• Awakening Soul

Beyond the Flat Cosmos

"As long as you build up a scaffolding you remain in the thought customary to you in the physical world... this is related to the full reality not at all like the inner framework of a house to the complete building, but only like the outer scaffolding upon which the builders stand. This has to be taken down again when the building is completed. In the same way the scaffolding of thought has to be taken down again if one wishes to have the truth before one as it really is." - Rudolf Steiner One of the most problematic philosophical and scientific inheritances of the last 250 years can be summed up as, "flattened perceptions". The world around us is now perceived as mostly outer surfaces with purely quantitative dimensions of shape, size, weight, etc. There is very little inner qualitative depth to speak of, especially when we perceive the mineral and plant kingdoms, but increasingly the animal and human kingdoms as well. When I use "qualitative", I don't only mean the perception of colors, sounds, smells, tastes, etc., but the meaningful experience of those qualities. What do those experiences actually convey to us inwardly and how vivid or intense is the meaning conveyed? We only have a dim sense of that meaning and it appears to be getting dimmer by the year. When we speak of outer and inner perceptions alike, we do it mostly in terms of machine processes. There are many reasons for that, and several potential remedies as well, but first we are going to focus on the flattening phenomena itself to discern just how pervasive its outer scaffolding is in Western culture; a scaffolding which we simply refuse to take down. It is no coincidence that the last few decades, or even the last few years, have experienced a forceful revival of the infamous "Flat Earth Model". There are variations of the model, but, essentially, it conceives of the earth as a flat plane or disk instead of a sphere, and claims the rest of our data on properties of the Cosmos can not only remain consistent with that flat earth conception, but are better explained by the flat model. Although the model itself is generally ridiculed by the mainstream scientific community, and for good reasons, it is intimately related to another well-established scientific concept which was first proposed in the last decade of the 20th century - the "holographic principle". This principle suggests that the properties of every phenomena we observe within the three-dimensional Cosmos can be 'encoded' within a two-dimensional boundary. That encoded information, then, could technically give rise to the entire Cosmos if it was projected into three-dimensions as a 'hologram'. Donald Hoffman, a cutting-edge cognitive scientist who questions the physicalist paradigm, has illustrated this principle by pointing out how the surface area of an object will determine how much information it can store rather than its volume. With our intellect tied to the physical plane, we think that less 'space' must translate to less 'room' for information, but, for the imagination which discerns that physical space is meaningful duration abstracted by the intellect, less 'space' corresponds with more meaning in relation to our goals. When we aim to reach a destination and there is less space to traverse, we can realize more meaning from our goal.

Even though packing a sphere with smaller ones decreases the physical volume, it increases the amount of meaningful information which can be stored, since there is more surface area to encode that information. This holographic principle is now well-established in theoretical science and instructive for us today, but only if we resist the intellectual tendency to idolize it and keep it erected as an outer scaffolding; the tendency to flatten out its symbolic function and make it into an absolute 'law' of the Cosmos. We are frequently dazzled by the intellectual models and start to compare them, combine them, translate and transmute them into other intellectual models, and build up an entire superstructure of such models. We have even coined a phrase for what we are seeking through this activity - a "theory of everything". There is an unhealthy dose of implicit pride in that phrase alone, but it is a common pursuit even among the most intelligent, insightful, prudent, and 'wise' public intellectuals. This mental habit manifests the most for those who feel they are the least susceptible to it, and therefore let their guard down while building up the complex scaffolding of their T.O.E. Often, their T.O.E. is mostly a reformulation of models from decades or even centuries prior, with the terminology updated to reflect modern techno-culture and its concepts.

In the following image, we have a great example of how imaginative scientific insights into the Cosmos can be reified into a dazzling image, which makes it significantly harder to understand the reality which is giving rise to these insights.

Click image to enlarge

When scientists comment on a "four-dimensional universe", they are referring to what has traditionally been referred to as "spiritual" or "celestial" realms with qualitative durational activity, i.e. the desiring, feeling, and thinking activity of beings. I have explored some reasons for this is in the essay linked above, but our purpose is to observe how the intellectual model does not actually explain anything about the Cosmos we are living in. It provides us with some visuals, abstract concepts related to dimensions, event horizons, time, etc., and then says, "see, this is how our Universe may have arose!". How many people are taking the caution seriously, "no one knows what a 4-D cosmos would look like", when looking at the image above? The "dark ages" in the image above is a reflection of the Dark Ages which began in the first few centuries C.E. and ended at the dawn of the modern age. When we came to the latter, that is when the former and everything prior to it practically became a blank canvas onto which we could project all of our own preferred concepts. Some people like strings, some people like singularities, some like quantum microtubules, and yet others like 4-D stars imploding and black holes. No matter what the preference, it takes more mechanical thinking effort to decode the enigmatic conceptual scaffolding.

The following is a rudimentary sketch of the modeling mentality which always threatens to flatten out otherwise deep and penetrating thought.

Chris Langan (Metareligion as the Human Singularity):

"To model religious languages on the appropriate metaphysical level of logic and consistently express their interrelationships, the CTMU employs a trialic metalogical language which constitutes its own universe and its own model, and is thus capable of autonomously validating certain religious claims of truth and consistency. In effect, this language comprises the "metascripture" of a verific and potentially unificative metareligion. Its supertautological structure is that of a Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language (SCSPL) exhibiting referential closure and thus reflecting the structure of the self-contained, self-sufficient reality in which we live. Encoding the relationship between man and Deity, humankind and the metaphysical structure of reality, it is the only valid basis for eliminating the existential confusion and religious conflict that threatens our world without sacrificing that which makes us human." Thomas Campbell (My Big TOE): "We have previously discussed the likely origins of an immense digital computational capacity based upon binary reality cells that are the fundamental constituent of aware consciousness or mind. In Section 2 you learned how and why AUO would naturally evolve binary (distorted vs. non-distorted) reality cells in support of organizing and exploring (in the evolutionary sense) increasing complexity and developing awareness. You also learned how AUM would fur-ther refine its computational and memory part to develop intention,move from dim awareness to bright awareness, and to implement and track its gedanken experiments in consciousness." Stephen Wolfram (Charting a Course for "Complexity": Metamodeling, Ruliology and More): "It’s all about studying rules, and what their consequences are. So why not the simple and obvious “ruliology”? Yes, it’s a new and slightly unusual-sounding word. But I think it does well at communicating what this science that I’ve enjoyed for so long is about. And I, for one, will be pleased to call myself a “ruliologist”. But what is ruliology really about? It’s a pure, basic science—and a very clean and precise one. It’s about setting up abstract rules, and then seeing what they do. There’s no “wiggle room”. No issue with “reproducibility”. You run a rule, and it does what it does. The same every time. What does the rule 73 cellular automaton starting from a single black cell do? What does some particular Turing machine do? What about some particular multiway string substitution system? These are specific questions of ruliology." Carlo Rovelli (The Order of Time): "Near to the Earth we have a rich source of low entropy: the sun. Thesun sends us hot photons. Then the Earth radiates heat toward the black sky, emitting colder photons. The energy that enters is more or less equal to the energy that exits; consequently, we do not generally gain energy in the exchange. (Gaining energy in the exchange is disastrous for us: it is global warming.) But for every hot photon that arrives, the Earth emits ten cold ones, since a hot photon from the sun has the same energy as tencold photons emitted by the Earth. The hot photon has less entropy than the ten cold photons, because the number of configurations of a single(hot) photon is lower than the number of configurations of ten (cold) photons. Therefore, the sun is a continual rich source of low entropy forus. We have at our disposal an abundance of low entropy, and it is this that allows plants and animals to grow, enables us to build motors andcities—and to think and to write books such as this one. Where does the low entropy of the sun come from? From the fact that, in turn, the sun is born out of an entropic configuration that was even lower: the primordial cloud from which the solar system was formed had even lower entropy. And so on, back into the past, until we reach the extremely low initial entropy of the universe. It is the growth of this entropy that powers the great story of the cosmos." Jude Currivan (The Cosmic Hologram): "It’s taken until now for science to start to catch up with the metaphysical insights and experiences of sages, shamans, and seers throughout the ages that are described by the metaphor of Indra’s net. Compelling in this regard is the hypothesis of the holographic principle, first mooted by Dutch theoretical physicist Gerard ’t Hooft, who in 1993 put forward the proposal that all the information contained in a region of apparent three-dimensional space can be represented as a hologram of the information held on its two-dimensional boundary." The concepts contained in the images and quotes above, many of which I agree with, are not the issue here, but rather the path of thinking which is implicit in these T.O.E. pursuits and the ways that the concepts are utilized on that path. It is often assumed that our thinking habits don't matter, as long as we arrive at the "correct" conclusions about reality. Yet the very concept of "correctness" presupposes a modeling mode of cognition which can only move in one direction, towards increasingly more remote and mineralized abstractions. The latter are then given the task of edifying our entire understanding of an infinitely more rich '4-D' reality. Mystically-oriented spiritual outlooks and religious fundamentalist outlooks are not immune to this flattened approach, as we see reflected in the Currivan quote above. Even if it is recognized that the '4-D' reality is "spiritual" in some manner, the understanding can remain functionally equivalent to the model of the person who only grants existence to mindless matter. In these spiritualized views, everything prior to written historical records, prior to the modern age, prior to physical birth, and after physical death is a black void of experience intended only as a container for our own creations. The intellect erects hard boundaries of knowledge around these durations so it can continue projecting its creations into the void at its own pleasure. A clear sign of the Flat Cosmos approach in spiritual tradition is when it is implied that modern science is simply confirming what ancient people already knew. That equivalence ignores the asymmetry of knowing which occurs between the ancient past and the present, i.e. the fact that our knowing is more consciously exercised now, through precise scientific and mathematical tools, and that it has integrated all past modes of knowing within it. The intellectual scientific mode of cognition in the modern age is not a 'freak of nature' in the otherwise lawful spiritual development of humanity, but rather it is a degree of Thinking-freedom which embeds all the previous stages of cognition within it. The problem is not what this intellectual cognition lacks, but how deeply it has buried those previous modes of cognition - modes which had a much more concrete relation with the percertible appearances of the Cosmos and Nature (Earth) - under layers of flattened abstractions, of the sort we read above. It buried them so deep that, finally, it forgot that they ever existed or that they ever could exist again. That is, until the 19th century when a number of philosophic and scientific thinkers across the globe, from Russia, to Continental Europe, to England, and America emerged with just such a remembrance in their Imagination. Many of these thinkers came to understand that there was something already present within the visible Cosmos - indeed, is always present - which had become invisible over the epochs. They realized that, despite its invisibility, it must be accounted for in any rigorous philosophical or scientific inquiry into either the essences or the appearances of the world which surrounds us. This something cannot be 'encoded' as information into flattened physical surfaces or simulated by intellectual models; models which are only possible because of it. Rather, to encompass it requires an entirely new mode of perception and cognition - an Imagination - which can concretely sense the depth structure underlying the flattened perceptions of the Cosmos. Many times the intellectual models technically 'account' for this 'something', in a vague and hypothetical way, but only at the expense of the concrete depth structure. That 'something' is the qualitative aspect of the Cosmos, i.e. the meaningful aspect, including epistemic, aesthetic, and ethical meaning, i.e. the meaning of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Those qualities of meaning simply cannot be reduced to bits of information. Meaning in general cannot be reduced to anything apart from itself. Consider the following, which was written about 90 years prior to the scientific discovery of the holographic principle as we currently know it. "Like living germ-points, the archetypes still lie here ready to assume the most manifold forms of thought beings. If these germ-points are projected into the lower regions, they well up, as it were, and manifest themselves in the most varied shapes. The ideas through which the human spirit manifests itself creatively in the physical world are the reflection, the shadow, of these germinal thought beings of the higher spiritual world."

- Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy It is impressive that this 'holographic' aspect of the physical plane was discerned so early in the 20th century, but it is even more impressive how it was expressed in vital language which more precisely reflects the depth structure of the qualitative sphere and avoids reducing it, like nearly all other modern conceptual systems had done before and continue to do today. The 'encoded boundary' is retroactively given a new life of vitality when transfigured from two dimensions of inert information to the 'one-dimensional' germ-point of creative evolution. That will seem counterintuitive to most in the modern age - if we move from two dimensions to one dimension, aren't we removing qualities from the phenomenal appearances? The increase in qualitative depth results from the fact that the physical world is a reflection of the spiritual (qualitative) world. Unlike the physical mirror, the spiritual mirror reverses not only quantities, but qualities as well. In the physical plane, a plant seed, for example, is a tiny morsel which can be thrown into the soil or eaten with little difference in consequence for either choice. In the spiritual plane, the 'one-dimensional' seed is the archetypal ideation who gives rise to the entire plant kingdom which drapes over and breathes for the Earth's Soul. How it is cared for and nourished carries the greatest consequences for the living organisms who depend on its ceaseless creativity. "Growing consider the plant and see how by gradual phases, Slowly evolved, it forms, rises to blossom and fruit. From the seed it develops as soon as the quietly fertile Womb of earth sends it out, sweetly released into life, And to the prompting of light, the holy, for ever in motion, Like the burgeoning leaves’ tenderest build, hands it on. Single, dormant the power in the seed was; the germ of an image, Closed in itself, lay concealed, prototype curled in the husk, Leaf and root and bud, although colourless yet, half-amorphous; Drily the nucleus so safeguards incipient life, Then, aspiring, springs up, entrusting itself to mild moisture, Speedily raises itself out of encompassing night. Single, simple, however, remains the first visible structure; So that what first appears, even in plants, is the child." -Goethe, The Metamorphosis of Plants (1798) The biggest casualty of our modern dislike of depth structure has been the archetypal spiritual seeds who exist between man and God. From the very beginning of philosophical thought in the Western world - the reflective seed of the modern intellect - there still lived a memory, growing ever more dim, of a celestial structure which influenced the Earth and its inhabitants. What most people know today as "astrology", consisting in many of the same sort of intellectual models discussed previously, is a flattened shadow of what was perceived and experienced by our ancestors. When we have the most quantitative detail about these celestial realms, in the intellectual form of astronomy, we also have the least qualitative depth-knowledge. We can even sense this progression in the quotes below (with the notable exception of Dionysius), as the language becomes more precise, more prosaic, less imagistic, and less direct. By the time we get to Aquinas, we have a description of beings in the celestial realms accompanied by references and citations. Our modern precise yet prosaic understanding of the celestial realms is not for lack of available qualitative facts, however, but our own lack of awareness that these facts exist and/or our refusal to account for them. They are either ignored by the flattened intellect or declared "subjective" facts which cannot be studied in any precise way. Yet the facts themselves are more easily accessible to greater percentages of the population than they have ever been in human history.

Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:10-11 and 2 Kings 21:6): "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, a soothsayer, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who consults the dead." - "In both courtyards of the house of the LORD, he built altars to all the host of heaven. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did great evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger." * There are many passages similar to these through the Old Testament, and they all implicitly or explicitly speak of the spirit-world, the gods of other nations, the 'host of heaven', etc., as an existing reality and therefore one to be on guard against, so the Hebrew people did not forsake their nascent individuality by allowing their instincts to be tyrannized by external forces.

Pythagoras (The Golden Verses):

"1. First worship the Immortal Gods, as they are established and ordained by the


2. Reverence the Oath, and next the Heroes, full of goodness and light.

3. Honour likewise the Terrestrial Dæmons by rendering them the worship law-

fully due to them."

Notes on the Golden Verses from The Commentaries of Hierocles: "Pythagoras seems to have divided the beings in the universe roughly into three


(1) The Immortal Gods whose who live perpetually in the knowledge of God the Father and Creator of all, being secured from change or separation from Him);

(2) The Heroes - The Illustrious Heroes are the second or middle order of beings, and are turned ever towards God, though not always to the same extent. They are divided into

three subdivisions:--(1) The Angels, or Ambassadors (being nearest to the Immortal Gods in their nature); (2) The Dæmons, or Spirits; and (3) The Heroes. (3) The Terrestrial Dæmons are the souls of men, beautified with truth and virtue,

being Masters of Wisdom, having true knowledge. They are "terrestrial," remaining

on earth in order to guide and govern men."

Plato (Timaeus): "And God made the sun and moon and five other wanderers, as they are called, seven in all, and to each of them he gave a body moving in an orbit, being one of the seven orbits into which the circle of the other was divided. He put the moon in the orbit which was nearest to the earth, the sun in that next, the morning star and Mercury in the orbits which move opposite to the sun but with equal swiftness — this being the reason why they overtake and are overtaken by one another. All these bodies became living creatures, and learnt their appointed tasks, and began to move, the nearer more swiftly, the remoter more slowly, according to the diagonal movement of the other. And since this was controlled by the movement of the same, the seven planets in their courses appeared to describe spirals; and that appeared fastest which was slowest, and that which overtook others appeared to be overtaken by them. And God lighted a fire in the second orbit from the earth which is called the sun, to give light over the whole heaven, and to teach intelligent beings that knowledge of number which is derived from the revolution of the same. Thus arose day and night, which are the periods of the most intelligent nature; a month is created by the revolution of the moon, a year by that of the sun. Other periods of wonderful length and complexity are not observed by men in general; there is moreover a cycle or perfect year at the completion of which they all meet and coincide… To this end the stars came into being, that the created heaven might imitate the eternal nature."

Aristotelian Cosmos

Aristotle: (On the Heavens): "The reasons why the primary body is eternal and not subject to increase or diminution, but unaging and unalterable and unmodified, will be clear from what has been said to any one who believes in our assumptions. Our theory seems to confirm experience and to be confirmed by it. For all men have some conception of the nature of the gods, and all who believe in the existence of gods at all, whether barbarian or Greek, agree in allotting the highest place to the deity, surely because they suppose that immortal is linked with immortal and regard any other supposition as inconceivable. If then there is, as there certainly is, anything divine, what we have just said about the primary bodily substance was well said. The mere evidence of the senses is enough to convince us of this, at least with human certainty. For in the whole range of time past, so far as our inherited records reach, no change appears to have taken place either in the whole scheme of the outermost heaven or in any of its proper parts. The common name, too, which has been handed down from our distant ancestors even to our own day, seems to show that they conceived of it in the fashion which we have been expressing. The same ideas, one must believe, recur in men's minds not once or twice but again and again. And so, implying that the primary body is something else beyond earth, fire, air, and water, they gave the highest place a name of its own, aither, derived from the fact that it 'runs always' for an eternity of time."

Dionysius the Areopagite (The Mystical Theology and the Divine Names): "Hence have they their celestial orders, their self-unities, their mutual in dwellings, their distinct Differences, the faculties which raise the lower unto the higher ranks, the providences of the higher for those beneath them ; their preservation of the properties belonging to each faculty, their unchanging introversions,²⁴⁵ their constancy and elevation in their search for the Good, and all the other qualities which we have described in our book concerning the Properties and Orders of the Angels. Moreover all things appertaining to the Celestial Hierarchy, the angelic Purifications, the Illuminations and the attainments which perfect them in all angelic perfection and come from the all-creative and originating Goodness, from whence it was given to them to possess their created goodness, and to manifest the Secret Goodness in themselves, and so to be (as it were) the angelic Evangelists of the Divine Silence and to stand forth as shining lights revealing Him that is within the shrine. And next those sacred and holy Minds, men’s souls and all the excellences that belong to souls derive their being from the Super-Excellent Goodness. So do they possess intelligence ; so do they preserve their living being immortal; so is it they exist at all, and can, by straining towards the living angelic powers, through their good guidance mount towards the Bounteous Origin of all things; so can they (according to their measure) participate in the illuminations which stream from above and share the bounteous gift (as far as their power extends) and attain all the other privileges which we have recounted in our book, Concerning the Soul." Aquinas (Summa Theologia): "Therefore there must needs be a distinction between the human and the angelic hierarchy. In the same manner we distinguish three angelic hierarchies. For it was shown above (Q. 55, A. 3), in treating of the angelic knowledge, that the superior angels have a more universal knowledge of the truth than the inferior angels. This universal knowledge has three grades among the angels. For the types of things, concerning which the angels are enlightened, can be considered in a threefold manner. First as preceding from God as the first universal principle, which mode of knowledge belongs to the first hierarchy, connected immediately with God, and, "as it were, placed in the vestibule of God," as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii). Secondly, forasmuch as these types depend on the universal created causes which in some way are already multiplied; which mode belongs to the second hierarchy. Thirdly, forasmuch as these types are applied to particular things as depending on their causes; which mode belongs to the lowest hierarchy. All this will appear more clearly when we treat of each of the orders (A. 6). In this way are the hierarchies distinguished on the part of the multitude of subjects." The fact that so many insightful and rigorous thinkers (only a few are reflected above) over such a long timespan reached shared understandings of these qualitative facts of the Cosmic depth structure should indicate the "subjective" argument against their consideration in philosophy or science is not warranted. Instead of dwelling on those intellectual arguments against their consideration, though, we can simply observe why those arguments exist in the first place. We can try to put our own depth-Thinking into motion to understand the stationary intellectual thinking. Why is it sensible and natural that human thought would eventually arrive at a stage where there can only be one "God" (or no "God"), and where humanity must be considered the pinnacle of this God's creation (or the pinnacle of material evolution), with nothing to speak of in between? The answer resides in our intuitive ideal of human individual freedom, which simply cannot be denied as the cornerstone of Western culture ever since the Renaissance and 'Enlightenment' periods. Whether we agree with the ideal is not the issue, but rather the issue is whether we can impartially discern that this ideal has occupied the lion's share of attention in all spheres of human culture for the last few millennia. Every thoughtful inquiry, in more or less direct ways, eventually comes back to this central issue of what it means for the individual to be "free".

"Here is a constant activity within the human being, proceeding not only from man himself. Only in waking life he lives in this bodily nature, so to speak, as a subtenant. For at the same time it is the Temple and the dwelling-place of spiritual Beings — the Beings of the Hierarchies.

Bearing all this in mind, we only see this outer form of man aright if we admit: It is a picture — a picture of the working-together of all the Hierarchies. They are within it."

- Steiner, Man as a Picture of the Living Spirit For individual freedom, there must be an individual thought-life. What is given to us externally and abstractly as intellectual concepts, scientific principles, laws of nature, or even Divine revelation, cannot possibly make us free. Only what we can know about the Divine - about the hierarchies of Spirit working within us - can set us free. Although we have been on a path to that inner knowledge for many centuries now, we suffered from collective amnesia in the modern age. When Kant remarked, "I had to get rid of knowledge to make room for faith", a thick veil was ironically placed over the depth structure of the spiritual reality referred to at length in the scripture of his Christian faith. We can go about unveiling that structure by remembering our own past, which is really the process of remembering there is no actual veil. About 2,750 years ago, at the dawn of the 'Axial Age', we naturally began experiencing our own internal concepts based on particularized sense-experiences and building them up, brick by brick. In the modern age, we forgot that the concepts were only symbols pointing to the reality they precipitated from. Eventually, the intellectual models we created were integrated and led to paradigmatic insights into the Cosmic structure towards the end of the 19th century, which also provided a foundation for remembering their own symbolic nature.

These models, however, have always acted as crutches and stents for our own Thinking organism, no matter how comprehensive they became or currently seem to be. Once they become more than a temporary bridge to a higher mode of imaginative Thinking, i.e. they are relied on too intensely and for too long by the intellect, they stunt the organic growth of our thinking into the archetypal spiritual realms. Instead of blossoming into moral imagination and spiritual freedom, our thinking organism becomes poisoned from the rotting corpses of long-expired abstractions and withers away. This predicament obviously cannot be rectified if it is simply assumed by the intellectual vanguard from the outset that the qualitative depth structure doesn't exist or if its thinking declares itself to be permanently unequal to the task of discovering that structure. That is a declaration which immediately presupposes that its own Thinking is more extensive in its reach than the thinking which assumes the declaration is valid, i.e. it is immediately self-defeating. Instead, we can admit the inherent shortcomings of the modern intellect in full humility, while also realizing those shortcomings, which are tied to the physical plane, can act as seeds for organic Thinking which grows into the spiritual depths. “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?. It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade." - Mark 4:30-32

It is these crucial depth-details, like the physical 'reflective principle' of the spiritual realms discussed above, and the path to the individual's spiritual freedom made possible by the spiritual seeds, which the flattened intellectual models, including the spiritual ones, so often miss. Try to concretely sense the reduction process which occurs when the T.O.E. mindset is at work in our knowing inquiries. Returning briefly to the context of the holographic principle, we can sense how all the ideal qualities and material quantities of the physical Cosmos are reduced from four-dimensional or three-dimensional existence to two-dimensional encoded information on the physical plane, i.e. from the intellectual, rather than imaginative, perspective. We have now moved further away from remembering the holistic Time-experience of our ancient ancestors. Instead of reducing the three dimensions of the physical plane in this manner, we can unite them through the fourth dimension of Time-consciousness. We can stabilize ourselves within the spiritual Center of the Cosmic being and expand our consciousness 'outwards' through more encompassing spheres of experience. In that journey, our reflective and flattened physical thoughts can then naturally reinflate, growing into contact with their spiritual sources across the imaginative threshold between object and Subject; matter and Spirit; microcosm and Macrocosm.

h/t Cleric

"This must indeed seem a curious fact to those who do not reflect further upon it, that we are living in the middle of evolution! But to one who understands the whole matter it is by no means strange. It is no more wonderful than if someone, standing in an open field in level country where he sees equally far behind and in front, finds himself in the middle of the field of vision. If he goes some distance further, he again sees equally far behind and in front. There would be entirely different conditions in evolution if we were to take our stand at another point. We are always in the middle. Man can always see equally far behind him and before him, even with the highest spiritual vision" - Rudolf Steiner The flattened Cosmic view conveys that we are either moving down or up, or left or right along a plane, while the depth-view conveys an expansion from the outermost surfaces of our thoughts (nexus of the pyramids) to the innermost core of our living ideas (concentric circles moving outwards). A flattened intellectual view looks for all explanations outside of itself, while neglecting the inner world of the individual soul. Yet, it is precisely the soul who microcosmically embeds the spiritual depth structure we are seeking. It is no coincidence that, along with paradigmatic shifts in theoretical physics, the early 20th century saw the emergence of depth psychology (psyche = soul). By learning more about the individual soul, we are naturally learning more about that which produces all of the reflections within it - the qualitative Macrocosm. Our reflective soul images what has remained so far subconscious - our collective assumptions, opinions, prejudices, antipathies, inclinations, and desires - yet entirely shapes how we think, feel, desire, and act in our daily lives. The further we go inwards, the more we perceive how the overarching structures which encompass us - the family, the community, the nation, the Earth - shape our evolving perspective on the Cosmos. Our individual perspective is a hologram of the whole Cosmos, containing the manifold projections of archetypal germ-points; the spiritual seeds which we often refer to as ideas. These ideas find an overlap between what is Divine and what is earthly in the observation of our own thinking activity. Eventually, if we follow the threads of our Reason to our Imagination, we can perceive how everything within us and around us has 'condensed' or 'precipitated' from those ideal spiritual seeds, not in the mechanistic manner of "information encoding", but in the living manner of creative evolution. We can evolve our way into more conscious knowledge of the qualitative depths which weave into our emotional and physiological spheres of experience. We are always in the middle of the Cosmic depth structure because it is infinite and endless, and only our Imagination can begin to grasp what is infinite and endless. From the ideal influences of Kant to Hegel to Schopenhauer, and everyone who was touched by those influences - practically everyone in the Western world - we came to eventually feel that thinking had exhausted itself in the modern age. But only machines become exhausted, not living organisms. When something is 'exhausted' in a living organism, it becomes the seed for new life with new potential. That is what our exhausted intellectual thinking can become if we allow it to naturally fall away and become a seed within our conscious soul. There is nothing preventing that from happening anymore except our own assumption that it can't happen.