Values and Meaning – Why Many Vital Insights Will Be Repressed or Taboo
C.W. Rietdijk, D. Sc.
Reason and intelligence are faculties of consciousness – which means,
of nature – to recognize coherence; that is, parts of the model of the
This page frames the outline of a coherent model of science and, more generally, of our experience, including values, hope and meaning.
This author is of the opinion that Richard Feynman was right in saying that “Truth can be recognized by its simplicity and its beauty”, but that at the same time current philosophy, social science and general “communis opinio” unconsciously do their utmost to make things obscure, needlessly complicated and incoherent, causing such thinking to be rather powerless. Further, it makes them instruments of vested interests rather than progress and relief, as will be elucidated below (see also other pages of this website). Note that, in the greatest part of history, things were not much different, particularly because intellectual elites were neither free to speak nor used to be innerly independent of the establishment. Many of their members belonged to the clergy or other groups kind to the status quo and prevailing ideas.
From the Enlightenment on, say, up to the “organization and bureaucratization wave” that seriously began after World War II, the intelligentsia witnessed its freest era, after which it gradually “socialized and institutionalized”. Marx, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, Veblen,… did not compete for funds, were rather (innerly) independent of peers and the media and of the circulation of their books. Massive networking was unknown.
It is a major thesis of this website that, since about half a century, intellectuals will simply mirror dominant ideas that, in turn, reflect prevailing interests which are certainly not kind to setting cats among the pigeons, to exposing theories and to making the individual innerly independent via a coherent frame of rationally based knowledge and ideas. Accordingly, we see philosophy come to incoherence – not even striving after rational models of man, his values and the universe – in the shape of Heidegger, Foucault, Lyotard etcetera, whereas sociology became a kind of round game and details-mongering. (As to social science, I.L. Horowitz, S. Andreski and A. Zijderveld pointed earlier to this situation.)
Because of the above it is very rewarding to break ranks with orthodoxy and mainstream intelligentsia, which virtually have nothing to say anymore; inter alia, they paraphrase the all-dominating RU paradigm and the “religion of Man as he is” (see below).
We investigate what interests, prejudices and fallacies feed current repressions and taboos as to thinking, also finding that it is precisely the most important discoveries that are prevented from being made by such interest-produced repressions and taboos. (Rather similar to what occurred, say, in the Middle Ages.) Within this scope, a coherent frame or model of what philosophy refers to, and of vital dynamics in social evolution, becomes only possible after our making conscious the repressions and our violating the taboos. Of course, this awakens us to the insight that such repressions and taboos play an essential part in keeping the public in ignorance, precisely as happened throughout history, though in modern times it proceeds more subtly and unconsciously, the “conspirators” being led by instinct and intuition.
In what follows we fill in the above more concretely, in an endeavour to escape from massive conformism and its main current representative: Riesman’s other-directedness. Also, we will find why an easy way of integrating values, purpose and hope into rational thinking (science) has been repressed hitherto, again because irrational orthodoxies do not like that people derive their moral basis and hope from reason rather than prevailing ideology.
Twelve major points, most of which are taboo or repressed
(1) Modern secularised God or religion: Man
Old-time irrational religion, that projected various inner drives of the individual and forces in society into heaven and the sacred, has largely been secularised by “retracting the projection” and making man and society themselves to become God. Within this scope we see man become virtually inviolable and “good by nature”, as formerly was God. For example, eugenics is taboo: an insult to man as he is; euthanasia is so too in most countries (also among atheists); “privacy”, also of criminals, is rather sacred; nobody is genetically inferior: “all people are of an equal value” (egalitarianism and political correctness). Also, society is rather inviolable [just as in the past, when it (or major forces in it) was projected into heaven in the shape of God]: it is not far from “not done” to attribute even unconscious bad intentions to sectors of the establishment, convention and, say, sexual or other taboos. Everything society and its culture strive after is believed to be well-meant. Anti-intellectualistic educational reforms are far from unconsciously aiming at keeping the public ignorant, nor are complicated juridical laws, rules and procedures attuned to benefiting lawyers and other interest groups. Egalitarianism and related relativism fit with the idea that “all people are valuable”, independently of their concrete deeds and qualities.
In sum, in our humanistic era “the others” and (the elites of) society highly succeeded God in being inviolable, object of solidarity and virtually above criticism. Obviously, this is related to man’s need of something to worship and for a compass.
Among major profiteers of “deifying” man (and society) are various helping bureaucracies and professions (“nurture prevails on nature”, egalitarianism), while, as part of the RU paradigm discussed in (2), it benefits various other powerful interests. More fundamentally: making man essentially inviolable, one inherently becomes more lenient to evil, by which many benefit (though others suffer).
(2) Current core paradigm of Western thinking: the Relativism-Uncertainty idea
Partly within the scope of egalitarian and relativistic “religion of Man”, but more generally all-important with respect to modern thinking, is the R(elativism)U(ncertainty) paradigm. It calls the tune in alpha, beta and gamma science, ideology and our value system. Some concrete main thesis in its spirit are
1. The “Copenhagen” and related neo-positivistic ways of thinking in quantum-mechanics: microphysical situations are not precisely defined; no understandable models of them can be constructed, the “fuzziness” also being fundamental rather than merely technical.
2. Such fuzziness is also reflected in the circumstance that the outcome of micro measurements is partly dependent on how the observer manages the measurement process. He partly “chooses reality”.
3. Human free will is one among various instances causing man to be (partly) “above science”. Another is man’s creativity and values he may legitimately choose freely (to some extent?). All of this, too, contributes to fundamental indeterminism.
4. In philosophy, social science and the arts the RU paradigm manifests itself by (more or less radically) maintaining: “The human psyche is inherently irrational to a considerable degree, the universe is highly incoherent, values are relative, destiny is “chaotic” and progress (therefore) is an illusion or even indefinable”. Any “meaning of life” can only be introduced subjectively.
5. Relativism holds as to both values and human quality; it is among the sources of egalitarianism: if what discriminates the average Harvard student from the average hooligan is not objectively desirable (positive), the two are basically of an equal value. On the other hand, if you deem both of them equivalent morally and as to the quality of their psyche, you deem the (lack of) qualities by which they differ less than substantial…
As I extensively explained in pages 1.1 – 1.4 of my website The Scientifization of Culture, the RU paradigm, just as other “orthodoxies”, plays an important part in ideologically serving dominating interests of the establishment. For example, it introduces troubled waters on a very fundamental level of thinking, reducing the realm of reason, coherence, and what discriminates good from the law of the jungle. It creates a perfect climate for manipulation, ideology, and conformism (good and evil are what the others deem so).
In such pages, one can also find a rational refutation of the paradigm. In short, its function and source are similar to those of the indistinctness endemic in politics: leaving latitude for manipulation.
(3) A coherent basis of a scientific and enlightened outlook on life
Einstein said: “The aim of science is explaining an optimum number of phenomena by means of a minimum number of hypotheses or axioms”. We can add that modern science – “the knowledge network of Galileo, Newton and Einstein”, or GNE network – indeed aspires to doing so.
Especially in view of the RU paradigm it is important to realize that all those who are integer and of good will have an interest in truth, good and evil being clear, objective, accessible to intelligence and observation, coherent and important (impressive). The paradigm essentially holds the opposite: it leaves much latitude for power, circumstances, ideology, convention, cultural preferences (those of “the others”), ambiguity and the arbitrary.
The refutation of the paradigm, in addition to the rigorous establishment of the GNE network as a basis of both objective knowledge and objective values [in both my website The Scientifization of Culture and a book of the same title (Van Gorcum, Assen 1994)] amounts to a comprehensive philosophical starting point and foundation of the enlightened approach of the world.
In itself it arouses suspicion when adherents of the paradigm (also in spite of its refutation) still express doubt whether it is legitimate to consider some explanation as (preliminarily) correct if it fits most simply and coherently in the GNE network. Further, we question the sense of endless philosophical discussion about values in the light of nobody being in a position of even vaguely indicating any rational argument to the effect that certain moral prescriptions or prohibitions (say, against homosexuality or the violation of some taboo) should prevail over optimising total happiness.
(4) Specimens of the RU and “religion of Man” mentality in social reality
1. Riesman’s other-directed personality dominates: taking “the others” as one’s compass, in the absence of anything else as an authority and moral basis. That is, conformism prevails. Most scientists too prefer being put in the right (esteem, career,…) to being right; not even the utter chutzpahs (no eugenics, no euthanasia as to handicapped newborns, defendants have the right of non-cooperation,..) cause them to break ranks.
2. Massive feelings of meaninglessness, emptiness and “nothingness”.
3. Hypes and fashion abound, also in the domain of thoughts and feelings.
4. Superficiality is the order of the day. (Think of the average TV program, and of the preoccupation with sports, by which strivings and emotions are massively diverted to the utterly irrelevant.)
5. Little interest in ideas and deep coherence in nature, the more of it in people: stars, cult figures etcetera. “Image” is everywhere. The here and now dominates. Scientific research into a possible life after death is not even an issue among the intelligentsia.
6. Subjectivism and incoherence dominate philosophy; nobody tries and constructs a (preliminary) understandable model of reality, man or social evolution as a whole. (Existentialism, Foucault-“structuralism”, postmodernism,…) Actually, truth, good and evil are abandoned in principle by relativism. Crooks are no longer true crooks.
7. Modern “abstract” art cultivates incoherence, the ambiguous and meaninglessness, if not the trivial, while hardly anyone protests.
8. “Progressive” reforms level down education without anyone sees and explains this as unconsciously intended to keep people ignorant and make them more “socially oriented”, as a modern successor of historical and more crude methods of doing so. (We see anti-intellectualism and social solidarity as successors of censorship and religious or national solidarity.) Deeming them as such successor would violate the inviolability of society as a whole we earlier spoke of in (1), and would also be a “conspiracy theory”. The orthodoxy leaves no room for explanations implying (unconscious, instinctive) bad faith at the basis of establishment-supported socio-cultural tendencies. [Note that before and after Machiavelli power elites did little else than ideologically (unconsciously) manipulating and misleading the public.]
9. The twin-ideology of egalitarianism and relativism devalues human genetic and moral quality (cf. the foregoing). Anti-eugenics is one of the consequences. Realize that relativism and egalitarianism actually imply each other. They are also related to “nurture rather than nature”, in which the “disadvantaged industry” has a major interest.
10. The spirit of the 1960s, which is highly a reaction to bourgeois values that, in turn, are associated with the Enlightenment and the French revolution. The group and the here-and-now, inter alia, substituted individual responsibility, long-term planning and the independent intellectual, who was “socialized” too. Concomitant “devaluation of values” had repercussions in the helping professions, crime-fighting and (degradation of) education. Not merely man in general and the community as a whole, but almost every kind of group (social interests, ethnic groups, religions, non-Western cultures, the “disadvantaged”,…) became inviolable, partly within the scope of egalitarianism. While one vaguely rejected “the system”, this still implied the dead of social criticism: hardly any group or mentality could be in bad faith.
11. The RU and religion of Man mentality – (incoherence, relativism,…) – also culminates in: “Values, purposes, human choices, the meaning of life and a possible hereafter cannot be explained or researched by scientific methods”. Note that such standpoint shields vital problems from rational discussion, just as censorship does, and for similar reasons.
12. We see further examples of the “inviolability of Us” attitude in some sad events around World War II: a) No major socio-political instance ever asked pope Pius XII to explain his silence about the Holocaust; b) Something similar happened as to the UK and the US’s not admitting many more fleeing Jews during the 1930s and later; c) Also compare their not bombing gas chambers in Auschwitz and the like, and d) What about the Allies’ massive air raids on German civilians?
(5) Explaining many phenomena from a few obvious hypotheses: many current anti-enlightened ideas are more subtle and disguised variants of those by which clergy and nobility defended their interests a few centuries ago, such as devaluing reason, ignoring rational values, and ideologically pushed solidarities
It is a major feature of my general socio-cultural theory – see this website – that it explains the RU paradigm and the secularised religion of Man, anti-intellectualistic education, modern incoherent art, the preponderance of anti-rationalistic philosophy, egalitarian social policy, sexual taboos, anti-Semitism and various other striking things jointly from one clear phenomenon. That is, roughly from interests of sectors of the establishment similar to those – such as nobility and clergy – that also during the Enlightenment turned against reason and independent thinking on behalf of various kinds of solidarity, dogma and convention. (Remark: anti-Semitism fits in the above series because, in particular since mid-19th century, Jews have been clearly “over-represented” in the modernistic revolution of reason and non-convention.)
Note here that no competing socio-cultural theories that give simpler or more coherent explanations have been put forward. For example, even as regards a radical phenomenon as the largely demised sexual taboos nobody seems to be interested in why something so irrational and happiness-unfriendly could ever be part of morality. An obvious explanation of such “repression” is that an actual unearthing of the (manipulation-related) motives behind the taboos would undermine the moral authority of our elites.
In sum, my core social theory is that most of socio-cultural dynamics and evolution can be explained as a struggle – by economic, ideological, political, bureaucratic and other means – of enlightened, progress-oriented, interests and mentalities versus openly or ideologically disguisedly anti-enlightened forces.
(6) A fundamental choice in our lives, viz. “What is my basis as to truth and value: my socio-cultural environment or my innate intelligence and compassion?”
In essence, our motto derived from Revel already gives an answer to this question. (3) above refers to a more extensive argumentation.
For me personally, the choice never has been a problem, because even in my own comparatively enlightened Western culture and society I saw so much community- and “orthodoxy”-endorsed chutzpah and cruelty that I never felt tempted to feel solidary with them or even to believe in the good faith of our establishment and in-crowds. A few concrete specimens:
1. The cruelty, mainly towards relevant parents, of refusing euthanasia for seriously handicapped newborns if those parents prefer it. (Think of the religion of Man.)
2. The cruelty towards future (potential) victims as implied by massive softness on crime as appearing from a) multi-offenders are eventually released time and again, b) defendants have the right of non-cooperation rather than being found guilty in case of silence, c) many restrictions as to finding the truth often frustrate such finding. (Think of “privacy” and the interests in complication of lawyers and other “experts”.)
3. Not even chronic problem cases are prevented from procreation, and eugenics is generally condemned. (Religion of Man.)
4. Massive immigration from low-IQ regions is tolerated. (Egalitarianism.)
5. Conformism is so pervasive that practically none among the speechmakers publicly opposes as to 1. – 4. More generally, leading intellectuals seldom dissent so as to cause intense and protracted controversy. The “controversial” will more generally be avoided.
6. One example is that hardly any intellectual publicly ridicules “abstract” incoherent art or contorted verbiage from leading modern philosophers. (I gave many specimens in my work, but nobody reacted.)
7. Hardly anybody except I.L. Horowitz, S. Andreski, A. Zijderveld and myself criticised sociology degenerating into a social round game in which details and methodology call the tune rather than new, radical and sometimes exposing explanations and theory.
It is utterly rewarding as to being fruitful in socio-philosophical domains if one indeed breaks ranks with “all well-meaning people” and one’s peers; but it is not good for one’s career. That’s the main problem in most intellectual domains… In actual fact, most discoveries that can be made without violating a taboo or unearthing a repressed truth or moral argument have already been made. That is, the only way to transcend the round game is such violating or awakening to things many feel to be unpleasant. Within this scope, and also in view of the less-than-positive mentality of the elites appearing from points 1. – 7. above, we should look for hidden (group-)egoistic motives at the background of everything that is irrational (such as “modern” art and most current philosophy), taboo (such as eugenics) or systematically neglected [such as research into the paranormal; compare (8) and (11) below].
(7) The single most important power instrument of the establishment: “solidarity”, “unity”, around the centre, which is precisely such establishment
It has been observed: “Nationalism is an instrument to make many exert themselves for the benefit of a few”. This can easily be extended to solidarities around religion, tradition, social class, “the honour” of our King, tribe or family, and to taking “the others” as a compass more generally (Riesman’s other-directed personality). Such variants of the craving for belonging partly reflect anxiety, and make man optimally conformable and controllable. The only way to make it positive is giving it a rational basis: helping each other to optimise total well-being as far as it is within our capacity. That is, solidarity should refer to rational values and purposes and be guided by our common interest in that science and rational values more and more prevail on chance, ignorance, arbitrariness and (hidden) ill-will. This means solidarity around progress.
(8) A vital extension of Schelsky’s idea about why ideologists will not like technology
Schelsky (Die Arbeit tun die Anderen, 1975) introduced the idea that ideologists will distrust technology because the more people can solve their problems by the latter, the less they will need and revert to the products the ideologists supply, such as Utopias, orthodoxies and irrational solidarity (“one’s country”, class, tradition,…).
Now it strikes the eye that in the modern West hardly anybody is interested in basing hope for mankind, including an objective moral basis and some perspective of any life after death, on science and possible coherent models of man, consciousness and the psychical dimension of nature and the universe. For example, over the world hardly twenty fulltime researchers work in parapsychology. While about half of Western population believes in a hereafter, scientific research into near-death and out-of-the-body experiences, reincarnation and medium phenomena is marginal… Almost everybody echoes: “This kind of problems is beyond the realm of science”.
Now it is in the spirit of Schelsky’s explanation that, for similar reasons why ideologists don’t like technology, the idea mongers who – unconsciously led by interests – “produce” dominating beliefs, preferences or even paradigms, will feel less than enthusiastic of an objective scientific base and model as regards the ultimate problems of life, values, destiny, death, and the meaning of human existence. Like in earlier historical periods, the establishment, culture creators and religion prefer to frame the ultimate things about culture and destiny themselves rather than people having a dependable rational basis as to these. Therefore, many fundamental questions like a possible hereafter, are purported to be on “another level” than science.
Of course, there is a connection with (6) too: the more we experience a rational basis of our values, our destiny and the meaning of our existence, the less will we be impressed by and conform to our moral and social environment and its (irrational) variants of ideals and hope. For example, I myself could far more easily lose respect of our establishment and its value system by the very fact that I do not feel dependent on such environment as to values or ideas about destiny and meaning.
Conclusion: It is very clear why our establishment prefers subjectivism and verbiage in philosophy, pseudo-“innovative” and pseudo-“shocking” modern art, details-mongering and relativistic social science, and an approach of the fundamental problems of existence via old books, popes and “other levels” rather than coherent reason and spending tenfold on the research of fundamental physics (space and time, basic “fuzziness”, nonlocal phenomena,…), consciousness and paranormal phenomena. Neither did 18th-century clergy and nobility prefer reason (the Enlightenment) to prevail as an instrument to approach the problems of the time, or did all those who co-founded their position on censorship, taboo or conformity.
Generally, man can only be manipulated by socio-cultural establishments, religions and ideologists in general as long as he is ignorant and confused about the fundamental problems of existence (and society). Hence, the former discourage looking for relevant scientific knowledge. Modern intellectuals do so predominantly by saying in advance: “Both the paranormal and long-term coherence in our experiences of life are illusions or elusive: it is all coincidence”. Note that they will also take the seven chutzpahs of (6) at face value: they are also “coincidences”.
There is a striking inconsistency in that most social scientists, following Machiavelli and more recent thinkers about ideology, affirm that power elites and vested interests will disguise self-interest as the morally good or the public interest, whereas at the same time they denounce as “conspiracy theories” my above idea that many dominating values, preferences and taboos figure as camouflage of powerful interests. It is equally striking that mainstream academics fail in indicating concrete specimens of Machiavellian or ideological disguises of interests according to their own insights, without overlapping my examples such as in (6).
(9) Major specimens of socio-economic macro mismanagement that stem from the power of vested interests and short-term thinking
1. Though Robert Solow received the Nobel Prize for economics for his demonstration that technological progress is the core driving force of economic growth, dominant countries spend only about 2 percent of their national product on research and development (R&D), 0.3 percent of which refers to fundamental research. These numbers could be radically increased by
a) An incomes policy to the effect that “the best and the brightest” no longer seek employment in the financial and juridical sectors.
b) Simplifying laws and regulations radically in order to drastically reduce employment in such sectors.
c) Changing taxes and laws about advertising (that should only embody matter-of-fact information) so as to reduce luxury consumption, and spend the relevant money on (primarily government-sponsored, think of the Manhattan and Genome projects, nuclear fusion and NASA) R&D, especially in fundamental domains.
2. In the same vein, economic growth is often much frustrated by Central banks time and again increasing interest rates in order to reduce inflation, rather than pursuing such reduction by means of an incomes policy: wage control (which is more easily feasible in practice than price control), in addition to fostering competition (inter alia, via facilitating cheap imports).
3. An incomes policy is also necessary because of the mere fact that in about 35 years 70 percent of the American people saw no increase of its real income, the benefits of growth all going to the richest 30 percent. Such policy is the more justified because as to, say, managers we are far from a meritocratic free market: many failing managers get huge sums and myriad good businesses do without option incentive plans and the like. Among the best-paid people are those active in the take-over business, while at the same time most take-overs are far from a success.
4. Moral relativism, degradation of education (too many unemployables) and the power of the “disadvantaged” bureaucracies caused the continuation of a massive underclass of people who should be forced to no longer sponge on society and/or be obligatorily sterilised.
(10) Twelve vital truths reflecting an enlightened position
1. Our motto quoted from Jean-François Revel.
2. Evil is equally objective as the suffering it causes.
3. Happiness is a question of information and genes.
4. Culture is efficiency in increasing well-being.
5. There is nothing but facts and relations between facts (Hippolyte Taine).
6. Unhappiness comes from wrong calculations (Galileo with Brecht).
7. The quote from Albert Einstein at the start of (3).
8. Intelligence is an inborn faculty of consciousness to recognize coherence in the universe.
9. Relativism is an ideological instrument to devalue truth, good and quality; it is an historical successor of censorship.
10. Optimising total happiness is the objectively correct moral good because there is no other purpose of which it can be rationally argued that it is desirable.
11. Values do not influence facts. Quite to the contrary, values are features of, in the first instance, the phenomenon or model of man and consciousness and, in the last resort, of the design and coherence of the universe. In addition, moral ones are objective because of 10.
12. Though Einstein probably exaggerated in stating that a good scientist is so rather by character than intelligence, we can still see from this mere website that finding new explanations and theories even more depends on violating taboos, abandoning habits of thought and not acquiescing in chutzpah than on whatever else.
(11) An outline of my theories on consciousness, the paranormal, the meaning of existence and a possible life after death
Finding a comprehensive enlightened “frame of existence” for present-day educated man should extend to the domain of “the ultimate questions of life”, such as the nature of man, his consciousness and possible laws governing his destiny. This author did actual research into these subjects, which is part and parcel of his general work in physics. (See for the latter the page Four-dimensional reality and its coherence on this website.) In recent years he extended his physical research to the subjects consciousness and the paranormal. Forthcoming publications as to this are in Physics Essays, Volumes 19, No 2 and 20, No 2. Their titles are:
Consciousness and the coherence of natural law, and
Four-dimensional physics, nonlocal coherence, and paranormal phenomena, respectively.
A third paper – Exit “uncertainty” and chaos, enter coherence; on the psychical dimension of natural processes – will appear in a so-called P.I.R.T.-related book edited by M.C. Duffy.
We give a short outline of their content:
1. Reference to four earlier papers demonstrating that the universe is realistically four-dimensional, length, width, height and time being its dimensions.
2. Reference to four other proofs that influences backwards in time (retroactive ones) in some experiments actually appear and can define physical variables within their Heisenberg uncertainty margins of quantum-mechanics. Note that, in a “static” four-dimensional context, the term “influence” has a meaning different from the traditional three-dimensional one, which is how we humans experience it in our “moving in the time direction”. Four-dimensionally, an “influence” looks like how the foundation of a building causes it not to collapse.
3. We hypothesize that such retroactive influences do not act randomly but obey laws, just as causal influences do. That is, as they – in their capacity of being Einstein’s famous (nonlocal) hidden variable – fill in concrete values as to the relevant physical variables (values within the uncertainty margins), they do not do so randomly but guided coherently by physical laws, among which is, inter alia, conservation of energy etc.
4. We further hypothesize that the laws coordinating many fillings-in operate particularly subtly in living or even conscious organisms, just as, in such organisms, many causal laws and processes cooperate more subtly than, say, in a stone. Such mutually cooperating causal and retroactive laws, for example, apparently manage forces, fillings-in of physical variables etc. so as to lift an arm or, in some cases, to write a book like Newton’s Principia.
5. We start from the idea that the natural phenomenon of recognition (or Aha-Erlebnis), that apparently appears in conscious organisms, is “nothing else but” a cumulative and more subtle manifestation of the aspect of natural law or processes that more generally makes entities (components) contributing to an interaction basically recognise each other so that they can indeed interact in the correct, non-paradoxical, way.
6. It is precisely living or conscious organisms that integrate (component) processes and natural laws in such particular way that their elements of consciousness (of Aha-Erlebnis) are integrated too.
7. Hence, the essence of consciousness which the Aha-Erlebnis is, neither emanates from electric or chemical little currents in our brain, nor is it a non-physical entity, but it is the feature of natural laws or processes that is so much “intelligently aware” that it recognises other laws or processes sufficiently coherently for interacting with them paradox-free according to comprehensive physical law. Organisms integrate this as regards many processes, just as more generally mass, momentum etc. of components can be integrated into the corresponding variables of a relevant compound.
8. In all, our theory relocates concepts like (the results of) free will, creativity, and moral and aesthetical experiences into the subtle coherence of natural law and processes rather than sweeping them under the carpet of the “spontaneous” and the non-scientific.
9. Continuing the above course of argument we explain the paranormal as nonlocal phenomena in which psychical aspects appear, which phenomena cannot be accounted for by mere causality and that, therefore, need coordinated retroaction as part of their explanation. In the three papers referred to at the beginning of this Section (11) we show in detail how such nonlocality in the paranormal is in line with (or: is a subtler variant of) nonlocal phenomena in micro-physics, such as in the famous paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen, and in wave-particle “duality” and the “collapse of a wave packet” in quantum-mechanics.
10. Within this scope, we construct a model of a super-individual psychical entity that may be called collective unconscious or even collective mind, of which separate individuals are components and that to some extent shows its own preferences and coherent actions. It appears to function as an organism in essential respects.
11. Finally, we introduce something having the essential features of life after death. In our model of the collective mind (C), my afterlife is the connection, in C, of my past existence and later stages of C as an organism. Mind that C, my past life and such connections are all realistically four-dimensional (just as the universe at all): they exist as my present now. I realistically continue to exist after death because both my past life and related later events (for example, results of my actions) realistically continue to exist and can be “remembered” by organism C that in its capacity of organism has some “memory”.
12. It is essential in our theory of consciousness that
a) We reject the sorcery hypothesis to the effect that, rather than by subtly cooperating natural influences and laws, Newton’s hand in writing the Principia was guided by “free will” or spontaneously.
b) We hypothesize that retroactively as well as causally operative laws are involved in guiding Newton’s hand in his writing, the former laws amounting to coordinatedly filling in the values of (many) physical variables within their uncertainty margins. Processes so subtle as directing Newton’s hand appropriately need something so subtle as such coordinated fillings-in; mere causality is “too unrefined”. (In this respect those not attributing “free will” to pure causality are right!)
c) We hypothesize that, as to the essence of consciousness which the Aha-Erlebnis and recognition are, there is a continuous line from a proton recognizing an electron in their correctly generating a hydrogen atom, via the mutual recognition of influences and processes in plants, lower and higher animals, up to and including conscious processes in Newton’s brain, concomitant to his writing. That is, we assume such electron and proton to witness some primitive sub-sub-conscious Aha experience.
d) Such line corresponds to more and more subtle organic integration stages as to the kind of processes that culminate in guiding Newton’s hand, both as regards their capacities of recognition and those of cooperating otherwise for effecting his hand to move correctly. Or, if natural laws and processes in Newton’s organism cooperate in directing his hand, why, then, their elements of Aha-Erlebnis (consciousness) would not logically do so as to produce his concomitant conscious insights and other experiences?
It should be positively admitted that if scientific research such as indicated above would eventually lead to nothing – no afterlife, no coherent laws as to human destiny, no gradual evolution towards good prevailing on evil and frustration,… –, life and the world would indeed be meaningless. So much so that it would be hardly worthwhile to philosophize about them…
(12) The basic change of philosophy (11) implies: less coincidence, more coherence or even meaning
A realistically four-dimensional universe, in coherence with my theory on consciousness, also contains the vital feature that in them a feedback appears of causal and retroactive influences which cooperate in such way that results play a part too, not merely causes. This is closely connected with the circumstance that in a four-dimensional world natural laws actually refer to events or processes, rather than objects, their results being part and parcel of the processes, to which the laws refer too! Note that, roughly speaking, feedbacks between causes and effects makes the latter less a coincidence, also because effects may retroactively coordinate causes just as causes somehow “coordinate” effects.
The above, and the organic and nonlocal features of the world indicated in (11), jointly amount to much more coherence, rather than the chance and “chaos in destiny” that correspond to the RU way of thinking
Complementary and some other remarks
1. An essential psychological source of people not liking determinism and the CT paradigm is that they leave less room for one’s somehow feeling to be the centre of the world that makes its decisions independently by free will.
2. You get an idea of the level of most non-Western value systems by realizing that the UN condemned Israel more than Iran, Syria, Libya and Sudan…
3. By far the most fruitful way to make new discoveries in the social sciences is violating taboos.
4. How can I feel solidary with people who are more interested in sporting results than in moral questions and progress?
5. RU-adherents betray themselves by not liking an idea like “organisation of happiness”, or “Happiness is a question of information and genes”. They want uncertainty, ambiguity, the subjective, and latitude for chance and evil. Therefore, they don’t like the idea of science getting control over them; they somehow thrive on them. This actually defines the basic antithesis in our civilization. We should also distrust some bases of our culture because of its seeming to be more tolerant of aggression than of sex for ages. Voluptuousness is among the seven deadly sins, cruelty is not.
Still, I admit that life being too easy for them does not stimulate many towards inner evolution. But that’s not the point for the RU people…
6. I feel absurdism as a slap in my face, that is, as the message: “We don’t want to come to the point and to rational argument”.
7. It contributed to the undermining of our value system that DJ’s, footballers and TV presenters will often earn more than $ 100,000, and that failing managers frequently receive large golden handshakes.
8. Many agree with Richard Feynman: “Truth can be recognized by its simplicity and its beauty”. Only a few awake to the consequence: distrust complicated and/or unaesthetic explanations and algorithms, never accept paradoxes and things of which you cannot construct understandable models, keep on and on thinking about fundamental enigmas and don’t waste much time on side issues; neither accept any theory that implies incoherence, fundamental chance and that evil may have the last word. Further realize that all societies and cultures tolerate(d) much suffering, injustice and chutzpah; start from the idea that nothing less than “at least unconscious bad faith” can be at the background of these (rather than their coming from coincidence), such as that of Machiavelli’s self-seeking rulers. Therefore, let your explanations reflect that evil is very prominent in history and loathe it in your own society too. Within this scope, realize that new insights will fail in emerging because of interest-fed habits of thought, taboos and the mental climate rather than by lack of intelligence.
9. Since about Horkheimer and Adorno’s The Dialectics of the Enlightenment (German original 1949) the Left became roughly reactionary. Particularly, it sided with much that fails or is rearguard, morally or genetically: unenlightened cultures, the lowly educated, problem youths, unruly students, many “disadvantaged” whose problems stem from their rejecting “bourgeois values”, anti-socials who purportedly need “help” rather than discipline, and criminals who are allowed ever more “rights”. The very idea of progress became ambiguous with the “Left”. Its “modernism” largely reduced to some association with the spirit of the 1960s.
10. Probably the two single most important sources of opposition to my work are:
a) My rationalism and emphasis on coherence leave little room for the RU implication of troubled waters: verbiage in philosophy, the “politically correct” disguise of bad faith or inferiority, subjectivism and the “poly-interpretable”; also, the power elites prefer defining themselves rather than reason what is true, good or evil.
b) I evidently am a spoilsport in the solidarity game in which accepting other participants (social actors) as they are is essential, irrespective of whether we consider the “game” of religion, tradition, political correctness, nationalism or other-directedness.
11. Moral relativism apparently does not consider it to be objective evil if an innocent is tortured to death. For the record!
12. A revealing light is thrown on the degree of awakening of theWestern public by the circumstance that houses in the Netherlands cost about twice as much as comparable ones in Germany without a massive outcry and special meetings of Dutch parliament resulted. Problems continue to be cloaked by bureaucratic complication and ideology (“the environment”).
13. Some reject the idea of massive (“conspiratorial”) unconscious hidden motives playing a part in modern society. They are proved to be wrong by the mere fact that many who do not like progress go to extremes as to wishful thinking: in misleading themselves and others by denying that Western man became happier in the past ages. This in spite of results by Ruut Veenhoven (Conditions of happiness, doctoral thesis, Rotterdam, 1984) and others that people in developing countries will be much less happy than those in the modern world.
14. We see two separately coherent complexes that constitute an antithesis. On the one side there is the evolutionary stage of the law of the jungle and on the other that of rational cooperation, optimising total happiness and the Sermon on the Mount.
a) The second complex contains happiness (including lust), beauty, the elevated, coherence, transparency and (therefore) reason and progress. (Particularly note that beauty is a kind of bridge between lust and the elevated.)
b) In the first complex figure aggression, the “Machiavellian aspects of society” (manipulation, ideology,…), “the dark sides of our psyche”, and individuals basically experiencing each other as a danger.
Hardly anything except nazism still openly opts for the jungle mode. Therefore, the latter’s only opportunity is in disguise, obscurity, troubled waters and inconsistent association. Some specimens: the RU paradigm, associating sex with “the dark side” rather than beauty, and relating happiness to chance or the irrational (“romanticism”). In particular, ideology and manipulation need incoherence, uncertainty or fuzziness, partly because they need anxiety.
15. Joining with 14., we should substitute our striving after power over others by striving after power over nature, evil, and chance. By emphasizing incoherence, we also frustrate our intelligence; by not standing tall for objective values, we betray the dear and precious.
16. It is revealing as to its true value system that our establishment did not distance itself from the mentality of hazing freshmen, floods of beer, aggressive behaviour, career-helping friends and conformism that so much characterized or characterizes most student unions. In later life, the aggressive career- and money-directed basic attitude is very often hidden behind the all-affirming satisfied broad smile of Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking; reissue 1996) and Riesman’s other-directed personality.
17. The mother of all appeasement; from a letter (about 1965) of K.L. Poll, the then “cultural pope” of the Netherlands, in a kindly negative letter in which he refused an article by this author:
“You would rather like to force the lying politicians to speak the truth”.
Far more generally, Western society became a society of appeasers.
18. There can hardly be found a more revealing specimen of the moral state of our establishment than the frequent refusal by authorities to deport trouble-causing immigrants, not even to safe homelands of which they have a passport. Pressure groups such as the “disadvantaged bureaucracy” have more influence than the well-being of potential victims.
19. It illustrates the influence of current core ideologies (RU, religion of Man) that most anti-establishment-minded groups are even worse than the powers that be: either radically egalitarian or rightist (think of anti-globalists, squatters, “non-enlightened cultures are of an equal value”, fundamentalists, anti-Americanists, about all “activists”,…).
20. Besides radically reducing poverty, one more major gift of technology to mankind is its lessening personal dependence of one individual on the other. Also for this reason ideologists (“solidarists”, conformists) will not like it.
21. Current (hyper-competitive) sports ambiance is little more than a senseless glorification of one’s ego, team or country.
22. The core message from society to anti-socials, addicted, problem youths and the unskilled should be: “The only way you can demonstrate not to be genetically and/or morally inferior is cooperating with social help instances in order to radically cure your current behaviour”.
23. There is a psychological and (therefore) also an ideological affinity of: a) the striking habit of politicians, mainstream social thinkers and most philosophers to evade (or to screen by taboo) the very cores of many vital problems (two specimens: the scarcity of sexually attractive people and genetic causes of crime); b) the massive cult of the here and now, the incidental and superficiality; c) the aversion (in intellectual circles) from putting cats among the pigeons, “abdominal sentiments” and the “sentimental” more generally.
24. John Rawls, in A Theory of Justice (1971), posited that in the best of all societies policy should give priority to benefiting the socially weakest category of people. He did not philosophically make plausible this, but nevertheless devoted an entire book to such simple thesis. At the same time, his idea co-defined the socio-philosophical agenda for decades… You need a demonstration of the state of social science?
25. How could you stimulate lavish consumption better than by saying that life has no meaning? And how can the world have meaning without coherence, objective moral values and progress? Also from this point of view one may ask: “Is current `RU climate’ purely a coincidence?”
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