Archive for December, 2016

Quora Answer: Life is totally meaningless. We live. We die. So what’s the point?

Dec 14 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

We Live! That is the point. You skipped over that going directly to death, oh so quickly. You will get there soon enough. But in the mean time . . .

Life is meaning! for us as human beings we cannot escape our projection of meaning on the world. This is what Dasein is, the projection, the ecstasies in time.

A good book to wrestle with this question is Being and Time by Heidegger and his concept of Existential Time and Authenticity in the face of the inevitability of death.

Having just witnessed someone die, I would say that every moment of life is precious. Way better than the alternative. Especially the mundane parts where nothing particular is happening and you are just enjoying being alive with others. That is an existence proof of meaningfulness of life itself, in-itself, because life is for you and your are always reflexively self-conscious in it, not just conscious. Self-conscious means you are projecting a self who is aware so that consciousness is reflective of your life. It is in fact the other way around. Death is totally meaningless, because in death meaning disappears along with you. There is then no one, no self, to grasp the meaning of life, because you have vanished. Rather you become a memorial in the meanings of others.

But life even of suffering while it is there is in itself meaningful, even if the pain is unbearable and the meaning is “I want to die”, because we are not just in-oneself, as inert matter, but for-oneself as living conscious social matter, as Hegel says striving to be in-and-for-oneself, i.e. Spirit, eg. not just conscious, not just self-conscious, but self=other-conscious=consciousness, i.e. at the third or higher meta-level of consciousness which is perhaps the beginnings of Spirit, i.e. Hyper Being, e.g, Differance of Derrida. Beyond that is Wild Being that is discussed by Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze.

Spirit is the unalienable meaning of life. Just saying that life is meaningless is paradoxically giving it your meaning for you. And that is the point for you as you are living, as you are the existential proof of your meaning by living it.

If you are going to project meaning in life regardless of what you do, you might as well try to make it positive. As Blake says life is essentially joy in the face of suffering. The fundamental joy is being alive despite everything else as that each moment is a success, and accomplishment, a reason to keep living. Everything beyond that is suffering in one way or another as Buddhism says. Dukkha. Maya, Mara, Dunya. But Existence as Life is ecstasy and thus joy. And part of that joy is the projection of meaning even if it is meaninglessness. Something good to read in this regard is Jung’s Red Book where he struggles with the spirit of the depths and the mixture of meaning and meaninglessness in his life in the face of World War I. You think you have it bad. Try World War I trench warfare, or World War II in which millions of people died, and the myriad of ideological wars since then along with genocides. Living a normal life and appreciating it moment to moment is enough. It is something that all those who have died in the last century in ideological conflicts across the globe would have wanted to do but could not because of life cut short by overwhelming violence. Against the background of all that violence and death of millions of people. Life itself has meaning, without anything added by us except for the spirit we bring to it.

Spirit is a criteria that Hegel tries to develop to rein in the excesses of Kantian Reason like the Terror of the French Revolution.

See Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind/Ghost/Spirit (Geist) on the evolution of consciousness (sense certainty) to self-consciousness, to reason, to spirit. For the Buddhist perspective in which all life is suffering see Schopenhauer World as Will and Representation. They gave lectures at the same time in the same university and everyone went to Hegel’s lectures, and Schopenhauer gave up teaching.

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What Special Systems Theory is about . . . Life, Consciousness and the Social

Dec 05 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

Special Systems Theory is a Mathematical Systems Theory concerning the necessary conditions for the possibility of anomalous phenomena like Life, Consciousness and Sociality which exist but are unexplained inadequately by contemporary scientific theory

The Summary of my research on Special Systems Theory is here:


The idea of Special Systems Theory is to set the mathematically necessary conditions for the possibility of life, consciousness and the social, three very special anomalous phenomena. The necessary conditions are set by Mathematics which structure the possibility space in which anomalous emergent processes can occur as we see in Life, Consciousness, and Sociality which we have in ourselves and other life forms existential proof of their existence even though they cannot be explained by standard theories of Science yet. The whole idea of the meta-theory is to set the external limiting conditions that mathematics gives for understanding the phenomena. And those external conditions are in the form of mathematical anomalies that make ultra-efficacious phenomena like Life, Consciousness and Sociality possible. The bridge between the existential proof which we are as living conscious social beings and the mathematical possibility based on anomalous structures in mathematics is the meta-theory Special Systems Theory itself that is part of Systems Science and an addition to General Systems Theories within Systems Science. The relation between Systems and Special Systems are explained by Schemas Theory (

I take mathematical anomalies of different sorts that have basically the same structure and build a meta-theory that has a radically different structure than normal general systems theories. Then within the meta-theory are placed local theories that explain the phenomena of life, consciousness and the social very much along the lines of what Terrance Deacon has envisaged in Incomplete Nature, but he has not mathematics to back up his claims and he leaves out the social layer of emergence and only deals with life and consciousness. He however does the service of re-explaining basic scientific concepts in a way that makes Life and Consciousness plausible rather than the normal explanations that would render these phenomena improbable or impossible.

The concept is to use anomalies in mathematics as the basis for explaining the possible existence of anomalies in the physical world that would give us emergent features like life, consciousness, and the social. The meta-theory specifies the emergent differences between these phenomena and some of their very general properties. Then more specific theories related to each phenomena are substituted into the meta-theory to explain the phenomena in more detail in this case Prigogine’s theory of Dissipative Structures augmented by the Construal Flow theory of Bejan, a modified form of the existential theory of life of Maturana and Varella called Autopoiesis, and Reflexive Sociology to explain the social in more detail. We take the meta-theory as being fixed by mathematical anomalies that are related to each other by their general structure to specify the Special Systems Theory, then we allow the contained theories to be modified to better and better explain the link between the mathematics and the anomalous phenomena in question, be it life, consciousness or the social. The meta-theory explains the interaction between the Special Systems based on the structure of Hyper-complex algebras and other types of mathematics or some anomalous physical theories like the theory of Solitons, Breathers, and Instantatons, or Cooper pairs in super-conductivity or Bose-Einstein condensates. Thus there is a physical component to the theory based on specific physical phenomena that have the same structure as the mathematical anomalies.

Special Systems Theory has been constructed so that it as to be refutable by using different anomalies in mathematics to structure the special systems in order to give a very specific theoretical structure to the explanation offered. Unless we make our systems theories refutable there is no way to make progress. Special Systems Theory is meant to be an example of what a good theory of the phenomena might look like rather than the final answer. A good theory would be based in mathematics and testable, thus refutable.

Special Systems Theory was discovered through an analysis of the imaginary cities of Plato and then relating the anomalous structures of those cities to Anomalies in Mathematics. It was realized that these anomalous structures in mathematics which were all similar could be used to produce a general Systems Theory about these Special Systems. Then it was realized that Special Systems Theory could be used to set the limits of the necessary conditions of the possibility of anomalous phenomena like Life, Consciousness and the Social. The combination of mathematical anomalies and physical anomalies with the same basic structure makes it possible to explain things that normal Systems Theory cannot explain and thus its value in Systems Science and for other special sciences that need to explain anomalous phenomena with similar structures.

A relevant new approach to this same problematic by Jeremy England: A New Physics Theory of Life | Quanta Magazine England Group MIT Department of Physics

Other works on Special Systems Theory: Reflexive Autopoietic Dissipative Special Systems Theory Reflexive Autopoietic Systems Theory

General Schemas Theory Research

For more see

Kent Palmer –

Nondual Science Institute

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