The Scionics Institute
Reason • Reality • Philosophy • Science • Scio-Spirituality
Part Two: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
Matheism and psychonics was put forth in Part One, describing how intangible and immutable mathematical truth gives rise to a universal intangible but changeable plenum of raw consciousness, which in turn gives rise to the psychonic network which function as the Planck units which form the matrix of our tangible physical reality. Part Two will compare matheism and psychonics with the related or competing scientific, spiritual, metaphysical and philosophical ideas of other thinkers, both historical and contemporary. This will serve to demonstrate how it easily resolves issues which were previously unresolved or incorrectly or unsatisfactorily resolved. Even more importantly, however, this will also serve to highlight and provide in-depth descriptions of certain important aspects or implications of the psychonics which may not have been made obvious in Part One.
Chapter 4: Einstein and Spinoza's God
This section is heavily reliant upon the Wikipedia article Religious and philosophical views of Albert Einstein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein).
Although Scionics has coined the term “scio-spirituality” to denote the scientific approach to issues which previously were relegated to the realm of mysticism, the idea of bringing a scientific approach to spirituality is certainly not new. Albert Einstein, for example, who is obviously very well-known as a great scientific thinker, continuously attempted to integrate his thinking in all areas (whether specifically scientific or not) into a consistent whole. This most certainly included his thinking with regard to such things as religion, spirituality, God, morality, and related topics. As will be seen, his views on these issues were, in general, quite compatible with matheism and psychonics.
Although Einstein's parents were secular Jews, he came to have rather strong biblically based religious beliefs as a young child. He abandoned these beliefs at about the age of twelve, however, after having read several popular scientific works and realizing that many of the stories in the Bible simply could not be true, in the light of scientific knowledge.
Einstein never again had a belief in an anthropomorphic or personal God. He said, "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously.” This rejection of a personal God would have made him an atheist in the eyes of most people. In the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), as well as many others, “God” is explicitly thought of as a “supreme being” who intentionally created the cosmos, the Earth, and all of the forms of life on Earth (including humanity) in accordance with goals and purposes largely beyond the range of human understanding. This God is thought to have created various moral “laws” or “rules” which humans were expected to obey, along with the idea of some sort of afterlife during which one would be rewarded for obedience or punished for disobedience. It is often held that this God would intervene in affairs on Earth, sometimes quite dramatically and in ways which violated the otherwise natural order of things.
Einstein expressed his complete rejection of this concept of God many times throughout his life:
"The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve." – In a letter to Beatrice Frohlich on 17 December 1952.
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.” – In a letter to Eric Gutkind, after Gutkind sent Einstein a copy of his book “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.”
"I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." – In a response to a letter from a Baptist minister, asking Einstein about his concerns regarding his “immortal soul.”
"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls."
While Einstein rejected a belief in any sort of anthropomorphic or personal God, he did profess a sort of religious-like reverence for the underlying rationality and order in nature which he perceived to exist everywhere, throughout the universe. He did sometimes use the word “God” in a sort of “metaphorical” way, in conjunction with this sense of religious-like reverence, to refer to this underlying rationality and order, and to his sense of mystery regarding its origins or cause. In this context, Einstein sometimes called himself “pantheistic” and a “believer in Spinoza's God:”
“My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem – the most important of all human problems."
On another occasion he said:
“Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect. Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order.
Perhaps the single most famous of Einstein's quotes was one in which he used the term “God” in the metaphorical sense above, i.e., to refer to the underlying rationality and order of the universe: “God does not play dice with the universe.” This was said by him (more than once, in fact) in the context of the “uncertainty principle” from quantum mechanics.
When Einstein said “God does not play dice with the universe,” however, he was not imagining some anthropomorphic or personal God, who occupied himself by intervening in every quantum event, at every moment, all throughout the universe. Such a thing would be patently absurd, and Einstein, of course, recognized it as such. What he was referring to was his belief in the underlying rationality and order of the universe, and his belief that all events, from the largest to the smallest, are ultimately completely deterministic in nature. He held that this was true even for quantum events, and that the underlying deterministic principles which create apparent quantum randomness might eventually be understood by humanity.
Those who have heard this quote about God and dice, as well as other similar statements in which Einstein used the term “God” to refer to the underlying rationality and order of the universe, and who were also unaware of his use of the term “God” to refer to the underlying mathematical order and logic of the universe, would predictably be mislead into thinking that Einstein was using the word “God” to refer the ordinary and conventional concept of a personal god. Once one becomes aware, however, that Einstein uses the term “God” to refer to the underlying mathematical order and logic of the universe, and of his other pronouncements specifically denouncing the existence of a personal god, it becomes obvious that “Einstein’s God” is certainly not a reference to such a personal god, but rather to the mathematical underpinnings of reality itself.
It is also understandable that those who do have a conventional belief in an anthropomorphic or
While Einstein's metaphysical and spiritual ideas are compatible with matheism and psychonics, these latter are much more detailed, comprehensive, and scientifically integrated than any previously developed spiritual (or scio-spiritual) approaches, whether by him or anyone else. Until now, essentially all spiritual ideas simply posited the existence of some spiritual element of reality, without providing any sort of empiricorational explanation for either its existence or its activity.
Einstein approached spirituality from a rational and evidence-based perspective, and this did lead him to apprehend certain general aspects of the psychonic network, particularly its deeply mathematical and non-anthropomorphic nature. Neither he nor anyone else, however, went further to actually develop any sort of plausible hypothesis regarding (1) why it exists in the first place, i.e., its ontologically necessary mathematical nature, or (2) the details of how it creates the reality we experience, i.e., essentially automatically, in accordance with its own hedonic and mathematical nature.
It is important to note that the distinction between raw consciousness, on the one hand, and organized mind, on the other, was never expressed by Einstein. If he had come to appreciate this distinction, however, it is quite likely that his belief in a sort of pantheistic cosmic mind, which he expressed as “a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience,” would instead have been more precisely and accurately defined as a belief in a panpsychic cosmic consciousness, i.e., the psychonic plenum. He may then have come to understand that the reason for the regularity and logic of the universe was not due to some “superior mind,” but instead due to the essentially automatic mathematical and hedonic operation of the panpsychic cosmic consciousness which serves as the foundation and cause of all reality.