Christopher Langan's CTMU
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The Universal Mind
"In the Beginning"––Man soon discovered but one thing: That he did not know. Nature, life and an early death, brought the truth before us in no uncertain terms. After this troubling and painful discovery, the very first order of business for our fearful, creative, curious and arrogant race, was to discover how to deny the fact. In this, we see the birth of "knowledge." Our first knowledge, was a poet's knowledge, a sort of anthropomorphism. The poet anthropomorphizes the world, gives the inanimate human qualities, just as early man used his creative mind to explain his world in a religious and philosophical viewpoint known as animism. In animism, we project our internal psyche out into the inanimate world and give all the world human qualities. Rocks and trees are seen as having spirits, some malevolent, some loving, etc. In this, mankind found knowledge: an explanation for his world.
As one examines the historical progression of human thought, a lineage can be discerned from the religious and philosophical to the scientific. I would argue that science is but the stepchild of Religion, our new religion, the new explanation of life, the new thing in which we can believe. As one examines the progression one can see that each successive incarnation of religious thought from animism, to totemism, to pantheism, to monotheism resembles more and more closely a neurosis, complete with its rituals, rationalizations and explanations. It appears as if in Science, this latest Religious incarnation of knowledge, that we are finally free from this neurotic element, but that would be short-sighted. It is not at all improper to attribute the birth of scientific thought, at least in part, to the rationalist philosophers, of whom Socrates was the most notable and worthy example. His credo, the worthy and proper credo of every Science, "All I know is that I do not know," this foundation of all intellectual integrity and cleanliness, is also, the essence of neurosis: pure doubt. As one analyzes the legacy of Socratic thought, particular rituals from obsessional neurosis can be observed! (Plato in Shelley, 1985, p. 11). In Science nothing is ever proven true, the scientific method forbids this, and states only, that a thing has not yet been disproven. The scientific method: Pure doubt. It seems that in our new religion, the religion of Scientific Knowledge, the apple in question has fallen but little ways from the proverbial tree.
Now, our new religion, Science, holds us and serves us, but in cold sterile arms. We have gadgets and progress, but no connection, no human warmth and underlying purpose or sense of connection are available from our frigid new myth. The apple of knowledge has left us thin and wanting for its doubting truth. As an intellectual, my greatest challenge is myself, my presuppositions are the bane of my thinking. I am always looking for a new truth, one which shatters everything I knew, even if it seems and probably is…impossible. The challenge is this––can I think a new thing, assume a new shape, as an octopus flows into a twisted bottle, can I release my assumptions and find something utterly new? Logic is linear. I have found a new logic, and, a new world view, indeed, a new view of our Universe: A scientific animism.
I invite you to read Christopher Langan's paper: The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe [www.ctmu.net]. This utterly strange and fascinating paper clearly evidences a scientific animism: a projection of mental processes into the cosmological expanse of the universe! Yes, he believes the universe itself is cognitive, a mind! Just as the human psyche is organized in an unconscious where time has no direction or sway, and a conscious, where experience is defined as coherent information, so is our universe. So many utterly impossible new thoughts! Does the observer create the universe? Is the universe a self-referential tautology, as is seen in physics e.g., the "big bang," where the space within which the expanding singularity is contained, is generated by the singularity itself as it expands. That which is contained, creates that which contains it: A self-referential tautology. Remember, we are children of the universe, and perhaps, we resemble her, and she us! I will offer a few aphorisms to tempt you along these strange, new and enticing circular avenues:
a. If I am part of the universe, and I am self-aware, is the universe now self-aware too? Is it my fault? Am I to blame for the fact that the universe is no longer… innocent?
b. We come of the universe––so it is no surprise the universe comes of us.
c. Science is poetry: A functional anthropomorphism... so does the universe unfold from within our eye.
d. It is the scientist who understands. How could he not give birth to that which imagined him?
e. A scientist's theories are his children, and so, resemble him––as by necessity, he is but a theory of the universe from which he came.
f. The scientist who imagines the universe is caught in an infinite solipsism, a self-referential conundrum which reflects him ever more distinctly the farther out he goes.
g. I imagine the universe and find solipsism, but, I may be right.
So download Christopher Langan's CTMU paper and wonder with me of the impossible! Perhaps it is true and we are the question and the answer, the reason for everything and nothing throughout time…perhaps we are both cause and effect, the universe but a thought born of us and we of it, as a dream which wakes within itself and sleeps on, so are we but the children of our own imagining, the parent and offspring of this universe, a self-instantiation, a self-creating paradox, a self-spinning wheel, the thought and thinker both at once, the circle drawn complete within itself, a self-creation, both dream and dreamer––a dream which wakes, the Universal Mind.
Plato, translated by Shelley, (1985). The Banquet. London: Concord Grove Press.
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