The subject is Necessity and Possibility, but in thinking about this metacosmic complementarity, it seems to me that it might be the principial formula for Origins, which is to say, “something from nothing,” AKA creatio ex nihilo.
And it’s not just something from nothing, but everything, which I suppose goes to the distinction between divine and human creativity.
Being conformed to the Absolute -- the image and likeness -- means we share nearly all of God’s attributes, but only by way of analogy, and in an “infinitely" diminished way.
I put infinite in quotes, because what we really mean is that God’s creativity is infinite while ours is finite, and there’s an infinite distance between these two categories, even though they must somehow be continuous as well.
The point is, while the Creator creates with no preexisting material, we do so with already existing stuff.
Still, it’s pretty shocking how much novelty we are able to create with, say, 26 letter of the alphabet, or seven notes, or three primary colors. They say that dispite the finite number of letters, notes, and colors, we’ll never exhaust their possibilities. Unless the left succeeds in totally destroying the arts, but that’s the subject of a different post.
As with fractals, it seems that our finitude is infinite. Come to think of it, it may well be that the cosmos itself partakes of the same paradoxical structure, i.e., simultaneously bound and infinite.
The latter may be conceptualized by, say, attempting to measure the coast of Great Britain. In one sense you could simply draw a circle around it, but if you truly wanted to measure every indentation, rock, particle of sand, water droplet, molecule, and atom on down, it would take “forever.” Thus the paradox of “contained” or “finite infinitude.”
That’s us. Radical novelty in particular seems to come from out of nowhere, at least looking forward. With hindsight we can often get a sense of how it was done, but still, without the person who did it, it’s hard to see how it would have occurred. Hindsight is 20/20, while creative foresight is 20/∞.
Origins. As mentioned in the previous post, this is a very tricksy concept, for when we say “origins” what we really mean is “beginning.” Again, the Big Bang is the beginning of the Cosmos, but it’s certainly not the origin -- unless one is incurably incurious. Again, a beginning is simply a horizon, but by definition there is always something over the horizon.
I want to say that some people can see over the horizon or around ontological coroners — prophets, mystics, visionaries, etc. In the past, we’ve discussed "quasi-angelic" intelligences that seem to do just this, i.e., to peer directly into the essences of things, and know in an unmediated way.
But here again, it seems to me that this is merely an exaggerated form of what must be present in any knowing and all knowers, for what is knowledge? And what does it mean to be a knower? These are not trivial questions, but rather, go to the very heart of what it means to be be human.
If you are a knower, what do you know? Er, truth? And if you are a truth-bearing primate, what does that make you? There are only two possible answers, and they are proposed in Genesis 3: you are either godlike or God. That’s a whole separate discussion, so let’s get back to Origins.
My conclusions aren’t the same as Chaberek’s, but his meditations did cause a disturbance in my own private Idaho, provoking more insights than I have time to pack into a single post (not to say that my insights are True, only that they were provoked; the only way to discover whether they might be true is to blog them out).
On p. 46, Chaberek asks the question, “what is beyond our universe?” Is this question even answerable, since the universe is what contains us, precisely, so how can we presume to know what is beyond that horizon?
Something tells me that even posing this question takes us outside the cosmos, even though we are in it -- which reminds me of the “bounded infinitude” mentioned above. Anyway, here is how Chaberek approaches the question:
Whether there are many universes or just one, in either case we face one serious problem: since the totality of universes is finite, there must be a limit of space, a “place” where space simply finishes. In other words, it is a place where something touches nothing.
Okay, but WTF?! Something touches nothing? How can nothing be touched? Can’t there at least be something in between something and nothing, so it’s not so jarring?
Adding some intermediary bodies does not help, because ultimately, whatever the body might be, it must have dimensions and must touch nothingness that does not have any dimension or any other properties. Nothing can border with nothingness.
Well, what then?
In our opinion the very existence of a finite universe is therefore impossible under natural conditions. But an infinite universe is not possible either. Hence, we need to postulate the existence of some immaterial supernatural power that constantly makes it possible for the universe to neighbor nothingness, i.e., to be spatially finite. Since the distance between nothingness and something is infinite, the power that creates the limits of the universe must also be infinite in order to overcome the distance.
We’ll call this infinite immaterial supernatural power O. But that’s not the end of our inquiry, rather, only the beginning. To be continued...