I’ll dare to state this as a Negative Truth: Any transition from a lower level of being to a higher order isn’t rooted in the lower order.
An order emerges that exceeds the previous level. But not just exceeds it in power and mass, but in kind. A wholly different organization somehow leaps out of a previous organization without precedent. This lower order can’t give birth to something utterly new without a leap from nothing. So mind doesn’t appear to be a product of matter.
The so-called “new physics” seems to agree. They view the world starting with an infinite potential of information (a form of mind), which precedes the explosion of energy, which condensed into matter. What they’re suggesting is that Mind is the starting point. And Mind is the source of energy, which condenses into matter.
But let’s ask the question anyways: Can matter be responsible for mind?
Is it possible that it is and it isn’t, depending, as always, on context? Is this relationship like a wheel that can be spun in both directions when needed? If we look at the universe as starting with an explosion of energy, we will watch that energy coalesce into matter, which grows in complexity until it produces brains and minds. From there, we’ll also see a secondary wheel spinning in reverse, whereby minds generate energy, and energy is interest, is curiosity, is motivation to re-form matter into tools and computers?
Our mistake might lie in assuming that the wheel only spins in one direction, or starts at the same place. Or is operating on only one level at a time. What if matter, mind and energy are three phases of the same ungraspable movement, spinning in all imaginable ways in any context, wheels within wheels?
Turn the wheel either way, and start with any phase: mind <-> matter <-> energy:
If we start by looking through the prism of Matter as primary, we could see the complexity of matter develop into living minds, which generate energy or interest. This might apply where a mechanic or welder, for instance, see different material forms (perhaps scrap metal he found), which generate ideas for new forms (mind), which also generates interest in welding the scraps together (energy), which results in new forms of matter, and so on.
Another prism perceives the starting point as mind, which moves to matter and energy. When the atomic bomb was created, it began as an idea, took material form, which resulted in an energetic explosion.
As mentioned, the dominant prism now is to start with matter, and move to energy and mind. This is more or less the materialist position. (Starting with Energy and moving to matter and mind is also materialist, since the phase relationship between energy and matter is widely recognized). In either case a material world forms (which is also energy) and develops in complexity until brains (or minds) form.
Another is to start with matter and move to mind and energy. Sometimes a sculptor, for instance, will feel the material, and in that contact with material, a vision will form, and this vision will produce the energy or interest that motivates the person to merge the clay material, the vision and the passion into a new sculpture.
Another is to start with Energy and move to mind and matter. If I wake up with an urge to ride bike, then I’ll conceive of a route (mentally) and start riding (move materially).
Another is to start with Energy and move to matter and mind. (This is the other materialist approach).
Each story reveals different insights.
It’s a wheel that spins in every direction. But each vision has its own insights or domains of realization. And if we look at this prismatically – whereby all possible combinations are true – then we obtain insights from each vision that don’t dispute one another even while they seem to contradict.
However, disputes will still occur if we become attached to one direction of the wheel as an answer. Or if we see the world that develops from one starting point as more important than the world that develops from another starting point.
The difficulty is, some of these spins of the wheel are, in fact, more far-seeing, more profound.
It’s more profound to see the universe itself start as mind and move to energy and matter than it is to see the universe start as energy and move to matter and mind. At first glance it would seem as if the second development is a more profound vision, because it starts from a less profound seed and grows into complexity and into minds. The first seems reductive, because it starts with mind and descends into less profound forms of energy and matter.
However, that’s only if we look at this movement of wheels and phases as a development in time, as a kind of mechanical development. If we start with matter or energy (the materialist position), the complexity and mind that develops from there will never grow large enough to encompass everything. The larger will remain a derivation of the smaller. The universe can’t mechanically grow into something infinite. It will always remain less than infinite when seen through that prism.
If we start with an unlimited field of information (mind), the energy and material complexities that derive from this starting point are already infinite in potential. They come from an unlimited field of information, an unlimited mind. This corresponds to the holographic vision of Bohm and others. Every part contains the whole to lesser extents. So mind as a starting point is less reductive and more profound.
It’s like putting on a more powerful pair of binoculars: Why would we refuse to admit that the new pair has greater magnifying power?
In this case, however, they’re not more powerful binoculars in a strictly comparative sense. We’re not comparing apples. They show new forms of fruit.
Each new binocular reveals a different spectrum, including fruitful insights never seen in the older binoculars.
But sometimes these new spectrums are more significant in particular situations. And we’re in a situation right now where the absence of meaning is killing us (from where I stand). We are becoming fragmented and lost, because the old spectrum of meaning found through the prism of God is lost to most of us. And what replaced it was a materialist vision that reveals no spectrum of meaning whatsoever, just random mechanical complexification.
We adopted this new materialist vision like it was an Answer (just like people seeing through the older binoculars of “God” saw that as an Answer). Both of these visions were too literal, not prismatic enough. So both became dogmatic.
This new prism restores meaning in the absence of God, the dictator.
But the point is, these new binoculars don’t entirely negate the need to see through those older prismatic lenses. The new lenses merely reveal new spectrums of information, which we can add to whatever still remains valid through the old binoculars of materialism.
There will be circumstances when the older prismatic binoculars (the materialist vision and even the metaphor of God) will still be informative.
Because ultimately, none of these spins of this prism show us the Truth. None of them. So far these are all merely different models of a prismatic binocular that detects the spectrums of matter, mind and energy. This spectrum still perceives in ways consistent with an ancient pattern of Father (mind), Son (matter) and Holy Spirit (energy), as three phases of one movement. But that’s also merely one story. We will invent other prisms, other stories, which will suggest even more profound distinctions, but they will describe visions of the world incomprehensible to us at this point. And those new visions will also not be Answers, but only more profound stories.
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[…] Evolution is generally defined by a change in genetics. But our genetic heritage is a kind of magical seed bag of infinite potential — dormant seeds waiting for their epigenetic moment. No, it’s even more open-ended than that. Our genetics are recapitulated holograms of the primordial soup, which can germinate in any form when the immaterial lightning of insight alchemically strikes the fertile ground of biology. Every shift in shape from Tetrapod to whale could be described as earthly insights, leaps in orders of being. Describing it alchemically rather than strictly chemically could account for the strange consolidations of order that exceed the capacities of random selection. Why this strange desire to erase evidence of creative genius in the material world, when we ourselves are evidence of the material world’s creative genius? (I say “in” the material world rather than “beyond” or “transcending” the material world because I’m picturing matter as a phase of energy and mind, like the metaphor of three “gods” in one — see “Practicing a Prismatic Approach on the Mind/Matter Dilemma”). […]