The Theory of Knowledge
In these next remarks, we shall employ almost exclusively the references we have made up to this point on the subject of physical science. That this emphasis's significance not be misinterpreted, or its intent otherwise misunderstood, the immediately following preliminary remarks of caution must be interpolated.
It is to be re-emphasized, that the material presented here is an outgrowth initially of the author's project of discovery during the interval 1948-1952.66 Further development of that discovery was done during the later 1950's, and, at a less significant rate, during the recent three decades. The first portion of that period, 1948-1951, was focussed upon describing the similarity of the not-entropic function represented respectively by biosphere evolution and the impact of technological progress upon physical economy. The initial period of work, 1948-1951, generated the paradoxical view examined here in the immediately preceding pages. The solution for that paradox was provided, during much of 1952, by intensive working-through of Cantor's Beiträge. During the remaining portion of 1952 came a re-examination of Riemann's seemingly prophetic Habilitationsschrift, as referenced above; this re-examination was done from the standpoint of the Cantor studies.
At all times during that 1948-1952 study, it was the author's governing hypothesis that Immanuel Kant's dogma on aesthetics,67 which has been the prevailing twentieth-century view taught within those professions, is an epistemological and aesthetic fraud: it was, and is this author's defiant posture against generally accepted modernism of the 1940's, 1950's, and now, that the Kant dogma of Professor Friedrich Karl Savigny68 decreeing an hermetic separation between Naturwissenschaft (physical science) and Geisteswissenschaft (e.g., "art for art's sake," etc.), was directly and provably contrary to natural law.
During the summer and autumn months of 1952, the author rounded out his discoveries in the science of physical economy with a treatment of the Cantorian principles of musical creativity as exemplified by compared samples of the German lied from the compositions of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Hugo Wolf, and some relatively minor but influential contemporaries of those composers.69 In recent years, the same method of proof by crucial examples has been worked through for the case of classical tragedy.70 In collaboration with colleagues who are professionals in matters of the plastic fine arts, crucial examples are shown in painting for such notable cases as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael Sanzio.
Once the internal principles of creativity intrinsic to the Classic modes of musical and dramatic composition have been identified, by aid of reference to crucial examples, it is shown beyond doubt that the relationship of the student's mind to the original discovery in the fine arts is the same in principle as we have indicated to be the case for original scientific discoveries. It is clear, as the case of Plato's dialogues ought to suggest to the student, that the two branches of knowledge, natural science and Classical forms of fine arts, are not only parallel in these respects, but complementary and mutually indispensable. There are, for example, relatively few great physical scientists of the nineteenth and early-twentieth century who were not also professionally trained, or at least passably competent in some way in classical music.71 The coincidence between scientific excellence and Classical fine art is not in any way accidental.
Everything which is presented here as true for physical science is in fact, and by this author's intent, also true for the Classical fine arts.
From the standpoint of physical economy, the validity of a scientific discovery lies in the demonstrable relative validity of the principle of discovery (Platonic higher hypothesis) which governs both the generation, and also the demonstration of that specific hypothesis. The relative validity of the higher hypothesis thus subsuming a generation of particular hypotheses, is shown to physical economy by increase of the potential population-density of that society which governs its investment and production policies according to such higher hypothesis, or which, perversely, demonstrably fails as a consequence of failing to do so. The validity of a mode of hypothesizing the higher hypothesis is measured in terms of the study of human history and pre-history from this same standpoint of the science of physical economy.
This point should be restated in the following terms.
Physical production is the kernel of mankind's relationship to the universe in general. Precisely, it is the kernel of the relationship between the process of continuing reproduction of the existence of the human species and the universe as a whole.
Up to this point, that relationship is expressed primarily in terms of mankind's relationship to what nuclear scientist and geobiochemist Vernadsky termed usefully the noösphere of the planet Earth.72 We must acknowledge the essential role of solar-sidereal forms (as distinct from lunar forms) of astronomical calendars in paving the way for the appearance of civilization in ancient Vedic culture, in China's culture, and the culture of pre-third millennium Egypt. Those early developments in astronomy presage man in the age of space exploration and colonization, mankind in the process of becoming man in the universe, man recognizing that his natural relationship to his own existence is in direct relationship with the universe at large.73 As we express physical-economic processes in terms of per-capita, per-household, and per-square-kilometer statistical magnitudes, the square-kilometer of the Earth's surface corresponds functionally, in all corresponding calculations and conclusions, to mankind's interface with the universe in its entirety.
At that juncture, we come "bump" against that widespread psychopathetic condition called "empiricism," or, often disguised as a form of "populism." This specific form of mental illness was recommended as theology and political philosophy by John Locke, as scientific method by David Hume, as political economy by Adam Smith, and as sodomy by Jeremy Bentham.74 Empiricism prohibits beliefs other than those associated with discrete sense-impressions, and also with the philosophically existentialist quality of the affective states (e.g., pleasure or pain) which those sensations evoke more or less blindly, irrationally in the perceptor. Empiricism is the immoral dogma of the "hard fact"; it is the existentialist philosophy which degrades the believer, by profession, into Hobbes' amoral, predatory beast. It is the British Venetian's liberal philosophy, fairly described as blind faith in the immutability of "human de-nature."
If we propose that the term "human knowledge" refer to some quality which is tied up with mankind's capability for reproducing its species as a type, then empiricism and everything like it is to be excluded from the category of "knowledge." Knowledge is restricted to that which bears upon mankind's ability to act willfully and appropriately to further the survival of our species as a type. This ability, as our survival itself, is premised upon that creative power of reason by means of which we increase our species' potential population-density not-entropically: as no other species can do this. That is our "species-type"; "human knowledge" is a quality corresponding to that type. The claims of empiricism are to be studied from this vantage-point.
What is called "a fact," is a theorem belonging to some theorem-lattice which is determined, in turn, by an associated set of axiom-like, underlying ontological and formal assumptions. As that set of ontological and formal assumptions is altered, so, the perception of "fact" will be changed for each case, accordingly. Knowledge lies outside each individual such axiomatically determined perception of such particular judgments misnamed "facts." Knowledge pertains to something which is independent of each such axiomatic state; knowledge is something which could not be a beast-like sensory impressionism as such. It is that which is constant relative to all such changes, that which becomes intelligible (i.e., knowledge) only under the condition that those changes constitute a series apprehended as a type.
Consider two of the simplest such virtually axiomatic cases: the perception of "point," and of "line."
We see a point? Or is that something which we find it convenient to term a "point"? Is that phenomenon itself a point? A point is nothing but a metaphor, signifying a type of a class (series) of phenomena we judge to warrant the label, "point."75 The metaphor itself signifies not a sensory phenomenon, but what we would loosely, but fairly term an "ideal point." In the simplest, unrefined case, to use the term "point" to signify "point of light," "where two lines intersect" (or a "mind of a bureaucrat"), causes no ontological confusion in the process of communication, on condition that those communicating will tolerate the other employing the variable notion of an "ideal point" as a metaphor for such occasions.76
That usage belongs to the simplest class of metaphor in the sense of a Cantor type; it is nonetheless a true metaphor, a true type.77 However, if one were to forget that word "point" is being used as referent for a metaphor, not a sensory phenomenon, in that instant the metaphor and phenomena became tangled in ontological paradoxes, to the degree that none of the conversationalists really know any longer what they are saying.
There are many problems with the notion of the "ideal point" itself. Firstly, it has no axiomatic existence in space-time, but resides within it as a special kind of hole, a mathematical discontinuity, a singularity. Ostensibly, materially, that form of the point is not particularly interesting; mathematics shows that poor space-time is the most raggedy beggar one might ever imagine; it is filled with such holes, most of those pockets ostensibly empty ones.
The Euclidean line is similarly flawed. How thin is it? As thin as you wish, and a bit more. It is a most ductile image, which may be drawn so thin that, should one cut one such line by another, there exists no denumerable position on the first to show where it is cut by the second; yet, although this piece of spaghetti is virtually zero in radial magnitude, it is not quite zero. Both the space-time point and the space-time line are merely shadows within the space-time realm, shadows cast by efficient singularities existing only in the ontologically transfinite domain of physical space-time. It is also to be considered, that space-time itself is also only a shadow.
And, so on ... .
The virtually limitless number of such varieties of paradox are each and all merely reflections of a single underlying flaw of assumption in the popular reasoning of today's credulous: the notion of the "self-evident fact." The attempt to equate "substance" with particularized sensations putatively located in mere space-time, is one such paradox.78 To compound that paradox with the delusion that one's opinionated image of such a sensation is a "self-evident fact"a Kantian "thing in itself," is an indefensible axiomatic folly. This fallacy underlies the class of chimeras belonging to the same general type as commonplace assumptions of a special quality of axiomatically ontological existence of ideal points and ideal straight lines. This is the Aristotelian, or kindred fallacy of arbitrary assumption that the ideal point and ideal straight lines are the efficient "soul" of that which mere sensation apparently presents to the credulous materialist or empiricist. Such Aristotelian or related views commit the folly of considering ideal points, lines, etc., not as the metaphors they are, but as if these phantasms of the senses were actually existing integers, points, lines, etc., per se.
On such matters generally, as the "know thyself" of Plato's Socrates and, more recently, Nicolaus of Cusa's methodological principle of docta ignorantia stress this fact, learned men and women would begin to know much more, if they would discover the courage, and thus also the personal honor to begin afresh by claiming to know almost nothing.79 Let us agree to do just that for the purpose of addressing the class of problems posed by the popularity of both doctrinaire and naive materialism, as one form of the problem, and empiricism as another form of expression of the same underlying problem. Let us look at this matter from the standpoint of the not-entropy of physical economy; let us put aside wild claims for the self-evident materiality of facts, and adopt a definition of substantiality which does not depend upon the ignorant assumptions of pagan sensationalism. Let us adopt "efficiency" as our yardstick.
The crux of the matter is summed up in a single paragraph, thus:
In a rigorous science, all that we can assert that we really know elementarily is change from a relatively lower to a relatively higher per-capita power of mankind over the universe. This knowledge is located solely, in ascending order of authoritativeness, in two places: hypothesizing the higher hypothesis (temporal eternity) and hypothesizing an hypothesis of the higher hypothesis (Plato's Good, or Cantor's Absolute). The efficient substance of the domain of higher hypothesis, is that change of hypothesis which is reflected as an increase of mankind's per-capita power over nature. The efficient substance of hypothesizing the higher hypothesis is change of higher hypothesis.
In respect to which we must add a few qualifying words of caution:
As to the Absolute, we can know of its necessity, and what it is not; however, since our faculties of knowing depend upon cognizing change of higher hypothesis in terms of space-time relations, we can not cognize the Absolute which is not subject to time or space, but efficiently coincident with all time, all space. Our knowledge of truth and truthfulness is limited in its highest degree to knowing this much concerning that intelligent Absolute which is Plato's Good; the rest of man's knowledge lies in Plato's domain of the Becoming, Cantor's Transfinite, a realm otherwise best described as "temporal eternity."
Among the putatively educated today, the most widely accepted objection to those facts is blind faith in the so-called "objective science" of the materialists and empiricists. Usually, that blind faith is centered around the assumption that we can know nothing more than sensations as primary truth, except as we may also be able to reach certain useful generalizations through formal, deductive-inductive analysis of that same primaryobjectivesense-data. In its more widespread expression, this widely popularized positivist assumption is presented to us as the stubborn conviction among today's burgeoning majority of scientifically illiterate university graduates, that "truth" is a synonym for "statistical," that we can know nothing more than the "bare facts," except by statistical arrangements of those "facts."
It is sufficient merely to add mention of a variant of that latter, popularized aberration. As a variant of the type of materialist or empiricist just identified, there are those radical positivists who carry empiricism to its opposite extreme, willing to call the reality of sense-impressions into question, but locating "scientific objectivity" in the statistical patterns.
Such are the popularized obstacles to facing the following sequence of constraints:
Those changes, the Heraclitan change of Plato's Parmenides, are the ontological actuality of those objects which are the true subject of human knowledge. These objects are thought-objects, a term which signifies more or less the same phenomenon of the mental creative processes as Leibniz's monads or the Geistesmassen of Bernhard Riemann's posthumously published commentaries on Herbart's Göttingen lectures of the mid-1840's.81 This designation of "thought-objects" includes the student's consciousness of his or her replication of the original discoverer's mental act of axiomatic-revolutionary discovery.
1. Relative truth is a matter of demonstrable efficiency.
2. For the human species, truth is not a matter of individual experience, but of the individual's contributions, qua sovereign individuality, to the successful survival of whole nations, and of the human species as a whole.80
3. "Successful survival" includes, and rests upon sustaining progress in the potential population-density of the human species.
4. Thus, truthfulness lies in defining the individual state of knowledge which coheres with a general fostering of that potential population-density.
5. That individual state of knowledge is not a fixed set of beliefs, but rather a method for testing and improving the general efficiency of beliefs, as measured inclusively, and crucially, in terms of potential population-density.
6. This knowledge is of the form of successively efficient changes in the hypotheses, to the effect that this succession fosters efficiently an increase in humanity's potential population-density.
This is related to the character in a drama, such as Shakespeare's Hamlet in the two famous soliloquies, sharing with the audience his (the character's) knowledge of those his own conscious processes underlying his own behavior within the body of the drama; that, his own conscious processes, are a "thought-object." So, are the audience's reflections on its own thoughts, hearing those soliloquies, and forced to compare these with its own ideas on the same material addressed by the soliloquies.
The present writer, responding then to the impact of Cantor's 1897 notions of the transfinite, long ago adopted the custom of referencing such conscious hypothesizing of one's own conscious processes as his own preferred usage of the descriptive term "self-consciousness." As Plato's Parmenides illustrates this, the minimal state of mental organization which must be evoked is the following structuring of states of such self-consciousness. The first level of the process of finding creative solutions, is one's consciousness of the paradoxical character of an array of thoughts which one is attempting to conceptualize as a unit: the paradox of the One and the Many. This forces us to take this frustrating thought-process as a single object of consciousness; one focusses self-consciously, so, on the behavior of that conscious process thus taken as an object of self-critical conscious deliberation. That latter is hypothesizing. This process of hypothesizing must itself be adopted, in turn, as an object of self-critical conscious deliberation: higher hypothesizing! The most common reference-point for this higher hypothesizing, is comparing the task of hypothesizing a solution for the paradox with an available repertoire of successful higher hypothesis, as typified by the stored-up memory of one's having relived many original discoverer's mental experience of axiomatic-revolutionary discovery. And, so on ... .
The bringing together of a notion of appropriate principle of higher hypothesis with self-critical consciousness of the mental life of the paradox itself, is the focal point of the act of discovery.
Thus, implicitly, the person who has benefited from either the type of Classical secondary education we referenced here earlier, or a personal development which is effectively equivalent to that, has a mind richly populated by a very-much-living assembly of some of the greatest original discoveries in history. That fortunate person has employed his or her own creative-mental powers to relive the act of original creative discovery; in doing that, that person brought the related moment of the original discoverer's mind back to life within his or her own mental life. There, that moment lives as a living fragment of the innermost personality of the original discoverer, even though that be Pythagoras, or Aeschylus' "Prometheus," or Plato, or Archimedes, or Cusa, or ... . There, like figures in Raphael's "The School of Athens," they are all assembled; in search of a suggestion as to how to solve a problem, one may call upon their assistance as one might any living person.
One does not merely call upon them for suggestions. As in the case of Archimedes' quadrature of the circle, many of them committed errors which have been either embedded in the heritage of science down to the present day, or which typify such persisting errors in current work. One may thus reach back across centuries, or, as Cusa did with Archimedes, millennia, to settle the matter. Such is the nature of all serious, scholarly scientific work. It is not quoting the words of famous personalities of putative authority, as if to borrow their authority for oneself; it is reliving, if not the whole of science to date, at least a considerable part, through calling into play the reconstructible moments of great discovery, or related endeavors, from a quorum from the entire community of approximately 2,500 years of development of pre-science and science.
The secret of good scientific work is, to be suspicious of all that claims bare-faced the authority of popularized general or professional opinion: to assert nothing except the solution one has replicated, as construction, in one's own creative mental processes. The result of that is a "thought-object," not an approved procedure merely committed to the memory of one among those Schiller pitied as the Brotgelehrten; this recreation of a moment from the living thought of a personality, in one's own mind, is the foundation for scientific work, including the indispensable, but sometimes dangerous work of creatively changing the past, by correcting the influence of its efficiently transmitted blunders, especially its epistemological blunders.
These inhabitants of one's creative mental life, of this, one's personal, living "School of Athens," are persons whose mortal existences are representative of three thousand years of the accumulation of progress in human knowledge. Against the millions of years before the most senior of these minds, these persons represent more development of mankind, and of knowledge than during all of the millions of years before. They are thus, in principle, a special kind of authoritative, representative body for all mankind to date. They are the sitting senatorial body for all human scientific and related thought and knowledge to date. They are the surrogate for all of man's temporal eternity to date.
Include among them a fair representation of the greatest philosophers and Classical fine artists of the same span of history. For them, what is yesterday, even if it were a millions years in the past, or tomorrow, if it were a millions years yet to come? These, my dear friends and I, including the Disciple John and Apostle Paul, and Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, too, share a temporal eternity together, and have thus a much keener sense than most of you, of the purpose of this all, and of the Intelligent Good, touching all places and all times, including each of our own, from an Absolute where there is neither time nor place.
Turn now to those my friends, my personal "School of Athens"; in this moment their attention is turned toward us. Ask them, now: What are Paradox, hypothesis, higher hypothesis, hypothesizing the higher hypothesis, and hypothesizing the hypothesis of the higher hypothesis as the certainty of the Intelligent Absolute Good above the limits of space and time? Their eyes will tell you, those are not mere words, mere doctrine; they are the living reality of creative scientific mental life. They are the certainties of self-consciously self-critical mastery of that universal principle of change in efficient knowledge, which is the subjective reality of knowledge of the truth of temporal eternity.
The truth of temporal eternity is mastering the hypothesizing of the higher hypothesis, as the efficiency of that quality of change is measured for us, as better or poorer, in terms typified by the physical economist's notion of per-capita, per-household, and per-square-kilometer values for not-entropic improvement of relative potential population-density. The same principle of universally intelligible natural law can be expressed approximately in many ways, as has been the case down through the ages. It is expressed most precisely in terms of physical economy viewed as that has been described here.
'Chaos Theory' Is The Great Lie Of 'Free Trade'
In conclusion, let us now apply these thoughts to a few matters of current practice of nations. Permit the author here to speak accusingly, not as a judge or prosecutor, nor as an Old Testament prophet, but as a philosopher and teacher.
Class! Let this be our concluding lesson for today. Let us use the legendary privileges of this classroom setting to pose here facts whose utterance in the offices of Lower Manhattan would probably taunt those despairing heathen masses into homicide or worse. That proposition to be considered now, is:
No Christian, nor any other follower of Moses can tolerate the philosopy of John Locke or the "free trade" dogma of the slave-trading, opium-trading British East India Company's hired apologist, Adam Smith. To promote the practice of "free trade" is to break every part of the Decalogue into little pieces, and, having done that, to spit in the Face of God. This is no mere opinion, nor is it exaggerated; it is provably a scientific certitude more relentless than the laws of planetary motion of our solar system. It is long past the time someone ought to have said that straight out, loud and clear.82
The purpose for submitting this illustrative proposition is to show that the method for determining truthfulness or falsehood in all important matters is application of a principle perhaps best described as efficient implications of belief. Let it be accepted, that, by that standard, in every trial of every kind, must every judge, prosecutor, defendant, and juror be tried alike.
Pontius Pilate's position as Roman imperial Procurator of Judea was the rotten fruit of a connection to the Emperor Tiberius which was, and is disgusting. He had, shall we say, the matrimonial qualifications for his perpetration of history's most infamous exhibition of judicial hypocrisy. By the standard of the post-World War II Nuremberg Trials for crimes against humanity, can we say that Pilate either knew, or should have known the foregone result of casting that innocent Jesus Christ to those jurors? The charges against Pilate only scratch the surface of the case; we shall not let the Roman Empire off so cheaply.
What was this Roman Empire, really? Not the popularized fairy tale which used to be told to the credulous secondary-school academic matriculants in those long past days, more than a generation ago, when something distantly related to actual history was still taught. What was the real-life Roman Empire, this "higher hypothesis" of criminality, of which Pilate was but a transient corollary? There is a story to be told on this account. The story is true, and well suited to be told with brevity, pungency and force. The telling will be brief. The story's importance, and its relevance to the proposition raised will soon become clear.
For centuries, although the Achaemenid dynasty sought to establish a world empire, the achievement of that goal was denied, chiefly by repeated defeats on its European front, defeats administered by a relatively small force of Greeks which came to be the circle of collaborators of Socrates83 and Plato's Academy at Athens. A protégé of Plato's Academy, later called Alexander the Great, came to the throne of Macedon, and destroyed first the evil Tyre and then the power of Babylon and that ruling whore-goddess Ishtar known in Greece as the Gaia of the Delphi Cult of Apollo. Alexander was poisoned; Aristotle, at that time the openly bitter enemy of Alexander and of Plato, and a known specialist in poisons, was suspected, and fled for his life. Yet, Alexander had completed the first part of the mission on which the Academy of Athens had guided him: Ishtar's Babylon was crippled, the projected empire of the Mediterranean not to be attempted again for three centuries, and, even then, never again in Mesopotamia's own name.
Three centuries later, the Mediterranean region was dominated by three powers, the Cult of Mithra in the Syrian Middle East, the Hellenistic Cult of Isis in Ptolemaic Egypt, and the Legions of Rome. From among a circle of the Legions' leaders, including the prototypical fascist, Julius Caesar, decades of bloody civil wars marked the struggles of contending ambitious leaders. Which clique might outlive this attrition, to become the ruler of a world-empire born of combining the cults of Mithra, Isis, and the delphic pantheon of Rome into a single imperial force? Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Marc Antony, or perhaps even Octavian? Would the capital of that empire be, perhaps, Rome, or Alexandria? The bleeding soaked the Mediterranean littoral for decades.
So, the time came, that Marc Antony had aligned himself with the ambitious Alexandrian Queen Cleopatra. Octavian, the heir of Julius Caesar soon to rename himself Caesar Augustus, met upon the Isle of Capri with the representatives of the Syria-based Cult of Mithra. A pact was struck. The cause of the pigs Antony and Cleopatra was slaughtered in near Asia by the combined swine-hordes of Octavian and the Mithra cult's Syrians. The Isle of Capri was consecrated to Mithra and rendered for about five centuries therafter the hereditary property of the heirs of that Caesar Augustus.
Thus, in the time of the Emperor Tiberius' prolonged residency in the Mithra cult's Capri, the innocent Jesus Christ was murdered in Judea, under the reign of that Pilate whose position was secured through a perverted marriage to the perverted ward of the perverted Tiberius of Capri.
Some years later, in the time of the pervert Nero, Jesus Christ's Disciple Peter came to Rome on a mission of evangelization to combat that evil priest of Mithra known as Simon the Magician. This was the same Simon Magus otherwise known as the founder of pseudo-Christian gnostic cults, more than a thousand years before the Cathars of Albi and the Rhône. It was suspected at that time, that it was Nero's methods of real-estate development which had provided the pretext used for the emperor's crucifixion of St. Peter; in any case, it was done on behalf of the same Cult of Mithra which had murdered Christ.
About 1900 years after the fateful pact between Octavian and the Mithra cult, Capri was re-dedicated to Satan by Sweden's notorious Dr. Axel Munthe; the island became notorious as the world capital of sodomy and also of Maxim Gorky's satanic cult of such sometime Grotto habitués as Lenin and Stalin. The spirit which was to move Comintern cultural agent Georg Lukacs and such of his Frankfurt School followers as Heidegger, Adorno, Hannah Arendt, and Horkheimer, radiated from that Grotto of the Swedish Dr. Munthe'sand Tiberius'perverted domain.
Today, the radiated influence of the Frankfurt School of Arendt, Adorno, and Horkheimer lives on, doing evil now as then. Simon the Magician dwells still in the hearts and minds of the followers of Tübingen's veteran-Nazi Frankfurt-Schooler turned liberationist, Martin Heidegger.
So transpired nearly 3,000 years of history.
Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael to many of you) would know and agree with the point we are developing by aid of that true short story. This can not be doubted; stand in the old papal apartments, now part of the Vatican museum. Stand facing the famous "The School of Athens," a subject on which a bit has been said here already. The reasons you must be there in Rome to receive in full the message being sent personally to you across nearly five hundred intervening years, should be obvious to anyone who sees it there.84 In the meantime, as very few of you are presently visiting that Museum, concentrate upon any of the better reproductions of this mural; the less the reduction in scale, relative to the original, the better for our purposes here. It will help you to situate yourself mentally, as if you were actually standing in that great hall depicted there.
As you stand there, call that mural to life. Look around inside that mural; which of these are old friends of yours? You never met any of them face to face, but most of those in the hall never met one another in the flesh, either. Yet, you have relived a most intimate moment of the mind of each of some of them, reliving one or more of their creative moments of discovery. First, pick those whom you know in that way. You know Plato, and are acquainted with Aristotle. Are there not two or three in the foreground? As you focus upon the ideas, especially those ideas which represent original axiomatic-revolutionary discoveries, or something proximate to that, one figure after another within this busy hall comes alive for you. As for the others, I believe you know most of them already by reputation.
Think of the number of generations of history spanned by the personalities gathered here within this hall! Radiating from that hall, there is a sense of being embraced, where you stand, by some living intelligence proximate to temporal eternity. That radiance fills the small room in the old papal apartments.
Raphael understood the point well enough to design and transmit a message, this mural, which would reach both of us, nearly five centuries later, standing with our minds within that mural's assembly within the great hall. It is no fantasy; it is a painting of a scene the like of which this writer has seen within his own mind, many times. It is a scene which Raphael painted from life, with the gathering of the inhabitants of his mind as living models. It draws from life those relationships within temporal eternity which are higher, and more efficient than any drawn in ordinary space or ordinary time. Those are the direct relationships of creative minds' ideas, which dissolve centuries into the span of a pleasant day's assembly, and bring vast spaces comfortably into a room no larger than that which contains this mural.
This mural is no mere symbolism, nor an imagined room in Paradise. It is a moment of deja vu! It is a portrait of Raphael's relations to the most intimate acquaintances of his daily mental life, all captured so to share the companionship of a moment in temporal eternity.
That mural is also a religious experience. When the social reality of temporal eternity compacts centuries into a morning's gathering in such a fashion, the universe of time and space is shrunken to such a smallness that we seem almost to wrap it all within our mind. In such a circumstance, we are impelled to hypothesize higher hypothesizing in such a way, that an eerie sense of a timeless Absolute Intelligence's efficiency is aroused within us.
This is no daydream. In that spacious hall, with its two-score-odd assembled, all of which Raphael has brought so comfortably within the confines of this small room of the old papal apartment, lies the practical response to the proposition set before this day's final class session.
When the relationship of the individual person to mankind in general, and other persons in particular, is measured in the space and time of the generation and transmission of those qualities of ideas associated with valid axiomatic-revolutionary discoveries, what a short distance a mere few centuries become! The order of necessary predecessor and necessary successor is preserved: the intelligence of the timeless Absolute is not zero-motion; the lack of spatial division is the consequence of being simultaneously everywhere, such that there is nothing in between any two experiences which would require us to experience time, except as, for us the onlookers, a sense of a timeless ordering of development. For us, the onlookers, just so, the duration of space and extent of time shrink almost to the vanishing-point.
So, if the mind of any among us is sufficiently developed to grasp the transmission of a valid axiomatic-revolutionary discovery, effected by one person, to cause the reliving of that act of discovery of that conception in the mind of a single person hundreds of years, or even millennia later, whoever has gained those qualifications is able to see the world as that mural portrays its more essential features. Once that step is made, he or she is able to see the essential relations of humanity as Raphael portrays that viewer's relationship to his "School of Athens" mural.
Those preconditions met, then standing before the mural in fact, or in his or her mind, the proximity to the perception of intelligible truth is wonderfully immediate. The truth lies accessible to us on condition we are able, as Raphael's mural tells us, to comprehend the reality of temporal eternity as a form of human existence measured in terms of efficient relationships among axiomatic-creative qualities of ideas. Every other notion of human relationship is no better than a poor, thickly befogged approximation of that more fundamental one.
While that thought occupies one's mind, move through the rooms of the old papal apartment more thoughtfully, catching every aspect of Raphael's work there. Does it not occur to you, that the somewhat less than 3,000 years of history packed into the short story above, is a moment of temporal eternity which could be such a mural as one of those Raphael left as messages for us?
For some, probably most, our presentation of this mural has eerie overtones. Whence this uneasiness? Is it not the case, that at the same time that pride in being intellectually honest compels those who accept the formal truthfulness of the description of the mental reality portrayed by the mural, many would be most uneasy were it demanded that they accept also the mural's depiction of intellectual relationships among people as a replacement for what they probably consider the customary, or "normal" notion of interpersonal relations.
If that were the case, then, addressing those among us who experience such uneasiness, would it not be fair to say that their notion of customary social relations pertains to interaction within the same sensory domain recommended by John Locke? Would it not be fair to say, that while they are willing to contemplate relationships based primarily upon ideas in what we might name the abstract, they are unwilling to carry that thought much beyond quiet contemplation?
Would it not be fair to surmise, that if they are sympathetic to the thought that truly high-minded85 people would seek to base social relations on the quality of idea-relations attributed to the mural's imagery, that they would view this as supplanting the normal state of mankind with something which, if an improvement, is a matter of supplanting the real, the normal, by the artificial?
To what degree are you, for one, prepared to consider that such varied feelings of antipathy, eerieness, or merely uneasiness may not reflect any actual abnormality in what has been proposed here in connection with that mural? Obviously, the terms "normal" and "abnormal" are not employed here in the sense of "average." "Normal" should signify a condition cohering advantageously with the quality of the human individual as a species-type. Therefore, would you be willing to consider, at least briefly, the proposition, thatonly perhapsthose reactions themselves symptomatize a prevailing, but nonetheless abnormal opinion?
Class! Is it not the case, today, that people's responses to the problems and opportunities of life appear to be shaped chiefly by a sense of pleasure and pain?
Are some among us implying that that empiricist teaching is abnormal?
In that case, you might ask: "Do you mean that in the sense that an infant lacks the quality of behavior appropriate for an adult person?"
The reply to that is: In a somewhat kindred sense, but not that sense.
"Or, do you mean that what most people consider normal reactions are in some sense pathological?"
In part, yes?
"Your responses seem evasive; tell us what you do intend to signify."
Agreed: an appropriate analogy might be the notion that certain adult mental disturbances have the appearance of being infantile regressions. It would be strictly appropriate to say, in this functional sense, that Francis Bacon, John Locke, Giammaria Ortes,86 Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, and Thomas Malthus are not philosophers or economists, but contagious mental diseases. It is not only fair to describe their influence as disease; speaking functionally, it is perhaps the only effective way to understand and treat the problems which their influence causes.
That response continues, as follows.
Select two types from the range of responses to today's presentation of Raphael's mural. Select the person who is prepared to be entertained by contemplating the notion of relationship based upon causal sequences of revolutionary ideas, rather than sensory experience in space and time, but who rejects going beyond a merely heuristic consideration of this matter. Select another person, who is willing to consider putting this outlined image into practice, but considers that reform as essentially contrary to the natural condition and endowments of mankind, however desirable this departure from such natural conditions and endowments might be.
Reformulate those issues in the following terms.
If the human species were to adopt any fixed hypothesis as permanent,87 that commitment would lead toward the extinction of the human species. The recent six hundred years' experience of the relationship among axiomatic-revolutionary discovery, consequent technological progress, consequent increases in the physical productive powers of labor, and consequent increases of potential population-density, is a concentrated expression of the problem to be addressed. Fixed modes of human productive and related behavior must lead toward an entropic collapse of the human species.
The essence of human survival is Heraclitus' principle: the relative constancy of a policy of change. Not a constant rate of change, but a constant policy of change of hypothesis: valid axiomatic-revolutionary forms of discovery. That means higher hypothesis: a valid principle of axiomatic-revolutionary discovery, efficiently subsuming a series of valid hypotheses. The human species' continued existence relies upon change of hypothesis (scientific knowledge), and, in turn, hypothesizing the higher hypothesis of change (philosophy as defined by Plato). For a few moments of this discussion, now, restrict the usage of the term "idea" to those qualities of conceptions of change in such science and such philosophy.
These ideas cannot be transmitted as modern systems analysis proposes.88 Such ideas can not be transmitted by any form of coded communication, dictionary nominalism included. They can not be communicated at all, at least not according to today's popularly accepted, professional or laymen's usages of the verb "communicate." Ideas are distributed from the original discovery only by means of regenerating the equivalent of the act of original discovery in the mind of the recipient.
Only after that replicated generation has occurred, can such an idea be identified by a word, a phrase, a statement.89
Such is the first approximation of the significance of the term efficient truth.
An animal species operates on the basis of a delimited range of variability of behavior, with results approximating the notion of a fixed hypothesis, a behavioral stereotype. The human species alone depends upon a knowledge of valid approaches to willful change as a precondition for the successful survival of its species. The members of animal species survive in terms of sensual space-time; the human species relies upon a different elementary quality of relationship within the species, relations defined in terms of ideas of change of hypothesis.
Consider the practical implications of this same point from the standpoint of the earlier description of the Christian form of Classical humanist education, from the Brothers of the Common Life through the Humboldt reforms in nineteenth-century Germany. In that process, shift the scope of the inquiry to ideas in general.
First, to restate the point from which this broadening of the definition of "idea" proceeds: Discoveries are ordered in the manner implicit in the Classical humanist mode of education based upon primary sources for crucial discoveries. The social relations defined in that or analogous ways, are the relations within society upon which the continued survival of our species depends. Those relations, transmitting the replicated generation of valid axiomatic-revolutionary discoveries, are therefore the primary form of normal human relations, as distinguished from the empiricist's or materialist's alternatives, of sensory relationship in space-time.
To wit: any valid axiomatic-revolutionary discovery is effected in the manner described here earlier.90 The demonstration of the existence of what is, in some sense, a fatal paradox within some established or proposed body of formal knowledge drives the mind to muster its creative mental faculties, to create a rigorously demonstrable solution for that fatal flaw. This is the method by which such discoveries (ideas) are transmitted. The original discoverer's confrontation with the relevant paradox is reconstructed, by description employing a literate form of language. The student, for example, is thus confronted with the statement of the paradox which requires a mustering of the student's creative faculties. As a matter of elementary principle, there is no other way in which original axiomatic-revolutionary discoveries can be passed on. Valid ideas are not transmitted by formal-deductive-inductive methods of indoctrination; only the mouthing of words, somewhat like a parrot's, is accomplished by such mind-deadening methods of drill and grill. Valid ideas are transmitted only by prompting the student to muster his or her creative faculties to rediscover the relevant truth, the valid idea, for himself or herself.
Not just any among such ideas can be transmitted so to anyone, at just any time. There are prerequisites, as may be illustrated by a glance toward the known history of Archimedes' theorems on quadrature. There are prerequisite discoveries, which must be mastered as a precondition for defining the paradox which leads to the discovery of other ideas. It is a fair statement of this to say that ideas are ordered in a sequence of "necessary predecessors" followed by "necessary successor."
From the standpoint of Classical philology, as this topic was known to the Humboldt brothers, all valid ideas originally appeared in human existence as creative discoveries. Originally, we may estimate fairly, each appeared as a rude awakening, accompanied by an eerie feeling of "abnormality." This we know from our own replication of ideas in our elementary and secondary school years. It is what we see in the re-discovery of commonplace ideas, in block-construction play, and other forms, among very young children. We often say that this creative development of the young persists, until schools, peers, college professors, and employer's officials terrorize that developing person into becoming quasi-decorticated specimens of the radical-positivist philosophical race, to cease asking "Why?"
We observe rather readily, from the experience and observation of "growing up," that the potentiality for grasping specific ideas has an ordering, which is approximately a constant for all students, irrespective of the age at, or alacrity with which, such individual's knowledge is acquired.
Even in the simplest aspects of useful human knowledge, we are the dependent beneficiaries of the cumulative, ordered generation of ideas by our predecessors, over millions of years before us.
Three additional considerations must be added to that educational picture, to describe this historical process accurately. Death, not history, is the posture of perfectly quiet contemplation. The efficient significance of the forward march of ideas is change of human practice. Through change of human practice, we see yesterday's experience differently. In addition to this expansion of our ability to see the world as it already existed yesterday, we have also changed the world around us. So, we change our experience of the universe as a whole. Ideas which appeared to be adequately true under conditions associated with earlier practice, no longer appear adequate as we are forced to view the universe in terms of the changed conditions which our practice of earlier discoveries presents to us.
This poses to us a practical sense of Plato's higher hypothesisin the historical view of practice most emphatically. On the one side, we have humanity's experience, typified as scientific progress, as valid changes in hypothesis. On the other side, we have the experience of those increases in potential population-density which have depended upon that scientific progress. We must focus upon the interaction of the two sides of that historical experience. The results of, or lack of scientific progress create that paradoxical image of prior knowledge upon which the generation of new discoveries depends. In each moment of history, the progress of ideas depends not only upon necessarily preceding ideas, but upon the efficient effect of those preceding ideas in producing the newly revealed conditions to be considered.
In the mural, see Plato and Aristotle quarrelling as they approach the main hall from the world outside. Something has occurred in that outside world, which is to be the issue of a discussion about to begin in the main hall.
Those two aspects of historical experience, taken as one process, constitute the image of the dependency of humanity's continued existence upon relations defined elementarily, not according to the linear scale of simplistic space-time, but in terms of mankind's relationship to physical space-time, a relationship which is defined elementarily solely in terms of social relations measured on the scale of temporal eternity, the scale of the efficient interaction of ideas, as Raphael painted this in that mural.
We are told, whether it is true or not, that our solar system's sun will wind down considerably, and the solar system as we know it will collapse, after a lapse of time. Is that an Apocalypse for the human race? Not really. On the basis of even the rates of efficient human scientific progress during the troubled recent six hundred years, we know that it would come to pass, long before the forecast tragedy of our sun might occur, that we shall have either colonized large regions of this galaxy, or, possibly have altered the structuring of this solar system and its sun. Whatever might be done, the simple point to be made is that we do have alternatives, provided that future history is organized according to the principle of the Golden Renaissance.
Whenever some neo-Malthusian Cassandra prophesies the death of our sun, ask him: "How many millions of years do we have before this might occur?"
We have plenty of time. It is true, as we have emphasized that here, that, within relations of temporal eternity, the distance between today and our human ancestors two millions years or so ago, is very short. So, this mural of that apartment wall portrays such relationships among efficient ideas. Even a span of hundreds of millions of years yet to come is a very short time, within the domain of temporal eternity. In both those cases, we are measuring the sequence of events in terms of relations among persons engaged in the efficient generation and propagation of valid axiomatic-revolutionary ideas. We have far more than sufficient time to deal with the threatened senility of our sun.
For the future, if we proceed in the footsteps of the Golden Renaissance, the rate of progress in potential population-density sweeps hyperbolically upwards, into mankind's early colonization of nearby space, and beyond. That, as Krafft Ehricke put the point in his own way, is mankind's Extraterrestial Imperative.91 If we follow that course, there will be no solar Apocalypse for mankind. However, if we did not, the truth of temporal eternity would administer to this species a most crushing punishment for failing to conform to the quality of imago Dei within each of us all.
What is "normal" for our species is to be defined from the standpoint of the question: What are the characteristic preconditions for the continued existence of this species? For that case, the normal relationship among persons is that defined by the efficient discovery of valid, axiomatic-revolutionary ideas, as in this mural.
Turn to the proposed new mural, the span of evil, from Ishtar's Babylon, through that Roman Empire which, as in all its later incarnations, is the Whore of Babylon, to the continuing evil of the Frankfurt School's influence today. Just as in the first mural, Plato's raised hand points in the upward direction of a process governed by hypothesizing the higher hypothesis, the ever-delphic Aristotle points downward, as the Roman imperial tradition of Ishtar, Gaia, and Astarte does. So, Jena historian Friedrich Schiller defined all European history to date as a struggle between two opposing conceptions of mankind, that of Solon's constitutional reform at Athens, and the evil of Lycurgus' delphic composition of a society based upon the practice of helotry.92 That struggle between the opposing forces of Solon and Lycurgus, as Schiller described it, is the nearly 3,000-year moment of temporal eternity portrayed in our short story.
To portray history as an inductive summation of the materialist's chronicle of interpersonal transactions on linear scales of space and time, is a hoax. History is the conflict between opposing principles. These principles are typified, on the one side, by Plato's seeking to serve the Good through changes introduced into temporal eternity which are governed by hypothesizing the higher hypothesis. On the other side, we have the opposite principle. In form, the first, like life itself, is typified by the "not-entropic" development of man and the universe; the second is represented by entropy, by death.
The short story will continue, to be told afresh by someone else, perhaps in a coming century or more. Before we leave this classroom today, let us leave aware of the dangers which may await us there. Pause to study a recent picture of the face of evil lurking along the way.
Adam Smith's dogma of "free trade" is derived from the work of the gnostic Venetian cleric, Giammaria Ortes, which is axiomatically consistent with the misuse of the term "freedom" ("liberty") by John Locke. Locke accomplished nothing essentially different than his forerunner's, Thomas Hobbes' sodomic design for degradation of mankind into the bestiality of a "war of each against all." Locke, who changed sides in enough wars to have learned this possibility from experience, modifies Hobbes only in his emphasis upon introducing into a realm of endless warfare, a periodic respite, to prepare new wars. That respite is called a "social contract."
We have indicated the general character of that enterprise, in reference to Smith's own version of it, above.93 The bestiality of Hobbes', Locke's, and Smith's designs is rooted in the degradation of relations within society, from the efficient realm of temporal eternity, into the realm of morality among dumb rocks and beasts, mechanistic relations in linearized space-time.
Recently, since John Von Neumann's systems analysis and the British intelligence brainwashing of a "cybernetic" America through the auspices of Tavistock's Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, we have experienced the addition of a purported new dimensionality for the schemes of Ortes, the so-called "Chaos Theory" of Ilya Prigogine, et al.94
Once again, the notorious tailors have been back at their famous swindle. Once again, Hans Christian Andersen's Emperor is parading naked before his subjects. In reality, Chaos Theory does not exist; it dwells only in the credulity of the susceptible. As soon as the newly concocted public relations packaging is removed, what lies within, in all its disgusting nakedness, is the old slave-trading drug-peddler's swindle of the British East India Company's hoaxster, Adam Smith.
Simon the Magician offered the Romans his "National Enquirer" version of the Gospel according to Mithra. Prigogine, in defending "Chaos Theory," has done little more than repeat the same moth-eaten swindle which he has been attempting to peddle among my lazier-minded students for about two decades. He claims, yet once again, that he has discovered "true negentropy." This time, he offers in evidence not the famous property-title to the Brooklyn Bridge, but a kaleidoscope of linear marginalities from the mad nights of the computer software specialist: "Fractal Theory," "Mandelbrot Figures," and so on. Hordes of duped personal computer-owning illiterates are ecstatic.
There is a precedent for this "Chaos Theory" swindle: Sigmund Freud's fraudulent essay on Leonardo da Vinci. It is now public that Freud was indeed the closet homosexual which his attack on Leonardo shows the organization of Freud's own mind to have been.95 Freud was a clever pornographer, whose self-explorations aided him in gauging the depths of depravity, both in himself and his clientele; but, there is nothing in any of his work which warrants the term "creative"excluding the special meaning which the criminal code might supply to it. Leonardo da Vinci is an exemplar of the creative intellect, one of the greatest in all history. The nature of Leonardo's creative genius is, like his great paintings, clearly intelligible in form, if not easily replicated. For the wretched Freud to attribute Leonardo's fertility of creation to "repressed homosexuality" is one of Freud's most shameless exhibitions of what he himself would term "narcissism."
Prigogine, similarly, fancies himself not merely learned (which he is in some degree), but actually creative. He fancies that that sort of diddling which he periodically represents as "negentropy," has something to do with creativity. It is a creative talent for which the used-car lots of America are well known. Behind the latest production of that sort, from him and his co-thinkers, is this "Chaos Theory" concoction. The basis for this concoction is Leibniz's monadology turned upside down.
There are two aspects to the form of mathematical discontinuities on which the fractalist proposes to premise an allegedly sophisticated basis for asserting that chaos is intrinsically creative. The first is the fact of "holes" of non-denumerability appearing naturally in any illiterate's attempt to force the type of metrical relations of a discrete manifold upon a continuum.96 The second is, that any succession of valid-axiomatic revolutionary discoveries appears, with respect to the associated formal theorem-lattices, as a sequence of absolute mathematical discontinuities. Confuse both of these two issues at the same time, and then use the mere appearance of discontinuities without any understanding of the scientific history of either mathematical paradox, andShazamm!you have "Chaos Theory." These fellows are saying, in effect: "Since creative processes appear chaotic to our poor brains, won't creating chaos generate creativity spontaneously?"
Stripped of that persiflage, exotically packaged "Chaos Theory" turns out to be dirty old John Locke, dirty old Adam Smith, and their simply constructed mechanistic system of assured entropic collapse of the society foolish enough to apply their recipes for "democracy" and "free trade."
Truth lies not in the individual creative act per se. It lies in the authority of those guiding principles, known as higher hypothesis and hypothesizing the higher hypothesis, which govern the method employed by the developed mind to choose a pathway to a creative solution of a current paradox. The truth of the selection of such an higher hypothesis is proof that this transfinite type of principle of discovery accords with mankind's increasing power over the universeas according to Moses' Genesis 1. To measure that accordance, that truth of Temporal Eternity, is the chief business of the science of physical economy.
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Part I Footnotes
Appendix A: The Ontological Superiority of Cusa's Solution Over Archimedes' Notion of Quadrature
Appendix B: Adam Smith Smashes the Decalogue