The Dualism of Pneumaticonomy and Physiconomy
By Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
[The following essay represents an earlier stage of my thinking on what is now called “The Five Kingdoms Model.” At the time, I was more of a Neoplatonist (objective idealist) than a critical realist. I corrected three typos, changed the style from preformatted text to HTML, changed the title of the paper from “The Science of Reality” (to avoid confusion with the late Marian Crist Lippitt’s work), made a minor correction (adding The Spiritual World Emanated) to the “cosmological paradigm,” and added “and 2006” to the copyright notice to reflect these changes. No other modifications were made. The Four-Point Solution referred to prayer, meditation, deepening, and service. All of the email addresses at the end of the paper are no longer valid.]
This essay will briefly summarize some of my ideas on the science of reality (a.k.a. AlethionomySM), including spiritual science (a.k.a. PneumaticonomySM) and material science (a.k.a. PhysiconomySM). I regard the science of reality as the basis for a philosophy of science - an antidote for positivism and logical positivism, on the one hand, and humanism, on the other.
As a sociologist specializing in the study of alternative religious movements and religious organizational typology, I was much influenced by Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin who, in his numerous works, such as the three-volume Social and Cultural Dynamics, advanced a new philosophy of science which he called "integralism." According to this approach, there are three levels of reality: the sensate (or empirical), the ideational (or spiritual), and the idealistic (or integral). Later in his career, Sorokin predicted the coming of a new integral age (a blend of the best of sensatism and ideationalism) which would be characterized by creative altruism and super-conscious intuition.
According to Sorokin, the scientific method should admit the study of spiritual reality. This view was contrary to the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle, much in vogue at the time (early to middle twentieth century). Sociology was struggling to establish itself as a legitimate science, and Sorokin's integralism was regarded by some of his colleagues as contradicting that goal.
In my own formulations, I have also developed a threefold scheme:
All forms of existence can be seen at any of these four levels of reality:
The cosmological paradigm of the science of reality is "the worlds of existence":
Now, spiritual science (PneumaticonomySM) is essentially the study of the worlds of existence and also includes an applied field, called the Four-Point SolutionSM, viz., prayer, meditation (on relating all forms of reality to the worlds-of-existence paradigm), the study of spiritual science, and self-sacrificial service. The essential goal of this spiritual science is to become conscious of when one is functioning in the Spiritual World Within (the highest level of soul consciousness in This World) and when one is functioning in the World of Human Imperfection (attachment of the mind to the World of Matter and the human body). The Four-Point SolutionSM is designed as a technology to help one more consistently live in the Spiritual World Within.
The essence of all reality is spirit (purposeful power). Whenever we connect with any existential reality, we are, in effect, "channeling" the spiritual energy, the purposeful power, of that existence. Spiritual love and knowledge are, for instance, an expression of the heavenly spirit (living in the Spiritual World Within); mind is an expression of the human spirit (the power of rational accomplishment; the animal is an expression of the animal spirit (the power of sensation); the vegetable is an expression of the vegetable spirit (the power of growth); and the mineral is a expression of the mineral spirit (the power of cohesion). In eating a piece of fruit, for instance, we are channeling the manifested energy (the fruit) of the vegetable spirit. In magnetic healing, one channels the manifested energy of the animal spirit (animal magnetism/love/linking).
The material sciences (biology, psychology, physics, sociology, chemistry, astronomy, etc.), as conceived by the science of reality (AlethionomySM), should be viewed from within the framework of the worlds-of-existence paradigm. IOW, a material scientist should recognize that what s/he is studying (whether the mind/brain, society, or some aspect of the World of Matter) is an emanation of the Spiritual World, i.e., of spirit - the purposeful power (knowing power and loving/linking power) underlying all of existence. What the material scientist studies is then put into its proper perspective.
Science is a method - the deductive-inductive method. Its subject matter need not be limited to materiality. In the new Integral Age, we must rid ourselves of all aspects of the old Cartesian paradigm (a relic of an earlier stage in the evolution of the Human World) and fully embrace the emerging nonlinear, holistic paradigm. It is toward the development of such a paradigm that this essay is offered.
Mark A. Foster
Please note: The ideas presented in this essay are solely my own and any errors should be attributed only to me. Please contact me for any further information or if you just want to discuss some of the concepts of the science of reality.
Copyright 1994 and 2006 by Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
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