Patternism: Everything Real is a Metaphor

After declaring Material to be dead in previous post, I thought we should ask the question: what should replace Materialism as the dominant metaphysical paradigm? What metaphor is better than dead rocks? What metaphor incorporates consciousness and subjectivity?

I propose: pattern. Pattern is a superior metaphor for the fundamental substance of reality.


Sacred Geometry: Flower of Life, Metatron’s Cube



E8 Lattice: 2D projection of the 8D charge space showing the elementary particles naturally arranged in geometric pattern

Pattern is the intersection of the internal and external worlds. Pattern is where subjectivity and objectivity meet. If we consider the fundamental reality unit to be pattern, then the “hard problem” of consciousness goes away.

Pattern is regularity. It is the alternation of boundaries and spaces.

And what are boundaries and spaces?

Boundaries and spaces are symbols of significance assigned arbitrarily by an observer. So they are entirely subjective. There is no imperative dictating that we must group and signify things one way or another. On some level this is an automatic biological response by our neural networks which have been trained to recognize useful patterns. On higher levels we can choose how we group things.

So everything in the universe is composed of similarities and differences… Thus the title of this post: “Everything Real is a Metaphor”. And a corollary to that: Everything real becomes a paradox when expressed symbolically. And the corollary to the corollary: Life is completely absurd and that is why it is awesome…

Anyway, if similarities are great enough to reach an arbitrary threshold determined by the observer, then the observer considers these similar things to be multiple instantiations of the same thing and this is the formation of a pattern. If an observer is not present to impose a subjectively defined pattern upon the objective world, then there is no pattern. If a tree falls in an empty wood, it makes no sound. If no one is looking, the photon cheats on itself and the cat’s nine lives are in superposition, etc.

Everything “real” is a metaphor because it is similar to something else and an observer can group it together if he/she/ze/it chooses. If something is totally incomparable to anything else, then it doesn’t exist for us and remains in the Abyss – the formless void – the Universal repository for insanity from which all novelty arises when the curious creative spirit passes over it.

Okay I feel like I’m getting off into the weeds now talking about the Abyss… I didn’t mean to fall into the Abyss again… its just such a fun subject!


Pattern is just another word for the “Logos” (see post: Logos, Abyss, and Spirit), but perhaps less obscure. Think of the Logos as Legos. Legos have similarities and differences. The similarities or regularities (little bumps on top and slots on bottom) allow them to be snapped together into a larger structure.

Anyway, pattern requires both the subject and object to exist and interact and that is why it is superior to material as a metaphor for the fundamental reality unit. If pattern is the fundamental building block of the universe, then consciousness is built into the universe. If tiny rocks are the fundamental building blocks of the universe then we’re all a bunch of dead rocks.



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Patternism: Everything Real is a Metaphor

  1. paperedcut says:

    Scientifically, the fundamental building blocks of the universe are quarks and leptons (as far as we can tell so far). Neither of which are tiny rocks, but combine to make up tiny rocks….and trees, and grass, and stone, and dirt, and water, and flesh, and bone and so on. So technically, we’re all a bunch of quarks. However, as I’m sure you know, quarks are made of sound waves. So TECHNICALLY, we’re all a bunch of sound waves held together to form mass. Hmmmm, I wonder where the sound came from?
    What happened, man? Seriously. After you turned agnostic, you disappeared and I never got talk to you. What happened to what you used to know to be true, and where did this other non-sense come from?

    • simcah says:

      My views are probably closer to gnostic or Christian than agnostic… but why be pigeonholed by labels. 🙂 The universe is full of nuance and so should any working model of the universe… it can’t be summed up in a single word.

      Fundamental particles are not something we can directly sense. Anything that cannot be directly sensed we understand through metaphor and analogy. So we tend to think of particles as tiny rocks or “billiard balls” bouncing around. Even though quantum physics has shown for a hundred years that this analogy is limited in its explanatory power, people still tend to think of stuff as solid and being made of solid things and following solid deterministic rules and this has led to materialism which is the belief in the solid rigid dead things as the fundamental nature of reality… this led to materialism and in some cases to nihilism where those who speak on behalf of the mainstream for science and academia will go so far as to state that our consciousness is an illusion.

      I’m not a nihilistic materialist. Life has meaning. It goes on after we die. This is one chapter of a great story. One act of a great play.

      The “sound” / Word / Logos you alluded to is something I very much believe in.

      • paperedcut says:

        You just don’t call it God? Are you saying you don’t believe in YahWeh or Emmanu-El but you do believe there’s a “greater something” out there? At least that’s how I’m understanding your response. And wouldn’t that be considered Agnostic? You believe there’s something but don’t know exactly what it is?

  2. paperedcut says:

    After re-reading the definition of Gnostic and Agnostic, I rescind my previous reply. I understand what you’re saying now as far as the gnosticism goes. However, the question still remains, do you believe the “mystical knowledge” you have is knowledge of God or just “something out there”?

    • simcah says:

      Both and neither 🙂

      Do I believe in “Some Sort of Something Out There Somewhere”, or in one particular conception of God (e.g. Yaweh)? There are many conceptions of God in the Bible and around the world and many more interpretations and disagreements about the nuances around those conceptions. So which one is right? Or are many of them “right” on an esoteric level even if appearing to conflict on an exoteric level?

      I believe there is an aspect of God that is unknowable with abstract wordy knowledge. For a visual analogy, I imagine God is a mysterious sphere that is like a black hole and white hole at the same time… it is pulsing with light. It reflects everything and swallows everything. It is the source of everything and annihilation of everything. It is infinitely deep and of undefinable size. It is the central point from which opposites diverge and then reunite. To enter it is to enter the center of life, to find perfect unity, and is ultimately to give up individuated identity and is therefore also a kind of death (which might feel like love to a selfless person and might feel like hell to someone particularly in love with their egoistic self). I imagine that we use words to propel us along on our orbit of this Mystery Sphere, but as with Zeno’s paradox, we can only move closer by half-distances such that we never quite get there with words.

      So words can take our mental orbits closer to the ineffable center of being we call God, but at some point we give up words and just fall right into direct experience of it and that is the Gnosis or mystical experiential knowledge rather than abstract metaphorical knowledge.

      I believe that most conceptions of God have value in communicating esoteric truths to us, but taking any single conception of God strictly on an exoteric level and making a rigid doctrine out of it eventually leads further from the truth. To continue with the analogy above of “orbiting” around the central truth… it would be as if someone said, “okay I think I’m going the right way now so I must keep going straight this way,” but in becoming rigid and straight and failing to perpetually bend with the orbit, the person winds up off in deep space.

      IMO, getting closer to God/Truth is a balancing act of holding opposite ideas in mind at the same time and resisting the urge to cast off one or the other, resisting the urge to settle on something definite and binary, but instead allowing the tension between conflicting ideas to persist and gradually resolve naturally. In my analogy above, this tension would be analogous to the gravity that keeps one in orbit – perpetually bending oneself closer to the truth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s