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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Universe of Opposites

Jeremy asks, "is the thinking that everything has an opposite just the human consciousness imposing itself on reality?"

I’d say that maybe this could be right in some cases. After all we could say that light is the opposite of dark, but light can simply be measured as a degree of darkness and vice versa, you could say they are one and the same thing.

However, mathematically speaking we could state that negative (–) is the opposite of positive (+) and when we perform a basic mathematical calculation using these operators they do indeed have an opposite effect on the final result so it works out that, 6 + 2 = 8 and 6 - 2 = 4, but does that make them opposite? Broken down into their basic whole numbers, the number 8 is just 8 × 1 and 4 is 4 × 1. The results are different but they are made up of the same thing, 1. Could it be that it’s just the operator’s that are a human idea that are opposite not the outcome? To my reckoning 8 is not the opposite of 4. So my point is, if the idea of opposites is just humans imposing their own limits in thinking on reality, then maybe, could it be that the very fundamental elements of mathematics are wrong?

The mathematical operators in this case are opposites and are also concepts that come from the human consciousness, but the bottom line is they work. Some people proclaim that mathematics is the language of the universe. We have to remember in all of this that we are observing the Universe from within it and I believe this limits our view when we try to make sense of something that is as amazing as creation. We are also part of it, not separate from it, and in fact I’ll go as far to say that if the Universe has consciousness then we as animate beings could be it.

Was this the reason that Einstein tried and was unsuccessful to devise a ‘Formula for Everything’ before his death? “He spent the last 30 years of his life chasing after an equation, perhaps no more than one inch long, that would explain all physical phenomena. Everything from Creation, to supernovas, to atoms and molecules, perhaps even DNA, people, and love was to be explained by this equation. If discovered, it was to have been the ultimate achievement of 2,000 years of investigation into the nature of space and matter” (

If I am right in my theory that we are in effect a part of the Universe could it be, that Einstein didn’t take this into account, and that trying to solve the mysteries of the Universe would be akin to an eye trying to look at itself?


Blogger william said...

Hello Dave....not too sure how this bloggs thingo ...but some thoughts. The universe may or may not have opposites and we...humans may, impose our consciousness on reality. This is an old philosophical question about the nature of reality and how we come to know it. There are different views about the nature of reality and there are different views about how we get to know it (empiricism, rationalism, prayer, meditation etc etc). I don't think it is a question of whether we impose our consciousness on reality. We do! There is no doubt in my mind. Humans are aware of conscious thinking, from which comes opinions, theories etc. In the western tradition, we come to rely on these opinions and theories as reality. It is at this point that it is like an eye turning back on itself. We can only become aware of a larger reality when I believe we can turn down our heavy focal gaze, and listen. Consciousness is a bit like vision. If you concentrate on ones spot you can miss a lot of detail that occurs surrounding that spot. Of course the Heisenberg principle captures the dilemma of human consciousness “observing” reality in it’s proposition that when we observe we affect the thing we observe. This is fundamentaly true in physics as it is in other human arenas. When a subatomic particle is being observed or measured, the act of observing or measuring changes the very nature of the thing you are observing. Science or the scientific method derives theories supposedly through testing theories via empirical methods. However, Karl Popper was of the view that you can never prove a theory right. And I think he is right. The other point to make briefly is that we have a tendency to confuse the map for the territory, to confuse and conflate language and theory with reality. There is reality, and there is consciousness. The two do not necessarily fit together. Eastern philosophy historically appreciates this point more than western philosophy has. I think humanity in this day and age of science is arrogant in it's belief and I would say deception, that we understand reality. I don't think we do. Tragically, I do not think there is an appreciation or understanding about consciousness or the human mind. In fact, psychology, in the form of behaviourism, at the turn of last century went out of it’s way to make sure the mind or consciousness and self was not included in it’s subject matter. This has changed somewhat. Of course there are other questions such as is spirit the same as mind? Something I am not qualified to comment on. However, I can say that in my experience there is something about human consciousness that expands or something happens when it encounters unconditional love. It comes alive when certain qualities germinate and flourish. Interesting! Well, it is for me. What happens when there is such terrible acts committed on other people as is being done in the Lebanon and the middle east. I don’t know. I find it hard to understand how leaders of nations can partake in such cruelty on a mass scale. The deception and double standards takes my breath away. What is the reality here. What is the reality about human nature here. Is it a religious story? Or is the religious story a human story? Are they the same?

8:45 AM  

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