Posts Tagged ‘negation’

Existence God Structure Logic Love

September 18, 2010

Early on I identified with agnosticism, – an escape from what I had been taught. But, I continued to study religion–aesthetic traditions, philosophy of, and Christianity. However, the religion/God that, for me, is spot on, not only affirms God’s existence, but also demonstrates a consistency and coherence with events— predictable scientific events. What follows is a brief description/explanation of the God that Is. (Inspiration for this post came from a Google search on the principle of double negation.)

Ideal Meanings

The necessary elements of every assertion are based on “ideal meanings” that fill our perceptions with meaning. This process, over time, alters both the meaning and the content of our perceptual field. But, what it comes down to is testing the deductive consequences of those “ideal meanings” against the sensual contents in the field of our perceptions. For instance, consider that space, as an ontological entity, in the theory of general relativity, doesn’t exist. The being of space has been replaced with purely methodological considerations. What space ‘is,’ or whether any definite character can be attributed to it, is no longer a concern. Rather, we must be concerned with the geometrical presuppositions, the “ideal meanings” that get used in the interpretation of the phenomena that we ascribe to nature according to law. And further, at the quantum level, as far as a person’s limited reason is concerned, there is no quantum world, just an abstract quantum physical description. In other words, over time, both knowledge and the perceived field that we find ourselves in changes.

God’s Structure

The structure of God that explains why the physical universe is comprehensible, why the mind will never stop explaining things, and why mathematics (both present and not yet invented) will continue to explore imagined possibilities, arises from God’s structure, a structure rooted in the freedom to be free.

God is structured through negation—event structuring negations which circumscribe all physical, biological, and psychological events. Human self-consciousness is a product of negation; the evolving universe is a product of negations. When it comes to understanding “why negations,” the distinguished astronomer and Pulitzer-prize winner, Carl Sagan, said it best: “We are the universe’s way of understanding itself.” Bottom line, though, is that our participation in this process and the universe’s participation in this process are rooted in “divine liberation/structure,” or the freedom to be free.

So what exactly is this structure that logically implies God’s existence, the natural world, life, self-consciousness, and liberation, the liberation that produces the ups and downs of civilization? The source of this structure may be traced to the principle of double negation! The following is cut and paste description of this principle:

[Double Negation Principle

The principle that, for any proposition P, P logically implies not-not-P, and not-not-P logically implies P.
Classical logic accepts both these halves of the principle, but intuitionist logic accepts only the first half, and not the second. This is because it accepts the law of contradiction (and so, given P, cannot allow not-P), but rejects the law of excluded middle (and so, given not-not-P, does not consider itself forced to accept P).]

In God’s structure the not-not-P that logically implies P becomes not-not-God therefore God, and this structure sustains the universe. This structure is frozen in time (synchronic), but the “awareness of the implication of P,” is both a product of synchronic and diachronic evolution (time-dependent evolution). To be sure, humans are a product of the evolution of star-stuff, but they are also a product of the isomorphic transformations of structure (transformation is the medium of synchronic movement and transformation need not be a temporal process: 1+1=2; 6 divided by 2=3; clearly, the “following and making” here meant, are not temporal processes. The law of intelligibility is the foundation of all “laws”). These changes that occur in divine structure are real, yet, at the same time, they conserve the not-not-P structure that implies God. In the structure of divinity, existence, or that which is identified as existence, remains circumscribed by the ~~P therefore “G” structure.

God, by any other name, is the “affirmative ideal,” but this is not the end of it. Star-stuff evolution moves from simple to complex over time. When existence, circumscribed by the ~~p structure achieves sufficient complexity, two significant events occur. First, the structure of ~~p reboots into a higher ~pp structure which, in turn, circumscribes more complex forms of existence, i.e., life. The ~p in this higher structure conserves the ground structure of ~~p, or, in other words, death/decay preserves the divine structure of ~~p, therefore “G.” A major liberation occurs, however, when ~~p becomes P, i.e., the implied “G” of ~~p becomes alive—and “life” continues the simple to complex movement!

The first structural liberation occurs between ~~p and ~pp, but the second structural liberation (the one that produces human consciousness) occurs, after a sufficient diachronic complexity is achieved, when ~pp reboots to p~p~pp (or when the now liberated ~pp structure experiences discontinuity in continuity, or “time of mind consciousness” occurring in the higher negative space of p~p). The higher negative space of p~p conserves the structure of God while the ~pp structure, in turn, liberates the “affirmative ideal” (God by any other name) in human self-consciousness.

The Meaning and Significance of the P~P~PP God Structure

We might ask, what does the God structure of p~p~pp mean in ordinary language? Our “time of mind steam of consciousness” is embedded in a physical event. Physical events take place within our perceptual field (sensory experience) and are identified, scrutinized, and categorized within our “time of mind” experience. F. S. Northop says it best when he says, “To be any complete thing is to be not merely an immediately experienced, aesthetically and emotionally felt thing, but also to be what hypothetically conceived and experimentally verified theory designates” (The Meeting Of East And West, p. 450). In other words, divine structure leaves us with the same “reality,” i.e., an awareness of the physical processes that constitute the material world—the same world we were “schooled in and grew up in,” or, it leaves us with what can be inferred from the structure of God described above. (I’m sure different inferences can be made from the above description, but that is what “time of mind” is all about—testing the consistency and coherence of ideas in the market place of critical thinking and debate).

What the God Structure Tells Us About Ourselves and Love

God’s logical consistency is connected necessarily to the evolution of everything that we know about the universe, i.e., connected necessarily to all the possibilities of human behavior EXCEPT the behaviors that contradict God’s self-consistency, e.g., behavior that takes life unnecessarily, behavior that causes unnecessary suffering, behavior that does harm to the environment–harm to that which preserves and perpetuates freedom, life, love, and reverence for the God that makes “all” possible.

And, speaking of love, God’s structure not only finds a place for love, LOVE, ultimately, becomes the most significant experience possible. True, love’s meaning is embedded in “time of mind,” but the experience of love enters through the negative space of “time of mind”– the space of the aesthetic continuum, which, structurally, implies the existence of God. In terms of God’s structure, “time of mind” is the source of meaningful symbol creation, which, in turn, opened the door to the creation of language, myth, religion, art, theoretical knowledge, and the rest of the civilizing processes that we call civilization. But, this ongoing self-liberation is not only embedded in civilization, it is also embedded in the aesthetic continuum where the true meaning of life can be found. The gorgeous sunset that sometimes swells our eyes to tears is not just a product of the spinning earth; it is also part of the spontaneous, pulsating, emotion that flows from the whole of the aesthetic continuum. Inspiration for the poet, painter, and musician comes not from cerebral musings, but rather from the empowering emotion that inspires life, imagination, and awe. The strength and resolve necessary to create a better world is not found in analysis and calculation, but rather in the empowering emotion that calls us to love, beauty and truth. The immediately grasped, emotionally moving ground out of which all things arise–the aesthetic component of our experience–beckons us to seek the impossible, express the unspeakable, and imagine the inconceivable.

William James held that “stream of consciousness” is comprised of both thinking and feeling elements. Feeling, for James, participates in knowledge and understanding. Echoing this sentiment, in his article, Reason and Feeling, Professor Creighton describes how feeling animates mind:

“In the development of mind, feeling does not remain a static element, constant in form and content at all levels, but…is transformed and disciplined through its interplay with other aspects of experience…Indeed, the character of the feeling in any experience may be taken as an index of the mind’s grasp of its object; at the lower levels of experience, where the mind is only partially or superficially involved, feeling appears as something isolated and opaque, as the passive accompaniment of mere bodily sensations…In the higher experiences, the feelings assume an entirely different character, just as do the sensations and other contents of mind.”
(Susanne K. Langer, Philosophy In A New Key, p. 100)

And further, F.S. Northrop, in the quote below, emphasizes the spiritual relevance of the aesthetic continuum, and the trans-formative value of feeling and emotion, when he states:

“Now it is precisely this ineffable, emotional, moving quale that constitutes what is meant by spirit and the spiritual. Thus in order to do justice to the spiritual nature of human beings and of all things it is not necessary to have recourse to idle speculations, by means of which one tries to pierce through the glass beyond which we now see darkly, to supposedly unaesthetic material substances behind, or into some unreachable and unknowable realm where mental substances are supposed to be. On the contrary, the spiritual, the ineffable, the emotionally moving, the aesthetically vivid—the stuff that dreams and sunsets and the fragrance of flowers are made of—is the immediate, purely factual portion of human nature and the nature of all things. This is the portion of human knowledge that can be known without recourse to inference and speculative hypotheses and deductive logic, and epistemic correlations and rigorously controlled experiments. This we have and are in ourselves and in all things, prior to all theory, before all speculation, with immediacy and hence with absolute certainty.” (The Meeting of East and West, p.462)

However, I think Jesus of Nazareth said it best when he said “Love God with all your heart and do on to others as you would have others do on to you.” Love animates and grows the spirit and the spiritual. Without it there would be no work ethic, no survival. Where LOVE burns brightest, that is where the Absolute Affirmation reigns supreme. It is love that must be affirmed. Liberation moves God’s structure forward, but LOVE is the real liberator. Lover and beloved become as one in love. All opposites come together in love. There is no substitute for love. Love is the greatest apperception. Freedom, beauty, and completeness are embedded there; the psychic and the cosmic are embedded there. It is the same in death as in life!

The “Time Of Mind” Concept in the Literature of Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, and Science

We have come to the end of this post—finally. And yet, I still feel the need to say one last thing about “time of mind;” in a survey of some literature, one can find support for the “time of mind” concept, albeit, support framed in terms of the consequences of “time of mind,” not it’s structure. Anyway, thanks goes out to all who have read this far, and if interested, my blog, for the most part, is a recollection of the history that has allowed me to write this blog.

Since one might not be familiar with how the “time of mind” concept (discontinuity occurring in continuity) plays out in the literature, here are a few examples from the literature of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and science. For instance, Descartes’ cogito ergo sum “I think (doubt), therefore I am,” is obviously impregnated with the experience of the “affirmative ideal” experience, impregnated with the discontinuity of doubt/negation occurring in the continuity of “the affirmation of existence in order to doubt existence). And further, in Sartre’s definition of consciousness: “Consciousness is a being such that in its being its being implies a being other than itself,” the experience of discontinuity occurring in continuity, for Sartre, becomes the defining condition of a self-conscious person. And again, in psychology, every time the subject is identified as “coming to be,” or “under construction” discontinuity occurring in continuity/the affirmative ideal is what is being discussed. In fact, Piaget’s concept of “self” is defined as “the center of functional activity.” And, again in Sociology, where Thom focuses his studies on the “the overcoming of the primitive ambivalence or opposition between the modes of difference and no difference, and, in a like manner, where Simmel focuses his studies on “man as both the fixing of boundaries and the reaching out across these boundaries—the language of discontinuity occurring in continuity is front and center in the discussion. And lastly, in the physics of the quantum particles, where the collapse of the wave function is observer generated, we are not only witnessing the language of the “affirmative ideal,” we are witnessing (with each collapse of the wave function) empirical evidence supporting the claim that God exists in the structure of human self-consciousness, i.e., GOD INCARNATED.

The Root Basis Of Self—Negation

October 16, 2009

Descartes, in his own fashion, placed the essence of Being in thinking. He affirmed, with absolute certainty, and through a second order affirmation, his own existence. But, this certainty followed from the logic, not his physical condition. It is the “thinking of thoughts” that the implicative affirmative of the not-me-self implies, and the thought that is being thought would not be thought if it were not for the negation of the me-self, the negation of biography.

Negation Is A Second Degree Affirmation–Not-Me-Self Affirmation

In The Highest Tradition Of Rationalism, Descartes Places The Essence Of Being In Thinking

Implicative Affirmative Of The Not-Me-Self

It is somewhat ironic that the implicative nature of negation, in its most significant form, can be traced back to the man who is given the tribute, according to Hermans and Kempen (1993 : 2), of being “the founder of Enlightenment, an era in which questions relating to the body were increasingly answered in terms of physical, mechanical, and biochemical explanations.” Descartes (1650), the seventeenth-century French philosopher, is also recognized for giving the Western world the notorious mind–body split which not only separates mind and body, it also separates self and others. When we speak in terms of the outside world as an “objective, matter of fact reality,” we are using Cartesian terminology and, in the process, following a 17th Century line of thought, whether we want to or not.

Descartes, using his method of systematically doubting the existence of everything in the mental and physical world, concluded, with absolute certainty, that the only thing he could not doubt was that he exists. In his imaginary battle with the wicked demon who possessed mind-controlling powers, Descartes concludes in his second meditation, according to Flew (1979: 91), “I am, I exist, is necessarily, true as often as I put it forward or conceive of it in my mind.” This argument is expressed in the Discourse in the form “I think, [doubt] therefore I am.” Descartes, in his attempt to escape the powers of his imaginary controlling demon arrives at absolute certainty by shutting his eyes, stopping up his ears, and eliminating from his thoughts all images of bodily things. In this way, Descartes realized his famous Cogito, ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am”). For Descartes, negation (doubt) is at the heart of a person’s I-ness.

[Footnote.Toms (1962: 72) puts this idea in its simplest form when he states: “The paradox of non-existence is most simply stated by saying that, in so far as a negative existential proposition seems to be about the very object or objects denied existence, it presupposes their existence.” Further, Gale (1976: 43-44), in support of his own thesis in which negation is itself held to be a higher order affirmation, recounts some of the people who have argued that affirmation is in some sense “prior” to negation. He states:

“According to Sigwart (1885:119), a negative judgment is not as primitive as a positive one because it ‘presupposes the positive attribution of a predicate, and has its meaning only in contradicting or annulling such an affirmation.’ This theme is echoed, with modifications, by both Bradley and Bosanquet. For Bradley (1922: 114), a negative judgment occurs on a higher level than a positive one because in affirmation we refer an ideal content to reality while in negation we deny that some real X accepts this ideal content. “The primitive basis of affirmation is the coalescence of idea with perception. But mere non-coalescence of an idea with perception is a good deal further removed…” Bosanquet expressed a similar view in (1911: 280): ‘Negation is a degree more remote from reality than is affirmation,’ for while an affirmation can be given as a fact a negation is ‘made by setting an ideal reality over against real reality and finding them incongruous.’ Bergson, although he differed radically from the idealist logicians, nevertheless followed them on this point. He wrote (1944: 313) that ‘negation…differs from affirmation… in that it is an affirmation of the second degree: it affirms something of an affirmation which itself affirms something of an object.’”]

Of course, what Descartes actually discovered with his Cogito argument is that the existence of the thing, which cannot be doubted, is, in fact, the thought that is being thought, not the “I” that is thinking the thought. Descartes’ inference, according to Anscombe, can be described as: “The thinking that thinks this thought–that is what is guaranteed by cogito” (Cassam, 1994: 152). But, to give Descartes his do (without, of course accepting Descartes’ excess baggage, or what Hermans and Kempen (1993: 39) describe as “…the existence of a unitary, closed, highly centralized subject or self, as an entity in itself, having an existence ‘above’ or ‘outside’ the social environment,” Descartes, in the highest tradition of rationalism, placed the essence of being in thinking.

The Process Of Thinking Is Reflexively Oriented Within Biography And Its Negation

The Self Consists Of A System Of Me/Not Me Oppositions—When “I” Appears In Memory, It Has Already Become A “Me”

It is the “thinking of thoughts” that the implicative affirmative of the not-me-self implies, and the thought that is being thought would not be thought if it were not for the negation of the me-self. In other words, the give and take that goes into the process of thinking is reflexively orientated within biography, and, the negation of biography, instead of within the “me” and the “I” as Mead would have it.

[Footnote. According to Hermans and Kempen (1993 : 119), Gregg, recognizing that biography and the negation of biography are pivot points within which the “self” develops, argues:

“[T]hat the self consists, not of a collection of Me attributions, as cognitive personality theories would have it, nor of ego-syntonic identifications, as most psychoanalytic personality theories would have it, but of a system of Me/not Me oppositions. He holds that every Me attribution or identification must have at least two defining relations (implying at least two meanings); a positing, which establishes the self as the presence of something, and a negation, which establishes the self as the absence or opposite of something else. However, the ‘thing’ negated also must be, in some sense, the same sort of entity as the ‘thing’ posited.”]

If, in the following quote, you replace the words biography and negation with Mead’s “me” and “I” reference, then Mead could just as easily be talking about the not-me-self, as opposed to the I/me couplet, when he states (1934: 182):

“The ‘me’ (biography) and the ‘I’ (negation) lie in the process of thinking and they indicate the give-and-take which characterizes it. There would not be an ‘I’ (negation) in the sense in which we use that term if there were not a ‘me’ (biography); there would not be a ‘me’ (biography) without a response in the form of the ‘I’ (negation). These two, as they appear in our experience, constitute the personality.”

In a like manner, using the words negation and biography in place of the “I” and “me” allows for a more consistent reading of Mead when he says (1934:174):

“The ‘I’ (negation) of this moment is present in the ‘me’ (biography) of the next moment. There again I cannot turn around quick enough to catch myself…. If you ask, then, where directly in your own experience the ‘I’ (negation) comes in, the answer is that it comes in as a historical figure. It is what you were a second ago that is the ‘I’ (negation) of the ‘me’ (biography).”

In the reflexivity of biography and its negation, biography is in syncopation with Mead’s “me” and the implicative affirmative (of the not-me-self) is in syncopation with Mead’s “I.” In this way logical consistency reinforces Mead’s claim when he says: “…[T]he actor never catches sight of himself or herself as ‘I.’ The ‘I’ appears in memory, it has already become a ‘me’” (Mead, 1934: 171).

Although the above passages cited from Mead are consistent with how the normal give-and-take of thought processing proceeds, Billig’s (1987) critique–concerning cognitive psychology’s penchant for describing the thinking process in terms of basic units of thought, –offers a more cogent description of the thinking process.