December 8, 2016 in Views
This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. II)
The two philosophies explored in my work most include dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism. Dualist pantheism, of course, is a metaphysical position, while geo-mutual panarchism is a position relating to political economy. This essay will explore the relationship of the two.
Dualist pantheists believe that God, Nature, and the Universe are all synonyms, and that the Universe expresses itself through dualities. These dualities can be as basic as white and black or as complicated as the differences between atheism and religion, or fascism and communism.
The value in dualist pantheism can be found in its explanatory power and its ability to reconcile otherwise opposing belief systems.
Pantheism, for instance, is a reconciliation of theism and atheism: In recognizing the self-determination of the Universe, pantheism is in agreement with the atheist; the Universe needs nothing outside of itself to be brought into being. However, in recognizing the inherence of consciousness in the Universe, as a principle, the pantheist ascribes this Universe traditionally theistic elements, such as omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, omnipresence, and the like; the Universe is self-determined, but this is because it contains in itself a will.
In dualistic varieties of pantheism, such as that I am promoting, the two ontological extremes of idealism and realism are also reconciled. Positive reality— the reality that we see, touch, and measure— is an expression of an underlying substance, which also expresses normative ideality, the ideals that we imagine, dream, and conjure.
In the model of dualist pantheism I am promoting, which I am calling simply dualist pantheism, these ontological positions have relative positions in spacetime. Substance can be understood to be at the very basis of spacetime, and the two attributes of reality and ideality are oriented within it; ideality in the future and time more generally, and reality in the past and especially oriented in space. That is, we feel things, and see things, move from the past to the present, but we do not feel and see things moving from the future to the present, we think them, idealize the future coming into being.
The human future is created from ideas. It is ideas about the future—the human spirit— that construct(s) the past reality into a better present. This is a matter of spiritual change (retrodeterminism). Physical change (classical determinism), however, moves from the past to the present. If left to physical changes alone, without mental constructs to guide them, dissipation (entropy) is most likely to occur. The Universe, under such a rule, becomes fated to heat death. It takes ideas, a guiding field of retrodeterminism (syntropy), to fight such a fate, and to bring the Universe back to singularity (thereby establishing a destiny worth fighting for, worth bringing into being). This is not a choice, though we understand it as such; we are compelled by the future to bring it into fruition. Living beings are agents of such a future.
Dualist pantheism has great explanatory potential, not so much because it is something new unto itself, fighting in the world to preserve itself at the expense of others; but because it embraces and reconciles opposing views, relegating them to their proper spheres. Dualist pantheists embrace science, and all that is explained thoroughly by science, but also recognize the limitations of science, particularly in regard to matters of free will and the agency of living beings, which, directed at least in part by “random” (retro-caused) mutations, cannot be predicted. Because dualist pantheists recognize the limitations of science, we recognize the virtues of spiritualism. Spiritualism— recognizing itself as the attempt to understand or have relation with the unknowable— is a more general knowledge-base than science, which strives for rigidity. Spirituality, for the dualist pantheist, is best approached personally, as each person’s spirit is unique. Because dualist pantheists embrace science in objective matters, and spirituality in subjective ones, dualist pantheism has much more consistent explanatory power than strictly scientific or spiritual positions, which, in ignoring the truths of one another, fall short in describing the totality of things (in the most general sense).
Dualist pantheists accept the views of the realist and atheist when describing material conditions as they move from the past to the present, particularly in regard to the laws of motion. However, dualist pantheists also accept the views of the idealist and the spiritualist when describing ideas as they are delivered from the telos (future) to us in the present. Living beings are not determined strictly by the classical laws of physics, because living beings have a will that determines their behavior. This will is oriented in the future, goals relating to matters understood to be good. Because spirituality involves the experiences and revelations of individuals, it is necessarily subjective, and specifics regarding one’s ends should not be pressed onto others.
Geo-mutual panarchists resolve the conflicts between anarchists and statists, and leftists and rightists, in a manner similar to the dualist pantheist resolution of realism-atheism and idealism-theism. Statists and anarchists, leftists and rightists, have long bickered; geo-mutualism, by “transcending and including” (to use the term of Ken Wilber) these worldviews, offers a means of resolve.
Panarchism is the recognition that many of the things that anarchists understand to be states are completely voluntary for many of their participants. Indeed, upon having disputes with a statist, an anarchist—if they are sharp— will realize that “statists gonna state:” such a cat has often lost all interest in outside freedom; it has come to quite like it indoors, despite the protest of many others! If freedom is what the anarchist is after, it cannot be gained by forcing those who are happy out of their contentment (except when such contentment hinders others from like contentment). If not for the statist pressing their preferred situation onto the anarchist, and if dissenters were allowed to leave, the state of the Republican or Democrat, monarchist or oligarch, would itself constitute an anarchy (as anarchists see it, or “good government” as statists do). Interestingly enough, the forcing of anarchy (in the strong sense) onto those who do not want it for themselves, would constitute to the statist an act of imperialism on behalf of the anarchist, something the anarchists are supposed to oppose! Panarchy suggests that anarchists should be free to live in anarchy, and statists should be free to choose that “good government” they most desire. Panarchy, rather than concerning itself with micromanagement of the polity, is concerned with creating the necessary space for a plethora of views to be voluntarily (on whatever level one desires) practiced.
Panarchism, being a positive vision of existence, understands the progression from monarchical governments to democratic ones to be a matter of progress, but also understand that progress is a matter of opportunism utilized under the proper conditions, not just by good ideas. Progress cannot be forced. This being so, governments of the many varieties of statists, and non-governments of the many varieties of anarchists, will relate to one another panarchistically, but will not be physically compelled to practice panarchy internal to their own organizations. Panarchist sub-entities, however, will be welcomed, and—as I see it—will have a strong competitive advantage.
Geo-mutualist panarchism could easily have been called dualist panarchism, because Georgism and mutualism alike share the virtue of reconciling individualist and collectivist worldviews. Both of these ideologies treat labor as a possession of the individual, and land as a matter of the commons. They differ in regard to the management of capital (I tend to agree with the mutualists more here, favoring cooperative companies to employers, which George was soft on). This is in contrast to the communists, who treat land and labor alike as possessions of the commons; and capitalists, who treat land and labor alike as private property of individuals. The communist would leave the individual at the whim of the community, forced to do its bidding. The capitalist would take up the opposite vice, believing land to be privately appropriable, leaving individuals without claim to their own birthright (the commons). Georgists and mutualists, instead, would both prefer individuals to maintain sovereignty over their own efforts, and to have the means to access the wealth afforded us by nature. Land, after all, is not a human creation, but is instead a gift from God.
Geo-mutualism is a form of libertarian socialism. That is, geo-mutualism expresses both libertarianism (usually associated with individualism, freedom of association, free markets) and socialism (in the “small-s” sense, worker ownership of their own labor, access to resources) within its bounds, to the extreme of each. That is, a geo-mutualist economy is not only partially socialist and partially libertarian, but is thoroughly so. A libertarian would be hard-pressed to make an argument that such a society infringed on liberty, and a socialist would become enamored by the worker self-management and equitable distribution of wealth and social power it would create.
Just as no entity will be forced to practice panarchy within its own bounds, but will instead be expected to relate to others panarchistically, the same must be said of geo-mutualism. No government or non-government should be physically forced to practice geo-mutualism within its own bounds, but those who do—as I see it—will have a strong competitive advantage, and a higher success rate, which will direct others to behave accordingly voluntarily, either by leaving their old governments/non-governments or by changing them.
Geo-mutualist panarchism reconciles the differences between statist and collectivist worldviews and those held by anarchists and individualists. It does this by allowing statists and anarchists to practice their own system, allowing each to have access to land, and to control and manage their own efforts. Different folks will make very different choices regarding their own labor, and that land (or land-value) that is presented them by the community. Some, no doubt, will form communes, others will try privately-owned tenant communities; still more will be thoroughly geo-mutualist.
Dualist pantheism lays the foundation upon which geo-mutualism may be built. As Marxists have their dialectical materialism, and as libertarians have the (God’s) invisible hand of the market, geo-mutualism sets atop dualist pantheism. The case is such that the left, while economic idealists, tend metaphysically toward materialism; and the right, while economic realists, tend metaphysically toward idealism: The communists of the left tend toward dialectical materialism, as expressed by Dietzgen, Engels, and Marx. However, the fascists of the right tend toward metaphysical idealism and the occult. Hinduism, for instance, is admired by many fascist types for its caste system. Heinrich Himmler was a neo-pagan. Rudolf Hess was an astrologist. Hitler and Mussolini were likely materialists in their personal views, but they used idealism and occult imagery (such as Aryans, Atlantis, etc.) in their projections, and faked positive relation to the Catholic Church, to appeal to the German and Italian people (idealism has a strong home in Germany, one must remember). Even if Hitler and Mussolini were not themselves idealists, they used idealism to appeal to the mass of fascists below them, who did tend toward idealism. Less radically different, now, we can see also that Conservatives tend toward Christianity and liberals tend toward secularism. Geo-mutualist panarchism, unlike the polarized left and right, is a radically centrist ideology; naturally, it will rest upon an equally centrist metaphysic. Indeed, such is the case with dualist pantheism.
As mentioned previously, geo-mutualist panarchism could easily have been called dualist panarchism. Geo-mutualism, after all, is a matter of balancing socialism and markets, left and right, and other political-economic dualities. Likewise, dualist pantheism could be rendered, not geo-, but cosmo-mutualist pantheism. Dualist pantheism reconciles all into cosmic compatibility.
Cosmo-mutuality is best understood in terms of attribute dualism. Attribute dualism, unlike Cartesian substance dualism, understands duality to be an expression of an underlying unity, rather than a true divide. Implied in the worldview is the understanding that seeking to better understand this unity, rather than getting exclusively caught up in one’s own subjectivity, leads to bliss, or blessedness (in terms of Spinoza). The real and the ideal, extension and thought, are not truly at odds with one another, but are the expression of an underlying substance.
Within the attributes of the real and the ideal can be oriented the political and economic orientations of anarchist and statist, left and right. It is panarchy and pantheism that steps beyond the duality, and reaches toward substance.
Anarchists and leftists, alike, are idealists. Both are inclined to express normative ethics that are rarely practiced in reality. Likewise, statists and rightists both base their arguments on positive reality; statists suggest that government must be used to make change, because “it’s just the way things are.” Capitalists, on the right, argue that private property rights over land must exist because “people are lazy,” not recognizing the fact that capitalism fails to properly reward, and thereby incentivize, labor, seeing things only under the conditions we are currently under, and have been under in the past. Interestingly, as previously pointed out, each is generally inclined to place their political-economic vice atop the opposing metaphysical vice, as if to compensate: The politically idealist left is inclined toward materialist atheism; the politically realist right is inclined toward idealist theism.
A society that best meets the conditions of peace, freedom, and equity—rather than being polarized— can only be found by reconciling the differences found among the ideologies of the world. This does not necessarily have to take place as complete consensus, and everyone acting with absolute permission from the whole of society at all times (that’s ridiculous!). Instead, it means motion toward consensus, all while allowing experimentation, and space for each individual and group (capable of maintaining itself) to practice whatever system, arbitrary or not, behooves their subjective preferences, and fulfills them spiritually. Those experiments generating fruitful outcomes will be duplicated.
A truly free, peaceful, and equitable society must first learn to get along, must find ways to resolve disputes, and methods of distributing wealth fairly. This means creating an organization that affirms and promotes oftentimes contradictory ideologies, so long as they can be maintained at their own costs, and are not actively aggressing on others. Ideology of such a new society must be handled two-fold: The disputes in human societies are not only political and economic, but also metaphysical. A new society must offer resolutions to political economy and religion alike. It must have a boundary-set that is such that Christians and atheists, realists and idealists, Marxists and Evolians, statists and anarchists, can be contained within it, peacefully, fairly, and freely.
All worldviews, which are not outright lies, but which have conviction behind them, are compelled by some very true aspect of existence, even if understanding of the applications of that aspect has been inflated and projected to an unhealthy and untrue degree, and particularly when this means ignoring the truths of others, and sticking to a rigid outlook. Idealists are right to afford consciousness a unique attribute, but are not right to treat is as substance; likewise with realists and the material. Marxists are correct to believe that workers deserve more claim to sustenance, but are not right to include claims to others’ labor (unless under voluntary contract, as in a panarchy). Likewise, Rothbardians are correct to believe that personal control is the most efficient means of allocating labor; they are incorrect to apply personal control to land, to such a point it becomes monopolized under capitalism. The trick of the panarchy is to allow these false premises to play out as voluntary experiments on behalf of the members, in order to establish margins associated with vice, from which others will know to stray in order to maintain a position of virtue. There is no need to restrict such defunct and over-inflated worldviews as hard collectivism or hard individualism; they will simply be unable to compete with those systems which have more virtuous pursuits and methods of management. Natural selection will continue its work.
As society evolves, each era comes with new pairs of political and religious institutions. Hunter-gatherer’s, who practiced primitive anarchy, were animists; horticulturalists, under the rule of a few families within a clan (primitive aristocracy), were polytheists; agricultural people, under monarchy, were monarchists; democratic nations tend toward secularism. Likewise, geo-mutualist panarchism and dualist pantheism, paired with a convivial post-industrial society, will provide the grounds of future political and religious expression.
Dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism are similar approaches to differing, but related, areas of philosophy. Both reconcile the positive and negative into the neutral. Panarchy reconciles government and anarchy; pantheism God and atheism. Attribute duality reconciles the real and ideal; geo-mutualism the more modal left and right. This is necessary as a foundation to a new convivial society, wherein all can seek whatever fulfills them in their own way.
December 8, 2016 in Views
This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. II)
My beliefs are often found to be controversial. Not the least controversial of my ideas, are my beliefs that the Universe— The All— is eternal, necessary, perfect, and absolute.
Being eternal, the Universe spans all of time, from the past to the distant future, without ever ceasing to exist there. Being necessary, it also spans the entire spectrum of reality and ideas. The perfection of the Universe, contrary to popular belief, is beyond both bad and good, and, in fact, encompasses them both. Being absolute, the Universe harnesses both subjective preference, and objective facts.
These are important concepts to my philosophy, because they allow for a dynamic that explains both how bad things happen in a Universe composed of meaningful and purposeful events, and how we can promote those things that we consider to be good within such a Universe. Such an ideology can explain why and how the Universe has allowed for atrocities, while allowing, or even commanding, progress.
Parmenides of Elea taught a very important doctrine, which many of the Eleatics, and those who would come after them, would retain. This was the doctrine of eternalism. Parmenides, in his doctrine of eternalism, suggested that the Universe— which he referred to as a monad, a sphere with nothing outside of itself— was always constant and forever unchanging, and that our recognition of change, and of time, is an illusion. The Universe, he suggested, is eternal; it never ceases to exist in any place in time or in space. We may think the past ceases to exist, and that the future is yet to be, but Parmenides refers to such an outlook as the world of doxa, or popular opinion. He does not believe it to be the fact. Recognition of an eternal and unchanging existence he refers to as recognition of the world of aletheia, or the world of fact.
How can one readily understand the position of Parmenides, who suggests that the past and the future currently, though not presently, exist? Take a good look at the words on this page. Now, look away from the page, into the room you are in. Does the page, the contents within, cease to exist, simply because you are unaware of it as you look away? Certainly not! So it is with time. We may not be aware of its entirety, but this is no reason to suggest it isn’t always there, that it isn’t eternal. In fact, it is much more illogical to suggest that the future is our creation (though it is fun to see it, in terms of doxa, unfolding from our choices); travel always entails the prior existence of one’s destination, even if unkown. The future is no exception.
In today’s physics, we are coming to find more and more that Parmenides was correct in his fundamental assertions. Indeed, the correct model of time, according to most theoretical physicists, is the B-model of time, as proposed by Michael McTaggart. The B-model of time treats past, present, and future as always currently existing, though not readily available.
Time is often determined thermodynamically in terms of entropy; as entropy is increased, time is said to move forward. As we move into the future, everything is materially likely to fall apart; nails will rust, statues will corrode, cars will break down. This happens without—and likely in spite of— direction from humanity. We cannot expect the opposite to be true; cars do not repair themselves, statues do not patch their decay, nails do not polish themselves and generate lost material. All of this requires human effort, direction of material things by consciousness.
For this reason, there appears to be two arrows of time. While most of the world is non-living and inanimate, the general tendency, and the most dominant arrow of time, is that of entropy. However, entropy leads to dissipation, chaos, disorder, destruction. This is not the full description of the reality in which we live! There is also accumulation, structure, order, and production. These are the characteristics of reality expressed in the weaving of a sorrow’s nest, the building of the beaver’s dam, the copulation of two lovers. These are the expressions of life, and its struggle for preservation! While life is not the rule, and is in fact quite exceptional, this demonstrates a second arrow of thermodynamic time. This being so, as life evolves toward complexity and order, it is teleologically determined by an already-existent future; the non-living is determined exclusively by the undisputedly-having-existed (but also still existing!) past. The past, present, and future are simply coordinates in spacetime. They are all equally “there.” Living things move toward a future of order and production, and dying things move toward a future of disorder and destruction. The material future is fatalistic, dissipating. The spiritual future is destined with hope. The spiritual future is the material past, and the material future the spiritual past. Both currently exist, as both are eternal. Our subjective experience in doxa— wherein time shifts from the past to the future—, is a matter of accessing what is already there, and leaving behind, but never eliminating, what has already been experienced.
While there are two main directions to time, there are many deviations from the path; the directions are tendencies and are not rigid. Similarly, one may move northward no matter the coordinate moved to from the South Pole. If one moves from the South Pole toward Argentina, one moves northward; from the South Pole to Japan, northward still, and, aside from trips over mountains, to the same general extent. Indeed, if one were to travel through the core of the Earth, this would be a different matter. So it is with time. Living things, struggling to get back to the Source, the singularity before the Big Bang, take many ways to get there. Some, those that deviate most from balance, take longer routes to get there. Those who focus on balance travel the core by force of virtue. The composite of our choices—each choice a (small-u) universe unto itself— is the multiverse; together one, the Universe. The Universe, God, is Eternally One. It appears to change, but such is an illusion.
Many emanationists, such as the Gnostics— inspired by teachings of surrounding neo-Platonists—, found a strong resolution for the problem of evil. As Plotinus had taught that everything comes from a single Source, and further proximity from the Source is distance also from the Good, the True, and the Beautiful; the Gnostics taught that distance from God, the One, was also distance from perfection. In some interpretations of the Gnostic mythos—those I feel most successful—the implication seems to be that perfection is a matter of completeness: To be a portion, a fraction, of the whole, is to lose sight of, and to cease participation in, this completeness. Good and bad, then, becomes a false perception; what is good to one is bad to another, and vice versa. Both are incomplete. Perfection exists beyond, and contains, this duality.
The Gnostics suggested that the existence of evil—which was simply a good misunderstood, or incomplete— is inherent to the material world, a construct of the Demiurge. The world of spirit, as it were, contains the existing good in the world. The problem is that portions of spirit (or Sophia) are trapped by the Demiurge in the fractioned bits of matter— the body—, struggling to be freed. Often, Sophia does not recognize herself in others, due to the fractured parts she is stuck within, which causes conflicting perspectives. This is why matter is associated with relativity, and thus conflicting desires and perspectives on good and bad.
Taking after the neo-Platonists, the Demiurge is not only meant to be understood as evil, but is merely incapable of perfection. In some ways, the Demiurge may be understood to be limited from a perfect rendition of Platonic form—the Good, the True, the Beautiful— in the same way a painter is limited from capturing a perfect image of a brook on his or her canvass; a striking, yet futile, attempt. That which is intrinsic can never be duplicated from outside.
The human spirit (which is good), Sophia, sees itself in the material conditions set into place by the Demiurge, and loses sight of its own value, seeing fractured portions of itself—though a portion of perfect—as bad. Each portion of Sophia finds itself in the same conflict, seeing other portions of itself in competition for resources; a carryover effect of separation and materialism.
Everyone, amidst conflict, sees their own will as good, and that of others as bad. Conflict is a matter of scarcity, a condition of material existence. For this reason, the Gnostics associate matter with the origins of evil. If left purely to spirit, mind over matter, abundance would be the rule, and conflict would cease to be. Everything would be understood to be good. Spirit and matter, as it were—one good, and the other bad, in a sense—, compose the perfect whole. Spirit is the origin of good, and matter is the origin of bad. Because all beings are composed of spirit and matter, and we only experience our own spirit, all beings see themselves as good, and others as bad. That is, they experience their spirit, and others’ bodies; they experience the good (satisfaction of spirit) from within, and the bad (limitation of spirit) from without. They are ignorant of perfection. Its acknowledgement is gnosis, the goal of the Gnostic.
Though I see the value in it, I understand that mythology should in no way take the place of facts. Regardless of what one makes of Sophia and the Demiurge, the Gnostics touch on something rationally important: Perfection is a trait of the whole, and good and bad are matters of fraction. The whole contains both good and bad, but this is perfect in that they compliment and define one another. The more we stray from an understanding of the whole, the more we get caught up in our own subjectivity, which entails conflicts of perspective. The best approximation of perfection can be found by way of compassion. In compassion one sets aside their iron will, and takes one up more malleable, in order that the will of others may be accommodated, along with one’s own.
In modern physics, we have come to understand that the material Universe is currently governed by a tendency toward dissipation, understood to be entropy. This tendency is an increase in separation. Biology, on the other hand, demonstrates that, while not breaking the law of entropy, living organisms are systems of local entropy-reduction. This is demonstrated by living systems’ collection and use of free energy. In this way—though living beings are the exception in the Universe rather than the rule, and therefor do not constitute a general tendency—, living beings express the opposite tendency of entropy, though on a smaller scale. If living beings were to become the rule, rather than the exception, and if the Universe were to awaken, this local reduction in entropy would become a general reduction in entropy; the law of entropy would cease to be a general law of cosmology, and would instead be relegated to a law of inanimate matter alone, in the same way the laws of economics, while still laws, apply to economy, but not to literature. One must only remember that life seemingly sprang from a dead Universe, and continues to spread exponentially, to understand that this is not so implausible or outlandish of a view. While entropy is a tendency toward dissipation, exemplified in the material world of physical processes, syntropy, its opposite, is a tendency toward unification, exemplified in the ideal world of mental constructs.
In our ideal world, everyone gets along and has everything they need; in the real world, this is not the case. Living beings have both a material existence, and give us a glimpse into the world of spirit; while we may know of things more material than spiritual, we do not know much of those that are more spiritual than material. We may be sure about the past in the same way as we are of matter, and we must leave the future open for interpretation in a manner similar with spirit.
The Universe, past, present, and future is eternally perfect. The materiality of the Universe tends toward separation, and increased regard for existence as being bad. The spirituality of the Universe tends toward unification, and increased regard for existence as being good. Both of these are elements of perfection.
In many ways, the resolution to the problem of good and evil, of conflicting goods, is a matter of working for the good of the whole, working toward the balance of interests. The greatest good, if one may take from Aristotle, is a matter of consensus; a good that none other sees as bad. Even still, the greatest good is merely a portion of perfection. The greatest good requires the greatest bad for recognition. Without contrast, good and bad don’t exist at all. The contrast, itself, which allows for experience, is perfect. The greatest good is the temporary recognition of perfection, but perfection always is. The Universe is Eternally Perfect.
Perfection is the synthesis of good and bad, but how are we to perceive it as such? There are a number of ways.
Everything is perfect within itself. No one else can fit the perfect description of you. You are unique, and uniqueness is perfection. As an individual, in every moment in time within that moment, you are perfectly you. It is in comparison to others, when one is regarded not as an individual unto themselves, but a member of a species, that this perfection is lost sight of. You are perfectly you, but you are not perfectly human. No one is. When the fractured portions are set into contrast amongst one another, their deficiencies and imbalances are made apparent.
Unlike fractured portions of the whole, the monad contains everything within itself. Nothing exists outside of its bounds. It is, in fact, the thing in itself. There is nothing outside of it to challenge its perfection, nothing with which to contrast it. It is a fraction of nothing, and the totality of everything. All notions of good and bad exist within its perfection. The Universe is perfect. “I just don’t like it,” one might retort. “How can something I don’t like be perfect?” Like pain, it is necessary.
Is pain good or bad? On the surface, if we answer purely emotionally and subjectively, pain is bad! Everyone knows pain is to be avoided. Objectively, however, we can see that pain performs an important service to the body. We do not feel pain until our barriers have been broken. This can be by way of forceful tearing or puncturing, by burn, or another invasion of one’s physical perimeter. If we are feeling pain, we know to get away from the source of the pain, the thing that is causing us physical harm. A burn tells us that we are too close to a fire or a hot surface. As we feel the sharp edge of a metal surface we are cleaning slice into our palm, we know to discontinue the pursuit, so as not to encourage unnecessary entropy. Pain is subjectively bad and objectively good; a relationship of higher perfection. Can you think of an act that is subjectively good and objectively bad? If you were to pursue such an act, would you last long? This is why it is rare to find such things.
Reality and ideality— often counterparts of bad and good— do not always match. Oftentimes those things we feel are ideal are never realized; reality hardly ever seems to fit the model of ideality. However, there are those rare times that reality seems to shift to approximate ideality, as if part of a continuum. Indeed, the continuum of real and ideal is the necessary.
There are many beautiful and highly ideal situations that can come to mind. We can envision all of our friends having everything they want, a world without war, a society without poverty. These wonderfully pleasant ideas, though grand and sweet, are not always the reality. In fact, reality seems to step in the way of this every chance it gets: Entropy is not one to produce our friends’ wants, to bring warring nations to peace, or to produce wealth for the needy. These things take effort, but effort is less than ideal.
In contrast, few things in reality are ideal. Our friends have unending needs, the world is at war, and society is poverty-stricken. These terrible situations are not always the outcomes of the agency of those who suffer their costs. One may make reasonable choices, only to face a bout of bad luck. Bad luck, as it were, has proper designation: Murphy’s Law. It is a well-known corollary of entropy. Reality of this sort, governed by loss, is seldom wanted.
The synthesis of the real and the ideal is the necessary. The necessary includes all that exists. All that exists in the present is the ideal of the past and the reality of the future. That is, the present reality is composed of the choices directed by preferences from those long past and still living; the future reality will be composed likewise. The present contains the outcomes of prior ideals, and the seed from which will spring future reality.
As pain is perfect for the individual, and as it is composed of subjective bads and objective goods, struggle is necessary, and exists between reality and ideality. Failure— due to unrealistic ideals or exhaustive practice of a less than ideal reality— plays the same role in the struggle between the real and ideal as between good and bad. Less than ideal realities do not persist, and less than realistic ideals do not come into fruition. Goods that see each other as bads do not better approximate perfection. All that exists was seen by the past as ideal, and all that will exist will be seen in the future as a constraint of reality. Together, this relationship composes necessity.
We may hold wonderfully grand visions, golden ideals, but they mean nothing if they do not come into fruition. Bringing them into fruition is an act requiring effort, action in the world of reality, which, again, is less than ideal. In contrast, we may master the world of reality and positive application, but as a new idea, a normative model, comes into play, and finds success, reality will change around us, forcing us to adapt or to perish. Ideals take effort to set into action, and notions of reality become obsolete if they do not adapt to new ideas.
Those ideas that are not materially successful, or are not materially set into action by way of effort; and that reality which is not fit for ideality, or is not dreamt of; are not found to be necessary. Everything that existed in the past, but does not exist in the present, was necessary in the past and not in the present; all that will exist in the future, but does not exist in the present, will be necessary in the future, but is not for the present. Thus it was with horticulture, which many see as progress from hunting and gathering, but which was set underway only after climatic changes that left humanity with no other option than to labor for their food. Before this, we took freely from nature as we needed it, with no need to concern ourselves of future conditions. The change marked the transition from immediate-return to delayed-return societies. This was a necessary transition— a relation between our ideal outcomes and the conditions of reality—, and one which has given us our current conditions. Those ideas that can be had, but which do not come into fruition, likely have a material coordinate somewhere, though they are not readily accessed from our position. They are necessary in the Universe, and for some universe in its multiversal modality, but not for our own experience (universe).
In terms of modern physics, necessity is probably best understood through the interaction of quantum and classical physics. Because a complete Theory of Everything is yet to be established, at least in the rigidly mathematical sense, this means that necessity is difficult to understand! What we know, however, is that classical and relativity physics as well as quantum physics play a role in the governing of our Universe. A complete Theory of Everything will reconcile these two approaches in some way, likely through some understanding of quantum gravity. In the meantime, it may be reasonably conjectured that reality, the world of matter and physical processes, as we understand them on the macro scale, can be described quite well using classical and relativity physics; however, matters of life and psychology, and micro-processes are best described through quantum methods. In the quantum world, strange things happen; things that are hard to wrap one’s head around, such as retro-causality, states of superposition, quantum entanglement. Classical physics, and especially relativity physics, can also be accompanied by strange effects, but, for the most part, classical physics seem a lot more common-sense oriented. For this reason, ideality— the world of ideas and mind over matter— can be attributed to quantum processes, and reality—the world of objects and matter— to more classical physics. Necessity is the outcome of these processes.
The necessitarian outlook, long before quantum dynamics, was perhaps best championed by the Dutch philosopher, Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza’s pantheism was a strict understanding of necessity, partially influenced by the Gnostics and the Eleatics (such as Parmenides). Spinoza saw no room for truly free will on behalf of the individual, believing all to be determined by God. God, Substance, or Nature, alone, is free, as God is the thing in itself, unhindered by none. Spinoza understood God, Substance, to express itself to us through two attributes (of which we are aware, among infinity), which are further expressed in a series of tiered modes. The two attributes are extension and thought, or body and mind, and their associated modalities are width and height, happiness and sorrow, etc. Each attribute is ascribed a place in existence, as an expression of Substance. Spinoza suggested that whatever God wills, is, and that all that is, like Substance from which it is expressed, is necessarily so. There is no other way for it to be.
The Great Chain of Progress is nothing more than the Great Chain of Necessity, the struggle between, and reconciliation of, reality and ideal existence.
The necessitarian outlook has much to offer. In reconciling the needs of practicality and good intentions, necessity explains the challenges faced both by realists and idealists. It encourages the realist to take up change, and the idealist to slow down and settle a bit for reality, and to enjoy the present, at least a little bit! It encourages the realist to concern themselves with ethics, and the idealist to take practicality into thought. Grand ideas, if impractical, never come to be; they are unnecessary (for our universe). Old practices, if no longer ideal, cease to exist, and will not extend into the future. While eternally necessary for their moment in time, this moment of necessity has ceased to be. Only God is beyond this, as God extends the full span of eternity, and has no restriction to a momentary existence, but is all moments in one.
The absolute, as Hegel suggested, contains within itself both the objective and the subjective. That is, the absolute contains all qualitative and quantitative data, all constructs of truth. In epistemology, debate centers around matters of empirical fact and rational insight; the absolute resolves each into itself.
Scientists, or empiricists— and those of their ideology, scientism, or empiricism—, are of the belief that truth can only be derived through the empirical method of analyzing the objective world of matter. They only accept quantitative data as facts available for consideration, lacking all, or at least most, concern for a priori prediction.
Alternatively, spiritualists, or rationalists— and those of their ideology, spiritualism, or rationalism—, are of the belief that truth can only be derived through the rational, subjective, world of mind. They accept qualitative data as facts available for consideration, feeling unrestricted to purely a posteriori outcomes.
Objective, empirical, understanding applies well in regard to the material world. However, spirit is a matter of subjectivity, rationality. We can determine quite well with the laws of physics where a material object will fly when we hit it. However, we cannot tell quite so quickly the flight path of the bird who has been disturbed into action. The path of the object is a mere matter of calculation, while the path of the bird is a matter of rationally-constructed goals on its behalf. When a mind enters the picture, complications follow, but the laws of physics describe quite well the conditions of, and truths associated with, inanimacy.
If left to empirical data alone, we retain many possibilities. Building upon itself, empirical data can provide all of the necessities intrinsic to mechanization and engineering. Upon studying the “accidents” of nature, it may even duplicate “new” forms. Empirical data, however, is incapable of telling us about the exact subjective experiences of those around us. It can hint to actions which will be taken in response to stimuli, usually due to bodily limitations, but it cannot determine them exactly. Empiricism can suggest likely outcomes of a situation in which a number of emotive states may be experienced, but not of the emotive states themselves; not to any extent noteworthy in terms of hard science.
If left to rational constructs alone, we still retain many possibilities. Building upon itself, rational data can provide all of the necessities intrinsic to social binding and cultural expression. Rational constructs, however, are incapable of telling us about the objective conditions of the environment around us. It can hint toward hypotheses, but left untested, hypotheses regarding the future-outside-of-our-control find great limitation. Rationalism can make general predictions, and can make useful assumptions, but it is incapable of specifics and actual outcomes.
Regardless of how one feels about it, both objective reality and subjective ideality must be factored into existence, and truth derived from each. One cannot ignore the rational and ideal for the sake of the empirical and the real, or vice versa. In so doing, one submits themselves to a grave mistake. Existence is a matter of each. Existence is absolute.
The absolute is only understood through metaphorically stepping outside of oneself. That is, the absolute is only comprehended by detaching oneself from their own ideals, and physical conditions, and taking a more “objective” (in the sense of unbiased, not regarding objects) look at their role in living. Is one’s condition less than ideal? Are one’s ideals unrealistic? How do the failures and successes of one ‘s ideology play into their prosperity? Those subjective ideals that cannot be reconciled with objective reality, and that objective reality which cannot be reconciled with subjective ideals, are not absolute. The Absolute describes that combination of rational and empirical occurrences that feed into the same event. We may try to explain a classroom setting in terms of empiricism, or we may rationalize an occurrence before it happens, but organic systems are matters of both past existence and future possibility.
Empiricism is used in the hard sciences, especially physics. In purely physical processes— when placed in a controlled setting without unkown determinants entering the picture, and when the matter regards an object rather than a subject—, one can predict, beyond reasonable doubt, what will occur before it happens. Of course, this is not a true prediction, except for possibly in the case of the first experiment, in which a hypothesis may have been predicted before having occurred. A hypothesis, alone, does not constitute empirical fact, but is instead a rational construct. Predictions, then, are rational and not empirical. The “predictions” one makes when using empirical data— regarding the speed and direction a ball will fly when it is struck, for instance— have already been demonstrated in the past, have already been predicted by rational constructs. Nevertheless, when it comes to non-living objects, they have few choices to make! The same prediction can be used over and over, again and again, with little error. This is the empirical, or scientific, method. It suggests one constructs a rational hypothesis, and rigidly tests it over and over again, perpetually. While change does not occur, after enough tests, it is considered a theory or a fact. The soft sciences make use of quite a bit of rationalism. The soft sciences include those dealing with living organisms and those which regard matters immeasurable, qualitative, or seemingly indetermined. Mathematics, while not a science, are also considered to be a form of rationalism.
Clearly, there exist forces relating to the world of the subject, matters relating to choice. Living beings express—by way of the hydrogen bridge, which bridges quantum and classical scales— degrees of seeming indeterminism, more properly accorded to the retrocausality of the quantum scale. We refer to these properties as freedom of will. Still, the world is highly classically determined, not by ideas, but by force. Existence is composed of both living and dead, spiritual and material, forces. The truths behind these forces can be derived empirically or rationally, depending on the nature of the truth in question. To ignore the importance of the objective, or that of the subjective, is to ignore the fundamental workings of reality. The absolute—the ground of all being— contains the interactions of these forces. Any ideology which fails to understand this—that scientism which ignores the truth of the subjective, and that spiritualism which ignores the truth of the objective— will fail to grasp the ground of all being.
The Universe— God, Nature, the One, the Source, the Monad, the All, the Alpha and Omega, the Thing in Itself, and its many renderings— is eternally perfect, necessary, and absolute. It is eternal, ceasing to exist in no place or time. Our own past, present, and future is contained within its eternal presence. It is perfect, having nothing outside of its bounds. Entirely whole, lacking nothing, there is not a thing which compares. It is necessary; being the sole cause for all events, it spans and includes all that can be had, real and ideal. The Universe is absolute, and contains all perspectives within itself. Within is catalogued all reason, rational and empirical.
 Two people, neither of whom know the other, enter a busy coffee house, book in hand, ready to take a seat and read for a few hours. There is one seat open. The first-one-in sees the seat, but assuming the first in line will also be the first to sit, she moves forward to the line. The second person, knowing if they stand in line they will lose the seat, anxiously skips the line to set their book in its location, preserving it for post-acquisition of their drink. They then stand behind the first. The first person is understandably annoyed; they wanted the seat, but didn’t think of the necessity of saving it, having a preconceived notion of fairness. The second is happy to have thought ahead; they get exactly what they came for. Fairness may come into dispute, but even if the second customer stood in line, one of the customers (themselves) would have lost out on a place to sit, and felt the situation to be a bad one. What we have come to is a matter of dispute, and the origins of this dispute have to do with the playing out of preferences. Even if the employees of the coffee house step in, and say that the second customer was acting unfairly, this is not so much a matter of fact, but a preference for behavior on behalf of the employees (and one which may previously not have existed at all). This preference, which the first customer and the employees would agree is good, would be understood to be bad to the second customer. After all, there was no sign posted regulating the order in which one orders drinks and claims a seat. As far as they are concerned, such a dictate is unfair, and lacks in even-handedness. Surely, they think, they cannot be the first to have chosen a seat before ordering a drink (they may have, in fact, found themselves in the position of the first customer in a prior scenario, having lost out on a seat in the past in the same way, feeling such an act then to be “fair game”). The dispute, claims of good and bad, stems from the reality of the situation, not the ideality of it. That is, the customers would probably agree that the ideal situation is for everyone to have a seat and to feel satisfied; the conditions of reality are such that these ideals are unfeasible, and so material existence leads to conflict. In this way, good and bad are both relative and absolute. Unity is absolutely good, and separation is absolutely bad; but within the separation are notions of good and bad. The existence of good and bad is absolutely perfect. Such is the fractal Universe in which we exist.
December 8, 2016 in Views
This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. I)
The world seems to be a very divided place. Duality seems to be a common aspect of our Universe. We will be taking a look at the duality and spectrum inherent in our perspective. Beginning with the natural orientation of life, we will proceed into a discussion of epistemology, before touching on morality and theology.
Duality and Spectrum
What is at the foundation of existence? Let’s have a look. Have you ever heard someone say, “The world is not so black and white!”? Well, this may be so, but does the alternative, gray, exist on its own accord, or only by the mixture of white and black? So then, gray is a product of duality, is it not? It would seem so. According to modern science, though, there is no such thing as darkness, only the absence of light. Again, it appears we are relying on a single element, light, and yet, there still seems to be a duality: presence and absence. And still, visible light exists within the electromagnetic spectrum, of which it makes up a small portion, and any absence of visible light does not entail the absence of energy entirely. Energy, in one form or another, is everywhere.
Humanity will not come accross true opposites in its lifetime, but rather their spectrum of compromises. No one has ever seen absolute darkness (a black hole) or absolute light (a white hole), just as no one knows everything or nothing at all. Everyone has, instead, seen varying shades of gray, and maintains various grades of knowledge between the absolutes; the extremes can only be felt as tendencies. Do these tendencies demonstrate that the Universe is composed of two substances, or is everything ultimately composed of a single substance, that is somehow expressed as duality?
True substance duality, the division of the basis of being into two parts, which cannot ultimately be reconciled, is an impossibility. There can be only one substance (that is expressed in two differing attributes, and many modes of them), lest causality lose its philosophical and scientific importance. Yet, we perceive a duality within the single substance, contributing to our strife. We are unable to fully perceive the underlying unity beneath us, though many of us have felt it, rationalized it, or sensed it intuitively to a lesser degree.
The ultimate ends of our behavior is directed to a complete understanding of, and combination with, this underlying unity, but the steps that must be taken between are means to smaller ends, which are just tendencies toward the final goal. As explained in “The Journey of Realization,” moving from one point in time to the next is like climbing a ladder: If one could just jump to the top, one wouldn’t need the ladder! Somehow our perspective is limited, and this is tied to our nature and purpose as humans. We must take the proper steps to climb the ladder to satisfaction.
A Matter of Life or Death
Causality is very persistent, but even causality is found to have its duality. The goal-setting of consciousness, and the metabolism, growth, reproduction, and evolution of complexity in life set its causal relationships apart from the non-living. Rather than entropy alone, life is governed by syntropy, laws from the future, as well. Ulisse Di Corpo, among others, points this out quite reasonably.[i]
Time and space are intertwined as the space-time continuum, sharing a relationship together. Time’s movement forward is generally seen as the playing out of the second law of thermodynamics, which states that as time moves forward everything tends toward entropy (a general term in thermodynamics— the study of heat/energy— for loss, dissipation, chaos, erosion). That is, as time goes forward space expands, things fall apart, snap, get rusty, and not the other way around! Just the same, we can say that as things decay, break down, and corrode, time moves forward. Under these conditions it has been theorized that the entire Universe, and not just our own solar system upon the burning out of our sun, is destined to die a very cold, dark, death.
Entropy seems to govern the Universe, and yet, life seems to stand defiant against this law to some degree, as life, especially while young, is motion toward complexity and growth, and consciousness in general is attributed to effects-before-causes (but still tied together in relationship of causal unity, never a cause without effect or vice-versa). For life, especially while it is youthful, its relationship to thermodynamic time works differently: As time moves forward, new life grows, and life in general constructs complex organic compounds (otherwise impossible) in its cellular structures, multiplies, and avoids danger through conscious decision-making. As life grows in complexity and completeness, time moves forward. This process, the opposite of entropy, is called syntropy or sometimes negentropy. The results of entropic and syntropic forms of causation are objective and subjective perspectives. The subjective experience of consciousness is tied to duality and spectrum in time and space.
Objectivity and Subjectivity
Objectivity exists when all possible perspectives are in accord with one another. That is, something is objective when it is agreed upon by all parties (with the capacity to understand). Something is said to be subjective, however, when it represents personal opinions, taste, feelings, and such. An objective statement would be “The ball is round,” as its roundness can be seen by anyone with eyes to see. A subjective statement would be “The ball is pretty,” as different people may agree or disagree. Our own experience is considered by others to be highly subjective, unless it is agreed with.
Subjectivity exists only in separation; a subject is considered to be outside of, but not encasing, the object. As experience, subjectivity is lack, separation, division. All things with a subjective consciousness—life— desire fulfillment, be it nourishment, sex, warmth, shade, or shelter, because they lack, and want to complete themselves. If not for feelings of lack, desire, yearning, and even sadness, one would not be compelled to self-preservation and completion. The force that responds to desire and induces an organism to lasting is its will, and all living beings have a degree of this will, as a characteristic of living organisms— subjective consciousness—is response to stimuli. Stimuli induces the will to respond at times, but the will itself responds as physical response in reverse, by creating goals rather than simply responding to inertia. Life is linked to the syntropic processes, and subjectivity is its mechanism.
True objectivity, absolute knowledge, is completion. Humanity is not capable of true objectivity between one another, but we can certainly share a degree of inter-subjectivity (commonly referred to as objective), which is defined as two or more individuals sharing a common subjective experience or goal. When one has gained what they feel to be objective knowledge about a thing, something inter-subjective, they feel a sense of completion, but there is ever more to know, and the drug wears thin. We can have a sense of contentment and completion for a moment, but it is always fleeting, as the purpose of humanity is not to purely thrive in the fulfillment of desires, but to search for such fulfillment. We gain it only temporarily. We hunger to retain it, but we shall not. Not in this lifetime. We will, however, set up the possibility for such a future to be experienced later on, by the very same energy that now makes up our bodies. Afterall, this has been done before our current consciousness, and is the reason we’re here to experience life as humans to begin with.
The ultimate duality in the Universe lies not between the processes—those of syntropy and entropy—, but between unity and separation, the resulting extremes of entropy and syntropy.
Singularity and Plurality
The absolutes of subjectivity and objectivity are plurality and singularity. In plurality everything is subjective, as absolute plurality is absolute separation. In singularity everything is objective, as experience itself is shared by all; there is one consciousness. The entire present Universe expanded from such a point of singularity— where it had all been compacted into an abode of infinite density, being dimensionless and having only one possible perspective— into the three spacial dimensions, and the fourth dimension of time we know today (each having a duality), creating a plentitude of perspectives. It continues to expand exceedingly toward the plurality we will eventually face (not in this lifetime), and (as Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini suggest), after this point of extremity, syntropic contraction will begin to take the place of entropic expansion.[ii]
Objectivity, contraction, singularity, is completed through a process of subjectivity, plurality, yearning for completion. Being on the human side of the equation makes it harder to describe what would motivate a singularity to expand, to put us where we are now, but many spiritual beliefs have imagined a sort of loneliness or boredom in this state for God, the supreme being (which I understand as the Universe), which would drive such a pandeist Universe’s expansion toward plurality.
Objectivity and subjectivity are both absolutes and processes. Absolute objectivity resides in singularity, while absolute subjectivity comes to us in full expansionary plurality (2). Each of these positions begin their affiliated processes (3), going from objectivity to subjectivity to objectivity again, and vice versa. The process from singularity to plurality, from objectivity to subjectivity, is here associated with objectivity because it spawns from the objectivity of singularity (2), but also because it represents the perspective we hold of a material world outside of us, which is commonly refered to as objective (1) and unconscious, and which we may generally mutually refer to. We are aware of the real-material past (objectivity, 3) to large degrees, but we are uncertain of the ideal-spiritual future (subjectivity, 3), encouraging us to label views about such as subjective. The process from plurality to singularity is considered to be a subjective one because it originates in the subjectivity of plurality (2), but also because it represents the thought processes within us, which cannot be shown to others (1).
In a way, objectivity offers contradictory definitions, depending on the viewpoint, be it external or internal. One’s internal sensations are objective to themselves, but are held to be subjective to others when they disagree. In this way, objectivity is both a shared experience of external reality (we’ll call this soft objectivity) (1), and direct but exclusive experience of one’s own internal reality (we’ll call this hard objectivity) (4). Subjectivity is only the indirect experience from the outside of another’s direct and objective sensation from the inside; it is an illusion, perhaps better understood as relativity than subjectivity, as its nature is the substitution of complete with partial knowledge. The great philosopher, Parmenides of Elea, tells us that
it is right that you should learn all things, both the persuasive, unshaken heart of Objective Truth, and the subjective beliefs of mortals, in which there is no true trust. But you shall learn these too: how, for the mortals passing through them, the things-that-seem must ‘really exist’, being, for them, all there is.[iii]
Internal and External
The only reason subjective perspectives are considered subjective in the first place is because there is a lack of direct experience on behalf of others; the true intentions and premises of knowledge can only fully be known to the holder from the inside. Others may have different values or preferences further leading to confusion. We cannot, with any certainty, tell the intentions or abilities of another person. Even after knowing them for a length of time, they can surprise us. Nor can we always agree with the reasoning of others, or see their feelings, intentions, goals, priorities, values, etc. Perspectives clash. Coupled with the fact that individuals use lack of information for their advantage in negative ways, by lying and tricking, there is a lack of trust.
If one hurts, and they shout that they are hurting, this is very much true, independent of observation by others, but it is the ability to lie or differ that keeps their view from being objective to others (remember The Boy Who Cried Wolf?). Objective and subjective perspectives may also be defined, then, as external and internal viewpoints (hard objectivity is internal, soft objectivity is external; hard subjectivity is non-existent, while soft subjectivity is external). When a perspective is external to one’s self, it is felt to be subjective, and when the perspective is one’s own, it is rather objective (if the perspective is of an external reality, it is softly objective, perhaps better understood as intersubjective; if the experience is one of an internal reality, it is one of hard objectivity). To others, we have a subjective perspective, and, to ourselves, we have an (imperfectly) objective experience. One will not generally accept a perspective with which they disagree as an objective one, but only those which are agreed upon. Objectivity is based on agreement of perspective, and (unless we are schizophrenic, perhaps) we agree with our own perspective.
The integral psychologist, Ken Wilber, muses on the nature of subjective knowledge:
Thus, in a scientific text, you will find the limbic system, for example, described in detail—its components, its biochemistry, when and how it evolved, how it relates to other parts of the organism, and so on. And you will probably find it mentioned that the limbic system is the home of certain very fundamental emotions, certain basic types of sex and aggression and fear and desire, whether that limbic system appears in horses or humans or apes.
But of those emotions, of course, you will not find much description, because emotions pertain to the interior experience of the limbic system. These emotions and the awareness that goes with them are what the holon with a limbic system experiences from within, on the inside, in its interior. And objective scientific descriptions are not much interested in that interior consciousness, because that interior space cannot be accessed in an objective, empirical fashion. You can only feel these feelings from within. When you experience a sort of primal joy, for example, even if you are a brain physiologist, you do not say to yourself, Wow, what a limbic day. Rather, you describe these feelings in intimate, personal, emotional terms, subjective terms: I feel wonderful, it’s great to be alive, or whatnot.[iv]
Because of the nature of our internal feelings, Wilber points out, we can not study them using empirical science:
The brain physiologist can know every single thing about my brain—he can hook me up to an EEG machine, he can use PET scans, he can use radioactive tracers, he can map the physiology, determine the levels of neurotransmitters—he can know what every atom of my brain is doing, and he still won’t know a single thought in my mind.
This is really extraordinary. And if he wants to know what is going on in my mind, there is only one way he can find out: he must talk to me.[v]
You can point to the brain, or to a rock, or to a town, but you cannot simply point to envy, or pride, or consciousness, or value, or intention, or desire. Where is desire? Point to it. You can’t really, not the way you can point to a rock, because it’s largely an interior dimension, so it doesn’t have simple location.[vi]
There is only one kind of feeling which we can hold as objective fact— our own—, but, even then, what we feel can only be held as objective to ourselves. So long as there is anyone outside of us, we are considered to have a subjective perspective.
Outside of Universal singularity, there is one way to experience objectivity, though it is an incomplete one for humanity, and is only complete for God. This way is to know what is in oneself. One’s thoughts, emotions, and sensations are in themselves very objective experiences for the holder, even if their representations or projections to others are false. The Universe, God, has an objective viewpoint, as none other may see The All as subject, or question The All’s knowledge or intentions; everything happens within the framework of God. Just as our perspective, being within us, is objective to ourselves (even if that perspective is “I don’t know”), and subjective to others, God’s perspective is objective to entirety, and subjective to none, as it encases, and in fact is, The All. What God thinks, is. Quantum physicist and Hindu, Amit Goswami, asks, “Do we have a big head?” He says,
The idea is quite simple. Realism says that only the external object is real; only objects that we find outside of us are real because they are public and we can get consensus about them and make them the object of objective scientific scrutiny. Idealism says that we cannot directly see what is “outside” without the help of the intermediaries of our “inside” private representations. So these inside representations must be more real than the objects they represent. Or rather, they had better be real, because objects in their suchness will never know.
Easy solution, said Leibniz and Russell. Suppose we have a “big” head in addition to the “small” head that we normally experience, so that so-called outside objects are outside the small head but inside the big head. Then aren’t both realism and idealism valid? Realism works because the objects are outside (the small head); idealism works because the objects are also inside (the big head).[vii]
One cannot know a thing for sure, comprehend the objective nature of a thing, except for that which is in them, is them, which they feel, sensually or intuitively. One can know their concepts of external objects, but those concepts alone, they cannot know those objects themselves, intrinsically. One may have objective knowledge about their own thoughts, while others may not share in such knowledge. God, being the one purely objective existence, lacking subjectivity and being of a single all-knowing substance, is the only thing that can be described as perfect in knowledge or intention, because only God is fully understood by Self, and lacks others from outside, as God is that which is in itself.
|Substance Objectively Understood||God/ Entirety/ Hard-Objectivity|
|Substance Subjectively Understood (1)
||Real/Material/ Soft-Objectivity||Ideal/Spiritual/ Soft-Subjectivity|
|Substance Subjectively Understood (2)||Objective Attribute||Subjective Attribute|
Only God’s intentions perfectly match with outcomes. Perfection, true objectivity without dispute, God, is the synthesis of good and bad, and all that we subjectively see as good and bad exist upon this underlying objectivity.
Yet, subjectivity is in our nature, and cannot be forsaken, as our purpose is tied to our desires and their outcomes. Because our purpose cannot be fought, as— in the oft-quoted words of Arthur Schopenhauer— “Man can do what he wants; but he cannot will what he wants,” it is best to learn to wholly express and use this will to its fullest (which means finding ways to make it work alongside the will of others), rather than trying to reject it, as our will is connected to God’s plan for us, and to do as God intends is to reap the rewards. What God intends, as shown by the characteristic needs of life, is for us to be compassionate, to love and to care about one another, to find compatibility, mutualism, to work toward unity, and to be happy.
Our own subjectivity, as it is seen by others, is but a fraction of objectivity, perhaps better regarded as relativity. While God is pure and completely objective, and composes a single substance, we are expressions of this substance, and expressions don’t share the perspective of objectivity of which only God has the privilege; we acknowledge duality, and our concepts fall in a spectrum within this duality. Upon completion, the final solution of subjectivity and creation of objectivity, all that exists will share in an objective experience and unity with God. This is objectivity fully realized, the final culmination of inter-subjectivity. Hegel says that,
The terminus is at that point where knowledge is no longer compelled to go beyond itself, where it finds its own self, and the notion corresponds to the object and the object to the notion. The progress towards this goal consequently is without a halt, and at no earlier stage is satisfaction to be found.[viii]
This being at home with self or coming to self of Spirit may be described as its complete and highest end: it is this alone that it desires and nothing else. Everything that from eternity has happened in heaven and earth, the life of God and all the deeds of time simply are the struggles for Spirit to know itself, to make itself objective to itself, to find itself, be for itself, and finally unite itself to itself; it is alienated and divided, but only so as to be able thus to find itself and return to itself. Only in this manner does Spirit attain its freedom for that is free which is not connected with or dependent on another. [ix]
One can see now that our subjectivity, our pain and self-righteousness, and even our spiritual slavery, is due to separation of consciousness from God, for when one is united with God, sharing the perspective of the Universe, in singularity, one agrees with existence and shares God’s objective understanding. Objectivity, though, can only occur for our currently subjective consciousness after a long evolutionary process of inter-subjectivity, completion, love, and compassion. It is in this motion toward objectivity that we find our purpose. This motion plays into our evolving ethics and systems of value. Ken Wilber tells us that,
The crucial point is that the subjective world is situated in an intersubjective space, a cultural space, and it is this intersubjective space that allows the subjective space to arise in the first place. Without this cultural background, my own individual thoughts would have no meaning at all.
In other words, the subjective space is inseparable from the intersubjective space, and this is one of the great discoveries of the postmodern, or post-Enlightenment movements.
So here […] the validity claim is not so much objective propositional truth, and not so much subjective truthfulness, but intersubjective fit. This cultural background provides the common context against which my own thoughts and interpretations will have some sort of meaning. And so the validity criteria here involves the “cultural fit” with this background.
The aim here is mutual understanding. Not that we necessarily agree with each other, but can we at least understand each other? Because if that can’t happen, then we will never be able to exist in a common culture.[x]
Our subjectivity leads us to our notions of what is right and wrong, good and bad. The necessary struggle is in compromise and synthesis, compassion.
Good and Bad
What is good is what is desirable, and what is bad is what is undesirable. Good and bad are subjective measures, being based in individual preferences or priorities. These can be understood in both the short- and long-term. A long-term preference would oftentimes entail the forfeiture of short-term outcomes, as in investment, where one suffers in the short-term to gain in the longer one. Short-term preferences oftentimes entail the overriding, or ignorance, of longer-term preferences for immediate satisfaction, perhaps a strict form of hedonism. Longer-term values tend toward spiritualism, asceticism, while shorter-term values tend toward materialism. The degree the outcomes are satisfying is the degree to which they are understood as good, and to the degree they are troublesome is the degree to which they are seen as bad.
As human consciousness grows, the more long-term values, toward the greater good, are ascribed to. The longer-term human preferences, such as universal harmony, are based in greater goods.
An individual may have their own subjective opinions about what is good and bad, but what is best, strongest, the greater good, is to come to an agreement, to create a larger, more objective view. Remember, God’s idea of good, the greatest good, if you will, is simply what happens, and when we can voluntarily come to agreement, and make things happen together, we can have a stronger impact on the future, we can better approximate God’s objective will for ourselves. By materializing our ideals, especially through cooperation, we become part of a process larger than ourselves, and in doing so, we are living in accord with God’s will, rather than trying to live in contradiction to it, and from this we experience happiness, eudaemonia.
Georg Hegel is often attributed to have said, “Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.” Likewise, the corollaries; bad is not really bad, but good misunderstood by another good. It is a relative truth misunderstood. The greatest bad, then, is found through thorough incompleteness of perspective and misunderstanding, while the greatest good is found through a process of moving toward the completeness and understanding of objectivity. Hard-objectivity is approached through intersubjectivity. The process of communication, then, is crucial to a transition toward objectivity, as communication is our best known method of understanding one another and completing our own perspective with missing information, which may only be directly experienced by others. At such a point, one’s views are no longer necessarily bad to the other, or at conflict, but may be found to complete or compliment them, in an effort to know and share the truth. In order for this to work, however, it should not be forced, but the individuals themselves must see benefit in cooperation and find truth through dialect (forced cooperation leads to rejection, not unity and understanding of complementarity).
God is the balance of good and bad, as God is perfection, and bads are merely goods that are misunderstood, as they complete a necessary and complimentary part of existence. Necessitarian, objective, eternalism is the underlying truth, but our subjectivity, lack of understanding, and mortality keep us from knowing this and feeling it fully. This is directly connected to our purpose, as “God does not play dice,”[xi] and all outcomes are the already written fates and destinies within this Universe.
Totality and Fraction
Duality can perhaps best be expressed in fractions and fractals. Take, for instance, good and bad. While the Universe is entirely perfect, its perfection becomes broken up into parts which lose sight of the perfection in the other parts. Everything is perfect in itself, but because all things other than God—The All— are within something larger, they lose their absolute perfection and objectivity for comparative value and subjectivity, resulting in relativity, good and bad, objective and subjective attributes, real and ideal, etc. Within the ultimate perfection of God is lesser perfection—subjectively known as good—, and lack of perfection (which is really lack of understanding of complimentarity), which we understand subjectively (or sub-objectively) as bad. The relationship of perfection, good, and bad, is a relationship of (hard and soft) objective and subjective understandings. Within the subjective understanding of substance, perceiving only modes of reality but not the underlying substance, there is labeled a subjective and objective (this being the soft form) understanding, creating a spiraling fractal of existence. Humanity is incapable of a truly objective view of substance.
Aristotle attributed virtuous behavior to the golden mean (but expressed that this was not always a quantitative measure); one should not live in excess or in deficiency, but in balance. Altruism, for instance (my own example), is generally considered good, but in specific, when used in excess, it can be damaging to the wielder. If you give too much away to others, you have nothing left for yourself. Narcissism is the opposite, and is generally considered bad, but narcissism must balance altruism, or altruism becomes a vice. Excess or deficiency in either causes problems.
Though Aristotle stated that the relationship of virtues and vices is not always a clearly mathematical one, like him, I will use the golden mean to represent the path of virtue. This spiral is not necessarily physical, but rather metaphysical. The physical and spiritual are not opposed, however, merely different ways of saying the same thing.
Within the objective perfection of the single-substance, God, Universe, there appears the good and bad, or mental and physical, processes of its attributes, as perceived in syntropy and entropy, summer and winter, night and day. Each good and each bad exist themselves within a higher good or bad. Life, as a process of syntropy, is generally good, but its individuals, as specifics, may be relatively bad. What makes life good in general is that its good specifics outweigh the bad. Likewise, those individuals seen as good are not perfect, and perform bad actions at times. Life in general is good. Humankind in general is good. Individuals in general have good intentions, and good intentions usually have good results. The upward spiral is one of motion toward ultimate objectivity, true goodness, perfection, understanding, unity with God, and transcendence of the illusion of subjectivity. The process downward is toward definitive subjectivity, separation, and lack. The process upward toward objectivity is expressed in growing inter-subjectivity— recognition of the inner perfection in others— as conveyed through compassion, communication, complementarity, and community. Again, this cannot be forced, and transcendence of consciousness is restricted to a timely process of evolution.
The evolutionary process of life, opposite of the process of death, is the process of seeking good, seeking fulfillment and satisfaction. It is a syntropic process, an ideal one. The passing of time, as determined by the will of life, is a constant passing of real into ideal, bad into good, opposed to the unconscious process, which works in reverse, according to physically determined laws rather than the organic will of life. As life spreads and overtakes the Universe, awakening it to subjective perspective, the laws of syntropy— expressed as free will, compassion, inter-subjectivity— will overgrow the entropic laws of expansion, separation, and determinism. As we learn to avoid conflict, and learn to see the perfection in others, and complimentarity between us all, we will learn to unite our perspectives, creating larger, more objective perspectives, similar to the unity of cells composing our larger consciousness. When all of life voluntarily unites to form a larger organism, the process of inter-subjectivity—syntropy— will begin to overcome the process of conflict—entropy—, and the Universe will collapse into objectivity, singularity. We will be past our duality of perspective and spectrum of reason. We will incur gnosis, contentment, happiness. Good will overcome bad, ideal will overcome real, just as summer overcomes winter, day overcomes night. Then the process will begin again.
 By substance I mean the ultimate base of reality, the very smallest component; I don’t mean particles, atoms, molecules, etc. but the most basic “stuff” that makes these things from the smallest scale.
 It’s important to note that life is not purely syntropic, but only expresses degrees of syntropy. Life expresses both entropy and syntropy.
 It’s important to note that the hard-objectivity of God is not like the soft-objectivity of the material world, lacking spirit, but instead, perhaps unimaginable, is the synthesis of soft-subjectivity and soft-objectivity.
 If there is a multiverse composed of alternate decisions, God becomes that multiverse rather than being limited to our own Universe.
 As a metaphor, think about the Fibonacci Sequence. The numbers in this sequence can themselves be numbered in sequence of their steps. If we see the steps as the real descriptions of the world, the Fibonacci sequence may represent the ideal descriptions of the world. Both are correct in their descriptions.
[i] Ulisse Di Corpo1
[ii] Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini2
[iii] Parmenides of Elea
[iv] Ken Wilber, 69.
[v] Ibid., 78
[vi] Ibid., 81
[vii]Amit Goswami2, 264.
[viii] Georg Hegel2, 45.
[ix] Georg Hegel1, 23.
[x] Ken Wilber, 102.
[xi] Albert Einstein
December 8, 2016 in Views
This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. I)
God and the Bees
I’ve learned so much about existence just from having a garden. No, not just from the books I’ve read about it!, but by being able to immerse myself in life, and to surround myself with its constantly transitional systems. I’d like to share a thought from the garden.
The fact that humanity and bees are both drawn by, and may appreciate beauty in, the same flower, demonstrates a degree of intersubjective understanding in my opinion. Though bees and humans approach them differently, and may see different uses for them, that bees and humans have come to appreciate a similar sense of beauty at all is quite astonishing. There is no doubt we live in an objective Universe experienced subjectively. Though our experiences may be subjective, our being seems rather objective, and common choices or desired outcomes, such as a shared appreciation for the beauty of a flower between mammals and insects, demonstrates some level of universal aesthetic truth.
At one point in existence there was no flower for the bee at all. At one time no Earth, Sun, or Moon. How did they get here? Evolution, of course. Perhaps God put them here? I’m not going to tell you about the Big Bang and the formation of metals in stars, but I would like to point out a small part of the evolution of the flower. As stated, at one time there were no flowers.
Bees and flowers share an intimate relationship. Many naturalists argue that flowering plants and these social insects co-evolved, as part of biological mutualism. Others contend that bees came first, and fed on, as well as pollinated, older non-flowering plants such as evergreens and ferns. Regardless of which came first, we can see the intimate relationship that bees and flowering plants now share today. Bees rely on flowers for their nectar and pollen, and flowers rely on bees for their pollination. This is relatively common knowledge, but what isn’t common knowledge is that bees are directly involved in the evolutionary direction of flowering plants.
Most of the flowering plants we are familiar with today would not exist if not for bees. Flowering plants put out their bright colors and designs to catch the attention of bees, in order to be pollinated or to pollinate others. Bees are directly involved in the sexuality of plants, and thus play a large role in their sexual selection. If not for the taste of bees in their selection, we wouldn’t have such beautiful flowers. If bees are intelligent, and they are depending on the definition being used, this is an example of intelligent design, although the designer is not anything close to resembling Zeus up there in the clouds. Is God a bee?
The Choices We Make
Bees are not the only species to demonstrate the ability to affect the development of other life forms throughout their evolution. Most life, being part of a larger ecosystem, has this ability, as well as the capacity to be affected. In humans, social and sexual selection— the choosing of friends and mates— has led us greatly to where we are. As we choose sexual partners, friends, allies, etc. we are designing the future, by choosing the genes that are passed on. This is also done through cultural selection, whereby a society’s memes can be preserved or lost.
Through culture humans create archetypes by which to select the traits which we will move toward genetically. By creating social pressures, ethics, culture has developed a means by which humanity will select its own path in evolution. This is similar to the way that humans have selected dogs artificially over the ages. We have created small ones for companionship, large ones to work, and those that fetch for hunting. We have also selected them based upon their ability to do well with our children and ourselves. Culture is the way for humans to make these choices about ourselves.
If it is the norm desired by society to know how to whistle due to the fact it is used in the local language, as in Silbo Gomero and many more, individuals who know how to do so will be favored over those without the ability. The same can be said for our moral systems. In a society which values love and respect, those who are inclined to be caring and decent will be chosen by society as friends and sexual partners. The genetic material will be passed on favoring such choice of action, creating phenotypes exhibiting such a behavior.
In a society where there is a dictatorship and strong class distinction, individuals will be selected out based on their noncompliance to government. This can have major effects on the movement of the species, especially if it occurs in heavy isolation, because it has the capability of genetically predisposing individuals to comply with authority, and thereby creating genetic castes in our species.
It’s important to know the choices we are making and how to influence culture with what we think is right. Whatever it is you choose, do so wisely. The future is in your hands.
Purpose and Selection
Much of humanity’s struggle has been against the environment. Humanity has not just been sculpted by its own choices, but also by weather, predation, resources, and more. In order to get by and solve many of their conflicts with their environments, the ancestors of humanity banded together. Greatly reducing environmental costs, association brought new costs of social interaction, giving us pressures within our own species to create ethics, status, laws, and the like.
Humans seem to be the only species capable of such high degrees of self-awareness. Amidst rules, statuses, and ethical systems, humans have started to concern themselves with something further than the external (environment and society) and toward the internal (value and purpose). When a person feels a void of value, purpose, and direction they become depressed, and look for new ways to find identity. Purpose, direction, and value may exist in the long term and in the short term. Short term goals, though important they may be as stepping stones, will ultimately culminate in higher purpose, or will lead to dead ends and depression.
Most of our goals are creative in nature— the writing of a song, the building of a home, the raising of a family, the cooking of a meal— and they satisfy us for their time being. We have created systems of shared goals and behavior— marriage, friendship, community—, and, as Michael Tomasello suggests, we have constructed a “we” in order to do so.[i] In every “we” there is both the higher expression and the loss of some part of the self.
It is our subjective experience that gives us need for meaning, purpose, and objectivity. Subjective experience, self, is represented by one thing alone and that thing is want. All subjective experience wants, because subjective experience is the experience of lack. Thus, life wants, and, in order to have, we must set and reach goals to meet our wants. In order to have our desires (food, music, family, friends, a home) met we must first give ourselves a purpose, a goal, an objective, and the material means to reach our desires. Without realistic goals, plans to reach our ideal desires of the future from the present reality, we become depressed, and may eventually die. It is depressing to have wants and no way to fulfill them. Life requires the accomplishment of realistic goals, motivated by desire, in order to continue.
Through the achievement of our goals (environmental, social, personal), and by giving ourselves purpose, we are intelligent designers partaking in the influence of evolution, whether we are simply trying to get pollen to our hive like a bee, or we are trying to meet the complex environmental, social, and personal goals that we may set for ourselves as humans. Life is putting together objective experience (lack of want), that little singularity that existed before the Big Bang, by setting and reaching its goals. Since energy cannot be created or destroyed, and the very same particles that make up our flesh have been on this Earth long before us, likely composing the brains and bodies of our ancestors and environment, we have largely sculpted ourselves through the process of natural selection long past gone. Our physical and emotional attraction to others today will do just the same. Just as bees have given us the beauty of flowers, when they pick the prettier ones to visit (and thus pollinate), our prehistoric ancestors chose from their own group’s genes and memes when they chose friends, allies, and sexual partners. Over long periods of time and speciation, we now have humans, whom are much more beautiful than the apes we evolved from, and capable of much more cooperation.
We choose our future by the choices we make today. The purpose of life is to live, to want, and to set goals to acquire these desires. To want, and to set goals for oneself, is an integral part of that, but desire, itself being a demand for objectivity of being and experience, should not stop with the desires of the self.
We go further than the self when we establish the “we” when we marry, make friends, or incorporate with business partners, or associate in the market to create society. It should not stop here, however. Over time, as life colonizes the stars, it will be necessary to extend our sense of we to the newly awaken matter, just as we have extended our sense of I into we. As we do this we step out of identity and subjectivity and into interconnectedness, objectivity. As the Universe awakens, life is destined to culminate through its systems of goals in the desires of The All— God— and put the Universe back together. As we reach our goals and extend our self to others we are a part of this process. We will find life less depressing when we see “being” as a time-period beyond our own life-term, and “self” beyond our own body.
[i] Michael Tomasello, 56.
December 8, 2016 in Views
This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. I)
This was originally composed for a speech given to the People’s Arcane School
on November 4, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Dualist pantheism is a family of thought which views God as the Universe, and which believes God to be expressed through a duality of elements often found to be at odds with one another. In this essay, we will solidify what is meant by dualist pantheism, before comparing it to other varieties of pantheism, and taking a deeper look into its system of duality. This system will be used to describe a number of tensions within our Universe, as well as to provide a solution to them. This will not only be a general introduction to dualist pantheism, but will approach it as a specific ontological and epistemological system. We will conclude with the practical applications of dualist pantheism.
What is Dualist Pantheism?
Pantheism is an unconventional position regarding the nature of God: Believers see God and the Universe (past, present, and future, all at once) as one and the same thing. God is believed to be the interconnected whole, the totality of things.
The word pantheism comes from the Greek pan and theos, pan meaning all and theos meaning God. Pantheism means all is God. It’s important to note that the “all” in question is not “all” as in every individual unit in themselves, but The All as in the entirety of existence taken as an undivided whole. J. Allanson Picton, purveyor of pantheism, says,
In this view, the man is the unity of all organs and faculties. But it does not in the least follow that any of the organs or faculties, or even a selection of them, is the man.
If I apply this analogy to an explanation of the above definition of Pantheism as the theory that there is nothing but God, it must not be supposed that I regard the parallelism as perfect. In fact, one purpose of the following exposition will be to show why and where all such analogies fail. For Pantheism does not regard man, or any organism, as a true unity. In the view of Pantheism the only real unity is God. But without any inconsistency I may avail myself of common impressions to correct a common mis-impression. Thus, those who hold that the reasonable soul and flesh is one man–one altogether–but at the same time deny that the toe or the finger, or the stomach or the heart, is the man, are bound in consistency to recognise that if Pantheism affirms God to be All in All, it does not follow that Pantheism must hold a man, or a tree, or a tiger to be God. 
Dualist pantheism, the subject here spoken of, is the position that, though there is only one God (who is synonymous with the Universe), within this one God is also a duality, a polarity, which is expressed generally as order and disorder, or as spirit and matter. Paul Harrison notes that,
Because they have the basic pantheist belief in the unity of all things, dualist pantheists often believe that some form of spirit may be present in animals and plants, and in rudimentary form, even in rocks. 
He notes further,
Many dualist pantheists also believe that the Universe may have some kind of conscious purpose or direction. This is usually seen as the progress evolution towards more and more complex and intelligent forms which are increasingly linked to one another through communication. 
As in most monotheistic notions, in dualist pantheism God retains the traits of omniscience (perfect knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), and omnibenevolence (perfect goodness). Baruch Spinoza, himself, Dutch philosopher and popularizer of pantheism during the wake of the Enlightenment (which he was largely responsible for), tells us in the first part of his Ethics, “Concerning God,” that God is a perfect, all-encompassing, infinite, necessary, and free cause for existence.  He says in the following section that God is an immutable thinking thing. 
When a dualist pantheist speaks of their beliefs, they are attributing these traits of absolute goodness, infinite existence, unlimited power, etc. to the entirety of existence, of which we are all already a part, seeing everything that happens (including our actions) as an expression of God’s will. [i] Though God is attributed to Nature, or the Universe, the immanent and genderless being is seen as being no less powerful than the common, purely transcendent God of the West today, and is understood as having an eternal and necessary existence.
God, for the pantheist, is not restricted to future transcendence alone, but exists in the moment, within all of present existence, as well. Complete understanding of God, or unity with God, however, is something we must wait for, as we must first have unity amongst ourselves. [ii] In this way, God, or at least our understanding of God, retains a level of transcendence.
Dualistic pantheism may be found in many religious and spiritual views, including ancient and modern mystical beliefs.
Zoroastrianism, for instance, is a pantheistic view which pits the good and true deity, Ahura Mazda, who is represented as Being and Mindfulness, against the bad and deceitful Angra Mainyu, whom is associated with Nonbeing and Destructiveness. This belief is pantheistic in that Angra Mainyu represents Nonbeing, and so Being is all that really exists.
This is similar in some ways to Gnosticism, another form of dualistic pantheism, which shuns the material world of the demiurge, in favor of the spiritual world of God. Manly P. Hall suggests, in his lecture, “Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism,” that Gnosticism was influenced by the thought of Atenism— initiated by the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten—, as well as the thought of Plato and Neo-Platonists, such as Plotinus.  It was certainly also influenced by Zoroastrianism. Gnosticism was a mystical theology of emanationism, where everything poured from a single Source, and gnosis was the recognition of the illusion of the material world, and awakening to the spiritual, inciting a return to The Source.
Dualistic forms of pantheism are prominent in ancient Greek, Persian, and Egyptian philosophies— Hermeticism, for instance, is a form of dualistic pantheism—, and are also expressed in the Ancient Chinese Tao te Ching, and in some forms of Hinduism. In the middle ages, dualistic forms of pantheism were expressed by Sufis, such as Ibn al’ Arabi, and by Giordano Bruno, who, in De immenso, saw a “coincidence of contraries,” wherein everything divides in order to become self-aware, before uniting again. Groups like the Free Spirit also expressed pantheistic views.
The Enlightenment brought about a number of influential pantheists, but especially worth noting is Baruch de Spinoza, who inspired a number of pantheists after him, including Kant, Hegel, and Goethe. It was John Tolland who would coin the theological moniker, pantheism. Others who have had noteworthy pantheistic views, getting a little closer to the present, in no particular order, include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William James, Walt Whitman, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and many more.
The Taxonomy of Pantheism
The taxonomy of pantheism is important to understanding the ontological and epistemological approach taken throughout the rest of this essay. I have found Paul Harrison’s work to be a helpful tool in beginning to understand the various forms of pantheism. According to the second edition of Elements of Pantheism, by Paul Harrison, pantheism takes one of three forms, organized by ontology: idealist, physicalist, and dualist. Harrison says,
Dualistic Pantheism believes that spirit and matter are two completely different substances [attributes, if using Spinozan terminology], and that the soul is to some extent separate from the body and can survive the body’s death.
Monistic Pantheism holds that there is only one fundamental substance. Monism comes in two varieties.
Physicalist monism believes that the basic substance is matter/energy, and that mind is a property of matter.
As Harrison demonstrates, monism is the belief that there is a single substance that ultimately comprises the Universe, but within monist pantheism are two main tendencies, which include physicalism and idealism. Physicalist monism is the view that all that exists is the material substance that we are surrounded by and made of. Idealist monism is the belief that all that exists is spirit or consciousness, and that existence itself is but a thought.
Dualist pantheism, the subject of this writing, is the belief that both the physical and the ideal exist, but there is only one underlying substance, God. Spinoza says, “Besides God no substance can be granted or conceived.”  Dualist pantheists, like Spinoza, believe that the physical and ideal, or extension and thought, as he calls them, exist as attributes of this substance, rather than being separate substances themselves. [iii] Within physicalist and idealist pantheism, attributes and substances match, but within dualist pantheism, substance expresses two attributes. [iv]
Dualist pantheism is not a negation of a monad, but, quite the contrary, seeks to unify the two main views of substance into one, God, and describe them separately as attributes of that substance, rather than as substances themselves. The dualism of this pantheism is simply ceding to the truths found in each, idealism and physicalism. Neutral monism is another term that may be used for attribute dualism, as well as dialectical monism, or even the paradoxical “dualist-monism.” [v]
Each form of pantheism, idealist, physicalist, and dualist, has its associated strengths and weaknesses:
The strengths of idealist monism are in its purity, openness to free will, imagination, and its perfectionism. Being subjectivist, it explains consciousness quite well. Its weaknesses are its restrictions by the material world: Though a situation may be ideal, it is not necessarily how things play out in reality. Though the ideas are beautiful, they are hard to actualize.
Physicalism has its strengths in its certainty, realism, tried and true methods, and scientific and objectivistic empiricism. It is practical. It is limited by its inability to explain potential, progress, consciousness, ethics, and the natural human desire for meaning and purpose, which idealists are better able to explain. It is slow to innovate.
Dualist pantheism finds its strengths in uniting the two opposing views and conceding knowledge to both sides. It is a syncretic philosophy, seeing value in both positions. Dualist pantheists admit their inability to empirically prove their idealism, and rely on a certain amount of rationalism to do so. This weakness is accepted by dualists as part of a reality that is more complicated than we are. There must be an amount of admitted difficulty when subscribing to a view such as dualism or idealism, because the spiritual cannot be seen, only felt and conceptualized.
Substance, Attributes, and Modes
Spinoza tells us, in his Ethics, that God is the single substance from which everything, thought and extended, is fashioned. The attributes of God are simply expressions of this substance. He says, “extension and thought are either attributes of God or accidents of the attributes of God.” 
As substance has attributes, the attributes have modes. Spinoza says, “Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner.”  As attribute is to substance, mode is to attribute (and also itself, as the modes can have modes). Multiplicity is a modal existence, and from the two attributes a great number of modes are derived. Width, being a modal expression of physical extension, is rooted in the material attribute, while the feeling, or qualia, of love is an expression of temporal illusion, being rooted in the spiritual or mental attribute.
There are only two attributes of which we can consciously conclude in favor of their existence (though Spinoza suggests there may be an infinite number of attributes which we are unaware of). These are typically labeled extension and thought, after Spinoza, but are also referenced by some as real and ideal, matter and spirit, body and mind, space and time, etc.
For purposes of this writing, I will not be sticking in any hard way to Spinoza’s method. Although I find Spinoza to be quite inspirational and useful, I find him either to be unclear in particular areas, or outright disagreeable (mostly, I like him). While I will be making use of his system of substance, attributes, and modes, I will use these categories differently. This is particularly so because I disagree (to an extent) [vi] that “Body cannot determine the mind to think, neither can mind determine body to motion or rest,”  while I also hold it to be true that, “a circle existing in nature, and the idea of a circle existing, which is also in God, are one and the same thing displayed through different attributes.” 
Part of our disagreement may be that Spinoza associates time with extension, while I believe mind, his other attribute, to be a matter of temporality. I believe this to be so because, taking from Pierre de Chardin, I associate spirit, or mind, with goals or finalities. I also believe thought to correlate with extension— but not present extension, future extension (or spirit)—, by way of multiverse theory. [vii] In this way, substance monism is maintained: Thought and extension are ultimately expressions of an underlying unity (what you conceptualize is a physical future). Thought is extension, and vice versa (when understood as substance). Any difference is perceptive. Spinoza wouldn’t necessarily disagree here, only with my categorization of mind with time.
I will be including in the attribute of extension only that motion which can be described in terms of pure physics, while in the attribute of thought I will include the desire derived by cognizance and will alone.
I will be associating extension with space, and thought with time. For this reason, I may reference the attribute of thought as the attribute of temporality, as I believe the two to be inseparable. I will approach the two attributes in a variety of ways, all loosely relating to the same general idea, its associated perspectives, and approaches:
What is commonly referred to as being real is the physical/material world of extension and objectivity, which is determined by the entropy of the past, and can be studied empirically. What is commonly referred to as being ideal is the mental/spiritual world of temporality and subjectivity, which is created syntropically by acts of free will, being pulled toward the future by way of rational constructs, which act as attractors. The ideal is free, and, being mentally oriented, it is subjective.
The rest of this essay will demonstrate the inner workings of dualist pantheism. The terms above will be used rather synonymously at times, so it is important to keep these in mind, to know their meaning, and to understand their relationship.
You’re about to take a leap down the rabbit hole. Here we go.
Spirit and Matter
The best way to understand the attributes of God is to have a look at causality and ontology. To do this, we’ll start by distinguishing between body and spirit, as they relate to time and space, before continuing with a simplified model of their universal progression. As we continue, it will be important to remember that the ideal and the spiritual are correlated, as are the real and material, or physical. As I will demonstrate, they are also related by way of time and space.
What moves in time, but not space? [viii] Think of the physicalist/materialist world. Let’s use a rock for this example. It is true that a rock, at the atomic and the planetary levels, is not necessarily stagnant, but think about it relative to the ground, on our scale: a rock just sits there. It moves along through time with us, as it does not disappear one moment and appear the next, but it does not actively make choices about its position in space like we do.
What is the opposite, then? What moves in space, but not in time? How about spirit? [ix] Dualists attribute spirit with the ideal part of existence. There is not much that can be used to demonstrate the spiritual outside of thought-experiment, since the spiritual is inherently that of which we are unaware, appealing not to study by physicalist-based empiricism, but to idealist-based rationalism. Close your eyes for a brief moment and think about being able to move through space, but not time. It would be as if everything that existed was stagnant, and you could move freely through that reality, perhaps even affecting it.
What then, cannot move in space or in time? Absence. That is all that can “exist.” We will call this death. It is simply unthinkable, as we cannot consciously consider what it is like to be unconscious or nonexistent. Absence isn’t. Nowhere can it be found or felt.
What of its opposite, moving both through space and through time? This is something special. We call it life. Life is the strongest argument for idealism, as it poses many problems for modern science. Life possesses both body and spirit, and for this reason it is the medium between the astroplane (the realm of spiritual existence, idealism) and the material world, showing us a glimpse into the spiritual world. Life doesn’t just sit there, like a rock, though it has a material body. Like spirit, living beings can make choices of where to be, but, unlike spirit, they can’t move completely freely through space, but are restricted by their bodies.
|Moves in Time||Doesn’t|
|Moves in Space||Life||Spiritual|
The physical body is free to move in time, but the spiritual body is needed to traverse space. That is, we say that matter moves in time (like a rock does), and that spirit moves in space (like ideas do). Moving purely in time (like a rock) is stagnation in space, while purely physical motion (like thought) is stagnation in time. Life traverses both time and space to some degree.
It’s important to note that, while physical bodies (space) govern time (the future), spiritual bodies (time) govern space (the past). Physical bodies (space) are connected to past causation and spiritual bodies (time) are connected to future causation. Physicalism— and all of the philosophies based in it (empiricism, realism, materialism, etc.)—, is rooted in the past, from which we are physically expanding, while idealism (rationalism, idealism, spiritualism) can be found in the future, toward which our ideas flow.
Spirit is simply matter which exists in the future, and matter is simply spirit which is oriented in the past. By determining space (matter), time, which is spirit, acts from the future. That is, spirit is of the future, and matter is of the past. Matter determines time, and spirit determines matter. The change of space is an act of the future, and the change of time is an act of the past. We experience time (thought) determining space (body) as the future (destiny) manipulating matter (action), and we experience space (body) determining time (thought) as the past (action) manipulating time’s transition (fate). The chain of events, together, is substance. This will become more clear as we continue forward. The following models will help with this.
Now that the groundwork between time, space, matter, and spirit is set, we may apply these concepts and take a deeper look at the process by which they interact. This will entail looking at the nature of space and time.
Convergence and Divergence
According to many versions of sacred geometry, everything can be reduced to, and comes from, the number one. As Michael Schneider points out, if you multiply 111111111 by 111111111 you get the number 12345678987654321,  all of the numerals in the Hindu-Arabic system of numbers (before the invention of the numeral 0). One multiplied by itself is always a palindrome: 11 x 11 = 121, 11 x 1111 = 12221 (if you’re using big numbers, you have to use larger base-sets, as in 123456789abcdefg, g being equal to 16. In this case eleven ones times eleven ones would give us the number 123456789aba987654321). We’ll start here with our figurative model of causality.
If we look closely, two processes are made apparent. There is the divergence from one, as the digits climb from one to nine, and the convergence from nine as they return to one. These coincide quite nicely with the syntropian philosophy, a view that suggests the Universe “bounces” in repeated contractions and expansions. Entropy is the expansion, and syntropy is the contraction.
The view of syntropy, going by various names, has long been expressed in spiritual traditions, but has more recently been expressed by the Italian mathematician, Luigi Fantappié, and has been supported by folks like Albert Szent-Györgyi, discoverer of vitamin C, and by Buckminster Fuller. It has most recently been clarified by statistician and psychologist, Ulisse Di Corpo, and his partner, Antonella Vannini, and their associates (to whom I am very grateful),  among many others. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini suggest in an abstract that,
When the dual solution of the energy/momentum/mass equation of Einstein’s special relativity is interpreted a cosmological representation of the universe governed by a diverging and a converging force and vibrating between peaks of expansion and concentration is obtained. During the diverging phase time flows forward, whereas during the converging phase time flows backward. In this representation causality and retrocausality constantly interact. 
Using an oscillating model of reality, the Universe works similarly to the model presented above, with both divergent and convergent tendencies. For sake of our discussion, the one simply represents the singularity which existed before the Big Bang, and the nine metaphorically represents the end of the Universe (in this model, we are using a simple base-nine, because we are being very general, not specific). [x] Entropy is the expansive and chaotic motion from one, singularity, to nine, plurality, and syntropy is the contractive and ordered motion from nine, plurality, to one, singularity. These positions of singularity and plurality, and their associated processes of entropy and syntropy, the dual attributes of God, can be related to polarized ideologies, such as idealist/spiritualist or realist/physicalist beliefs.
According to modern physicalist belief, the Universe is expanding from the Big Bang, being subject to entropy (divergent tendency) alone, and is destined for its ultimate destruction in a thermodynamic heat death. According to many spiritual beliefs, however, there is a final justice and happiness that exists for us in the future, such as Heaven, Jannah, Tian, etc. This represents syntropic phenomena (convergent tendencies), or, more properly, noumena (an event which is known without use of input from the five senses). Realism follows the entropy of past materialism, while idealism follows the syntropic spirit, the grand ideas, of the future. The past is the birthing ground of physicalism (matter), as it has been actualized, quantized, and in turn may be studied by way of empiricism. The future is the source of idealism (spirit), as it can only be hypothesized, rationalized. [xi] Our goals, ideals, are based in future outcomes, while current reality resulted from actions in the past. As time reaches its end, however, it is put into reverse, making positions such as past and future relative, [xii] and leading to a “B-model” of time. Our deep future is our past, but only after a change of direction.
A Change of Direction
We do not just go from one to nine (singularity to plurality), but from one to nine and then back to one (singularity to plurality to singularity). Though a being in the material side (1-9) may be at position four, they must get to nine (plurality) before they get back to one (singularity). Moving forward, from past to future, from matter to spirit and back, has a relative interpretation this way. Everything has spirit and matter, but to varying extents, depending on its orientation. For instance, a converging-two (2 on the right of 9) would be seen as having very little body but much spirit, [xiii] and a diverging-two (2 on the left of 9) would have much body and little spirit, though they are in the same position. It’s the direction, charge, or orientation, that changes. Indeed, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin makes this clear, when he says,
In the system of creative union, moreover, it becomes impossible to continue crudely to contrast Spirit and matter. For those who have understood the law of ‘spiritualisation by union,’ there are no longer two compartments in the Universe, the spiritual and the physical: there are only two directions along one and the same road (the direction of pernicious pluralisation, and that of beneficial unification). Every being in the world stands somewhere on the slope that rises up from the shadows towards the light. In front of it, lies the effort to master and simplify its own nature; behind, the abandonment of effort in the physical and moral disintegration of its powers. If it goes forward, it meets the good: everything is Spirit for it. If it falls back, it meets nothing on its road but evil and matter. Thus an infinite number of steps are spaced out between absolute evil (that is, nothingness, the total plurality to which everything reverts) and the Supreme Good (that is, the centre of universal convergence towards which everything tends); these steps are, no doubt, separated by a number of ‘landings ‘ (like that, for example, which marks off animal from man, or man from angel), but they nevertheless represent one general movement, and to each step there corresponds a particular distribution of good and evil, of Spirit and matter. What is evil, material, for me, is good, spiritual, for another advancing by my side. And the climber ahead of me on the mountain would be corrupted if he used what gives me unity.
By its very nature, syntropy, the tendency of spirit, commanding space, is time running backward (relative to entropy), rather than forward. If we look at our model in a less linear way, then, recognizing that a convergence toward one from nine is a product of retro-causality (meaning time moving backward), we must recognize that a converging-two is the same position as a diverging two, with the only difference being the orientation of their motion, a difference of intention. If we want to maintain a linear approach to motion, we inevitably must show the past as the deep future (9-1, first image), but we can show a less linear approach with a “bounce back” (9-1, second image):
Body (1-9) tries to move toward nine, trying to free itself to be expressed as spirit (9-1) rather than matter. After reaching nine its ability to manipulate time as it progresses lessens, in favor of manipulating space. Spirit moves toward one, in order to give itself body, thereby lessening its ability to manipulate space as it progresses, in favor of manipulating time. Though both tendencies exist in the same being, each wants to express itself in differing directions. The body wants to move through time, and the spirit through space. [xiv]
Both the physical and spiritual ultimately move toward contraction, but according to their own frames of reference. The purely physical, with its ability to manipulate time, without regard to space, collapses time, and so space seems to expand. The purely spiritual, manipulating space instead, collapses it, and time seems to expand. If time expands, space contracts. If space expands, time contracts. [xv] They are interconnected. [xvi] If we measure the forward motion of time relative to physical entropy, syntropy moves in reverse. That is, if we say that the future approaches as things expand, break down, and decay, we can say that as entropy increases time moves forward. Likewise, we can reverse this, and say that as entropy decreases (or syntropy increases) time moves backward.
Remember, the first postulate of Einstein’s special relativity states that the laws of physics are consistent for all who move uniformly. If spirit is moving backward in time, [xvii] and material forward, this difference in direction results in completely different laws of physics for the two attributes. Relativity also describes the slowing of time with the acceleration of space. This will result in a flipping in the direction of time. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini suggest that,
During the diverging phase the forward flow of time decelerates and halts when the expansion of the universe halts. Time then starts flowing backward at an always increasing rate when the universe converges into the Big Crunch. 
One may notice that, if we are still in a physically expanding Universe (1-9), our perspective must be at a location diverging into nine, but this does not mean that, because the physical Universe has not reached the spiritually-oriented perspective which exists post-nine yet, we are unable to be spiritual beings, but rather, that we are the specific exception to the general rule, and that we are dictated more heavily by laws of matter than laws of spirit. [xviii] Though we are composed of matter, we do not experience life as that matter alone (we identify with the experience of the conscious mind more than that of our unconscious body). We are not completely determined by the past, and locality, but we exalt free will (actually retro-causality), which is rooted in the future and is non-locally effected. More on this later.
Position and Process
The point, one, and line, nine, are particular positions of consciousness and potential. The point, one, is the full potential for a materially existing Universe. From one, singularity, arose the Big Bang that gave us all of the other numbers. One is the common denominator of all things.
The line, nine, is the full potential for a primarily spiritual Universe. Nine represents the full expansion of the Universe and its creative awakening, ultimately bringing us the Big Crunch, as we ascend back to one.
We are currently living in a world of determinism, on the side primarily of physicalism (1-9). Because life expresses syntropy, we are the exception to the rule. Though we are progressing toward the ideal/spiritual, the Universe is not yet past nine, which is the point where spirit starts gaining aggregate power and syntropy takes over. It is here, at full expansion, that life finds its true potential, and can begin to more fully exercise its will toward its goals.
If we look at a converging-one (9-1) as the ultimate ideal we can conceptualize this returning to the source, one, as the final goal, the top of the ladder. If we look at a diverging one (1-9) as the ultimate materialism from which we are straying we can view it as the bottom of the ladder. The degrees of these, which exist between, are the other numbers. It is important to move toward one’s ideals at the top of the ladder, but most of the time it is impossible to just jump to the top. That’s why we need ladders to begin with! Instead, we must climb the steps as they come.
The numbers between one and nine represent only degrees of intensity. Nine, when it is approached from one, is noticed as a universal realization of spiritual potential. One, when it is approached from nine, is the final result of spiritual flow, and the full realization of material potential from which a new existence may begin (this can be seen as another position of consciousness, perhaps as superconsciousness, or even ultimate access to the collective unconscious, as all is known at that point). Everything in-between is merely the journey.
It is from the point of one that the rules for the Universe are established, and from there it just follows instruction. One represents the culmination of freedom on the spiritual side (9-1), but it also represents absolute determinism on the side of materialism (1-9). On the converging side of one (9-1) the rules are being established, and on the side of divergence (1-9) the rules are being played out. On the diverging side of nine (1-9), the old rules are being broken, and on the converging side (9-1), new rules are being created. Freedom and determinism are one and the same, but viewed from different angles.
Life is animated, able to make decisions, and capable of expressing traits of free will. As one (singularity) is diverged from, and nine (plurality) becomes stronger, free will spreads. Though we express degrees of free will it is not the standard in our Universe. Free will is only going to start to outgrow determinism at the point of nine. Determinism will still exist at nine, and free will can only become absolute at the point of one, which then begins a new system of determinism. One and nine both represent extremes. One represents the extreme ability of potentials, free will and determinism, both being of equal strength, but on different sides. Nine, on the other hand, represents the extreme of both’s limits, where free will and determinism are mutually weak. We are currently experiencing consciousness of our physical existence, but are developing toward spiritual consciousness.
What is consciousness?
Our consciousness can be seen as will, desire, need, those things which are somehow connected to motivation and valuation. As Ulisse Di Corpo and others suggest, consciousness is one of our means to evade entropy and to satisfy our material vital needs. Larger organisms rely greatly on their consciousness to exist. Without this consciousness they could not seek out their material needs: nutrients, shelter, and sex. They would die. The earlier forms of life-systems don’t rely as much on the consciousness of their physical existence; a plant soaks its nutrients up from its immediate surroundings (the dirt and sun rays), for instance, and doesn’t have to search out food. As life develops, so too does its will.
Our subjective consciousness comes to be as the Universe approaches nine because ours is a reaction to entropy, separation. This can be seen in the fact that our consciousness represents lack, subjectivity, desire, rather than objectivity and fulfillment. We can only be conscious in the manner we are (having subject and object) while there is something to be conscious of, so our consciousness relies on subjective (separate) physical experience. We act because we need or want certain outcomes which we do not already enjoy. It is from our subjective experience that our consciousness develops, because subjective experience is necessarily an experience of lack, and the lack creates desire, of which we then become increasingly aware until it is satisfied. This satisfaction which motivates us is found in the future. Thus, our consciousness is always suffering, as human consciousness is the experience of not having, and always wanting more. It is pulled by the future possibility of satisfaction, of which we may only partially acquire before death. This seems like a frightening idea at first, but the struggle of life is actually a very important and necessary part of the Universe, as it is the mechanism by which it evades complete entropy (death) and preserves itself from stopping at nine. It is only after nine, back toward one—the ideal and spiritual world—, that the Universe can begin to lose its pain and subjectivity and find true objective happiness, but it must first come to The Great Realization of its own potential. In the abstract to “The Evolutionary Role of Suffering,” Ulisse Di Corpo says,
The needs model developed with the introduction of Syntropy shows that anguish is an indicator of the need of love, while depression indicates that the identity conflict remains unsolved. Physical, psychological and emotional sufferings indicate that one or more needs remain unsatisfied. Even if some forms of suffering might be dramatic, they force individuals and societies towards higher forms of awareness and evolution. 
Our conscious abilities as humans are so-far unable to break the second law of thermodynamics, leading to our death, and the death of those around us whom we must subsist off of. We are, however, getting better at forming good habits of self-preservation, and are growing in awareness regarding the need to reduce our needs (and so our toll on our surroundings), and thus in our attempts at reducing entropy for ourselves and our environment. This shows the growth of the potential in the Universe to break (or at least exhaust or make negligible) the second law, which fully exists at (and after) the point of nine, in the spiritual/ideal realm.
Though life is not capable of full spiritual expression in the moment, and each individual will ultimately reach their material fate, life is a culminating process of continual progression. Unlike the primarily material world, life collectively and exponentially changes toward complexity and goodness. Though each individual dies, each individual, when they successfully pass on their genes and memes, is part of the process of building higher consciousness. We would not have our level of thought if not for those who lived before us taking part in a long chain of evolutionary progress, biological and cultural, which has allowed for structures which hone in on spirit, such as protoplasm on the cellular level, and brains on our own. These structures, picking up on spirit as antennae pick up on waves, allow us to express our will, give us consciousness as we know it, a spirit which is trapped in the world of the body.
Our consciousness is currently and greatly restricted to the material world. It is a consciousness of subjectivity, of other, of lack, need. There is another form of consciousness that exists, however, of which we are not completely unaware. This consciousness is accessed while we are asleep, but we are restricted from full use of this consciousness because of our foundation in the physical realm. This consciousness is the consciousness of the spiritual or ideal, where ideas are unrestricted, but the body is inoperable to realize them. Lucid dreaming, consciously making decisions in the dream state, especially allows the dreamer to experience a portion of this anti-reality, which may already exist in our collective unconscious.
Our physical consciousness exists from a growing state of lack, but consciousness of the spiritual exists in a state of growing abundance and potential. It is the consciousness of possibility. Instead of growing awareness of self and other, as we are used to having— self and other increasingly being separated— spiritual reality from nine to one is a growing awareness of the self in others— a collective self-awareness— and movement toward objective reality, where self and other are increasingly conflated. This develops from the growing awareness of the internal self as nine is approached, which is awareness of the spiritual. The spiritual realm begins, and gains true potential, when all of existence has become self-aware to a point that “self” becomes conflated to some degree with all of existence. This is the point I call The Great Realization or The Great Awakening. This happens at nine.
God, who can be seen as the highest order of consciousness, both physical and spiritual, is not restricted to any number on our model, but is all numbers on the model at once. In this way, seeing the Universe as consciousness is a little different from the idealist vision of a purely mental Universe, by ceding a degree of materialism (God has mind and body), but is also very similar to many of its popular notions of the creative potential of the Universe, and God is seen as very much conscious (in fact, ultimately so). God is alive.
Purpose and Freedom of Will
The expression of free will is the purpose of our ever evolving consciousness. It is in freedom of will that we can find our reason for being as humans. Aristotle figured it out long ago when he said, “All men by nature desire to know,” to begin his Metaphysics. From this he deduced that people have a desire to know so that they can do good, and the reason people do good is so they can be happy. In choosing to do good, we are influencing the resulting future (but this is only a subjective experience, not an objective fact, as substance is immutable).
Our free will is not as we think, it is time moving backwards, [xix] from finality to the beginning (a process known as retro-casuality). When we accomplish our goals it is because we were drawn to them by future consequences, desires outside of our control. Actualizing those goals is constructing the Universe. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini note, “According to the law of syntropy the aim of life is to bring out the design and project which is already present in the attractor.” 
Freedom is simply the ability to do what we will, but what we will is teleologically determined by the ideal. Indeed, this is our purpose: to create and make the Universe a better place for its inhabitants, to seek the good, and make it happen.
The past is a world of materialism, corruption, and sadness which pushes us away and makes us want to succeed toward something better. That something better exists in the world of spirit, idealism, and the superior future that draws or pulls us toward it. This world only exists so far as we are willing to make it happen, it is the world of our goals and desires actualized. It cannot exist if we do not work to make it happen, but because the natural human instinct is to move toward the good, it is inevitable. It is understanding that drives the future, and, until an understanding is reached between all, we cannot share an objective reality of full potential (at 1), and so we will continue to have conflicts of subjective reality and battles of weak and limited potentials.
Out of our subjective experiences of pain and lack we can create a beautiful existence of total objective satisfaction, free from pain and need. Out of our involvement in subjectivity, this selfishness we experience, comes something beautiful that, if it can spread through the Universe, holds magnificent creative potential (at 9): Love. Love is the final attractor.
Consciousness desires, at least after a certain point of evolution in the hierarchy of needs, to be loved and to share love. It is thus that love is the bringing together of consciousness. To be truly selfish then, for higher orders of consciousness, is to love and care about others, to extend one’s own selfhood to them, that they too may be considered part of one’s self.
A pantheist practices love, though the highest order of love, being unconditional, is not completely attainable to us yet, it is becoming, for to love is our purpose, not our condition. Love is certainly of our faculties, but so is hate (just not to the same degree, as hate is rooted in physicalist philosophies that we are leaving behind). Hate is not the future, however, but, instead, it is love. To love, to be happy, is our destiny as living beings.
Balance of Thought and Practice
Practicing” or “living as” a dualist pantheist entails balance. It a dialectical approach to existence and non-existence, one of becoming. A dualist pantheist opposes scientism, but not science, so long as it is non-dogmatic, nor does a dualist pantheist oppose religion, so long as it is understood that the spiritual can only be felt in metaphor, as it is outside of the reach of human physical knowledge (the spiritual is a world of the future, higher goals, yet to be actualized by multiple perspectives, and we only understand our own). Thus, dualist pantheists are in favor of freedom of, as well as freedom from, religion, and we support empirical science when it is accurate, knows its limits, and is open to acknowledging the value in other forms of thought.
The pantheist realizes their own divine and creative potential, given to them by the Universe, and they exercise it. The pantheist desires to live fully, and to freely express their will. The most important work of art in the world of the pantheist is one’s life and the way one decides to continue, the actualization of ideas. We must never forget our potential. We are constructing the Universe, after all, and we are the pieces.
A dualist pantheist holds ideals that may oftentimes be unable to be accomplished in one lifetime, but understands that life is a cycle, and that our bodies will eventually rot and become the bodies of worms and bacteria, just as our bodies have been made from plant and, if we eat it, animal material. A dualist does not see blind meaninglessness in such a cycle as the food web, but understands the energy pyramid, by which matter establishes higher forms of consciousness, as animals feed from the plants, and plants feed from our dying star. Though they understand their infinite potential, through the passing of genes and memes that will maintain phenotypes of the future, they understand also that fighting against the grain currently presented by the physical world, though in need of a good sanding, does not allow one to work along the grain to create a beautiful, smooth existence. Thus, the dualist keeps their ultimate ideals as transcendental works in progress, but focuses in the meantime on small victories that lead toward such spiritual freedom as ultimately desired. Consequently, dualists value and practice the actualization of ideals, perceivable progress, the meeting of real and ideal, pragmatism. In three words, the dualist practices spiritual direct-action, believing, as Tolstoy repeats from The Gospel According to Luke, that The Kingdom of God is Within You.
The ethics, practice, or way of living as a pantheist are all based on costs and benefits in the long- and short-term. For instance, we may all value love as ultimately good, meaning it has a long-term benefit we should always strive toward, but if someone comes at you with a gun, in a fit of rage, showing them affection may not always be the best way to solve the problem, due to the fact that we are in a material environment and we can’t rely on purely spiritual interactions at all times. If you and I were hanging out as friends together, I may wish for us both to have a beverage of our individual choosing, at no cost to you, or I, or any person who would have to labor otherwise to present us such fine concoctions, but it is simply not yet possible for humanity to wish water into wine.
Life seeks the good and makes it happen to the best of its knowledge and ability. Ideals, though, are greatly restricted by the physical part of the world. Until the Universe (rocks included) reaches a point of full consciousness we will remain restricted from the full exercise of free will. The potential for true free will is in the Great Awakening of the Universe. The physical world is also restricted, but by the ideal world. To have no ideals at all is to be left behind, moved past, and made obsolete. The Universe progresses, but at particular speeds. Virtue is found in keeping pace.
It is virtue that governs the consciousness of the dualist, for virtue is aligning the subjective good with the objective perfection. Virtue is never on one extreme or the other, but is found somewhere in the middle. Virtue is not found in murder, nor in suicide, but in living and letting live. It is not found in over-eating or under-eating, but in eating well. It is not found in acts of aggression or in acts of passive surrender, but in non-aggression and courage. One may think courage is the same as being foolhardy, but foolhardiness is not a virtue, it is a vice. Courage is instead found between the vices of foolhardiness and cowardice, according to Aristotle. Courage relies on feeling, but not to the degree of the foolhardy. Lao Tzu, on the other end of the world, reminds us in the Tao te Ching that “To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.” Thus, it is by ceding to our inabilities, while at the same time acknowledging our abilities, that we may affect the Universe and our lives positively.
The more physicalist or realist of philosophies (or even lack of philosophy) tend to be held by those who are more practical, sticking to tried and true methods. These physicalists are the folks that get things done. They may get things done in the old ways, which may be seen as detrimental to the idealist who may possibly hold better, but new, ideas. In absence of new ideas, however, the physicalist maintains an important position of keeping solutions from the past running until they can be replaced. The proposals of the idealist may be at conflict with the physicalist, however. Oftentimes, those who are too idealistic are also those who are seen as dreamers beyond their means. They are daydreamers who don’t offer as much material benefit to the world through labor, though their spiritual contributions may be priceless. They are the dreamers of new systems. The most successful of approaches, though, are those that are properly balanced by the extremes, and ride a progressive equilibrium that shifts as society moves toward its ideal future. Someone who actualizes their ideals is an important person. Informed pragmatism is the approach of dualist pantheism.
In many Eastern traditions, often embraced by idealists, God is communicated with by way of meditation, as God is seen as internal. Listening to one’s own consciousness/sub-consciousness/etc. is the way, then, to communicate with the inner God. In the West, however, the most common view of God is of a being that is external to our reality, and the tradition has been to communicate with this being by means of prayer. This is often held by the more physicalist of spiritual beliefs, such as the non-pantheist dualistic beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam that have been based in determinism (aside from such connection with God by means of prayer and divine intervention).
Dualist pantheists may find elements of both meditation and prayer to be helpful. Meditation and prayer have both been found to relieve stress. Praying to a larger being allows the mind to displace concerns so that they may be dealt with in a more rational, rather than emotional, manner. The most common of dualist pantheist practice entails elements of both meditation and prayer, but instead of communicating with the internal God by trying not to think or abandon need for resolve, as is done in many meditating traditions, one is contemplating whole-heartedly with the purpose of resolution, and instead of communicating with the external God by way of prayer, it is done by means of conversation with living beings around us and by affecting our physical environment. The pantheist God is both immanent, being within all things, and transcendent, being temporally outside of them, and the way to communicate with God is by means of contemplation and actualization. The act of thinking is a spiritual experience that is often taken for granted.
Dualist pantheism is a theological perspective that, while acknowledging the importance of understanding the duality of attributes, reconciles this duality into a single substance, called God, Nature, or the Universe.
The dualist associates time, thought, spirit, etc. with the syntropic tendencies demonstrated by biology and rational knowledge, while understanding space, extension, matter, etc. as being related to the entropic phenomena analyzed in physics and empiricism.
Though the pantheist recognizes the underlying perfection of existence, they see the imperfect impulses (imperfect due to incompleteness) of humanity as modes of this perfection. That is, the dualist pantheist sees perfect reason and purpose in everything, including our own imperfect desires. In fact, the will of life, consciousness, is seen as the ultimate teleological savior of the physical Universe, without which it would surely perish to thermodynamic heat death. [xx]
The orientation of life toward syntropy governs our rationality, our ethical systems, and our motivation. Though imperfect, life evolves toward the higher good. The dualist pantheist, recognizing this dynamic, and seeing their own desires as expressions of God’s will, places great spiritual importance on the realization of goals, and on direct-action, the expression of our will. We try to match our own will with that of God’s, with that of truth, as much as possible, but our failures demonstrate that, though (according to our necessitarian outlook) our experience of will is still an expression of God’s, its realization is not always accessible.
Evolution is the process of learning, learning to succeed, of matching our will with that of God’s, the will of absolute realization. We are not quite there, we are still unable to act in accord with the absolute truth, due to our ignorance, our subjectivity. Still, our goal, our purpose as humans, is to find, to move toward, this truth, to realize it, which can only be accomplished through a long evolutionary process of compassion and understanding of others. Ours is a Universe not filled with answers, but ripe with questions, questions which may only be answered when we put our heads together, when we concede the inner truths of one another. We must ultimately occupy a singularity, after all. Understanding this is part of The Journey of Realization.
[i] The hows and whys are coming later in the text.
[ii] One may ask, “If God is everything, aren’t we already united with God?” This is absolutely so in one respect, but the unity I am speaking of is the unity of the components of God (us, and the rest of the world) with each other, or the unity of God with itself. That is, when we unite together, God unites with itself. This can be understood as a form of contraction. As the work of Ulisse Di Corpo (to be discussed later on) suggests, this contraction produces feelings of love in us. In this way, human satisfaction is found in unity with the divine.
[iii] Pantheism is necessarily a form of substance-monism (but not always attribute-monism), so when referencing monist and dualist forms of pantheism, I am referencing attribute-dualism and -monism, not substance– varieties (attributes being expressions of an underlying substance rather than the substance itself).
[iv] A true duality of substance, mixed with pantheism, is panentheism (the belief that the Universe is in God, and is a part of God, but isn’t God in its entirety), and rather not pantheism at all.
[v] We will take a deeper look at the distinction between substance, attributes, and modes in the next section.
[vi] Objectively, I believe Spinoza to be correct, as I follow a rather Parmenidean eternalism. However, from such an objectivist view, I don’t believe these attributes to be separate from one another at all, but are instead separated in subjectivity. On the other hand, I still think it is important and useful to discuss interaction between the attributes, as (even if not objectively true) this informs our subjective human experience (the scope of which we are limited to acting within), which is not so monistic.
[viii] Because time and space are a continuum, and are not truly separate, we are not talking about their actual division, but a division of experiences of them. Though a purely physical perspective may entail stagnation in space, like in the rock example coming up soon (but much more pure), it is more active in time than we are, perhaps able to manipulate it as we do physical objects. Afterall, it is mass that bends space-time. Matter manipulates time through gravity, but spirit manipulates matter the way our goals animate our bodies to act. Though a purely spiritual perspective may be unable to freely manipulate or traverse time, it is likely more aware of space than we are, being able to manipulate matter to a much further extent. This will be further expanded upon in upcoming sections.
[ix] I associate spirit with time (because archetypes are temporal), and matter with extension. Clearly, as the spatial dimensions run through one another (left-right runs through up-down or back-forth, and vice versa), time and space do the same. What we perceive as space moving through itself (that is, dense space, or matter, “moving through” uncompressed space, or energy), then, is actually the shifting of spirit through space (ideas change spatial location), and matter through time (mass changes time), with spirit acting as a future track of destiny for matter to fall into and become, through an effort of will (ideas lead to action, they become “materialized” or “actualized”).
Any self-directed physical change in motion is best understood as ideas changing quickly throughout space, and material motion slowed in time to fulfill them. This is so because of the law of relativity, which states that an increase in physical velocity leads to the slowing of time, and the speeding of time leads to a decrease in physical velocity. The process of goal-fulfillment includes the placing of ideas in alternate realities (changing quickly in space), and the physical motion (slowing time) needed to “realize” those realities.
[x] From this point forward, I will be referencing the 1-9 model, so keep in mind the meanings of one and nine (singularity, plurality), and remember also that the numbers between (2-8) represent only degrees of entropy or syntropy between the extremes, without a specific meaning here attached.
[xi] The terms, past and future, are ambiguous to say the least. Throughout this essay, I use these terms in one of two ways, meaning either aggregated or individualized. The aggregate future includes the collection of everything. A thing’s individual future may be oriented one way, while the aggregate future is heading another, for instance. An example of this would be that the Universe is, at present, mostly determined by entropy, but life is largely determined by syntropy. The aggregate future, then, is one of entropy, but the individual future, in the example case of life, is one of syntropy (it is, however, surrounded by individuals which are mostly determined by entropy, which leads to the aggregated future of entropy).
[xii] To better understand, say that a person has a time machine that allows them to go back into the past. They set the device and start to travel. At this point their future is their past.
[xiii] By having little body and much spirit I don’t assume different substances, but different attributes.
[xiv] Body is here associated with space and spirit with time.
[xv] We experience the contraction of time as the slowing of time.
[xvi] Think a moment about a two-dimensional plane with an x and y axis. This plane is composed of two sets of directions: forward and backward, side to side. If one moves in one direction any other direction is compromised. If we move toward the right, we move away from the left. That is, if we start at the center, and move away from it, toward the right, the left is compromised. In other words, any positive degree toward the right creates a negative degree on the left. So, we can say that we are one positive degree right, or one negative degree left. That’s just using one dimension. Now, using both dimensions, if we assume we are traveling forward, and we move to the right as we move forward, this does not only compromise the left, but also the forward motion. That is, if you start turning right, you lessen your motion forward (assuming your speed is constant). It is in this way that dimensions interact with one another. Now, apply this principle to space and time, and you will begin to understand the relativity of space-time: The faster we move in space, the slower we move in time. It’s the same give-and-take relationship.
[xvii] I say that spirit both moves “backward in time,” while also saying it is governed by “future finality.” How is this so? Its attractors are projected backward in time from the future and are picked up on by matter, resulting in the goal-making behavior of living organisms. This is quite different from the behavior of nonliving things.
[xviii] The Universe is currently entropic, and we are the exception to the rule. If understood that we are in the aggregate past (1-9) we can understand that our individual future runs contrary to the relative future of most things around us. So, relative to entropy, we are going backward, even if we are moving forward relative to ourselves, and as part of the aggregate future (9-1). One could say we are a part of the aggregate future, (9-1) but we are surrounded by the aggregate past. (1-9)
[xix] Relative to entropy.
[xx] But this “evolution,” one must remember, occurs within a block Universe. It is an illusion of subjectivity. Objectively, no motion exists, but it is our experience which shifts. This is similar to imagining a flash traveling within a fluorescent tube. The tube itself does not move. The difference is that we experience the flash from without, while nothing travels outside of the bounds of the Universe. It is boundless.
1. J. Allanson Picton, 8.
2. Paul Harrison, 86.
3. Ibid., 87
4. Benedict de Spinoza, 39.
5. Ibid., 78.
6. Manly P. Hall
7. Paul Harrison, 83.
8. Benedict de Spinoza, 49.
9. Ibid., 49.
10. Ibid., 61.
11. Benedict de Spinoza, 130.
12. Benedict de Spinoza, 83.
13. Michael S. Schneider, 3.
14. Please see Di Corpo and Vannini’s Syntropy Journal for more information regarding syntropy and its associated effects: http://www.syntropy.org/journal-english
15. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini2
16. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 51.
17. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini2
18. Ulisse Di Corpo2
19. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini