Rational Religion

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Boolean Amoebae.


An implied premise of this treatise, that it presents a religion without metaphysics, is of course misleading.


If Physics is all the Universe's processes, independent of human cognition and interdependent only upon each other - for varying spans of time - then each person's consciousness is a separate and metaphysical universe.


Think of it in terms of Boolean algebra; the mathematics of sets. 


For each person's purposes, there are two main sets: 1) all of objective Physics, which includes all those moving molecules; stars, galaxies, atoms and subatomic particles (including yours); and  2) the individual's consciousness.


Think of each set as a sphere, of whatever size you wish.    The Universal sphere bowls along through space and time/change,  oblivious of you and me.  Your sphere, or mine, is satellite to it, entirely dependent upon it for existence, but of infinitesimal consequence to it..  In Boolean architectural terms the two spheres intersect -  not like soap bubbles in contact, with a preserved wall between their enclosed volumes, but with actual penetration and shared area. 


This is the concept of sets and subsets, with the pertinent subset in this case being that part of the "real" universe which is shared with your consciousness.  This is your conceptual interface;  the area where your necessarily metaphysical read on your environment actually coincides with the physical environment. 


The size and shape of this subset, at any given moment, is highly variable and entirely dependent upon the individual's sphere of consciousness.  The Universal Sphere doesn't care if you're in there or not.  That's only important to you.


If you now have a nice mental picture of these two intersecting spheres - floating lazily in space, or tearing along together at barely sub-light speeds - remember that every other conscious individual has his or her own set, essentially independent of yours or the Universe.


At this point the architecture becomes more complicated!


Paradoxically,  your concept of any other person  is still another subset, because it shares very little in common  with their  readout of you. 


Remember, up to now we are dealing with only two consciousnesses.  What about all those other people we know; and all the billions we don't know?  And what do we do about the fact that all these sentient creatures' bodies and physical processes are included inside the Big Sphere of physics, while their bubble-like consciousnesses project mostly outside of it.


Each of these other - remember, entirely metaphysical - spheres also penetrates the reality of physics (some of them, just barely).  And some of them penetrate your sphere, becoming still a different subset, representing that person's concept of you


Now it becomes obvious that our analogy is breaking down.  All these sets and subsets can't really be spheres, because true spheres cannot intersect in this way.  


With spherical architecture, my neighbor's concept of me and mine of him exist in the same volume of space; they should be identical, a shared concept of Us .  But obviously, they are not; any inspection of a human "love relationship" makes this clear. 


And that yet separate subset of what both of us understand to be the Real Universe is just as elusive; and illusive.  Physical scientists spend their entire lives debating the subtleties of what they agree that they understand. 


So, it can't all be represented by a lot of little spheres, jostling for position around the circumference of one big one.  It's more like a mob of amoebas, swarming this huge, amorphous blob of reality - and each other - thrusting pseudopods here and there; withdrawing and thrusting, again; tasting the surroundings and being tasted. 


And using all those myriad flavors to construct, each of us, his or her own metaphysical universe;  unique and transitory; moment by moment and lifetime by lifetime.  And all of it insignificant to the inexorable processes of Physical Change.


It may be paradoxical, but isn't it exciting!?