Cosmos Café [2021-05-13]: The Wholeness of Nature 5

That is exciting news, Lisa. I am getting tired of standard English. It is a lot of work to say things which are probably, in the big scheme of things, relatively simple ideas—however, they are more subtle than this language, which is very wordy, tends to open itself up to. An imagistic, pattern-based meta-language could relieve some of the pressure on English and other modern human languages coming from within, as we struggle to make sense of much vaster, more complex, and multiplicitous quantities, and queerer qualities, than our mammalian brains have been used to dealing with up until relatively recently in evolutionary time.

I have heard there is a “writers underground” (private channel) on this site for sharing and getting feedback on literary / philosophical / spiritual / creative works in progress, but I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of that liminal zone. In fact, you didn’t hear it from me. But say the word, and the powers that be might take note and proffer an invite.

That is interesting…

True, this reminds me of of mystics from different paths (e.g., a Buddhist lama, Christian monk, and cosmic Scientist) might come to some very similar views about reality, including a kind of transpersonal rapport, which they may not share with most members of their own traditions. However, it does bring up the question of translation, which we’ve touched on, and I think becomes more important when we move past general similarities to significant differences in view, especially in how perspectives are embodied—a vibrational quality in the flesh that shapes the experience of communicating in a particular language.

For example, there is something irreducibly different for me about reading or reciting poetry in Spanish compared to English. I also enjoy hearing poetry in Arabic, French, German, Chinese, and other languages. Of course, I don’t know what they are saying! But they all feel different. I wonder what poetry in your meta-language would be like…

:+1: I would appreciate and look forward to this very much.

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I am very willing to send my manuscript in order to have conversations about the project and how I might be able to express it more generally (ie, not just to myself!). At this point, I don’t want it on the internet. If you send an email to me at com.lmaroski at g m a i l (unscrambled, of course–webcrawlers are getting more sophisticated), I will send a copy to your personal email address.

Sounds good, Lisa. I feel like I’ve got a deeper glimpse of the possibilities, and I am interested in seeing how the project evolves…

For future reference, you can also receive personal messages via this forum, and post links, upload docs, or share personal info (like an email address) there without having it accessible on the open internet (so long as nobody steals the password to your account). Here’s how someone could quickly send you a message:

And then you’ll find your personal messages here:

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Thanks @madrush ! Learn something new everyday…
I intentionally left that polysemic :slight_smile:

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A vibrational quality…in the flesh…and when a vibrational quality in the flesh what happens to that vibrational quality when significant differences in view?

As I want to sponsor a re-humanizing movement here at the Cosmos Café that can vibrate even during asynchronous writing episodes ( such as this exchange) I wonder how that vibration can last long enough for contact with another view to occur.? As Heraclitus noticed everything that is born , disappears.

So far, I am not encouraged, as most of us are most of the time very distracted. And I include myself here. Even so, I persist , as many have who have gone before me, to develop patterns that connect. I have noticed the theme of education appears on several posts and I also know this could be just another mirage in the cultural wasteland that is the world we are rapidly forced to embody.

As an antidote to the decline in advanced communication abilities in wide spread anti human dominant discourse, I invite others to give a listen to Zak Stein, a self declared philosopher of education, as he describes his work at the Consilience Project. I share his view that we already have the tech we need, what we lack is the capacity to hold communication in a shared attentional space. Asynchronous written communiques, such as this one, may be another distraction. Zoom calls may correct this tendency to drift aimlessly. I use this space to elaborate upon gut feels. Others may decide not to do communication that way but it works well enough for me.

Here is Zak’s recent interview, in which he refers to Steiner and Goethe traditions. How can I/we share a direction? I hope this compliments what others here are trying to co-sponsor.

On a side note, I had a dream last night, in which I was rehearsing to play the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I was singing the famous song Tradition. I don’t like that show or that song but there you go. I’m rehearsing to play the leading role in a show I don’t like . Something that I don’t understand wants to happen?


Sometimes the best way to understand something is to watch videos like these that show us exactly the opposite of what we are looking for. In my eyes she represents the most anti-Goethian way of seeing Nature that there could possibly be. But this nice example of what seeing the wholeness of Nature is NOT, might clarify things. Even though I like her passion and engagement (we need much more people with such passion for science…) she represents the perfect example of the mainstream reductionist physicalism that is (still) all-pervasive in academia. But I must also be grateful because her arguments triggered in me the desire to answer trying to take the opposite view. So, here is my take on how I would counter-argue a la Goethe….

There is this common misconception that, since biological systems are the result of ‘random chance’, as a consequence they are ‘suboptimal’ and ‘non-robust’ having a ‘poor design’, in a word: ‘Imperfect.’ For example, the human genome contains ‘mistakes’ that no one would deliberately engineer. This is the sort of metaphysical argument one hears frequently coming from modern biologists.

But what is supposed to be the criterion of ‘good design’ or ‘perfection’?

In biology a system is considered to be ‘optimal’ when it maximizes or minimizes some functions under given constraints and adapts best to the environment. However, from taking this point of view, biology separates a priori between the organism and the environment failing to recognize how the adaptation of the single organism to the environment is only one of the many internal functions of a totality. This totality is a ‘Kantian Whole’–that is, a system where the parts exist for and by means of the whole and the whole exists for and by means of the parts.

For example, an organ like the heart, with its properties and its function, can’t be separated and abstracted from the organism as a whole. An organ like the heart serves the purpose to pump blood for the best survival of the organism in its entirety, it is not designed to optimally fit in our chest alone and its activity is not aimed only at maintaining its own robustness or fitness, even though, it might have to satisfy certain criteria of adaptation to the chest and tune its activity to avoid functional failure. But no biologist would speak of the ‘optimal adaptation’ of the heart isolated and abstracted from the overall body’s functions.

This fallacious line of reasoning, however, is precisely what we do when we think of the adaptation of the organism in relation to the biosphere or the supposed DNA transcription ‘errors’ without being aware that we have lost sight of the cell’s workings in its totality.

Another example: If 65 million years ago a gigantic asteroid or a comet would have not crossed the Earth’s orbit at that precise time in that precise place, by ‘pure random chance’ (wasn’t it…?), it would not have caused the extinction of dinosaurs, and then humankind would possibly not exist. Was that a ‘mistake’? From the limited perspective of the dinosaurs it was for sure. From our (only a bit more wider) perspective , as humans, it was a decisive event necessary for our existence. Indeed, suddenly, you won’t find anymore an astronomer or a biologist labeling an asteroid impact as an ‘error’.

Since we are unaware of our inability to follow the complex dynamics of the whole we pretend it making ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’. Concepts such as ‘optimal’, ‘good or bad design’, ‘imperfection’, etc. arise only because of an anthropomorph understanding of how the world is supposed to be according to our human standards and desires. Since some processes didn’t turn out as we expect from our limited sense-mind understanding of the world, and which is unable to consider all relevant constraints and can’t see holistically the whole complexity of Nature, we conclude that it couldn’t be other than a ‘coincidence’ or an ‘error’ without meaning.

The human mind is a far too low-level form of cognition that can’t recognize and capture the complexity of the system as a whole. From a higher perspective there is neither an organism nor an environment, there is only a single whole where the mutual interplay of its parts is the expression of the whole itself. This separation appears only at the level of our separative mind where the Nature appears to us as a clash of competing entities which sum up building a whole made of parts glued together.

To say whether an aspect in biology is ‘poorly designed’ implicitly assumes that we are able to know what the designer aims at and what the designer’s thoughts are. And since the ‘mind of God’ does not to agree with the human mind, we proudly conclude there could be no God in the first place. Even the worst medieval anthropocentric conception didn’t go so far! Now, lets play God… hurrah!! :blush:


Actually, “intelligent design” is the term the Creationists came up with to “legitimize” Creationism, that is, give it a euphemism so that it sounds less “religious”.

Ah, the dynamics of language …


I think her use of the term ‘intelligent design’ was intentionally sarcastic towards the ID movement. I followed them for a time and, indeed, these are people who refuse to go beyond their Christian-centric worldview, which is also frequently dressed up with several political (mainly right-wing conservative) nuances. It is no wonder that nobody is willing to consider them as being “scientific”. IMO, the ID movement and the skeptic militant atheist neo-Darwinists are the two sides of the same coin.

Having said that, I would not go so far in saying that there has been only a replacement in the nomenclature. It is no longer the ‘young earth creationism’ based on literal biblical interpretations (“God created the universe in six days, etc.”… sort of). There has been an evolution from the creationist into an ‘ID-species’ that is a bit more digestible and that at least argues with a more scientific mindset. They still need another shake off that goes beyond the above mentioned mental barriers, but then I might even be willing to jump in their bandwagon. :wink:


I tried hard to make decent snapshots but couldn’t focus. But I hope that might give an intuitive understanding how the figures in Bortoft’s book look like through a prism. It may be better to download the image (mouse right click) and then magnify to see the color spectra,.


Thanks, Marco, this is beautiful. A picture is worth a thousand words.


It would seem, by her cavalier attitude, that Erika has not yet have developed a robust appreciation for the slippery consequences, intimate complexities, mortal danger, and sheer terror of—playing God.

But we learn, we learn…