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Atomistic Being

Atomistic being constitutes the most limited state of self, contraction to a point of non-consciousness.  Depending on other varaibles, there are a number of aspects, two of which can be mentioned here.

At the point of maximum involution, the Nonbeing or nonself aspect, atomistic consciousness is equivalent to Sri Aurobindo's Inconscient, Meher Baba's "Nothing" state, and the Lurianic Kabbalistic World of Points. It is one in which consciousness has become completely constricted, atomistic, and impotent; in other words, representing the Negative or Nothing Pole of existence.  This is the maximum point of involution, and would seem to be the starting point of evolution

At a level of greater consciousness (either not yet fully involuted, or having evolved up from non-conscious matter) aomistic being could also be called Paramanu, a Sanskrit term means the ultimate or most fundamental atom (anu or minuteness). I'm using it here because the Greek term (atomos, indivisible) is already used by science (atom). It is here used in a hypothetical or figurative sense, as I am not referring to a specific funndamental particle. The paramanu may be superstrings or supermembranes of speculative modern physics, or something else again or even smaller, or it may be a unit or quantum of consciousness. However I disagree with Ken Wilber's statement that "it's turtles all the way up and down" [e.g. external link Ken Wilber Online: Excerpt C - The Ways We Are in This Together "Its turtles all the way down, and therefore inter-turtles all the way down."] because that implies an infinite regress; moreover I am going on the assumption that reality is corpsucular, to use Teilhard de Chardin's term, granular or quantumised. This is confirmed by modern physics (quantum physics) according to which energy/matter can only be transmitted in "packets" (quanta, e.g. photons).

Thus for Teilhard, evolution begins with the atomistic, and progresses from there to greater degrees of inwardness and organisation. Yet at the same time it would be possible to assume a formless, non-atomistic non-being or non-consciousness, like the hyle of the Neoplatonists. Even at the level of physics, one could assume a single unified field from which the whole universe (including all teh atoms and particles) emerged.

Dimensions of Self and Reality
Atomistic Being
Universal Being

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content by M.Alan Kazlev
page created 8 November 1998, last modified 9 November 2009