A Game of Shadows – the Shifting Perspectives of Physics
“In the world of physics we watch a shadow graph performance of familiar life… The frank realisation that physical science is concerned with a world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances” – Eddington (the Nature of the Physical world)
“Please note that the very recent advance does not lie in the world of physics itself having acquired this shadowy character; it had ever since Democritus of Abdera and even before, but we were not aware of it; we thought we were dealing with the world itself.” – Erwin Schroedinger (Ibid., p 130.)
A study of the development of scientific perspective on the physiophere reveals a gradual, and somewhat begrudging, awakening to the subject/object dualism fallacy.
The cosmos is thus replaced with the Kosmos – one of interior depth and relational exchange on an intentional level. Intimate knowledge surpasses empirical knowledge as the appropriate mode of knowing.
We have a relationship with the Kosmos in mutual observation and dynamic play. Only in non-dual awareness and identity is this dualism resolved along with all the ‘gaps’ and ‘difficulties’ of modern science trying to deny interiority to every holon.
Much of the knowledge and perspective shared in this work come from the Midgard Expeditions hermeneutic immersions. This is the intimate knowledge not acquired through dry academic treatment of a subject. This comes from participation and immersion. As we look, even through the empirical lens, at the material cosmos we see there is nothing but participation, influence through intention and observation. We see holons with perspectives and only that. The illusion of the separate self, or subject, is a failure to acquire instruments sensitive enough to see ‘the world itself’.
There is no real distinction between subject and object other than symbolically. Where subject and object are held as distinct only symbolic knowledge is acquired. And as we have seen in linguistics theory, symbols and signifiers are not reliable witnesses or communicators. The illusive signified and the rare encounter with the referent through dialogue is far better sought through unapologetic participation, immersion, and experience.
We intrude wherever we go to observe. We find when using the right instalments that it is not we that intrude on the other… it is we who look upon our Self from some perspective. So this is less an intrusion and more Self discovery.
All discovery is Self discovery.
Through the Midgard Expedition I have sought “an intimate knowledge of the reality behind the symbols of science.”( Eddington)
This has led me to stray, at my peril, away from the academically respectable symbolic knowledge and its mapping systems. My grandfather knew well that to bring yourself and your experience to the dialogue is to lose credibility with the exterior map makers of the cosmos. So I have never bothered to seek it in the first place – the acceptance that is. This means no grants, no papers published, no titles and letters behind your name. This means the long way round.
What is good news for this approach is that you get to live and work in the real world as you find it, not as the symbols would have you believe it to be. You can deliver from this unenviable position, banished by academia and science to live in the world as it is, to explore its depth and breadth, interior and exterior, experience its texture, colour, sound and light, to contemplate it through vision logic, to see it with the illuminated mind, to feel it with the intuitive mind, to witness it with the overmind and to be it with the super mind. ( Aurobindo’s terms for the levels of cognitive development are used here)
There are benefits to this banishment. The greatest one being life lived experientially and then the expeditions and adventures, albeit all self sponsored, that take you to an intimacy, and immediacy, a real encounter with the self system we all set out to discover and understand in the first place. We can so easily lose our way in the world of symbolic knowledge, as critical as those maps are for any explorer, but if we don’t at some stage get out into the territory and experience it, then what was the search for truth all about? To know its location alone and not visit it, can this be knowledge of a thing or a place? To visit its exteriors only and by second hand accounts or through symbols and signs, without intimacy with its interiors, its depth, its height, this is to miss the expedition all together this is to stay behind on the shore of the Kosmic ocean and await postcards from the expeditions crew.
This imperfect (by early modern scientific perspective), but intimate science is all we actually have, we are all holons with perspectives. The brave will begin the expedition without assurances of what lies out there or in here. The courageous will feel that salt on their skin and the wind through their hair… they will taste it and they will not wait. They will go because someone has to. These men and women have always been with us but are not always published. They are the true heroes of our epic human tales. They are the Achilles of our interiors, whom Eros serves for a time ironically. This irony is what we all need to learn to live with until it is resolved by our own development to a more elevated non-dual perspective.
Was Democritus, the well travelled explorer and proponent of atomistic theory, not the epitome of the irony of subject/object dualism? – Such an Ernest explorer using what instruments to detect the atomic structure of the cosmos 400 years BC? – He, the driven, motivated, somewhat selfless seeker of truth, driven by what other than Eros and Agape? – While denying Eros and laughing at his absurd contemporaries; denying methodologies or perspectives of depth, while employing nothing but them to prove mechanistic methodology and atomistic reality as the foundation of everything – intuition and observation, contemplation, reason, dialogue and peer review. He the dualistic display itself atomised from the greater cosmos. No wonder he was the laughing philosopher. Laughing at himself and the absurdity of the human condition. Plato is said to not have liked his science and methods, but I think he would have liked the man. He would have recognised the impulse and the intention. Alas Democritus was not a social being.
How absurd we are searching for instruments to study the cosmos when we are the highest instrument available. As an expression of what we seek, we transcend and include as interior to us all the exteriors and interiors of the entire display. We, the vessel, the instrument, the miniature, the highest expression of the cosmos, the observer and instrument of observation, the object and the subject, we, the conscious awakening of the slumbering exteriors, with our over developed exterior eye and our infantile mind’s contemplative eye looking for the other while staring ourselves in the face without recognition. How absurd we are and no wonder the great Zen explorers say all that is left to do when we finally awaken is laugh. We employ this instrument that we are and gain this intimate knowledge only after exhausting our outward eye and every instrumental extension of it. We see and laugh when we finally go inward and discover that interior to us, all of us, all sentient beings, the totality of being, lays the object of our searching, and it is not an object at all.
The exteriors are all our interiors and we transcend and include, in our real identity and in our ultimate cognitive development, the totality of what we thought to be outside. What we thought was our context was what we were contextualising all along. Our expeditions were of our own interiors, the workings of our metabolism, seen through the instruments (our separate selves’ bodies) that we mistook of our self. The little self is the instrument and the real Self the context, the ground, the consciousness, the Self – experiential observation of the whole display.
So, when you think of the Midgard Expedition please do not think of it only as physical adventure and travel. Think of it as vertical and horizontal exploration using all the elements of the cosmos as the vessels, the entire Kosmoc holon, interior and exterior, as the territory explored and the and the entire kosmos as the instrument for verification and peer review.