Are you the next Isaac Newton?
We hope so. It is to candidates for that honor that this thumb-nail outline of the requisite Grand Synthesis is addressed.
Consider that Isaac Newton “united the heavens and the earth” by demonstrating that gravity held the planets in their orbs and was the very same gravity that we feel here on earth. Integrating the work of Copernicus, Galileo, Brahe, and Kepler, Newton showed beyond any doubt that the heliocentric theory was consistent with observation. In the same way the “next Isaac Newton” can stand on the shoulders of other pioneers and demonstrate the fundamental proposition that “consciousness is original, self-existent, and constitutive of all things” (1) is an explanation consistent with scientific observation.
One of the pioneers we will be relying on is Alfred J. Lotka (1880-1949), considered the “father of mathematical ecology” and the author of Elements of Physical Biology, 1925. (2)
With that as an introduction, let us now indicate what kind of Grand Synthesis we envision, and why you are needed to bring it to pass.
First, it must be emphasized that religion, philosophy, and science are all the same in their motivating aspirations (3). They are the same, details aside, in the sense that all attempt to supply a complete and self-consistent system of world explanation—the whole Truth. Science imagines itself to be totally different for the same reason that each religion regards itself as the only Truth. Of course, science is “totally different” in some ways, most notably in pretending that it is limited to “objective reality.” It studiously excludes—or tries to exclude—anything to do with mentality.
The point is, the Grand Synthesis we envision will embrace and supplant all three of these spheres of human ratiocination: religion, science, and philosophy. Please do not confuse this vision with the “Theory of Everything” (4) sought by physicists in recent decades, without success. It was doomed to failure because it suffered the same deficiency as the rest of science, namely, it did not take account of consciousness, mind, passion, and motivation. Would anyone buy into a “theory of everything” if it failed to account for these most quintessential features of our existence? No.
We are speaking of something much grander. And on that note, let us move on to a thumbnail encapsulation of some of the more trenchant highlights. It must be understood that no attempt can be made in this limited space to defend the key proposition that consciousness is not a unique and novel feature of human existence but is a property of all matter/waves everywhere. This proposition, which is logically inevitable (See The Lotka Hypothesis) and is also a corollary of quantum mechanics, extends Newton’s discovery that gravity is not unique to the earth, and later, that all the same chemical elements found here occur also throughout the cosmos.
Suppose that Newton had merely written down his eponymous laws without erecting upon them his system of mechanics: Would anyone have taken note? Certainly not, any more than the axioms of geometry would arouse excitement in the absence of the marvelous system arising from them.
The challenge is to erect a full-blown model based upon certain fundamental principles that unite the objective logical systems of science with subjective experience. Objectivity is not enough; a full explanation must be subjectively felt. Kepler gave a perfectly objective account of the orbits of the planets, but he had no explanation for why they moved in these orbits. But then, along came Isaac Newton who supplied the explanation: it was the force of gravity. Gravity is a good explanation only because we can feel it subjectively.
The essential proposition is this: “Consciousness is a property of all matter, and will underlie the laws of physics.” There are objective and subjective ways of understanding this proposition—and each illuminates the other. The objective analysis consists of observing parallels between natural inanimate systems (such as statistical thermodynamics) and the behavioral properties of living things. Lotka himself developed this theme quite well in the main body of his book, and later the example of economic laws. The objective way consists of statistical accounts of large populations and wholesale transaction. These are mere correlations between objective observations, but do not explain the actual cause of the behavior. The “laws of chemistry,” for instance, are nothing more or less than a summary of what the atoms and molecules actually do, and are in no sense an “explanation” for why they interact as they do.
That consciousness underlies the laws of physics is a good explanation because we can experience it; it has a subjective quality that can be felt.
(1) One of the fundamentals of the Introceptive philosophy of Franklin Merrell-Wolff, see www.merrell-wolff.org
(3) This is shown briefly in The Lotka Hypothesis by Lawrence L. Horstman, and most persuasively in the author’s Cultural Evolution in a New Light.
(4) Not to be confused with the book Theory of Everything by Ken Wilber