James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Life, the Universe, and Everything

As I wrote a few weeks ago:
I'm beginning to think that all of life's mysteries, and all scientific, philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions can be boiled down to three:

1. What is energy?
2. What is consciousness?
3. What is money?

And I suspect that the more we learn about any of them, the more we learn about all of them.

One undeveloped thought I was getting at is that the more conventional formulations, like:

1. What/who is God?
2. What is happiness/the good?
3. What is justice?

actually throw us off track because we presume what the answer is going to be. We end up arguing the proper definitions of abstract ideals, rather than discovering the source of the actual forces in our lives. I suggest that the answers to the questions about God, happiness, and justice might be better found by studying energy, consciousness, and money.

By thinking about these things, I don't think it was an accident that I came across this mind-blowing page.

I'm not smart enough to understand or explain all of it. I may even be totally off in my interpretation. But here's my personal interpretation of some of its concepts:

Numbers are normally thought of as representations of the quantities of things we've identified as similar. We have one apple, two apples, or seventeen apples. Even though we understand that no two apples are exactly alike, we (properly) identify them as apples. We count everything that way, understanding that no two of the things we count are ever exactly alike.

But perhaps the "representations of the quantities of things we've identified as similar" is just the expression, not the essence, of numbers.

Perhaps the essential feature of numbering is not quantity, but progression. A number is a point in a progression. A progression is movement from one point to another. But what makes something - anything - go from one point (whatever that is) to another (whereever that is)?

That comes in, well, degrees. Degrees don't count similar objects, they count an increase, a growth, in one single essence or phenomenon.

Degrees count energy. Numbers aren't differences in quantity, they are differences in degrees.

Whether we count because we move, or we move because we want to count, it hardly makes a difference. Numbers don't represent objects, they represent energy. And energy is made known to us by degrees, expressed in numbers.

No wonder Marko Rodin thinks he has discovered the fingerprint of God.


  1. 1. What is energy?
    something waiting, hoping to be used.
    2. What is consciousness?
    what is awareness?
    something most people avoid.
    3. What is money?
    a value system with a heavy reliance on math.(see lack of trust)

  2. The idea of numbers as a progression, not a quantity, actual reinforces the fractal nature of the universe. After all, it is only our chosen perception to see the universe as a collection of "things" distinct from each other, rather than as one giant "thing" with levels of thingness proceeding from the macroprogression and microprogression.

    Great post: I'm glad people who think and write about politics are asking questions about metaphysics and spirituality!