PHILOSOPHY PATHWAYS ISSN 2043-0728
Issue number 110 25th September 2005
I. 'On the Philosophy of Robert M Pirsig' By Herman J Pietersen
II. 'Revisiting Old Arguments with a New Knowledge Paradigm of Thought'
by Edgar W Hunt III
III. 'The Indivisible Elements of Metaphysics' by Vinayak Shankar
Visitors to my Glass House Philosopher web site will be aware of the debt I owe to Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For me, the most important feature of the book was its attitude to what Pirsig called 'The Church of Reason' - which I identified as the world of academic philosophy.
Herman Pietersen has undertaken a task which I would never had the heart to do, of subjecting Pirsig's 'Metaphysics of Quality' to rigorous philosophical criticism - from which it does not emerge unscathed. Anyone who allowed themself to think that Pirsig had discovered the answer to the question of the Universe, Life and Everything will be disappointed. But I am not.
The general theme of this issue could be best described as 'speculative philosophy'. Pirsig certainly comes into this category. Speculative philosophy pushes beyond what we can know and state with clearly formulated arguments and definitions. In Wittgenstein's terms speculative philosophy struggles to say what 'cannot be said', or, in Kantian terms, it seeks to know the 'unknowable'.
Edgar Hunt finds a link between science, religion and mysticism in the great unsolved questions of physics, such as the plurality of interpretations of Quantum Mechanics or the paradox of super-luminal action at a distance. My impression is that the working physicist is generally inclined to take the more sober view that since there is so much that we still do not know about the universe, it is hardly surprising that the bit that we do claim to 'know' appears at times ambiguous and self-contradictory. Maybe the sober view is missing something after all.
Vinayak Shankar, an ISFP member from Bangalore, India homes in on the human tendency to be forever seeking answers to questions - as if, with enough time and effort, all the secrets of the universe will eventually be revealed. He argues for an alternative view: that our great discoveries and inventions do not come about from our unaided efforts but through a higher force which will never permit us to grasp the complete picture.
I. 'ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF ROBERT M PIRSIG' BY HERMAN J PIETERSEN
In this paper I wish to review Robert M Pirsig's philosophy, twenty years after I was introduced to Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance- an inquiry into values (ZAMM), by a fellow motorcycling enthusiast who confessed to be ignorant about the philosophy parts, yet was very taken with the book anyhow.
I remember that, back in 1984, the book really impressed me, but also recollect that the uneven and intermittent presentation of the two main narratives did not really appeal to me. Despite the book's awkward title (which still seems misleading to me) I was hoping for a fuller, more even-handed treatment of philosophy and philosophers, but this was not to be. Again, although the book provided a fresh perspective, it was also hampered by a tendency to belabour points, by contradictions and all too frequently lapsed into quasi-mystical excess. It soon became clear that for Pirsig more was at stake than just a puzzling and metaphysically interesting concept - somewhere along the way the idea of 'Quality' (with which he struggled so intensely) seemed to assume quasi-divine significance for him.
For stimulating my budding interest in the history of philosophy in 1984, I owe Mr Pirsig an inspirational debt (in my opinion it is still the single most important value of the book). It should be mentioned, however, that at the time of first reading ZAMM I was an experienced psychology professional in my mid thirties and knee-deep in a doctoral thesis that incorporated aspects of Thomas Kuhn's philosophy of science. Given my background as a human scientist with wider intellectual inclinations, I was, therefore, understandably more interested in sustained and scholarly expositions of philosophical thought, than in a (albeit very readable) 'travelling tent show' (Chautacqua) - by an author who seemingly had a personal and intellectual axe to grind (Pirsig's 'truth' versus the 'truth' of the 'Church of Reason'). Nevertheless, and despite my misgivings in the present paper about the significance of his metaphysics, for me, ZAMM still is an outstanding reading event - a book that I gladly recommend to aspiring young intellects interested in 'the high country of the mind'.
Judging by the popularity of the book, which has achieved some sort of cult status, many readers seem more responsive to the inspirational quality of the book, than a critical analysis of its intellectual offerings. That is all well and good for a best-selling author, but raises the question as to the real philosophical contribution of the 'Metaphysics of Quality' MOQ within the wider philosophical literature.
In the following sections a critical look is taken at Pirsig's philosophy as given in his two books, the first on 'Quality' (ZAMM, 1983/ 1974) and the second on applications of the concept and his (MOQ) in Lila (1991).
An unresolved tension
Pirsig's constant metaphysical fence-riding (punctuated by tales of motorcycle riding) Ð his see-sawing between both defining and then withdrawing from defining a supposedly new metaphysical ultimate called 'Quality' is confusing and reveals an ongoing and, to my mind, unresolved tension in his work.
His dilemma, as it repeatedly unfolds in ZAMM, is this:
The Quality that can be defined is not the real Quality (as in the Buddhistic tradition), yet the Quality that cannot be defined cannot be communicated (in the Western tradition) as a possibly useful intellectual construct - only, it seems, mystically experienced and, at most, poetically described as a 'pre-intellectual awareness', 'the front-end of a fast approaching train', and so on.
The problem is that if 'Quality' cannot be firmly defined one sooner or later has to conclude that the idea is beyond intelligent discourse, and therefore demands a Wittgensteinian silence.
Not to be deterred, Pirsig eventually plunges between the horns of the bull and proclaims 'Quality' to be the ground, cause and source of ALL - specifically the Cartesian subject-object distinction (SOM) characteristic of Western science and thought. However, he expresses doubts about this 'move' as well, and after a while the big question for the reader of ZAMM becomes: Which is it going to be for Pirsig?
As it turned out, after reading the second book (Lila, 1991), ZAMM in the end takes the cannot-be-defined road (in what I would call the mystical-poetical mode of thought), which renders Quality a subjectivist and romanticised metaphysical construct; whilst Lila takes the can-be-defined route (in what I would call the scientific-analytic mode) by producing the 'Metaphysics of Quality' as an objectivist metaphysical system, albeit still embedded in a mystical source, now called 'Dynamic Quality'.
To regard the existence of a pre-intellectual awareness of the holistic totality of everything (which Pirsig equates with 'Quality') as primary, means that it (metaphysically speaking) serves as ground of being (including thinking), and hence is and should be un-definable (if one is to avoid the path of metaphysical regress, which, in any case, soon tends to spiral into the realm of the mystical or numinous).
On the other hand, attempting to further define and analyse such a root concept or idea - whether in scientific-analytic or poetical-narrative terms - means leaving behind the pre-intellectual (mystical) sphere and entering the 'cut-and-control' arena of the conscious intellect. This, Pirsig eventually could not desist from, as indicated below. The overall dialectical movement of Pirsig's thought can be described in the following manner:
(a) ZAMM - the Subjectivist thesis: Quality is an
all-encompassing, mystical, ground of being that cannot be
further defined. In ZAMM Pirsig ends with the rhetorical
question: 'what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good -
need we ask anyone to tell us these things?' (ZAMM,
1983:389). In other words: you will 'know' it when you
experience it, and that's all there is to it. The close
similarity with religious conversion experiences, with
deeply personal discoveries of an ultimate faith or a
Spiritual source (read: 'Quality'), is obvious.
(b) Lila - the Objectivist antithesis: Quality is a
multi-tiered cosmological system of all that is. In Lila
Pirsig confesses that he cannot avoid the temptation of
giving further content to (read: dissect) 'Quality': 'This
was the intellectual part that didn't like undefined
things, and telling it not to define Quality was like
telling a fat man to stay out of the refrigerator...'(Lila,
1991: 82). Well, he just could not stay out of the
refrigerator, could he?
So it does not come as a surprise when in Lila he at last (despite ZAMM, initial doubts and inner resistance) presents his own system, the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ), by dissecting 'Quality' into 'Dynamic Quality' (which for all intents and purposes substitutes for the previous, mystical, conception - now dethroned) and Static Quality, the last-mentioned consisting of four, all-inclusive, evolutionary levels:
'Inorganic, Biological, Social and Intellectual - nothing
is left out' (Lila, 1991: 179).
Pirsig's metaphysical system reflects an error that, for instance, also occurs in the elaborate cosmological system of the distinguished Dutch philosopher, Herman Dooyeweerd, namely, of mixing ontological and intellectual categories into one supposedly foolproof cosmology. But, 'Intellectual' (as with the 'logical' in Dooyeweerd's system of fifteen interrelated modalities of reality) does not fit into the system - it is the source and instrument by which the cosmological system is created in the first place, not a cosmological entity in itself!
Furthermore, despite having attacked for over 400 pages in ZAMM the inadequacy (and harmfulness) of the perennial subject-object distinction (SOM) - eventually relegating it to secondary intellectual status, it now suddenly re-appears in an evolutionist cum mind-and-matter dressing in the MOQ system as follows:
'Objects are inorganic and biological values; subjects are
social and intellectual values. These are not two
mysterious universes that go floating around in some
subject-object dream that allows them no real contact with
one another. They have a matter-of-fact evolutionary
relationship.' (Lila, 1991: 350).
Yet, the mystically inclined thinker in Pirsig continues to hold out for something more fundamental, and finds it in the concept of:
'Dynamic Quality, which cannot be described in any
encyclopedia' (1991: 179).
So, from 'Quality' as root or 'final' concept which (in ZAMM) we are advised not to try and analyse any further, we move to Lila where Pirsig, seventeen years after ZAMM, cannot resist picking up the analytical knife again (remember those little box-diagrams early on in ZAMM!) to further dissect this supposedly absolute concept or idea.
Another example of self-contradictory statements concerns the old Freedom versus Determinism problem, which Pirsig tackles in the following manner:
'In the Metaphysics of Quality this dilemma [of free will
versus determinism] doesn't come up. To the extent that
one's behavior is controlled [read: 'determined'] by static
patterns of quality it is without choice. But to the extent
that one follows Dynamic Quality, which is un-definable,
one's behaviour is free [read: 'non-determined', the result
of Free Will]' (Lila, 1991: 187).
But, surely, this is mere linguistic camouflage! For Pirsig the dilemma 'doesn't come up' - yet that is exactly what happens with his explanation. He merely re-phrases the dilemma of determinism and free will in terms of 'static' and 'dynamic' quality, respectively. Instead of, as he obviously thought he did, explain it away as a non-problem, he succumbed to it himself.
Even in ZAMM, near the end, Pirsig realizes that he is treading a path that will end in self-contradiction. As he says:
'He [Phaedrus=Pirsig] is doing the same bad things himself.
His original goal was to keep Quality undefined, but in the
process of battling against the dialecticians he has made
statements, and each statement has been a brick in a wall
of definition he himself has been building around Quality.
Any attempt to develop an organized reason around an
undefined quality defeats its own purpose. (ZAMM,
Yet, with reference to the last sentence, this is exactly what Pirsig does with his MOQ in Lila, where he also find it necessary to defend his metaphysic by embedding it in the mainstream of James' Pragmatism:
'The Metaphysics of Quality is a continuation of the
mainstream of twentieth century American philosophy. It is
a form of pragmatism, of instrumentalism, which says the
test of the true is the good', (Lila, 1991: 426).
And just to confuse matters again, a few pages further on, MOQ is now described something else or more (?) than a form of American empiricism:
'The Metaphysics of Quality identifies religious mysticism
with Dynamic Quality.' (Lila, 1991: 434).
My considered view, is that Pirsig, contrary to his conviction that he achieved a metaphysical Archimedes point, failed to move beyond basic, archetypal modes or 'ways of understanding' within which all thought occur.
He clearly thought that he successfully avoided the horns of the bull (the object-subject; matter-mind distinction). But, by initially defining (the essentially un-definable) 'Quality' as neither subject nor object but the relation/ event between them, as ground (cause) of reality and all knowledge, he merely (and temporarily it turned out) shifted the 'location' of his super-ordinate construct and so ended up with just one more take on 'Quality'. He thought that his philosophy (metaphysics) avoided impalement - but in reality it did not and could not in the way he envisaged it.
In retrospect, this basic contradiction in Pirsig's work (namely, rejecting the SOM tradition in ZAMM, yet actively using this very same approach for generating his MOQ system in Lila), makes Lila a problematic book. In a sense, Lila (much of which experienced social scientists will likely regard as a rather superficial excursion into and eclectic assortment of ideas from the disciplines of sociology and anthropology) 'betrayed' ZAMM. MOQ (Lila) places Pirsig now squarely in the tradition of objectivist (SOM) metaphysics, despite the continuing story-telling (narrative) style, rhetorical overlay, and fragmentary argumentative props from the social sciences.
Placed within ancient Greek philosophical context: in a classic Platonic manner, Pirsig left the many behind in a supreme effort to identify (and become identified, in an almost spiritual sense) with the one [the Good or 'Quality' that is, for him, beyond even the Form of forms]. However, it is to be doubted whether humankind can ever escape the dialectic of the one and the many. Neither Plato and Aristotle and the whole of Western philosophy thereafter, could - hence the ongoing battle between rationalists and relativists; Platonists against Sophists; Materialists/ Empiricists against Idealists, particularists against universalists, and so on.
At root all our thinking is locked in an eternal struggle between the One and the Many - even the dyed-in-the-wool 'Pluralist' (and Pirsig's philosophical guru) William James, regarded this most basic of philosophical distinctions with an attitude approaching reverence, as that philosophical concept which is 'most pregnant with meaning'. To escape the one (for the many) would mean mental anarchy (the tyranny of the many, ex-plosion and disintegration, thus: insanity); to escape the many (for the one) would mean mental atrophy (the tyranny of the one, im-plosion and everlasting silence, thus: insanity).
Despite declaring himself to be a Sophist in the Jamesian tradition, and despite his attack on Plato (and Aristotle) for elevating 'Truth' at the cost of sacrificing the more original and 'better' 'Good' (and for intellectualising the latter), Pirsig's great indebtedness to Plato should be unmistakeable. The following words (and the uncanny resemblance to Plato's) should make Pirsig's own Idealist cum Mystical tendencies clear:
'The sun of quality... does not revolve around the subjects
and objects of our existence. It does not just passively
illuminate them. It is not subordinate to them in any way.
It has created them. They are subordinate to it!' (ZAMM,
Anyone who has ever read Plato's Cave metaphor will immediately recognize in Pirsig almost rapturous description essentially the same event - he even expresses it in the same symbolic manner as the 'Sun'. But, of course, it is a metaphor, an intellectual reaching out toward ultimate, final truth. At that highest of the high of mind, there is no logos (inductive or deductive), only the supreme dialectic. For Pirsig it is mythos beyond logos. Here Pirsig was caught up in a mystical, trance-like gazing at the sun - and 'seeing' only a most wondrous 'brilliance: QUALITY, itself! The ONE of all Ones!
In the Republic (Lee, 1987), Plato describes it thus:
P.319: 'The thing he would be able to do last would be to
look directly at the sun itself, and gaze at it without
using reflections in water or any other medium [the lower
levels and forms of truth, less real], but as it is in
320/1: 'Now my dear Glaucon... That at any rate is my
interpretation, which is what you are anxious to hear; the
truth of the matter is, after all, known only to god. But
in my opinion, for what it is worth, the final thing to be
perceived in the intelligible region, and perceived only
with difficulty, is the form of the good; once seen, it is
inferred to be responsible for whatever is right and
valuable in anything, producing in the visible region
light, and being in the intelligible region itself
controlling source of truth and intelligence. And anyone
who is going to act rationally either in public or private
life must have sight of it.'
Pirsig's 'Quality', the ultimate reality beyond all, has after two books and more than two decades of tinkering become so broadly conceived and so constantly redefined that one, in the end, hardly knows what to exclude from a term that seems to gobble up everything else in its path. Here are some examples:
'...one can meditate on the fact that the old English roots
for the Buddha and Quality, God and good, appear to be
identical' (ZAMM, 1983: 252)
and further on:
'Quality is the Buddha. Quality is scientific reality.
Quality is the goal of Art' (ZAMM, 1983: 270)
'The Greeks called it enthousiasmos, the root of
'enthusiasm,' which means literally 'Filled with theos,' or
God, or Quality' (ZAMM, 1983: 296)
'He knew the Quality he talked about lay outside the
mythos. Now it comes! Because Quality is the generator of
the mythos. That's it. ..'Quality is the continuing
stimulus which causes us to create the world in which we
live. All of it. Every last bit of it.' Religion isn't
invented by man. Men are invented by religion. Men invent
responses to Quality...' (ZAMM, 1983: 345)
...a new spiritual rationality - in which the ugliness and
the loneliness and the spiritual blankness of dualistic
technological reason would become illogical. Reason was no
longer to be 'value-free.' Reason was to be subordinate,
logically, to Quality...' (ZAMM, 1983: 352)
and, to round it off:
'Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were
teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine 'virtue'.
But Arete. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason.
Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter.
Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those
first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality,
and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric' (ZAMM,
As one may notice, Pirsig had little difficulty in gathering all and sundry 'big', 'ultimate' ideas under the rubric of 'Quality'!
ZAMM and Lila could not, in this author's view, really accomplish what it set out to do. Essentially, Pirsig unsuccessfully tried to collapse the most fundamental distinctions in Western thought into a mystical metaphysics that, in the end, has more value as the entertaining story of one man's spiritual/ metaphysical quest. He bravely attempted to get beyond basic modes of understanding but, despite much skilful 'horn-hopping', eventually got skewered on the objectivist horn (and by implication had to submit to the dictates of Reason, even if still outside the 'Church of Reason').
Taking both books into synoptic view it must therefore be concluded that the 'Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) is an ambitious but unsuccessful intellectual leap into mystical metaphysics. Despite Pirsig's erudition, wide-ranging intellect and highly entertaining novels, in the end the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) could not escape the subjectivist-objectivist cage that Pirsig so dearly (almost desperately) wanted to transcend.
Pirsig, RM (1983/ 1974) Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance: An inquiry into values. London: Corgi.
Pirsig, RM (1991) Lila: An inquiry into morals. London: Corgi.
Plato. 'The Republic', (1987, 2nd Edition ), Translated, H D P Lee, England: Penguin.
(c) Herman Pietersen 2005
II. 'REVISITING OLD ARGUMENTS WITH A NEW KNOWLEDGE PARADIGM OF THOUGHT'
BY EDGAR W HUNT III
As we analyze new knowledge, we sometimes forget that new knowledge may change old knowledge, give it new meaning or greater depth of meaning. As knowledge increases, so does the scope of the paradigm within which we work. Science has opened the door of a new and larger paradigm than we have ever had before, but I am not sure that it realizes what it has done.
In the study of knowledge - all knowledge - I found some common ground between the strangest of areas. I found that scientists are sounding like theologians, and theologians are sounding like scientists. In this new paradigm we find that science and religion are relative to each other and are speaking of the same things in different ways.
It is said that we learn nothing yet we experience it. If this is true, we must ask about information known ahead of time and contained in religion, which science agrees is accurate. There are three points to which I'm referring. First, religion and science both talk about non-physical realms of existence. Second, they both talk about information shared between the physical realm and the non-physical realms. Third, they both talk about information ahead of time. Within this framework of common knowledge, we come to the philosopher's paradise. In the fact that they share common knowledge, we recognize that the real issue is how and when each attained the common knowledge.
Science claims that all knowledge it recognizes is experienced by only one means, the five physical senses. In one way or another, all the knowledge of science is experienced by the physical senses with the aid of virtual technological realities (machines), which extend the range and limitations of our physical senses. In converting nature to its various relative forms by the proven laws of relative relationships, science has only recently arrived at knowledge that religion has processed for thousands of years. Even though religion claims its knowledge did not come from the five physical senses, its knowledge in these three areas is now backed up by science and the physical senses. The area that we find this in science is in the study of parallel universes, multiverse, or many-world interpretations. When science talks of parallel universes, it says that these other verses of nature have physical qualities unlike ours, or that we would consider them to be non-physical. In religion you find the same thing - references to non-physical realms of existence.
This exchange of information is the basis of religion, and of the claim that a writer is not the author and can take no credit for its content, the source always being a higher-level being in a non-physical realm. Science, in this area, clearly states that the exchange of information between different verses of nature is one of the few things that can be shared between realms. The question then becomes: Is religion actually information shared with life in another verse of nature, a non-physical realm? If, in fact, information ahead of time has taken place, and knowledge of the three common areas to which I'm referring was written down thousands of years prior to having the same knowledge understood by the physical senses, we must rethink our understanding of time and also our understanding of sensory perception beyond the five physical senses.
Time is a sequence of relative events; let's start with that. Matter and energy are one and the same in different relative relationships. As speed increases, events slow down. It is within this range that we find sets of physical forms of matter and energy.
Keep in mind that with multiverse, parallel universes, or many-world interpretations, we find our thinking must be within a new current knowledge paradigm. We must extend our scope of thought to go beyond our past understanding and rethink this larger scope. With other 'non-physical systems,' we find that our physical realm is only a subset of a larger system containing similar but different sequences of events. In our physical realm, our sequence of events is relative to the speed of light. Until recently science thought that the speed of light was the boundary of the universe. Well, it's not. Science has not only observed things at speeds faster than the speed of light within our physical realm in cosmology, but it has also reached greater speeds in the laboratory.
What does this mean? It means that E=MC is not the limit of matter and energy. It means that E=MC is only a subset of something larger. So let's go beyond that. With the writings of religion, we now have common knowledge in an area that we thought could only be experienced by the five physical senses. With religion containing this same knowledge thousands of years prior to its being experienced through the physical senses, we find that the sixth senses are really telepathic senses that we possess. Religion has provided information in a way that we did not realize until now.
Time now will have to be thought of as a sequence of events, with each different verse of nature having its own sequence of events going on at the same time - each one different but sharing some features in common with each other. From our perspective of the physical senses, the past, present, and future are all separate; but with the sixth senses, they are all happening at the same time, so to speak.
Let me clarify that point. What has been termed the duality of man is that man functions in more than just the physical realm; he functions in another realm at the same time. Within the physical realm is another realm that coexists with it and is the source of the physical realm. Physical functions require a physical realm to exist, but functions of the mind do not. The mind has within it a dual functioning existence. It functions in two relative sequences of events at once, and in this duality we find the true meaning of soul, conscience, and free will. The area of thought is not a private domain. Our physical being relative to E=MC may think that our thoughts are private only because there was never proof to the contrary. With the new knowledge and the information ahead of time in religion, we have a common prime factor from which to work. With science entering through the Einstein-Rosen Bridge and religion coming through the Pearly Gates, they both still arrive at the same destination.
Functioning in an interactive coexisting universe, we find a new and deeper understanding of ourselves. Even in a universe, we find that spatial separation is only limited to physical things; and in a multiverse, information and communication have no spatial separation. Conscience becomes the interactive coexistence of two sets of sensory experiences, one being physical and another being telepathic or non-physical. Technically, we would have to call these newly found senses dark matter and dark energy senses. These senses, working side by side simultaneously in two different sequences of events, are both a source of experience or learning.
With this new paradigm, we find that morality is actually more reality than we knew, and soul is a source of universal learning or the exchange of information on a grander scale. In this new knowledge and the exchange of thought between the physical realm and other non-physical realms, we must rethink Anselm of Canterbury's argument for the existence of God.
Religion now opens a door that science never had, a means to learn of life in a parallel universe and, from that life, learn about us. If life after death is our future, we have a great source of information ahead of time, before it is our time to exist in that non-physical realm.
In this new multiverse paradigm, we see that S1 (I~E) = S2. We should now start to think that Albert Einstein's spooky action at a distance is just a new relative sequence of events whose range of existence is at a faster or higher speed than our physical realm relative to the speed of light. As Einstein said with regards to the EPR effect, there were only two situations that would explain this action: situation one (S1), that information was telepathic, or faster than the speed of light and not detectable by our physical senses; or situation two (S2), that we do not understand spatial separation. So we come to a new kind of energy, one faster than the speed of light, and in that energy we find an energy that carries information to what we call physical matter.
It is said that matter is frozen energy, or that matter is really just information and energy. Within this new knowledge shared by science and religion, we see that a new energy faster than the speed of light is a motive force for us. It brings the information at a super-luminal speed that determines what our luminal (physical) world does. It is the source energy that carries within it the information of our luminal energy to determine the type of matter in our realm. The imaginary rest mass that Einstein spoke of is the information in motive or super-luminal energy, which is telepathic or not detectable by our five physical senses (until recently with the aid of virtual technological reality of machines). It delivers the information that determines the state of matter that we have. Inanimate objects require the least information. Living things exchange information, but human beings exchange conversations with this source in the form of intelligent thought. That is the awareness religion brings to mankind in all parts of the newly found multiverse. Religion is the reuniting of life with awareness of life, not only in the present, but always. Eternal life is in many states of being and in many times, all at once. Spatial separation does not limit mankind in his various stages of eternal life in the multiverse.
Remember, with any knowledge comes responsibility; with religion comes commandments. We all answer to laws, whether they are of nature, man, or God. In a multiverse-aware society, all three laws should agree.
As with any writer with this awareness, I am the writer of this article, but I am not the author. God is a reality, and you don't need to wait until the next life to know that if you have lived up to the task. It is man's God-given task to seek out all the knowledge under the heavens. Science is the study of knowledge, and philosophy is the love of knowledge. Religion and God have led the way from the beginning. That is what we have to learn. Welcome to the new knowledge paradigm of thought. It is one where morality is a reality and not just an optional concept.
(c) Edgar W Hunt III 2005
III. 'THE INDIVISIBLE ELEMENTS OF METAPHYSICS' BY VINAYAK SHANKAR
 [ Birth of Metaphysics ] :
No matter where and what we are doing, there is always a dark side for all objects and knowledge known to us that keeps haunting us in our nightmares and day dreams as unanswered questions.
As a common tendency we all never like to be reminded about those unknown unanswered questions, but for some the answers to these puzzles or enigmas becomes the motivation and intention to live and breathe. In this world of educated illiterates, who can dare to go against the worldly pleasures and goods that exist inside common living? Following the guidelines and the experience of our ancestors to earn a living and also to earn a dignified place in a society is the easiest one can do, provided he is gifted with a sound mind and body.
We all have allowed knowledge into us in the process of learning but how many of us have really questioned and criticized? For those who believe that every question does not just have an answer but also has a question hidden in the mist of the answers to it, all known and accepted facts can be questioned, criticized and transformed from knowledge to Nothing.
In simple terms we are all addicted to use the magic of Nature and energy from the cosmos to feed our mortal flesh that holds an immortal restless soul. No act of any living being can be classified as wrong, for the fact that each one of us uniquely represents the atom of our universe that is gifted with a finite amount of energy trapped in its finite contour of flesh. Most of us learn to live and some learn to criticize and others learn to invent, and all this classifies our human society into three classes - Followers, Criticizers and Inventors. All are here to defy one another's acts and existence.
Out of all the knowledge the humans have ever mastered, one subject passes through all veins of all humans that the followers are aware of and criticizers (philosophers) have mastered and the inventors have fought against and is called 'Metaphysics'.
 [ Defining Metaphysics ] :
Metaphysics is not born to die or rather to make its own death, but is born as an immortal awareness to remind all life forms with consciousness in our universe of the Mother of all miracles, creations and energy transformations.
Here in a dimensionless domain the subject never intends to glow and show its shine in the darkness of criticism for it was born before all of everything and nothing we have seen so far in the name of religion, science etc. Its presence can be felt through portraits, scripts, music, and in all solitary life, from experiencing pain, pleasure and near-death experiences. It never is an art to master the skills of keeping your flesh in control of your divine mind or a pathway to achieve God, but is the truth about all time consuming and energy transforming activities powered for an unknown cause by an unknown force of Nature.
 [ Presence of Metaphysics in Everything ] :
When we all talk about like as great optimists about everything, we tend to miss out one important unanswered question that we all are aware of but fear to know and that is:
'How much means literally EVERYTHING?'
Each one of us no matter how good or bad we are to ourselves or to others, keeps working in the darkness of night and in the brightness of day using God gifted and self gifted skills, transforming energies around us just to discover and know for ourselves what more could be added to what human history has ever been familiar with, in the name of religion, science, art and philosophy!
'Everything' never just means all the knowledge one can use to get away from the evil effects of Nature on our body and souls. It always means more than the knowledge and understanding any superhumans have ever mastered. It induces a sense of restlessness to our body and soul that activates a energy trapped in the living life form to finally feel the possibilities of discovering the new boundaries of 'Everything' - but unfortunately in such a way that the results of this realization make us merely say, 'Everything is possible' and in effect all of us get addicted to work more more and more until all secrets of this cosmos have been revealed.
'The sense of nothing and emptiness moves all of us to know more and more of everything that goes down into past as Nothing ', in simplest terms means that 'It is Nothing that makes us all reach and redefine the boundaries of Everything.'
'All known facts are called as knowledge' and 'All unknown facts are called as enemies of knowledge' - it is only 'Everything' that holds and positively relates all known and unknown facts of this universe which can be collectively called 'Metaphysics '.
 [ Flesh of Metaphysics ] :
All humans have experienced and witnessed success, survival, intelligence, problem solving skills, ability to understand and exploit Nature and also the art of showing supremacy in different forms among his own species and among all other species of life. So all this means that we humans are gifted with an extra gene that enables us to know, understand and then react to protect ourselves from any sign of danger or threat to our human species. All of these human behaviours that are tolerated by Nature can also be accepted by us as an act of using the born talents and skills that we all possess from birth as instincts. But then all is not as simple as it seems, for in fact we never all share equal abilities of all human talents known to us.
A display of human intellect is witnessed by many, but only very few gifted people experience it. Metaphysics is known to all people who believe that, 'All transformation that occurred around us due to the intellect of some great people are nothing but as the messengers of God'. While those who believe that, 'All that was invented was purely an act of human intellect' know nothing about Metaphysics.
Metaphysics holds that 'No energy can undergo a transformation for no reason.' Every invention is a coincidence of his knowledge, efforts, time instance and a need for change in Nature and in us. All activities, creations, miracles that occur in Nature can be explained and formulated by us through our knowledge and intelligence, but some of all those that we have understood can never be created. Science can explain and reveal certain facts of Nature, but it never means that we have defeated Nature. For science, Nature and universe will stay as an immortal enemy.
Consider a simple example of Dr Newton who was a well known scientist, who discovered the presence of gravity in Nature. Was it a fall of an apple that motivated Newton to understand more about what was happening in Nature or was it his intelligence? All those who had previously seen an apple dropping down from the tree never realized and invented the idea of gravity, so this means that it was either Newton's intelligence that unlocked the secret of Nature or can it also be that, Nature wanted him as the messenger of God to speak about the truth and pass the secret message to the world in a disguised form?
If it really was an act of Newton's intelligence, he could have found the presence and value of gravity any day he had seen any other object fall due to gravity. Though Newton had witnessed the fall of several objects in his daily life he did not feel and realize that gravity was playing a key role. And from this it all means that, invention is just an act of coincidence. All scientists, mathematicians, philosophers are the messengers of God. God wants none of us to realize the secret that humans were never the sole source of their own creative acts.
 [Conclusion] :
No language, no mathematics, no science can ever describe and explain and create the beauty of Nature and our unknown universe. They can all explain and understand Nature but it never means that we will be the future creators of this universe. We are all driven by a strong motivation to live and transform energies around us. We have all progressed from animals to humans and in this long journey we have exploited all the living life forms around us. Nature was the womb God created for us to be born and brought up.
In the mirror of consciousness we are all misguided by our own thoughts and perception of our actions. We unlike animals do not just feed our flesh but also try to feed our souls by success, pride and superiority. We were all gifted by intelligence to find the recipe for comfort, safety and joy. The fact is that, only a little is known by us about our universe and this never means that the rest can also be known in the same way.
All the little that Nature allowed us to know about our universe was to find himself the basic ingredients to live until death. And the remainder of what all is yet to be understood really never matters or can change the way can live in future. Because when all about this universe is understood we will have no more desire to live on this earth and time will look frozen in the ice of knowledge. Let's accept the fact that we are all driven by our own subconsciousness to live and fight against all unknowns and enigma of cosmos.
Mysteries and unanswered questions will remain visible as long as the human being can think and use his eye of intellect. Satiating our flesh and souls creates a conflict with each other that leads us to travel back and forth, which in effect can bring no progress to our thoughts. No one can ever come out or win against this dilemma for the simple reason that flesh and soul can never stay and find meaning when they are apart.
This is the great secret of our universal laws that we call Metaphysics.
(c) Vinayak Shankar 2005