Hi and Welcome to newcomers! I share this and another letter that
present my progress in my own personal investigation which is "How does
the knowledge of everything unfold?" I want to encourage us to likewise
share our "thinking out loud". We don't have to understand each other's
work, but instead try to understand each other as people, and how we
might share our good energy and stimulate each other accordingly. I
respond to a letter by Martin Wurzinger at my own working group, Living
Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt
Thank you for your very thoughtful reply to my latest thinking on "how
does the knowledge of everything unfold?" I looked briefly at your site
and I look forward to engaging you. What
questions are you currently working on?
I'm writing from Chicago where I am staying with David Ellison-Bey. I
didn't get to visit Christopher Langan because his schedule changed. So
I am focusing on my own work. I did, however, have a wonderfully
encouraging conversation in Santa Cruz with Nancy Glock-Gruenich
She is a philosopher of education. I am
interested that she lead a working group on her deepest value "creating
the conditions for bringing out the best in us" and her question "What
are the conditions that bring out the best in us and how can we create
them as the basic structure of our society?" She will be able to decide
in a couple of months. I have signed her up for Pamela McLean's working
group Learning From Each Other. Franz Nahrada and I are excited to
think through with all of our help a vision for education.
I also met a few other people who do think in terms of "going beyond
oneself" from the unbounded into the bounded. Paolo Soleri is the
architect of the eco-city Arcosanti http://www.arcosanti.org
Arizona. I attended his weekly "School of Thought". His deepest value
is "self-creating reality" and he is documenting his many thoughts on
that. In Silicon Valley I met Mark Comings who has joined us at our
Living By Truth working group. His deepest value is "the optimization
of the radiance of unconditional love", which is to say, "reducing the
impedence of the evolutionary thrust within being to be everything that
it is possible to be". His question is "Is evil and infection that we
can recover from or is it an inescapable feature of the nature of
mind?" Mark also encouraged me to learn about the thinking of
psychologist Arnie Mendel in Portland, Oregon.
Martin, your points are very subtle, perceptive and helpful. You write:
"The only problem I have with this is the idea of such a super set
superseding itself. The only way I could reconcile this with the
logic applied so far is by assuming we are dealing with a super set
that is in the process of unfolding. In this case the "beyond" would
be the next phase to be instantiated. But what happens to the current
state then - does it now become bounded in turn, so that it may
preserve the established hierarchy? Or, to use your nomenclature, are
we faced with a succession of major and minor gods? Or, on the other
hand, are we, in our evolutionary travels, egging on God to stay ahead
I think you understand me and (although you use the word "or") I would
answer Yes to all your questions. I think of God as (an; the; our)
initial reference point and Everything (the superset) as the structure
of God. Structurally, God and everything may be considered basically
the same, in that they have the same structure. But the enormous
difference is that God has structure whereas Everything is structure.
God is spirit, which is to say, God is a reference point outside of any
system, whereas Everything is the system of all systems. The process of
unfolding calls God into question in all the ways that you suggest. It
opens up the possibility that there are perspectives which may serve as
alternate reference points, perhaps completely independent. It
continuously negates God and so increasingly weighs on his capacity to
account for more with less. It substitutes for him with a succession of
lesser "gods" that stand in for im: I, You, Other. It expects im to
keep up with us and even those who are ahead of us. And only if e is
able to meet all these expectations and exhaust their implications, then
will e have validated imself as a reference point outside of our
system. Except that we may, exhausted, or ahead of ourselves, admit to
such a reference point even as it unfolds, and so its reality snowballs.
Recently, I have found it helpful to separate the "facts" and the
"theory". The facts are various structures that we observe in life as
limits on our minds. They include:
- Everything, a concept given by four properties: No external context,
no internal structure, the simplest algorithm (which accepts all
things), and a required concept (we can't acquire it or get rid of it).
- Divisions of everything (such as into two perspectives: opposites
coexist & all things are the same; or into three perspectives: take a
stand & follow through & reflect; or into four perspectives: whether &
what & how & why).
- Representations (by which we conceive divisions, relate to them as
wholes, for example, "free will" and "fate" is a representation of the
division of everything into two perspectives).
- Topologies (by which we conceive the distinct parts of divisions, they
serve as the backdrops of our imaginations). They are: be, do, think;
one, all, many; object, process, subject; necessary, actual, possible.
- Activities (languages) for narration (how things come to happen),
verbalization (how things come to mean), argumentation (how things come
to matter). Structurally, these are shifts that take us from the 8
divisions to the 12 topologies to the 6 representations and so.
- Four structures which map out our "intuition" as just slightly larger
than our minds. Each has seven perspectives and an eighth that takes us
beyond our system. The operating principles address our needs, the
counterquestions address our doubts, the ways of getting things done
address our emotional responses, and the life choices address our trials.
I need to describe these structures in great detail. I do have notes at:
All of these structures can be observed, explored and documented in a
variety of ways including observing one's own limits through
introspection, noting recurring themes and structures in the history of
philosophy, categorizing the perspectives that arise as one empathizes
with first hand accounts regarding some question, and analyzing how such
structures reference each other and themselves. These structures are
limits of the mind and as such they are "real" and would need to be
accounted for by any "theory".
I have collected the "facts" for some twenty-five years and these last
seven years or so have focused on developing a "theory" that would
account for them. The advantage of a theory is that it lets us be clear
as to what we are claiming. A good theory lets us precisely define the
structures so that we can test as to what is fact and what is fancy. A
good theory opens up the ways in which facts might be collected and
considered. This is why at this point I am focusing on a theory. I
expect it to provide useful guidance for understanding the activities of
argumentation and verbalization. I have a good model of narration and I
think they will all be related.
My theory considers how God, as the Willing, ever goes beyond himself
into the Nonwilling. I will share this in a separate letter.