Science is conquering new frontiers day by day. Everything ‘knowable’ about the universe will be revealed eventually. But that would still leave a large part of reality unexplained, because there are truths that cannot be known objectively. Our objective certainty is built over a more fundamental uncertainty. Something always slips through the scientist’s fingers.
We could conclude from simple observations that there exists an entity which is the stuff of the universe. We call it matter. Matter manifests in many forms and distributions. As seen earlier, this reality out there is terrifying in its virgin state. We de-mystify reality in order to extract objective knowledge
Let us leave the ‘demystifier’ as a black box for the time being. Let us accept it as one of the tools we use to interact with reality. The observer or the ‘demystifier’ does a cover up in order to make things graspable, and then goes on to form patterns by arranging ‘things’ so grasped. Irreducible fundamental properties are extracted in such a way that these properties can completely qualify matter. Concepts such as mass and electric charge are derived as such elementary properties.
The realization that will bridge the chasm in human understanding is that Creativity is such an irreducible property. Concepts such as mass and electric charge are measurable and quantifiable. Creativity cannot be quantified or modeled (reason behind the elusiveness of creativity will become evident as we go on). Creativity forces its laws on material systems. Reason can only partially grasp the mysterious laws of creativity. The part so grasped is our science.
Creativity as a fundamental property can be visualized using an analogy. The concept of complex numbers is used in algebra to describe solutions of certain types of equations. Complex numbers are written as z = a + ib, where z is the complex number, a & b are real numbers, and i stands for square root of -1. Number a is the real part and b the imaginary part of the complex number. There is nothing unreal about the imaginary part. It is as much a part of the complex number as the real part. Mathematicians were reluctant to accept the concept of complex numbers in the beginning, but as it turned out, this concept was essential to solve higher degree polynomials.
Complex numbers can be represented as points in the complex plane, defined by a horizontal (real) axis and a vertical (imaginary) axis.
Real objects are like complex numbers. They have two components – real/imaginary or graspable/ungraspable. Material interactions are like trajectories in the complex plane. We project these points and their interactions onto the ‘real axis’ in the act of de-mystification. Scientific laws are such projections. Unfortunately we cannot do a projection on to the imaginary axis as in algebra. Imaginary component of reality can only be experienced (subjectively).
Science is what we do in order to understand external reality. But why should we limit ourselves to the rational/objective component? Unquantifiable properties are an integral part of reality. Reason is a very late development in biological evolution. Is it scientific to assert that every aspect of reality is open to reason? Our knowledge originates from demystification, the act of covering up or pushing behind the inherent mystery of things. We are dealing with demystified leftovers when we do science.
We use two eyes to see the world. What would happen if we try seeing with one eye? Our world picture will be flat, two-dimensional. We will only see length and width, not the depth of things. Two eyes are essential for stereoscopic vision. This is the case with perception too. Human cerebral cortex has two halves. Left hemisphere deals with rational ideas and logic. Right half manages feelings, artistic abilities and pattern recognition. When perception is limited to rational or ‘left-brain’ mode, resulting experiences will lack ‘meaning’ or the depth dimension. Both left and right brains are needed for stereoscopic perception. Evolution gave us two eyes and two brains. It is natural for us to see depth in what we observe. It is also natural to perceive meaning in what we experience.
Unfortunately, modern science (through excessive reliance on reason and logic) teach us to limit our perception. Most of our educational institutions are designed to destroy or atrophy right brain functions. We always tell our children to look at things objectively. We are encouraging them to be one-eyed monsters.
Going back to the analogy of the complex plane, rationalists believing in the supreme power of reason are confining their existence to the proximity of the ‘real’ axis. Similarly mystics are one-dimensional beings existing too close to the vertical ‘imaginary’ axis. Between these two extremes lies a great plane that is our true homeland. Extreme rationality leads to the conclusion that life is a meaningless accident. ‘Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be built’, declared Bertrand Russell, after relishing the triumph of reason. Russell’s foundation of unyielding despair is in fact a foundation of half-truths. For the past three hundred years, man has been accumulating half-truths in the name of progress. We build our lives on them, and like castles built on sand, our lives fail and disintegrate.