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Episode · 9 months ago

Lecture 30 ULTIMATE FOUNDATIONS

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This lecture briefly explores pantheism and panpsychism as theoretical options for understanding the ultimate foundations of reality,

Meditation Time Lecture, ThirtyUltimate Foundations, we humans have an inveteratedisposition to ask bigger questions than we are fit to answer. Our excuse is simple. We are curious.Animals by nature in the world is an infinitely puzzling tangle ofoccurrences both within and without in the face of any such occurrences. Wefeel compelled to raise the question why and that already at a tender age,when our experience, together with the difficulty of understanding its causesand implications, is mediated by language. The architypal question that exceedsour ability to answer it comprehensively and conclusively, asalso primary. WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE EXIST? The way itdoes instead of differently or not at...

...all? We May, however, reduce this questionby resorting to a totological shortcut that avoids infinite regress with asimple, because it does. This means that the fact of being isself evident and leaves no open and challenging question other than itsmotive being observable and describable by way of experimentation andtheorization, albeit imperfectly. This short cut has considerable meritbecause the fact of being logically implies the eternity of being in oneform or another manifest or latent. Conversely, you cannot derive the factof being, at some degree, zero of existence from absolute nothingness. The modifier absolute marks, AF, clearand critical distinction between the type of nothing, as just mentioned, inrelative nothingness, containing the potentiality of being, which precedesand explains the actuality of being.

This relative nothingness is thereforea latent form of being that constitutes the Generative Foundation of being inits manifest form. It is logically inferred from thismanifest form of being which excludes the possibility of absolute nothingness, in other words, the fact of beingadmits of neither beginning nor end, though it can alternate betweenpotentiality and actuality. It is not only self evident, but alsoself sufficient. As such, it can perfectly fulfil therole normally assigned to God in great religions, the latter being relegatedfrom this pantheistic perspective to the status of superfluous or expendablemetal construct. So the only reasonable question thatremains appears to read as follows: How does the universe exist, given theeternal necessity of its existence,...

...science, which is predicated on thestudy of the objective exteriority of things dubbed physical, as opposed tothe subjective interiority of the scientists, namely their consciousness?That is the nonphysical bedrock of their observations, andconceptualizations has much to say about that, and yet it must be stressed that, byreason of its outward focus, science is mute on the subject of consciousness.Proper distinct from brain states evidenced by such neuro scientifictechniques as functional M R, is, of course consciousness can be dismissedas an illusion, leaving only its physical substratum as a substantialobject of study. But then we set ourselves up for a confounding rebutal. One cannot entertain an illusionwithout being conscious in the first place in terms of mental events vers'sbrain scans,...

...that is, we cannot safely assume thereality of what we strive to deny all this suggests that a duelest viewof the world, at least as regards humans, is the most offensible not onlyagainst materialistic reductionism, but also against idealistic reductionism,according to which matter is an illusion. Our human nature is patently twofoldmind and body like it or not. Even so, the two do not necessarilyconform to the split view of Rene de Carde demonism of buroks Penosa is arguablymore organic and intuitively satisfying, as it portrays mind and body as thecomplimentary aspects of a single thing like the complimentary sides of asingle coin. Recently, the philosopher DavidChalmers, has used information as an...

...intermediary concept to characterizethe thing in question, neither mind nor body separately, but bothinterdependently. This concept follows the linguistictheory of Ferdinand de Sosur, establishing a parallel between theexistential mind body complex in its linguistic signified signifierhomilogue. Can this philosophical insight beextended beyond the scope of our human nature? Truth is more than ever, we are Ilequipped to answer this question with Empirical Authority, while the physical or objectiveexteriority of things provides ample and public evidence that it is afundamental feature of the universe, irrespective of the relative simplicityor complexity of things. Our mind as a highly evolved form of subjective,interiority, capable of retention, congitation and imagination, is aprivate matter solely observable,...

...introspectively and charable, verbally,to the extent that others can identify with us. In other words, we are congenitallyblind to any subjective interiority, but our own, notwithstanding thecommunicative virtues of language that hinge on people's self awareness, inher,personal honesty and the reletability of their human experience. Now is there a way to circumvent thelimitations of our consciousness, held in a manner of psolepsistic lockup,with no direct and intimate access to the consciousness of our fellow humans,let alone that of animals or any other renety. The answer is an equivocal yes and nowith yes being loosely speaking and no being strictly speaking. More precisely,we cannot have a first person experience of what others may befeeling or thinking, but on the basis of a logical and analogical rationale,we are justified in assuming that they...

...are indeed feeling or thinkingsomething and that whatever this something happens to be, it shares withour own feelings and thoughts. Some common human attributes, in short, to the extent that they areroughly like us, physiologically against a similar environmental andcultural background. They are likely to be roughly like a psychologically aswell. The problem arises when we venture toextend the notion of subjective interiority in terms of mindlesspresencs to the hereand, now of being at a minimum to other species orentities whose physical characteristics differ from ours, possibly in somecritical respects, like their motive organization or their level ofcomplexity. The greater this difference were themore tenuous the outward points of comparison between us humans and theseother species or enities. The more our assumptions are bound to bequestionable as to whether they also...

...possess an inward dimension ofsubjectivity or as to what this inward dimension may exactly consist of. Ifthey have one. What about the Subatomic world ofelementary particles, which is far remote from that of humans, the mostevolved form of multicellular organisms? Is it in fact so alien from us thatthere is virtually no atalogical ground for extending the notion of subjectiveinteriority to them? Perhaps perhaps not? After all, elementary particles are atthe most fundamental level, the inorganic building blocks of allmulticellular organisms, including us. How did they converge evolutionarily tomake up such organisms, and particularly humans, who ev Erich inher life that compliments ar rich outer life if they did not in some elementaryway feature both an objective physical...

...facet, common to all things and asubjective non physical facet, which would provide the antological basis forthe evolution of subjectivity from a mindless presence to the hereand? Nowof being to one that is layred with memory, intelligence and imagination? This is what David chalmers refers toas the hard problem of consciousness. Should we consider pansychism as aconjetural solution to this problem? We would be confronted with another, theso called combination problem. How does a multitude of distinctelementary points of experience integratinto a complex but unifiedconsciousness? Are these points more or less behavinglike a source of incoherent natural light that merges into a beam ofcoherent laser liet through optical amplification, or do they somewhat resemble separatebits of information that collectively...

...and interactively cohere Ento a messagewithin the scope of meaningful communication? Of course, these areonly metaphors that bear little relevance to the actual problem andcannot be chalked up as a compelling solution. Yet they obliquely afford a vague senseof possibility. On reflection, both sides of thetheoretical divide between Pansachism and radical emergence are played withdifficulties and uncertainty. However, I would argue that the theoryof radical emergence is more problematic. According to this view, the universe isexclusively physical from the outset and consciousness as a nonphysical.Epiphenomenon is an emerging property that is contingent on a high degree oforganizational complexity translated in the language ofmathematics. This would be tent amount to claiming that zero can equal oneprovided we apply to it a sufficiently...

...large multiplier, which is acedime. This is retilent of Abrahamic religionsthat paint a picture of miraculous intervention, thanks to which spirit isinfused into matter. So let us explore pansychism as atheoretical option that is doomed to remain tentative and controversial, forthe simple reason that it cannot be empirically tested. For starters, we should abandonmaterialism for the organic realism of Alfred North Whitehead. From this perspective, everything is aprocess of becoming versus a state of being that results dynamically from theinteractions taking place between itself and its environment and betweenits parts. Its essence is elusive, like the flowof a river, it carries the promise of novelty atevery turn, emergeent properties that include and exceed the fundamentalreality of primary elements in direct...

...proportion to its order of complexityand level of interactions. To put it briefly, emergence is afunction of relational dynamics. In a complex system, it implies a gradual actualization ofthe intrinsic creative potential of the universe in the course of evolution, asthings proceed from simple beginnings to infinitely elaborate forms oforganizational entanglements, also within the framework ofWhitehead's process philosophy, which gives an organic flavor of Pansychism.Experience is a fundamental feature of reality that pervades inwardly, theentire cosmos, just as appearances a fundamental feature of reality thatpervades outwardly the entire cosmos, but is expected, and quiteappropriately, this philosopher defines experience contextually by relating itto the conditions of its occurrence.

Consequently, human experience as asubjective dimension of our being deemed non material must perforce beconsidered in connection with the objective complexity of our humanconstitution, especially oure highly evolved cerebral matter. Likewise, every other variant ofexperience as we descend, the latder of evolution, is inseparable from thematerial attributes that characterize the context of this Varion Whye headeven appears to suggest that below a certain order of complexity, experienceis better described as an elemental, protoexperience, distinct fromexperience proper, in the same way that a seed or lava is more phologicallydifferent from the plant or butterfly. That it contains latantly. The difficulty in this case lies intrying to specify this order of complexity, which is a criticalthreshold beyond which experience...

...becomes intuitively fathomable again. In the end, the absence ofempirical testability or falsifiability makes this difficulty intractable. In conclusion, pansychism is anontologically, coherent philosophical adventure in metaphysics that duringlypurports to elicit the ultimate foundations of reality. It will appeal to some and not toothers,.

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