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Projects

Framework
Foundations of mathematics
Physics
Consciousness studies
Computer science
Evolution
Earth studies
Health
Parapsychology
Education
Gender studies and sexuality
Conflict resolution
Community studies
Economics

The overall purpose of the research projects of the Paragonian University is to awaken to ourselves by healing the fragmented mind through self-inquiry. Ultimately, this healing process returns us Home to Wholeness, for the words health and whole, together with holy, have a common Germanic root: heil. So to be healthy, both as individuals and as a society, is to be whole, fully integrated in body, mind, and spirit.

The Paragonian University will thus endeavour to live up to its name, unlike conventional universities today. The word university is cognate with universe, from the Latin universus ‘whole, entire’ from unus ‘one’ and versus past participle of vertere ‘to turn’. So a university is a centre of learning, of research and education, whose purpose is to turn our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in into one whole.

Our minds begin to become fragmented very early in life. When we are infants, we go to school to learn the three R’s, Reading, (W)riting, and (A)rithmetic. Then as we progress through school and university, we are taught to divide the world of learning into even more subjects and disciplines, without being told how they relate to each other.

This is tragic, because it is the relationships between things that make them interesting. For the word interesting derives from the Latin word interesse, consisting of inter ‘between’ and esse ‘to be’. So interesting loosely means ‘between beings’. When we ignore the relationships between the various academic disciplines, we throw the interesting parts away!

At the broadest level, we divide the world of learning into science and the humanities, which C. P. Snow lamented creates a great gulf between the two cultures. Or regarding those studies concerned with the search for the Truth, we separate science and religion from each other, with philosophy occupying what Bertrand Russell called the ‘No Man’s Land’ in between.

This analytical activity has led the world of learning to become fragmented into fields with thick hedges dividing them. The emphasis is more focused on specialization, analysis, and intellect than generalization, synthesis, and intelligence. This is rather like living in a prison cell ensnared in what William Blake aptly called ‘mind-forged manacles’. Even when we engage in interdisciplinary studies, we are still imprisoned, for all we do is knock down a few walls between the cells.

Yet there is considerable evidence that evolution is now leading us to heal these deep splits in our cultural minds, to say nothing of our personal and collective minds. For evolution progresses by a process of differentiation and integration, of divergence and convergence. Historically, human society has been more focused on differentiation and divergence because of the way that the analytical, egoic mind has functioned, leading to an imbalance between analysis and synthesis.

Thankfully, Nature is constantly seeking to restore balance between opposites, leading to Wholeness, the union of all opposites. This is becoming increasingly evident in society today, despite all the wars and conflicts reported on television and the newspapers every day. We can see that evolution is leading us all towards a great convergence, which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called a megasynthesis, at the Omega point of evolution.  The Foundation for Creative Evolution, founded by Barbara Marx Hubbard on the concept of co-creation, is an obvious example of this synergistic process. So are the learning community at the Gateway to Conscious Evolution, run by Teresa Collins and Marshall Lefferts, and the Mind of One University, led by Devorah Steinecker.

In healing our cultural minds, the central issue we need to address is the schism between science and religion, enabling us to end all the holy wars—wars about the Whole—between the different religions that have bedevilled human affairs for the past five thousand years. To do this, we need to establish God as a scientific concept, formed in exactly the same way as all other concepts: by paying careful attention to the similarities and differences in the data patterns of our experience. In this way, we can bring Life back to science, for Life is God the Creator, and Love back to business, for God is Love.

Our gnostic experience of the Absolute thus provides us with the immovable foundation stone for all our studies. As we can approach the Absolute in many different ways, we can denote it with many words, including Oneness and Wholeness, Love and Peace, Life and Logos, Truth and Freedom, Consciousness and Intelligence, Stillness, Emptiness, and Fullness, Source and Creator, Datum and Ground of Being, Reality and Existence, Universe, Cosmos, and Totality of Existence, and God, Supreme Being, and the Divine, all these words being capitalized to distinguish them from their corresponding relativistic terms, where relevant.

The integrating principle for the University’s research projects will be the unified relationships theory, which simply states that every being in the Universe is related to every other being in zero to many different ways. Specifically, in terms of human relationships, none of us is separate from God, Nature, or any other human being; we are all one whole, living in union with the Divine at every instant of our lives.

As relationships are just a special case of fields, the unified relationships theory is a generalization of Albert Einstein’s unified field theory, first postulated in 1925, now generally called the Theory of Everything or Grand Unified Theory by the physicists. In The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene defines the Theory of Everything as “a theory capable of describing nature’s forces within a single, all-encompassing, coherent framework”. The basic reason that neither Einstein nor any physicist that followed him has been able to solve this ultimate problem of science is that the physicists only recognize four physical forces: gravitational, electromagnetic, and weak and strong nucleic forces. They do not recognize Rupert Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields, information fields, or the host of mental, psychic, subtle, and other nonphysical energies at work in the Universe.

We can define science as a coherent body of knowledge that corresponds to all our experiences from the mystical to the mundane. Now just like the human body, this body needs a skeleton or framework to support the flesh of the whole body of knowledge, which is called panosophy, the transcultural discipline of learning in which the divisions between science, philosophy, and religion disappear.  The framework for panosophy, which derives from a Greek word meaning ‘all wise’, is called relational logic, which has evolved from the mathematical theory of relations and first-order predicate logic via Ted Codd’s relational model of data, augmented by the object-oriented modelling methods used by information systems architects in business. Panosophy thus describes the perennial wisdom, which underlies all the religions, in the language of computer science.

To what extent people will be moved to become architects is a key issue that we shall need to investigate. It could well be that we can present the framework in such a way that specialists in their various fields can intuitively work quite effectively without fully understanding the framework. This is similar to the way that information systems architects work in business. Architects are the people who can see the big picture, working with specialists in various departments to build integrated information systems.

Basically, what we are engaged in here is putting Western civilization back on its feet, for today it is standing on its head. For Consciousness is all there is, as Ramesh S. Balsekar lucidly describes in Consciousness Speaks. Everything in the world of form is an appearance in or abstraction from Consciousness, including the physical universe and our minds and bodies. Recognizin

g this fundamental fact of existence is the essence of the revolutionary awakening process that we are all engaged in today. We are engaged in a radical transformation of the overall context that governs all our lives, from the physical universe, God (as the Supreme Being), and the global economy, the contexts for science, religion, and politics, respectively, to Consciousness in the Paragonian Society, as this diagram illustrates.

Contextual transformation

To establish the scientific fact that Consciousness is Reality, a goal that is far more radical than the Copernican revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we need to integrate all knowledge in all cultures and disciplines at all times into a coherent whole; thus healing the divisive mind and bringing Life back to science. For such an experiment in learning leads the practitioner to a state of cosmic Consciousness, irrefutable evidence that Western civilization is further removed from Reality than any other civilization in history.

To this end, we shall set up a number of research projects, the first being the framework project. This will then enable us to set up any number of other projects investigating all the implications that Life is the primary energy behind all our creative activities. We list just a few of these possibilities here.

The results will be published in a major work of scholarship called Ineffable, Nondual Wholeness: The Union of All Opposites, about half of which is available in draft form, the acts on Vital Science and The Paragonian Society still to be completed. It will also be published in various other forms of media at many different levels to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the unprecedented evolutionary changes that are taking place today, and that there is nothing to fear from change. On the contrary.

Framework

While relational logic is simple common sense, it is paradoxically the most fundamental change in the way we think in the history of human learning. This is because it takes the process of abstraction, which we use to form such concepts as human, mammal, and animal, to its ultimate conclusion: the concept of being, the basis of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Furthermore, it is only possible to learn relational logic by starting afresh at the very beginning, in Oneness at the Alpha point of evolution. So learning relational logic requires both deep mystical experience and the type of abstract thought that mathematicians and computer scientists are familiar with.

Although the popular movie The Matrix can hardly be called spiritual, it does illustrate the process we all need to go through if we are to be become masters of our mechanistic minds and hence our computers. If we are to awaken to ourselves, we need to follow the maxim in the Oracle’s kitchen Temet Nosce, ‘Know Yourself’. And we cannot truly know ourselves imprisoned in millennia of cultural conditioning. Like Neo, we need to be born again, stripped bare, deprogrammed, and deconditioned, so that we become utterly vulnerable with no borders or divisions either within us or between us and other beings. In this way, our self-reflective intelligence, which our ancestors acquired some 25,000 years ago, is revealed. At this beginning of human phylogeny, our ancestors were like babies in adult bodies, having no concepts to explain what was happening to them. Today, as human phylogeny reaches full maturity, we can become as innocent children once again, but now with a full understanding of humanity’s place in the Universe.

Spiritually, the path that is closest to this experiment in learning is jnana-yoga, the path of abstract knowledge in the East, whose purpose is to answer the most fundamental question any of us can ask ourselves, “Who am I?” The answer to this question leads to advaita or nonduality, a revolutionary change in the Western worldview.

Such a radical change requires us to change the meanings of many words. The glossary at www.paragonian.org/glossary.shtml is a starting point for this project, generally basing the changes on the root meanings of words, on what David Bohm called the archaeology of language. We are in the process of integrating this process with the evolutionary glossary being developed by Ani Ahavah and Shiloh Boss at the Foundation of Conscious Evolution.

As it is not everyone’s destiny to follow this mind-healing path, we need to make the framework accessible to those without the propensity for abstract thought. The pattern language of the architect Christopher Alexander and permaculture systems could help here for they are two examples of relational logic in action. Library cataloguing systems are other examples. But what will really make relational logic real in people’s experience is a graphical learning tool, like the many conceptual modelling tools available today. There are a number of precedents to using the computer as a learning tool, such as the programming languages Logo and APL.

Foundations of mathematics

Foundations of knowledgeEver since Galileo Galilei, it has been assumed that for knowledge to be scientific, it must be expressible in the language of mathematics. This is despite the fact that Kurt Gödel showed in 1931 with his incompleteness theorem that mathematics is based on very shaky ground. As relational logic provides the ontological and epistemological foundations for all knowledge, building on the ultimate gnostic foundation, as this diagram illustrates, this nondualistic, nonaxiomatic, holographic, self-reflective science of reason can provide mathematics with a sound foundation. To do so, we need to show how mathematical logic can be expressed in terms of relational logic. The starting point for this project is a chapter in Ineffable, Nondual Wholeness, available on the Web, which shows how Aristotle’s syllogistic reasoning can be modelled by relational logic. In this way, we can show that unless our semantic models form a coherent whole, no mathematical formulae or equations can heal our minds, can enhance our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.

This project will also show that Ken Wilber’s four-quadrant model, which provides the framework for the Integral Institute, is a special case of one of the constructs at the ontological level of the foundations of all knowledge. The activities of the Integral Institute are thus fully contained within the scope of the Paragonian Foundation, but the reverse is not true.

Physics

Because the West has believed that the physical universe is the primary reality for thousands of years, there is still a widespread belief that the physicists can tell us how the Universe is designed and hence what it truly means to be a human being. While the quantum physicists are making many discoveries that spiritual seekers can relate to, as illustrated in the popular movie What the Bleep Do We Know?!, we need to put these findings into their proper perspective. In particular, we need to show how David Bohm’s theory of the implicate order, which unified quantum and relativity theories, and is the immediate scientific precursor to panosophy, can be integrated into a coherent worldview unifying the physical and nonphysical.

Within this overall context, we can then investigate whether the concept of string has any relevance in infinitely dimensional panosophy. Perhaps these strings will turn out to be like phlogiston, a concept to explain combustion before Priestley discovered oxygen and Lavoisier developed the theory of combustion we know today. By bringing Life to science, we can also use information theory to put the second law of thermodynamics, which ignores Life, into its proper perspective.

Consciousness studies

During the past ten to fifteen years, there has been a renewed interest in consciousness studies. But these are still taking place within the overall context of the physical universe, not Consciousness, itself, leading to the hard problem of consciousness studies: “How is it that consciousness arises from the brain?” This is not a hard question to answer, it is impossible because it is based on a faulty worldview, not one based on Reality and the Truth.

Nevertheless, we need to investigate how the findings of consciousness studies can be integrated into panosophy. For instance, does the concept of qualia have any relevance here, or is it another concept like phlogiston? And what can EEG experiments tell us about the awakening of Consciousness? Using the metaphor of the computer, the brain and mind correspond to the hardware and software. But we do not debug a computer program by attaching an oscilloscope to the circuitry of the machine. Nevertheless, is there some relationship between the brain and mind that can help awaken scientists to the realization that Consciousness is all there is? As Consciousness lies beyond space and time, EEG-studies might be able to show the by-products of being in tune with Oneness.

Computer science

Unlike most of the tools that we have invented during the millennia, the stored-program computer extends our mental abilities, not our physical ones. We can therefore use the computer as a mirror to understand the structure of our minds, for instance, the relationship between intelligence, thinking, and reasoning. The question that is the basis of this investigation is “can a computer program itself without human intervention?” This is a rather technical subject, looking at the structure of programming languages in a quite different way than even professional programmers are used to. Nevertheless, these inquiries have led me to realize that Consciousness is cosmic and that Intelligence is divine. Other computer scientists could likewise be helped here to see that artificial intelligence, consciousness, and life are beyond mechanization.

Evolution

Ever since Charles Darwin, there has been a belief in scientific circles that evolution is a biological process that proceeds randomly without divine intervention, without the power of Life, without intelligent design. It will therefore be one of the major aims of the Paragonian University to put Life back into evolutionary theory, recognizing that it was Life that brought the physical universe into being and it is Life that is the energy behind all our creative processes, such as Mozart’s last three symphonies, which he wrote in just six weeks in the summer of 1788. So it is Life, or the Logos in this context, that is the energy within self-organizing systems studied by systems theorists. In this way, we can help people understand the evolutionary forces that cause us to behave as we do, necessary if we are to fully awaken to ourselves.

Central to this project is the demonstration that evolution has now reached its point of accumulation, in conventional systems terms, as described in the research paper ‘Awakening to Timeless Evolution’. All the various evolutionary turning points in this paper need careful examination, gathering together all the evidence we can find for the exponentially diminishing time periods between the different turning points. It will also greatly help here to make television programmes on our evolutionary inheritance to bring into the awareness of the general public that evolution is currently passing through seven simultaneous turning points. In this way, we can end the war between the Creationists, promoting the notion of Intelligent Design, and the Darwinists.

Earth studies

With much talk about the effects of global warming today, it is easy to lose the physical context in which these effects are happening. The immediate overall context of our physical lives is the Sun, which is destined to turn into a red giant and then into a white dwarf in a few billion years time like other stars of a similar size. Hence we are about at the midway point of the nine to ten billion years of the life of our beautiful planet Earth.

Yet the Earth has only been able to support mammals for the past 200 million years, hominoids for a few million years, and human beings for some thousands of years. According to The Times Concise Atlas of the World, during the past 700 million years, there have been nine mass extinctions of marine life and six of land life. Furthermore, there have been many periods of glaciation, as the temperature of the Earth has varied by many degrees. And certain areas of the Earth are subject to violent disturbances in the form of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. And we are all vulnerable to be hit by meteors or even an asteroid, as some fear today.

So the Earth is certainly not a safe place to live. It cannot possibly provide us with the sense of security we crave. Some are saying that the next stage of human development is for us to colonize some other planet in the galaxy. But even if this were technically possible, it would not help. For every galaxy, galaxy of galaxies, and even the physical universe, itself, goes through a life and death cycle, emerging from and returning to Consciousness, all in their own time. So we do not have the control over our physical environment, as many believe today. Under these circumstances, we need to humbly accept that the only certain base for our lives in the immortal Ground of Being.

Nevertheless, there is much we can do get our lives in perspective, which could be a stimulus for spiritual awakening, as it was for me. To this end, we need to present current studies of abrupt climate change and the cycles of ice ages during the past few million years in a spiritual setting. We can also embrace James Lovelock’s studies of Gaia in a similar way. Regarding the limited resources of the Earth, particularly oil, we shall only be able to manage these resources in a sustainable manner by accounting for them in a meaningful information system, which money lamentably fails to do.

Health

Despite the fact that mainstream medicine and psychology do not recognize the role of Life in our healing processes, there is a great awakening in the world today that does recognize this fundamental fact of existence, often using words like prana, ch’i, or qi to denote Life. If we are to heal ourselves and our grievously sick society, we need to take these experiences into the sceptical mainstream. This we can do by establishing panosophy as the all-inclusive science in which all branches of learning can be expressed.

Panosophy can thus provide alternative and complementary medicine and depth and transpersonal psychology, which cannot be fully understood within existing scientific world-views, with a solid scientific foundation. We thus plan to look at the multitude of these different techniques from the perspective of the unified relationships theory, integrating them consistently with the whole. By recognizing the power of Life and nonphysical energies in our healing processes, both physical and mental, we can help to free medicine from its drug addiction. For as Joseph Weizenbaum said in Computer Power and Human Reason, physicians have “increasingly become mere conduits between their patients and the major drug manufacturers”.

Parapsychology

Parapsychological effects cannot be understood within materialistic science, but are easily accommodated within the unified relationships theory. As this is quite a popular subject, we should be able to integrate it into our research projects, helping us to look more deeply at the nonphysical energies that are both within and all around us.

Education

Because of our separation from God, Nature, and each other, the education system is today based on seven pillars of unwisdom, a term introduced by Arthur Koestler, misconceptions about God, the Universe, Life, humanity, money, justice, and reason. So we need to investigate how we can rebuild the education system on the seven pillars of wisdom, recognizing that we are all one. What we learn in the Paragonian University will be of vital importance here. The Krishnamurti and Steiner schools could also provide us with much valuable information.

Gender studies and sexuality

In the last few decades of the last century, there was a great awakening of what it means to be a woman or a man, freed from the patriarchal attitudes of the me-epoch and from guilt about our sexuality. However, we are still a society in transition in this respect, with much confusion. It is important here to be aware that evolution is carrying us all Home to Wholeness, the union of all opposites, recognizing that Consciousness is all there is. This means that we are becoming androgynous, both feminine and masculine, both intuitive and rational, no matter whether we live in female or male bodies. But what does it mean to be a woman or man living in Wholeness? What are people’s experiences on this subject? Can we see any trends towards Wholeness? To what extent are couples consciously using divine love making as a healing and awakening process?

Conflict resolution

In today’s secular society, there is a tendency to deny the Divine in order to be free of religious conflict. Humanism encapsulates this attitude. But this is to throw out the spiritual baby with the religious bathwater. This prevents us from realizing that Love, which has no opposite, is our ultimate Ground of Being in which we can resolve conflicts. This fact is reflected in the English language, for the native word for nature is kind. To reflect this fact, we need to investigate what people are doing in this area today, particularly to what extent these activities are based in Love.

Community studies

There are hundreds of communities around the world today experimenting with peaceful and ecological ways of living together. These communities are the most obvious evidence of the emerging Paragonian Society. However, they are not yet working harmoniously together with a common vision. We need to investigate how this can be done. The Paragonian Fellowship is intended to make this evolutionary convergence real in people’s consciousness.

Economics

We also need to investigate what role money, as a form of information, will play in the Sharing Economy, which will emerge following the collapse of the global economy in a few years’ time. There are many ideas on this at present, from Michael Linton’s community currencies, a development of Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), to many plans to free the economy of debt-based money, bearing interest, what has traditionally been called usury in religious circles.

97% of all money in circulation today is created as debt by the banks, rather then governments in earlier times. Furthermore, about 97% of financial transactions by value are concerned with the buying and selling of financial products, not everyday goods and services, which we need for food, clothing, shelter, and warmth. The global economy is thus further removed from Reality than any other structure in the world today. As such an absurd, insane system is causing immense psychological and ecological damage, it clearly cannot survive for very much longer. However, whether this project is one for the Paragonian University or whether it is better fitted in the Paragonian Business Academy is still to be determined.

Also, in the Paragonian Society, the way we work, study, and reflect on what it means to be a human being will be utterly different from today. Today, in order to provide people with a worthwhile occupation, the politicians promote rampant consumerism, which is causing severe ecological damage and psychological distress. In the us-epoch, we can expect people to spend considerable periods of time in self-inquiry. For instance, I have worked in paid employment for only ten years out of the last twenty-six, which has been a great struggle, for neither academia nor business is set up to support such a healing lifestyle.

 
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