According to ancient Indian tradition the universe reveals itself in two fundamental properties: as Motion, and as that in which motion takes place, namely Space. This Space is called Akasa, and is that through which things step into visible appearance, i.e., through which they possess extension or corporeality. Akasa is derived from the root kas, 'to radiate, to shine', and has therefore the meaning of 'ether', which is conceived as the medium of movement. The principle of movement, however, is Prana, the breath of life, the all-powerful, all-pervading rhythm of the universe. (Lama Govinda, 1977)
Leibniz, 1670) It is a good thing to proceed in order and to establish
propositions (principles). This is the way to gain ground and to progress
with certainty. ... I hold that the mark of a genuine idea is that its possibility
can be proved, either a priori by conceiving its
cause or reason, or a posteriori when experience
teaches us that it is a fact in nature. ...
Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. ... I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. ... I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general.
Matter interacts (e.g. Light and Gravity) with All other Matter in the Universe, as Smolin writes,
It can no longer be maintained that the properties of any one thing in the universe are independent of the existence or non-existence of everything else. It is, at last, no longer sensible to speak of a universe with only one thing in it. (Smolin, 1997)
Thus to understand the Structure of Matter we must understand the Structure of the Universe, and this means we must know the One thing that is common to and connects the Many things within the Universe. As Leibniz correctly and profoundly says;
Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. (Leibniz, 1670)
Sadly for Humanity, modern Metaphysics has a bad reputation due to its past errors and ultimate failure to correctly describe Reality. Thus one purpose of this introduction is to correct these past errors and return Metaphysics to its rightful place as the 'Queen of the Sciences' as Kant explains;
(Immanuel Kant, 1781) Time was, when she (Metaphysics) was the queen of all the sciences; and, if we take the will for the deed, she certainly deserves, so far as regards the high importance of her object-matter, this title of honor. Now, it is the fashion of the time to heap contempt and scorn upon her; and the matron mourns, forlorn and forsaken, .... her empire gradually broke up, and intestine wars introduced the reign of anarchy; while the sceptics, like nomadic tribes, who hate a permanent habitation and settled mode of living, attacked from time to time those who had organized themselves into civil communities. But their number was, very happily, small; and thus they could not entirely put a stop to the exertions of those who persisted in raising new edifices, although on no settled or uniform plan.
And as Aristotle, Spinoza, and Bradley explain, at the heart of Metaphysics is Substance, The ONE thing which exists and interconnects / causes all things, and thus is the necessary foundation for all human knowledge.
(Aristotle, 340BC)(Metaphysics) subject matter is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance.
(Spinoza, Ethics, 1673) But if men would give heed to the nature of substance they would doubt less concerning the Proposition that Existence appertains to the nature of substance: rather they would reckon it an axiom above all others, and hold it among common opinions. For then by substance they would understand that which is in itself, and through itself is conceived, or rather that whose knowledge does not depend on the knowledge of any other thing.
(Bradley, 1846-1924) We may agree, perhaps, to understand by Metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole.
Most importantly, Aristotle, Spinoza, and Leibniz were correct to realise that One Substance must Exist, Infinite and Eternal, and have Properties that account for Matter's Interconnected Activity / Motion.
Metaphysics, 340BC) It is the principles and causes of the things that are
that we are seeking, and clearly it is their principles and causes just as
things that are. And here we will have the science to study that which is just
as that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as
a thing that is, it has.
It is impossible that the primary existent, being eternal, should be destroyed.
The entire preoccupation of the physicist is with things that contain within themselves a principle of movement and rest. . that among entities there must be some cause which moves and combines things. And to seek for this is to seek for the second kind of principle, as we would say, that from which comes the beginning of the change.
Unless the further factor is active, there will still be no movement. There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity.
(Gottfried Leibniz, 1670) Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general. ... In conclusion, nothing should be taken as certain without foundations; it is therefore those who manufacture entities and substances without genuine unity to prove that there is more to reality than I have just said; and I am waiting for the notion of a substance, or of an entity, which successfully comprehends all these things; after which parts and perhaps even dreams will be able one day to lay claim to reality.
Now there is only One thing that is common to the many things, Space. Thus if One Substance exists it must be Space, simply because there is only One Space, whereas there are Many material things existing in Space. As the philosopher Brentano correctly realised;
The judgment, for instance, that there is a three-dimensional (spatial) world is, Brentano believed, so widely confirmed as to be infinitely more likely than any of its alternatives. (Urmson, 1991)
Kant realised this unique importance of Space as being a priori (necessary) for us to be able to experience and sense the world around us, and that Metaphysics (and thus Physics) depends upon this a priori knowledge (because it is first necessary for us to experience the world, and hence certain). Thus he is profoundly CORRECT when he writes;
1781) Natural science (physics) contains in itself synthetical judgments a
priori, as principles. . Space then is a necessary representation a
priori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. We
never can imagine or make a representation to ourselves of the non-existence
of space. Space is a representation a priori, which necessarily supplies
the basis for external appearances.
That metaphysics has hitherto remained in so vacillating a state of uncertainty and contradiction, is only to be attributed to the fact, that this great problem, and perhaps even the difference between analytical and synthetical judgments, did not sooner suggest itself to philosophers. Upon the solution of this problem, or upon sufficient proof of the impossibility of synthetical knowledge a priori, depends the existence or downfall of metaphysics.
Unfortunately for Human Knowledge Kant was profoundly INCORRECT when he assumed Time as the second a priori existent, rather than the PROPERTIES of Space as a Wave Medium for Wave Motion. i.e. Because Kant could not unite Space and Time back to One common connected thing, and as there could not be two separate things existing Infinitely, thus he assumed that both Space and Time must still somehow be limited and separate from what truly exists, thus they must both still be merely ideas / representations of the world! And the consequences of this error have caused (and continue to cause) much confusion and absurdity for Human knowledge. (Please read the following quotes from Kant carefully.)
1781) That space and time are only forms of sensible intuition, and hence are
only conditions of the existence of things as appearances; that, moreover,
we have no concepts of the understanding, and, consequently, no elements for
knowing things, except in so far as a corresponding intuition can be given
to these concepts; that, accordingly, we can have no knowledge of an object,
as a thing in itself, but only as an object of sensible intuition,
that is, as appearance - all this is proved in the Analytical part of the Critique;
and from this the limitation of all possible speculative knowledge to the mere
objects of experience, follows as a necessary result.
Time is not an empirical concept. For neither co-existence nor succession would be perceived by us, if the representation of time did not exist as a foundation a priori.
Time is a necessary representation, lying at the foundation of all our intuitions. With regard to appearances in general, we cannot think away time from them, and represent them to ourselves as out of and unconnected with time. Here I shall add that the concept of change, and with it the concept of motion, as change of place, is possible only through and in the representation of time. .... even that of motion, which unites in itself both elements (Space and Time), presuppose something empirical. Motion, for example, presupposes the perception of something movable. But space considered in itself contains nothing movable; consequently motion must be something which is found in space only through experience -in other words, is an empirical datum. (Kant, 1781)
His error is very important and bears repeating: But space considered
in itself contains nothing movable; consequently motion ... is an empirical
The correct answer is to realise that Space in itself must have PROPERTIES, thus this is a clear error of Kant's. i.e. It is simply wrong to consider Space on its own, we must always consider Space AND its Properties together!
And so we use two of the greatest Metaphysicists, Aristotle and Leibniz, to solve this fundamental and profound error of Kant. Let us then also repeat their comments;
Metaphysics, 340BC) And here we will have the science to study that which is
just as that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which,
just as a thing that is, it has. ... there is some other cause of the change.
And to seek for this is to seek for the second kind of principle, as we would
say, that from which comes the beginning of the change.
Unless the further factor is active, there will still be no movement. There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity.
(Leibniz, 1670) I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general. (Leibniz, 1670)
The solution is to realise that Space has the properties of a Wave-Medium,
and thus contains Wave-Motions, that Space itself is moving / vibrating. (Kant
made the common mistake of only considering Motion of Matter 'particles' and
not Motion of Space itself!)
Thus we can now understand Kant's error in assuming Space and Time as a priori rather than Space and its Properties, which are a priori. i.e. Space is a Substance with the Properties of a Wave Medium and contains Spherical Wave-Motions that give rise to matter and its activity/motion. Thus Space and Motion are a priori, and Motion is the cause of both Matter and Time. (Time is merely an idea, a Human representation of the fact that all things are in Motion in Space, thus Kant was partly correct)
From this new Metaphysics of Space and Motion we find that the solutions to many other subjects of Knowledge / Science become simple, obvious, necessary and certain! This is simply due to the fundamental nature of Metaphysics as the foundation for describing Reality, and thus as the foundation for all Sciences.
For example, we can now understand how Leibniz's Monadology was largely correct, Matter and Universe are One and contain Motion / Activity. (Monas is a Greek word which signifies unity or that which is one.) Thus we now realise that Leibniz's Monad is simply a Spherical Wave Motion of Space that determines the size of our finite spherical Universe within an Infinite Space, and thus interacts with ALL other matter within our Universe.
(Leibniz, 1670)I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. I also take it as granted that every created thing, and consequently the created monad also, is subject to change, and indeed that this change is continual in each one. ... It follows from what we have just said, that the natural changes of monads come from an internal principle, since an external cause would be unable to influence their inner being. .. Now this connection or adaptation of all created things with each, and of each with all the rest, means that each simple substance has relations which express all the others, and that consequently it is a perpetual living mirror of the universe. In a confused way they all go towards the infinite, or towards the whole; but they are limited and distinguished from one another by the degrees of their distinct perceptions. ... each created monad represents the whole universe.
Though ancient Greek philosophy also realised that all things were in perpetual flux / change (e.g. Protagoras, Heraclitus), Aristotle was the first philosopher to truly appreciate the importance of Motion, and to realise the connection between both Motion and Time, and Motion and Matter. (An obvious connection that must be explained, as matter certainly moves about in Space, and we use this Motion of Matter to determine the Time - just think of a clock.)
Metaphysics, 340BC) Motion must always have been in existence, and the same
can be said for time itself, since it is not even possible for there to be
an earlier and a later if time does not exist. ... Movement, then, is also
continuous in the way in which time is - indeed time is either
identical to movement or is some affection of it.
... there being two causes of which we have defined in the Physics, they seem to have a glimpse of them, that of matter and that from which the motion comes, indistinctly though, and in no way clearly.
'The subtlety of the concept of space was enhanced by the discovery that there exist no completely rigid bodies. All bodies are elastically deformable.' (Albert Einstein)
Science has two sources of knowledge;
i) Logic deduced from principles - theories. (a priori knowledge)
ii) Empirical knowledge from our senses - observation and experiment. (a posteriori knowledge)
The aim is for logic to be in harmony with our senses (the theory deduces what we observe). This is well accepted. Now if we consider just the empirical source of knowledge, it is universally agreed that it is founded on the observation of matter in Space, thus without this experience of Space it is impossible to have Science. As Kant writes;
Natural science (physics) contains in itself synthetical judgments a priori, as principles. … Space then is a necessary representation a priori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. (Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 1781)
However it is a little more complex than just saying that therefore Space must be the One thing that exists. All we can say thus far is that we experience / imagine Space (which does not necessarily mean that Space exists, as Kant argued that Space was merely a representation of the mind!). There are in fact 5 possible explanations of our common experience of Space. Most importantly though, only the first option below (that Space exists) abides by this simplicity rule of One thing existing (dynamic unity of reality) that also satisfies the metaphysical rule that matter must be necessarily interconnected by one common thing.
This is the most simple and obvious explanation, and is the foundation of the Wave Structure of Matter, that Space exists with the properties of a Wave Medium for Spherical Standing Waves that form Matter. This is consistent with Aristotle's conception of Metaphysics.
The first philosophy (Metaphysics) is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. ... And here we will have the science to study that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as a thing that is, it has. ... That among entities there must be some cause which moves and combines things. ... There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity." (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 340BC)
This is the path that Leibniz explored (his Monadology) and more recently Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (strongly influenced by Leibniz and Ernst Mach). This path is understandable as it is empirically founded on the fact that we only observe motion of matter relative to other matter (not to an absolute Space). Further, it followed on from the work of Newton (particles and forces in Space and Time, action-at-a-distance); then later Faraday, Maxwell, Lorentz, (particles generating electric and magnetic fields in Space (Aether), light as em waves); and finally Einstein's attempt at a pure field theory of matter (by rejecting the 'particle' concept). As Einstein writes;
When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. (Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, 1954)
Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended (as fields). In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... The field thus becomes an irreducible element of physical description, irreducible in the same sense as the concept of matter (particles) in the theory of Newton. ... The physical reality of space is represented by a field whose components are continuous functions of four independent variables - the co-ordinates of space and time. Since the theory of general relativity implies the representation of physical reality by a continuous field, the concept of particles or material points cannot play a fundamental part, nor can the concept of motion. The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high. (Albert Einstein, Metaphysics of Relativity, 1950)
Einstein took the path of Leibniz and described reality in terms of relative motion of matter to other matter (Many Things) rather than relative to Absolute Space (One Thing). This error causes us many problems.
(Describing motion relative to all other matter in the universe) overcomes a deficiency in the foundations of mechanics which had already been noticed by Newton and was criticised by Leibniz and, two centuries later, by Mach: inertia resists acceleration, but acceleration relative to what? Within the frame of classical mechanics the only answer is: inertia resists acceleration relative to space. This is a physical property of space - space acts on objects, but objects do not act on space. Such is probably the deeper meaning of Newton's assertion spatium est absolutum (space is absolute). But the idea disturbed some, in particular Leibniz, who did not ascribe an independent existence to space but considered it merely a property of 'things' (objects). (Albert Einstein, 1954)
As Ernst Mach insistently pointed out, the Newtonian theory
is unsatisfactory in the following respect: if one considers motion from the
purely descriptive, not from the causal, point of view, it only exists as relative
motion of things with respect to one another.
It compelled Newton to invent a physical space in relation to which acceleration was supposed to exist. This introduction ad hoc of the concept of absolute space, while logically unexceptionable, nevertheless seems unsatisfactory. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Descartes argued somewhat on these lines: space is identical with extension, but extension is connected with bodies; thus there is no space without bodies and hence no empty space…. It appears to me, therefore, that the formation of the concept of the material object must precede our concepts of time and space. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Mach, in the nineteenth century, was the only one who thought seriously of the elimination of the concept of space, in that he sought to replace it by the notion of the totality of the instantaneous distances between all material points. (He made this attempt in order to arrive at a satisfactory understanding of inertia.) (Einstein, 1954)
Because we only observe the motion of matter relative to all the other matter
in the universe, thus Einstein thought that matter, rather than Space, must
be the central perspective for representing Reality. Thus Einstein's Relativity
is empirically (a posteriori) founded from observing the motion of matter relative
to other matter. The Metaphysics of Space and Motion is founded on the a
priori fact that Space is first necessary for matter to be able to exist
and move about. Einstein is empirically correct, and at the same time this
was his error because Metaphysics (and thus Reality) is not founded on empirical
observations. In reality there is no motion of matter, there is only the spherical
wave-motion of Space, and the changing location of the wave-center gives the
'illusion' of the motion of matter 'particles'. (Thus Einstein's Relativity
is founded on an illusion that matter moves, when it is Space which is moving
Thus Newton was ultimately correct in his metaphysical realisation of absolute motion relative to absolute space (though Newton made the error of adding 'time', 'particles' and thus instantly acting 'forces' to connect the particles);
And so instead of absolute places and motions, we use relative ones; and that without any inconvenience in common affairs; but in Philosophical disquisitions, we ought to abstract from our senses, and consider things themselves, distinct from what are only sensible measures of them. (Newton, 1687)
Further, Lorentz's assumption of an Absolute Space is the foundation for the Lorentz transformations and thus for Einstein's Relativity.
I cannot but regard the ether, which can be the seat of an electromagnetic field with its energy and its vibrations, as endowed with a certain degree of substantiality, however different it may be from all ordinary matter. (Lorentz, The Theory of the Electron, 1906)
Einstein choose to ignore Space / Aether and work with relative motions of matter to other matter, with matter being represented by spherical fields.
The electromagnetic fields are not states of a medium, and are not bound down to any bearer, but they are independent realities which are not reducible to anything else. (Albert Einstein, Leiden Lecture, 1920)
In other words, is there an ether which carries the field; the ether being considered in the undulatory state, for example, when it carries light waves? The question has a natural answer: Because one cannot dispense with the field concept, it is preferable not to introduce in addition a carrier with hypothetical properties. (Albert Einstein, 1950)
Once we realise that the particle and the continuous electromagnetic field it generates are both merely ideas, human approximations to reality, then we solve these problems. We return to Lorentz's foundation of One thing Space, and its properties as a wave medium (vibrations) and replace the spherical particle & field with the spherical wave Motion of Space. The idea of the field theory of matter misled Einstein, and yet Einstein also realised that there must somehow be a Space that interconnects matter.
Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it. (Albert Einstein, Leiden Lecture, 1920)
However, matter is many things, not one thing, so it is not the most simple solution. And as history shows Einstein's lifetime attempt to construct a continuous field theory of matter doesn't work, as it does not explain the discrete aspects of light and matter discovered by Quantum Theory.
All these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, 'What are light quanta?' Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken. … I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The great stumbling block for the field theory lies in the conception of the atomic structure of matter and energy. For the theory is fundamentally non-atomic in so far as it operates exclusively with continuous functions of space, in contrast to classical mechanics whose most important element, the material point, in itself does justice to the atomic structure of matter. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The special and general theories of relativity, which, though based entirely on ideas connected with the field-theory, have so far been unable to avoid the independent introduction of material points, … the continuous field thus appeared side by side with the material point as the representative of physical reality. This dualism remains even today disturbing as it must be to every orderly mind. (Einstein, 1954)
Mind exists and causes our ideas of Space (e.g. Berkeley, Kant).
Again, this is not the most simple as there are many different minds (as there are people), yet we all have a common experience of Space. And there is no explanation of how minds are connected and what causes them to experience this common Space (we all see the same sun and moon existing in a common Space). The historical answer to this problem of the mind (how our minds experience the same external perceptions) is to appeal to a 'universal mind' or 'God' to cause and connect our minds. But as Hume rightly says,
To have recourse to the veracity of the supreme Being, in order to prove the veracity of our senses, is surely making a very unexpected circuit. (Hume, 1737)
God causes all things, thus god causes us and our ideas of Space. Again, there is no explanation of how this occurs, (and to philosophers of language God is really just a word that humans invented to explain things they do not understand - it is certainly no foundation for Science).
Newton, following the example of the Cambridge Platonist Henry
More, justified his introduction of "Space" as a real, infinite entity
(and by implication, the existence of "hard, massy, impenetrable, movable
particles") by claiming that Absolute Space is constituted by the Omnipresence
Newton sought to make the action of Universal Gravitation across empty space believable by references to the power of God, but as the investigation of electricity, magnetism and chemical affinity developed in the 18th and 19th centuries attempts were made to find physical explanations for "action-at-a-distance". In the theories of Boscovich and Faraday the dualism of Atoms and the Void is replaced by an all-pervasive "field of force" in which there are many mathematical centers. (This version also informs the account of gravitation in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.) (Western Philosophy and Philosophers , 1991)
Something beyond our ability to understand / imagine and convey with language exists and causes our experience of Space (Nietzsche, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, Popper, Kuhn, etc). This is possible and is the current postmodern view (no absolute truth, all ideas are approximate only, ultimately just cultural constructions which are evolving in the direction of greater simplicity). However, it seems obvious that we should first explore Science carefully before consigning it to the rubbish heap of romantic illusions!
Light and matter are both single entities, and the apparent
duality arises in the limitations of our language.
It is not surprising that our language should be incapable of describing the processes occurring within the atoms, for, as has been remarked, it was invented to describe the experiences of daily life, and these consist only of processes involving exceedingly large numbers of atoms. Furthermore, it is very difficult to modify our language so that it will be able to describe these atomic processes, for words can only describe things of which we can form mental pictures, and this ability, too, is a result of daily experience. Fortunately, mathematics is not subject to this limitation, and it has been possible to invent a mathematical scheme - the quantum theory - which seems entirely adequate for the treatment of atomic processes; for visualisation, however, we must content ourselves with two incomplete analogies - the wave picture and the corpuscular picture. (Heisenberg, On Quantum Physics, 1930)
Both matter and radiation possess a remarkable duality of character,
as they sometimes exhibit the properties of waves, at other times those of
particles. Now it is obvious that a thing cannot be a form of wave motion and
composed of particles at the same time - the two concepts are too different.
The solution of the difficulty is that the two mental pictures which experiment lead us to form - the one of the particles, the other of the waves - are both incomplete and have only the validity of analogies which are accurate only in limiting cases. (Werner Heisenberg, on Quantum Mechanics, 1930)
Before we give up on Science and assume that we cannot describe physical reality, it is sensible to first carefully examine the metaphysical foundations of Science and see if they are the most simple possible (Occam's razor). When we do this we find that there is an obvious and sensible solution. Space exists and matter is a wave structure of Space. Then it is just a matter of scientific method to show that this most simple foundation does correctly deduce what we observe from observation / experiment, while also explaining and solving numerous problems from the history of philosophy and metaphysics. I hope this essay will motivate you to think about this! Geoff Haselhurst
Greek Philosophy originated from the correct realisation that there must be One thing that is common to, and connects, the Many things.
(Heraclitus ~ 500BC) All things come out of the One and the One out of all things. ... I see nothing but Becoming. Be not deceived! It is the fault of your limited outlook and not the fault of the essence of things if you believe that you see firm land anywhere in the ocean of Becoming and Passing. You need names for things, just as if they had a rigid permanence, but the very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one which you entered before.
(Friedrich Nietzsche, The Greeks, 1880) Greek philosophy seems to begin with a preposterous fancy, with the proposition (of Thales) that water is the origin and mother-womb of all things. Is it really necessary to stop there and become serious? Yes, and for three reasons: firstly, because the proposition does enunciate something about the origin of things; secondly, because it does so without figure and fable; thirdly and lastly, because it contained, although only in the chrysalis state, the idea :everything is one. ... That which drove him (Thales) to this generalization was a metaphysical dogma, which had its origin in a mystic intuition and which together with the ever renewed endeavours to express it better, we find in all philosophies - the proposition: everything is one!
Likewise Indian Philosophy (which pre-dates and likely founds Greek Philosophy) realised this Oneness which they called Brahman, and also appreciated the importance of Motion (dynamic, activity).
Capra, 1972) In Indian philosophy, the main terms used by Hindus
and Buddhists have dynamic connotations. The word Brahman is derived from
the Sanskrit root brih . to grow - and thus suggests a reality which is dynamic
and alive. In the words of S. Radhakrishnan,
The word Brahman means growth and is suggestive of life, motion, progress.
The Upanishads refer to Brahman as 'this uniformed, immortal, moving', thus associating it with motion even though it transcends all forms. The Rig Veda uses another term to express the dynamic character of the universe, the term Rita. This word comes from the root ri- to move; its original meaning in the Rig Veda being 'the course of all things', 'the order of nature'.
The central aim of Eastern mysticism is to experience all the phenomena in the world as manifestations of the same ultimate reality. This reality is seen as the essence of the universe, underlying and unifying the multitude of things and events we observe. The Hindus call it Brahman, The Buddhists Dharmakaya (The Body of Being) or Tathata (Suchness) and the Taoists Tao; each affirming that it transcends our intellectual concepts and defies further explanation. This ultimate essence, however, cannot be separated from its multiple manifestations. It is central to the very nature to manifest itself in myriad forms which come into being and disintegrate, transforming themselves into one another without end. In its phenomenal aspect, the cosmic One is thus intrinsically dynamic, and the apprehension of its dynamic nature is basic to all schools of Eastern mysticism.
Modern physics then, pictures matter not at all as passive and inert, but being in a continuous dancing and vibrating motion whose rhythmic patterns are determined by the molecular, atomic and nuclear structures. This is also the way in which the Eastern mystics see the material world. They all emphasise that the universe has to be grasped dynamically, as it moves, vibrates and dances; that nature is not a static but dynamic equilibrium.
Their error was to believe that One thing could never be understood with human conceptual knowledge, which requires relationships between two or more things;
The central difficulty is known as the problem of the one and
the many which, in the terms in which it presented itself to Badarayana, is
as follows; Brahman (the absolute) is eternal, immutable and perfect (lacking
nothing): How can that which is eternal, immutable and perfect be related to
what is temporal, mutable and imperfect, i.e. the everyday world of human experience,
the samsara? (Badarayana)
The problem of the one and the many in metaphysics and theology is insoluble: The history of philosophy in India as well as in Europe has been one long illustration of the inability of the human mind to solve the mystery of the relation of God to the world. We have the universe of individuals which is not self-sufficient and in some sense rests on Brahman, but the exact nature of the relation between them is a mystery. (Radhakrishnan)
The next serious philosophical issue involved in Advaitism
(Non-dualism) arises in the area of epistemology or the theory of knowledge.
All ordinary human experience is conceptual in nature, i.e. is organized under
the categories in which we ordinarily think. However, Brahman is said to be
predicateless, or, in other words, such that in principle no concepts apply
to it: concepts presuppose division, and Brahman is a unity. How, then, is
any form of awareness of Brahman possible for human beings?
(Collinson, Fifty Eastern Thinkers, 2000)
But once we know the truth, which comes from true knowledge of Reality, then the solution to this problem becomes simple and obvious (which explains why philosophy is known as the discovery of the obvious!). One thing, Space, exists Infinite and Eternal, the second thing, Motion, as the Wave Motion of Space, is the property of Space, and is necessarily connected to Space as it is Space which is Moving. And once we have this connection between the One thing Space, and the many things, i.e. Matter as the Spherical Wave Motion of Space, then we can in fact form concepts and logic (which require two necessarily connected things, i.e. Matter as the spherical wave Motion of Space.)
Lama Govinda had an exceptional understanding of Indian Philosophy and he was very close to the truth, and thus the solution to this profound problem of the One and the Many, when he wrote;
Govinda, 1977) The fundamental element of the cosmos is Space. Space
is the all-embracing principle of higher unity. Nothing can exist without
Space. Space is the precondition of all that exists, be it material or immaterial
form, because we can neither imagine an object nor a being without space.
According to ancient Indian tradition the universe reveals itself in two
fundamental properties: as Motion, and as that in which motion takes place,
namely Space. This Space is called akasa, and is that through which things
step into visible appearance, i.e., through which they possess extension
Akasa is derived from the root kas, 'to radiate, to shine', and has therefore the meaning of 'ether', which is conceived as the medium of movement. The principle of movement, however, is prana, the breath of life, the all-powerful, all-pervading rhythm of the universe.
In fact, as we briefly explained at the beginning of this article, the Metaphysics
of Space and Motion not only unites and solves the Problem of the One and the
Many, but also the Infinite and the Finite, Eternal and the Temporal, Absolute
and Relative, Continuous and Discrete, Simple and Complex, Matter and Universe.
Metaphysics: Problem of One and the Many - Brief History of Metaphysics and Solutions to the Fundamental Problems of Uniting the; One and the Many, Infinite and the Finite, Eternal and the Temporal, Absolute and Relative, Continuous and Discrete, Simple and Complex, Matter and Universe.
Once we understand these Metaphysical problems by describing how One Substance, Space, Exists and has Properties of a Wave-Medium, this then explains the Necessary Connection between What Exists (matter as spherical waves in Space) and gives rise to our logic (from One Principle), which is necessary and thus certain. Thus we can now apply this logic from the Metaphysics of Space and Motion to explain and solve many of the problems of Human knowledge (such is the profound nature of knowing Reality, the source of Truth and Wisdom).
Many philosophers and metaphysicists have written on the Dynamic Unity of Reality, confirming its central place in both Philosophy and Metaphysics (both requiring knowledge of necessary connections, from one thing, to know the cause / truth of things). Below are a number of important quotes on this Unity and Activity of Reality and its relationship to Space (which is one thing that we all commonly experience).
Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. ... I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. ... I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general. (Gottfried Leibniz, Philosophical Writings, 1670)
We may agree, perhaps, to understand by Metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole. (Francis Herbert Bradley, Appearance and Reality, 1893)
The judgement, for instance, that there is a three-dimensional (spatial) world is, Brentano believed, so widely confirmed as to be infinitely more likely than any of its alternatives. (One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers, Brown et al, 1998)
I cannot conceive curved lines of force without the conditions of a physical existence in that intermediate space. (Michael Faraday, 1830)
In speaking of the Energy of the field, however, I wish to be understood literally. All energy is the same as mechanical energy, whether it exists in the form of motion or in that of elasticity, or in any other form. The energy in electromagnetic phenomena is mechanical energy. (James Clerk Maxwell, The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell , vol. 1, p. 564)
I cannot but regard the ether, which can be the seat of an electromagnetic field with its energy and its vibrations, as endowed with a certain degree of substantiality, however different it may be from all ordinary matter. (Hendrik Lorentz, Theory of the Electron, 1900)
According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of matter, as consisting of parts ('particles') which may be tracked through time. (Albert Einstein, 1928, Leiden Lecture)
Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended (as fields). In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... The field thus becomes an irreducible element of physical description, irreducible in the same sense as the concept of matter (particles) in the theory of Newton. ... The physical reality of space is represented by a field whose components are continuous functions of four independent variables - the co-ordinates of space and time. Since the theory of general relativity implies the representation of physical reality by a continuous field, the concept of particles or material points cannot play a fundamental part, nor can the concept of motion. The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high. (Albert Einstein, Relativity, 1950)
When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. (Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, 1954)
What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances). ... The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. ... Let me say at the outset, that in this discourse, I am opposing not a few special statements of quantum mechanics held today (1950s), I am opposing as it were the whole of it, I am opposing its basic views that have been shaped 25 years ago, when Max Born put forward his probability interpretation, which was accepted by almost everybody. ... I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it. (Erwin Schrödinger, Life and Thought, Cambridge U. Press, 1989).
In Indian philosophy, the main terms used by Hindus and Buddhists have dynamic connotations. The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit root brih - to grow- and thus suggests a reality which is dynamic and alive. The Upanishads refer to Brahman as 'this unformed, immortal, moving', thus associating it with motion even though it transcends all forms.' The Rig Veda uses another term to express the dynamic character of the universe, the term Rita. This word comes from the root ri- to move. In its phenomenal aspect, the cosmic One is thus intrinsically dynamic, and the apprehension of its dynamic nature is basic to all schools of Eastern mysticism. They all emphasize that the universe has to be grasped dynamically, as it moves, vibrates and dances. ... The Eastern mystics see the universe as an inseparable web, whose interconnections are dynamic and not static. The cosmic web is alive; it moves and grows and changes continually. (Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, 1972.)
The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it. (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)
'The Gift of Truth Excels all Other Gifts.' (Buddha)
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Truth & Reality
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Truth & Reality
Truth & Reality