PHILOSOPHY OF EVERYTHING
Walter A. Koch
Professor Emeritus of Ruhr-University Bochum
This site presents various aspects (cf. side-banner) of a bipolar philosophy of everything. Such a philosophy may serve as a frame for the interpretation of different views of our world. As is natural, the proposals to be made are likely to be modified, amplified, corrected etc. One of the simplest tenets of this philosophy is that Kosmos and Hope are by no means incommensurable or incompatible but, rather, mutually constructive entities. Another tenet is that "the world is everything that grasps" (Tractatus Logo-philosophicus 2009: 10). The deepest reality is an individual unit ("vip") grasping another vip via two different wave-packets: one is observation, the other participation. The synergy between the two makes up the fundamental relationship that underlies everything, even the subquantum world. This wave-form of grasping is to be roughly compared to A.N. Whitehead's "Philosophy of Prehension". - Not unlike the Taoist yin-yang philosophy, POE emphasizes 5 major facets (to be rediscovered in the yin-yang symbol):
1. Everything is sphere (system, holon, torus)
2. Everything is waves (three fundamental types of it)
3. Everything is dynamized by poles (dualisms, oppositions)
4. Everything has echoes (of form: fractals; repetitive holons: the white circle in the black part of yin-yang)
5. Everything coheres with everything else (irrespective of space and time).
Such a view - as many similar views - will hopefully assist us in beneficially influencing the further course of our lives and, to a degree, also that of our kosmos - not merely in a technological way, but in a way that steers evolution by means of an integrated and positive consciousness.
Comment on the Six Main Sections
Six Important Aspects of POE
Six sections (sections 3 through 8 on the side-banner) form the core of our reasoning. This group of sections is preceded by two general sections. Kosmos of Hope (1) delineates the scope and the dimensions of POE. It presents a sort of "perennial" view which tries to accomodate possible views. The focus of this vantage-point is determined by the bipolar interaction between the universal roles of "participant" and "observer", between energy and information, or between "cosmos" and hope". Hope's dynamic relationship to cosmos is basically one of "prehension", and so is that of cosmos towards hope. Properly speaking, there ultimately always is a reciprocal prehension or "comprehension".
This view of "prehension" is proposed as a frame for an entire series of related views, reaching from the view which the quantum holds vis-à-vis the world to the highly hypothetical view of an omniscient observer (God). - The next general section (2. Le Tour du Kosmos) preempts on section 5: World Views. It discusses different "Tours" (itineraries) undertaken by different world views (e.g. Buddhism or more mundane "beliefs") through an eightfold way of evolution and involution.
With (3.) "Kosmos as the Megaverse" we start the series of main sections. Here we posit a megaverse comprising infinitely many universes. Megaverse and universe are permeated by the structured vacuum or Zero-Point Field (ZPF). Everything is fuelled by torsion waves that form dynamic gestalts in the subquantum and material parts of the megaverse: the dynamo is a double torus and a double helix. Both are spinning and rotating. It is a new common world picture for both a new physics and a new metaphysics (partly instigated and partly supported by, among many others, Nassim Haramein). One of the stunning qualities of ZPF ('vacuum') is its ability to record all the structures that ever appear in the megaverse (Laszlo: Akashic Field).
ELPIS (4.) is, for the time being, presented as the most general and also the most concrete version of POE. "ELPIS" is an acronym for "Evolutionary Level-focussing Philosophy of Integrated Systems". It comprises the four mega-levels: COSMOS, BIOS (life), SEMA (language), and NOUS (spirit). And it entails "hope" or the human perspective as a necessary and special one. The measure for the adequacy in method and objective is for all sciences the dynamic mechanisms that give rise to structures everywhere: EVOLUTION (E). Even for those views that profess to deny its relevance, evolution is the most complex, coherent and universally understandable measuring-rod for everything. Similar things hold for ELPIS and its inherent complexity (L), its systems-character (S) and its holistic integra-tion (I). The posited overall philosophy (P) itself is evolutionary, too - subject to constant revision. It is contingent upon "focus" and "point of view", subjectivity being not a nuisance to an omnipotent objective Global Mind, but rather one of the two poles that guarantee the very existence of everything. Yet, not unexpectedly, the prevailing theories of evolution often agree to disagree. ELPIS, on the other hand, tries to integrate different views, especially those of the four main types of evolution: cosmogenesis, biogenesis, semiogenesis (evolution of culture and language), noogenesis (evolution of monotheism, science, meta-theories, philosophy etc.).
"World-views" (5.) are an outgrowth of human cultures; they are based on a series of inevitable ingredients of elementary theorizing: the world ("nature") as a result of an action ("creation") or as an ongoing process, humans as conspicuous specimens among the units created, a super-natural entity beyond creation itself, and myriad ways of establishing subsequent order and coordination: myths are embedded in a triad - the core of any culture: MYTH - RITUAL - SYMBOL. Most myths or world-views contain an ontology (COSMOGONY), an EPISTEMOLOGY, ETHICS and META-PHYSICS. Between these, causal connections are established. The concept of "World-Views" holds the ideals and myths of individual cultures in high esteem. VITA NOVA or "New Life" (6.) refers to the rapid growth of global consciousness of the present time: the trust in the intrinsic values of life harmoniously espoused to an altruistic approach zooming in on our polycentrically egocentric planet. We will have to learn not only to technologically conquer nature, but also to become aware of the ubiquitous grandeur of it and take a humble observer-position: start out from an exotic galaxy and approach our planet and ourselves from without. The roles of participant and observer, though seemingly antagonistic, will have to cooperate: we will have to develop new ways of living together, firmly committed to global ideas without thereby losing our legimate self-interest, our individual zest for life.
Transdisciplinarity (7.) proclaims greater liberality and greater mutual openness among individual sciences, individual creeds, idiocultural ideals of education. Here again, it is the necessarily DUAL character of a new and potent attitude that is of the greatest importance. Transdisciplinarity with its many facets of openness gives a new impetus to all sorts of creativity, but this does by no means entail that we should renounce the "discipline" of individual disciplines of science. In the future, we will have to reinforce the promotion of both transdiscipline and highly evolved ("elitist") disciplines. - A Philosophy of Com-prehension (8.) views the kosmos as a hierarchy of events. Any would-be entity or hypothesized quantity/quality attains the minimum level of "event" only if it is capable of prehension. Prehension includes turnover of matter/energy, information, and movement (momentum, oscillation...). It involves agency and environment. Prehension with respect to its emitter's survival (when emitting vectorial waves) may also be called "participant-ship". On the other hand, in any system, information is the loophole for nascent observership (scalar waves). Biological systems, especially humans, are steered by two seemingly antagonistic principles: they tend to act in an either/or fashion. They act either as participants or as observers. Not unlike participantship, observership evolves: from the mere taking in of information about the environment to various sorts of meta-awareness. It is highly likely that human evolution and adapt-ation should be supported by the realisation that the seeming paradoxes of participation and observation are the necessary twin-beacons for cosmic cybernetics. Accordingly, a Philosophy of Everything (POE) turns out to be a Philosophy of Dual Prehension or of COM-PREHENSION.
The Eightfold Path in POE
One of the most important Buddhist meditation exercises is that of the Eight Liberations (ashta-vimoksha): it moves through eight stages of concentration as an aid for overcoming all clinging to corporeal and non-corporeal factors. The eight stages are (1) cognition of internal and external forms; (2) cognition of forms externally, but not internally; (3) cognition of the beautiful (no attachment to the beautiful arises; contemplation of impurity is dropped); (4) attainment of the field of the limitlessness of space; (5) attainment of the field of the limitlessness of consciousness; (6) attainment of the field of nothingness of the whatsoever; (7) attainment of the field of perception and non-perception; (8) cessation of perception and feeling (nirodha-samapatti). (Cf. Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber 1988). This is characteristic of the Buddhist world-picture. It is the counterpart of evolution: a kind of "involution". It goes back the way the whole of evolution has come: it leaves the extreme differentiation of forms in order to reach the purported 'form' of nothingness. This ultimate retreat from creation is destined to evade DUHKHA "suffering" (upward/backward arrow in Fig.2). While this main pathway of Buddhism admittedly is only a partial description of the world, the eightfold path for POE as described in Fig.2 tries to cover the entire cycle of unfolding (downward arrow) and enfolding (upward arrow) of creation as released by the "infinite" Kosmos, by KOSMOS APERANTOS:
Buddhism leaves the level of "everyday life" - which means "suffering" - in order to ascend the ladder of liberation. Buddhism may be looked upon as a subtle and grandiose kind of teaching as to how the essential epistemology (and ontology) can be understood as a way upward (comparable to the upward arrow in Fig.2). Thus, the eighth stage in the Eight Liberations is the complete cessation of perception and feeling and is to be likened to our stage "Kosmos aperantos" regained by an upwards ("metagenetic" - black arrow) epistemic move (Fig.2). Kosmos aperantos comprises for the most part the megaverse in its ZPF-state: it consists for 99,99 % of non-matter. In so far, there is little prehension, no perception etc. It may be also likened to the Hindu philosophy of ADVAITA which refers to a state of everything without any dualism, asymmetry or perturbations at all. In contrast to POE, where there nowhere is absolute uniformity, Buddhism and Advaita Hinduism see the end-point of 'evolution' in absolute uniform tranquility. For POE there is a constant urge towards differentiating evolution (downward (white) arrow in Fig.2). This urge is at least as strong as the corresponding urge of human episteme to reach the depths of Kosmos aperantos again (upward arrow). While Buddhism would not emphasize the left-hand side of Fig.2, POE needs the entire 'merry-go-round'. Its epistemological journey needs 8 stages: from Kosmos aperantos downwards and bottom-up towards Kosmos aperantos again. But at stage 7, just before reaching Kosmos aperantos again, humans are expected to attain to the stage of COMPREHENSION or "greater conscious-ness" (Teilhard de Chardin). The entire journey is reflected in the series of sections 2 through 9 of this website.
Buddhism may be considered as an inseparable trinity of epistemology-ontology-ethics. The intention of POE may be considered to be of a crudely comparable nature. While Buddhism sees the steps of its various ladders which lead to illumination as stages in the development of the human psyche, POE sees its stages of the journey of epistemology also as different ontological models. Buddhist epistemological journeys usually go a straight way: a way upward (or backward): you start out from a normal sort of life and after a strenuous time full of mental and physical exercise you may arrive at the highest stage, which offers you a merger with the cosmos itself. On Fig. 2, such a way may be crudely compared to the right-hand direction (upward arrow). In contrast to Buddhism, our epistemic interpretation of Fig.2 also admits of the reverse direction, the way from the more general to the more specific: a way forward (or downward). Evolution leads to ever more differentiated structures and COLLISIONS of structures. Without them, there would be no suffering nor would there be joy or hope. Therefore from God's eye view, we need differentiation and suffering in order to have a raison d'etre for the noble "way backward" or for anything at all. The horizontal arrow in Fig.2 marks an important transition between a world largely determined by the role of participant as the main agent of structures and the right-hand side version of the world whre the participant view and the observer view have to enter into a fruitful synergy. One of the implications of this transition to a coalescence of partipant and observer is the necessary acceptance of suffering ("duhkha"). The common goal of both agents is the minimizing/palliation of duhkha. The journey in Fig.2 is no one-way traffic but rather a serious form of merry-go-round. The result is universal growth of consciousness or "comprehension".
It has become evident that the six main aspects of POE have been supplemented by a "Kosmos aperantos", with the Aristotelian "aperantos" referring to a kosmos that is not only unbounded but also infinite. (We remember that, by contrast, the understanding of standard physics sees the universe as unbounded but finite (Albert Einstein 1920: 112)). The evolution of the human mind (and probably also that of the kosmos itself) needs this extra locus of the journey: the ever-shifting boundary between finitude and infinity as the ultimate source of material and mental energy.
Fig.2 implies that "tears" and "hope" and also "conscious-ness" are no fortuitous, trifling matter to the universe. These processes basically exist of strings and atoms, but are far more complex than these are. "Teardrop" and "hope" are a manifestation of the rationale of existence itself: anything, also the simplest string of subatomic matter/energy, "exists" or "prehends" only to the extent that it rests on a minimal dualism: on that between "participant" and "observer". A concept of cosmos that includes this extra dimension should be referred by the term KOSMOS (cf. a similar usage of terms proposed by Ken Wilber 2000: xii). Any level of kosmos, then, has a deep structure consisting of two countercurrent flows: genesis (Fig.2: white arrow) and metagenesis (black arrow) or "participant" and "observer".
"I have, in my recent writings, used the word prehension to express this process of appropriation. Also I have termed each individual act of immediate self-enjoyment an occasion of experience. I hold that these unities of existence, these occasions of experience, are the really real things which in their collective unity compose the evolving universe..." (Alfred North Whitehead 1938: 151; cf. 11. References).
"All motion is spiral." (Walter Russell)
"One can picture the cosmos as Indra's Net, described in the Avatamsaka Sutra as an unbroken Web of Life, interconnected and self-reflective at every point, with every sub-component containing the whole ". (cf. yin-yang).
"As the aether flux (movement of ZPF) becomes subluminal, because it is slowed down by interactions with "normal matter", it will "self-organize" to become electrons." (R.N.Boyd on the Genesis of Matter).
"This is a wave universe" (Milo Wolff 1990)
"All physically real objects are either tensors, spinors or twistors in the theory of relativity". In the subquantum foundations of reality we find three kinds of waves: translational, rotational, and torsional (cf. Gennady Shipov).
"Because the 'real' world of matter - that is, of energy bound in mass - is so much less energetic than the vacuum (ZPF), the observable universe is not a solid condensate floating on top of the vacuum, but like a set of bubbles suspended in it. In terms of energy, the material world is not a solidification of the quantum vacuum, but a thinning of it."(Ervin Laszlo).
Occultism affirms that in all things both great and small, whether a universe, a sun, a human being, or any other entity, there is a constant secular cyclical diastole and systole, similar to that of the human heart.
Fritjof Capra (1975:224) describes the Chinese concept ch'i. It reminds us of description of the structured vacuum, ZPF or the ensemble of etherons which form the subquantum foundation of our universe: "In Chinese philosophy, the field idea is not only implicit in the notion of the Tao as being empty and formless, and yet producing all forms, but is also expressed explicitly in the concept of ch'i... The word ch'i literally means 'gas' or 'ether', and was used in ancient China to denote the vital breath or energy animating the cosmos... The Chinese physical universe in ancient and medieval times was a perfectly continuous whole. Ch'i condensed in palpable matter was not particulate in any important sense, but individual objects acted and reacted with all other objects in the world ... in a wave-like or vibratory manner dependent, in the last resort, on the rhythmic alternation at all levels of the two fundmental forces, the yin and the yang."
"According to the absorber theory, originally advanced by Richard Feynman and John Wheeler, any electron may become the emitter and the absorber of certain waves which serve as orientation."(W.A.Koch 2007:296). In fact, electrons, as any other unit, emit two types of waves: one (without time and filling the whole of space) for orientation, one (taking time and direction) for transmitting, exchanging waves (energy etc.). The first type are scalar (or torsional) waves, the second type are vectorial ones.
Empedocles posits two cosmic forces which work upon the elements in both creative and destructive ways. These he personifies as Love (Philia) - a force of attraction and combination - and Strife (Neikos) - a force of repulsion and separation.
"All Motion is Vortex" (John Keely) (cf. Moore 2001 and Dale Pond 1996).
"The ultimate fact of immediate actual experience are actual entities, prehensions and nexus".
Alfred N. Whitehead 1929: 24)
"Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist." ( Ludwig Wittgenstein 1922:30).
"The world is everything that grasps".( Walter A. Koch 2009: 10).
"I believe that the vacuum is highly structured coherent energy, which feeds the atom and poduces the dynamics that enables us to see particles and electrodynamics." (Nassim Haramein 2011:71).
In the context of the pilot-theory of the Haramein-Rauscher Metrics, quote by C.N.Yang: "Einstein's general relativity theory, though profoundly beautiful, is likely to be amended... somehow the amendment entangles spin and rotation" (italics mine).
"If evolution in each local universe starts with a clean slate, the evolution of life in local universes is a Sisyphean effort: it breaks down and starts again from scratch time after time. But local universes are not subject to this ordeal. In each universe, complex systems leave their traces in the vacuum, and the informed vacuum of one universe informs the evolution of the next. Consequently, each universe creates conditions favourable to the evolution of life in successive universes." (Ervin Laszlo 2004: 139).
E.O.Wilson (1999:56) sees in the natural contiguity of all subject-matter the reason for "consilience": "Everybody's theory has validity and is interesting". There is no better plea for transdisciplinarity.