A New Frame of Reference:
The Earth-being & the Function of Humanity within It - 10
Such geomorphic similarities may seem insufficient to establish
a causal and teleological link between the recent results of the motion of continental masses and the cultures developing on these areas of the globe. For the same reasons the Medieval doctrine of "Signatures" and the so often mentioned Hermetic principle of Correspondence (as above, so below) cannot be accepted as a reliable basis for data to be used in rigorous scientific thinking. Such non-scientific observations do not tell the nature of forces producing precisely definable results with or against which human beings can work in order to satisfy individual and collective desires for greater comfort, security, and happiness — the implicit purpose of a technology-oriented modern science. They nevertheless pose questions which may sooner or later impel us to adopt a new frame of reference, providing an integrating structure which adds another level of reality to that of the limiting procedures now considered exclusively valid in the acquisition of knowledge.
The basic issue is whether we should attribute "reality" to abstract mathematical relations because they "work" effectively as predicted if applied at the level of the type of matter we can experience. What is implied in their "working"? Atom bombs work; but what value does it have for human beings to know that Einstein's famous equation works if the working destroys the biosphere and the realm of existence at which mankind has a specific function to perform in the Earth-being? Can such a value be significantly called "real"? What is at stake is the quality
of the type of experiences to which the mathematical frame of reference (as a way of knowledge and a source of activity) gives predictability and effectiveness in terms of material transformations. But why
does mankind, or a particular society, desire to deal with such situations? It may indeed be that these situations, made possible by the development of the abstract intellect are desired because another type of situation at a higher, more inclusive level of reality has not been given a correct interpretation. The mathematical frame of reference and its ability to give causal meaning to sequences of events presumably is a valid step in the direction of a superior planetary level of reality. But if its value is glorified above that of all other processes, it may throw out of balance the consciousness and basic desires of a culture. And the results may be tragic. Man may die of "abstractions" in his quest for concepts and formal relations to which modern science attributes a universal character. However, this kind of universality had to be given as a foundation — an ambiguous space-time which, though based on measurement, eludes dimensionality.
Seen from a historical point of view, the restless search of European man for causal "laws" determining the operation and possible use of an energy able to satisfy his always more complex desires, was a revolt against the personalization of the elemental forces experienced as "Nature" — a nature to which, at the time, long journeys were giving an as yet unexperienced, non-local
, and challenging character.(2
) In fact, the rise of Humanism and the development of an empirical science intent on proving its validity against the authority of a supposedly revealed tradition was not psychologically different from the modern rebellion of teenagers against their church-going but ambitious and profit-greedy parents. The so heavily-praised philosophers of classical Greece were also intellectual rebels against the mythic personification of natural processes in the essentially vitalistic Mysteries which had spread from the East. But transforming the very personal and all-too-human ways of gods into mathematically expressed sequences of events reduced to abstractions might not be a permanently workable or convincing solution, however successful the transformation may be at first in terms of material results.
The frame of reference which I believe may emerge from the necessity to meet and understand an extremely
dangerous, worldwide situation in which all human beings are involved includes not only the separately identifiable levels of matter, life, and personhood; it refers to their interpenetration in a person-transcending reality, the Pleroma. When that stage is reached, the Earth-being may cease to be a globe of dense, light-obscuring matter needed for the development of cultures and individual persons; it may glow like a star. Most people would consider such a possibility as a science-fiction Utopia, not worth thinking seriously about. Yet what now is indeed a Utopia may become concrete actuality if we deliberately give to its eventual realization not only our collective thinking and behavior, but also our feeling-responses as individualizing persons aware of the need for a truly new frame of reference. This new frame of reference may indeed be the next potentiality which has to be developed through a slow but consistent evolutionary process. Do we prefer the mathematical structures that led Einstein to postulate E=mc2
, and the counter-Utopia of nuclear devastation? Before World War II Einstein had been quoted as saying that he could not conceive of any practical use for his formula.
It has had a practical use! An uncompromising, sustained, and transformative belief in the necessity of postulating an all-inclusive Earth-being as a foundation for the participation and conscious coactivity of human beings everywhere has also today a practical use. The crucial issue may be whether this new frame of reference will have to take the institutionalized form of a more or less rigid "world religion," or if it will embody as much as is today possible of the Pleroma state.
The influence of a particular locality during formative years can hardly be exaggerated, insofar as the deep structures of the psyche are concerned. Return
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