Idealism: The Bridge Between Science and Religion.  Episode 2 Origins

Idealism: The Bridge Between Science and Religion. Episode 2 Origins


In the late autumn of 1924 the young Heisenberg was hiking in the mountains around Lake Aachen in Austria with some friends. The mountains were veiled in a thick cover of clouds. During their climb the mist from the clouds enveloped them So thoroughly that they couldn’t see where they were going and lost sight of the trail Eventually, they also lost sight of each other Until for a brief moment. They spied the edge of a steep rock face bathed in sunlight and thus they were able to gain their bearings and finish the climb ascending above the clouds to behold the mountain peaks a Sun when mountains and beyond them the snow-capped Alps Heisenberg would later go on to become one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century for Heisenberg this experience would serve as an allegory for the struggles to discern the nature of the mechanics or physics of subatomic matter and light His ascent through the intellectual clouds which surrounded the physics community Trying to make sense of the behavior of this subatomic world occurred only a year later in May of 1925 Now only he was alone mountain climbing through the North Sea island of helgeland He had taken leave of absence to escape a terrible attack of hay fever Which had left his face? so swollen that the landlady Assumed he had been in a fight He was struggling to understand how to calculate these spectral lines of hydrogen in a consistent way between thinking climbing and Memorizing go to his poems in West-eastern divan he hardly slept so consumed. He was by this process It was during the midst of this that heisenberg invented modern quantum mechanics Interestingly it might be said that the first hint of idealism in the natural world was born in the poems of goat his west-eastern divan Jonathan wolfgang von goethe was a german writer poet statesman and naturalist his work west-eastern divan was an ode to the great Persian poet Hafez and Islamic Persian mysticism Perhaps these poems were like the illuminated rockface Which permitted the young Heisenberg to make his bearings so that he could take his ascent through the clouds Which obscured the Sun of truth? Heisenberg would later in his book physics and beyond right at First I was deeply alarmed I had the feeling that through the surface of atomic phenomenon. I was looking at a strangely beautiful interior and felt almost giddy at the thought that now I had to probe this wealth of mathematical structures Nature had so generously spread out before me I Was far too excited to sleep. And so as a new day dawn I made for the southern tip of the island where I had been longing to climb a rock jutting out into the sea, I Now did so without much trouble and waited for the Sun to rise His epiphany came when he realized that his problems could be solved by assuming that the momentum and Position were bound up in such a way that the order of their observation mattered Thus how one observed the physical world Actually mattered in a real way and could produce Very different and opposite results the existence of a mind independent objective reality Suddenly was not so clear Heisenberg himself would go on to become a convinced platonist describing elementary particles as comparable to the regular bodies of Plato’s Timaeus They are the original models the ideas of matter to me It seems appropriate that this event would in a strange way be connected to the Persian city of Shiraz Which gave birth to poets and mystics like Soddy Hafez and later the bob? one of the main targets of these poets and mystics were the pedantic religious man literalists and Hippocrates who preached a paradise in terms of carnal pleasure deferred to some afterlife They won in all attempted to point the soul to the transcendent nature of divine love for which material love is but a pale shadow of Of course these questions about the relationship between mind and matter had been thought about for probably as long as humans existed and constitute one of the fundamental questions of philosophy Idealism addresses this question using the core premise that matter or the material existence is Ultimately founded upon mind or consciousness Its history is lost in the haze of Mythology Such that many of the pre-modern Philosopher’s might actually attribute it two of mythical figures such as Hermes try Jena MMus or The Egyptian God thought the presumed father of magical alchemy in the Near Eastern and Western traditions in Eastern traditions such as the Vedas and Upanishads Deal with the core understanding that pure consciousness represents the foundation of reality and being the schools of Vedanta all attempt to deal with the connection between Brahman which is understood as a primal or universal soul and individual soul Atman The primary theme being that the perception of the various physical forms represent an elysian or Maya and that all things are founded upon Brahman the expression thou art that Sums up this concept though different schools have various metaphysical understandings, which Express different levels of monism the most popular and clearest expression of idealism in the West originated with ancient Greek philosophy It grew out of Pythagorean philosophy which believed that mathematics accurately describes the true or essential nature of all things This was carried even further in Plato’s theory of forms Which claimed that non-physical idealized forms or ideas? represent the most accurate reality and that physical objects Represent a shadow of these forms in his work the Republic Plato uses the well known allegory of the cave to illustrate this relationship in the book Plato imagines several prisoners trapped since birth in a cave deep underground Their bodies and heads are chained So that they are forced to only see the wall in front of them on which the shadows of various objects are projected cast by a large fire behind them The effect as Socrates describes it is the same as that of a shadow puppet show The prisoners however are unaware of their situation and of what is going on behind them They only know this reality and so mistake the shadows they see projected on the wall for reality itself eventually, one of the prisoners escapes and Sees the real objects being projected and slowly through painful stages realizes the nature of the deception this freed prisoner is likened to the enlightened philosopher or as we might say a spiritually awakened person The prisoners are all of humanity and the shadows are what we take to be the physical reality Plato’s theory of forms in the dialogues Timaeus and later fado take on more substance in Timaeus the concept that the universe is the work of a divine craftsman is presented Later in Neoplatonism this concept would become important in Platina s’s idea that this craftsman was the first emanation or first mind of the one in Christianity it became the logos or word in the opening sentence in the Gospel of John Also in Timaeus the connection between the elements and perfect solids were introduced in Fado the nature of the soul and its immortality is discussed it Is also here that the relationship between the idealized forms and their physical counterparts are developed it Is from this that the concept of an essence was first put forward For Plato essences were derived from the physical objects relationship to the form In 244 ad The Roman army was defeated by Persian forces near modern-day Fallujah in Iraq The Roman Emperor Gordian the third leading the force was murdered Among the Roman forces was a philosopher platanus he had joined the Roman expedition in hopes that he would learn Persian and make contact with Persian and Indian philosophers who he had grown to admire For over 11 years prior. He had studied at the Platonic Academy in Alexandria as a student of Emmaus Platanus was now stranded in a foreign land and with much difficulty He eventually made his way back to Rome He would later go on to develop. What would be the core of? neoplatonism he taught that there was a supremely transcendent one beyond multiplicity or categories of being and non-being the one was comparable to a divine son a Primal will and intellect from which all things emanated like rays of light Yet like the Sun itself was never diminished by these emanations the rise of Neoplatonism coincided with the rise of Christianity in late antiquity in fact the great Christian theologian Origen was Like latinas also a student of Emmaus in the Platonic Academy in Alexandria There is also some speculation that Platanos himself was a lapsed Christian thus Neoplatonism undoubtedly influenced and was probably itself shaped by Christian theology a Reading of the opening passage from the Gospel of John shows that it almost purposely makes use of the concepts of Neoplatonism in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God Here the term word was translated from the Greek word logos Which had a definite and clear Neoplatonic meaning in? Platonist Emanation of the one The influences of Platonism go even deeper in Christianity if one reads the letters of Paul The very language of platonism is discernible For example how he deals with substances and shadows in his description of the afterlife and resurrection Which in my opinion was later grossly misunderstood? Christian philosophers such as st. Augustine of Hippo reaffirmed the importance of Platonism stating the utterance of Plato is the most pure and bright in all philosophy Scattering the clouds of error and in another place. I Found whatever truth I had read in the platanus was in the writings of paul Combined with the exultation of thy grace However despite st. Augustine’s reverence of plato his misunderstanding of the physicality of the resurrection in the context of true idealism Introduced a materialistic understanding of spiritual bodies and its distinction from Paul’s flesh and blood The result of st Augustine’s view was that the idealized logos, which properly exists not as a physical thing Became the physical spiritual body of Christ that went into a physical heaven later this physical understanding Would help tear the church apart over the question of transubstantiation or the belief that the bread and wine taken during communion would actually transform into the physical body and blood of Christ These misunderstandings essentially transformed idealized Christianity into a quasi materialistic philosophy Irreconcilable with rational logic and science They somehow forgot or couldn’t comprehend the central concept which places? consciousness Abstract forms or relational information as the true foundation of all reality in the 18th century George Berkeley was one of the few Christian theologians who recognized this problem and it’s solution Take away this material substance about the identity where of all dispute is and Mean by body whatever plain ordinary person means by that word to it that which is immediately seen and felt which is only a combination of Sensible qualities or ideas and then their most unanswerable objections come to nothing Unfortunately, his insight was largely ignored in favor of a materialistic theology in 399 ad in Egypt a large mob of Alexandrian monks rioted over origins Neoplatonic theology in Particular his teaching that God was in corporal This cause Pope Theo filius of Alexandria to publicly change his theological position towards origin and denounce him Over to so-called Origen s crisis. The theology of origin was eventually declared heretical By the Byzantium Emperor Justinian the first and he ordered that all his works be burned As one might expect the theology put forward by origin emphasized the spiritual aspects of Christianity especially in the allegorical understanding of Genesis He even claimed that some of the biblical texts had actually no literal meaning and were to be only understood allegorically To me origins later fall from favor in both the eastern and western church doctrine can be seen as indicative of Christianity’s drift towards a materialistic or physical theology and a herald of the ensuing Dark Ages of Europe just Nineteen years after the first riots over origins theology The Christian monks of Alexandria would drag the famous female academic Hypatia off her chariot strip her naked Beat her to death and finally burn her body outside the city walls Hypatia was a female lecturer of mathematics astronomy and Neoplatonism at the university of alexandria She was the daughter of the mathematician Theon the last professor at the University of Alexandria This event came on the heels of Pope’s arils ascent to power after the death of his uncle Theo Phileas in 1412 in 1414 Cyril began a campaign against the Jewish community in Alexandria closing all the synagogue’s confiscating property and expelling the community from the city after Murdering Hypatia, the Christian mob went on to burn down the university under orders of Cyril He was later declared a saint by the church The murder of Hypatia is seen by many to be a watershed event Marking the end of the Classical period and the rise of religious intolerance and descent into the dark ages In Islam a similar sort of pivot away from idealism occurred by the 11th century and Along with it an ensuing decline of dominance in science It can be argued that divorced of idealism. The Quran is unintelligible Here as in the Gospel of John the creativity and mysticism of the word is central in Fact the Quran repeats the description of Jesus as the Word of God used in John early on Islamic philosophers translated studied and adapted Hellenistic Neoplatonism philosophers like al Kindi and later Aleph Arabic and a vicina carried forward Platonic philosophy as well as contributing to the development of science math and medicine However by the 11th century al-ghazali the Persian philosopher and theologian turned sharply against neoplatonism He insisted on the concept of a bodily resurrection The physical pleasures and pains at heaven and hell He also insisted on a form of theological occasional ism the belief that all causal events and interactions Are the product of the immediate and present will of God and not due to any physical ideas of causalities Today Orthodox Islamic Theology like in Christianity take the concept of Resurrection as a physical bodily reality Especially as it applies to the Day of Judgment as in Christianity this materialistic understanding also leads them to take heaven and hell as literally all the beautiful literary and allegorical descriptions of paradise are taken as physical facts in one example from the Quran it says But announce unto those who believe and do things that are right That for them are Gardens Neath which rivers flow so often as they are fed, therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say This same was our sustenance of old and they shall have it’s like given to them therein They shall have wives of perfect purity and there and they shall abide forever These verses and many others like it are commonly accepted by the Orthodox believers to describe a physical state of being in heaven full of physical pleasures this Despite the fact that in the very next verse it warns, but as to the unbelievers They will say what meaneth God by this comparison Many will he mislead by such parables and many guide? But none will he mislead thereby, except the wicked the quran time and again Explicitly warns that many of the verses should be understood figuratively He it is who has sent down to the the book? Some of its verses are themselves perspicuous These are the basis of the book and others are figurative But they whose hearts are given to error follow its figures craving discord Craving and interpretation yet. None knoweth its interpretation, but God or later and Now we have brought them the book with knowledge. We have explained it a guidance and mercy to them that believe What have they to wait for now, but its interpretation When its interpretation shall come they who a 4-time were oblivious of it shall say The prophets of our Lord did indeed bring the truth the Prophet founder of the Baha’i faith Baha’u’llah in one of his most important theological works known as the book of certitude elaborates on the symbolism of both the Quran and the Bible He explains the meaning of the terms resurrection the day of judgment Heaven stars and clouds These were commonly understood to represent actual physical things yet He elaborates how these words must have symbolic and metaphorical meaning for them to have any logical consistency for example, he explains and Now comprehend the meaning of this verse The whole earth shall on the resurrection day be but his handful and in his right hand Shall the heavens be folded together Praise be to him and high be he uplifted above the partners they join with And now be fair in thy judgment We’re this verse to have the meaning which men suppose it to have and what profit one may ask Could it be to man? moreover it is evident and manifest that no such hand as Could be seen by human. I could accomplish such deeds Or could possibly be ascribed to the exalted essence of the one true God Nay to acknowledge such a thing is not but sheer blasphemy an utter perversion of the truth Then later he says on the contrary by the term earth is meant the earth of understanding and knowledge and By heavens the heaven of divine revelation Reflect thou how in one hand he hath by his mighty grasp Turned the earth of knowledge and understanding previously unfolded into a mere handful and on the other Spread out a new and highly exalted earth in the hearts of men thus causing the freshest and loveliest blossoms and the Mightiest and loftiest trees to spring forth from the illumined bosom of man He also in other writings develops further an Islamic mystical tradition that deals with the relationship of words letters and numbers This formed an interesting numerical informational formalism known as abjad that mirrored the jewish numerological mysticism found in kabbalah It is curious how modern sounding this mapping of letters to numbers and the implied creative power of information seems in these accounts in these mystical accounts Creation is described as the movement of the pen of God Rendering letters it begins with a primal point and moves to form the first letter of the Arabic alphabet LF Which geometrically is a straight line? The linkage between the Pythagorean lines as the straight lines of the Arabic letter Aleph moves between creation as divine geometry Mathematics and divine lettering combined to form a word which carries creative knowledge or information Through this lens the Gospel of John now presents a version of creation in much more abstract manner than what exists in Genesis One that could be understood as very complementary to modern understandings on the nature of the rise of order and origins Here creation is now linked to the operation of the Word of God thus one can say that the primal order of the universe comes from the operation of Creative information that might be considered definitional for the term logos word of God This information exists potentially and eternally just as a number three or the geometry of a circle In other words the hollow log goes on to explain No that moreover that the word of god Exalted be his glory is higher and far superior to that which the senses can perceive For it is sanctified from any property or substance It transcended the limitation of known elements and is exalted above all the essential and recognized substances he became manifest without any syllable or sound and Is none but the command of God which pervaded all created things It hath never been withheld from the world of being

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