Friday, 30 June 2017

Many Mansions

Because religious and philosophical issues are involved, this post is first being published on the Religion and Philosophy blog and will later be copied to Poul Anderson Appreciation where it is also relevant.

I used the phrase "many mansions" here, then found it used in SM Stirling, The Sword Of The Lady (New York, 2009), Chapter Twenty-One, p. 640. For the original, see here. Mind-blowing explanations are given and a short story in Poul Anderson's collection, All One Universe, is relevant.

I have finished reading The Sword Of The Lady and have just started the sequel, The High King Of Montival. Rudi Mackenzie, the future High King, now wields a mysteriously generated sword that enhances his reasoning ability so that his future combats will differ somehow from what went before. Will Rudi be to some extent like Fionn Mac Cumhaill who gained knowledge, including military intelligence, when he put his thumb in his mouth?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

From Many Gods To One Reality

Contradictory Explanations 
Explain each natural or social phenomenon by personifying it, e.g., thunder is Thor; war is Tyr.
Expain nature as a whole by unifying it, i.e., every phenomenon has a single source.

Two Ways To Unify Reality
Deny that there are separate gods (Hebrew).
Affirm that all gods are really one God (Hindu).

Third Stage
Depersonify reality.

Two Ways To Depersonify Reality
Contemplate an impersonal Absolute.
Seek a unified field theory or Theory of Everything.

Contemplation and science: unity is intuited but never completely formulated.

Sunday, 11 June 2017


Two Ways To Perceive The World
The separate selfhood that we grew up with.
The universal consciousness that we can realize.

Two Ways To Perceive Society
Acceptance of the status quo.
Recognition of the need for a fundamental transformation.

Optimal States
Now: both universal and revolutionary consciousness.
Potentially: universal consciousness in a transformed society.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

In The Beginning...

In the beginning, there was neither a Creator nor a Designer but unconscious being.
Being is realizing its potential to become conscious.
The development towards consciousness was necessarily unplanned, undesigned and unconscious.
Many unconscious processes sustain consciousness.

Bodily functions and even many mental processes are unconscious.
Social processes are mediated through individual consciousnesses.
However, individuals may remain unconscious of the nature of social processes.
We were preceded, and are surrounded, by unconsciousness.

The revolutionary party tries to organize the most politically conscious members of the working class.
Zen meditators practise consciousness of mental processes.
Neither individual nor social consciousness has yet been fully realized.
Any hypothetical superhuman consciousnesses must also have risen from unconsciousness.