G. Spencer Brown AUM Conference
I have had another request to talk about the relationship, or distinction, call it what you will, between male and female. I guess you are asking the wrong director of the company that I represent. It is my fellow-director who is always going off on courses about how to get along with the opposite sex; while I have to stay home and actually do the work.
In other words, I think both of these subjects are, to some extent, personal and private talks, and other games, rather than for a relatively public lecture, for which I don't feel I have the experience to talk in any way which I feel would be authoritative.
I do feel there's little left now for me to fiag except to thank you all very much for listening and for being such an extremely good audience as to prompt me with what to say for, some, how long is it, two, four, seven-maybe nine, ten, twelve hours, since I have been here. I feel I ought to be making a speech. But, all good things come to an end, and I could I suppose answer maybe two questions, if they don't fall within the limits of what is unanswerable. If anybody has any last request.
LILLY: I have one. Five Eternal Levels & the Generation of Time. Footnote One in Only Two Can Play This Game. You say  "To cut a long story short, it turns out that there are five orders, or 'levels' of eternity." Would you diagram those for me?
SPENCER BROWN: Diagram them?
LILLY: Put five lines and a label at the end of each line. Starting with zero. I find that the following discussion gets a little unclear, because sometimes you are going in and sometimes you are coming out, And I am not clear where you are when you are doing this.
SPENCER BROWN: Well, it looks like an electron [Fig. 2]. Indeed, in some circles it is an electron. Level nought. Level one. Level two. Level Three. Level Four. There is a diagram of the five orders to eternity, the five levels.
LILLY: So time appears where?
LILLY: Where's "flippety"?
SPENCER BROWN: Well, it corresponds Laws of Form to the void, the form, the axioms which see the form. You have to get this number right, you see; because it is the number that Dionysius counts on his orders of angels, but he doesn't always arrive at the same answer
LILLY: It can kill you.
SPENCER BROWN: At the grave, you begin to wonder, Just who is there to be born, to be duped, to be killed? Just where is there for it to be, and just when is there for it to happen? Or, as some sage said, when he was dying and somebody was crying, and he said "Why are you crying?" and he said "Because you are leaving us. Just where did you think I could go to?"
SPENCER BROWN: Well, it's there all-- What we consider to be consciousness, in the sense of-- You see, it's not called "consciousness" until suddenly you have names to begin with...But there is no meaning-- It is co-extensive with existence; because what could it possibly be, anything be, let alone exist, without its being a form of consciousness of its existence There is no problem of consciousness, none whatever. Its meaning is coextensive with whatever there is.
WATTS: "there was a young man who said, though It seems that I know that I know, What I would like to see Is the "I" that knows "me". When I know that I know that I know it, I think that's what you've diagrammed.
And this is why, to get back to the reality, we have to undo this. We do see it precisely because it neither is nor isn't whatever we see it as. Because if it is, it isn't, and if it isn't, it is, and that is why we see it as a material.
O'REGAN: This point that Earl Pribram was making about that with out abilities to perceive from the sensorial point of view-- One might argue that we can only perceive difference, and, in a certain sense, if you say that we can only see it because it is or because it isn't, it the process of it becoming and not becoming that we perceive?
SPENCER BROWN: Yes. hence, once you get to this stage, where you are once in time, now everything is a vibration of it.
VON MEIER: It seems like the inverted image when we see with our eyes, corresponding to our tactile knowing that it is not upside down; so it's an internal systems check.
SPENCER BROWN: I am not sure that is on the same level.
VON MEIER: We have two aspects of reality to deal with-- our tactile sense of gravity, knowing something, a pyramid, to be like that; but, nevertheless, seeing it and then having to translate it in our brains. We have to go through that redundancy step.
If as much of the science game, in certain aspects of it, goes and says, "Right; well, we explain that in terms of this, "everything at the same level", there is no understanding. Because "understanding" means literally what it says. You go into another level and stand under.
And this is what we are forbidden to do . It takes a long time of relearning, to go from level to level. When you are talking in one level, what is described is quite different from when you go to another level; and, having translated down to another level, we don't have language that will enable us to do this.
SPENCER BROWN: Yes. That is why all the mystic utterances contradict themselves. Wittgenstein pointed out that a measure of a tautology, a statement which is true by the very nature of its form--"If A, then B and A, therefore B'," that's a tautology--a form of words which has the same truth value as being true whatever you substitute for the variables--Wittgenstein pointed out in Tractatus that all tautologies say the same thing, i.e. nothing. They say not a thing.
What he missed out was that-- He missed out the image of this--he missed out the other end of this continuum, the other end being the contradiction, which says everything. You can't say all about it without contradicting yourself.
We have so many social values that spill over into our university training, even in so-called objective subjects like logic. Somehow, contradictions are good--sorry, somehow tautologies are good and contradictions are bad. Now this is childish, childish pratings, and you can see how it has arisen. It comes from the nursery, as do most of these things. The nurse says, naughty Johnny you have told an untruth." Good Johnny here is a sweet-you have told me the truth."
I am going to come back to one of the beautiful things of Rolt (Dionysos The Areopagit, The Divine Names, translated by C.E. Rolt, Macmillan) - you see.
He originally has this marvelous thing which we were talking about earlier--"and all this went on in perfect harmony until the time came, for time to begin.'
That's why when you learn a language, you know, you are confronted with such fatuities as "The pen of my aunt is in the posterior, whereas my--"; you know that sort of thing. It's all on this level because this is what makes it respectable. Language is not something designed for shifting gears up and down the levels.
SPENCER BROWN: Yes. This is the only way we can do it  because it has to be done in mathematics, and also has to be done in the tutelage of any discipline. The descriptive use of language just describes, you know. We say "describe a circle," and here we have described it, you see. The injunctive use of language now enables us to cross--cross the line.
SPENCER BROWN: I am not quite sure--you mean, "Can you distinguish the five eternal orders?"
LILLY: Right. One from the other, moving from one level to the other, using the self-referential feedback, in each case, so that you get an oscillation between the two levels.
SPENCER BROWN: There's no feedback in heaven.
LILLY: O. E. At what point do you create feedback?
SPENCER BROWN: When you go into the first temporal existence.
LILLY: So you have got to be on six?
SPENCER BROWN: Five.
MAN: Going up.
SPENCER BROWN: It's the fifth crossing.
LILLY: So the paradox does not appear until the fifth crossings
SPENCER BROWN: That's right. No, there is no time before that, and that is why they are eternal, the others. You think that it is going to. You don't know that it is going to happen, you see. You are coming out, you know - it's O. K., it's still eternal, you know, you can still see the whole. And you get one too-- You know, you get a little overconfident. Well, why stop here? Let's try going out a bit-farther. Now where are we?
LILLY: You spoke of the fifth order equation as being runaway.
This is a technical point mathematically in the question of solving equations for the varying degrees. You can solve degree one, this is ordinary numerical algebra. We can solve degree two. There is a formula, an algebraic formula, which most of us learn in school, for doing that. And by an extension of that we can solve degree four, also by an algebraic formula. I missed out three--we can do that, you see, and then the further extension of four.
And everybody thought for quite a long time, I don't know just exactly when it was, not so long ago, that if only we could find this, we could find the formula for degree five equations - find the roots, and so on. In fact, we can't, because, without going into detail, something has been—something overtakes something else.
Instead of your being able to reduce it to the equations of a lesser degree, you suddenly find that your reduction uses degrees that are higher degrees than you have already started with.
LILLY: It's an expanding system.
Like in the present existence--run away with itself a long way. And, you know, there are no formulae for getting back. There are a lot of ad hoc rules.
WATTS: We should pause to change the tape, James.