Scientific concepts are predicated on the principle of understanding objects as self-contained entities unrelated to other objects. Scientific understanding seeks to isolate an object in time and space in order to understand its underlying composition and properties. Scientific testing requires a “control” base against which to assess variations in different conditions. The principle places a premium on measuring individual variations to the control conditions.
Natural inclusion is predicated on the principle that all bodies are inter-related. It recognises a fundamental difference between (1) ‘abstract’ or ‘mathematical’ space as a three-dimensional or curved (as in the Riemannian space, as used in Einstein’s general relativity) emptiness between and surrounding material objects, which can be subdivided into measurable units of length, area and volume, and (2) ‘naturally occurring space’ as a continuous, frictionless and infinite intangible presence that cannot be cut or displaced by material form. It is what Poincare referred to as ‘the space of our experience’, radically different from the mathematical framework imposed upon Nature for purposes of calculation, and it is also the meaning of ‘space’ that is recognised in Natural Inclusion.
“All our abstract scientific, mathematical and philosophical concepts are stuck in the freeze-frame that boxes space in instead of recognising its vitality as an omnipresent source of receptive continuity. We need to break free from this mind-trap and all its complicated machinations, paradoxes and conflicts if we are ever to recognise the simple truth of how, most fundamentally, we naturally are in the world as it naturally is.”
Dr Alan Rayner
The familiar concept of space as a three-dimensional ‘box’ or ‘reference frame’ that many of us have been led to think of as ‘real’ actually comes from imposing an abstract mental grid onto reality in order to get an intellectual ‘grip’ on it. As a navigational aid or instantaneous ‘map’ helping us temporarily to ‘know where we are’, it is useful. But it also has the effect of bringing the dynamic continuity of reality to a ‘standstill’ – instantaneously ‘fixing’ it by fiat, as in the ‘freeze-frames if a cine film. This is akin to cutting a living organism up into slices in order to study its anatomy. By so doing we might learn much about the structure of the organism, but we will in the process have removed what is intrinsically vital for it to be alive and sustain its coherence. We will have killed it! More than an anatomical map is needed if we are fully to comprehend the organism as a living being that can’t be motionless for an instant if it is not to disappear into nothingness like the ‘Cheshire Cat’ (or, Schrodinger’s Cat, for that matter!). The same is true of all reality.
This ‘more than a map’ is what an awareness of ‘natural inclusional space’ provides as a ubiquitous/continuous/infinite/intangible stillness receptive to movement everywhere, as distinct from abstract, three-dimensional space. We can move on from thinking of material bodies as inert, completely definable objects with fixed boundaries that are both separate from space and separated by space from one another, to understanding them as energetic inclusions of space somewhere within space everywhere. When we apply this understanding to ourselves we can recognise why there is actually good reason for so many of us feel a sense of kinship with one another and all other material forms in the universe, whether or not we are tangibly connected in some way or other across space. We are all formed in the same way – as circulations of energy around local receptive (hence gravitational) centres of space – and all dwell within the same continuum of space as a receptive presence everywhere. We feel kinship because we truly are all ‘children of Nature’ – mutual inclusions of space and energy in receptive-responsive relationship. We dwell inextricably within one another’s receptive and responsive influence and natural neighbourhood. We are ‘inter-influenced’ even when not ‘interconnected’.
This awareness of natural inclusional space hence dispels the abstract perception of ourselves as isolated objects locked in a competitive ‘struggle for existence’ with one another and our environmental surroundings. We instead understand ourselves to be dynamic inclusions and expressions of natural space and energy. We can also dispel many of the paradoxes and conundrums of modern science, which come from imposing an abstract ‘freeze-frame’ onto natural spacial and dynamic continuity, and consequently isolating natural bodies as inert objects moved around by extrinsic force rather than intrinsic influence.
All our abstract scientific, mathematical and philosophical concepts are stuck in the freeze-frame that boxes space instead of recognising its vitality as an omnipresent source of receptive continuity. We need to break free from this mind-trap and all its complicated machinations, paradoxes and conflicts if we are ever to recognise the simple truth of how, most fundamentally, we naturally are in the world as it naturally is.