Here's an attempt to compare and contrast the extremes in possible worldviews by degree of subjectivity. On the end most of you here at WWGHA? can easily recognize and see through is the overly subjective ACME. Anything Can Mean Everything
. Like the ubiquitous manufacturer of cartoon products, ACME is Cargo Cult optimism. A naive belief, rooted in pareidolia/apophenia that the cosmos exists to provide one with whatever one wants, (so long as the recipient is worthy of said blessings).
This is Santa Claus, pure and uncomplicated. The universe is your vending machine, with all the universe's comforts and satisfactions available to you simply for the asking. A prayer, a sacrificial offering, some mumbo jumbo, and a bit of humble narcissism is the only coin required to nudge the supreme creator of existence into doing your bidding. God is your bitch
. He loves you even though you mainly talk to him when you think you might want something from him. He's omniscient, but really he can't see through your transparent pretense of needy, fear-based petty egotism. He really favors you only because you're more deserving - you're special, you're saved. Your accidents happen for a reason. There are no coincidences.
ACME provides everything for free in a universe of cartoon consequences. It's Manichean bipolarity is all Road Runner and Coyote, with mindless Sarah Palin self-confidence effortlessly speeding passed the intellectual snares of the Wily One. She beep beeps and quotes Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" while the coyote blows himself up again and again. He hates her freedom.
Switching over to the other side of the cosmology continuum, we find OMM. Only Matter Matters
. This is the mantra of hard materialism. Meaningless and repetitive, the worldview of strict determinism leaves literally nothing to the imagination. We are the universe's bitch. Rooted in the strong teleology that the universe is devoid of strong teleology, the human subject is either an exceptional pocket of unknowable fuzziness in a knowable and highly ordered cosmic accident, or an unexceptional blob of deluded protoplasm which nonetheless is the sole source of the perception of order, beauty, thought, values, and purpose in a blind, unconscious universal machine, depending on which side of the argument needs support.
In the OMM cosmos we find black holes, singularities, superstrings, anti-matter, and quantum, which is really just probability bundles that express themselves as either particles or waves (even though those forms are mutually exclusive by most sane reckoning), depending on the observer, but sort of not really depending on the observer as it might seem. What we don't find is any sign of ourselves. We are the empty vessel of observation, the pristine and empirical anti-guru who has shed all human identity and mortality to bestow upon the foolish masses the crystal clarity of our unflinchingly, heroically defiant message of enlightenment. The Anti-Cogito: 'There is no proof of consciousness - you just think that you think, therefore you aren't. You have become none with Youniverse. OMM.
OMM is a worldview that draws it's boundless authority from evidence. Evidence which is produced by and for an audience that exists only to fulfill souped up mammalian evolutionary purposes - which are not purposes at all but a simple elaboration of one or two basic rules established at the dawn of timespacematterenergy. Rules that inevitably, randomly, or arbitrarily (but never purposefully) makes 10+7 equal Chlorine (if we are talking nucleated protons) or 400 + 300 = 'Red' if we are talking wavelengths of light.
Anything you may have noticed, like how something like water looks, sounds, smells, tastes, feels to the touch, feels to float or swim in...these things are 'simply' emergent properties that inevitably follow from H2
O. It's all very simple when you reverse engineer it, but try to start from nothing
and run the tape forward. How do you come up with a different spectrum of visible light? Where do you get a color from?
Here's a quick and dirty look at ACME vs OMM:ACME OMM
absolutely spiritual absolutely material
subjective imagination objective empiricism
Tarot, I Ching, Prayer Quantum Mechanics, Economics
charismatic love cause and effect
'top down' meaning and order 'bottom up' architecture and probability
superstition, mania, pareidolia, woo cynicism, depression, sociopathy
naive, simplistic jaded, dismissive
identification with the divine will identification with inanimate logic
life=spirit-ghosts, matter=cartoon illusion life=zombie-robots, matter=fact
demonic possession catatonic apathy
objective world is a dream, maya subjective world is an illusion, irrelevant
time = synchronicity, zeitgeist time = uniform sequential duration, t
I AM THAT I AM i
= the square root of negative one
Personally, I have spent significant stretches of time pushing the envelope of both ends of the continuum, and see them as natural extremes which human consciousness is prone to. I feel like I have benefited over the years from exploring both sides, but that ultimately I find them to be symmetrically narcissistic - crutches to help us lean on one side of reality or the other without having to truly own the full reality of what we are as human beings.
The Cosmos is a word for order, and that's what it is. Some order is subjective, some is objective. Being that neither we, nor the universe we can contemplate can ever be completely objective or completely subjective, it seems to me that it is the polarities which are illusion and not one pole or the other.
In between the two poles, we may find a dynamic but anchored intersubjective worldview which honors the empirical realities without sacrificing the enchantment of the Cosmos and the Self. No Santa Claus, no Frankenstein, just real people, real world, real characters and destinies, with all their dream filled, deluded, long suffering dramas and revolutionary enlightenments.
God doesn't heal amputees, but neither does matter play baseball. Wake up. You are real. What you are reading isn't just pixels on your screen, or words from the dictionary, they are my thoughts that I'm choosing to articulate using whatever words I can manage to pull out of somewhere which can't be seen by any imaging device possible. I am the imaging device. Me alone. But this device doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's no more independent from matter as the words you read are independent of the characters they are made of, the browser you display it in, the routing protocols of the internet, etc.
Ultimately the neurological processes that produce this are no different from those of the rest of the Cosmos. If there is meaning in here
, there is at least
the capacity to manipulate, transport, and transmit meaning out there
. The idea of a Cosmos that manages to evolve a trillion cell organism which is positively dripping with layers of meaning, order, and purpose of megasymphonic proportions without getting even a speck of it on itself is a little far fetched. All hundred billion galaxies over 13+ billion years and no consciousness whatsoever until Homo Sapiens sapiens in the last few minutes of geological time on this one tiny planet. Mmhmm. OMmm.
Matter, Meaning, Modulation, Moderation: MMMM
I = 'Immediacracy' for here and now.
Time: 5-18-2010 7:01 AM EDT
Objective realities and Subjective truths are essentially connected but existentially completely separate.
life and matter = existential relative expressions of essential dynamic cosmic principles.
Voluntary, conscious, and selective identification.
Able to respond with the full range of human attitudes.
Healthy range and duration of moods.
'Middle through' - supported by bottom, informed by top
Determinism and Freewill natural complements to each other.
A bit of magical thinking and a bit of cynical empiricism go a long way.