06 07 11 - 19:06Stare into the night sky, wonder if stars are balls of data much as our thoughts are, a million convergent paths of thought outlining in silhouette an idea:
What is largely forgotten is that Weaver was making a play on words, and that his primary reference was to Plato's famous Theory of Ideas, a metaphysical thesis that has cast a long shadow over the history of Western civilization. Indeed, Weaver's view was that this metaphysical vision is what made Western civilization possible, that its abandonment was the primary source of the pathologies of the modern world so decried by conservatives, and that its recovery is essential if those pathologies are to be overcome.
Plato's view is also sometimes called the "Theory of Forms," and "form" rather than "idea" better conveys what he meant.
Take the example of a triangle, which has a form that distinguishes it from a square or a circle. In Plato's usage, this "form" includes not only its shape, but all the properties that make it the thing it is: the length of its sides, its area, the fact that its angles add up to 180 degrees, and so forth. Now any particular material triangle (such as the ones drawn in geometry textbooks) is going to have certain properties that are not part of "triangularity" as such, and will also lack certain properties that are part of triangularity as such.
For example, it will have a specific color -- green, say -- and lack perfectly straight sides, even though greenness is not part of triangularity and having straight sides is part of it. So in Plato's view, when the intellect grasps the form of triangularity, it is not grasping something material, since nothing material manifests triangularity in the strictest sense. But neither is it grasping something mental. For there are certain facts about triangles -- the Pythagorean theorem, for example -- that are entirely objective, and discovered by the human mind rather than invented by it. Moreover, these facts are necessary and unchanging rather than contingent and alterable: the Pythagorean theorem is true eternally, whether or not any human mind thinks otherwise or would like it to be otherwise. "Triangularity" is therefore something that exists apart from either mind or matter, in a third realm of its own: the realm of Forms. And the same thing is true, according to Plato, of the Forms of everything else -- squares and circles, plants and animals, human beings, beauty, truth, and goodness.
It is important to understand that talk about the Forms existing "in" a "realm," and so forth, is purely metaphorical. Literally they don't exist "in" anything, since "in" is a spatial term and the Forms, being immaterial, are outside time and space. - Ideas in Action
Think of the bell curve.
It is not matter, yet it manifests in matter.
There is a pattern, and it does not exist in time and space.
Where does it exist, then?
It is derived from the properties of objects and spaciotemporality, a/k/a logic.
And what defines that pattern?
A thought-like nature underlies everything in the universe.
Shunyata is a key concept in Buddhist philosophy, more specifically in the ontology of Mahayana Buddhism: ''Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.'' This is the paradox of the concept .
Emptiness is not to be confused with nothingness. Emptiness is non-existence but not nothingness. Also, it is not non-reality. Emptiness means that an object, animate or inanimate, does not have its own existence independently. It has its meaning and existence only when all the elements or components it is made of come into play and we can understand and impute its existence clearly.
By way of explanation, we are asked to observe a cup or any other container. Is the cup empty when it does not contain any liquid or solid in it? We say yes, it's empty. But is it really empty? No, it's not. It is full of air. Even when the glass is in a state of vacuum, it is not empty. It still contains space, radiation and maybe light.
Therefore the Buddhist point of view differs from convention. The cup is always full of something or the other. To describe it philosophically, the cup is devoid of its inherent existence. It has come into existence because of many other conditions coming into play. - Times of India
The empty cup tells us that somethingness has been conceptualized, thus it is in the process of formation.
What came before matter? Energy. Matter and energy are convertible -- what came before energy?
All of our concepts refer to one another.
This is a cosmic game bejeweled in delights.