Category Archives: Metaphysics

The Logic of Truth

Logic of Universe

Truth, as perceived, is never absolute. Truth is perceived from one logical state to the next logical state in a relative manner only. The smooth transition of truth from one step to the next is the harmony that qualifies the truth.

The harmony of truth reflects in the consistency of observations from one moment to the next. When the consistency is missing in observation then there is probably some truth hidden somewhere.

One may have no idea of what the absolute truth is; but one can definitely spot inconsistency when it is present. There is a built-in sense within us that flags inconsistencies.

When we are searching for truth it does not really matter whether that truth is absolute or relative. We just want to discover the missing step, which is causing the inconsistency in one’s observation. When we find that missing piece of truth, the consistency in observation is restored.

Looking for absolute truth may be an impossible task. But looking for consistency in observation is feasible.

Maybe if we start seeking consistency in everything, we may ultimately reach the absolute truth. That is a hope and not certainty.

There may be many levels of consistency in what we observe. Once we have achieved a certain level of consistency, we may know intuitively that there must also be consistency at a deeper level of abstraction. We may now become aware of new inconsistencies at deeper levels. And so we look for deeper truth to attain deeper harmony within ourselves.

Thus, truth is not just one-dimensional affair. Truth is probably two-dimensional, or even multi-dimensional. This may point to the universe having a multi-dimensional logical structure as we see in the subjects of mathematics and philosophy.

The whole logical structure of the universe may be looked upon as one single truth. That truth may be absolute, or maybe not, but it can definitely provide a context in which the relativity and interconnection of all other truth could be seen.

Knowing this overall logical structure of the universe may lead us to the absolute truth.

The absolute truth may be a moving target, but the strategy outlined here, at least, gives us a workable approach toward it.

Also See: The Quest for Certainty

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Tertium Organum, Chapter 7 (Dimensions)

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Reference: Tertium Organum

The following is a summary as well as a commentary on Chapter 7 of Tertium Organum by P D Ouspensky.

What really are the dimensions of space and why are there three of them?

Ouspensky says:

We really know that all three dimensions are in substance identical, that it is possible to regard each of the three dimensions either as following the sequence, the first, the second, the third, or the other way about. This alone proves that dimensions are not mathematical magnitudes. All the real properties of a thing can be expressed mathematically as quantities, i.e., numbers, showing the relation of these properties to other properties.

According to Ouspensky, if Mathematics does not represent something real then it is not mathematics. Mathematics cannot express the difference between dimensions, because no such difference really exists.

Ouspensky says:

As a matter of fact this is what provided Hinton with a basis for his theory of tessaracts, or four-dimensional solids – a4. But this is sheer fantasy, because, in the first place, the designation of dimensions by powers is purely conventional. All powers may be represented on a line. Let us take a 5-millimetre segment of the line a. Then a 25-millimetre segment will be its square, or a2; and a 125-millimetre segment will be its cube, or a3.

According to Ouspensky, the designation of dimensions by powers (one dimension – a, two dimensions – a2, three dimensions – a3, and so on) is purely arbitrary. Hinton’s metageometry has no relationship to either Euclidian or Non-Euclidian geometry.

Geometry is an artificial construction for the purpose of solving problems. The axioms of a given geometry, express the properties of a given space. Euclidean and Non-Euclidian geometries depend on the idea of surfaces in space.

For Lobachevsky, as a geometrician, a surface was merely a means for the generalization of certain properties, upon which one or another geometric system was built. He never looked at it from Kant’s perspective of reality or unreality.

In reality we have only locations defined by objects and directions of travel defined by energy. We may imagine surfaces in space, but that is by convention.

A line in time is not a geometrical line. It is an abstract notion. If the fourth dimension is time, it cannot be looked upon as a geometrical dimension.

In order to answer the question about the three-dimensionality of space, we need to establish, whether it is a property of the world out there (objective), or a property of consciousness (subjective).

If we assume that three-dimensionality of space is objective, and that it bears within itself the conditions which allow us to establish its relations to higher space through the method of analogy, we do not arrive at the answer to the causes of the three-dimensionality of space.

Ouspensky concludes,

… we must see whether this idea of the three-dimensional extension of the world with its properties is not the outcome of certain properties of our own mentality.

Basically, Ouspensky is rejecting the idea of objective four-dimensional solids (theory of tessaracts), because it is unreal. He is suggesting that we need to examine the possibility of three-dimensionality of space being subjective, as proposed by Kant.

Tertium Organum, Chapter 6 (Reality)

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Reference: Tertium Organum

The following is a summary as well as a commentary on Chapter 6 of Tertium Organum by P D Ouspensky.

In this chapter Ouspensky sets out to determine the relationship between lower and higher dimensions. He ends up concluding that it requires a leap of faith to be able to perceive higher dimensions.

When consciousness is limited to a fewer number of dimensions, its focus becomes narrow. It is unable to look at reality as a whole. So it looks at part of reality one moment at a time. This creates the illusion of motion.

A phenomenon basically consists of “appearance, existence, and disappearance.” Because the consciousness is limited to fewer dimensions, the contribution from higher dimensions is not perceived in its totality. Instead, the aspects of higher dimensions appear, exist and disappear. Thus there is phenomena having the characteristic of time.

The higher dimensions appear as subjective. We only have an inkling of them. We do see associations but with lots of gaps among them. We do not have the whole picture. We see motion but not the ultimate source of it. We then succumb to speculations.

What appears and disappears in awareness is assigned to the dimension of time, but it may belong to a dimension that is yet to be identified. Things appear and disappear because a limited consciousness is scanning the landscape of reality. This is the genus of time.

Separation in space and time does not necessarily mean that the phenomena are not connected. There may be associations that are not visible. Predictions are a matter of becoming aware of associations.

There can be an eternal landscape, which can be divided into past, present and future based on the narrowness of the span of consciousness. If the span of consciousness can be increased to encompass the whole landscape altogether then we shall just have an eternal present.

Motion seems to arise when consciousness assumes a narrow focus, and passes over the landscape of reality one moment at a time.

All that is needed is the expansion of the consciousness to encompass the whole reality. The illusion of motion will then disappear, and one would eternally be conscious of all dimensions.

Expanding the focus of attention would mean getting rid of all conditioning. It would mean that one should closely look at all those things that do not make sense and clarify them.

It is then just a matter faith that this process would eventually lead to the consciousness of whole reality and all its dimensions.

The reality is what it is. We simply need to become conscious of it.

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Tertium Organum, Chapter 5 (Change)

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Reference: Tertium Organum

The following is a summary as well as a commentary on Chapter 5 of Tertium Organum by P D Ouspensky.

A 4D body is the tracing of the movement in space of a 3D body in the direction of Time. Higher dimensions seem to appear as different aspects of the same reality. For example, spirit, mind and body could simply be different dimensions of one and the same life.

Because of the dimension of time everything in the universe seems to be changing. Different things may be changing at different rates, but they all are changing. The totality of the universe, like the center of mass, may appear to be relatively unchanging.

But there is nothing in this universe that appears to be absolutely constant.

Abstractions, such as, the scientific principles, provide patterns underlying sets of concrete phenomena. Still deeper patterns underlie them. There can even be infinity of layers of patterns, each being a greater abstraction of the previous layer. If universe is a sphere whose surface represents concrete phenomena, then abstraction shall proceed in the radial direction toward the center.

Thus, abstraction could be looked upon as the fifth dimension.

Since abstraction is a pattern common to a number of changing phenomena, it would change at a lesser rate. The deeper is the abstraction the more constant it would appear. The deepest abstraction shall appear as the ultimate constant at the center of the spherical model above.

This ultimate abstraction may very well serve as God.

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Tertium Organum, Chapter 4 (Time)

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Reference: Tertium Organum

The following is a summary as well as a commentary on Chapter 4 of Tertium Organum by P D Ouspensky. This is a powerful chapter, which, while looking at the dimension of time more closely, unravels the nature of consciousness.

As mentioned before, a four-dimensional body would be the tracing of the motion of a three-dimensional body upon the dimension not contained in it. We noticed the fourth dimension to be time. Therefore, a 4D body would be the complete history of a 3D body from beginning to end.

Ouspensky says,

Kant regards time as he does space: as a subjective form of our receptivity; i.e., he says that we create time ourselves, as a function of our receptive apparatus, for convenience in perceiving the outside world. Reality is continuous and constant, but in order to make possible the perception of it, we must dissever it into separate moments; imagine it as an infinite series of separate moments out of which there exists for us only one. In other words, we perceive reality as if through a narrow slit, and what we are seeing through this slit we call the present; what we did see and now do not see–the past; and what we do not quite see but are expecting the future.

Each momentary view of a 3D space is then a cross-section, or slice, of the 4D space. The moment acts like a narrow slit through which the 3D space is viewed. The views follow each other moment by moment, just like the frames of a film follow each other in front of the eye of a movie camera.

The consciousness focuses on one moment at a time, like the “eye of the camera” focusing on one frame of a film at a time.

The moment currently under the focus of consciousness is the present. The moments that have passed through the focus are in the past. And the moments that are expected to come into focus are in the future.

This does not mean that the past moments have ceased to exist, or that future moments have yet to come into existence. A moment exists whether it is in the past or in the future. If eternity exists, then each moment is eternal. It simply comes into focus and then moves out of focus.

Eternity is the characteristic of the four-dimensional space.

The physical perceptions form the thrust of consciousness. The present moment is felt most sharply through the physical perceptions. The mental perception spreads out from this focus. It perceives the past moments as memory and future moments as expectation. The physical and mental perceptions operate in concert.

The idea of time is composed of perception with conception of the past, of the present, and of the future.

The moments are connected to each other in continuity as in a flow. They follow each other in a cause-effect relationship or with a functional interdependence. But the future is neither predestined nor completely indefinite.

Ouspensky says,

In every given moment all the future of the world is predestined and is existing, but is predestined conditionally, i.e., it will be such or another future according to the direction of events at a given moment, unless there enters a new fact, and a new fact can enter only from the side of consciousness and the will resulting from it. It is necessary to understand this, and to master it.
Besides this we are hindered from a right conception of the relation of the present toward the future by our misunderstanding of the relation of the present to the past. The difference of opinion exists only concerning the future; concerning the past all agree that it has passed, that it does not exist now–and that it was such as it has been. In this last lies the key to the understanding of the incorrectness of our views of the future. As a matter of fact, in reality our relation both to the past and to the future is far more complicated than it seems to us. In the past, behind us, lies not only that which really happened, but that which could have been. In the same way, in the future lies not only that which will be, but everything that may be.

The past and the future may be equally undetermined, equally exist in all their possibilities, and equally exist simultaneously with the present; but, throughout their complex relationship, they are consistent with each other.

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Time as a fourth dimension is not geometrical. It is not a line extending from the infinite future into the infinite past. Instead it is a characteristic of consciousness.

As the focus of consciousness broadens, the sense of the present moment also broadens. It covers more of past and more of future, and the relationships among them. It begins to comprehend a larger spread of time with greater clarity.

A wider focus can see with clarity the combination of past and present events leading up to future events in a single instant.

The sense of motion arises as the momentary views enter and leave the focus of consciousness. With widening focus of consciousness, the sense of motion becomes steadier and calmer. Motion becomes more hectic with narrowing focus of consciousness.

This universe of motion arises with the narrowing of the focus of consciousness.

Thus motion and consciousness are directly related to each other.

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Why consciousness is so narrowly focused to one moment at a time? Why is consciousness not broad?

Here we are up against the very basic nature of consciousness. Just like matter, consciousness also has inertia because of its inherent makeup. A consciousness consists of a certain level of inertia, which determines its characteristic focus, and resists any change to that state of focus.

The focus of consciousness and the associated inertia alludes to the nature of “I”.

This opens wide horizons to regions unexplored.

Based on the above, the following is my firm belief.

The way to reduce the inertia of “I,” and broaden its focus of consciousness, is to resolve inconsistencies as they come to attention one by one.

This may not be easy, but it has to be done. Actually, it is being done through these chapters of Tertium Organum.

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