All is Change

Life                           -                      Death
Solid                         -                      Liquid
Certain                      -                      Uncertain
Stasis                         -                      Motion
Abstract                     -                      Concrete
Order                         -                      Chaos
Coherent                   -                       Random
Explicate                   -                       Implicate

No matter where I went, or what I did: there it was, always, beneath everything: that constant 'drip, drip, drip' ...

No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds:
Through day or night, cathedral or the cave
We pass forever, craving form that binds

Mold after mold we fill and never rest,
We find no home where joy or grief runs deep.
We move, we are the everlasting guest.
No field nor plow is ours; we do not reap.

What God would make of us remains unknown:
He plays; we are the clay to his desire.
Plastic and mute, we neither laugh nor groan;
He kneads, but never gives us to the fire.

To stiffen into stone, to persevere!
We long forever for the right to stay.
But all that ever stays with us is fear,
And we shall never rest upon our way.

[Hermann Hesse]
'Lament', The Glass Bead Game, p. 429

In the process of constructing this blog, I’ve often found it difficult to work out where one post ends and another begins. 

Whilst they may appear to be separate islands, it is often the case that they merge into one another. I imagine, although I’ve yet to test it, that you could hop from one to another using the ‘Related posts” feature, and touch upon every post on the site.

Sometimes creating individual posts - about this thing or that thing - is like sitting on a beach and making sandcastles. One here, and one there. From the unity of ‘sand’, to the multiplicity of 'sandcastles'.

But once the tide comes in my creations will soon return to their original unity, reminding me that their separateness was only a momentary daydream.

(Hopefully this site has a while before the tide comes in). 

Man considering the Universe, of which he is a unit, sees nothing but change in matter, forces, and mental states. He sees that nothing really is, but that everything is becoming and changing.

Nothing stands still - everything is being born, growing, dying - the very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline - the law of rhythm is in constant operation - there is no reality, enduring quality, fixity, or substantiality in anything - nothing is permanent but Change.

He sees all things evolving from other things, and resolving into other things - a constant action and reaction; inflow and outflow; building up and tearing down; creation and destruction; birth, growth and death.

Nothing endures but Change.

The Kybalion, Chapter IV: "The All"

Under any hypothesis the Universe in its outer aspect is changing, ever-flowing, and transitory — and therefore devoid of substantiality and reality.

But (note the other pole of the truth) under any of the same hypotheses, we are compelled to act and live as if the fleeting things were real and substantial.

The Kybalion, Chapter VI: "The Divine Paradox"

Eternal becoming, endless flux, belong to the revelation of the essential nature of the will.

Finally the same thing is also seen in human endeavors and desires that buoy us up with the vain hope that their fulfilment is always the final goal of willing. But as soon as they are attained, they no longer look the same, and so are soon forgotten, become antiquated, and are really, although not admittedly, always laid aside as vanished illusions.

It is fortunate enough when something to desire and to strive for still remains, so that the game may be kept up of the constant transition from desire to satisfaction, and from that to a fresh desire, the rapid course of which is called happiness, the slow course sorrow, and so that this game may not come to a standstill, showing itself as a fearful, life-destroying boredom, a lifeless longing without a definite object, a deadening languor.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
The World as Will and Representation, p.164

[...] the steady state and continued existence of complex interactive systems depend upon preventing the maximization of any variable, and [...] any continued increase in any variable will inevitably result in, and be limited by, irreversible changes in the system.

[...] in such systems it is very important to permit certain variables to alter. The steady state of an engine with a governor is unlikely to be maintained if the position of the balls of the governor is clamped. Similarly a tightrope walker with a balancing pole will not be able to maintain his balance except by varying the forces which he exerts upon the pole.

[...] In sum it seems that the Balinese extend to human relationships attitudes based upon bodily balance, and that they generalize the idea that motion is essential to balance.

This last point gives us, I believe, a partial answer to the question of why the society not only continues to function but functions rapidly and busily, continually undertaking ceremonial and artistic tasks which are not economically or competitively determined.

This steady state is maintained by continual nonprogressive change.

[Gregory Bateson]
Steps to an Ecology of Mind ('Bali: The Value System of a Steady State'), p.124-5

The universe is like a swimming pool full of lego bricks.

When an idea is thought of, it is created: built from bricks. In time it is demolished and become bricks again.

But the bricks always remain.

If you had the right view, then you would see that the bricks themselves are also breaking down into smaller bricks. Breaking down and reforming.

The bricks are like a soil, from which everything grows.

The pool is infinite.

 Alas - but also be glad of it - pattern and/or information is all too easily eaten up by the random. The messages and guidelines for order exist, as it were, in sand or are written on the surface of waters.

Almost any disturbance, even mere Brownian movement, will destroy them. Information can be forgotten or blurred. The code books can be lost.

[Gregory Bateson]
Mind and Nature, p. 56

Every condition [...] is only a particular step in the attainment of inward and outward perfection, and therefore has no significance of itself.

Blessedness consists in progress towards perfection; to stand still in any condition whatever mean the cessation of this blessedness.

[Leo Tolstoy]
The Kingdom of God is Within You, p. 46

Nothing in the visible universe of motion can ever become still. The very fact that you can see it means that it is in motion. Otherwise you could not see it.

[Walter Russell]
The Message of the Divine Iliad, vol. II, p. 79

The Taoists believe that the world is always an interplay between chaos and order and that if you live your life properly you stand with one foot in order and one foot in chaos. 

Because if you’re only in order, nothing that’s interesting ever happens to you. Nothing is anything but a repeat of all the things that you already know. That’s the state that Fascists desire because Fascists desire things to be exactly the way they are forever.

And if you’re in a state that’s only characterized by chaos you’re at sea or overwhelmed or things have fallen apart on you and there’s too much of everything for you to deal with.

[Jordan Peterson]
'Reality and the Sacred'

The idea wants changelessness and eternity.

Whoever lives under the supremacy of the idea strives for permanence; hence everything that pushes toward change must be opposed to the idea.

"[Sensation] can only say: this is true for this subject and at this moment; another moment another subject may come and revoke the statement of the present sensation."

[C. J. Jung, and Friedrich Schiller (in quotes)]
Psychological Types, p.97

Piaget noted that reality is a dynamic system of continuous change and, as such, is defined in reference to the two conditions that define dynamic systems. Specifically, he argued that reality involves transformations and states.

Transformations refer to all manners of changes that a thing or person can undergo. States refer to the conditions or the appearances in which things or persons can be found between transformations.

Thus, Piaget argued, if human intelligence is to be adaptive, it must have functions to represent both the transformational and the static aspects of reality. He proposed that operative intelligence is responsible for the representation and manipulation of the dynamic or transformational aspects of reality, and that figurative intelligence is responsible for the representation of the static aspects of reality.

Operative intelligence is the active aspect of intelligence. It involves all actions, overt or covert, undertaken in order to follow, recover, or anticipate the transformations of the objects or persons of interest.  

Figurative intelligence is the more or less static aspect of intelligence, involving all means of representation used to retain in mind the states (i.e., successive forms, shapes, or locations) that intervene between transformations. That is, it involves perception, imitation, mental imagery, drawing, and language.

Therefore, the figurative aspects of intelligence derive their meaning from the operative aspects of intelligence, because states cannot exist independently of the transformations that interconnect them.

Piaget stated that the figurative or the representational aspects of intelligence are subservient to its operative and dynamic aspects, and therefore, that understanding essentially derives from the operative aspect of intelligence.

'Piaget's theory of cognitive development'

Hypokeimenon, later often material substratum, is a term in metaphysics which literally means the "underlying thing".

To search for the hypokeimenon is to search for that substance which persists in a thing going through change—its basic essence.

Locke theorised that when all sensible properties were abstracted away from an object, such as its colour, weight, density or taste, there would still be something left to which the properties had adhered—something which allowed the object to exist independently of the sensible properties that it manifested in the beholder.


In order to convey some of the flavor of Bohm's ideas I have called upon images and metaphors that are somewhat static. But Bohm's notions are all about process, or the holomovement; that is, the movement of the whole.

For Bohm, the ground (if we wish to call it that) or "all that is" takes the form of ceaseless movement. Within this movement can be discovered an endless process of unfolding and enfolding as the implicate order temporarily exposes aspects of itself to the explicate.

The fact that our world appears stable is not so much that objects remain static in our world, but that the same patterns are constantly being born again only to die away as fast as thought. Our minds and bodies encounter the surface of things, and of the apparent stability of the explicate, without being truly aware of the constant movement below.

[...] An elementary particle is not so much an object but a process. It is a constant process of becoming and dying away, a process in which the "particle" unfolds from the whole of space into a tiny region and then enfolds back again over all space.

[F. David Peat]
From Certainty to Uncertainty, p. 64-5

The total character of the world, however, is in all eternity chaos—in the sense not of a lack of necessity but of a lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever other names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms. 

Judged from the point of view of our reason, unsuccessful attempts are by all odds the rule, the exceptions are not the secret aim, and the whole musical box repeats eternally its tune which may never be called a melody-and ultimately even the phrase "unsuccessful attempt" is too anthropomorphic and reproachful. 

But how could we reproach or praise the universe? Let us beware of attributing to it heartlessness and unreason or their opposites: it is neither perfect nor beautiful, nor noble, nor does it wish to become any of these things; it does not by any means strive to imitate man. 

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
The Gay Science, 109