I’m curious to know your response to the below excerpt from Jordan Peterson’s “Maps of Meaning”. Especially with regards to it’s focus on physical realities such as science versus abstractions of the human mind such as mathematics.
It’s my understanding that according to Peterson, spirituality is at the center of our interpretation of the physical world and in fact defines what we refer to as the “physical” world and or physical realities.
While his argument is largely focused on religious psychology, I believe it has relevance to your case for Gold. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to put this piece together as it was very insightful. I look forward to your response.
See full link below:
7. The most primary categorical distinctions drawn by human beings appear to involve a single axis: that of center vs periphery, or culture vs nature, or familiar vs foreign (Eliade, 1986). If this is true, then one might logically be driven to wonder just what is it that is “center, culture, and familiar” or “periphery, nature, and foreign”, if everything that exists can be subdivided into just these two categories (which must by necessity be very complex to encapsulate so much reality into such small and undifferentiated domains). It is the answer to this very difficult query that allows us to make the radical claim that we live in a world that is more fundamentally “spiritual” than “material.”
8. It appears to be the case, first, that the human brain has developed two large-scale specialized systems of adaptation (see Goldberg, Podell and Lovell (1994) for a parallel notion). The first of these, which we strive with all our might to keep activated, operates when we are in home territory. In home territory, we are secure. Friends and kin are there. Our position in the primate dominance hierarchy there, while not necessarily optimal, perhaps, is at least familiar. Our battles for position have been fought, and decided, even if not won, and we are not threatened by every move we make (or every move made by another). We know what to do in home territory — and, therefore, we might say that culture is where we know how to be. But where are you when you know where to be?
9. The second specialized system of adaptation operates when we do not know where we are. We strive with all our might to keep this system shut down, inhibited. Most of us are in the fortunate position of never having experienced its full activation (at least not within memory). We have never been shaken out of our beds in the middle of the night by mortal enemies, bent on our destruction. We have never found ourselves up against the predatory terrors of the primordial forest, unshielded by our cultural milieu. At most — except, perhaps, when we experience the death of someone loved — we suffer anxiety and grief, rather than terror and despair. We are not at the mercy of nature — at least so we think, as we continue to conquer the world with the tools of our knowledge. But grief and misery occur where we least expect them (and maybe that is nature, too).
10. Nature is concrete reality, we presume, something more real than abstraction. But if nature is more real than abstraction, what use is abstraction? Perhaps it is the case that abstraction is more real than “nature”. Perhaps abstraction can be used to extend what is effortlessly given to us. Perhaps abstraction can be employed to usefully transform what is now presented to us without effort (Brown, 1986) as the object. Maybe we can perceive with our (collectively- expanded) imagination levels of reality that are hidden, not so much from our senses, as by our senses.