Noogenesis and the Psychic Law

In this study, the second law of thermodynamics is seen to parallel the psychic law Jesus spoke of, saying that it must be fulfilled to the last iota, that it is far easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for this law to fail.

To suggest that something in man, or in consciousness, parallels entropy’s increasing measure will, no doubt, appear fantastic to many scientists – yet, a great scientist, Teilhard de Chardin, writes:

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…there is in progress, within us and around us, a continual heightening of consciousness in the Universe. For a century and a half the science of psychics, preoccupied with analytical researches, was dominated by the idea of the dissipation of energy and the disintegration of matter. Being now called upon by biology to consider the effects of synthesis, it is beginning to perceive that, parallel with the phenomenon of corpuscular disintegration, the Universe historically displays a second process as generalized and fundamental as the first: I mean that of the gradual concentration of its physic-chemical elements in a nuclei of increasing complexity, each succeeding stage of material concentration and differentiation being accompanied by a more advanced form of spontaneity and spiritual energy. The outflowing flood of Entropy equaled and offset by the rising tide of a Noogenesis!

So what is Noogenesis? Noogenesis is concept expounded by the French paleontologist/Jesuit Priest Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard saw Noogenesis as the psychic counterweight to Entropy; it is the beginning of conscious, reflective thought, something in all of creation which only human beings are capable of. With Noogenesis eventually comes the creation of a new atmosphere of thought, the Noosphere. The continued linking and merger of human thought via human socialization is Noogenesis. For Teilhard, the same attracting force that brought material creation into existence now exerts that force in the psychic network that will ultimately lead to a universal human community bonded by love. This is especially propelled forward by the expanding awareness of the suffering and diminishment of ourselves and others, which can also be seen as the growth and enlargement of empathy. This will be a “second coming” of Christ and for Teilhard it is the goal to which all evolution is leading.

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Preston Harold continues…

Again, this study proposes empathy to be the psychic measure which constantly increases, which may be arrested under certain conditions, but which can never decrease or be “undone.” Omar Khayyam, “who stitched the tents of science,” spoke poetically of a psychic parallel to that which is irreversible. Is it empathy which is written? – when:

The moving Finger writes; and having writ,

Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

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There has been a constant increase in human understanding. This cannot be spelled out on paper any more than entropy’s measure can be written out in decimal figures, but empathy must be calculated in dealing with men in society – for example, efforts to abolish racial discrimination bespeak it. The increase in empathy reflects, no doubt, the increase of disorder, psychic and public, born of man’s social striving, but by its very nature empathy is redemptive: it is knowing with the whole being the truth of the whole situation.

Sometimes it seems to me this can’t be true. Has there been an increase in human understanding? What about all the racism, sex trafficking, and other social ills that still overrun our society and are part of the “Domination System” so expertly expounded on by the late Walter Wink? Human beings will continue to be human beings, right? But then it seems to me that with recent major public awarenesses of injustice, especially the past few months in the United States of police overreach, that a light is being shined in dark places. “Deep cleaning” is never a pretty undertaking, and that goes for both sides of the coin. Maybe, just maybe, we are in the beginning throes of starting to “know with the whole being the truth of the whole situation.” May it be so. Until next time, peace.

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Chapter 6: Nature’s Supreme Law

To begin Chapter 6, which focuses on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, Preston Harold sets us up nicely:

The realm of physics is paradoxical, topsy-turvy, poetic, as inexpressible in the last reaches as any mystic revelation that has confronted man.

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In his “The Nature of the Physical World” Sir Arthur Eddington writes, “Sir William Bragg was not overstating the case when he said that we use the classical theory on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the quantum theory on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.” Preston Harold says this shift of theory is necessary because scientists have had to divide their laws into different compartments, classic and quantum. Eddington continues, “Unfortunately, our compartments are not watertight…The classical laws are the limit to which the quantum laws tend when states of very high quantum number are concerned…The disagreement is not very serious when the number is moderately large; but for small quantum numbers the atom cannot sit on the fence. It has to decide between (classical) and (quantum) rules. It chooses [quantum] rules.”

Preston Harold pulls us into the realm of religion:

Here, the first parallel may be drawn; when large numbers are concerned, men must operate under classical law, outgrown from the Ten Commandments, and humanity at large will tend to operate according to the classical patterns history presents; but operating within each human being are quantum psychic laws that contradict the classical picture he presents, and as an individual, he is subject to these laws primarily. Just as one psychic law – the Golden Rule – bridges the dichotomy between man and society, so the physicist deals with one law that fits in either quantum or classical compartment. This is the second law of thermodynamics which, in Eddington’s words, “has been equally successful in connection with the most recondite problems of theoretical physics and the practical tasks of the engineer.”

'I thought the Golden Rule covered all this?'

In our next installment we will hone in on the second law of thermodynamics and explore it’s meaning and consequence. Until then, peace.

THE PROBLEM, THE OBJECTIVE, THE CRUCIAL QUESTIONS – Part 3

It’s time for the last of our 3 foci, “the objective.”

To understand the objective of THE SHINING STRANGER, we will all have to become poets.  But what exactly is a poet?  Of all the definitions I’ve heard, I enjoy Dr. Cornel West’s the most:

The great (Percy) Shelly used to say that ‘poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.’ What did he mean by that?  He wasn’t talking about versifying.  To be a poet in the most profound sense is to have the courage to release your imagination and your empathy…

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True poetry is full of contradictions, paradox, mystery, conundrums, and riddles.  Many people say the Bible cannot be trusted because it contains many contradictions.  Others say “if the Bible says it, it must be so,” and can’t see any meaning beyond the plain sense of the text.  Both sides are barking up the wrong tree.  Harold says…

Dr. Henry A Murray writes that an “important fact not generally acknowledged is…the Bible is poetry, in its best parts, magnificent and edifying poetry….Some devout Christians overlook the fact that the stirring and sustaining power of the Book they live by depends on the wondrous emotive language, the vivid imagery and figures of speech, with which its wisdom is transmitted….If the New Testament…had been written by a modern social scientist in the jargon of his profession, it would have died at birth.”

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As does (George) Santayana, Dr. Murray sees that the playing down of the “crucial import of the Bible’s poetry,” hand in hand with the playing up of its historicity, is the greatest fallacy of Christianity, for thereby the scope of its traffic with and judgement of reality is severely limited.  Poetry does not obscure fact – it presents it in words that act as leaven in the mind to make room for it to house there.  Poetry is dazzling in its completely open and full use of words that have, as John Ciardi puts it: “…far more meanings than anyone thinks about in reading factual prose.  A word is not a meaning but a complex of meanings consisting of all its possibilities: its ability to identify something, the image it releases in making that identification, its sound, its history, its associations-in-context…” (emphases mine)

Plato equated poetry with creation: “All creation or passage of non-being into being is poetry or making.”  Poetry comes from the subconscious, and Harold sees in Jesus the universe’s Poet Laureate…

Jesus spoke poetically, but if His words are true they must be a correct, albeit poetical, description of reality.

Until a man has grasped the full implication of Jesus’ words, “the kingdom of God is within you,” he cannot begin to understand Him.  His every word is predicated upon this revelation.  It is the woking of the inner kingdom He reveals.  If the kingdom of heaven is within, there is no heavenly place of the abode for the “redeemed” to go – the realm of heaven is now an individual state of being, a potential mankind shall in time realize.  It is inward reality as opposed to the outward illusiveness of life (and of matter, which Jesus proclaimed long before the physicists discovered it).

Jesus saw life to be infinite, saw that man’s religions form one-to-one correspondences of truth, and that each man is a one-to-one correspondence with God, truth, life, and with each other man.

Jesus saw the Ten Commandments as classical psychic law.  He realized, however, that quantum psychic law underlies the classical law, and this secondary law governs the inner, real life of the individual – this is the law he enunciated.

In saying that the kingdom of God, an unknown realm, is within each person, Jesus proclaimed the existence of that psychic reality now called the unconscious – revealed its working and power.  He made of Himself a symbol of the Authority within this psychic realm: the vital Self-of-selves abstracted from consciousness for which man yearns – which is unto each his own, “the Lord, your God.”

Jesus strove to heal the breach in man’s thinking upon reality, strove to rejoin the divided physical and spiritual realms, saying, poetically, that the energy which gives life to man is, potentially, in a “stone.”  Identifying Himself and mankind with primordial energy, light, He dramatized and phrased in poetic terms the most important of the secondary laws of physics, enfolding His answer to the question of the universe in the sign positive (+)….whether by design or because he knew how to tap the fount of truth in His unconscious, He presented in drama, symbol, and poetry the underlying physical and psychic laws that are today being revealed.

From these observations Harold derives the objective of THE SHINING STRANGER:

The objective, then,  is not to present one or several new aspects, but rather a whole new concept of Jesus, for, as Albert Schweitzer points out, “What has been passing for Christianity during these nineteen centuries is merely a beginning, full of weaknesses and mistakes, not a full-grown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.”

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One here is reminded of GK Chesterton’s quote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

Although THE SHINING STRANGER is a difficult work, we will not leave it untried.  I hope we are up to the challenge ahead of us.  Until next time, peace…