Stepped-down Versions of God

Conversation with Lee Horstman

Let’s face it. Discussing God has to be this difficult a notion. If “God” – the vast horizon of possibility this term stands for – were easy to discuss, not only would the universe be more boring…we’d be more boring. So, let’s steer between two pitfalls; a Scylla and Charybdis if you will.

Inner Experience —  Primal Imperience

On the one hand is a “stepped-down” version. With some justification it can be said that in different ways the big five [chronologically, Hinduism / Judaism / Buddhism / Christianity / Islam ] do, in fact, stepped-down “God,” such that vast multitudes of people can gain some degree of access to what is meant. What is meant, is core content in the primal imperience (inner experience) of the mystics who founded these religious traditions [in like order, Krishna / Abraham / Gautama Buddha / Jesus / Mohammed ]; and, of the mystics who’ve kept these dispensations refreshed from time to time down through dozens of centuries. So our difficulty in this opposite direction is the profound inscrutability and ineffability and particularity or idiosyncrasy that is native to each and every such imperience.

So in this opposite direction – the effort at a truly penetrating intellectual sophistication – we must rise up so far as possible, without lapsing into any form of obscurantism whether inadvertent or (heaven forbid) intentionally devised: an ambuscade of self-serving disguises concealing ‘not really Knowing.’ Continue reading

Is Science Irrational about God?

A casual conversation with Larry Horstman

Question to Larry: Why is science so resistant to the study of consciousness broadly considered, not to mention transcendental consciousness, aka God? Larry, on page 35 of The Lotka Hypothesis you say, “…the science of today supplies no explanation for or guidance concerning the things that matter most to us—our passions, hopes, dreams, desires, ideals, or criteria for daily decisions.” Should not science be curious about metaphysical things? Mathematics is purely a priori and yet it is an essential tool in science. Is it an element of irrationality in rational science to ignore the things that matter most to us?

Off-the-cuff, email, reply: The usual popular meaning of “irrational”, as in “irrational exuberance” (Greenspan), means not guided by reason. But my studies have led me to the conviction that underlying all behavior and attitudes are logical systems, in a special sense subdivided below.

Axioms and Logical Systems

Now, the usual meaning of a “logical system” has as its archetype classical Euclidean geometry, consisting at root of a set of axioms from which are deduced all sorts of theorems. They are indubitably true, given the axioms. Of course, we now know that if you alter the axioms, you get a different logical system, e.g., if you alter the parallel axiom of Euclid (that parallel lines never meet) you get new and different logical systems.

Further investigation in many areas has led me to the conviction that not only all of the classical western philosophies are also logical systems, but so are religions. In other words, all religions are philosophies in the sense that they are predicated on a few axioms (God is this or that …) from which follow the entire structure resting upon them. Continue reading

The Lawrence L. Horstman Synthesis

Isaac Newton “united the heavens and the earth” by showing that gravity acts not only here on earth, but throughout the cosmos. His three laws are deceptively simple. No layman would ever imagine that they constitute the foundation of the edifice of modern physical science and technology.

Role of the Mind in the Cosmos

However, there was something missing from Newton’s great synthesis, namely, the role of the mind in the fabric of the cosmos. He did not recognize that as a defect in his system, for he was a devout Christian, taking for granted that the mind — a.k.a. the human soul — was a unique gift to humanity from God almighty. Nowadays, however, we recognize that humans are very similar to other animals, and that they, too, must have mental qualities such as motives, desires, sensations, and so forth. So the question is how did minds arise? And why? This is obviously an important question, for the very essence of our lives is mental.

Horstman’s synthesis is similar in scope and in revolutionary implications: he has “united the animate with the inanimate.” Like Newton’s laws, Horstman’s principles are very simple, and yet, after the initial flash of inspiration, it took him decades to work out the details of reconciling the workings of the mind to the laws of physics. Like any difficult math problem or puzzle, the answer always looks simple — after you see how it’s done! Continue reading

Mysticism and the Scientific Method

Mysticism is a belief in the existence of essential reality beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that is accessible by subjective experience.

Our hypothesis is that consciousness is the essential reality that pervades all levels and all lines of development, including the paper the model is written upon. Consciousness, or Spirit, is all there is ultimately. Everything emerges from this invisible, non-material potential field. This is the theme of The Lotka Hypothesis and Larry Horstman’s psychogenic theory of evolution. Franklin Merrell-Wolff called this potential field “Great Space.”

Undulations in the Fabric of Space

The idea is found in the Wave Structure of Matter model presented in the book Schrodinger’s Universe: Einstein, Waves & the Origin of the Natural Laws by Milo Wolff. The great physicist William Clifford said, “All matter is undulations in the fabric of space.” Erwin Schrödinger expressed the same idea in saying, “All matter and laws are the appearance of quantum waves in space.” Introception is the mode of cognition used to contact directly this infinite potential field, as mystics have been reporting for centuries, with high levels of “noetic certainty.” Continue reading

Intuition and Subjectivity

Medical researcher Lawrence L. Horstman has much to say about the role of subjectivity and intuition in his book The Lotka Hypothesis, Book I, Elements of Consciousness.

Intuition the Ultimate Source of Knowledge

“There is no doubt that we do indeed now possess a considerable depth of reliable knowledge, if not understanding, of the machinations of the physical world around us and within us. As Planck appreciated, this is quite amazing. But from Lotka’s perspective it is not quite so amazing, since from that perspective we are supergiant molecules, different in possessing some special equipment for thinking and acting but other wise not fundamentally different from smaller, more ordinary molecules. Therefore, it is not quite so astonishing to imagine that we may possess a deep innate knowledge of how the world really works, which knowledge science seeks to make intellectually explicit—seeks to reformulate on the linguistic plane—the ultimate source and arbiter of which is always intuition.” (The Lotka Hypothesis, p. 175)

This type of “intuition” is at the heart of Franklin Merrell-Wolff’s philosophy. It is referred to as “Gnostic Intuition, introception, Dhyana, direct-realization, the Pure Subjective, etc. FMW makes the point that Western science has been successful because of “objectivity.” Galileo combined empiricism with reason to lift mankind out of primitive mythology. Kant came along to point out that both the empiricists and the rationalists where viewing the world through their own subjective lens—they were not seeing “the-thing-in-itself”—not having a direct contact with Reality. Subjectivity can be a big problem if it is filtered through the distortions our psychological structures. Mystics claim to transcend those structures. FMW claimed to go beyond Kant in that a third mode of cognition can be developed which he called “introception.” Introception can be the “rainbow bridge” between the inanimate and the animate, between Western science and Absolute Consciousness. Continue reading

Connections and Resources

Franklin Merrell-Wolff

Franklin Merrell-Wolff was a Stanford and Harvard trained philosopher and mathematician who claimed a mystical experience of root consciousness in 1936. He spent the rest of his long ninety-eight year life writing about what he called consciousness-without-an-object and his philosophy of introceptualism. One of Franklin Merrell-Wolff’s fundamental realizations that was in alignment with the psychogenic theory of Larry Horstman was “Consciousness is original, self-existent, and constitutive of all things.” As a mystic with formal training in western science, he was featured in the book Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity by B. Alan Wallace.

B. Alan Wallace

B. Alan Wallace spent fourteen years as a Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama. He then earned his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College, and his doctorate in religious studies from Stanford University. A prolific writer who has translated numerous Tibetan Buddhist texts, he is the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, Continue reading