A Fireside Chat with Meru

Come, come in, welcome! Here, sit down by the fire. I prepared it just before you showed up, and the space has just begun to warm. Let me take that heavy cloak off your shoulders; I’ll just put it over here. There. My poor child! You’re frightened, I can see that. Yes, and hurt by what you’ve seen in the world… I can see the bruises, cuts and scrapes that the hard edges of the world have inflicted upon you. I believe you!

Well, you’re safe in here. This is your place in here. Now, tell me, why have you come here? What can I do for you?

You heard that I know things did you? Well, I am a person, yes, and people speak words. Yes, that’s true too. But you see, I only ‘know things’ if you don’t already. If everything I know, you already knew, then you would feel that I don’t know ‘that much’, that I can’t teach you ‘that much’. So let’s have a chat and find out, shall we?

Continue reading “A Fireside Chat with Meru”

Reality is all …

Fill in the blank

When referring to the nature of Reality – what it’s made of – as soon as someone begins their statement “It’s all made of … ” the next word could be anything – gouda, gold, god, tao, apeiron, the force, consciousness, anything. The reason I know this is because I’ve understood what “all” means to our human brains.  The next word may as well be “all” for what it’s worth, and it would be a more honest answer because at least the speaker recognises the futility in putting a label on it.  In that light, anything you wish can be what it’s all made of – the significance lies in the fact that it is what you feel is closest to your understanding of what Reality is made of.  It becomes the context or raw material from which you make sense of the world.

My own personal struggle is trying to reconcile my modern scientific understanding of the physical world with the deeper insight of how my brain operates.  Sameness and Difference.  That is how my brain operates (and how I think we all operate at the most fundamental level).  My scientific mind interprets Sameness and Difference being ‘made of’ Transformation (in the mathematical and physical/mechanical sense) so to that part of me, “It’s all Transformation.”  But my spiritual inclination wants to say “It’s all Magic” or “It’s all Chi/Ki” or “It’s all The Force” and the two aren’t friends yet.

Trying to do something with Ki/The Force/Magic feels supremely silly and foolish because I know at the same time it’s all transformation – and transformation doesn’t behave in the way I want Magic/Ki/The Force to behave.  Magic then becomes merely my own will, and to get more banal than that seems impossible to imagine.  Sure, my ability to ‘will’ my arm to move may seem magical if we really ask ourselves how that works (the whole mind/body interaction), but my ‘will’ and thus my capacity to ‘do magic’ goes no further than my own body.  Then I have to get creative and make excuses for this ‘magic’: if I want a glass of water to appear before me, I have to “concentrate very hard” and “gather up all the strength of my willpower”, “channel” it and “release it out into the world” (i.e. I ask you to get me a glass of water), whereupon the “influence” of my magic extends outwards (you walk to the kitchen). Then my “energies will be returned back to me” (you’ve come back from the kitchen) and voilà! I have a glass of water!

Do you see how silly that is? I’m irrationalizing the rational!

However, there is a non-negligible aspect of magic when you do think of reality in those terms. There is an undeniable “power” to words that gives us pause. If my magic is my will, then I must become cautious of how I use it (what words I say out loud, what gestures and actions I use my body to effect).

But this perspective is also an open door to madness: every thought I provoke in you, every image you experience in your mind through the “descriptive power” of my words, become the very real effect, however subtle it may be.

But working of magic as none other than the cautious application of will sounds very much like Mindfulness doesn’t it?  Where one is highly conscious of one’s gestures, thoughts, and words.  Everything becomes deliberate and full of careful intent.

And thus the working of magic regains its respectability, as the phoenix of decorum rises from the ashes of folly.

So to close this with a quote I give you:

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Spencer-Brown: Cataphatist

George Spencer-Brown (GSB) did some wonderful work for a system of logic that has us consistently painting ourselves into a corner. That’s the problem. His work contributes to a system of reasoning that is consistent but incomplete.
What he doesn’t see (and few who I’ve encountered who understand his work) is that he is stuck within a cataphatic mode of thought. When he says “Let us take the form of distinction for the form.” he effectively merges the boundary between things with one of the spaces that boundary ‘encloses’.
So he takes ‘the mark’ as being indicative of what it encloses. This is wrong – or maybe it’s better that I say it’s ‘too eager’. Continue reading “Spencer-Brown: Cataphatist”

Honey, I Shrunk the Universe…

… or, “What if we were totally wrong?”

Inside-Out Universe

To say that the Universe ‘exploded’ from a ‘thing smaller than an electron’ in what’s commonly called “The Big Bang” could be a complete misunderstanding of the data we’ve gathered from our observations of the galaxies and ‘stuff out there around us’. Let me show you the ‘other side’:
Continue reading “Honey, I Shrunk the Universe…”

The Law of Existence – Part 2

Law of Existence – continued

In my previous post, I promised to illustrate how the Laws of Thought, as they are used today, emerge naturally from the Law of Existence. Time to make good on my promise.

In a comment left by reader SelfAwarePatterns he mentioned that he didn’t see how the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM) was rendered false by the Law of Existence. He’s absolutely right – it’s not false, and indeed it’s very naturally present already within the Law of Existence. What is false however, is the ‘closed’ interpretation of the LEM which says that a Thing only ever is or (exclusive or) is not. That is clearly false, and to use the example he gave:
Continue reading “The Law of Existence – Part 2”

The Law of Existence – a better logic?

Overview

George Boole’s “Laws of Thought” have been extremely useful in many disciplines, but I contend that they are nevertheless incomplete. In their dominance over most of Logic and Philosophy, they have caused a conceptual ‘blind spot’ in the many fields of research which use or emanate from such reasoning – including the Foundations of Mathematics. It’s time we set the records straight. I propose one law, which for now I call “The Law of Existence”, and show how the Laws of Thought emerge naturally from its consequences. Continue reading “The Law of Existence – a better logic?”

Set Theory 2.0 – a first attempt

Definition of a Thing:

If a Thing is to exist, it must be, by necessity, at the very least ‘not’ that-from-which-it-exists. This ‘not’ is what enables it to exist, and as such is the transformation by which it exists. This transformation is the defining boundary of a Thing; the Thing is fully-bounded by “not”. But the existence of a boundary gives rise to there being two sides[1]. And so we understand that for a bounded Thing to exist, there must exist that Thing’s complement – that is, the that-from-which-it-exists. “not” is an involutory transformation in that a second “not” cancels both. However, in normal speech, this cancellation is referred to as “is” – where “is” is “not not”. So we understand that by being defined by ‘not’, an extant Thing is absolutely unique. If it was not, then it would not exist – because it would not not-be something else (it is not-not something else – thus it ‘is’ something else).
Continue reading “Set Theory 2.0 – a first attempt”