Skillful activity involves a kind of absorption into the external world. For example, skillfully playing the piano or playing basketball, the distinction between internal experience and external world becomes less rigid. The individual becomes absorbed into the “whole.” Such absorption into external space essentially depends on the existence of other people. In fact, it may be the deepest stratum of social existence, the stratum from which we “coordinate” our social behavior. Absorptive skillful activity is essentially social because in order to learn how to become skillful, one must be continually corrected. One must have a teacher. The teacher may be an internal voice, but even this voice is derived or adapted from other people. In completely absorptive skillful activity, there are no “other” people, there is only an act of complete coordination with the external world. Within the skillful activity itself, there is only a state of almost perfected totality, in which one is continuously incorporating the voice of the “others,” in consonant unison. So we see how skillful activity is fundamentally social, because it is only when the others are seen as others that they let him know that he is mistaken, it is only when the “external” space becomes considered as external that lets the individual know that he is no longer in a state of absorption. If the individual is absorbed in skillful activity, the “others” are really just extensions of himself. If he made no mistakes, then he would remain continuously absorbed, he would be completely coordinated with the external world, there would be no separation. But this also begins to depend on whether other people make mistakes, because if another person makes a mistake, the individual will perceive it as his own mistake because he is so absorbed. So we see how absorptive skillful activity depends on a kind of social coordination, is even identical with consonant social coordination. For the individual to become absorbed into external space is to become coordinated and interdependently linked to the others that teach and influence him. All of those around us teach and influence us. And so our own successes are bound up with those around us, and our own failures are bound up with those around us. In developing a skill, we are developing the ability to correct and be corrected. We invite others into the same state of skillful absorption, and we also invite others to correct our actions when they are misaligned.

The state of skillful absorption is a state of “compression,” or “aggregation,” in which information about the system of experience as a whole is pulled in to one’s own narrow field of view. One discovers complex, multi-layered reality in the symbolic-metaphoric instantiation of the whole ordered system. This can be considered cultural production or “knowledge production,” in which one is actively constituting and regulating the state of the whole system. In states of higher lucidity and vividness, the individual attains access to immediate, interdependent networks of human social behavior and “fills in” for inefficiencies of meaning in those networks. The whole is in a state of continuous equilibrium but there are inefficiencies of meaning in its composition, there are areas that are “meaningless,” where there is no purpose, no aim. The purpose or aim of human pursuits is innate, the human being is innately oriented toward some aspect of experience which is outside of his present reality, usually some potential future attainment. Even in his most mundane activities, he cannot escape the novelty and perpetual unfolding of new futures and new information. And this perpetual unfolding is limited, because human beings are finite creatures. There is a certain “scarcity” of time, which means that every micro-occurrence is important and meaningful. Ultimately every micro-occurrence is so important and meaningful that these importances are interconnected with one another at the most immediate level in a unified field of immanence. Furthermore, every individual is completely unique with respect to this field of immanence, each has a completely subjective interpretation of it, but these subjective interpretations are unique instantiations of the same complex whole, meaning that they all adequately approximate a single homogeneous field, in different manners. Each individual has such a limited life that he cannot help but to posit some hypothetical or axiomatic concept of the overall whole of experience. His direct experience is a fluid, continuous, unbroken whole, his experience is the only thing that he ever knows. This complex whole is a kind of medium, which interdependently connects and regulates all values and “oughts.” This field can be considered as a kind of social Game, whose purpose is two-fold, 1.) total absorption into itself as a unified, literal symbol of the whole, and 2.) separation from this whole so that it can studied as an independent, objective entity. This Game, which is also called the Divine Game, is a dialectic of absorption-separation, which sets up a competitive-cooperative system of coordination.

In the capitalist mode of social coordination, we coordinate around the attainment of a unified medium, the money currency. Everyone agrees to agree to ascribe value to that medium. But what does this money currency actually represent? What is the reason for its ascription of value? The money currency actually represents the state of the whole system. This is why the health of a nation is so dependent on its state of economic development. And this is why all of the nations are locked into an interdependent system of prices. If the money currency actually represents the state of the whole system, then the value of the money currency is equivalent to “the information that best describes the state of the whole system,” meaning that whoever has the best information about the state of the whole system can trade that information for more money. Money currency is the equivalent of the best information. Whoever can correct the disparities and inefficiencies to return the system to equilibrium can make a profit. We know that the capitalist mode of social coordination rewards those who are more competent, leaving a huge amount of income inequality. This can be considered an inefficiency in the capitalist mode of social coordination. But we also know that any redistribution of wealth can be more accurately thought of as a redistribution of information (money is information). So what if a corporation or a sector arose that could correct the inefficiency of inequality precisely by redistributing information? What would information redistribution look like? It would have to be “information that best describes the state of the whole system,” meaning it would have to be a complete and systematic account of the state of the whole system. It would have to incorporate information adequately from every relevant information domain into a concise, unified framework that was accessible in plain language. It would have to work on metaphoric and literal levels, it would have to be scientific and religious, it would have to be able to compete in the economic domain. Even more important, it would be have to compete with the historical social institution of money currency itself. It would have to be so cogent that it could coordinate people’s actions at least as succinctly as the money currency itself. This means that it would have to reach down to the deepest strata of human valuation. Money currency has value for social coordination because the individual says I “expect you to expect me to expect you to expect me…” to use money. There is such a deep mutual expectation that everyone will agree to agree to use money, which is historically and socially grounded. The ascription of value is at the core of people’s deepest intersubjective claims about reality. I argue that there is an account of the whole which can compete and cooperate with money currency itself. My evidence for this is the Christian religion. People still coordinate around the texts, rituals, and morality of Christianity after more than two thousand years. It has survived and adapted through almost every conceivable monetary system. Imagine that there is an entire economic sector dedicated precisely to creating and discovering a systematic account of the whole. This is essentially the concept of “distributed religion.” Such an economic sector could help with the function of government, could help to redistribute knowledge and information, could help people to coordinate in their environment. Such a project of information redistribution would have to arise from the particular combination of science and religious narrative that is characteristic of works like Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning. Essentially, what someone is paying for by supporting such a project is an entirely new competitive-cooperative system of coordination. They are paying for an account of the whole which is religiously and scientifically valid. In addition, different corporate entities within this space could compete and cooperate with one another, using each other’s information to build successively better and better accounts of the whole. Essentially we must use various aspects of science, like algorithmic information theory and game theory, and artistic devices like metaphor and simile to create a new social equilibrium comparable to the monolithic impact of Christianity. We must engineer a renewed vision of Christianity, partially by renewing and revitalizing the original texts and partially by creating and discovering new metanarratives that are coherent continuations of Christianity. Pure knowledge production could soon be its own economic sector, this would rely on the cooperation and competition of multiple pure knowledge production firms to generate realistic and compelling metanarratives that had sufficient coordinative capacity.

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In the enterprise of human knowledge production, there is a problem with whether this production is efficient. In other words, there is a question of whether overall, modern knowledge production is meaningful or helpful for society. No one would say that modern medicine or modern technology, for example, has not conferred certain benefits, but the question is whether it has as many pitfalls as it does benefits. Many postmodernists would argue that technology and modern science are simply different “ways of knowing” not inherently better than others. I would claim that the scientific and technological developments are unquestionably for the betterment of society, but that we have not learned to harness them in a properly consonant manner. We have not learned to ground them in the deep psychological or spiritual foundation that that they need. And as a result, we still see the fragmentation of society, rampant mental illness, and polarized politics. I put journalism, public policy, science, art, and cultural production in general, under the concept of  “knowledge production.” And in order to offer a contrast I will look at “material” production. In the material economy, we have a mechanism, the “price mechanism,” which ensures that the distribution of material goods is in overall equilibrium. Local buyers and sellers evaluate their own local conditions and buy or sell based on that information, and so all of the local conditions are collected and aggregated into a single, interdependent system of prices. But with “knowledge production,” we are dealing with something fundamentally different. We are no longer dealing with material scarcity, with a pursuit of material profits. We are dealing with the pursuit of truth. There is no analogous “price mechanism” for pursuit of truth. There is no overall system which aggregates local conditions of knowledge into a single set of interdependent symbols. I claim that we need precisely such an analog of the price system. Knowledge production cannot be coordinated by the market because it does not have material profit as its explicit motivation. Often material profit is a hindrance to genuine knowledge production. Instead, the explicit goal of knowledge production is the pursuit of “truth.” The aggregation of information around the pursuit of material profits is easier and more obviously coordinated because there is an explicit medium which relates all the disparate fields together, which is money currency. The aggregation of information around truth does not deal with an explicit medium such as money, its medium is truth. Heidegger has argued that truth is not a eternal, universal substance, as thinkers from Aristotle to Hegel believed. So the question is, what coordinates the pursuit of truth? We cannot simply say that the pursuit of truth is efficiently coordinated by the market, because the market does not, by itself, facilitate a ethical distribution of wealth, the market favors the strong, which is why we have redistributive policies and charity. Ethical truth favors the whole of society, it favors, “…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) So what coordinates the ethical, truthful pursuits of society is not the market. Nor is it the scientific method generally, because science is based on “facts” and not values. Max Weber influentially argued that values are irrational and are not a part of the scientific enterprise. This went against the tradition of Socratic and Enlightenment project of a rational morality, according to which “knowledge is virtue.” According to Alasdair MacIntyre, the Enlightenment project of creating a secular rational morality utterly failed and left us with the postmodernist confusion of relativism and emotivism. But there still might be something left for a rationalist project of ethics, under a new guise. After all, the entire enterprise of knowledge production and truth pursuit is coordinated somehow. We do, by a kind of messy, incremental, piecemeal peer review system, eek out an overall body of scientific knowledge. But the fragmentation, confusion, the vicious and vitriolic disputes of the culture wars, always seem to be just about to spill over into utter cultural chaos. It leaves one thinking that there must be a more fluid way of resolving these deeply held ethical disputes, a more consonant way of organizing our truths. There must be a kind of coherent symbol system, analogous to the price system, for truth. We need a comparably strong ethical-aesthetic-truth system, which competes and cooperates with the economic system. The only kind of ethical system which can compete and cooperate with global capitalism is an aggregation of all complex human knowledge into a single concise framework– scientific and religious, archaic and modern, rational and spiritual, all into the a single distributed metanarrative. This is precisely what Jordan Peterson has tried to accomplish in Maps of Meaning, a grand synthesis of knowledge. For now, we have to agree with the postmodernists that only our subjectivity can evaluate and assess the state of entire system. But this does not mean that there is no objective truth. Our subjective experience “reaches up” into objective truth through direct interaction. Each individual posits some hypothesis of the overall state of the system. And then direct social interaction serves as a kind of feedback, a kind of “price system,” which regulates the expression of the complex whole. The individual adjusts his behavior according to feedback on his hypothesis of the whole. Social interaction aggregates cultural and ethical information about the state of the entire system. Social interactions can be deeply symbolic, archetypal. So while we may not understand exactly what we are positing about the state of the entire system, because it is too complex, we do understand how the environment responds to what we posit, and we adjust our position accordingly. In this way, we collectively converge on the proper conception of the whole system. But again, this requires a supreme moral effort to combine and synthesize across vast fields of scientific and spiritual knowledge into the most aesthetic and most responsible hypothetical metanarrative. We must aim for nothing less than a true spiritual Renaissance of culture, renewing our religious traditions, our philosophical traditions, our literary traditions, our world traditions, and bringing them together with science and technology to form a supreme synthesis of knowledge.

We have no way of knowing whether the division of labor in the sciences is “efficient,” meaning we have no way of knowing whether the work currently being accomplished by scientists is in any way meaningful for the organization of society. This is because there is no explicit goal or purpose for the scientific endeavor other than a vacuous, ambiguous notion of “truth,” which is in no way unified in a coherent metaphysical framework. This is especially true in the human sciences. And I include journalism and social policy in this as well. And therefore the results of scientific study are often incongruous and meaningless in terms of each other. In the material economy, we can say that the distribution of goods is “efficient,” relative to the overall price system by which society collectively evaluates the goods. This price system aggregates all of the variegated information about the distribution of goods into a concise interdependent framework. With respect to the scientific method, there is no analogous framework for aggregating information, there is no explicit “price system” for truth. The various fields of science are pursued independently of one another and are often found to conflict with each other, if not explicitly, then implicitly, in their goals and aims. This can be seen in the conflict between climate science and social policy, or in the conflict between gender studies and social psychology. These conflicts come about because any notion of purpose in science is explicitly renounced. The goals and motivation of scientists are entirely implicit. Science is, in its Enlightenment ideal, supposed to be non-teleological, it does not involve the way things “ought” to be, it involves the way things in fact are. The first version of this so-called fact-value distinction appears in David Hume, when he maintains that we cannot derive “ought” from “is,” that moral values are in no way scientific or rational. Thus it has been traditionally conceived since the Enlightenment that science has nothing to say about ethical values, nothing to say about the “ought.” But science itself indeed has a purpose and a goal, and that goal is supposedly truth. And therefore the ethical values of science are not non-existent, they are merely hidden below the surface of the public scientific pursuit. The ethical meaning of science is “esoteric,” secret and hidden from public view. But we cannot simply assume that there is some kind of benevolent self-regulation among all of the disparate fields of science, that somehow the various fields of science correct each other and fit together in a grand harmony, simply because they are all pursuing “truth.” We have to have some explicit, exoteric, public-facing conception of this truth, it has to be grounded, not just esoteric. Otherwise, the development of science is left to the market, and we would not say that the market left to itself, is good arbiter of ethical truth. The market promotes the dominance of the strongest, whereas ethics promotes the predominance of the whole of society. Therefore in order for science to be in accordance with the ethical truth, there needs to be an independent, exoteric notion of the truth, which will serve as the mutually self-regulating medium to organize the distribution of scientific labor. This would facilitate an efficient distribution of the “meaning” of scientific labor, and ensure that scientific labor is oriented toward objectively ethical purposes. This concept of “meaning” is related to anticipation and expectation of the future. It is not teleological, it meant to be an analog of the “price system.” Our concept of the system of meaning will evaluate ideas, rather than material goods, in an interdependent concise framework. This interdependent system of meaning will be sketched out below:

The postmodernists deny that there is anything like such an overall truth, an objective truth, a reason or rationality in science. They claim that all knowledge is subjective and historically contextual. This obviously is in conflict with what most scientists believe about what they are doing. Most scientists believe in truth. What I intend to argue is that the only way to overcome this postmodern aporia is to, in some sense, move through it, not to resist it. The postmodernist claim that there is only subjective and historical knowledge, does not necessarily mean that there is no objective, overarching metanarrative truth. I will explain what I mean by this: The subjective experience of the world is in some sense the whole of the world. In any case, it is the whole experience of what an individual will ever know, we cannot get “outside” of our own experience. Thus, we can take the subjective experience of any individual and claim that it is an instantiation of the whole. It “represents” or “symbolizes” the whole. This whole which it represents or symbolizes is the overall, social and natural reality, the universal truth of the human situation. It is objective. My basic claim is that the objective truth of science is distributed among all participants, just as it is in the economic realm. But this is a deeper claim metaphysically. In the economic realm, the distributed, localized conditions are collectively measured and registered in the framework of the price system. I am claiming that each individual experience is in some sense a literal manifestation of the whole, that the whole is literally embodied in each individual’s unique experience. The individual experience is, in some sense the analog of the entire price system. It is not that each individual is a part of the whole. Each individual’s experience is an algorithmic “compression” or distributed “aggregation” of the whole. The whole is algorithmically compressed into the finite experience of each individual in a unique way. Each individual, by their own everyday actions posits some hypothesis of the whole, which he does not fully understand, which is more complex than his conscious awareness. And then he adjusts his own behavior based on other people’s responses to that hypothesis, which he does understand. So he is continuously adjusting his hypothesis of the whole, which he does not fully understand, based on the responses, which he does understand. So there is an objective, singular truth, which is the whole, which everyone is ultimately coordinating around. So the metanarrative is not one monolithic, authoritative dictum, but it is distributed amongst many various participants and perspectives that are constantly mutually correcting one another. And so there is, in fact, a way to measure the efficiency of the distribution of meaning in science. But paradoxically, it can only be measured in subjective experience of the whole. The subjective, individual experience must be hypothesized to be an aggregation of the whole of meaning. All meaning, distributed throughout the scientific enterprise, is aggregated in the individual experience and so the meaning of the scientific endeavor will measured by the fluid continuity of that experience of the whole, by the vividness, lucidity, and reality of that experience of the whole. Thus, individual experience is hypercomplex and multivariate, yet tightly interwoven in a unified, interdependent field of immanence. The purpose of the scientific endeavor is distributed throughout each individual’s experience, and by adjusting his own experience and purpose, the individual mutually adjusts the enterprise as a whole. The end or the purpose of the scientific enterprise is simply to make this interwoven, interdependent field of immanence available to everyone, to make it concrete and obvious, to thread the actions of individuals together into a consonant, harmonious whole. The individual does this by “filling out” his own experience. This “filling out” is an intuitive exercise of understanding where there is a disparity and instinctively compensating or filling out that disparity, for oneself and for the collective simultaneously. The individual actions immediately ripple out through the interconnected network of social actors. In this way, we can say that the distribution of meaning is “efficient,” when there is a perfect continuity and harmony of social actions. When individual experience is perfectly fluid and uninterrupted. In this way, the scientific endeavor is socially coordinated around truth, around the true meaning of truth, which is the objective whole. Science obtains its purpose, its meaning, without giving into subjective biases or teleology. The coordination around the whole is objective, thus the division of labor in science can be said to be efficient when there is fluid social coordination around the whole.

The average, everyday experience of the world, in which one is taking care of things, is a world of continuity and uninterrupted stream of unfolding. And then when things go wrong, we become more aware of the situation and adjust our position accordingly. The average state is one of continuity and met expectations. We normally focus on a small part of the available information, because things generally go according to plan. It is only when something goes awry that we are jolted out of the stream of continuity, and we must address the problem. This dovetails into situations in which we are engaged in skilled activity, in which we become absorbed in the world, in our habitual, skilled practice. The average situation is one in which the individual is already in the world, already “within” and “amongst” things. The exception is when things go wrong, when something happens not according to plan, when the skillful activity needs to be refined and re-articulated, improved upon. Thus in the average, everyday continuity of life, one is acting towards something, one is becoming immersed in some activity which has a purpose, even if that purpose is nothing other than the total immersion itself. This purpose, this becoming-immersed in space, the expression of skillful activity, is also inherently social. Becoming-immersed is a kind of becoming-coordinated with one’s surroundings. But sometimes becoming-immersed is itself erroneous, irrational, or otherwise misleading, somehow not oriented toward the “correct” kind of immersion. This shows why immersion must be a kind of socially coordinative action. The skillful immersion is mutually regulated by other people. We must be wary of practicing incorrectly, we take into account corrections to our own actions. When we become immersed, we express the whole, we posit a structural hypothesis of wholeness. We do not fully understand this wholeness, it simply exists for us as this activity which we must keep doing, keep practicing and refining, it is immensely complex, far above our powers of conscious, reflective thought. We can reach capabilities and capacities well beyond reflective, conscious thought, because we have practiced and refined and re-articulated so many times, that we are familiar with the “space” of absorption and immersion. We can recall it often from muscle memory. This “hypothesis of the whole,” the experienced quality of this immersive action, propagates outward to other people who are engaged in their own immersive actions, and they incorporate and repurpose that structural wholeness into their own action and they feed back responses to us so that we correct our own behavior. This structure of wholeness is a hypothesis, no one fully understands his own immersive skillful activity, or gets it perfect the first time, he posits something then refines his mistakes, ad infinitum. He does not fully understand his hypothesis of the whole, but he takes what he does understand, which is other people’s responses to his hypothesis of the whole, and then reintegrates these responses. This hypothetical objective, this wholeness, is the objective purpose which everyone is unconsciously oriented towards. There is in reality only a single concept of the whole. And every individual makes an analogy to that whole by their immersive activity. And this is innate substructure of human awareness which propagates through social interaction, through everyday social continuity. And when there is a disruption, this is the social regulation of immersive skillful activity, this is a signal that the some immersive activity is misoriented or misaligned toward the single true objective. The purpose of immersive skillful activity is to “fill out” the experience of the whole for oneself and others. The whole exists by itself but it’s analogies in human activity are limited, and so we must fill out the inefficiencies. Immersive activity “fills out” the inefficiencies, incongruities, misalignments, so that the various, variegated analogs of the whole fit together consonantly and not dissonantly. There is one true objective purpose because there is one whole, which all skillful activity asymptotically approximates. And so all skillful activity exists in a dense network of relationships. The immersion experience carries over into everyday continuity and mutually affects and regulates social activity. The true objective is manifested in a myriad of different approaches and analogies which are all ultimately interrelated by the Game. The Game is a kind of distributed, decentralized metanarrative. It is a metanarrative which no one fully understands but everyone contributes to or obtains an analogy of. The object of the Game is to discover the ultimately skillful activity, synthesizing knowledge and skills from vast expanses of competing fields into a singular, relevant teaching.

Postmodernism can be overcome not by resisting it but by moving through it. We can accept the postmodern doctrine of subjectivity, but not wholesale. Postmodernists say that there is no objective truth, no reason, there is only subjectivity. This is in a sense true, it is true that there is only subjectivity, but it does not necessarily follow that there is no objective truth or reason. Rather subjectivity is a kind of obscured or limited objective truth. The subjective in its fully disclosed form, is objective truth. This truth is disclosed in the personal experience of the whole. This is brought about by “filling out” the whole, completing or compensating for what’s missing or limited. There is a wholeness in the continuity of experience, a fluidity, an uninterrupted stream of pheonomena, all going according to plan, all happening in accordance with our will. And then there is a discontinuity, a disruption, something unexpected happens. The whole must be “filled out” it must be compensated, completed, we must take responsibility for the disruption. Because in this flow or continuity of experience is the social coordination of the community. Each individual acting according to their personal plans, inevitably involving others, inevitably interlocked with the purposes of others. In this personal fluidity of experience, the distinction between subjective and objective vanishes and there is only a hyperpersonal coordination in the whole. Each person acting according to their own personal plans, entering into this immersed state, contributes to the fulfillment of the plans of others, because our personal plans are so tightly interconnected. And by filling out the whole, we enter into this fluid experience, we enter into the disclosure of wholeness. The things in our field of view become not static external objects, but extensions of our own self. We experience a “totality of involvements,” the interconnection of the various phenomena. And then we take that experience back with us when we are again experiencing separateness, we remember what that immersion was like. And we re-enter into it, becoming it, becoming whole. And it is in this experience of wholeness that the objective truth is found, when the social coordination of individuals reaches its heights, when individuals can find the analogy between each other’s conception of the whole. And so by taking in postmodernism we can over come it to reach a new plateau. We can transcend postmodernism into hypermodernism, where our actions are closely coordinated around a distributed, decentralized metanarrative to which we all contribute.

There is a lot of skepticism in postmodernism that there is anything like truth in ethical matters. But truth in ethical matters can be judged by the coordination equilibrium of a work or doctrine. In other words, a work or doctrine sets up a game, and all of the people who play the game coordinate, who compete and cooperate to interpret the work or doctrine, do so to achieve the ends or purposes of that game. The ends or purposes of the game are determined by the rules or boundaries. There are ends or purposes which are better than others- those that set up good games. Good is not just a subjective criterion, because a game is cooperative. A good game has to be agreed upon or converged upon by many people, it has to be fun or interesting. The rules or boundaries of the game are what make it interesting, because these determine what is and is not possible within the game. The boundaries determine a whole world of possibility and impossibility. There is also the criterion of how big or widespread the game is and how long it lasts, which helps to determine whether it is a good game. So we might ask, what is the best possible Game? The best possible game is the most interesting, longest lasting, and the most people playing it. By these standards, Christianity is the best Game. And it has truth in ethical matters, as demonstrated by its organizing or coordinating the Western world for 2000 years. But we live in an era now, the postmodern era, where we are searching for the new “best Game,” which will inevitably be some sort of continuation or revision or renewal of the old Game, Christianity. The great discovery of the Western civilization, and the United States more particularly, is that individuals are “…endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” In other words, the discovery that the individual is sovereign. Each individual has divinity within. Our founding documents outline what this looks like, but they do not exhaust the possibilities of the divinity of the individual. I argue that the divinity of the individual consists in the fact that he is an instantiation of the whole. He contains the whole within himself, within his experience. What we call “subjective” experience is a fluid and continuous manifestation of the whole of reality, the whole of the universe, the objective, the Truth. This objective is obscured by its compressed nature, by our own limited experience. Heidegger says, “The genuine principle of order has its own content which is never found by ordering, but is rather already presupposed in ordering.” There is a kind of innate substructure of human cognition which is presupposed in its ordering of the world. Just ordering things, calculating facts or using instrumental reason, does not reveal their order, this ordering is an outward expression a manifestation of the inner order. The genuine principle of the whole, I would submit, is the inner, innate order of the human spirit. The whole of reality is “compressed” or “aggregated” into our finite, limited experience. This compression or aggregation is perfectly ordered, it is a perfect mathematical order. But this ordered whole is not obvious, it is not outright visible as the whole, precisely because it is compressed. A low resolution image does not accurately depict the actual high resolution image. We have a certain faith that our experience is whole, that it is meaningful, that it is important, because our experience is the only thing we ever know. We actually discover the whole within our own limited experience, by “filling out” our experience. We fill out discontinuities, discursive meanings. We compensate for them, we offset them to return to a fullness. We take responsibility for what comes into our experience because we trust that it is whole and complete. This experience of the whole is not a subjective experience. The whole is the only true objective, it is the purpose of the Game. The way that we “fill out” our experience of the whole, the way that we take responsibility for space, affects how that filled out aspect radiates through the chain of interactions. Everyone experiences the same analog of the whole from variegated perspectives. The whole, is, in the end, the One. It is the Oneness of experience. We experience the One in moments when everything converges, when multiple time horizons converge, when multiple meanings align, into a clear, lucid, crystalline understanding. We experience these moments dialectically, because they are the result of so many variegated convergences of meanings across the social continuum. Ordering our experience in this manner is the Game of the One.

There are two general equilibria of human social coordination: economic coordination and religious coordination. Economic coordination is biological, it is predicated on consumption and reproduction. Religious coordination is supra-biological, it is predicated on ritual, or the habitual action of a heritage or tradition over the ages. Economic and religious coordination are opposed yet they are also related in some fundamental ways. They are opposed in the sense that, in economic coordination the strong dominate over the weak. The strong impose their will, framework, and methodology. The rich get richer over time (“For to the one who has, more will be given…” Matthew 13:12). In religious coordination, by contrast, the whole dominates. This means that the entire affair of human interaction is taken in with a single view. This is necessarily a simplification, a compression of the true state of the human affairs, but it is a necessary simplification. In economic coordination, the whole is not as much considered, the local conditions are given more weight, the specialization in the so-called division of labor. The religious coordination around the whole is a necessary counterbalance to the purely economic/biological coordination around consumption and production.  Biological forms emanate, propagate, and progress without direction or aim, they fill in any temporary, instinctual whim or passion. Ritual is an expression of ancient practice whose purpose transcends any one human life, and that purpose is the purification of human life generally. Here purification means moral, aesthetic, and logical purification, with resolution into a kind of wholeness. Economic coordination also has its purpose, but it cannot give broad, general purpose to the whole of human affairs, it can give specific, detailed purpose to individuals, it can only fill out relatively temporary inefficiencies in the overall equilibrium. It can help an individual to find his specific role in the overall hierarchy of biological relations. Now economic/biological coordination and religious coordination also agree or overlap in some fundamental ways. Namely, they are both ways or organizing human behavior, they are complementary. They are both involved with a kind of bringing-closer to oneself something that is external, and recognizing that external as such. That is, they are both involved with planning for the future. This category of the future is important because it is not part of direct human experience. One cannot know what the future holds in any definitive sense, otherwise there would be no spontaneity in human events. There would be no experience properly speaking, because nothing would unfold. Therefore the future is pure in some sense, it is outside of human experience and it remains so, it is the external as such. Nevertheless we want to achieve certain things that we have not yet achieved, we want certain things to unfold in this future. Yet we cannot control whether they will or will not. We can take certain steps to ensure that they do. And this is what coordination is grounded upon, whether it be biological or religious coordination. Coordination is the equilibrium or off-loading of certain cognitive qualities onto a universal structure in exchange for the certainty and security that one can achieve his ends. Coordination achieves the mutual compatibility of goals, ends, and purposes in accordance with one monolithic meta-goal or metanarrative, the universal structure. With economic coordination this equilibrium between the individual and society is made in the universal currency. With religious coordination this equilibrium is made with the view of the whole. To what extent these are concurrent phenomena is open to question, but we should be careful not to hold up the universal currency as the true purpose of human affairs or as the whole of human affairs. Coordination around the whole through ritual has endured for ages and though it has to evolve and transform it should not be dismissed, but should be reborn and renewed.

The modern left is concerned with the corrosive effects of capitalism, like inequality and greed, while the modern right emphasizes the benefits of capitalism, like improved standard of living. Marxists in particular, want to move beyond capitalism to a more equal kind of society. We can begin to address the concerns of the left by looking at how capitalism achieves the benefits that it does and then using these to overcome capitalism itself. I believe this strategy is more useful than focusing on victimization and oppression. Capitalism achieves a better standard of living by a system of mutual coordination and freely adjusting prices. The price system allows localized conditions to be aggregated into a universal symbol system that can be assessed and used by all local actors. The local conditions cause economic actors to bid the price of a good up or down.  This affects the price of the other goods that it is connected with. All of the prices of the various goods are interconnected and mutually regulate and affect one another. The price system aggregates the varied plurality of local conditions into a universal price-symbol system. We can see how this is a condition or process of human relation more generally. It does not just apply to prices but it applies to the valuation and evaluation of  ideas more generally. We will sketch out how this works. But this internal logic of capitalism, of coordinated adjustment, can itself be used to address and overcome the problems with capitalism, because it can help us to rediscover a universal morality which our religious traditions have always taught. The price system works as a system of universal coordination because, in the economic realm, all economic actors attribute value to a universal currency, which can serve as the basis for the universal price-symbol system. In the realm of culture, all cultural actors attribute value to a universal, transcendent category: God, the whole, the One, the Good. Just like there is an economic system in which there is a mutual expectation that all will work and earn money, there is a cultural system in which there is a mutual expectation of ethics and transcendent social responsibility. The argument that I would like to sketch here is that capitalism can be overcome by discovering a more fundamental, natural system of human social coordination. This is informed by the already existent coordinative capacity of capitalism but transcends it to discover a higher plane of culture, art, religion, and ethics that is coordinated around the category “God.” This more fundamental, more natural coordinative system is grounded in theology and biology. In other words, a critical revival of the religious tradition on fresh spiritual grounds is necessary. The religious and philosophical tradition can provide the grounding for the efficient social coordination of human beings apart from the system of capital. I will briefly sketch how this more fundamental system of coordination is possible. Biologically, human beings coordinate their behavior and activities around ritual, consumption, and reproduction. That is, repetitive tasks, eating and gathering food, and sexual activity. But these biological activities are grounded in a more fundamental kind of instinct, which I will call the theobiological instinct. This theobiological instinct is a “bringing-closer” to oneself. There is a bringing-closer of repetitive habits, foods, mates, but this bringing-closer is not limited to biological instincts, hence the name theobiological. This bringing-closer recognizes something that is outside of experience, it recognizes that there is something fundamentally independent of experience. That is, the thing which we instinctually desire (habit, food, mate) is not present right now, but we can plan, so that it will be present in the future. And on this basis, ritual, consumption and reproduction, are not just things to be had right now. Human beings have learned to “scale” these things, in other words, so that we have them right now and later and in the next generation, we have them for me and for my family and for my community, and even for my civilization. So while we do coordinate around the biological capacities themselves (ritual, consumption, reproduction), we also, and in fact more fundamentally, coordinate around the hypothetical possibility of these things, around their future presence. As human beings, we have reflexive awareness, that is awareness of our awareness, we can plan for the future which is outside of direct experience. But the chain of reflexive awareness must be grounded in a fundamental, primordial foundation, otherwise no practical decision is made. Reflexive awareness is grounded in theobiological instinct, a bringing-closer to oneself what is outside oneself, while simultaneously recognizing it as outside oneself. Now on the basis of the theobiological instinct, we can recognize that there is a universal, unified substructure of human awareness. This bringing-closer to oneself means that there is something which is fundamentally unified, which can be the incentive and motivation in social coordination. What is it that we are bringing-closer, if not only our biological desires like habit, food, and sex? The primordial bringing-closer is a bringing-closer of the whole, of God. We are fundamentally limited and partial, and therefore recognize that something outside of us completes this limitation and partiality, something outside of us is fundamentally whole, and we can participate in this whole. We select portions of space which we bring closer to ourselves, in order to achieve our future goals. And this selection of portions of space, this bringing-closer, is a kind of unity with space, which in a sense completes our partiality and limitation in a limited way. When we achieve our goal, we feel complete. So what is the meta-goal, the goal in which all limited goals participate? It is the achievement of the whole, the achievement of a fundamental unity with space. And we work toward achieving this whole, while recognizing our own limitation and partiality. Since we all recognize the same fundamental whole, we are all participants in a unified field of immanence. All of our values or evaluations of the external world, participate in this field of immanence. All of our valuations mutually affect and regulate one another, because they are all assessing and responding to the fundamental, unconscious, theobiological meta-goal, the mutually coordinative action of all human individuals around the whole. This set of axioms is like the set of axioms of the price system, but on a higher plane of social existence. By understanding how capitalism coordinates the activity of local individuals, we can use this information coordinate in deeper, more fundamental ways, including reviving our ancient spiritual heritage for a new day.

The human being’s first hand experience is composed of the collective experiences of all other human beings. First hand experience is a compression of the entire social aggregate. Experience is a whole, yet this whole is fundamentally obscured. It is obscured by the fact that “meaning” is inefficiently distributed in the social body. Certain individuals experience the whole more fully and are then perhaps unable to transparently transmit the experience to others. They are unable to transmit the experience in proper proportion to the potency of the wholeness experienced. Thus information is not sufficiently liquid for meaning to be efficiently distributed. This is the case with advanced fields of natural science. They have clearly grasped deep truths about reality but these are simply inaccessible outside of their language context. It is also true of advanced monks who have clearly had deep experiences of reality, yet they are unable to propagate their meaning in a pedagogical, modern language. If these truths could be propagated analogically, then information would be more liquid. Meaning propagates through a substructure of analogies which can be considered “pure meaning.” To be more precise, analogy is grounded in a unified, immanent, field of hypothetical possibilities, this field is constituted through a first hand “becoming-closer” with selective portions of space. It is constituted by a kind of coordinated absorption into space. The union with space is experienced first hand, then described so that it becomes second hand information for someone else, then that second hand information becomes an analogy or possible world as it gets absorbed by the culture. For example, I ride my bike (first hand experience), then I tell my friend that I went on a bike ride (second hand information), then that friend considers going on a bike ride also (analogy). The analogical information is like a copy or a simulation of the original. And this field of analogies or hypothetical possibilities propagates through the social continuum and is continuously negotiated. Each individual experiences a provisional compression of the aggregate social whole, and their responses affect and regulate its composition for everyone else. The whole is grounded in a kind of striving for the whole, which is the implicit basis of all unfulfilled, limited experience. Desire seeks to fulfill itself by something outside of itself. The biological desire to maintain habits, to eat, and to sexually reproduce are all based on this more primordial desire for a “bringing-closer” what is external to oneself. In other words, the individual primordially desires to be unified with external space, to interiorize space, to experience the whole. And so experience is already whole, unconsciously. But since the analogy of this fact cannot propagate through the social continuum, meaning is inefficiently distributed and all pure meaning is obscured. If we could understand the whole then we would understand one another and vice versa. We are prevented from understanding one another because we do not have an adequate grasp of the whole. The whole is the unified ground of social coordination. And it is the unified ground of analogy. It is the only “objective” world properly speaking. All values and evaluations are bets on its aggregate composition and so they mutually affect one another across the social continuum. So there is a kind of bootstrapping process by which one experiences the whole and this propagates through the social continuum analogically which mutually reinforces further experience of the whole.

Human beings appear to coordinate their behavior biologically around ritual, consumption, and reproduction. But these are derived from a more fundamental “bringing-closer” of objects that are apparently external to oneself, such as in habits, food, or a mate. This bringing-closer is akin to becoming one with space, or becoming one with certain portions of space that will fulfill the desire. And by this fundamental desire to internalize or interiorize space, human beings copy one another’s actions and behaviors unconsciously. And in doing so, they simulate and thereby simplify each other’s behaviors. The models or ideals of behavior, the way that one “ought to act,” thus circulates throughout the social body in all sorts of modified forms. But eventually because each individual is constantly figuring out how he ought to act by simulating other people, the simulations become simpler and simpler over time. And eventually, because they are simplifying each other’s simplifications, the simulations converge on one perfectly concise action of how one ought to act, which is not only a representation, but a direct presentation, a direct instantiation of how one ought to act. This is then not a metaphor (simulation) or a literal fact, but is sublated into a literal metaphor. It is an embodied narrative that transcends its local boundaries by reproducibility and meaningfulness. Such a narrative then becomes a metanarrative by its universality in human social coordination. It becomes an analogy or metaphor of the substructure of the original spatial unity. The original “bringing-closer” which initiates the circulation or metaphors becomes instantiated or presented as an original union with the light, an original embeddedness in space. And this becomes the analogical substructure for future coordinated activity. We see the substructure of the dialectic of coordination. There is an original bringing-closer in space, which is a simulation or metaphor that simplifies the external environment. Then there is a circulation of these simplifications until they are so simplified that they converge on the simplest possible narrative. This is an original instantiation of how one ought to be, and this becomes an original metaphor of spatial unity, which is a more deep and profound realization of the substructure of social perception.