Tag Archives: symbols

Five common realities – facts en logic 11

Carla and Narrator are waiting for Man outside their guest house in Florence.

“This afternoon I forgot to say that objects, symbols, rituals, words, slogans, music, literature, philosophy and religion can direct – and take over – the behaviour and consiousness of people. Two extreme examples in negative sense are:

  • a political leader and followers influence each other in words and rituals so far-reaching that a part of society proceeds to genocide,
  • a religion sect degenerates by rituals, slogans, words and behavior in religious madness.

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In a positive sense, behaviour and consciousness of people are influenced – as exercises for the soul – by music, literature, religion (for basic trust), architecture, art, science. Via symbols and rituals, people feel security and belonging. An outspoken example is the hostia (sacramental bread) which – according to the Catholic Church – changes into the body of Christ after the epiklesis and the consecration during the Eucharist [2]. I think we should not delve into this further, because we use lightness and quickness as two guidelines during our Odyssey”, says Carla.

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“Within the conceptional framework of Indra’s Net, every particle, every object and every living being reflects the body of Christ – as a historical person and as a Godlike being”, says Narrator.

“There is a small difference: Catholics believe that the hostia only after the epiklesis (or convocation of the Holy Spirit) and the consecration during a Catholic Eucharist changes in the body of Christ. The metaphor of Indra’s Net reflects the Catholic faith and at the same time, the disbelief in the hostia as a body of Christ in all its manifestations”, says Carla.

“You are right, we don’t have time to fully investigate the influences of symbols and slogans on the human behaviour next to our Odyssey to who are you. There is Man”, says Narrator.

“Do you like a real dinner tonight or shall we buy a simple supper in the supermarket and eat it in the park of the Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio, just like Dutch people?”, asks Man.

“Right then, just as people from Holland”, says Carla.

“I haven’t done otherwise for years, for me it’s all right”, says Narrator.

After a visit to the supermarket, they sit in the park and have the following conversation.

“Narrator, your last name Nārāyana is similar to the title of one of the older Upanishads that probably is created at the end of the Vedic period in India [4]. I refer to the following brief passage from the Nārāyana Upanishad [5] as stepping stone to my introduction to Kṛṣṇa as God in a human shape:

Nārāyana is the Supreme Reality designated as Brahman.

Nārāyana is the highest (Self).

Nārāyana is the supreme Light. Narayana is the infinite Self.

The supreme person Nārāyana willed to create beings.

Everything in this world is pervaded by Nārāyana within and without [6].

Did you know this similarity in name with your last name?”, asks Man to Narrator.

“My father had told me this in one of his stories when I was a young man. Later on in my life – during my incarnation as Bhikṣu – I have read the Nārāyana Upanishad via de University Library in Heidelberg.  In Sanskrit, Nārāyana means amongst others “son of the original Man”[7], whereby “Man” in Sanskrit means “to think, believe and perceive”. The book with Buddhistic questions that I had received from my American beloved, includes the question “True Man” about the meaning of “Man”. This beginning of this question is:

“There is a True Man with no ranks going out and in through the portals of Your face [8].

Beginners who have not witnessed it, Look, Look”

And the verse in this koan starts as follows:

“Delusion and (Buddhistic) enlightenment are opposite,

Subtly communicated, with simplicity;

Spring opens the hundred flowers [9], in one puff. [10]

Delusion and (Buddhistic) enlightenment also include symbols, rituals, words, slogans, literature, philosophy and religion that direct and even take over the behaviour and consiousness of humans in a positive and negative way. The “son of the original Man” in my last name Nārāyana is not only the human man, but also indicates the “True Man” in this Buddhistic question”, says Narrator.

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“The difference between delusion and reality, crime and goodness are often paper thin and as a rule dependent on the framework wherein it is perceived. Your explanation about “thinking, believing and perceiving” show this. “Sein und Zeit[12] – the magnum opus by Martin Heidegger – also shows a glimp of this. Martin Heidegger has made a distinction between the “Improper Man” – or Delusion – and the “Own Self”. I am not sure if Martin Heidegger would equate the “Own Self” to the “True Man” in the Buddhistic question”, says Carla.

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“I am deeply impressed by your introduction to Nārāyana and the “True Man”; you can express this far better than I can. Would you like to tell us who Kṛṣṇa is?”, says Man.

“May I do that tomorrow, let us first have our supper on this beautiful late summer evening in the park. Shall I break the bread and pour the wine?”, says Narrator.

“That is good”, say Carla and Man.

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[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consecration

[3] Images of a traditional and modern monstrance. The monstrance is a holder in which the hostia (or sacramental bread) – that after the epiklesis (or the invocation of the Holy Spirit) and the consecration during the Eucharist, according to the Catholic Church changes into the body of Christ – is shown. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstrance and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramental_bread.  Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstrance

[4] The Mahānārāyana Upanishad is, as chapter 10 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka, part of the dark – or inconceivable – Yajurveda (or Veda during sacrifices). See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taittiriya_Aranyaka#Taittiriya_Aranyaka

[5] The tekst in Sanskrit is available under the title “mahAnArAyaNa” at: http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_upanishhat/

[6] Source: XIII-4 and XIII-5 from the English translation of the Mahānārāyana Upanishad via: http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/230825-maha-narayana-upanishad-translation-english.html

[7] Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

[8] Next to human face, “Your face” also refers to the “face of the world” and the “face of Indra’s Net”.

[9] See for an interpretation of flowers also “One – Blossom” in: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – A survey into our existence – 1. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 50 – 53

[10] Abridged version of the Zen Koan “Linji’s True Man” from: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 167 – 170

[11] One of the unendless many manifestations of the “True Man”. Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mann

[12] Heidegger, Martin, Sein und Zeit. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2006. See also: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sein_und_Zeit#Verfallenheit_und_Eigentlichkeit:_Das_Man

[13] Image of a tool to understand the main concepts in Heidegger’s “Sein und Zeit” – (Being and Time). Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sein_und_Zeit#Verfallenheit_und_Eigentlichkeit:_Das_Man

[14] Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio. Source image: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_d’Azeglio


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.

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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