Welcome, said Blurtso, to “Why-101”. We will begin the semester with a very general question. The question is: “Why?”
Why what? said Emma Lou.
Why where? said Morton.
Why when? said Frank.
Why who? said Gouster.
Why how? said Chelsea.
Just “why?”, said Blurtso.
Why why? said Emma Lou.
Because, said Blurtso.
Because why? said Chelsea.
Just because, said Blurtso.
Oh, said Chelsea.
Isn’t that circular reasoning? said Emma Lou.
That’s what I was thinking, said Frank.
Why? said Chelsea.
Because something made me think it was circular, said Frank.
Oh, said Chelsea.
“Why”, said Glouster, leads to an answer that expresses, “for what reason or purpose?”
Reason or purpose? said Chelsea.
I often ask myself that question, said Emma Lou.
You do? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, What’s the reason or purpose for anything?
For anything? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, why am I a porcupine? Why are you a donkey? Why this planet, this sun, this galaxy? Why this universe?
Why anything? said Frank.
Exactly, said Emma Lou.
That’s a good question, said Morton.
What’s the answer? said Chelsea.
The answer to “why,” said Frank, is always “because.”
“Because,” said Glouster, is from Middle English, in the 14th century, from the words, “by cause.”
So the answer to every “why” question, said Frank, is based on the concept of cause and effect.
Aristotle, said Glouster, identified four types of answer, or cause, to “Why?” questions. The causes he identifies are: the essential cause, the logical ground, the moving cause, and the final cause.
What if you don’t believe in cause and effect? said Morton.
That’s a very good question, said Emma Lou.
David Bohm, said Glouster, in his 1980 book, Wholeness and the Implicit Order, proposed the concept of Holomovement. Rather than starting with parts and explaining the whole in terms of its parts, he starts with a notion of undivided wholeness and derives parts as abstractions from the whole. He writes, “The relationships constituting the fundamental law of Holomovement are between the enfolded structures that interweave and inter-penetrate each other, through the whole of space, rather than between the abstracted and separated forms that are manifest to the senses (and to our instruments).”
So individual parts, said Emma Lou, don’t exist.
What? said Chelsea.
And if individual parts don’t exist, said Frank, there is no such thing as cause and effect.
So what is the answer, said Morton, to the question “Why?”
The question “why,” said Emma Lou, and the answer “because” are constructs of language. They are abstractions with no basis in physical reality.
So what’s the answer? said Morton.
There is no answer, said Emma Lou, there is only the question/answer, because the answer is born of the question, and the question creates the answer. They are both abstractions.
David Bohm, said Glouster, says that Holomovement is: “an unbroken and undivided totality. We can abstract particular aspects of the holomovement (e.g. light, electron, sound, etc.), but all forms of the holomovement merge and are inseparable. In its totality it is not limited in any specifiable way. It does not conform to any particular order, nor is it bounded by any particular measure. Holomovement is undefinable and immeasurable.”
Isn’t that the same, said Frank, as the Upanishads?