Plato: the broad road that leads to destruction

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/p/p-l-a-t-u-sfin.html


— Guide to the Many —

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary


The adjective πλατυς (platus) means broad or wide. In the Greek classics, it may mean flat or level, broad or thinly spread (of herds), common or frequently occurring. Broad shoulders and a broad oath were reckoned virtuously strong, but otherwise "flat" behavior was considered common and rude, and a "flat" person was a vulgar or unsophisticated person.

Our adjective πλατυς (platus) stems from the same ancient Proto-Indo-European root that gave English words like flat, fold, field, plateau and platter, and of course the ever useful platypus, or flat-foot (from πους, pous, foot).

In the New Testament, our adjective occurs only once, in Matthew 7:13, in Jesus' familiar warning: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

The obvious pun is that from our adjective πλατυς (platus) derives the name of the philosopher Plato, or Πλατων (Platon), whose name thus means Flat One or Rude Dude or Common Man or "John Doe" or "The Guy In The Street". Plato's name paraphrases the Hebrew name Japheth, and is in turn paraphrased in Latin as the name Ampliatus.

Further below we will have a lengthy look at why the populist philosophies of "The Guy In The Street" may indeed add up to something broad and destructive, and what the narrow alternative might be about.

From our adjective πλατυς (platus), broad, derive:

  • The noun πλατεια (plateia), literally a broadness, describes a street. This word occurs 9 times; see full concordance. Note that a "street" is designed, purposed and made according to the designs of a government, whereas a (οδος, hodos), a "way" or "road", emerges organically from the shuffling feet of many independent travelers. A street is willfully paved but a road is organically worn smooth (see τριβος, tribos, smoothness).
  • The noun πλατος (platos), meaning breadth or width. This word occurs 4 times; see full concordance.
  • The verb πλατυνω (platuno), meaning to broaden or widen (Matthew 23:5, 2 Corinthians 6:11 and 6:13 only). In a city that isn't specifically planned but which grows organically, streets grow from paths and paths from the aligned intentions of the first pathfinders or trailblazers. When a path has been established, it will attract more travelers, because of which it becomes a road and then, perhaps, a street. That's probably the idea Paul is exploring in his letter to the Corinthians. Likewise, the phylacteries of the Pharisees once had a specific purpose but over the centuries had become host to an ever waxing caravan of folklore.

Of mice and men

The association between rudeness and flatness may seem somewhat alien to English speakers but it really isn't. Our words civil and polite derive from the Latin and Greek words for city, which in turn was considered a "mountain" of people, which is why its figurative core was considered its peak: the word Acropolis means City Summit and derives from ακρις (akris), meaning peak, and πολις (polis), meaning city.

Living in cities requires people to agree on manners and codes of conduct, and the proverbial opposite of an uplifted city person is a "flat" person, which is someone who lives in the lowly fields between the cities. Hence our word heathen, which has nothing to do with religion but instead comes from the word heath, and solely describes an uncivilized or lawless person, a "man of the field" (the field-romping Esau to civilized Jacob: Genesis 25:27). Our word pagan, likewise, has nothing to do with religion but comes from the Latin pagus, which likewise describes the countryside.

A major theme of world literature is the tension between the liberating constraints of city manners and the limiting freedom of the fields. When the entire world is an unsophisticated jungle, the first two civil bricks stacked together into some rudimentary seed of civilization may seem like a precious but very vulnerable gift from heaven. But when the entire world consists of breathless cities behind stifling walls of idle decorum — the cities Sodom and Gomorrah come to mind, but also glorious Jericho and the cities of Canaan, and Gaza and the cities of the Philistines, even proverbial Troy, whose dramatized destruction conveys the same concerns — people begin to yearn to breach those walls and pour into the wildness outside, perhaps to start all over and build a much better city, where better and more just codes render even higher walls, that are even better at keeping wild animals at bay and humans at peace, but may also provide for large squares and parks in which the roses may be smelled and the stars counted.

But building a city that is so perfect that neither people nor animals nor the forces of nature nor God himself will want to tear it down takes a trick or two, as well as a pint-point precision in establishing the city's governing laws. Jesus is not talking about simply a very wide street, but rather a profane (κοινος, koinos) and thus not holy (αγιος, agios) street: a vulgar street, a one-size-fit-all street of ease and coarse diversion rather than technological sophistication, hard-wrought skill and reverent awe for the marvel that is existence. The contrast of the narrow way versus the broad way is an often visited image in the Bible. It ties into the rampaging swine (broad, profane) and the precious pearls they overwhelm (narrow, sacred), and of course the salt (narrow, sacred) that loses its value and thus gets trampled underfoot (broad, profane), and thus to the streets of "gold" in the New Jerusalem, which in turn points to a massive inflation of the value of gold after the Healing of the Nations (compare Revelation 17:4 to 21:21 and 22:2).

Visually, the contrast between the common broad and the sacred narrow is played out in the contrast between the Tower of Babel versus the City of God, the seed of which was first planted in the Abrahamic covenant. In the familiar story, Abraham's departure from Ur (narrow) relates to the destruction of the Tower of Babel (broad) the way the escape of Noah (narrow) relates to the great flood (broad).

The archetypal Tower sits at the heart of a large earthly plain (broad) and comes about from human will (Genesis 11:2, Revelation 20:9), whereas the City grows in heaven, organically and independent of human design (John 1:13, 1 Peter 2:5, 2 Peter 1:21). When the Tower waxes beyond a sustainable limit, it collapses either under its own weight or else by God coming down from heaven (Genesis 11:8). When the City waxes beyond a certain point, it's given birth to: it is delivered like rain from heaven onto earth, like a bride with God for its heart (Revelation 21:2). Ultimately, these events coincide.

Jesus' remark on the narrow and broad ways ties into one of the most fundamental principles of the Scriptures, but literally nobody in Jesus' original audience would have missed the additional pun: the name of the philosopher Plato, or Πλατων (Platon), derives from our adjective πλατυς (platus) and means Broad One or Common One, or better yet — as Plato appears to not have been Plato's birth name but a self-proclaimed nickname— Rude Dude or Man Of The People or Establishment Toppler (the Mouse under the Walls of the Cities of Men, the original Roling Stone; Daniel 2:34-45).

The road to nowhere (come on inside)

Plato (approximately 425-347 BC), like Pythagoras (570-495) before him and Aristotle (384-322) after him, was obsessed with numbers, and for a very good reason.

A number (say, 6) is not the same thing as a quantity (say, six apples), because where the quantity is an observable element of the observable universe, a number is not. Even when an observer cannot count up to six, she can still see the size of the group of apples with her own eyes. Yet, even when she can count, she cannot see the 6 independently from the apples: when she eats the apples, where did the 6 go? The 6 is rather like an angel, made of pure thought, and just like an angel has no body, so a number has no unit.

All numbers come from ratios of quantities, which is why they have no unit. Six apples divided by three apples is 2 (not two apples). Likewise, a two meter yard stick goes 3 times into a six meter long wall: six meters is 3 times two meters (hence 3 x 2m = 6 m, whereas 3m x 2m = 6m2). That means that 3 = 6m/2m, and the general rule is that number = ratio, namely the ratio of observable quantities. And that means that although apples cannot be compared to oranges, the ratio of six apples and two applies is identical to the ratio of six oranges and two oranges. It's one and the same non-physical but very real ratio that has many different physical manifestations, like a single source of light that casts many different shadows.

The philosophers realized that mind is rational (it looks at how things relate: at ratios), and sits within the observable universe the way number does. Said considerably brusquer: mind is ratio; ergo: reality is number.

Said slightly less poetically: consciousness is the ability to think in general rules (algorithms), irrespective of what kind of reality these rules may actually help to describe (whether six apples or six oranges or six zebras). That means that a number is essentially an algorithm: it describes a rule of reality before it is attached to anything physical and tangible and countable. Quantity is earthly but number is heavenly.

Into the yellow woods

Red is the color of rude or uncivilized primitivity — the name Adam means Red or "From The Soil", as the noun אדמה (adama) describes red arable clay; also see our articles on other Red-names like Rufus, Hamor, Red Sea — whereas blue is the color of heaven and algorithms and mental sophistication. In between these two sits the color yellow (or gold, if you will), which is both the color of discernment and the color of the meeting of the earthly red and the heavenly blue. As the poets knew, in nature, broken symmetry makes all the difference (Genesis 1:6, John 19:18; Revelation 3:18).

Like the philosophers of Greece, the prophets of Israel were wholly devoted to the study of consciousness and information technology (see our article on YHWH). But instead of homing in on number (αριθμος, arithmos), as the philosophers did, the prophets of Israel focused predominantly on language: words (ονομα, onoma), which are really the names of things (in Greek, the word for name is the same as the word for noun).

And naming things requires the recognition of general categories. There are many apples but there is only one word "apple," which means that the apple is a heavenly entity of which every earthly apple is a manifestation. But is there a physical place somewhere where the apple exists among all other ideas and forms of which earthly manifestations are the mere shadow? There is not. The apple is the ratio of all apples, and exists only in the mind of the intelligent observer who can recognize the "appleness" of each individual apple. The apple is the word "apple", and the heaven in which the apple exists is the language of a large community of individual speakers, who somehow reached a consensus on what "appleness" is and thus what "apple" means.

The Hebrew word for heaven is שמים (shemayim), which looks suspiciously like a common masculine plural of the word for name, which is שם (shem), which is indeed a masculine word but whose plural is שמות (shemot), which looks suspiciously feminine (the reader will be pleased to know that gender transition is a primary principle of the Hebrew language and has a very precise function). One of the many terms for God in Hebrew culture is השם (ha shem), or the Name. In Hebrew, God is "the name of all names". Said slightly less poetically: in Hebrew, God is the ratio of all words: the Word.

The difference between number and word is that number is absolute and word is consensual (i.e. communal and social: whatever many people agree to call a thing, that is its name), and therefore always a bit fuzzy and undeterminable. That is why there is only one true number to a quantity, but many ways of describing some phenomenon. The prophets appear to have understood that there is no conscious or analytic thought without words, and when Adam was found to be alone, he began to develop language by giving names to creatures (Genesis 2:18-19), which is another way of saying that man (i.e. the man, in the sense of the apple of the previous paragraph) was beginning to forge social consensus (by agreeing on what to call things). By so doing, man began to develop the ability to contemplate his own lonely and thus unconfirmed existence.

Words were not designed by a tyrant or a committee. Neither did God create language. Instead, language is a so-called emergent property, and "emergent properties are properties that becomes apparent and result from various interacting components within a system but do not describe the individual components themselves". In the case of language, the system was the entire economy of interactions of very early humans. Words emerged organically within the wordless vocalizations of very early humans, who imitated each other's expressions and so began to gravitate toward a small set of common sounds for commonly experiences elements of reality. Before there were words, every human was isolated within his own reality. When words came, realities could be confirmed, aligned and purified. But while no word came from any one man, words did not come from outside humanity. Instead, words came from very deep within the human individual but were formed and polished into shape by the collective, just like the Kingdom of God (Luke 17:21). Words are the atomic crystals of man's collective ratio, just like the City of God (Revelation 21:2).

Like our body, our language is an expression of our genes. And in our genes, and thus our language, are stored the generations that preceded us. Their realities are scattered like dust within our own, but when we learn their language, we will be able to reconstruct their worlds within our own memories.

The prophets figured that if a mind comprises the formless "waters" of one's unspecified (wordless or subconscious) thoughts, then one's specified (conscious or word-carried) thoughts are like dry land that rises like an island from the waters (Genesis 1:9): an island not made from inanimate sand and rock but from living words and phrases; a rock that really is a living human child, that floats on the subconscious waters in some little basket (σπυρις, spuris): alive, needing care and nourishment. The prophets gave a name to the entirety of everything that can be formally (i.e. consciously, formed in words) known about anything at all, which is "that" (or "who", rather) from which every family in heaven and on earth derives its name (Ephesians 3:15):

They called it the Word of God — that is Dabar YHWH in Hebrew and Logos Theou in Greek. The actual physical embodiment of the Logos (i.e. that what is actually consciously known by humanity, and therefore grows within and along with humanity), they called the Son of God (Psalm 2:12). The Son of God began to be in the most rudimentary consciousness of Adam ("the son of God": Luke 3:38), then narrowed into Israel ("Israel is My son, My firstborn"; Exodus 4:22), then narrowed into Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 22:70), and finally incarnated in the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) who are those led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).

The Logos is eternal and unchangeable (John 1:1). The Son is human and grows (Luke 2:40, 2:52). All wisdom, knowledge and technology derives from the Logos. All men of wisdom derive from the Son.

Polytheism and Monotheism

When a human begins to think about things, most commonly her first conclusion is that her reality is affected by the many "powers that be", which quickly become embodied as a tribe of deities, who act at will, are essentially unpredictable (but can perhaps be influenced, by someone who knows the right incantations), and continuously contradict one another and even go to war with one another. That is polytheism, which is not a religion but a world view that has to do with how one understands the consistency of observable reality. Polytheism's sleek counterpart, namely monotheism, is also not a religion but begins with the realization that the whole of the universe is rather governed by one single unified set of rules, that work always the same way for everybody (Matthew 5:45, Romans 2:11), which cannot be broken (Matthew 5:18), but which work together for people who know them, and know how to work with them (Romans 8:28).

In a polytheistic universe, people root for their favorite deity in the hope that he favors them back. In a monotheistic universe, the only God is the ratio of all words, or the way all things relate: the dynamic and harmonic Oneness of All Things. In a monotheistic universe, what goes up must come down, and energy, momentum, baryon number, electrical charge and all that are conserved by a Law that can't be broken. In a polytheistic universe, obedience is paramount and the deity snaps his unpredictable fingers and the universe complies like a wind-up monkey. In a monotheistic universe, freedom is paramount and the deity rather dies than leave his creatures an unpredictable world by leaving any debt unpaid, and so pays for the mind of man the ultimate price of his own freedom (by allowing the formal definition of that which can't be defined, according to the Law that can't be broken).

In an anti-intuitive way, monotheism is the most natural way of looking at the world (Genesis 4:26, Matthew 19:14), but things go sideways when a person grows out of her intellectual intuition and embarks on the road of deliberation and reason. Some of us never abandon monotheism, and many of us find it again after a lifetime of wandering. Yet, strangely enough, nobody finds it by diligently searching for it, because you can't look for something if you don't know what it is. That means that it finds us. And you know that you've been found when your whole world blows up into a huge billowing cloud of glowing dust.

Imagine having been blind your whole life and then suddenly the light switches on. Imagine crawling out of an egg. Imagine being born again. You'll have no idea what's happening or what you are seeing or how your words relate to the images you now see. Eyes may suddenly see but it takes the brain a long time to develop a consciousness to match. Monotheism is a state of mind that dawns upon a person like a very bright flash of light that invariably heralds a whopping psychosis. Achieving monotheism requires the ruin of one's polytheistic reality. It's not for the faint hearted.

Monotheism first dawned upon mankind, when the Logos — the software by which creation runs: "that" from which everything comes, which holds everything together, and within which are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 1:16-17, 2:3, Hebrews 1:3) — came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great" (Genesis 15:1; see Galatians 3:7).

Very quickly, monotheism began to understand that because life is more complex than anything lifeless, life results from utter cooperation in the material realm, which is a form of unification — not simply by forcing everything into one spatial location, but by causing a synchronous harmony, a working-together, a unification in a dimension of complexity that transcends spatial dimensions: a direction that common space can't comprehend; a heavenly or spiritual dimension, if you will (John 1:5) — which means that the Creator is not only the past Prime Mover, but also the present Great Maintainer, and ultimately the Grand Attractor of all future evolution; not merely the creative He Who Was, but He Who Was and Is and Will Be. God is that what unifies, which is why God is love (1 John 4:8) and light (1 John 1:5) and One (Deuteronomy 6:4) but also very much living, mental, intelligent and ultimately social (because these are all effects of unification).

But this, equally revolutionary, also means that God can be met (Exodus 25:22), and that he is not far away but with us and among us, Immanuel who is eager to meet us. But it also means that God can only be met in lawfulness (algorithmic thought) and not in lawlessness (unpredictable chaos and emotions). The character and nature of the invisible God can be deducted from what can be observed (Romans 1:20), and thus learned and thus mastered. This means that monotheists meet God when they learn to partake in the nature of God (2 Peter 1:4), which is Oneness (Ephesians 4:1-6).

The gospel of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with religion. Instead, it is the mind-blowing news that the universe is a perfect machine and it's been given to mankind to learn how to work it (John 3:16).

The Law: word or number? chicken or egg?

Polytheists think that the Law is a legal entity that describes how things ought to be, as an alternative to how things really are, and the difference between these two executional states constitutes a legal violation for which punishment is legally due. Monotheists understand that the Law is an operational thing that describes how things work, and a failure to comply results in malfunction, inefficiency, waste, exhaustion and ultimately death, decomposition and oblivion.

Monotheism understands the relation between law (νομος, nomos) and freedom (ελευθερια, eleutheria). Specifically, monotheism understands that the mastery of the rules of nature results in a freedom-of-living (James 1:25, Galatians 5:1), very much in the same way that understanding and abiding by the laws of language results in a freedom-of-speech. And monotheism understands that the laws of nature, like those of language, add up to a emergent property, the Law, which becomes apparent from the behavior of the unrestricted system but which arises (like a condensate, like a spontaneous choral song) from the deepest and most fundamental constitution of every element of that system. That means that although the Law cannot define freedom (because freedom has no bounds and is thus not defined: Galatians 5:22-23), only freedom can write the Law (James 4:12, Isaiah 51:4).

Freedom is the ability to rise above the system and regard the system from outside the system (from a perspective that cannot be described and thus understood by the system). Such freedom requires the transcendence of one's own place in the system, and so one's own tastes, desires and preferences within the system, which explains why freedom cannot be found by following one's desire for it (in the same way that you can't swim out of a pool or calculate your way out of mathematics). Freedom, paradoxically, requires the willing denial of one's self, a death of one's self even. And whether one is able to return from such a feat depends entirely on whether one has indeed obtained the freedom to do so. If not, one stays dead.

In the words of Jesus: "No one has taken it [i.e. his life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father" (John 10:18).

Indeed, John wrote that God is love and light, which are both agents of Oneness, but both these agents are relational, and relations don't exist in One, which is why they and Oneness are generated by One (Genesis 1:3, 1 John 4:19). In the sense of the apple of previous paragraphs: the One produces Oneness ("appleness") of which many physical Ones (actual physical apples) are manifestations. Humans are uniquely positioned to blend a great many minds into an experiential vat, so as form the mental crystals that words are. The word "apple" comes from the average understanding of "appleness", which comes from the apple. This is how we know about God: because the greatest and most beloved crystal that all our minds together brings forth is the Logos, which is the Word of God that perfectly explains God (John 1:18, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3).

God spoke creation into being, so that creation would speak God into being. Said otherwise: God introduced into his reality the reality of creation, so that creation would introduce into its reality the reality of God. This is why the rule that says "treat others the way you want to be treated" sums up the entire Law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).

That means that the nature of God is in the relation (the ratio), while his most fundamental nature exists before ratio can exist: namely in freedom. Freedom is undetermined, which is why it "describes" the undescribed, the paradoxical Ein Sof, if you will.

Oneness frees for the sake of freedom (Galatians 5:1) and just as light has no mass, so freedom has no categories (Romans 10:12, Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11), and this is because a category limits and freedom has no limits. Only sin has categories — the Hebrew word for evil is רעה (ra'a), which literally means broken and is the opposite of שלום (shalom), unbroken or whole. The word κατηγορος (kategoros), meaning categorizer or Accuser, is an epithet of satan (Revelation 12:10), who is the world's greatest expert in the Law of Moses (John 5:45) and justly uses the Mosaic Law to correctly point out (Romans 3:20) that all people break the Law in one way or other (Romans 3:10), which makes them all equally guilty of violating the entire Law (James 2:10), which makes every human being on earth guilty of murder, theft, sexual perversion and blasphemy, for which they all deserve to die (Deuteronomy 17:11-12).

Fortunately for all of us, the world's greatest expert in the Law is unable to comprehend freedom, since freedom is not stipulated in the Law — which also means that the Accuser is incapable of understanding why he isn't as right as he thinks he is.

The Creator is expressed in creation but cannot be described by any means that describes creation, because freedom is that what exists beyond the event horizon (the asymptote) of any descriptive system (the Law). Freedom is an algorithm because it describes reality without a physical component (as Creator precedes creation), but it is a rule the way zero is a number and the way life is a chemical reaction. Freedom comes before all things, and after all law, and governs the world in between as the arch that spans one and zero in a Schrödinger's Cat to-be-or-not-to-be sort of way.

The gospel of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with a religion. Instead, it is the mind-blowing news that the most fundamental principle of the universe is that any unrestricted complex system will produce its own governing nucleus as an emergent property (John 3:16).

The atomic nucleus, the cellular nucleus, and the conscious body are manifestations of the basket that holds the Logos, which is the data with which to govern the realm (the body of electrons, the cellular body, the broader environment of which a physical person is conscious) that substantiates it. The freedom that gives rise to the universe is also the freedom that defines every quantum particle, which is also the freedom of living things to go where they are not, which is also the freedom of living minds to learn what they are not. The principle of freedom is more fundamental than time and pervades creation at every level of complexity, from the highest mountain to the deepest sea, from before time began and until after eternity ends. Freedom is the most fundamental aspect of creation, and without it, no element of it could function or even exist. That is God, and that is the only God. All of reality only has one God, and he is everywhere and pervades everything: the God of atoms, living cells, conscious minds and entire populations. There is no other God.

Because the Logos is One, the Logos describes indescribable freedom, and may be summed up, not simply by: "Do what you want", or even "Treat others the way you want", but by the much more majestic and dazzlingly reflexive: "Treat others the way you want to be treated", which depends on self-awareness, desire, empathy, compassion and ultimately Theory of Mind (the understanding that others know other things). And of course an utterly unbound imagination, because when there are no others, but the Logos describes what must be, the Logos says: "Let there be others to treat". And that explains existence.

All this is of course wonderfully clever, and the Bible urges time and again to study these things along with the rest of the laws of nature (1 Thessalonians 5:21). But if Isaiah and Homer were Bach and Mozart, then Plato was Bill Haley: a jolly good laugh at parties and weddings, but really nothing more.

Rich young rulers

Through a slew of kindly jabs, the prophets of Israel made it clear that they deemed Plato little more than the proverbial Sorcerer's Apprentice. He, or the tradition of which he would be the champion, was perhaps indeed somewhat familiar with the goings on but certainly not ready for unsupervised employ.

In our modern age, Karl Marx's wisdoms were largely ignored by the people who actually understood Europe's market, and Das Kapital had to cross over to the intellectually bankrupted wastelands of Russia to take any semblance of roots. Surprisingly similar, Plato lamented that nobody with actual clout wanted to fund the building of his dream city Magnesia on Crete, which people with actual clout quickly recognized as an Apprentice's interpretation of what John would later call the New Jerusalem, which is a City that can only come about from the freedom of the free market, which, like a natural language, is a manifestation of the Republic.

Like Das Kapital, Plato's Republic was written by one man and never exceeds the insights of that one man: an apple, or a version of the world. The Bibe was produced by a vast smart-swarm of authors and editors (and translators and commentators), and deals with the apple, or the world, the unitless ratio of a great many world-views.

The Bible is not like a computer code, written intact and wholly by someone outside the environment in which it runs, and whose execution would (somehow) result in the world we live in, so that our reality would wholly collapses at the slightest of syntax errors or data degradation. Instead, the Bible is like a genetic code, which formalizes the complex environment in whose core it emerges, warts and all. We've known since Georg Cantor that infinity comes in different sizes. Likewise, perfection comes in variations. A computer code can only describe one single, shiny, mechanical universe. The Bible describes a living, mental, bustling multiverse. Life is the perfection of matter, and mind is the perfection of life. In both these realms, variety makes all the difference.

The books that were ultimately included in the Bible were included because of their heavy circulation in the ancient world. The Bible is literally Mankind's Greatest Hits. It's an emergent property of the Great Human Republic, and its ultimate editor and compiler was the free market. The Bible has many human authors but only one heavenly author, namely the Republic, and there is nothing in the human world that compares to it. Like the world at large, the Bible is a fractal without beginning or end, and its scope and compass can't be mapped (several ancient sages held that the Bible contained all the universe). Throughout the ages, the Bible's insights have always been found to vastly exceed the perspective of any single individual — and see our article on αστηρ (aster), star, for a quick look at some of them.

What the wise know and control freaks don't is that the free market will certainly function by Oneness, and will even deliver an ever more splendid manifestation of One, but only when it is as free to do so as the material universe was when it produced life, or the biosphere when it produced intelligent consciousness, or the Hebrew language basin when it produced the Bible. Of course, as long as the market is still immature, it requires as much governance as a baby in its crib. But the market's governors must be like Park Rangers whose sole function is to guarantee the freedom of the Park to go where it collectively wants to go. As long as our global market consists of a hamlet made of tents upon a vast savannah where lions and wolves frequently stampede the herds, it needs protection. But the sole function of market governance is to guarantee freedom of traffic. Market governance must certainly not presume to understand what element does what, or try to determine where elements should travel to or how they ought to feel about that when they get there.

Plato dreamed of a paradisiacal city in which all real estate was state controlled and in which every citizen obeyed their beloved human lawmaker (penalty for not loving the leader: five years reform camp). Christ, quite contrarily, came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18), and preached a decentralized kingless and superhero-less Republic (Revelation 21:22-23) in which every citizen was mature enough to not need any human governance (1 Corinthians 15:24) and would rule like the Logos with the Logos (Revelation 3:21, Romans 8:17, Daniel 7:27).

Plato's ancestors lived in a world where incorrect or irrelevant information could be deadly, which is why in antiquity, prophets who claimed to speak in God's name but whose words did not come true were summarily executed (Deuteronomy 13:5, 18:20-22). A prophet of Israel was someone who knew what was up. And when Israel's economic engine stalled and he was called upon, he informed and instructed until everything that was broken had been restored and the wheels turned and the chimneys smoked again, and the prophet went back to his own business. Our modern scientific tradition, likewise, has no clause for debate. Science observes, hypothesizes, tests and verifies, but debate is not part of the process. In science, disagreeing parties get together and learn eagerly and teach respectfully until the entropy has maxed out and all gaps are bridged and all the parties have united in consensus. Then they gather the engineers and architects and medics and financiers and explain to them how things work, so that the financiers may determine what to fund (namely what the people ask for: 1 Samuel 8:22), and architects may build glorious houses for people to live and play in, and the engineers machines to make food production easier so that people can share their wealth with their neighbors and neighboring cities and thus maintain peace, while the medics keep everybody healthy and heal whatever manages to get sick anyway (Matthew 11:4-5).

The philosophers of Greece, quite to the contrary, loved to debate for the sole reason that debate covers a multitude of irrelevance. Debate is a form of domesticated warcraft, for which students trained in rhetoric, slander, vilification and derision and techniques to distract and confuse and destabilize their "opponent" (itself an idiotic term in this context). Likewise, "winning" a debate (which is a desire that only a polytheistic worldview is heir to), was all about exhausting one's "opponent", regardless of the quality of either's arguments. Blinded by the lure of cultures that God had utterly obliterated, Greek-style debate was resurrected in the Reformation (2 Peter 2:22, Joshua 6:26). But even after the Reformation and even the Enlightenment, very few blind and lame people were restored to health by means of debate, and nobody got debated back from the dead, as far as is reported.

Plato lived in Athens, which was a formidable city that architects and engineers had built for Plato and his friends, and where he and his friends could dwell protected from the elements and wild animals. And Plato was wealthy enough to not have to worry about food and rent or getting sold into slavery (although that actually happened, when he embarrassed the king of Sicily in his own court) or having to fight in any of Athens' wars. Athens was declining due to the Peloponnesian War (and the market place had to be policed to avert anarchy), but fortunately for Plato, he was related to or good friends with the Thirty Tyrants that came to power.

Even after the brief but brutal reign of the Thirty Tyrants, Plato personally had not a care in the world: no major griefs, no deprivations or trauma: there were nothing but laden tables, soft beds and blue skies on planet Plato. And this is why Plato could afford to attend school (σχολη, schole means leisure or freedom from having to work) and engage in so-called speculative philosophy, which is speculation about invisible things that derive logically from observable things. But that means that Plato's philosophies had nothing to do with life as it was for most people, with putting food on the table or even making the world a better place by means of functional technology. Instead, Plato's philosophies had more to do with sounding pretty and looking the part. Plato was a fiction writer, the Dan Brown of his time, a hoop-jumping entertainer, an artiste, an intellectual gladiator and oil-slithering wrestler rather than an actual problem solver and life improver. Plato was a theater man (and see the obvious word-play in Acts 18:3). But that isn't the worst of it.

Plato's big mistake

Plato and friends make two crucial errors. First, they believe that wisdom is an "if-then" thing, a tower that will ultimately reach into the heavens, which is built upon an initial fundament of well-chosen axioms, and stacked ever higher, brick upon logical brick. Their most fundamental axiom describes One. And although they build their tower upon their definition of One, their tower abandons One right away and becomes a wobbling concoction without a single binding reality, without a soul, or even a spine.

In 1873, the mathematician William Shanks calculated pi to a whopping 707 decimal points, but made an error at the 528th one, which means that whatever he calculated after the 528th digit was a complete waste of time. Platonists build their whole reality model from their definition of One upwards, but now that we know what a quantum is, it appears that the Platonic definition of One couldn't be more wrong.

Platonists define One as an utterly rigid point (whether a mathematical point or a "fact", a rhetorical point) with no dimensions or parts, and imagine reality (the formal description of experience) to consists of countless pixel-points (very poly) that accidentally drift together into larger objects. Monotheists define One as Freedom, and see reality as something that consists of dynamic patterns — even fractals, in which the whole is repeated in the small, but not so that the whole is separate from the small or that the small can be removed from the whole without destroying everything (John 14:2, 17:21-26) — that exist because of Oneness, and that the same Oneness guarantees the balance between the movements of elements.

If a Platonist holds to a deity, he will believe that this deity is bound to a spatial location very far away, and requires messengers to bridge the chasm. Monotheists understand God to be like light in all the Relativity Theory sense of the word (see our article on the verb נהר, nahar, to shine or to flow), namely present everywhere in space and time, but not taking up space or requiring time. God relates to man the way a line relates to a point, a square to a line, a cube to a square, spacetime to space, or mind-spacetime to spacetime. The volume of a cube is attached to the square of its side at every point of that square, without being part of that side. Light travels at 300,000,000 m/s, but at lightspeed, distance becomes zero and time stops. A polytheist might think that the edge of the universe is very far away, but a monotheist understands that spacetime has its edge in lightspeed, and light is present at every point in the universe, just like the volume of a cube is present at every point of the square.

The monotheistic God needs messengers to explain to blind people that they are wholly engulfed by light, that light holds all atoms together, comes in colors, conveys information and in fact is only the veil behind which a much greater world begs to be explored. Mind, after all, depends on memory, which requires the reversal of the arrow of time, which requires speeds greater than that of light. And this explains why mind moves toward its singularity in the same way that spacetime moves away from its singularity.

Jesus discussed the Platonic (or axiomatic) house and volunteered that such a house built on sand (axioms) would certainly collapse. Mankind ignored (or didn't quite understand) what Jesus was saying, and built its modern scientific tradition gratefully according to Platonic ideals. But in the 1930s, Kurt Gödel came up with a mathematical proof of the validity of Jesus' predictions of the house built on sand. And sure enough, today the world is collapsing, and folks are massively losing their trust in the human institutions so constructed.

Instead of building one's house on sand, Jesus urged, one should build one's house on the Rock. That Rock, of course, had nothing to do with religion because all religions are polytheistic and invariably based on an us-versus-them worldview. Instead, that Rock is monotheism, which yields a worldview in which all things are connected. The term all things is a very big term, because Kurt Gödel proved that a sand-house must always remain incomplete, and can therefore never house truly all things.

One of the things that will always remain missing from a sand-house is its own ETA. Builders of a sand-house never know when and where the house will be completed and thus how much more there is to build, and how impressive the bit they got is from the perspective of someone who actually sees the whole.

A Rock-house, to the contrary, starts out complete. Everything else is furniture (Matthew 6:33).

Plato's second big mistake

The other major mistake of Plato and friends is their failure to understand the difference between True and correct. Truth and correctness, namely, are not at all the same thing. Truth is holy (narrow), but correctness is profane (broad). In fact, correctness is the event horizon of a black hole full of incorrectness and lies. And completeness, or שלום (shalom) in Hebrew, sits beyond the event horizon of correctness.

Said poetically: the two greatest theologians in the history of the universe are the Defender (the Logos) and the Accuser (satan). Both are perfect experts of the Law and both are wholly correct about everything they know about the universe, which is everything. It's not often enough emphasized, but satan very much believes in Christ and is still very much not saved.

The Accuser and the Defender agree on the diagnosis of a sinner. But where the Accuser condemns and rejects and forges an ever greater distance between himself and the accused, the Defender calls to accused and heals the accused, and absorbs him into his own definition. People like to think that all sinners end up with satan in hell, but no, hell is perfect isolation, whereas heaven is perfect community, and where one ends up depends solely on whether one joins the Defender's team or the Accuser's team. The sole difference between satan and Logos is that satan is alone. And although satan knows every everlasting yot and tittle of the Law, he invariably gets in trouble with Deuteronomy 17:6, "On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness."

When satan tried to tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), he tried to get him to agree with him. But for everything satan threw up out of the Law, Jesus quoted that same Law to get out of the corner that satan had pinned him in. Satan thinks that the Bible is basically a big string of words, one upon the next, and true exegesis is mechanical and absolute. Jesus showed that the Bible is basically a big organic mind, in which every word is connected to every other word, and true exegesis is like the dance of a swarm of free bees that hop and buzz at will from flower to flower. Satan builds his exegesis outside the Bible, like a sterile tower on the outer edge of the vineyard. Jesus is the bustling business of living reality within the vineyard that is the Bible. The Defender relates to the Accuser the way a circle relates to a line.

Religious legalists insist on paraphrasing the Bible into their concrete orthodoxies and creeds, not realizing that by doing so they embody the Accuser and disregard the Defender (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18-19). Critics complain that the Bible contains contradictions, not realizing that paradox (like being indivisible and at multiple locations at once, or having a finite diameter and an infinite radius) does not compromise consistency but brings it about.

God's servant does not shout out in the street (Isaiah 42:2) until she does (Proverbs 1:20). Nobody with crushed testicles gets to enter the Godly assembly (Deuteronomy 23:1) until they do (Isaiah 56:3-5). When we look into a mirror, do we tell it what to say? Or do we listen? When we look at the world, do we see only guilt? Or do we see only life? It all depends on whether we march to the letter or dance to the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:6). Language is mankind's truest Republic, in which everybody is free to experiment with words but nobody gets to dictate what nouns, pronouns or adjectives society should use where. In a perfect Republic, every member is free to forge their own identity, but identity (of atoms, living cells, large organisms and minds) derives from how creatures (atoms, living cells, large organisms and minds) are regarded by the world at large: identity is ratio, which is word, not number. And as our society journeys from the caves to the City, we naturally and gradually grow out of the earthly field-plowing body-based world that we share with the animals (Deuteronomy 22:5) and into a heavenly data-plowing code-based world we share with the angels (Matthew 22:30). That gives some growing pains, and that requires wisdom. We humans are ascending, and whether we will actually get somewhere or plunge like Icarus back to the clay from which we sprang depends wholly on our ability to formalize what's happening to us. Where the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to heaven is paved by formal definitions, and each step must be made consciously. It's crucially important that we draft useful definitions of ourselves, our fundamental sameness and our many colorful variations, our own consciousness, that of animals (and even atoms), organic intelligence (based on superluminal tachyons) and Artificial Intelligence (based on code). But formulating a correct judgement against someone who is obviously guilty of sin is no big deal. Any fallen angel can do that. The challenge is to give life where death is apparent — not just saying it, or wishing it, but actually making a zombie breathe again. That is a very big deal.

God meets man in the heart of the tent in the middle of the community: in language, which is the Word, which is the sacred Republic. And language isn't learned by cramming protocol: it's learned by imitation and synchronization (Ephesians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 11:1). This is why the great archetype of all evil is the same thing as the first thing that the Creator deems "not good", namely the aloneness of man (Genesis 2:18). Upon that observation, the Creator begins to make relationships, and that process culminates in the formation of Eve: the archetypal bride, the archetypal beloved, the archetypal related-to.

The Logos is there where two or more gather in his name (Matthew 18:20). In other words: Truth is collective and communal. It's confirmed correctness. It's shared, agreed and utilized correctness. It's a correctness that descends from a heaven of unitless abstraction, to connect itself to units and thus assume physicality and meaning (Philippians 2:7). Truth is always applied and never merely theoretical. Truth is what makes relations, what binds human atoms into human molecules and human objects and human houses for families of human minds to live in.

When Mary Magdalene (from מגדול, migdol, tower) encountered the resurrected Christ, she knew as much as satan did, because knowing Christ, and even understanding his resurrection, makes a person merely equal to satan. But Mary hurried to tell the brethren, and that made her Christlike. Christ lowered himself, emptied himself and gave himself to be wholly consumed. And that's the difference between Logos and satan; not the knowledge but the self-defining desire to share it, in utter disregard of what horrors that might bring upon oneself. Because of this desire, language developed, and then script, and then the postal service, and then the Internet and ultimately the City of God. Satan makes people obsess about their own personal salvation, and makes people believe that their mere faith in the resurrected Christ will save them. It won't. Faith without love (which is relational and rational) means nothing at all (1 Corinthians 13:2), and salvation comes through χαρις (charis), which is communal joy (hence our word "choir"), not anybody's private convictions (Ephesians 2:8).

Salvation is always a communal and thus a relational and thus a rational thing. Polytheism thinks that reality comprises multiple pockets of reality, where different sets of rules or motivations create different worlds, and that evil resides in a particular demographic or body part, which can be removed by removing that demographic or that body part. Monotheism understands that all things are connected to all other things, that no element can be removed without destroying the whole, and that there can never be total order until all things that exist have their proper place, and everything that is known is known by everybody (Isaiah 40:5).

(And to briefly touch upon the obvious elephant: Jesus had no human father so he had no human Y-chromosome either. Fortunately, in Biblical reality, dudes and dames are told apart not as per chromosomes but as per language (and thus as per social consensus). And sovereignty in life (which is what the word Christ means: king or sovereign) is demonstrated by one's ability to seamlessly end up where one mentally belongs from whatever genetic starting point one gets to get going. Such sovereignty must be learned, but unfortunately, English is an Indo-European and thus a patrilocal language, with the bellicose patriarchy baked right in. Fortunately, the Hebrew language is matrilocal (Genesis 2:24), and hence the world's most successful matriarchal teacher on all things societal. And so we learn that all Hebrew words have gender, and masculinity tends to describe individuality (solitary things, body parts of which we have only one), whereas femininity tends to describe collectivity (joint or bound things, and body parts that come in pairs, that require their physical counterparts to be what they are). This means that masculinity is that what is described by quantum mechanics, whereas femininity is that what is described by classical mechanics. This further means that a man is defined as a masculine person, which is anyone who tends to ball up and stand his own ground or go his own way, whereas a woman is defined as a feminine person, which is anyone who tends to team up and lean on her supporters and go wherever the group goes (which in turn relates Revelation 14:4 to Genesis 3:6 and 1 Corinthians 14:34). This further means that one cannot identify as a woman or even dress as a woman, but only act as one and hence be recognized as one. In the City of God (and all cities are feminine), there are neither categories nor shame (Romans 10:11, Jude 1:24) and all individuals are unlimited, autonomous and sovereign, godly and thus masculine quanta (hence sons and not daughters of God: Matthew 5:9, Philippians 2:15, 1 John 3:1-2), whereas all relationships are feminine, and thus massive daughters of the City at large (Luke 23:28). The resurrection is certainly physical, but where in the animal world, the body manifests the mind, in the City of God, the mind manifests the body: Galatians 5:18. See for more on this touchy topic, our article on σαρξ (sarx), the flesh).

Plato's tower stands on soggy ground, accumulates from the bottom up and will never get to heaven. That's why, in Plato's world, there's always another brick and the work (i.e. the debate) is never finished. The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, is never not complete, is always finished and perfect and grows within Oneness (Luke 2:40, 2:52), and comes down from heaven and crushes Plato's tower on the way down (Genesis 3:15). From the destruction of the tower the languages dispersed (Genesis 11:9). By this same principle, Mary's singular gospel became carried by the different voices of the many disciples. By this same principle, a host of cell types grows out of one single genetic constitution.

Transparent eye cells, policing white blood cells, contracting muscle cells, electricity conducting nerve cells, and even acid producing stomach cells couldn't be more different. Yet they are all brought forth, and are all maintained, by the same unified set of instructions that sits in the heart of all of them (see our article on Stephen). All of them (except for cancer cells) follow these same instructions at their own cores with perfect whole-hearted compliance, and every organic body is a testimony to the continuous "Rise" that drives the universe onward (this principle is called "evolution" by polytheists and αναστασις, anastasis, by monotheists).

On the side of time

Probably the most familiar Platonic tower is that of history. Plato and friends suspect that time, and thus all of history, got its start from a dubious and Utterly-Other Prime-Mover (coined by Aristotle) or inexplicable Big Bang, after which history unfolds like a huge mechanical chain of events. Monotheists, on the other hand, understand that the only physically real point on the temporal axis is the present, and both past and future exist only as much as they are expressed within the atoms that make up our present physical world, but fade and become less determined the further away from the present we look. Our physical world works like a physical brain in which data fleets like dreams, but is always stored in the same atoms that make up the here and now.

To Platonists, the Bible is true because it is historical: it "really happened". Monotheists understand that the causal relevance of past events fades quickly, and that something isn't true because it describes past reality but only when it describes present reality. To monotheists, the Bible is algorithmic (Psalm 78:2, Matthew 13:13) and true because it is true now, much more alike E=mc2 than yesterday's news (and see our article on Pyrrhus for a slightly longer look at this).

The most famous ratio in the world is the ratio between the circumference (2D) and diameter (1D) of a circle: pi, or 3.14159... The digits of pi go on forever without a pattern — which either means that the most famous ratio is not a ratio, or that a flat Euclidian geometry cannot exist, or that different levels of multi-dimensional complexity can never be fully consolidated by the principles that govern any lower dimension, but that's beside the point right now. The point right now is that in theory we can print the first 500 billion digits of the number pi on paper, and be correct the whole time. We can fill the data storage capacity of the entire universe with digits of pi, and be wholly correct. But the chance that any two people on earth will have a look at any page of that enormous stack of paper approaches zero very rapidly after the first.

Engineers and scientists use pi all the time in their calculations, and without pi, we would not have our cities and cars and telephones or anything that makes our human world human. But engineers and scientists really only use the first few decimal digits of it (because these digits very quickly start to describe details at the atomic level and become "not even wrong"). And that means that all the infinite digits of pi are correct, but only the first dozen or so are True, that is both correct and useful (which means "used" or "in use" anywhere in the free market).

Not too long ago, if you wanted to know something, you went to a library, because in that library you could find the cream of the crop of centuries of book printing, sifted and sorted by the market at large, sitting at the heart of mankind's mind, breathing into every word that got spoken anywhere in our society. Not all books that were ever published made it into the lasting library. Not all books that were ever written were ever published. Not all stories that were ever told were ever written. Yet every conversation that ever occurred over coffee or on a street corner in careless passing was fundamentally informed by the knowledge and the great skeleton of cognitive reality that is stored within the central library, which is the pyramidal top of a much greater but self-similar pyramid.

Our modern world suffers from an epidemic of insanity, and that is not because there isn't any wisdom, but because it cannot be found by people who do not know what it looks like. Our modern Internet lacks a natural structure like the one that gave humanity its library, and our modern world has no wisdom class that is recognizable and accessible to any searcher. Instead, our world has become inundated with a flood of information (a better term would be a fire storm of information), and emotional voices have the same weight as truly insightful ones. Fortunately, we've been in this sort of situation many times before, so it's quite obvious what will happen next. Soon, humanity will remember that we have a library, that was wrought over tens of thousands of years, naturally and organically, waiting patiently to be rediscovered, swept and cleared of the rats and spiders that have made it their home, dusted and lit, labeled and organized. That too will happen naturally and organically.

The difference between Plato's tower of orthodoxy and the great library is that the library grows and changes: it is alive because it has a librarian, who (very much like the scientific method) continuously patrols the shelves, and examines and falsifies and throws out redundancies or even falsehoods, always leaving all else subject to continued scrutiny. The librarian does not identify Truth, because Truth is pragmatic. The librarian only identifies certain uselessness (or inefficiency), and so purifies what remains (Malachi 3:3, Psalm 12:6). Jesus said: "if it were not so, I told you" (John 14:2), which in modern terms equals the falsification clause of the scientific method. This is how it can be that the crucified Christ continues to absorb all the world's sin.

God is One and divinity is unification, which is cooperation. Life, therefore, is the useful part of matter, and mind is the useful part of life, and the Body of Christ is the useful part of mankind (Romans 7:4, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 4:12).

Paul said: everything is lawful but not everything is useful (1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23), which is precisely the reason why it's worse to be called a son of Belial (Useless One), than an incorrect fool, because it's easier to teach an ignorant man the wisdom that will make his life better than some learned fellow who draws his identify and academic degrees and income from the arcane details of utterly useless albeit correct knowledge.

Sons of Belial love to debate, which is a sure way of losing to satan, because satan out-debates all of us (he knows more digits of pi than any of us). Instead, satan is defeated when his services are deemed useless, and mankind discards him for the self-centered clown he is (1 Corinthians 1:19, Ephesians 3:19).

We shall overcome (Revelation 2:26, 12:10-11, 21:7).