Friday, 7 June 2013

A brief intellectual history of my work.

Ref to "my" implies John Ringland, and possibly Glistening Deepwater. The "my" certainly does not belong the blogger of this site! RS


My first real exposure to a process oriented (see Process Systemics) and information theoretic (see Computational Paradigm) metaphysics was through the Kabbalah. Throughout my life I have had virtually zero exposure to mainstream, exoteric or non-mystical religion, the Kabbalah was my first exposure to spirit. The Kabbalah envisages concrete reality as a projection of energy, originating from a single primal source and emanating down through many layers that modulate the energy and constrain it (see Correspondences). This 'emanation' underlies all manifest forms and phenomena in the same way that a movie projection underlies all forms and phenomena within a movie. The many layers are dynamic with distinct characteristics and together form a complex process that generates existence.
My first deep realisation of the perceptual nature of reality was through experiences with LSD, a strong halucinogen, wherein I realised how much my experience of reality is a construct of my mind. Until one experiences the plasticity of what one assumes to be "the world", one cannot realise the profound degree to which "with our thoughts we make the world" (Buddha). Much later I encountered Vedanta and Taoism, which also added to my inherent process orientation toward the nature of reality. Vedanta perceives "the world" or maya as a projection arising through perception from an underlying reality brahmanand Taoism is the epitome of process metaphysics, the Way is the cosmic process that is unfolding and the aim is to flow with the Way. Through the act of discriminative perception the uncarved blockbecomes the ten thousand things or the myriad creatures and we lose the Way. My mystic explorations opened my mind in awe to the nature of reality and this inspired me to explore deeper.
In the context of High Magic I made a dedication to the universe along the lines of: “I am a cup to be filled from the fount of eternal knowledge and when full to the brim I am a fountain overflowing into all the worlds”. Further more I ritually consecrated the sacred space within, visualising it as within an ancient living tree. Upon the words "I seek to know, so that I may serve" a passage opens. Through here lies the sacred space, it is not contained by the tree, it is a nexus point in a multi-dimensional space. On the walls are sacred sigils of protection, as well as portals reaching throughout the cosmos. On a large book stand rests a huge book, it is the Akashic Record. It is a personalised portal into that cosmic knowledge space. As I open it and read my name inscribe in the first page, the two serpents that form the caduceus pedestal of the book stand come alive, slither up the stand and bight me in the neck behind each ear. The sensation was like a bolt of energy through my nervous system.
When I came to study physics and computer science at university I was interested in understanding and simulating reality. I approached most of the physics ideas by imagining the world around me through the lens of physics, looking into it with my minds eye. I also approached it by the concept of computation wherein I tried to comprehend reality as a computational process (see Ross Rhodes and Process Physics). I thought of reality itself as a simulation and the job of deep simulation was to model the causal logic of reality and recreate it in software. I was exposed to a great deal of non-process physics but I took that to be mathematical 'descriptions' of empirical behaviour and not actual 'models' of the inner causal dynamics or underlying computational programming of the systems. It simply described observed relations between empirical observables and made inferences from this, it did not describe the actual causal machinery that animated the phenomena, it was purely descriptive. The non-process equations of physics and other sciences model the system according to its outer observables whereas the system itself emerges from the underlying causal dynamics, it is a 'process' of existence, that must ultimately be 'modeled' and not simply described in order to fully comprehend it.
Furthermore, in retrospect I see that there was a difference in learning styles as well, I wasn't there to get a career in hard-headed science. At a time that I was deeply involved in Kabbalah and High Magic I intuited or prophecised that “I will enter into the swamp of modern society wherein I will find a jewel of immeasurable worth and retrieve it from it's murky obscurity”. I was simply there with an open mind, trying to assimilate it in my own way, not for the purposes of a career in the scientific industry. I didn't focus on programming my mind like a mechanistic computer and learning things that I can instantly recall at will and use like a craftsman in a workshop, that is how they encouraged people to learn and it might be suitable for industry but not for deep metaphysical insight. I would always keep meticulous notes and cram these into my mind just prior to an exam and then immediately forget it for all intents and purposes. As I walked from an exam my mind would be erased of all the particulars, leaving only the general principles. What I was there for was to subtly atune to the 'rhythm' of science, particularly physics, computer science and mathematics and thereby open a portal into a transcendent knowledge space, the Akashic Record. The true purpose of education, I believe is to connect the person with their inner nature and with the inner nature of the whole cosmos. With knowledge we pierce the illusion of form and penetrate into the underlying transcendent realm, we open portals into a transcendent space and thereby align our personal nature with the cosmic will. Then in any given circumstance one's actions are effortlessly appropriate, without pretense or constraint, one is firmly grounded, centred in one's power, atuned to the world and harmoniously synchronised with the cosmic dance of life.
I became lost in the metaphorical swamp, I lost my deep connection with the divine and became enmeshed in a mechanistic paradigm, I became involved in my first romantic relationship, after Uni I got a job as a software engineer working in an office in Sydney, I was chasing money to build a lifestyle, to travel with my partner and study overseas. I had forgotten all about the jewel and the swamp, I was walking the road to hell. Depression set in, the relationship fell apart and the ground suddenly fell out from beneath me. My world felt like a dream. Without any direction or meaning I craved only oblivion. Depression worsened for about two years, I felt whole layers of my mind and my psyche falling away, slowly decaying and then just stopping working. I experienced a slow cognitive shut-down from the inside, it was very informative. Somehow it turned around, it took two years to regain some balance and peace of mind.
In 1999 I spent time at uni doing an honours project in molecular dynamics, which is the simulation of matter to model the properties of materials or of complex molecules such as drugs. However it wasn't what I expected, the modeling methods were very simplistic, it was essentially just the calculation of masses of equations in a relatively straight forward manner. I dropped out and got a job that turned out to be very interesting, I essentially had complete creative control over the design of what was to be a universal control system within certain constraints, one simply teaches it about an electronically controllable context and it then sets about controlling it. I thought of it much like trying to design the reptilian cortex of an artificial intelligence, I developed some very innovative approaches. It was here that I first began to seriously question the metaphysics of the issue of "how does a system perceive, interpret and respond to its environment?". It was also here that I first split the conceptual model into two parts, what I then called existential information and causal information and which later evolved into the state vector and system matrix in system matrix notation (SMN). SMN is in one sense a continuation of that project and it could easily form the computational core of a universal control system. It would also be useful to organise all those masses of molecular dynamics equations into a single coherent model. Much of my previous work has been continued through the development of SMN.
Around early 2000 the universal control system project was moth-balled due to financial disputes over the cost so I resigned since there was nothing else happening there that interested me. Soon after this I had a profound paradigm shift (epiphany) over to a system theoretic vision of the nature of reality, which was also inherently process oriented. Reality was a dynamic 'happening', there were no static ontologically existing 'things' such as space and matter, it was all information in flux. I envisaged a vast and intricate network of cosmic information channels, the causal interaction pathways along which phenomena flow. Within the network there where 'knots' pulling the surrounding network into bundles, these bundles and their inter-relation within the network where what underlies what we experience as matter and space, and the inflow of information channels into the bundles manifests gravity. There were no "laws of physics" with neat equations (these are just simple descriptions), there was a vast distributed process that was happening and which could only truly be represented by causal modelling from within rather than by descriptive modelling from without.
This paradigm shift was deep and life changing, rather than inhabiting a world of objects, events and places I came to see reality more and more as semantic patterns of information in constant dynamical flux within a self referential information space, arising, persisting, changing and dissipating. The semantic patterns are 'systems' and they combine and build upon each other in the manner of a virtual-reality-generative grammar or algebra of creation. Rather than dwell on the surface of sense perceptions my mind delved into the inner essence of systems. I could envisage the causal flows through systems, looking beyond their outer observables, through my minds eye I could see the flow of pure dynamics through a complex system with its many levels of sub systems.
I had not undertaken any scholarly study of mystic traditions in order to arrive at an understanding of them, what exposure I had was just a fleeting taste of what was to come. Most of my scholarly work into mysticism has occurred afterwards as part of an attempt to communicate with others. I was like many people (especially in the west) who had little understanding and little exposure to genuine wisdom. I had been involved in ritual high magic (personal alchemy) but this was merely unconscious preparation for things to come. So too was the study into theoretical physics and computer science.
I originally avoided expressing the true inspiration for my work publicly because it would result in the entire work being totally dismissed by the western world and the scientific aspects would never be given due consideration. However I have reconsidered this because the scientific community has utterly failed to give it due consideration anyway. I now know why.
The epiphany was just the beginning of many years of deep insights, for which there was no prior rationalisation and they produced knowledge that I myself had no way of knowing. For several years this had a profound transformative affect on me and I totally devoted my life and time to it. I turned my back on practical considerations of career, money, housing, food, relationships and all the rest and trusted that the universe would support me, which it did and it also became by teacher.
In this time I would turn within and there would arise an intuitive knowing, a vision in the mind's eye would arise whole and complete. When I looked out upon the world this vision would be superimposed over it, inter-penetrating it and infusing it with deeper meaning. But the vision itself was too much for the mind to digest at once and it took several years to come to grips with it. During this time I neither trusted nor distrusted it but simply followed it, all the while wondering if I was going insane but treating myself as “just an experiment”.
My mind intuitively gathered fragments from the visions and these self-organised into an intricate mathematical formalism that is the most elegant, minimalist and powerful mathematics that I have ever encountered and it is entirely self-consistent with no contradictions or ad hoc artifices. Only after witnessing this did I come to know that I was not going insane but that there was something much deeper going on.
Through this process there arose a new cognitive lens within my mind. All of my understanding arises from that mathematical core as it unfolds into metaphysical ramifications. The realisation was pure intuition but mathematics was the way that the mind naturally comprehended it. It was also during this time that the universe brought to my attention things such as the Upanishads, Bhagavadgita, Tao Te Ching, Sufism, mystic Christianity, Kabbalah (again), shamanism and numerous others. When seen through the new cognitive lens the metaphors were transparent and they all revealed the same mystic principles. I could recognise them because they are the same principles arising from the visions and from the mathematics.
I immediately connected with advaita (non-dualist) Vedanta rather than dvaita (dualist) out of intuition rather than rational judgement. In the mind's eye I could 'see' where the dvaitans are coming from but I could also 'see' where and why they went astray in their thinking, just as I can 'see' where and why the west has gone astray (but expressing these things is not easy). These are just my own insights, which I would not seek to impose on another, but this is just to explain where I am coming from.
On a mundane level, social pressures where forcing me to either get a job or go to Uni, and working would be totally destructive to my state of mind. I had tried once more to do honours at uni hoping that I could continue my work academically. I put forward a proposal for a project but they thought it was philosophy if it was anything, they weren't even interested in discussing it, it didn't connect obviously enough with materialistic physics. I started a project with as much information theory as I could find, in which respect I learnt a lot in my own time but the project itself was mainly routine software engineering work, developing algorithms to filter noise out of the data stream of a gravitational wave detector.
I tried to force myself back into academia but life had other plans for me. I encountered my second relationship. Knowing her sustained me throughout later years, she was my muse, my only confidant in relation to the unfolding ideas, but we have become estranged. In everyone else's eyes I was a crackpot and she too came to see me that way, and the work became "the other woman" in her eyes. I persisted at uni for a while but lost interest and eventually left. I was disillusioned with academia, it felt more like a factory than a place for serious truth seeking. The head of department confided in me once “I have only two in-boxes, one for reputable journals (pointing to a plastic tray) and one for crackpots (pointing to the rubbish bin)”, thus insinuating that I either conform to scientific dogma and get 'authorised' by the scientific priesthood or I will be excommunicated and driven into oblivion. It was a very closed minded, materialist atmosphere. Furthermore it was inherently unsuitable for a diverger like myself who's work is an ongoing brainstorm, I was always being pressured to converge, externalise, produce and conform in order to justify my existence within the system, but this was like trying to wring a few drops from a dry sponge, I first needed time to soak up some water.
I struck out alone intellectually, first living in various places around Canberra. Fortunately Australia has an unemployment benefit (its a throwback to a humane past, which the government has been trying to dismantle) but it is only barely enough to survive. I was caught in a poverty trap, surrounded by manic, confused and desperate people. I moved from one low income housing shelter to another before preferring to live in a tent that I would carry with me during the day and then walk up a mountain and pitch it for the night. I would look down on the glittering fungus of suburbia and it was like an alien growth. It was at this time that I discovered the 'Upanishads', which has changed my life. My partner at the time put up some money to buy a van and I paid off my half by living in a park in Canberra and saving my unemployment benefit. We then took off and became nomads, living along the east coast of Australia for about 18 months. My plan was to find a piece of fertile land far away from the rat-race where I would not be bothered and to live simply and devote myself to the work. Synchronistically I was offered free access to a place in the mountains of north east NSW. There are more details on these aspects inComments on Authoritarianism.
I focused only on what spirit inspired me to do and did not care about the supposed consequences and common sense about money, career and so on. I surrendered all attempts to lead my life and called upon God to “hold me tight and wield me well” and the universe swung into motion around me and within me. I lived in a blissful natural environment and spent most of my time in various forms of yoga. Everything I needed was provided and there was a constant flow in inspiration and teachings that would arrive just as they were needed. There are many degrees of surrender and I am still very entangled in the world but I came to trust that the Sadguru (universe as guide) is the only guru that I needed because it guides me through all available channels. Even though they may look like people, books and events to my mind, they are channels through which the Sadguru guides me.
Throughout this time I was working constantly on clarify the ideas, trying to better grasp the vision, to see deeper into reality and to find ways of expressing what I saw. I also delved deeply into Vedanta, Raja and Jnana Yoga, Western Esotericism, Taoism and Mystic Christianity, and thereby attained some heightened states of mind. By yoga I do not mean just a sequence of bodily postures, the context in which I use the term yoga can be hinted at by the following comments. Yoga literally means union, it is the science of the attainment of union with the cosmic oneness. Its fundamental principles are: chitta vritti nirodha, tapas, svadhyaya, Ishvara pranidhana. The fundamental method is cessation of the modifications of the thinking principle, stilling the disturbances of the lens of the seer (chitta vritti nirodha). The three essential components of the process are a fiery will that hungers for the divine and that burns up all obstacles (tapas), self knowledge leading to self mastery and knowledge of the nature of reality (svadhyaya) and surrender of the separate egoic self to the cosmic oneness, thereby entering into union with All (Ishvara pranidhana). Yoga does not begin with postures, it's very first precept is harmlessness and its ultimate goal is Samadhi, here is a quote from the Yoga Sutras, Samadhi Pada, 47-51:
When this supercontemplative state is reached, the Yogi acquires pure spiritual realisation through the balanced quiet of the chitta (thinking principle).
His perception is now unfailingly exact (or his mind reveals only the truth).
This particular perception is unique and reveals that which the rational mind (using testimony, inference and deduction) cannot reveal.
It is hostile to, or supersedes all other impressions.
When this state of perception is itself also restrained (or superseded) then is pure Samadhi achieved.
I had been pursuing the 'systems' line of enquiry since mid 2000 and more generally for many years before that. There had been great progress in my connection to spirit, my intellectual understanding and in my ability to express this. I had a feeling that something was brewing in the collective consciousness (see The New Science) and that my work served some role in that, I had been steadily working on my own part of it, knowing that I am just a small part of a vast pattern that is unfolding. In early 2005 there was a two month period in which I was in a very altered and focused state of mind, I only ate an apple every third day and I was extremely weak but I worked tirelessly every waking hour, discovering many profound ideas and generating over 500 pages of paper notes with mostly mathematical explorations. I didn't have a computer at that stage, but then it arrived and I wrote the core of the SMN software prototype. At this same time I synchronistically stumbled upon a book by Ervin Laszlo called "Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything" which contained detailed proof of the existence of the deeper informational levels of reality that I had been exploring and this gave me the feeling that there were other developments happening or about to happen. I have since discovered other books, "The Field" by Lynne McTaggart and "Piercing Time and Space: Where Science and Spirit Meet" by Traci L. Slatton, (also see other related works). This combined with the profundity of some of the mathematical revelations from the work signalled to me that it was time to release my work, I had a feeling that other things were brewing and that the time was right.
On the strength of this feeling I spent several months preparing for publication; visualising the whole conceptual framework and discourse, organising information, writing discussions, transcribing the mathematics and generally developing this website. Since first publication it has evolved significantly as I have received feedback and have acclimatised to the overall intellectual and internet context within which the theory and the website are situated. Since then I have mainly been in a phase of clarifying the discourse, structuring it clearly and connecting the ideas in with other related ideas.
I remained in the forest retreat for four years all up, the last two alone. It was called Anandavale or “blissful valley” in a mixture of Sanskrit and English, which then evolved to Anandavana and then gave rise to the name I use for the work Anandavala. It was an enormously productive time and the work evolved considerably. Solitude was a good place to go deep into things and I explored broadly, deeply and eclectically. Although in solitude I often worked in parallel to others, oblivious to their work, only to later find, to my joy, that areas had already been well developed and I could build upon their work. There has been enormous synchronicity in the unfolding of this work.
After leaving Anandavana I was called to India where I wandered aimlessly for a year, just following the flow of events and sensing whether it was a place that I would wish to live more permanently. Many profound realisations and much profound work occurred. I spent time mostly in Rishikesh, Pune and Kerrala. But then I was called back to Australia, where I met another mystic who is dedicated to following the flow of spirit both within and without. Since then things have been changing at an incredible rate. I have stopped updating this page because words are too glib and things keep changing too rapidly and subtly for words to keep up.
I just following the flow of spirit as it manifests within me and throughout the world. I do not know where this will lead but after many years of intimate communion with the process I have come to trust the process. There is something very big moving in the world, the signs are subtle but unmistakable.




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