The Limits of an Unlimited God
This holographic logic makes for some interesting "deductions," if you will. To be honest, it's largely what provides the "spice of life," and makes people so much different than machines. I mean, let's say they come up with "artificial intelligence." It will never actually be human intelligence because it will never have an unconscious. Even with parallel processing, it will only think in a linear and logical way, not in the holistic manner of the unconscious.
I can imagine a computer mimicking the left brain, but never the right, which is where I live. (By the way, the soul relies upon a higher synthesis of left and right brains, or conscious/unconscious, linear/non-linear, logic/intuition. Properly understood, these are not dualities but complementarities that necessarily exist in order for the soul [the micro] to be adequately proportioned to the divine mind [the macro], as we will explain below.)
For example, let's say you want to ask a machine who should be president in 2008. Easy, right? You just program all the known information about each candidate and wait for the result. Let's say it processes all the data and spits out the name Hillary Clinton. The unconscious doesn't work like that. Rather, it comes up with an instantaneous assessment using holographic logic, in which it weighs all sorts of nonverbal factors and interacts with various universal categories and particular experiences to come up with something like "I would never vote for Hillary because I don't want the most powerful man in the world to be my ex-wife." No computer could ever think with such transcendent clarity about Hillary. I mean, I don't even have an ex-wife, and yet, I feel the same way.
How's Bob doing? Oh, I guess he's okay. He's probably even feeling well enough to do some Christmas shopping tomorrow. I'm guessing he'll go in the early afternoon, since he hates waiting until the last minute. I have to say, it's possible that you've heard the last of him. I think the blogging was getting to be a bit of a grind for him, whereas it's all new to me. For me, it's completely effortless, whereas he sometimes tries too hard. He's got enough on his plate without having to worry about a stupid blog. Hey, maybe I'll start k-->O laborating with Petey! Now that would be a hoot!
Spontaneity. That's what it is. I'm all about the spontaneity, baby. I'm like one of those jazz guys who plays a twenty minute solo just to clear his throat and get on with it. Trouble is, most people don't like jazz, but that doesn't bother me. If you really want to get weird about it, you could draw out the ultimate implications of holographic logic and say that if I have a single reader, it's like Man conversing with God and God conversing with Man at the same time. You know, just a dialogue between the finite and infinite, which is all reality is anyway -- not finite reduced to infinite, but finite + infinite = meta-infinite, so to speak on this spacial equation.
A lot of stuff goes on "down here" that you probably don't know about. Like sausages, you don't want to know how thoughts are made! Not really. That was just a little joke. It's not that bad, although I suppose it depends upon the person. You wouldn't want to know how a Clinton thought is made -- a pig rectum here, a ground chicken beak there, encased in intestinal lining, lots of additives to cover up the smell. It's not pretty.
Nevertheless, or alwaysthemore, it is because of various unconscious processes that human intelligence, as Bolton puts it, "has a potential equivalent to the entire contents of the world, so that [Man's] nature cannot be fixed by any specialized set of functions like an animal's." In other words, our unconscious mind is infinite because it is a mirror of the cosmos. To be perfectly accurate, it's actually the other way around: the cosmos is infinite because it is a representation of the soul, which is infinite.
Perhaps I should say "relatively" infinite, since, technically speaking, only God is truly infinite. Nevertheless, for all practical purposes, human creativity, for example, is inexhaustible, since it is a mirror of the divine mind. True creativity is an instance of "creation out of nothing," since one is bringing something entirely new into the world, something that is not determined and not reducible to its constituent parts. This, by the way, is why Man and other animals have some interesting "design flaws," so to speak.
Strict Darwinians like to say that this is proof that man cannot possibly be "designed," but it's actually the other way around. When you create anything, there is of necessity an element of "freedom" or "randomness," or else it wouldn't be creativity. Rather, it would simply be logical deduction or machine-like causality. If Something is to come from Nothing, the Something must have an element of genuine surprise, or else it's not really novel. Is this clear? If A is the total cause of B, then B is not a product of creativity or free will (since there can only be freedom if there is indeterminacy). I believe Bob spoke to this issue in his excellent One Cosmos, which not only had a tremendous influence on me, but which I influenced in return. Let's see if I can dig up the page.
Yes, here it is. Page 72. He makes reference to Kierkegaard, who "recognized that the necessary cannot come into existence, because coming into existence is a transition from not existing to existing. The purely necessary in fact cannot essentially change, because it is always itself. In other words, novelty is truly creative and therefore contingent and unnecessary. If something is strictly determined, it cannot be novel or creative, for the same reason you cannot compose a symphony by merely applying a predetermined rule for the combination of notes."
This has all sorts of interesting implications that cause Bob to deviate from most theologians, who see God as the epitome of what is fixed and final, i.e., the Absolute. But Bob feels that God wouldn't be God if there weren't this built-in aspect of indeterminacy. Otherwise the cosmos is just a machine, so it would eliminate creativity, free will, and morality in one fool swipe. Each of these things only has meaning in a cosmos that is genuinely constituted of nature + adventure, fate + providence, matter + soul, freedom + determinacy, etc. Ironically, materialists and metaphysical monists are singing from the same Him book, since they sing Him in the same way, i.e., as a big simpleOne, if not ton.
But thanks to me, Bob is a metaphysical dualist, which, as we shall explain if we have the time, immediately redounds to a trinitarian coonception of reality. It's not so much that reality isn't One, because it is; rather, that One is intrinsically Two, and Two is intrinsically but unpredictably Three. Ironically, to make God only unlimited is to sharply limit him. Only through limits can his unlimitedness be expressed. This should be obvious.
To cite an analogy, let's say Bach had an unlimited musical imagination. The only way he could express this unlimitedness was through the limitation of musical instruments, notation, and other musicians (not to mention listeners). It's truly meaningless to separate the one from the other -- like segregating the Cheshire cat from his chick. This is what art -- and by extension, the cosmos -- is: the expression of the infinite within the finite, the latter being intrinsically necessary to the former.
I suppose the appeal of any monist metaphysic -- including most Eastern religions, such as Buddhism -- is that it eliminates the problem of duality and the hell of other people, but at the cost of sacrificing reality and meaning. There is simply no way around the fact that if God is (only) one, then God and existence are also meaningless, since there is nothing they refer to. And to say God is meaningless is to say something that cannot possibly be true, as it contradicts the divine nature.
Ultimately God must be One-in-Three and Three-in-One, since he is the source and ground of meaning. Where do you think all this freaking meaning comes from anyway, out of thin air? Not to mention, love, truth and beauty? Again, God cannot possibly be Love if he is non-dual, unless he is just the ultimate narcissist, a big Deepak Chopra in the sky. I pay no attention to these krusty old bozos who claim that All is One in an unqualified way. If that were true, then the cosmos would simply be ringling in a circus instead of spiraling inward and upward like a holy roller coaster.
Again, as Bob pointed out in One Cosmos, understanding what Man is is the key to understanding the whole existentialada, because reality is microcosmic for reasons related to what was said above about the holographic structure of the unconscious. In the unconscious mind, the part can stand for the whole, and vice versa. This is no accident, but a reflection of the intrinsic structure of reality. In turn, this is why the two key ideas to fruitful intellection are "as above, so below," and "man is the image and likeness of the Creator," for they mean that the external and internal worlds mirror the divine mind in both space and time. Only God and Man can "become" what they already are, which, in a sense, is each other:
"Human creativity is not a claim or a right on the part of man, but God's claim on, and call to man. God awaits man's creative act, which is the response to the creative act of God. What is true of man's freedom is also true of his creativity, for freedom too is God's summons to man and man's duty to God. Man awaits the birth of God in himself and God awaits the birth of man in himself" (Nicholas Berdyaev, quoted in Keys of Gnosis).
It's easy to misunderstand, but this is also what my pal Blakey meant by the crack "I know of no other Christianity and no other Gospel than the liberty of both body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination.... Is the Holy Ghost any other than an intellectual fountain? What is the harvest of the Gospel and its labours? What is that talent which it is a curse to hide?"
Yes, you out there with the darklight. It shines in both directions in an unpredictable manner, so sometimes the only way you can appreciate how much light you're receiving is by noticing how much you're transmitting. One wonders if this isn't how God sees the Light?
Anyway, to end in a possible non-sequitur, as I realized last night, we're not in Kansas anymore. Rather, we're in Oz. Which is in Kansas. And there's no place like it. Except everywhere. And when.
Okay, okay, a corrective musical experience -- Van Morrison hamming it up with Tom Jones, performing a song written by Van. It's one of the few times I've ever seen Morrison look like he's really having fun: