Tuesday, 29 July 2008

ANTIPERISTASIS -Or A Post In Which Selena Appears As The Alpha Girl...

Modern science is marked by an enormously rapid and ever-accelerating progress. It is a movement from multiplicity to unity, from the purely mechanistic understanding of the Newtonian universe to an ideal composite space
of four dimensions and the essentially virtual ideas of geometrical form in which light moves along a geodesic. Indeed, it is useless to try to understand the meaning of the universe except in terms of measurements which, once made and recorded, become facts, and which, looked upon as facts, reproduce as nearly as possible an objective empirical reality.

“I think this may be because of the innately oppositional, either/or, dialectical processes innate to our reason.” (Jonathan)

Nor is it possible to adapt the laws of physics to the needs of
conceptual logic without having recourse to what dialecticians call antiperistasis, or the development of an idea by its opposite. And accordingly, one might illustrate the empirical nature of objective reality by a simple, specific example:

It is known for instance that the density of gold is 19:32, a statement
which does not profess to deal with anything but arbitrary magnitudes. In fact,
for as long as no corresponding assertion has been made about, say, the density
of a liquid such as water, it is impossible to quantify the degree of
compactness of any piece of gold which is usually determined by the ratio of its
weight to that of a volume of water of equal size: 19:32. Each thus serves to
explain the other and questions of arbitrary magnitudes determine nothing about
the specific weight to be set, until we add to the idea of quantity that of
ratio. In the same way, electromagnetic energy consists only of relations. One
could not, for instance, imagine an electron unless one had first been apprised
of the electrical properties of the proton. An electron consists solely of
negative electricity, which tells us nothing about the essential nature of
negativity until we are confronted with its opposite. With no other distinction
to be drawn, one is almost exactly the equal of the other while neither can be
understood on its own.

To go on from this simple and verifiable statement of fact, it will
easily be evident that this great chain of mutual contingency connects and
involves all known empirical phenomena. No force remains undetectable unless it
is too faint to engage with its opposite. Which means that no force without an
opposite is, even in principle, detectable. It is a relationship of mutual
adversity. Electrically, protons and electrons are the exact opposite of one
another and since, moreover, the one determines and explains the other, the
fundamental distinction seems to be analogous to the difference between
opposites rather than cause and effect, to the tension they engender rather than
the energy they release.

One might qualify this and say that
reality is the product of its literal antithesis; that it functions by
reflecting on itself. If consciousness is choice, conception is, in fact,
effected by contrast. It is the act whereby potential reality become actual
reality. Reality, therefore, is informed by a sense of what it is not. Nothing
can be explained by itself. It must always be compared with its opposite, or
with what its opposite necessarily foregoes. Its meaning, therefore, depends on
its relation to what it is not. The good cannot be explained without the bad. No
object can be hot and cold at the same time - or high and low! Indeed, it is
impossible to emphasize the one without dwelling on the other, and therefore to
discriminate the two aspects, positive and negative, of what has originally been
one single indefinable concept, is to accept the perennial synthesis of
inherently opposite forces. Proof enough, if proof were needed, that the human
intellect cannot comprehend anything that has no polarity, no beginning and no
end. But its survival is assured by the rules of reciprocity which determine and
sustain it at the perennial point where matter and meaning converge, creating
one another.



percy stilton said...

The point where matter & meaning converge, sounds like an orgasm to me. Maybe you should be calling yourself, Omega Girl, Selena.

All Shook Up said...

Well, well. Thanks Dreamy. So the concept of Dualism of theology and philosophy is mirrored in physics, then.. everywhere you look, indeed.

Jonathan said...

But being detectable, or being understood, are not a necessary condition for existence, or reality, or isness in themselves….to take us back to our debate regarding the place (if any), the boundary and ‘permeability’, or accessibility, of transcendence in epistemology, and if such be possible (we seem to disagree here, you being more this-worldly than I, evidently).

I think that things in order to be known ‘in a certain kind of relative way’ that is functional and germane and typical for normal life, and scientific life certainly, and ordinary consciousness, then, yes, you are right. Everything needs its opposite to be known….because our minds demand such opposites, because our minds are restless discriminating, chop chopping processors all the time. But this tells us only about our minds, and their particular configuration, surely, so not directly about objective reality in- itself.

Mystics have for ever said that ‘ordinary consciousness’ is not the only one and that ultimately, in an absolute sense (absoluteness is unfashionable I know) all is one, nothing being essentially different from anything else.

Now, I realize that might sound boring, but that doesn’t mean that it is. The missing important factor to consider is the transfigurative nature of the higher consciousness that casts all things in the transformed reflection of its own sumptuous glory..or something like that. Within the unitary dance, lies fascination in the detail. Although peace reigns, tedium does not.

That which Blake spoke of: which led him to be oh so fascinated by a grain of sand.

Unitive states of consciousness provoked by certain hallucinogens and meditative techniques might also take one there, it I said, though the value of such expeditions can be questioned of course.

‘Reality, therefore, is informed by a sense of what it is not. Nothing
can be explained by itself. It must always be compared with its opposite, or
with what its opposite necessarily foregoes’

Yes, but what if you don’t know what something’s opposite is? Does that mean you cant know it? What even if you’re looking at it?

I think the ‘void’ underlies everything (void also equals plenitude). The existence of this void is just as well. Otherwise reality would only ever be what it is, and so be radically unfree, fixed in stone like rock. This void is evidence, or can be seen as evidence, breaking into our awareness, that our conceptually matted and configured matrix-world, is not the only world.

No object can be hot and cold at the same time - or high and low!

Why ever not? Depends what you mean by hot and cold I guess and who’s judging. I suppose at extremes you’d be right. As for high and low. A mountain a few hundred metres shy of Everest peak is low compared to Everest but still high compared to Big Ben

‘that the human
intellect cannot comprehend anything that has no polarity, no beginning and no

Isnt this presumptions, to suppose that there couldn’t be other states of consciousness that could so comprehend? I think in such realsm one comprehends by just ‘seeing’ not by comparing (which is abstract and divisive).

Selena Dreamy said...

“Mystics have for ever said that ...all is one, nothing being essentially different from anything else.

I think ...(void also equals plenitude).”

Indeed, it is hardly a new subject.

“The absolute maximum is one and it is all; all things are in it because it is the maximum. Moreover, it is in all things for this reason that the minimum at once coincides with it, since there is nothing that can be placed in opposition to it. By definition the minimum is that which cannot be less than it is; and since that is also true of the maximum, it is evident that the minimum is identified with the maximum.”

Nicholas of Cusa

Jonathan said...

Interesting Guy, I understand. Dont know much about him.

Is he talking about what we might call 'infinity'?

Is he saying that the infinite really means: very small, as much as very big.

I thought that infinity meant, instead, something closer to "outside space", in the same wasy as eternity means "outside time".

Outside space, as in "without dimension", as in "non" finitisable (to possibly invent an ugly word), non-mappable, non-measurable....

- and yet there.

coldcell said...

so what's the opposite of a force then?