The Journey of Realization: The Metaphysics of Dualist Pantheism

Difficulty    

This Text Can Be Found in the Book, 
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. I)


This was originally composed for a speech given to the People’s Arcane School
on November 4, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas.
____________________________________

Introduction

Dualist pantheism is a family of thought which views God as the Universe, and which believes God to be expressed through a duality of elements often found to be at odds with one another. In this essay, we will solidify what is meant by dualist pantheism, before comparing it to other varieties of pantheism, and taking a deeper look into its system of duality. This system will be used to describe a number of tensions within our Universe, as well as to provide a solution to them. This will not only be a general introduction to dualist pantheism, but will approach it as a specific ontological and epistemological system. We will conclude with the practical applications of dualist pantheism.

What is Dualist Pantheism?

Pantheism is an unconventional position regarding the nature of God: Believers see God and the Universe (past, present, and future, all at once) as one and the same thing. God is believed to be the interconnected whole, the totality of things.

The word pantheism comes from the Greek pan and theos, pan meaning all and theos meaning God. Pantheism means all is God. It’s important to note that the “all” in question is not “all” as in every individual unit in themselves, but The All as in the entirety of existence taken as an undivided whole. J. Allanson Picton, purveyor of pantheism, says,

In this view, the man is the unity of all organs and faculties. But it does not in the least follow that any of the organs or faculties, or even a selection of them, is the man.

If I apply this analogy to an explanation of the above definition of Pantheism as the theory that there is nothing but God, it must not be supposed that I regard the parallelism as perfect. In fact, one purpose of the following exposition will be to show why and where all such analogies fail. For Pantheism does not regard man, or any organism, as a true unity. In the view of Pantheism the only real unity is God. But without any inconsistency I may avail myself of common impressions to correct a common mis-impression. Thus, those who hold that the reasonable soul and flesh is one man–one altogether–but at the same time deny that the toe or the finger, or the stomach or the heart, is the man, are bound in consistency to recognise that if Pantheism affirms God to be All in All, it does not follow that Pantheism must hold a man, or a tree, or a tiger to be God. [1]

Dualist pantheism, the subject here spoken of, is the position that, though there is only one God (who is synonymous with the Universe), within this one God is also a duality, a polarity, which is expressed generally as order and disorder, or as spirit and matter. Paul Harrison notes that,

Because they have the basic pantheist belief in the unity of all things, dualist pantheists often believe that some form of spirit may be present in animals and plants, and in rudimentary form, even in rocks. [2]

He notes further,

Many dualist pantheists also believe that the Universe may have some kind of conscious purpose or direction. This is usually seen as the progress evolution towards more and more complex and intelligent forms which are increasingly linked to one another through communication. [3]

As in most monotheistic notions, in dualist pantheism God retains the traits of omniscience (perfect knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), and omnibenevolence (perfect goodness). Baruch Spinoza, himself, Dutch philosopher and popularizer of pantheism during the wake of the Enlightenment (which he was largely responsible for), tells us in the first part of his Ethics, “Concerning God,” that God is a perfect, all-encompassing, infinite, necessary, and free cause for existence. [4] He says in the following section that God is an immutable thinking thing. [5]

When a dualist pantheist speaks of their beliefs, they are attributing these traits of absolute goodness, infinite existence, unlimited power, etc. to the entirety of existence, of which we are all already a part, seeing everything that happens (including our actions) as an expression of God’s will. [i] Though God is attributed to Nature, or the Universe, the immanent and genderless being is seen as being no less powerful than the common, purely transcendent God of the West today, and is understood as having an eternal and necessary existence.

God, for the pantheist, is not restricted to future transcendence alone, but exists in the moment, within all of present existence, as well. Complete understanding of God, or unity with God, however, is something we must wait for, as we must first have unity amongst ourselves. [ii] In this way, God, or at least our understanding of God, retains a level of transcendence.

Dualistic pantheism may be found in many religious and spiritual views, including ancient and modern mystical beliefs.

Zoroastrianism, for instance, is a pantheistic view which pits the good and true deity, Ahura Mazda, who is represented as Being and Mindfulness, against the bad and deceitful Angra Mainyu, whom is associated with Nonbeing and Destructiveness. This belief is pantheistic in that Angra Mainyu represents Nonbeing, and so Being is all that really exists.

This is similar in some ways to Gnosticism, another form of dualistic pantheism, which shuns the material world of the demiurge, in favor of the spiritual world of God. Manly P. Hall suggests, in his lecture, “Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and  Neoplatonism,” that Gnosticism was influenced by the thought of Atenism— initiated by the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten—, as well as the thought of Plato and Neo-Platonists, such as Plotinus. [6] It was certainly also influenced by Zoroastrianism. Gnosticism was a mystical theology of emanationism, where everything poured from a single Source, and gnosis was the recognition of the illusion of the material world, and awakening to the spiritual, inciting a return to The Source.

Dualistic forms of pantheism are prominent in ancient Greek, Persian, and Egyptian philosophies— Hermeticism, for instance, is a form of dualistic pantheism—, and are also expressed in the Ancient Chinese Tao te Ching, and in some forms of Hinduism. In the middle ages, dualistic forms of pantheism were expressed by Sufis, such as Ibn al’ Arabi, and by Giordano Bruno, who, in De immenso, saw a “coincidence of contraries,” wherein everything divides in order to become self-aware, before uniting again. Groups like the Free Spirit also expressed pantheistic views.

The Enlightenment brought about a number of influential pantheists, but especially worth noting is Baruch de Spinoza, who inspired a number of pantheists after him, including Kant, Hegel, and Goethe. It was John Tolland who would coin the theological moniker, pantheism. Others who have had noteworthy pantheistic views, getting a little closer to the present, in no particular order, include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William James, Walt Whitman, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and many more.

The Taxonomy of Pantheism

The taxonomy of pantheism is important to understanding the ontological and epistemological approach taken throughout the rest of this essay. I have found Paul Harrison’s work to be a helpful tool in beginning to understand the various forms of pantheism. According to the second edition of Elements of Pantheism, by Paul Harrison, pantheism takes one of three forms, organized by ontology: idealist, physicalist, and dualist. Harrison says,

Dualistic Pantheism believes that spirit and matter are two completely different substances [attributes, if using Spinozan terminology], and that the soul is to some extent separate from the body and can survive the body’s death.

Monistic Pantheism holds that there is only one fundamental substance. Monism comes in two varieties.

Physicalist monism believes that the basic substance is matter/energy, and that mind is a property of matter.

For idealist monism, the one basic substance is mind or consciousness, and matter is simply the product of mind, or even a delusion of mind. [7]

As Harrison demonstrates, monism is the belief that there is a single substance that ultimately comprises the Universe, but within monist pantheism are two main tendencies, which include physicalism and idealism. Physicalist monism is the view that all that exists is the material substance that we are surrounded by and made of. Idealist monism is the belief that all that exists is spirit or consciousness, and that existence itself is but a thought.

Dualist pantheism, the subject of this writing, is the belief that both the physical and the ideal exist, but there is only one underlying substance, God. Spinoza says, “Besides God no substance can be granted or conceived.” [8] Dualist pantheists, like Spinoza, believe that the physical and ideal, or extension and thought, as he calls them, exist as attributes of this substance, rather than being separate substances themselves. [iii] Within physicalist and idealist pantheism, attributes and substances match, but within dualist pantheism, substance expresses two attributes. [iv]

Dualist pantheism is not a negation of a monad, but, quite the contrary, seeks to unify the two main views of substance into one, God, and describe them separately as attributes of that substance, rather than as substances themselves. The dualism of this pantheism is simply ceding to the truths found in each, idealism and physicalism. Neutral monism is another term that may be used for attribute dualism, as well as dialectical monism, or even the paradoxical “dualist-monism.” [v]

Each form of pantheism, idealist, physicalist, and dualist, has its associated strengths and weaknesses:

The strengths of idealist monism are in its purity, openness to free will, imagination, and its perfectionism. Being subjectivist, it explains consciousness quite well. Its weaknesses are its restrictions by the material world: Though a situation may be ideal, it is not necessarily how things play out in reality. Though the ideas are beautiful, they are hard to actualize.

Physicalism has its strengths in its certainty, realism, tried and true methods, and scientific and objectivistic empiricism. It is practical. It is limited by its inability to explain potential, progress, consciousness, ethics, and the natural human desire for meaning and purpose, which idealists are better able to explain. It is slow to innovate.

Dualist pantheism finds its strengths in uniting the two opposing views and conceding knowledge to both sides. It is a syncretic philosophy, seeing value in both positions. Dualist pantheists admit their inability to empirically prove their idealism, and rely on a certain amount of rationalism to do so. This weakness is accepted by dualists as part of a reality that is more complicated than we are. There must be an amount of admitted difficulty when subscribing to a view such as dualism or idealism, because the spiritual cannot be seen, only felt and conceptualized.

Substance, Attributes, and Modes

Spinoza tells us, in his Ethics, that God is the single substance from which everything, thought and extended, is fashioned. The attributes of God are simply expressions of this substance. He says, “extension and thought are either attributes of God or accidents of the attributes of God.” [9]

As substance has attributes, the attributes have modes. Spinoza says, “Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner.” [10] As attribute is to substance, mode is to attribute (and also itself, as the modes can have modes). Multiplicity is a modal existence, and from the two attributes a great number of modes are derived. Width, being a modal expression of physical extension, is rooted in the material attribute, while the feeling, or qualia, of love is an expression of temporal illusion, being rooted in the spiritual or mental attribute.

There are only two attributes of which we can consciously conclude in favor of their existence (though Spinoza suggests there may be an infinite number of attributes which we are unaware of). These are typically labeled extension and thought, after Spinoza, but are also referenced by some as real and ideal, matter and spirit, body and mind, space and time, etc

modalexistence

For purposes of this writing, I will not be sticking in any hard way to Spinoza’s method. Although I find Spinoza to be quite inspirational and useful, I find him either to be unclear in particular areas, or outright disagreeable (mostly, I like him). While I will be making use of his system of substance, attributes, and modes, I will use these categories differently. This is particularly so because I disagree (to an extent) [vi] that “Body cannot determine the mind to think, neither can mind determine body to motion or rest,” [11] while I also hold it to be true that, “a circle existing in nature, and the idea of a circle existing, which is also in God, are one and the same thing displayed through different attributes.” [12]

Part of our disagreement may be that Spinoza associates time with extension, while I believe mind, his other attribute, to be a matter of temporality. I believe this to be so because, taking from Pierre de Chardin, I associate spirit, or mind, with goals or finalities. I also believe thought to correlate with extension— but not present extension, future extension (or spirit)—, by way of multiverse theory. [vii] In this way, substance monism is maintained: Thought and extension are ultimately expressions of an underlying unity (what you conceptualize is a physical future). Thought is extension, and vice versa (when understood as substance). Any difference is perceptive. Spinoza wouldn’t necessarily disagree here, only with my categorization of mind with time.

I will be including in the attribute of extension only that motion which can be described in terms of pure physics, while in the attribute of thought I will include the desire derived by cognizance and will alone.

I will be associating extension with space, and thought with time. For this reason, I may reference the attribute of thought as the attribute of temporality, as I believe the two to be inseparable. I will approach the two attributes in a variety of ways, all loosely relating to the same general idea, its associated perspectives, and approaches:

1 2
Real Ideal
Physical Mental
Material Spiritual
Extension Temporality
Objective Subjective
Entropy Syntropy
Determinism Free will
Past Future
Empirical Rational

What is commonly referred to as being real is the physical/material world of extension and objectivity, which is determined by the entropy of the past, and can be studied empirically. What is commonly referred to as being ideal is the mental/spiritual world of temporality and subjectivity, which is created syntropically by acts of free will, being pulled toward the future by way of rational constructs, which act as attractors. The ideal is free, and, being mentally oriented, it is subjective.

The rest of this essay will demonstrate the inner workings of dualist pantheism. The terms above will be used rather synonymously at times, so it is important to keep these in mind, to know their meaning, and to understand their relationship.

You’re about to take a leap down the rabbit hole. Here we go.

Spirit and Matter

The best way to understand the attributes of God is to have a look at causality and ontology. To do this, we’ll start by distinguishing between body and spirit, as they relate to time and space, before continuing with a simplified model of their universal progression. As we continue, it will be important to remember that the ideal and the spiritual are correlated, as are the real and material, or physical. As I will demonstrate, they are also related by way of time and space.

What moves in time, but not space? [viii] Think of the physicalist/materialist world. Let’s use a rock for this example. It is true that a rock, at the atomic and the planetary levels, is not necessarily stagnant, but think about it relative to the ground, on our scale: a rock just sits there. It moves along through time with us, as it does not disappear one moment and appear the next, but it does not actively make choices about its position in space like we do.

What is the opposite, then? What moves in space, but not in time? How about spirit? [ix] Dualists attribute spirit with the ideal part of existence. There is not much that can be used to demonstrate the spiritual outside of thought-experiment, since the spiritual is inherently that of which we are unaware, appealing not to study by physicalist-based empiricism, but to idealist-based rationalism. Close your eyes for a brief moment and think about being able to move through space, but not time. It would be as if everything that existed was stagnant, and you could move freely through that reality, perhaps even affecting it.

What then, cannot move in space or in time? Absence. That is all that can “exist.” We will call this death. It is simply unthinkable, as we cannot consciously consider what it is like to be unconscious or nonexistent. Absence isn’t. Nowhere can it be found or felt.

What of its opposite, moving both through space and through time? This is something special. We call it life. Life is the strongest argument for idealism, as it poses many problems for modern science.  Life possesses both body and spirit, and for this reason it is the medium between the astroplane (the realm of spiritual existence, idealism) and the material world, showing us a glimpse into the spiritual world. Life doesn’t just sit there, like a rock, though it has a material body. Like spirit, living beings can make choices of where to be, but, unlike spirit, they can’t move completely freely through space, but are restricted by their bodies.

  Moves in Time Doesn’t
Moves in Space Life Spiritual
Doesn’t Physical Death

The physical body is free to move in time, but the spiritual body is needed to traverse space. That is, we say that matter moves in time (like a rock does), and that spirit moves in space (like ideas do). Moving purely in time (like a rock) is stagnation in space, while purely physical motion (like thought) is stagnation in time. Life traverses both time and space to some degree.

It’s important to note that, while physical bodies (space) govern time (the future), spiritual bodies (time) govern space (the past). Physical bodies (space) are connected to past causation and spiritual bodies (time) are connected to future causation. Physicalism— and all of the philosophies based in it (empiricism, realism, materialism, etc.)—, is rooted in the past, from which we are physically expanding, while idealism (rationalism, idealism, spiritualism) can be found in the future, toward which our ideas flow.

dualattributes

Spirit is simply matter which exists in the future, and matter is simply spirit which is oriented in the past. By determining space (matter), time, which is spirit, acts from the future. That is, spirit is of the future, and matter is of the past. Matter determines time, and spirit determines matter. The change of space is an act of the future, and the change of time is an act of the past. We experience time (thought) determining space (body) as the future (destiny) manipulating matter (action), and we experience space (body) determining time (thought) as the past (action) manipulating time’s transition (fate). The chain of events, together, is substance. This will become more clear as we continue forward. The following models will help with this.

Now that the groundwork between time, space, matter, and spirit is set, we may apply these concepts and take a deeper look at the process by which they interact. This will entail looking at the nature of space and time.

Convergence and Divergence

According to many versions of sacred geometry, everything can be reduced to, and comes from, the number one. As Michael Schneider points out, if you multiply 111111111 by 111111111 you get the number 12345678987654321, [13] all of the numerals in the Hindu-Arabic system of numbers (before the invention of the numeral 0). One multiplied by itself is always a palindrome: 11 x 11 = 121, 11 x 1111 = 12221 (if you’re using big numbers, you have to use larger base-sets, as in 123456789abcdefg, g being equal to 16. In this case eleven ones times eleven ones would give us the number 123456789aba987654321). We’ll start here with our figurative model of causality.

1-9again

If we look closely, two processes are made apparent. There is the divergence from one, as the digits climb from one to nine, and the convergence from nine as they return to one. These coincide quite nicely with the syntropian philosophy, a view that suggests the Universe “bounces” in repeated contractions and expansions. Entropy is the expansion, and syntropy is the contraction.

The view of syntropy, going by various names, has long been expressed in spiritual traditions, but has more recently been expressed by the Italian mathematician, Luigi Fantappié, and has been supported by folks like Albert Szent-Györgyi, discoverer of vitamin C, and by Buckminster Fuller. It has most recently been clarified by statistician and psychologist, Ulisse Di Corpo, and his partner, Antonella Vannini, and their associates (to whom I am very grateful), [14] among many others. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini suggest in an abstract that,

When the dual solution of the energy/momentum/mass equation of Einstein’s special relativity is interpreted a cosmological representation of the universe governed by a diverging and a converging force and vibrating between peaks of expansion and concentration is obtained. During the diverging phase time flows forward, whereas during the converging phase time flows backward. In this representation causality and retrocausality constantly interact. [15]

Using an oscillating model of reality, the Universe works similarly to the model presented above, with both divergent and convergent tendencies. For sake of our discussion, the one simply represents the singularity which existed before the Big Bang, and the nine metaphorically represents the end of the Universe (in this model, we are using a simple base-nine, because we are being very general, not specific). [x] Entropy is the expansive and chaotic motion from one, singularity, to nine, plurality, and syntropy is the contractive and ordered motion from nine, plurality, to one, singularity. These positions of singularity and plurality, and their associated processes of entropy and syntropy, the dual attributes of God, can be related to polarized ideologies, such as idealist/spiritualist or realist/physicalist beliefs.

According to modern physicalist belief, the Universe is expanding from the Big Bang, being subject to entropy (divergent tendency) alone, and is destined for its ultimate destruction in a thermodynamic heat death. According to many spiritual beliefs, however, there is a final justice and happiness that exists for us in the future, such as Heaven, Jannah, Tian, etc. This represents syntropic phenomena (convergent tendencies), or, more properly, noumena (an event which is known without use of input from the five senses). Realism follows the entropy of past materialism, while idealism follows the syntropic spirit, the grand ideas, of the future. The past is the birthing ground of physicalism (matter), as it has been actualized, quantized, and in turn may be studied by way of empiricism. The future is the source of idealism (spirit), as it can only be hypothesized, rationalized. [xi] Our goals, ideals, are based in future outcomes, while current reality resulted from actions in the past. As time reaches its end, however, it is put into reverse, making positions such as past and future relative, [xii] and leading to a “B-model” of time. Our deep future is our past, but only after a change of direction.

A Change of Direction

We do not just go from one to nine (singularity to plurality), but from one to nine and then back to one (singularity to plurality to singularity). Though a being in the material side (1-9) may be at position four, they must get to nine (plurality) before they get back to one (singularity). Moving forward, from past to future, from matter to spirit and back, has a relative interpretation this way. Everything has spirit and matter, but to varying extents, depending on its orientation. For instance, a converging-two (2 on the right of 9) would be seen as having very little body but much spirit, [xiii] and a diverging-two (2 on the left of 9) would have much body and little spirit, though they are in the same position. It’s the direction, charge, or orientation, that changes. Indeed, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin makes this clear, when he says,

In the system of creative union, moreover, it becomes impossible to continue crudely to contrast Spirit and matter. For those who have understood the law of ‘spiritualisation by union,’ there are no longer two compartments in the Universe, the spiritual and the physical: there are only two directions along one and the same road (the direction of pernicious pluralisation, and that of beneficial unification). Every being in the world stands somewhere on the slope that rises up from the shadows towards the light. In front of it, lies the effort to master and simplify its own nature; behind, the abandonment of effort in the physical and moral disintegration of its powers. If it goes forward, it meets the good: everything is Spirit for it. If it falls back, it meets nothing on its road but evil and matter. Thus an infinite number of steps are spaced out between absolute evil (that is, nothingness, the total plurality to which everything reverts) and the Supreme Good (that is, the centre of universal convergence towards which everything tends); these steps are, no doubt, separated by a number of ‘landings ‘ (like that, for example, which marks off animal from man, or man from angel), but they nevertheless represent one general movement, and to each step there corresponds a particular distribution of good and evil, of Spirit and matter. What is evil, material, for me, is good, spiritual, for another advancing by my side. And the climber ahead of me on the mountain would be corrupted if he used what gives me unity.

Matter and Spirit are not opposed as two separate things, as two natures, but as two directions of evolution within the world. [16]

By its very nature, syntropy, the tendency of spirit, commanding space, is time running backward (relative to entropy), rather than forward. If we look at our model in a less linear way, then, recognizing that a convergence toward one from nine is a product of retro-causality (meaning time moving backward), we must recognize that a converging-two is the same position as a diverging two, with the only difference being the orientation of their motion, a difference of intention. If we want to maintain a linear approach to motion, we inevitably must show the past as the deep future (9-1, first image), but we can show a less linear approach with a “bounce back” (9-1, second image):

timereverse

Body (1-9) tries to move toward nine, trying to free itself to be expressed as spirit (9-1) rather than matter. After reaching nine its ability to manipulate time as it progresses lessens, in favor of manipulating space. Spirit moves toward one, in order to give itself body, thereby lessening its ability to manipulate space as it progresses, in favor of manipulating time. Though both tendencies exist in the same being, each wants to express itself in differing directions. The body wants to move through time, and the spirit through space. [xiv]

Both the physical and spiritual ultimately move toward contraction, but according to their own frames of reference. The purely physical, with its ability to manipulate time, without regard to space, collapses time, and so space seems to expand. The purely spiritual, manipulating space instead, collapses it, and time seems to expand. If time expands, space contracts. If space expands, time contracts. [xv] They are interconnected. [xvi] If we measure the forward motion of time relative to physical entropy, syntropy moves in reverse. That is, if we say that the future approaches as things expand, break down, and decay, we can say that as entropy increases time moves forward. Likewise, we can reverse this, and say that as entropy decreases (or syntropy increases) time moves backward.

spacetimmmee

Remember, the first postulate of Einstein’s special relativity states that the laws of physics are consistent for all who move uniformly. If spirit is moving backward in time, [xvii] and material forward, this difference in direction results in completely different laws of physics for the two attributes. Relativity also describes the slowing of time with the acceleration of space. This will result in a flipping in the direction of time. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini suggest that,

During the diverging phase the forward flow of time decelerates and halts when the expansion of the universe halts. Time then starts flowing backward at an always increasing rate when the universe converges into the Big Crunch. [17]

One may notice that, if we are still in a physically expanding Universe (1-9), our perspective must be at a location diverging into nine, but this does not mean that, because the physical Universe has not reached the spiritually-oriented perspective which exists post-nine yet, we are unable to be spiritual beings, but rather, that we are the specific exception to the general rule, and that we are dictated more heavily by laws of matter than laws of spirit. [xviii] Though we are composed of matter, we do not experience life as that matter alone (we identify with the experience of the conscious mind more than that of our unconscious body). We are not completely determined by the past, and locality, but we exalt free will (actually retro-causality), which is rooted in the future and is non-locally effected. More on this later.

Position and Process

The point, one, and line, nine, are particular positions of consciousness and potential. The point, one, is the full potential for a materially existing Universe. From one, singularity, arose the Big Bang that gave us all of the other numbers. One is the common denominator of all things.

The line, nine, is the full potential for a primarily spiritual Universe. Nine represents the full expansion of the Universe and its creative awakening, ultimately bringing us the Big Crunch, as we ascend back to one.

We are currently living in a world of determinism, on the side primarily of physicalism (1-9). Because life expresses syntropy, we are the exception to the rule. Though we are progressing toward the ideal/spiritual, the Universe is not yet past nine, which is the point where spirit starts gaining aggregate power and syntropy takes over. It is here, at full expansion, that life finds its true potential, and can begin to more fully exercise its will toward its goals.

1-9again

If we look at a converging-one (9-1) as the ultimate ideal we can conceptualize this returning to the source, one, as the final goal, the top of the ladder. If we look at a diverging one (1-9) as the ultimate materialism from which we are straying we can view it as the bottom of the ladder. The degrees of these, which exist between, are the other numbers. It is important to move toward one’s ideals at the top of the ladder, but most of the time it is impossible to just jump to the top. That’s why we need ladders to begin with! Instead, we must climb the steps as they come.

The numbers between one and nine represent only degrees of intensity. Nine, when it is approached from one, is noticed as a universal realization of spiritual potential. One, when it is approached from nine, is the final result of spiritual flow, and the full realization of material potential from which a new existence may begin (this can be seen as another position of consciousness, perhaps as superconsciousness, or even ultimate access to the collective unconscious, as all is known at that point). Everything in-between is merely the journey.

timereversal

 

It is from the point of one that the rules for the Universe are established, and from there it just follows instruction. One represents the culmination of freedom on the spiritual side (9-1), but it also represents absolute determinism on the side of materialism (1-9). On the converging side of one (9-1) the rules are being established, and on the side of divergence (1-9) the rules are being played out. On the diverging side of nine (1-9), the old rules are being broken, and on the converging side (9-1), new rules are being created. Freedom and determinism are one and the same, but viewed from different angles.

Life is animated, able to make decisions, and capable of expressing traits of free will. As one (singularity) is diverged from, and nine (plurality) becomes stronger, free will spreads. Though we express degrees of free will it is not the standard in our Universe. Free will is only going to start to outgrow determinism at the point of nine. Determinism will still exist at nine, and free will can only become absolute at the point of one, which then begins a new system of determinism. One and nine both represent extremes. One represents the extreme ability of potentials, free will and determinism, both being of equal strength, but on different sides. Nine, on the other hand, represents the extreme of both’s limits, where free will and determinism are mutually weak. We are currently experiencing consciousness of our physical existence, but are developing toward spiritual consciousness.

What is consciousness?

Our consciousness can be seen as will, desire, need, those things which are somehow connected to motivation and valuation. As Ulisse Di Corpo and others suggest, consciousness is one of our means to evade entropy and to satisfy our material vital needs. Larger organisms rely greatly on their consciousness to exist. Without this consciousness they could not seek out their material needs: nutrients, shelter, and sex. They would die. The earlier forms of life-systems don’t rely as much on the consciousness of their physical existence; a plant soaks its nutrients up from its immediate surroundings (the dirt and sun rays), for instance, and doesn’t have to search out food. As life develops, so too does its will.

Our subjective consciousness comes to be as the Universe approaches nine because ours is a reaction to entropy, separation. This can be seen in the fact that our consciousness represents lack, subjectivity, desire, rather than objectivity and fulfillment. We can only be conscious in the manner we are (having subject and object) while there is something to be conscious of, so our consciousness relies on subjective (separate) physical experience. We act because we need or want certain outcomes which we do not already enjoy. It is from our subjective experience that our consciousness develops, because subjective experience is necessarily an experience of lack, and the lack creates desire, of which we then become increasingly aware until it is satisfied. This satisfaction which motivates us is found in the future. Thus, our consciousness is always suffering, as human consciousness is the experience of not having, and always wanting more. It is pulled by the future possibility of satisfaction, of which we may only partially acquire before death. This seems like a frightening idea at first, but the struggle of life is actually a very important and necessary part of the Universe, as it is the mechanism by which it evades complete entropy (death) and preserves itself from stopping at nine. It is only after nine, back toward one—the ideal and spiritual world—, that the Universe can begin to lose its pain and subjectivity and find true objective happiness, but it must first come to The Great Realization of its own potential. In the abstract to “The Evolutionary Role of Suffering,” Ulisse Di Corpo says,

The needs model developed with the introduction of Syntropy shows that anguish is an indicator of the need of love, while depression indicates that the identity conflict remains unsolved. Physical, psychological and emotional sufferings indicate that one or more needs remain unsatisfied. Even if some forms of suffering might be dramatic, they force individuals and societies towards higher forms of awareness and evolution. [18]

Our conscious abilities as humans are so-far unable to break the second law of thermodynamics, leading to our death, and the death of those around us whom we must subsist off of. We are, however, getting better at forming good habits of self-preservation, and are growing in awareness regarding the need to reduce our needs (and so our toll on our surroundings), and thus in our attempts at reducing entropy for ourselves and our environment. This shows the growth of the potential in the Universe to break (or at least exhaust or make negligible) the second law, which fully exists at (and after) the point of nine, in the spiritual/ideal realm.

Though life is not capable of full spiritual expression in the moment, and each individual will ultimately reach their material fate, life is a culminating process of continual progression. Unlike the primarily material world, life collectively and exponentially changes toward complexity and goodness. Though each individual dies, each individual, when they successfully pass on their genes and memes, is part of the process of building higher consciousness. We would not have our level of thought if not for those who lived before us taking part in a long chain of evolutionary progress, biological and cultural, which has allowed for structures which hone in on spirit, such as protoplasm on the cellular level, and brains on our own. These structures, picking up on spirit as antennae pick up on waves, allow us to express our will, give us consciousness as we know it, a spirit which is trapped in the world of the body.

Our consciousness is currently and greatly restricted to the material world. It is a consciousness of subjectivity, of other, of lack, need. There is another form of consciousness that exists, however, of which we are not completely unaware. This consciousness is accessed while we are asleep, but we are restricted from full use of this consciousness because of our foundation in the physical realm. This consciousness is the consciousness of the spiritual or ideal, where ideas are unrestricted, but the body is inoperable to realize them. Lucid dreaming, consciously making decisions in the dream state, especially allows the dreamer to experience a portion of this anti-reality, which may already exist in our collective unconscious.

Our physical consciousness exists from a growing state of lack, but consciousness of the spiritual exists in a state of growing abundance and potential. It is the consciousness of possibility. Instead of growing awareness of self and other, as we are used to having— self and other increasingly being separated— spiritual reality from nine to one is a growing awareness of the self in others— a collective self-awareness— and movement toward objective reality, where self and other are increasingly conflated. This develops from the growing awareness of the internal self as nine is approached, which is awareness of the spiritual. The spiritual realm begins, and gains true potential, when all of existence has become self-aware to a point that “self” becomes conflated to some degree with all of existence. This is the point I call The Great Realization or The Great Awakening. This happens at nine.

God, who can be seen as the highest order of consciousness, both physical and spiritual, is not restricted to any number on our model, but is all numbers on the model at once. In this way, seeing the Universe as consciousness is a little different from the idealist vision of a purely mental Universe, by ceding a degree of materialism (God has mind and body), but is also very similar to many of its popular notions of the creative potential of the Universe, and God is seen as very much conscious (in fact, ultimately so). God is alive.

Purpose and Freedom of Will

The expression of free will is the purpose of our ever evolving consciousness. It is in freedom of will that we can find our reason for being as humans. Aristotle figured it out long ago when he said, “All men by nature desire to know,” to begin his Metaphysics. From this he deduced that people have a desire to know so that they can do good, and the reason people do good is so they can be happy. In choosing to do good, we are influencing the resulting future (but this is only a subjective experience, not an objective fact, as substance is immutable).

Our free will is not as we think, it is time moving backwards, [xix] from finality to the beginning (a process known as retro-casuality). When we accomplish our goals it is because we were drawn to them by future consequences, desires outside of our control. Actualizing those goals is constructing the Universe. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini note, “According to the law of syntropy the aim of life is to bring out the design and project which is already present in the attractor.” [19]

Freedom is simply the ability to do what we will, but what we will is teleologically determined by the ideal. Indeed, this is our purpose: to create and make the Universe a better place for its inhabitants, to seek the good, and make it happen.

The past is a world of materialism, corruption, and sadness which pushes us away and makes us want to succeed toward something better. That something better exists in the world of spirit, idealism, and the superior future that draws or pulls us toward it. This world only exists so far as we are willing to make it happen, it is the world of our goals and desires actualized. It cannot exist if we do not work to make it happen, but because the natural human instinct is to move toward the good, it is inevitable. It is understanding that drives the future, and, until an understanding is reached between all, we cannot share an objective reality of full potential (at 1), and so we will continue to have conflicts of subjective reality and battles of weak and limited potentials.

Out of our subjective experiences of pain and lack we can create a beautiful existence of total objective satisfaction, free from pain and need. Out of our involvement in subjectivity, this selfishness we experience, comes something beautiful that, if it can spread through the Universe, holds magnificent creative potential (at 9): Love. Love is the final attractor.

Consciousness desires, at least after a certain point of evolution in the hierarchy of needs, to be loved and to share love. It is thus that love is the bringing together of consciousness. To be truly selfish then, for higher orders of consciousness, is to love and care about others, to extend one’s own selfhood to them, that they too may be considered part of one’s self.

A pantheist practices love, though the highest order of love, being unconditional, is not completely attainable to us yet, it is becoming, for to love is our purpose, not our condition. Love is certainly of our faculties, but so is hate (just not to the same degree, as hate is rooted in physicalist philosophies that we are leaving behind). Hate is not the future, however, but, instead, it is love. To love, to be happy, is our destiny as living beings.

Balance of Thought and Practice

Practicing” or “living as” a dualist pantheist entails balance. It a dialectical approach to existence and non-existence, one of becoming. A dualist pantheist opposes scientism, but not science, so long as it is non-dogmatic, nor does a dualist pantheist oppose religion, so long as it is understood that the spiritual can only be felt in metaphor, as it is outside of the reach of human physical knowledge (the spiritual is a world of the future, higher goals, yet to be actualized by multiple perspectives, and we only understand our own). Thus, dualist pantheists are in favor of freedom of, as well as freedom from, religion, and we support empirical science when it is accurate, knows its limits, and is open to acknowledging the value in other forms of thought.

The pantheist realizes their own divine and creative potential, given to them by the Universe, and they exercise it. The pantheist desires to live fully, and to freely express their will. The most important work of art in the world of the pantheist is one’s life and the way one decides to continue, the actualization of ideas. We must never forget our potential. We are constructing the Universe, after all, and we are the pieces.

A dualist pantheist holds ideals that may oftentimes be unable to be accomplished in one lifetime, but understands that life is a cycle, and that our bodies will eventually rot and become the bodies of worms and bacteria, just as our bodies have been made from plant and, if we eat it, animal material. A dualist does not see blind meaninglessness in such a cycle as the food web, but understands the energy pyramid, by which matter establishes higher forms of consciousness, as animals feed from the plants, and plants feed from our dying star. Though they understand their infinite potential, through the passing of genes and memes that will maintain phenotypes of the future, they understand also that fighting against the grain currently presented by the physical world, though in need of a good sanding, does not allow one to work along the grain to create a beautiful, smooth existence. Thus, the dualist keeps their ultimate ideals as transcendental works in progress, but focuses in the meantime on small victories that lead toward such spiritual freedom as ultimately desired. Consequently, dualists value and practice the actualization of ideals, perceivable progress, the meeting of real and ideal, pragmatism. In three words, the dualist practices spiritual direct-action, believing, as Tolstoy repeats from The Gospel According to Luke, that The Kingdom of God is Within You.

The ethics, practice, or way of living as a pantheist are all based on costs and benefits in the long- and short-term. For instance, we may all value love as ultimately good, meaning it has a long-term benefit we should always strive toward, but if someone comes at you with a gun, in a fit of rage, showing them affection may not always be the best way to solve the problem, due to the fact that we are in a material environment and we can’t rely on purely spiritual interactions at all times. If you and I were hanging out as friends together, I may wish for us both to have a beverage of our individual choosing, at no cost to you, or I, or any person who would have to labor otherwise to present us such fine concoctions, but it is simply not yet possible for humanity to wish water into wine.

Life seeks the good and makes it happen to the best of its knowledge and ability. Ideals, though, are greatly restricted by the physical part of the world. Until the Universe (rocks included) reaches a point of full consciousness we will remain restricted from the full exercise of free will. The potential for true free will is in the Great Awakening of the Universe. The physical world is also restricted, but by the ideal world. To have no ideals at all is to be left behind, moved past, and made obsolete. The Universe progresses, but at particular speeds. Virtue is found in keeping pace.

It is virtue that governs the consciousness of the dualist, for virtue is aligning the subjective good with the objective perfection. Virtue is never on one extreme or the other, but is found somewhere in the middle. Virtue is not found in murder, nor in suicide, but in living and letting live. It is not found in over-eating or under-eating, but in eating well. It is not found in acts of aggression or in acts of passive surrender, but in non-aggression and courage. One may think courage is the same as being foolhardy, but foolhardiness is not a virtue, it is a vice. Courage is instead found between the vices of foolhardiness and cowardice, according to Aristotle. Courage relies on feeling, but not to the degree of the foolhardy. Lao Tzu, on the other end of the world, reminds us in the Tao te Ching that “To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.” Thus, it is by ceding to our inabilities, while at the same time acknowledging our abilities, that we may affect the Universe and our lives positively.

The more physicalist or realist of philosophies (or even lack of philosophy) tend to be held by those who are more practical, sticking to tried and true methods. These physicalists are the folks that get things done. They may get things done in the old ways, which may be seen as detrimental to the idealist who may possibly hold better, but new, ideas. In absence of new ideas, however, the physicalist maintains an important position of keeping solutions from the past running until they can be replaced. The proposals of the idealist may be at conflict with the physicalist, however. Oftentimes, those who are too idealistic are also those who are seen as dreamers beyond their means. They are daydreamers who don’t offer as much material benefit to the world through labor, though their spiritual contributions may be priceless. They are the dreamers of new systems. The most successful of approaches, though, are those that are properly balanced by the extremes, and ride a progressive equilibrium that shifts as society moves toward its ideal future. Someone who actualizes their ideals is an important person. Informed pragmatism is the approach of dualist pantheism.

In many Eastern traditions, often embraced by idealists, God is communicated with by way of meditation, as God is seen as internal. Listening to one’s own consciousness/sub-consciousness/etc. is the way, then, to communicate with the inner God. In the West, however, the most common view of God is of a being that is external to our reality, and the tradition has been to communicate with this being by means of prayer. This is often held by the more physicalist of spiritual beliefs, such as the non-pantheist dualistic beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam that have been based in determinism (aside from such connection with God by means of prayer and divine intervention).

Dualist pantheists may find elements of both meditation and prayer to be helpful. Meditation and prayer have both been found to relieve stress. Praying to a larger being allows the mind to displace concerns so that they may be dealt with in a more rational, rather than emotional, manner. The most common of dualist pantheist practice entails elements of both meditation and prayer, but instead of communicating with the internal God by trying not to think or abandon need for resolve, as is done in many meditating traditions, one is contemplating whole-heartedly with the purpose of resolution, and instead of communicating with the external God by way of prayer, it is done by means of conversation with living beings around us and by affecting our physical environment. The pantheist God is both immanent, being within all things, and transcendent, being temporally outside of them, and the way to communicate with God is by means of contemplation and actualization. The act of thinking is a spiritual experience that is often taken for granted.

Conclusion

Dualist pantheism is a theological perspective that, while acknowledging the importance of understanding the duality of attributes, reconciles this duality into a single substance, called God, Nature, or the Universe.

The dualist associates time, thought, spirit, etc. with the syntropic tendencies demonstrated by biology and rational knowledge, while understanding space, extension, matter, etc. as being related to the entropic phenomena analyzed in physics and empiricism.

Though the pantheist recognizes the underlying perfection of existence, they see the imperfect impulses (imperfect due to incompleteness) of humanity as modes of this perfection. That is, the dualist pantheist sees perfect reason and purpose in everything, including our own imperfect desires. In fact, the will of life, consciousness, is seen as the ultimate teleological savior of the physical Universe, without which it would surely perish to thermodynamic heat death. [xx]

The orientation of life toward syntropy governs our rationality, our ethical systems, and our motivation. Though imperfect, life evolves toward the higher good. The dualist pantheist, recognizing this dynamic, and seeing their own desires as expressions of God’s will, places great spiritual importance on the realization of goals, and on direct-action, the expression of our will. We try to match our own will with that of God’s, with that of truth, as much as possible, but our failures demonstrate that, though (according to our necessitarian outlook) our experience of will is still an expression of God’s, its realization is not always accessible.

Evolution is the process of learning, learning to succeed, of matching our will with that of God’s, the will of absolute realization. We are not quite there, we are still unable to act in accord with the absolute truth, due to our ignorance, our subjectivity. Still, our goal, our purpose as humans, is to find, to move toward, this truth, to realize it, which can only be accomplished through a long evolutionary process of compassion and understanding of others. Ours is a Universe not filled with answers, but ripe with questions, questions which may only be answered when we put our heads together, when we concede the inner truths of one another. We must ultimately occupy a singularity, after all. Understanding this is part of The Journey of Realization.


 

Notes

[i] The hows and whys are coming later in the text.

[ii] One may ask, “If God is everything, aren’t we already united with God?” This is absolutely so in one respect, but the unity I am speaking of is the unity of the components of God (us, and the rest of the world) with each other, or the unity of God with itself. That is, when we unite together, God unites with itself. This can be understood as a form of contraction. As the work of Ulisse Di Corpo (to be discussed later on) suggests, this contraction produces feelings of love in us. In this way, human satisfaction is found in unity with the divine.

[iii] Pantheism is necessarily a form of substance-monism (but not always attribute-monism), so when referencing monist and dualist forms of pantheism, I am referencing attribute-dualism and -monism, not substance– varieties (attributes being expressions of an underlying substance rather than the substance itself).

[iv] A true duality of substance, mixed with pantheism, is panentheism (the belief that the Universe is in God, and is a part of God, but isn’t God in its entirety), and rather not pantheism at all.

[v] We will take a deeper look at the distinction between substance, attributes, and modes in the next section.

[vi] Objectively, I believe Spinoza to be correct, as I follow a rather Parmenidean eternalism. However, from such an objectivist view, I don’t believe these attributes to be separate from one another at all, but are instead separated in subjectivity. On the other hand, I still think it is important and useful to discuss interaction between the attributes, as (even if not objectively true) this informs our subjective human experience (the scope of which we are limited to acting within), which is not so monistic.

[vii] According to some varieties of the multiverse theory, one can conceive of a hypothetical circle, having no present extension, because its extension exists in time somewhere in the multiverse.

[viii] Because time and space are a continuum, and are not truly separate, we are not talking about their actual division, but a division of experiences of them. Though a purely physical perspective may entail stagnation in space, like in the rock example coming up soon (but much more pure), it is more active in time than we are, perhaps able to manipulate it as we do physical objects. Afterall, it is mass that bends space-time. Matter manipulates time through gravity, but spirit manipulates matter the way our goals animate our bodies to act. Though a purely spiritual perspective may be unable to freely manipulate or traverse time, it is likely more aware of space than we are, being able to manipulate matter to a much further extent. This will be further expanded upon in upcoming sections.

[ix] I associate spirit with time (because archetypes are temporal), and matter with extension. Clearly, as the spatial dimensions run through one another (left-right runs through up-down or back-forth, and vice versa), time and space do the same. What we perceive as space moving through itself (that is, dense space, or matter, “moving through” uncompressed space, or energy), then, is actually the shifting of spirit through space (ideas change spatial location), and matter through time (mass changes time), with spirit acting as a future track of destiny for matter to fall into and become, through an effort of will (ideas lead to action, they become “materialized” or “actualized”).

Any self-directed physical change in motion is best understood as ideas changing quickly throughout space, and material motion slowed in time to fulfill them. This is so because of the law of relativity, which states that an increase in physical velocity leads to the slowing of time, and the speeding of time leads to a decrease in physical velocity. The process of goal-fulfillment includes the placing of ideas in alternate realities (changing quickly in space), and the physical motion (slowing time) needed to “realize” those realities.

[x] From this point forward, I will be referencing the 1-9 model, so keep in mind the meanings of one and nine (singularity, plurality), and remember also that the numbers between (2-8) represent only degrees of entropy or syntropy between the extremes, without a specific meaning here attached.

[xi] The terms, past and future, are ambiguous to say the least. Throughout this essay, I use these terms in one of two ways, meaning either aggregated or individualized. The aggregate future includes the collection of everything. A thing’s individual future may be oriented one way, while the aggregate future is heading another, for instance. An example of this would be that the Universe is, at present, mostly determined by entropy, but life is largely determined by syntropy. The aggregate future, then, is one of entropy, but the individual future, in the example case of life, is one of syntropy (it is, however, surrounded by individuals which are mostly determined by entropy, which leads to the aggregated future of entropy).

[xii] To better understand, say that a person has a time machine that allows them to go back into the past. They set the device and start to travel. At this point their future is their past.

[xiii] By having little body and much spirit I don’t assume different substances, but different attributes.

[xiv] Body is here associated with space and spirit with time.

[xv] We experience the contraction of time as the slowing of time.

[xvi] Think a moment about a two-dimensional plane with an x and y axis. This plane is composed of two sets of directions: forward and backward, side to side. If one moves in one direction any other direction is compromised. If we move toward the right, we move away from the left. That is, if we start at the center, and move away from it, toward the right, the left is compromised. In other words, any positive degree toward the right creates a negative degree on the left. So, we can say that we are one positive degree right, or one negative degree left. That’s just using one dimension. Now, using both dimensions, if we assume we are traveling forward, and we move to the right as we move forward, this does not only compromise the left, but also the forward motion. That is, if you start turning right, you lessen your motion forward (assuming your speed is constant). It is in this way that dimensions interact with one another. Now, apply this principle to space and time, and you will begin to understand the relativity of space-time: The faster we move in space, the slower we move in time. It’s the same give-and-take relationship.

[xvii] I say that spirit both moves “backward in time,” while also saying it is governed by “future finality.” How is this so? Its attractors are projected backward in time from the future and are picked up on by matter, resulting in the goal-making behavior of living organisms. This is quite different from the behavior of nonliving things.

[xviii] The Universe is currently entropic, and we are the exception to the rule. If understood that we are in the aggregate past (1-9) we can understand that our individual future runs contrary to the relative future of most things around us. So, relative to entropy, we are going backward, even if we are moving forward relative to ourselves, and as part of the aggregate future (9-1). One could say we are a part of the aggregate future, (9-1) but we are surrounded by the aggregate past. (1-9)

[xix] Relative to entropy.

[xx] But this “evolution,” one must remember, occurs within a block Universe. It is an illusion of subjectivity. Objectively, no motion exists, but it is our experience which shifts. This is similar to imagining a flash traveling within a fluorescent tube. The tube itself does not move. The difference is that we experience the flash from without, while nothing travels outside of the bounds of the Universe. It is boundless.

 


References

1. J. Allanson Picton, 8.
2. Paul Harrison, 86.
3. Ibid., 87
4. Benedict de Spinoza, 39.
5. Ibid., 78.
6. Manly P. Hall
7. Paul Harrison, 83.
8. Benedict de Spinoza, 49.
9. Ibid., 49.
10. Ibid., 61.
11. Benedict de Spinoza, 130.
12. Benedict de Spinoza, 83.
13. Michael S. Schneider, 3.
14. Please see Di Corpo and Vannini’s Syntropy Journal for more information regarding syntropy and its associated effects: http://www.syntropy.org/journal-english
15. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini2
16. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 51.
17. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini2
18. Ulisse Di Corpo2
19. Ulisse Di Corpo and Antonella Vannini2

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