SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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'MATTER', 'SPACE', 'TIME'                          231
Perhaps, neurologically, animals feel similarly as we do about 'time', but they have no neurological means to elaborate linguistic and extra-neural means which alone allow us to extend and summarize the manifold experience of many generations (time-binding). They cannot pass from 'time' to 'times'. Obviously, if we do not, we then renounce our human characteristics, and copy animals in our evaluating processes, a practice which must be harmful.
In nature the visible and invisible materials seemingly consist of recurring pulsations of extremely minute and rapid periods, which, in some instances, become macroscopic periods. In the first case, we cannot see them or feel them, so we talk about 'concreteness',. In the second case, we see the periodic movements, as of the earth around the sun., or we feel our heart-beats,. We see that the visible or invisible materials in nature are compounded of periodic pulsations and are simply two aspects of one process. The splitting of these processes into 'matter', 'space', and 'time' is a characteristic function of our nervous system. These abstractions are inside our skins, and are methods of representation for ourselves to ourselves, and are not the objective world around us.
It must be realized that under such circumstances we cannot speak about 'finiteness' or 'infiniteness' of 'matter', 'space', and 'time', as all the old 'philosophers' have done, Leibnitz included, because these terms 'finite' and 'infinite', though they may be conceivably applied to numbers of aspects of objective entities, have no meaning if applied to linguistic issues, that is, to forms of representation outside of numbers. Of course, if, through a semantic pathological disturbance (objedification), we do ascribe some delusional objective existence to verbal terms, we can then talk about anything, but such conversations have no more value than the deliria of the 'mentally' ill. The terms 'finite' or 'infinite' are only legitimately applied to numerical problems, and so we can speak legitimately of a finite or infinite numbers of inches, or pounds, or hours, or similar entities, but statements about the 'finite mind' or the 'understanding of the infinite'., have no meanings and only reveal the pathological semantic disturbance of the patient.
The objectification of our feeling of 'time' has had, and has at present, very tragic consequences strictly connected with our un-sanity. It must be remembered that particularly in 'mental' and nervous difficulties the patient seldom realizes the character of his illness. He may feel pains, he may feel very unhappy, and what not, but he usually does not understand their origin. This is particularly true with semantic disturbances. One may explain endlessly, but, in most cases, it is perfectly hopeless to try to help. Only a very few benefit. Here lies, also, the