I'm not sure about the term 'post-metaphysical' - does it mean trying to find a ground for 'spirit' without appeal to unknowable special qualities. Or does it mean finding a place holder for that mystery other than 'God'. Or what? I'd appreciate a straightforward explanation of what is meant by the term. Or, a link to such a discussion. 

 

I should say I come with the bias that I believe the height and the core of being alive is to surrender to mystery, that, indeed, the world is unknowable in any final sense. That said, I'm prepared to entertain other views. Or, it may even be that my views and 'post metaphysical' are compatible? 

 

 

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Very interesting, Tom!  At lunch today, after having read your remark, I was thinking specifically of Bell and of the EPR experiment in relation to the picture you had presented, and was going to ask if that was the "archetype" for your presentation.
Hi, Tom, I am about to join the family for a Friday night movie, but I wanted to jot down a couple questions first.  I'll return with a fuller response later.


First, what are your thoughts on what constitutes "measurement" in the conversation between two friends in the coffee shop?  What are the measurement acts in that scenario?


(FYI, I'm looking in part for what relation there might be between your view and several of Wilber's ideas, such as his mathematical symbol of /p or 'stop,' which is an instantaneous act or event, a 'stop' in perspectival flow, in which the AQAL matrix pops into being, whole cloth. When I talk about context, AQAL manifestation, and the 'bootstrapping' nature of appearance, I am thinking -- in part -- of this.  I expect his notion of 'perspectival flow' might be problematic, from the point of view you're articulating, but I'd like to hear what your thoughts are anyway.  I am also thinking of his use of 'probability space' in his discussion of deep patterns or structures: he says that in AQAL postmetaphysics, structures are not things that abide in time and space, but rather that structure is probability space.)


Tom:  Wholeness being without limit, boundary, beginning or end, it is the one and only unlimited all.  There is only one unlimited all?  Must be.  All would otherwise be limited.


Yes, I understand this argument.  I could quibble with it, in that I think infinity or unboundedness is the opposite of number, and therefore 'one' isn't really appropriate.  But if you are using it in a 'spiritual' sense (the 'One without a Second,' perhaps), then I can accept it metaphorically.  When I have said there is more than one 'All,' I have been speaking about conceptualizations of All, which I believe do vary by context. 


Anyway, are you familiar with Joel's term, the ONE-ALL?  If you are, I'd be interested in your thoughts on his use of that term.  I did not like it when I first encountered it, but then it grew on me and I began to appreciate what he is doing.


Tom:  My response is: depends what you mean by development, as the meaning of that word is very different in quantum and pre-quantum contexts.


What do you mean by development?
Slightly less than I am concerned about the characters in my 2 year old daughter's story books. I brought it up because L&J trace the unconscious foundations of metaphysics to the Folk Theory of Essences. Did you think your absolutist ontology came fully formed in some philosopher/scientist/religious founder’s mind?

Thomas said:

e: So what happens to metaphysics when no one has ever seen an essence and is incapable of producing an essence and you therefore don’t believe in essences?

 

E, you're very concerned about essence.  That's as I expect.

Very much appreciating this conversation.

Wholeness.

Recently I have found myself trying to bring to mind a piece of writing, another view of wholeness, by our mutual friend (and maybe sometimes nemesis) Steven Nickeson. Today I found the piece, and here is the excerpt that spoke so eloquently to me when I first read it (it still does). The full piece, "Flow: Upright in the Vessel" can be found here.

"I am a sensualist and not a thinker, nor a spiritualistic thinker. I do not hold with anything that has to do with any aspect of what could be called Spirit or The Divine or any of the other 10,000 names. I have no superstitions about these nondual suppositions. But I do have a theory. I am sure it is not unique and doubt if any of these conclusions are new and original and I have no authority on which to base them. But they have everything to do with integral, not the academic metaphysical/spiritual integral theories, but that which is material.

Until my participation on that particular internet forum compelled me to research Wilberismo and correlated tangents I had not read much except poetry for years. When I first heard there was a need for an integral philosophy and Mr. Wilber was slaving away, multi-media, to prove there was such a thing, I had to wonder why. Why develop a theory as to everything being integrated when anyone with half a set of senses and a shred of instinct left on how to use them could know for certain that integral reality is plainly, manifestly, there to be known and navigated? It exists on the leading edge of now when all that is within one’s sphere manifests into perception; when everything including the perceiver cascades into a spherical, dimensionless veil of the senses as a perfectly integrated pattern; an instantaneous, seamless legacy of 13.7 billion years (give or take) of uninterrupted cause/effect-cause. That this pattern is tumultuously dynamic does not change the fact that it has total formational integrity. I will call it manifest non-duality in the sense that the non-dual is not a static state but an emergent event. Like Whitehead said, everything is an event. And even though all the events are seamlessly bound and at once both cause and effect, this does not mean there is anything predetermined or intelligently designed in what I have perceived. (Both of those superstitions, I believe, are artifacts from dualistic thought and the desperate safety seeking of anthropomorphic projection.) There is an accidental and random quality to the patterns like the accidental and random quality of colored shards of glass tumbling past the mirrors and prisms of a kaleidoscope.

When an event cuts one loose from habituated conditioning that lead into a disorienting state, if the instincts for life outweigh the fear of living, the senses and instincts haul the consciousness into a much more complete alignment along the dimensionless front edge of now, manifestation and life. This is the only place I have found that is actual and whole, where integration is so complete that it is no longer of conscious consideration. Then the universe changes because one is no longer drawing back to observe it, but is pegged balanced and upright in one’s tiny, and totally insignificant vessel. That’s integrity."


Thomas said:

Also let me lean in here with a fractal understanding.  I said above that wholeness is the one and only all.  I can hear a valid response saying, well, a quantum experiment surely isn't the whole planet, let alone the whole universe. 

 

I understand that.  But by saying "quantum experiment," we're abstracting, or relevating, in Bohm's words.  That abstraction narrows focus to one manifestation of wholeness: the table-top setup called the quantum measurement situation.

 

Draw the focus back and one can see that that manifestation exists not without: the scientists, the history of science so-called, all the particles that make up all such, and on and on to the entire universe---all of which is a single happening in which regularities can be abstracted into focused view.  Yes, each time-sequence or -appearance in this expanded context is different for every local frame, per Einstein, but each such frame subsists now in necessary relation and ordering specified by the Lorenz transformation, which says that my time-difference is related to yours, implying wholeness. 

 

This is a fractal view of wholeness, which melds consistently with Joel's less-intuitive-forward, more-linear-forward languaging, like self-similar and whatever else he said in his last fantastic post.

Hi Thomas, I thought you might appreciate it. I hear you both talking about the same thing here,

"One could say that QM's version of cause is formational cause, that that which is causal is our very form, and what cause refers to is integrity, the root fractal---the formational root-pattern of wholeness. Wholeness is the root nature of form---all form implies wholeness..."

"..everything is an event. And ... all the events are seamlessly bound and at once both cause and effect.."

 

Sorry for the delay, Tom.  I'd promised a follow-up post in my last post, and it has taken me awhile to get back to it.


Tom:  Do you sense a subtlety in what I just said?  The idea of context specifies that any emergent must be viewed, if viewed properly, in relation to some or another context, but this specification chases its tail in the absurdity of then directing itself to look for the context that gave birth to the idea of context.  It only stops chasing the tail when it catches it in finally closing the loop on its own self awareness about what it, as Context, reflexively is.


When you put this in terms of a particular context giving birth to the notion of context, this does not strike me as particularly problematic or "absurd."  I think we can identify a number of various, particular contexts in which this insight into contextuality was birthed: the linguistic context, as Saussure investigated the structure of language; the quantum experimental context; etc.  In other words, we can coherently tell the (genealogical) story of the discovery or birthing of notions such as "context" or "history" or "evolution" or "wholeness" or "The All."


However, I can appreciate the paradoxicality you are pointing at when we rationally fold this notion back on itself.  Context, applied to itself, implies its polar opposite, wholeness, a boundless no-context-ful(l)ness.


Tom:  So, all your talk talk above, some of which I agree with, is just some Absolutely Unknowable (being Absolutely Contradictory) _____________, appearance, phenomenon, creation, call it what you will.


Yes, I understand.  This is the 'wholeness view.'  I also think it is valid to enact a part-view, and so would not want to reductively assert that all my 'talk talk' is just such and such.

 

Lol:  Today I found the piece, and here is the excerpt that spoke so eloquently to me when I first read it (it still does).


Yes, I think this is eloquently written, too, and appreciate it now as I did when I first read it.

Just wanted to say I like this, too:

"It exists on the leading edge of now when all that is within one’s sphere manifests into perception; when everything including the perceiver cascades into a spherical, dimensionless veil of the senses as a perfectly integrated pattern; an instantaneous, seamless legacy of 13.7 billion years (give or take) of uninterrupted cause/effect-cause. That this pattern is tumultuously dynamic does not change the fact that it has total formational integrity. I will call it manifest non-duality in the sense that the non-dual is not a static state but an emergent event. Like Whitehead said, everything is an event. And even though all the events are seamlessly bound and at once both cause and effect, this does not mean there is anything predetermined or intelligently designed in what I have perceived. (Both of those superstitions, I believe, are artifacts from dualistic thought and the desperate safety seeking of anthropomorphic projection.) There is an accidental and random quality to the patterns like the accidental and random quality of colored shards of glass tumbling past the mirrors and prisms of a kaleidoscope.

When an event cuts one loose from habituated conditioning that lead into a disorienting state, if the instincts for life outweigh the fear of living, the senses and instincts haul the consciousness into a much more complete alignment along the dimensionless front edge of now, manifestation and life. This is the only place I have found that is actual and whole, where integration is so complete that it is no longer of conscious consideration. Then the universe changes because one is no longer drawing back to observe it, but is pegged balanced and upright in one’s tiny, and totally insignificant vessel. That’s integrity."

 

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