Mystical Validation Tested

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 01 Jun 1998 12:28:15 -0400

Daniel Fabulich (

>> IAN: I would be interested to know where you get
>> your definition of "atomism." I get mine from the
>> the classical Three Laws of Thought that define
>> the structure of atomist identity (in short):
>> 1) A is A.
>> 2) A is not both A and not-A.
>> 3) A is either A or not-A.
>> This defines a clear demarkation around A that
>> excludes holism by 100% and thus is atomism by
>> 100%. What definition of atomism is more exact?
>Well, MINE for one. :)

IAN: OK, so you made up that definition
while I used the traditional definition
of atomism, no problem; but then you say...

>... to be blunt, I would never use the word "Identity" with
>anyone else in the same way I use it when talking with you...

>By adopting the definitions of your "opponent" while remembering the whole
>truth, you can gain a better understanding of their position, and are also
>more convincing with your own position. You might even discover that
>you're saying the same thing.

IAN: I think that atomism defined by the Three Laws
of Thought and "mystical" as "holism" are the logical,
indicated, and standard definitions. The definitions you
have presented are not indicated and are nonstandard, so
the implication that I've modified definitions to suit
my metaphysics is unfounded and contraindicated; in
fact I have addressed the standing definitions!

It's true that "1 = 0" could be a definition of mysticism,
but it's one that does not explain what it's saying, it's
like erasing part of an explanation (the -1 part). If
we model the case of a school of thought by erasing
critical data that is required to understand their
position, we will not be able to understand it.
The point is that 1 => (1 + (-1)) which = 0.

>> Your definition of atomism desribes a meta-rela-
>> tion of three relations (A,B), (A,0), and (B,0)
>> and observes that as (A,B) changes, the other
>> two remain static, true! But that's NOT a defin-
>> tion of identity, atomist or holist, and thus
>> is not a standard by which the "right" or the
>> "wrong" defintion is to be determined. So:
>> * Why is "atomist identity" as defined by the 3
>> Laws of Thought a "wrong" definition of atomism?
>> (Our disagreements revolve around definitions,
>> and it seems that we agree on everything else.)
>Well, it's basically this problem: lots of people consider themselves
>atomists (myself included!) because I believe that one can define the
>identity of A in terms of its relationship to only PART of its holistic
>identity and still make sense. More precisely, I'd say that identity of A
>(as defined by holism) is governed by *everything* that is not-A; but the
>atomist's definition of identity (which I'll call partial identity to
>avoid confusion) is simply the relationship between A and a particular
>other value; usually 0. The net identity is the sum of the partial
>identities of everything relative to everything else, which is always 0.

IAN: Yes, so we mostly agree, and it seems your
definition of atomism is "semi-holism" if not 100%
holism, which means it's not real atomism. Your a
holist, not an atomist. The relation of 2 or 7 to
0 must be static, since it is a static relation
by definition. This relation does evidence atomism.

The relation of A or B to 0 may not be static;
for example, if A is a car and A is moving at
35 mph relative to a fixed point of reference
that we say is moving at 0 mph, and A accele-
rates to 40mph, the relation of A to 0 has
changed. But if B followed A exactly, then
that relation has not changed (as you note),
yet then we have a relation of change to
not-change, which is holism, not atomism:

[(A,B) = static relative to (A,0)] = holism.

>In the previous world consisting of A and B, we can see that one partial
>identity is that A is one greater than 0 and another is that B is two
>greater than zero; the latter partial identity may change without
>affecting the truth of the former partial identity: B may grow to twenty
>greater than zero, but A will remain one greater than 0. Since 0 will
>become twenty less than B in the process, the whole identity of A will
>change, eventually leaving the net identity zero. However, the truth of
>partial identities are not necessarily affected by changes in other
>partial identities, and thus, to some extent, partial identities are
>"atomistic" in the sense that they exhibit some degree of independence,
>even though the total identity cannot behave in this way, and even though
>the identity of the partial identities themselves will be affected as that
>which is not-"partial identity" changes. The important thing for
>atomists is that the truth of a partial identity can remain unchanged by
>the truth of other partial identities; perhaps truth itself is just a
>partial identity of any given statement.

IAN: If in holism we have A and -A, it follows
that we would have change and not-change, so
I don't see that citing examples of not-change
in a whole wherein there is change defines atom-
ism since it presents no example outside holism.

One way to look at it is, if we need to
whole to observe X, we're defining holism.
The example you cite relies upon the whole.

>This is useful in many cases where I don't know certain values on the
>identity matrix, but I can nonetheless say things about the partial
>identities I do know; I may even use the fact that net identity is equal
>to zero in order to find unknown values on the table. As you can see,
>this is totally compatible with holism, and yet smacks of atomism.

IAN: Excellent points! I think we agree even
more. What your referring to as "atomism" is
what I've seen as my analysis has progressed
over time that what we call atomism IS in holism,
that the two are not antithetical: the get parts
you need the whole. My point though is that the
100% atomist definition I cited never holds up.

>So my definition, in the clearest form you'll get from me at this hour:
>Atomism is the statement that the truth of partial identities does not
>necessarily change as other partial identities change.

IAN: But it will in that if A and B stay the
same size, and C is also the same, but then
C grows larger, A dn B get smaller by relation.
And when we say A and B are not changing, we
say that relative to change. If there was no
change in the universe, "no-change" would not
be a definable concept.

>When most people say "identity" they mean partial identity; similarly when
>they say "space" they mean partial space, and when they say "time" they
>mean partial time. If the best definition is that which is best
>understood, you are better off saying that identity, space and time can
>all be non-zero (again, meaning partials) but that the sum of all
>identities relative to all other identities is zero and that this is the
>whole truth.

IAN: But when I refer to part A I refer to
part -A by exclusion. When I say look at
that bird, I saying something about all
else, I say "Don't look at all else,"
and thus I refer to all by default.
I may not list all that is in all
else, and so to I may not list
every feature of the bird.

>Similarly, when people refer to mysticism, they usually intimate something
>which is not predicted by Newtonian physics actually taking place.
>However, as we can clearly see, your theories of identity and Newtonian
>physics go hand in hand; you cannot use the identity matrix to prove
>that psychic phenomena are possible or that reality is infinitely
>malleable by the human mind or that 0 = 1; all of these are popular
>conclusions of mysticism as practiced and defined by others. This reason
>alone may be sufficient reasoning to abondonit.

IAN: Yes, and that's the crux of the issue here.
The traditional concept of "mystical" is something
that is antithetical to logical and physics. I have
had the "mystical experience, white light and the
awareness of eternal and infinte being (really
awasome!), so I'm defining what that mystical
experience "told me" about reality. It told
me that all things are connectd, that no
thing is free from the All, and that
each things contains All by relation.

Feeling that this "mystical" eperience has
been wrongfully defined as something other
than the profound experience of the logical
union of all things, I've sought to map out
the reality that is seen during "the light."
It's my feeling that its UN-mystical, that
it's a phenomenal explosion of intelligence.

So my saying "mystical validation" skirts two
worlds, in that it does not purport to say
anything about Gods, ghosts, psychics... but
simply that this type of experience that is
defined as "mystical" and what is seen to
be the truth during it, is in fact logical.

>... I even begun to convince you that we atomists aren't so
>bad after all. (A task which a series of great minds on this list have
>apparently tried and failed to do.)

IAN: I disagree with that. I think that I've
clearly shown that the example of a not-changing
relation amidst changin realtions is not an exmaple
of atomism, but of holism, since C is C realti to not-C.
Also, the not-C relation changes it's relative identity
(such as becoming bigger, slower, smaller, faster...)
relative to C. Similarly, no other exampls have been
shown of A that is A free, so I totally refute the
implication that you and others have been providing
evidence that holism is less than 100% absolute.


"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

Max Plank - Nobel physicist

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights cannot claim
to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand