Wednesday, April 07, 2021

O, ʘ, and Ö

An idea just popped into my head that may prove true, false, or not even false. Let's find out!

More generally, my discarnate collaborator only throws out titles for posts, leaving the details to me. These gnomic utterances always reflect a primordial truth -- however obscurely -- even if my efforts to explicate it may fall short.

The idea is this: that perhaps Gödel's incompleteness theorems go to the differences between exoteric and esoteric religion. 

As we know, the theorems mandate that a system can be complete or consistent, but not both; completeness is purchased at the cost of consistency, and vice versa. According to Prof. Wiki,

The first incompleteness theorem states that no consistent system of axioms is capable of proving all truths about the arithmetic of natural numbers. For any such consistent formal system, there will always be statements about natural numbers that are true, but that are unprovable within the system. 

The second incompleteness theorem, an extension of the first, shows that the system cannot demonstrate its own consistency.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it strikes me as self-evident that no one outside of God could be wholly complete and consistent. Indeed, necessary and eternal being is the source of any consistency or completeness herebelow; for example, every "whole" derives from wholeness as such.

For the restavus finite beings, we are more or less one or the other. Physics is rigorously consistent but obviously incomplete, helpless as it is to explain (for example) the consciousness of the physicist or the conformity of mind to being.

Most religions take a stab at completeness, but if one pushes the doctrine too far, it will reveal inevitable inconsistencies.  The Bible, for example, isn't self-authenticating.

Esoterism is as close to completeness and consistency as man can get. Yes, there is incompleteness, but that is down to our not being God. And there is inconsistency, but this is in the nature of things. Somewhere Schuon has an illuminating comment about this, or at least a decent alibi. 

One the one hand,

only sapiential esoterism, total and universal -- not partial and formalistic -- can satisfy every legitimate need for logical explanations.... it alone can answer all the questions raised by religious divergences and limitations.

Nevertheless, there are limits to the expressible, and 

it is no one's fault if within every enunciation of this kind there remain unanswerable questions, at least in respect of a given need for logical explanation and on the plane of dialectic.

For, just as no form can exhaust the formless, "it is all too evident that wisdom cannot start from the intention of expressing the ineffable." 

Wisdom can never be complete, but it is certainly more complete than knowledge, reason, information, or fact. There's an incompleteness built into the nature of things, at least on this side of rug, if only because it's not that side.  

More details to come. Retirement doesn't mean there aren't trivialities to deal with.

9 comments:

julie said...

There's an incompleteness built into the nature of things, at least on this side of rug, if only because it's not that side.

Now there's a thought. Any complex pattern of weaving where there's an identifiable image on one side looks completely different on the obverse. Turned over, quite often it looks like a big, sort-of-ordered tangle where the threads mostly run in one direction. If on a garment, it's the sort of thing where the outside looks nice, and the inside gets snagged on every little thing when you try to put it on. But without that big tangle - the order behind the order, as it were - the image wouldn't come together or stay together.

Van Harvey said...

"Wisdom can never be complete, but it is certainly more complete than knowledge, reason, information, or fact. There's an incompleteness built into the nature of things, at least on this side of rug, if only because it's not that side."

Yep. Like a wheel that doesn't have one half turning downwards while the other half is spinning upwards, I don't think we can Know, without something more being unknown, and the more you realize what you do not know, the more soundly you are able to know more about what you do.

And it seems as if one measure of how unwise a person is, is the extent to which that person pretends to know what they cannot know. AKA False pride - a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

You can write a million words about it, or you can meditate on it. Or both. Don't forget to escape your mind if you want to see what lies behind it, below it, and above it.

I want a 3500 word essay from each of you on what you have discovered about yourself by listening carefully.

Turn it in on the blog comments sections. But- do not post on the container ship blog. Yes, the One Cosmos is a big, modern cargo vessel but no, she is not on a spiritual quest.

-Popeye the sailor

Anonymous said...

Speaking of false pride, I told Bob and I told Bob, like, at least three times including this one, to get a patent on the obviously catchy “One Cosmos” name. But did he listen?

Now besides that container ship there’s a Facebook page about mystical knowledge (fancier looking but far less wiseguy), a cybersecurity site, a virtual learning academy, at least four yoga studios that I’m aware of, and a dental office all with that same name. The dot in the O adds a bit but it's clearly just a matter of time before an optometrist copies that well.

Plus I’ve been advising that he get corporate sponsors since like, forever. Prager’s got the Wilks Brothers, Breitbart the Mercers, and even old melonhead Charlie Kirk got the Koch Brothers. And look where they wound up! Bob’s stuff is way better.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lars here, captain of the One Cosmos container ship. We are cool with you using our name on your blog, just respect mariners and you'll be fine.

Our ship and others like it bring you all the products you need to live well. Keep that in mind. Be respectful of sailors and their wives.

Now mind you, we ship folk like to drink and tell tall tales. Like the time a speedboat full of pirates pulled up alongside One Cosmos in the Strait of Malacca.

Olam the sailor from Iceland picked up the first heavy thing he could find sitting out on the deck, which happened to be an old toilet which had been taken out of one of the staterooms. He heaved the toilet overboard and scored a direct hit on the pirate boat. We heard screaming and the pirate boat fell astern and we could see the bow sticking up. It was sinking. We did not go back to pick up survivors.

So that's how we roll on One Cosmos. We call ourselves the Cosmonauts and we kick ass.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to get all the different One Cosmos people together in this one place?

Sure, it'd be a bit confusing at first with all the sailors tall tales and all the fanciful yoga positions getting mixed into these conversations, but I'm fairly sure that some kind of common ground could be achieved. As long as they aren't leftists.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous 10:30 AM:

Let's organize a gathering of the One Cosmos tribe. I'm thinking of a dinner with drinks and mingling after, one special evening. For the venue I was thinking of Hell's Kitchen on the Las Vegas Strip.

Another idea would be a nature hike with a picnic in the Las Padres National Forest, Arroyo Seco.

In previous years we organized multi-day camping or casino gatherings and these were typically disasters, sparsely attended and having a carnival or spring-break feel to them.

There has not been a gathering of the Raccoons since Labor day weekend, 2017.

What say all? Shall we book a venue? Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Well, I must admit that I'm intrigued by the thought of a One Cosmos cosplay/larping event/convention. May I suggest the Teutoburg Forest Massacre of the first century as our theme?

I once worked with a Bolivian in Atlanta. He'd joined a Civil War reenactment club and showed me photos of his adventures with his new friends. At first it was a bit odd seeing an obvious Bolivian posing next to a bunch of good ole boys in their Confederate Army uniforms. But you got used to it.

I suggest the Teutoburg Forest Massacre of the first century as our theme, because things like the Civil War and the Patriotic Christian Capitol Takeover might hit a bit too close to home for some.

As we all know, with the Teutoburg Forest Massacre it's been very hard to know who the good guys and the bad guys even were. Was it the patriotic western civilization Romans, or the freedom loving Germanic barbarians? And which side had the most good ole boys? And what the hell was that Bolivian guy doing there? Even our best historians disagree.

I think this general confusion would naturally defuse any natural hostilities between say, Trump loving sailors and those awful liberal yoga practitioners. And keep the dentist from continuously handing out business cards. It might even be part of the fun.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, the Teutoburg Forest Massacre theme is a splendid idea! Think of the costumes. Either Roman Legionaire, resplendent in fine leather, battle sword, and feathers, or a Germanic barbarian in rough furs, horned cap, and double edged axe. Spray on fake gore and viola, a visual feast.