LIVING & DIVINE

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Contents
Introduction
Part 1

Part 2
 § ch3
 § ch4, 4.1
 § ch4, 4.2
 § ch4, 4.3
 § ch4, 4.4
 § ch4, 4.5
 § ch4, 4.6

Part 3
Summary
THE LIVING AND THE DIVINE
Part 2: The New Biocentric Image of the World
Chapter 3

Life as Element in the World, Epistemological Considerations

Keeping in mind the train of thought discussed above, we shall take as our starting point the reality that primarily surrounds us and continue our thinking about the nature and extent of the extended reality into uncertainty. This can only take us a short distance and only in a uni-linear progression; the path is directed by the progress of specialised branches of science; it is helped along by science and, finally, progresses only with the help of the philosophical imagination. That imagination is already evident in scientific research as a kind of second sensibility, its share in the results of scientific thinking is in inverse proportion to its share in primary, natural sensibility; the more information is gained through the senses, the less is the role of the imagination and vice versa. However, the function of the imagination is not that of a mere 'substitute' for empirical sensibility; it should rather be seen as taking over from the latter, legitimately; perhaps, indeed, as sharing at heart the latter's identity and now functioning in the other field of reality.

An example of the uni-linear progression, from the domain of the senses to its outer boundaries is to be found in astronomy's view of the universe. - Of course, this will still belong to experience, even if not to immediate experience. This field, while remaining within the framework of science, takes on a highly 'fantasy' character

The thought that the sum total of life in space and time cannot be something superimposed on the vast inorganic world, a heterogeneous foreign body in the astronomical universe; the thought that the whole inanimate world cannot simply be a setting, unrelated and incidental for life at one or other particular location; that the whole must form some kind of unit with a structure not yet conceived by the mind - these thoughts do not figure in any branch of science.

The na´ve ancient mind found it quite natural to connect two non-visible entities and to assume that it was highly likely that two inaccessible entities, the depths of the astronomical universe and that which lay beyond the mortal bounds of life should come together or have an inner connection and that both would be oriented towards a common location in the all of reality. The inaccessible location in terms of universal space would also be the inaccessible location of life, namely there where life lost itself in the unknown before birth and after death.

Be that as it may, it is important to remember that when we speak in terms of 'world' and 'universe' - and inevitably this will entail more uncertainty than certainty - our mental image cannot be one provided by the astronomical cosmos, however tempting that may be to-day. The reason for this is not that in that particular mental image, man and the fullness of life on earth is missing; that, in that context, it is only an additive, unconnected, superimposed on whatever else there is ' in the world; but rather because it is missing there as the cardinal feature of the universe. It may well be the determining feature; it may, at least, be as significant as the vast order of inanimate matter.

The proud claim of science that man is very small in the world whole is remarkable, less on account of the huge contrast with the dimensions of the astronomical universe than because that immeasurable disproportion has exploded the notional image of a connection between the two cardinal features. Psychologically, it makes sense that something 'disappears' when held up against something else that is vast. But that may not be factually the case, and it is certainly not so logically. Banishing the earth from its central place in the universe, which may have scientific reasons, has had a psychological consequence with no scientific justification, namely the banishing of animate matter from its place in the universe. Even if there is no life in the universe other than on earth, the earth may well be central, if not in terms of space but in terms of its significance and actuality.

The determining factor is not, as has been maintained, that the concept of God in His heaven gave way once the vast heavens were reached and measured. That understanding of the concept of God was theological; the weakening of that concept was the weakening of a preconceived belief in the face of advancing reality. On the other hand, to lose sight of animate matter in terms of its significance in the cosmos does not just remove a preconceived concept; it takes out an integral and integrating element from total reality.

We shall be obliged to take the philosophical approach and do something that a specialised branch of science does not do, namely recreate a connection that at least allows life to assume an integrating role in the inorganic/material cosmos. The cosmos thereby loses that character as only inorganic and material. We shall recreate the connection without, in the first instance, discussing how. An awareness of the significance of life, not for mankind and the earth, but for the cosmos and 'the world', even if seen as only schematic, would suffice to contradict a whole series of notions. Such notions may not be outstanding or targeted; they may be a by-product of science, but they dominate the scientific outlook to a large extent. The category includes all notions about life-unrelated creation and the end of the material cosmos. The idea of independently conceived matter springs from a need to isolate entities, essential in the sciences. The concept of matter in astronomy, astrophysics and chemistry allows for constructs about the origin and end of the world in which life as a factor is wholly absent; such are theories about eddies, nebulae and world entropy or global warming. Reality, however, does not know areas in isolation; they are born of the human need for order. The significance, hidden or overt, given to inanimate matter, the time factor and the conditionality associated with it underlie all notions in which life is imposed and adapted to inorganic matter, whether that is seen as heteronomous or the product of an opposing principle of seeming chance in reality. The environment comes first, is independent and unrelated to that for which it is to serve as environment. Moreover, to an overwhelming extent, world matter is not environment; it is itself and nothing else.

Philosophy may insist on the original inter-relatedness of animate and inanimate matter in the world, but it can happily take that model of the world without filling in the details immediately; it does not need, initially, to summon the 'thinking imagination' to represent, i.e., make visible, the concrete nature of the connection. Philosophy does not immediately need to commit itself to rejecting the non-relatedness of the two basic elements, to insist on immediately presenting the recognised, opposing view, that the world is a living thing, an organism. Imagination shows that such images, which are derived from experience, need to be subjected to major modifications whenever they are applied to the whole world or to the all of reality. Nonetheless, we shall probably encounter something not very different, even if we do keep some distance between the empirical image of an organism and a transposition of that image; if we rethink the notion of an inorganic world that is an environment for, yet unrelated to life and look for a notion of something connected to life from the outset. That notion may be environment to life, unthinkable without it or it may be something different, even more closely, perhaps organically connected to life.

Every condition of life must be seen in terms of the whole, must, in a sense, be called life; it belongs to it necessarily. Only when taken in isolation can a specific organism be differentiated from its milieu, seen as if it were inanimate. In other words, the terms animate and inanimate can denote differences that are not only qualitative, but also quantitative, in the same way that the soil in which a plant is rooted may be termed inorganic; the whole earth cannot be described thus, let alone the whole world. Inanimate and animate would thus denote a graduated concept, related to part and whole. The description 'inorganic' may reflect a perspective that is typical for a part.

Once we see life as a world class factor, its significance increases. For instance, if the continuation of life depends on a single cell out of the millions of cells in the body, then that cell will become the qualitative centre of millions of living cells, even though it is not at the gravitational or spatial centre. On the assumption that there is no life elsewhere, we cannot speak of life on the earth as 'an atom in the ocean of the world', without unintentionally falsifying the situation by the use of that image. We do not know whether or how there may be life elsewhere in the universe. So we have to take life on the planet earth as the life in the universe and try to use imagination to comprehend it. Life is not a drop in a dead world-all. Rather, the cosmos is a huge and necessary, if not yet clearly specified, annex to life.

We can try to develop some understanding of the meaning of life on earth. We have reason to assume that it is in some sense eternal. From primeval time on and into the unforeseeable future, countless billions of creatures of every species swarm over the earth. Imagination has great difficulty in showing, let alone handling the concept of even a single species, say our species that is defined by the dry term, 'humanity'. The power and energy of life on earth that operates, pulsates, streams, spans, cramps and loosens in those eons of organs is such that if that whole fullness of life could be envisioned, it would equal, in the overwhelming capacity of our consciousness, anything that the 'inanimate' dimensions of the cosmos can supply to the imagination.

§

It is now time to try to clarify the basic way that thought or the thinking imagination perceive objects that must count as trans-empirical; objects that reach into experience at one end and, at the other end, reach beyond it.

We must first say something to clarify the meaning of 'experience' in our context. We can stretch the content of that which we call experience indefinitely, if we include in the term a reality that opens out from experience. At the outer limit, we might accept as being within experience objects of theories that constitute notions on the frontiers of theoretical physics. Uniquely in the middle, between statements about reality and symbolic statements, the expanding or bent universe, concepts of basic elements in microphysics, etc. These 'last' in the experiential world are sometimes understood as expressing experience and sometimes as pure thought images that enable the apprehension of experiences; symbols, that is, to which nothing real corresponds. The meaning of experience would accordingly be reduced to a complex apprehension of that which provides the last verifiable, so-called control statements.

That is how Neo Positivism sees things. The theoretical thought structure that apprehends experience can either be counted as part of the experience, or not. If it is included, however, it might not be as a pure thought structure; rather, the models for thought would denote reality, in so far as experience denotes reality. If the models do not include the thought structures, then experience is limited to apprehension. The interpretation is then given over to pure constructs and is limited by the measurability and the predictability of immediate apprehension; it cannot be understood as a statement about reality. In the present day natural sciences, both positions actually intermingle in an undifferentiated way. Respective concepts are seen either as designating reality or as mere symbols, depending on whether they figure in a working hypothesis or as objects of a philosophical critique; that it, depending on the measure of reality accorded to them. If, however, one understands experience as Neo Positivism consistently does, to mean only measurable and predictable apprehension, subsuming reality within it - and this is a somewhat radical formulation of the underlying intention, since Neo Positivism is the logic and the philosophy of this understanding of science - then experience, reality and apprehension become one; and everything else is logical, that is symbolic methodology.

In this way, the imagination can be prevented from producing a representation of reality outside of the apprehension of the senses. Any representation would, namely be taken as a mere aid to conscious awareness and would very quickly go over into a 'wave parcel' or an N dimensional mechanistic combination and thus not reflect any image of reality. It is like starting from an 'impossible assumption' and arriving at a correct result, having gone back on some point of the assumption. Experience is an immediate complex of apprehension and it alone can legitimately formulate and justify representational aids which, in their turn, enable one to predict the behaviour of the complex of apprehension.

We now reach a major limitation to experimentation, in the sense that the natural sciences understand the term. First, we must keep in mind one aspect of the function of the imagination, a function which can hardly be described as anything other than empirical. The constraints usually imposed on experiments in the natural sciences are due to the fact that we are always obliged to carry out experiments with small sections, 'samples', as it were, taken from the natural world that surrounds us. This is also the case where we try to discover and describe something about empirical objects in nature whose measure is far beyond the limits available to our sense perceptivity.

We calculate all measurements in the universe, even the most gigantic, on the basis of immediate sense perceptions, even though the size of the latter vanishes to almost nothing in comparison with the vast measurements in the universe. Let us label the objects that hugely outstrip our field of sense perceptions 'totality objects'. It should be noted that we can never make experiments on totality objects, but only ever, on little samples. Our imagination, by means of induction, mediates a construct of the totality object, in so far as it can actually appear in the natural sciences. It does so on the basis of results provided by the samples that are directly accessible to our senses. The samples need to be generalised; that is, they need to lead to statements about the totality objects and to single, repeatable perceptions. We note that, unconsciously and self-evidently, we assume that the quantitative difference between sample and object does not involve other differences; unless, that is, further samples present such differences to us. That assumption is not only without proof; it has been known to occasion crises of meaning in the natural sciences in the process of transposing the conditions having the dimensions of a sample to those of totality objects.

If we look at the situation that obtained before the theory of relativity was set out, we can illustrate clearly the process and the questions arising from that assumption by looking at the description of one totality object, the 'ether'. The theory of relativity is itself only a case of correcting wrong expectations arising from that same assumption; a correction which, again, itself depends of handling 'samples'. Briefly, what we have here is a limitation to the process of induction; not a limitation in terms of the probability of an increasing certainty based on any large number of 'cases' but in terms of a difference between discursive thought and perception.

This particular problem and the limitation to our access to objects of experimentation increases significantly, that is the margin of error grows, if we consider totality objects in relation one to another. We are not saying that such a relation is clear or is even seen to exist in experiments carried out on samples. A relation that is present between totalities is not necessarily present in parts of those totalities. Just as we cannot speak of consciousness in a body as long as the parts of that body are not linked into a specific whole, so other relations, such as identity, variations of similarities and opposites only become evident when totality objects face one another as wholes.

We noted earlier that, for instance, the phenomenon of being alive, in relation to the planet earth, is not the same as the relationship of being live in a clod of earth in which a plant grows. Moreover, the relation can vary as we consider ever more comprehensive systems. It follows from all of this that construing totality objects by means of induction and experimentation cannot be complete whenever we are dealing with the configuration of totality objects that cannot be ascertained from samples, because the samples are necessarily taken from material of the totality objects that lie within the field of our perception. There needs to be a method of accessing natural conditions other than through samples and the process of induction based on those samples, whenever totality objects cannot be 'handled' in this way. What is needed is a blueprint of conceptual imagery that enables us to understand a given phenomenality [1]

[1] Strictly speaking, astronomy already applies such a method: a representation of a given system of the movement of heavenly bodies is outlined and allows us to understand the appearance of events in the sky that actually are within our field of perception. This is not an experiment, in the sense of handling actual natural material; it is observation and interpretation based on construed representation.

Let us take an example: Manifestations of life on earth must be associated with totality objects, perhaps with a single, real totality object, inasmuch as such manifestations have evolved, one from another. Observation and experiment can only pronounce on the nature of the totality object if, within the field of manifestations, there are other, analogous manifestations, as, for instance, in cosmic dimensions and distances, into which the totality object extends.

The existence of dual gender reproduction, not to mention the existence of life itself or its relation to inanimate matter can only be deduced if there are analogous or related processes accessible to and within reach of our experimentation. If, however, the cosmic form creates conditions, specifically in terms of time and space, that do not appear in our proximity, then those processes cannot figure in our experimentation, nor can the appropriate conditions be recreated. In that case, we depend on the construct of a representation which,e.g. takes into account different epochs of the universe and thereby allows us to understand the product of a cosmic situation that we actually see. If we consider the possibility that epochs of the universe are of real relevance, so that the totality of manifestations of life in the course of a given epoch may present something analogous to something in the course of the life of an individual organism; if, for instance, we note greater visual and form potential in the early stages of life, then we must reckon with the fact that the initial stages of life's epochs in the universe may offer conditions that do not obtain later. Therefore, no experiment would be able to recreate the biological situation of the beginning of life. There can be only one way of approaching a phenomenality that is unquestionably real, or of understanding it, including its experimentally inaccessible aspect: to allow the imagination to try to construe the totality that will enable us to understand that which is actually in front of us.

What, actually, are those totality objects, on closer examination? The concept 'object' is, philosophically speaking, somewhat questionable. It presumes a state of isolation in terms of time and space, boundaries within which a 'thing' can be enclosed, and this is hardly ever achievable. Only approximately and partially is a 'thing' ever an independent unit. If we discount that question for the time being, we can say, initially, that a totality object is an object that reaches beyond the field of our sense perception in time and space and yet constitutes a more or less substantial unit.

Totality objects actually begin immediately on the borders of the series of objects comprised within our field of perception. A mountain, the full extent of which I am unable to see and sections of which are supplemented by my imagination, is a totality object of the lowest type, as it were. The hallmark of a representation of totality objects is that they are grounded in real objects, not in concepts. What is here being amalgamated into one is not a collection of same entities, not many examples of one kind. Rather, missing sections of actual sense data of real objects are supplied by the imagination to form a representation. When I imagine the Atlantic Ocean, I may not replace the real object by some map image of a geographical configuration. However, I may imagine that very real object in all sorts of ways, from al sorts of perspectives; from the perspective in which ships travel across it or from the perspective that joins endless horizons and considers the globe, as might an outside observer looking at the real surface of the water in front of him. But even that example is rather superficial.

Actually, the field of totality objects only begins once we are dealing with objects on a cosmic scale. Typical of this category is, for instance, matter. Matter, in this context, is not a concept. It designates the imagination's collective of all matter in the world. There can be no doubt that it constitutes a unit, a connected 'object'; each and all of its parts are represented as existing in an interdependence one to the other. To produce a representation of universal matter means that the imagination can represent an object which is, notwithstanding some lack of clarity or completeness, even paradoxes that may be adduced, a unified, existing, real entity. What matters is that the concept, matter, which also exists, of course, which includes the essential hallmarks of the entity and refers to the real object of the concept and to the real sections of the real matter, is yet differentiated from matter as a totality object The latter is referred to as 'universal matter' and designates that object which is real; it has extension and it has form, even though that form is not known

We might say that the connections that it is possible to make between an object category and the totality of that which exists, i.e. the world, constitutes the hallmark of a totality object. A totality object is an object on a universal scale. Let us take the animate, that which is living, as an existing reality. It is present 'in' the world, extending endlessly in time and space. That is the only way we perceive it. It is possible to say that the origins of life can be traced back to a number of locations in the world-all, separate one from the other, although similar as to essential conditions; or that its course began from a single origin; or that one should not think of life as in any way created, but as having existed for ever and ever. To accept the first of these possibilities is to stop at a kind of penultimate stage in an account of the origins of life, since a similarity of conditions present at different locations in the world point to a unity of conditions and thus to a unity in the structure and development of the world; that is the same as saying that, ultimately, there is one origin of life.

To accept the possibility that life cannot be seen as having been brought into being appears to reject a question naturally imposed by our reason.

We are directing our search to the phases of the 'how' of those origins, regardless of the fact that this may lead us to something that is other than living or to something that is indifferent and neutral in relation to living and non-living. The content of the concept of life can undergo numerous changes. In one of those, a meaning that is of particular relevance here, life certainly did 'come into being' and we are thus led to a notion, which our mind has always freely accepted, that life has its beginnings in something homogeneous and in the world. It may have taken the form of a first organism at some location in the world or it may have been something diffused throughout world matter or something pervasive that took form at various locations in the world.

As a consequence of the biological arrangement that overarches individuals and the reproduction of life that wells up from generation to generation, life in the world is a real, homogeneous entity. The homogeneity is evident in every aspect and every form of life; life in the world is thus a totality object.

We are not speaking of a concept that comprises every kind of life , nor of the concept of life as such, a real, Platonic universal, a hypostasis, an Idea, an immaterial draft and a static original set Nowhere. What we are looking at is the actual welling of life, made up of countless generations of actual forms of life, coursing through the ages of the world. That is the real unit in the sense of a totality object, because it has its starting point in something homogeneous in actual reality in the world. The term 'living' is , for the first time, adequate here.

It is possible that one species emerged from another; perhaps different species came from and separated out from a common original formation. It is the function of logic to describe the characteristics of those totality objects in detail and also to differentiate them, both from the concepts with which they are confused and from universals in the Platonic sense.

Like concepts, the representation of totality objects is based on connections between similar things. The object of both is the reality that they designate. However, the method of connecting and abstracting is not the same as that applied when formulating concepts; nor is the reality underlying the concepts envisioned in the way it is envisioned in a Platonic Idea.

Whether objects of the kind described above should be described as experiential or as metaphysical and thus beyond experience will depend on the definition of 'experience'. If, like Neo Positivism (modern scientific thinking, true or false, logically and systematically argued), we take experience to mean the coincidence of a complex of immediate apprehension and reality, and see everything else as just a working hypothesis, a construct to help scientific thinking, then representations of totality objects naturally exceed experience. Of course, Positivism could always describe its theoretical concept apparatus as empirical. In that case, it would see totality objects as hopothesised experience, unconfirmed by experimentation. One would have to answer that, since one cannot juggle or conduct experiments with cosmic totality objects, experimentation is here being replaced by interpretation as a criterion in understanding something given.

If we take Kant's account of experience and metaphysics as a possible base, we will not find room for objects of the kind discussed above. Nor is Kant's concept of experience appropriate here, including as it does, even in its wider sense of possible experience, both the element of sense perception ( where 'an object must be a given') and 'the pure law of nature'. Empirical sense perception does not here perceive totality objects, but only partial objects. Neither is Kant's concept of metaphysics appropriate, because our term 'totality objects' does not apply to immaterial entities, categories, things 'an sich', but to objects envisioned by an intellectual imagination. They are subject to space, time and causality. They are not Ideas. They complement that which is given by empirical sense perception. The continuum describes something unquestionably real that only the sensing of the imagination can represent to us. It would appear, then, that if we apply Kantian terminology, totality objects cannot be classified as objects of experience, because they are not phenomena, not inaccessible to empirical sense perception (as inaccessible as e.g. 'the world' which, as totality of all phenomena, is a transcendent and absolute object (Kritik der Reinen Vernunft, System der Kosmologischen Ideen; last section).

Knowledge of totality objects, impossible according to Kant, but not at all impossible in some degree, according to our presentation, goes beyond experience, if we identify 'experiential' as apprehended through an envisioning by means of a perception that is bound to sense organs. One could still talk about a connection between the concept of totality objects and Kant's 'regulatory principles of reason or 'regulatory Ideas' (discussed in the Appendix to his Transcendental Dialectic). Essentially, in his 'Kritizismus', Kant takes a step towards a working or helping hypothesis, that is to say towards constructs made by the mind to unify experience. It is the same step that Neo Positivism takes in a more determined way.

According to both positions, that of the Kritizismus and of Positivism, the image of something beyond experience is a subjective creation. It goes counter to every natural act of consciousness accompanying thought which, like every sense experience, firmly, though less clearly, refers to reality with every one of its images.

Whenever we use the words 'beyond experience' here, 'beyond the experience of the senses; we do not assign this 'beyond experience' of contrived perceptions either to the intellect's instruments for symbolism or to a mere useful supposition. We assign 'beyond experience' to that function of the mind that transmits impressions of reality. If, as used generally to be the case, we include in experience, constructs of a world image, as e.g. astronomy's constructs, then objects remaining beyond experience are simply entities 'beyond the experience of the senses', meaning not only beyond representation accessed through the senses, but beyond all representation, even that of the imagination. And in the sense that this is beyond all representation, even that of the imagination, that would mean metaphysical. The question, if and how some kind of knowledge can be obtained from such metaphysics requires an answer that presumes that we can first clarify the boundaries between representation altogether, including that offered by the imagination, and the formulation of concepts.

Leaving such metaphysics aside, it would be possible that imagination with representation would allow thinking about certain totality objects to qualify as experience; it would allow for a division that is not between experience and metaphysics, but between earthly and cosmic experience. Earthly experience is primarily experimental, cosmic experience primarily interprets earthly experience. Cosmic experience then means the same as that which, following normal usage, we have termed 'going beyond' experience, the experience of sense organs and of experiment, in the ordinary sense. Whether or not to assign the features, representation and object to experience may appear to be a matter of definition. To attribute reality, experiential or not, to cosmic entities, however, is decisive and it is not a matter of terminology.

Essential to the theory presented here is the extension of the cosmic dimension to the phenomenality of life. Life, as a feature of the world, even an essential constituent, is not the same as the notion of life in all its shapes and forms, in the world - where the world remains, as it were, a non-participatory 'stage' for life. Whether to consider life as the dominant element or as a fibre of the structure is a difference that is, to some extent basic to the difference between the position of na´ve myth and modern scientific thinking. The stand taken here differs from that of the myth thinking person in that it corrects and restrains that person's view. Such a person sees the world as being all too obviously something living. Having no doubts about nature (and therefore, in a sense, about truth), uninhibited within his limitations, he takes the appearance of the forms of earthly life known to him, unmodified, to be also the appearance of cosmic forms of life. The need for a highly complicated differentiation and transformation of every category, representation and concept based on our perceptions once they are applied to cosmic conditions then recedes.

The reaction of modern thinking to that deficiency and that distortion has encouraged the legitimate elaborating of the purely material cosmos; beyond this, it has also led to an equally one-sided identification of the cosmos with 'the world' and to the notion that life is something 'in', perhaps even an element at one point in a world otherwise unaffected by it. The biological reconnection becomes vital, once the excesses of the myth and of the 'dead' cosmos are overcome.

Let us take a moment now to consider an emotion fostered by scientific thinking. It seeks to suppress even the initial draft of a certain kind of constructs because they complicate its pronouncements on the process of verification. So-called scientific philosophy is not equipped to handle that, basing itself, as it does, on the experience of sense perception and not on principles of a reality that is structured, albeit infinite. There is a function of imagination that targets the structure of reality - of which experience is only one section - and nothing, no other function of consciousness has the capacity to target that structure, except this imagination. The methodology of the kind of thinking which avoids that reality (a reality that is fathomless, seen from a certain perspective), has developed a distaste, cast as contempt, for that imagination, essentially for the following two reasons: One, the product of that imagination, which also claims to be offering some kind of copy of a reality, has the stamp of fantasy; it would seem to be impossible to compare it to anything that actually exists. Two, proof of the existence of the entities construed by the imagination cannot be or has not been brought. The first objection, the dissimilarity from things actually in existence, takes the words 'actually in existence' to refer to the realm of experience. But experience is, by definition, the domain of conditions to which questions attach, a so-called 'question reality', based on a fragment, lacking a whole. There is no way that the whole that is construed can 'look like' or be of the same kind as the fragment. The construed whole is the more dissimilar from everything available through experience and thus the more 'fantastic', the further that whole is from the fragment and the more comprehensive the whole that is in view.

The 'Ur' cat, not its Platonic Idea in some Nowhere, but the original organism of the species, of a period in time and a phase in the development of the long line of evolving life, in a form that could, for the first time, qualify for the designation 'cat', that creature is more a creature of fantasy than a lion or panther as ancestor. The 'Ur' animal, in turn, is a creature far more fantastic, in that sense, than the 'Ur' cat. Playing the deliberating research card will not be of any help here. The further back we go into the bottomless abyss of time, the more fantastic will be the shapes that show up in suppositions made in our efforts to know. To close off those efforts because they do not allow us to convey something that is 'certain' or because to be silent is preferable to saying something that is not certain, is totally opposed to our real desire to know. True, by keeping silent, no false statement will be made. But, if the probability of hitting on something that is correct is one in a hundred and the alternative is to desist altogether from tackling the problem of origins, then our duty to knowledge commands us to choose that possibility of one in a hundred. In matters of epistemology, it is moral to require us to replace one answer or one attempt at a solution by another. There is no question of keeping silent and abandoning the problem and of defending that stance with the circular argument that we are unable to know anything about reality.

This is not the place to analyse the inherent contradiction of a methodology that refuses knowledge. However, this much should be said: It is not one whit easier to determine 'the boundaries of knowledge' than to exceed them legitimately. The boundaries are liable to be illusory and legitimate strides towards reality should be encouraged. Boundaries cannot be accessed from one side only; to trace them is already to have crossed them. We find it possible that behind the sham reticence of research that would push aside philosophy's basic questions, there hides something else. It is characteristic here that it can and will give up on knowledge of essentials without being forced to do so by knowledge itself. As against this, we find that images of reality supplied by the imagination are, in fact, accessible, that we are in no way left without criteria in our suppositions in the domain that goes beyond the phenomena of reality and that it is possible to see the state of sense-based experience as an experiment set up, as it were, by nature itself, an experiment that can be justified or rejected by the interpretation of trans-empirical, cosmic images of reality. Let us not, yet again, shrink from allowing philosophy its daring, simply because the ill famed imagination of reason comes into play. Let us not get to a situation of a scientific silence, where we give preference to Nothing over a situation that is, we acknowledge, full of questions, shadowy, in its initial stages. In short, let us not be persuaded to do nothing, since it is human nature and the nature of uncorrupted consciousness, to hold fast to the law demanding orientation.