Monday, August 4, 2014

Revitalizing Vitalism; A Thought Experiment (annotated)

"Aura" - digital/fractal - 2012, Renate S.
(Click on all images to enlarge)

1. a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces
2. a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining

 - Definition of Vitalism

"He goes on to show how the particular properties of consciousness might arise from the physical laws that govern our universe. And he explains how these properties allow physicists to reason about the conditions under which consciousness arises and how we might exploit it to better understand why the world around us appears as it does.

For Tegmark, this paradox suggests that his mathematical formulation of consciousness is missing a vital ingredient. “This strongly implies that the integration principle must be supplemented by at least one additional principle,” he says.

- From the article: "Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter..."

"Barušs wrote: "Scientific materialism assures us that reality is a meaningless, incidental, mechanistic, collocation of improbable events."

He summarized some of the ways in which the materialist interpretation of reality has already broken down: quantum events are seen to be non-deterministic; time is no longer linear, as effects have been shown to precede their causes; particles change position depending on where one looks or what one decides to measure.

Finally, he said, “Materialism cannot explain … the sense of existence that people have for themselves.”

- From an August 20 article: 8 Scientists Contemplate Place of Human Consciousness in Science  (New quote just found, August 22; hat-tip to Bruce Duensing!)


"Throughout the ages men have been intuitively aware of such a center. The Greeks called it a man's inner Daimon, in Egypt, it was expressed by the concept of Ba-soul; and the Romans worshipped it as the "Genius" native to each individual..."

"Is the earth dead or alive? The ancient cultures of east and west and the native peoples of America saw the earth as a mother, alive, active, and responsive to human action. Greeks and Renaissance Europeans conceptualized the cosmos as a living organism, with a body, soul, and Spirit, and the earth as a nurturing mother with respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, and elimination systems. The relationship between most peoples and the earth was an I-thou ethic of propitiation to be made before damming a brook, cutting a tree, or sinking a mine shaft. Yet for the past three hundred years, western mechanistic science and capitalism have viewed the earth as dead and inert, manipulable from outside, and exploitable for profits. The death of nature legitimated its domination. Colonial extractions of resources combined with industrial pollution and depletion have today pushed the whole earth to the brink of ecological destruction."

- From "Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World" - 1992, Carolyn Merchant.

"But what is it that shamans 'see' or 'know'? Shamanism is a kind of spiritual technology. It is a technology that is based on the animistic worldview much in the way that physical technology is based on the modern scientific worldview. Unlike modern science, however, which is based on the search for uniform laws that work the same way for everyone, shamanism has literally infinite forms of expression -- just as art, inspired creation, can take literally infinite forms and there are infinite cultural styles of art, yet the word "artist," like the word "shaman," has a cross-cultural meaning. (Indeed, art itself originated as a tool and expression of the shaman. Shamans are a kind of inspired artist, channeling a common source of spiritual energy in their own unique ways. Art as merely decorative is a modern, desacralized echo of the real purposes of art.) "

- from an article: Indigenous Shamanism, Animism, and the Spirits (by "Gayle") found here.


"Without an active agent, an ordering center, or an Intelligence, "consciousness" becomes a rather hollow proposition; another one of those phenomena which, if merely viewed as another mechanical quality arising from matter, has no intrinsic meaning. It has no "cause" and is no cause. It will not build a ship, invent a car, nor drive it. It will simply exist in a somnambulistic manner as a sort of passive, unspecified awareness. Consciousness, alone, does not create; and, by itself, cannot evolve. Consciousness alone, is not the answer to the existential quandary."

- Paragraph from a post file which never materialized, The Shamans of Spirit & The Shamans of Matter; Dia Sobin, June 12, 2014

"Because, who knows, but, hiding among those four famous "forces of nature" (recently renamed the "Fundamental Interaction") is an undiscovered ordering force, a "shadow" component permeating the matrix: intelligence, but wholly unspecific intelligence - without genre or gender - which, although diversified and expressed relative to the matter which interprets it, is also the architect of the matter it unfolds. I call it: Creatura... (most emphatically) not to be confused with religionist myths and its corresponding characters - example: "the man upstairs."

If "god is dead" religionists (specifically Western and Middle-Eastern varieties) killed it. They gave it limits; limits imposed by their own fears, politics and pathologies."

- Paragraphs deleted from a previous post, and added to a collection of notes; DS, June 28, 2014

"Creatura (singular and plural) - A creative Intelligence: the integrated ordering agent and organizing, self-referential noumenon present in all living organisms."

- A working definition of Creatura from a collection of notes; DS, July 1, 2014, posted July 28.


I was kind of on the fence about posting this "thought experiment"... I originally attempted to allude to it with a post containing a brief definition of Creatura. That didn't cut it for me, so I pulled it down (deleted post, July, 28, 2014)

For the past few months however, this concept - admittedly a "Vitalist" concept (or, more appropriately, Revitalist), and not even a terribly original one - has been stirring around in my psyche, coloring just about all of my thoughts. I've drafted (and destroyed) a number of posts, but they all seem to have the same general theme; a theme I was planning to slowly build up to, but now I find I'm not going to have the time (I'm about to take an extended hiatus from the blogosphere). So, it's now or never. 

I hesitate, even at this moment, because the topic is too dense, too easily misunderstood without all of the corroborating information. I already have what is probably the rough outline of an actual book. What I'm presenting here, however, is just the tip of the iceberg... taken from a later collection of notes (dated July 4, 2014). In any event, make of it what you will; but realize that I've merely scratched the surface in this post... tentatively... and awkwardly. Meanwhile, I feel obligated to "throw it out there" anyway.

Incidentally, and I mean this sincerely, if anyone feels offended by anything I've written in this post that seemingly demeans your own personal "belief system," I am sorry. One tends to take on an evangelistic tone when spawning philosophies of this nature... which, in the end, is a thinly disguised attempt to over-ride ones own doubts and insecurities.


"Spiral Galaxies" - digital/fractal - Renate S.

Creatura Great & Small: A Tale, An Understanding

...For, Creatura, along with the hydrogen atom, was here from the beginning... not necessarily as some explosive affair, but as a slow-boiling inflorescence. In other words, Creatura didn't blow up, it bloomed.

Among the major disparities between Creatura and Western religionist's concepts, is that Creatura is both singular and plural. It has no gender; it has no species. It is closer to Eastern concepts, because Creatura is the both the sum of its parts as well as being diversified infinitely. In other words, I am my own interpretation of Creatura, you are your own interpretation of Creatura, we are all independent expressions of Creatura. But, then again, so is your houseplant, the family dog, the insect you just stepped on, and the one-celled parasite in your gut; the major differences lying in complexity, identity, and (possibly) frequency (i.e., variety of sentience). At the same time, each star, each planet - including Earth and our sun - and each galaxy is an expression of Creatura; each existing simultaneously, both independently and as part of a living collective, an homogenous gestalt.

This is made possible by the Matrices (originating in this post), in which all Creatura are connected. It is composed, in part, by the warp and weave of consciousness. Connections in the Matrices are strengthened when a compassionate, empathetic bonding, or a meaningful informational linkage between Creatura occurs.

In a metaphorical sense, both consciousness and the Matrices might be seen as a transdimensional web. Creatura are the spiders spinning the webs into which they are also embedded, but, at the same time - due to the nature of consciousness - they are also free to navigate.

Creatura is not confined to one "form" however, Creatura is the active agent, the Intelligence, the ordering force. Forms come and go. In the case of complex organisms, Creatura is present in every cell of the corporeal form. Upon death certain symmetries in the Matrices may be fractured, but, Creatura continues, both individually and collectively, with or without form; perhaps spawning new Creatura, new dimensions, new doorways.

In a historical and evolutionary sense, each Creatura mirrors every other Creatura in essential ways. Hence the shape-shifting Shaman with his or her ability to metamorphose into animal form. He accomplishes this in the same primal way all Creatura create* and alter their forms, and continue to do so - consciously and subconsciously - throughout the corporeal life of their form. The Shaman knows - through consciousness - he or she is intimately connected to every other Creatura, including those outside of linear time. Hence the Shaman can talk to dead Creatura and he or she can communicate with Creatura as yet unborn. These are the Shaman's guiding "spirits".

Creatura is the particle, consciousness is the wave... or vice versa. Creatura slips in and out of consciousness. Creatura slips in and out of dimensions. Creatura slips in and out of form. Creatura slips in an out of time. Creatura is a free-agent. Creatura evolves... and this is reflected in its forms.

The Matrices grow in complexity with each and every creation, specifically living procreations. The ideas we have and the non-living structures we create pass like fugues throughout the Matrices - and in many ways influence their growth. This growth, however, is fundamentally organic. But, within the vast spectrum of organisms, this includes the mineral world as well.

Ultimately, there is not one natural element on this planet - and this includes the planet Earth itself - that is not alive and sentient, and is not composed of Intelligence and connected within the Matrices of consciousness. (See Lovelock's "Gaia hypothesis")

From the awakening Creatura, matter unfolds...

"Unit One" Triptych - Prismacolor drawings on Bristol Board (each: 11"X14") - 1981-1983, DS

* I confess, that it is this primal need for all organisms to create - and this is especially true in the case of humans - that became the premise of the whole Creatura concept. So, whether I like it or not it, a variety of "creationism" and/or "intelligent design" is literally involved. It's a pity that those words are tied so firmly to religionist mythologies, whereby they are so ultimately and essentially warped and misconstrued. The standard definition of "creationism" posits that life is created by one outside force - God, generally described as an aging man - who judges his creations, and regards them as pawns in a "master plan". In a biblical sense, all of creation took place in a matter of days, and evolution was not an element.

Creatura is/are the subjective, identifying, creational force/forces operating within all organisms. Evolution is necessary for the Creatura's survival. Evolution and creation are corresponding terms. There is no master plan. There is no exterior judgement. There is no primarily human face. There is no linear concept of time. If there is a goal, it is goal of perfection... which is unattainable. Or, perhaps it's the goal of a fulfilled potential... which is also unattainable. Or, perhaps the goal is to disperse and expand time and space indefinitely till every possible permutation of Creatura is brought into harmonious, enlightened existence, and every possible Creatura story has been told. This goal is also unattainable, but that's actually kind of a good thing! ;-)

Is there, then, a god-like All-Creatura? Rationally speaking, I doubt this... I doubt such an organism could even be contemplated as it would represent the sum total of all Creatura in the universe, and all universes and dimensions of those universes which might possibly exist. Moreover, even in any sort of "beginning of Time" scenario - by which I refer to the Ancient Future - due to the non-linear (and true) nature of time, there was never "one" Creatura, any more than there was ever one place in time. The "one" was "many" simultaneously, emerging in numerous locations and dimensions, which also unfolded in a synchronistic way.

Creativity Flag - 2014, B.G.Dodson 

(Regarding the images used in this post: Apart from the one designated as my own, and B.G. Dodson's Creativity Flag, the remaining three have been used without permission. This is basically because I have been unable to contact the corresponding artist or photographer. If either Renate S. or Joe Lapp should happen upon this post and are dismayed to find her or his work here, please drop me a line and I will remove it. Meanwhile, thank you.)


  1. Create....emerge....evolve....transcend -- join the matrix!

    Superb post about a very complex concept -- I think it needs further re-visiting to expand, expound and explore, but this is an excellent synopsis.

    1. Thank you, Bob.

      But, I think we, and every living thing are naturally embedded in the Matrices, so, there's no need to join! ;-)

      As it stands, I wasn't really sure about posting this, and I'm equally unsure if I should even leave it up as I write this. More than anything, I was probably just responding to what I've been reading about Mechanistic science lately; a sort of refresher course... and all that I already know about organized religion... which, in my estimation is the other side of the same coin. That is, the sublimation of Nature, instinct and true will.

      Ultimately "Creatura" is a Space Pagan philosophy... a sort of synthesis of various information I've internalized over the years. The nice thing about it is, that its underlying premise makes all things possible... especially a lot of parapsychological noumena, and/or "paranormal" phenomena.

      In the Wiki article on Vitalism, there's a line borrowed from Jacques Loeb's (1912) "landmark work," "The Mechanistic Conception of Life" which states: "...we must either succeed in producing living matter artificially, or we must find the reasons why this is impossible."

      I think we already know that the Mechanists will never admit that producing artificial life is impossible. In the end, this is something "Revitalists" will have to prove.

  2. Ah, one may be joined, but unaware, non? Awaken ye sleeper and See!

    As for the replication of living matter-- next tier of the game. No sweat. Consciousness is another matter alltogether.

    1. Yes, but, living matter IS conscious... and sentient, in ways the Mechanists can't describe. So, yeah, there ought to be a great deal of "sweat"... no?

      What we see now, however, is a Mechanistic attempt to equate consciousness (and sentience) with computation and information-processing, thereby by-passing the whole conundrum. In other words, if you can't play the game by the rules, change the rules... and/or trash the game. ;-)