LAROUCHE PAC WEBCAST
Current History as a Unified Process:
A Keplerian Approach
Here is the transcript of the regular Friday LaRouche PAC webcast of March 20, 2015.
Matthew Ogden: I am joined in the studio tonight by Dennis Small from Executive Intelligence Review, and by Benjamin Deniston from the LaRouche PAC Basement Scientific Research Team. And the three of us had an opportunity to meet with both Lyndon and Helga LaRouche earlier this afternoon.
Before I ask Dennis Small to come to the podium tonight, I wish to make a few remarks by way of prologue, which will reflect the discussion that we had with Mr. LaRouche earlier today. Our task for tonight, and in general, is to present to you, our viewer, a mental experience of the world as a single global process. A single planetary process of history in motion that cannot be broken down into single issues or isolated locations as such. And through this mental experience of the universals which are shaping history right now, you will—hopefully—be enabled to understand what must be done to act on that history, and to consolidate the great potential which has been unleashed over the past ten days; which Mr. LaRouche identified in his written statement released this past Sunday, “On the Subject of Germany’s Role”—which is available on this website.
Mr. LaRouche mandated in our discussion with him earlier this afternoon that the specific subjects we take up tonight, will be selected not because they possess the characteristic of static, dead facts, so-called, but because they reflect the overall flow, or the process of world history, the current which is sweeping the world forward and underlies the individual events which we perceive to be experiencing. Mr. LaRouche’s emphasis was that today, more than ever before in history, the planet is operating as a single integrated unity, a process in which he said “the pressure of ideas is being felt everywhere.”
The pressure of the future and reflections of this pressure are erupting in seemingly geographically separated points of the globe, erupting simultaneously, not because of some sort of process of mechanical transmission, but because the planet is operating according to the character of what the scientist Johannes Kepler identified as the Solar System, a single unified process in which everything is being moved by a single invisible universal principle. How do we understand the world right now as Kepler understood it? Or as Kepler would understand it? How do we reveal to ourselves that single universal which is guiding what is now a global process, as a one?
I think this could not have been made more clear than what we saw last week, in which three separate individuals from the United States and from Europe, all acted simultaneously to address, each in their own way, the common threat of war and financial disintegration—former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Mr. LaRouche identified the unity of that process, the unity of the action by these three individuals, and the option that was created by the aggregate of these three interventions. What Mr. LaRouche did in identifying this, is what created the effect of inducing a dramatic and ongoing shift in world history which we currently find ourselves in the process of; which is what we will elaborate more on tonight.
So, what we intend to provide for you tonight is a single global picture of mankind, this moment in the living history of mankind; not as some sort of static or concrete fact. As Mr. LaRouche said, “If something is concrete, it’s dead.” But as a process that is in motion now, a process that’s alive, which is being created, which is coming into being. A moment that is pregnant with the potential for a future which has never before existed. And in experiencing this mental image of the future, and then acting to bring this imagination into actuality, mankind is acting as himself; as mankind, as opposed to the experience of a simple animal which can only react to past events. Rather, according to the character of the greatest individuals in world history, such as the case of Joan of Arc, which we elaborated on in this forum a couple of weeks ago.
I think this is something which was brilliantly captured in the conclusion of Mr. LaRouche’s recent paper that I referenced earlier, and which is available for you to study if you haven’t done so already. I would like to read you the concluding two paragraphs of that paper before asking Dennis Small to come to the podium.
This comes from the final section, which is subtitled “The Challenge by China”:
“China is presently unique for reason of its currently progressive achievements within the bounds of Solar Space. Its achievements on this account, both within the range of the role of the Moon and related concerns, is also, implicitly, a crucial point of interest for its association with the unique, presently known, and prospective achievements of its discovery of the most essential features of the Solar System, itself. Thus, the present characteristic of mankind’s relationship between the development of society and of the Solar System’s relationship to the role of mankind’s own development, are to be regarded as being interlocked in a matter of future experience, not for the individual as such, but for the future needs of mankind. Thus does the mortal human individual share the mission into the future as did, for one, the mission of Jeanne d’Arc, and such of her successors as Nicholas of Cusa and Johannes Kepler, and their destinies for mankind’s now present future, lies within not the human flesh, but mankind’s having had a necessary future existence. The essence of that matter is not what the individual has achieved, but in the beauty of what the human individual has fought to become achieved. The future mission of each servant of the cause of their own existence, lies within the future which their experience expresses by and for the mission of mankind, as it had been the fruit of genius or martyr, alike, as for, incidentally, China today.
“The present option for all deserving humanity, lies essentially, in creating a better future for all mankind, in the option for realizing the seemingly impossible necessity, which makes for the sweetest of the achieved dreams of mankind’s achievements: for the sake of realizing that the future of all mankind, is the seemingly impossible.”
A Global Shift
Dennis Small: It was precisely one week ago in this venue that Mr. LaRouche’s evaluation of the significance of the conjoint statements of the three statesmen that Matthew just identified—Steinmeier and Schmidt from Germany, and former Maryland Governor O’Malley of the United States—was presented to this audience. Their statements had actually been made, curiously enough, all on the same day, probably unbeknownst to the three individuals involved, because clearly there was a greater underlying process that was afoot that was transforming the entire situation. Lyn described the situation created by this trio of statements as one that is “a major shift which is not yet secured, but is promising.” And he described this as a global process underway in which “new ideas, not habits and precedents from before, but completely new ideas, were in the process of shaping history.”
Now this week, that process, as forecast by LaRouche one week ago today, has taken on a very powerful shape. And actually, the result of this is that Obama and the British have taken a tremendous thrashing on numerous fronts around the planet. For them, the seemingly impossible is happening; they’re being hit by forces that they didn’t even know existed, and in fact, did not actually exist—at least from the standpoint of deduction—ten days or two weeks ago. Again, the way that Lyn discussed this with us today is that the entire planet right now is being swept by the pressure of ideas. That’s bursting out everywhere; we’re getting reactions all over the planet to this situation; there’s turmoil everywhere, but it’s all integrated. And to have a planetary view of the process, he said, is the essential point that has to be communicated in order to act to change that situation.
One such example which he mentioned is the riots that occurred this week in Germany, which erupted in a partially orchestrated manner, but not [fully so], because there is a tremendous underlying pressure inside Germany and inside Europe as a whole that actually takes very little to ignite. He said that the population is upset; it’s despairing, because it sees what is happening to itself and it’s looking over its shoulder to see what’s happening to Greece. And they know that everything that they’re being told is a lie. And therefore, we are increasingly going to see explosions of this sort.
The Glass-Steagall Standard
Now, you also see this process—and here it’s very directly the thrashing of Obama that comes into clearer focus—in the re-emergence into the center of American politics of the Glass-Steagall issue. And this was presented over a week ago by Martin O’Malley; but he presented it in an even more forceful way in the course of this week—in fact, yesterday in the Des Moines Register, an op-ed that he wrote in that newspaper. Now the reason that this issue is so significant in terms of understanding the global process underway, the reason that this is actually a universally significant development, is because the fundamental issue which is facing mankind—the crisis before us—is that having abandoned the proper way to think as real creative human beings, we have allowed a process of usury and speculation, and the financial values which are a product of that outlook, to dominate and destroy the underlying physical process on which the very existence of our species depends.
In the article which Matthew was mentioning that Lyn wrote about a week ago—“On the Subject of Germany’s Role”—the way he put it is the following; and I am going to read the paragraph in question, because I think it puts the issue of not only Glass-Steagall, but other developments into the proper focus. He said:
“Notably, merely speculative financial attributes per se, have overpowered what were in fact, the efficiently relatively physical values of upward movements within the domains of genuine productive output. The practice of perpetually successively reduced scientific rates of per-capita human productivity, relative to nominal, chiefly speculative, costs of production, both respecting net output-per-capita, as in Europe and the U.S.A., typify the relevant, actually parallel decline of both the standards of family incomes and also net productivity per capita ... [and] the general, relative decline of energy-flux density, in production, per capita”
Now this domination of what should be a never-ending, continuously growing process of creative scientific discoveries, leading to greater and greater power of man over the universe which he inhabits and which surrounds him—this has been largely destroyed by the process of the speculative bubble which has been created. The first and necessary step to address that problem, to deal with that problem—not the only measure, but the first, absolute sine qua non—is to return to the Glass-Steagall standard established in 1933 by President Franklin Roosevelt, which separated, the way a surgeon separates cancer from healthy tissue, the actual productive commercial part of the banking system from the speculative investment banking side.
To his credit, Martin O’Malley has placed that issue front and center not only in the Presidential campaign—the Presidential campaign is a long way away—but now, today, in the debate before the United States, he has made this a central issue. And in the op-ed in the Des Moines Register, he begins by explaining that the crash of 2008, as a result of this speculative bubble, actually cost every single American an average of $120,000. You may not know that you had $120,000, and you didn’t, but you certainly don’t now, because this was taken out of the hide of the productive capabilities of the economy.
And then he said,
“The most serious structural reform we can make is reinstating the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that kept commercial banks separate from investment banks. Under Glass-Steagall, our country did not see a major financial crisis for nearly 70 years. If that law hadn’t been repealed in 1999, the  crash would have been contained.... It’s time to put the national interest before the interests of Wall Street.”
And that is absolutely the case. The idea of the national interest is the idea of those per-capita measures of physical productive output of the economy, as contrasted to the speculative financial instruments.
So this is a fairly dramatic development, which you can be sure the Obama Administration and the Queen of England and Wall Street and the City of London are not exactly amused by. And they’re certainly not amused by two other developments which I want to mention.
The BRICS Process and the AIIB
The first of these other developments is the rapid, dramatic expansion of the AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It was established, proposed by China, with an open invitation to all countries of the world to join in, for the purpose of providing funding not for Wall Street speculation, not for bailing out the “too big to fail” banks, but for actual productive investment in infrastructure—i.e., a Hamiltonian-style bank. President Xi Jinping of China at the APEC meeting at the end of last year—Nov. 12, 2014, to be precise—took the occasion of a joint press conference with President Obama to invite the United States to join in this effort, not only of the AIIB, but the broader activities of the BRICS countries, towards reversing the slide into collapse with speculation, and rather to get on board with actual development.
In response to that invitation from Xi Jinping, Obama said: No way. Out of the question. Not on your life; nobody is going to join you. Not me, not any of our allies; it’s out of the question.
Well, he was wrong. While Obama has succeeded so far in shackling the United States and the American people to the deck of the sinking financial Titanic, as it goes down, countries in Europe that were previously so shackled, announced this week they’re jumping ship. Germany, France, Italy, and even the United Kingdom—which kind of elbowed its way to the front of the line on this thing—said, “We are joining the AIIB.” And, in fact, if you take a look at the map (Figure 1), you will see that there are now 34 countries that have announced that they will be joining the AIIB.
The LaRouche organization, as you’re undoubtedly aware, from the very outset, insisted that the United States should take up Xi Jinping’s offer. We put out a pamphlet on why the United States and Europe must join the BRICS. We have an international petition which is circulating, with very prominent people signing as of this moment, calling for exactly the same thing. The obstacle is Obama; the obstacle is the Queen of England. And they took a good, unexpected, thrashing this week, because of this process which has been unleashed, where people are recognizing that if they want to exist, they’re going to have to follow reason and get on board with the only thing that’s actually going to survive.
This has led to, really, a rather major humiliation, a political humiliation, of Obama. In fact, so much so, that the New York Times today editorialized on this subject, attacking Obama, saying, “The Obama administration, to its embarrassment, has been spurned by Western allies flocking to a China-led Asian development bank, defying White House pleas to stand back.... In significant ways, this is a problem of America’s own making.... President Obama has also mishandled the issue.”
That’s certainly the case, and I think it reflects that there is an immense potential, just under the surface, certainly in Europe, but also in the United States, to do what LaRouche, alone, said had to be done, when the BRICS developments emerged full-force on the scene of the world back in July of 2014, which is: That’s the direction we have to go in.
All of Europe took a giant step in that direction with this action around the AIIB. It is not yet complete, as Lyn warned, it is not yet secured; but this is an undercurrent of dramatic proportions. It’s unseen to many people, it is unknown to even more people; but it is one of the major currents shaping world history at this point. Don’t be surprised if soon we see a very significant move, a more significant move, from Europe, away from the sinking Titanic, unlocking their chains which Obama and the Queen of England have used to shackle them to the sinking Titanic, and actually saying, “Sorry, we’re not going down with you!”
Greece and the BRICS
Now, the real potential lies in what’s happening in Greece. This is of note, because, under immense pressure, Greece continues on its decision, its sovereign decision, to not commit suicide, and to not accept its destruction at the hands of the Troika. They have simply said, “No.” They are refusing to implement those policies, and, they have begun to look in a very serious direction towards Russia, towards China, towards Brazil, and other countries in the BRICS. In fact, one can ask the question—and I think the answer is in the affirmative—“Is Greece going to be the first European nation to actually bolt from the trans-Atlantic financial system, and join the BRICS?”
This is not unlike what happened with Argentina in the Spring of 2014, when we asked the question, would Argentina be the first nation in South America to break with the trans-Atlantic system, and join with the BRICS? Which they in fact did. That action by that country and that political leadership, in combination with the forces in motion around the BRICS, has led to a dramatic sea-change all across South America. In point of fact, with some exceptions and ups and downs, South America has followed Argentina onboard with the BRICS.
So, I ask the question:
“Is Greece, over the next week or two, going to be an actor that produces an effect, which we will see the effects of, at the next BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, in July of this year, where we’ll see a process, where Europe—apparently all of a sudden, doing the seemingly impossible under these circumstances—is going to be off the financial Titanic in large measure, or in the process of doing so, and joining with the BRICS?”
That is the direction in which this is going, and I think that the financial media and the British press are reflecting a level of hysteria that indicates that they’ve got some inkling that this is, if fact, the direction it’s going in.
Bild-Zeitung, in Germany, ran an editorial in which they complained that Greece has a “Plan P,” for Putin. The Guardian, of London, wrote an article that was quite hysterical, saying that if we keep pressuring Greece on the debt question, we’re just playing right into Putin’s hands. And the Economist this week wrote a horrified editorial, demanding that Greece stop acting in such a unilateral fashion, and gave instructions to the Tsipras government, of precisely which ministers they wanted fired. I think they shouldn’t hold their breath!
Now, again, the issue here, is that all of Europe is being shaken by this. Perhaps the best reflection of this, in one sense, is the speech that was given before the Italian Senate by Italian Senator and former Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, in which he said, “The problem is not that Greece entered Europe, but that Europe entered Greece.” And then he explained, describing the lending, the looting, the rape of Greece, the austerity. And he said that after the European “cure” (meaning all of the Troika’s austerity measures), the Greek government debt has risen, and Greek GDP has fallen.
Now the Troika is demanding more and more cuts, demanding further and further destruction, in a country that has been devastated by these policies, and, Tremonti added, with more than a touch of irony, “Not even Margaret Thatcher would ask for such measures.” He concluded by noting that these are not real European values, but these come from our “pre-Christian and pagan past.” He cited, in particular, the completely odious Roman Emperor Elagabalus. I leave you to look it up, as I had to as well, to find out what he was talking about.
What this dynamic might be, I think, is reflected in the following map (Figure 2), which was produced by the Chinese government, as you can tell by the labels, which reflect the New Silk Road that the Chinese government has been spearheading, for total integration and development of the economies of the Eurasian land-mass, and also the Maritime Silk Road, which is part of the same process, which you can see, drawn in the blue lines, connecting numerous ports along the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and so on, up to and through the New Suez Canal, which is being constructed in Egypt at this point, and into Europe.
You can see from a bright green circle there, that the entry point is the Port of Piraeus, in Greece. That is the port which the Chinese are investing in heavily. Not for the purpose of looting, but for the purpose of development—a “win-win” development approach, which does not mean “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” That’s not what “win-win” means. “Win-win” means that man is a unique species, which can develop in such a fashion, that he’s always producing an increased level of productivity, vis-à-vis the nature that surrounds him, making it possible, though increased energy-flux density, for man to be increasingly in control of, and perfecting his relationship with, the universe.
And that map properly puts into focus the process which is actually underway around the Greek question.
Ogden: Thank you very much, Dennis.
Now, I’m going to present the next question—our so-called “institutional question” of the evening—to which Mr. LaRouche had a very particular response. The question reads as follows:
“Mr. LaRouche: U.S. President Barack Obama has told the Iranian people that a deal to transform the relationship between the two countries would be within reach. He said, in a video message for the Persian New Year: We have the best opportunity in deciding to pursue a different future between our countries. Six world powers are negotiating a deal aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear activity with a March deadline drawing near.
“What is your view on a fair deal with Iran?”
Small: What Mr. LaRouche said in response to this question, is that it is a piece of stupidity to deny Iran access to the development of its natural talents, to treat it as if were sick man. He said that Iran can be a leading intellectual force in the region and for mankind as a whole, even though their powers are not fully developed and played out yet. And as such, they are an asset for humanity and must be treated as such.
And Mr. LaRouche elaborated that this approach and conception applies not only to Iran, but to other nations as well, whatever their momentary shortfalls may be.
Now, this approach of Mr. LaRouche’s to war-avoidance and construction of a peace—because Iran is one of the flashpoints with which the British are attempting to trigger a thermonuclear confrontation between the U.S. and NATO on one side, and Russia and China on the other—this approach stands in stark contrast to the ongoing, continual approach coming from Obama and the British this week, despite the thrashing they’re getting on numerous fronts. They have proceeded with provocations in Ukraine as much as they possibly can; Venezuela has been declared a “national security threat” of the first order to the United States, which is hard to imagine where that possibly came from; we have the developments in Israel, with Bibi Netanyahu achieving reelection by essentially calling for total confrontation and warfare throughout the region, and so on and so forth.
Russia’s ‘Snap Maneuvers’
The other development, which again may have seemed to have come from out of nowhere, for the British and Obama, but which radically changes the global strategic situation in the direction that Mr. LaRouche was describing last week, is that Russia engaged in snap military maneuvers, of a planetary scale, and simultaneously issued stark warnings, as they have in the past, that they will not tolerate any threat of a nuclear confrontation without their response. There will be a response.
I won’t go through all the details of their military maneuvers and the exercises they carried out. Suffice it to say that the overall evaluation of the speed and the professionalism with which this was carried out, provoked Gen. Ben Hodges, the United States head of the European Command, to say “Damn! That was impressive!”
One of the most significant components of that deployment was that Russia deployed its nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into Kaliningrad, which is the closest point to all Western Europe on Russian soil. And this is something which then-President Dmitri Medvedev, back in 2011, had warned would be Russia’s response, should the process of the U.S. and NATO continue extending their activities right up to Russia’s border with the Nazi coup in Ukraine, and especially with the deployment of an anti-missile system which itself is a threat to Russia’s actual existence as a nation.
So, four years ago, Medvedev had warned that this would be their reaction if things reached a certain point. Russia did it this week.
There have been also been statements from Russian officials putting into words what the body language communicates; there is no mistaking what they’re talking about, which is, they do not like and will not stand for this anti-missile system, which is a total provocation. But on the other hand, they have said explicitly—and this came from Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, who also issued the warnings about the anti-missile system—that they are prepared to talk to the United States, and that if the incoming Defense Secretary of the United States, Ashton Carter, were to call Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the phone, he is quite confident that Shoigu would respond, because dialogue is needed between the countries.
So this response from the Russians this week, really does box the British and Obama in, because their bluff won’t work. And this means, are they prepared to actually proceed and not simply bluff? There’s an extremely high penalty which is put on this, which has totally kicked over the chessboard, in point of fact.
So this is all part of this global sea-change which is underway, and on the military and the war front, this is of great significance.
But real war prevention, real war avoidance, come from a higher level, not simply responding to the immediate military and strategic situation, and that brings us back to the issue which LaRouche posed for this webcast, and posed as the central issue in his article “On the Subject of Germany’s Role,” that “the proper notion of design for the organization of the entirety of the planet” is based on being “responsive to the principles of Johannes Kepler.” And that in fact, is the only premise, the only basis on which we will be able to organize our way out of a dangerous situation of a threatened species, on both the military front and the economic front, into a process of not simply survival, but of man acting in such a way as to continue the ongoing process of participation in the creative development in the universe.
Think Like Kepler
Ogden: And that’s precisely where I want to pick up to introduce Benjamin Deniston. What you just mentioned, Dennis, about Mr. LaRouche saying in this article that “the notion of the habitation of the planet, ... must be responsive to the principles of Johannes Kepler,” goes directly back to what I stated from Mr. LaRouche in the introduction to this broadcast tonight: that our task is not to present a collection of parts, of separated parts, but our task is to understand the globe right now as a single, unified process. And the example which Mr. LaRouche gave earlier this afternoon, and has been citing time and time again, is the example of the method of thinking employed by Johannes Kepler.
Kepler understood the Solar System as a single, unified system, not merely as a collection of separate planets that somehow happened to find themselves occupying the same street address in the galaxy, but rather, as Ben Deniston elaborated in this week’s “New Paradigm for Mankind” show, which was on this website on Wednesday [March 18], Kepler really was the founder of modern physics, whose understanding of universal principles, Mr. LaRouche has emphasized, must become the basis for the organization of human society on this planet.
He said, “The present characteristic of mankind’s relationship between the development of society and of the Solar System’s relationship to the role of mankind’s own development, are to be regarded as being interlocked in a matter of future experience, not for the individual as such, but for the future needs of mankind.”
Earlier in this paper, Mr. LaRouche said the following, which I want to use to introduce Ben: “The present conditions of the inhabited planet Earth, have reached the point at which the notion of the habitation of the planet, in its entirety, must be responsive to the principles of Johannes Kepler, which must be considered, actually universally, as the proper notion of design for the organization of the entirety of the planet.”
So, Ben, I want to ask you, if we are to adequately develop the ability to understand the globe right now, as Kepler understood the Solar System, what do we have to understand about the mind of Johannes Kepler and his method? And I guess what I’m asking is: How do we think like Kepler?
Benjamin Deniston: Well, that’s quite a challenge. I think the way to start is by going back to Mr. LaRouche’s remarks from earlier today. The way he defined the challenge of understanding and communicating the present situation, as the way we’ve gone through it here this evening, is really an incredibly useful reference point to get right at this. Matt, as you elaborated in the beginning, Lyn was emphatic that “the reality of the present situation cannot be understood in terms of individual developments, not individual activities or individual facts. We’re looking at a single, unified process, not individualities.” Lyn said that we’re getting developments all over the planet, as we’ve just discussed, but they are of one planetary process, not different things.
So how do we understand this process then, and how do we communicate our understanding of this process as a single process to others? And as Lyn said earlier, obviously, we can’t cover everything. It’s one totality, but you can’t communicate the totality by going through every single detail of the world situation. For one, we only have an hour here tonight! But beyond that, it just doesn’t work that way.
Lyn stressed repeatedly that you have to emphasize those particular developments which come the closest to capturing the singleness of the overall process. You’ve got to focus on the examples which best express this totality. Forget the individual facts; go at what captures the nature of the planetary process as a whole.
This formulation that Lyn developed really struck me as something that has a certain, important precision, and I think it has direct and critical implications for understanding how Kepler thought—science from the standpoint of Kepler. You can never, in strategy and politics, as we’re discussing today, or in science, you can never describe every single fact of a process, and more importantly, you can never know that process simply by describing an accumulation of facts.
Instead, you have to look to present specific examples, which, for them to be understood together, requires the mind to generate a new conception, a new creation of the mind, a product of the mind, which then allows the individual who generated that to experience something which has some degree of coherence with this single process, which is creating and governing those particular events, but also other events, other expressions.
And that is what we seek in science, not “let’s discuss as science today as some fantasy of perfect and complete knowledge, of certain fixed laws which define the universe.” I would say, we’re looking for something that’s more along the lines of an increasingly less invalid conception, of this type generated by the mind, and it’s these increasingly less invalid conceptions, which are more real than any array of individual facts.
Cusa’s Conception of Science
This concept is central to the work of Nicholas of Cusa and Cusa’s revolutionary conception of science, which did lay the basis for Kepler’s work later, Kepler’s discovery. As Cusa emphasizes in his De Docta Ignorantia (On Learned Ignorance), what we have to realize when approaching the question of science, is that we have to start from a certain respect and realization that we are dealing with one universe, and everything we think of as existing generally, exists as an inseparable expression of that one universe. And Cusa takes this, then, to a conception which might be somewhat difficult for some people, but the result he comes to is, you can never know anything about the universe per se, in absolute and complete fullness, for this reason. Because to do so, to have complete, final knowledge of some real physical process of the universe, because that universe is an inseparable entirety, it would require you to know the entire universe, as a unity and, as Cusa stresses, without any contradictions, transcending any contradictions.
People think they know things in these absolute terms. People think they know facts, for example; but these are shadows, these are expressions of a process. And as Lyn was getting at earlier today, the problem is, rarely today are people trained to see the process underlying these expressions, to think about seeking the principles underlying these “facts” which they think are the reality.
Again, to emphasize Cusa’s conception, absolute and complete knowledge of the universe per se, is beyond the capabilities of the human mind, to have this absolute and complete knowledge. Because to achieve this, it would require that you actually understand the universe, as a whole, outside of any contradictions, and as a unity.
However, mankind does have a certain unique capability, a capability to generate conceptions, which provide a less imperfect experience of types of processes which underlie and generate facts, events, expressions, something we come to discuss or associate with the power of human creativity, as Lyn has come to define and describe this unique power of man.
And we know this, because we do it: Mankind is the only species that has shown the ability to willfully change his relationship to the universe.
The Solar System and the Human Mind
And as Lyn has emphasized, let’s take the example of Kepler. Look at the example of Kepler from the standpoint we’re discussing here today: Kepler’s demonstration of the validity of Cusa’s conception of science, this particular idea about the relationship between the human mind and the universe generally. Kepler’s discovery of the Solar System was not based on observational facts. Kepler had a brilliant utilization of a few, precisely chosen facts. He chose specific observational facts, which forced his own mind and then that of anybody working through his writings—in working with these specifically chosen facts, these observations that Kepler defines and presents to you—to generate a new conception; he forces the mind to generate new ideas, new conceptions which then provide a less imperfect experience of a certain principle, something that can generate and cause the shadows which we identify as observational facts.
And Kepler did it: Kepler showed that in this way, in particular, man can develop what we might call “physically valid knowledge of the universe.” Again, not complete, final knowledge: Kepler did not define the Solar System as an objective “fact.” Kepler created something in the mind. And mankind acts upon this, not upon facts about the Solar System.
It’s important to underscore Lyn’s emphasis that this is what he sees China moving towards, in their pursuit of their space program, this pursuit of what he defined as the “Kepler principle.” So what does that mean? Are we pursuing the Solar System as an object? As a collection of objects, as an isolated thing, the way most people would tend to think about science today, given the problems of education? Or, are we, as mankind, in doing what China is doing, in reaching out into space, are we actually pursuing Kepler’s creation?
And I think to address that you have to come back, again, to this fundamental question that Cusa addressed in this De Docta Ignorantia: How is it that we have valid knowledge? Or in this particular case, how do we have valid knowledge of the principle of the Solar System? Is it an objective thing, a collection of facts? No. Today we have a conception, unique to the human mind, created by Kepler, which provides people who develop that conception a less imperfect understanding of the underlying principle. And we know this to be true because it is demonstrated, by our ability to have a changed relationship with the universe around us.
So you could say, in these terms then, did Kepler create the Solar System? Well, in a very real sense, for mankind, in a way, he did.
And today we have to go further. We have to go towards the creation of even less imperfect conceptions, which we prove to be valid by their ability to allow mankind to continue to change his relationship to the universe. This is how we have to progress in the domain of science. How are we going to come to know the Solar System less imperfectly, as an expression of the galaxy as a whole, for example? How will we, in effect, experience the re-creation of the Solar System, as an inseparable expression of the subsuming galaxy?
These actions of the mind, these original creations of mankind, are the basis of science and of human progress—not facts, not finding facts or finding objects, but the generations, the creations of the human mind, specifically.
And just to bring it around to a conclusion, I think this really needs to give us a completely different understanding of the role of the individual in society; that understood in this way, the individual can create the future for mankind. And really, that is the best thing that any individual can strive for: to be a participant in this process of successive, potentially endless creation, which is the substance of mankind. No animal can do this. This is what makes mankind unique.
So, I think, in referencing Lyn’s conceptions about where we could be going in potential, and what China is doing in the direction of the world right now, I would say, we have been given this Keplerian future, if we choose to create it now.