I'm 63 years old today.
To continue on "What is Matter?"
Identity, in other words, is an emergent property of matter: it cannot be said to exist in any concrete way below the level of molecular structure, but it certainly begins to gain its Being as an understandable force at the level of the wave function that regulates the structure and interaction of atoms. So identity itself becomes a force, which emerges from the quantum state through wave interaction. That wave interaction is a property of vibration: and vibration is the transmission of different energy states which have a natural tendency to adopt complementary patterns.
From this, we see that there is a natural tendency, a lawful action, which regulates the emergence of identity from an otherwise undifferentiated quantum state. It begins to find its definition in the atom, but that identity does not truly mature until we reached the level of atoms in relationship. If there are enough atoms of any kind, they establish a collective identity which we call an element. And once you have elements, they are capable of forming even more (temporarily) stable identities we refer to as molecules.
Readers familiar with my other work on the subject of Being will know that I frequently refer to the molecular sensation of Being. This is because our awareness is capable of sensing the vibration of identity down to the molecular level, presuming the correct arrangement of substances is deposited in the human nervous system. This ability to sense the vibration of identity is not easily earned, but it has a transformational effect on natural human consciousness, which ought to be expressed quite differently than it is today. The point here is that the biomolecular sensation of Being confers a different sensibility on the intellectual, emotional, and physical state of the receiver, that is, the macroscopic identity, or, “I”— what we refer to in general terms as the “self.”
It isn’t really possible to understand the nature of metaphysical humanism and the fundamental nature of human psychology as it ought to be without acquiring this sense. All of the traditional religions and esoteric sciences of past societies have always been aimed, in one way or another, at acquiring this sense, but it is only at this point in time that we are able to define it correctly in terms of its place in both the natural and psychological sciences.
While we are well able, using technology, to study the pre-emergent states of matter, and while they are certainly important and fascinating, they only become truly relevant to metaphysical humanism, the construction of spiritual identity, and the understanding of what we call the soul once they reach the elemental level. As such, the study of particle physics is certainly useful in terms of overall understanding, but aside from its conceptual insights — which reveal structural relationships and fundamental laws that ultimately affect and express themselves in the context of our own identity — it doesn’t really bear on the question. This is because the important understandings to be gleaned from such studies don’t derive from their strictly material interactions, which are structural, lawful, and inescapable, but from the manner in which identity emerges from them.
This means that without a study of identity, why it emerges, and what it means, we are missing the point.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.