Friday, November 28, 2014

Peace Of Mind

(Continued from The Mathematics Of Consciousness)

- Drop a pebble in the water and waves spread out from the point where the pebble hit. Stirring a spoon in a jar of peanut butter creates a spiral pattern. If you try to retrace your movements with the spoon will the smooth surface you started with come back? If the pebble was on a fishing line and you drew it back out of the water will the waves retreat and smooth water reappear?
- No.
- Why not?
- Physicists talk about entropy, probabilities, many more ways of creating disorder than order. I don't really understand.
- Look at it this way. I have or had this sort of wife I like to talk about. She couldn't decide if she was staying with me or going. It drove me crazy. But at times I could manage the situation, I took a step back and was content. But then I was discontent with my content. Content was just a foundation for something more important, for happiness. Happiness meant trying to get back to love.
- So did you try?
- Yes, and failed, and became content with that failure.
- And then discontented with your content again.
- Yes.
- Does this have anything to do with your last story?
- It does. Three functions of consciousness were outlined: one bad, one good, one practical.
- The bad is ritual, the good is creative, the practical is science.
- Yes. Science, when kept practical...
- Was what you were doing in the story, you called it mathematics of consciousness, was that practical science?
- I'd say so. Science, when done as a type of creative action, with the sense that things studied are defined like our selves are defined in an undefined world when we act creatively in general.
- Experimentally, hypothetically.
- Yes. When science becomes a model, is applied in a restrictive manner to the other functions of consciousness, we get a destructive myth.
- Such as the the myth of the free market. The belief that art and love are meaningless except in their application to a life of buying and selling things.
- Before science was made a myth of, used to modify the other kinds of consciousnesses, ritual was made a myth of. First nature myths, in which each ritual involves a different god or set of gods. Then monotheism, seeing all of life as one continuous ritual, history a single performance involving only one god. The first monotheism took the inception of ritual as its model, focused on the organization of ritual, the rules that describe its practice, and looking with expectation to the power and security that would result at the ritual's conclusion. The next monotheism focused on the conclusion of ritual, on that security and power achieved, on the end of history. The third put both together, both the rules of performance and the imagining of the achieved security and satisfaction that comes from following them.
- Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
- The myths of ritual that invade the realm of creative consciousness are: strict application of the rules (ritual performance), fatalism, resigned passivity (imagined results of ritual). The myth of science invading creative consciousness: organization for the sake of organization, doing for the sake of doing, power for the sake of power. Now what if, like we've done with ritual and science, we become conscious of what we might call the myth of creativity?
- You mean the cycle going from art to beauty, movement to rest?
- Yes. Is there anything we might do to rid ourselves of it?
- Would we want to?
- In the story of my wife, definitely yes. Every new beginning of action had at its beginning a sense of betrayal. I'd lost my wife's love, and didn't have the slightest idea of how to get it back. What if this entire system of movement and rest, self and world, defined and undefined could be replaced?
- By another consciousness without distinctions between self and world, between movement and rest, defined and undefined? How? If everything is all together what can move?
- Take my love story of discontent with lost love, content with memory of love and with love's possible return, discontent with that content - doesn't this involve both movement and rest (content and discontent), involve both self and world defined as separate, and not defined as separate (not separate in love, separate in lack of love)? What if all this movement and rest and separate self and not separate self all together became the foundation of consciousness? What if we could take care of every new betrayal standing back at a distance, the Bhagavad Gita's "knower of the field"?
- With the field being not only fighting, but art, and love too. I expect you to supply a mathematics of all this.
- Let's go back to the wave made by the pebble and the spiral in the peanut butter. One way of looking at what is happening is that every incremental motion set going by the spoon or pebble creates a "machine for moving" out of the material immediately closest. Not only movement is passed on, but organization; a machine is creating copies of itself. It might be a simple switch that decides on two paths. The wave and spiral forms reflect such a decision process in operation.
- Is this science?
- It is. Certain molecules have been observed making copies of themselves. Cosmologists are using this model as explanation what order in the universe and in life arises in the first place. Now consider the sense of betrayal in my love story. I want to be content with my wife's betrayal. But when I go back with her, I wonder, is her every word a lie? Is she really listening when I talk? Will she decide to leave in the next five minutes? The original cause of betrayal ramifies into results each with their own results continuously as time goes passes.
- Like the wave and spiral.
- Yes. I can't simply go back, draw out the pebble, push the spoon the opposite way. If I am to repair the damage I will have to reverse all the different ramifications. The world of the reversed spoon and drawn out pebble is a world of machines, not the smooth water and ever surface it was before. When you move through those machines they resist your movement, and pushing them you create more disorder rather than less, the smooth surface more interrupted. Following?
- Yes.
- If we know how this works we might be able to help each other take that step back to being the knower of all the fields of ritual and science and art and love. It would require a social organization where everyone surrounding someone betrayed, everyone receiving the ramified results of that betrayal immediately pushes back, compensates.
- Your friend's wife has left him so you show him confidence to help him recover his confidence.
- Exactly. Now there is an economic organization that mixes self and world, movement and rest, defined and undefined: voluntary cooperatives, developed in 19th Century anarchist political theory. People guarantee each other the practical necessities of life, food and shelter, and on that basis decide individually what to do and what to make with each other, sharing the results. In theory such an economic organization could allow a new "function" of consciousness, where everyone cooperated with everyone else to smooth out the waves and spiraling results of betrayal. We could retain all the aspects of consciousness we are familiar with and move on to something new. What do you think?
- Aren't higher states of consciousness supposed to leave you in peace? Yours makes me dizzy.

Further Reading:
Killer Metaphysics
I know It's Personal But Are You In Love?