The Structurizing Program


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 All of the email addresses at the end of the paper are no longer valid.]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:

  1. Spiritual Reality: The level of purposeful power - the animating principle of reality (spirit) - knowing power and loving/linking power
  2. Rational Reality: The level of rational accomplishment in time - with an origin, a life pattern, and an end objective
  3. Material Reality: The level of immediate acts and attributes

All forms of existence can be seen at any of these four levels of reality:

  1. The spiritual reality of humans is based on their spiritual power to know and to love, which, at the highest level, is knowledge of the Akasha (the spiritual world) and unconditional love. Man's rational reality is progressing through a life pattern leading to union with the Cosmic Source. Finally, his material reality are the qualities that he manifests on the physical/material plane - either a reflection of spiritual reality or self-will.
  2. The spiritual reality of animals is based on their knowing power (instinct) and their loving/linking power (the power to link with the material world, as through mating - a type of feeling, through the five senses). Their rational reality is a pattern of sense-memory utilization. Finally, their material reality is expressed in sensation and mating.
  3. The spiritual reality of vegetables/plants is based on their knowing power (innate knowledge of how to grow) and their loving/linking power (linking with natural elements and the sun resulting in growth). Their rational reality is a pattern of growth. And, finally, their material reality is the qualities that they manifest (beauty and color, for instance) in the moment.
  4. And lastly, the spiritual reality of minerals is based on their knowing power (innate knowledge of cohesion) and their loving/linking power (the power of cohesion - a linking of elements). The entire physical universe exists on this mineral level with gravitation being a form of cohesion. Their rational reality is the changing structure of rocks and minerals over time. And, finally, their material reality is the qualities manifested by different varieties of rocks, gems, and minerals.

The cosmological paradigm of the science of reality is "the worlds of existence":

  1. The Spiritual World Essential: This is the condition of ultimate origins - the First Cause of all the other conditions of existence - sometimes referred to as "God." The Source World contains the Essence of spirituality. It is the condition of the Universal Mind
  2. The Spiritual World Manifested: This is the absolute condition of spiritual Manifestation. The Attributes of spirituality appear in this condition, e.g., Perfect Love, Supreme Knowledge, Creativeness, and Absolute Compassion. Certain Beings (Avatars) have appeared throughout history who have embodied the Universal Mind.
  3. The Spiritual World Emanated
    1. The Spiritual World Beyond: This is the spiritual condition of departed souls.
    2. This World: Before death
      1. The Spiritual World Within: This is the spiritual condition in which souls may live while still in This World - by connecting with the Spiritual World Manifested.
        1. The Spiritual World Order: This is the future condition of the Human World (see below) as humans begin to live in the Spiritual World Within. It will mark the beginning of the new Integral Age, anticipated by Sorokin.
      2. The Human World: The ever-evolving condition of humanity - now about to become a Spiritual World Order, as humans begin to connect with the Spiritual World Within.
        1. The World of Human Imperfection: This is the condition of the Human World when people attach themselves to the World of Matter (see below). The human imperfections include: jealousy, greed, impatience, selfishness, etc.
        2. The Rational World: This is the condition of rational accomplishment in time. The mind "sees" reality on this level. It is the realm of the intellect.
      3. The World of Matter: The condition of outward appearances - manifested spirit in form.
        1. The World of Sensation: Animal condition
        2. The World of Growth: Vegetable condition
        3. The World of Cohesion: Mineral condition

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.

Humbly submitted,

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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