The established paths to Truth – whether secular or religious – entail a quasi-alchemical process of purification. The scientific method for example, through the feedback loop of hypothesis and experiment, filters out the false incrementally to fashion an ever-purified nugget of golden Truth. Likewise the monotheistic religions strive to cleanse the soul of its dark sinfulness through a lifetime of prayer, abstinence and charity.
While monotheism champions the idea of instantaneous salvation upon death, still the process of earning that prodigious right during the course of one’s life is a commitment to repetition of trial and error.
Both science and religion follow this same template of incremental purification, each reaching for the unreachable:- ultimate scientific truth, godhead. The difference between them is that one uses reason, the other faith. It’s a big difference of course but the followers of both traditions are equally convinced they are on the ‘right’ path; one to illumination and the other salvation. Essentially the goal is the same. The negative qualities of falsehood and sinfulness are perceived as obstacles to one’s progress along the path.
In contrast the polytheistic traditions do not consider the impure as something that must be separated out from the pure. On the contrary the pairs of opposites should be reconciled and integrated. In that respect the horned gods of the Greek pantheon, such as Pan and Dionysus, are given a ringside seat at Mount Olympus beside the more virtuous gods, like Apollo.
The Gnostic Abraxas, and later Baphomet, were hermaphrodite deities depicting both devilish and benign characteristics embodied within a single personality. The Christians demonized these figures (literally!) because they paid homage to the dark aspect by integrating it with the light.
Hermetic philosophy recognizes this inherent dualism in the Principle of Polarity:
Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites.
The equivalence between science and religion discussed just above is Hermetic correspondence. For all the hardship man has suffered to achieve a secular state, his fixation with science is essentially no different to his previous affiliation with the church. The priest class has simply exchanged its purple robes for white coats.
No moral condemnation is being attached to this. It’s not that science is wrong; how could it be? By its very nature science is objectively (ie. independently of the observer) ‘right’. Just as religion is subjectively (ie. pertaining to the observer) ‘righteous’.
What modern scientists are generally unwilling to examine is correspondence between the all-encompassing attitude of polytheism and an alternative science that incorporates the ‘impure’ into its views on reality; just as the elusive ‘dark matter’ has gained vital significance in modern cosmology. For example some alternative medicines do not consider tumors as malignant that one must cut out; on the contrary they are a compensatory response to the human organism’s excessive imbalances; something that can be addressed without resorting to a knife. We are at an experimental stage of course as alternative medicine is still finding its way in these matters.
The process of acquiring knowledge has since the time of the early philosophers been reduced to a simple binary output of the TRUE-FALSE logic gate. This is the filter that we have been given to view the world: whether something is true or false. It is a useful approach and it works. But it does not work impeccably; meaning it cannot substitute nature nor can it predict nature with complete accuracy.
The filter that we currently use to discern reality – true vs false; good vs bad – needs to be abandoned if we are to embrace a new science that integrates these pairs of opposites. Like a hermaphrodite that embodies both genders, science needs to embrace fiction as well as truth; to reconcile the impure with the pure. It needs to inquire about its own insatiable appetite for a universal theory of everything. To embrace a scientific version of Abraxas the first thing that should be discarded is the insistence of absolute Truth.
The negation of absolute Truth is not achieved through stubbornness or brute will of course. It is a matter of using reason to negate the affirmations upon which our current filter on reality is constructed. One possible way of achieving this is outlined as follows.
The logical argument for absolute Truth goes like this.
To say Truth is not absolute is itself an absolute statement and therefore contradictory. Therefore truth must be absolute.
For some students this irrefutable logic signals the end of the discussion; the case is closed. The counter-argument would take the enquiry further. If Truth is absolute then instead of fixating on how or why the better question might be where? For you won’t find it in nature nor hidden under the bed.
But still absolute Truth has to exist because it is logically proven to exist. And by following the rules of logic, the clue to where can be taken from the premise. Absolute Truth exists in a virtual world; the logical frame of the thought experiment itself. A reminder here that logic is a geek’s business. We have satisfied the assertion that absolute Truth does exist but have negated an assertion that it must exist in nature and is therefore measurable. Absolute Truth exists in the same place all ideas exist: in Mind. It is fiction; and all fiction exists in the future as possibility.
Interestingly the scientific method not only strives to discover absolute Truth but it also depends on human induction; the ability to intuit suitable hypotheses to nudge science along its path towards this Truth. And where do these hypotheses come from? From the same virtual world where absolute Truth exists.
The term induction (or inductive reasoning) is interesting as it suggests induction of truth in the same way heat is transferred from a hot external source to an adjacent body. So the visual here is that an inspired idea like a hypothesis is inducted into nature, into the human brain, from the virtual world of absolute Truth. The inspired ideas received via induction to progress towards absolute Truth come from… absolute Truth.
Let’s repeat that for emphasis. The inspired ideas that we receive via induction to progress towards Truth come from Truth. It’s a classic chicken and egg situation.
This is quite an astounding revelation. We can explore it further by considering the co-existence of our everyday reality with the dream state. In our everyday life we look for meaning and perfection; it might be through our scientific, religious, political and romantic affiliations. The pure ideal state that we long for exists in its own virtual world of make believe; it exists because of our incessant pandering to it. And our enthusiasm and positive feelings of progress towards attaining it give it a positive ‘charge’. How does this happen? Through induction.
And then when we lose sense of meaning in our everyday life, when we lack inspiration, we get the ‘charge’ back from our dreams. They refresh us and fill us with purpose. Again via induction. It is an alternating current between everyday life and the dream state.
What happens now upon seeing all this? Will we stop pandering to perfection? Or maybe we will continue to project our aspirations into the future. But the difference being we will not be confused by it. That is a step change in the quality of being. The spirit of Abraxas.
Without a strong belief in the scientific method, no one would induct any hypotheses from the scientific truth they are trying to discover. This includes the framing of the logical argument earlier that would not have been inducted from Truth if there was no prior commitment to discover this Truth. How the scientific method actually started is very difficult to imagine. But once it was established it became unstoppable. The desire to know Truth is what creates (or ‘charges’) Truth as a virtual entity that now communicates with us so that we can continue to pander to it. It has a magnetism that keeps us hooked and feeding into it. An egregore.
Similarly with God we imagine a future scenario where the soul returns to godhead; and in the meantime God sends us signals (revelation, inpired visions, etc) from the future; from the ‘other side’ to light up the path for us to wander along.
And we never arrive.