On Metamorphosis

Lavinia Meijer plays Metamorphosis, by Philip Glass.

The Hidden Third as the Unifier of Natural and Spiritual Information

“What is reality?” asks Peirce. He tells us that perhaps there is nothing at all which corresponds to reality. It may be just a working assumption in our desperate tentative knowing. But if there is a reality, says Peirce, it has to consist in the fact that the world lives, moves and has in itself a logic of events, which corresponds to our reason. Peirce’s view on reason totally corresponds to the cosmodern view on reality.

A unified theory of levels of reality is crucial in building sustainable development and sustainable futures. The considerations made until now in these matters are based upon reductionist and binary thinking: everything is reduced to society, economy and environment. The individual level of reality, the spiritual level of reality and the cosmic level of reality are completely ignored. Sustainable futures, so necessary for our survival, can only be based on a unified theory of levels of reality. Reality is one. For a sustainable future, we have to consider simultaneously all levels of reality and also the Hidden Third. We are part of the ordered movement of reality. Our freedom consists in entering into the movement or perturbing it. We can respond to the movement or impose our will of power and domination. Our responsibility is to build sustainable futures in agreement with the overall movement of reality.

We are witnessing a new era-cosmodernity founded on a new vision of the contemporary interaction between science, culture, spirituality religion, and society (Nicolescu, 2014). The old idea of cosmos, in which we are active participants, is resurrected.
Reality is plastic. Reality is not something outside or inside us: It is simultaneously outside and inside. We are part of this reality that changes due to our thoughts, feelings and actions. This means that we are fully responsible for what reality is. The world moves, lives and offers itself to our knowledge thanks to some ordered structures of something that is, though, continually changing. Reality is therefore rational, but its rationality is multiple, structured on levels. It is the logic of the included middle that allows our reason to move from one level to another.

The levels of reality correspond to the levels of understanding, in a fusion of knowledge and being. All levels of reality are interwoven. The world is at the same time knowable and unknowable. The Hidden Third between subject and object denies any rationalization. Therefore, reality is also trans-rational. The Hidden Third conditions not only the flow of information between subject and object, but also the one between the different levels of reality of the subject and between the different levels of reality of the object. The discontinuity between the different levels is compensated by the continuity of information held by the Hidden Third. Moreover, the Hidden Third is the transdisciplinary unifier of spiritual information and natural information, but it cannot be reduced to one of them. The subject cannot be reduced to the object. That would be a true ontological catastrophe which leads to wars, terrorism and extermination camps.

Source of reality, the Hidden Third feeds itself from this reality, in a cosmic breath which includes us and the universe.
The Hidden Third shows why transdisciplinarity needs a new ontology. Systems and cybernetics have not considered the Hidden Third until now. Therefore they arc only potentially transdisciplinary but in their present actualization, they are not transdisciplinary. In order to become transdisciplinary they have to include the trans- categorial, trans-rational and non-algorithmic aspects of transdisciplinarity.

The irreducible mystery of the world coexists with the wonders discovered by reason. The unknown enters every pore of the known, but without the known, the unknown would be a hollow word. Every human being on this Earth recognizes his/ her face in any other human being, independent of particular particular religious or philosophical beliefs, and all humanity recognizes itself in the infinite otherness.

 “The Hidden Third as the Unifier of Natural and Spiritual Information”. Originally published in Cybernetics and Human Knowing. VoL 22 (2015), no. 4, pp, 9l-99., Basarab Nicolescu

The Hidden Third is published by  Quantum Prose.