Saturday, 23 August 2008

TO BE AND NOT TO BE...( Selena Reflects On The Nature Of Being While Doing Aerobics And Wearing A Leotard)

“Reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere
else. You are deluding yourself believing that the nature of reality is
self-evident. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we
often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that
the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you
suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be
near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians
are unequal to that?”

Thus O’Brian, the Party Indoctrinator in George Orwell’s 1984.

To him there is but one crime: the Truth. He believes that one can
prove almost anything from an astute deployment of scientific principles. He
states his case with the dispassionate simplicity of the true professional,
arguing with perfect accuracy that ‘Reality is not external.’ Of course, if one
took the simple view of things, and interpreted observations in terms of basic
principles, then the sum of the three angles of a triangle is always 180
degrees. No single fact is more clearly established. If, however, we pass from
Euclidean geometry into either Riemannian or hyperbolic space, we find that the
angles, by a kind of conceptual unreason, will each amount to more - or less -
than 180 degrees. By a somewhat similar ‘anomaly’, the geometry of the
three-dimensional universe, taken literally, may be flat and Euclidean, or in
terms of Einstein’s four-dimensional geometrical arrangement, be either bounded
or unbounded. But because we have no experience directly relevant to a
four-dimensional continuum, the conventional distinction between time and space cannot be literally taken out of one frame of reference and translated into another, without a formal breach of three-dimensional obligations to structure, motion and balance.

A sufficient condition for the reality of a physical quantity, it has been said, is the possibility of predicting it with certainty, without disturbing it. Without, in a word, creating events that are properly speaking contingent only. We see not the thing itself, but merely associations. Indeed, for the sake of an easy generalization it has become possible to say that describing the electron is but a description of our knowledge. Expressed in still more rarefied language, the predominant quality implied by quantum theory is that of non-locality. Due to the curious mechanism whereby the application of knowledge alters the state of matter, the wave function only indicates the relative probability of finding a particle at some particular point in space. It would seem uneconomic, therefore, not to take advantage of this and merely state that when matter is abstracted from our psychological experience, the world as perceived by the eye and the ear is a figment of the imagination.

It may well be a source of wonder, therefore, that this figment
represents a whole knowable universe, its moving parts beautifully conceived and
designed, endowed with meaning and capable, therefore, of providing purpose and
inspiration of every possible kind. This is a development such as the Classics
would have understood. Spinoza’s was an agnostic universe, of course, but men
were united with one another, and with God, by the measure of their common
experience. A sort of double indemnity between God and Nature, in which one was
a variation of the other. If the matrix itself was neutral, it was also endowed
with divine characteristics, both accommodating and detached. Hence, it is with
absolute fidelity to the same inspiration that man’s sense of his modern
identity compensates for this detachment and imposes structure on chaos and
disorder, while it is a valuable corrective to orthodox uses of the word God,
that the properties required to pass the test of divinity are not one’s own
experience and perception but, on the contrary, their requisite omission.

Dreamy

13 comments:

All Shook Up said...

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is, " said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty. "which is to be master—that's all."


Fair enough, Dreamy. You've explained the problem and I've got you.

Now tell us the answer... take us to the stars. Don't just tease us, how do we get there? Do you know, or not?

Crushed said...

Of course.

Transcending Self is the first step towards the Overman.
It is true enlightenment, the ability to move beyond the subjective bias of nerve dominated thought and merely think in terms of structure.

Beyond pleasure and pain.

Selena Dreamy said...

Supremely put, Crushed!

And, indeed, a further reason why you should alter the terrible politically correct UN-Constitution for the Conquest of Space (remember?!)

It should read thus:

“For my brothers: the best shall rule, the best wants to rule! And where it is taught differently, there - the best is lacking!

Nietzsche, Zarathustra

Selena Dreamy said...

“Now tell us the answer... how do we get there? Do you know, or not?”

I do!

But I also feel the inconvenience of this proposition. Indeed, if the question does not have a readily available answer, it will be found pertinent, nevertheless, to the whole subject here under discussion.

While I always try to maintain a measure of sanity in ontological affairs, I nevertheless, seek proof wherever I can. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that while the synchronicities are concealed from us, one half recognizes the play of the contingent and the indeterminate. On more than one occasion, I’ve become the witness of a paranormal, if by no means supernatural demonstration - and while the direction of one's own life invariably becomes an imponderable, a mystery to oneself, I fully intend to demonstrate that personal synchronicities, or other ontological variations, are simply the symptoms of mental processes of which we are unaware.

Bear with me, ASU, you’re in the zone...!

Dreamy

All Shook Up said...

ASU, you’re in the zone...!

I don't think so, Dreamy. You're in a world of concepts that might be correct - might not. Whether they are isn't just a question of adding up how many people agree with them.

Crushed is in a world of his own.

Understanding how things come apart isn't the same as being able to put them together again in a different way.

mutleythedog said...

I have been reading "The Sensory Order" by my old friend (RIP) Freddy Hayek in order to catch up on all this nonsense...

Jonathan said...

'the properties required to pass the test of divinity are not one’s own
experience and perception but, on the contrary, their requisite omission.'

Makes me think of what T.S.Eliot says about the true artist needing to evade and dodge the expression or or obsession with his own personality. Though im not sure you allude to anything similar to this re God (whom I see as a kind of personal impersonableness). He/she /it relates to us as persons and yet he in himself is not a personality as we are, etc (in the same way, echoing this, we are so much more than our mere personalities - those stories about ourselves which we tell ourselves we are).

This lady in the leotard is the best picture yet, methinks...

Happy Bank Holiday Monday Selena. As is traditional, the Sun is shy and bashful, at least in Suffolk.

Selena Dreamy said...

Thanks Jonathan. Went to the Nottinghill Carnival, to celebrate the end of summer - got myself a ticket (and nearly ravished by the mob) - glad to be still alive...

D.

Selena Dreamy said...

"I have been reading "The Sensory Order" by my old friend (RIP) Freddy Hayek in order to catch up on all this nonsense..."

Never heard of him, Mutley.

But then, it is safe to say that I am my own ancestor. I refuse to spend a lifetime studying myriad philosophical “systems” merely to miss out on my own. Similarities in my own “method“, to coin a phrase, are strictly coincidental. So far as I am concerned, there can be only one possible source of knowledge as to the innate properties of our world, namely experiment and observation.

Though I greatly admire Berkeley, Spinoza, Schopenhauer and a dozen lesser lights - in whom quantum physics have come full circle - Sartre and Russell would be a choice between a French mule and an English jackass, and I do claim to grasp the mental processes of either...

D.

(PS.: In answer to your e-mail, Mut; my services cost £ 700 a night plus breakfast!)

Selena Dreamy said...

Understanding how things come apart isn't the same as being able to put them together again in a different way...

Absolutely not!

It is, however, safe to say that, as taught by the quantum indeterminacy principle, the solution always depends on the question asked, and that any selective action of the human mind merely specifies the conditions to which phenomena must conform if they are to be put together again in a different way...

As I stated above, quantum mechanics is simply the study of mental processes of which we are unaware...

Dreamy

Jonathan said...

'I am my own ancestor. I refuse to spend a lifetime studying myriad philosophical “systems” merely to miss out on my own. Similarities in my own “method“, to coin a phrase, are strictly coincidental.'

You speak for me here too, Selena. As for the next bit about experiment and observation, my sympathy is only restrained by the recognition that truth and reality may always be more than I am capable of observing or experimenting upon. One can also observe and treat with respect the observations of others, but without bowing down to their systems. There is also for me, insofar as I am 'religious', a place and space for revelation from higher orders of cosmic consciousness and awareness. But one must be robustly unsupersttious in how one is to integrate and respond to these I think, not allowing one to be put to sleep by mysteriousness (as opposed to enlivened by the mystical -there is a difference). And that which cannot be understood is on a personal level justifiably rejected, of course.

I thought about going to the carnival too. As a non-Londoner it still holds a kind of allure. But I didn't. If I had gone, while you might have recognised me, from my pic, I would not have recognised you. Well, unless you were wearing your trademark shoes...

I hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Selena Dreamy said...

“One can also observe and treat with respect the observations of others, but without bowing down to their systems.”

Wise words, indeed!

Except, of course, to enter on a detailed refutation of, say, Kant’s Critique Of Pure Reason, would take you all but a life-time!

“There is also for me, insofar as I am 'religious', a place and space for revelation from higher orders of cosmic consciousness and awareness.”

Faith is harder to elude than knowledge!


“I would not have recognised you. Well, unless you were wearing your trademark shoes...

...Stilettos are truly a weakness of mine!

Catch u later...

Jonathan said...

'Faith is harder to elude than knowledge!'

Does that mean faith should be eluded,and is best got rid of (how?) or that faith is on a 'higher' plane, and so lives under a different justification?

A problem lies with what we mean by knowledge. Our overly rational, cartesian knowledge sets up false antinomies and dichotomies with other dimensions of expereince and being which should also belong, in an organic union with rationality, to knowledge.

We do not live only in our heads, surprisingly enough (even though Kant lived almost entirely only in Konigsberg).