Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding - Category: Articles    
 Synthesising Whole Systems - CALRESCO

Synthesising Whole Systems

Quoted from the excellent article Complexity Theory: Actions for a Better World by Chris Lucas, CALRESCO (The Complexity & Artificial Life Research Concept for Self-Organizing Systems)

This action section of our website will list practical suggestions for using the ideas of complexity science and related areas to counter the ignorance, hate and violence that are so destroying our heritage, our societies and our planet. And note that these problems are all mental ones, they are problems of 'thought' and not of 'things', the result of inadequacies in our collective mental states, of our approach to life, our lack of wisdom, not of the inherent inadequacy of our material possessions. Our approach will be to look at 'whole systems', but this will require a far more wide ranging perspective than those we normally label as 'science', taking into account also philosophy and spirit. Any whole system comprises an holarchy, i.e. many nested and overlapping sub-systems, these are all important components of the totality that we wish to improve, so that it is essential that all these aspects are included, we will have no 'blinkered' perspectives here, no reductions to one dimension out of the many that concurrently exist, no divorce of psychology from sociology, of economics from ecology, not even of philosophy from science, or science from religion ! From physicist David Bohm:

"The essential new quality implied by the quantum theory is... that a system cannot be analyzed into parts. This leads to the radically new notion of unbroken wholeness of the entire universe. You cannot take it apart. For if you do, what you end up with is not contained within the original whole. It is created by the act of analysis."
Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1983), Whole Systems

This suggests that if we wish to understand the whole then we must take into account how all these analyses interrelate, how our abstract slices fit together to create the overall result and how that can change dynamically, and this is just the form of synthesis undertaken by the systems sciences. But to understand the implications of this wider viewpoint, we must start with thought itself.

Some relevant quotes from elsewhere:

"There is this hope, I cannot promise you whether or when it will be realized - that the mechanistic paradigm, with all its implications in science as well as in society and our own private life, will be replaced by an organismic or systems paradigm that will offer new pathways for our presently schizophrenic and self-destructive civilization." (Ludwig von Bertalanffy) [FR]

"Indeed, to some extent it has always been necessary and proper for man, in his thinking, to divide things up, if we tried to deal with the whole of reality at once, we would be swamped. However when this mode of thought is applied more broadly to man's notion of himself and the whole world in which he lives, (i.e. in his world-view) then man ceases to regard the resultant divisions as merely useful or convenient and begins to see and experience himself and this world as actually constituted of separately existing fragments. What is needed is a relativistic theory, to give up altogether the notion that the world is constituted of basic objects or building blocks. Rather one has to view the world in terms of universal flux of events and processes." (David Bohm) [FR]

"In contrast to the mechanistic Cartesian view of the world, the world-view emerging from modern physics can be characterized by words like organic, holistic, and ecological. It might also be called a systems view, in the sense of general systems theory. The universe is no longer seen as a machine, made up of a multitude of objects, but has to be pictured as one indivisible dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process." (Fritjof Capra) [FR]

 The Jewel of Immeasurable Worth
picture 2010-07-10

Let me relate to you a short story as an introduction to the real subject of this article – the mathematical / metaphysical foundations of a unified holistic science.

I was 21, working as a taxi driver and quite deeply 'absorbed' with what one might call the occult, in particular Western Esoteric (Kabbalistic) Ritual High Magick. However from surface appearances I was "just a taxi driver".

During this time somehow the thought entered my awareness that "I will descend into the swamp of modernity wherein I will find and retrieve a 'Jewel of Immeasurable Worth' that lies unnoticed."

I didn't know what it meant - but the idea grew – not just an intellectual idea, but an inspiring force. It hovered just beneath the conscious mind; floating on the 'surface' of the subconscious. Six months or so later another idea surfaced - "I will study physics and computer science at Uni next year." And I did - all up for about 5 years. ########  More >

 Quotes Regarding Gnana, the Yoga of Supreme Knowledge

"The main purpose of jnana meditation is to withdraw the mind and emotions from perceiving life and oneself in a deluded way so that one may behold and live in attunement with Reality, or Spirit."

Gnana "advocates that the real, experiential knowledge of the Brahman/Atman identity is sufficient to get enlightened, and that as far as spiritual seekers are ready to sacrifice everything to obtain this supreme wisdom, they need neither rituals nor meditation as spiritual exercise."
- comment on Shankaracharya

"the Jiva or the empirical self becomes one with Brahman when it gets knowledge of Brahman. When knowledge dawns in it through annihilation of Avidya [ignorance], it is freed from its individuality and finitude and realises its essential Satchidananda nature. It merges itself in the ocean of bliss. The river of life joins the ocean of existence."
- comment on Shankaracharya

"The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Give up all questions except one: "Who am I?" After all, the only fact that you are sure of is that you are. The "I am" is certain. The "I am this" is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not - body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that, nothing concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand that on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only [not this, not that], the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That, [full text pdf]

"Questioner: How long will it take me to get free of the mind?

Maharaj: It may take a thousand years, but really no time is required. All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed. If you are sincere, you have it. After all, it is a matter of attitude. Nothing stops you from being a gnani here and now, except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. It is all quite simple. Turn away from your desires and fears and from the thoughts they create and you are at once in your natural state."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That, [full text pdf]

 Quotes regarding the illusion of being a person

"The person is merely the result of a misunderstanding. In reality, there is no such thing. Feelings, thoughts and actions race before the watcher in endless succession, leaving traces in the brain and creating an illusion of continuity. A reflection of the watcher in the mind creates the sense of 'I' and the person acquires an apparently independent existence.

In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying himself with the 'I' and the 'mine'. The teacher tells the watcher: you are not this, there is nothing of yours in this, except the little point of "I am", which is the bridge between the watcher and his dream. "I am this, I am that" is dream, while pure "I am" has the stamp of reality on it.
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That [full text pdf]


"So long as people do not understand the true nature of the objective world, they fall into the dualistic view of things. They imagine the multiplicity of external objects to be real and become attached to them and are nourished by their habit energy. Because of this system of mentation, mind and what belongs to it is discriminated and is thought of as real; this leads to the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, and thus the mind-system goes on functioning."
- Lankavatara Sutra [full text pdf]


"When the television set is burned or destroyed, will the people in the movie feel the pain and die? You have no form, no shape..."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Seeds of Consciousness


"What is it that had birth? Whom do you call a human being? If, instead of seeking explanations for birth, death and after-death, the question is raised as to who and how you are now, these questions will not arise...

The body is born again and again. We wrongly identify ourselves with the body, and hence imagine we are reincarnated constantly. No. We must identify ourselves with the true Self. The realised one enjoys unbroken consciousness, never broken by birth or death - how can he die? Only those who think 'I am the body' talk of reincarnation. To those who know 'I am the Self' there is no rebirth.

Reincarnations only exist so long as there is ignorance. There is no incarnation, either now, before or hereafter. This is the truth."

- Sri Ramana Maharshi

Again for emphasis...

"There is no incarnation, either now, before or hereafter. This is the truth"


“Greatest assumption in human history: The existence of a personal identity. 99,99% of our global communications refer to a you and a me, but no one actually ever found an 'I' to exist anywhere! All our thoughts, emotions and words refer to something no one has ever been able to confirm to even exist. HA HA HA!! It's hilarious!! :D

And it's very very sad at the same time! The single cause of our current state as a species. We're all like sheep, following the herd, assuming what everybody else has also been taught to assume. Time to wake up my friends.” (Bentinho Massaro) ...  More >

 Organisations, Collective Consciousness & Developing Human Potential - TweetList

@VenessaMiemis ( asked on Twitter:

  • "Does a Corporation have consciousness?"

  • "What would happen if developing human potential of people were top priority of corps & orgs?"

The other responses that I saw focused on profit motives, incentives, toppling capitalism, etc. These are the usual types of responses and they arise from an anthropocentric paradigm, which could be caricatured by the phrase "people rule the world". They focus on how people can engineer organisations for the benefit of people without even considering the perspectives of the organisations themselves and what they want. For example, the comment by @steve_e

  • Orgs more successful, people happier. Orgs would exist to support/enhance people, not the other way round!

And in particular the comment by @mgusek555 caught my attention

  • Corps don't have consciousness, but the people within them do collectively.

IMHO these are rather narrow anthropocentric perspectives on a very important issue, hence I decided to throw in my two cents worth in order to present an alternative non-anthropocentric / systemic perspective. Here are my tweets:  More >

 Simulation Argument and Dualism

Monica Anderson said on Facebook: “I can't figure out if the SA (simulation argument) is dualist and would like to know”

Note: That which she calls SA I have elsewhere called the VR analogy or computational metaphysics.

I have contemplated this issue of SA and dualism at some length from many angles, in particular by studying an intuitively received mathematical model (SMN) of the reality generative process and how it processes information in order to create the appearance of indivudual perspectives upon a physical universe.

In brief I have found that the term 'dualism' has a certain meaning within a particular context, however SA changes that context and thereby also the meaning of the term.

To explain, first here is a comment I made earlier in the same thread, which explains the context of our current meaning of the term.  More >

 Naïve Realism Discussed in the Lankavatara Sutra

Quote from the Lankavatara Sutra

"So long as people do not understand the true nature of the objective world, they fall into the dualistic view of things. They imagine the multiplicity of external objects to be real and become attached to them and are nourished by their habit energy. Because of this system of mentation, mind and what belongs to it is discriminated and is thought of as real; this leads to the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, and thus the mind-system goes on functioning. Depending upon and attaching itself to the dualistic habit of mind, they accept the views of the philosophers founded upon these erroneous distinctions, of being and non-being, existence and non-existence, and there evolves what we call false-imaginations...

False-imaginations rise from the consideration of appearances; things are discriminated as to form, signs and shape; as to having colour, warmth, humidity, mobility or rigidity. False-imagination consists of becoming attached to these appearances and their names... The five sense functions and their discriminating and thinking function have their risings and complete ending from moment to moment... By setting up names and forms greed is multiplied and thus the mind goes on mutually conditioning and being conditioned. By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error arises, false-imagination as to pleasure and pain arises, and the way to emancipation is blocked...

By the cessation of the mind-system as a whole is meant, the cessation of discrimination, the clearing away of the various attachments, and, therefore, the clearing away of the defilements of habit-energy in the face of Universal Mind which have been accumulating since beginningless time by reason of these discriminations, attachments, erroneous reasonings, and following acts... Getting rid of the discriminating mortal-mind is Nirvana.

But the cessation of the discriminating-mind cannot take place until there has been a “turning about” in the deepest seat of consciousness. The mental habit of looking outward by the discriminating-mind upon an external objective world must be given up, and a new habit of realising Truth within the intuitive-mind by becoming one with the Truth itself must be established.... With the ending of pleasure and pain, of conflicting ideas, of the disturbing interests of egoism, a state of tranquilisation will be attained in which the truths of emancipation will be fully understood..." (Lankavatara Sutra )

 Integral Theory and Naïve Realism

I am not very familiar with the "Integral Theory" memeplex, however I have begun to observe and contemplate it. In particular my mind is contemplating the epistemological issue of...

How do Integral theory and naïve realism relate?

This question can be disected into two questions:

  • How does Integral theory recognise (i.e. understand, describe, represent and assimilate) the phenomenon of naïve realism, either directly or indirectly via related phenomena?

  • How is Integral theory influenced at an epistemological level by naïve realism?

If anyone has any comments, links etc regarding these questions and potential answers, then please let me know via facebook or twitter or email.

Regarding the second question,

The following quote from "An approach to critiques of integral theory" points to an area in which the influence of naïve realism may potentially be found within integral theory.  More >

 Memes, Minds & Collective Intelligence - Tweet List

@notthisbody how do memetic algorithms relate 2 collectiveIntelligence?

Related questions are, What is a meme, memeplex, mind, collectiveMind?

  • A meme is a cognitive virus that breeds via repetition. Symbolic expressions are its outer form & ideas, beliefs, etc are its inner form.

  • A memeplex is an integrated self-reinforcing network of memes, for example 'modernism' & 'Hinduism' are two memeplexes.

  • A mind is a memetic ecosystem where memes & memeplexes compete for dominance. The ego / personality is the 'mainstream' memeplex.

  • When minds communicate they interlink & form a multidimensional socioCognitive landscape - a larger memetic ecosystem - a collectiveMind.

  • When the ideas that we think come filtered through our socialNetworks we are experiencing reality through the lens of the collectiveMind.

  • When we share ideas with others we are contributing to the reality experienced by the collectiveMind.

  • Culture is collectiveIntelligence in action.

More tweets from @anandavala at

 Tweet list re: the nature of reality, self, experience & the world
  • One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious (CarlJung)
  • Our present ego-feeling is a shrunken residue of a much more inclusive all-embracing-feeling, a more intimate bond (Freud)
  • Freud gave us insight/demonstration that the ordinary person is a shrivelled desiccated fragment of what a person can be (RDLaing)
  • For man has closed himself up, 'till he sees all things thro' the chinks of his cavern (WilliamBlake)
  • The 'I' that I think I am is a self image formed in the mind. I am not what I think I am. So what am I? That is THE question!
  • When a thought is born you are born. You think there's 'somebody' who feels your feelings; that's the illusion. (UGKrishnamurti)
  • Nothing keeps you from liberation except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. (Nisargadatta)
  • That which is the subtle essence, in it is the self of all that exists. It is the True. It is the Self & thou art it. (Chandogya Upanishad)
  • Imagine ur a sentient being within a VR, it would seem physical, you would seem separate, yet the true agent behind every action is the CPU.
  • In this VR scenario computation "is the self of all that exists. It is the True. It is the Self & thou art it. (Chandogya Upanishad)
  • RT @petervan Virtual Reality you can reach out and touch When virtual reality feels real
  • In tech VR we look from the outside in but in cosmic VR we are emergent from the information process, which animates every thought/action.
  • Quantum Mechanics also provides an information theoretic analogy for the nature of reality
  • The "physical universe" is analogous to a VR animated by "universal consciousness" and it evolves as a unified holistic process.
  • Hence - events happen, deeds are done but there is no individual doer of any deed (Buddha)
  • The objects we experience are objects-of-perception; the contents of awareness that are imagined to exist "out there" due to naive realism
  • Hence - "with our thoughts we make the world" (Buddha)
  • Signs of an emerging paradigmShift : quantum mechanics categorically proves naive realism is a false perspective.
  • For details of QM disproof of naive realism search for "Stern Gerlach" or see relevant chapter of
More tweets from @anandavala at

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