2. Dualism, Holism And The Psychology Of Love In Time And Space
In ‘Order, Psyche, Insanity and Chaos’ (O. P. I. & C.) we were introduced to the complexities of dualism; indeed we in Klondike believe certain aspects of dualism to be paradox, one that surmounts mere semantic and linguistic concerns, a dualist dilemma. If the atheist (read, those that do not believe in the doctrines of theology) is correct, and death is the ultimate annulment of consciousness, then death is the opposite of life i.e. existence/non-existence, however this would imply the atheist is a dualist (in a biblical sense of radical opposites). If the theologically minded are correct, and death is a continuation of life/consciousness by other means, then the dualism of their doctrine is incorrect, as perceived by them in their conception of the bible. A ‘Dualism Paradox’, how could this be?
It would seem we must take a closer look at dualism. The god Apollo of the ancient Greeks was considered a god of order and sobriety whose Roman equivalent is believed to be Helios. However Apollo has another guise in the form of the god Bacchus, the god of drunken revelry; order and chaos raise their heads again, in holistic union or the psychiatric disorder of some Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde? It has been pointed out by certain individuals within the mental health system that patients do not require medicating but simply to be shown a little ‘true’ love from the heart. So it might be implied that hostility and any consequent alienation from the world results from fear of annihilation and so we return to that old chromatic entity ‘Entropy’ (touched on in O. P. I. & C.). We in Klondike, to hazard a guess, believe the answer lies in how we conceive and or perceive time. We ask the question, could both Parmenides [Born c.515 BC] and Heraclitus [c.540-c.480 BC] writing separately about time be correct, and it is simply the case that we from our perspective in time view philosophies as competing rival enterprises in a completely incorrect way; due to the fragmentary or incomplete nature of the vast number of ancient philosophers writings. Hence as was said by Alfred North Whitehead [1861-1947] ‘All philosophy is a footnote to Plato’, this synopsis may be somewhat inaccurate; however, it is how things have been handed down (the belief we are in receipt of the complete works of Plato [c427-347 BC]) and how it appears in the posterity of history, at least since the end of antiquity. It would seem that Plotinus [204-270 AD] believed the view of (the ancient) Greek philosophers to be in harmony (See ‘Plotinus’, Eyjolfur K. Emilsson: Routledge and ‘The Enneads’, Plotinus, 3 volumes: Oxford University Press). How can we, in our contemporary setting, have such a divergent opinion?
According to Plato, Socrates [469-399 BC] believed that we must cure people of the hubris of believing we know when we do not. All well and good, we do not know what the ‘ancients’ did so we seek to establish our knowledge on secure foundations: ‘Mathematics’, ‘Science’, ‘Philosophy’, and more generally the ‘Arts’ (even if the knowledge is transitory and constantly on the brink of being overturned by new discovery; although in their time the ancient Greeks came to the conclusion about philosophy of mind that ‘there is one chair, it is a throne, it is in heaven and a man may not sit on it’: their science however had stumbled due to the inhibitions of a rigid class system, and an aristocracy unwilling to partake in experiments as they were the tasks of manual labour only befitting peasants and slaves). The metaphysics of Heraclitus has us believe that perceptible things or characteristics in the visible world are constantly in a state of change or ‘Flux’. That is to say that consciousness, such as mankind’s, is in a constant state of becoming and never being in it’s self. The theory of ‘Flux’ as Plato claims, maybe caused by projecting Protagorean relativism onto the world. Reflection on these questions we are informed by Aristotle [384-322 BC] caused Plato to separate ‘The Forms’ from perceptible things and characteristics (The ‘Ladder of Love’ in Plato’s Symposium). Plato wrote that we have knowledge of the ‘The Forms’ because our souls had prenatal contact with them; we however forget this knowledge when our souls become embodied at birth, recalling in life when something jogs our memory. Things in this world of ‘Flux’ thus imitate the ‘Forms’ (which partially explains the jogging of memory) and so participate with them; the doctrine of recollection assumes the immortality of the soul. The aim of ‘The Dialectic’ is to jog the memory, although ‘The Dialectic’ in the hands of Friederich Hegel [1770-1831] is a different ‘beast’ altogether, being a system of competing forces in the form of ‘Master’ and ‘Slave’, the ‘Master’ eventually becoming so reliant on the ‘Slave’ that the roles are eventually reversed, ‘Master’ becomes ‘Slave’ and ‘Slave’, ‘Master’; apparently ad infinitum, like two crocodiles in death turns in the Nile. Of course Karl Marx [1818-1883] famously claimed to have found Hegel standing on his head philosophically speaking, and placed him the right way around. ‘The Republic’, ‘Statesman’ and ‘The Laws’ (All written by Plato) have been used as blueprints for the formation of totalitarian states, Plato’s dialogues unquestionably authoritarian in the hands of Nazis and Stalinist Communists, and possibly further exaggerated by the German Ideology of Hegel, however this is a digression; we need only know to keep an open mind and thereby a clear conscience in dialogue. ‘The Dialectic’ it’s self is the method of ‘Division’ – from which the correct definition must proceed. The starting points of ‘The Dialectic’ should not be accepted as ‘absolutes’ – that is accepted without argument. If the starting points are false the system collapses. The ability to combine this separated knowledge together into a unified science gives the philosopher the ability to “see things as a whole” (See Plato, Republic; Statesman: Many Editions Available).
So why do we in the present time conceive ancient Greek philosophy from the angle that it is disharmonious and irreconcilable. The word philosophy itself breaks down into two separate words, philo from the ancient Greek philia (verb, philein) meaning love, one of two words the ancient Greeks had for love, it is not erotic love, but rather the love one holds for parents, children and siblings, i.e. it is the sort of love that as mentioned above, comes from the heart. And Sophia meaning wisdom but also in esoteric tradition being a goddess in her own right. So ‘Philosophy’ translates as ‘the love of wisdom’. The Gnostics believed Sophia had originally fallen from her state of grace, attracted by the false light of Lucifer and the other fallen angels as they fell from the heavens. However the Gnostics, certainly the Cathars believed mankind to be fallen angels, so the consequent rape of Sophia may be a metaphorical rape of wisdom, and since it is said of her, that she walks three paces behind man for all his days on Earth. From antiquity to sometime in the early to mid 17th century with the likes of Sir Francis Bacon [1561-1626], Thomas Hobbes [1588-1679] and Rene Descartes [1596-150], it was generally believed that the world was gradually corrupting and that the human race themselves were degenerating; Sir Isaac Newton [1643-1727] himself held this belief as late as the early 18th century but there after the belief became increasingly less prevalent as a perspective on mankind’s plight. Has anything however really changed? To believe so would be to fall into what the philosopher of economics John Gray [Born 1948] would point out as a false humanist belief, based on flawed notions of teleological progress, teleology of man being the conceit of the religiously minded, the ‘Dualism Paradox’ raises it’s head again. Is the holistic remedy to dualism simply ‘Love’?
Is ‘Love’ the answer to the ‘Dualism Paradox’? Could it be that something like Plotinus’ ‘The One’ is a reality and points the way beyond the ‘holographic illusions’ of the material world, beyond ‘the world of desire’ to something ineffable, something beyond the reach of discursive logic. Of course it would mean that the Roman Catholics who persecuted the Gnostics for their dualist theology would be somewhat mistaken about the nature of the world too, as dualism permeates the bible, the Gnostics were just an extreme example of something more prevalent in Christian doctrine. That there may be no sure answer to these problems we in Klondike leave to the reader to ponder: the very nature of discursive thought is it’s inconclusiveness, as the scientist Werner Heisenberg [1901-1976] learned early in life, shortly after the first world war. The ancient Greeks had two words for love, I have already mentioned philia, however they had another, erds (verb, eran), this word designates erotic love, the kind of love that causes you to desire somebody as a sexual partner. It might seem that the two words couldn’t have more different meanings but it is human nature to fudge the issue and so one would often declare ones love for a sexual partner in ancient Greece by saying “philo se” (I love you) – philein instead of eran. To recap, it would seem that ‘Love’ – philein rather than love – eran, is the bridge between the dualistic schism, that can create holism within the individual. The ‘Flow’ model of time is best understood as a psychological perception of time; after all it should be remembered that our physical bodies exist in a future world to our perception, perhaps by small fractions of a second but none the less, or to put it another way our perception is past of the present moment. It could be that as unpalatable as people may find Parmenides’ conception of a ‘Block’ time it is possibly a reality ‘out there’ so to speak, that the future is already written, and we as such have no control over it. It would take too long to elaborate on the various pros and cons of the two basic models, let alone all the various side issues i.e. to use contemporary philosophy of science parlance ‘Substantivalism’ – that space is full of things, even if the space appears empty or ‘Relationism’ – that holds that space is empty but objects bare relation to other objects; books of many hundreds of pages have been written with no answer to the problems contained within; simply more argument. It seems to us in Klondike that indetermination may simply be an illusion of ‘Psyche’, that time may not be relevant to the quantum universe (as stated in O. P. I. & C) would mean that it is only relevant to our ordinarily perceptible realm, for those that argue for an indeterminate quantum sphere I direct you to ‘Bell’s inequality Test’ (Irish physicist John Stewart Bell [1928-1990]) – to work out whether a particle following another could affect the result of a test or whether some unknown influence was responsible. A test carried out in 2015 by a group led by Ronald Hanson [Date of Birth Unknown] (Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands), an experiment between two of the Canary Islands 143 Kilometres apart, the result of which would seem to imply that the quantum realm is predetermined however this experiments results are somewhat unusual.
If the world is ‘a holographic’ projection, created by a ‘collective desiring consciousness’ (See ‘Nature Loves to Hide’, Shimon Malin: World Scientific), and we assume consciousness is widespread, that is beyond being simply limited to human beings. We feel in Klondike, Rupert Sheldrake [Born 1942] for all his recent ‘lunatic fringe’ books may have a point when he alerts readers to the notion that everything posses a consciousness, the trees, grass, even your furniture and your cold stone floor; nothing we could possibly understand but a consciousness none the less. If ‘as without, so within’ it makes some sense that unclean spirits may emanate from within, actually having their origin in the sickness of an individual and possibly not possessing an existence previous to the mental illness; that they are actually generated by their host. Demons (although ‘demon’ strictly speaking means ’empty idol’, i.e. a statue not possessed by a god) though we should probably speak of devils, posses their own sigils, it is our belief in Klondike that through ritual magick one breaks seals in ones mind and opens portals in the surrounding area where one practices the ‘art’, it has been noted of houses where much magick has been practiced that the geometry is altered (i.e. right angles are knocked out, it is believed by the opening of portals in walls etc.) as is the case with Aleister Crowley’s [1875-1947] old house in Loch Ness, Scotland. The demon or devil in the far east is not necessarily a malign entity, many serve a function as temple guardians, the western preoccupation with ‘evil spirits’ says something about our inability to fit into our surroundings. William S. Burroughs [1914-1997] believed ‘evil’ was a stupid word, even though he believed himself to be possessed of an ‘ugly spirit’ (Burroughs’ definition). There is no doubt that unclean spirits have the ability both in the cinema and in ‘reality’ to inspire terror, however fallen angels have the power to instil fear, and for an angel to appear here on Earth it has to be a fallen angel as it must drop through higher metaphysical levels to arrive on earth. Although it would seem that these higher and lower metaphysical realms exist within us (as already mentioned in O. P. I. & C. about planets corresponding to internal organs) it is to the outer world we are inthralled too, possibly due to the change in the nature of our consciousness over the last three thousand years (see Julian Jaynes [1920-1997]) culminating in a radical shift about two thousand years ago when a ship coming to dock shouted the news that the great god Pan was dead, of course he had not died, it was simply a change in consciousness, a transition from right hemisphere dominance to left hemisphere dominance in the brain (the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right-hand side body functions, hence the left-handed were considered ‘sinister’ by the church).
We leave you with a thought: Albert Einstein’s [1879-1955] objection to Henri Bergson [1859-1941] on April 6, 1922 at the Societe Francaise de Philosophe by which he meant there was time for scientists, time for psychologists but that “The time of the philosophers did not exist”
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Part one of Grisly In Klondike’s Enchanting the Universe can be accessed here: 1. Order, Psyche, Insanity And Chaos