This is sort of a sequel to Babylon’s Banksters. It’s mostly excellent, though he does get into his anti-Yahweh speculation at times. I don’t think that is necessary to his thesis and it somewhat detracts from the book. On the other hand, his comments on the nature of mind, soul, and the Topological Metaphor are outstanding.
1 = 3
Imagine an undifferentiated “No-Thing.” This isn’t “nothing” in the sense of non-existence. It’s rather like an empty hyper-set. Designate it with Φ. Imagine an empty rectangle:
Strictly speaking, this rectangle, or empty set, doesn’t have any edges. It is an infinitely extended no-thing. Now, we cleave this space:
So now we have two spaces, “all that inside the circle, and all outside it” (Farrell 126). All of the space outside the circle will be the interior of space 1, designated as a topological “o” superscript above the Φ. But since the rectangle goes on forever, what we really have is this:
The space inside the circle is another interior, (2) Φ⁰.
And the common surface between the two, designated with an alpha
Now let’s look at what just happened. Remember we still have our empty hyperset (Φ). We now have three derivatives: the space outside the circle, the space inside the circle, and the common surface between the two. Thus,
Φ = (1) Φ⁰, (2) Φ⁰, and ɑΦ₁₂
Therefore, 1 = 3. I’m going to take this model in a radically different direction than does Farrell. He thinks this model represents an earlier way of thinking about the cosmos that predated Yahwist traditions. I’m skeptical of that claim, as some of Farrell’s positions have come under attack.
But the model itself is quite powerful, and it explains a way of looking at some difficult sayings by St Maximus the Confessor.
“According to St. Maximus, God is “identically a monad and a triad.” Capita theologica et oeconomica2, 13; P.G. 90, col. 1125A.He is not merely one and three; he is 1=3 and 3=1. That is to say, here we are not concerned with number as signifying quantity: absolute diversities cannot be made the subjects of sums of addition; they have not even opposition in common. If, as we have said, a personal God cannot be a monad — if he must be more than a single person — neither can he be a dyad. The dyad is always an opposition of two terms, and, in that sense, it cannot signify an absolute diversity. When we say that God is Trinity we are emerging from the series of countable or calculable numbers. St. Basil appears to express this idea well: “For we do not count by way of addition, gradually making increase from unity to plurality, saying ‘one, two, three’ or ‘first, second, third.’ ‘I am the first and I am the last,’ says God (Isaiah 44:6). And we have never, even unto our own days, heard of a second God. For in worshipping ‘God of God’ we both confess the distinction of persons and abide by the Monarchy.” De spiritu sancto18; P.G. 32, col. 149B. The procession of the Holy Spirit is an infinite passage beyond the dyad, which consecrates the absolute (as opposed to relative) diversity of the persons. This passage beyond the dyad is not an infinite series of persons but the infinity of the procession of the Third Person: the Triad suffices to denote the Living God of revelation. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Or. 23 (De pace 3), 10; P.G. 35, col. 1161. Or. 45 (In sanctum pascha); P.G. 36, col. 628C.If God is a monad equal to a triad, there is no place in him for a dyad. Thus the seemingly necessary opposition between the Father and the Son, which gives rise to a dyad, is purely artificial, the result of an illicit abstraction. Where the Trinity is concerned, we are in the presence of the One or of the Three, but never of two.
When we speak of the Personal God, who cannot be a monad, and when, bearing in mind the celebrated Plotinian passage in the works of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, we say that the Trinity is a passage beyond the dyad and beyond its pair of opposed terms, “The monad is set in motion on account of its richness; the dyad is surpassed, because Divinity is beyond matter and form; perfection is reached in the triad, the first to surpass the composite quality of the dyad, so that the Divinity neither remains constrained nor expands to infinity.” St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Or. 23 (De pace3), 8; P.G. 35, col. 1160C. See also Or. 29 (Theologica3), 2; P.G. 36, col. 76B. (Lossky, “The Procession of the Holy Spirit in Orthodox Theology”)
But back to Farrell’s argument. Because the above model is written in quasi-mathematical terms, and because it couldn’t exist without a conscious observer (or Mind), this means we have an information-creating system. This is a system that doesn’t reduce to a closed cosmos (and thus Aristotle is false).
Farrell says the hermetic occultist Giordano Bruno was advocating something like that. Maybe. The problem is that Bruno couched all of it in what we call New Age terminology, and that’s partly why he got burned at the stake. There might have been another reason why he got burned: he advocated a way of approaching the world, and particularly finance, that attacked the Aristotelian and (ironically) usurious system of the Venetians. Bruno thought he could tap into the primordial medium.
Excursus: Is it possible to tap into this medium?
Let’s say some sort of “zero-point” medium exists. Is it possible to tap into it and should we? I think it is possible, but I think it is very dangerous to do so. This might explain the phenomena behind remote viewing. The mind is a non-local entity (and that’s good Christian doctrine). Therefore, it is somehow connected with this Medium, or at least it has access to it.
I think it is kind of like looking through the Palantir in Lord of the Rings. Other entities are also using it and you could accidentally open a gateway.
Another problem with Bruno’s interpretation of the Medium is that he saw the descending forms as mutable gods. There are two legitimate ways to respond to Bruno: say that Plato’s forms aren’t gods but rather pockets of mathematical information. That is what the physicist Werner Heisenberg argued. We could also say that yes, indeed, they are gods. They are the fallen beney elohim. That also does an end-run around Farrell’s use of Babylonian entities in the Cosmic War and Giza Death Star Destroyed.
7 thoughts on “Vipers of Venice: The Topological Metaphor”
How is the mind a non-local entity? I can see an argument for some kind of quantum entanglement, but that would involve some sort of materialism of spirit (something Tertullian and Hobbes, oddly, considered). Or is it that the mind is somehow made of the same conceptual stuff that the forms are, and has some innate relation to them (thus, abstract numbers *make sense* to us)?
I am following Rupert Sheldrake’s general line of thought. The mind (or soul)—let’s put it this way. It doesn’t fill up my body the way air does a balloon. It’s not local in that sense. If I lose my arm, I don’t lose part of my soul.
My own take is that the brain is a transmitter of a specific mind.
I’m still trying to get my head around Farrell’s work. I’ve heard this Venetian theory a number of times, I don’t quite buy it; it still seems awfully circumstantial and anachronistic. There’s no reason, until the mid 17th century that anyone thought England had any potential. There’s no reason why Venetians would try to infiltrate or repurpose a country that had a history of turbulence and on the fringe of Europe. It only seems plausible looking backwards.
Though it is interesting to note that professional academics are beginning to investigate the intellectual connections between hermeticism and the capitalist banking system that developed.
I haven’t said anything about England. That Venice was ruled by usury and trade is undeniable, and older Roman authors do point to a Mesopotamian strain, so there is that.
I know you didn’t, but that’s a huge arc of the story: the move northwards. I don’t doubt that Venice was a wicked, and usurious, place, but whether the elites of the city actually made a lateral transition into another kingdom.
What Romans are you talking about?
Juvenal and others. I’ll find the citations later.
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