Parsing to the Source: From Form to Light, from Known to Knowing, from Substance to Void

By Engstrom, Jack | Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, July 2016 | Go to article overview

Parsing to the Source: From Form to Light, from Known to Knowing, from Substance to Void


Engstrom, Jack, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy


Epigram

"The ultimate goal is to regain the whole by knowing how the parts fit together." (italics mine)--Arthur M. Young, The Geometry of Meaning p.xv

A. INTRODUCTION: DEEP FIT BETWEEN CORE WHOLENESS AND THE DIVERSITY IN THE WORLD, AND BETWEEN INNER- AND OUTER-EXPERIENCE

I present two systems which reveal a deep fit between the parts or aspects of the Universe and a Wholeness that includes a light-space able to create the Universe and to be consciousness. The first is by Arthur M. Young, the second is by G. Spencer- Brown. It is my view that both systems penetrate all the way through existence into a fundamental-ground that is a Wholeness, a Wholeness that is prior to the differentiation that gives rise to the diversity of the World. In addition, both systems offer intellectual tools that can serve as bridges between inner- and outer-experience, allowing an integration into a wholeness of experience that can include spirit and higher-consciousness.

A.I. Source, axis mundi, and absolute direction

Many mythologies/cosmologies have some version of an 'axis mundi', a vertical connection between an unseen Heaven or creative Source above and our visible and tangible Earth below. In Young's theory the creative Source corresponds to light and other kinds of undivided potent Wholeness, which also functions as the vertical connection when light or Wholeness descends to interact with earth or matter. G. Spencer-Brown's vision is neoPlatonic, and the Source, instead of being above, is inward, in "the center (or navel)" of each thing: it is pure radiant Being (and "has to be divined"), while existence is at the periphery or surface, perceivable by our senses such as touch. Essentially this "vertical connection" to Source defines an absolute direction: either Up or inward, and their respective opposite directions.

A.2. Outer existence vs. inner experience

We broached in the first paragraph the idea of penetrating all the way through existence (into a fundamental ground of Being). So, "where is existence?". In both systems, existence and its objective observer are considered to be "exiled outside" at the periphery or surface of All-that-Is (the Universe), in contrast to the more central or subtle realms which we call, in contrast, 'inside' or 'inner experience'.

Question: If existence is outside and peripheral, what is more central and inside? Answer: Intelligence, intentions, insights, feelings, and values are examples of what we call inner experience. These inner experiences ARE, they BE, but are not "outside", not open to objective inspection.

Here are two kinds of "nonexistence" which have their own positiveness: Example#i, of a nonexistence which BE (ists without ex-ist-ing: the verb 'to be' corresponds to the 'is' of 'ist', and existence is in some sense exiled from pure concentrated being or "isting"): In physics a photon of light does not "exist" in the same sense that matter exists. When you look at a table, or even an electron, it persists after you look at it. But the act of observation of a photon annihilates the photon: its angular-momentum and energy have been transferred to a molecule of rhodopsin in the retina of an eyeball, or absorbed by some other detector, but that particular photon has disappeared, been annihilated. Light lives, when it lives, in eternity, prior to time and space and matter(existence): light does not experience the passing of time, and the spacetime interval of light is zero, and it has no rest-mass/inertia, so Energy = mass x [c.sup.2] is replaced by E= Planck-constant h times frequency. Light lives in the world of BEing, not of becoming. (This fact is not well appreciated by some physicists, who think of the photon as "just another particle".)

Example#2, of a nonexistence as a kind of nonbeing that nonetheless has consequences: In logic, the statements 'All p are q' and 'No p is q' each correspond to nonexistence in a logical-possibility, namely they state that the subsets p. …

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