“To see a world in a grain of sand, And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.”
William Blake, ‘Auguries of Innocence’ circa 1803
In many parts of the world the difference between what we call ‘Knowledge’ and what is ‘Doctrine’ are indistinguishable. Both form what we call ‘Truths’ or ‘Facts’, and become tenets, of transmittable belief.
Where once (scriptural) doctrine was its own authority, to be interpreted by teachers, in schools. Today, where religious doctrine is eroded, its ‘Authority’ in the form of ‘Knowledge’ still passes through teachers, and is transmitted as ‘Facts’ as though they were doctrinair (theologial)’Truths’. This statement is validated by the amount of interest in teacher training given over to the development of attention-signals and class-control, where little time in the teacher training curriculum is devoted to techniques to promote ‘critical understanding’.
The ancient concept of ‘Logos’ is described in a variety of ways. Christian Theology states as a matter of doctrine that the ‘Logos’ is the ‘Word’ of God, or a ‘Principle’ of divine reason. In the more critical dialogues of Greek philosopher Plato, Logos was the ‘Word’, or the thought behind the words contributing to the dialogue through which understanding flowed, it was also rational ‘Principle’ that ordered the universe.
Many people think that when Galileo turned his telescope to view that universe, that he challenged the doctrine that man’s faith and belief was at the centre of the cosmos. What was more important was, that he was challenging the method of reaching a judgement on what is knowledge and who or what should be the judge and arbiter to pronounce on what we may define as knowledge.
His telescope suggested that man was on the edge of a vast cosmos, but in the Christian cave of belief world where ‘Truth’ was a doctrinal absolute this was an absurd suggestion. It was not however his heliocentric propositions, but rather his mathematics that expressed logical isometric ratios of interval into equations, that ultimately challenged such beliefs derived from scriptural interpretation and became the ‘Facts’ that are expressions of timeless relationship.
Through mathematics we have achieved a far deeper understanding of the universe than ever before, yet in our caves of ‘Belief’, we continue to believe that man’s ego is, through a belief in empiric proofs, the arbiter of such ‘Truths’-‘Facts’. In considering these (timeless) ‘Facts’, our ‘way’ of thinking, because of the tense-bound grammar of our word/thoughts is ‘time-bound’. Thus our reality is bounded by Belief and Time. In in such a reality we conventionally believe, space to be some vague none-stuff in and through which ‘things’ move in time, in a space where effects are the linear results of cause, and all effects are reducible in time to a ‘First Cause’.
Today, after Einstein, if we use a different more fluid way of thinking, we begin to see that even the space that Galileo looked through is not quite as we believed it to be. We can begin to think in terms of a world being existentially and continuously formed as the expression of dynamic ratios of interval becoming the patterns that we see as ‘Forms’. Such relations of ratio create the timeless logical expressions, that we call the ‘Laws of Physics’.
We don’t ‘come into’ the world, for that is a normative nonsense. We ourselves arise from a universe, where we are as expressions of that universe becoming ‘Form’. This is an ancient way of thinking that by-passes belief because it logically expresses the fluid energy of the universe, rather than that of man. In such a way, the genus Man and and what we call ‘Thought’ can be seen as a continuous expression like that of any other vocal animal, of the ‘Grammar’, the Logos, sometimes called the ‘Tao,’ of a universe, of which, Man through ,theological Belief-Reason diconnects himself from the world.
Perhaps if the language/thought of Man, like the language of relationship that is Mathematics, allows precedence to the fluid-binary dialectic-logic which flows from Logos/Tao, over that of chauvenistic ‘Belief-Reason’, we may more deeply understand ourselves as expressions of the natural world.