The central question addressed here is whether the natural trajectory of change in Reality is one of a gradual, but inevitable, running-down, or its very opposite – a necessary and unavoidable generation of wholly new and higher forms, existing on quite new and higher Level. Certainly, Science has long been convinced of the former, and embodied it as a crucial all-embracing principle in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which sees the only natural change as being from “order” to “chaos”. But altogether too much vital evidence to the contrary exists, such as the Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth, for this to be anywhere near the full story. Indeed, the first step in tackling this dichotomy between alternative directions of change can only be seen by the removal of Man from the picture entirely, as there can be no doubt that the Second Law stems entirely from his efforts to control and use nature to his own purposeful ends.
It is clear that even our much lauded Scientific Method is primarily about Mankind’s struggle to do this, and rests entirely upon the imposition by control of a form of Plurality – the division of the World into Wholes and their constituent Parts, in all our investigations.
To make a change away from this immediately presents us with the need to deal with Reality-as-is, totally unfettered by our pluralist-inspired constraints, and indeed, on the contrary, freely ploughing its own natural furrow, and producing its own necessary developments. It becomes clear that with neither Man nor God involved, Reality of itself selects from a multitude of both mutually contending and mutually supporting natural processes to actually change, and indeed, to quite dramatically evolve. And the presence of such processes prior to Man (and even prior to Life), is also seemingly unavoidable in all current Cosmological Theories of development, where something as basic as Gravity seems to be all that was initially required.
Now, the “logic” of scientific attempts to address such changes in Nature has long boiled down to fundamental relations or laws, expressible as mathematical formulae, and the extrapolation of such “local” and “constrained” truths has led to some weird and wonderful culminations. The most amazing being the “creation” of infinite extensions towards so-called Physical Singularities such as the Big Bang (as origin) and the Final Black Hole (as terminal demise). Both of these are extensions of purely formal relations “to the limit”, and permit absolutely nothing beyond them. Such processes leave out what Nature itself always delivers – the inevitable changes of Mode that occur along any trajectory of change. To extrapolate formal relations to the final limit is to allow only stability right through to that point, and to ignore the revolutionary upheavals that punctuate every single sequence of minor changes.
Now, though such changes are apparently fully “accepted”, they are expected to be wholly predictable, and occur as the result of a culmination of purely formal relations from within that stability. That is NOT the case! If it were, everything, including Life, Man and even Consciousness would be derivable from the most basic and eternal laws (termed Reductionism). But, you certainly cannot explain the wholly new from prior formal relations: it must involve creative Events, as the only things which can actually produce them for the first time ever – indeed invent them! And this will never be understood using a plurality based system, for the Wholes and Parts are always man-made, or man-arranged, simplifications.
Reality-as-is is holistic:
Plurality is a frig by which we can deal with fragments of Reality as long as they can be constrained to deliver such things. We fix it so that Plurality can be true, but we are NOT dealing ever with unfettered Reality when we do this. We are, most certainly, ensuring that our chosen fragment is arranged that way. But this should not surprise us. Reality is not produced by Pure Forms. On the contrary, it is developing Reality which actually produces all Forms – and that is very different.
The descent to oblivion as embodied in the Second Law of Thermodynamics is a consequence of this inversion, for there is NO creation in Form alone, and hence dissolution is the only possible change. Form (i.e. relations and even Law) are consequences and never causes! And the universality of multitudinous Forms actually proves the creativity of holistic nature which produces them all.
Mankind sees Reality through the distorting spectacles of his own prodigious control, and hence completely loses sight of its own infinitely fertile and creative nature, which exists only in a Real Whole – Nature as it is in full, and totally unfettered.
1. But we still have to consider the mechanisms for emerging and significant change which precipitate new modes or phases within development.
2. The well-know Phase Changes of Solids, Liquids and Gases can give us an initial model. Clearly the properties of matter are not the same in all conditions. In addition, we have to consider the changes to new Phases as examples of the significant, indeed revolutionary, changes that are precipitated by the overthrow of a current stability.
3. But, though such “crises” are precipitated by essentially dissociative forces, the final outcome is not general chaos, but a new stability, which remarkably can never be predicted from the previous stability.
4. Ultimately, from the initial tiny fragments of matter, we get Life. Could that have been predicted? And such a fact poses the question, “What generates the entirely new at every such Phase transition?”
5. The only possible source is the property that Reality does not merely complicate, but changes its own ground and hence its potentials. Reality must be holistic!
6. The definition of Holism involves both variety and all-ways determinations. Indeed, even more than that, every single entity and force is the result of the determinations by everything else. A holistic system is therefore evolutionary by definition. In addition, there must be processes of Selection which make certain things more widespread than others. The composition of the mix is affected in turn which affects what subsequent forms can appear.
7. Of course, such an idea runs entirely counter to Mankind’s conception of natural development. But, that is of man-made and totally artificial entities. There, indeed, it is true that”Rust never sleeps”
8. Our prejudices about Reality are based upon our successful methodology of Control and Extraction. It is NOT true of unfettered Reality.