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The Mother of all Mistakes 

If not only mental illness is intractable but also basic functions of governance, like maintaining order and managing the environment, might one wonder what’s causing misjudgment? Where the misperceptions are coming from that stand in the way of Understanding who we are and what we’re about? Where we are and how we got here? If one archetypal misperception, one seminal misunderstanding, occurred somewhere in the evolution of Mind, wouldn’t we want to track it down? Wouldn’t we want to know the story of Mind? Get straight what happened. Understand what went wrong?

Isn’t it logical to assume that one mistake in the functioning of the Mind that we share could be responsible for every mistake that followed? Could be the Mother of all Mistakes. To assume that a miscalculation of some sort sent thinking and perceptions that followed off on the wrong track. If an unintentional navigation error could get an intercontinental passenger jet so far off course that it got shot down over Russia, couldn’t an unintentional error in recognition get Mind and its replications off course, too? So far off course that their efforts to navigate bring them repeatedly to the wrong destination. To disorder and mismanagement. To repeatedly getting their hopes shot down.

Inert dummies strapped to their seats after a crash

Isn’t it logical, then, to wonder if such a consequential error occurred and what it might be? Have we surrendered our Free Will, our mobility? Or are we paralyzed by inertia and fear? Like passengers strapped to their seats after their plane has crash landed, dummies in a state of shock.

Do we really have the right answers? Or are we condemned to endlessly repeat our mistakes and expect different results? Without acknowledging our failures, taking responsibility, and fixing what’s broken? What happened to accountability? Where in all this fevered activity is there a hint of real sapience? Of our species’ vaunted self-awareness? Of openness and honesty? Of leadership and conscience? Or is it all submerged in the self-justification of groups, our Machiavellian overlords who have no use for moral codes. Their only “code” their survival, their authority.

Can we be so sure of basic assumptions that keep producing frustration that they don’t need to be questioned? Is faith in the sideshow pyrotechnics of matter -- astronomy and molecular biology, genetics and telecommunications gadgetry -- well placed if they reveal nothing new about Mind? Nothing that would prevent humanity’s animal instinct, its mindless reptilian brain, from continuing to misuse and abuse them? Did I fail to mention weaponry? Let us take pride in ingenuity that mows down defenseless innocents in schools, churches, theaters, and grocery stores. 

The Big Bang was a Big Nothing

Could the intractability of mental illness, the virtual dead-end of psychiatry’s ability to cure it, be telling us something about Mind in general? After assuming that the cause is brain matter, that maybe the problem goes deeper than that? A lot deeper.

That the cause is Mind, not brain. And where Mind comes from. Where it remains, traces its pathology, its origins, well beyond bodies’ experience of infancy in a world of matter. Well beyond the event so enshrined in the human imagination as the beginning of everything, the “Big Bang.” When the Big Bang may be only one of a multitude of Big Bangs. May be in the Reality, the universe of Mind, effect, not cause. An imaginary event – a Big Nothing that has no real consequences and physics can never explain.

A Big Nothing in the dynamics of archetypal thought and feeling that can be explained. In the life and evolution of the Logic of Mind that preceded and caused it. Because conscious Mind has Logic, the only source of explanation and Understanding, and matter, the projection of Mind unconscious and dreaming, does not.

Why should this be of no interest to fields of inquiry – science, philosophy, psychology, theology – whose minds profess to want answers? Whose minds profess to have answers when they haven’t allowed themselves to ask the right questions. For this is what’s wrong.

They persist in their misjudgments, trapped by their misperceptions. Expecting different results either because they’re sure they Understand the situation humanity is in that yields our Understanding of purpose and meaning – our context. Or because they’re terrified that they don’t.  That there may be another context, and it will be a discomfort, a major inconvenience, to figure it out. Or an embarrassment to hand it off to those who can. To theorists like Democritus, Parmenides, Plato, and Michael Faraday, who intuited with Logic what materialist body-centric science couldn't.

Caught forever in Erich von Stroheim’s Grand Illusion

Sticking with answers to the wrong questions is illogical. Illogic can’t yield Understanding or good results. The Logic of our context, our situation, is virgin territory, unexamined and unexplained by the paradigms that dominate our thinking. Because the reality of our context, handed to us by our bodies equipped with reptilian brains, that’s taken as a given, is, in fact, an appearance. A deception. The real Big Lie. That blocks examination and prevents explanation.

If the mentally ill must be abandoned en masse to the streets, if our children and grandchildren must be condemned to Anthropocene extinction, victims of mass insanity, doesn’t it make sense to remove the barrier to Logic? To change our focus from bodies and brains to Mind? From illusion that can’t yield answers to Reality that can. Because that’s where the problem is -- the emotion and the tears.

Letter addressed separately to:

• Carlo Rovelli, Aix-Marseille University. Author, Reality Is Not What It Seems:
The Journey to Quantum Gravity

• Adam Becker, University of California, Berkeley. Author, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
• Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School. Author, What Is Gnosticism?

Date: June 3, 2020

So long a science remains riveted to matter – inanimate and organic, -- so long as it systematically overlooks the role of conscious mind in Creation and unconscious mind in illusion, it will never lead humanity to the real origin and fate of the universe and the meaning – the purpose – of life. Purpose that humanity addicted to technology, on the precipice of mass irrationality and extinction, now desperately needs. On the contrary, it can only legitimize forces that keep humanity in the dark, pinned down by flaws in our knowledge and reasoning that are essential to freedom of choice, learning, and growth.

The “meaning” of quantum physics, the end of the road for quantum gravity, needs no further “quest.” Experimental physics has already produced the results that tell us what we need to know: matter is not real. Its strange behavior is readily explained as the product of mind that logically can only be in an unconscious, dreaming state. What it has produced is not Reason or Reality but unreason and unreality. These are the hallmarks of our universe and self-destructive humanity – unexplainable magic that only happens in dreams and imaginations.

What unconscious mind has produced, still living and empowered with energy, is illusion. And physics, passionate about its cause, passionate about its subject, passionately convinced that matter is real, proves it. If we haven’t already figured this out from the bizarre behavior of quanta, from a universe ruled not by order but by entropy, we may be literally too dumb to live.

Science has two tasks to salvage its honesty. The first is to acknowledge the flaw in the logic that supports it: the logic that holds that sensory perception is qualified to adjudicate between reality and unreality. That holds that separation between the body and other objects that belong to the same state of matter bestows objectivity, when separation can only bestow objectivity if it’s between one state and another. Physics that fails to acknowledge this flaw may certainly continue with its discoveries. But it is not qualified to answer for metaphysics about reality. If it lacks objectivity and rationality, it lacks authority. And until it acknowledges this fact, it is not being honest.

The second task to salvage physics’ honesty is to acknowledge the truth about the findings of its experiments, going back to its origins with Galileo and to its premises with Aristotle. Experiments that were meant to support elegant theories of everything, to reveal beauty, essence, and perfection in the cosmos, have revealed instead a welter of causes and effects that make no sense. Their net result is a pointlessness that mocks the laws of science and confounds understanding rather than illuminating it. If the laws of science disappear precisely at the point where metaphysics demands answers, what use are they? They rationalize appearances on a human scale, but humanity has been doing this on its own for thousands of years.

What mind is searching for is Reality and Reason that will enable it to exercise free choice, so humanity will grasp its purpose and act decisively to serve it. We aren’t doing this. And one glaring reason why is that science hides rather than shares the truth. The cosmos isn’t Plato’s “divine” and never will be. The journey to quantum gravity has already gone beyond where it could be any practical help.

It’s time to look elsewhere for the meaning and purpose of life, not from what matter can tell us but from what mind can tell us. Science that compromises with honesty can’t set us on this path. But science that’s honest can at least help.

Einstein devoted his career to a single-minded effort to prove the logic of matter, the perfect order of the cosmos defined by mathematics and physics, and he failed. Bohr was right. Why can’t physics accept the verdict of the Copenhagen Interpretation and support a larger effort of mind – of philosophy, metaphysics, ontology, and psychology – to find answers instead of continuing to obstruct it? Why are scientists intent on discrediting the effort instead of joining it?

Telling the story of the Child, our archetypal Self, is giving the Child back some part of the Reality and the Truth that he lost when he lost consciousness. It’s giving humanity some part of the Reality and Truth that we need in order to exercise free choice in whether to move forward, with objectivity and reason rather than sabotaging our cause with subjectivity and unreason.

The story of the Child needs to be told. Because otherwise we may never know our true worth. We may never know the meaning and purpose of life, the cause the Child was given in Creation – our cause. Without resolve that can only come from purpose, transferring perception from bodies’ senses to intuition and Reason – from appearances to Truth -- will continue to elude us. The basics of what we are doing here -- who we are, how we got here, and what is within our power to do about it, -- will continue to elude us. Unless we connect with the Child that dwells in Mind – with our Self, -- how can we ever get back home to Reality, to the engine of Creation, where we belong?

Our story needs to be told so that we will finally make it relevant, constructive, and consequential. Let it emerge from the fog of mythology, from medicine-man faiths and cultures, into the light of logic, meaning, and utility. Into the light of Mind and Reason without the mysticism and self-contradictions that alienate common sense.

The thinking reflected in the publication I’ve cited has taken you to the outer edges of the paradigm shift that’s needed. You’re receiving this because there may be a willingness to consider it, a level of intelligence and intellectual honesty that offers hope.

Am I making sense? Is the story of the Child worth telling? Can we at least try?

David C. Harrison
Author, The Story of the Child (working title, book in progress)
303-746-5983 /