(Exerts from a FB dialogue) Actually, and I’m no expert, the Law of Identity was Aristotle, so the Enlightenment just revived it as the Renaissance itself was the rediscovery of Greek logic and love of form. The law states that everything is what it is. A is A and cannot be B at the same time. A shrimp can’t be a shrimp and a butterfly at the same time, unless you are in Alice and Wonderland, or MacGyver. This logic works when building machines but not when understanding art. The Enlightenment with Descartes divided reality into religion and science; subjective realm of values and objective realm of facts and empirical truth. However, the objective view was so successful that it became the dominant field of reality, our common sense reality. Only things exists and they are what they are. Religion, left out in the cold came in to compete with science on the same objective playing field, and that is where we are today. Science and religion competing as two alternatives sciences, using the same logic of identity. Life is treated as a machine.
Metaphor and irony are the language of ambiguity, not the language of Identity. Stephen Colbert in his character is ironic. I am a conservative; I am not a conservative. I am A: I am B both at the same time.
The Law of Identity locks the mind into a static universe; the Law of Ambiguity or change creates an evolving universe, a Buddhist view of reality were everything is impermanent. Things don’t change: things ARE change. Everything is a verb. The law of Identity doesn’t hold when you see reality this way. You can’t put your foot in the same river twice, so A is A…but it is also B as it is change. Life is AB.
Quantum destroys the Law of Identity because an electron is both a wave and a particle. AB.
I miss the mark if I equate the Enlightenment that was the end of the Middle Ages with the enlightenment of the Buddha. Another name for the Enlightenment in Europe is the Age of Reason, (Greek Reason).
A is A: Aristotle’s Law of Identity. Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is. “This leaf is red, solid, dry, rough, and flammable.” “This book is white, and has 312 pages.” “This coin is round, dense, smooth, and has a picture on it.
The Enlightened modern age threw metaphor, myth, and magic out with the bath water of the Middle Ages, and what was left was a dry, flat two dimensional world that had no center, that had no mythology to hold the incoming data in place. When God is dead, everything is possible…man is now lost in his own thought which can think anything is real. I think therefore I am…set us on this course of being Lost without a compass.
God died when God because a fact instead of a metaphor that points to the Transcendent beyond form and experience, THAT which has no name. God didn’t actually die, just our link to the Transcendent.
It’s that link to the Transcendent One that has no second (no divisions by the discriminating mind, comparing mind) that makes us alive. Life is transcendent, as moving toward unity out of chaos, but this unity, this One transcends experience, so one foot of the compass is in form and experience and the. other (liberated foot) is in the transcendent One that is always potential. God is both immanent (form) and transcendent (not form) simultaneously. This defies the Login of Identity, which must be transcended in order to be free, but not done away with. Instead of being the primary law it becomes the secondary law: lead with the transcendent, follow with the immanent. First establish the link to the Whole, then act from that link. Action is then in alignment with the whole, instead of cleaving the whole into sausage links or opinions and concepts.
“God is dead.” “God is not dead.” That was a big thing in the 60s, even books and Time magazine covers on it. The king is dead; long live the King. Death and Resurrection of God, if you will. If you see the Buddha, kill him, goes the Zen saying. If you see God, kill him. But you also have to kill yourself that is invested in the False Idol of God as form, as an idea or belief or Bible, or whatever stone he is caste in.
Where does yesterday come from. What is its source but the present moment. When I’m trapped in time, the past determines me: I should have done differently, regret and guilt haunt me. However, when consciousness shifts from being ini time on the rim of the wheel of life, to being at the center of the Source of I, then I give the past its meaning, instead of the past giving meaning to me.