Friday, January 31, 2014

Consciousness, the triumph of the "or"

There is something about consciousness, that it seems to feel it is detached from all material things. That the thought that it is part of the material world, which it clearly is, seems so counter intuitive, that if anything seems counter intuitive, the evanescence of consciousness seems more counter intuitive than the proposition that 2 plus 2 equals 7.  Thus, to consciousness, it seems detached, that its reality is above the reality of the deteriorating physical world, the world of atrophy.   Thus, the reality of consciousness, illusory as it is, is its "orness" from the world of things.
Thus, like all other things, the mind body problem is moored in Andorian reality.  That being that while the two may be one, the "and" may seem to predominate, the "or" struggles to assert itself and eventually succeeds in doing so by creating the feeling of separateness.  Thus, the sense that the mind is separate, the Cartesian duality so deprecated over the centuries by generations of philosophers, is in fact an indication of a healthy balance between the "and" and "or".

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The "or" in language

Clearly, the "or" is operative in most deductive reasoning: i.e. All ancient Greek philosophers were men, Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher, thus Socrates was a man.  For this reasoning involves detaching an individual from a class of individuals. Similarly, inductive reasoning, in which you combine facts to reach a general conclusion involves the "and".  Of course, the "and" is also involved in deductive reasoning, for even in the above example involving Socrates, we are combining facts to reach conclusions.
But it would seem that language involves some degree of object recognition; i.e. "That is a rose." When I say that, I am recognizing that this flower, due to a number of characteristics, is a member of a category of flowers we call roses, and I am detaching it from that family when I focus on it and say, "This is a rose."  I am also affirming the detachment of the family, "roses", from all other entities.  In addition, I am adding this rose to that family of roses, so that I'll know for future reference that this is also a rose, thus also invoking the "and". 
Thus,  the "object" is an integral part of sentence structure, and comprehension would seem to involve an act of conjuring up classes of objects, determining that the word uttered is one of those objects, detachment, and the addition of that object to the class of objects of which we speak for future reference. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Deductive vs Inductive Reasoning

In deductive reasoning; reasoning from general statements to a logical conclusion, the "or" is operative.  For example, in the classic: All men are mortals, Socrates is a man, thus Socrates is mortal,

Friday, January 17, 2014

The great big zero

There is no greater entity, or nonentity, than zero.  When two quantities are equal, one subtracted from the other is zero.  Thus, zero is the arbiter of equality.  And who can deny that equality is something for which we enlightened humans strive?  
But zero is something much more (than zero).  Is it any coincidence that it is shaped like a hole?  It is the wellspring from which all positive numbers flow, only to return once they have done their duty.  It is the bottomless void into which all negative numbers descend, gasping for air until it is time to close their eyes and sleep. It is the nothingness from which the "and" and the "or" came, affirming themselves in the dazzling light of the big bang, like a baby crying as it exits the womb. 
In the end, we can say that zero is the unchanging entity, the equilibrium that underlies the "and" and the"or", regardless of their flux.  Zero is eternal, the deepest reality.  
And while zero is the stabilizer, the anchor that keep them grounded, the "and" and the "or" reach up, forever striving for infinity.  And while the "and" and the "or" are great, so long as they exist in the material world, they will never reach infinity. 
It is the striving, whether it be for the perfection of zero in the world of human affairs, or the greatness of infinity in explosion of the big bang, the guides the material world.  And in this striving for mathematical perfection, we begin to see what Plato meant when he said that the material world partcipates in the world of the forms. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The primacy of Zero

Another horizon or limit, within which the "and" and "or" operate, is that they are inversely proportional to each other.  If you take two entities on a plane and move them apart by two inches, you strengthen the "or" by that amount, while weakening the "and" by the same amount.  Similarly, if you move them closer together, you strengthen the "and" while proportionally weakening the "or".  If the distance either the "and" or the "or" is strengthened equals "n", the amount its counterpart is strengthen equals "-n". Similarly, if the distance the "and" or the "or" is weakened equals "n", the distance its counterpart is weakened is "-n".  Thus, the net amount that the "and" and "or" are collectively either strengthened or weakened will always be "n" plus "-n" or zero. This is true in our universe of trillions upon trillions of entities in motion. Take any entity. The distance between that entity and any other entity is either increasing (in which case the strengthening of the "or" is being canceled out by the weakening of the "and", decreasing, in which case the strengthening of the "and" is being canceled out by the weakening of the "or", or the entities are not moving in relation to each other, in which both the strengthening  and weakening of both the "and" and "or" are zero.  Even in an expanding universe, in which the "or" is ascendant, the strengthening of the "or" is balanced out by the weakening of the "and". In sum, there is a kind of balance and equality in all the universes we can conceive of, even those that are contracting and expanding.  Even at the time of the big bang, in which I have stated that both the "and" and "or" were, in a sense, strengthened (as opposed to the above standard model in which they have an inverse relationship to each other), the strengthening of each would seem to cancel each other out.  There seems to be no escape from zero.
Now, in a quantum universe, an infinitesimally small entity may appear to simultaneously approach and retreat from another entity, but even here, the approaching would appear to be balanced out by the simultaneous retreat.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A thought about being healthy

If we contemplate how the universe is defined by multiplicity and movement, we might come to an understanding about why staying active and moving is healthy.  It is, quite literally, living in harmony with nature.  And when you don't move, you are, in essence, attempting to reject that which can't be rejected.  And the tenseness and anxiety that one feels in such a state, comes from recognizing that you are moving against nature, notwithstanding your protestation of indolence. 
And you may ask, then, why meditation, in which one strives to remain still, can be pleasurable.  My response is, "what happens when you meditate?"  Hard as you may try, your thoughts race, a sound interrupts your reveries, and the universe moves around you.  And the pleasure you may feel comes from contemplating and being at peace with the movement of the universe. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


To understand the essence of the "and" and "or", it may be of some benefit to understand the conditions under which it can exist.  I have said that multiplicity is a precondition for the existence of the "and" and "or", as is movement.  Does movement create the "and" and "or", or do they create movement, or do they simply define each other?  In any event, the multiplicity of things does not assure the existence of the "and" and the "or".
Returning to the question of the conditions under which they can exist, I have also said that if the universe was at one time simply one super energetic atom, lacking electrons or any other subatomic components, then the "and" and "or" didn't exist, though they would appear to have existed in potential form.   In physics, the total amount of energy: potential energy plus actual energy, does not change over time.  Either potential or actual energy changes, but the total does not, and potential and actual are inversely proportional to each other, i.e., when potential increases, actual decreases by the same amount etc.    We can say the same for the potential and actual forms of the "and" and "or".
But another digression.  Where a chain of thought is interrupted by an insight, hopefully it is OK...
We can also say that the "and" and "or" would not exist in actual form if the entire universe, at one time, was simply a void, or nothingness, without even one super atom.
I think we can also say that they wouldn't exist in actual form if the universe, at one time, was a super atom within an infinite void. Even if the super atom moved within the void, it could not draw away from the void, as the void would be infinite in all directions.  The super atom would be forever joined or fused with the void, unable to escape, unless it obliterated the void by blowing itself into smithereens, which is what it did.  If we define the infinite void as something like the super atom, then we may have to qualify our conclusion slightly regarding multiplicity. By multiplicity, we don't mean a homogenous being plus a void, rather, we mean more than one being, where neither of those beings can be the void. As I understand it, relativity says this wasn't the case with the known universe; as we approach the beginning of time space itself shrinks until it consists of this infinitely small super atom.