Homo Bangians and the New World
A whole new world of meanings. What is the nature of this world? It is not merely the exterior world, for no meaning occurs there. Nor is it just the interior world, because with no anchor in reality, it is reduced to a dream. Rather, meaning takes place in the space between world and neurology, or between a ponderable exterior and pondering interior.
This world can only be known through personal participation; or just say persons. "Knowing of any sort," writes Prosch, "is the creation of a meaningful integration of subsidiary clues, dwelt in as a projection toward the achievement of a focally known whole -- even in the cases of perceptual objects of the sciences."
In other words, human perception is already the meaningful creation of an integrated whole. It is what humans do. In thinking about this, it must converge upon our mysterious ability to know universals. Almost as soon as we begin speaking, we are able to, for example, abstract dogginess from the dog or treeness from the tree. In other words, we organize the clues of this world into more abstract, universal, and meaningful categories.
"Perception does this, ordinary knowing does this, scientific knowing does this, poetry does this, religion does this."
Or in other words, we may regard knowing itself -- already an abstraction -- and appreciate an even deeper abstraction that unifies all its forms, from everyday perception to science to religion. If this is true, then "knowing the world" cannot be fundamentally different from "knowing God." Or, the data are different but the form is the same.
In a way, we already know this; for example, bio-logy is applying our reason to the data of life, as theo-logy is applying our reason to the data of God. Whether we are investigating bios, anthropos, or psyche, it is the same -logos that illuminates each.
Polanyi speaks of "conversion" from one worldview to another. While it applies to religion, the religious conversion represents a more universal phenomenon. Conversion as such "occurs when a person sees that a new world view would seem to open many more possibilities for a richer field of meaning than the one previously held" (Prosch).
This is why I conceptualize meaning as an attractor state in our psycho-pneumatic phase space. It is very much as if our minds are "pulled" into more stable attractors that integrate and harmonize more clues. This is very different from "imposing" meaning in a top-down manner, which always results in eliminating or obscuring important clues.
The latter involves a closed mind (and world), while the kind of exploration and discovery we're talking about requires openness and sensitivity to nonlocal (vertical) gravitational forces -- like surfing the invisible waves that flow between God and our local shores.
Speaking of gravitational forces, we are always "in the orbit" of God. In principle, thinking cannot occur without this attraction. Man is innately epistemophilic, meaning that he is a (the) truth-seeking being. No, he is the truth-loving being, hence the seeking. This accounts for the palpable joy of finding truth: it is what we are made to do.
Like any properly serious truth-loving being, Polanyi "took Gödel's theorems very seriously." Indeed, if only people would take him seriously, not only could we avoid an awful lot of philosophical mischief, we might even find a cure for tenure in our lifetimes. For it is written:
"No conceptual system can ever demonstrate within its system its own consistency." Rather, "Belief is always based on personal, tacit grounds, extraneous to the system..."
This comes very close to describing Adam's sin. For what is the Original Error to which man is always susceptible? Surely it must be imagining that his manmade system is sufficient unto itself; that it is both consistent and complete, thus having no need for that which transcends it, AKA God.
Note how this inevitably causes man to go off the cosmic rails. Again, in order for there to be be thinking at all, it must take place in the attractor space between man and Absolute. Deny this link -- this vertical trailroad -- and man only orbits himself in an act of cosmic onanism.
What we call "religion" is simply conscious participation in this orbiting; among other things, it allows us to "bring together events occurring in nature with a Cause that is not in nature," thus respecting Gödel and not incidentally the second commandment, for thou shalt have no other theorems before Gödel's.