Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mary Fries, Psyche and Dimension: Ontology of Space, Time, Matter, and Consciousness

(This presentation was a part of CIIS Multiversity February 2008)

Out of the depths of the psyche emerges the ego, the differentiating differentiation of a resonant unity. As this discerning character endeavors to rationalize experience, we abstract conceptual maps in order to coordinate our activities, thus coalescing out of the prehensive wholeness dimensional coordinates of perceptive vanishing points, the space, time, mass, and energy of "observer" and "observed." Physical science, then, the modern pinnacle of conscious abstraction, finds the boundary of its viability in light, the conversion factor of space and time and of matter and energy as well as the very medium of our primary mode of perception, vision. That cosmological schemata are invariably bound to perceptive abstraction marks a universal archetype of reality. This paradox of the observational dialectic of a unified cosmos is so fundamental that it not only appears in spiritual and philosophical inquiry as well as in physical science but is, I argue, the core paradox of manifestation. Oneness can only be said to exist in separation, for to observe oneness presupposes an observer of at least provisional separation from the oneness, and yet, we observe the unity of reality physically, theoretically, and experientially. Reality, in being both unified and separative, manifests. The spatiotemporal-limitations of human form predispose our understanding of reality to generalizations, which recurrently hinder our scientific, spiritual, and philosophical progress. My inquiry addresses the questions: What insights do we overlook in positing dimension as primary to psyche? And what implications does the apparent quantization of dimension have for deeper understanding of the role of psyche in the cosmos?

Mary presented an earlier version of this talk, entitled “Overcoming Discontinuity and Dualism in Modern Cosmology” at the Quantum Mind Conference at the University of Salzburg, in Salzburg, Austria in July of 2007.

Mary Fries came to CIIS in 2005 with a B.S. in Mathematics from Mary Baldwin College and has completed her coursework for an M.A. in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program. Throughout her time here, she has served as the Communications Coordinator for Student Alliance with whom she planned events, facilitated meetings and hiring processes, established organizational guidelines and procedures, and coordinated funding for student projects and campus groups. Mary's work background also includes both teaching and website design and database management. In addition to creating websites for Student Alliance (, the PCC department (, and Species Alliance (, a non-profit organization that birthed out of PCC and that is committed to raising awareness about biodiversity issues, she has taught high school mathematics, directed children's theatre productions and camps, and worked at a Montessori school. Her intellectual interests lie at the intersections of philosophy and mathematical physics. Mary now works in the Dean of Students Office as the Student Affairs Manager and has coordinated this Multiversity Conference.

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