Each day I venture out into cyber space and take an expedition into unknown places. I can go anywhere I choose simply by typing letters in some sort of order and following threads and links that take me on my journey. I can access information and knowledge from a variety of sources around the globe — Media, Government, Academic, Business, Personal Blogs, Studios and Museums.
I just want to KNOW.
My daily commitment to myself has been a quest to research and write. Looking back over my work I see a common thread of referring to Universal Laws. Searching through the thousands of personal development sites in cyberspace, these so called Universal Laws enjoy the spotlight regularly so I simply had to ask the question — sure that sounds great but exactly WHAT are they and where did they originate? What is the source? Who wrote them? What are they based on? I, like so many people, have simply accepted these so called Universal Laws and have without question incorporated them into my language. Is this how mythology begins?
Let’s look at the World Wide Web to begin with. There is a famous Steiner cartoon published in the New Yorker (July 5, 1993) with two dogs sitting before a terminal looking at a computer screen; one says to the other “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The beauty of the Internet is the platform for people to express themselves, exchange ideas, build global peer communities and share information. It doesn’t take much effort or expense to buy a domain name, set up a site and create content. Any old dog can do that!
Healthy skepticism provides a necessary filter when conducting research. On the World Wide Web there is no editor other than the reader. Remember that a publisher or a peer or a University or a Business or a Scientist will set standards on the material released in their paradigm according to the hierarchy of their value system.
The first place to start is always the question “Why was this written? The range of human possibilities of intentions behind web pages to inform, provide facts or data, explain, persuade, sell, entice, share, and disclose are various and numerous.
Ok well most of these sites that refer to Universal Laws are selling products and services. Boom!!!
Never one to take a word at face value, I choose to better evaluate my on line research, by checking out the Scope, Audience, Publishers, Authority, Credentials, Reputation and Background. Is this information written and published by acknowledged experts undergoing regular peer review demonstrating sound academic research backed by resource references and citations? Is this site or publication sponsored by an organization who is selling a philosophy, opinion, product or service? In short, is the information approved and accepted by credible sources who have observed an acceptable standard and association to a certain standard of reputation?
It would seem that the authentication of information publication relies on a perception of a particular value system typically funded by a corporation to achieve a specific objective. Therefore the creation of credibility by association is one way that we mythologize.
So if I conduct my own research with a more academic and scientific approach keeping myself on the tarmac of a perceived higher value system I should be able to get some answers?
Universal Laws — depending on the resource, there are seven, nine, twenty or 100. Many of these laws originate in the Hermetic book The Kybalion. Laws such as Correspondence (As Above so Below) Vibration (Nothing rests, everything moves) Polarity (Duality where all paradoxes may be reconciled) Cause and Effect to name but a few.
Who wrote the Kybalion? Ah there’s a question. No one knows for sure. The myth states that the Kybalion is based primarily upon the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, a purported Egyptian priest. Ok…… so a book written thousands of years ago by someone whose existence is purported has the authority to reveal laws to us? How do we know if he even existed? How do we know the source of his writings? How do we know the Scope, Audience, Publishers, Authority, Credentials, Reputation and Background for this book and this author?
In simple terms, we do NOT know.
Newton’s Law of Universal Attraction is where every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them and is often quoted as the origin for the currently popular Law of Attraction. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong. “ — Albert Einstein
As Albert well knows, science is a system based on empirical observations of behavior — conclusions based on repeated scientific experiments over many years. Observation is the process of filtering sensory information via hearing, sight, smell, taste, or touch. Our thoughts and feelings then evaluate these perceptions according to our mythology or belief system. Memories stored in the consciousness about many related observations, together with the resulting relationships and consequences, enable us to build a construct. We draw conclusions, and build judgements about how to handle similar situations in the future.
So in science we know what we know based on observation, drawing conclusions and building judgment? If we apply the same filtering system as above using Scope, Audience, Publishers, Authority, Credentials, Reputation and Background, is this theory accepted by acknowledged experts undergoing regular peer review demonstrating sound academic research backed by resource references and citations? Is this theory sponsored by an organization who is selling a philosophy, opinion, product or service? In short, is the information approved and accepted by credible sources who have observed an acceptable standard and association to a certain standard of reputation?
Once again it would seem that the authentication of a scientific theory also relies on a perception of another’s value system.
“The criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” — Karl Popper
So would this therefore mean that further observation could show the scientific theory as flawed by establishing a new hypothesis that explains previously inexplicable phenomena, and lead to further scientific discoveries?
For example, Aristotelian mechanics described observations of everyday situations. There were in turn falsified by Galileo’s experiments which were then superseded by Newtonian theories actually supporting the phenomena noted by Galileo. Newtonian law was then falsified by the Michelson-Morley experiment, which was then superseded by Maxwell’s electrodynamics and Einstein’s special relativity. This line of observation could very well continue indefinitely.
I think I need a Bex and a lie down……….
Quantum physics considers sub atomic particles of matter to be directly connected to our consciousness via our thoughts and feelings which can therefore be affected by the mere act of our observation. So if we know what we know based on our observation until we know something else and our thoughts and feelings are driven by our value or belief systems; wouldn’t it therefore be safe to say that scientific observation could also rely a perception of another’s value system?
So about those Universal Laws I was trying to research? Bloody hell I know nothing — I have no friggin idea!
I guess I can just continue to make it up like everyone else!