KARL JASPERS FORUM
IN SEARCH OF MEANING
by Joseph S. Johnson
25 March 2008, posted 29 March 2008
I read “The God Delusion” by Dawkins and can say generally that I have come to reject MIR, largely as a result of your arguments here and elsewhere that have brought new focus to my own experience. Of particular interest here is the striking mental image I get from your  “Subject-inclusive working-ontology, structured from no given structures no transcendence, but feedback from tool use.” I suspect that many people would reject the 0-D notion, structuring “from no given structures.” The question would be whether it was possible, or if it was, how or why it could be meaningful. But there are structures – and then there are structures .... Perhaps there is a structure that is so fundamental, so elemental that we take it for granted, yet has effects that lead to just this confusion. If we can identify this structure, perhaps meaning will dawn in a broader and more credible way.
Insights constructed from within my own bubble of experience tell me 1) I am in the midst of an enterprise, a boundless whole, having the original and persistent characteristic of potentially limitless creativity; 2) that such creativity neither has nor will ever have an objective explanation within the physical sciences for the reason that creativity is subjective and related to choice, not deterministic processes, and 3) that my personal mental faculties suggest to me that I am (and by implication all of us are) nothing less than an extension, a potentially creative agency of the original cosmic creative process imperative, whatever it may be. In other words while creativity implies free choice, if creativity is to be sustained across billions of years, it is necessary that choices be consistent with the larger structure of what I call natural order of the whole that necessarily relates both objective and subjective experience in such a coherent way that creativity is sustained.
How can choices be so structured unless the neural faculty is structured 1) to reveal the relational structuring of natural order and 2) provide motivation to choose constructively in ways that sustain creativity? My own experience with making poor choices convinces me that while mind is resident in the neural system, that the physical structure is the essential scaffold that introduces me, through my experience, to the relational structure of natural order in which my choices will have their effect.
The relational structuring of natural order (and neural faculties) is what we recognize and take for granted and describe as abstraction theory. The neural abstractive faculty is unique in that it accommodates, seamlessly describes hierarchic relations between particulars and generalities in both objective and subjective experience. Moreover, as a structure, it has no upper limit. Basically, it seems to be what Bohm (1980) describes as the ability to find “similarities among differences, and differences among similarities.” (analysis) Indeed, it tells us that the structure of natural order, the basis of creation and all creativity, is subjective at the most fundamental level. It even tells us where the objectivity ends (beyond the creation metaphor) where the subjective structure is revealed. But what is this structure? Very briefly, as Nobel laureate Dr. Leon M. Lederman (2004) tells us, “Although the theory of everything still eludes us, the language has been learned – whatever answers are found, and deeper questions spawned, about the universe or its mathematical fabric, at the center will be symmetry.”
Not only do symmetry considerations constrain the expression of the several forces through particulars of conservation law from creation forward, but abstracts of symmetry presumably imply timeless constraints underlying the physical; not least the relevance of aesthetics to (biological) creativity. Like every other property or quality of experience, symmetry is at once an abstract of fundamental objective particulars as well as a particular of higher, more encompassing abstracts such as aesthetics that are 1) entirely subjective, and 2) absolutely essential to sustaining the evolution of system complexity leading to the creative agency. In other words, while we exploit our abstractive faculty as a mere convenience, we need to understand that it implies a structure of natural order, a hierarchy of meaningful relationships that has no finite beginning. The relevance of the symmetry constraint at creation is that the deeper order is constrained by abstracts of symmetry which relate to aesthetics and related values, the kind of coherence that must guide choices if creativity is to be sustained indefinitely. Again, natural order is creative, subjective at the most fundamental level. Our abstractive faculty serves as a scaffold to endlessly explore the boundless extent of natural order that our choices may be in harmony with the relevant aesthetics.
The second relevant neural faculty of course is our aesthetic sense that gives direction to our more creative choices; the third faculty is emotion which gives impulse/energy to our choices. Not surprisingly, the coherence of social organization would seem to require the Golden Rule. On a personal basis, “God is love” seems to be a reasonable approximation.
In summary, we have faced up to the failure of objective science to explain creation and sustained cosmic creativity. We have found subjective abstracts of symmetry such as aesthetics implying the coherence, the harmony underlying this creativity, all implying a single coherent hierarchic relational structure of natural order which is subjective at its most fundamental level. Again, the neural abstractive faculty shows the path to creative choices, but does not make the choices. Destructive choices exist. In addition to the abstractive faculty are our aesthetic sensibilities, faculties that tend to give direction to our choices, as well as related emotions that give impulse to this direction. Thus, our more adequate (viable, sustaining, creative) choices take means from the abstractive (analytic) faculty, take direction from the aesthetic sense, and take energy from emotion. To say that there is “no given structure” involved in 0-D would seem to ignore these most important underlying structures, leaving their unifying contributions, the meaning they hold for the larger whole, completely unrecognized, opening the door to the unfortunate perspectives of relativism, political correctness, etc. These matters are discussed in more detail in the writer’s TA-79 (structure of natural order) and TA-79-R8 (abstraction theory).
Bohm, David (1980) Wholeness and the Implicate Order, pp. 115-6
Lederman and Hill (2004) “Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe” p.289
Joseph S. Johnson
e-mail <jsjnson (at) comcast.net>