Let It Be

How many pieces are there in a bit of reality?
by Jorge Aveleira
IPS-PA
Universidade de Sao Paulo

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Philip K. Dick, sci-fi writer

The notion of reality has become a fuzzier topic in the last few decades. Questions multiply, concerning human consciousness and its relationship with reality; challenges about what is real or not real progress without a prospect of neat solutions. The restoration of a steadfast and reassuring notion of reality should require a relatively simple representation that may be intuitively attractive, philosophically satisfactory and scientifically demonstrable. The application of an alternative modeling may present novel ways to conceive what the structures of reality and consciousness may look like. A few methods to develop knowledge on those subjects, based on Jungian and other philosophical approaches, are briefly reviewed here. The construction of a comprehensive, speculative model extending from such approaches is also proposed, in a tentative however reasonable way, and an inspiring conjecture on prime numbers and the discernment of reality emerges at the conclusion.

1. Reality and models

Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.
Vincent Van Gogh, painter

Currently unsolvable questions arise from the application of notions like the causality principle, relativity theory, quantum mechanics, Heisenberg's uncertainty, Bell's theorem, the Aspect experiment and others. Resulting unearthly philosophical implications, which are accessible even from non-professional standpoints, challenge the notion of an intelligible reality. The current level of disagreement and astonishment is such that gave rise to justifiable conjectures proposing that physical reality should be dependant of our expectations about it, or that the whole Universe may be a fabrication of our minds, or that any number of possible Universes are developing a huge amount of parallel possibilities, among others. There is even a considerable deal of consensus about the notion that material objects do not really exist, that particles, our bodies and everything else are just statistical manifestations of probability waves, or something. That may even be true, but how, wherefrom, do we get a satisfactory view that may accommodate that with the physical sensations that we perceive from our senses? A model of physical reality subject to cause-effect constraints, a reality made of objects and transfers of energy behaving methodically within relativistic space-time is not extensively valid anymore, and homo-sapiens shall keep feeling quite uneasy while an intelligible model able to provide explanations for those incongruities does not become available.

Models are simplified, schematic accounts of selected properties exhibited by a topic of study. They furnish harmonic views of fragments of information, arranging them into structures that convey extended meaning. Models make feasible to emulate the working of a system, controlled and repeatable analysis of its attributes and functions. They also allow to predict results and missing components in our experiments, the confirmation of those occurrences constituting evidence of the model's validity. Through science and philosophy, mankind has been rather successful in systematizing the knowledge we may gather, either by applying existing models to objects under study, or by perfecting models through the detection of logical patterns underlying those objects. Through the study of mechanical systems Newton arrived to his model theory of universal gravitation; the study of various living systems and specimens provides models in physiology, biology and zoology; combined studies on philosophy, medicine and cases of mental disturb yielded models of the human psyche by James, Freud, Jung and others.

When a model fails to predict something it ought to, or when facts show in disagreement with the model's previews, that is an indication that the model may need some improvement, should have reexamined it's scope of validity or perhaps even be replaced completely. Incomplete or imperfect views supplied by obsolete models, provided that they are handled with restrictions, may still be useful following the successful conception of a new model. If we limit our scope to a few kilometers, the notion of a flat earth is still a functional view of our surroundings. Within the limits of a conventional laboratory, the early particle model of the atom is still useful for the study of chemical reactions. The notion of material objects subject to transfers of energy within relativistic space-time should probably remain effective within limitations, when and if we get once more to understand satisfactorily what is happening at the most extreme reaches of our current knowledge.

Each succeeding scientific model usually shows that a few absolute foundations of former models were relative to a more limited point of view. From what viewpoint, what platform, could we be able to apprehend a more comprehensive view of reality than that which we currently have? Maybe some currently absolute notions may be shown to be relative, in the sense that they may refer to dependent entities. Matter, energy and the relativistic space-time may appear as dependent entities from some as of yet unknown viewpoint, why not? The following tentative approach to a philosophical and psychological modeling of reality may yield a workable framework to contemplate conjectures of that kind.

2. Separation

'Think simples' as my old master used to say - meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Making things more intelligible by dividing them into components, into their constituent pieces, may be labeled as a technique of separation. Separation may stand as a measure of the segmentation that we are able to fathom in the working of a system. The building of a model requires that we apply separation, that we identify functional sets of components in the system under examination. The process of separation should of course be systematic, organized, aimed to identify the function of each part in relation to other parts and to the whole, and have checked its applicability to each successive new or narrowed set of circumstances. Separation may be applied to systems, to modules of a system, to single pieces, to materials or processes within single pieces, successively.

The greater separation we apply, a greater number of components or system's functions should we be able to identify in increasing detail. The more detailed a model is, more components it holds and more sophisticated or elaborated explanations it may supply. However, too many components or too intricate explanations may render unintelligible both the model and the object of study. Maybe particle physics currently stands as an example of a model that has all but exhausted its possibilities of development through repeated application of a set of concepts, reaching a point where the explanations it supplies are possibly complex enough to render them impenetrable or unlikely.

3. Connection

The order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things.
B. Spinoza, philosopher

Connection between its components is also a characteristic of sound models. When scrutinizing a system to determine its components and their characteristics to build a model, it makes good practice to keep into view their connections. How do the pieces of a system are linked together, which are their relationships, common purposes and shared meanings? Identifying components of a system discloses separation; recognizing common grounds and relationships linking its components exposes connections that warrant its existence as a whole, as an entity.

An object, a system or a model binds its components within its domain of existence. While separation endows specialized features, connections set the ability of the pieces to perform in association. Connections imply that the pieces are not independent, that each component is functionally linked to the system and other components. It should be demonstrable that varied characteristics of both connection and separation are necessary for a system to exist, to evolve, and to protect itself when under attack and to recompose when damaged.

4. One

The emotion which accompanies the clear recognition of unity in a complex seems so similar in art and in science that it is difficult not to suppose that they are psychologically the same.
Roger Fry, painter

The concept of one, or unity, finds a distinguished place in various philosophical systems, like Leibniz's doctrine of monads and his conception of the vinculum substantiale, the principle of unity from Indian Upanishads and others. The structure of unitary philosophical systems usually shows a set of cooperating fundamentals in flawless orchestration. Studies aimed at the gathering and measuring of facts present unitary structures as long as the collected data does not show irreconcilable contradictions.

The actuality of unity may perhaps be conceived as an aggregate of all the connections present in a system. When we speak of a noun, or of a system, we are addressing its unity, the whole set of logical and functional connections that allows its existence, making it feasible and effective. The discernment of a system's unity may be achieved through extensive comprehension of that primary concept: bird, car, payroll, budget, computer, clan, biosphere, planet. When we say bird, for example, we are addressing and implying a set of features: beak, feathers, claws, warm blood, eggs, etc., the connected accomplishment of those concepts giving birth to a generic name that identifies a biological system that we agreed to call bird.

The recognizance of components in a system brings the need to identify their connections to the unity. We may hold several views of a system, from several viewpoints, more or less detailed, some even in conflict. Each view should present connections linking its components, to allow contemplating the unity that places the system into existence. Fair knowledge on a system may be attained when we are able to methodically apply notions like separation and connection, and envision in some detail the coordinated functioning of its components. It shall be attempted in this essay to maintain present the necessary notion of unity at each subsequent attempt to schematic ways to appraise both reality and consciousness.

5. Two

The beginning, middle, and end of the birth, growth, and perfection of whatever we behold is from contraries, by contraries, and to contraries.
Giordano Bruno, philosopher

Systems of thought based on two opposing however complementary components may be labeled as dual systems, or models based on duality. It is in that sense that the terms dual and duality shall be employed in this essay. Dilemmas are an ancient philosophical construction based on duality; they were widely employed in classical Greek theater as an element of tension, mostly in dramatic and tragic plays. A dilemma consists in a pair of desired or undesired, concurrent, opposing and inescapable choices, as for example: should somebody let his/her child go hiking in the woods with the rest of the classroom? If the child goes, concerns about her safety shall arise. If the child does not go, an opportunity for development and comradeship shall be lost. The two options disclose the occurrence of separation and even conflict between safety and development. They also show connection in the fact that they both stand within the ground of loving care for the child. We may say that we have here a safety-development dilemma. Sometimes a considerable trade-off between safety and development may be possible, sometimes very little. Should I eat ice cream or stick to diet? Here the satisfaction with myself is at stake, by means of colliding options. And so on. A choice in a dilemma situation excludes the other choice, sometimes partially, sometimes totally. When confronted with a dilemma, we are always left with a feeling that we cannot have everything.

To make things clear, while a component of a dilemma stands for some properties, the other component should represent properties in distinct opposition to those. To identify the dualistic components accurately, we should reflect on their conflicting, antithetical characteristics, and contrast them as clearly as possible. In order to have it fully apprehended, it is necessary also that both sides of a dilemma are continuously regarded as belonging to the same entity. The care for the child in the former example represents the unifying ground that connects the opposing options in the safety-development dilemma. It is proposed that the unfolding of whole systems and situations may depict both unity and duality, and that the design of the dilemma may be a suitable philosophical construction to investigate that.

Oriental Taoism is an ancient and respected school of philosophy that applies a special interpretation of duality as a universal means to appraise reality and change. A mainstay of Taoist philosophy is the yin-yang principle, which conducts to a doctrine of two opposing and complementary fundamentals or polarities that should be observed in everything. The Taoist yin-yang polarity is briefly characterized as follows: yin is feminine, delicate, dark, passive, bargaining and gentle; yang is masculine, strong, bright, active, imposing and determined. The polarity of a yin-yang characteristic may be properly grasped only when it is contrasted with its counterpart, under the context of their underlying common basis. The contrast of dark and bright is understood through awareness of the bounding notion of light, hot and cold from the notion of temperature, the contrast of active and passive from the connecting concept of attitude, and so on. Yin and yang aspects, besides being mutually opposing, also attract and transform into each other, maintaining the unity of things and a process of universal change. The yin-yang principle may be likened in several aspects to the occidental notion of dilemma, and it shall be employed as such through the argument that follows. The philosophical inadequacy that may be incurred is estimated as much less significant than the clarity and directness that that procedure may offer.

Under Taoist philosophy, the yin-yang principle of duality embodies any instance of reality. So, it should be possible to apply it to a situation and following, to each of the two resulting components or opposing faces of that situation. Usually it is not quite easy to formulate that, however it has been done with revealing results. C. G. Jung, for example, working from a philosophical basis independent of Taoist considerations, attained in his studies to split the functioning of the consciousness of the psychological ego into two opposing categories or modes, the rational and the non-rational. Each category, for its turn, is composed by two also opposing psychic functions. The rational functions are Thinking and Feeling, while the non-rational ones are Perception and Intuition. That set of four functions is customarily referred as the Jungian quaternium of consciousness orienting psychic functions. Follows a schematic representation of that two by two opposition and a brief definition for each function.

Psychic Functions and their categories

Rational functions

Note: The Jungian meaning for the developed and discriminating Feeling psychic function is frequently at odds with the common interpretation of the term feeling. In regular conversation the term feeling is frequently likened to emotion, and freely traded as meaning underdeveloped, unconscious emotion. Making thing hazier, feeling is often likened also to sensation.

Non-rational functions

The combination of those four functions with the Jungian introverted and extroverted dispositions yields an arrangement of 8, that is 2x2x2 psychological types, and that collection was further developed by Myers-Briggs into a personality classification system displaying up to 16, or 2^4 psychological types. Models showing 2^n where n>0, components are customarily obtained through n-repeated application of the principle of duality.

A book on business management (Low, 1977) presents a model structure similar to the Jungian quaternium. There, the philosophical basis for building a system aimed at information and control is outlined by means of two conflicting pairs of dilemmas, that is, four attributes in a similar two by two opposition. In an extended interpretation, those four attributes may also be recognized as essential qualities in building any system, logical, physical or biological, that should be capable of coordinated functioning to a significant degree. Some years after reading that book, I conjectured that those attributes exhibit somehow a strong correspondence with components of the Jungian quaternium and even with those of physical reality. Extended study of that correspondence within a unified process of evolution gave rise to most of the argument presented in this essay. Follows a structured description of those attributes and their relationships, based also on my experience in analysis of computerized applications. For the sake of simplicity and clarity, a grammatical concession to exchange nouns for their corresponding adjectives shall be applied.

Working, active attributes:

The requirement that a system should be complete tends to be counter-weighted by a requirement that it present simultaneously an opposite and also desired attribute, that is to be concise.

How could someone possibly tell which features or how many resources a system shall need in order to be well succeeded in every situation that it may encounter? The two former attributes are found in unsolvable opposition. Being concise implies to some extent in giving up being complete and vice versa; a balanced compromise is required. A healthy and evolving system shall grow in its attributes of both completeness and conciseness, pursuing an ongoing predicament to be full and fair at the same time. Complete and concise are appraised as yin-yang components of a complete-concise dilemma, bound within the common ground of the working capabilities of a system.

The two former attributes are related to the ability of a system to accomplish something, to impose itself, to being, to have applied its features upon situations, to be able to achieve things in its way. The two next ones are related to the ability of a system to conform, to not-being, to adapt and harmonize with the environment, with the needs and abilities of its users or with characteristics of problems and situations that it may encounter. The attributes of the not-being side of a system tend to be much more difficult to fathom and to attain, when one is working from objective, analytical standpoints. That is due to the essential nature of objective and analytical standpoints themselves, which belongs to the being side of reality.

Adaptive, non-active attributes:

The simpler we attempt to make a system, the more prosaic and less versatile it becomes. Conversely, the more versatile and adaptable a tool or a system is, the more complex, intricate, or less simple, it tends to be. Versatile and simple are the yin-yang components of a versatile-simple dilemma, which bounds the adaptive abilities of a system. A compromise is again required, and lasting systems shall evolve also by maintaining an acceptable balance between its simple and versatile characteristics.

It may be appropriate now to elaborate a little on an important distinction. The dilemma complete-concise belongs to the working, active, being side of a system; the dilemma versatile-simple belongs to the adaptive, not-being side of a system. The participation in a system of complete-concise as a whole shows a yang, active polarity as compared to versatile-simple, that appears as a yin component. Contentions that may appear between yang complete and yang versatile or between yin concise and yin simple, are due to that being-not-being opposition. Work-adaptation, being-not-being, constitute the earliest yin-yang dilemma applicable to the development of a system. In short:

Each term attendant in this essay as a model component was carefully chosen, placed and recognized for a common however actual and precise meaning. The reader is kindly requested, however, to forgive the lack of more extensive discussion on a few concepts already presented and their seeming informal, even arbitrary placement into structures that shall unfold according to the backbone notions of unity, duality, etc. It should be possible to clarify doubts concerning the intended meanings and relationships of those concepts by means of comparison between corresponding or opposing terms and also through additional elucidation and pictures that follows. Some structures proposed here may perhaps be regarded as groundless or excessive by readers that had patience to read the text until this point. The author is persuaded, however, that such structures are fairly sensible and conforming, and that the prospects that they yield are well worth the effort that may be required to identify and evaluate them.

Table 1 follows below, presenting a few dilemmas in three groups in parallel, that is, showing components arranged in correspondence with their yin-yang polarity. Each group of dilemmas is aimed to represent a whole domain, which is labeled by an overall unifying concept: Physical reality, Consciousness, and Generic system. The left column contains two concepts for each domain, obtained from the splitting of that unifying concept into two opposing classes or natures, for example: the concept of physical reality was split into the opposing classes concrete and abstract. For their turn, each class at the left column appears split into two concepts at the middle and right columns, for example: the non-rational class of consciousness functions appears split into the two opposing functions perception and intuition. In short, Table 1 is aimed to illustrate a 2x2 application of the Taoist principle of duality upon three unities or domains: physical reality, consciousness and generic systems.

.

Domains/classes

yang

yin

     

Physical reality

   

concrete, yang

energy

matter

abstract, yin

space

time

     

Consciousness

   

rational ego, yang

thinking

feeling

non-ration. ego, yin

perception

intuition

     

Generic system

   

work, yang

complete

concise

adaptation, yin

versatile

simple

===Table 1 - Reality and 2x2 dilemmas

Therefore, it is proposed via the table above that an opposing compromise exists between:

  • energy and matter, as well as between:
  • space and time
  • thinking-feeling
  • perception-intuition
  • complete-concise
  • versatile-simple.

It is also proposed that:

  • The concrete set of components of physical reality opposes the abstract set, so energy-matter opposes space-time.
  • Rational opposes non-rational, then thinking-feeling opposes perception-intuition.
  • Work opposes adaptation, then complete-concise opposes versatile-simple.

Furthermore, it is also proposed that an analogy, a similitude of features and behavior, a strong correspondence, and even an identity at some metaphysical level, exists between:

  • energy, thinking and complete
  • matter, feeling and concise
  • space, perception and versatile
  • time, intuition and simple.

6. Three

If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone.
Alfred Korzybski, philosopher

The structure of the philosophical dilemma does not yield a settlement for its inherent conflict. Taoist duality, where yin and yang polarities continuously breed into each other, offers movement and change, however the yin-yang polarities keep in dynamic conflict forever. The German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel developed a philosophical construction that may be applied to the development of solutions for questions posed by dilemmas; that construction is known as the Hegelian triad, and its application is called Hegelian dialectics. In applying Hegelian dialectics, a starting concept which we are attempting to verify is labeled thesis; its study should be followed by an opposite and also viable concept, the antithesis. As far as this point, we have components and relationships similar to those of a dilemma. Following, Hegel proposes that the work to solve the conflict between thesis and antithesis shall produce a higher concept, the synthesis, that should transcend them both, as for example in being, not-being, becoming; or in objective, subjective, absolute; or in win, lose, make-it-count. The synthesis becomes the thesis for a new round of investigation, as perhaps in make-it-count, don't-get-hurt, and a final, insolvable, zen-buddhistic let-it-be. The Hegelian triad is the next philosophical instrument that we shall attempt to make fair use of, while keeping adherent to the former notions of unity and duality.

In interpreting Table 2 below, the reader is invited to notice the opposition between the components of the Thesis and Antithesis columns; the philosophical solutions that are offered in the third column, the Synthesis; and, last but as much important, the resemblance, the analogy, the compatibility that one can guess between the terms in each column.

.

Thesis

Antithesis

Synthesis

concrete

abstract

subtle

rational

non-rational

inspiring

working

adaptation

evolution

being

not-being

becoming

action

non-action

transcend

===Table 2 - Triads

  • Thesis, concrete, rational, working, being and action are operative, hard, driving concepts
  • Antithesis, abstract, non-rational, adaptation, not-being and non-action are receptive, soft, pliable concepts.
  • Synthesis, subtle, inspiring, evolution, becoming and transcend are enlightening, refreshing, blooming concepts

Endeavoring now to portray instances of reality and consciousness likewise Hegelian triads, the groups of two dilemmas presented in the former section shall be extended in Table 3 below, by the addition of a third dilemma to each domain. That ensemble is intended to reflect the notions of unity within each domain by means of its connections and unifying concept, and across domains by means of corresponding polarities; Taoist duality by way of the dilemmas existent in each class; and Hegelian triadic dialectics through the being/not-being/becoming classes of dilemmas in each domain. The best appraisal of the whole collection should occur when one may feel at ease with the similarities linking corresponding terms across domains and begins to reflect simultaneously on their relationships of unity, opposing duality and from now on also of triadic evolution.

.

Domains

Yang

Yin

     

Physical Reality

   

concrete, yang

energy

matter

abstract, yin

space

time

subtle, new-yang

electricity

magnetism

     

Consciousness

   

rational, yang

thinking

feeling

non-rational, yin

perception

intuition

inspiring, new-yang

confidence

reflection

     

Generic system

   

work, yang

complete

concise

adaptation, yin

versatile

simple

evolution, new-yang

dynamic

stable

===Table 3 - Reality and 3x2 dilemmas

Confidence and reflection are presented in Table 3 as furnishing the role of inspiring consciousness orienting psychic functions. Those two functions are not recognized or identified in Jungian psychology, which supplied earlier the notion of four consciousness functions playing opposing roles. The actuality of confidence-reflection as a third pair of functions was suggested by the overall structure of the model that is being arrived at and by usually accredited attributes of those two conceptions, as well as a proposed resemblance with the placement of electricity-magnetism as components of a subtle physical reality. For their turn, electricity-magnetism were likened in the domain of physical reality to the role of dynamic-stable in the generic system domain.

The notion that a generic system should somehow develop dynamic-stable attributes was reached by way of application systems analysis work, accomplished with the assistance of a philosophical model which explores the double dilemma structure of complete-concise and versatile-simple discussed in the former section. One may figure for example that a continued effort to develop complete-concise characteristics in a system shall stimulate, persuade, even coerce, into the development of simple-versatile characteristics: For a system to grow in completeness, simplicity shall be required to keep it manageable; being concise brings also a need to become versatile, in order to be able to keep concisely accomplishing. Then, complete-concise => simple-versatile. If we apply now a triadic Hegelian approach to those opposing pairs of dilemmas, we may conclude that, following the accomplishment of a sizeable amount of complete-concise and simple-versatile development a system should attain a new stable-dynamic eminence. Afterwards, it becomes able to endeavor a new cycle of development, a new cycle of growth.

Reasoning of that kind led to the formulation of a general pattern of transmutation, showing similar paths of development between the components of those three domains of reality. A schematic representation of the components in Table 3 and that process is shown in Picture 1.

 

===Picture 1

Taoist tradition endorses somehow the transmutation of the components of reality as depicted in Table 3 and in Picture1: yang transmutes into yin, which by its turn shall transmute into yang. Some lines of reasoning present that notion through a similar statement: yang breeds yin, which shall breed new-yang, that is, yang => yin => new-yang. That second interpretation was adopted, with special regard for the adjective new, and some may recognize there some degree of correspondence with Hegelian dialectics, as in thesis => antithesis => synthesis (new thesis). An agreement seems to exist in that the third element shares something of the nature of the first element, does not show a conflict with it but precisely a mutation, and becomes a starting basis for another round of transmutation and evolution.

Elaborating now from a more strict philosophical basis, the yang => yin and yin => yang compromise and transmutation that should occur between components within the same class or nature, for example between the system's working attributes complete-concise, should occur also between components from adjacent classes, by virtue of the relative yin-yang polarity existent between the classes. Then, complete-concise => versatile-simple. Following, we should have: versatile-simple => stable-dynamic. The process of transmutation may thus bring novelty in its results: yang => yin => new-yang.

It was formerly proposed that a correspondence, a kindred similarity, even a metaphysical identity, exists between the structures outlined here to represent physical reality, consciousness or psychological reality and generic systems. That conjecture was based on: 1-the parallelism observed in the process of construction of each structure; 2-the engaging semantic or metaphoric similarity that may be regularly noticed between corresponding components across domains; 3-comparable contrasting relationships between the components of each domain. For example: the contrast between thinking-feeling is perceived as comparable to the contrast between complete-concise or between energy-matter. An evolutionary process of transmutation is now being proposed to occur similarly between the components of those three domains.

The meaning of some Jungian consciousness functions and also of terms related to a philosophical approach to generic systems were discussed to some extent in the former section. In order to assist in establishing the parallelism proposed here between physical reality, consciousness and generic systems, follows below a list of selected entries from the American Heritage and Webster's dictionaries and a few supplementary illustrative phrases and terms. That list may be beneficial in disclosing acknowledged, befitting and intended meanings for the components of each domain, and help to detect a pervading consistency as regards resemblance and contrasts, instead of a scrutiny of specific terms in particular circumstances.

Energy, thinking and complete are vigorous and imposing. They are related to advance & expand.

  • Energy: The capacity of a physical system to do work. Exertion of vigor or power.
  • Thinking: To exercise the power of reason, as by conceiving ideas, drawing inferences, and using judgment.
  • Complete: Absolute, total. To make whole, with all necessary elements or parts. Full.

Matter, feeling and concise are temperate and complacent. They are related to evaluate & assimilate.

  • Matter: Something that has mass and exists as a solid, liquid, gas, or plasma. Something that occupies space and can be perceived by one or more senses; a physical body, a physical substance, [...].
  • Feeling: To be conscious of a specified kind or quality of physical, mental, or emotional state. To test or explore with caution.
  • Concise: Expressing much in few [...]; clear and succinct. Terse, brief and to the point. Fair.

Space, perception and versatile are artistic and have inventive value. They are related to build & reveal.

  • Space: The infinite extension of the three-dimensional region in which all matter exists. Sufficient freedom from external pressure to develop or explore one's needs, interests, and individuality.
  • Perception: Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli [...]. The quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; sensation; sensibility.
  • Versatile: Having varied uses or serving many functions. Turning with ease from one thing to another; readily applied to a new task, or to various subjects; many-sided. Flexible.

Time, intuition and simple are artless and unyielding. They are related to conceive & regenerate.

  • Time: A non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.
  • Intuition: A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression. The act or faculty of knowing [...] without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition.
  • Simple: Being without additions or modifications; [...]. Having little or no ornamentation; not embellished or adorned. Having or composed of only one thing, element, or part. Plain.

Magnetism, reflection and stable are profound and permeating. They are related to organize & reconcile.

  • Magnetism: The class of phenomena exhibited by a magnetic field. Unusual power to attract, fascinate, or influence.
  • Reflection: (To apply) mental concentration, careful consideration.
  • Stable: Not subject to sudden or extreme change or fluctuation. Consistently dependable; steadfast of purpose.

Electricity, confidence and dynamic are proactive and stimulating. They are related to animate & activate.

  • Electricity: The physical phenomena arising from the behavior of electrons and protons that is caused by the attraction of particles with opposite charges and the repulsion of particles with the same charge. Intense, contagious emotional excitement.
  • Confidence: A feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance. [...] a firm belief in one's powers, abilities, or capacities.
  • Dynamic: Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress.

The similarity between the concepts within each group of expressions; comparable relationships of opposition, reciprocity and transformation that may be established, and the absence of obvious conflicting or incompatible outcomes enticingly suggest that we may be facing here a holistic philosophical model for the fulfillment of reality. Several ancient philosophical and mystical models seemingly yield from equivalent structures as for example the 2x3(x2) Tibetan Wheel of Life, the 2x3x2 Zodiac, the initially 2^3 and later 2^3 x 2^3 I Ching. An exposition and discussion of those ancient models falls beyond the intended scope of this article.

7. And beyond

There is no practical question on which anything more than an approximate solution can be had.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher

In any composed attempt to properly explain or justify the constructions and assumptions formerly proposed, whole books would have to be written, by expert authors better learned than myself. Nevertheless, this essay is going ahead following its seeming reckless style and suggest an even further extended structure for the appraisal of reality. Less definitions or attempts to explanation are offered in this section. The broader structure outlined here, the election of additional components, their placement and relationships, should appear more or less acceptable or imaginable to the reader in an equivalent measure as the former structures may have also been found imaginable.

The structure of physical reality as implied until now still lacks two fundamental components, the weak and the strong nuclear forces. Some recognizable actualities of consciousness are also missing, like emotions and instinct. Could we sketch further? Beyond triads, which kind of structure could we look for in an attempt to disclose additional detail in reality? Perhaps quadratic ones, portraying four classes of components in each domain? If we keep following the routine adopted until now, the process of modeling should comply concurrently with unitary, dualistic and triadic analysis. Then, any tetrad or quadratic actuality outlined following the former steps should appear as decomposable into two dual structures opposing each other. A tetrad would then not bring new structural properties to our model. Decomposable, divisible, may be a synonym for factorable. Hmm... An structure portraying five components is not factorable into the former structures and could perhaps offer new perspectives... A structure portraying six components should be factorable into a 1x2x3 structure, and so on. The notion of -not factorable into former structures- is a crucial one in a broad conjecture that shall be presented at the conclusion.

In Picture 2 below, two classes of reality and a few additional concepts were added to the constructions already reviewed in former sections. Picture 2 exhibits a flat diagram containing 1x2x5 blocks or groups of philosophical concepts in stable-dynamic connection and interchange. The upper row shows five connected blocks standing for five natures or classes of reality. Below, the pairs of linked blocks stand for observable dilemmas inside each class. The arrows between the blocks of the diagram indicate a continued attraction, interchange and transmutation that should take place between the actualities of the concepts under consideration, subject to notions of evolution in accordance with Hegelian dialectics and /or Taoist transmutation.

===Picture 2

If we were to follow rigorously the routine adopted until now, the diagram in Picture 2 should be capable of depicting simultaneously the structures of unity, duality, triad and pentad. However, to present a diagram showing 1x2x3x5 = 30 groups of concepts in dynamic relationship and exchange falls beyond the imaginative and expressive ability of the author. Still and all, adherence to the starting prospect of comprehensively contemplate the preceding structures at each step was not lost or abandoned. As well as the notion of unity was proposed as being manifest in duality and the dynamics of duality was estimated as being observable in triads, those 1x2x5 blocks of concepts should be apt to represent simultaneously the philosophical notions of unit, duality, triad and pentad. Some relationships connecting components of that hypothetical structure containing something like five axes at right angles were probably reduced or left out, however, as simple flat diagrams as the one in Picture 2 are fully suitable only for displaying the connections in a three-axis system, likewise Picture 1 when represented on a plane.

The rationale that has been followed in this essay assumes that each and every component of reality should be pliable to the concurrent application of the basic structures of unity, duality, triad, etc. Pairs of concepts at the bottom of several boxes in Picture 2 supply an illustration of the application of duality upon presumably elementary components of the model. For example, the pair of actions organize-reconcile is displayed as an affiliated dilemma in the box titled Magnetism, below the kindred terms reflection, tolerance and stable. Organize-reconcile is proposed as being similar to the components of that box and to establish comparable relationships of opposition and evolution in relation to the components of the other boxes. However, while organize is related to being, is yang and active, the term reconcile is related to not-being, is yin and appeasing. Further developing, a Hegelian triadic approach to that dilemma could result in organize-reconcile-harmonize, where harmonize brings a become-ing solution for the dualistic opposition in organize-reconcile. And so on. The terms of language, however, tend to become imprecise, inadequate or even contradictory when attempting to express such refined, second or third order relationships.

It is proposed that underlying common essences or dispositions exist connecting the concepts in each box in Picture 2, what might perhaps be better acknowledged when we for example reason as follows with the concepts displayed in the box titled Magnetism: "Reflection and tolerance may bring understanding, order and peace to several situations and circumstances. They are basic attitudes in attaining stable situations, and are put to use through actions like organize-reconcile. Magnetism is a concept from Physics that is often used as a metaphor in situations where components of that kind play a significant role." Similar reasoning performed in the other boxes and the aggregating notion that should emanate from each one may bring up a sense of the consistency of the whole arrangement.

The appraisal of the pertinence of the concepts in each box in Picture 2 may also be conducted by comparing the correlated terms in each box with opposing terms in opposed boxes; next, with terms in preceding or succeeding boxes, attempting to detect relationships of kinship, opposition or evolution, according to the organization of the diagram. As for example: Time, integrity and simplicity seem to work in attachment; bursts of energy are averse to conciseness; perception, build and reveal stray away from simplicity; confidence and ideal bring hope; reflection and tolerance should yield faith; and so forth.

Tentative conjectures shall now follow, dealing on solved and unsolved issues of aspects of reality. Those conjectures rely on the intended suitability of Picture 2 to reflect physical reality and consciousness, and may serve either to establish to some degree the soundness of that diagram or to suggest imaginable paths of inquiry into disputed issues.

  • Consciousness may perhaps be defined as the ability to syntonize, to tap into the structure of reality. Everything that exists may be said then to display some level of consciousness. Specimens of reality that attain a better, richer and more complex implementation of that single process are likely to appear more conscious than others. That may include samples from the mineral, vegetal and animal kingdoms.
  • Reality is one. From viewpoints aimed to the absolute, components of reality should not be regarded in a detached way. Given enough detail, connections binding and changing the contents of any supposedly independent component should appear in evidence. Reality is one, and is also an evolving structure of dualities, triads, pentads, etc., and also any combination of those, at any instance that we may venture to approach it.
  • Reality is a fractal hologram. When examined from a suitable perspective, every actuality exhibits the same structure and evolutionary process. Each part of every actuality exhibits a congruous structure. From psychology and consciousness to physics and planned or actual systems, everything may well be following paths essentially alike.
  • Matter and energy establish a continuum comparable to space-time. Conversion between matter and energy has already been ascertained and quantified. Heisenberg's uncertainty may perhaps be understood from an approach where objects are neither one hundred percent matter nor one hundred percent energy. Portions of matter in relative movement or at different temperatures should perhaps be regarded as a mixing, a continuum of matter and energy in varied proportions.
  • Entropy guarantees that the amount of energy available to accomplish work of any kind is an ever decreasing quantity. Available matter also decreases continuously, including by expansion into boundaries inaccessible from our universe. The amount of matter-energy is a continually decreasing quantity, which is possibly consumed into space-time growth.
  • The model of reality as displayed in Picture 2 does not allow for time-reversible or counter-entropy events, which is a sensible benefit over current models. Eddington conjectured at the beginning of the previous century that energy might be the arrow of time. In an extended fashion, matter-energy may well be the arrow of space-time.
  • From a relativistic perspective, one does not view space and time like independent entities, as space-time is a continuum. Picture 2 implies that even space-time should not be held as an independent entity, as its contents appear as being continuously augmented by a flow of transmuted essence from the matter-energy realm. Relativistic time is affected by speed and gravity; from the diagram in Picture 2 we may conclude also that warm clocks should run faster than cold ones. Would that conjecture be currently testable?
  • Matter-energy and space-time may be appraised as independent components of events only within limitations. Events inevitably involving the consumption of matter-energy shall modify space-time variables and interfere in the measurement of those quantities. The breaking of causality in quantum mechanics perhaps may find a line of investigation here.
  • Currents in traditional cosmology admitted that the expansion of the universe would slow down at some point under the effect of gravity and reverse into contraction. Another hypothesis was that the universe would expand until emptiness at a decreasing pace. Recent research and discoveries indicate instead that space shall expand forever at an accelerating speed. The existence of a "dark energy" is being hypothesized to account for that expansion. However, there seems to exist no need of unknown forms of energy to explain that; space-time may be an ever growing quantity simply through the consumption of energy-matter.
  • The expanding cosmic space is bounded by gravitational fields. From the notion of a matter-energy continuum, one may conjecture that the space bounded by singled matter, that is, the space occupied by material bodies themselves, should expand as cosmic space does, however at a much lower rate. The relativistic conversion between matter and energy perhaps may furnish a proportion to associate those occurrences? Lighter space, that is, space bounded by lighter matter should perhaps expand at a higher rate than space bounded by denser matter? Is it currently feasible to implement experiments for ascertaining or disproving that?
  • The consumption of matter-energy into space-time growth should yield electricity-magnetism. The occurrence of an electromagnetic pulse following a nuclear explosion might fall within that conjecture? Is there some way to make measurements for that effect in events of lesser magnitude?
  • A relationship was already established to exist between electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force by Weinberg-Salam, in their electro-weak theory. Correspondingly, Picture 2 hints at the existence of a lively link between electromagnetism and the weak force. It hints also at the existence of another, symmetrical relationship, that one between the strong nuclear force and matter-energy.

It is possible to detect multiple fitting coincidences in the former conjectures, linking the relationships depicted in Picture 2 to actual issues in Physics and Psychology in an engaging fashion. The author was unable until the present to detect representations deriving from that structure that may show contradictory with current observations on those fields. That favorable situation showing many coincidences and no contradictions may encourage the scrutiny of the diagram in Picture 2 as a valid philosophical instrument to aid in the investigation of both consciousness and physical reality.

8. Conclusion

We are the universe, trying to understand itself.
Delenn, Babylon 5 character

From all the former discussion arriving at the formulation of the diagram in Picture 2, a thrilling and even more encompassing conjecture emerges. It seems to summarize and to be so much in harmony with this tentative inspection into the structure and purpose of Being that possibly it shall make a proper closing to it:

The knowledge we may gather on issues of being, consciousness and reality, likely is delineable by means of a single, universal, fractal-holographic and evolutionary process based on the unfolding and interaction of indeterminate prime numbers of identifiable classes, components and polarities.

Why prime? Because prime numbers are not factorable. In a quest for absolute models, one tends to pursue comprehensive, essential concepts, and presumably shall find them following structures which would not be reducible/factorable into others. Why fractal-holographic? Because the structure of absolute models of reality probably shall surface as a whole in every part, at every scope and instance of actuality. Why evolutionary? Because that process of change appears purposeful, directional, aimed to growth and to the solution of conflicts. Why indeterminate? The ultimately detailed structure of reality possibly contains indefinable sets of prime numbers of components interactively arranged in unfathomable nuance. Good, veritable representations may display 1 or 2 or 3, 2x2, 2x2x2, 2x3, 2x3x2, 5, 2x5, etc. classes or components and perhaps even further detail. Those representations may be valid, encompassing and functional to remarkable extent. I believe, however, that the infinite complexity possibly extant in ultimate reality would not be touchable by minds subject to any degree of limitation.

2004, 2005 by Jorge Aveleira

jav235 at yahoo dot com

Notes

Aveleira, Jorge (2001). Consciousness and Reality: A stable-dynamic model based on Jungian psychology, The Jung Page. http://www.cgjungpage.org/content/view/175/

Low, Albert (1977). Zen and creative management, USA. El zen y la direccion de empresas (pp. 179-195). Ed. Aura, Espana, 1977.