Gravity Behaving Badly: Problem and Opportunity
Gravity—Wheeler’s mystical “Great Smokey Dragon”—is the entropic creator and destroyer of worlds. What/who is it? With any cognitive challenge there is a consciousness processional of at least three inherent levels of understanding: 1) exoteric objective; 2) esoteric subjective; 3) contemplative innermost esoteric/nondual. These three are present to human cognition as an epistemic unity. Let us now consider this method in a brief note on great gravity.
As to our exoteric and esoteric understanding, Roger Penrose, at the end of his noble epic, The Road To Reality, poignantly laments this profound gravity mystery: “Our theories are powerless to describe it…we shall need…a radical conceptual renewal…a subtle change in perspective—something that we all have missed” (Penrose 2004, p. 1045).
Perhaps what “we all have missed” through our metaphysical presumption that is the merely exoteric objectivist, observer-independent realist-materialist knowledge paradigm—with its “taboo of subjectivity”—is the “radical conceptual renewal” provided by our inchoate, centrist, ontologically relative, observer-dependent middle way epistemology and ontology of “post-empirical” physics. This 21st century scientific and cultural revolution is well under way.
Is this not what the subjective indeterminacy of the uncertainty relations of quantum theory has pointed to all along? Does not data interpretation require an observer-dependent, ontologically relative unifying middle way to tame the wild horse of dualistic, materialist concept-mind with its unruly infinities? Thus do we strike a cognitive balance between the objective and subjective voices of our human nature and knowledge. Perhaps the final purpose of pragmatic, instrumental scientific knowledge is not mere exoteric, atomistic objective facts about a separate RWOT, but rather, a relational, holistic, subjective innermost, even nondual wisdom understanding of our interdependent self-reflexive participation in this vast unbounded whole. We’ve seen that this requires Dōgen’s shoshin—Socratic aporia of belief—our innate, open “beginner’s mind”. This “poetry begins in delight, and ends in wisdom” (Sir Philip Sidney).
“A billion stars spin through the night,/ blazing high above your head./ Deep within us is the presence that will be,/ when all the stars are dead”. —Rainer Maria Rilke