How to overcome the dichotomy between monism and dualism?

Leibniz’s monads

Descartes’ dualism (mind and matter are separate realities) is opposed to Spinoza’s monism (there is only one level of reality). Leibniz, at the end of the 17th century, wanted to overcome this dichotomy with his monads, infinity of points of active substance. Independent, each of them expresses the entire universe. Leibniz uses the infinities, whose calculation he invented, to house in a tiny point all that exists, ordered in its specific configuration. His theory is a reversal of the whole and the element. Diversity passes into the element and uniformity into the whole.

Michel Eltchaninoff, in Philomag, says he is convinced by Leibniz, despite the strangeness of this theory. He takes the example of a great wine, whose multitude of aromas, pineapple, candied lemons, saffron, cardamom, copper, goes far beyond the land where grapes have grown. Mysteriously the whole world seems contained in a sip of wine. Michel makes the same analogy with a walk in Paris, which awakens in him a concentrate of History and personal memories. A geographical point reveals a life of displacement.

The power of the downward look

This extravagance, which makes every scientist smile, reveals the power of the downward/teleological look when it is not subject to quotas. Another manifestation of its manifestations is well known to SF readers: imagine that a fundamental particle in our universe is actually a complete universe itself. Reality would then resemble an interlocking of Russian dolls, each universe being both everything and tiny fraction of a higher universe. Let’s imagine stronger, to please Leibniz: each particle-universe is in fact… our entire universe, strangely formed of an infinity of its own self(s). At this point we have taken off so much in esotericism that even the most advanced scientist cannot denigrate us. No way to invalidate such a hypothesis with current knowledge.

Impossible to dismiss Leibniz, therefore. But I’ll let you think about the enormous amount of intractable questions he adds to solve the one that concerns us. This is usually the problem with the teleological look: it diversifies the answers but weakens the possibility that one of them is the right one. Reality is not questioned. As long as it has not given its opinion, we can give it the most fantastic masks without being mocked.

Let’s add the upward look

Let us now add the look of reality, called ontological or upward, on our philosophers: it says that they are entities of really high complexity. From then on, Leibniz, like Eltchaninoff, by experiencing himself, perceived this great complexity. They experience their countless sensory influxes organized and codified to become… their thoughts. They are even told today that they are molecules, atoms, particles. They are not one level of reality, nor two, but a multitude. Entangled. Surimposed.

The universe we can understand is not made of independence but of asymmetrical relations, defining a pole of individuation and a pole of collectivization in all things. Relative independences forming systems in a level of reality. The stability of these systems in turn transforms them into elements of a higher plane of reality. This is the complex dimension.

The complexity to overcome the dichotomy

Positioning a point of matter or a spirit in this dimension makes it possible to understand what constitutes it and what it feels. Monism cut into a multitude of indissoluble slices of their neighbors. Doesn’t this theory that underpins Surimposium seem to you better to overcome the dichotomy monism /dualism, dear Michel? It claims to resolve the majority of controversies instead of stirring up new ones.


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