The Law of One

I have been puzzling over the question of what the Law of One means, and how to state it in rigorous terms. I wish to discuss the progress that I have recently made on this question. In particular, I will suggest that, under a reasonable interpretation of logic, the Law of One is a logically ascertainable fact which logicians have failed to acknowledge due to the intuitive difficulties it raises.

I quote Ra’s statement of the Law of One:

“Consider, if you will, that the universe is infinite. This has yet to be proven or disproven, but we can assure you that there is no end to your selves, your understanding, what you would call your journey of seeking, or your perceptions of the creation.

That which is infinite cannot be many, for many-ness is a finite concept. To have infinity you must identify or define that infinity as unity; otherwise, the term does not have any referent or meaning. In an Infinite Creator there is only unity. You have seen simple examples of unity. You have seen the prism which shows all colors stemming from the sunlight. This is a simplistic example of unity.

In truth there is no right or wrong. There is no polarity for all will be, as you would say, reconciled at some point in your dance through the mind/body/spirit complex which you amuse yourself by distorting in various ways at this time. This distortion is not in any case necessary. It is chosen by each of you as an alternative to understanding the complete unity of thought which binds all things. You are not speaking of similar or somewhat like entities or things. You are every thing, every being, every emotion, every event, every situation. You are unity. You are infinity. You are love/light, light/love. You are. This is the Law of One.”

This offers a poetical enunciation of the Law of One, but it does not have semantic precision. I desired a way to enuinciate the Law of One in a more semantically precise way. Now I think that I have found such a way.

Many advances occurred in the field of logic at the beginning of the century. This was through the work of individuals such as Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein.

These thinkers believed that all statements about the world could be translated into a single, minimally simple language called “formal logic.” They believed that all of mathematics, science, and everyday knowledge about the world could be united under this common logical framework, so that all of our knowledge could be expressed in a single, very simple, unambiguous language.

Things looked quite optimistic for this project. Few difficulties were encountered in the outset of the project, and it looked as if it would succeed. A major setback came when these thinkers discovered that, in attempting to lay down the foundations for mathematics, they ran into various paradoxes.

A paradox is a logical contradiction: a place where two statements, P and not P, are both true. So, for example, if I say that I am alive and I am dead, this is a paradox. Further examples would be a married bachelor (a man who is married and not married), or a mountain surrounded entirely by higher ground.

These thinkers routinely encountered paradoxes in their attempts to unify mathematics under their framework. They constructed ever more complex theories in an attempt to escape these paradoxes. Eventually their efforts were put to an end when Kurt Gödel proved that any conceivable theory capable of describing even the simplest mathematics would produce paradoxes. (I simplify his result for the purposes of this informal exposition.)

The dust has now settled from this initial flurry of discovery. Logicians have invented more complex frameworks which can capture most mathematics in practice, while avoiding paradoxes for the most part. They continue to struggle with this problem of paradox in various ways, and with the problems created by the frameworks they have invented in order to avoid paradoxes.

It is worth asking why logicians have gone to such great lengths to avoid paradoxes. The reason is that once one has introduced a paradox into one’s system, the whole system collapses. In particular, if one introduces a paradox into a logical framework, it then becomes possible to prove that every statement is both true and false. Thus, given any paradox, it becomes possible to prove that 2+2=5, that unicorns exist, and that I am the King of France. Given any paradox, these are all true and false.

Thus, logicians are motivated to avoid paradoxes because allowing them leaves us with a framework describing a world quite different from the one which is familiar to us. All the same, it was never logically ascertained that the world is not paradoxical. Indeed, it seems more as if logicians have struggled to maintain the view that the world is not paradoxical.

I suggest that it is a legitimate interpretation of the findings of logic that everything is true and false. Under this theory:

* God exists and does not exist.
* 2+2 equals and does not equal 5.
* You are and are not reading this sentence.

All of these propositions, and countless other propositions extending to every aspect of life, can be proven logically under the most straightforward interpretation of logic. Interpretations of logic under which these statements cannot be logically proven are more complex and problematic than the interpretation under which these statements can be logically proven. This suggests that it is reasonable to believe that logic actually tells us that these statements are true (and false).

This is not the orthodox, accepted position on logic. I claim that it is a reasonable interpretation of logic which has been ignored by logicians due to the fact that it is extremely counterintuitive, and not for any other reason. Logicians do have a name for it, however: they call it “trivialism.”

Trivialism offers us a very nice way of articulating the Law of One. Under the Law of One, all opposites are reconciled into unity. Thus, under the Law of One, male is female, positive is negative, good is bad, pleasure is pain, etc. All statements of this form can be logically derived under trivialism. And we no longer have to deal with the problem that they are contrary to logic, because under trivialism they are not. We are left only with the problem that they are grossly contrary to intuition.

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