Cosmism over Spiritualism
Philosophy over Science
Cooperation over Coercion
Love over Hate
Henry H. Lindner, MD
We are creatures who have acquired language; as a result our minds, our lives and our societies are controlled by linguistic formulae—ideas and theories.
Ideas matter; either we control ideas or they control us.
The most important ideas are those about fundamental issues: what exists, what we are, and how we should live. They determine how we interpret reality.
False ideas necessarily cause us to harm ourselves, our children, each other and our environment; no matter how good are our intentions.
If we are to progress as a species, we must question all the ideas that we’ve inherited from our species’ ignorant past.
We must replace all old, false ideas with working theories about what the Cosmos is, how it produced us, and what our consciousness is.
This task requires philosophical cognition; so in order to reach our potential as a species we must become philosophers.
We who are alive now are members of the oldest and best-informed human society that has ever existed. We know more about the general nature of the Cosmos, its evolution and ourselves than any humans before us. Our current best theoretical reconstruction of our genesis is this:
1. The Cosmos is immense: composed of hundreds of millions of galaxies.
2. The Cosmos is now expanding; it is most likely that it undergoes Bang-Expansion-Contraction-Crunch-Bang cycles.
3. After this last Bang, the Cosmos has evolved from a simplest state of space and various motions in/of space (energy) to produce ever higher levels of hierarchical organization:
a. Astrophysicochemical evolution: subatomic particles, atoms, molecules (gas, dust, stars, planets)
b. Biological evolution: cells, plants, animals (Here on Earth, with this and other forms of life throughout the Cosmos)
c. Neuropsychological evolution: animals with nervous systems that gather and process information (sensation, emotion, consciousness, protoconcepts, etc.)
d. Linguomythic evolution: animals with language who make tools and invent stories to explain their experiences (myths, religions, ideologies, etc.) (This is our current state.)
e. Philosophical evolution: humans learn to use language in a disciplined way to create and criticize theories in order to understand the Cosmos and themselves (first attempted in ancient Greece; mankind’s only hope).
I call this theory of reality “Cosmism” for it accepts that the Cosmos is all that exists. The Cosmos is an evolving being; it inherently seeks to become more complex, more self-aware and even self-directing. We are the Cosmos become linguistically self-aware. Thanks to Charles Darwin’s philosophical efforts, we can understand how we were produced through the evolution of life on this very special planet. Our species originated in Africa and spread from there to the rest of the planet. Our consciousness is similar to that of other intelligent animals; it is the brain’s virtual-reality representation of our external and internal environments. We are more intelligent than other animals, but what makes us wholly unique is that our consciousness is enhanced by language. We are apes who can talk. We use words to represent objects, and this vastly increased our information-processing power. Words allow us to understand and manipulate our environment. However, language can not only empower us but can also become a trap. Inasmuch as our word formulae fail to correspond to reality, language can mislead us.
I made the decision as a young man to try to figure everything out. To questions all old ideas and see if I could find or create better ideas. I was fortunate to have the ability and the time to do so. What I have slowly come to realize is that our “enlightened” Western Civilization--all its ideas and institutions—are not based upon Cosmism, but upon spiritualism. Indeed the vast majority of human beings believe that the Cosmos was created by a spirit-God and that our consciousness is a spirit inhabiting our bodies. Spiritualism is simply an ancient magical theory of the Cosmos and of human consciousness. Almost all of us are taught with some version of spiritualism as children. Therefore we still cling to religions (the Judaic religions, Hinduism, New Age Mysticism, etc.). If we reject one magic-theory we go looking for a better one. Intelligent persons often fall prey to intellectualize versions of spiritualism: Platonic idealism, mathematical idealism, phenomenalism, positivism, etc.)
Think about it. Spiritualism holds that our consciousness is not an emergent product of Cosmic evolution like everything else, including our bodies. Consciousness is magic; our minds participate in a mystical world that has no relationship to the Cosmos or Cosmic causality. The Cosmos is a mere creation of the magic-world; or possibly just an illusion. Spiritualism holds that our spirit-minds are not dependent upon our brains, and therefore can survive the death of our brains. Spiritualism is a belief in magic; and if one believes in magic then one believes that anything is possible. However, if one really analyzes spiritualism, if one takes it seriously, one has to admit that it is utterly inconsistent with everything we know about the evolution of the Cosmos, of life on Earth, and about neuropsychology. It is inconsistent with everything we experience every day in our daily lives. It is inconsistent with how we actually think and live every day of our lives. Spiritualism is just an ancient anthropocentric myth; the projection of our own mental life upon the Cosmos itself. It is also simple wish-fulfillment: is satisfies our desire to live forever. Spiritualism is just nonsense and therefore can only produce nonsense. Spiritualism gave rise to the religions. Thinking that our minds are spirits, we invented gods or a God and made Them/It the creator of the Cosmos. As long as we cling to spiritualism, we are forced to choose among various supposedly-God-inspired revelations to know how the spirit-world works, what God wants, and how we should live. While the Cosmos and truth are one, spiritualism, like all false beliefs, takes on innumerable forms.
It is long-past time for us to finally grow out of spiritualism and all its related falsehoods. We must give up the sentimental desire for life after death. Spiritualism is not comprehensible; it is not acceptable; it is not good for us. Spiritualism cuts us off from Cosmic reality; it prevents us from understanding the true nature of the Cosmos and of ourselves. It produces a false epistemology, false psychology, false pedagogy, false sociology, false economics and false politics. We cling to false beliefs; this is why our societies are pathological; marked by coercion, ignorance, suffering, waste and destruction.
You think that I’m being too hard on spiritualism? That it’s a trivial conceit that we should indulge in ourselves and others? That its religions are necessary and good for us? That we shouldn’t hurt others’ feelings by confronting their false beliefs? You think that mankind should tolerate spiritualism forever? Well, consider the fatal errors that spiritualism necessarily produces in our minds and societies:
1. The doctrines of free will and innate evil—Every person is supposedly born with a magical spirit that has “free will” to make moral (religion-approved) choices. This spirit is unaffected by maturational processes, by upbringing or by experience. In essence, spiritualism holds that causality and determinism have no role in human psychology. Children will be who they are no matter what we do to them. Since these free spirits are selfish and make the “wrong” choices it proves that they are inherently flawed—lazy, stupid and evil—just as the Bible teaches. This false psychology prevents us from understanding human nature, children’s maturational processes, and the actual determinants of human behavior. We misidentify the child’s immaturity and healthy willfulness as disobedience. Adults too are clearly evil—proven by the fact that they often do not obey God or authorities. All the stupidity and destruction caused by this false belief system is taken as just more proof that humans are born evil.
2. Universal coercion-authoritarianism—Since children and adults are innately evil, they need to be controlled by force or threat of force in order to be made into “good” persons. So we attempt to train the child’s unruly spirit by coercion—by verbal and physical abuse. Adults too must be controlled by authorities. We fail to realize that all coercion, no matter how well-intentioned, rationalized or legalized, is violence or the threat of violence. It is a crime against the child’s or adult’s body, mind and will. Coercion, legal or not, displace and prevents love, respect, cooperation and dialogue among persons. Coercion negates the use of the intellect, both of the controller and the one being controlled. The resort to force is stupidity and it produces stupidity. All laws that force people to do what they otherwise would not do, or prevent them from doing what they want to do are forms of coercion—institutionalized violence. Violence can never aid any person’s psychosocial or intellectual maturation; it can only produce mental disturbance and more violence. Our “enlightened democracies” are thus stupid, criminal systems based upon violence—parents against children, teachers against students, lawyers-politicians against citizens, and government-privileged bankers, corporations and professions against the masses.
3. Resignation to fate—Since one’s spirit lives forever this life has far less importance. We are willing to submit to coercion, slavery and suffering in this life because we believe that we’ll find happiness in the afterlife. Thus Christianity has always been a great religion for one’s slaves. Spiritualism causes us to take this life for granted, even to take our friend and family for granted—thinking that we will all exist for all eternity. If we were convinced instead that this is the only existence that we will ever have, we would dammed sure that it was the best world possible for ourselves, our children, all human beings, and our posterity.
4. Disregard for Nature—Since the true reality is spiritual, the Cosmos, Earth, and all non-human life is of little importance, just a passing phase or even an illusion. We, God’s chosen species, can do whatever we want to the planet and its species without regard for any long-term consequences. We can exploit, destroy, and pollute at will. God made the world for us and the Messiah is coming soon to clean up the mess.
5. Theism—The Cosmos is merely the creation of some all-powerful super-spirit (God). To know what this God-Spirit is and what it wants we must chose some version of holy nonsense, some religion. We must follow a set of ideas and commandments supposedly dictated to some humans in the past (holy scriptures). Since this is all nonsense, it requires us to deactivate our intellects and surrender our wills. We must believe in our own inferiority and stupidity and turn our minds and wills over to religious, academic and political authorities. Theism supports authoritarianism. Theism prevents us from understanding this world and creating a better life on this planet.
6. Religionism/Racism/Nationalism/Classism— Because spiritualist ideologies make no sense of the world, we can never agree on which one is the right one. We all inherit or choose our own version of the contradictory nonsense. The result is chaos: contradiction, confusion, controversy, and conflict. Religious/superstitious thinking leaves mankind divided into groups, each infected by some irrational ideology. Each group sees their “spirit” as superior to the others (e.g. God’s chosen people, the natural rulers, the best society, true democracy, etc.), and sees others as inferior, less human. Each group believes that they can exploit other groups and/or ignore their suffering. Since there is no possible rational agreement about religious, racial or nationalistic myths, the inevitable result is conflict and war. It is perfectly OK to kill the “other” because they are bad—whether they be men, women or children.
Spiritualism and the religions and the authoritarian political systems that it has spawned keep us trapped in a delusional Matrix of false concepts and interpretations. We try to fix the problems that our errors are producing, but since we don’t understand the causes, our solutions just make things worse. We pass more laws and we throw more money at problems, just to watch them grow worse. We routinely resort to violence, at home and abroad.
Spiritualism-religion and authoritarianism keep us trapped in various kinds of destructive behaviors and institutions:
3. Capitalism: Fractional-reserve banking (loan slavery) and Government taxation (tax-slavery), Government-created monopolies (patents, copyrights, professions, etc.), Corporations (government-created amoral profit machines)
In Western civilization, Judeo-Christianity’s false and destructive ideas have produced and sustained an authoritarian political-economic system. However, most people don’t actually believe in these religions anymore—including most of those who claim that they are Jews or Christians. Therefore we exist in a state of inconsistency: Our society’s and therefore our individual ideological structures are based upon Judeo-Christian spiritualism, yet we no longer believe in Judeo-Christianity. Most persons who consider themselves believers do not actually know the contents of their holy scriptures and certainly do not attempt to abide by every word found there. People who call themselves Jews, Christians and Muslims instead hold some inconsistent, personal version of the holy nonsense that they are comfortable with. They combine those ideas with their own ideas about how to live. They live in a state of contradiction and confusion. Those who consider themselves to be agnostics or even atheists are also infected with religious ideas—because their society is based upon those ideas. Non-believers generally remain spiritualists.
We will remain trapped in spiritualism/religion/authoritarianism until we replace this ideational complex with one based upon Cosmism. That is the next challenge for humanity. In order to solve our problems and create the intelligent, creative, and peaceful global society that we all want, we must produce, and share, a working theory of what the Cosmos is, how it evolves, what we human beings are, and how we should live. We require a belief system that is consistent with Cosmic reality. This process is underway—as evidenced by the increased interest in Cosmology, the environment, natural medicine, etc. However it cannot succeed without a revolution in thought.
We require something that is like a religion but without the dogmatism and error. We require working theory of reality that fits the facts and that grows and changes with the advance of knowledge. We must begin to become sentient by identifying all contradictions between our word-formulae and reality. We must reject old myths and anthropomorphic analogies. There is a name for such an open-ended, rational “religion”. Since its invention by Ionian Greeks in the 6th century BC it has been called "philosophy". Philosophy is the most powerful use of our linguistic cognition; it is the full, uninhibited use of our intuition combined with our language-based intelligence to criticize and create theories of the nature and causes of all Cosmic phenomena. Philosophy allows our minds to reach beyond our consciousness, beyond our sensations and measurements and to explain what exists and causes our experiences. Philosophy is the intellectual discipline by which we assure that our word-formulas correspond to Cosmic reality. Philosophy rejects ideas that are not consistent with the evidence and/or do not sufficiently explain the evidence. Philosophy is our only path to the truth; our only tool for integrating the facts of experience and for understanding the Cosmos and ourselves. Consider that the first rule of philosophy is non-contradiction because the Cosmos is a coherent, interacting whole. There is nothing incoherent in it; nothing like a contradiction. Our linguistic representations must mirror the Cosmos. Our linguistic representation of the Cosmos must be evolutionary, hierarchical, etc. Logic and mathematics are tools of philosophy. All sciences are, and must remain, branches of philosophy. Philosophy is what most people think/hope that Science is. Here they are mistaken.
You would think that mankind would revel in an open-ended, rational, ever-improving, non-sectarian search for understanding. However, such has not been the case. In fact, philosophy has always been suppressed, reviled, belittled, and ignored; from the Byzantine emperor Justinian’s closure of Plato’s and Aristotle’s schools in Athens to the aggressive anti-philosophy of today’s governmental-banking-corporate-media-academic establishment. Philosophy is slandered as mere unsupported belief, soft-headed mysticism, or a form of art. In our universities, it is reduced either to a canned history of “ideas”, useless speculation about the meaning of words, or a "dialogue" about morality. What our culture calls “philosophy” is a pale shadow of the real thing. Why is this so? Why is our most precious, most important intellectual capacity suppressed and ignored? It is quite simple: philosophy is the only threat to the religions that still dominate our minds, to the governments that dominate our lives by force, and to the banking/corporate plutocracy that dominates our governments. The status quo of belief, power and privilege rests upon old false ideas and is therefore highly vulnerable. The system cannot withstand intelligent criticism and so must suppress our ability to think. It does so through the government-mandated schooling of children and by replacing philosophy with merely-descriptive Science. The current intellectual consensus is that there are only two paths to truth: Religion and Science. Science gives us the “what”; religion gives us the “why”.
The price we have paid for exchanging philosophy for stupid Science is enormous. The Renaissance of Greek philosophical brilliance has once again faded. The cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s aborted. Religion, government, banks and corporations are again firmly in power. Our minds are constricted, our lives distorted, our art degraded, and our work unsatisfying. We accept all this as normal and we obediently pass on our slave-lives to our children, ruining them too. We are trapped in a High-Tech Dark Age—we are still in the Middle Ages. It is time for the long-overdue awakening of human consciousness. It is time for us to fulfill our Cosmic destiny, to become fully human.
What is holding us back? What is preventing us from producing a shared, rational theory of the Cosmos and ourselves? What can possibly be wrong with Science? Isn’t Science the way to solve all our problems? The truth will surprise you. I found the key to the nature of Science when I started looking for answers. I discovered that our revered theoretical physics—Relativity and Quantum Mechanics—are not theories about what exists and causes physical phenomena. They are merely models of the human observers’ conscious experience. They are products of spiritualism. Relativity and Quantum Theory are just observer-based accounting models, no different than the Ptolemaic system that modeled the motion of the stars in the Earth-observer’s frame. Albert Einstein sought only to find quantitative laws that could account for the observer’s experiences and measurements. He did not attempt, at any point, to provide a theory of what exists and causes the observer to measure what he does, let alone what causes the observer to exist. Why did he do this? Why did he succeed? This question led me to read Newton and most Enlightenment philosophy. What I found is that our “Enlightenment” thinkers were Christian men or at least spiritualists. They wanted to restrict our knowledge to the mere description of our experience because they did not want to, and did not know how to replace Christianity and its spiritualism with Cosmic theory. Science was invented by Bishop Berkeley. He asserted that Newton’s theory of matter, space and time was atheistic as it talked about Cosmic entities and processes that did not rely on God. He attempted to stop all such theorizing about the Cosmos. He claimed that we are spirits, and that all we can know is spiritual reality. He asserted that the Cosmos that we experience is just a spiritual Matrix, created and sustained by God. We should not therefore do anything but describe this spiritual Matrix and find the rules by which it operates. Bishop Berkeley’s ideology is called “subjective idealism”, and is similar to Plato’s idealism. Einstein inherited this ideology via David Hume and Ernst Mach. He created his own version of mathematical idealism. Einstein merely sought the simplest rules that could generate our experiences and measurements—the rules of the Matrix. His form of spiritualism also substituted human consciousness and its contents for Cosmic theory. Relativity and Quantum Mechanics assume that reality is observer-based and observer-created, they don’t imply it. Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are functioning exactly as Bishop Berkeley intended when he created Science; they are protecting religion and authority from the threat of philosophy. Their observer-based mathematical models explain nothing and produce paradoxes, contradictions and absurdities (observer-created reality, time travel, parallel universes, wave-particle duality, etc.). There is no Cosmos in these models; they leave God or magic as the cause of everything.
You are certainly protesting louder than ever at this point: “Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have been proven to be true, over and over again. Theoretical physics is just good Science!” What has been proven is only that their mathematical models can describe and predict our measurements. They do not begin to touch on the question of what exists and causes us to measure what we do. Therefore we do not have a theoretical physics, and without a theory of the fundamental nature of the Cosmos and its processes we cannot understand what the Cosmos is, how it produced us, what we are, and what our consciousness is. Without a working theoretical physics, we have no way to replace the God-Spirit theory. We are trapped, stuck with spiritualism, just as Bishop Berkeley intended. Not just modern physics, but Science itself is the problem. Science is intellectually inadequate; it is incompetent to deal with ideas. Like its archetypes, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, Science restricts our minds to counting and measuring things and finding statistical correlations. Science is Stupid. Science was created to coexist with religion and authority, and it has done so for hundreds of years. All academic specialties are now trying to imitate physics, to become “hard sciences”. This process is dumbing-down academia and therefore our society. Science denigrates and suppresses philosophical cognition; it makes us afraid to use our theoretic intelligence. Our experts are incompetent because their minds deformed by schooling and inhibited by Science. They do not have philosophical competence. They are incapable of questioning their assumptions. They simply accept the ideas that they inherited in their training.
The outlines of a new philosophical physics and Cosmology are clear. As soon as one begins to think about the phenomena that Relativity and Quantum Mechanics describe, as soon as one tries to relate all phenomena to the Cosmos instead of to ourselves, one is immediately struck by the fact that space cannot be mere emptiness. To explain gravity, inertia, electromagnetism, etc. requires the hypothesis that space is something real, a substance. The Cosmos is this physical space and motions in/of space. Space spontaneously self-organizes itself into subatomic particles, which can combine to form atoms, molecules, life, consciousness and linguistic consciousness. Space has the qualities Newton ascribed to it. It is space that resists matter’s acceleration. Space also has the qualities of Maxwell’s and Lorentz’s ether—the electromagnetic medium in which light is a wave that propagates at c. Space theory also allows us to understand Einstein’s singular achievement: his realization that inertial acceleration and gravitational acceleration are the same thing (the principle of equivalence of gravitational and inertial acceleration). This insight directly implies that Newtonian-Lorentzian, inertial-electromagnetic space is flowing into the Earth. We and all matter are accelerated passively with space; Earth prevents us from accelerating with space and so we feel our weight. I realized that such a spatial flow must have a velocity at every distance from Earth, and that it must be Newton’s escape velocity. Indeed, this velocity (11.2km/s on Earth’s surface) explains the successes of General Relativity: the slowing of atomic clocks in gravitational fields, bending of light, etc. It is no coincidence that modern physics has one major taboo—on must never speak of space (ether) theory. The taboo goes back to Bishop Berkeley’s attack on Newton. The taboo has so far prevented academics from theorizing about Cosmic space. Space theory is required in order to chase the God-of-the-gaps out of his last hiding place.
Space is the source of all being. Space theory is the rational alternative to mind-God spiritualism. Space is not sentient, but it has the potential to become sentient via its evolution into creatures like ourselves. Space, this unknown, complex substance, inherently strives for greater complexity, self-knowledge and self-direction. We are space become self-conscious here on Earth. No doubt there are millions of linguistic or otherwise self-conscious species in this Cosmos. Space theory provides us with an entirely different view of the world and ourselves than ancient spiritualism. Space theory provides a rational foundation our actions and societies. We have a goal—we must begin to live up to our evolutionary potential. We must seek to improve the Cosmos by improving ourselves. We must add to the intelligence, self-knowledge and self-direction of the Cosmos. We should enjoy our lives and live them to the fullest for we have no existence after brain-death. When we laugh, the Cosmos is laughing through us. We must dedicate ourselves to thinking and to learning. To start, we must stop schooling our children—stop destroying their natural intellectual and psychological development. Only then can we create healthier-minded generations who can understand this world much better than we can. We must all seek to become philosophers—masters of ideas. We must always try to identify old inadequate ideas and replace them with better theories. We must seek to understand the Cosmos and live in harmony with it, with ourselves, and with each other. We must abolish violence in all its forms, including all authoritarian systems and institutions. We must deconstruct our authoritarian systems and build a new world-wide society based upon mutual respect, concern and cooperation. Only then will we begin to obtain peace and prosperity. Only then will we nurture our children’s learning and creativity and allow them to realize their potential. Only then we will begin to create human beings who do not need to be controlled. We can turn life on this planet into a celebration of existence. With a working theoretical physics we will be able to develop clean and powerful technologies that will allow us to preserve our Earth and to travel among the stars. We can hope one day to contact other species in the Cosmos that have attained this or a higher level of intellectual and technological evolution. What comes after that? Who knows!
Philosophy is what we think Science should be; it is what we are taught to think that Science is.
Philosophy is the natural religion of all mankind—our only hope for a peaceful and prosperous future together on Earth and among the stars.
On Philosophy, Science, and the Cosmos
On Human Life and Society
We are all one species living on one planet. If we allow anyone person or group to commit violence against any other person or group, we are destroying the moral basis of our peaceful coexistence and we put everyone at risk. We must condemn the initiation and maintenance of violence everywhere at all times, including the covert forms of violence like schooling, debt slavery, and taxation. We must employ every means available to stop perpetrators of violence and coercion.
Humans are not born evil, they're born immature; just like puppies, kittens, and all other animals. We must satisfy their needs and support their self-motivated development. We must not coerce them but give them time to mature naturally. We should not force them into our perverted forms of thought and behavior.