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.
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.