Tag Archives: classical logic

Five common realities – facts en logic 8

Carla, Man and Narrator are sitting at the Piazza di Santa Croche for their lunch.

“Have we belittled the existing science in our introduction?”, asks Man.

“Certainly, because the existing science is – as well as the classical logic – the “best coherent intellectual system” that is well documented and prone to criticism. The pretension that the existing science could predict and prove everything of value, is too ambitious. You wish to hear our opinion about facts and logic of the outlook on God”, answers Carla to Man.

“Let me start with the All-encompassing One – and the two aspects of “One”-consciousness – and then continue with monotheism. Therefrom I would like to end with the monotheistic God in the shape of a human being. In order to keep the momentum of our quest, I think it would be wise to skip polytheism”, says Man.

feiten en logica 81[1]

“I think you are right; There are several good introductions to the history of God and to world religions wherein different forms of polytheism are explained”, says Narrator.

“When it might be necessary to study polytheism, we can still do so. I am looking forward to your explanation of the two aspects of “One”-consciousness; I can envisage different ideas, but I don’t know if my thoughts are in line with what you have read”, says Carla.

“In the “Commentary on the Awakening of Faith” by Fa-Tsang [2] I read an introduction to the cosmology [3] of “One” within the Hua-Yen [4] branche – based on the Avatamsaka Sutra [5] – of  Zen Buddhism [6]. In his commentary on the “Awakening of Faith” Fa-Tsang describes that “One”-consiousness exists of:

  • “Thusness” – or “evaṃ” [7] in Sanskrit. The “Thusness”-aspect is described as the essence without characteristics that is the source of emptiness or śūnyata [8] wherein all exists in mutual interdependency. The “Thusness”-aspect is all before it is named and it is also the emptiness within Indra’s Net [9]


  • “Saṃsāra” [10] – or the “Concourse of things”. The “Concourse of things”-aspect shapes all the characteristics and functions wherein all originates in mutual interdependency. The “Concourse of things”-aspect creates the perceived characteristics of Indra’s Net; it is the “Gestalt” [11] or the concourse of dharmas [12] that are created in mutual interdependency within emptiness.

feiten en logica 82[13]

At once this description creates a problem, because emptiness or śūnyata is unspeakable by lack of features and because the capabilities of features and functions – that arise in interdependence and reciprocity – are infinite. We cannot put it into words and maybe I should conclude with Wittgenstein at this point: “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen [14]“ (Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must keep silent)”, says Man.

“That is a question; I’m not sure if the possibilities of characteristics and functions – that arise in interrelationships – are infinite [15]. In case these characteristics and features are finite, then the dependent combinations may also be finite. Please, continue your introduction”, says Carla.

“I remember the chapter “Looking back at my innocence” in your biography in which you – as a young girl – had shown by using matchboxes that you may well exist a number of times in the same form within the infinite universe.  For now the “Awakening of Faith” solves the problem of finiteness and infinity by pointing to the emptiness and fleetingness of all dharmas which are only names – without words and reality – for illusionary perception”, says Narrator.

“Suddenly I am reminded of holograms that are illusionary and lifelike at once. The older I am, the more my past looks like holograms: perfectly real and true and at the same time unreal and volatile”, says Man.

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“Maybe we should now skip answering the question on the finity or infinity of śūnyata (or void). We can investigate this problem during our Odyssey when we encounter “emptiness” as the third common reality”, says Carla.

“That is good”, says Man.

“On hearing the “Thusness”-aspect and the “Concourse of things”-aspect of “One”-consciousness, I got the idea that herewith a synthesis began to emerge between the world of the Upanishads (with emphasis on Ātman) and the Mahābhārata (including the tension between – on one hand – the world order and duty (Dharmakshetra) and – on the other hand – human action (Kurukshetra)). I let this thought rest until you have finished the introduction”, says Narrator.

“The introduction to the commentary on the “Awakening of Faith” continues with the structure of consciousness. I explain this in a bird’s-eye view. “One”-consciousness has aspects of “Thusness”-consciousness and “Concourse of things”-consciousness. Thoughts arise – via an intermediate step – from the “Concourse of things”-consciousness (or “Gestalt”-consciousness) [17].

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There are five forms of thought:

  1. Consciousness of cause and effect
  2. Consciousness of development and evolution
  3. Consciousness of manifestations
  4. Consciousness of differences and illusions
  5. Consciousness of continuing effects of cause and effect [19]

When the first three forms of thought are also based in the emptiness of “Thusness”-consciousness, then these forms may be a basis for Buddhist enlightenment. The last two forms are the onset for the discrimination of things.

The ability to discrimination leads to awareness of separate phenomena:

  • Consciousness of suffering and joy
  • Based on desires that come out of suffering and joy, objects get shape
  • When objects are shaped, names – including symbols and letters – arise for objects
  • Based on names and symbols, actions arise with “cause and effect”
  • Connected with actions, suffering (and joy) arises.

Then the introduction continues with an explanation of degenerate forms of consciousness that originate in a combination of a desire to illusions, symbols, acts, etc. Maybe we can go into this explanation during our investigation of the next common reality “intensities and associations”.

I wish to present this introduction to you because it gives in a nutshell an integral, differentiated and logical description of the origin of things, and of the degeneration of things. I also like this introduction because in this description a sacral and profane consciousness arise from one origin, and because at the same time enlightenment/heaven, profane/earthy and degenerate/hell are intertwined with each other in an all-encompassing oneness. In principle – according to this introduction – the enlighted/heavenly world is similar to our earthly existence [20]. Based on this reasoning, the “Porta del Paradiso” is always open; with our thoughts and illusion we close the doors and place a fence for the entry. What is your opinion about this introduction”, says Man.

“In your luggage I noticed a book on Hua-Yen Buddhism with the title “Entry into the inconceivable [21]”. This title is also very well applicable to your introduction. I have – of course – my usual questions about the definition of the first fundamentals of “One”-consciousness. But my questions and hesitations on the starting point in your introduction are far more abstract and fundamental than on the beginning of other parables, stories and introductions to the awakening of consciousness. I am looking forward to the third common reality “Emptiness” that we will investigate on our Odyssey. At the “concourse of things”-aspect and its sequel, I have additions, comments and criticism from phenomenology, but you know these already [22]”, says Carla.

“I will come back on a possible synthesis between the world of the Upanishads and the Mahābhārata; your explanation during the introduction to the commentary on the “Awakening of Faith” showed indeed a possibility for a synthesis at a high abstract level with other accents. Because we wish to travel in “lightness” and “quickness”, I think we can better move forward. I’m curious how you will connect “God in Search of Man” with this introduction. But let us first walk around the square”, says Narrator.

[1] Detail of Sistine Chapel fresco “Creation of the Sun and Moon” by Michelangelo (c. 1512). Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God

[2] See also: Vorenkamp, Dirck, An English Translation of Fa-Tsang’s Commentary on the Awakening of Faith. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press. 2004 p. 10 – 14

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmology

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huayan_school

[5] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatamsaka_Sutra

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen

[7] In Sanskrit the word “Evam” consists of the verb √e meaning “approach, reach, enter” and the noun “va” meaning “wind, ocean, water, stream, going”. Source: electronic version of the dictionairy Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[8] See also: Leben, Man, Narrator – One Way. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2013, p. 110 – 112

[9] See also: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 66 – 68

[10] Saṃsāra consists of “sam” meaning “together, with, together with” and “sāra” meaning “course, motion, uitbreiding, strength, core, value” in Sanskrit, whereby Saṃsāra can be understood as “the concourse of things”.

[11] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology

[12] See also: Five commen realities – facts and logic 3

[13] Emptiness (or śūnyata) and Gestalt (or Saṃsāra) may be compared with emptiness and bubbles; both create each other. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5%ABnyat%C4%81

[14] See also: Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Amsterdam: Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennip, 1976 p. 152

[15] See also: Nārāyana, Narrator, “Carla Drift – An Outlier, A Biography”. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 156

[16] Example of a hologram. Souce image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holography

[17] See also: Vorenkamp, Dirck, An English Translation of Fa-Tsang’s Commentary on the Awakening of Faith. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press. 2004 p. 14 – 15

[18] Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalttherapie

[19] Somewhere was written that even the gods are bound by the law of cause and effect.

[20] See also the parable about heaven and hell narrated by a parish priest in Valkenburg in: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012 p. 82 – 83

[21] Cleary, Thomas, Entry into the inconceivable – An introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1983

[22] See also: Nārāyana, Narrator, “Carla Drift – An Outlier, A Biography”. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 34 en 114

Five common realities – facts and logic 6

The next morning Carla, Man and Narrator drink a cup of coffee on a terrace in front of the Baptisterium San Giovanni [1] opposite the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.


“This morning I have thought about your introduction to the development of science. It is an impressive summary in brevity and in depth. At one point I would wish to make an addition; in my opinion human science had started much earlier than the moment people started giving meaning and perceiving meaning within rituals to increase survival. I think human science had started at the first conscious creative act during giving meaning and taking meaning to sound, to feeling, during love and raising children. Do you agree?”, Narrator asks Carla.

“Fully. Besides I have also ignored the difference between atomism [3] – wherein all facts are based on the smallest possible basic elements, particularism [4] – wherein facts and logic serve to promote our own interests above (and, if necessary, at the expense of) the interests of others, pluralism [5] – wherein different systems of facts and logic co-exist within a certain balance, and holism [6] – wherein facts and logic form a coherent whole. I hope to be able to include particularism in an introduction on the mind-set of the warrior. Also, I have ignored the many wrong representations of facts and the fallacies to serve a certain interest. Shall I now proceed with the orderly chaos – both fragmented and universal?”, says Carla.

“I am curious about your remark “both fragmented and universal”. Last night I had read in a different context a chapter on the coherence of both subject”, says Man.

“Please add information where you see fit. Actually from the beginning of science, people have usually tried to create an order out of chaos by looking at reality as an ideal. Facts that didn’t fit within the ideal frame of mind – such as friction, air resistance and unwelcome religions and cultures – were neglected as being irrelevant, or were fiercely contested during religious wars. By the end of the third scientific revolution, scientists thought that only a few obstacles within the basic elements of scientific knowledge had to be overcome, such as knowledge about the transfer of the gravity and the nature of light, before the paradise of the omniscience could be accessed within which everything would be known and may be explained by the application of the basic elements. The East doors of the Baptistry – or Porta del Paradiso [7] – are a beautiful metaphor for this way of thinking.

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With knowledge of these panels and of the interrelationship between these panels, scientists had thought to obtain the doors the heavenly omniscience.

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The organised chaos – fragmented and universal – prevented access to the paradisiacal omniscience with unambiguous repeatable predictability of facts in our world.

With “organised chaos” I mean that within certain limits every possible fact has a certain chance to manifest itself at a certain moment. As example I take a grazing cow in a delimited field with just enough food for the cow: the cow will graze within certain limits (the field and the edge that the cow can just reach with her mouth); each clump of grass in the field has a certain chance to be eaten at a certain moment; a butterfly – flying-by – can change the grazing of the cow after which the cow wil use another grazing pattern; this other grazing pattern has no influence on overall grazing of the total field in the long run, but it makes a huge difference for the life of several clumps of grass in the proximity of the cow [10].

With “fragmented and universal” I try to explain that the fragmented organised chaos manifests itself within a particular environment – such as the delimited field for the cow and such as the grasshopper in a matchbox [11] – and that the universal organised chaos takes place within the overall universe. “Fragmented and universal” relate to each other as the clouds, waves and ocean to the universal organised interplay and chaos within the total universe. The clouds, waves and the ocean are manifestations of the universal organised chaos, such as the weather – in the short term with a good predictability up to 4 days, and with good predictability over the long term – is also a manifestation of the universal organised chaos in space.

feiten en logica 64[12]

With “unambiguous repeatable predictability of facts” I mean that the course of facts has the same outcome at identical starting positions. In everyday life, there is rarely an identical starting position, so a “uniform repeatable predictability of facts” arises rarely. Well there are many starting positions with similar characteristics: these situations often show a similar predictability of facts, but with minor differences in the starting positions the progress of the facts can show an organised chaotic behaviour in specific situations.

Under ideal conditions the constant of Heisenberg [13] limits accuracy of the determination of the starting position and of observations within the quantum mechanics [14].

In 1931 Gödel has published [15] the formal proof of the two incompleteness theorems [16]:

  • If a system – for example, a system (or grasshopper) in a matchbox – is consistent, then the system cannot be complete.
  • The consistency of the axioms cannot be proven from within the own system.

The combination of the “organized chaos”, the “limitation of observation within quantum mechanics” and “observations that – within the theory of relativity – depend on the way of observing” limit the “unambiguous repeatable predictability of facts”. The consistency of logic is seriously limited by the Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem.

By both restrictions, the ambition of the third revolution in science to unambiguously know and describe our world, was basically stalled. Part of the logic took distance from the organised chaos of daily life: this intuitionistic [17] logic only focused itself on symbol. Another part of the logic connected symbols with assumptions of reality as an extension of the intuitionistic logic – this extension was also called superintuitionistic logic. Classical logic was regarded in the superintuitionistic logic as the most strongly coherent system, which was seen as an intermediary – or intermediate [18] – between classical and intuitionistic logic. In a detour within another framework – symbols instead of rituals – the impact of the first revolution in the scientific development of mankind is demonstrated once again.

This is my introduction to the organised chaos; I hope you were able to follow me”, says Carla.

“Impressive in all respects. If I understand you correctly, then according to Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem the cohesion within a holistic system cannot be proven from its own system. This means that the cohesion of the “All-encompassing One” cannot be shown within itself”, says Man.

“That’s right within the conceptual framework of Gödel. I should add that Gödel proved his incompleteness theorems in a mathematical manner, using symbols that do not necessarily have an interpretation within our daily life. Some technical scientists only recognise symbols and ideal conditions as pure science. In the late 1970s, Prof. Dr. W. Luijpen – professor of philosophy of science at Delft University of Technology – had made the following statement during his lecturers: “Solely recognising symbols and ideal scientific conditions as the only scientific reality is a religious statement. Religion is not the area of expertise of technical scientists: this recognition is, until now, no scientific statement“. In line with Popper and Kuhn I do not rule out that outside mathematics – with its world of symbols – the two incompleteness theorem of Gödel may not be applicable under certain circumstances”, says Carla.

“Fascinating thoughts. Let us visit the Baptisterium San Giovanni. I suggest to come back to your introduction later on”, says Narrator.

“That’s good”, say Carla and Man.

[1] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Baptistery

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomism

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_particularism

[5] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_pluralism

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism

[7] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Baptistery

[8] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptisterium_(Florence)

[9] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptisterium_(Florence)

[10] Source metaphor: Stewart, Ian, Does God Play Dice? London: Penguin Books, 1992², p. 132

[11] See also: Nārāyana, Narrator, Carla Drift – An Outlier, A Biography. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 15 en p. 151 – 156

[12] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean

[13] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisenberg_uncertainty_principle

[14] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics

[15] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del

[16] Zie ook: Nārāyana, Narrator, Carla Drift – An Outlier, A Biography. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 154

[17] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_logic

[18] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_logic