Explaining The D.U.C.

In my last post, I referred to my concept of "A Divine, Unifying Consciousness" and a commenter asked:

"Ok, seriously. In eastern philosophies, total consciousness is often equated to or represented by the sublime state of emptiness. In western philosophies, consciousness is often described as self-awareness, cognition and engagement. What is the flavor of the D.U.C.? How is it manifest?"
The answer is: The D.U.C. tastes like chicken.

Ok, seriously.

While I prefer using the term "Divine Unifying Consciousness", I once toyed with naming it "ATIWOSB" -- All That Is, Was, Or Shall Be . . . . . but it seemed, I dunno -- a little clunky?

(Warning: If you do not have a sense of humor, turn back NOW)

ANYWAY . . . . while I prefer the term D.U.C., I do not have any problem using the word "god" (capitalized or uncapitalized) and I often do use this word, for ease of reference when discussing matters of a spiritual nature with the more traditionally-inclined, for the purposes of connectivity.

There was a time when the "G" word caused me to break out in a rash, but, despite being a devote muff-diver for most of my life, I never went to the point where I used "Goddess" as a substitute (primarily because I had a lover who would shriek "Oh Goddess!" when taken to certain heights of lesbianic pleasure, and it was all I could do not to giggle every time it happened).

So, I'll try to boil my cosmology down to a the simplest metaphor possible (nearly, if not always, a dire mistake):

I am a game that God is playing with Itself.

When I look into the laws of physics, and the tendencies of biological and chemical entities, I keep seeing this "many from one" and "many back to one" cycle, and a recurring theme of what I call "enfolding intelligences" (My body has organs and tissues, these organs and tissues have cells, these cells have molecules, these molecules have atoms, these atoms have protons, electrons, and neutrons, and the electrons and neutrons have quarks -- and I have a sneaking suspicion that, even though science generally names quarks as the smallest unit of matter, it is quite possible that we'll someday understand even smaller enfolding structures - - ". . . the book says we may be done with the past, but the past isn't done with us".)

When I look into the most ancient creation myths -- I see a consistent theme: The physical Universe always manifests first as some form of a dichotomy or paradox (Light/Dark, Male/Female, Heaven/Earth). This paradox often/usually arises from some sort "unknowable One-ness" (a cosmic egg, a pre-existent chaos, a zohar, etc.).

Stay with me here.

With all that mass of seemingly variant spiritual, religious, cultural, and scientific opinion swirling around me, how did I come to the conclusion that I am a game that God is playing with Itself?

I looked into my "natural tendencies", and the tendencies of matter and other beings around me.

If you remove the pressures of obtaining food/water, building/maintaining shelter, keeping children alive, etc. from a human being (for the more civilized, this would include removing the need to "go to work") -- what do human beings do? (Hint: We call it "vacation".)

They play.

They play at all sorts of things. The invent sports and crossword puzzles and sodoku and backgammon. They swing and slide and swim and run around.

You don't have to "teach" a child to play. You might teach it "what" to play, or "how" to play a certain thing, but generally, play comes naturally to humans. Most animals also engage in play, and I'm not so "form-ist" as to think it isn't possible that rocks may have some form of play (although their games are probably very, very long, comparitively).

Biologists will tell you that ecosystems are primarily governed by stochastic (chance) events. Meanwhile, designers of "artificial intelligence" face the challenge of creating "fuzzy logic" systems that can allow mechanization of tasks that are normally reserved for human beings, or harnessing certain algorithms that seem to govern stochastic, organic events such as evolution. One of the things the creators of AI work with? Game Theory.

So, what if the entire physical Universe is a great big crossword puzzle, with all the answers at the back of the book, or in tomorrow's paper? You don't work a crossword puzzle that is too easy for you (or not for long), you don't work a crossword puzzle that is impossible to solve (or not for long), and you don't (usually) cheat and just copy the answers from the solution page -- cause what would be the fun in that? Game designers understand that, in order to be "fun", the game has to have a certain balance of challenge and resolution.

I believe that the D.U.C. was, at one point, a single "un-self-conscious" point that got bored with itself, and created the diversion of mitosing itself into various bits of seemingly different matter. Just for fun. From a purely physical science POV, I would say that this happened prior to the "Big Bang", BTW.

Because all matter (and consciousness) arose from that original one-ness, but is seemingly different, the "clues" are embedded in every part of the universe -- in chemistry, spiritual experience, biology, astronomy, emotion, thought, etc..

So, in my spiritual practice, the "Golden Rule" is still applicable -- but not from any "moral" place, because it's "good" or "right" to treat others as I would be treated, but from a place of energetic integrity -- because, essentially, they are me, at some level.

That's a challenge, I'll admit -- part of the challenge, I would say -- because they don't always look like me at first glance (quarks, rocks, other humans, animals, trees, planets, galaxies) -- but if I believe that the D.U.C. is everywhere, in everything, I have to assume that anything that I see as "separate" from me could possibly hold a clue to 10-Down, or 25-Across.

So, far from believing that "God" is impersonal, I see "God" as being both intensely personal and trans-personal. However, I think that the D.U.C. is more interested in having experience than in judging it, and I think that if you present this concept to people, many of them take it personally, and think that it means God "doesn't care".

Just because I don't judge you doesn't mean I don't care about you, however.

As above, so below. As within, so without.

Now, many people may wonder how I came to such a belief system. I'll blog about that more in the future, I suppose, but basically, I believe asI do because I see it reflected in nature, in biology, in chemistry, and in my experience, and I suspect that there are more "clues" in the offing.

And truly, I believe this because I've found it simply works better, and is more fun than the alternatives I've tried.

IMHFO, the D.U.C. is manifest in the ecosystems that are all around me, and that form and adapt and re-form. The D.U.C. is manifest in the fact that I am breathing air and taking in molecules and atoms that might have once been a part of your body -- so where do "I" really start and end? The D.U.C. is manifest in the paradoxical nature of light itself (particle or wave?), and in the beautiful chaotic order of a mandelbrot set.

Like I said: The D.U.C. tastes like chicken.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 3:50 PM  


Anonymous said... September 27, 2007 at 9:40 AM  

So, far from believing that "God" is impersonal, I see "God" as being both intensely personal and trans-personal. However, I think that the D.U.C. is more interested in having experience than in judging it, and I think that if you present this concept to people, many of them take it personally, and think that it means God "doesn't care".

This is it, right here. The heart of the matter, and the belief system that would stop everything hateful on Earth. G-d does care, but does not judge, so everyone just needs to stop with the judgement stuff on G-d's part. The "D.U.C." didn't ask us to be an enforcer or representative. It can represent Itself just fine, thank you. Although regarding the Judgemental G-d, I have found that I have to ignore a lot of the Torah to believe that there is no judgement...after all, this is a document written by humans to get other humans to do what they wanted them to do. It's a control manual.
And so, we are back to the Golden Rule. Use it, live it, don't forget it. :-)
Another excellent post, PD!

Fannie Wolfe said... September 27, 2007 at 9:53 AM  


"So, in my spiritual practice, the "Golden Rule" is still applicable -- but not from any "moral" place, because it's "good" or "right" to treat others as I would be treated, but from a place of energetic integrity -- because, essentially, they are me, at some level."

That last part, although I agree with you, is hard for me to digest. I don't want to think that bigots, murderers, and generally idiotic people, are in some way also me- at some level!

PortlyDyke said... September 27, 2007 at 10:03 AM  

Rebecca -- I also get tangled up a bit when studying Torah vis-a-vis judgment, but I'm very interested in gematria and Stan Tennen's hypothesis that the Torah is, perhaps, not a group of stories at all, but an algorithmic formula describing the shape of this universe. I've always wondered how this "gematriatic" aspect relates to Reb Zadok's theories of Bible, Mishnah, and Talmud. I'm sure we could go on about this for a long while.

Fannie -- Yes, the "I am that" aspect of my spiritual stance is probably the most challenging part for me on a day-to-day basis -- but it's the seed of what I call "compassionate accountability" -- something I'll probably blog about, too.

splord said... September 27, 2007 at 12:45 PM  

Another fantastic post, PD!

As John Lennon said,

"I am He as You are He as You are Me
And We are all together"

BTW, that StumbleUpon link rocked!

Also BTW, I voted for pop-up comments, 'cause I sometimes leave comment windows open so's I can check back later, to follow the conversation. The smaller comment windows can hover about without totally obscuring whatever "main" window I have open. Just my 2¢.

PortlyDyke said... September 27, 2007 at 1:06 PM  

Thank you Phyd! And your song reference brought to mind one of my most glaring "mis-heard lyrics" faux-pas:

I always thought it was "Semolina Postcard", instead of "Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower."

NikEPoo said... September 27, 2007 at 3:56 PM  

A very enlightening peek ... although I still feel wanting for more (like a hungry chick). I'm really not trying to wear your fingers down to the nub.

I too am a student of the brot and all things chaotic or complex. I think I'm one of only a handful of people to read Wolfram's book from cover to cover and did all the exercises ... which left me feeling as though he was really on the trail of something ... but lacked the imagination to postulate anything meaningful. One thing that keeps coming up for us chaosicists ... is how randomness vs inevitability ... impacts reality. Complex systems have boundaries but also infinite possibility (over time).

In "Conversations with God", the premise is that the ultimate goal is teh learning. God already knows everything and exists in all times simultaneously ... and decides to create learning by removing knowledge and then having everything get re-learnt. In game theory, the emphasis is on the next decision point ... from which flows the universe. In one case, choice is irrelevant, because everything already exists (for the sole purpose of learning) and in the other, choice is that which is the driving force of creation.

In terms of the infinite continuum of reality, where does choice fall in the D.U.C.?

PortlyDyke said... September 27, 2007 at 5:50 PM  

Nik. E. Poo -- Are you trying to exhaust my cans of worms!?

I will address this shortly, rather than in comments, which would be cruel for those reading this in a slim window dangling in hyper-space.

NikEPoo said... September 27, 2007 at 6:04 PM  



Jennifer said... September 27, 2007 at 7:18 PM  

Nik.E.Poo beat me to it. It's pretty clear that you've consumed Conversations With God amongst your legion tomes of spiritual exploration...and if you haven't, you practically needn't bother at this point.

I've done very little actual studying of spiritual issues, but stumbled upon CWG at a friend's house some years ago and it just rang so true for me it was startling.

I look forward to the next installment, worms and all :)

PortlyDyke said... September 27, 2007 at 8:42 PM  

I have only read one CWG book, but I have a close acquaintance who was Walsh's personal assistant for years -- I admire that he admits freely that he is fully capable of being a jerk, a quality I admire in spiritual teachers.

My favorite CWG quote is this: "Enlightened Cultures see what is, and do what works."

There is a mantra for the ages, IMO.

splord said... September 27, 2007 at 10:42 PM  

I meant to ask this before, but I forgot. Have you read Hamlet's Mill?

NikEPoo said... September 28, 2007 at 12:56 AM  

I met Neale Walsch once. Some sort of lecture/book signing thingy. He struck me as a hippie. He went on about lyrics to Beatles songs ... and the profundity therein. Not that I don't think there's gold in them thar hills ... but just not my groove. And I believe he thinks of himself as an "automatic writer", not a spiritual teacher.

And while I'm asking for details ... do you have your own notation? Cause theories only catch on if you've got catchy notation. I'm currently trying to pull together the symbology for my theories. For a recursive transform ... I was thinking a circle with an arrow ... but thats used in surface integrals and plumbing. Bah! Its hard to decide ... oh hey ... talking about deciding ...

[hehe ... I'm a sneaky one]

Bradley said... September 28, 2007 at 1:50 PM  

It's funny that you should blog about this type of divine connectedness of the universe right now-- I started reading about fractal geometry just the other night, and have been fascinated with the idea of the Mandlebrot set. As an essayist, it kind of reminds me of Montaigne, who famously wrote than "Every [hu]man has within him the entirety of [hu]man[ity]'s estate." I've been brainstorming an essay about essay writing-- the idea that the Mandlebrot Set is the perfect illustration of the essayist's chief task-- to show us all that-- though we each have unique experiences-- we are all fundamentally similar. Even the total bastards.

Great post!

Anonymous said... September 28, 2007 at 3:10 PM  

Coupla things: Nik e poo: I was going to mention that infinity with boundaries has, I believe, a name. It's called recursion, (or discrete infinity), and I came across it studying Noam Chomsky's latest theories on language, which he says possesses the quality of recursion, in that it's a finite set with an infinite number of combinations. But then, you brought it up later, so there you go.

And, PD, you keep mentioning the "as within, so without," which makes me think of how the word "without" has a double meaning--the opposite of "within," and also "to not have" (as in, "to be without"). One wonders whether it's really the same meaning after all?


Anonymous said... September 28, 2007 at 3:56 PM  

This reminds me of one of the creation stories a yoga teacher once mentioned. Shiva was off meditating, and Shakti was bored because he wouldn't pay attention to her. So she created the world so that she could experience what it was like to exist with limitations and obstacles and other ungodlike qualities, because only by working with these limitations could she find any interest or joy in the world.

So we're all manifestations of Shakti, each uniquely limited in ways that make that divine energy interesting. And our limitations themselves are what makes Shakti interested in us.

I've always loved that concept.

NikEPoo said... September 28, 2007 at 11:41 PM  

The thing about Mandelbrot is that the seed equation:

z' = z^2 + C

Is easily solved ... as a polynomial ... and yet complex and intriguing when mapped into recursive space.

More difficult polynomials like:

z' = 3z^5 + (z^1/3)C

Map to more trivial sets in recursive space.

Its good for hours of fun. Take the coefficients of your favorite differential equation ... and see how it maps.

Anonymous said... September 29, 2007 at 9:40 AM  

Nikepoo, how does one "map" these equations?


NikEPoo said... September 29, 2007 at 1:57 PM  

Nikepoo, how does one "map" these equations?

Well first of all ... I'd suggest not searching the tubes for it ... because IMHO, people who create sites about such things often attempt to overwhelm visitors with their enormous lobes. Personally, I'm convinced that its a whole lot easier than its made out to be.

Second, it depends on your comfort level with programming ... and your favorite language. In the past, people would almost exclusively explore fractyls with assembler or C programs ... because performance was a huge deal. Nowadays, not so much. Also, funny story ... the machine code that creates fractals is itself, highly susceptible to the very chaotic influences that they seek to define ... or in other words ... programs which do recursive calculations ... unintentionally create random results ... based on the nature of recursive systems.

Which is to say, recursive systems are really fun and interesting ... but its easy to get flummoxed by people spouting fancy talk about it.

So, with that in mind, I'd say that ... if you are comfortable with say ... Java and Java Applets ... you could make a fractal generator for experimentation. If not, I'll have to get back to you on a decent site ... or generator. Maybe provide you with one of mine ... although ... I usually don't code friendly UI for myself.

Anonymous said... September 29, 2007 at 4:40 PM  

It's all so fascinating, I must say. Recursion still bends my mind, but I'd love to--if you're willing--see a good fractal generator. I've looked online before, and it's like you say--a disappointing mishmash.

Thank you nik e poo.


NikEPoo said... September 29, 2007 at 11:55 PM  

Well, apparently ... not much is put up on the tubes which speak directly to random variations of the seed equation. I must suck at finding stuff. Anyway, I did find a couple links you might enjoy.

This link allows you to change the "formula" with a drop down list ... but the selection is very limited.

This link allows you to set planes and patterns ... which although cool ... is not explained.

This link is a bestiary of sorts ... you need to click on the link for each description to see the fractal. I think this one is best at giving a seat of the pants feeling for what most people have been exploring ... with nice descriptions of each one.

In general though, I'm inspired to build my own (with UI) ... based on my inability to find what I was looking for.

Anonymous said... September 30, 2007 at 8:59 AM  

I'll be your beta tester!


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