Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Matter is communication; is responsive and purposive (from William Arkle)

From Chapter 1 - The Fields of Consciousness

There is some connection between our scale of attitudes (or ‘filters’) and the scale of conditions of matter.

The structure of matter stems from some sub atomic level to that of the atom, then the molecule, the cell, the group of cells, to mineral, vegetable and animal structures. From the animal it leads onto the human, and we must be to discover that it goes on beyond the human.

While all matter is a living in "substance" the substantial part of it is, in fact, non-substantial in the old meaning of the word. Instead of substance we find only organisation of energy. The value of such structure lies in the fact that energy is not pure force, but a composition of force and behaviour patterns.

However, the behaviour pattern is not a mechanical function unless we are dealing with a pure machine. If we are dealing with living structures, then we must accept behaviour patterns as being the result of some form of consciousness and purpose.

Therefore we must describe matter from henceforth as matter-consciousness, to remind ourselves of the fact that the old idea of substance has been superseded and that the mechanical idea of function has little or no ground left for it, and that it must shortly give way to a theory which allows for elementary occurrences to be a result of consciousness, perception and response to perception.

This is an extraordinary situation for us to grasp, since we have been used to the idea that matter is a part of the living scheme of things we call nature but, at the same time, governed by mechanical forces in a purely mechanical situation. Yet it is possible to describe the consciousness of matter as being very different to our own. To get used to this, we have to get used to the special proportions of the universe as compared with the special proportions of the atom and electron.

We must get used to the idea that we have not yet established a definition of the upper and lower limits of consciousness any more than we have established the meaning of largeness and small nest in space. Unconsciously, we all like to feel that the electron is small enough and that's nothing could possibly be organised on an even more minute scale. We also like think that there is nothing larger than a galaxy or are universe. This is all a part of our conditioning as human beings, through which we like to establish the limits of our territory and the exact spot which we call home.

When, however, we begin to sense that we are individuals who exist purely in consciousness, we shall be far more objective about our observations of the physical universe and we shall no longer look for a place in it which we call home. Our home will be our basic attitude. This can be a comfortable and happy one - or otherwise.


From Chapter 2 Bodies of communication 

One of our major conditionings is the idea that there is solid substance on which our physical world is built.

It used to be considered that the atom was an indivisible unit of substance which was built up into more complex structures to create the mineral and vegetable worlds. It is now realised that this atom is itself a complex conformation of images whose paths constitute its size but whose interior is largely space to which various energies into relate.

Today substance is not a solid but a temporary structure of energy which gives the impression of solidity because it communicates to us something of its nature. If it was not within the boundaries of our perception of communication, then we should say it did not exist.

This sort of communication must not be confused with our own human ones, for these communications are in terms of elemental qualities and of energy and it is in these terms that atoms are communicating to us and to one another.

We are also conditioned to consider that communications which are not in terms that have meaning for us as humans are not valid communications and do not arise from anything we can class as consciousness. But this again is one of the things that has to be adjusted if we wish to understand the background to human activity.

We must be more objective and open-minded about conditions of consciousness other than our own, and we must be more aware of the possibility that categories of matter which we used to class as non-living on not only living but retain their nature and function through very efficient forms of communication.

As far as said previously, we must not only be prepared to consider that an atom is an entity but we must also be prepared for the fact that it is an entity with a purpose and a responsive awareness.

The position reached when reality is looked at from the point of view of this theory, is that what is normally referred to as a matter is first of all essentially communication and only second there really a structure of energies. This is to say that the value of any particle of matter is the quality which it is communicating.

This quality is not only the important aspect of the situation to us as conscious individuals, but also to the particles of matter as an entity in its own right. It follows from this that we will be in a much better position to understand the significance of matter and the general ground of the experience we are in if we study and classify occurrences in terms of the possible communication content, rather than in terms of their structure and apparently mechanical function.

It may be found that all matter is communication as far as we are concerned. For we are essentially receivers, valuers, and transmitters of information and our true nature is awareness itself; and in no way directly involved with that part of manifestation which we think of as matter.

As far as our true significance and reality are concerned, matter is synonymous with communication.

So here we can also say that when we are conscious of matter as such, there is something wrong, for we are not observing the reality of the situation; we have got the wrong set of filters in circuit. When however we observe events in terms of their real content, then we shall not be aware of matter but only communication.

This means that we are employing reasonably suitable filters for that situation. The universe of matter-consciousness which is thought of as the universe of non-living matter is therefore more accurately a universe of communication. However, the subject cannot be left there, since the fact that communication is the chief reality of each individual structure of matter at each level of formation implies consciousness, which in turn implies purposive response and rudimentary desire.

But this is what would be expected and looked for if the premise of the theory is near the truth, for it proposes an evolution of consciousness which starts from the point of zero consciousness and progresses from there to what is termed absolute consciousness. We know that human consciousness is well above the zero position. We must expect that animal conscious that will be closer to it, then vegetable consciousness, and then mineral consciousness. It would be arbitrary to stop there simply because we are approaching the limits of our observation.

Therefore it is necessary to visualise a type of consciousness related to the sub-atomic level of matter and all levels more minute and fundamental than this again.

From A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974)