‘The deeper we delve into the atomic world, the more we see that there is no solid; there are only relationships between energies. All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, everything you think of as the material world dissolves on the sub atomic levels. Literally reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent illusion.’ - Albert Einstein.
There are two concepts that fascinate me.
Infinity was postulated (circa 466 B.C.) by ‘the inventor of the dialectic’ - Zeno of Elea, and his concept of the opposite of finiteness was studied by most philosophers of the time. Even Aristotle wondered whether infinity could exist in a seemingly finite physical world.
"Pi is typical of real numbers … in that it has this infinite amount of unpredictable information in it, and at the same time, is so totally predictable," Strogatz said. "There's nothing more orderly than a circle, which pi embodies — it's the very symbol of order and perfection. So this coexistence of perfect predictability and order, with this tantalizing mystery of infinite enigma built into the same object, is part of the pleasure of our subject and, I suppose, of infinity itself."
The concept of matter being more an energy field than something solid, is shown by the curious fact that the hydrogen atom which constitutes 75% of the mass of the Universe is 99.9999999999996% space. So the logical thinker would realize that if you squeezed all the space out of every human being on Earth, mankind would encompass a space no bigger than a sugar cube.
Given that the essence of humanity could fit in a sugar cube, I think it’s fair to say that the finite world is a perceptual reality defined by the energy fields of our sensory organs which include not only the five basic ones of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch; but also the sensory receivers for movement, balance, pain, heat, hunger, thirst, itchiness and the timing of toilet stops.
Then there are the less obvious senses: the passing of time (what time is it now?), the spacial arrangement of things (close your eyes and touch your nose), the detection of magnetic fields (which way is North?) and ultimately the Pantanjali superpowers of telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Maybe we all have superpowers but they’re just latent, and as any good wine taster knows, it just a matter of practice; as in the ‘someone’s looking at me’ sense which activates the ‘gaze detection system’ and lights up particular brain cells.
We can practice this one by making sure we maintain a sharp focus on the objects of our attention – as noted in courting ritual etiquette : ‘maintain eye contact’. This will give you more presence; but if you want anonymity then just focus half way between you and the subject.
The development of sense organs will depend on what we are born with combined with the experiences of your growth environment. So, at any point in our development, how do we know our strengths and leanings?
If you’ve got a few hours to spare gaining an understanding of the way your brain works then take a test and find out whether you’re a psychopath, or whether your an emotional sponge or if you’re tuned into your senses, classically dumb, etc, etc.
The website Psychology Today provides the following tests, along with many more (and I’m not owning up to how I did on the ‘Flirting Personality Test for Men’):
I covered this topic in a previous essay on the 'reality of global warming'. The ‘right’ equates happiness with material values and pursues dominion through power and material mastery; while the ‘left’ relates to harmonious social interaction and pursues command through knowledge.
The ego prevails on the ‘right’ where you find the ‘self made man’, while the collective unconscious contributes to lefty thinking - and as I previously observed: ‘Throughout human evolution the ‘left’ has ruled when cooperation is a survival necessity while in more stable, prosperous times, power slides to the ‘right’ as we kick back and direct attention towards our own interests.’
Most people want jobs for their kids, refuge for the homeless, protection for our ecosystems, non-polluting
energy systems and democratic governments that actually bring about changes. But it’s not happening! In this dishevelled 21st Century
it would seem that the warnings of impending ecological and humanitarian disaster are not yet at the panic button stage
on either the left or the right of politics.
On occasions we dress up, get into social mode and party. The dress and behaviour attracts interest, but is there compatibility? Most don’t care, but those who see the songs of their own longings in full flight in another, get hooked, and in our day it ended in marriage.
The conscious self creates its own dominion through the roles we play in life. The ego continuing to glory in itself until it gets
out of control and is censored by moral values that seep through the unconscious, or as Jung put it ‘...the Ego can only
be damped down by moral defeat’.
If a relationship is to last there has to be time set aside for meditative communion in personal and joint endeavours since this is the place where moral values can be heard over the 'look at me' demands of ego.
Compatibility contains the surface attraction of ego but more importantly it has within it the innermost feeling of 'this is meant to be' which waxes and wanes with time and circumstance. The individual understands the surface attraction presented in the dressage of daily rituals but as Jung noted, most people do not understand: '...the real psychic facts which are for the most part hidden from them.'
'Most people confuse “self knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego personalities. Anyone who has ego consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself. But the ego knows only its own contents, not the unconscious and its contents.' - Jung
There must be something else preventing collective opinion from being turned into action and it would seem that the tactical approach of industry as given in the ‘Powell Manifesto’ of 1971 is still working today, as noted by Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics,Paul Krugman: ‘... the subtle exploitation by movement conservatives of racial and cultural resentments through small-government rhetoric, and of national-security fears, were key in the movement's ability to win national elections—even though its policies, concentrating wealth at the top, should be deeply unpopular.’
(Sept 17th – Sept 28th, 2015)
What is fascinating about Jung’s concept of the ‘unconscious’ is that it consists not only of the personal unconscious but also the ‘collective unconscious’, which includes an ancestry that predates human existence. Jung believed that the unconscious was the source of our most powerful ideas.
Jung’s conscious self is termed ‘ego’ and if you want to know which predominates in your reality then do the test above ‘Are you self-centred or compassionate’; the self is the ego and is self centred, while the feeling for others comes from the unconscious self. Both are equally important but even though Jung reckons the 'unconscious self' is the source of great works, the ego is the boss since its regulates our finite reality.
Most of our opinions originate from the changing priorities we give to our egos or to our unconscious selves so let’s have a look at one of the most common dichotomies.
I had a crack at most of the above tests and they threw up a few nuggets; and no I didn’t make it as a psychopath (is that a double negative?). I guess if I did them again in another ten years time my reality might be different as my evolving self continues the integration process of ‘ego’ with ‘unconscious self’ as per the understanding of Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology.