Arthur M. Young


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THOUGHTS ON A SCIENCE OF LIFE
Part I: Science and the Death Wish

by Arthur M. Young (1992)

The great venture of the last 400 years has been science, and while science has always been slow to accept new discoveries or other contributions, it seems especially reluctant now. For over 40 years it has stood fast against the recognition of ESP. Astrology fares no better.

This dogmatic propensity of science is justified by a certain obsession with order, with adherence to adopted convention. If this situation continues, the ultimate result will be to freeze all creative activity and obtain a rigor mortis of the body of science and of medical practice. This may be the fate of science.

I don't remember which psychologist described the "death wish," but it struck me today that to call it a death wish doesn't make sense until we realize it is not a wish for death -- nobody would want that -- it's a wish for perfect order. In contrast, there is the quantum of uncertainty, which I equate to the life urge, or even to life itself -- for it and nothing else is the vital spark that fulfills Shapley's and Szent-Gyorgyi's requirement for a drive in life -- something not supplied by the recognized parameters mass, length, and time.

Though Bohm takes the position that order, "implicate order," is basic, it is the other way round -- blind action starts it off, but to accomplish anything, action has to discover and build order. The ultimate outcome could not be complete order, because this would end the venture that started and perpetuated the whole process.

It seems clear that science cannot cope with the questions of cosmology, or grasp the meaning of the quantum of action, uncertainty, or light itself, so long as it stays in the confines of its "death wish" ideology. Only by giving up the desire for perfect order will science find the doorways to a true science of life.

1998 Anodos Foundation

THOUGHTS ON A SCIENCE OF LIFE:
Part I: Science and the Death Wish
Part II: Discovering Three Dimensions of Time in the Theory of Process
Part III: On the Value of Astrology for a Science of Life
Part IV: Free Will
Part V: Light Into Life


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