The Difference That Makes The Difference
Looking again at the highlighted quadrants in the diagram above, the reductionist/life bridge is clearly marked as #8. This bridge is positioned at the overlap of the brown and green quadrants. Upon completion of my bicycle trip, I will talk more about the events that contributed to the creation/discovery of this quadrant idea, but until then I have a few concluding words about the other bridge, the one that is positioned where the blue and green and the blue and brown lines cross. As marked, the #9 bridge both connects and separates the mind quadrant to– the life quadrant and reductionist quadrant. It is because of this bridge that we can read, write, and understand meanings. It is also because of this bridge that (to borrow a phrase from Clifford Geertz), we can “understand how it is we understand understandings not our own.”
[In the above diagram the bridges (black triangles), ~bb (8) and b~b~bb (9), are identified. These bridges support life and mind (mind representing the psychological/sociocultural environment of human discourse), respectively. The bridge ~~b, being-what-is-not-while-not-being-what-is, is not identified, but it supports evolution (the brown line reductionist platform) which, in turn, liberates ~bb reality, which, in turn, liberates b~b~bb reality, which, in turn, liberates civilization.]
It was not easy finding words to describe the #9 bridge, but, in the end, I chose the computer jargon words of uploading and downloading. Where the blue and green lines meet, at the front end of this bridge, a kind of uploading occurs, and where the blue and brown lines meet, at the other end of the bridge, a kind of downloading occurs. At the uploaded blue/green intersection, we confront/discover the fundamental problems of human existence—including the nature and meaning of life as well as the ways in which human identity is defined and maintained. It is also at this intersection where the universe, as an object of thought, takes on at least as much significance as does the more necessary effort of satisfying our own personalized needs. At the front end of the #9 bridge, discrimination, curiosity, inquiry, imaginative insight, creativity, skepticism, and analysis are uploaded.
At the off-ramp of the #9 bridge, where the mind quadrant connects to the reductionist quadrant, we, once again, encounter the body/brain/mind event. At this intersection, however, we discover recorded history—and the many past, present, (and future) scientific events where, as a consequence of logical and mathematical based predictions, we observe, via scientific instruments, e.g. telescopes, cyclotrons, etc. (blue quadrant material engineered for the purpose of extending the range of our five senses), the success or failure of said predictions. All inquiry, at this intersection, is restricted to sensed events and, according to Harris, “relationships that are knowable by means of explicit, logico-empirical, inductive-deductive, quantifiable public procedures or ‘operations’ subject to replication by independent observers.” (James Lett, The Human Enterprise, p. 89).
For over one hundred years the world’s smartest people (in terms of IQ, geniuses) have not been able to explain quantum behavior, i.e., fit quantum behavior into a theoretical box that predicts all the free parameters associated with measurement. I would like to suggest that the cause of this inability is too much “thinking inside the box.” In order to answer the question: “What qualifies some physical systems to play the role of ‘measurer’?”—it would be helpful to know why some events at the quantum level (quantum reality) do not speak in the language of physical events. An unambiguous description of the physical universe, or the answer to what separates micro universe from macro universe, will be found without difficulty, I believe, once it is recognized that quantum fuzziness is a consequence of a different kind of space–the space that separates, at the quantum level, also embeds and connects—i.e., connects to “emptiness is things.” In our event driven macro world we encounter “emptiness is things” each time a solution to an intractable problem is logically deduced, but at the quantum level, solutions to problems become entangled in “uncertainty relationships,” “uncertainty relationships” that are a consequence of the “emptiness is things,” i.e., “emptiness is things” such that “not a single thing comes into being without some relationship to every other thing” (Nishitani). On the micro level then, “emptiness is things” works in reverse; instead of allowing solutions to an intractable problems to be logically deduced, on this foundational level, the three quadrant observer, observation, and the logic that predicts events, vis-à-vis “emptiness is things,” coverage—become One—because “not a single thing comes into being without some relationship to every other thing!”
Evolution is not just driven by adaptation/survival; it is driven also by consciousness/freedom. Evolution is not just associated with biology; it is associated also with structure, the structure that embeds consciousness/freedom. At its source, consciousness/freedom is contained in the ~~b structure, or the space that separates, embeds and connects—connects to the structural space of logical implication. After a sufficient level of evolution/complexity is achieved however, ~~b becomes ~bb. At this level, the level of biological life, consciousness/freedom becomes free to evolve an even more free and conscious life form—or the b~b~bb structural life form that builds civilizations and asks questions like how, why, when, and where did consciousness/freedom come from—the above questions, however, reduce to just one question: Who Am I?