Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The "cultural heritage" group neurosis 4: the modern barbarism (ii)

Werner Heisenberg, creator of quantum mechanics
"For Heisenberg, reality is “the continuous fluctuation of experience as gathered by conscience. In this respect, it is never wholly identifiable to an isolated system.”...
"Heisenberg regrouped the numerous regions of reality into three distinct levels. “It is clear,” wrote Heisenberg, “that the ordering of the regions has to substitute the gross division of the world into a subjective reality and an objective one and that the world must stretch itself between these poles of subject and object in such a manner that at its inferior limit are the regions where we can completely objectify reality. ...
"The first level of Reality in the Heisenberg model corresponds to the states of things, which are objectified independently of the knowledge process. At this first level, he situates classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and the two relativity theories of Einstein; in other words, classical physics. The second level of Reality corresponds to the states of things inseparable from the knowledge process. Here he situates quantum mechanics, biology, and the consciousness sciences. Finally, the third level of Reality corresponds to the states of things created in relation to the knowledge process. On this level of Reality, he situates philosophy, art, politics, “God” metaphors, religious experience, and inspiration experience. ...
"He remarks that the Middle Ages chose religion and the seventeenth century chose science, but today any choice or criteria for values has vanished.
"Heisenberg also insists on the role of intuition: “Only intuitive thinking,” wrote Heisenberg, “can pass over the abyss that exists between the system of concepts already known and that of new concepts; the formal deduction is helpless when it comes to throwing a bridge over this abyss.”
Basarab Nicolescu, From Modernity to Cosmodernity: Science, Culture, and Spirituality (SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions) Chapter 17; The Hidden Third and the Multiple Splendor of Being (in the section, "Levels of Being" ; pp. 205-207). State University of New York Press. Kindle Edition.
The "abyss" in Heisenberg's quote is part of what Nicolescu calls The Hidden Third. He diagrams it as a circle in which are contained two other circles: one representing the subject, the other representing the object. Within the hidden third there can be no mathematics; no process; no perceptible energy. We can get an idea of this by thinking of the "quantum jump" (an abrupt transition of an electron, atom, or molecule from one quantum state to another, with the absorption or emission of a quantum). However, this only refers to changes in the state of the object. The subject (person) has almost been removed from modern science apart from the Einsteinian "observer". The person has become just another object. Nicolescu says:
"The human person appears as an interface between the Hidden Third and the world. The erasing of the Hidden Third in knowledge signifies a one-dimensional human being who has been reduced to cells, neurons, quarks, and elementary particles". (ibid. p. 212)
Modern science is a specific belief structure that started in the seventeenth century and has not changed at all outside of quantum mechanics; all that has happened in that time is that more discoveries and data have been realized within its narrow parameters. In a sense, it has become even more solidified.

It was not just Heisenberg who was worried about this state of affairs: Wolfgang Pauli, another quantum physicist and Nobel laureate saw the cessation of the line of thinking of the seventeen century Hermetic magician Robert Fludd after Kepler's mathematics won the day (and ushered in the belief structure of modern science) as a great tragedy. Through his association and collaboration with C. G. Jung, he worked toward extending Fludd's research. Synchronicity, which everyone usually only associates with Jung owes much to Pauli, and together they started to investigate the concept of the Unus Mundus (which would encompass the Hidden Third; the Subject and the Object)

But Pauli became unhappy about the directions taken by the Jung Institut with regard to science. Remo F. Roth elaborates:

"A little more than two years after the foundation of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Wolfgang Pauli became disappointed with its development. In a letter dated August 17, 1950, he wrote to his colleague Abraham Pais:
"But it is undeniable that in Jung’s specific circle an extraordinary strong mental incest exists (as a result of a complete lack of creative minds and talents in this circle). [Translation mine]
"Two and a half years later he was forced to condemn the Institute, for the quality of research that did not match his expectations. On March 16, 1953, in a caustic letter to C.A. Meier, his friend and the first president of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, he wrote: 
"The provincial atmosphere of the C.G. Jung Institute (in which everyone seems to consider him/herself as an unrecognized genius, causing everyone to dislike each other) is not at all favourable to the critical judgement [of scientific efforts; RFR], because for this [task], it [the atmosphere] does not have an objective measure at its disposal. [Translation mine]
"Later, Pauli—in his capacity as scientific patron of the Institute—formulated his criticism in an official letter to the Curatorium, the management of the Institute, and to C.A. Meier. Meier published this letter written in 1956 and a further one from 1957 in Atom and Archetype. In the first one Pauli writes:
"In recent years, I have noted with grave concern that the scientific approach is becoming increasingly neglected in matters relating to the C.G. Jung Institute and the activities of its members. As the scientific patron of the Institute, I thus regard it as my duty to draw attention to the standpoint of the sciences, and I must therefore officially request certain information from you as President.
"Then he continues:
"It is clear to me that in addition to the scientific aspect of psychology, there is also a humanistic one, but I do not see it as my duty to defend that. In this connection, I should like to point out that psychology always used to be counted as one of the humanistic sciences, but it was precisely C.G. Jung himself who emphasized the scientific nature of his ideas, and it was through his works that the way was paved for an integration of the psychology of the unconscious into the natural sciences. It is my opinion that the progress that has been made in this respect is being seriously jeopardized by the administration of the C.G. Jung Institute.
"Then he continues in his criticism of
"…the general intellectual level of the psychotherapeutic practice. This is where there is the greatest danger that the practice might degenerate into a completely unscientific conveyor-belt system [Massenbetrieb in German; RFR], dominated by the formal-arithmetic principle (with pecuniary factors involved), using the time available to deal with or ‘get through’ as large a number of patients as possible with as little thought input as possible."
Remo F. Roth, Return of the World Soul: Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung and the Challenge of Psychophysical Reality - Part I: The Battle of the Giants (Kindle Locations 544-568). Pari Publishing. Kindle Edition. [Footnotes omitted and all translation notes in the text are Roth's. I have also changed Roth's own indents for Pauli quotes to italics]
It is at this point where we (finally) get to what I am calling "the modern barbarism", but which was inspired by Nicolescu's:
"The origin of the new barbarity seems to lie in the explosive mixture between the binary thinking of the excluded third, a pure product of the mind, and a technology without any humanist perspective." (op. cit. p. 191)
I am going back to the original meaning of "barbarian" as one who does not speak Greek. When the Greeks heard foreigners they described the sound as "bar.. bar" and hence came "barbarian". In essence, the Greeks could not understand what was being said. For the longest time, I have sensed a connection between two of my "causes": the understanding of the ancient Celtic culture and the value of the private collector of coins and antiquities. Both of these are denied as existing by many archaeologists who have embraced the modernist perspective and who imagine that archaeology is a science. I now realize that the connecting principle is to do with "barbarity": they do not understand, at all, what is being said.

For example, were I to go into the countryside, find a field with a cow in it and then explain to that cow the evolution of British Celtic art, the cow would be none the wiser. The same thing would happen if I were to do the same with an average academic archaeologist who specializes in the pre-Roman Iron Age. The only difference between the comprehension level of the cow and the archaeologist being that the cow knows it does not understand anything being said and the archaeologist thinks he or she does, but really does not, as their knowledge is framed withing various weasel-word terms that actually only have an apparency of meaning (Like Sokal's paper or those you see in the pomo-generator). We might ponder about which is more intelligent, the cow or the archaeologist in this scenario. Remember, Sokal's hoax paper was accepted for publication. I will expand upon these two causes and their reception, tomorrow.

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