Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Inner Universe: Fundamental Science or Fundamentalism - Wilberg on Wednesday
In an age in which rigid religious fundamentalisms coexist uneasily with no less rigid scientific fundamentalisms - including both biological and quantum-physical reductionism - is it anymore possible to articulate a fundamentally new understanding of both science and religion - a new metaphysics that is at the same time a fundamental physics and a fundamental psychology, a fundamental biology and a fundamental theology? This is the challenge that Fundamental Science takes up.
In an age in which post-modernism has relativised the words and works of the world's greatest thinkers, from Heraclitus to Heidegger, and our universities have reduced them to slots in an academic curriculum, can one propound a fundamentally new philosophy? To do so may be culturally and academically 'incorrect'. But this too is a challenge that Fundamental Science takes up.
In doing so it questions not only the basic metaphysical assumptions of physical sciences, but also those of biological medicine and genetic psychiatry, the latter being the most obvious and widespread application of a thoroughly outdated, primitive, causalistic understanding of the human body. The physics beyond physics or 'meta-physics' of Fundamental Science provides the theoretical and practical foundations for a medicine beyond medicine, a 'meta-medicine' that challenges the reduction of the human being to the human body and brain. In doing so it offers a radical alternative to the ever-increasing use of biotechnology, a technology whose sole aim, besides corporate profit, is the annihilation of all bodily and behavioural expressions of individual and social dis-ease.
Fundamental Science is not an eclectic, New Age mish-mash of quantum physics with rehashed Eastern mysticisms. Nor is 'meta-medicine' merely a form of 'alternative' medicine, but a Fundamental Medicine - a radical rethinking of the nature of health and the human body as such. Its basis is a Fundamental Biology, which, like its counterparts - Fundamental Physics, Fundamental Psychology and the other Fundamental Sciences - are not simply separate fields of Fundamental Science, but the diverse expression of a set of Fundamental Dynamics common to all - a field-dynamics of awareness as such, in which all physical phenomena we are aware of, are understood as the expression of patterned field-qualites of awareness or qualia Fundamental Science is not quantum physics but cosmic qualia science. As such it represents a rethinking of the fundamental nature of science, scientific method and scientific research, a Copernican revolution in fundamental science and fundamental research that I call The Qualia Revolution - the transition from quantum physics to a cosmic qualia psychology.
The result of over thirty years of phenomenological research and conceptual refinement, it offers a fundamentally new understanding of what mass and energy, light and gravity essentially are - showing that the outer, extensional universe of space-time has its source in a non-extensional or inner universe. This inner universe is composed not of quanta but of qualia, not of extensional or energetic fields but of intensional and inergetic ones - field-patterns and qualities, densities and intensities of awareness as such. Fundamental Science, as cosmic qualia science, is a comprehensive conceptual framework that encompasses fundamental dimensions of both physics and psychology - uniting them through a unified field-dynamic understanding of awareness or subjectivity as such.
Drawing on the Spiritual Science of Rudolf Steiner, the Dialectic Phenomenology of Michael Kosok, Rupert Sheldrake's theory of Morphic Resonance and Eugene Gendlin's philosophy of directly experienced meaning or Felt Sense, Fundamental Science provides a methodological bridge between quantitative, empirical research and qualitative experiential or 'phenomenological research', between theoretical and experimental science on the one hand, and theosophical or 'spiritual-scientific' research on the other. It offers new qualitative methods of Fundamental Research - qualia research - which require no instrument but the researcher's own organism, understood as an body of awareness composed of organising field-patterns of awareness. Qualia research is conducted through dyadic field-resonance between two researchers, whose results can be validated, as in the physical sciences through comparing the experiences of different pairs of researchers.
Today both science and religion stand at a threshold, both having failed to provide an account of the fundamental nature of reality. In place of a fundamental science we have instead various forms of fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalisms identify the fundamental nature of reality with their own all-too-human and culturally specific symbols of this reality, presented in the form of mythological stories. Meanwhile, science has retreated into its own form of quasi-religious fundamentalism, identifying the fundamental nature of reality with its formal representation in mathematical symbols and relationships. Religious accounts of fundamental reality have always taken speech and language - the word - as the highest expression of the inner order of the universe, what the Greeks called its logos. Our current concept of 'science' on the other hand, presents an account of this logos based not on language but on number, on counting and on quantitative mathematical accounting. The Greek verb legein, from which both the ancient concept of the logos and modern scientific terms such as 'logic', 'biology', psychology etc. derive, contains within itself the seeds of division between science and religion, bearing as it does the double meaning of (a) to understand or 'gather' something and to provide a verbal account of it and (b) to gather things (the harvesting of fruit for example) and to count them. What fundamentalist religion and science both share is the belief in a single pre-given order of things, natural or divine, a single pre-ordered reality. Both science and religion see nature and man as obeying physical or ethical 'laws' which themselves are nothing more nor less than human representations of reality.
Where they both fall down is in providing an account, not of pre-ordered reality but of order as such and what precedes it - of pre-order. Pre-order is identified, both scientifically and religiously with chaos, another Greek concept. Science is only just beginning to understand that chaos is not merely random disorder but possesses an intrinsic order of a different sort. But the mathematics of 'chaos theory' is a far cry from the understanding that all ordered systems are the expression of different potential orders, and that pre-order, far from being a uniform, undifferentiated or formless state of matter or consciousness, is a highly differentiated field of potential patterns of manifestation - and that any actual or manifest order, any actual or manifest phenomena - indeed any actual or manifest universe is but one self-manifestation of this primordial field of potential patterns.
Fundamentalisms of all sorts seek a foundation for the known universe in terms that are by no means 'fundamental', but derive instead from unquestioned scientific assumptions and religious myths - from misconceived interpretations of the nature Fundamental Reality. What I call Fundamental Science has nothing in common with religious or scientific fundamentalisms. Its foundation lies in a dimension of reality misconceived in both science and religion, therapy and theology. It is this realm of nothingness or no-thingness, of non-extensional or 'intensional' reality that I call the Inner Universe. This inner universe is not made up of energetic fields nor of their expression in any observed or experienced phenomena we are aware of. Instead it is made up of fields and patterned field qualities of awareness as such.
Unlike the physical sciences, what is known as 'phenomenological' science has always recognized that awareness is the pre-condition for the experience of any phenomena or universe whatsoever. What it has not fully explored is the field character and field-dynamics of subjectivity as such. Instead, the objective world is seen as a world of pre-given objects and subjectivity is seen as the property of a pre-given subject, human or divine - thus reducing God to one object or subject among others.
Fundamental Science is 'field-phenomenological science', based on a 'field-dynamic phenomenology'. Its basis is the recognition that fields and field-patterns of awareness are the precondition, not just for our own human experience of physical phenomena but for the very emergence [Greek phusis] of those phenomena in nature itself. All actual energetic field-patterns have their ultimate source in potential field-patterns. These potential field-patterns, by their very nature, form no part of any actual extensional universe but have an intensional reality only in awareness as such.
In Husserl's 'Transcendental Phenomenology', awareness is always 'intentional', an awareness of something. Field-Dynamic Phenomenology does not identify awareness with consciousness of any actual phenomena but rather with our awareness of potentiality. Fundamental Science and Fundamental Theology are united in the understanding that our own direct awareness of potentiality can re-link not only with our own innermost potentials and those of others, but with the 'Power of God' - that infinite and inexhaustible field of potentiality that constitutes the aware inwardness of both God and Energy, their fundamental intensional reality.
What Husserl called noemata (from the Greek noos - awareness) correspond to sensory qualities or aspects of things. He understands these noemata as co-constituted by noeses or intentional acts - the subjective angles or aspects from which we view things. From Husserl's point of view, intentionality is a direction of awareness that co-constitutes its object. But whilst the noetic acts give access to specific sensory qualities of things, awareness, for Husserl, remains something essentially neutral - devoid of any intrinsically meaningful and sensual qualities.
Physical science has its holy Einsteinian trinity - Mass, Energy and Light. But the physical universe and all physical phenomena - including light itself - are only visible or measurable in the light of our own awareness of them or of the instruments with which we measure them. The missing third element in the dualistic science of matter and energy is not the quantity [c] - the speed of light - but consciousness and awareness as such. In a fundamentally unaware universe of matter and energy no fundamental reality can be attributed to pre-order, consisting as it does of potential patterns or events rather than manifest or actual ones. Why? Because potential patterns, structures and forms by definition have no reality as actual material or energetic patterns. They are only in so far as there is awareness of them. They have their fundamental reality only in fields of awareness, and as patterns of awareness.
Fundamental Science is founded on the revolutionary proposition that awareness is the qualitative inwardness of energy, just as matter is its phenomenal outwardness. It distinguishes however, between awareness in the form of our own localized human 'consciousness' of the universe, and awareness in its non-local or field character. The religious belief that the universe is a product of a God or gods, of beings with their own consciousness, fails to recognize, that any given being or consciousness is itself the actualization of one particular ordering or pattern of awareness, and as such is itself but one self-manifestation of a primordial field of awareness consisting of a limitless number of potential patterns and consciousnesses - potential beings. Even monotheistic accounts of reality have always fallen into contradiction by representing God both as an infinite and absolute being and as one being or consciousness among others - whether other gods, mortals, or hierarchies of semi-divine spiritual beings. Fundamental science is also fundamental religion in contrast to fundamentalist religion. It transcends the self-contradiction of religion by recognizing instead that any true "God" is not and cannot be one god, being, or consciousness among others but must instead be understood as the primordial field or ground-state of awareness that is the source of all possible gods, beings, or consciousnesses. Conversely, any actual being is both an independent consciousness or 'self' imbued with its own unique pattern of awareness, and, on the other hand the divine self-manifestation of that inexhaustible field of potential patterns of awareness - that we call God. This field is the source not only of a limitless number of actual consciousnesses or beings but of a limitless number of worlds - any such world being nothing but a patterned field of conscious experience, already ordered and shaped by an underlying field-pattern of awareness.
Drawing on Eastern spiritual and scientific traditions, in particular Vedic philosophy and science, theosophists have long argued that there are basic units or 'atoms' of awareness as well as basic units of matter or energy. In doing so they provided a bridge between idealistic and materialistic philosophies, between theology and theoretical physics. This was a bridge that was otherwise lacking in Western thought until the philosophical implications of quantum theory began to sink in - bringing into question as it did our understanding of what matter as such essentially is. Theosophical science has nevertheless been studiously ignored by both scientists and academic philosophers of science, as well as by clerics and theologians of all faiths - regarded as eccentric or fanciful speculation not worthy of any serious intellectual attention. The principal threat that theosophy posed to both science and religion lay in transgressing the politely respected boundaries between scientific 'knowledge' and simple religious 'faith'. It did this by acknowledging an inner dimension of Creation that could itself be the object of direct cognition and scientific investigation - an inner universe consisting of countless non-extensional fields or planes of awareness, an inner universe that linked the physical reality-field in which we dwell as human beings to the withinness or intensional reality of God. Theosophy challenged what Heidegger called the 'double accounting' of the scientist as a human being - that sort of schizophrenia that allows a human being to appreciate fine art or even follow a faith whilst at the same time, as a scientist being forced to stick to the official line that both our perception of a work of art and the very concept of a God are products of chemical processes occurring in the brain.
The limits of theosophy lay in its lack of a properly developed phenomenological basis. Theosophy failed to recognize, as phenomenology did, that science rested not so much on sense perceptions or empirical facts as on theoretical models and their verbal signifiers - on concepts such as 'matter', 'energy', 'particle' and 'waves' etc. These concepts were understood in a naïve way as names for pre-existing things. And just as conventional science saw the outer universe as a world of pre-given material entities and physical forces, so did theosophical or spiritual science see the inner universe as a neatly ordered world of pre-given spiritual beings and non-physical forces. Theosophy, however, was more explicit than science in taking signifiers as its starting point - not just verbal concepts or mathematical signs but esoteric symbols inherited from archaic spiritual traditions. Just as the empirical scientist's research was unknowingly framed by unquestioned theoretical models and metaphors, so was the theosophist's own direct 'psychical' or 'clairvoyant' cognition of the inner universe generally framed by these occult symbols and the unquestioned spiritual doctrines that were their source. Alternatively, theosophical 'knowledge' was expressed in terms borrowed from the science of the day, but in a way that did not question those terms any more deeply than science itself. Fundamental Science is a fundamental reinterpretation of theosophical knowledge, the modes of cognition and modes of research on which it is based, but one which does not take as its unquestioned foundation either modern scientific concepts or terms borrowed from ancient spiritual doctrines. In this respect it is inspired by the type of theosophy propounded and practiced by Rudolf Steiner under the name 'anthroposophy' - one which recognized that scientific knowledge of the inner universe needed as its foundation clearly defined concepts and modes of cognition.
Any truly Fundamental Science must address fundamental questions. This includes questioning the fundamental nature of 'science' and scientific knowledge themselves. Most current attempts to provide a new account of the fundamental nature of reality tend to draw on concepts deriving both from specific fields of modern (Western) science on the one hand and on specific (usually Eastern) religious or mystical traditions on the other. In doing so they commit a fundamental error. For Fundamental Science cannot, by its very nature, be a grand unifying 'synthesis' or 'integration' of concepts deriving from specific sciences, specific religions or spiritual traditions, or specific disciplines such as logic and mathematics, linguistics and semiotics, theology and philosophy. Instead its foundation must lie in Fundamental Concepts. Fundamental Concepts are qualitative concepts, which, though they may derive from one specific science, one religion or one discipline are in some way comprehensive - fundamental to all sciences, religions and disciplines. As a result they are concepts, which cannot, by their very nature be understood in the terms of one science, religion or discipline alone. The fact that a Fundamental Concept derives from a specific science such as physics, a specific spiritual tradition such as Buddhism, or a specific discipline such as psychoanalysis, does not mean that this science, tradition or discipline is itself somehow fundamental to all others. The reason why I counterpose Fundamental Science to 'physical science' is that in our current concept of science as such, physics is still regarded as a science that is in some way more 'fundamental' than other sciences, and therefore fundamental to them. This is understandable, because many of the basic concepts of physics such as 'field', 'resonance', 'energy', are indeed Fundamental Concepts. The problem is that they are not understood as qualitative concepts, but instead seen as purely quantitative, physical concepts, to be understood within the terms of physics alone. The impossibility of doing so is the reason why physics as a science is in such a quandary at the moment, unable to give an adequate account of the fundamental qualitative sense of its own basic concepts - to say what 'matter', 'energy', 'electromagnetism', 'gravitation' etc. essentially are. Instead they are defined in terms of one another, as abstract mathematical variables with no intrinsic meaning outside their own mathematical relationship.
Any specific science whose basic concepts were understood as Fundamental Concepts, would indeed be fundamental to the understanding of all other sciences and have direct relevance to understanding them in a deeper, more fundamental way. A truly Fundamental Physics, for example would be fundamental not just to chemistry and biology, but also to philosophy and psychology, sociology and economics, semiotics and linguistics etc., just as any of these sciences, would, as Fundamental Sciences be fundamental both to each other and to physics itself. Liver, kidneys, lungs, heart and brain all being fundamental to the life of our bodies, the latter cannot be reduced to the functioning of any of these organs, nor can any one of them be regarded as fundamental - the organ of life. The very nature of Fundamental Science lies in the fact that different Fundamental Sciences, like different vital organs of the same body, are all fundamental to one another - with none being more fundamental than all the others. A Fundamental Qualia Psychology, or a Fundamental Qualia Linguistics or Biology, is at the same time a Fundamental Qualia Physics. A Fundamental Qualia Philosophy or Theology is at the same time Fundamental Qualia Science - and vice versa. That is because at the foundation of all the sciences are Fundamental Concepts that are exclusive to any given science and cannot be understood within the terms of that science alone.
The concept of 'resonance', for example, whilst deriving from physics, has a fundamental relevance for psychology, biology and linguistics. That is because very it has a fundamental qualitative sense that cannot be understood in terms of physics alone, only be understood in the context of all of these other sciences and disciplines In general, a concept deriving from the terminology of a given science or discipline can only become truly fundamental concept or universal concepts - if it (a) understood as a qualitative concept with a depth dimension of meaning (b) our understandingof this qualitative depth dimension of meaning is enriched by seeing how the same concept drawn from a particular science or discipline gains new meaning from its application within other fields and disciplines. This is quite the opposite from treating the science or discipline from which a concept is drawn (for example physics or psychology, semiotics or linguistics, theology or philosophy) as intrinsicially more fundamental that others sciences and disciplines.
Fundamental science is a fundamental rethinking of the very nature of science and scientific investigation, questioning the underlying metaphysical assumptions on which physical science is based and exploring the fundamental meaning of basic physical-scientific concepts such as 'matter' and 'energy'. As well as providing an essential philosophical foundation for the developing field of 'New Science' and 'New Energy' research it also offers a fundamentally new paradigm of Fundamental Research. This is not experimental research in the ordinary sense so much as direct experiential research. Instead of being aimed at the gathering of quantitative data it is a form of qualitative 'phenomenological' research and investigation requiring no other instruments than the researcher's own organism or body of awareness. It is field research in the most direct sense - based on the researcher's ability to to resonate with the different field-patterns and qualities of awareness that constitute the Inner Universe. It makes use of the dyadic field - the combined awareness of two people - to amplify their mutual resonance with these inner field-patterns and qualities of awareness. Fundamental Research has not only its own unique meditational practices and methodological procedures, but its own methods of validation, based on comparing the experiences gathered by pairs of researchers.
The framework of Fundamental Science, as cosmic qualia science, and original methods of resonant 'field-phenomenological' research into qualia that go with it, are not based on the meditational practices of any established spiritual tradition, Eastern or Western. Unlike the majority of these practices, Fundamental Research Fundamental Science has profound theoretical implications for our understanding of the human as well as the natural sciences, fulfilling Marx's vision of a "human science of nature" which complements the "natural science of man". It also has direct practical applications in the fields of medicine and psychotherapy, offering as it does a fundamentally new understanding of the nature and meaning of health and illness. Fundamental Research has led to the development of new methods of therapy, transcending the division between somatic medicine and psychotherapy, based on direct qualitative field-resonance between the felt body of the healer and that of the patient.
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