The “science” symbol is one of the most potent words in the English language. It involves and reveals the epicenter of the human condition.  It simultaneously reflects and generates our most core belief systems. The  meaning we give it can generate religions that sustain us and religions that  destroy us, Thus we are wise to pursue the truest meaning of the symbol, regardless of how inconvenient our inquiry might initially seem.

The Great Conundrum

We are confronted with the great conundrum: how is it possible to explore the true meaning of science with science? Surely we end up in a never-ending circle of self-reflection? Surely we become trapped in perpetual paradox?  Surely we are confounded by the limitations of thought and its inability to embrace paradox?
Fortunately physics may provide us with ways of transcending this situation. Physics and psychology are essentially the same at the their deepest level and so let us first establish an understanding of our psyche.

Our Deep Psychology.

A key notion of the True Hope pages on the psychology and ego symbols  is that the psyche consists of a  vast subliminal sentience and a trace self-awareness consisting of a  few  acknowledged emotions, body sensations and thoughts. The ego is the active interface of these two quantum and thus it plays a potent pivotal role in shaping our worldview.


We can rephrase the above in terms of knowledge.
All things in the universal transformation are information i.e. information is physical. Knowledge is information livened by sentience. Thus the human psyche consists of a vast quantum of subliminal (non-self) knowledge and a trace quantum of self-knowledge. The ego is the active interface of these two quantum and thus plays a pivotal role in shaping knowledge flows and thus our responses to existence.

The ego is paradox

Example of paradox: light and dark are of each other even as they are different. The thought process can only flit between the contradictions whereas our greater sentience can embrace them in a cohesive way. This skill is manifest , for instance, in great paintings.

Perhaps psychology can best be defined as the art of transcending paradox. This is because all existence involves paradox and it is a conundrum to the thinking process. Our survival depends on our capacity to transcend the limitations of thought so we can more fully experience paradox.
The ego, which is deeply involved in the thinking process, is paradox.  It is of both the self and non-self knowledge of the psyche and yet it is neither.  It is born of the rending or splitting of the psyche and thus its nature is division or cleaving. Observe how the “science” symbol arises from the Proto-Indo-European *skei- “to cut, to split” (See etymology below)

And paradox breed paradox.
The more we know; the more we find we do not know.
The more we know about a particular form; the less we know the universal transformation. (see the old adage: an expert is a person who knows more and more about less and less until he/she knows everything about nothing.)
Truthfully symbolizing a form simultaneously obscures its truth.  (The form becomes the symbol even as the symbol is just an approximation of the form.)

Observe the pattern emerging: increasing knowledge splits and divides us from the known.
This paradox arises from the more fundamental paradox, which is that the ego is the interface even as it rends the psyche.  The ego arises in the moment of division into self  and non-self knowledge and only exists while the division occurs. Thus the ego tends to generate ingenious rationales and tricks denying the universal transformation with its inherent reminder of the paradox that we are finite forms (mortal) even as we are integral to the universal potential.
This  rending and alienation is an inherent element of the human condition.

Transcending the ego (thought and paradox)

changing universe “The universe may have been born spinning..” Energy is so bounteous it can be usefully considered a constant and it continuously transforms. All is change.

The great principles of physics, the Conservation Principle of Energy in particular, have never been dis-proven despite the most intense scrutiny over millennia. They provide wise guides for us in our choice of actions, including our use of language. In their knowledge we are reminded of how we are moral beings and the bounteous, dynamic nature of energy.  When we embrace their truths of physics we are better able to transcend the self-deceits and incredible trickery of the ego.  The fears, confusions and deceits of the ego are diminished and we are opened to greater wisdom and harmony with all. True hope tends to prevail.


Symbol Science (the state)

True hope: Science is a profound way of being born of compassion and it enables the development of all manner of sustaining skills, including sustainable language and civics.
yin yang90
Comment: This use of the “science” symbol embodies reminders of the essential schism of the human condition and engenders compassion. We are all born into a partial state of compassion.  Thus we can all enjoy the state of science to some degree and it is this state of being that enables the sustainable learning process.
See details and discussion of the requisites of this state of being at Compassionate Curriculum.
In other words, we are all born both scientists and non-scientists to some degree. No person is a scientist and this knowledge liberates us in humility and inclusiveness. No person is a non-scientist and this knowledge liberates us in sustaining self-awareness.
Science is a profound state of moral being in which our every action is a moral consideration and true economy is practiced.

science  word association
University of Groningen Honours College Philosophy launch. Word association of science used as introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Note. Not one image under Google category Science Word alludes to compassion, schism, art or civics.

Delusive hope: Science is an amoral way of thinking that generates a distinct body of knowledge, also known as science, which is the domain of an elite of people called “scientists”.
Comment: This is one of the most sublime and dangerous deceits of the ego.  It completely denies the sustainable learning process and generates a cycle of self-destructive language use and general behaviour.  Our skills become maladaptive while information is misused and becomes the fabric of delusion.
Both those who are  described as scientists (<1% of people) and those described as non-scientists (>99% of people)  are disempowered in multiple ways and are less able to act as stewards. Waste, pollution and misery tend to proliferate.


Symbol Science (the quantum of knowledge)

True hope:  Our use of knowledge involves profound moral consideration that informs every action we make.
Comment: True hope occurs when the knowledge of science is integral to our lives and we understand that its truths continuously evolve with the universal change.  See the discussion about energy efficiency and true economy.

SamuelTaylorColeridge art science
Source Photo of Coleridge. Quote.               “The term science is a relatively new usage derived from its parent natural philosophy. The call for a new terminology was given on June 24, 1833, at the third meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. There, the famed poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge declared that the body should abandon the older label of “natural philosopher” as unbefitting men engaged in the practical pursuit of unlocking nature’s secrets for the benefit of all. It was Whewell who suggested that if “philosophers” seemed too lofty a term then “by analogy with artist, we may form scientist”

Delusive hope:  Science is a distinct body of knowledge that is the domain of specialist people called “scientists”.
See etymology Modern (restricted) sense of “body of regular or methodical observations or propositions concerning a particular subject or speculation” is attested from 1725; in 17c.-18c. this concept commonly was called philosophy. Sense of “non-arts studies” is attested from 1670s.
This new use of the “science” symbol radically alters its meaning in most extraordinary ways:

  • All associations with compassion for the human condition are stripped away – our essential schism is denied so  we are made more vulnerable to dangerous division.
  •   – The knowledge of science is divorced from our daily lives. Thus the self-styled “scientist” may be a great expert in a small field of knowledge and yet still lead very unscientific (unsustainable, non-civic ) lives.  The knowledge is perceived to be simply a collection thoughts, not the essence of living.
    “Non scientists” assume the wisdom of science is beyond their ken, perhaps model their decisions on those of “scientists” and lead unscientific lives.
  • “Scientists” are able to design technology without care for its use.
  • Confusion of the learning process with knowledge learned occurs. This destroys our knowledge of the sustainable learning process, especially when the “science” and “art” symbols are linked in ways that are antithetical and non-sequential.

In brief: by denying truths of the human condition  we destroy our potential to act as stewards and to be in harmony with the universal change.  Our consequent language puts us at peril. Dissonance, deceit, greed and misery prevail.


Symbol Scientist

walking school bus This civic activity is an exemplar of the state of science being manifest in our daily lives

True hope:  We are all scientists and non-scientists to some degree. Hence no person is a scientist or a non-scientist.
CommentEach of us is a scientist to the degree our life is founded in compassion. In this state of being we enjoy the requisites that ensure our actions conserve the balances and flows that sustain humanity.  In this state we consider our every action an exercise in honest experimentation and mindful care for all.  We are grateful for perceiving error in our ways for this recognition enables us to learn most truthfully.
A person may have enjoy great expertise on a small element of existence  and this does not make them a scientist. They may however be known for their expertise  as, for instance, a climate scientist, a rock scientist, an astrophysics scientist etc but this does not indicate they enjoy the state of science more than other human beings.

Delusive hope:  An elite of human beings, called scientists, have a unique capacity to comprehend  the rarefied body of knowledge called science.

google scientist
Google search on Image “scientist’ 30 September 2014. This is under category of Scientist in Lab. However Scientist Clip Art, Lab Coat Scientist, Scientist Kids and Mad Scientist all reinforce this definition of science. Almost all photos, including those in Famous Scientists, are of Europeans. There is no category of illustrations of Civics portraying people in their daily activities leading scientific lives.

Comment: This implies that nearly all of us are non-scientists and thus must depend on this elite for guidance to how to live scientific lives. This is a delusive hope for many reasons.
A potent reason is that inclusiveness is a requisite for the experience of the state of science. The belief that most people are non-scientists is extremely exclusive and the fact that nearly all of us successfully learn to speak is proof we are all experience the state of science to a considerable degree. The ego  can easily blind us to such truths, no matter how literate and numerate we are.

science community

Delusive hope:  There exists a science community and a fraternity of scientists.
Comment. See previous comment.

Right: sample of search under “science community”



Symbol Science Curriculum

True hope:  Science is a profound way of being born of compassion and it enables the development of all manner of sustaining skills, including sustainable language and civics.
CommentTrue hope prevails in our education systems when their fundamental framework propagates compassion, for this enables the education system to embrace the truer learning process.

Nautilus_fullcolour.edgaz                                       “Science” is symbolized as just another compartment of the nautilus shell, like “The Arts”, “Social Sciences”, “English”, ” Learning Language”, “Mathematics”, “Technology” and “Health and Physical Education”. There is no mention of compassion and civics. Complete disjunction of the sustainable learning process prevails.

Delusive hope:  The science curriculum teaches that science is an amoral way of thinking and is the same process as learning language, mathematics, technology etc.
CommentThis curriculum framework is an exemplar of the ego’s tendency to exclusion, divisiveness and denial of change.  It compartmentalizes the learning process so that the fundamentals for sustainable change are obscured. Science is understood to be separate to the process of learning of sustainable languages and civics generally rather than being the fundamental process of learning change. Thus literacy, numeracy and high technological skills tend to result in excessive waste, pollution and war.

For more discussion about education curriculum frameworks. (science)

science (n.) Look up science at Dictionary.commid-14c., “what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;” also “assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty,” from Old French science “knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge” (12c.), from Latin scientia “knowledge, a knowing; expertness,” from sciens (genitive scientis) “intelligent, skilled,” present participle of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from PIE root *skei- “to cut, to split” (cognates: Greek skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan “to divide, separate;” see shed (v.)).

From late 14c. in English as “book-learning,” also “a particular branch of knowledge or of learning;” also “skillfulness, cleverness; craftiness.” From c.1400 as “experiential knowledge;” also “a skill, handicraft; a trade.” From late 14c. as “collective human knowledge” (especially “that gained by systematic observation, experiment, and reasoning). Modern (restricted) sense of “body of regular or methodical observations or propositions concerning a particular subject or speculation” is attested from 1725; in 17c.-18c. this concept commonly was called philosophy. Sense of “non-arts studies” is attested from 1670s.

Science, since people must do it, is a socially embedded activity. It progresses by hunch, vision, and intuition. Much of its change through time does not record a closer approach to absolute truth, but the alteration of cultural contexts that influence it so strongly. Facts are not pure and unsullied bits of information; culture also influences what we see and how we see it. Theories, moreover, are not inexorable inductions from facts. The most creative theories are often imaginative visions imposed upon facts; the source of imagination is also strongly cultural. [Stephen Jay Gould, introduction to “The Mismeasure of Man,” 1981]

Last edited 30 September 2014