Saturday, 14 May 2016

In the beginning was the THEORY OF EVERYTHING...

The following is the edited version of an exposé currently featured in the 18th revised edition of The Moonshine Memorandum (see below): 

    In terms of the spiritual, the Godhead is always a causal quantity. Today we are excited about scientific advances, notably in the fields of neuroscience, genetics and nanotechnology. But even when leaving aside the question of whether it is possible to reduce all of nature’s complexity into one single strand of causality, anyone who is capable of following a still more transfigurative hope, will also be able to see the unification of physics not only as a scientific discipline in the reductionist
sense, but precisely in its cultural context as an evolved form of gnosis. The result, therefore, is not a lack of belief in God but a lack of belief in a ‘religious’ God. Certainly in the sense that there is little real discrepancy and practically no incompatibility between the visionary and the scientist who are surely indivisible in the whole nature of our perception of space and time as some kind of inward and outward unity. Indeed, the most significant feature of the Theory of Everything is the new answers it aims to give to the ancient problems of ontology. And I, personally, would strongly suggest that it represents something like a synthesis of science, philosophy, and the world-view it aims to transcend, and that it may, together with that other great conceptual accomplishment in theoretical physics, the quantum theory, even offer us the supreme contemplative achievement of modern civilization in the West.
            But every time I give a talk on it, I draw flak. People are engaged, and sometimes enraged. For if I am right, physics had just rendered irrelevant the rudiments and fundamentals of revealed religion. Indeed, there can be no question of a separate discipline. Physics carries a whole mythology of concepts into causal-allegorical continuation and repositions them without amending any of the facts. As a matter of fact, if the Theory of Everything were an open book, one could comfortably place it alongside the Hebrew Bible or Bhagavad-Gita, the New Testament and the Koran,  adding a dimension of depth without sacrificing the essential nature of its messianic promise: 

            No, really, I mean it. Science draws very near to religion in this foretelling of one of its closing secrets. The key to what was occurring inside the atom – and thus to a disclosure of the mind-matter relationship which would usher in the process of transmutation that Christ had first spoken of some 2000 years previously – only appeared in the 1920s, needless to say. But its dual character, its deeper mechanism as a converting principle, and its Faustian force and mass was, I believe, the key to His Second Coming: E = mc2. Which, of course, has also been referred to as the Second Coming in Wrath. For energy is just another form of faith. Indeed, current associations of  physics and mathematics with chance and probability have opened up different avenues of investigation and, with
a sense of secret uncovered, altogether rendered irrelevant the simple determinism of nineteen centuries of natural science. For when we are on the point of being able to see quantum-dynamical effects as a function of our own senses rather than as a probable consequence of the laws of physics, we have no choice but to believe in the transcendent power that is common to both. And if this seems to exalt matter rather unnecessarily, needless to say, I cannot possibly do justice to this theory within the scope of one chapter. I can only indicate the general line of argument.  But an authorized amendment of the document has since been posted to some seventy academics[1] at English-speaking universities worldwide. For even though the conceptual possibilities opened up by such a proposal are open-ended, the really overwhelming consequences concern the possibility not of what has variously been called a Unified Field Theory, a Theory of Everything or, as Spinoza would have termed it, Deus sive Natura, but that we can only grasp it by grasping that it is causa sui, which is to say that it cannot have been caused by anything other than itself.

"The difference between stupidity and genius is, that genius has its limits."

[1] See Epilogue for complete register

The Moonshine Memorandum is available on Amazon. Malleus Maleficus is an advocate of English liberal democracy, and the  anonymous author of an historical apology of the British Empire.

No comments: