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Who and what this is about

“ESFP” herein refers exclusively to a category of Myers-Briggs personality type: Extravert / Sensing / Feeling / Perceptive without Judgment. It does not generally refer to ESFPs with Judgment. They belong firmly in two separate and distinct subcategories. The generalizations herein cannot even apply uncritically to all ESFPs without Judgment because personality types are rife with permutations. The subject is complex and does not lend itself to hard and fast anything. Although it’s an everyday preoccupation the ultimate foundation for its insights is intuition.

This is a reflection on the development of the ESFP without Judgment personality type:
• in relation to its own internal INTJ opposites: Introversion / Intuition / Thinking / Judgment
• in relation to others who belong to its opposite INTJ personality type.

It is based not on formal scholarship but on general observation and specific experience with multiple ESFPs. Its inspiration is Isabel Briggs Myers’ notion, laid out in Gifts Differing (1980), that individuals with opposite personality types can help one another expand their personalities into their opposites. That by doing so they will gain self-awareness, strengthen their innate powers, abilities, and overall character, strengthen their relationships, and thereby meet their obligations and stand up to adversity.

It makes no claim to objectivity since it’s about ESFPs in relation to INTJ opposites and the author is an INTJ. It is, in fact, highly subjective. Its claim to legitimacy rests solely on the implications of logic drawn from what is known about and experienced with these two personality types. In other words, it will either make sense and ring true or it won’t. It will either help reduce friction and make life easier or it won’t.

The frustration of friction

Frustration is evident in these thoughts because of the author’s personal experience with ESFs and the heartbreak of troubled relationships with relatives and friends. Plus there is humanity’s shared experience with demagogues like the former guy who make a career out of troubling relationships. The author’s INTJ type is a distinct minority according to Isabel’s intuition, maybe a quarter of the general population. That’s certainly how it seems. He’s surrounded by pennant-waving, winning-obsessed fans, one for all, all for one, who would give us the shirts off their backs so long as we’re already wearing their team’s shirt. If we’re not, or worse, if we’re just an individual without a team, we’re nobody. We might as well be invisible. This can be frustrating.

The model for these observations is a composite, although the former guy checks off on most everything that annihilates personal friendship, so he qualifies. “ESFP without Judgment” is ESFPs walled off from their INTJ opposites. From INTJ assets that are not only under-utilized they’re treated as aliens not to be trusted. Whether by conscious choice or by being so enamored of type that the ESFPs have forfeited their ability to see or be anything else. Like they’ve given up their free will, which is to say, their minds since all that reason and analysis are really for is to choose. Like they’ve become a personality so set in their type, so rote and inaccessible, that it’s pointless to relate to them except socially on the most superficial level.

So resolute, so intractable is their inaccessibility, that these thoughts can’t really be directed at them. It would be pointless. They’re directed at whatever controls them. And if these thoughts sound like ire so be it: whatever has taken them captive and out of reach is definitely not nice. The problem is, it can’t be a Who. It can’t be anything living. How can a self-respecting INTJ get anywhere with an inaccessible ESFP by raging at a virus? Jesus raging at money lenders defiling a temple made sense. Raging at a PA system blaring inane messages scripted by an absurd movie villain wouldn’t.

Getting to understanding

What could work is an attempt at understanding. Not retaliation with yet another projection of guilt, but understanding that protects both sides with thoughtful analysis. With patient reflection instead of passion. Understanding that clarifies choices and the costs and benefits needed to make them rationally. Costs and benefits that can make a friendship or break it.

Why bother? Maybe it’s because motivation isn’t always for us alone to decide. Maybe others depend on ESFPs and INTJs to get along, to get their acts together, so they attend to business, to shared purpose on behalf of the larger family. On behalf of the larger community that can’t maintain harmony and attend to its business unless all of us do our part. There’s selfishness and rancor in the friction to follow and this may be where it begins: with individuals caught up in their stuff ignoring the bigger picture: those who depend on them.

What then can be done about it? How about striving for understanding to reconcile our personalities on behalf of those who need us, and to serve our families and our communities with loving kindness?

Sensing the Absolute

Obsession with imagery and indulgence in bodily appetites are a form of worship for ESFPs without Judgment. Worship of the Absolute that not only caresses their senses with blessings but reciprocates with their very Worth. Though they may only be preoccupied with appearances there is no overstating the value of appearances. Satisfaction from experience that is both sensuous (aesthetic) and sensual (passions and appetites) is to be effusively praised and thanked. It is to be worshiped to fully affirm and reciprocate the reality and worth of gifts and giver: the body’s senses-appetites and their sensed physical environment of infinite beauty, diversity, fascination, and abundance. Divinity shrouded in the vastness of its incomprehensibility.

To a worshipful ESFP, the contrary view put forth by Jesus in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and by the second-century Gnostic teacher Valentinus is blasphemy. It gets no more sympathy than the escapee from Plato’s Cave who tried to enlighten those who remained behind. “Non-dualism,” that holds that between Mind and matter, Heaven and earth, Good and evil, Values and their opposites, only one can be real, is heresy. So say ESFPs. And so says the Church, which went to great lengths to stamp out the heresy of Gnosticism.

Dualing or non-dualing our way to “Reality”

ESFPs’ loyalty to the sensed universe, that rewards bodies with pleasure and them with affirmation, is intransigence. It’s faith posing as “realism” even though physics itself doubts its reality. Posing as “reason” even though physics itself acknowledges the flaw in its circular reasoning. It must be faith because ESFPs make no attempt to support their choice with facts and Logic. They avoid facts and Logic. They rest their case without even feeling obliged to make one. Their reality is real because they say it is. More circular reasoning: QED – quod erat demonstrandum.

The “case” for “god,” an absolute source who shares ESFPs’ body-sensed universe, is a flagrant contradiction. Irrational but nonetheless accepted by humanity’s dominant dualist paradigms with scarcely any thought. Whereas the case for ACIM’s non-dualism, that is thoughtful and carefully reasoned, is held to be blasphemous. The Eleatics school, that Parmenides founded in the late fifth century BCE, held that our material environment is illusory. The school and the field of metaphysics that it founded, based on the pursuit of truth through Reason, was held in high regard. It influenced Plato and, through Plato, all of Western thought.

Aristotle didn’t launch the physical sciences by slamming the door on reasoning based on the Reality of Mind. His acknowledgement that Mind is Real kept it open. Parmenides made Rovelli (Reality Is Not What It Seems 2017) uncomfortable but, strangely, Schroedinger’s calling out physics for circular reasoning didn’t. It was OK if the measurements of matter taken by bodies are measurements of themselves, an obvious conflict of interest. A violation of objectivity that compromises understanding.

Hiding in Plato’s Cave

Yet Schroedinger and Rovelli, two theorists, didn’t look into it, didn’t apply their powerful intellects to correct an obvious flaw in the Logic of their profession. Pointedly stayed away from philosophy when the situation cried out for it. When Schroedinger, a philosopher as well as physicist, might have made a decisive contribution. Why? What kept these two giants in their field from tracing the implications of this flaw? From thinking about it? What were they protecting?

It’s striking how closed minds are on this question. Not just among body-biased ESFPs but among serious INTJ thinkers as well. Ever since Plato the question has been left untouched like a third rail by the dominant paradigms of science, religion, philosophy, and psychology. By the same paradigms that preside over the world’s dysfunctional politics and tribal-racist culture. That ensure that relationships of all kinds break down with regularity, with ruinous consequences not just for humanity but for the entire planet. ESFPs who get their kicks from sensing-feeling and physicists who make a living off of it remain confined to Plato’s Cave, perversely unable and unwilling to use their minds to think or see their way out of it.

Putting faith in the “magic” of pleasure and comfort

The root cause of body-biased ESFPs’ resistance to ACIM’s case for non-dualism – for the reality of Mind and the unreality of matter -- would appear to be an irrational faith-based choice. Their choice of the source of everything implied by body sensing-feeling for their guide: pleasure-gratification from the sensuous and the sensual, from sensed-felt benefits immediate and concrete, from material possessions, and the satisfactions of empowerment and affirmation attained by dominance, winning, and supremacy over the competition.

Taking the “reality” of body sensing-feeling benefits and their source on faith seems to excuse ESFPs and the physics profession both from thinking. From introspecting, reflecting, reasoning, feeling-evaluating, and judging – every INTJ function, every asset. Excuses them from using free will, the power and ability to choose, to question the authority of their guide magic. Their “god” who rules the Cave. They can’t go there because the magician who blesses them with their sacred comfort zones won’t allow it. Because it might depose the magician and deprive them of the ultimate good: their comfort. Dictated by their physical essence, their bodies’ senses-feelings. By the perversion of Plato’s “Good.”

The ultimate transgression isn’t jeopardizing the welfare of those entrusted to the care of ESFPs; it’s hurting ESFPs' own “feelings.” Because their theology, their blind faith in their “god,” is based on the supreme worth of what body senses-feelings deliver: pleasure and comfort. The ultimate validation of their “god’s” divinity, its power, its authority, and worthiness.

Upholding the laws of chaos

Highly attuned to their own feelings ESFPs can be startlingly numb to the feelings of others. Since bodies are their reality, and bodies are isolated and separated, they’re seen as fundamentally in competition with one another. Fertile ground for a win-lose, gain-loss, zero-sum formula for “success.” ESFPs’ formula is ideally suited to their personality type which receives abundant validation from the material world, from social-group behavior, and from the dominant paradigms – the “establishment” -- based on sensory perception.

None challenges ESFP’s faith-based “reality” of selfish-competing bodies getting along by going along, by the pretense of agreeability and social-group non-competition. By the façade, the thin veneer, of belonging-love that’s conditioned on Cave occupants accepting forced conformance with the top-down rule of matter. A condition that, from an INTJ perspective, is blatantly insincere, dishonest, and hypocritical.

But to the ESFP it’s well grounded in the “reality” of fundamentally incompatible bodies-selves. In self-interests competing with one another, dependent on forced pleasantness and agreeability to get along, to achieve “harmony” that ESFPs crave. INTJs’ contrary view seems to them an invitation to chaos, to terminal disharmony in a world of separated bodies ruled by a mindless Cave master, the great inscrutable body in the sky.

Choosing another formula for “success”

ESFPs’ orientation might be changed by one thing. By an awareness of the possibility of an opposite guide whose benefits are mind- and soul-centered instead of body-comfort centered. Who dwells within their own INTJ nature, inside their Intuition. And this would explain their ESFP sensing-god’s abhorrence of it: because it would shine it and its dark Cave away. ESFPs’ orientation might be changed by the choice of Psyche, one among many names for the guide who can speak for Innocence. Because she is Innocence, with no need to project guilt and resort to blame. She also goes by “Christ,” the Christian soul of Innocence: the Child beloved of her Parents. She’s who we are when we aren’t misled by appearances and thrown into chaos by our primitive limbic systems.

The choice of an opposite guide who speaks for Innocence instead of guilt would end the misperception. It would end the obstruction, condemnation, and retaliation that ESFPs’ formula for “success” inflicts on others, particularly INTJs. Confronted with ESFPs’ intransigence INTJs must take on the burden of judging for them on behalf of shared purpose, attending to others entrusted to their care.

ESFPs have a choice. They can choose another guide, another god. They can reconsider their choice on their own by accessing their INTJ assets: by introspecting, reflecting, reasoning, evaluating, and judging. By questioning their judgment against the “benefits” of unquestioned loyalty to their bodies’ feelings instead of the thoughts and feelings that occupy their minds.

ESFPs’ cult of specialness

Close examination of the “benefits” of body-dominance suggests an innate selfishness, an insensitivity that borders on cruelty. Its source is an attitude toward others perceived as competing instead of sharing. An attitude so anti-social that, when practiced by ESFPs with the inclination and opportunity to do harm, it’s sociopathic. The body-centered god of ESFPs is all about competition, whereas the guide of INTJs’ Intuition and internal moral compass is all about sharing. ESFPs’ reality is dog-eat-dog. INTJs’ reality is interconnectedness and reciprocity -- giving and giving back -- based on the reality and truth of mind and Psyche, not on the appearance of separated competing bodies.

There’s irony in the dissonance between ESFPs and INTJs over competition against sharing. ESFPs needing harmony from conformance place excessive emphasis on the pretense of agreeability, tact, diplomacy, and politeness, making a show of respect to hide the fundamental divide. INTJs challenging the pretense with the actual harmony of shared purpose are forced into a show of disagreeability to remove the misperception. To shift ESFPs’ blind faith in the divisive god of body-centered values to the God of mind, trust, and intimacy. To stop the transgression. It’s ESFPs, the presumed champions of harmony, togetherness, and agreeability, who in the end break relationships, not INTJs.

Above the figure nailed to the cross it’s inscribed “Loser,” and the figure isn’t a sacrificial stand-in for victims but the ESFP’s own image. A childlike figure labeled elsewhere by astute journalists “clown” and by street protesters parading with the inflated likeness of a Big Baby. A churl elevated to divinity by religion bound to its god not by the miracle of Creation-Life but by the cult of magic-death. Not by ascent to Heaven, light, and fulfillment but by descent into hell, darkness, and defeat. The unmistakable brand not of a proud, self-earned winner but of a pathetic, self-condemned loser. Guilt hiding in the delusion of victimhood innocence. All of it separation-specialness – a sick joke.

The eternal Beauty that lies beyond whatever bodies can detect

For INTJs, Worth comes from mind’s thinking, valuing, and judging, where the principle of sharing and togetherness is the controlling consideration, the consideration that integrates all into one. For ESFPs, it’s very different. Worth comes from bodies’ sensing-feeling where competition and social-group conformance make up the controlling consideration: every man for himself. It’s a separating principle disguised as “liberty” unbound by the fairness of community that makes real freedom possible.

INTJs’ experience of this body-centered world is desiring to connect via mind’s thoughts and love’s feelings but having less success than connecting via bodies’ senses and feelings. Were it not for their abundant companionship, through the creative possibilities of mind’s imagination, INTJs’ experience would be one of unrelieved isolation and loneliness. Their guide, readily accessible through the shared Memory of Intuition, connects with inner selves sharing not competing.

The temporal beauty, abundance, and possibilities of bodies are nothing compared to the eternal beauty, abundance, and possibilities of minds guided by freely-chosen loving sources beyond whatever bodies can detect. That is, when the fear of what’s unknown to bodies is let go, because minds are not unknown. Because minds are intimate, integral to selves, familiar. More so than bodies that come and go. That appear magically from out of nowhere, change beyond recognition, and disappear back to nowhere, can ever be -- “strangers,” in the words of ACIM, “wandering through the house of Truth.”

The Reality and Gift of Comfort

INTJs connect because Mind is the seat of what’s Known, the source of safety and security, of Logic which is Protection. Of Love, which is true companionship, true Relationship, the true source of Comfort -- the comfort and ease that ESFPs crave. Its source can never be isolated-separated bodies in competition with one another, that turn giving into taking, gain into loss, pleasure into pain, love into fear, innocence into guilt, life into death.

For ESFPs all in for body-centered comfort and competition, the supremacy of “winning” is necessarily the highest good. The intelligence at work in their calculations of self-interest makes sense within their insular take on reality. In the alternative reality that’s centered on the comfort of mind and love rather than bodies, it makes no sense at all.

To: Carlo Rovelli
Author: Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity
Director, Quantum Gravity Group
Centre de Physique Theorique (CPT), Aix-Marseille University
Case 907, Luminy, Office number: 453
F-13288 France

Re: Appeal to Theorists to Lead a Change in Thinking and Serve the Cause of Reason

We only need to ask ourselves: What is implied by the thought, the idea, of Mind?
To access the help we need from philosophy to understand quantum gravity.
It may take months or years of reflection to tell Mind's story
Going back to Why must there even be a question?
With nothing more than Intuition's spontaneous insights and Reason to guide us
But it won't take the centuries that it took for experimental physics, the study of matter
To begin the journey to quantum gravity.

My book, The Story of the Child (working title)
Will likely offer a rationale for your loop theory that explains quantum gravity.
This is because our illusory material environment mirrors in many ways the Reality of Conscious Mind
That created the Child -- our real Self -- and gave him a role and purpose in Creation.
It was the Child's loss of Consciousness that interrupted his part in the process of Creation
And produced the appearances that now challenge our understanding.

The entire process of Creation, from Mind-Oneness and its stance, Being
To the Child and his creations of Worth and back again, to Being
In the Child's freely chosen reciprocation of Worth
May be described as an infinite and ongoing loop
Whose purpose is to give substance and meaning to the assertion of Being
To the stance of Life and Creation -- that is our Reality, our Truth, and our Purpose.

The journey to quantum gravity, whose main insight captures this essential attribute of Creation
And sees it reflected in the Child's imagining of another state, is most likely on the right track.
All that it needs now, to complete the journey
Is to understand that what must distinguish Creation from its imagined state
Is that one state is real and the other is not.

Had this distinction been understood by those who have long philosophized about opposites
Their topic would have yielded clarity and eloquence instead of confusion and convolution.

Opposites are nothing more than an accommodation of Mind
On the Child's plane of Creation, that can lose Consciousness.
But whether or not Child-Mind loses consciousness, the opposites of Reality do not exist.
Our world, being a manifestation of the idea of non-being, of death
Is an opposite that cannot be real.
"Reality is not what it seems" because it is literally not real.
Parmenides was right!

Hopefully, the distinction between reality and unreality -- non-dualism
Will make it into your theory and the promise it holds, of clarity and eloquence, will be realized.
The appeal from Reality Is Not What It Seems, for help from philosophy, will then have its response.

Much more explanation is needed -- the purpose of my book
But, for now, keep in mind two critical distinctions:
Between Mind Conscious and mind unconscious and between Parents and Child.
Parents' Conscious Mind knows nothing of our unreal world and had no direct part in its making.
It was Child unconscious mind's doing, and the great question for Intuition and Reason to answer
Is why and how did the Child lose consciousness?
This is the subject of The Story of the Child.

Whether we answer this question will have a direct bearing on whether we survive.
Whether the world's leading theorists -- the best minds, like yourself -- join the cause
May determine whether we succeed.

David C. Harrison
303-746-5983 / http://www.davidclarkharrison.com
74apollo350@gmail.com

Letter addressed separately to:

• Carlo Rovelli, Aix-Marseille University. Author, Reality Is Not What It Seems:
The Journey to Quantum Gravity

• Adam Becker, University of California, Berkeley. Author, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
• Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School. Author, What Is Gnosticism?

Date: June 3, 2020

So long a science remains riveted to matter – inanimate and organic, -- so long as it systematically overlooks the role of conscious mind in Creation and unconscious mind in illusion, it will never lead humanity to the real origin and fate of the universe and the meaning – the purpose – of life. Purpose that humanity addicted to technology, on the precipice of mass irrationality and extinction, now desperately needs. On the contrary, it can only legitimize forces that keep humanity in the dark, pinned down by flaws in our knowledge and reasoning that are essential to freedom of choice, learning, and growth.

The “meaning” of quantum physics, the end of the road for quantum gravity, needs no further “quest.” Experimental physics has already produced the results that tell us what we need to know: matter is not real. Its strange behavior is readily explained as the product of mind that logically can only be in an unconscious, dreaming state. What it has produced is not Reason or Reality but unreason and unreality. These are the hallmarks of our universe and self-destructive humanity – unexplainable magic that only happens in dreams and imaginations.

What unconscious mind has produced, still living and empowered with energy, is illusion. And physics, passionate about its cause, passionate about its subject, passionately convinced that matter is real, proves it. If we haven’t already figured this out from the bizarre behavior of quanta, from a universe ruled not by order but by entropy, we may be literally too dumb to live.

Science has two tasks to salvage its honesty. The first is to acknowledge the flaw in the logic that supports it: the logic that holds that sensory perception is qualified to adjudicate between reality and unreality. That holds that separation between the body and other objects that belong to the same state of matter bestows objectivity, when separation can only bestow objectivity if it’s between one state and another. Physics that fails to acknowledge this flaw may certainly continue with its discoveries. But it is not qualified to answer for metaphysics about reality. If it lacks objectivity and rationality, it lacks authority. And until it acknowledges this fact, it is not being honest.

The second task to salvage physics’ honesty is to acknowledge the truth about the findings of its experiments, going back to its origins with Galileo and to its premises with Aristotle. Experiments that were meant to support elegant theories of everything, to reveal beauty, essence, and perfection in the cosmos, have revealed instead a welter of causes and effects that make no sense. Their net result is a pointlessness that mocks the laws of science and confounds understanding rather than illuminating it. If the laws of science disappear precisely at the point where metaphysics demands answers, what use are they? They rationalize appearances on a human scale, but humanity has been doing this on its own for thousands of years.

What mind is searching for is Reality and Reason that will enable it to exercise free choice, so humanity will grasp its purpose and act decisively to serve it. We aren’t doing this. And one glaring reason why is that science hides rather than shares the truth. The cosmos isn’t Plato’s “divine” and never will be. The journey to quantum gravity has already gone beyond where it could be any practical help.

It’s time to look elsewhere for the meaning and purpose of life, not from what matter can tell us but from what mind can tell us. Science that compromises with honesty can’t set us on this path. But science that’s honest can at least help.

Einstein devoted his career to a single-minded effort to prove the logic of matter, the perfect order of the cosmos defined by mathematics and physics, and he failed. Bohr was right. Why can’t physics accept the verdict of the Copenhagen Interpretation and support a larger effort of mind – of philosophy, metaphysics, ontology, and psychology – to find answers instead of continuing to obstruct it? Why are scientists intent on discrediting the effort instead of joining it?

Telling the story of the Child, our archetypal Self, is giving the Child back some part of the Reality and the Truth that he lost when he lost consciousness. It’s giving humanity some part of the Reality and Truth that we need in order to exercise free choice in whether to move forward, with objectivity and reason rather than sabotaging our cause with subjectivity and unreason.

The story of the Child needs to be told. Because otherwise we may never know our true worth. We may never know the meaning and purpose of life, the cause the Child was given in Creation – our cause. Without resolve that can only come from purpose, transferring perception from bodies’ senses to intuition and Reason – from appearances to Truth -- will continue to elude us. The basics of what we are doing here -- who we are, how we got here, and what is within our power to do about it, -- will continue to elude us. Unless we connect with the Child that dwells in Mind – with our Self, -- how can we ever get back home to Reality, to the engine of Creation, where we belong?

Our story needs to be told so that we will finally make it relevant, constructive, and consequential. Let it emerge from the fog of mythology, from medicine-man faiths and cultures, into the light of logic, meaning, and utility. Into the light of Mind and Reason without the mysticism and self-contradictions that alienate common sense.

The thinking reflected in the publication I’ve cited has taken you to the outer edges of the paradigm shift that’s needed. You’re receiving this because there may be a willingness to consider it, a level of intelligence and intellectual honesty that offers hope.

Am I making sense? Is the story of the Child worth telling? Can we at least try?

David C. Harrison
Author, The Story of the Child (working title, book in progress)
303-746-5983 / 74apollo350@comcast.net

Welcome

Letter to Adam Becker, Author, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
Visiting Scholar, Office for History of Science and Technology
University of California, Berkeley
Adam@freelanceastro.com

Science has staked its legitimacy on sensory perception -- the observation and measurement of quantifiable matter -- as the sole arbiter of reality. Matter at the level of quanta has revealed that it is not bound by the reality so defined. The logical foundation that science has chosen for itself, and the material reality it stands for, is called into question.

There being no alternative reality for which sensory perception can serve as proof, science must turn to systems thinking to understand its discoveries. Metaphysics, the branch of philosophy concerned with the logic of reality, belongs in the conversation. This should include ontology, the branch of metaphysics concerned with the logic of being. The dynamics of human motivation, personal growth, feelings, and relationships come into play, and this involves psychology. Yet another field to consult is theology, because it offers insights into mind that orders all forms of creation.

Yesterday, I submitted a letter to the Mind / Brain Editor of Scientific American commenting on an article by a neuroscientist, Christof Koch. His article, “Tales of the Dying Brain,” prompted my letter because it adheres to the article of faith in sensory perception that has rooted science in subjectivity and irrationality from the beginning, and I believe the time has come to place it on firmer logical ground.

My letter cites two invaluable sources: Your own What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics and Carlo Rovelli’s Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity. Both you and Rovelli appear troubled, as Einstein was, by matter that doesn’t respect science’s article of faith. Both, commendably, encourage physics to follow the trail wherever it leads, Rovelli with an open appeal for help from philosophy. But while you're both alert to the question of material reality, neither appears willing to question your faith -- to question the role of traditional physics and its dependence on sensory perception.

My letter to Scientific American suggests that the world revealed beyond matter, through quantum mechanics, and the dying brain, through near-death experiences, is one of two competing realities, only one of which can be real. Hawking was unapologetic in championing his profession's bias in favor of sensory perception. It was his, and yours and Rovelli’s prerogative, to do so. But it comes at a cost. Science insisting on the incorrect reality, in service to its institutional purposes, leads human understanding down the wrong road.

It leads to incorrect conclusions devoid of meaning and purpose. Add to this the cost of not leading human understanding toward correct conclusions that awaken us to meaning and purpose. Quantitative science measures. It doesn't evaluate. The courageous and talented physicists whose work is highlighted in your book are an inspiration. But they and their work -- their profession -- can't be the source of "meaning" in quantum physics. For this, we need other sources.

Weaning science off rigid dependence on sensory perception must be a paradigm shift too far or it would have happened over a century ago. I do not make light of yours or science’s institutional self-interests. But more than Professor Koch’s article, it is the state of our world that says it’s time for change, and what must change is our thinking. What must change is for theorists in every field, like yourself, to state the obvious: that humanity is succumbing not only to mass irrationality but also to mass extinction, that it’s flawed reasoning that got us here, and we must shift to a new paradigm of thinking before it’s too late.

My letter to Scientific American alludes to attributes of mind -- “intuition” and “reason beyond appearances” – that can access the objectivity this new paradigm will need. They deserve an explanation, and, hopefully, they will get it in the book I’m preparing for publication, tentatively titled The Story of the Child. I have criticized science for overplaying the story of matter when it’s the story of mind that can guide us. My book is an attempt, from one individual’s perspective, to explain what it means to “tell the story of mind.”

With integrity, honesty, and humanity, you are no doubt making great progress in your work. I would be honored if my letter to Scientific American, which follows, and my book were any help. Science needs help from philosophy, and I am pleased to humbly offer one response.

David C. Harrison
June 1, 2020

Letter to Carlo Rovelli, Director, Quantum Gravity Group
Centre de Physique Théorique (CPT), Aix-Marseille University
Author, Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity (2017)

Re: Appeal from theoretical physics to philosophy for help understanding the meaning of quantum gravity

The approach to the task of physics presented in Reality Is Not What It Seems strikes me as reasonable. This in contrast to the approach propounded by Stephen Hawking, because you acknowledge the limits of experimental science and allow a role for philosophy while he, notoriously, did not. For him, “Philosophy is dead.” For you, it becomes essential.

The occasion to express my thanks and admiration has finally arrived. Today, I submitted a letter to the Mind / Brain Editor of Scientific American commenting on an article by a neuroscientist, Christof Koch. The article, “Tales of the Dying Brain,” prompted my letter because it adheres to the article of faith in sensory perception that has rooted science in subjectivity and irrationality from its very beginning, and I believe the time has come, with your appeal to philosophy, to place it on firmer logical ground.

My letter cites yours and Adam Becker’s recent book, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for Meaning in Quantum Physics. Both authors, troubled and confused as Einstein was by matter that doesn’t respect science’s article of faith, appear to believe that a road still lies ahead for traditional physics. You, in particular, breezed by Schroedinger’s observation that science by sensory perception is circular reasoning without reflecting on it, nor did you credit Parmenides and his School of Reason with common sense.

Yet both sources should be taken as prominent red flags for science, for I believe they point in the direction of the “philosophy” that can make sense of quantum gravity. That is, if the “other reality” that I allude to in my letter to Scientific American is understood for what I’ve implied that it is: one of two competing realities, only one of which can be real. Science has been insisting that the incorrect one is real -- matter rather than mind, -- not in service to the truth but in service to its own institutional purposes.

Hawking was unapologetic in championing his profession and made his own and his profession’s bias very clear. It was his, and yours and Becker’s prerogative, to do so. But it comes at a cost. The cost is continuing to lead human understanding down the wrong road, to incorrect conclusions devoid of meaning and purpose. Add to this the cost of not leading human understanding toward correct conclusions that awaken us to meaning and purpose.

Weaning science off rigid dependence on sensory perception must be a paradigm shift too far or it would have happened over a century ago. I do not make light of yours or science’s institutional self-interests. But more than Professor Koch’s article, it is the state of our world that says it’s time for change, and what must change is our thinking. What must change is for theorists in every field, like yourself, to state the obvious: that humanity is succumbing not only to mass irrationality but also to mass extinction, that it’s flawed reasoning that got us here, and we must shift to a new paradigm of thinking before it’s too late.

My letter to Scientific American alludes to attributes of mind -- “intuition” and “reason beyond appearances” – that can access the objectivity this new paradigm will need. They deserve an explanation, and, hopefully, they will get it in the book I’m preparing for publication, tentatively titled The Story of the Child. I have criticized science for overplaying the story of matter when it’s the story of mind that can explain what it’s all about. My book is an attempt, from one individual’s perspective, to explain what it means to “tell the story of mind.”

With integrity, honesty, and humanity, you are no doubt making great progress in your work. I would be honored if my letter to Scientific American, posted on my website, and my book were any help. Quantum gravity has called for help from philosophy, and I am pleased to humbly offer one response.

David C. Harrison
May 31, 2020