Which came first, digital encoding or DNA encoding?
P. M.

Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

another excerpt from the same source

[P]hilosophy is now crossed by empiricism turned from nature upon the mind, out of which rises the science of the mind, psychology. Yet an empirical approach to awareness -- the careful examination of subject-object relationship -- is always open to objection for the simple reason that our "scientific" approach to mind, which has such fascinating results in recent biology, is necessarily through awareness itself. It is more difficult to characterize the emergence of self-awareness, obviously, than to backtrack biological emergence into the secrets of DNA. Yet even in such study -- biology, crossed by physics -- one is forced to acknowledge an influence upon the object from the observation itself, whether one attempt to observe in the child a monistic being before its fall into consciousness or observe particles of matter. As a further complication, biochemistry since Eliot's Bradleyan phase, is increasingly moved to postulate mind in all organic matter, even if in a closed teleological sense such as that argued by Edmund W. Sinnott in Matter, Mind and Man. And the question of whether some level of awareness is inherent in all matter has been arrestingly raised by Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man.

 -- pp. 32-33, Marion Montgomery, T. S. Eliot: An Essay on the American Magus, University of Georgia Press, 2008


Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:57 AM: 


an explication by Marion Montgomery

The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The drying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.
                     (Burnt Norton) 

Etienne Gilson (in The Spirit of Thomism, 1966) remarks: "That one does not see any light, may be a fact; to infer from it that there is no light, is a non sequitur." The comment is in a chapter, "A Metaphysics of the Name of God," which seems to me highly pertinent to the history of Eliot's pursuit of the Word, from his Bradleyan studies to his more comfortable assurance in the Four Quartets. Gilson explicates Saint Thomas' argument for the Being at the center of being, or in Eliot's late phrasing of the idea, "the Word in the desert." He proceeds from Saint Thomas' argument that the act of being has no quiddity of its own "precisely because it does not belong in the order of essence." Existence, the act of being, is separate from the existing of a particular being; that separate act of being is signified by a judgment: namely that existence is the common principle of all existing things. "That whatness [ens] of things [res] differs according to their respective natures, but concerning their thatness [esse], only one of two things can be done -- it can be affirmed or denied." The act of existence, which is common to all things, is "not [itself] a being but rather is that which makes such and such a thing to be a being." "All the other beings are essences, or substances that have their respective acts of being; but their universal cause is not an essence having such an act, it is that very act." The argument that esse is a name of God is then related to scripture in which existence is affirmed as the name of God: Qui est (Exodus 3:14). Eliot, underlining the highest attribute of man, intellectual substance, chooses his phrase out of the New Testament: the Word in the desert. 

-- Footnote, p. 27, Marion Montgomery, T. S. Eliot: An Essay on the American Magus, University of Georgia Press, 2008