It is important to understand from the getgo that the basic tenets of objective science do not align with those of contemporary science. It needs to be accepted without compromise by those who wish to study and apply objective science.
We are suggestible. It is a human failing. Consequently, we are inclined, by habit, to accept frequently repeated assertions from any source we regard as credible, including contemporary science. We often do not attempt to critically analyze such assertions, and we may even try to “fit them” into whatever world view we have constructed in applying objective science—assuming we have indeed constructed one.
The possibility of being deflected by such opinions warrants the adoption of a meticulous approach to analyzing information we encounter from that source. Before we take another step, let us draw a line, with the following statement:
There is no possible basis for debate between those who study objective science and adherents of contemporary science—nor is there reason to debate.
A Theory of Everything
Objective science comprises a theory of everything, from the Absolute to the smallest particle that exists. The objective scientist does not, at the outset, know the truth of this broad theory and will only be able to verify it individually. If one man proves it true to his own satisfaction, no matter who he tells or how he describes it, he cannot prove it true to another. Objective science works from theory towards confirmation on the level of the individual.
Contemporary science invents hypotheses and seeks their confirmation through a process of experiments that are peer-reviewed and repeatable (in theory) by anyone.
No common basis exists between these two approaches to science, not even a partial one, to provide a foundation for debate. Without a common basis from which to venture forth, productive discussion and genuine agreement is impossible.
Nevertheless, it may prove useful for the objective scientist to interact with contemporary science representatives to learn why they adhere to a particular theory and discover what data they consider important. Such data gathering can prove fruitful, but beyond that there is unlikely to be any useful outcome. Similarly, contemporary scientists may be interested to know about ideas from objective science even if they reject its approach out of hand.
The objective scientist has no reason to proselytize. It would be fruitless.
The Living Universe
Objective science considers the universe to be alive at every level.
A fundamental disagreement between the two approaches to science is that contemporary science only regards life as a characteristic of what it defines to be living biological organisms. The dispute here concerns the very definition of life. To the objective scientist, every cosmic unit is alive in some way. At a large scale, planets, suns, and galaxies are viewed as life-forms. At a smaller scale, molecules are viewed as life-forms.
Objective science considers man’s inner world to operate as a system in the same manner as the universe as a whole. In that sense the two systems are equivalent. They are cosmic units.
The objective scientist considers the existence of two separate but related worlds: his inner world and the outer world he experiences and with which he interacts. He views his inner world, including his body, as a cosmos. Thus, he views the inner world and the outer world as subject to the same laws, although acting at different levels.
This perspective is enshrined in the words “As above, so below.”
Contemporary science does not regard the inner world, insofar as it acknowledges its existence, as having any importance to science. The term “cosmos” is used by contemporary science only to describe the universe as a whole—as a complete system. There is disagreement about the meaning of this word.
An important purpose of objective science is to assist the individual evolution of human beings.
The purpose of objective science is to assist individuals in their personal evolution and particularly the evolution of their understanding. It is a collection of information that can, in theory, be transformed into knowledge and then into understanding.
Contemporary science has no purpose of this kind and does not (currently) acknowledge the possibility of personal evolution. It seeks to arrive at the truth—it has that in common with objective science—but it seeks to do so only by empirical activity beyond the inner world of man and thus regards as true only those things that can be established collectively in that way.
The theories of objective science are immutable.
The theories of contemporary science change over time. It is usually presumed that such change indicates progress and that human knowledge is increasing accordingly. Individual scientists seek to add to that “progress.”
The theories and models of objective science are given. Gurdjieff never suggested that they could be improved or extended. They are said to be “the product of higher mind” given in a form suited to “seekers after truth” in our era.
The objective scientist does not blindly believe the assertions of objective science.
Gurdjieff said that objective science can only be thoroughly understood by higher mind. Our activity in the study of objective science runs in parallel with work on being—work on ourselves to develop the capacity to understand objective science. We are advised to adopt an attitude of skepticism as we investigate and evaluate objective science’s assertions.
Objective science avoids specialization.
Contemporary science categorizes itself into topics, which result in individual specializations. For example, natural science, which covers the description and understanding of natural phenomena, is divided into life science and physical science, essentially a division between the animate and the inanimate.
Life science is also called biology and is further divided into ecology, zoology, botany, microbiology, and biochemistry. Physical science is broken up into astronomy (or astrophysics), earth science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, physics, and chemistry. The social sciences are similarly divided, and the tools of science, termed the “formal sciences,” are classified under mathematics, logic, statistics, systems theory, decision theory, and theoretical computer science.
This division can lead to a kind of “compartmentalism” where information and associated theories are gathered together and studied but seek only for consistency and completeness within their own compartment and ignore inconsistency between compartments.
In objective science, there are no compartments. Knowledge constitutes a unity. The objective scientist’s initial goal is “to know ever more and more concerning the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance.” The objective scientist’s ultimate goal is to completely connect all aspects of knowledge together to form a unity within their being.
The data of contemporary science may be useful to the objective scientist.
Many of the questions that concern contemporary science, such as: “What is life?” “What is the origin of man?” “How was the universe created?” “How do specific phenomena occur?” are also questions that objective science seeks to address. Contemporary science performs many useful experiments to investigate such questions.
The objective scientist may find many of these experiments worthy of study as they can provide useful data for our understanding of the external world. The only caveat is that contemporary scientific theories associated with the data should be treated with skepticism.
Sadly, it is also the case that some contemporary scientists are not beyond fabricating data and hiding or destroying inconvenient data.
In our next article we’ll introduce the fundamental concepts of Objective Science.