The Ontology of Motion, 2014, unedited [originally 0018 – synchronization and reification, 2010]
This is an essay driven by motion, and it seeks to render everything and anything comprehensible in terms of motion and the variances between possible pluralities of motions. Motion, I hope to show, is an a priori background for reality—not space and “time” as Kant brilliantly postulated—and it is from the degrees and directions of motion that things appear more synthetically unified and unifiable or, alternatively, analytically separate and non-interactive. As many philosophical works tend to do, this essay deals with the ideas of multiplicity (parts, i.e. particular motions) and singularity (wholes, id est holistic motion), but in so doing it tries to explain ontologically why there appears, and actually can exist, both multiplicity and singularity. In order to do this, theories will be put forth, arising both out of critiques of concepts from physics, as well thought experiments that will serve as examples commonly experienced in our times.
If motion is to be given the eminent role as the determinant of everything—motion preceding space, motion before matter, motion as the forwardness of time, motion as change—then beginning with the question of beginnings sets a trap for any further thoughts on the pre-eminence of motion. It is a trap precisely because if motion is to have an origin, it will be made, at best, on par with the thing that is its beginning point; never greater, and always potentially reducible to it. So we must move beyond and before beginnings, thinking of apparent stoppages and beginning points as only temporary statics.
Importantly, within the questioning of beginnings, there is a salient sub-question that must be no longer made subordinate, but be given its autonomy to live or die on its own accord. The question “in the beginning was there one or multiple?” must now be detached from beginnings and become the open questions “is and will there be a one or a multiple?” and “can reality shift between these two possibilities?” These new questions need not assume that if there has been an eternity of motion it follows necessarily that it is due to a multiple play of forces (to the exclusion of it possibly being the play of a singular force), nor does it assume that one of these two modalities being real necessarily precludes the other from becoming real. With this new questioning, we now have the open possibility of interchange between a singular force and a multiplicity of forces, and with this comes the Nietzschean ethical question: what is the value that unity and separateness provide to the future, and which of these better cultivates dynamic vitality?
The ideas of “the past” and “causality” are symptomatic of the same degenerative logic and anti-force that produces a quest for a beginning, and leaves motion in even more of a conceptual straitjacket. When motion is used to satisfy the formulaic needs of a mental practitioner, a greater understanding of motion is shadowed whilst light is falsely reflected to create the hollow-grams of past and causality. However, once we dismiss motion’s conceptually reified constraints in our own thinking, we can use an unchained understanding of motion to explain why there seems to be a past.a Causality, too, can be endangered when motion is wrested away from ensnarement, and is not stuck as the force for a series of events causing one another.
Energy and Maneuverability**
**[this section was drawn upon for the bulk of this 2015 post about Energy and the living Universe]
A large way towards reconceiving motion is to imagine it as not solely existing in dimensional space, but manifesting itself in changes in energy amounts, which cause changes in the very texture of space that lay available for our maneuvering. Because of this, energy requires a new understanding which physics has been ambiguous about giving it. It is on and between this platform that this section will dwell, revisiting the salient points on which much of physics basis itself.
Galilean and Newtonian relativity, simply stated, show us that the spatial motion of one body is only relative to other spatial bodies, and there is no way of determining if something is “absolutely” at rest or in motion (there is no absolute background). Einstein’s relativity has elaborated the picture, showing us that space bends due to the motion of bodies, or, alternatively, space bends to determine the motion of bodies, bending more or less based on the mass of the body in motion.
One of the famous thought experiments to rise out of Einstein’s relativity, popularized in the form of the “twins paradox,” shows how the speed at which something moves effects its spatial and temporal situation relative to other entities moving at different speeds. The experiment shows that if one twin stays on earth (the earth twin) and the other (the astronaut twin) is sped away from the earth at a speed close to that of light, two light-years away from earth and two light-years back to earth, that the astronaut twin will come back almost completely un-aged, whilst the earth twin will be over four years older. This is because the motion—physicists call it the “time dimension”1 of spacetime—internal to the astronaut twin is slowed down when things are moving so fast relative to the speed of light. However, if we bring back the arguments of Galilean and Newtonian relativity, we can say that it cannot be the speed that is slowing down the aging process of the astronaut twin; as we have learned, it could be equally said that the earth and the solar system are speeding away and then towards the astronaut twin at close to the speed of light, rather than s/he being the one who is necessarily speeding away. Something must be happening beyond basic spatial motion to change the inertial frame of reference—the name physicists allocate to a particular stable and synchronized region of spacetime—of either the astronaut twin, the earth, or both, so that processes normally at a common rhythm (synchronization) to one another now vary greatly.
It is a matter of energy, not speed at all, that changes the layout of the spatial region in question. Energy is more than just “the ability to do work” that moves something through space; energy is all space and matter and, its relationship with and within itself. The diffusing outward of energy is one and the same as the spreading out of space. On the other hand, the bundling together of increasing energy in a given area is experienced as the collapse of spatial differentiations—an intensification and simplification. The more intense energy is, the greater the gravitational effect is, explaining the slowing of change for the astronaut twin. The energy inerted into the spaceship’s inertial frame is so great that the ship will barely change, relative to the aging taking place in the less energetic galaxy from which the spaceship breaks. This creates a strong energetic division, putting the spaceship out of sync with the galaxy, making a multiplicity where there once was (and again may be) a holistic singularity with common levels of energy dispersion.
Just as objects with higher gravity dominate the maneuverability of the surrounding space, distorting it in a limiting fashion, so too does the energetically accelerated body that cuts through large swaths of space, tearing it and unmaking what has been creatively fashioned out of energy dispersal. A bullet in motion is always breaking, never growing, sending out shards of anti-harmonic sound, breaking organic vibration rhythms, collecting metallic-sameness unto itself. Its relationship with that of the surrounding space is surely a relationship between two multiplicities. Direction does not play a role in determining whether something is at odds with another entity, as elements with differing directions can still be part of a singularity. One of the large finitude of examples is a singular organism with separate cells moving each and every way. Multiplicities are derived when differing directions within a singularity start to greedily pull in more energy, leading to an inability and disregard for synchronization with the rest of space, simplifying the spatial field by cutting into it. This is the bullet that has too much accelerated energy to creatively interact with its environment, it is a moving wall that ensures its dominance over that of the less energetic surroundings.b
Gravity and Energy. It is our own conceptual bias, formed out of a cultural analysis of our own experience, that a particle moving with a certain energy is somehow different than a singularized black hole exerting that same energy amount. Newtonian relativity would show us that each is moving according to the other, and Einstein’s relativity would show us that they are having the same effect on the space in their proximity, the difference is only in the way the surrounding space orients itself to the presence of this gravitational (i.e. energetic) “beast,” by either swooping by it like an undedicated comet, or rotating it like a faithful planet. The differences are in the spatial orientation to the two forces—in the choices the local spatiality make towards the forces—but not in the internal singularized unity that is a black hole or a super fast particle.
Curving out Straightness
The major characteristic of an acceleration is the relative straighteningd of the path that the accelerating body follows. With this higher energy, there is less of an ability, and indeed less space available overall (from its own viewpoint), for the curving away from the straight path the body is set upon—think of how much more distance it takes for a fast moving car to make a full 90 degree turn in direction as it exits a turnpike, than a person walking (this generality is synonymous with the centrifugal force). Sidewalks have right angle change in directions, while turnpikes run straight with as little turning as possible. When turning is necessary, it is very slow. The faster the road is, the more space it takes up, and the less complex (curvacious) it is. If I have explained this correctly, you should have a sense that curving (decelerating) appreciates time while straightness depreciates it; curving creates more space while straightness destroys it. When avoiding the accelerated beast, we cannot outrun it, we can only curve to stay alive!
Organi-city. To give you a down in earth example to chew on to convey this idea of straightness and curving is that of organic food production. In our age, organic produce often takes quite a journey from original growth to its final destination. So although it is grown in a non-chemically intrusive way, the holistic organic process is quickly dissipated when it must be shipped in a straight line, using inorganic additives to its carrier truck or ship. This line can be several thousand miles and cuts through so much organic energy and disturbs continuous space, yet interacting very little and baring no fruit to all its thoroughfares. The road is the toll. For holistic organi-city, all we must do is look at ourselves as an organism. Our cells always interact and curve this way and that in spiraling cycles of interactivity. None are so greedy as to make straight linesj and disconnecting connected bands of cells to do so; they help what they are near and get help from what is near to them.
Constancy enervates and depresses, while change curves lips to smiles and is the basis for laughter and joy. I hope that the next section’s ontology is so unconstant and unnerving that you are affected in ways I can’t enclose or predict.
The present is haunted by something—a harrowing, lifeless thing. This thing shades real doubt into our minds if we have any control over the course of our lives, or are just determined by forces as unalive as we must then be. Do you think it is the past, as is commonly thought to control us? No, only through analysis—the tool of this thing—do we get to the conclusion that the past is a causal force, making the present a mere effect in the chain.s It is the power of this ominousity [an ominous thing] that wards us back and away from the real danger, making us react to a phantom that is its effect. This is the malicious method by which it unmakes us, by which it unmakes the present—it is the future!
Among other things, the future is gravity, and it wants to pull us as directly as it can into a predetermined, collapsible logical structure. The future is perfectly efficient, forever wanting to get rid of all the mess it sees through its high focus lens, as its stares at all the subtleties and free willing curves and ceaselessly thinks of reifying them. The future is the uinverse of the universe, and if left to its devices it will bring us all the way down to nothing. If we do nothing, we get (to) nothing, letting the forces of determination bring us back to the void that they are teleologically set upon. The future will always be there to decree new rules, “henceforth this, henceforth that,” pushing the present up to a wall, using it as a mirror to view and affirm its reflection in an image named the pastrror [neologism of past + mirror], its self-affirming reflection being the past. We (the present) must not be a mirror, we must become the dominating force in the duel, escaping the dictates that gravity thrusts on us and dealing it nu blows from every possible angle that its position of eternal limit has kept it from seeing. We must twist (henceforth curve) a-way to greener pastures, to live life by adding new colors to that which already exists. We should never assume life’s underpinning existence, but defend its fragility by continuing to grow it, in new ways not contained in the future, but curving out of the present.
Math/gravity/future/science don’t disenchant the world because they reveal and discover new knowledge, they disenchant it by narrowing the ways in which we are able to continue and deepen its enchantment. As we curve we frustrate the future, making it revise its plan to destroy existence, and it reacts immediatelyj with a new structure. The future is the condition of the present, and the past does not exist. In analogy to Kant’s deontological notion that “when justice leaves this earth, it is no longer worth living upon,” we can say ontologically that when lifeq stops breathing freedom, it is no longer possible for the world to exist.
Parting, with words****
****[this penultimate section “Parting, with words” (a pun intended) and the final “Syncopacing not synchronization” become too much of an outline and are being omitted from this 2016 posting; document 0018 – synchronization and reification will have these sections and will be included in the next Urge to Purge, Batch 10 (#4), coming soon]
a Continuous motion should constantly be erasing a past, but somehow something seemingly continues to linger on long enough for us to get the feeling that there is a past, and what follows is the impetus to then search for beginnings. This is the role that memory plays, as it is our connection with what wasn’t erased “from the past,” though not existing in the past, just a estranged part of the present. When memory exists, in our brains our in the larger world, the reason is that the motional totality is not actively synchronizing with itself (then not a totality), not entirely engaged in creating newness in the present to beget a fully different future, so the memorable is whats left over, separated from the more active motion.
1 The debate over whether time is something extended, like the normal understanding of a dimension, and pre-existing to our perception of it, or rather just an imposed form on what is essentially the motion of matter (and space), is comparable to the debate in the philosophy of time between eternalism and presentism. Eternalism, as I understand it, is what most Einsteinian physicists believe is true, except in addition to the past always existing (what eternalism proper sets down), for the physicists the future does too, and simply has to be “moved into.” Presentism contends that there is no time “dimension,” that the future has to be created out of the present, without any metaphysical or extra-spatial access to “the past.” Both of these philosophically different understandings of reality can be made to agree with all the empirical findings of Einsteinian relativity, though this essay contends that presentism, after a consideration of other arguments, is the actual ontological situation that reality exists in (see the section “Presentism With A Twist”. Thinking of time as extended is just another conceptual mistake that occurs when misconceiving motion.
b However, it is the less energetic surroundings that have more curvability to creatively limit the bullet’s negative impact on their synchronizing differentiating culture. Why this is so will hopefully be explained next.
d Straightness needn’t always be an acceleration, and an acceleration needn’t be necessarily straight. As for the first, a straightness that neither attracts more energy nor is multiplying into complex curving away. This straightness in its constancy is a sameness in direction that adds no value to present experience. It is a predictability that fails to wow the rest to that which it is at the same energy with. It doesn’t cut up, but it doesn’t inspiral (inspire). It does face a problem though, at some point, it will reach the outer boundaries of the particular immanency that has founded it, and it will have to curve, becoming something different, or remain true to its nature, and leave the immanency straight behind. In so doing, it enters another singularity (or creates it own), but it enters with a different energization than this singularity because it keeps the energy from its former immanency. It is now cutting through, threatening the inner integrity of this other energization, making it regard the whole of the first immanency, the producer of such a straight part, with anger and avoidance. This is the loud scream of one person (the first immanency), leaving their body and entering straight through the ear of another person, shocking their system with dischord and throwing of any syncopation that might have formerly existed. This violent internal consistency puts off the person, and makes them regard not just the violent sound but the whole of its producer, the other person, with anger and avoidance.
This is the car that goes straight on the road, having little dynamic interaction along the way. The person who repeatedly commutes, cutting straight through a bunch of commodified materials (the highway, the box stores). The person can’t remember one day from another, there is no memory because there was little or no change. Nothing dynamic, just a straight cut, at the expense of experience, the whole purpose of existing. The obsession of getting “to” a place, but never actually making something of the place that one is at. The straight cut to a new destination is what makes the first place so undesirable that it repels to begin with.
j The cells that do make the longest journeys—the blood cells—are the closest thing to our straight line economy such as ours we have today, and they are in many ways making the most simple and direct contact with the outside world, bringing the undifferentiated element oxygen to cells.
s One of the most noteworthy social phenomena rising out of this presumption that the past determines the present is that of ageism. Those who exist deeper into the past are thought to have a relatively higher ratio of being “causal” to being an “effect,” or at least thought of as part of the cause, viewed as an under-girding pillar. This undue privileging of the elderly is what brings us into a situation where “the traditions of the dead weigh like a nightmare on the living” as Karl Marx put it. This is because eternalism is the philosophy newly born with civilization—it is the mental framework and furniture that civilizes and steadies what was a dynamic nomadic mind. The mind devolves to become a thing that can only work within a limited range of experience and makes things fit into its realm of predictability. Youth are born ready to deal with the unpredictable but are quickly chained into habit, and their value to the living universe recedes as they age, but their value to civilization grows as they become expert idiots.
j The future is always reactionary—never creationary—tweaking its structure of collapse to perfectly fit any new developments the free universe makes. It is so because of its teleological nature: it wants to get to that end point, also known as singularity, or really the equivalent of nothing, a negative circle, absence.
q Life “undefined” as the act of curving.