No Cause, No Effect

entropy_and_order_by_fractalfiend-d4hmwwa

When we talk about predictability we’re talking about the continuum of logic and when we talk about the continuum of logic we’re really talking about – although we don’t know it – is the inverse reality. ‘Inverse reality’ isn’t something we’re taught about at school, or that we can study at college or university. Professors don’t generally write books about it, and yet if we don’t grasp the principle of inverted reality – which we don’t – what is any of our knowledge, our so-called ‘understanding’ worth? As Krishnamurti says,

 

Hasn’t knowledge only crippled me from seeing the truth? Is knowledge itself illusory?

 

Knowledge of inverse reality which does not portray itself as being ‘knowledge of inverse reality’ is actually an obstacle to seeing the truth, as Krishnamurti says. Its claim to say something useful about reality when it doesn’t prevents us having a relationship with the real world – clearly!  So what the world calls ‘knowledge’ is the inverse of knowledge, it is something that stands in the way of understanding, rather than facilitating it. Education is not ‘education’ at all therefore, but rather it is ‘indoctrination in illusion’!

 

One approach to understanding what just a thing ‘inverted reality’ might be is to consider that predictability doesn’t exist, but it seems to. The predictability of the world about us is more important than we possibly reality it to be – the world we know and relate to every day is the serial world, it is the world that ‘carries over’ from day to day, the world that keeps on ‘repeating’ itself in time. We take it for granted that the world is consistently the same thing, but why should it be? Is logic – or ‘linear causality’ – all there is, or is it somehow ‘over-emphasized’ by our way of looking at things? The simple answer to this is that logic (or cause-and-effect) can’t be ‘all that there is’. It can’t be the whole story (or even the most important part) because logic is inherently glitched. It can’t be used to create any sort of a reality because of this glitch, this self-contradiction. The hidden ‘glitch’ in causality can be expressed thus: in all causal processes the outcome is always inherent in the premise.

 

What this means therefore is that the outcome equals the premise, the starting-off point, and as soon as we say this we wipe out – at one stroke – the whole continuum of logic. If the effect equals the cause (which is what we are saying) then the effect isn’t ‘the effect’ any more than the cause is ‘the cause’! So this would mean that there isn’t any cause and effect, that there isn’t any ‘realm of cause-and-effect’. We can say without any fear of controversy that this (i.e. the non-existence of causality) isn’t something that we give any consideration to; in other words as far as we are concerned there very much is such a thing as a world of cause-and-effect. That’s the only world that makes any sense to us in fact. That’s the only type of world that makes any sense to the rational mind. When we do take the realm of cause-and-effect to be an actual realm however – which is to say, a realm within which events can actually happen – then what we have done by this unwarranted assumption is to create Inverse Reality.

 

In the Inverse Reality there appears to be cause-and-effect and this apparent principle appears to create all sorts of ‘events’. Furthermore, it could be said that our main preoccupation is to effectively bring about those events that we want to happen, and prevent those that we don’t want to happen. Our sense of self, our confidence as effective agents, depends upon this perception. This has even been given a name, i.e. perceived self-efficacy. Now the way we normally see thing this way of seeing ourselves (as agents, effective or otherwise) seems to make a lot of sense – I can very readily obtain an impression of myself as existing if I can cause things to happen! Even if what I cause to happen doesn’t happen the way I want it to happen (in other words, if I am a loser rather than a winner) I can still obtain an impression of myself as actually existing. Either way, I’m an agent. Take causality away however and there is no more perceived self-efficacy, either positive or negative. Take away cause and effect and there can be no more winners and no more losers; there can be no more sense of us actually causing anything, and so this understanding of ourselves (i.e. as ‘causers’, or ‘controllers’) is no longer there. And because the way I normally understand myself is as an agent, as entity which has the possibility of effectively controlling its environment, the loss of this understanding – false as it is – is equivalent to the loss of my tangible, verifiable existence.

 

The realm of cause-and-effect – which Wei Wu Wei calls seriality – is at root nothing other than logic and logic doesn’t exist! Logic doesn’t exist because nothing new ever comes into the picture and if nothing new ever comes into the picture what are we talking about when we talk in terms of logic, when we talk ‘logically’? We could deny this and say that new statements, new ways of looking at the world can come about as a result of employing logic but to say this is patently false. In the realm of logic everything has to be derivable in terms of previous steps and if we can’t derive our statement from what came before it (i.e. if all we can do is just point at it and say, “Wow – look at that!” then very clearly this type of thing (interesting as it may be) is not logic. Logic is the world of the justified and the justifiable – we justify every position in terms of laws of logic and if we cannot do so then our position cannot be upheld. It is then revealed as being anomalous; it is then revealed as being no more ‘error’. But the thing about this is that the new (the truly new) never can be justified in terms of what came before it. It never can be derived in terms of previous statements – if whatever it is could be derived from previous statements then it would be predictable, and if it is predictable then it cannot be new. Reality itself is never predictable, only the games that we play within it are predictable and the games that we play in it are not real!

 

So logic doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist because nothing new ever comes about as a result of it. Logic – we might say – is the ‘lawful extension of past assumptions into the future’ and whilst we can extend assumptions that we have made in the past into the future in such a way that there is logical consistency to what we are doing, at the same time it has to be pointed out that what we are doing has nothing to do with reality! This business of extending our assumptions into the future cannot have anything to do with reality because these assumptions of ours are only ever just that – assumptions. Its fine to make assumptions but to make an assumption is never the same thing as ‘saying something about reality’. Where do we get our assumptions from, after all? How do we go about deriving them? Any assumption that we make is never going to be anything more than a shot in the dark and so if we create a whole world via the device of extending a whole bunch of assumed truths into the future (and at the same time conveniently forgetting that we ever assumed anything) then all we have done is to legitimize our ‘shot in the dark’ and create a whole system out of it, a system that we then use to invalidate anything that is not ‘the system’. This happens to be exactly how the thinking mind works and if we imagine that it isn’t then this is simply because we aren’t being honest with ourselves about it. We aren’t being honest with ourselves because ‘not being honest with ourselves’ is the mechanism by which the game works, the only mechanism by which it ever could work…

 

We could take another tack on this and say that our assumptions are always guaranteed to be ‘beside the point’ because assumptions made by the thinking mind are always definite in nature and reality is never ‘definite’. For something to be ‘definite’ we have to assume a framework and then use that framework as a yardstick to determine the correctness or incorrectness of all possible statements about the world; these scheme works very well but with the one proviso that we can never see whether the framework we assume is ‘true’ or not. To do this we would need another framework and this wouldn’t do us any good because then we’d just be faced with the same old problem all over again! We arbitrarily create all of our certainties, in other words, and we don’t happen to be particularly keen to see this. We’re not very keen to see this because if we did then – of course – we’d have no more certainties left to us since ‘a certainty that has been arbitrarily constructed’ isn’t actually any sort of ‘certainty’ at all!

 

All future developments within the realm of logic are only ever our assumed premise in disguise and so in order to obtain a sense of security about the world that we have created we need to be very stringent abstemious with regard to actually examining that premise.  We need to develop ‘a profound lack of curiosity about it’; we need to develop ‘a blind-spot’. This profound lack of curiosity about the premise on which our logical system is based is a requirement if we are to adapt to ‘life within the system’, and it is a requirement that we are successfully able to meet! The rational mind is only the authority that it is for us when we do not (and cannot, just as long as we are being rational) its basis; this means that the rational mind is at the same time both as solid and reliable as a rock on the one hand, and completely flimsy, ‘flaky’ and untrustworthy on the other. It’s solid and reliable when we don’t look backwards and examine what its basis is, and it is flimsy and completely untrustworthy when we do! In this respect rationality and its obscure pontifications are like religious dogma – they are capable of giving us a great sense of security and comfort just as long as we make a virtue of never questioning their basis…

 

The rational mind is thus operating on the basis of a scam that no one ever talks about – even professors of psychology don’t talk about it. Especially professors of psychology don’t talk about it because they are part of the scam! The scam in question is that so-called ‘truths’ that we are being provided with by the thinking mind only make hold up when certain information is concealed from us – information regarding how these ‘truths’ came to be ‘true’ in the first place. Because this key information is unavailable to us, the positive world (or the ‘inverted reality’) gets to seem like a viable proposition. We can’t really blame the ration mind for this conspiracy however – even though it might sound from what we have just said as if we legitimately could blame it. The point is of course that the physical universe itself only gets to seem like a viable proposition when certain key information about how it came to be there (or appear to be there) is withheld to us, or is unavailable to us. “Entropy is the price of structure.” as the father of non-linear thermodynamics Ilya Prigogine happily states. Or to put this in another way, unless information is irreversibly lost from the system, there can be no such thing as structure, no such thing as rules…

 

We automatically tend to think of the process by which the universe came into being as being a positive one – this assumption being as we have just implied inherent in the way that the rational mind itself works – but a vastly more ‘elegant’ approach is to see this process in negative terms, as a loss of information rather than the creation of it. To start off with we have the situation which cosmologists refer to us a symmetrical one – a symmetrical situation being one in which there are no rules! This is Original Symmetry. This is the state of affairs where all possible ways of describing what is going on are equally good, equally viable; this is – in other words – the Universal Set, where everything is allowed and nothing is excluded! When we abstract a specified or defined set from the Universal Set it very much appears that we have ‘created something’, but what has actually happened is that we disallowed everything that is not in the set that we have just defined. We have made all that information unavailable therefore, and the process by which information is lost or made unavailable is entropy.  Form is not created by allowing, therefore, but by a process of ‘double-disallowing’, i.e. by a sneaky process of disallowing and then disallowing any information relating to this disallowing!

 

The thinking mind is – of necessity – based on the same device that the serial universe (the Causal Realm) is based on. It wouldn’t be any use to us otherwise – the proviso here being that its ‘use’ is legitimate only within the serial universe or Causal Realm. The thinking mind can (potentially) say useful things within the context of the serial universe, but part of the package is always going to be that by utilizing this mind we are going to render ourselves incapable of seeing that this context is only ‘an arbitrarily limited context’, which then means that we are going to be trapped within this limited and limiting context without being able to see that we are trapped! We’re trapped in seriality, therefore. As Wei Wu Wei says in The Tenth Man,

 

All our actions are serial, all our thoughts are serial, all our functions function in seriality; we neither know nor do anything that is not subject to the sequence of time. Even God, although called ‘Eternal’, is seen as everlasting.

 

To say that seriality (or structure, or the physical universe, or the world of form) is created via a process of irreversible information loss is the same thing as saying that structure is created by the process of ‘taking away perspective’. ‘Perspective’ is just another way of talking about information – when we talk about perspective we are alluding to the number of different ways that we have of looking at something. When we lose perspective then what we’re losing here are all the other ways of looking and so we’re getting stuck with just the one. We’re stuck with just the one way of looking at things but we don’t perceive ourselves as being stuck because we don’t know that there are any other ways! We have lost sight of the way in which the way we have of looking at the world isn’t the only way and this loss of perspective changes everything. This isn’t a small thing, this isn’t just a question of degree – it is a matter of ‘a complete and utter reversal of everything’. The one way is open, the other way closed. To use Joseph Campbell’s terminology, in the one direction lies transparency, in the other opacity. In the first case we are relating to our own existence as a type of living myth, capable of infinite interpretation and reinterpretation whilst in the second case we are relating to ourselves in a strictly literal manner, in a concrete manner, in a manner that is not susceptible to any type of interpretation other than the official one.

 

Information (or ‘the information universe’) is always transparent – it has no ‘substance’, ‘substance’ meaning some kind of ‘stuff’ that everything is made out of. In such a substance-based scheme the interesting thing is always what we do with the inert stuff, the uses to which we put it. It’s what we make out of the stuff that’s important, not the stuff itself. Who cares about ‘stuff’, anyway? That’s like caring about dust or dirt. This is the message we hear solemnly articulated in a Christian funeral service – “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” It’s what happens in-between that matters to us, obviously! When we look at things the other way around however it is where the show comes from that it interesting rather than the show itself. It’s the stuff that’s of value, not the games we play with it. Or as we could also say, it’s the transparency that’s interesting, not the opaque forms that we abstract from it. There isn’t any dead / inert / passive / blank material that everything is made of – it’s the constructed things that are dead, inert, passive, blank!  That which everything is made of is alive and vital, but the forms that we identify with in everyday life are not.

Immortals are mortal, mortals immortal, living in their death and dying in their life.

says Heraclitus. Very curiously therefore, we identify ourselves with the dead mechanical forms and fear our return to the living Source. Or to put this another way, when we live in the Inverted Reality we put all our eggs in a basket that is not real and never could be and put all of our energy into holding onto what we never had and never could have, and this pointless suffering-producing struggle is what we perversely see as ‘living our lives’. This pernicious ‘inversion of the real and the unreal’ is the inevitable consequence of living in the inverted reality – the inversion of values being that that we should see the opaque world as being all-important, whilst the transparent world we take to be entirely inconsequential, or more accurately, as not even existing at all…

 

 

 

Artwork: Entropy and Order by fractalfiend

 

 

 

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