Monday, July 14, 2014

Beyond Logic

An Age Old Question

Is logic irrelevant to the workings of the universe? It just may be far stranger than we imagine it to be.
It might be incommensurable to any arrangement of facts. It also may be so far advanced in it's arrangements we just might resemble ants trying to locate the ocean. Rather than a closed system, the point of it just may be it is an open system, open to possibilities far beyond our experience. If one thinks otherwise, one just might be in for a big surprise.

This a a question raised by the ever deeper explorations of the physicality within the origins of matter by experiments within physics that reveal the universe becomes so unpredictable that causality itself is under scrutiny as well as presenting a seemingly impassible barrier to rationality and logic.
From one vantage point if we remove the archetypes of mythology that has invaded the topic of the paranormal pushing it into a liminal niche of any serious considerations, the anomalous could be considered as a reconciling principle between classical physics which represent predictive phenomenon and the unpredictable nature of quantum possibilities.
However each quantum mathematical theory to logically explain causality ( of which there are countless variations) are becoming more and more abstracted, tongue tied and oblique from bubbles to strings and one could say physics stands as does the study of the anomalous on the boundaries of liminality.

Liminality is the signet of the paranormal at the threshold of transition whether it is societal or a matter of personal individuation between structure and anti-structure, In anthropologyliminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold" is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold"between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.

One thinks of the ritual qualities that experiential anomalies entail in terms of initiation that have an inherent trickster quality of logic being exposed as uncertain where evident characteristics of the physical and internal universes conspire to upend one's orientation in both space time and linear causality. All of this within the symbolism of a shadow play as within becomes without in a examination of our species purpose as a matter of investigation.

."..the symbolic display seen by the abductees is identical to the type of initiations ritual or astral voyage that is imbedded in the [occult] traditions of every culture...Thus, "the structure of abduction stories is identical to that of occult initiation rituals"
-Dr Jacques Vallee  Messengers of Deception

One of my areas of research has been the correlation of the chief characteristics between Near Death Experiences and "Alien" Abductions as well as Out of Body Experiences as all three utilize the symbol of light as a passage equated to a initiation that unites the irrational and transpersonal within the symbolism that dreams portray in exploring the liminality of how we define our relationship to physicality..which remains an open ended question.

One wonders is energy is information than perhaps light is the sum of all possibilities.

One has the superimposition of technological symbolism suggesting that such a transitional application of transcendence within physicality is possible within machinery so to speak, while the other suggests the same as a organic matter of origin by way of return to la delimited light, to the equivalence of a inner sun wherein all things are possible. One can say these are representational sides of the same coin whose confluence is identical. One leads to eyeless controllers and the other to the angels of compassion. Both defy logic and  both are anti-structural and both are initiations.

When civilizations reach a threshold of transition on the borders of liminality it's constituent participants as a aggregate sum of the whole find themselves experiencing a spectrum of anti-structural thresholds as an initiation toward a transitional state of acknowledging other possibilities as well as thinking in other categories. In some circles it is known as the equivalent of a musical notation termed an interval when the past civilization or if you will, consensus reality that bound it together has not been erased and it's replacement has not yet arrived.

The third leg of this triad of these passages into liminality and initiation are what are known as out of body experiences as described by the first individual to detail these experiential anomalies, Robert Monroe who offered this account:

"I suddenly felt bathed in and transfixed by a very powerful beam... I was completely powerless, with no will of my own, and I felt as if I were in the presence of a very strong force, in personal contact with it. It had intelligence of a form beyond my comprehension and it came directly (down the beam?) into my head, and seemed to be searching every memory in my mind. I was truly frightened because I was powerless to do anything about this intrusion.
The same impersonal probing, the same power, from the same angle. However, this time I received the firm impression that I was inextricably bound by loyalty to this intelligent force, always had been, and that I had a job to perform here on earth...
It is an impersonal, cold intelligence, with none of the emotions of love or compassion which we respect so much, yet this may be the omnipotence we call God... I sat down and cried, great deep sobs as I have never cried before, because then I knew without any qualification or future hope of change that the God of my childhood, of the churches, of religion throughout the world was not as we worshipped him to be—that for the rest of my life, I would "suffer" the loss of this illusion."

One thinks that if perhaps one counted all the similarities that constitute an aggregate sum to a organizing principle, all of this would lead to an incommensurable infinity of possible outcomes wherein anyone any number of similarities to the whole would fail to encapsulate the sum.

What seemed vividly apparent yesterday is called into question and the critical assumptions that were once logical now seem hopelessly provincial and naive.

It is a question as old as Socrates and Plato who in the allegory of the cave suggested logic is based on nothing more than the effect of shadows upon the "chained" inhabitants of a proverbial cave and that these prisoners by predicting what shadows would appear in what order and by the assignment of names, had created a self referential universe entirely divorced from any remote possibility that recognized their entire cosmology was placed upside down in a context of cause versus effect.

"We probed into the nature of space and time, and of the universal, both with regard to external nature and with regard to mind. But then, we went on to consider the general disorder and confusion that pervades the consciousness of mankind. It is here that I encountered what I feel to be Krishnamurti's major discovery. What he was seriously proposing is that all this disorder, which is the root cause of such widespread sorrow and misery, and which prevents human beings from properly working together, has its root in the fact that we are ignorant of the general nature of our own processes of thought. Or to put it differently it may be said that we do not see what is actually happening, when we are engaged in the activity of thinking."
-David Bohmn "A Brief Introduction to the Work of Krishnamurti"
Everything Old Is New Again

If logic has no place in nature outside the confines of human invention, do experiential anomalies provide a more accurate portrayal of the universe?

Dr Vallee has suggested that the barriers between the human system of logical ordering tied to the antistructural anomalies that are confrontations between physicality as defined by classical physics as opposed to the delimited nature of what anomalies represent are a expression of a control system that attenuates and channels the developmental aspects of perception in relation to a larger universe.
However, what is controlling what? It may be that this is not so much a control system as it is a perceptual illustration of multiplicity in relation to our own nature.

Metaphysics has made a theme of the transient nature of concreted phenomenon for centuries. In Buddhism, one of the fundamental teachings is that all the constituent forms (sankharas) that make up the universe are temporary (Pali: anicca), arising and passing away, and therefore without concrete identity (atta). This lack of enduring identity (anatta) of phenomenon is explained in the doctrine of interdependent origination. This concept of interdependent origination is found in the cosmology of Islamic Sufism as the term Qûnawî gave currency to a technical term, ta‘ayyun or “entification”, that plays a major role in discussions of the Reality of Realities that constitute the interdependence of all phenomenon such as physics has been attempting to unravel.

The word is derived from‘ayn, entity, and it means to become an entity. Given that an entity is a thing, one might translate it as “reification”, not in the sense of a human cognitive process, however, but as a designation for the manner in which Nondelimited possibilities become determined, limited, defined, and “thingish” in the process of disclosing itself as everything other than the whole. Thus all things are entifications or delimitations or determinations of the Nondelimited Real, which is then called “the Nonentification” (al-lâ ta‘ayyun). As for the Reality of Realities, it is the First Entification, because all other entifications follow in its wake.

This cosmology mirrors the discoveries between a wave and a particle as found fairly recently by physicists.

The late and influential physicist, David Bohmn arrived at the theory of implicate ordering and observed that
"In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time ( ed: observed in the anomalous ) are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders"
An example of explicate energy...

 I cite these examples to underline that the anomalous as it is currently defined has a pertinent experiential component that is as polymorphic as the fabric that constitutes the aggregate sum of such considerations throughout the centuries although most researchers don't bother with such details and prefer the more easily digestible arcania of archetypal mythologies that descend more often than not into various forms of near paranoia. It is then no surprise that the traditional sciences ignore parapsychology like the plague and yet this barrier is set against what we can learn from the inexplicable.

"Whenever we pride ourselves upon finding a newer, stricter way of thought or exposition; whenever we start insisting too hard upon "operationalism" or symbolic logic or any other of these very essential systems of tramlines, we lose something of the ability to think new thoughts. And equally, of course, whenever we rebel against the sterile rigidity of formal thought and exposition and let our ideas run wild, we likewise lose. As I see it, the advances in scientific thought come from a combination of loose and strict thinking, and this combination is the most precious tool of science."
-Gregory Bateson (1935) "Culture Contact and Schismogenesis" in: Man, Vol. 35 (Dec., 1935), pp. 178-183. Republished in: Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972, p.75)

The Shared Dynamics of The Psyche

In my research from a sociological perspective two chief features play into the role of the marginalized role of the anomalous that represent the dynamics between social ordering and predictive repetition and it's waxing and waning in accordance with it's success or failure in providing it's subjects with continuity.and the avoidance of uncertainty, whether it was the wave of occurrences in the Cold War or the onset of liminal creatures in our times of uneasy economic controls and political uncertainty.
In times of cultural transition the paranormal becomes a more publically discussed topic while the institutional forces represent the subject as fiction as seen in the rise and use of it's portrayal as fantasy, and concurrently the more attention that is focused on any given aspect of the anomalous the more it rises to the surface as a representation of the irrational and unpredictable all of which appear to indicate to what degree consciousness is channeled. That is not to say these manifestations are strictly imagined.

Consciousness is much more of the implicate order than is matter . . . Yet at a deeper level [matter and consciousness] are actually inseparable and interwoven , just as in the computer game the player and the screen are united by participation.
-David Bohmn Statement of 1987, as quoted in Towards a Theory of Transpersonal Decision-Making in Human-Systems (2007) by Joseph Riggio, p. 66

Therefore it is no surprise that military intelligence has always had a great interest in redirecting these psychic manifestations in order to manipulate them in the service of the status quo as well as marginalize them with disinformation as to place ambivalence at the fore of any focus of attention.

One aspect of a precarious balance is folded into the other with a dynamic of cultural and social forces based on stereotyping the inexplicable at the behest of dogmatic social controls through it's institutions. Uncertainty and unpredictability is a anathema to be channeled.

All of this is bundled into the prime motive of territorial economic monopolies over resources as corporate and government interests intersect as they always have.... since the establishment of tribal communities as monarchical structures. The charisma of a predictable state versus an unpredictable state waxes and wanes in a psychic contest of minds either enrolled in consensus or challenge, the rest follows accordingly Yet when these forces fail to fall into a strict line of causality, strange things surface and go bump in the night as the gates slowly open in the absence of consensus beyond logic...out of their normal contextual associations in rational thought. Reality as a singularity becomes a recombination of multiplicities that merge the impossible and juxtapose the structural and the anti-structural. Impossibilities flourish on a projection screen

“This recombination of elements is a quality also found in altered (i.e., destructed) states of consciousness,” said Hanson, “Odd assortments of items appear in dreams and in productions of visionary artists. This is perhaps the essence of creativity – producing new patterns, new ways of seeing the world.”
-The Trickster and the Paranormal, George P. Hanson,
Vivid Illusions of Coherency

In Tamil, Pali and Hindu metaphysics the term of maya is applied to the ritual, metaphysical, epistemological, mythological and magical -- all of which related to enigmatic qualities of life and consciousness of life, all of which are rooted in the illusions ( at times referred to as delusions) within the architecture of biologically based consciousness itself, which in turn, is based the basis of the causality of linear processes.

At the core of anomalous experiential reality we have the interstatial spaces between our references creating polymorphic realities that are out of context in relation to a normal waking state. Yet, what comprises what we call a normal waking state? Logic as an architecture of thought as superimposed upon nature is captured in the Hindu by observing that Avidya, of the true nature of absolute reality. It is the “Superimposition of the self on what is not the self, and what is not the self on the self, is the natural propensity of ignorant consciousness.”

In many cultures consciousness is equated as being analogous to a dream state and the liminality of dreams in a waking state in the experiential anomalies that do occur defy our previous identifications as to what exactly is personal and what is transpersonal as in the often quoted dream of Lao Tzu found in Taoism.

"Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, flying about enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Chou.tells us that, in the dream, he was perfectly clear about his identity, but after he was awakened, this became uncertain.Suddenly he awoke, and veritably was Chuang Chou again. He did not know whether it was Chuang Chou dreaming that he was a butterfly, or whether it was the butterfly dreaming that it was Chuang Chou."

The questions that arise regarding the interstices of intervening space, between the observer and the observed could be seen as the physicality of the environment, the processing of the senses and brain as well as psychological cues have a profound effect on experiential realities as perceived as a singularity wherein this sense arises from multiple sources. The multiplicity of reality is also a foundational concept that underlines Islamic Sufism as juxtaposed against the continuity of thought in that all phenomenon are contingent as they are transitional and contingent in their states, which is also what we observe in the anomalous.

One could say that perception is a cumulative effect and that the reaction to all these sources of energy is to transpose them into a self organizing matrix wherein language as a form of math creates a situation where the term for naming differentiated phenomenon is not the phenomenon itself that is described. All of this process resembles genetics in a sense where information organizes itself based on data already stored in reaction to environmental factors as pathways much as in the case of pathways in the physical brain that serves as memory.
Yet our descriptors become self referential as identifiers that create a scrim of meaning that is superimposed on this or that as described in the relationships of semiotics.

 “Semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie” 
-Umberto Eco

One can accept the fallibility of experience as we inhabit it even when it is in a state of stability as in normal waking consciousness. Yet, in spite of the multiple sources that create the state of our awareness, there is an imperative for coherency as an automatism, a process we do not have to consciously manipulate or assemble minute by minute, second by second.
This driver of coherency we label the self can create pitfalls, one of which is called Apophenia which is the perceptions of patterns which do not exist that create skewed impressions such as a stick on the ground being mistaken for a snake. Within Apophenia, there is another phenomenon named Pareidolia wherein meanings are created where there are none.

Anomalous experience is a double bind where the predictable is given a new context whose meaning is subjective as opposed to the linearity of logic.

One could say behind the scenes of our waking state there is the randomization of choice which bears some resemblance to the aspects of Chaos Theory, as described by Edward Lorenz as a form of contradictory determinism with a Catch-22 attached to it as he described as the approximations of the present determines the future as predictive but the present does not determine the approximations of the future which are unpredictable. Again we have a case of the interstatial or interstices “between” logic and chaos.

Nature Versus Artifice

Most of what constitutes our awareness is based on determinism.
In other words are languages represent a linear causality that does not exist outside of itself. It tends to be deterministic, predictive just as most normal waking hours of consciousness view the world this way.
How we think and how nature operates are two different things which was the theme of Gregory Bateson’s pioneering exploration of cybernetics.

And so, what is a normal waking state?

One could say that our chief feature is to create an artifice of structure within an edifice of differentiation and polymorphic relationships as well as within an environment that presents choice versus determinism. The two seemingly rear their heads in what quantum mechanics has labelled the observer effect.

It could be that the logic of our waking hours is a form of reductionism.

What lies beyond this is the question of the hour but what percentage of our species population has considered these questions which not surprisingly are stereotyped as being “impractical” or liminal to everyday experience? The inside has become the outside as a sort of wallpaper with Everything may be viewed as upside down.

So we have the normal and the paranormal and in a sense one reflects the other as that one is deterministic and the other unpredictable and yet in the relationships between these two phenomenon, there is yet a to be determined linkage entangling them that creates a third state of affairs which remains unknown outside of it’s effects.which we decorate the gaping holes in logic with as a defensive barrier as well as a means to communicate utilizing stereotypes whether it is language as referents or thought as the root of consciousness rather than an effect..

Could it be everything is viewed in a retrocausal straight jacket of an ill formed logic?
That is for you to determine.


  1. 1 of 2:

    "One of my areas of research has been the correlation of the chief characteristics between Near Death Experiences and "Alien" Abductions as well as Out of Body Experiences..."

    Intriguing post, as usual, Bruce. I too have sometimes speculated along some of these same lines, although with a rather different and evolving take, in that I personally do not believe any form of consciousness or "life," as we know it, survives after death, since I think it much more probable that the physical brain creates mind and sentience, and not that mind is somehow independent of brain structure in living organisms such as humans. Perhaps a simpler way of putting it, as an example, is that I don't believe in either heaven or hell, except as we and others figuratively or literally create either for ourselves here on earth during our actual lifetimes.

    I would suggest that beliefs regarding the supernatural, specifically what some believe are the sources, causes and implicate meanings of things like NDE's, OBE's, or alien abductions, and the related implications of some form of individual consciousness or mind being independent of the physical or structural matrix of organic brain materiality, as you seem to suggest, is based primarily in the cultural psychology of faith, belief, and fear of mortality.

    Of course, one must be cautious to attribute correlation to causation, either way, but that's my opinion. I see NDE's and OBE's as a construct of brain and mind when exposed to extremely stressful physical and/or threatening psychological circumstances, in combination or separately (or relatively rare periodic variations in biochemistry) for the most part.

    I also don't really see the correlation between NDE's, OBE's, and/or close UFO encounters of the CE III kind as particularly initiatiatory or ritualized shamanic processes, per se. But, that's just me. I could be wrong.

    But, again, I would suggest the brain, under certain influential stresses and/or other circumstances, can cause the mind, or varying levels and kinds of consciousness, to synthesize or suggest esoteric meanings as such to some people, i.e., a subtle form of confabulation or conflation, but I surmise that's more likely due to inherent and subconscious cultural expectations or social background and understanding, and probably not independent or linked external phenomena, although since none of us really know (or perhaps can know) with objective certainty or proof how quantum and other aspects of cosmological multidimensional reality can or might interact with consciousness under NDE, OBE, or CE III type experiences, especially if the potential issue of some "other" advanced non-human consciousness might possibly be involved interactively at times, maybe, I'm not an absolutist, in that I don't outright reject at least the possibility of some causal correlations.

    I guess the most honest thing to say when one does not know for sure, with vetted, testable evidence or empirical proof, is simply one of the most difficult things for most humans to admit: we really don't know, in part because, as you suggest, some of these matters are currently "beyond logic," or at least our current intellectual capacity and ability to exercise the requisite logic or intelligence perhaps required to better discern and parse the true nature and sources of these subtle and mainly subjective states of mind and perceived experience. They fall into the "Rumfeldian" categories of known unknowns and unknown unknowns, as it were, or possibly a third ontological category, unknowable unknowns.

    1. Hello Steve
      Its good to hear from you again. I suppose you could say I was surprised to even arouse a comment as these days I feel like I am broadcasting into a void..I sometimes suspect I have become As far as your comments, the first thing that struck me was your view of these phenomenon being created by the physical brain and I think you are partly right or so I suspect. I think your view is somewhat similar to the cartesian split between mind \ body whereas the more I read it seems in terms of the brain itself the mind seems to inform the brain and the brain informs the mind and so we get into a chicken or egg causality. Like yourself I don’t have any pretense of self assurance in this, just strong suspicions. As far as the initiatory and ritualistic aspects of this, perhaps the language I used is too rigid but there does seem to be a bringing of an individual to a threshold where logic fails and this is true or seems to be true in many experiential examples across a broad spectrum. Logic as an adaptation as well as the architecture of thought as a biological outgrowth is brought to confront an anti-structure that is betwixt and between or interstatial. In other words a phenomenon that is not human and of course then the imagination can run rampant as to the why and wherefore this arises from. There does seem to be another process that can enmesh itself with human consciousness, and I guess if this were not so, nothing would be happening as far as a deconstructive experience is certainly doesnt seem at all to be the usual self referential form of semiotics. It almost seems to be an overloading of references..a scrambled codex and this goes back to the references I included on what metaphysicians call delimited potentiality as a core principle, we simply cannot process this, or so it seems to be. All of this flies in the face of the prevalent view that in the human mind, information organizes itself. I am glad at least another individual finds this interesting as a subject.

  2. 2 of 2:

    So I'd have to say I'm generally agnostic about these issues, since objectively, in lieu of certain knowledge or proof, we're all speculating from some individual perspective bound by anthropocentric elements of confirmation biases, to one degree or another. It's the best we can do for now, and the foreseeable future, bound by the current biology of our limited human intellects and applicable technologies of investigation.

    In regard to the partial quote from your post, noted above, I assume you're probably familiar with the work of Dr. Kenneth Ring.

    He wrote a book, among several others, in 1992 entitled "The Omega Project: Near-Death Experiences, Ufo Encounters, and Mind at Large" that would seem pertinent to your interests. I'm guessing you're familiar with it? Opinion?

    Also, here's a detailed 1989 article Ring wrote that seems relevant to your research in this esoteric area, just in case you haven't read it before::

    "Near-Death and UFO Encounters as Shamanic Initiations"


  3. Steve
    I unintentionally split your comment..As far as Ring's book I will look into it as I have not heard of it.
    A very good book on numinous phenomenon and logic is Rudolf Otto’s “The Idea of the Holy “which was subtitled An Inquiry Into the “Non-rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational “also “The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-structure.” by Victor Turner. I bought these based on reading George Hansen’s book. on trickster phenomenon. For what it's worth..

  4. New Science published some findings on research into electrical bacteria.
    Now, just what would happen if the tropospheric population of said lifeform traveled down into the near atmosphere, and mimicry with the terrestrial forms existing within our bodies, and the soil, resulted?

    That would be quantum processes emerging as classical events, but not as logic, more like instinct. Mechanics, indeed.

    Of course, if human perception is the localized dynamic played out in a gravity well, then that becomes a question of identity. Perhaps that is something shared.