It is difficult to connect our reasoning with scientific ideas. People are ready to fully or partially associate the occurrence of symptoms of the disease with some mental processes. But what about those diseases (and there are much more of them), the causes of which are unequivocally associated with physical causes?
Here we are faced with the main flaw of the usual way of thinking: a person is used to interpreting all events perceived by him at the causal level, constructing chains in which cause and effect are mutually unambiguous. You can read this phrase because we wrote it, because the publisher printed this book, because it was sold to you in a store, etc. This way of thinking seems so natural that most of humanity considers it as a way of knowing. People are engaged in identifying the causes of various phenomena and hope not only to get maximum clarity about the relationship of things, but also to create an opportunity to interfere in cause-and-effect processes. What is the cause of rising prices, unemployment, youth crime? Why did an earthquake occur or for what reason did a person get sick? Question after question…
But the fact is that the cause-and-effect relationship is not as unconditional and necessary as it seems on a superficial examination. We can even say that a person’s desire to explain the world with the help of cause-and-effect relations has introduced many contradictions into human cognition, which are only now, and then very gradually, becoming clear.
Starting with Aristotle, we divide causes into four categories: causa efficiens( causes of the driving force), causa materialis (causes related to materiality), causa formalis (formative causes), causa finalis (causes of the goal).
You can demonstrate all four categories using the classic example of building a house. To build a house, first you need to have the intention to do it (causa finalis), then the motive power, that is, the energy represented by investment and labor (causa efficiens), then you need construction plans (causa formalis) and, finally, building materials – concrete, brick, wood, etc. (causa materials). If there is not at least one of these reasons, the construction of a house is unlikely to take place.
But I would like to have a “main reason”. Some see it in the goal. For example, the construction of a new house is primarily explained by the intention to build it, and the writer’s work on the text is explained by his desire to publish a book.
The targeted perception of cause-and-effect relations has become the basis of spiritual sciences.
The natural sciences have chosen the main reason for the energy (the reason for the driving force).
These very different points of view are still an insurmountable boundary between the spiritual and natural sciences, whose supporters find it difficult to understand each other. The natural-scientific perception of the cause drives it into the past, while the target model correlates it with the future.
If we pay attention to the events of everyday life, we will see that many energy reasons relate to the past (“The vase fell and broke because I pushed it”), and many reasons for the goal relate to the future (“I’m going to the store today because it doesn’t work tomorrow”). One can also imagine a dual approach to the consideration of cause-and-effect relationships. So, the reason that the dishes were broken during a family scandal can be considered both the fact that it fell on the floor, and the fact that one of the spouses wanted to offend the other.
These examples help to understand that the energy and target representations of causality (causality) consider different levels of events, but both have the right to exist. The energy variant makes it possible to identify a mechanical connection and thus correlates with the material level, while the target causality deals with motives and intentions that relate to the psyche. This manifests the specific form of the following polarities:
causa efficiens – causa finalis;
past – future;
matter — spirit;
the body is the psyche.
Here it would be useful to put into practice what we have said about pairs of opposites. Then we would be able to replace “either-or” with “not only, but also”, realizing that these ways of interpretation do not exclude, but complement each other. If a pack of cigarettes falls out of a cigarette machine, then the reason can be seen both in the fact that you threw a coin into the machine, and in the fact that you wanted to smoke. Moreover, without the need of smokers for tobacco, such vending machines would not have arisen at all.
Did the example with the cigarette machine seem too primitive to you? Then let’s talk about the causes of evolution. There are so many difficulties here that all the books devoted to their analysis can make up a huge library. Should we look for the cause of the emergence of a person in the material cause-and-effect chain of the distant past? Is it a random result of a certain leap in the process of development and selection activity of nature at the level of the hydrogen atom, as a result of which the human brain appeared? Or is there also a target aspect that exerts its influence from the future and leads evolution along the path corresponding to some higher plan?
To scientists engaged in the natural sciences, the second aspect seems “too cumbersome, too hypothetical”, and to those who are interested in the problems of the spirit, the first aspect seems “too small and poor”, but if we want to take a closer look at the small and not very noticeable stages of human development, then we will need both aspects.
Technologies alone are not enough to create an airplane, it is necessary that the idea of flight as such is presented in the human consciousness. Similarly, evolution cannot be the result of random decisions and paths of development, it is the material and biological embodiment of some eternal pattern. On the one hand, the problem is “pushed into the light” by material processes, on the other hand, it attracts the final image so that it can be actualized at the same distance between them.
So we got to the next topic. For a reason, linearity is necessary as a prerequisite, with the help of which we can mark “before” and “later” as components of the same action. But the prerequisite for linearity is time, which does not exist in real reality. We have already said that time arises in consciousness due to polarity, which forces us to decompose the simultaneity of unity into sequences. Time is a phenomenon of our consciousness that we project outwards, gradually beginning to believe that it exists independently of us and moves only in one direction – from the past to the future. At the same time, we do not take into account that at the point that we call the present, there is neither the past nor the future.
An analogy will help make this point more clear. We perceive time in the form of a straight line, which on the one hand goes into the past, and the other end is directed to the future.
- The present
- The Past
- The Future
Non-Euclidean geometry states that due to the curvature of space, any straight line extended to infinity forms a circle. Thus, any straight line is a segment of an arc. If we transfer this information to the time axis, we will see that someday the past and the future will meet at some point in the circle.
- The past
- The Future
- The present
So, paradoxical as it sounds, our past is determined by the future to the same extent that the future is determined by the past. If we apply our ideas about cause-and-effect relationships to this model, the problem that we have talked about so much will immediately become clear: the “main cause” flows in both directions to a certain point, just as time does. This point of view may seem unusual, but it is no more difficult to realize it than to imagine that, while flying around the Earth, we are approaching the very point from where we started moving, although we were moving away from it all the time.
In the twenties of the XX century, the Russian esoteric P. D. Uspensky in his prophetic work devoted to the consideration of the 14th tarot card (“Moderation”), pointed out the problem associated with time. He literally said the following: “The name of the Angel is Time,” said the voice, ” on his forehead is a circle, a symbol of eternity and a symbol of life. The Angel has two mugs in his hands, one silver and one gold. One mug is the past, the other is the future. The rainbow flow between them is the present. You can see that it flows in both directions. This time is in a special aspect that is inaccessible to a person. People believe that everything flows continuously in one direction. They do not see that everything meets in eternity, one comes from the past and the other from the future, that time is a set of circles that rotate in both directions. Comprehend this mystery and learn to distinguish the multidirectional currents in the rainbow flow of the present” (Ouspensky, “A new model of the universe”).
Hermann Hesse also constantly returns to this topic in his works. In his most poetic story “Siddhartha”, the writer repeatedly returns to the question of the absence of time as such: “Has the river taught you,” he once asked, ” its secret? Vasudeva’s face lit up with a clear smile: “Yes, Siddhartha,” he said. “I know what you mean. The river is everywhere at the same time, both at the mouth and at the source, at the waterfall and at the ferry, at the rapid and in the sea, in the mountains and everywhere. For her, there is only the present, she has no shadow of the past, no shadow of the future.” “Yes, it is,” Siddhartha replied. – When I realized this, I looked at my life, which is also a river. The boy Siddhartha is separated from the man Siddhartha and the old man Siddhartha only by a shadow, but not by reality. Siddhartha’s previous births were not the past, and his death and return to the Buddha are not the future. There was nothing, and there will be nothing – everything is only there, everything has an essence and the present.”
If we gradually realize that neither time nor linearity exist outside of our consciousness, then the causal model of cognition itself will crumble like a house of cards. After all, causality is just a certain subjective form of human perception, or, as David Hume said, “the need of the soul”.
Strictly speaking, there is no reason to consider the world only at the level of cause-and-effect relationships. In each individual case, you should look at whether this method is suitable or not.
Then it will become clear that the causal method of perception is suitable for considering objects and phenomena much less often than we use it.
Wherever we are dealing with relatively small segments of the world and are able to see an object or event as a whole, the use of time, linearity and causality helps to create adequate representations about them.
But if the space increases or a higher-level representation is required, the causal approach turns out to be untenable. Since any event is determined by some reason, therefore, it is not only possible, but also necessary to find out the reason for this reason. The root cause is impossible to find. We either stop searching at an arbitrary point, or accept as a dogma a statement that makes no more sense than making a decision that the egg was before the chicken.
We want to show that the causal concept is good only at the everyday level, since it directs thought processes to the practical aspect. But it is absolutely not enough, and it cannot be used as a tool for studying more complex relationships. The belief that every effect has a cause is erroneous, because it is based on the recognition of the linearity of time.
If we treat causality as one of the possible subjective ways of considering reality by an individual, then it acquires adequate significance and brings practical benefits.
Quantum physics has managed to overcome the cause-and-effect picture of the world, calling it into question. Thus, Werner Heisenberg said that ” in the field of small space-time forms, that is, forms of the highest order of elementary particles, space and time are erased so much that it becomes impossible to correctly define even such concepts as “earlier” and “later”. In large forms, it is impossible to change anything in the space-time structure, but we should not exclude the possibility that experiments in the field of small forms will show us the flow of certain processes in a counter flow of time that does not correspond to the causal sequence.”
Heisenberg gives clear but cautious formulations, because, as a physicist, he is limited only to what he can observe. However, his observations give the picture of the world that the sages have been talking about since time immemorial. The study of elementary particles takes place at the very border of our time — and space-conditioned world-we are “at the point of birth of matter”. The boundaries of time and space are blurred here. “Earlier” and “later” become clearer as we approach the coarse and voluminous structures of matter.
If we move in the opposite direction, the line between time and space, between “before” and “now” is gradually erased. We find ourselves in the realm of the one and indivisible, where there is neither time nor space. Here the eternal “Here” and “Now” prevail. This is the point that contains everything, but, nevertheless, is called “Nothing”. Time and space are axes of coordinates that are suitable only for the world of illusions.
The search for causes is a way of thinking characteristic of the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere thinks at the level of analogies. Analogies are the second way of considering the world, opposite to the search for reasons. Only the unity of causality and analogies can create a coordinate system in which we can meaningfully interpret the world.
Causality allows us to see horizontal relationships, analogy permeates all levels of its manifestation with the principle of verticality. The analogy does not require interconnectedness, it is focused on the identity of the content expressed in various forms, and exists due to the synchronicity expressed by the “always – if – then”relationship. Causality leads to an increase in differentiation, while analogy reduces the entire variety of phenomena to some integral samples.
The inability of science to think at the level of analogies forces it to reveal the same patterns again and again at different levels. Science does not know how, and therefore is afraid to bring the discovered regularity to such a level of abstraction that it represents a certain principle that is similar for all levels. For example, science re-examines the principle of polarity every time, if it concerns various forms of manifestation: electricity, the atom, the acid-base balance, the hemispheres of the brain and thousands of other cases. Analogy shifts the angle of perception by 90° and brings the most diverse forms to a single content, revealing in all these forms the manifestation of the same principle. Thus, the left hemisphere, the positive electric pole, the Sun, fire and the Chinese yang show something in common, although there is no causal relationship between them. The analogy deduces for all these forms a common initial sample of the masculine, active principle.
Using analogies, you can find them at all levels. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to use the method of analogies, which reveal a completely different side of the world, make it possible to see relationships and patterns that are inaccessible to understanding at the causal level. The left hemisphere, operating with the causal method, is able to decompose into components and analyze a lot, but it is not able to perceive the world as a whole. The right hemisphere does not manage to identify individual processes that exist in this world, but it can perceive the world in its unity and, consequently, know its meaning.