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To Conceive the "Inconceivable"


     UBC, department of Anthropology.

     Good morning.  Is Professor Braxton Alfred available please? 

     I believe he is.  One moment please.

     A moment later, Braxton Alfred.

     Good morning, Professor Alfred, my name is Toney Mars.  Im calling to see if I may come and see you for about two hours one day this week, to discuss a matter of a some philosophical import.

     Two hours?  Thats quite a stretch, considering this time of year.

     Two hours, at least, and uninterrupted, preferably.

     You don't mince words, do you?" the professor chuckled.  "So, whats it about?

     It is in regards to a new science-based philosophical system called OMNI-SCIENCE.

     OMNI-SCIENCE?  Cant say Im familiar with it.  In fact, I dont think Ive ever heard of it before.  Are you sure Im the right person to consult in this matter?

     Yes sir, I am, especially since you seem to be the only physical anthropologist in the department.  And in fact, no other university professor has ever heard of the Omniscientific Cosmology, either.


     Omniscientific Cosmology.

     Okay, Omniscientific Cosmology, in which case shouldnt you talk to a cosmologist instead?

     I should, and I will, but I must also talk to physicists, chemists, biologists, sociologists, psychologists, ecologists, geologists, astronomers, and of course anthropologists.

     Why of course?  Why is cosmology relevant to an anthropologist.

     Conventional cosmology may or may not be, but Omniscientific Cosmology certainly is.

     Define Omniscientific Cosmology.

Cosmologies are models of the Universe.  Of cosmologies there are two main categories - the unscientific and the scientific.  Unscientific cosmologies are usually derived from religion, such as Creationism and other creation myths, which, however false, nonetheless address the great philosophical questions on origin, meaning, purpose and destiny.  Scientific cosmologies have two subcategories the conventional and the unconventional.  Conventional cosmologies involve only the physical sciences in their construction, namely physics, chemistry, geology and astronomy, such as the Big Bang and Steady State theories; they can answer for origin, and to an extent destiny regarding whether the physical Universe will eventually collapse upon itself or not, but certainly not regarding meaning and purpose, and the destiny of life in the Universe.  Unconventional cosmology is what I call Omniscientific Cosmology, which involves not only the physical sciences, but the biological and social sciences as well, since life, society and consciousness are all integral parts of the Universe.  It is Omniscientific Cosmology that can answers the great philosophical questions on the nature, origin, evolution, meaning, purpose, destiny, even the Tao - of matter, life, humanity, society, planet, galaxy, Universe, even God.


     Lets say, God.

     If so, that would make the Omniscientific Cosmology a religion.

     I hope not.

     Anyway, if what you say is true, it would seem that this Omniscientific Cosmology would be inextricably tied to religion, at least in terms of fighting Creationism, observed the professor with a twinkle in his voice.

     Yes sir, since neither the biological theory of Evolution alone, nor conventional scientific cosmology, can cover the philosophical grounds that Creationism and Omniscientific Cosmology can.  I believe, therefore, that Omniscientific Cosmology, which includes evolution, is the perfect lethal weapon against such unscientific cosmologies as Creationism.

     Going back to the relevance of this Omniscientific Cosmology to anthropology, which by definition is the study of the human species.  Why do we have to go all the way out to the Universe to understand humanity?

    May I ask you back: Is a human being a part of the planet Earth, or apart from it?

     A human being is an integral part of the Earth, not apart from it, obliged the professor.

     Is the planet Earth an integral part of the Milkyway Galaxy or apart from it?

     The planet Earth is an integral part of the Milkyway Galaxy, not apart from it, and yes, the Milkyway Galaxy is an integral part of the Universe, and therefore, a human being is an integral part of the Universe, not apart from it.  And since the part cannot be understood without a sound understanding of the whole and its part in this whole, so neither can humanity be understood without a sound understanding of the Universe, and its part in the Universe.  Is this what youre driving at?

     Yes sir.  Exactly.  And to harmonize with this view, the Chinese have a saying, In the Cosmos, Humanity accords its way to that of the Earth, the Earth to the Sky, the Sky to the Tao the Way of the Cosmos and the Tao simply is, according to its own Nature.  According to this, if we come to grasp this Way of the Cosmos, this Tao, we then would know the theoretical Optimal Way of Humanity, which we currently do not.

     So, what can the Taoists tell us about this Tao?


     Why not?

     Because it is also written, The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao If one asks about what the Tao is and another answers, neither know it.  So the Taoists have maintained two millennia of silence, as if they knew it.

     So, they discovered the existence of this Tao, but not its nature?  And further, that the Tao simply cannot be known?

     Exactly.  But I do not believe that the Tao cannot be known.


     Because I know it.

     Is that a fact?  So, what do you know about it?

     Thats partly what I want to talk to you about.

     Maybe you can tell me how you get to know it.

     Recall In the Cosmos, Humanity accords its way to the Earth, the Earth to the Sky, the Sky to the Tao, and the Tao simply is, according to its own Nature.  Accordingly, if we understand Nature, to which the Tao itself accords

     The study of Nature - Science?

     The sciences, more exactly, which the old time Taoists lacked.

     But the sciences have been around for centuries.  Why hasnt the Tao been spoken yet?

     Because the sciences had yet to be transcendentally integrated into Omni-Science.

     Which you have? said the professor, without a hint of sarcasm.

     That is for me to claim, and for you to verify, if youre interested.

     There seems to be an insurmountable problem.

     Which is?

     Since this Omniscientific Cosmology is to be built with all the knowledge in every scientific field, it must be complex beyond comprehension, at least beyond that of the layman.  How can it be of any practical use?

     Quite on the contrary, it is surpassingly simple.

     Hows that possible?

     If I may analogize with a jigsaw puzzle, whose pieces are each a science or sub-science.  It is true that if you examine one piece, any piece, with the microscope of your mind, you cannot exhaust it in detail.  But transcendentally integrate all the pieces into one, which we then regard from a respectful distance, and well see a very simple BIG PICTURE emerge, whose essence can be described in as few as two words.

     The unspeakable Tao spoken?  So, what are these two unspeakable words?

     Theyre in part what I want to speak with you about.

     Mr. Marr, youre very good in at least one thing

     And whats that, professor?

     Twisting arms.  How would tomorrow 2 p.m. suit you, at my office?

     Perfectly.  Thank you professor.  I'll be there.

     Two days after this conversation, Professor Braxton M. Alfred sent Toney Mars a letter, which read in part:

     To whom it may concern:

     Today I was privileged to hear Mr. Toney Mars discuss a genuinely new conception I accepted Mr. Marrs invitation with trepidation there is far too much (pseudo-intellectual) trash about and I feel an obligation to stem the tide whenever and wherever the opportunity is available, but I do not relish it.

     Within minutes of his beginning I became aware that he assuredly is not

     Mr. Marrs effort is in the tradition of 19th Century scholarship, but is based solidly on 20th Century science.  There is simply no modern parallel for his accomplishment.  His system is extraordinarily ambitious in that it purports, and is successful in my opinion, to explain hierarchical structure in the phenomenal world truly a grand scheme

     He speaks with the power and confidence of one who totally commands the material.  This presentation was scheduled for two hours.  After four hours, mutually fatigued, we adjourned and I was very reluctant to quit.  It is compelling indictment of the structure of contemporary academic departments that, undoubtedly, no graduate would be allowed to pursue such a project with any expectation of being awarded a degree.  This in spite of the fact that Mr. Marrs product is in every way superior to any of the Ph.D. degrees this department has awarded in the twenty years of my appointment.  It is characterized by careful, thoughtful attention and rigorous development.  I recommend it, and him, without qualification.

     Shortly after this initial presentation, Toney Mars launched a speaking tour down the West Coast, and returned with some 30 of these critiques from five universities, the excerpts from which are presented under [Critiques].



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