, no further motion. Furthermore, up too this point, there is no sound, but only motion. Then, this rhythmic motion transferred to the atmosphere is picked up by ear lobs, amplified again by ear canals, and transformed into vibrations of tympanic membranes, etc., etc., until it is transduced into motion of atoms inside auditory nerves (still no sound), to finally be perceived as auditory sensations when it reaches the primary auditory cortex of objectively conscious entities. No objective consciousness, no sound. Furthermore, the same could be true for light waves, with much more implications. That normal human brains all seem to hear and see the same things has always been problematic to me, since sounds, and by extension vision, are the subjective experience par excellence.

However, if we are still unconsciously parts of the “unbroken wholeness” (as proposed in Quantum Reality) in which “space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements”(Bohm), then there is no problem, since in reality, we are implicated as one in the “unbroken wholeness,” and thus become one among ourselves and with the object that we are subjectively perceiving all together.

From this perspective, there is absolutely no problem for bats to catch flies, even if they don’t have any conscious representation of them, since their brains can simply convert the ultimate signals that they receive in their auditory cortex into another series of different types of motion controlling their flight, as we “crudely” perform with our “fly by wires.” In other words, their auditory system can be directly used to control their flight, which would be just another translation of the motion present in their auditory nerves into other types of motion, instead of into sound representations as we do. Bats don’t need more representations  to catch flies than our brains need representations to put our inner bodies in “motion” to attack foreign objects intruding into them. If our bodies can do this with viruses, without any representation (you will at the least concede that it is true in the case of this phagocytes) bats can do it with flies, and eagles, with rabbits.

Wood animals who were “listening” to trees falling had fewer chances to survive than did those who would have responded to vibrations by simply running away from them, without translating them into any other form of awareness. In our case, we must have started to have mental representations of falling trees, only once we were away from them in the middle of the savannah, where we started to develop an objective consciousness, while using our hands to defend ourselves when facing dangers, instead of running away from it  by claiming up trees. From this perspective, there is absolutely no problem for animals to live in the environment  as if it was an extension of their bodies, without any representation, as it is not for us to live in a representation of it, as if it was an extinction of our minds, without any certainty. (C.Q. F. D)

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Annex II Human objective Consciousness vs. Animal Subjective Awareness

Here is how I connect the notions of space and time to the emergence of our objective consciousness.

I believe that we became consciously aware of reality  when we eventually realized that the entities that we encountered in the environment existed on their own, even when away from our “here and now”– by “objectifying” the outside world.  It may seem obvious now, but I believe that this is the greatest discovery that we have ever made.

It was to make these “observations” that we needed the notions of “space” and “time,” unconscious to begin with, to figure out that the objects that we were manipulating in our “here and now” already existed before somewhere else, and would still be there later, when we would need them again. We understood that we could recuperate “later” the objects that we were manipulating “now” and that we could reproduce “now” the objects that we had encountered “before.” It is probably then that we started painting objects on cave walls to “entertain” our congeners?, who probably couldn’t believe how “real” they were, and who were probably as amazed by them then as we are now by the new-cinema technologies.

It is in this process of “mental objectification” that the intuitive notions of “space” and “time” remained embedded unknown to us for millions of years in the “objects” that we were identifying in the outer world.

“The logical premises of factuality are not known to us or believed by us before we start establishing facts, but are recognized on the contrary by reflecting on the way we establish facts.” (Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge. My italics.)

It is only with the Greeks that these “logical premises of factuality” (space and time) were recognized, and only in modern times did we came to give them specific properties to fit our equations of relative motion. I will show at the end of this paper that this substantiation of space and time is misconceived, is Ptolemaic, and not necessary to explain how reality function at all levels, as we didn’t  need substantive crystalline spheres and epicycles to explain the motion of the stars and the planets in the Heavens.

Animals do not function this way. They don’t objectify the entities present in the portion of the environments to which they adapt: They remain implicated with them. In Bohm’s terms, they remain “enfolded” in them, in mine, they treat them as extensions of themselves. Their brains (or nervous ganglions) don’t differentiate between the stimuli coming from their inside environment (somatic information) and those coming from the outside world (exosomatic information).Exceptions can be made for elephants, whales, and dolphins, because of the size of their brains, and for great apes, because of the quality of theirs. All the other animals use their brains to function in their outside world the same way we use the major part of ours (80%?) to regulate our bodies, without any representation, like this bacteria can do it, at a lower level.

And I think that those who believe, I would say the large majority of us, that biological entities carry some types of ’mental representations’ of the world in their head are as anthropomorphic as we were when we thought that physical objects were somewhat alive.

This has been my working hypothesis: The other animals do not have a conscious objective-representation of the world in which they live; they live in the outside world like parts of our brains live in their immediate environments, the same for every brain, our bodies, without any representation.

Here is how I have translated them in Quantum terms. It is as if the living world were part of a “double slit” experiment, in which the back screen is the awareness of living entities, and the two slits made up of the information coming from inside these entities and those coming from outside of them. At the biological level, animals don’t differentiate between the stimuli coming from inside and those coming from outside their bodies (my hypothesis). For that, they would have to be aware that they have a body, of which they are not, since they are not self-conscious. They don’t think. Therefore, they don’t “untangle” themselves from their environment. They live in the outside world as we live in our body, WITHOUT ANY REPRESENTATION, which give them a type of “wavy” awareness (as a consequence of their two slits being opened) of the small portion of the environment to which they remained “enfolded.”

This “enfoldment with the unbroken wholeness’” can explain bird migration, especially cuckoos’, who could remain “entangled” to the womb of their genitors, by whom they are not raised, but whom they rejoin later in migratory regions where they have never been before. This could be explained by the fact that the genitors of this species –who get to their migrating area one month before their offspring– could serve as “beacon” in a dimension where, according to Bohm: “… space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements.”

“A cuckoo here and a cuckoo there” doesn’t mean anything to them, since the energies of their inner body are still “entangled” (Aspect), as a consequence of having been one at birth.(NB this could also explain the affinity of twins separated at birth.  Having been once part of the same egg that “split”, they remain “entangled” all their life, even when miles apart in different family.) Thus, their observed similarities would not be the result of the physical working of their genes, but a consequence of the non-local entanglement of their whole being in the implicate order.

In our case, because we mentally “detect” the difference between the two levels of reality, between what is objective and what is subjective, we consciously become aware at the mental level of the whole environment in terms of discrete objects, from which we “untangle” ourselves in the process. We think, therefore, we are “untangled.” We thus have gained the ability to “explicate” the reality that we perceive, but lost the capacity to understand our deep implication with it. Hence, we became alienated from it, and have progressed to a point of our evolution, where everything that we have ever done on this basis as a species is “hitting the fan,” as the Club of Rome already predicted almost forty years ago in their Limits to Growth.

***

The sound of a violin is a very convincing instance of what I want to put across regarding the fallacy of “objectivism” (defined as our belief of a reality independant of our mind).  In this instance , indeed, it is very easy to see that, outside of a perceiving brain, a violin creates no sound, but only motion. First, there are the vibrations of strings, which are amplified by the body of a violin and transformed by it into acoustic waves in the atmosphere. No atmosphere, no further motion. Furthermore, up too this point, there is no sound, but only motion. Then, this rhythmic motion of the atmosphere is picked up by ear lobs, amplified again by ear canals, and transformed into vacillations of tympanic membranes, etc., etc., until it is transduced into motion of atoms inside auditory nerves (still no sound), to finally be perceived as auditory sensations when it reaches the primary auditory cortex of conscious entities. No objective consciousness, no sound, but only motion. When your dog receive the vibration of your whistle it doesn’t “hear” a sound, but comes to you; in it’s case these ” brain-vibrations” are translated into another type of movements: physical. Furthermore, the same could be true for light waves, with much more implications.

That normal human brains all seem to hear and see the same things has always been problematic to me, since sounds, and by extension vision, are the subjective experience par excellence. However, if we are unconsciously parts of the “unbroken wholeness,”  in which “space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements”(Bohm), then there is no problem, since in reality, we are implicated as one in it, and thus become one among ourselves and with the object that we are subjectively perceiving all together.

From this perspective, there is absolutely no problem for bats to catch flies, even if they don’t have any conscious representation of them, since their brains can simply convert the ultimate signals that they receive in their auditory cortex into another series of different types of motion controlling their flight, as we “crudely” perform with our “fly by wires.Bats are the only mammal with a better ability to hear changes in pitch than humans do.” In other words, their sophisticated auditory system can be directly used to control their flight, which would be just another translation of the motion present in their auditory nerves into other types of motion, instead of into sound representations, as we do. Bats don’t need more representations  to catch flies than our brains need representations to put our inner bodies in “motion” to attack foreign objects intruding into them. If our bodies can do this with viruses, without any representation (you will at the least concede that it is true in the case ofphagocytes) bats can do it with flies, and eagles, with rabbits.

Wood animals who were “listening” to trees falling had fewer chances to survive than did those who would have responded to vibrations by simply running away from them without translating them into any other form of awareness. In our case, we must have started to have mental representations of falling trees, only once we were away from them in the middle of the Savanna, where we started to develop an objective consciousness, while using our hands to defend ourselves when facing dangers instead of running away from them  by claiming up trees.

From this perspective, there is absolutely no problem for animals to live without any representation of reality, as if it was an extension of their bodies, as it is not for us to live in a representation of it as if it was an extinction of our minds, without any certainty. (Q. E. D.)


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Annex I Compartmentalization of knowledge

We need new knowledge like we need a hole in the head.” Robert Oppenheimer

“…though the bulk of scientific knowledge clearly increases with time, what are we to say about ignorance? The problems solved during the last thirty years did not exist as open questions a century ago. In any age, the scientific knowledge already at hand virtually exhausts what there is to know, leaving visible problems at the horizon of existing knowledge. Is it not possible, or perhaps even likely, that contemporary scientists know less of what there is to know about their world than the scientists of the eighteenth century knew of theirs? Scientific theories, it must be remembered, attach to nature only here and there. Are the interstices between those points of attachment perhaps now larger and more numerous than ever before?”

)

For millions of years we existed as a species of generalists, collectively knowing nothing about the constituents of matter and  life, but almost everything we needed to know individually to adapt to a natural environment. Now that we are becoming a species of specialists, providing all the rest of us with everything there is to know about everything, about genes for instance, where our abilities to gather food in a natural environment were ingrained, we are presently raising a generation of children who thinks they know everything, but who don’t even know where their food comes from, beyond the supermarket where they have bought it.

We don’t compete anymore to contribute to the survival of the group to which we belong, as we needed to do for millions of years as communal individuals, but to intentionally attain the highest possible standard of living as private individuals, and this while using wasteful collective means (e.g., industrial agriculture and ranching). Hence, contributing to the destruction of a social and natural environments to which we used to adapt using natural and rudimentary means.

Of course, we were then dying at thirty or forty years of age, but we collectively did it for millions of years. Now that medicines, antibiotics, and plastic bags allow Westerners to expect living healthy and satisfied for almost ninety years of age, it is the whole earth that we are killing with our waste products. Today’s specialized sciences with their thousand-page report contributing to the destruction of forests has become as relevant to our survival in a dwindling environment, as the racks of the male Irish elks have been for theirs during the Ice Age.

2008-05-08-2116-39

***

In fact, though, specialization is not the real problem. Indeed, I predict that if we change our ways, and do what I did with my life, for instance, future generations won’t have problems with the extinction of species in the natural environment, but with the malfunctioning of their societies because of the missing specialists to maintain them. It is not specialization per se that is the problem, but an economic system that cannot adapt to the proliferation of knowledge that specialists have accumulated with their well-intentioned hard work.

(The roads that the global economy is  presently paving with these “good intentions”  is the can of worms that the present “learned ignorant” is opening in Part III of this essay.)

If Oppenheimer would still be alive today, he would surely say, instead of “we need new knowledge like we need a hole in the head,” that we need to use the knowledge that we have accumulated in the last sixty years, to solve the problem that we have created while accumulating it.  However, since is not here anymore, I will say it in his stead.

He would surely soon realize, tough, that this is easier said than done, since the problem is global and:

“… we can no longer take the word of the scientists on the job. Their evaluation of the importance of their own research must also be unreliable, for they must support their own needs; even in the most ideal situation they can look only at the neighboring parts of the research front, for it is not their own business to see the whole picture.

“The trouble seems to be that it is no man’s business to understand the general patterns

“I do not know, indeed, whether one might in fact understand the crises of modern science so well as to have the power to do anything about them. I must, however, suggest that the petty illnesses of science-its super-abundance of literature, its manpower shortages, its increasing specialization, its tendency to deteriorate in quality-all these things are but symptoms of a general disease. That disease is partly understood by the historian, and might be understood better if it were any man’s professional province to do so. [*] Even if we could not control the crisis that is almost upon us, there would at least be some satisfaction in understanding what was hitting us.” (P. 144-45) [My emphases]Derek J. de Solla Price, (1964) Diseases of Science, in The Rise of Science in Relation to Society. Ed., Leonard M. Marsak, The Macmillan company, New York. (P. 144-45)

* I have made it my business to understand the desease of humanity from a comprehensive point of view . . .”WIP”

. . .  Coming soon

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E=MLC2

Will we destroy ourselves in ecological catastrophe, human misery, and war, or will we be transformed in a great quantum leap of consciousness? This, I believe, is the ultimate question before humanity today.  

 Sri Aurobindo

Every man gets a narrower and narrower field of knowledge in which he must be an expert in order to compete with other people. The specialist knows more and more about less and less and finally knows everything about nothing. 

Konrad Lorenz

Of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking.

R. Buckminster Fuller

E=MLC 2

Beyond;

From Energy to Mater, to Life, Consciousness. and

A "Comprehensive" Understanding of the Dialectical Evolution of Complexity;

From Absolute Consciousness to Consciousness, to Self-Consciousness,

and Beyond;

A Natural Treatise of Philosophy of Science.

Blind Growth

 

My treatise is a synthesis of three modes of cognition, Spiritual, Philosophical, and Scientific, as respectively embodied in Paramahansa Yogananda’s teaching, Hegel’s notion of Absolute Mind, and Western science’s objective materialism.

Towards the end of my journey, this synthesis has become an interpretation of the global reality in which we live since the event of the Internet. To adapt ourselves to this new reality, we will have to learn how to use the WWW as an extension of our consciousness — as our PCs have already become an extension of ourselves— to consciously evolve, before it is too late, into a collective being consciously aware of our oneness with the universe, as we have come to be aware of our insignificance in it, as individuals.

As it is the unconscious evolution of our neo cortex that allowed us to become aware of the "objectivity" of the world, when we needed to adapt to a changing environment (cf. Savanna Hypothesis Yves Coppens Scientific American, May 1994, pp. 88-95),  conversely, now that we need to adapt to an environment that we are transforming at an accelerated pace, it will be the conscious transformation of the Internet into a collective "techno cortex," that will  potentially allow us to develop a pragmatic awareness of the " interconnectivity" of the same world.

Many among us, starting with Paramahansa
Yogananda, Sri Aurobindo, and many of their followers, e.g., Mother and Satprem,
have already perceived this interconnected reality encompassing our common mental
awareness." 

Sri Aurobindo dubbed this reality, the "Supramental." This dimension
will be mentally understood as the result of a grand synthesis, which will go "beyond" the
four dimensions of which we are presently aware, i.e., Energy, Matter, Life, and
Consciousness, and which will finally allow the new scientists to understand
"space and time" for what they really are, not "ontological dimensions," as
present day scientists believe they are, but concepts, which we have "invented"
to make sense of the “objectivity” of the world of which we are conscient.

Satprem already mentioned that when we become aware of the Supramental, we will evolve into spiritual beings as different from us as we are from the apes from which we descend. —In the same manner as we once transcended our animal consciousness, when we became self-conscious individuals.

And don’t be shocked by that there exist another dimension of which we have to become aware; almost a dozen of these dimensions have already popped out the specialized equations of quantum physics. The problem with these "dimensions," though, is that they can only be perceived as "nonsense" by specialists who don’t know what they are all about, because they define them from a "standard" materialist point of view; the same way we knew everything about the motion of the stars and the planets in the heavens, but couldn’t properly define them before Copernicus, since we were defining them while believing that the earth was fixed at the center of the universe. We will become aware of this "fifth dimension," when we understand that the first element of the universe is not matter, but consciousness, and that, when we probe into her, whether it be at the macro or micro level, it is in ourselves that we are probing.(From Georg Wilhelm Hegel’s Absolute Mind and Jean E. Charon’s proto consciousness)

Mind through history [evolution] is the Absolute Mind’s own march towards itself, … Hegel

charon

To support this hypothesis, —which eventually became my working hypothesis in the course of my university search for what is wrong with fundamental science— I will show that my theory of dialectical evolution of complexity (E=MLC2), beside explaining in quantum terms many phenomena unexplainable by normal science, e.g., bird migration*, human consciousness, and the origin of war, also unified on an intuitional basis, Newton’s theory of Gravitation, Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, and quantum gravitation, and furthermore, opens to experts a more sophisticated avenue, at the Plank Scale, for a unified explanation of inertia, mass, electromagnetism,and quantum gravity. [sic]

And, even if all these are unintended results of an original attempt to make a synthesis of science and religion, I will have to continue keeping Yogananda’s and Satprem’s approaches "under cover," as I did during all my years at the university; only mentioning them in the conclusion, since their teachings, which have to do with a transcendent reality, cannot be viewed as relevant by materialistic academics.

——————————————

*Life scientists will probably tell me that bird migration has already been explained by the presence of internal magnets and clocks, and by the existence of circadian cycles in birds. That is fine, but these do not explain how young cuckoos, which have been raised in other species’ nests without the presence of their genitors, and which start their migrations one month after them, can reach the same hibernation sites, even if they have never been there before? Or, how homing pigeons can return to their nests almost directly, when they don’t know where they have been taken.

Without a map showing them where they are and where they need to go, these birds’ migration or their return home is hard to undersdtand. Owever, if we take in consideration, that they remain somatically "interconnected" with the whole "portion of the universe to which they are adapted," then their capacity to know where their parents have migrated, or in which direction their nests, can be explained on the same basis as the "action at a distance" of gravity can be explained at the interconnected (entangled) quantum level. [sic]

As for "human consciousness" and the "anomalistic" phenomenon of war, although many explanations of these phenomena have already been given at this point, they are all false, since they are explained from within, from a self-centred homocentric point of view, in the same manner as the explanations of the gravitation of the planets in the heavens and their anomalistic epicycle could not be right before Copernicus. The anomalies that confront us at the moment are not with the motion of the stars in space, but with our own evolution in time.                         

Man’s greatness is not in what he is, but in what he makes possible."  Sri Aurobindo.

Quantum Reality

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