From my layman’s perspective, we seem to be in the midst of a scientific paradigm shift from analysis to synthesis, from focusing on isolated parts to understanding the whole system. In the sciences, and in western cultures, the undeniably successful philosophical stance of analytical Reductionism has been dominant throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. But many thinkers and cultural observers have noted that the flourishing global world culture may have reached a tipping-point around the beginning of the 21st century. A worldview typically identified with ancient Eastern cultures has been working its way into the mainstream of modern Western societies, and their sciences. That characteristic way of viewing the world as an integrated organism rather than a loose aggregation of independent parts is commonly referred to as synthetic Holism. It’s an old idea, but it came into the Western consciousness primarily as a result of the New Age movement of the 1960s and 70s.

Mainstream scientists were at first opposed to some of the mystical and metaphysical associations that came along with the basic concept of learning to deal with complex things collectively rather than just individually. But views of our world from space, where political borders are invisible, became a strong metaphor for the Earth as a living organism. And the nascent sciences of Systematics, Cybernetics, Chaos/Complexity, and Fuzzy Logic made a holistic methodology unavoidable for continued progress in understanding the shadowy margins of Nature. These trends allowed some people to speculate on such radical and controversial notions as the Gaia hypothesis and the emergence of a Global Mind.[3] But the more mundane Systems approach to science has generally been accepted due to a record of practical results in cutting-edge technologies and fruitful new theories.

According to philosopher William James, the question of ultimate continuous unity or discrete plurality of reality is "the most central of all philosophic problems". These opposing aspects are also included in Kant's fundamental categories of thought. In human history this either/or dilemma is a watershed axiom similar to the Theism or Atheism worldview. After millennia of debate though, it seems that a person's resolution to the quandary may be strongly influenced by both his thought styles and his cultural history. James loosely associated the Monistic (ultimate unity) view with Rationalism and Eastern Mysticism, and the Pluralistic (multiple fragments) view with Empiricism and Western Science. However James, the Western Pragmatist, was ambivalent in his own opinion. And with good reason I believe.

The physical world directly accessible to our senses is clearly composed of a plurality of things. And the observed phenomenon of Cause and Effect obviously requires that one thing be distinguished from another. So it's only in the realm of human imagination that the concept of Ultimate Unity and interconnectedness could even arise. Which is why the issue seldom comes up in scientific investigations, but often arises in philosophical and religious debates, or in mathematical proofs . In fact, an answer to the question only becomes necessary as we approach Eternity and Infinity in our thinking.

For the purposes of this thesis, Ultimate Unity is a metaphysical premise instead of a physical fact. William James saw that the monism/pluralism debate hinged on the possibility of true novelty in the world, which is necessary both for a belief in human Freewill, and for the practice of human Morality. That may be why the concept of Holism appeals primarily to those with religious or mystical concerns. Yet, my original concern with Information Theory was with the pragmatic applications of Science. But it soon became evident that if the smallest elements of physicality, sub-atomic "particles", eventually merge into an indistinguishable "fluid" where cause & effect could communicate faster than the speed of light, then the traditional, particularistic worldview of Science would have to change in order for our knowledge to progress beyond the current resolution limits of our tools.

At the threshold in Quantum Mechanics where discrete particles become holistic waves in space, our physical microscopes are of no further use. At the vanishing point of the Big Bang singularity our biggest telescopes fade to black. Undaunted, scientists did not hesitate to use the ancient metaphysical tool of Mathematics to push on beyond the limitations of our physical senses, and the imaginary boundary between physics and metaphysics. String Theory at the smallest scales of reality, and Multiverse Cosmology at the largest scales are essentially mathematical exercises, with no possibility of empirical evidence to support the metaphysical mind-models of mathematicians. So how do we decide when they have got it right? Often the only reliable indicator of truth is the simplicity and elegance and symmetry of the model.[4]

Therefore, I have concluded that a simple, elegant, and symmetrical model of reality must exemplify Integrity, Organization, and Proportion. Which means that, ultimately, messy Reality must resolve fragmentation into Unity, randomness into Design, and instability into Balance. In other words, Reality must reconcile with Ideality. That's why I came to agree with the 17th century philosopher Spinoza that the world ultimately consists of a single "substance", which he identified with God and Nature. With the benefit of 21st century sciences, however, I can add a few more items to the list of mundane names for that one divine substance : Mind, Information, Consciousness, and so forth. But this thesis will focus primarily on one humble manifestation of divinity that has recently become the subject of empirical, scientific investigation. And I propose to call that emerging paradigm by the euphonious appellation, Enformationism. ●












Unity                    Plurality

Cosmos                     Chaos

Synthesis             Analysis

System              Aggregate

Fluid                    Granular

Integrity   Fragmentation

Whole                         Parts

Collective          Individual

Inter-linked Independent

Related                 Isolated

Life                            Death

Mind                       Matter

Health                  Sickness

Organic            Mechanical

Enformy               Entropy






Our understanding of how the world works has evolved from simple, linear 19th century Mechanisms to complex, non-linear 20th century Holism, which is now transforming into 21st century Integralism.
—- gnomon




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