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Twoness: A Theory for the Basis of Order found in Ancient Wisdom

  1. Dec 12, 2005 #1

    Les Sleeth

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    “An old authority says that the soul is made between one and two. The ‘one’ is eternity, that remains always aloof and changeless. The ‘two’ is time, which changes and multiplies.” Meister Eckhart

    “Twoness” in this thread refers to a underlying pattern of reality which a number of ancient philosophical traditions have postulated, and which can be interpreted as possibly arising out of oscillation. First I’ll present a sampling of the olden philosophies, then briefly compare it to modern observations, and finally (in a second post) return to one of the ancient intuitive models to help pose a question about the relationship between oscillation and order.

    Ancient Wisdom
    From very early times thinkers have suggested that there are two linked forces operating in the fabric of creation. In India writers of the ancient Brahmanas and Upanishads postulated that the polar forces of rik (expansion) and saman (contraction) governed the creation of the universe. Proponents of Kashmir Saivism centuries later in India presented a more sophisticated concept of the role of creation’s oscillatory effects in a work known as the Spandakarikas, where the basis of all creation is said to be a pulsation or “throb.”

    In the Jewish Kaballah one finds a description of creation through the polarity of the supernal male and female attributes of Abba and Aima.

    Hoary Hermetic philosophy, though of questionable origin and unfortunately adapted mostly to occult practices, nonetheless contains in its opening tenets astute observations on vibration, polarity and rhythm saying that, “Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates. . . . Everything is dual; everything has poles . . . . The measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left . . . rhythm compensates.”

    The Chinese likely thought more extensively, determinedly and practically about twoness than anyone else. As any student of oriental thought knows, Chinese philosophers long ago postulated the existence of an underlying twoness principle represented by yin and yang. It’s probably the single Chinese concept with which the world at large is most familiar, and it also has been one of the most influential elements of Chinese culture. Originating in and persisting since prehistoric times, cutting across, penetrating and accepted by all schools of native Chinese thought, applied in numerous areas of Chinese civilization from government and medicine to art (even surviving communism) has been the notion of yin and yang.

    Like the great logic and reason principles vigorously sought by the Greeks, and those principles for knowledge of innerness devotedly cultivated by the Indians, the successes of the Chinese with twoness principles came about because of the simultaneous convergence of several key elements.

    First, the desire to move beyond speculation and folk beliefs motivated serious Chinese thinkers to search for twoness principles that were practical. Second, the acceptance of descried twoness principles by virtually every category of Chinese authority, from emperor to wise man, resulted in a collaborative exchange of ideas about them over an extended period of time. Third, the essential precepts were organized into a usable system by one school, and expressed by most revealing verses and a symbol by another (discussed below). All this made twoness understanding available to everyone, led to their widespread use and cultural inculcation, and gave rise to yet further insights and understandings about twoness.

    The “system” mentioned that developed to apply yin-yang theory was embodied in the I Ching, a work which has attracted world-wide attention in recent decades. The I Ching is known to the layperson and the expert alike both as a collection of Chinese wisdom, and as a divination tool. Although the term “divination” has occult connotations, that is not necessarily the case with the I Ching since the pioneering and realization of the I Ching was not primarily an occultist enterprise.

    To create what finally became the I Ching, a surprising diversity of human influences worked together for upwards of three thousand years (with Confucius himself a main figure), with each principal collaborator first accepting and then augmenting the best of previous contributions. In addition to the fact that the driving force behind the I Ching’s evolution appears to have been the practical search for what would make the I Ching “work” as a knowledge-producing system, also key was that many I Ching developments were supplied by the greatest of Chinese sages. The result of its pragmatic and sagacious progression was that the I Ching became a repository for what was most effective and true in Chinese philosophy.

    Alleged here is that the impeccably logical and computational constitution of the I Ching’s binary interpretation system suggests its developers were onto something. This “something,” it’s being proposed, was discovered when in the course of the I Ching’s development Chinese sages, whether through pure intuitive insight, lucky guesses, or a combination of both, somehow made use of a basic pattern of the universe.

    Modern Observations
    Possibly a more modern way to express “twoness” is to say oscillatory dynamics. Oscillatory dynamics may be the most governing factors of physical creation because they seem behind so much of what determines form and change — from time, cycles, and rhythm to durability, tone, and colors. The breath, nerve energy and heart beat which serve so indispensably in life, also fall in the domain of twoness pulsation.

    Though it’s not something one normally thinks about, the universe is a rhythmically vibrating wonder. Atoms are the building blocks of the universe, and an individual atom may oscillate a trillion times per second. In addition, light oscillates as it fills space with various vibrating frequencies of radiation. Closer to home, the body of a human being may contain a million trillion frenetically vibrating atoms, while the senses and brain are stimulated by, respond to, and function using oscillatory information; so we too are deeply entrenched in the vibrational milieu.

    For us, consciousness really is the big deal when it comes to oscillation because the perceptions, sensations and conceptions of the world we have are due to oscillatory potentials (and the ability of consciousness to experience that). The reason the world is not a single monotonous experience for us is because the universe vibrates in a wide assortment of vibrational frequencies and intensities.

    Polarity is another feature associated with oscillation, and it is an enormously important principle to creation. The term “polarity” is used here in the broadest sense to represent that tendency in creation for things to assume the form of complementary opposites (polarity’s relationship to oscillation can be explained as phases of oscillation which become relatively constant). At the most basic level matter exhibits the polarities of electron and proton complementarity, positive and negative charges, and the north and south poles of magnetism; and in the evolution of life possibly the same principle works to create everything from left-right brain and male-female polarities to assertive-receptive and conservative-liberal personality types.

    Another powerful twoness influence in creation is convergence and divergence. Physicists theorize time began with the momentous divergence we call the Big Bang, but before that our universe was somehow concentrated into a miniscule speck smaller than an atom. The universe remains in the grip of that two-phased dynamic, and overall it appears to be one of the most predominating and necessary dynamics of physical existence. Still converged from this proposed dynamic is the matter of our universe whose absence would obviously leave a flimsy creation. Yet if light and energy were not able to diverge from matter, the universe would be dark, cold, and incapable of supporting life.

    Symmetry is twoness, and can be observed manifesting in characteristics ranging from the balance of forces concentrated in an atom to the relationship between gravity and the expansion of the universe. Another type of symmetry permeating the universe is rhythm. In addition to the rhythmic oscillation of atoms and light, in nature the rhythms of celestial cycles, tides, seasons, etc. seem to govern the overall changes of creation, while life processes such as reproduction, waking/sleeping, feeding and so on also yield to rhythm. And interestingly, higher consciousness is very much attuned to rhythm in music, movement, speech and even visual appreciation (as in symmetrical form).

    (continued in next post)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2005 #2

    Les Sleeth

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    (continued from previous post)

    Extrapolating Order from an Ancient Model
    Let’s return to Chinese wisdom, but this time to Taoist writings that speak of polarity. One Taoist expression that holds promise for explaining the source of universal twoness was made through a cosmological model represented in the book of sayings attributed (arguably) to Lao Tse, the Tao Te Ching, and by the famous image Tai Chi. Like many Taoist ideas this model is not explicit, but largely intuitive, which means anything useful in the model has to be extrapolated.

    The Taoist model referenced in Section XLII of the Tao Te Ching states: “Out of Tao, One is born; out One, Two; out of Two, Three; out of Three, the created universe. The created universe is backed by yin and faced by yang, and harmonized by the immaterial Breath [ch’i].”

    We can illustrate this idea using the Taoist symbol for Tai Chi. Tai Chi literally means “ridgepole,” and in Taoist thought it symbolizes the cosmological “mainspring” that sustains creation. By depositing the main components of the verse into the symbol, the rendition viewable at the bottom of the page can be had (click on it to enlarge).

    First, notice how the curved line dividing the symbol’s yin-yang characters looks like a wave. Since a wave is indicative of oscillation, it could represent that it’s an oscillatory principle out of which yin and yang arise and return; also, if the same principle generates both yin and yang, then this would be the agent of their harmonization.

    If “breath” is an accurate image for the principle, and understanding that breathing entails the expansion and contraction of the lungs in order to move “invisible” air, then like the Indian concept cited earlier of expansion (rik) and contraction (saman) governing the creation of the universe, we might postulate that the unrecognized oscillatory principle somehow involves an expansion-contraction cycle that moves the universe.

    Finally, noticing in the diagram that yin and yang are simultaneously present, possibly a feature of the expansion-contraction oscillatory principle is that it establishes two concurrent and counterbalanced modes, which are represented in the Taoist verse as “backed by yin and faced by yang.”

    Question and Hypothesis
    Might all the universe’s order be the result of oscillation? If so, then could it work like this:
    1. The very fabric of existence is vibratory (why string theory makes some sense?).
    2. Convergence of the fabric of existence creates polarities (why convergence-divergence and polarity are such a crucial aspects of creation?)
    3. The universe exists within such an oscillating, polarized realm, and so all order is determined by that fact.

    Your thoughts are most welcome.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  4. Dec 12, 2005 #3
    very nice, les sleeth.

    after doing some homework (finals time...), i would like very much to explore this with you, and the group.

    sometimes we think, because something is "old", it is not relevant any longer. this is an assumption, it appears, and is also ignoring (which is ignorance), founded in a kind of "contemporary prejudice". when, in fact, the Knowledge is better described as timeless.

    talk to you soon!
  5. Dec 12, 2005 #4
    I don't want to go too off topic, but another important question is, assuming the universe works like this, why did the first "thing" begin to vibrate?
    How did the first "thing" come to be?

    As for your post, I think that yes, the universe works on vibrations.
    I think that it is the most basic building block of physics, and that this is a phenomena that perpetuates through the entire universe from the smallest level to the highest levels.
    The earth moves around the sun, and the strings vibrate.
    The sound waves have a frequency, in fact, frequency is an important factor.
    Frequency can be applied to anything really, and I believe that this just shows that movement itself, is based on it.
    I believe that since the lower levels like quantum physics and string theory rely so much on frequency and oscillation, and even polarity, that these fundamental phenomenas help build the universe the way we see it today.

    Maybe this form of function is just one way of doing "it", maybe in other universes they have one basic phenomena, that help build entirely different laws of physics.
    Maybe this isn't the case, and the universe we are in is the only one in existence, maybe it is trying to figure itself out and thereby it found a way to make a working universe.
    Maybe the universe was created by a creator, not a christian god, but an actual living creator sitting outside the universe, building and fixing and debugging.
    The possibilities are endless.

    Another thing to keep in mind, is how form works with function.
    A cube, a sphere, a cone, a plane, all these geometrical shapes have oscillating surfaces.
    As such, there may be symmetry in the way these forms are built out of oscillating strings, if that may be the case.
    Trying to figure out the link between form and frequency is also an exciting topic.
    I believe that form is very important, almost as important as oscillation.

    And finally, figuring out why the universe creates forms that serve as a function is important.
    For instance a tree, or a human.
    These forms, work together to serve a higher emergent function, why the universes particles binded in this way is als important to figure out.

    I DID go slightly off topic, but I felt your post was so broad yet so specific, that I felt to include some other ideas as well.

    Thanks a lot for your great post les sleet.
  6. Dec 12, 2005 #5

    Les Sleeth

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    Just a thought. What if the basic "stuff" of existence has a vibratory nature? In such a case, this stuff wasn't created, it has always existed; if so, and if it's nature is vibratory, then it has always vibrated and always will.
  7. Dec 12, 2005 #6
    notes in yin-yang.

    -not only is the symbol's "wavy line" representative of the universal oscillation, symbolized by the wave line, but you will notice that the white and black halves have a "trailing tail". these two forces feed into one another, also forever in oscillation.

    -also, the white half contains the "seed" of the black half (represented by the dot of opposite color within each half) and vice versa. symbolizing the seed of one complement (or opposite, as it is usually perceived from the dualistic perspective) implanted in the other; light contains the seed of darkness; both complements are always present, though one appears to dominate particular localities.

    -the symbol is highly adaptable to individual perceptions of it; always providing insight into the Nature, regardless of the way one looks at it.
    for example: when seen as static. you perceive much in the way that les sleeth has marked it, if perceived as "light chasing darkness and darkness chasing light" (or any other such duality), we see that there is a center point (infinitessimal point) that is unmoving and is unaffected by the rise and fall/birth and death of the two's.
    this "point" is the Center, and is also in correspondence with the "breath line" which is also the rhythm of oscillation. (rise and fall of breath, in rhythm... perhaps cosmic rhythm...)

    -also, it is, perhaps most, important to recognize that the two are completely interdependent of one another. They are really One. without yin, there is no yang.

    -we can also say that, from the One, there is form.

    Lao Tse knew the deep "ground" of Reality, that even the One gains its being from. That being we say is beyond naming; it is the nameless; the changeless; the eternally full, yet empty; always drawn from yet never depleted; without It, there could be no sustanence for even a moment. All of existence depends on It, yet few are aware of It. we call It Tao.

    Tao is It.

    Taoism literally means: The Way.

    more observations... comments...?
  8. Dec 13, 2005 #7
    In some ways it's the perfect solution, however, I don't like the idea of an infinite universe like that.
    Seems to me to be a universe without an explanation, unless it has vibrated completely the same for eternity.

    Maybe the existence of the universe is oscillating itself, big bang, then it expands for many years, then it collapses, and then the loop starts again.
    Pretty exciting stuff to think about.
  9. Dec 13, 2005 #8

    Les Sleeth

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    Yes, but that explanation creates a bigger and millennia-old problem, which is where did the “stuff” and conditions that create universes come from? The universe is megatons of matter, but it has no known source and no source material (we can’t use energy as a source material since it is assigned no existential qualities). That’s why here at PF a perennial question new members ask is “can something come from nothing?”

    One answer philosophers have offered is called monism. I did a thread on that awhile back which, if you are interested, you can check out here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=76897

    The idea is that if some sort of existential “stuff” has always and everywhere existed (i.e., eternally and infinitely), then there is no need to posit the nonsensical “something from nothing.”

    You said you “don't like the idea of an infinite universe like that,” but in the monistic model, the universe isn’t infinite, it is a finite physical manifestation within a more basic, infinite “ocean” of the uncreated existential stuff. The theme of this thread in a way is another monistic concept, one where we ponder if the existential stuff has a nature that is vibrational. Of course, to get from the hypothetical vibrational existential stuff to the universe isn’t all that we need, and something you said in an earlier post seems relevant to that. You said:

    Let’s say the existential stuff is some sort of vibrating, basically formless, light that resides in an infinite ocean. If it has always existed, and if can take the “form” of a universe, then there has to be more than vibration going on in that ocean. The ocean must possess dynamics that can, at least, result in the formation of matter. So the theoretical exercise becomes: what conditions would the existential stuff ocean require in order to produce mass?

    If you review the opening ideas of this thread, I suggested convergence-divergence can be observed as a major dynamic of our universe. So possibly an ongoing dynamic of the existential stuff ocean is convergence-divergence of the stuff. Convergence would compress the stuff, and that does fit what we find in creation in terms of atoms. The main difference between hydrogen and say, gold, is how much energy is compressed into it (mass). And of course atoms participate in divergence by radiating (no to mention the whole universe is expanding).

    Also suggested in this thread is the idea that if the existential stuff is vibrational in nature, then compressing it might cause it to create polarities; that is, because oscillation would be speeded up by compression, then when oscillating fast enough possibly the mass would differentiate into phases. Once such phased polar differentiation, for example, might be your basic hydrogen atom where the convergent phase is the proton and the divergent phase is the electron. Fields too exhibit polar phases, and possibly gravity is the convergent side of a huge as-yet unrecognized polar field (might the relentlessly divergent nature of light be a manifestation of the divergent side of this field?).

    My point is that in terms of your interest in “forms,” I am saying that if you look at how forms are built up, oscillation and polar phases are part and parcel of every bit of it, so possibly “form” in this universe is constructed, layer upon layer, from a “most basic” set of oscillatory dynamics and material.

    I’m just playing with the concept to demonstrate how one might logically model with an uncreated, most-basic existential stuff (i.e., rather than trying to say this is how things really are). I have been motivated to consider monism because it is the only concept I’ve heard that solves the big problems of both a source and what everything is ultimately made out of.
  10. Dec 13, 2005 #9
    Wow.. That post really opened my mind at the moment, truly.
    I'm not too sure about monism though, from what you speak of it.
    because if there is some infinite "stuff", and that this stuff creates Universes, then the same logical problems of infinity/beginning/end still applies.

    Saying something is infinite doesn't resolve anything, because we are unable to comprehend true infinity so to speak.

    Or maybe you can enlighten me on this issue a little more?
  11. Dec 13, 2005 #10

    Les Sleeth

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    Well, infinite alone won't solve the problem because that just means it exists everywhere . . . it has to be eternal too. In other words, if some sort of uncreated, indestructible "stuff" has existed and always will (i.e., it cannot not exist), then it in fact defines what existence is and can be.

    I agree it is difficult, after being born and only living in a finite, temporal situation, to get the mind around infinite and eternal. But to me anyway, it easier to grasp that than "something from nothing," which is the alternative.

    Let's say we can never really grasp it in terms of knowing, so we have to settle for an intellectual representation if we want to think about. In terms of reason, what I do is assume (for the sake of modeling) that some sort of existential stuff exists, and then I try to imagine what it and the ocean it resides in would have to be like to produce what we find here. Vibrant is one of those qualities I think it has to have (as well as compression-decompression dynamics in the existential stuff ocean).j

    If you don't "get" monism right away, don't worry. As simple as the idea is, trying to see how a single substance and set of base conditions can lead to all that we know exists is really difficult for most people. You can see people struggling with the concept in the monism thread I posted.
  12. Dec 13, 2005 #11
    I don't have a problem believing that a single substance and set of base conditions could lead to everything that exists, I do however have a problem with saying it exists forever.

    But this is going off topic, so we can rather discuss it in the other thread.
    What really struck me was this..

    This is a truly terrific description and something I will be pondering further.
  13. Dec 14, 2005 #12
    Les, I need to think about this for a while; however, just off the top of my head, I have a problem with the concept of monism and twoness. It seems to me that the two are not compatible. Monism may be one of the forms of the One that is Two, but in my mind there needs to be some other dynamic form, maybe of monism or your esse, or something additional of opposite polarity or vibration, the yin to the yang, the two that is one.
    It seems to me that one thing by itself is inert. Why would it vibrate of itself and be able to sustain its vibration without something negative or opposite polarity to provide the dynamic tension, Something to vibrate into and back from. Maybe monism itself, esse, is of two states as a magnet can never be without two opposite poles or a negative charge can never exist without a positive.
    By the way congratulation on being named a philosophy Guru
  14. Dec 14, 2005 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    I am curious, why do you have a problem with it existing forever?

    Let me tell why I see it that way. It is 100% a logic thing. If the existential stuff can come to an end, then it creates two dilemmas. One is, if it can end, then logically we'd expect it had a beginning. Where/what did it come from? And the second is, if it ceases to exist, what is now present were it used to exist? Nothing?

    It seems to me we fall back into the idea of something from nothing, and/or something becoming nothing. Why doesn't something from nothing make sense? If it is truly “nothing,” then it must be devoid of all attributes. Yet no matter what you propose "nothing" is, if it can become something that creates and constitutes a universe, then that "nothing" really wasn't nothing after all. It was, at the very least, potentiality (i.e., the potential to become a universe). It isn't logical that potentiality can be without attributes and still have identity (as potentiality).

    The concept that pure potentiality has attributes is confirmed by the fact that the universe has attributes which are ubiquitous, such as vibration. Isn't it logical to assume that those traits which run throughout creation are our best clues to the attributes of pure potentiality?

    Such clues in creation serve as "reverse" reasoning points. For instance, over in the "Define Physical" thread I suggested to you that physicalness might be defined by mass and its effects/products. My reasoning strategy was to look for the most common denominator, which I think is mass. But can that tell us anything about pure potentiality? Well, I think might tell us that pure potentiality is fundamentally massless (though obviously able to exhibit the behavior of amassing, and able take the form of mass). Since mass appears to be a concentration of something, then we might reason that matter is the concentration/compression of the potentiality we are contemplating.

    I am using the same reasoning strategy here with vibration and polarity. Those attributes are virtually (if not actually) universal. Once again, if we reason backwards we can imagine pure potentiality possesses some sort of inherent vibrancy.

    Getting back to the point of why the most logical proposition for pure potentiality is that it’s infinite and eternal, it is because there is no other way to avoid something from nothing. As much as eternally existing, infinitely extended stuff rubs you the wrong way, is it as illogical as something from nothing? Once one attempts any explanation of something from nothing, one is immediately confronted with the fact that “nothing” must have attributes which allow “something” to manifest, so it isn’t really nothing. The next question which therefore must arise (if something from nothing is your ontological choice) is: where did nothing’s attributes come from? And then, where did they come from, and so on. Infinite regression it’s called in philosophy, and there is no way I can see to escape that trap unless something uncreated and indestructible exists that always has and always will exist, and which can become all the “forms” we see like matter and consciousness.

    I believe what makes the monistic idea difficult is the conditioning by our present circumstances where all we see is stuff that comes and goes. If you were to try to explain to the average Joe 2000 years ago that his stone house is really rapidly vibrating particles, he might ask why he can't see the vibration or particles. You'd explain they are far too small to see. For us now, because machinery has helped reveal their presence, the concept isn't so difficult. But to our average Joe, his eyes and mind are used to far less subtle units than an atom. To him his house is made of units of stone. That’s the level of subtlety he is accustomed to.

    Now imagine that the existential stuff is as many steps more subtle than an atom, as an atom is more subtle than a block of stone. To make it more difficult, imagine the existential stuff has no “units” at all, but is homogeneous. And then, to really mess with our brains, let’s imagine it is uncreated, eternal, infinite and so malleable that it can take the shape of all that we know. What experience do we have in our short lives with anything like that!? :tongue2: Nothing prepares us for contemplating such a situation or substance; it is inductive reasoning and logic alone that leads one to ponder such a state of existence. Only because the proposed existential stuff answers so many questions about the foundation of existence, and saves us from a foundationless existence, does it have appeal.
  15. Dec 14, 2005 #14
    Wow.. Just wow..

    I'm not sure what to say.
    Haha, let's try to make up a name for this existential stuff!

    The only problem i had with infinity was that it seemed to include every possible logical and illogical event ever.
    This existential stuff must have some sort of logic or inner workings, or at least SOMETHING to make it be the way it is right?
    Do you mean to say that it is pure potential?
    Cause, I like that idea, but it seems to me this existential stuff could also be infinitely regressive.

    See this theory doesn't just encompass our universe.
    Let's say we had a creator, not a god from religion but say, some sort of species that builds universes.
    Then they would have to build our universe from their fundamental building blocksi n their universe.
    So even if universes are seperate, some parts or another would have seeped in to other universes, namely the most basic building block.

    But this theory goes further it says that it is everything that exists.
    It's a fascinating thesis/theory to say the least.
    I just wish we could observe this existential stuff one day, maybe then we'd actually get somewhere.
  16. Dec 14, 2005 #15

    Les Sleeth

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    Thank you, I’ll do my best to be wise. :cool:

    I want to explore this because I don’t understand why you have a problem with it.

    Twoness is not something different than oneness, it is simply a manifested potential of it. An analogy might be how liquid and solid forms of H2O doesn’t mean there are two different substances. Similarly, in substance monism there is one base substance, and one of the forms it can assume is to polarize.

    Try this out.

    Imagine a single, ten by ten foot platform connected to a large arm beneath the platform. The arm, like an upside-down pendulum, swings back and forth carrying the platform with it from one side to the other:

    See diagram 1 (Excuse the poor quality, I didn’t have time to redraw them.)

    If the platform swings at a slow speed, someone observing it would see the platform oscillate between the extreme of one side and the extreme of the other side. But if the platform could be moved fast enough, someone observing it will see the platform appear to be constant on both sides at once, while movement through the middle (between the extreme positions) will tend to disappear. What most helps the oscillating platform be constant in the two extreme positions is that in each position the platform actually stops as it changes direction and moves the other way. If the oscillation were rapid enough and rhythmic, it would establish a degree of constant presence in each of the extreme positions simultaneously (relative to a non-moving observer). If the degree of relative presence is sufficiently constant, then the “simultaneous” existence of the platform in the two extreme positions theoretically could be used for some (much slower) purpose, such as allowing two people to jump and dance at the same time on the platform in the two extreme positions:

    See diagram 2

    So what was once simply a moving platform has now, through rapid oscillation, differentiated into relatively simultaneous and stabilized left and right positions, or phases. In this analogy notice that the appearance of two platforms created by the oscillation doesn’t alter the fact that only one platform is present.

    Likewise, if the one existential stuff is subjected to a particular set of conditions, it can be made to appear as though it is two things, when really what we’ve done is accentuate two different aspects of the same thing (in the above case, left and right sides). But we could differentiate in a ways that produce more significant differentiation too. What if, for instance, we take a sphere of that existential stuff and oscillate it by compressing and decompressing it? In that case, the two phases are a convergent phase, and divergent phase. We might expect concentrated existential stuff to behave/appear substantially different than unconcentrated existential stuff; and if we couldn’t see the operations behind those two conditions, we might think they are completely separate phenomena (like an electron and proton) when really they are two sides of a single dynamic and substance.

    See diagram 3 (I’ve included the yin-yang interpretation.)

    I am not sure why you believe the one thing has to be any particular way, such as inert. I am not imagining it arbitrarily, but as however it has to be in order to explain what we find present here in creation. For example, since all of creation vibrates and is vitally dependent on polarized situations, I have reasoned that vibrancy must be an inherent part of the nature of the existential stuff (what we’ve labeled esse in the past), and that conditions in the existential stuff/esse ocean can lead to polarization of the stuff.

    Also, esse wouldn’t exactly “vibrate itself.” The idea is that its nature is vibrant like water is wet. Water doesn’t “wet itself” :biggrin:, wetness is just part of water’s nature. If the existential stuff isn’t vibrant, and the existential stuff ocean doesn’t naturally possess energetic dynamics, I don’t see how anything can develop, especially since so much energy is tied up in our universe.

    See, the idea of modeling through substance monism is to try to envision what the existential stuff must be like to produce the key things and conditions we find here. If you assume there is one absolute substance and set of base conditions, and if you assume that everything we see here in this universe comes from it, then the exercise becomes one of trying out different traits to see what will fit.

    For this thread I isolated what ancient philosophers noticed about creation, and what they postulated was behind it. It seems they thought the universe is within some sort of polarized environment; again, modeling from the standpoint of everything coming from one thing (esse), if there is such a polarized environment, then it had to have developed out of esse and the conditions of the esse ocean.

    Attached Files:

  17. Dec 14, 2005 #16
    one need not think of the One. one is the One. there is nothing that is not the One.
    one need not think about the Two. one is, at once, One and Two.
    One need not think about the One and the Two... they are.
    one need not think about being... he is.

    Eckart said, the soul is between the One and the Two.

    one is the One, so one is all that is. all that is necessary is to know oneself. in knowing oneself, one knows the totality of Reality.

    <simple musings on simplicity, for the thread>

    it has been said that jesus was aware of the Reality, and spoke of it so that all might know, as well. the time came when he must submit to the truth. he carried the burden of the cross (thought), as the son of man.
    he was crucified on it (of it), and was thereby ressurected as the son of God.

    if anyone sees, then they see, but most will not.

    this is just food for thought, for some; or reason to hate, for many. the mind carries the weight of such dualities, when what is, is really One.

    "see the face you had before you were born"
    -hui neng [the fifth (or sixth) patriarch of zen]

    "from the first, not another is."
  18. Dec 15, 2005 #17

    Les Sleeth

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    Just a thought for you.

    In philosophy, reason is the rule and standard for communication. If we were in a Zen monastery, for instance, then intuitive communication might be the standard. I can imagine the look I might get from a Zen master :grumpy: if I were to start expounding substance monism in his monastery.

    If one must reason successfully to make progress in philosophy, that doesn't mean it is superior to intuitive expressions. It's just that there are appropriate places to practice the different ways to communicate. Not much you are saying helps us reason about the subject at hand. Progressing via reason can be grueling, but then it can help one learn how to communicate with those who only/primarily trust reason, and it gives the brain a good workout too.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  19. Dec 15, 2005 #18
    Probably the reasons that I am having trouble with this is my basic misunderstanding of the properties of esse stuff and monism. Another is my own bias toward the one universal consciousness as being the one eternal existence that provides the first cause.
    That realm that is not physical which we call spirit for lack of a better term. I rather think of it as consciousness. Identity (the I of I am.) plus consciousness (the am of I am.) is entity or being and is eternal. As I said this primal eternal existence is not physical and has no physical properties but effects, creates, all that is physical. (This is just a concept that I am mentally working on at the moment.)
    I think of the base substance (esse, stuff) as physical with physical properties and attributes. Am I wrong in this? If I am right in my thinking then there is already two realms, entity and esse, which is One. Entity being the cause and esse being the effect.

    Am I going to far in this or is it just my insisting that the Consciousness be prime is what's screwing up my comprehension of this concept?
  20. Dec 15, 2005 #19
    Hey Les,
    I am curious as to how an uncreated, unlimited, unbounded plane of esse could ever become concentrated in the first place? Once esse is compressed I can begin to imagine how it could take on the properties you describe. I especially like the example of imagining a universe composed entirely of water, but in this universe there are also a wide variety of forms of ice that resemble planets ect. In that example its easy to see that an inhabitant of the water universe could completely miss the water and instead see the ice. But what I still don't understand is what caused the compressive forces, or dynamics that led to one substance exhibiting multiple forms.
  21. Dec 15, 2005 #20

    Les Sleeth

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    In past threads we called it “esse” which is an old philosophy term for the active expression of an essence, and also “ground state substance” for those times you feel like talking about the existential stuff in a more technical way.

    Exactly! Now you are starting to think logically about it. I hope you’ll read my answer to Royce and Roamer where I’ll a give a demonstration of modeling with the concept of neutral substance monism (“neutral” means the ground state substance is neither mental nor physical, but something more basic which can become mind and matter).

    Yes, but really that is just one perspective. Another perspective is looking at it as an actual substance with the potential to become lots of things and conditions.

    I don’t understand how if the ground state substance has always existed, and always will. If nothing is needed to create it, then it’s the bottom line, where all existence begins and ends, what ultimately determines the potentials and limitations of everything. It is existence, and nothing else. Any form esse assumes may regress, and so cease to exist as, say, an atom or consciousness; but it can only regress as far as the ground state where the essence of that former form will forever endure.

    Yes. It is the “ground state” of all forms, or you might say it is the “absolute essence” of all forms.

    Well now that you mention it . . . It has been often reported throughout history by humanity’s most successful meditators that they encountered a vibrant light when achieving the deepest experience.
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