## “When thou hast made the Quadrangle Round,Then is all the Secret found”. George Ripley (d. d 1490).

This blog is about Logic, Alchemy and the relationship between Logic and Alchemy.

Ripley, The alchemist knew that History Repeats itself All the Time. That’s why you know when you are full Circle or when the Square is Round.

Alchemy is the old Egyptian Art of Transformation summarized in the Latin expression Solve (break down in separate elementset Coagula (recombined coming back together (coagulating) in a new, higher form)..

Classic Logic is based on the Square of Opposition of Aristotle.

This square was discussed for more than 2000 years. Recently scientists detected that the Square is really a Cube. It misses an extra dimension.

The Square describes  the six oppositions (“dual combinations”) of possibility (“some”, Particular Affirmative), necessity (“all”, Universal Affirmative), not-possibility (“not some”, Particular Negative) and not-necessity (“not all”, Universal Negative).

Geometric Logic is a part of Modal Logic which is a part of Logic.

In Geometric Logic the Linguistic Representations of Logic are mapped to the Graphical Representations of Geometry.

Modal Logic works with the notion that propositions can be mapped to sets of possible worlds.

The idea of possible worlds is attributed to the famous mathematician Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), who spoke of possible worlds as ideas in the mind of God and argued that our actually created world must be the best of all possible worlds. Possible worlds play an important role in the explanation of Quantum Mechanics.

Alchemy is based on the Square of the Four Elements. The Four Elements are oppositions. The oppositions of Alchemy are related to the oppositions of the Square of Opposition of Aristotle in an orthogonal model. They form an arc of 90 degrees, which makes Alchemy the complex part (imaginary) of Logic.

In his work De Arte Combinatoria Leibniz developed a general theory of science that was based on a fusion between Alchemy and Logic.

In this blog I will explain Alchemy and Logic and show that Alchemy and Geometric Logic share the same geometry, the Hexagon (the Seal of Solomon), which is a 2D-mapping of the Cube of Space of the Sefer Yetsirah.

One of the most complicated ancient architectures is the architecture behind Alchemy. The architecture of Alchemy is full of strange concepts and allegories.

Alchemy comes from the Arabic al-khemia meaning the Black Soil of Egypt (or the ((Egyptian) Black Art). Alchemy is the art of transformation.

Alchemy is an ancient science that was practiced all over the world. The most famous teacher was called Hermes Trismegistus in Greece and Thoth in Egypt. The old science of Hermes came back in the Renaissance.

The essence of Alchemy is called REBIS (Res Bina), Double Matter. REBIS is the end product of the alchemical magnum opus or Great Work. It is the Fusion of Spirit and Matter (the Body). Spirit is the Creative Part of the Human.

Double matter is sometimes described as the divine hermaphrodite, a being of both male and female qualities as indicated by the two heads within a single body.

The Great Work is the chemical and personal quest to create Double Matter, the Philosopher’s Stone, Spirit in Matter.

The Stone is the agent of chemical transmutation, and the key ingredient in the creation of the elixir of life, said to heal all diseases, induce longevity and even immortality.

In current Physics  transmutation is proved at room temperature in a proces called Cold Fusion.

In Physics one explanation for the fusion between Quantum Mechanics and Gravity is called the Wheeler Feynman Absorber Theory. In this theory the Future causes the Past and vice-versa. We are always in the Now, the Middle between Past & Future.

The Future and the Past are created by the Intention of the Observer, we call Measurement.

The aim of the Great Work is a fusion with the One (the Blazing Star, Saturn, Point) that is divided in the Two (Sun & Moon, Male & Female, Line) and the Four Planets (Square), the 12 (4×4-4) Constellations or more structures based on a power of a power (of a power….)  of 2. The Great Work moves from 2**N, …., Sixteen to Four to Two to One (or from one to two to four) in a Spiraling Spiral Motion.

The One, to which the elements must be reduced, is a little circle in the center of the squared figure (the cross). The cross is the mediator, making peace between the opposition of the planets.

The First Matter is the primordial chaos comparable to what we now call the vacuum, the state of lowest energy. This state contains all possibilities.

It can be looked on as an unorganized state of energy  that is the same for all substances and exists in an invisible state between energy and matter.

The First Matter is the One, the Point in the Middle of the Circle. In current physics a point is called a singularity or a black hole.

Alchemy is about re-combination summarized in the Latin expression Solve (break down in separate elementset Coagula (coming back together (coagulating) in a new, higher form).

Earth (Body) becomes Water (Spirit) by dissolving it in some solvent. Water becomes Air (a moist vapor) by boiling, which further heating turns into Fire (a dry vapor).

Finally Fire becomes Earth by allowing the vapors to condense on a solid material (a stone).

The circulation may repeat if it is done in a reflux condenser, such as the Pelican or kerotakis.

The Pelican is the Symbol of the Heart Chakra the connector between the Upper- and the Lower Triangle of the Body.

According to the early alchemists, the four elements—fire, water, air, and earth—come into existence via the combination of specific qualities, recognized as hot, cold, wet, and dry, being impressed on to the Prime Matter. For example, when hot and dry are impressed on the Prime Matter, we have fire.

(Hot and Cold) and (Wet and Dry) are oppositions. Their fusion is the empty set.

(Hot or Cold) and (Wet or Dry) can be combined -> (Hot, Wet), (Hot, Dry), etc.

The Cold allows substances to get together. The Hot is the power of separation.

Wet things tend to be Flexible (Fluent, Movement, Self, Not-Agency) whereas Dry things are fixed and structured (Agency, Resistance, not-Movement).

When the qualities are changed, the elements themselves are changed. Adding Water to Fire substituting wet for dry; hot and dry becomes hot and wet: steam, or Air.

As you can see in de picture below Hot & Cold and Wet and Dry are Binary Opposites (“lines”) that are voided by the central cross, the point of the Empty Set, The Void (A and not-A -> Empty).

Hot & Dry = Fire, Hot & Wet = Air, Cold & Wet = Water and Cold & Dry = Earth.

There are four types of Trinities the Passion-trinity (Dry, Wet, Warm), the Structure-trinity (Dry, Wet, Cold), the Resistance-trinity  (Warm, Cold, Dry) and the Movement-trinity (Warm, Cold, Wet).

The Square rotates. The wheel of the Square is driven by the four qualities. Wet on the rising side, Hot on the top, Dry on the descending side, and Cold on the bottom.

The start is powerless (Cold). By becoming more flexible (Wet) success and power comes (Heat).  At the top Rigidity (Dry) undermines the system and it falls back to a powerless state.

The four Elements all share the Triangle of the Holy Trinity. Every Trinity is seen from another perspective.

The two triangels, The Up-triangel and the Down-Triangel, are Opposites that are created out of two triangels that contain two Opposites that are fused. Humans are opposites in opposition.

Humans are FourFold

Humans are part of the Bilateria,  animals with bilateral symmetry.

Humans can be described as a fusion of two mirrored bilateral triangles, the Up-triangel related to the Top of the Body (Mind) and the Bottom-triangel of the lower Body both connected by the Heart. The two triangels and the separate triangels have to be balanced.

The principle of Balancing the two Triangles of Top & Bottom of the Body is represented by the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at who weights the Heart (the connector of Up and Down) of the Dead with her Feather (Nothing).

As you can see the Square of the Cycle of the Four Elements is visible in the picture below. The total picture shows a Hexagram with a Center (The Cross).

The points that are missing in the Square are the top- and the bottom of the two triangels which are the Whole (Up, Heaven) and the not-Whole, Emptiness, the Bottom (Hell).

A hexagon is a 2D-projection of a Cube.

The hexagon of Solomon can be transformed into the Cube of Space of the Sefer Yetsirah.

The Cube of Space can be transformed into the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life also called the tree of knowledge or world tree  connects heaven and underworld and all forms of creation and is portrayed in various religions and philosophies all over the world.

The Spiral of Alchemy is about the Chemical Transformation of the Body by the Conceptual Transformation of the Mind.

The Tree of Life shows the levels/scales (three) and possible paths of the Opus Magnum, the alchemical journey.

About Truths for a Fact and Truths for a Reason

People have always believed in the fundamental character of binary oppositions like Hot & Cold and Wet & Dry are used in Alchemy.

In this part we move to the Field of Logic. In this case Hot/Cold and Wet/Dry transform into Necessary /Not-Necessary and Possible/not-Possible.

Oppositions can be divided in:

1. Digital oppositions, contradictories, contain mutually exclusive terms (Gender (Male/Female)).
2. Analogue oppositions, antonyms  or contraries: contain terms that are ordered on the same dimension (Temperature (Minimum->Cold/maximum->Hot)).

The doctrine of the square of opposition originated with Aristotle in the fourth century BC and has occurred in logic texts ever since.

The logical square is the result of two questions: Can two things be false together? Can two things be true together?

This gives 4 possibilities: no-no: contradiction (A/O, E/I); no-yes: subcontrariety (I/O); yes-no: contrariety (A/E); yes-yes: subalternation (A/I, E/O) better known as implication (A->B).

The four corners of the square represent the four basic forms of propositions recognized in classical logic:

1. A propositions, or universal affirmatives take the form: All S are P.
2. E propositions, or universal negations take the form: No S are P.
3. I propositions, or particular affirmatives take the form: Some S are P.
4. O propositions, or particular negations take the form: Some S are not P.

The square of opposition was debated for many reasons for more than two thousand years.

One of the discussions is about the difference between possible and necessary. In the so called Master Argument Diodorus proved that the future is as certain and defined as the past. The essence of logic (necessaty) implies the non-existence of freedom (possibility). X is possible if and only if X is necessary.

The term ‘possible’, in Aristotle’s view, is ambiguous. It has two senses known as one-sided possibility and two-sided possibility (or contingency). Being two-sided possible means being neither impossible nor necessary, and being one-sided possible simply means being not impossible.

Leibniz distinguished between necessary Truths for a Reason, which are true for a reason—i.e, their opposite is a contradiction—and contingent truths, (Truth for a Fact) such as the fact that the president of France is François Hollande. A contingent truth cannot be proved logically or mathematically; it is accidental, or historical (based on facts (events)).

About Geometric Logic and n-dimensional “Squares” of Opposition

Modal Logic is about the fusion of necessity and possibility, contingency.

In Modal Logic the propositions are modelled in a logical hexagon where:

1. A is interpreted as necessity: the two propositions must be either simultaneously true or simultaneously false. A is a Proof or Law.
2. E is interpreted as impossibility. E is an Observation that contradicts the Proof of A.
3. I is interpreted as possibility:  the truth of the propositions depends on the system of logic being considered . I is an Idea implied by the Proof that Contradicts E.
4. is interpreted as ‘not necessarily’. O contradicts A.
5. U is interpreted as non-contingency: neither logically necessary nor logically impossible, its truth or falsity can be established only by sensory observation.
6. is interpreted as contingency: propositions that are neither true under every possible valuation (i.e. tautologies) nor false under every possible valuation (i.e. contradictions). Their truth depends on the truth of the facts that are part of the proposition. Y is a possible proven theory.

The Logical Hexagon has the same geometry as the Seal of Solomon. It contains the Square of Opposition (A,E,I,O).

The Logical Hexagon can be transformed just like the Seal of Solomon to the Cube of Space now called The Cube of Opposition.

The Logical Hexagon is used in many fields of Sciences like Musical Theory or Scientific Discovery.

Every opposite can be defined by a string of zero’s and one’s like 1010. An opposite is 0101. This means that there are 2**4/2 = 4×4/2= 16 / 2 = 8 possible opposites. This is called the Octagon of Opposites.

The Octagon contains six reachable and two unreachable points in the Center (0000, 1111), the Empty Set (the Void, the Hole, Contradiction) or its Opposite (The Whole, Tautology).

It is clear that it must be possible to create higher dimensional models based on n-based-logics.

When n becomes very big the geometry will tend to a n-Dim circle in which every point is in opposition to the point at the other side.

The big problem with n-based logics is language. We don’t have the names to articulate the many grades of opposition that are possible.

The other problem is that a negation is not a symmetric operation (A = not-not-A) but a rotation with an angle 360/n.

The n-opposite-geometries are highly related to Simple Non-Abelian Groups (SNAGs). They play an important role in biology.

The last step is to transform the static n-opposite geometries by making n very large (infinite) to a dynamic “opposition field”.

Related Models

In current Psychology Hot & Cold are called Communion and Moist & Dry, Agency. Together they create the so called Interpersonal Circumplex.

The four stages of Learning by Jean Piaget.

The mathematical model behind the theory of Piaget is called the Klein Four Group or Identity/Negation/Reciprocity/Correlation-model.

In the Science of Ecology (Panarchy) Agency & Communion are called Connectedness and Potential. The Panarchy model looks like a Mobius Ring.

A model that describes the Four Perspectives on Security:

The Semiotic Square of Greimas:

The Chinese Sheng-Cycle: The Chinese Five Element Model is comparable to the Western Four Element model. It contains as a Fifth Element, the Whole-Part-relationship (Earth, Observer State). Emptiness (Nothing, the Tao) is represented by the recursive Pentangle inside.

The lesson

When thou hast made the quadrangle round, then is all the secret found“.

When You have moved once through the Cycle you have seen Everything there is to See. The only way to move out of the Cycle is to jump into the wHole in the Middle.

The secret: It is impossible to move though the center because the paths that go through the center are a contradiction or a tautology (I am what I am, JHWH).

We have to move with the Cycle (making the rectangle round (a circle)), around the Singularity (the Hole of the Whole), going Up and going Down all the time.

The only way to solve this problem is to join the opposites by accepting only one thruth-value, by:

1. Accepting everything (Wu Wei),
2. Denying everything (Stoics) or
3. Diminishing the amount of dimensions (“becoming Simple”, “like Children”) by moving up in abstraction (Hot & Cold -> Temperature -> Everything is Energy) to the level of zero dimensions, a point, becoming One with the First Matter (Tao, Vacuum, The Kingdom).

“If we then become children, would we thus enter the kingdom?” Jesus said unto them, “When ye make the two one, and when you make the inside like unto the outside and the outside like unto the inside, and that which is above like unto that which is below, and when ye make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male no longer be male nor the female female; then will ye enter into the kingdom.” (Gospel of Thomas, Logion 22).

Semiotics for Beginners

How to use the Square of Opposition as a Research Tool

About the Cube of Space of  Sefer Yetzirah

About Truth of Reason and Truth of Fact

Why Humans are Toolmakers

About the Ars Generalis Ultima of Ramon Lull (1305)

About the Six Domains of  the Polynomic System of Value

Why Innovation is Re-Combination

How to Balance the Seal of Solomon

Anti-Fragility and the Square of Opposites

An Introduction to Hexagonal Geometry

written in 2012,

The amount of local cooperative energy-companies in the Netherlands (in 2012) is increasing. It all has to do with the decrease of the price of solar-sells but there is more at stake.

Local energy-companies are part of a movement aimed at Autarky. Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient.

The word Autarky comes from Greek αὐτάρκεια (autárkeia), itself from αὐτός (autós) = self and ἀρκέω (arkéo) which in its passive form means be satisfied, content or “Out of my own Power“.

The need to become self-sufficient has certainly to do with the current economic-, ecological- and energy crisis. People are afraid that the supply of vital energy and food will suddenly stop or become priceless. This is not the only reason.

Some people think we are wasting our money, food and energy by producing nondurable throw-away goods in which the packaging is sometimes more important than the content. They want to create durable products and services. This is not the only reason.

Some people don’t trust the suppliers of their food and energy, their politicians and/or the caretakers of their savings, the banks, anymore. They believe that their food is intentionally manipulated, their savings are wasted, their country is sold out to the rich and their environment is polluted for just one simple reason, Greed, the opposite of “Being Satisfied”.

The people of the autarkic movement want to recreate the necessary functions (bank, energy, food, work, healthcare, government) themselves in a cooperative way in their own living context.

The local cooperatives  are now joining on a higher (mostly country) level and are  in need of a shared (real-time)infrastructure. The current infrastructure does not support flows that move between many participants (so called peer-to-peer-networks).

The current system is a Hierarchic Top Down System containing Huge Highways that are connected to Big Production-facilities. This makes it impossible to consolidate, share and distribute resources peer-to-peer on a local level.

The Top Down System has created Global Markets where the local production is sold  to the highest bidder.

The Global Markets are the playing field for advanced speculators that make a lot of money. After the deal is made the local production is transported to a far away destination. That is the reason why the Top Down Systems are integrated in world-wide Logistic Systems.

If we want to coordinate all the local initiatives we need advanced systems that Up- and download, control, predict, connect, share, balance and distribute vital local resources on the short and long term.

Examples of these systems can be found in “crowd funding“, “virtual power plants”  and “treasury management” (balancing many small amounts of Money at the short and long term).

In Nature we find comparable (Fractal) Distribution-Systems in the Lungs, the Arteries, Riverdelta, the Weather Cycle and Ecologies.

All of these fysical Flow Systems, that map 1 Resource-> on Many Resources or Many Resources->on 1 Resource,  are based on the third Law of Thermodynamics called Constructal Law.

In the philosophy of the Stoics and Cynics of Ancient Greece the perfect human was not only arete (“all-around excellent”) but also independent of every need. Arete was associated with a full life as a citizen of a city.

Later Spinoza (“On Human Freedom“), Rousseau and David Thoureau (Walden) have developed their own autarkic philosophy.

Autarky was the ideal of a complete man who needed no one and no organization. This ideal can also be found in Zen Buddhism, Taoist practise, Early Christians (Nazarites), the Catholic Order of the Franciscans and the Protestant Quakers.

In reality it is almost impossible to be completely self-sufficient as a lonely human being. We need others when we are young, sick and old and we need others because we are specialized (“Talented”). Autarky is a possible aim for a small community.

The religious, cultural and political movements at the left and the right aimed at living the “good life” (“Living Slow“) are converging in  the movement of the Cultural Creatives. The Cultural Creatives are the new Elite that is moving to the AND-state (Left AND Right).

They don’t believe in the old Competitive Ideologies (Socialist, Capitalist, Religious, Liberal, Nationalist, Conservative, Globalist, etc..) but want  to focus on the Shared Collaborative Values between all Humans. We all need Love, Food and Shelter.

Autarky has always been a major political aim of countries. Autarky is about the possibility to control your own future and to become independent of other powers that could use your dependency to tell you what to do to get what you desperately want.

At this moment the shortage of fossil fuels, especially oil and gaz, is used to influence the policy of other countries and is the cause of local conflicts in the Middle East.

China is buying all kinds of vital materials to make sure their economy will not become dependent on others. If they will succeed and nobody doubts about that, they will become the economic controlling power of the world.

Reaching a state of local autarky, being satisfied with what your environment provides you, has become the aim of the wordwide sustainability movement.

Total autarky is possible when you want to live as a stoic or a survivalist. Most people accept a more simple living, move off-the-grid and build autonomous buildings that make use of  renewable energy.

Others start to farm in their own backyard, join an allotment garden or move back-to-the-land and practice sustainable agriculture.  To handle their surpluses and shortages independent  local markets are created that make use of  alternative currencies.

A strive for (regional) Autarky pushes the need to innovate to a higher level because not all regions contain the right materials, knowledge or experience to realize everything everybody needs. To become fully Autarkic the Production and Consumption Systems in the Region have to be based on simple concepts and parts that are available everywhere. Simple concepts are concepts that are easely copied.

The only way to combine Simple and Complex concepts is to use the Concept of Self-Reference (Fractals). The only way to make use of parts that are available everywhere is to make use of the Simple Building Blocks of Nature. A good example is the use of algea in food processing.

The concept of Autonomy not only plays an important role on the many levels of human (personal, organization, country) and animal society (Competitive vs Collaborative (Ants)). It is also a major subject in the research of (Second-OrderCybernetics (Control Theory).

Second Order Cybernetics is concerned with the Control of the System of Systems (the Meta-System). Hierarchy is not the solution to this problem because it leads to the logical problem of Infinite Regress (“Turtles on turtles on … all the way down”).

The Meta-System is controlling, reproducing and balancing itself by a Fractal Feedback-Cycle that moves Backwards (Consumption) and Forwards (Production).

The concept of Self-Reproduction is called Autopoiesis or Autocatalysis. The Design Philosophy of Cradle to Cradle is a good example of Autopoiesis.

A System is an Autarky if all its Levels are capable of Self-Reproduction.

If a human wants to become self-sufficient he has to accept and develop his own talent and find complementary people so he is able to create a Self-Reproducing Unit.

The smallest Self-Reproducing Unit in Human Society is the Family living in one House. This House has to produce more than enough Energy and the Garden has to produce more than enough food to support the Family.

If we cluster all these Self-Reproducing Families/Houses & Gardens in a small City the chances are high that the combined talents of the families will be able to supply every profession needed if the people of the city want to Live a Simple Life.

It is also possible that the surplusses and shortages of the families can be compensated by creating a Market on the level of the small City or one level higher, the Region.

An Autarkic Movement becomes an Aggressive Competitive Nationalistic Movement when the Citizens of the Country feel that their Country is plundered by outsiders and their Leaders promise to get it all back by expanding the Space to Live (“Lebensraum“) to facilitate everything that is needed.

This happened when Germany was preparing for War after the enormous reparation payments of 132 billion gold marks to the Winners of World War I.

The Autarkic Movement could also become a Peaceful Cooperative Social Movement like the Movement of Gandhi in India when the people accept the Good Life they already live and want to share the surpluses with others who are in a worse state.

About the City and the State

About the house that produces his own energy (Passive House)

The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency

Jerry Rifkin: About the Distributed Economy

The John Seymour School for Self Sufficiency

About the EU Policy of Smart Specialization of Regions

About the Thermodynamics of Living Systems

About Worldviews (How to find Complementary People)

A City is an Organism

About the Viable Systems Model of Stafford Beer