Atomic Loops

Atoms are the building blocks of this physical reality, and, by definition, Scientists should have, upon discovery of quarks, gluons and other ‘sub-atomic particles’, redefined those to be called Atoms, and so on as our knowledge gets refined – each time moving back ‘Atom’ to its rightful place.

In the Lisp programming language, things also called Atoms are defined. They are the ‘base unit’ of things upon which Lisp programs operate. The Atom is a Symbol. On that level, the number one “1”, is a symbol, and thus an Atom in Lisp – on par with the symbols foo, bar, bas, or any letter combination (or number combination, or letter-number combination for that matter).

This view breaks things down into two ‘sides’: Things – ‘Atoms’ – and operations – doing stuff to things. Atoms and Actions. (This, note, is very close to Patrick Jeanneret’s idea).

I’d been racking my brains trying to figure out how one could possibly define a boundary around a ‘bit of Wu’ in order to make it ‘ex-sist’, to make it stand out from everything else. How could one possibly establish that a bit of something is somehow different from Everything-else – which, after all, is ‘made from the same stuff as’ the bit you’re trying to distinguish?

But now, tentatively, it occurs to me as I write this (yes, the act of writing is my process of thinking), that the strange yin-yang-ness of physical reality (how I’d considered ‘us’ as being of ‘yin’ – arbitrarily – and that it somehow meant that there was a whole lot of ‘yang’ left-over that together made ‘Wu’) works out:

If ‘stuff’ is ‘yin’, then the boundary that separates it from ‘Wu’ (if I can even say such a thing) is ‘yang’, (I feel like yelling “Duh!!” at myself – obviously!) and that ‘yang’ is action, or “operations on ‘yin'”.

Then one has to ask: “If ‘yin’ is stuff, and ‘yang’ is action – and you’ve previously said that yin-stuff is just bits-of-Wu, then could it not just as validly be argued that yang-stuff is actually bits-of-Wu, and then that ‘yin’ is the boundary between yang-stuff? After all, you’ve well established that Wu is both yin and yang – that they arise out of Wu.”

And so the strange loop has undone me. Once again. Dammit.

So, what could possibly have both stuff-ness and do-ness at the same time? What do they both share?

A quick and lazy answer might be “They’re both Real – they are both aspects of Reality”.

But you have to stop at that answer. Reality just is, like Wu just is (on condition that I’m using ‘is’ in some sense greater than ex-sistence).

Playfully, I’m tempted to use the French expression “la boucle a été bouclée” – the loop has been looped. Which, quite beautifully, represents the very Wu-yin-yang problem I’ve been struggling with just now: A loop – a thing – has been looped – an action – which, both being the same set of symbols – L, O, and P – are both verb and object – Wu – a strange loop. Oh the joy! I’m actually chuckling to myself as I write this. The people around me must think I’m loopy!

12 thoughts on “Atomic Loops

    1. Well then you have to ask what consciousness is, and establish that it is matter, ultimately – that they are all one and the same. That annoying (said with much affection and tongue firmly lodged in cheek) loop comes back and bites you right on the butt once again. I personally do not subscribe to the virtual physical reality perspective (yet) and am trying to work these ideas on the premise that there actually is a real physical and objective reality outside of my consciousness – of which I am a part, naturally.

      1. Newtonian? I won’t agree until I know more what that entails… i guess i just don’t like the pipe-dreamy ‘everything is in my head’ perspective because I’ve seen too many snake-oil salesmen try to peddle impossible notions of being able to change reality by will alone (“just buy this book which will show you how”). Objective virtuality? Sure, why not? Difficult to disprove. I guess I’m tackling these questions from as ignorant a startig place as possible, asking ‘What seems most plausible?’ and not ‘How can I explain my pre made opinions best?’

      2. Newton insisted the world we see was all material matter and the only reality there is (which is where present mainstream science is stuck). I’m saying Consciousness is what we really are and it is not made of matter. Our experience seems real enough, but that’s the nature of consciousness. Once you might begin to realize for yourself what this implies, you will understand much more, but I agree you go at your own pace, don’t believe anyone but yourself and your own provable and intuitive experience. Seems I chase my own tail a lot, but the virtual reality, fractal and holographic reality (proven by quantum physics) holds the key to a theory of Everything, the true nature of reality. (I’m not into new age stuff, this goes back thousands of years, to Buddha and before). Best wishes for a happy journey.~ peace

  1. Although I’ve just noticed my own hypocrisy… I am asking these questions from a preformed opinion… 🙁 tricky stuff these ponderings!

    1. Indeed, but keep searching. Matter holds no weight and takes up no space. There is no matter! An atom is 99.99% empty space, the ‘particle’ is also not solid, but seems to be a vibrating energy or photon, and according to quantum physics it exists as a probability until observed. So it would appear we are having an experience of a material world without actually living in a material world. I find this very fascinating. Consciousness cannot be solid, it must be more like information packets or whatever, and our actions helps consciousness evolve, because of course we are indeed one and the same (if you take away fear and ego we are pure consciousness). Words do fail. But very nice talking to you. Keep being loopy, you will get answers that way 🙂

      1. Definitely! Have you read any of David Bohm’s works? Btw, I keep updating my ‘Influences’ page as i read more books. Keep an eye on that page, and every book title I’ve linked to amazon for convenience

      2. Sure thing, thanks. Have you listened to Peter Russell, Tom Campbell, Alan Watts or Terrence McKenna? Amazing thinkers for a modern mundane and shallow world. Nothing like it was in Socrates day 🙂 cheers brother

      3. My opinion at present: Alan Watts is brilliant, funny and erudite; Tom Campbell, though he started out good, drank too much of his own potion and became exactly the snake-oil salesman I was talking about; Terrence McKenna burnt-out on DMT , and I hadn’t heard about Peter Russell. All I can say is be very careful because the slope to loony-town is very slippery, very tempting, and on both sides of the path of speculation… I’m trying to avoid notions of a subjective reality, not because I’m uncomfortable with the notion, but because I find it patently absurd. I ‘use’Alan Watts like I ‘use’ the books in my list of influences: a source of mental exercises before going off and figuring things out on my own reasoning. Some of the authors in that list had ideas that I don’t entirely agree with (Gevin Giorbran, specifically, thought that Gravity was Time moving backwards… controversial, and at first I rejected it out right, and now suspect he was onto something but that he shot himself in the foot by explaining it with our normal words).

  2. problème de la complémentarité entre psyché et matière W. Pauli et Régis Dutheil l’homme superlumineux… si t’a aimé le tao de la physique… tu n’est probablement pas “loopy”,peut être mais .. enthousiaste..Enthousiasme (étymologie) : du grec «Transport divin, état de l’homme en qui la divinité est présente pour l’habiter et l’inspirer»; mot composé du préverbe «dans», et du mot «dieu». Le terme grec est lui-même dérivé du verbe «être inspiré des dieux»; dans son dialogue Ion, Platon a donné une importance toute particulière à l’enthousiasme dans sa définition du poète. Wu-yin-yang

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