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  • Writer's pictureDan Thompson

Theory of Everything as the Ultimate Art, or The Ultimate Art as a Theory of Everything

Updated: May 18, 2023

All theories aim for beauty, parsimony and elegance, assuming of course that the universe is constructed in such a way. Although it may not seem like it, both observation and evidence consistently show a tendency toward some kind of gradual progress in many domains at once. This progress is much like evolution but on the scale of individual bits of information. What Thomas Campbell of MBT theory (My Big Theory of Everything) refers to as process fractals.

While these quantum systems are highly ordered, and lend this order (at times) to the larger structures of which they are a part, they cannot account for the perverse reversal of natural law that larger structures (especially structures under ‘intelligent’ control) seem to exhibit, where there is development along one line and disorder in another. One road comes to an end, while another begins.

If we knew, or could see the bigger picture, we might enter a multi-dimensional model of relativity, like a quantum computer operating on all probabilities, instead of the one we are currently on. The reason we only appear to experience or see one world, one reality, one universe, is because we are too big to fit through the eye of the needle, where there is no time, no space, only probability.

The success one has, or the discoveries one makes, have to do with the way they approach a theory of everything; as either a problem, a challenge, a game, or a solution to other problems, like now that we have a universe, what do we do with it? But no matter how one arrives at their theory, it leads to the same general place. All theories must contain some truth to them, since all thought is thought about itself. Therefore anything, and literally anything, can be considered a piece of the puzzle, just as any object can remind us of any other object, or the idea of an object. Likewise the idea of an object can bring about the manifestation or expression of that object as in the creation of a tool, or the production of an automobile. But an automobile cannot bring itself about, it must be thought. Therefore ideas are more fundamental than objects. But where do ideas come from?

For one thing, they do not occupy space (at least not outside our heads) and they do not exist in time, since they exist as much now as they did in the past and will do in the future. If they do not exist in space or time, then space and time must also be emergent expressions of the absolute. Potentials that some day must manifest themselves, but that need an intercessor (consciousness) to organize them, just as we are intercessors on behalf of the absolute Being itself.

Each experience feeding back into universal mind, which is then projected back out, the essence becoming the surface and vice versa, just as the memory becomes the brain and the brain becomes the memory, a virtual brain based on the probability of the information it is made of. The brain doesn’t process anything, brains don’t have consciousness, consciousness has brains. (see: The Holographic Principle: My Big ‘I’ Idea (after Thomas Campbell’s My Big TOE)

Our brains seem to come to these conclusions by themselves, through forces and circumstances that we know not the cause. As if the universe really were a kind of game (or hologram) that we ‘beat’ by finding resemblances, correspondences and analogies, like ‘cheat’ codes, and then putting them to use in applications that we also have to discover in similar fashion.

If we had to do all of this through the sheer brute force of science and technology, we would probably run out of time or resources, but luckily there is a ‘third’ way.

The Aesthetic mode of TOE

Giorgio de Chirico, The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon (Original title: L’Énigme d’un après-midi d’automne), 1910

There is more than one way to approach a theory of everything (see: Meaning in Adversity in Relation to TOE in fact, the study of such things can be traced back to the earliest mystical and alchemical texts. Alchemy being the first attempt at a theory of everything, which used a hybrid of symbolic art and philosophical ideas to back-engineer an occulted physics, employing the trinitarian doctrine of christianity as a code for the trinity of salt, sulphur, mercury; space, place, motion; and, or, both

If Leibniz, Fulcanelli, Bruno or Plotinus had been visual artists, musicians, or sculptors instead of mystics, they probably would have been more famous, and produced art perhaps in the style of the symbolists, surrealists or expressionists, but art had not yet reached that level, (it had not even achieved realism, which must first be achieved before it can be rejected). Art was still behind the sciences, and the other ‘arts’ of the quadrivium. It wasn’t until the emergence of modernism, and the invention of perspective in drawing that ‘art’ as we know it today achieved the status of a meta theory, capable of commenting on other theories and sciences and making contributions of its own.

This developmental process is ongoing as sciences depend on writers, and writers depend on scientists to provide the fodder and inspiration for interpretive commentaries on their work. This includes philosophers, such as Graham Harman who has been instrumental in bringing the arts in line with the sciences as a meta theory, since art does what neither science or philosophy can do on their own, that is, recreate nature.

While science merely studies nature and philosophy merely talks about it, art actually makes it (the best artists being aware of what they are doing) pointing back to the thing in itself, its essence rather than its outward appearance (naive realism).

Giorgio de Chirico, Le Muse inquietanti, 1917

Like our search for TOE, every conversation, blog post and article is a movement (however finite) in the direction of knowledge and understanding. The meaning of life and specifically our purpose in life, is to accumulate knowledge, not only on behalf of ourselves, but on behalf of the universe.

As individuated units of consciousness, we have the capacity to experience things self-reflectively, that is; we can know that we know. A subjective experience of a universal process. We use materials outside our subjective experience, such as books, blog posts and articles, to confirm our subjective experience.

As we have said, all theories lead to the same place, they just go about it in different, parallel, ways; the same puzzle, but with a different arrangement of pieces. Not all will reach completion, but at least it can be said that they contribute something.

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