It is possible indeed to question the need of positing an Infinite which contains our formed universe, although this conception is imperatively demanded by our mind as a necessary basis to its conceptions,—for it is unable to fix or assign a limit whether in Space or Time or essential existence beyond which there is nothing or before or after which there is nothing,— although too the alternative is a Void or Nihil which can be only an abyss of the Infinite into which we refuse to look; an infinite mystic zero of Non-Existence would replace an infinite x as a necessary postulate, a basis for our seeing of all that is to us existence.
We live within the boundaries of Space and Time. We are conscious of the space and time with which we deal in our everyday life. Yet our human mind cannot fix or assign a limit to Space or Time or the essential existence. We cannot say where the Universe ends or when the Time begins or when it will end.
Therefore the assumption of an Infinite containing our universe is necessarily demanded by our mind as a necessary basis to its conceptions. Still one can ask what is the need of assuming an Infinite containing our formed universe.
If that argument is not accepted what is the alternative? There seems to be nothing beyond (the Space and Time and existence) or before or after. Therefore we can conceive of a Void or Nihil as Buddhist would conclude. But what appears to be a Void is only an abyss of the Infinite into which we refuse to look. In that case an infinite mystic zero of Non-Existence would replace an infinite x as a necessary basis of reasoning for our seeing of all that is to us existence.
But even if we refuse to recognise anything as real except the limitless expanding finite of the material universe and its teeming determinations, the enigma remains the same. Infinite existence, infinite non-being or boundless finite, all are to us original indeterminates or indeterminables; we can assign to them no distinct characters or features, nothing which would predetermine their determinations.
Or we may refuse to accept all the above assumptions as real. We may accept only the limitless expanding finite of the material universe and its innumerable determinations (forms) as real. Still the puzzle persists.
Infinite existence, infinite non-being (Zero) or boundless finite are all to us original indeterminates or indeterminables. We cannot assign to them distinct characters or features. There is nothing in them which pre-determine their determinations (formed things).
To describe the fundamental character of the universe as Space or Time or Space-Time does not help us; for even if these are not abstractions of our intelligence which we impose by our mental view on the cosmos, the mind’s necessary perspective of its picture, these too are indeterminates and carry in themselves no clue to the origin of the determinations that take place in them; there is still no explanation of the strange process by which things are determined or of their powers, qualities and properties, no revelation of their true nature, origin and significance.
Finally to conclude, it would not help us to describe the fundamental character of the universe as Space or Time or Space-Time. Still they are not abstractions of our intelligence imposed by our mental view on the cosmos. They are the mind’s necessary perspective of its picture.
Yet these too are indeterminates and give us no clue as to the origin of the determinations (creations) that take place in them. There is no explanation of the strange process by which things are determined or their powers, qualities and properties. Their true nature, origin and significance are not revealed.
Actually to our Science this infinite or indeterminate Existence reveals itself as an Energy, known not by itself but by its works, which throws up in its motion waves of energism and in them a multitude of infinitesimals; these, grouping themselves to form larger infinitesimals, become a basis for all the creations of the Energy, even those farthest away from the material basis, for the emergence of a world of organised Matter, for the emergence of Life, for the emergence of Consciousness, for all the still unexplained activities of evolutionary Nature.
This infinite or indeterminate Existence reveals itself as an Energy to our Science. We know this Energy not by itself but by its works. Rather we know them by their consequences. We know the solar energy by the results it produces.
This Energy throws up in its motion waves of energism. It causes in them a multitude of infinitesimals (atoms). They group themselves to form larger infinitesimals (atomic aggregates) to become the basis for all creations of the Energy.
Even those farthest away from the material basis ( the subtlest forms like light, air etc.) are thus created. The emergence of a world of organised Matter, the emergence of Life, the emergence of Consciousness, all the still unexplained activities of evolutionary Nature are all creations of Energy.
On the original process are erected a multitude of processes which we can observe, follow, can take advantage of many of them, utilise; but they are none of them, fundamentally, explicable. We know now that different groupings and a varying number of electric infinitesimals can produce or serve as the constituent occasion— miscalled the cause, for here there seems to be only a necessary antecedent condition—for the appearance of larger atomic infinitesimals of different natures, qualities, powers; but we fail to discover how these different dispositions can come to constitute these different atoms,—how the differentiae in the constituent occasion or cause necessitate the differentiae in the constituted outcome or result.
On the original process of motion of Energy, a multitude of processes are erected. We can observe these processes, follow and take advantage of them. But none of them is fundamentally explicable, in the sense that we cannot explain fundamentally why it is like that.
We know that the infinitesimal subatomic particles (protons, neutrons and electrons) combine to form larger atomic infinitesimals of different natures, qualities, powers. But we do not understand how these different arrangements can come to constitute different atoms.
We fail to understand how the differentiae (distinguishing characters) in the constituent occasion or cause necessitate the differentiate (distinguishing characters) in the constituted outcome or result.
We know also that certain combinations of certain invisible atomic infinitesimals produce or occasion new and visible determinations quite different in nature, quality and power from the constituent infinitesimals; but we fail to discover, for instance, how a fixed formula for the combination of oxygen and hydrogen comes to determine the appearance of water which is evidently something more than a combination of gases, a new creation, a new form of substance, a material manifestation of a quite new character. We see that a seed develops into a tree, we follow the line of the process of production and we utilise it; but we do not discover how a tree can grow out of a seed, how the life and form of the tree come to be implied in the substance or energy of the seed or, if that be rather the fact, how the seed can develop into a tree.
We know that certain combination of atomic particles produce a new and visible determinations (new outcome). The new outcome is quite different in nature, quality and power from the constituent infinitesimals (atoms).
We fail to understand how a fixed combination of hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water. The water is evidently something more than the combination of hydrogen and oxygen. It is a new creation, a new form of substance. It is a material manifestation of a quite a new character.
Similarly, the seed grows into a tree. We follow the line of the process of development and we make use of it. Still we fail to understand how a tree can grow out of a seed. How the life and form of the tree come to be hidden behind in the substance or energy of the seed. If that is so, how can the seed develop into a tree?
We know that genes and chromosomes are the cause of hereditary transmissions, not only of physical but of psychological variations; but we do not discover how psychological characteristics can be contained and transmitted in this inconscient material vehicle.We do not see or know, but it is expounded to us as a cogent account of Nature-process, that a play of electrons, of atoms and their resultant molecules, of cells, glands, chemical secretions and physiological processes manages by their activity on the nerves and brain of a Shakespeare or a Plato to produce or could be perhaps the dynamic occasion for the production of a Hamlet or a Symposium or a Republic; but we fail to discover or appreciate how such material movements could have composed or necessitated the composition of these highest points of thought and literature: the divergence here of the determinants and the determination becomes so wide that we are no longer able to follow the process, much less understand or utilise.
We know that hereditary characters are transmitted through genes and chromosomes. They transmit not only physical but psychological characters. We are unable to understand how these psychological aspects can be contained and transmitted in this inconscient material vehicle i.e. genes. For example certain psychological aspects like anger, generosity, musical talents are transmitted through genes.
It is explained to us as a convincing account of Nature-process that a play of electrons, of atoms and their resultant molecules and a play of cells, glands, chemical secretions and physiological processes produce a certain activity on the nerves and brain of a person. This is what makes a person a creative poet, playwright and a philosopher. This is what made Shakespeare produce a Hamlet or Plato produce a Symposium or a Republic.
But we fail to understand how such material movements of atoms, cells and glands could have composed these highest points of thought and literature. The divergence between what determines and the outcome is so wide that we are no longer able to follow the process.
These formulae of Science may be pragmatically correct and infallible, they may govern the practical how of Nature’s processes, but they do not disclose the intrinsic how or why; rather they have the air of the formulae of a cosmic Magician, precise, irresistible, automatically successful each in its field, but their rationale is fundamentally unintelligible.
Science is able to explain things with the help of formulas. They are correct in their practical application and are always right. Such formulas govern the practical ‘how’ of Nature’s processes. We know how a process works but we do not know the inherent reason behind the process.
Scientific formulas are like that of a cosmic magician. They are precise, irresistible, and automatically successful each in its field. But the rationale behind their workings cannot be grasped by our intelligence.