The Many and the One
This morning it occurred to me that the rational criteria of “coherence” and “adequacy” clearly exemplify the archetypal theme of the many and the one: adequacy to the many facts of experience, and coherence as conceptual unity.
Therefore, after imaginative leaps and speculative flights, when you reason things through and assay your thought by carefully observing these two epistemic norms, the movement of your mind mirrors how “the many become one, and are increased by one,” in a moment revelatory of truth.
Moreover, if unity in diversity is a minimal definition of “the beautiful,” then a moment of such elegance of thought is also kalogenic, productive of beauty.
Since all this is surely a good to be enjoyed, you thereby harvest that golden trinity of values: truth, beauty, and goodness.
The many become one, and are increased by one.1
This twofold universal process, what Whitehead calls “concrescence” and “transition,” pulsates in every new moment of experience, whether existential or cognitive, whether in a molecular occasion of experience, Mozart’s mind, or in the cosmic Mind of the Self-Surpassing Surpasser of all.
Has manyone aviar soar anywing to eagle it?2
1. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, Corrected Edition, p. 21.
2. A variation on a line in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, p. 505.