Putting Soul into Science
This book is like a tiny gem -- one might overlook it because of
its size, but when it sparkles, one cannot ignore its brilliance. In its one
hundred pages, the author takes us through the evolution of modern physics and
the crisis it encountered in the 20th Century, when its very forte, its
accuracy of measurement disappeared into the abyss of quantum physics. The
house of physics, designed to be built on the rock of measurement by Galileo,
proved to be built on sand. The accuracy of measuring sub-atomic particles was
washed away by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, to be replaced an another
form of accuracy: that of measuring probabilities, which attained the accuracy
formerly accorded the measuring of physical properties. In fact, physical
properties disappear into air like the Cheshire Cat when you enter the Quantum
Wonderland. And, like the Red Queen told Alice, the modern physicist can
imagine six impossible things before breakfast on any given day, and the
Cheshire Cat has been replaced by Schrödinger's Cat, a cat that is visible as a
not-dead, not alive, quantum wave equation which requires a
human being to open the box and observe the cat before its state is determined (1) .
Friedjung leads us into this wonderland of the fuzzy physical world and the crystal-sharp mathematical precision of physics. It is a grand world of physical bodies and mathematical constructs, both of which have an objective reality for the physicist. The physical is the world of Body and the mathematical the world of Spirit. It is the realm of physics to use the latter to inform us of the former.
[page 2] The assumptions of modern science are materialistic. This means that if you look deeply enough into the phenomena of the world, they can all eventually be explained by the laws of physics. These laws, as now understood, are not the mechanical laws of nineteenth century physics, so materialism is no longer mechanical. They are very abstract and mathematical, but they are usually understood to be "blind", eliminating the action of any conscious being. Everything cannot be predicted by these laws which, as we shall see, contain the unpredictable; what is unpredictable, however, is thought to be only the result of blind chance. This is extrapolated from physics to other sciences such as biology. In biology, Darwinian natural selection is also blind: species of living organisms evolving by chance are better able to survive in their environment without the intervention of any plan or idea. Competing species less able to survive are eliminated.
In Rudolf Steiner's A Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit, he described in detail the three realms of body, soul, and spirit as it applies to psychology, or ought to be applied to psychology. Unfortunately for us the three worlds of Body, Soul, and Spirit have, in physics, been concatenated from BSS to BS. It is the BS of physics which Friedjung deals with in this book -- a BS that has infected so many of the hard sciences. A study of the origins of this two-fold approach to physics and the hard sciences would find its roots in the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages during which the intellect of humankind was formed into a seed bed into which the abstract thoughts of physicists and other scientists could be nourished in growth with the advent of Bacon, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and others.
When I visited Germany a few years ago, I was amazed to find that there were no museums over a few hundred years old -- the museums of a thousand years ago were churches. The paintings, sculpture, metal work, etc, that we would go to museums today to see were created for and displayed in churches back then. Studying Steiner's "Riddles of Philosophy", I came to understand that not only did the Church influence artists, but also the natural philosophers who have evolved into the physicists, biologists, chemists, etc, of our time. The collapse from the three-fold body, soul, and spirit into two-fold body and soul (with some aspects of spirit) was initiated by Church fathers during the early centuries of Christianity and this way of thinking infused the hard sciences during its gestation period as natural philosophy.
Briefly said, in his book "Putting Soul into Science," Michael Friedjung is putting Soul into the BS of Science.
Given that it was the male-dominated Church who promulgated the truncated two-fold world, it should not be surprising that the sins of the fathers were visited upon the sons -- that is, the world of hard science today is still a male-dominated thinking science. It is a way of thinking that transcends the gender of the scientists themselves, which is what I believe Friedjung was intimating below.
[page 3] Feminists have stated that science is a result of male domination. A feminine science would be more intuitive. Associated with a corresponding technology, it would not aim to "dominate" nature as does present-day science and technology. However, I must say that the science of my female colleagues, who are relatively numerous in French astronomy, does not appear to be basically different than that of male colleagues.
The author stated, "I was to some extent also inspired in my approach by activities in political movements of the extreme left in the years following 1968." That leftward leaning of his approach leaks through from time to time in the book, but drains away quickly and should not impede the reader's progress through the book. It does show up in statements such as the following:
[page 17] Discussions are generally centered on the question of whether or not consciousness and thinking can become (or are) properties of computers. The question is not only scientific, as there are large economic interests involved in the development of more powerful computers and robots. If such machines can be made more able to imitate the processes of human thinking, using what has been discovered about the nervous system, the computer industry will be able to make large profits.
To equate the development of computing machines to making large profits is to ignore the even larger profits made by the companies and human beings who are able to buy and use the new technology to the benefit of themselves and all of humankind. Try to imagine living in the world of today without using spreadsheets, for instance. Did Excel make Microsoft prosperous? Yes. Did it make hundreds of millions of other people more prosperous? Yes, indeed, or they would not have willingly purchased the Excel spreadsheet program from Microsoft. One steps completely out of science when one hints that profit equates to immorality -- as the extreme left would have everyone think. Rightly understood, one is better off focusing, not on the morality of profit, but the profitability of morality (2) .
The next passage deals with the "Anthropic Principle" or what I prefer to call the "Bootstrap Paradox." To comprehend the bootstrap paradox in the small will enable one to grasp it in the large. To understand it in computers will help you to understand that it applies at all levels of life, including the origin of the universe.
Everyone who uses computers knows you must "boot" the computer to get it to start running, and re-boot it to get it to re-start after a problem disables it. Where does the word "boot" come from?
Try this simple thought experiment: you have a computer powered on, its hardware is fully operational, and your job is to load the first program into the computer. How do you do it? Simple, you just run the Program Loader and that loads the program into the computer ready to be run. Okay, where's the Program Loader? Is it not also a computer program? Oh, it's in the computer already, you say. Okay, but I said you were to load the first program into the computer, therefore the Program Loader cannot already be in the computer. That, in a nutshell, is the Bootstrap Paradox! You cannot load the first program into a computer with a program!
So, how does the first program get into a computer? Oh, you say, they have a machine, a fancy computer which loads the first program for you. No, in fact, there is no such machine. The first program must be loaded by a volitional being, a living, thinking human being -- the one who designed the new computer in the first place. They understand the way their new computer works and they are qualified to create the first program for their new computer. And they call that first program, the Program Loader. All computers begin this way, but like with the making of sausage, you won't really enjoy watching the details of the bloody process of getting that first program into the computer, so the final results are packaged in a nice sleek package which sits on your desk and all you have to do is push a button to activate the Program Loader, the Bootstrap Program, to begin the multilevel process which results with the computer "rebooting."
[page 19] The contradictions of present-day physics are also clear in discussions about what is called the "Anthropic Principle". This principle was first stated by Brandon Carter in respect to cosmology, that is, the science of the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe. To be studied scientifically, the universe had to be able to produce intelligent creatures, that is, humans; this means that it had to possess certain properties. In this way the existence of these properties is explained by the presence of intelligent beings!
If the Anthropic Principle seems to you as a re-statement of the Bootstrap Paradox, I agree. But if it doesn't, let me do a little translation of the Anthropic Principle by analogy. To be run at all, the computer had to be able to load computer programs, that is, software; this means that it had to possess certain properties, in other words, it had to have a Program Loader. In this way the existence of the Program Loader is explained by the presence of intelligent beings capable of creating the Program Loader! With computers we are the "intelligent beings" who are capable of creating the Program Loader, or there would be no computers. With human beings, there must be "intelligent beings" whose relationship to human beings is analogous to the relationship human beings have to computers.
Given that clarification, the Anthropic Principle reveals itself to be the more general Bootstrap Paradox in disguise, and this line of thought leads us to purposeful creation by intelligent beings who exists outside of the box of our physically created world, just as we humans exist outside of the box of our created computers.
Let's extend our thought experiment a bit further by imagining that our created computers begin to speculate on who created them. What evidence will they be able to assimilate in their study of this question? Their evidence will come from their own imbedded software programs, and the set of all the transducers connected to them which provide them evidence of the world existing outside their box. They will notice fluctuations in their main power coming in from time to time and develop a theory for where that comes from. They will notice fluctuations in light levels and will plot a 24-hour cycle for that level. Temperature levels will likely vary on a 356-day cycle. And they will develop theories about why this is so. Their sound transducers will allow them to record the ambient sounds and replicate them with other transducers. But all the study of how they themselves work, will not help them to ever understand how the intelligent beings who created them work. It is the Pinocchio paradox, the computers will never understand their creators until they become a human being, and this will not happen, although computer evolution may lead humans to create mechanized computers which simulate human beings in many ways.
What will keep computers from overtaking human beings? I'm reminded of Rudyard Kipling's famous lines,
They copied all they could copy,
but they could not copy my mind.
So I left them copying merrily,
a year and a half behind.
As marvelous as computers are at copying things, mimicking things, even mimicking the actions of human beings, they cannot create a human being's mind inside of computer software. The reason so many futuristic-thinking computer scientists believe computers can overtake human beings is that they, in their own hubris, imagine a human being to a fancy computer with only sensory inputs and outputs, in other words, they see in the human being a fancy materialistic machine. If that were truly so, I would have to agree with their point of view. Unfortunately, for them, they have missed the bootstrap nature of the Anthropic Principle, up until now.
Here's an example of how a computer might speculate about its own origin given the limited set of sensory apparatus it possesses. It would notice that each program inside of it has a time-date stamp and will notice that as those dates go further and further back into the past, there are fewer and fewer programs. It continues looking for the very first program, the Program Loader, but cannot find a time-date stamp on that program so can only extrapolate backwards in time to when the Program Loader exploded into operation, a point in time the computer reckons as the beginning of its universe and which it calls the "Big Bang."
[page 20] Galaxies further away from our galaxy have, according to these indications, a higher velocity relative to our galaxy; it is impossible to observe parts of the universe beyond a "horizon", moving away from us at speeds greater than that of light. In this way the universe is thought to be expanding; it must then have been very dense, very hot and very much smaller than it is now in the very early stages of its development. The original state is often called the "big bang", as the idea of it resembles that of an explosion. Since light takes a long time to come from far-away objects, the universe must have been much younger when the light from the farthest visible astronomical objects was emitted.
If we call our "local universe" all the parts within the "horizon", then it seems clear to me that our local "universe must have been much younger when the light from the farthest visible astronomical objects was emitted." But much younger compared to what? To something that always existed, much younger is meaningless. Much younger compared to the part outside our "horizon"? And how old is that? Like the computer in its limited box, we can only say rightly, we don't know. Our man-made instruments, like the computer's instruments, cannot give us answers to the ultimate questions of life, death, and the evolution of the universe. None of the BS of physics or astronomy can provide those answers, however much we enjoy their speculations, we wait in vain for a definitive answer.
Time has a direction. We can all agree on that. If we take a film and run it backwards, something I experimented with back in 1955 using an 8mm camera, "impossible things" happen. Entropy seems to reverse itself -- a broken glass jumps up from the floor completely re-assembled as it flies into your hand. But there is something else that goes unnoticed, right and left switch themselves when a film is run backwards. Imagine watching a car driving down a highway along Malibu's shore. It is in the right-hand driving lane. Now run the film backwards and imagine you are in the car facing the direction of travel. What side of the road are you on? The left side. This is obviously a radically different feeling -- driving on the left side of the road of an American highway. And yet Newton's laws say there should be no radical difference.
[page 23] The first property that distinguishes time from space is that it has a direction or "arrow". This becomes clear if a film is run backwards and "impossible" things happen. The pieces of a broken cup are put together on the floor and then rise spontaneously to the top of a table. An undamaged house emerges from a fire, human corpses rise from the dead, walk and if one waits long enough become babies, which then enter their mother's womb. In a less spectacular example, if time could be run backwards, temperature differences would spontaneously emerge in regions where the temperature was uniform. However, according to Newton's laws of motion when they are applied without any additional law, reversing the motions of all particles as in the film run backwards should not produce situations which are radically different from those in which motions are not reversed.
This is another sign of the missing Soul in the BS of Science which this book attempts to add back in.
[page 25] One other aspect must now be emphasized. The human way of looking at time can only be true and represent reality if the universe is not completely predictable, that is, if acts of will can influence future events. As we shall see, twentieth century science has in fact found that the world is not completely predictable. There is then at least a possibility of will being able to act meaningfully. This need not only involve human will; it is conceivable that the wills of other beings also act to influence events in such a partially unpredictable world. It is with this kind of question, combined with how a new science can be based on the soul abilities, that we shall be concerned to a large extent in the rest of this book.
One of the basic driving principles of science is to distinguish what is measurable from what is not measurable and to focus science only upon those things that are measurable. This began with Galileo:
[page 11] A similar distinction was made at the beginning of modern science by Galileo in his book "Il Saggiatore", where he distinguished between what is measurable and what is not measurable, such as smell and taste. He insisted that nature is written in mathematical language and described a scientific method for testing hypotheses.
But things have become infinitely more interesting today with Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and others who have led into a world in which what Galileo formerly took pride in measuring has disappeared like the Cheshire Cat into "shadows of the mind", leaving only his leering grin. If measurement was originally the sine qua non of physics, you imagine the disorientation when measurement faded into mere shadows.
[page 29] Minkowski summarized the situation as it appeared to him, by stating that space and time by themselves were doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two would preserve an independent reality.
Around 1958, I was beginning my study of physics in college and I discovered the "Snowflake Curve" described in a science fiction novel. It was called the "Eye of the Needle" I believe and it described a fractal surface which when one passed through it, one entered another dimension. The author gave instructions for building a fractal surface in two dimensions which he called the snowflake curve. I had to draw one for myself to convince myself that such a beautiful curve could evolve from a simple series of nested equilateral triangles, a beauty is only hinted at by the four stages of drawing of the one in the book on page 33. The snowflake curve is an infinite perimeter bounding an obviously finite area. It reminds me of the small state of Rhode Island which claims to have 400 miles of seashore. Seashores are fractals, rightly understood, and depending on how small you make your measurements, you can make the perimeter of a fractal area grow as large as you wish.
The "butterfly effect" states that something as minute as the wind current from some butterfly's wings could trigger a sequence of events that could result in a cyclone half the world around. I believe the author overstates the case when he refers to the impossibility of identifying one particular butterfly's wing movement as the cause of a particular storm. To my way of understanding the "butterfly effect", that is not a requirement, stated or unstated.
[page 34] The sensitivity of chaotic systems to their initial conditions and to small perturbations can be dramatic and is sometimes called the "butterfly effect". The idea is that the flapping of the wing of a butterfly can completely change the weather at a later date; a distant storm could be produced. The idea is not quite correct, however, as it is impossible to relate the flapping of a particular wing to the production of any particular effect such as a storm.
Next Friedjung takes the reader through a review of my own favorite paradoxes of modern physics, the double-slit photo experiment and the Einstein-Poldosky-Rosen measurement paradox. Unfortunately his use of water waves instead of photons tends to obscure the intrinsic beauty of the double-slit experiment. If you open a slit and allow one photon to pass through the slit, you will see a scintillation event on the screen corresponding to that one photon of light. If you open a second slit off to the side of the first slit and repeat the experiment several times, you will see a photon blink behind the original slit sometimes and other times, you will see it blink behind the other slit. And you will not be able to predict which slit it will appear behind. To understand what is happening, you need a little short course in QED, the mouthful of words created by Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in physics, quantum electrodynamics. His basic rule is this, "A photon goes from place to place." Notice the rule says nothing about how it gets from place to place, which means, it may take any possible route in doing so, including going through both slits at the same time! But there is only one screen and his other rule tells us, "An electron emits or absorbs a photon." When an electron on the screen absorbs a photon, all the possible paths of the single photon through the double slit resolves into one point, the electron, in other words, the wave equation for the photon collapses. Then the electron on the screen emits the photon and we see a scintilla of light with our eyes.
Note the phrase that I have italicized in this next passage.
[page 60] Basic assumptions were made starting at the time of Newton, about what really was and what really was not scientific. Physics was based on the study of bodies which exist in space and time, only taking into account their spatial properties and their properties in time as measured by clocks, that is, those properties which can be described by the space-like aspects of time. In addition physical phenomena were studied to a greater and greater extent by instruments, thus bypassing direct human perception as much as possible. Moreover, as the power of instruments was increased, it became more and more possible to study many phenomena which cannot be studied by other methods, such as those which occur on very small scales, which are generally believed by physicists to be fundamental. Therefore, what was studied was the interaction of the matter participating in a phenomenon with the matter associated with a measuring instrument.
This would be equivalent in my computer metaphor above of the computer believing that its instruments gave it the best view of the world which existed outside of its computer box, because after all, humans used computers to measure things accurately. What humans used to measure the world has never been incorporated into the BS of physics and never will, because the very machines humans build lack the threefold human structure of body, soul, and spirit, each fold able to have direct experiences that no machine now or ever will have. With the loss of Newtonian and Laplacian predictability of the world, we have re-gained the possibility that there are "infinitely more things in heaven and earth than exists in our philosophies," as Shakespeare so aptly put it.
As a fan of science fiction from the age of seven, I was intrigued by the possibility of invisibility, particularly the "invisible man," which shows up in recent fiction as the invisibility cloak of Harry Potter. It was a shock to me recently to discover that to be invisible, means that no portion of one's body is visible, which means that all light passes unimpeded through the body. If one's body provides no resistance to light, then light passes unimpeded through one's retinas and therefore one is completely blind! This illustrates the importance of the resistance provided by a measuring instrument -- no resistance, no measurement!
[page 62] Similarly the position of a particle will sometimes be measured more accurately and in different experiments the speed will be measured more accurately; there is also a resistance to both the latter quantities being simultaneously measured to an infinite accuracy. It is this basic resistance which limits the accuracy of measurement, while the highest possible accuracy in measuring all the properties possessed by any physical object according to pre-twentieth century physics, would be needed to predict its future behavior and so to know everything about it.
What all this discussion misses is a human being is the most sensitive instrument in the world, far surpassing any man-made instrument, and each of us owns one free and clear. I recall the story about the man who returned his computer for another one because it was still under warranty. "What's wrong with it?" asked the salesman. He pointed to the CD-ROM holder dangling out the front of the case and said, "The cup holder broke." So, while it's true we each own the most sensitive instrument, not everyone uses all the parts or uses them in the manner intended. This is a consequence of the free will that each of us were provided with. No one forces us to use our human measuring and perceiving equipment in any way but the way we choose to use.
An astronomer can look through the Hubble Telescope and see the very edge of our local universe, but Rudolf Steiner using his human capability was able to look to very edge of time in both directions to perceive and describe to us the beginning and ending of our Earth evolution in our local cosmos (3) . His measurements and perceptions cannot be confirmed by man-made instruments for the simple reason that no one has ever made an instrument as sensitive as the human being. And what Steiner did is a human capability available to every one of us, available for our use, if we choose to use it.
The following is one of the points of lights shining at us from Friedjung's book, the metaphor of "happiness imprisoned in a constant of physics." We get a glimpse of what our world would be like if the pure BS of physics and science were to hold sway. We would live in the world envisioned in the recent movie, "A. I." -- a cold, gray world completely dehumanized by the pure BS of science.
[page 66] In the framework of these two sources of evil the Heisenberg indeterminacy principle has an important role. The world where this principle is important can be clearly pictured as being a world of cold resistance with happiness imprisoned inside a constant of physics, and can also be conceived of as a world of Ahriman. Indeed, it was through such a picture that the author of this book was able to more clearly understand what Rudolf Steiner meant when he discussed the nature of Ahriman.
In Danah Zohar's book, The Quantum Self, she lays out a theory of consciousness based on a new discovery in physics of correlated phase states in living tissue. I wrote in my review of her book:
Evidence was found by Herbert Fröhlich in England of the existence of condensed phase states in living tissue similar to those referred to as Bose-Einstein condensed phase states. Previous to his discovery these were thought to exist only in superfluids and superconductors -- at very low temperatures. These correlated phase states in our cellular structures, Zohar suggests provide the physical basis for the phenomena we know as consciousness. Like a celestial choir of a myriad of voices (each voice a cellular molecule) - we have consciousness. Our very thought exists as the chords sung by this multitudinous choral array. Instead of a motley conglomeration of tissue, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc., we, by virtue of this harmonious ensemble, become one, an 'I'.
It is certainly possible that each subset of the human body could have its own consciousness so that our livers and kidneys, for example, could have consciousness about what is going on in our bodies at any given time. Why we refuse to eat certain foods at times when we are sick, but eat them at other times with relish. These subsets would explain the kind of multiple personality disorders Friedjung hints at in this next passage.
[page 70] The effects of such influences would be complex, thus explaining the complexities of human psychology, including mental illnesses. If a human felt guilty about a past action which he or she had performed, for example, it might be possible to "forget" it, while other beings "retained" the knowledge contained in the memory. The awareness of this memory or apparently irrational actions based on it, could then be "returned" to the human in certain circumstances.
Another point of light sparkling from the center of this tiny gem of a book is the following apothegm, which can be read as "knowledge equals knowledge times the ability to act:
Happiness = Knowledge X Ability to Act
This principle of happiness formed the basis for the science of volition, although it was stated in a slightly different way. Note that the "ability to act" is blocked by coercion. From Galambos's book, Sic Itur Ad Astra:
[page 768] . . . the criterion is the action being absent of coercion. To make it moral there is no coercion involved. Whenever there is any coercion involved, that action is not moral. Whenever there is no coercion involved, that action is moral, regardless of whether it affects the pursuit of happiness of one person, ten million, the whole population, the whole species, or whatever.
One can easily sort out the moral versus the immoral actions occurring in the world today by applying the "ability to act" criterion. Rudolf Steiner said it this way, "To live in the love of action and to let live in the understanding of the other person's volition is the maxim of free human beings." Or, as Friedjung sums it up:
[page 63] We can conclude that without the ability to act, any amount of knowledge would be useless, while without knowledge any amount of ability to act would also be useless.
In this next passage, Friedjung discusses understanding the definition of an abstract word, and how it can lead one in circles.
[page 74] The ideas of mathematics are of course not the only eternal ideas which exist. Abstract words such as good, beauty, love, wisdom, freedom, happiness, desire, selflessness and selfishness, represent ideas which are very hard to define. In fact a dictionary will define a word in terms of other words and it is possible by looking at the definition of the words used in the definition of the original word to find again the original word! In this way the attempt to understand the meaning of a word can lead one around in circles.
The process need not be fruitless and circular if one forms a good operational definition. Then one needs only apply the situation at hand to the definition to see if fits. An operational definition for freedom, that most abstract of the above terms, exists, but few use the definition because it makes them happy to have freedom mean whatever they want it to mean at all times, even when the situation at hand involves directly blocking someone's ability to act. I offer such an operational definition, based on Dr. Galambos's pioneering work in volitional science, "Freedom is the unfettered ability to act, to use, and to apply for one's use the non-procreative products of one's life."
[page74] In any case understanding what an abstract word may mean, what the ideas behind it are, is a task for the philosopher; such ideas will resist being understood as the ideas and theorems of mathematics resist a mathematician.
It was Thomas S. Kuhn who recognized that the resistance to new ideas, definitions, and concepts indicated the presence of an existing paradigm which must be overcome for any new ideas to take hold in science or society. It is as though new ideas flow through most human beings like light through the "invisible man" -- encountering no resistance and therefore generating no understanding.
I found Friedjung's discussion of Steiner's three levels of experience of the spiritual world, Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition to be a useful combination of brevity and completeness. There was one statement which I would take to take issue with, which I believe leaves a contrary impression to what Steiner would have wanted. First the passage:
[page 76] However, we must remember that the spiritual experience described by spiritual teachers like Rudolf Steiner goes far beyond the processes of scientific and mathematical discovery. As we have mentioned, spiritual archetypes may be far beyond what can be grasped by ordinary present-day human thinking.
The first sentence of the passage I wholeheartedly agree with, but I include it for completeness. As a human being Steiner was an instrument more sensitive and capable than any man-made instrument. The second sentence that "spiritual archetypes may be far beyond what can be grasped by ordinary present-day human thinking" I find, while not completely wrong, to be misleading. If Friedjung, as I think he was, was using the words, "present-day human thinking" to mean "the thinking of physicists and the like" then I would agree with him. But in several places, Steiner makes it clear that present-day humans possess for the first time in history a means of thinking that can make it possible for them, without clairvoyant experiences, to perceive the spiritual archetypes, given an earnest application to the task. One of the ways this shows up is in Steiner's statement, "The time of prophets is past." That is, special, extraordinary humans (prophets) are no longer required to reveal the rest of humanity the truths about the past, present, and future. That has become possible today for all humans as a result of the general evolution of humankind. One needs only the knowledge and the ability to act. The knowledge is available and the ability to act is available.
Another point of light, actually a three-fold point of light, is the author's connecting of the concepts of theon, logos, and change with the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in parallel with the three processes Steiner discusses for experiencing the spiritual world of Intuition, Inspiration, and Imagination.
[page 80] Interaction or meetings occur when the path of a particle with quantum properties crosses the paths of other particles belonging to the environment. It is possible to picture this through Christian symbolism. We may view the death process of the quantum world as a process of continual "crucifixion", as a quantum system is crossed by something belonging to the environment. Beings of sub-nature are crossed or met by the large-scale world. In this way real events can be produced in time and the rhythm of the succession of these events is a language or "logos". The original world of possibilities is that of the Father, death is connected with the Son and the re-birth of possibilities with the Holy Spirit. What is associated with the Holy Spirit then plays the role of Father in later interactions. This can be directly connected with the spiritual stream of the Rosicrucians and the way they related to the Trinity, involving birth in the Father, death in Christ and re-birth in the Holy Spirit:
Friedjung makes the statement, "The arrival of Europeans in America was in many ways a disaster for the people already living there." The arrival of Europeans in America was, rightly understood, a completion of the original migration from the West to the East and back to the West, which the natives of the continent had not participated in, having come directly to the West from the original migration from Atlantis before it sank. As a result the natives of the continent lacked the conceptual abilities of the Europeans until they arrived on the shores of America in the 16th Century. While the cross-cultural exchange was accompanied by disease and war, it is easy to forget that a similar cross-cultural disaster occurred between the Romans and the Northern European barbarians as they discovered each other's existence.
I would certainly agree with his statement that "we can expect that real indications of soul aspects belonging to conscious beings may be found in many situations and phenomena, not studied in this book." One of the places one can study the soul aspects of conscious beings in psychology, and a good place to start is Rudolf Steiner's A Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit.
This next passage caught my eye because Friedjung says that Alpha Centauri is about 90 degrees from Sirius and about half the distance that Sirius is from the Earth. According to a recent theory, Sirius is the best candidate for a binary companion to the Earth. If that theory has merit, it would make sense that Alpha Centauri be at right angles to avoid the Sol-Sirius stars which have long elliptical orbits around each other.
To my mind, nothing that Rudolf Steiner wrote about is less understood by the majority of people who claim to be anthroposophists than the "Three-Fold Society." Lots of abstract words and well-meaning epithets are applied to the concept to little avail. The impression I get is that it would be a great thing to have, if only we could force people into accepting it. One of the veiled ways that force is talked about is by use of the word "should", especially when it comes to changing the way society works. People with disabilities should have wheelchair access to every business. People without medical insurance should have some provided to them. People without jobs should be provided an income to live off of. All children should be provided education free of charge. If only the word "should" could change the world by invoking it, the world would be perfect in short order. Joanne Woodward says she has a sign over her bed that says, "I will not should on myself today." I would modify that saying to this, "If I must should on anybody today, let it be on myself." A society which achieves perfection by the use of force will destroy not only its perfection, but itself.
Only a society which separates the three-fold order of government, economy, and culture on a completely volitional basis has a chance of building a Three-Fold Society that will be enduring as well as endearing. One work in addition to Steiner's on the Three-Fold Society is Citadel, Market, and Altar by Spencer Heath, and it is worth a study.
What I have noticed is that those who would like to tell us how things "should" be see bad guys in one or more of the three-fold aspects of society. For some it is the government which is bad, others it is the economy which is the malefactor, and for others the culture itself. It is easy to see which one a particular writer chooses by noticing which one he shoulds upon:
[page 92] In particular it should be possible to overcome the present domination of most of the world by the economy, which among other things limits the rights of human beings and manipulates culture through the media. Let us in this connection think of the scandal of large numbers of extremely poor people living at the present time in very rich western countries.
The compounding of the verb "should" with the adverbs "extremely" and "very" can be forgiven of someone who admits that his early moral judgments were shaped by the "extreme left". Let us think in this connection rather of a rising tide that lifts all boats, and understand that in prosperous countries the living standards for everyone rise as a natural consequence. The extremely poor die of starvation in poor countries and complain of neglect in rich countries.
[page 92] The threefold social order is not a utopia, like Communism, as I personally believed when I was younger, though it can at least partly lead to the realization of many social ideals. It cannot eliminate all conflicts, but can, if brought into being, improve things. However, it must be admitted that it is extremely difficult in the present world with, among other things, a global economy, even to start to realize a form of a threefold society; in fact much more work needs to be done than has be realized till now, before it can be seriously applied.
To start to realize the form of a threefold society requires that one understand that one ubiquitous element prevents the separation of the three areas of society, namely, force. The government forces the other two, the economy forces the other two, and culture does its best to force the other two. Rather than three independent folds of society, you have three folds competing to force the other two into its submission. Everyday people who claim to want a threefold society go around supporting political agendas which would create some semblance of the society by force. This is to be expected in a society in which freedom is used to apply to anything one wishes it to mean, and no extant operational definition for the term freedom is commonly agreed upon.
How do we go about putting soul into science? Michael Friedjung sums it up for us:
[page 93] In order to create a science that includes soul, it will be necessary to overcome what seems to me a kind of fear of abandoning basic assumptions. Furthermore, the world of the human soul and its inner experiences, as well as that of the possible perception by it of physically invisible beings, is also that of dreams and nightmares. Bringing this type of world into a science like physics can indeed be frightening for many people.
Yes, I agree, it can be frightening for many people, but it is frightening for the same people whose dreams already frighten them. If you propose something they don't understand, they will accuse you of being the cause for their frightening dreams and they will be drawn to opposing you publicly because you have given them the boon of someone to blame their otherwise unattributable bad dreams on.
If science is only five centuries old and in its infancy or adolescence, as Friedjung suggests in his closing paragraph, then the concept of freedom as an operational definition which can bring the boon to humankind of a real, and working threefold society is still in the womb, but it is alive and only a lack of attention will prevent it from being born alive and healthy into the world of tomorrow. This new world can only be built one person at a time. When one abjures coercion in any aspect of one's daily life and refuses to support in any way those who use coercion in their lives, the days of the forces of coercion are numbered. When one chooses cooperation over coercion, one joins a growing band of human beings who enjoy freedom in their life. Do they experience coercion? Yes, but as Spencer Heath said, "One must treat coercion as one does friction in a mechanical system -- it slows things down."
Let us hope that this tiny gem of a book may shine light into many dark places and bring courage to those who lack it. By putting soul into science, Michael Friedjung has helped to hand-code a Program Loader for our world computer of human beings which will enable us all to begin to perceive the Body, Soul, and Spirit of the life we all live, in peace and cooperation.
Footnote 1. A new movie will be released Sept. 17, 2004 using a quantum mechanics theme. It is called, "What the #$*! Do We Know!?" Netflix.com Blurb: 'The neurological processes and "quantum uncertainty" of life are explored in this film. Thrust from her mundane life into an Alice in Wonderland-like world, Amanda (Marlee Matlin) must develop a brand-new perception of the world and the people she interacts with.'
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Footnote 2. I am indebted to the concept of the "profitability of morality" to Dr. Andrew Joseph Galambos, a rather amazing physicist who created a science of morality he called, "Volitional Science". Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3. As he does in "An Outline of Occult Science" aka "An Outline of Esoteric Science".
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To obtain a paperback Copy of "Putting Soul into Science" directly from the publisher Click Here! You may alternately purchase a copy from Amazon.
Southern Cross Review Ebooks provides an Ebook copy free of charge and says of it: "Astro-physicist Michael Friedjung gives an in-depth view, accessible to the non-scientist, of what modern science could be if stripped of its materialist trappings."
Michael Friedjung was born in 1940 in England of Austrian refugee parents who had escaped from the Nazis. He was already deeply interested in science at eleven years of age, and uniting science and spirituality eventually became his aim. He studied astronomy, obtaining a Bsc in 1961 and his Phd in 1965. After short stays in South Africa and Canada, he went to France in 1967 on a post-doctoral fellowship and later was appointed to a permanent position at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 1969, where he is now Research Director. After living with the contradictions between official science and spiritual teachings, he began to see solutions to at least some of the problems, which are described in this book. [email protected]
Many more of Bobby Matherne's book and movie reviews may be found at www.doyletics.com