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The Absolute & Relative

  1. Jun 3, 2006 #1
    The two most fundamental principles of existence or being - are the Absolute & Relative. They're at the core of philosophy, physics, and religion. Although this isn't universally recognized as such, if it's even recognized much at all.

    Each has it's nature and place. The Absolute's nature, is that it doesn't have anything outside of itself. The Relative's nature, is that it does have something outside of itself.

    The Absolute is outside the Relative. There is no absolute inside the universe. Searching for one is fruitless.

    As for the Absolute not having anything outside itself - this means anything. No cause, no space, no time, and not even absolutely nothing.

    The Absolute stands alone, with no place to be, and it faces inward.

    There are two reasons for this.

    1. If absolutely nothing existed - there wouldn't be absolutely nothing.
    If nonexistence existed - there wouldn't be nonexistence.
    Either way it's described - it's simply impossible.

    2. "Absolutely nothing (nonexistence) being impossible" - is not the cause of the Absolute.
    Not even the impossibility - is the outside the Aboslute.
    Absolutely nothing or nonexistence is impossible - inside the Absolute.

    If I'm not mistaken, this is logical proof of the Absolute (which is not necessarily its name).

    As for logical proof of the Relative, and the logic of the interrelationship and interaction between the two, it's best if I refer you an article length PDF at this website.


    Don't be fooled by the style of formatting you'll find. It was rigorously decided upon, to make the information as universally accessible as possible.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2006 #2
    Could be.. Could science find this Absolute?
  4. Jun 3, 2006 #3


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    In my opinion that is just play of words and not a rational statement. Consider that "nothing" can only "exist" as a concept. That is the only flaw to "nothing". If "nothing" were allowed to not exist as a concept, then, the existence of nothing would not be something, and the contradiction would be avoided.
    But a concept requires a mind, which is a "something", and "nothing" does not allow for "somethings". In "absolute nothing" there are no concepts, so the concept of "absolute nothing" does not itself exist, which of course does not mean that there isn't "absolute nothing", it means that there is "absolute nothing", just that no one knows about it (because no one is around, get it? :smile:) . See, no contradiction.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  5. Jun 3, 2006 #4
    First of all, theoretical science hasn't found anything. They say on the one hand they've unified three of the forces and are looking to unify gravity along with it into a unified theory of everything. On the other hand they will also say they're not even sure there is force.

    Secondly, they're looking for an absolute substance inside the universe. A building block as it were. They haven't found it, nor will they.

    Thirdly, they haven't found the before, after, or moment of the supposed big bang. I could go on, but in essence, they haven't found anything.

    They found a lot of relative things that they use in practical application, but they are still lost in the wilderness when it comes to what they are ultimately looking for.

    Science is not the be all end all of discovery.
  6. Jun 3, 2006 #5
    Are you aware that there are three types of nothing? Have you read any of the PDF?

    There is relatively nothing, which is the partner of something relative. They are the foundation for a relative and infinite universe (no boundary). This is also what is perceived as the moment after the big bang.

    There is nothing, which is inside of and the absence of, everything. This is what is perceived as the moment before the big bang. In a sense, but not literally, the boundary of the universe.

    Then there is the impossibility of absolutely nothing. A condition you haven't quite wrapped your mind around. It is however, attainable. There is no reason why we are not allowed to step outside the Absolute with our minds. The mind is a wonderful thing. And so is the Absolute.
  7. Jun 3, 2006 #6


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    No, i haven't read the PDF because i'm not concerned with it yet, i'm targeting the quoted text.
    In my opinion the flaw in your text, that i quoted, is that you're not considering absolute nothing. You're considering "nothing" while keeping yourself around. Clearly, if you are around to investigate this "nothing", then you'll identify its existence, resulting in a contradiction. But the fact that you're around when there ought to be "absolute nothing" is what produces a contradiction in the first place.
    Your argument is just a play of words, and not unambiguous.
  8. Jun 3, 2006 #7
    You're saying the "fundamental building block" can't be found?
    Why wouldn't it?
    If there was indeed a building block, then observation and prediction would surely be able to find it, because it is a part of the universe.
  9. Jun 4, 2006 #8
    Is "keeping oneself around" an absolute limitation? Is one necessarily limited to seeing only the relative? The nothing that is the absence of everything, but not does not occur outside of or before it, but in conjunction with it?

    Is it impossible to see outside of or before, anything at all? To the nonexistent nature of absolutely nothing and the existent nature of the Absolute?

    It may seem impossible, but it isn't.
  10. Jun 4, 2006 #9


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    Eric, is there anyway you could frame this discussion in terms of the neo-platonic and medieval thinking from which it seems to develop? That might help some of us to get somewhat of a better grasp on your ideas. I've actually been complaining about the lack of education in these topics available to anyone not studying at a Jesuit university in the United States. Though I've received a more than adequate education in ancient and modern philosophy, the entire medieval period just gets glossed over and there really aren't even very many professors who are qualified to teach it in the first place. Unfortunately, the educations we have at this forum for the most part make it difficult for us to discuss ideas like yours.

    By the way, you're right down the street from me in San Rafael. The member Les Sleeth, who also lives in this area, is really the only person I can think of around here that seems to be well educated in this particular brand of philosophical thinking.
  11. Jun 5, 2006 #10
    I'm not saying, if there is one we can't find it. I'm saying there isn't one to be found.

    The nature of the Absolute & Relative don't allow it. Looking for a building block means looking for an absolute. The indivisible without a comparative. A single "something" without an outside. All that will ever be found is the relative.
  12. Jun 5, 2006 #11
    I am considering absolute nothing.

    Your'e assuming that this is a contradition. What is the nature and limits of experience?

    I actually said, there isn't absolutely nothing. If absolutely nothing was possible, there wouldn't be an absolute something, which would mean there wouldn't be the relative, which would mean there wouldn't be any existence at all.
  13. Jun 5, 2006 #12
    It actually goes back further, to Parmenides. In the East, it goes back much further than that. In both cases the essence has been lost. In the East the essence is, "The absolute is outside of all things and not inside of any thing". In the west, in the writings of Parmenides in 500bc.

    Here's a quote from wikipedia that sums it up... "Even Plato himself, in the Sophist, refers to the work of "our Father Parmenides" as something to be taken very seriously and treated with respect. Socrates said that Parmenides ALONE among the wise (Protagoras, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Epicharmus, and Homer) denied that everything is change and motion."

    I would add, that the truly significant thing Parmenides did, was to establish the Absolute. He saw the impossibility of nonexistence and the timeless inevitability of a single immutable existence. He saw it as all around equally, so thought of it as a perfect sphere. He didn't know how to get inside the sphere and establish the principles of movement and plurality, so his quest ended there.

    Ever since then, we have been bouncing around inside the Parmenide's sphere trying to find an absolute. And in the East, the same thing has been happening, but for a lot longer. Bouncing around inside the absolute, thinking it's somewhere that it isn't.

    The absolute is outside and the relative is inside. There is not absolutely nothing, outside the absolute something. If there was, there would be no absolute and existence in any form or fashion, would never be.

    The absolute is beyond any relative concept. There isn't absolutely nothing beyond the universe (the infinite), so what is there? Nor is there absolutely nothing inside of the universe (the infinitesimal), so what is there?

    I'm not trying to hawk my PDF, it's free. I do ask for donations, but the point of it, is the information contained within it.

    Philosophy, science, and religion all boil down to understanding the nature of and the interrelationship between, the Absolute & Relative.

  14. Jun 6, 2006 #13
  15. Jun 6, 2006 #14
    Breaking compound sentences (ideas) into separate lines (idea) is not poetry, it's a logical methodology.

    To call it irrational and incoherent, without bothering to reference even one point, is a bit elitist, it would seem.

    Do you honestly believe that absolutely nothing exists? If you do, then of course it would all seem irrational and incoherent.

    If you're right, then you have just single-handedly destroyed all of existence.
  16. Jun 7, 2006 #15
    Nice! That's along the lines of what I was thinking, but I had no idea how to put it into words.
  17. Jun 8, 2006 #16
    Ok, so nobody is around to get that there is absolute nothing.

    Nobody would be around to get anything. There wouldn't be anything to get. There would be no universe. There would be no cause. There would be no uncaused. There would be absolute nothing.

    Could you possibly point me in the direction of this absolute nothing? I wouldn't mind not being around to get it. I'll take the risk.

    In the meantime... "why is there something rather than absolutely nothing?"
  18. Jun 29, 2006 #17
    Has anyone come across Spencer Brown's Laws of Form? He puts the case more mathematically but in effect tries to prove that the something/nothing distinction is conceptual, not ontological. Francis Bradley attempted a more philosophical proof.

    Here are a couple of interesting expressions of this view.

    "The implied Unicity, the totality of undivided mind, is itself a concept of its own division or duality, for relatively – relativity being relative to what itself is – it cannot be conceived or known at all. All that could ever be known about it is simply that, being Absolute, it must necessarily be devoid of any kind of objective existence whatsoever, other than that of the totality of all possible phenomena which constitute its relative appearance." (Wei Wu Wei - In Ramesh Balsekar's The Ultimate Understanding)

    "Nothing is the same as fullness. In the endless state fullness is the same as emptiness. The Nothing is both empty and full. One may just as well state some other thing about the Nothing, namely that it is white or that it is black or that it exists or that it exists not. That which is endless and eternal has no qualities, because it has all qualities." (Carl Jung, VII Sermones ad Moruos).
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2006
  19. Jul 7, 2006 #18
    There seems to be a confusion over "nothing".

    The nothing that is always refered to by others, is NOT absolutely nothing.

    There is no definition of it, other than "impossible."

    A relative nothing is another story. There's a big difference.

    If absolutely nothing was possible... there wouldn't be a universe or a God (if there is one).
  20. Jul 8, 2006 #19
    Well said.
  21. Jul 8, 2006 #20


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    I'm really going to have to get my hands on that book, Canute. It's sounded intriguing to me since you first brought it up two years ago. I've still only seen online descriptions of it; diagrams and such.
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