An underlying theme of this blog is the proposition that consciousness is the fundamental driver of evolution in such things as biology, anthropology, history, and contemporary culture. Larry Horstman describes the theory in his two books Evolution Fact and Fantasy: The Psychogenic Theory and The Origin of Marriage: A Sojourn in Anthropology. Larry and his brother, Lee, are co-authors of The Lotka Hypothesis, Book I, Elements of Consciousness. See “Book Reviews” above.
Below are separate essays by the two authors which discuss the meaning of “irrationality,” “reason,” “logical systems,” and the expression “God” from the religious traditions. The term “trans-rational” could be used to bridge the meaning of “consciousness” and “God.”
Consciousness as the Ultimate Prime Mover
Interestingly, the idea that consciousness as the ultimate prime mover is also the fundamental proposition in the philosophy of the American philosopher and mathematician Franklin Merrell-Wolff. See the website: www.merrell-wolff.org
“Proving” the hypothesis amounts to a revolution in science. It is a revolution because “proof” requires expanding traditional science to include the subject, like never before.
Traditional science since the time of Galileo has been based on empiricism and reason, accessed by the two modes of cognition—perception and conception. Subjectivity has assiduously been excluded—for good reason. Personal bias and psychological prejudices have a tendency to “cook the books,” distorting objective facts. Quantum physics has introduced the role of the “observer.” The revolution in science here suggested recognizes and expands the role of the observer in reaching scientific certainty. It incorporates a third mode of cognition that transcends personal bias and includes the subjective at a higher level of integration. This is a realm accessed through contemplative inquiry. The scientist/mystic will lead the revolution.
Pure Reason and Real Certainty
Immanuel Kant is famous for pointing out that you cannot know the “thing-in-itself” by pure reason alone. Pure reason will not give you a direct experience of God. At best, pure reason can only give one a derivative experience of God with an indirect understanding of the laws of nature and speculative philosophy. Real certainty comes with a third mode of cognition. Franklin Merrell-Wolff called that mode of cognition “introception.” Others have called it “Gnostic Intuition,” “contemplative insight,” or “a stroke of genius.” It is the source of creativity, innovation, and scientific breakthrough.
In other postings, we show how rigorous scientific training is combined with contemplative practice to prepare the scientist/mystic for a creative, productive, and leading-edge career. Models include Isaac Newton, Weiner Heisenberg, Franklin Merrell-Wolff, and his philosophy of Consciousness-Without-an-Object. It is the contention of this blog that contemplative insight, the realm of the mystic, is the source of genius in leading edge scientific discovery. Franklin Merrell-Wolff is a forerunner—the best example of a mathematician/mystic.
A dictionary definition of “mysticism” is that it recognizes the existence of essential realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are accessible by subjective experience. “Consciousness” and “God” refer to these essential realities which mystics say are ineffable because they transcend any conceptual representation or ability of language to adequately describe, yet authentic insight from this realm will be rational, within a logical system.
While direct experience, or “imperience,” is the only way around ineffability, a “stepped-down” version is possible. As Lee Horstman says in the essay below, this is what the major religions have done for thousands of years. Larry Horstman uses the language of science while religions use metaphorical terms to describe the same essential reality—trans-rational consciousness that moves our world.