Evolution in Fact and Fantasy (12.11.11)
(By the way, I apologize in advance if this post is a little skeletal and telegraphic. I just didn't have time to flesh things out in a fully coherent manner, so you're on you're own.)
Growth is always a process of complexification of interior relations, whereas construction is an exterior phenomenon only. The tower is built by piling fully autonomous brick upon brick, but this is clearly not how a body (much less, mind) is "built."
Rather, biology -- and evolution -- presuppose a nonlocal and internally related cosmos, otherwise life -- let alone mind -- could never get off the ground. If Darwinism does not acknowledge this first principle of nonlocal wholeness, it is a metaphysical house built upon sand, for interior wholeness cannot somehow be shoehorned into an atomistic and materialistic paradigm after the fact. We can only "comprehend" evolution at all because of the interior cosmic wholeness that permeates both mind and matter.
A machine has a oneness of function, but no interior unity. In contrast the body and mind have an essential wholeness which permeates each of the parts. Furthermore, you can take away many of the parts of a human being -- legs, eyes, pancreas -- and it is still a whole human being. But if you take away the wheels, seat, and handlebars from a bicycle, it's not a bicycle anymore. This is because the human being is animated by a nonlocal essence, which is his true form.
A living, growing, or evolving thing has three essential requirements: it must be a partially open system that exchanges matter, information, or energy with the environment; it must be in a system state far from equilibrium; and it must exhibit autocatalysis, in which the end product of a reaction feeds back into the system and facilitates further growth of itself.
A living thing is full of innumerable flowing circles (both internal and external), whereas the tower is static and "dry," so to speak. And even if it requires some exchange of energy -- like an internal combustion engine -- the engine obviously doesn't engage in autocatalysis. It will always remain an engine no matter how much gas you put into it. (I should add that to grow is to convert the circle to a spiral, more on which in the following card, the Moon.)
UF has a lot of regard for the philosopher Henri Bergson, with whom I have only a nodding acquaintance. However, Bergson's ideas have a lot of overlap with Whitehead's, and I prefer my philosophy to be made in America, if possible (Whitehead was at Harvard when he switched from mathematics and physics to philosophy).
Like Whitehead, Bergson recognized that "the essence of duration is to flow, and that the fixed [or fully exterior] placed side by side with the fixed will never constitute anything which has duration." In other words, what Bergson calls "duration" is a result of dynamic flow. (Of course, we now understand that even the most solid-looking object is a buzzing iteration of subatomic processes.)
As mentioned the other day, it is strictly absurd to speak of growth in the absence of final causation, or teleology. The final cause of the world is what Teilhard de Chardin calls the "Omega point," and what we call O. It is "that toward which spiritual evolution is tending," which would constitute "the complete unity of the outer and inner, of matter and spirit" -- who is none other than the resurrected Jesus Christ.
As Omega point, Jesus is the cosmic archetype, or logos, who both participates in history while transcending it and "luring" existence in his wake. Thus, he is simultaneously -- and necessarily -- fully present in the diverse modes of past, present and future, each an inevitable reflection of the other. History "drew" God into it (so to speak), just as God draws history back to Him.
Here is how UF expresses it: "I am activity, the effective cause, who set all in motion; and I am contemplation, the final cause, who draws towards himself all that which is in movement. I am primordial action; and I am eternal waiting -- for all to arrive where I am."
Which is why we live "outwardly" in world of dualism, but "inwardly" (or inwordly) in a spiritual world that transcends and heals the wound of duality, seen in light of the future unification of all -- which is always available now.
This is to unify science and religion, evolution and salvation, or what we call salvolution. In fact, this is precisely what I was attempting to express on page 261, which may seem less clear, but is actually more clear than the above, since it is designed to "lure" one up to the Subject under discussion:
What you was trying to find, you done had it all the time, only God is left, now left behind: we swallow our tale and the Word is finished. So much straw anyway. Adameve, Christomega, lifedeath, sundown, Sonarise: Finn again, we rejoyce: salvolution, evelation, ululu-woo-hoo-aluation!