Darwinists and Their Cosmic Delusions of Adequacy
"Materialism is not based on unbiased observation, but rather requires an active -- even intense -- EXPLAINING AWAY of much of everyday observed reality. Consciousness must first be explained as a property of neurons, conscience must be reduced to a kind of programming by parents, and love to a way of spreading and protecting our genes.
"Yet direct observation shows that consciousness and the invisible world are as real as the material world. We could just as easily explain the material world as an illusion made by our consciousness.
"Just like the physical world exists prior to our exploration of it, so do the higher worlds. This is easy to prove to anyone who goes there. But for those who wish they were mere animals, no proof is enough to convince them otherwise."
There is so much meaning packed into these words, that I scarcely know where to begin. Let me therefore start with a bobservation that was waiting there in my head when my eyes opened this morning, as it may or may not be relevant to the discussion: on Darwinist grounds, I can well understand why the flower is attractive to the bee. But why is it beautiful to man? After all, I am not attracted to a female chimp in heat with a swollen pink rump.
Scatter, of course, informs me that I really haven't lived, so long as I remain in this state of aesthetic ignorance. But try as I might, I can't see the situation from his point of view. Frankly -- and I would never tell him this -- but if I were forced to choose, I would prefer the unswollen monkey rump. Does that make me a "gay monkey?" I have no idea. I don't even want to think about it. Nevertheless, I'll get back to this topic later, for our access to the realm of beauty is a key that unlocks many cosmic mysteries.
Now our materialist troll -- and he is a genial troll, so I don't intend to bash him -- but our troll gave us the courtesy yesterday of responding to Petey's query of how and why a mere Darwinian machine would have a "passion for truth." Petey was hoping for something a little less self-refuting, but what can one expect of a materialist? It's a wonder they can think at all.
Anyway, he explained it as follows: Truth is "that which is in accord with reality," or "that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." As for why he cares about this, it is because he wishes to have a "useful map," presumably of those things that "don't go away," i.e., reality. But his passion is actually reduced to purely utilitarian grounds, as the ultimate purpose of the map is simply to be "useful." He didn't say what the map should be "useful for" -- and this gets a bit tautologous -- but presumably it should be useful for "mapping the things that don't go away," which for a Darwinist comes down to reproducing. To be honest, this is very close to what Scatter believes, although he also enjoys smoking cigars and watching Ellen. Go figure.
Now, the first thought that occurs to me is that everything within the scope of our senses "goes away." Nor am I the first monkey to make this depressing observation, as it was central to the Buddha's metaphysic. In this way of looking at things, you might say that all is impermanent with the exception of the observation that all is impermanent -- which is like one of those ju-jitsu koans or Jew-jitsu mishnahs that are intended to "provoke an ontological breach in our carapace of ignorance," as Schuon so accurately describes it.
Along these lines, I realize that many readers object to my compulsive upunishantics, but I have learned that there is a method to Petey's modernness, in that he is always trying to break through the codpiece -- ouch!, I mean carapace -- of language in order to provoke a guffah-HA! experience. Yes, there is a fine line between this and mere tomfoolery, but trust me, Petey is not just pulling your leg. Rather, he is tugging at your soul, so to speak. He wants you to laugh your way to the blank, which is to say, extinguish the ego, even if it is only for as long as the laughter lasts. But if you could only realize that your life is a big joke, then you would never stop laughing. This is what it means to be a stand-up cosmedian. I am not the first:
Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnagain! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again! But Cry not yet! There's many a smile to Nondum, with sytty maids per man, sir, and the park's so dark by kindlelight.
Anyway. Let's stay focused here. Back to Magnus's point: Direct observation shows that consciousness and the invisible world are as real as the material world. We could just as easily explain the material world as an illusion made by our consciousness. Just as the physical world exists prior to our exploration of it, so do the higher worlds. This is easy to prove to anyone who goes there. But for those who wish they were mere animals, no proof is enough to convince them otherwise.
By the way, there seems to be a persistent misunderstanding that I somehow object to natural selection, despite the fact that my book relies upon it to explain certain features of reality. It's just that I do not worship it as the ultimate explanation of our humanness, as it doesn't even come close to being sufficient to account for our entry into the invisible realm of "permanent features" alluded to by Magnus. In my book I did my best to circle this square by integrating the lower truth of natural selection with the higher truths of metaphysics.
Now, if one of these truths "has to go," then naturally, it would have to be natural selection, being that it is a very "transient" truth that only applies to a narrow slice of reality. As such, it can be seen how a certain kind of obtuse troll could regard this as obscurantism on my part -- as if, say, I would be rejecting natural selection in favor of young earth creationism, or some such nonsense.
No. I am simply following along the lines laid out by our troll, which is that I have a passion for truth, i.e., I wish to conform my being to that which is permanent and unchanging, and which will never "go away." And one reason it will never go away is that it was never created to begin with -- certainly not by natural selection, which by definition can only account for transient things.
If you will open your New Testavus for the Rest of Us to page 88, you will see another aspect of the book that has somehow escaped the notice of the the non-Coon world, and that is its simultaneously continuous and discontinuous basis, which -- like its circularity -- is intended to mirror and even "demonstrate" one of those "permanent truths" of reality. Please stay with me here, because this is important. This has nothing to do with "selling the book," since I still haven't earned a cent from it, nor do I expect to in my lifetime. Nevertheless, I hate to sound as if I am tooting my own horn. I'm sure 'Coons will understand.
The full title of the book is One Cosmos Under God: The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind, and Spirit. As with most everything else about the book, this is intended to be "holographic," as it were. First of all, who could deny that the cosmos is One? Even scientists make this a priori assumption, even though no scientist has ever "seen" the cosmos, nor can it even be conceived or pictured in any scientific basis (for example, the quantum world is literally unimaginable; or, if you can imagine it, you haven't understood it). For one thing, as soon as the scientist investigates an aspect of the cosmos, he has drawn a line down the middle of it, even though he knows in his heart that the cosmos remains One on pain of his being unable to ever arrive at any general laws that apply throughout the cosmos.
Now, there are several obvious ontological discontinuities (e.g., matter-life-mind-spirit) in the cosmos; or let us say that they only appear discontinuous when looked upon under the aspect of scientific reductionism, or from "the bottom-up." Bear in mind that this is not a criticism; rather, it is just a built-in assumption of science. But scientists typically confuse method with ontology, so that without even knowing it, they naively construct an ontology in which a pseudo-property is created by their own method. In other words, they reify and project their own abstraction of the One back into the world, so that it appears to exist "in reality."
As the biologist Richard Lewontin describes it, "the properties we ascribe to our object of interest and the questions we ask about it reinforce the original metaphorical image and we miss aspects of the system that do not fit the metaphorical approximation." Thus, for example, when our troll suggests that he has a "passion for truth," what he really means is that he has an addiction to his metaphors. After all, if humans are cut off from the spiritual plane, they will find a graven image to worship on some lower level, thus endowing the relative with qualities of the absolute. You can't really be cut of from God, silly!
Similarly, "trouble arises," according to Robert Rosen, when we attempt to divide the universe into two parts so as to satisfy some property (such as "objectivity"), and end up with "some consequent of the property back into one or the other class as defined by the property." Again, materialists almost cannot help doing this. For as Magnus mentioned, I cannot think of a philosophy that is more abstract and artificial than materialism, and which requires us to explain away so much concrete reality.
Back to page 88. You will notice that the chapters of the book are simultaneously continuous and discontinuous, in that they are "discrete" and yet "overlap" in mid-sentence. For example, as biology transitions to psychology -- as we exit the world of the senses and Life opens out to Mind -- we "cross that radiant upper threshold and are witness to....
...BOO!!! another startling explosion -- or perhaps, implosion -- this time into a subjective space that was somehow awaiting the primate brains that had to learn to navigate, colonize, and eventually master it."
You see? It is just as Magnus says: Just as the physical world exists prior to our exploration of it, so do the higher worlds. This is easy to prove to anyone who goes there. But for those who wish they were mere animals, no proof is enough to convince them otherwise.
For -- to quote the Coonifesto -- "Just as the first singularity was an explosion into (and simultaneous creation of) material space-time, and the second singularity a discontinuous 'big bang' into the morphic space of biological possibility, this third singularity was an implosion into a trans-dimensional subjective space refracted through the unlikely lens of a primate brain" (apologies to Scatter).
Again, just as there are "permanent things" for the senses -- e.g., heat, cold, hard, soft, loud, quiet, etc. -- and permanent things to the rational mind -- e.g., mathematics, logic -- there are clearly permanent things on the spiritual plane, and it is precisely these that religion attempts to reveal to us and help us "conform ourselves" to. Does it always do so perfectly? Of course not, any more than our senses cannot be fooled, or the application of reason is capable of exhausting the Real.
Nevertheless, there is no question whatsoever that Revelation models these permanent metaphysical truths adequately, and that is all we can ask.