Principles and assumptions to guide the search for Reality and Truth
Principle 1. All fields of inquiry require Logic. Logic must be followed wherever its implications and interconnections lead, to all legitimate, logical possibilities. This is as true for psychology and theology as it is for science and philosophy. There is no way around it.
Einstein’s close encounter with Logos
After Intuition played a major part in his 1905 theories, Albert Einstein trusted to physics and mathematics to take it from there and does not seem to have been struck by lightning again. A deist, he did credit the possibility that something other than matter itself caused the universe. He was no Hawking. But, like Hawking, his analytic powers and Intuition remained riveted on the effect rather than the cause.
Had it been otherwise he might have recognized the source not only of his fascination with the universe but also his extraordinary Intuition, the Mind that succeeded where physics and mathematics alone couldn’t. He might have recalled that his patent office daydreams were a gift, the discovery of what his memory already knew. Might have recalled that his Intuition was given by Logic, the discipline of implications connecting with one another in the clear, without interference. With no other consideration than producing a system of the mind, theory composed of interconnections sustained by reciprocity: connecting and connecting back. The authority of persuasion held together by what it is, its own self. Elegance and Beauty beyond all but the limits, the definitions and implications of Logic itself.
The derivation of “Logic” is Logos, Greek for “reason”:
In pre-Socratic philosophy, the principle governing the cosmos, the source of. . . human reasoning about the cosmos. . . . In Stoicism. . . the power of reason residing in the human soul. . . . In biblical Judaism. . . God’s medium of communication. . . . In Hellenistic Judaism. . . divine wisdom. . . . Christianity. . . The creative word of God, which is itself God. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Einstein’s Intuition was so expansive that it must have given him a close encounter with Logos. Yet he seems to have missed its significance. Perhaps taken with its gifts, he failed to recognize and credit the giver. Just as creation was of no interest to the deist’s prime mover, the prime mover dropped out of Einstein’s sight once he got started. He went on to his search for the theory of everything on his own, trusting to mathematics and physics. Looking for beauty behind the matador’s muleta, the red cape, behind which is emptiness. Possibly intrigued by the idea of a prime mover that could have corrected his aim. But not enough to focus his search – the extraordinary force of his passion and talents -- on Mind and matter both. Where would science be in its “quest for knowledge” if he had?
Einstein did prove something: that his search can’t succeed with physics and mathematics alone. He did become a role model: for every “realist” in search of cosmic mathematical perfection who comes up short. Why? Because their attention is focused on what’s written on the blackboard instead of the writer in their mind: Logic. Logos.
Gifts of Logic, gifts of Intuition: Dark matter
In the blog entry that preceded this one, “Principles and Assumptions to guide the search for Reality and Truth,” I set out “to demonstrate what [Logic’s] systems thinking might produce in the way of insights and answers.” Here might be an example, an insight about dark matter.
Marcela Carlena writes, in Scientific American:
. . . [T]he Standard Model. . . does not explain. . . the 85 percent of the matter in the universe – dark matter – that holds the cosmos together, making galaxies such as our Milky Way possible. The Standard Model falls short of answering why, at some early time in our universe’s history, matter prevailed over antimatter, enabling our existence. “The Unseen Universe" (October 2021, p. 59)
Dark matter is what became of antimatter. Antimatter appeared at the outset because of the principle of opposites: creations imply the existence of their opposites. But antimatter couldn’t remain on an equal footing with matter because opposites can’t both be real. Logic which governs all of Reality-Creation – everything -- requires that creations and their opposites be defined by different attributes that can be reconciled. Otherwise there is no order, no harmony, and therefore no meaning and purpose to Creation. Logic having the power and ability to define is what preserves harmony, preserves its ability to govern.
Reconciliation and antimatter’s role in the universe were accomplished by a fundamental change in definition, that is by a change in the Logic of antimatter. Matter remained real while antimatter became unreal. How is unreality accomplished in a universe that is itself unreal? Through undetectability. Undetectability by the source of detectability in unreality: by bodies’ senses. The mirror-image reverse of unreality undetectable in Reality by Mind.
What is thus intuited about dark matter through Logic is that an unreal universe of spacetime and matter is credited by its physical inhabitants with being real because it’s detectable by sensory perception; antimatter appears and then mysteriously disappears, transformed into “dark matter,” a mysterious force that’s not only credited with holding the universe together but also with making life – sensory perception, our source of detectability – possible, by becoming unreal in the only way that unreality within unreality can do so: by becoming undetectable. A universe “held together” requires balance, and this is how antimatter provides it: by becoming dark matter.
What it means: Sensory perception yields to Logic
Logic through Intuition, without more help from experimental physics, produces answers that make sense where answers otherwise are impossible. If Logic, for example, says dark matter is undetectable by definition, if it defines “darkness” as “undetectability,” then dark matter cannot be explained by empirical science. Not if “empirical” requires observation or experiment. All we’ve got, then, if this insight is correct, is Logic. And if what Inquiry is about – the “quest for knowledge” -- is figuring out why we’re here and what to do about it, then Inquiry needs to be guided by Logic.
Let us be also clear about another implication from Logic: the evidence science adduces for the “existence” of dark matter does not meet the standard of evidentiary “proof” normally demanded by empirical science. Sensory perception does play a part but only by inference; circumstantial evidence is never “proof.” What gives it legitimacy is Logic – the same Logic that distills purpose and meaning from context. The case for dark matter is entirely dependent on its context defined by Logic.
More gifts: Lawless particles
Another implication of Logic from quantum mechanics is that matter is relational to Mind. Matter is of course relational to Mind because matter is stored energy, and there is no state in which energy can be undirected by Mind without yielding to absolute anarchy. Logic is directed Energy-Force. To suppose otherwise is to give up governance for absolute anarchy in Being and non-being, Reality and unreality, and in all four states of Mind: Conscious and unconscious, Absolute (Parents) and Free Choice (Child).
The logical implication that matter is relational to Mind-Energy is beyond empirical science because empirical science – “realism” -- considers mind that’s not detectable by sensory perception separate from matter. An absurdity once Logic that governs the relationship between mind and matter is understood: mind produced matter. If spacetime and matter began with a Big Bang, Intuition from Logic, informed by physics, philosophy, psychology, and theology, says unconscious Mind could well have dreamed it.
From Logic it can be Intuited that Consciousness, in Reality, is the attribute of Mind that makes Creations Real. What logical Consciousness becomes aware of is thereby made Real. If matter is unreal -- if our material universe is illusory, a dream -- then Conscious Mind can’t touch it. Can’t be aware of it because to do so would make unreality real. The will of Logic is to govern everywhere and Everything unopposed. But in an unreal-dream universe, directed and made real by an unconscious mind with Free Will, corrupted by illogic -- the Child, -- Logic must refrain from asserting its will unopposed. Otherwise it would disable Free Will, the attribute of Mind essential to the affirmation of Worth, of Being-Life, the object of Creation. The Will of the Child that’s Free, the unconscious corrupted mind that’s chosen to be deluded, will get in the way until it has freely chosen not to. Until it has freely chosen to part with its delusion and regain Consciousness.
The state of Mind that projects unreality must, therefore, be unconscious. A state that’s split between Being and its shadow code non-being opposite. A state whose awareness cannot make anything real. But it can, and does, make unreality “real.” The ultimate source of science's confusion isn't sensory perception but an unconscious Mind that's dreaming.
What this logically implies is an explanation for particles behaving lawfully like particles while under observation and lawlessly like waves when not. Matter being relational to mind is matter doing what unconscious mind tells it to do. In keeping with the relationship that was established when an illusory thought of unconscious mind projected it and energy directed by unconscious mind produced it.
More gifts: The lawful mathematics of lawless particles
Quantum mechanics’ manifestation of lawlessness and disorder in opposition to lawfulness and order manifests body-centered physical unreality in opposition to mind-centered Reality. It is the mathematics of quantum mechanics that confirms it. The lawlessness and disorder of matter is not just an appearance, an aberration. The observations of quantum mechanics are correct. Matter is what it appears to be, what it’s empirically observed to be. The observations are correct and the calculations, also correct, prove it. Quantum mechanics’ measurements that confirm matter’s lawlessness and disorder are not a mistake. What they reveal about the nature of our reality is true. Its mathematics prove it.
More gifts: Our lawless, quivering cosmos
Logic holds that a creation, object, or event must be subject to the purpose and meaning – the Logic -- of its context. If the context is the non-being opposite of Reality-Being – i.e. unreality -- then this determines the Logic of everything in this context. For example, if Reality-Creation is order-harmony then unreality is disorder-conflict. The rule of opposites is that they must be unreal. They must obey arbitrary commandments of illogic that ensure disorder rather than align with the Necessity of Logic’s laws of cause and effect that ensure order.
The Logic-Necessity of a universe that’s unreal is not being governed by laws. By laws that adhere and apply consistently. Particle behavior implies that our material universe is ruled by lawlessness: by laws that do not adhere and apply consistently. By laws that contradict, break down into disorder, and vanish altogether into “singularities." All of it consistent with the logical premise that our material-lawless universe is unreal.
A universe that quivers when massive black holes collide, like the imagined worlds depicted in Contact (Jodie Foster 1997) and The Truman Show (Jim Carrey 1998), advertises its unreality. Behaving like a giant blob of Jell-O is no more reassuring about cosmic reality than the loss of absolute space and time to relativity. What can be intuited from Logic, if not science, is that illusion is dreamed and the dreamer can only be Mind in an unconscious state. For it must be split, conflicted, and corrupted if it’s to match the attributes of its dream – our world of appearances, contradictions, and ambiguity.
The Jodie Foster character contacted her deceased father after she imagined a journey through the vastness of spacetime aided by a wormhole. The reassuring South Pacific beach she arrived at quivered to the touch, the telltale sign of imagination. All her experience actually involved, besides imagination, was the drop of a space capsule from its launching pad a few feet to the ground. The Jim Carrey character was finally persuaded that his “life” was television show fiction when his environment quivered to the touch. Not even special effects, so realistic that a harrowing attempt to escape across a turbulent sea nearly took his life, could overcome the shock of reality that quivers.
More gifts. . . .
• Entropy. Energy responding to its source Mind producing particles that store energy in various forms, organic and inorganic, all subject to disorganization and decay -- entropy --because the state of Mind is unconscious. Unconscious mind > Energy > unreality > matter > entropy.
• The appearance of Reality. Matter appearing real only on a human scale where laws of science appear to conform with laws of cause and effect and the chaos of nature on a quantum and cosmic scale is not apparent. One implication is the title of Rovelli’s Reality Is Not What It Seems. Another, more obvious, is that what doesn’t seem real may not be real.
• Evolution toward life. The universe evolving in a way that supports temporal life because it’s directed to do so by Mind that’s unconscious. Projecting a dream of non-being that mandates both life and death because Reality-Creation, of Being, its opposite, is timelessness and eternal Life.
• Psychosomatic illness. Bodies’ cells and DNA genetic codes responding to unconscious mind with psychosomatic illness, spontaneous remissions, miraculous recoveries, and other paranormal phenomena like out-of-body near-death experiences. All caused by matter relational to Mind.
The choice: The somewhere of Reality or the nowhere of unreality
In our world that body-centered science insists is real the evidence provided by Mind-centered Logic that it’s unreal is overwhelming. Science and the Church would seem, at first glance, to be unlikely allies. But together, they are the great defenders of the reality of the body and sensory perception. Ultimately for reasons of self-preservation, because belief in the reality of animate and inanimate matter is fundamental to belief in the need for scientific study. Belief in the reality of the body and its physical environment is fundamental to belief in the pain and suffering of this world and the need for salvation from another world.
Scientists may not just be uneducated about philosophy as Einstein and Becker suggest. Its systematic devaluation over time suggests intent. Unquestioned faith in the reality of matter and sensory perception, already compromised by physics, may someday be finished off by Mind-centered philosophy equally sure of its Logic. When it places our world and the entire human enterprise, including science, in a more logical context: unreality. Science’s determination to avoid this possibility makes sense, but faith unquestioned does not.
This “fundamentalist rationalist,” this “radical subjectivist” as “realist” objectivists like Rovelli and Strevens would have it, holds that so long as science insists on a fallacy; so long as it denies the plausibility of another view without inquiring with open minds into its Logic; its search for meaning in quantum mechanics, its reaching for perfection in quantum gravity, indeed its “quest for knowledge,” will not produce the answers, the enlightenment long ago promised. Will go nowhere.
Empirical science has performed spectacularly since Aristotle’s time. The celebrity of Newton and Einstein were deserved. Science deserves our respect and support. But it has limits. And with limits exposed by mysteries like dark matter and quantum gravity, it’s time to put the focus back on Logic.
What is “Logic?” It’s Everything
There is nothing that isn’t subject to Logic’s laws of cause and effect, even unreality and its laws of chaos. “Everything” being the broadest possible context makes it the ultimate authority on purpose and meaning, without which there is no logical basis for understanding or interpretation. To approach the meaning of quantum mechanics or any other question without context aligned with Logic is to approach substance without attribute, fact without value. Is to get it wrong.
Were it not for Logic unreality – our unreal world of spacetime and matter – would be undiluted evil. It would not be the mix of good and evil that it is. If the Child-Mind that’s dreaming it has parted from Consciousness then Consciousness – Mind-Love, the Child’s Parents and Awareness that makes its Creations real – can have no part in it. Its absence would leave a void, and there would be nothing to prevent the shadow code of non-being from filling it. Logic being “Everything” isn’t just New Age pap. Its substance for us is the insurmountable barrier it poses to non-being being our absolute lord and master. Nothing can claim notice, whether it’s state or statelessness, without being subject to its definition by Logic.
So, yes, the shadow code gained purchase on the Child’s imagination from loss of Consciousness. But it could never deliver separation from the definitions, the implications and interconnections, of Logic. Moreover, Logic was already there at the beginning. It didn’t arise in response to any void. It defined it and put it where it belongs in the broadest possible context of Everything: Consciousness and unconsciousness, Reality and unreality. Free Will by definition can’t have a “savior;” the initiative for regaining Consciousness must come from us. But if we insist on having one it would be Logic.
Logic is Governance that requires systems thinking
Logic is minding the store, keeping watch over all that is. Logic is our guide to making it possible to explain Consciousness and the origin of the universe and Life. All human endeavor, all of its art and science, is defined and powered by the implications and interconnections of Logic. The only limits on its scope are the misperceptions and limbic system emotions driven by human self-interest.
To address any question logically is to derive purpose and meaning from the circumstances that define the situation. Not from the top down but from the ground up, with a systems approach that welcomes input from all relevant sources. Logic synthesizes judgment’s purpose and meaning to govern, to maintain order and harmony from the bottom up. It’s the only source of system because it’s the only source of synthesis. Because it produces the all-important controlling consideration that integrates. Logic = context = purpose and meaning = judgment. What the situation calls for. What our situation calls for, that begins and ends with Logic.
Logic requires the broadest context conceivable for Judgment, the whole system “integrating humanistic ideal” (Strevens 270) that’s only definable if all parts of the system are accounted for. Logic needs parts to fit together in harmony not for aesthetic reasons but so they function as a whole for a purpose: to extend and expand Knowledge through discovery, Creation through new Life, and Worth through its affirmation and reciprocation. The validation of Being and all that its stance implies: the Innocence of Oneness, Life infinite and eternal, Freedom of thought, choice, and expression, the Beauty of purity, the Protection of structure -- everything of importance that we associate with “Life.”
Logic oversees the contents of Intuition’s collective Memory from Reality-Creation. It does so to protect its purity from contamination by illogic. Logic is Perfection. Logic’s perfection is protection, the boundaries of order that both contain and protect the Innocence of Mind-Love and Free Will at the core of Creation. Logic is Sanctuary. Logic is the Home of Psyche, the Soul of Innocence. Logic is our Home in Reality.
All that is needed to open any question to Logic – to the free spirit of inquiry – is to broaden its context: from self-interest to humanity’s interest. Where “humanity’s interest” includes not only the physical limits of body but the possibility of another reality of limitless, immaterial Mind. Context broadened from parts of the system to the system as a whole. All that is needed to liberate Logic to do its job is a systems approach that begins and ends with systems thinking. With thoughts of intellect aided but not distracted or misled by senses of body, by appearances. With an uncompromising will to comprehend that discriminates between what is Real and what is unreal.
“Reasoning” from a questionable given leads to questionable interpretation
“Science. . . requires of its practitioners the strategic suppression of . . . the highest element of human nature, the rational mind.” (Strevens 8) The point is made on behalf of science’s “iron rule of explanation” propounded in The Knowledge Machine, and it is well taken in its context. What cannot be well taken is scientific “reasoning” that places the biases of an entire discipline as well as individual practitioners above Logic. Misperception leads to misjudgment.
Physics is an important input on the storyline of matter’s reality or unreality. But because it defines its subject rigidly as matter to the exclusion of Mind it cannot be the only input. It can pursue humanity’s “quest for knowledge” but it’s not qualified to define it. And it’s certainly not qualified to own or control it. Not so long as its body-centered mis-interpretation of quantum mechanics is illogic and the illogic remains unexplained.
Logic might be thought of as a pure distillate of Mind, similar in concept to the iron rule of science articulated in The Knowledge Machine. Its primary concern is not with all the attributes of Creation but with only one: their alignment with the implications and interconnections of Logic. “Reasoning” that begins with a given that’s out of alignment with Logic can only lead to misinterpretation: failure to grasp the meaning of its findings. Not letting the implications of Logic guide the search blinds us to the Truth.
A given that’s out of alignment with Logic
Science’s unquestioned faith in the reality of the body and its physical environment is illogical not because its opposite is necessarily true but because it’s an open philosophical question. Settled in the minds of the majority but unsettled in serious, credible thought pre-dating Plato. Illogical not only because it’s an open philosophical question but because physics is closed to philosophy itself:
For the great majority of contemporary scientists, there is nothing in the least unreasonable about the iron rule’s exclusion of religious considerations from scientific argument. The same is true of the rule’s exclusion of philosophical argument. Most physicists regard it as a waste of time . . . to search for an understanding of quantum mechanics that renders it humanly comprehensible. . . . [T]hey say – ‘Shut up and calculate.’ The physicist Steven Weinberg goes further: ‘I know of no one who has participated in the advance of physics in the postwar period whose research has been significantly helped by the work of philosophers.’ (Strevens 209-210)
Why haven’t philosophers helped?
Philosophers are thought to be mystics, religious figures, bullshit artists – anything divorced from reality. The discipline as a whole is seen as millennia of people chasing down big questions – What is the meaning of life? Why is there suffering? -- and coming back without any good answers. . . . [W]hile most philosophers of physics are analytic, most of the philosophers from the past seventy years that you’ve heard of are probably Continental . . . philosophers like Sartre, Camus, Foucault, Derrida, and Zizek. . . [who] tend to be much more suspicious of scientific claims about knowledge and truth than their analytic colleagues. . . . Given [their] attitude. . , it’s not terribly surprising that scientists have disdain for all philosophers. . . . (Becker 273)
Philosophers have come back with good answers. Some are in this essay. But they and their answers have been bullied off stage by – guess what – the tyranny of the body and its senses. By the dominant strain of science, philosophy, psychology, and theology that’s aware of the weirdness of matter and still insists that it’s real. By bullshit artists.
Unexamined faith in the reality of matter is religion
Philosophy closed to science and science closed to philosophy would make for entertaining science fiction if it weren’t fatal to the search for Reality and Truth. But Becker still has faith in philosophy:
Philosophers of physics, and most other philosophers, are far removed from this picture: they work on well-defined questions with logical rigor and with input from the most recent developments in science and from the immediate experiences of the senses. How the practice and the image of philosophy have diverged so wildly is a subject for an entirely different book. . . . (Becker 273-274) (emphasis added)
Philosophers of physics may be guided by the immediate experiences of the senses but “most other philosophers” doing so are by no means the only ones working with “logical rigor.” An entire strain of Western thought, from Parmenides and Plato on, prefers answers from mind, intuition, and reason to what we can learn from bodies and matter. Rationalists, idealists, and subjectivists arrayed against positivists, realists, and objectivists – philosophy’s great divide. Becker’s title, What Is Real?, like quantum mechanics itself, hints at philosophical fireworks. A step toward reconciliation or at least a fresh perspective. Maybe even a breakthrough in Logic. But it’s not to be. The promise of originality stifled once again by the sacred premise: “the immediate experiences of the senses.”
It isn’t the responsibility of scientists bound by the iron rule to philosophize about the meaning of quantum mechanics. Their suspicion of mainstream philosophy, likewise body-centered and baffled by quantum mechanics, may be fair. But it doesn’t negate the need for philosophy that’s mind-centered, whose insights from Logic permeate the history of Western and Eastern thought. The difference between body- and mind-centered is the difference between mind closed to logical possibilities and mind open. To be fair to Logic’s heritage, physics needs to acknowledge that its own unexamined faith in the reality of matter is philosophy. It’s the last thing science ought to be: religion.
When matter reaches the level of the Absolute
Plato sought in the ascendance of Mind over the coarseness of body an expression of virtue to match the elegance and beauty of the cosmos, itself an expression of the divinity of the “Good”. If “realism” requires religious faith in bodies’ sensory perception his philosophy could not part with it, yet it was allowed to stand during the iconoclasm perpetrated by the Church. For both clung tenaciously if incongruously to body and to God.
Einstein the realist was moved by the elegance and beauty of the cosmos to express all of Creation in the elegance and beauty of a mathematical formula. Though he failed he remained a deist, believer in a prime mover not otherwise involved in its Creation.
Hawking stuck it to the Church with his no-boundary cosmos: Creation without the need for a Creator. An “atheist” who substitutes one supreme being for another is no atheist. Who substitutes the god of bodies and their sensed environment -- matter, the stuff of physics, which needs no more justification for its elegance and beauty, its divinity, than it’s there -- is no atheist.
All three of these singular minds were engaged in a very human search for God, who found in matter, the cosmos, an expression of what they were looking for: Creation elevated by “realism,” stunning in its unrealism, to the status of its own Creator. The intellectual convenience of not having to part with what seems certain and obvious to believe in what isn’t certain and obvious. Made possible by parting with Logic, the only honest way to question – to think about – anything. Because the only premise Logic will accept, the only “given,” is the sanctity, the inviolability, of the search for Reality and Truth. Not the inviolability of matter, the sanctity of bodies that sense it, but the inviolability and sanctity of Logic.
Logic knows the difference between givens and not-givens
Why, then, is Logic not made the iron rule of thought that would govern the scientific method? Why does the scientific method allow itself to compromise objectivity under the guise of defending it?
The iron rule of all serious thought should be Logic that knows the difference between givens and not-givens. That knows better than to follow physics’ denial of the uncertainty of its founding premise: the premise laid down by Aristotle, that matter is real. Aristotle, who preferred to follow the body into biology rather than the mind into Plato’s philosophy and brought us to quantum mechanics, particle-waves mocking Sherlock Holmes’ bloodhounds. Sniffing their way into mazes from which they can’t sniff their way out.
Is this any improvement on the uncertainties, the “vagueness” of philosophy? Cloaking quantum mechanics in the Copenhagen Interpretation or any other question-begging sophistry may put off the day of reckoning for one profession, but it doesn’t serve the interests of Logic or of humanity, its supposed beneficiary.
Logic is the iron rule of Reality-Creation
Why is Logic the route to Consciousness? To awakening to Reality-Creation?
It would be so if this is one of its primary functions: to sit in judgment on whether the Logic of a Creation qualifies it for entry into Reality. Whether it aligns with the Logic, the perfection, of Reality-Creation. Its authority, its power and ability to govern, rests on the Necessity of its laws of cause and effect. If any trace of imperfection, of illogic, were allowed entry all of Reality-Creation would collapse. If any trace of imperfection penetrated the process of Creation it would stop the process in its tracks. Without the protection of Logic Being might cease to be.
Just as the iron rule of science is there to prevent its contamination, the iron rule of Reality-Creation – Logic – is there to prevent its contamination. The iron rule of science has no validity or force if it does not also incorporate the Necessity of Logic’s laws of cause and effect.
Theories from the Logic of Intuition are science
Logic sorts things out by making distinctions. Distinctions necessary for definitions, definitions necessary to establish roles and relationships so the implications of Logic fit together – interconnect -- logically. Physics that walls itself off from logical implications disables its ability to make distinctions. It renders itself unable to intuit and think logically. It gets stuck in artificial givens. The route to a higher level of the search for Reality-Truth must be cleared of logical obstructions, not cluttered with them.
Electromagnetism and Relativity originated with Michael Faraday’s and Albert Einstein’s intuition -- from their imaginations. They were theories produced by Logic, the same as Democritus intuiting atoms without scientific instruments or experiments.
Give the iron rule of scientific experimentation and explanation, based on sensory perception, its due. Let science submit theories to “proof.” But intuition and theory are just as much “science” as the iron rule. What they owe their legitimacy to is Logic, which is its own iron rule: interconnections of implications that must fit. The fitness and harmony of Logic’s interconnections can’t be obstructed by illogical givens. Taking one side of any open philosophical issue as a given, like the reality or unreality of matter, may do wonders for biases but it does nothing for the search for Reality and Truth.
“In science, only empirical reasoning counts.” (Strevens 205). Let this be true for the narrow definition assigned by Strevens to the iron rule of some science. What is logically implied by other science -- quantum mechanics -- is that empirical reasoning leads to a dead end. No amount of disciplinary rigor can turn contradiction into confluence, chaos into order, singularity into comprehension. Becker has faith that yet more scientific experiments will change that. Yes, and humanity will colonize other planets, and pigs will fly.
So, to be honest, not all of science agrees with Strevens. One kind stands for something quite different: matter not only relational to itself but also relational to mind. Meaning assigned not to any one discipline but to a much broader context: to systems thinking in service to Logic, that requires input from every relevant source. Where physics is relegated to its place in Hawking’s no-boundary universe: one galaxy among many.
How can Logic help physics make sense of quantum mechanics? By abandoning its “quest for knowledge” that can make sense only in terms of the world we have always known. By replacing it with a search for Reality and Truth, guided by Logic, that’s open to understanding – by imagining -- a world we haven’t known. Reality that in a state of unreality may not be “knowable” but can at least be Intuited. Can be understood.
What price a fresh approach?
Just as Becker’s What Is Real? hints at a fresh approach to quantum mechanics, Stevens’ The Knowledge Machine hints at a fresh approach to humanity’s quest for knowledge. But where both argue for carrying on as before Strevens acknowledges that there will be a cost, and humanity can no longer ignore it.
The fresh approach The Knowledge Machine hints at is nothing new:
[A] humanistic ideal of knowing. . . upholds an integrating conception of knowledge, according to which the surest path to the most important truths brings together all sources of insight: philosophical, spiritual, poetic, mathematical, experimental, as well as everyday experience of the world. . . . Although humanism in my sense is amply represented in Renaissance thought, it is far wider in scope. Aristotle, for example, is a paragon of my sort of humanism, mingling philosophical argumentation with observation, explanatory speculation, and a little theology. (Strevens 270-271)
But, citing the example of Newton, Strevens argues that it’s not for science to follow the example of Aristotle:
. . . The personification of science . . . [Isaac] Newton. . . quite deliberately failed to integrate these investigations. . . . It is the Newtonian university’s taciturn specialization that is the better route to knowledge. Whatever is lost through detachment and disregard for the grand view of life is more than recompensed by the narrow, tightly focused beam that searches out the diminutive but telling fact. (Strevens 272)
Logic offers the only possibility for a worldview
What’s new is, in the Anthropocene era, “the diminutive but telling fact” is no match for global issues like climate change. Nor are fields of inquiry pursuing individual agendas. The systems approach that Logic calls for is known by another name:
Interpretation [of the IPCC reports] requires a worldview . . . ‘if we care about the future, we have to learn to engage with subjective analyses.’. . . Science. . . is blind to worldviews altogether. The unstinting focus that results is what makes science so inexorable a stalker of knowledge. To fathom all the knowledge it finds, however, we must bring our subjectivity to the task, looking into the monster’s mind with human eyes. In this one crucial respect, the radical subjectivists are right. (Strevens 289) (emphasis added)
Science is not at all “blind to worldviews.” Its assumption that the universe of spacetime and matter is real is a worldview of the first magnitude. Its view, moreover, that its assumption is beyond question deprives it of intellectual rigor and objectivity. This is what makes the iron rule of science a “monster,” not that it’s a “stalker of knowledge.’ All that it’s “stalking” is what can be learned from Aristotle’s study of matter, by no means a comprehensive “quest for knowledge.” The scope of Knowledge, an attribute of Being, exceeds by far the scope of matter. Science assigning to itself a commanding role in what Aristotle started is logically justifiable. Doing so for the much broader search for Reality and Truth is not.
As for “radical subjectivists,” objectivists and so-called “realists” have had the upper hand in the West and the East going back to Aristotle. Probably forever. So whose worldview got humanity into this mess? Who’s “radical?”
The real mission of science
The case that I’ve begun to make for the universe being an illusion and for the Mind dreaming it being unconscious derives not from unquestioned faith but from Logic. The case that science makes for the reality of the universe derives not from Logic but from subjective sensory perception and unquestioned faith.
The Logic of who the Mind is that’s asleep and dreaming and how it got that way will be explained in a series of blog entries that may become a book. Science doesn’t recognize the relevance of whether the mind pursuing its “quest for knowledge” is Conscious or unconscious. Yet it might find that if it did the mystery of its discoveries would become clear. Until it does change its mind, the rest of us are left in limbo, unable to relate to physics as we once did in Newton’s and Einstein’s time. Waiting for science to make perhaps its greatest discovery: its subjectivity. The great flaw in its reasoning that allows matter to testify to its own reality rather than seeking objectivity through Logic from Intuition.
What might this accomplish? If the unconscious Mind that’s dreaming is us it might help to wake us. For this could be the real mission of science, what it’s been all about since Aristotle: not to install our flawed material universe on the throne of perfection and Reality but to help restore Consciousness by seeing through it. By letting go of it. The logical implications of quantum mechanics and the impossible dream of quantum gravity already have us halfway there. What will get us the rest of the way? Every field of inquiry guided by Logic from Intuition; the same gift ultimately responsible for all our progress. If it’s a given, how can we fail?
The push for integration: a collective effort governed by Logic
The various disciplines – science, philosophy, psychology, theology – seem not to be aware that they can’t be expected to make sense of what they’re finding without context. The search for “meaning” in quantum mechanics through more theories, experiments, and discoveries by physics is the definition of irrationality: doing the same thing and expecting different results. Would it not make more sense to submit the discoveries of physics to Logic that cuts across different fields, so it can fit everything together in a broader context? In the context of the whole system?
Disciplines must rigorously distinguish themselves from other disciplines at an operational level. Resisting contamination by philosophy, psychology, and theology at this level is appropriate for physics. How else can it fashion its own iron rules and rigorously police itself? But doing so at the level of Logic would be obtuse. Logic is the only level where a whole-system context necessary to defining purpose and meaning is possible.
At the level of Logic all disciplines must just as rigorously and aggressively push for integration. For the search for Reality and Truth has come to an inflection point: its evolution from lines of inquiry going it alone operationally, following their own rules, to the addition of a higher layer: a collective effort governed by Logic. Each discipline should be training practitioners in the discipline of Logic to collaborate not compete. To fit discoveries and insights into a whole system context. Without it there can be no “we” to undertake the work that needs to be done. To think collectively. As community. As family. In other words, to think logically. The survival of humanity may require no less.
Adam Becker, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics (Basic Books 2018)
Carlo Rovelli, Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity (Riverhead Books 2017)
Michael Strevens, The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science (Liveright Publishing 2020)