Bleak House and Goodness

In many ways Charles Dickens’ Bleak House could be considered a thesis on goodness –goodness as a basic, human trait.

There is no evil in the book as such, just varying degrees of goodness: the good, the very good, the not-so-good and the absolute failures at goodness. Failing at goodness, or being bad, is not the same thing as being evil. Failing at being good still aspires to the good, whereas evil has a marked intention to destroy, or at least sully, all goodness.

From our perspective, Dickens’ thesis may seem naïve, but that is undoubtedly because our contemporary world has a far more cynical view of humanity than the 19th century did. Instead of going beyond good and evil , and despite all our relativity, we seem to be more immersed in the polarity between benevolence and malevolence than ever before, today our narratives are full of evil criminals, serial killers, psychopathic mafias, and deranged, corrupt politicians.

In Dickens’ work, if there is a contrast of models it is between Bleak House and Chesney Wold. Bleak House represents purposeful goodness, while at Chesney Wold a kind of purposeless, hedonistic nihilism reigns. Comparing this to our own world, we could say that it is the spirit of the Chesney Wold that has triumphed, seeping out of the confines of the manor to infect all levels of society. Today, there is the same Chesney Wold feel in the apartment blocks of the middle and working classes as there is in the palatial halls of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat.

Personally, I do not think Dickens was being naïve in his thesis on goodness. It is clear that to be good one needs to adopt an attitude and that circumstances determine how easily that attitude can be adopted. Humanity, therefore, will be very good as long as it can be. When society, civilisation, or simple fortune do not allow goodness then, yes, the good attitude will crack and fail, and a society of failures at being good will be formed, and this will fester until it turns into something genuinely evil. Buried in Dickens’ work, therefore, is a development of the following basic idea: humanity will progress, as humanity, only when individual human beings are provided with the means to fulfil their own human potential. In Bleak House it is all about developing our human potential to be good.

Dickens probably wrote Bleak House because he had seen how this ethical development of humanity was being trampled on by the juggernaut of anti-humanity economics. If ethics is a human concern, the political development of our capitalist-enslaved economic system is a movement away from all general concerns toward our humanity. We hear the terms freedom and democracy bandied around constantly, but in actual fact, both of these concepts lack authentic humanitarian weight in this anti-ethical civilisation that capitalism has spawned.     

Reality is a Becoming (The Metaphysics of Being Human)

Reality is a process of becoming.

Humanity can only be real if it is allowed to participate in the process of becoming.

Humanity can only be perceived as real when it is seen to be participating in a process of becoming.

For a process of becoming to take place there has to be an idea of that which will be at the end of the process, and this is true whether or not the process of becoming is expected to ever reach that end.

This ideal at the end of the process is the purpose of the process.

The human process of becoming, therefore, is a purposive process.

Through the purposive process, humanity gives meaning – through purpose – to reality.

Like humanity, an individual can only be seen to be real if he or she is allowed to participate in the process of becoming, which is the human, purposive process of becoming.

Likewise, societies, which are conglomerates of individuals, are only real if they can provide the means by which all of its members are made capable of participating in the process of becoming.

The concept of ‘the process of becoming’ contains the idea of continuation. It is a continual process until the ideal at the end of the process is reached.

For the process of becoming to be real it must, therefore, also take into consideration the need to maintain the continuation of the process. Anything that threatens to break the continuation of the process or paralyses it should be considered negative, erroneous and bad.

For any process to be considered a human process, it must encompass all of humanity.

A just process of becoming for humanity will be one that makes humanity possible and necessary.

Humanity cannot be measured against itself or its parts, and this means that human possibility and necessity have to be in relation to humanity-in-the-world and, subsequently, to the Universe.

For humanity to begin a process of becoming in the world it needs to understand that the perpetuation of the world as a home is a crucial element behind the planning and process of any becoming.    

Certainty and the Fine-tuned Universe

One of the many paradoxes underlying our nihilist age, is our need for certainty in order to be able to believe, although this could also be seen, not as a paradoxical condition enveloped in nihilism, but rather as an end result of that same nihilism. The very fact that everything is relative makes us yearn for that which the relativity denies us, and that is certainty. When everything is equally meaningful and therefore meaningless, a need for authentic meaning (i.e., certainty) becomes vital. Belief itself is not enough to believe in things anymore.  

Cosmological Fine Tuning [i] has taken us one step closer to believing in the unbelievable by opening the door of certainty to the question of the deterministic universe or, the purposeful cosmos. What Cosmological Fine Tuning (CFT) suggests is that the Universe is too specifically controlled to be purely accidental. And if it is not purely accidental then it has to have been programmed in some way – either by a God-like entity, or by the Universe itself.

But even if we affirm that ‘yes, the Universe has certainly been programmed,’ we cannot say with any certainty that it has been programmed by a God-like figure. We cannot move from programmed to programmer without leaping over self-programming, although those cosmologists who wanted to avoid the idea of any determinism whatsoever came up with the escape of the Infinite Multiverse that would bring even the finely tuned Universe back into the field of accidents, and, as such, return it to the framework of nihilistic reasonability again.

Science abhors determinism because it suspects that if it did prove that everything is derived from a blueprint (traditionally attributed to the handiwork of God), science would be thrown out of the window by the same design it had given certainty to. But how valid is this fear of determinism when applied to the case of Cosmological Fine Tuning?

One of the main reasons for the existence of determinist-phobia lies in the fact that a pre-planned cosmos implies the existence of destiny and, subsequently, a loss of free-will, for if the Universe is fine-tuned in order to make a certain, desirable future possible, then we cannot alter that fact. However, CFT does not imply that at all. What CFT suggests is that the Universe is ordered in such a way that has allowed conditions for life to be made possible. And if we consider the complexity of conditions needed to allow the existence of complex life-forms in our cosmos, we find that, even with CFT the experiment has been a very tenuous one, the success of which depends more on chance than on necessary results. So, while CFT implies a purposeful aim to the Universe through fine tuning, the accomplishment of that goal is, in the practical sense, shaky. It is certainly not destiny-unfolding and deterministic in an omnipotent God-like sense. In fact, it may very well be certain that complex life in the Universe is extremely rare (the Rare Earth hypothesis).

If things have been programmed to make life possible in the Universe then, yes, we know it has been successful, for our existence is proof of that success. But our certainty can only make that affirmation in a minimal way, and, in order for the life experiment that the Universe is fine-tuned for to work, the cosmos had to be made enormous in order for the minimal chances of success to bare fruition. And even that success itself hangs on a very fine thread over the yawning abyss of absolute failure.

Once the slim chances of success in this fine-tuned but still essentially chaotic Universe are calculated, then the image of the omnipotent creator and the destiny-filled blueprint of determinism is drastically diminished. The enormous fragility of creating and preserving complex life-forms only indicates one thing – CFT helps life by creating conditions in which it is made possible, but it gives no certain guarantee of it. Without CFT life would be impossible, but that does not mean that life has to emerge with it.

In other words, even with CFT, the accidental and co-incidental still plays a major role in reality. We still have free will. What CFT gives us, however, is a firm grip on reality. It tells us that the creation of complex life is a fundamental purpose for the Universe itself, and because of that it points toward what human purposiveness should be. It is an affirmation of humanistic anthropocentricism and gives us a purposive pointer toward what our positive role in the Universe could be. Firstly, to survive, because without complex life-forms in the cosmos the Universe has no purpose for its existence, and secondly to develop our civilisation in harmony with the necessities implied by the imperative of that survival.

Cosmological Fine Tuning provides a simple but profound reason for existence, which, in a metaphysically reasoned way, provides a basis that can make the certainty of existential convictions concrete. Its simple but profound idea lies in its affirmation that yes, a purposeful meaning to the Universe certainly exists. And it is from this simple thesis that we should develop our greater ethical beliefs that are so necessary now to lift us beyond this age of nihilism into a meaningful future perfectly tuned-in to the fine-tuned cosmos around us.      


[i] Cosmological Fine Tuning, is a cosmological concept which implies that the Universe is deliberately fine-tuned in a way that makes the creation of life possible. We have discussed this idea and the humanistic purposefulness embodied in it in many of the articles posted on this site. Here are some links to a few more of our own many articles related to this theory:

Our Specialness | pauladkin (wordpress.com)

Cosmological Purposiveness | pauladkin (wordpress.com)

Moral Teleology | pauladkin (wordpress.com)

Truth & Context

Truth depends on context. We can say this pen is for writing and that is the pen’s truth, but what it will write, and how and why it writes, will depend on the context (the hand) it is placed in. Of course, there are contexts imaginable in which the pen may never be used at all, or never used again, and when it runs out of ink it becomes purposeless and must be either refilled or thrown away. What this shows us is that truth is made fragile by being placed in a context which has no intention of putting it to its proper use.   

Contexts are never absolutely permanent things: truths may be established that are devoid of purposes (the truth is we don’t need anything), but it is more likely that they are tied to purpose and needs (we need to develop our humanity), or non-needs (we need to have less crime).

Purposes and needs give truth more weightiness and form, making it easier to grasp and accept.

The current general context for truth that we find ourselves in is directly conditioned by three major factors: at the immediate surface area is the constant flow of the capitalist economy and its expansionist will, but this plane has been currently swamped by the condition of the pandemic, while underneath this superficial lies the much deeper systemic problem related to the fragility of our eco-system. It is this triple-faceted context that gives truth today its awkward complexity and, because of that complexity, makes it muddy with relativity and opens the door to Fake News.

Nevertheless, the climate emergency is such a serious, indeed existential crisis that all honesty has to affirm that we live in an era conditioned by that greater, underlying necessity. And, whether we want to look below the surface of the system or not, it is this great necessity that is our basic common truth, the truth that our contemporary context is inevitably tied to.

When necessity arises, the right action is also to stand before it, deal with it, and, if the possibility is discovered, resolve it. And, when the necessity is great, this is truth is amplified. Like it or not, this is the deadly-serious kind of truth our context has given us.  

EREIGNIS – Mutual Conditioning

If, as quantum theory suggests, everything is interconnected, then we should also probably assume that from this interconnection there must also arise an evolutionary, mutual conditioning that would ultimately strive for a positive unfolding for the benefit of that self-same everything.

In philosophy, this idea of the interconnected universe runs rife through much of oriental philosophy, but also through Platonic and Pythagoras’ ideas in the west, Medieval and Renaissance ideas of the Macrocosm and Microcosm, Alchemical theories and New Age philosophies of holistic health and harmony. In Heidegger’s philosophy, for example, mutual conditioning is not merely an Esse ist percipi, Subject-Object relationship, it is a fourfold thing between “earth, sky, mortals and divinity.”

For Heidegger, mutual conditioning takes place as an Ereignis, which Dreyfuss defined as “things coming into themselves by belonging together.” In other words, we become what we can be according to how the other elements of the fourfold relationship allow that becoming to take place. But, Ereignis is not a simple one-way process in which humanity takes from the Universe what it can in order to fulfil its own ambitions, the earth and sky also “comes into themselves” through humanity.

For this reason, we see Heidegger’s fourfold concept of Ereignis as an elaboration on, and a further development of the idea of Esse ist percipi or a Western approximation of the Oriental idea that everything is One. Yet Heidegger’s concept also contains a more purposeful seed than the relativistic nihilisms implied by most eastern philosophies. We are not just a part of the whole, we actually take part in a positive, progressive, and creative process of coming into ourselves, while at the same time allowing the rest of the Universe to come into itself as well. If Esse ist percipi allows Being to occur, then it is Ereignis that permits the existence of meaning within that Being. This is because, if there is no mutual conditioning, things just do not matter.

We believe that technology should also be brought into this fold, for, by placing it there, we can also see the enormous responsibilities that it has and, at the same time, also make clearer the great responsibilities resting on humanity’s shoulders as creators, programmers and manipulators of those technologies.

The mutual conditioning that takes place between humanity and the world is one of Esse ist percipi on one level, which in Heidegger’s terms is realised through the process of discovery or uncovering that humanity makes of the world and that bears the conditions necessary for humans to exist.

Human technologies, of course, are a fundamental element that allows this uncovering to take place by giving us the means to make deeper and deeper analogies and calculations regarding the fabric of the world and the Universe that envelops everything. Nevertheless, the use of these technologies, and the uncovering process itself, must never jeopardise humanity’s fundamental role on Earth, which is to act as the protector of the planet, not its violator: a role which we have largely lost sight of precisely because of the perverse spell that our own Faustian relationship with the technology created by us has woven. But there is a positive side to this debacle, as the tragic consequences of this enchantment are being made more apparent day by day. If we are to protect our world from our own seemingly irreversible, smothering growth, and preserve it, we need an advanced technology to accomplish this, and that technology must be created in a way that will not bring further harm.

Technology only has the purposes we have created it for, and because of this, human purposiveness is vital if we are to be capable of inventing technologies that really matter, fulfilling a positive role within the mutual-conditioning fold of the Ereignis.    

After the Death of God

1. THE SITUATION

1.1.0 The death of God opened the door for two natural heirs: humanity and technology.

1.1.1 We embraced the latter at the expense of the former.

1.1.2 We live in a technological age that seems more embarrassed by our humanity than inspired by it.

1.2.1 The Bill of Human Rights was a great step forward unto the healing of our collective cancer, but it has been used as a band-aid to cover up little gashes rather than being employed in a surgical way to extirpate the malignant tumour that is eating us away.

1.3.0 After the death of God, faith has been invested in technology at the expense of humanity.

1.4.0 The loss of God should never have been interpreted as a liberation from responsibilities. Quite the opposite, it should have empowered us with our own human purpose and the duties that such a purposiveness brought with it.

1.4.1 The loss of God obliged us to search for a new kind of faith and we threw all our belief into the basket of novel technologies, while at the same time leaving our faith in humanity abandoned in a grimy basement that we never visit, where we have locked away all utopias.

2. THE CONSEQUENCES

2.1.0 Despite this situation, humanity has always been the obvious candidate to replace God. So obvious that we cannot see it. Or perhaps it is because humanity has always been God’s natural rival, i.e., that God was created when we lost faith in humanity.

2.2.0 While technology should be at the service of humanity in the human purposive quest to become gods, the opposite has occurred, and humanity seems to operate in a cyborg fashion for the benefit of technology.

2.3.0 Technology has created our unbearable lightness of being, a being that needs to be anchored again and given weightiness through human purposiveness.

2.3.1 This new human meaning can be found through the necessity which is our groaning relationship with the planet – a need for reconciliation with our natural environment – but it can also be granted more firmness and form by embracing the purposiveness implied by our humanity.

3. THE EXISTENTIAL ILLUSION OF TECHNOLOGY

3.1.0 Technology in many instances repudiates humanity, although this is not essentially the case.

3.2.0 Technology and humanity are inextricably linked.

3.2.1 The progressive evolution of homo sapiens can only be via the technologies that it has created. However, for technology to have an existential purpose such a reason for being can only come through the existential purposiveness of humanity.

3.2.2 Technology becomes meaningless once it is divorced from humanity.

4. THESIS AND ANTI-THESIS

(THESIS 1)

4.1.0 Having faith in technology leaves us empty, but having faith in humanity is fulfilling, and we get a purposeful technology in the same deal.

4.1.1 Faith is humanity is a win/win deal.

(APPENDIX TO THESIS 1)

4.2.0 We have technologies now that are capable of abolishing our sense of place, that can be used to unite human beings, even across vast physical spaces, and these could be an important tool for cementing our human consciousness and combatting dangerous regionalisms and nationalisms.

(ANTI-THESIS)

4.3.0 Technologies have been applied more to the idea of segregation and separation of humanity than toward any unification. This is an absurd but unquestionable fact.

5. CONCLUSION

5.0 For faith in humanity to triumph (our win/win scenario) the internet has to be immunised from malicious anti-human segregation and geared toward helping humanity identify with itself as a species in order to foster the subsequent, invested meaning that identity brings with it. In this way, humanity as a whole will be able to transcend the anti-human perception of the local space and the tribal ideologies driving our regional self-introspections.

5.1 By abolishing our sense of place, technology has opened the door for us to see that our authentic place is in the world and that our true identity is as human beings.

5.2 Ultimately, to be authentic, we always must be humans.    

POWER AFTER THE PANDEMIC

In 1977, Jacques Attali published Noise, the Political Economy of Music, in which he argued that “Listening to music is listening to all noise, realising that its appropriation and control is a reflection of power, that it is essentially political.”[i] In this thesis, Attali relates music to power through the common ground of organising dissonance, and argues that “music moves more quickly than economics and politics, and hence prefigures new social relations.”[ii] According to Attali it is sounds and their arrangements rather than colours and forms that fashion societies.

If this is true, then perhaps we need to take the current state of music creation during lockdown into consideration before making any analytical predictions of the political and economic evolution in the postpandemic period.

In our article Preliminary Notes on the dawning Postpandemic Era, posted on this blogsite,[i] we argued that the postpandemic era has already been formed through social and psychological changes enforced on those experiencing the restrictions and disciplines of strict lockdown and quarantines. Self-discipline has always been a requisite of any artistic process, and many artists (the ones we will call the postpandemic artists) lockdown was found to be, not a restrictive experience, but actually a liberating one. Therefore, following on from Attali’s argument, postpandemic art is all about appropriation and control, which is a reflection of power and so, essentially, it is political. And, as all political discourse is a sonorous communication, its power residing in the skill of arrangements, like musical arrangements, society-fashioning musical arrangements if you like, then politics is all about sound, and, consequently, the music generated by the lockdown experience will be political in its essence.

Of course, these days in politics we get more reboant noise than any nice, harmonic compositions that could be regarded as musical, and this is worrying because this cacophony reveals an underlying chaos, the underlying chaos that is the universe, by which we mean the authentic reality of this universe, which is a quantum, chaotic state. Music is the form that the rational, conscious mind gives to the chaos of reality that is the noise.

Capitalism, and the power that lies behind the economy, pulling the strings, had almost taken full control of the power wielded by music in the last century. Its power was dented in the 90s by the democratising potentials of digital production tools and the Indie movement toward more democratic appropriations of the industry, and the self-disciplining effect of lockdowns has been able to cut another significant gash in that enormous machine of control. The postpandemic artist exercises his or her own appropriation of the control of noise that is the power of music, by creating, producing, and distributing (performing) their own musical arrangements outside of the normal mechanisms of control which safeguarded itself by keeping itself out of reach from the majority of creators, rendering that same majority quite impotent.


Lockdown, however, has invested artists with a new self-confidence and self-discipline that transcends the barriers of the market. The result of this reflection and the artistic movement that will inevitably spring from it is sowing the seeds for a new vision of reality beyond the current, nihilistic paradigm we are so dangerously languishing in. From this new art will evolve new attitudes to technology, which will need a new economy and that will bring about a new society, the postpandemic society of the very near future.           

[i] Preliminary Notes on the dawning Postpandemic Era | pauladkin (wordpress.com)

 

      


[i] From AUDIO CULTURE: READINGS IN MODERN MUSIC (REVISED EDITION) Edited by Cristoph Cox and David Warner, p. 32 (epub edition)

[ii] Ibid (Editor’s note)

[iii] Preliminary Notes on the dawning Postpandemic Era | pauladkin (wordpress.com)

The Historical Process of Metaphysics

Heidegger identified four different historical periods that mark the evolution, or de-evolution, of metaphysical thought:

  1. The Greek, with its emphasis on the physis or self-arising nature;  
  2. The Medieval, centred in God’s creation;
  3. The Modern, where beings became objects that could be understood and controlled through scientific analysis and calculations;
  4. The Technological, which is an extension of the modern era, in which that which is understood (by science) is made constantly available for flexible reconfiguration, allowing things to be maximally exploitable.[i]

At the moment we are on the brink of a new era, born out of a necessity in which the concept of the maximally exploitable is proving to be undesirable, if not dangerously erroneous. The peril of the Technological Age, is that it is generated by the very fact that we have reached the limits of that maximum in terms of our ability to exploit the non-renewable resources available to us (we include here the exploitation of humans as machines of production). At the same time that we spin away from this existential threat, quantum theories of waveforms and spooky science combined with cosmological calculations and theories of a fine-tuned Universe, twist the line of evolution around and push us toward the metaphysics of the self-arising Universe again. But it is not a backward shift, rather it is as if we have turned the full 360º of the circle and we are starting a new cycle from the original point of departure.

Our progress into the fifth period of metaphysics (E) is a combination of the The Greek and The Modern and it demands a radical revaluation of technologies (and economies) that will be able to exploit without depletion by learning how to effectively manipulate that which is renewable. Via a development of faith in the ecological future of humanity, a faith in Humanity, with a capital H, will also be engendered, putting that Humanity at the centre of the new era of metaphysics, and so E) will be the metaphysical era of Humanity-in-the-world, with Humanity, rather than the individual, becoming the relational centre but a fulcrum with a self-conscious dependency on that which it is the centre of.

In this way, technology will become an instrument, not of exploitation, but of partnership with the world. The New Era technology will be created with a metaphysical view of our background. A metaphysics derived from calculation and analysis – a science of the essence of everything.

The Zeitgeist is changing.


[i] These references come from Mark A. Wrathall, HEIDEGGER AND UNCONCEALMENT: Truth, Language and History, CUP, pp. 181-182.

What is reality? (Part Two)

(continued from Part One: WHAT IS REALITY? (Part One) | pauladkin (wordpress.com) )

Human beings as sapiens entities are an integral and essential part of any ontological process involved in the actual nature of things, for it is through sentient beings like humanity that the otherwise chaotic Universe can make itself manifest.

Traditionally, religious-minded philosophy, and indeed Berkeley, who was a bishop himself, while passionately defending the necessary relationship between perception and existence, undermined the importance of humanity in its relationship with the Universe by placing the entire manifesting process in the hands (or eyes) of God. Leibniz, for example, who had brilliant intuitions concerning the quantum nature of the Universe, argued that the reality of a thing must come from something that itself has a reality, which, if we look at this idea through the prism of quantum physics, means that a perceiving entity is needed to make the chaos manifest as form, and that once sentient organisms had been created, either through accident or through a quantum type of will – quantum mechanics tells us that quantum particles or wave forms carry awareness of each other and even memory – then through the perception of these sentient organisms a process of unfolding takes place, allowing for the steady unfolding of universal manifestation which is still ongoing; a process now generated not by God, but by the perceptions of finite minds.

What this means is that the Universe is always in a constant state of becoming – or at least as long as sentient beings exist in the Universe – but also that the Universe as we perceive it may be radically different in form to that experienced by other kinds of extra-terrestrial beings that have understood the Universe by perceiving it with different types of sensorial organs or through different kinds of environments. Even on Earth, the reality manifest to an octopus is undoubtedly radically different to that experienced by humans. This indicates that the Universe’s manifestation is by no means a singularity and that it is in fact a manifestation on multiple levels that co-exist with each other, but which are invisible or unperceived by different kinds of sentient beings immersed in that co-existence.

This enormous relativity of ontological manifestations, which we will never be wholly aware of, does not diminish the purposefulness of humanity’s own role within the Universe, or at least as long as our own relationship with ourselves does not drift us so far into nihilistic projects of purposelessness that the Universe we make manifest becomes as useless as the chaos from which it is derived. If the elementary, authentic chaotic quantum form of the Universe can possess a will, it would be for the order that its own chaos lacks. And in this sense, Leibniz may well have been unwittingly describing a quantum condition when he spoke of the different points of view of his own elementary particles called monads, as a ‘means of obtaining as much variety as possible, but with the greatest order possible.’[i] By making itself manifest through the perceptions of rational, finite minds, the Universe also realises what it so desperately lacks – the great variety of forms coexisting in an orderly fashion.        


[i] Leibniz, Monadology, #58

WHAT IS REALITY? (Part One)

Philosophy and science have always had a profound love of questioning our view of reality, to such an extent that we could affirm that ontological doubt is part of the essence of what philosophy and science are. Any love of knowledge has to be prepared to assume, as Socrates did, that what we think we know is really fundamentally wrong, and it is only when one is capable of making that assertion that any meaningful philosophy and science can take place.

Stephen Hawking talked about our being at the end of knowing because he predicted that very shortly we would know everything about the physical laws of the Universe and that this would bring about the death of philosophy – although what Hawking did not contemplate was that a complete understanding of the mysteries of the Universe would also bring about the death of science.

Philosophy tries to grasp reality through the discipline of reason, and science takes that reason one step further by conducting physical experiments that can prove what the deductions to their theoretical reasonings have been pointing to. Of course, philosophy and science are different disciplines, but, in a Venn diagram display, they are also subsets that overlap, and they are both enclosed in a larger set – the art of questioning.

To tackle specific questions like how does an earthworm procreate, or what is the molecular composition of water, we would turn to science, while the bigger questions such as what is justice or does God exist, lend themselves to the logical deductions of philosophy – or at least, that is how we have traditionally operated when applying the art of questioning to our world and our existence in that world. Nevertheless, with the development of cosmological exploration combined with the pursuit of understanding the quantum mechanics of the Universe, science has started to delve into the once seemingly impossible areas of knowledge that were once considered the metaphysical realm, reserved for the spiritual contemplation of monks and prophets and were the great mystical factories of religious contemplation and thought about God.

Quantum mechanics is one of the most bizarre and challenging fields of questioning that our minds have ever devised as it is full of seemingly illogical conclusions, such as the idea of nonlocality, or the fact that subatomic particles and wave forms exist in different consecutive states until they are observed, and that they possess awareness and memory. Ironically, it is the almost equally bizarre notions of certain philosophical contemplations that can help us fathom the real scope of the quantum scientists’ invasion of the metaphysical field. In order to unfold the mysteries of the quantum it helps to contemplate them through the prism of certain philosophical ideas that these physics of the invisible are related to.

For example, in quantum wave theory the physicist Bohm describes reality as we perceive it as a mere abstraction of the truly chaotic form of authentic reality. In a sense, the reality we perceive is an illusion that is generated by the limited perception of our senses. And this idea is an echo of what Plato affirmed in his famous cave allegory, in which, Plato argued, the reality we perceive is really but a shadow of the true state of the Universe, created by a light that is invisible to us, a light which is, as in Bohm’s statement, modified by our perception of it.

However, there is a major difference between Plato’s allegory and Bohm’s theory: for Plato the authentic reality is an illumination and a truth that we need to look for, through a contemplation that allows us to see beyond the illusion that we call reality, but Bohm’s quantum reality is in itself a chaotic, formless state which would be fairly meaningless even to any god. It is certainly not a state that any human could wish to fully exist in, because all existence in it would be annihilated. It is only the creation of the albeit, illusionary forms, fashioned by our perception that any meaning and purpose can be infused within the Universe, and in this way we actually have a reversal of Platonic idealism. There are no authentic forms implanted in human minds by the gods, the authenticity is chaos, and the forms of reality we have are our creations, configuring the muddled state of reality and subjecting it to the limits of our organs of perception that need to make sense of the chaos in order to allow us to exist in that disorder.

It is also interesting to look at the quantum view of reality through the prism of Berkeley’s form of idealism, which basically stated that nothing exists until it is perceived. The idea that quantum particles exist in a chaotic state until they are perceived could be seen as a scientific affirmation of Berkeley’s logical deduction. According to quantum physics, observation has a manifesting effect on the quantum field. It is the perception and observation of the quantum that makes the quantum manifest in forms. Reality, as we know it, becomes manifest when it can be revealed by conscious, rational minds through conscious, rational perception.

Now, if we switch our point-of-view and instead of looking at quantum science through Idealism we observe Idealism through the filter of quantum mechanics, then we clearly see that without sentient agents to make reality concrete, the real operates in a state of completely purposeless chaos. Making reality concrete or manifest through the structuring that perception gives it is the first step towards making it purposeful.

(TO BE CONTINUED)