Folio 3 - The Four Rings


1. DEVOTIONAL          2. ANALYTICAL          3. CRITICAL          4. HOLISTIC



I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. – Revelation 1:8


Dear Alpha, Beginner of all things; the primal Seed; the Origin; Who has the universe and all its many worlds within Itself; the Egg of time; the Germ of Germination; Who is the very Code, the DNA of all existence before its birth; the One at the inception, in principio; we praise You in Your pluripotency. Amen.


I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. – Revelation 22:13


Dear Omega, our Aim, our Destiny; the Ultimate of every Ultimate Concern; the consummation of all striving and our struggle; the culmination of all things towards Harmony and Resolution; Becoming come to Be; the maturation of Parusha, the universal Person, to Their Telos; the Place where everything coheres, drawn by attraction of Your Love; we worship You in your perfection. Amen.

– Anonymous

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The idea of a “primal singularity” Alpha-point from which everything derives is an element of the “Big Bang” cosmological model, which is currently the consensus scientific theory about the origins of the universe (though not without its challengers). The idea of the singularity was theoretically deduced from the implications of various empirical data, the most important being the observations that the universe was expanding (at a rate of 72 kilometers per second per megaparsec, as it turns out). If the universe is indeed expanding as time progresses, it follows that the universe would have been smaller in the past—in fact, smaller and smaller the further you went back in time—until you reach a point, roughly 13.8 billion years ago, when the entire universe was so small that it was an infinitesimally miniscule dot. Expressed mathematically: as v (volume) of matter approaches 0, p (density) approaches infinity. However, the suggestion that the initial singularity was actually “infinitely” dense and small is only an artefact of its basis in mathematical theory.

So much we find when we rewind the tape of the universe’s expansion. However, what happens when we fast forward? If it is indeed the case that expansion is speeding up and will continue accelerating forever, then the universe’s density will eventually become so low that it experiences “heat death”: order will break down into a vast nothingness, until the very fundamental forces binding matter together themselves breakdown, such that all ends in a cosmic “Big Rip” of dissolution and annihilation. A rather different scenario than the Omega-point of “multiplicity” and “complexity” mentioned here…

– Prof. Demonstrand

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(1) The seraph here expresses a key and vital insight: namely, that the cultural worlds we swim in shape our understanding of the world. We do not come as neutral observers to phenomena, but rather with pre-given categories and frameworks that we have assimilated (mostly unconsciously) from our upbringing and general enculturation. A medieval poet-scholar will thus interpret a profound altered state quite differently than a metamodern millennial. Because our minds can only make sense of experience according to ideas and concepts familiar to us (ranging from culture-specific notions like “church” up to the very structures of language itself), a person will necessarily filter reality through the lens of culturally-constructed categories. Here Julian goes so far to suggest that the vision he is to have of the universe is the same “raw data” that the medieval poet Dante Alighieri experienced in his visionary experience, except that Dante interpreted that exceptional insight through the lens of scholastic theology whereas Julian will interpret it through the lens of metamodern science. How different the depictions of the universe are speak to how much our cultural lenses impact what we see as “reality” itself.

– a. verte



Temporal Wisdom: “The point is that a person can have a profound peak, religious, spiritual, or meditative experience of, say, a subtle light or causal emptiness, but they will interpret that experience with the only equipment they have, namely, the tools of the stage of development they are at. A person at magic will interpret them magically, a person at mythic will interpret them mythically, a person at pluralistic will interpret them pluralistically, and so on. But a person at mythic will not interpret them pluralistically, because that structure-stage of consciousness has not yet emerged.” (Ken Wilber, Integral Spirituality, p. 91)


Tree of Knowledge: “The [Tree of Knowledge] System maps the universe on the axes of time (from past to present into the future) and complexity (from very simple elements present in the very earliest stages of the universe to increasingly complex entities, ultimately culminating in modern human societies).” “The ToK characterizes the universe of behavior as consisting of four different dimensions of existence. The “Matter” cone at the bottom represents the emergence and behavior of inanimate material objects from the time of the Big Bang, and includes entities such as atoms, stars, and planets. Particles like electrons represent the base of the cone as they are the simplest entities, whereas entities like macromolecules found in organic chemistry correspond to the top of the material cone. The “Life” cone represents the behavior of organisms, ranging from the simplest single-celled creatures (e.g., bacteria) up through large, complex multi-celled organisms (e.g., an oak tree). The “Mind” cone represents the behavior of animals with a brain, ranging from nematodes at the base (i.e., worms with simple brains) through highly complex and sophisticated animals, like chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants. Finally, the “Culture” cone represents the behavior of human persons embedded in linguistic traditions and sociocultural historical contexts. It ranges in scale and complexity from individual persons to the behavior of modern, complex nation states or other societal structures organized by large-scale systems of justification (such as the United States of America).” (Henriques G, Michalski J, Quackenbush S, Schmidt W (2019) The Tree of Knowledge System: A New Map for Big History. Journal of Big History 3(4):1-17.