Tuesday, 30 January 2007

In the beginning thought Donald Crowhurst

The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst: Nicholas Tomalin, Harmondsworth Press 1973

In the beginning, thought Crowhurst, there existed only a void, without any physical matter. Then, as a sudden change, matter arrived, disturbing the stable ‘system’ which had existed happily for billions of years. Next, life arrived, and after life, intelligence. Each new arrival caused an explosive change in the universe, disturbing the previous apparently stable system. The system always fights the new arrival, sometimes destroys it, but always loses in the end. Recently, man’s intelligence has been steadily growing and improving, thanks to brave original thinkers like Christ, Galileo, and Einstein, each of whom dared to disrupt the static system of human society in their time with a new idea. Because of their thinking, human progress has been accelerating. Intelligence has now grown so powerful, with all this accumulated knowledge, that it is ready to achieve the next ‘freeing’ of the intelligence or mind from its physical body, so that it leaps into an abstract existence.

The moment for the mind’s great jump out of our present biological system was at hand, Crowhurst thought. The man who was about to tell the world all about it, in the great tradition of Christ, Galileo and Einstein, was Crowhurst himself. When he uttered the message, everyone would instantly see the truth of it, and this would force them all to make the great effort of free will necessary to leap into abstract existence.

Furthermore, anyone who made this leap became like a God. Probably ‘God’ was only a name to describe minds in the past that had managed the leap. Provided we were all very intelligent. Which also meant being very loving to our fellow men, we were all like Gods. To ensure we loved everyone, we had to look upon life as a great game, played with infinite understanding, and no hostility.

All this is clothed in the jargon language of a variety of sciences. Each new phase, for instance, Crowhurst calls the change from ‘first-order differentials’ to ‘second-order differentials’ borrowing the language of calculus. At one point he changes his imagery and describes it in terms of biology, using the idea of a parasite living off a host animal:

“…the arrival of each parasite brings about an increase in the tempo of the Drama, causing first-order differentials in its own lifetime within the host, and second-order differentials within the host to the host etc, etc.

So far we have a void, acting as host to a physical universe, acting as host to an intelligence universe. Where is the system designed to go? To the point where it brings about a fundamental change in the tempo of events in the host…”

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