Potentialism is a fully integrated metaphysics proposed in the Summa Metaphysica treatise.
A distinctive and uniquely-presented feature of Potentialism is the “0”-Point Portal. Author and metaphysicist David Birnbaum’s “0-point” is his proposed ‘cosmic portal’. As proposed, a purely metaphysical dynamic enters the portal; a physical dynamic – ultimately our universe – emerges from out of the portal.
Birnbaum ‘cosmic portal’ is the metaphorical ‘star gate’ through which our universe was actualized. Intellectual revolutionary Birnbaum transforms ancient philosophical musings into modern-day ultimate hard science and rigorous metaphysics. Like so many other aspects of Potentialism, the “0”-Point serves an overarching, multifunctional role in Potentialist cosmology
The “0”-Point is commonly confused with the singularity of cosmic origin – the super-dense, super-heated point which gave birth to the Big Bang. This is quite understandable, as there is a relation between the two. The singularity at the birth of the universe is, in fact, one aspect of the “0”-Point.
Potentialism is a field conceptualized and concretized by yeshiva-educated and Harvard-educated Manhattan private scholar David Birnbaum. The field was introduced in 1988 via the publication by Ktav (NJ) of Birnbaum’s first philosophical work, the first volume of his to-be 3-volume treatise: Summa Metaphysica I: Religious Man (1988), Summa Metaphysica II: Spiritual Man (2005) and Summa Metaphysica III: Secular Man (2014). In-the-mix, Potentialism also unifies Science, Spirituality and Philosophy.
According to Birnbaum “Potentialism proposes that there, indeed, is a protagonist to the cosmic order, but that the protagonist is a ‘quest’ and not a ‘classic entity.’ The universe quests for its maximal potential. The core dynamic Quest for Potential∞ strives with purpose and direction towards ever-greater and higher potential. At the beginning of time,’ eternal Quest for Potential harnessed the eternal equations of Physics-Mathematics to ignite our universe via the Big Bang. This same symbiotic dynamic – Quest for Potential in league with Physics-Math – then acted as a catalyst for life, evolution, language, emotion, consciousness, and, indeed, for all the key dynamics which have evolved in the universe.”
The outdated scientific/academic/philosophical paradigm is Randomness/atheistic. According to this schema all is random chance – the igniting of the universe, the emergence of billions of galaxies, the emergence of life, evolution, language, emotion and consciousness. They all ‘just happened.’ According to this schema there is no design or direction or purpose whatsoever to the cosmic order.
To explain “0”-Point’s purpose in the Potentialism model, it is first necessary to understand the Potentialist model of the Big Bang. Of conceptual importance here, Potentialists do not recognize the strong divisions between thought and matter prevalent in the older physical science models of the last few centuries. These belong to more antiquated physical concepts associated with the more primitive classical and Newtonian models of the universe. Potentialists, by comparison, adhere to a more unified model of thought and matter pioneered and championed by the elites of quantum physics.
Forerunners of late 20th and early 21st century science more properly understand the Potentialist dynamic of mind and matter. David Bohm is one such example. Bohm is an extraordinary heavy weight in the realm of quantum physics. Bohm actually had the peculiar distinction of having graduated with a Ph.D. without completing, or even starting, his doctoral thesis. His work on deuteron and proton collisions proved so useful to the Manhattan Project during WWII, the US government seized his doctorate work and classified it. Oppenheimer himself would be forced to testify to Berkeley that he had completed his doctorate requirements.
Bohm was not only a pioneer in quantum physics, he also applied the same principles in his research to the concept of thought itself. This led to his research of ‘thought as a system’. Bohm’s research found a pervasive, systemic nature in thought. Bohm isolated the ways in which thoughts followed structures and systems of expression – their inherent shared nature. His work unveiled two very important aspects of thought. Firstly, his work highlighted the active nature of information. He investigated how distinct organism could interchange information freely to form inter-relational networks and structures of ideas. This structural concept gives rise to not only individual thought, but a cognitive aspect to society as a whole. That is, humanity can be seen to move as if it were one organism in thought above and beyond how each individual expressed their own thoughts.
The relationship between matter and thought
The second discovery active information lead to was the extension of this “thought process” to the inorganic. As Bohm expressed it, “the whole notion of active information suggests a rudimentary mind-like behavior of matter”. The “active informational” model of Bohm’s goes far to provide a cognitive vehicle for teleological work from such highly awarded scientists as James Lovelock, who proposed in the 1960s, as a result of his work at NASA, the Gaia hypothesis. The Gaia hypothesis analyzes the apparent regulatory effect flora, fauna and even geological phenomena have on the earth’s environmental stability, concluding that there is some mechanism to help it regulate itself like a living organism. Lovelock couldn’t put a finger on what the vehicle for communication for this “organism” was, but Bohm’s work provides the means of communication via “active information”.
What this all means to “0”-point and potentialism
Potentialists, in line with Bohm’s and Lovelock’s cutting edge work, recognize the artificial lines between thought and matter inherent in the more archaic cosmological models such as randomness theory. As such, while Potentialists and randomness proponents might both say the Big Bang created the universe, they don’t mean the same thing. To those who still cling to the older randomness model, the Big Bang created matter and energy as we know it today.
By definition, the universe is everything. There is nothing that can be expressed that is outside the universe. And anything that even could exist, even just potentially, is still part of the universe – that is to say, there is no time in the future which will exist outside the universe, so something not existing yet is a meaningless distinction when speaking of universal totality. Thus, when Potentialists say the Big Bang created the universe, they mean the whole of the universe – not just the tiny bit of it the older cosmological theories wished to include.
So, there are similarities in the “0”-Point and the quantum singularity. “0”-Point is the birth of our current universe. The quantum singularity that is the beginning of matter and energy and, by extension, time and relativity is all encompassed as a subset of the totality of the “0”-Point, which also encompasses the birth of thoughts and concepts: what is and, as discussed, what necessarily will be.
A quest for infinite potential
The “0”-Point is the unleashing point of the universal Potential – when the universe dropped below Planck values and issued forth, congealing the laws of the physical universe, from relativity to sub-Planck value quantum mechanical physics, to teleological cosmology and naturalistic duality. The Potentialist teleology model is a realization of Lovelock, Bohm and other scientists work towards a universal direction. Potentialists call this the Quest for Infinite Potential, or Q4P.
The naturalistic duality of cosmology is simply a noted quality of universality that Potentialism acknowledges – the observably necessary cosmic interplay of opposition/contrast: light and dark, matter and anti-matter, positive and negative. However, given the necessarily homogenous nature of the cosmos, teleological systems, biological systems and, by extension, conceptual systems must share any dynamics present on a physical level. Hence, the natural duality of the “0”-Point must incorporate not only material phenomena, but equally must incorporate conceptual duality: good and evil, female and male, passive and active.
Thus the “0”-Point is the cosmic point of origin. It is the start of the universe itself. To Potentialists, the universe is not the end result of the Quest for Infinite Potential, just its current expression as it moves infinitely forward to express itself with increasing complexity.