Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The Platonic demiurge

February 25th, 2012 · 2 Comments

It is interesting, having cited the issue of the demiurge (from Plato) that Kant and J.G. Bennett, sometimes cited here, expressed beliefs about a ‘within-nature’ entity that, while not ‘god’, is nonetheless a powerful process/being in the realizations of nature. I can’t endorse such thinking, but it is a powerful thesis, and one that sooner or later must enter an empirical range of verification.

I think that Kant, who was skeptical of design arguments, nonetheless agreed at least to consider a demiurgic power in nature, as a designer. He took it no further, that being at the fringes of his critique of metaphysics. The thinker Bennett argued powerfully, but speculatively, that a demiurgic power would be necessary to explain the complex emergence of human higher consciousness, that complex instrument that baffled Wallace, and which is lost to Western religion, but appears in Buddhist and related religions.

In any case, the view of Bennett was based on a (flawed but interesting) model of ‘cosmic energies’, of which consciousness was the lowest octave (not the same as animal awareness), with higher octaves reaching to a limit of physical manifestation. Bennett’s four cosmic energies are placeholders, it seems, in a triadic scheme of hyponomic, autonomic, hypernomic ranges (think of ‘material’, life, and ‘cosmic-unknown’ ranges, not very good explanations of those three): the arising of life forms is in the middle, emerging from the autonomic, and, with man, starting to enter the hypernomic: man’s ambiguous ‘double consciousness’ (often explained by yogis as consciousness, self-consciousness) being, pace Bennett, a sign of man’s double existence in two worlds, the autonomic, and just on the fringes of the hypernomic. the reason for his frequent muddle about the ‘spiritual’ which he senses, but can’t master via correct perceptions. Bennett seems to suggest at various points. that higher consciousness is the vehicle of a different scale of ‘bodies’, bodies of light in some formulations.

The point here is that ‘bodies’, while always material, can have a higher substrate in forms not visible to human perception. Well, who knows…But at least these are issues within nature (and well within science fiction!), that express the ‘existence’ of ‘bodies’ that are of a different kind of substance. Best of luck verifying this, but the logical paradoxes solved by the Platonic thesis of a ‘demiurge’ are many. All that is needed is a little amount of proof…

I think that science as we know it is still too primitive to be trusted for anti-theological dogmas: the cosmos is still undiscovered country. Part of the problem is that physicists find only what their mathematics will let them, and now with string theory even that is open to question. The next step is unclear.

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