Tag Archives: physics

Birth and Death: Paradoxical Bookends of the Absolute Self (Part Three)

“…how can one be born if one does not exist in the first place? How can you experience birth if birth is the fundamental beginning? There is no YOU to be born prior to your birth, and so the consequence is birth but there is no action which involves you at all. The action which is entirely mutually exclusive of you somehow concludes with you.”

I understand how abstruse and arcane this quote is, taken from part two of this series, so I decided to dedicated part three to clarifying the point made, and also insofar as this point necessarily relates to death. Also, in reading back this quote I was able to anticipate possible objections and concerns as a function of the overt complexity of the argument; those will likewise be addressed.

To begin with, let’s look at this analogy. The car you drive (if you have a car, that is…if not, well, you’ll still follow) did not always exist as the car, per se. Prior to being your car it was merely a collection of parts, and before that, piles of metal and glass and plastic and paint; and before that, raw minerals which were mined from the ground, or chemicals mixed and refined in some industrial laboratory. After a few years, the car is disposed of, and will then decompose and break down, back into its multiple parts. But these parts, prior to and after the existence of the car, per se, continue to exist. They do not return to oblivion in the same way that they do not spring from it. After all, we know that according to the law of conservation of mass that matter cannot be created and destroyed; and philosophically this is form of the logic of non-contradiction. Meaning that the reason matter cannot be fundamentally created or destroyed is because a thing which exists cannot spring from non-existence, and it cannot become non-existent. Its existence IS; it is axiomatic, it is a-priori; it is de facto.

Likewise, one might say that while a human being did not exist as such prior to birth, there did exist a collection of parts—hormones and fertilizer and eggs and sperm cells and enzymes and proteins, DNA…you get the idea—which eventually came together to form the human being—let’s say you, in the interest  of casualness—that we recognize as a specific individual person. Following death, you shall desololve and decompose back into the many parts which formed you. All of these parts existed prior to you, and they all will exist after you. You are the parts, and the parts are you, and the parts remain in some for as a-priori existing; they are absolute; eternal.

Here is the problem with this explanation, and I’m sure you’ve probably already discerned it. The car, coming from a collection of parts, does not have a sense of Self. It possesses no singular consciousness…it does not recognized, or rather, it does not observe and interpret its environment, and all of reality itself, from a singular, specific, constant frame of reference. The car, in other words, does not know it’s a car. The collection of parts which make up the car do not suddenly, once in “true” car form, begin to associate as a single entity, able to conceptualize itself as a single object, and likewise its environment and all things in it. The parts of the car do not suddenly reject instinctually and naturally their distinct existence and begin to call themselves “I”, “Myself”, “Me”.

Do you see what I am getting at here? The difference between a car and a human being is that human beings DO possess a singular consciousness; a single observational and conceptulaizing frame of reference which demands and necessitates that the parts are not in fact fundamental, but merely form one’s body. Yet one’s SELF—that by which those parts paradoxically utter the words “I”, “Myself”, “Me”, and “Mine”—is the true nature and essence of human existence. To deny this is to relegate consciousness to some inexplicable epiphenomenon, or infinite mystery, or an illusion, or some random blip of mathematical uncertainty…and yet none of these claims can possibly be true because Truth itself necessitates that they be entirely false.

And it is this Self—this singularity—which I mean when I say that the human being is said to begin at birth and end at death. Of course the parts of “you” live on…and of course “you” were born of parts. I am not obtuse or blind to this obvious and pedestrian fact. But the real YOU, your SELF…your agency, awareness, will, consciousness…is NOT of parts, because there is no One from many parts; no I from Not I; no Self Awareness from infinite unconsciousness. And absolute consciousness does not “return” or dissolve into absolute unconsciousness; what IS does not become object oblivion. The law of the conservation of matter must also infer a law of conservation of consciousness (Self Awareness; which is the ability to conceptualize Self and Other) unless we are prepared to claim that consciousness is a lie or an illusion…a claim is very easily debunked and dismissed as the very mysticism and irrationality that those who peddle it claim to oppose.

And this is why I utterly reject the notions of birth and death. Not because they serve as anthropological and biological concepts to describe the cosmically and mathematically prescribed evolution of a human bing, but because they are a deception, and their fundamental meanings are completely spurious at best. Birth and death can only apply to he who is conscious, and yet they utterly contradict consciousness because they render it transitory, coming from oblivion and returning to oblivion, and thus render consciousness a moot and worthless concept. Which renders birth and death themselves moot and worthless. And yet if consciousness IS, and is ACTUAL, it must be absolute and constant, and thus likewise birth and death are rendered moot and worthless. In either and all cases, birth and death are fundamentally meaningless. They may serve as convenient contextual and subjective descriptions of a person’s existence, but they are not absolute, and are not objective, and have no actual bearing on the root nature of human existence. Birth and death are irrelevant with respect to parts. The parts, being absolute and perpetual, according to the law of conservation of matter, are not ultimately born, and do not die, and thus if man is like a car, made up of perpetually existing parts in some form or another, then he does not die and he is not born any more than a car is born or dies, except in the purely figurative sense.

But man is said to be born and then to die; and any way you try to rationalize this claim, it fails. And it fails for one simple reason. Man, unlike his car, knows himself.

END

The Lie of the Smallest Particle: Greater implications for existence and consciousness (Part Two, Conclusion)

Taking a cue from quantum physics itself—and it is important to understand this, for I am basing my arguments not upon mererly my own conjecture, but on conclusions physics itself ineluctably makes about the nature of reality—beyond a certain point the reduction of the physical literally stops being emprical. Beyond a certain point physical reality can no longer be sensed, because it has simply been reduced too far (it is too small). Beyond a certain point physical reality can no longer be said to possess mass, which means it does not, in the emprical sense, occupy space—it is volume-less; it no longer exists dimensionally, and thus it also posssesses no temporal value. In other words, empirically speaking, it exists no where and at no time. Physical reality at this point cannot be verified empirically, but is only rationally inferred.

The evidence for the rational assumption of reality’s existence beyond the place of physicality—beyond the senses—is the mathematics, which are a purely abstract cognitive contrivance…that’s the whole point of math. Math, like music notes on paper, implies the existence of physical reality, but it is not physical reality itself. For if it was, then it would no longer be math, it’s as simple as that.

The effects of these non-emprical yet existent objects, which are referred to as quanta, are said to possess rational existence because they mathematically correlate. In other words, the effects on the physical universe of the quanta are predicted by the math. When atoms are smashed and certain effects recorded, the effects occur in ways that the mathematical rendering of quanta predict, with sufficient repeatability, and this is how, not via direct empirical observation, the quanta (massless, timeless, spaceless particles of reality) are said to objectively exist.

And here we see that empiricism and objectivity are completely distinct. Quantum physics, if we accept its validity, proves that reality does not need to by physical to be be utterly objective, actual, existent, and real.

I have no reason to believe that the mathematics are spurious, (though I understand that by the nature of quantum physics there is always some endemic degree of uncertainty, and this is likely because mathematics is essentially the breaking up of infinity into units, which makes absolute claims ultimately impossible, but science nevertheless is able to get close enough). I’m sure the math is perfectly functional; I have no doubt that it works, and I have no problem assuming that quanta exist and act the way science describes and accepting the mathematical context.

That isn’t my point.

I have no problem with science when it functions as science, and not as philosophy; I do not doubt the mathematical data…believe me, I haven’t the abstract skills to know the difference between good or bad calculus—that’s well beyond my skill set. I’d no sooner argue with Stephen Hawking about the veracity of mathematics than I would a pilot about the veracity of flight. My problem here is the abject conflation of that which is rationally inferred with that which is empirically validated.  Quantum physics is simply not empirical science, even by science’s own definitions (though utterly absent science’s admission, which is hypocritical). The fact that quantum particles must be rationally inferred through the abstracton of mathematics doesn’t necessarily negate the validity of the claims that they nevertheless objectively exist.

My goal here is to show that at some point we must admit that existence—that that which can be said to objectively be—is not strictly a matter of physical, empirical proof, but also, if not ultimately, a matter of reason, and reason is cognitive, and cognition is consciousness. In other words, at some point we must admit that it is the observer, the Conscious Ones, who must declare what is real and what is not; what exists and what doesn’t; what is true and what is lie. Quantum physics is evidence that objective realty does not exist outside of man—or specifically, his consciousness; his ability to conceptualize himself, his environment, and their relative relationships, but wholly includes him, affirms him, necessitates him, relies upon him, and heeds him. This is not sollipsism, but it is, at root, an acknowledgement that reason—rational consistency—can be a plumb-line for truth and realtiy, not only empiricism. Existence and truth do not end at the limit of observation or sensory experience. Quantum physics shows us that just because you cannot observe that something is there, you can still reason that it is there, and that that reason suffices as objective evidence that it is indeed there. One does not, and cannot, sense it is there—for it is utterly beyond observation—yet one may still objectively know that it is actually there; actually true. And this is, again, because of reason. Reason, which is cognitive, which is conscious, is a means, and I would even argue is the fundamental means, of accessing objective realtiy and objective truth.

END