What do we mean when we talk about ‘the world’? We don’t just mean the universe, the cosmos or the planet Earth. We mean the world as it is experienced…by us, and by every other ‘actual entity’ that populates it.
What constitutes the world? Matter and energy, sub-atomic particles and the forces between them? No, these are just the raw materials of the world.
Nouns and verbs? Subjects and predicates? Adjectives and adverbs? No, these are categories that we abstract, after the fact, from real, everyday experience.
When we experience the world, we do not experience particles and forces or objects and actions; we experience events. An event may include something we later call an object, action or attribute; but what we experience is the event, pure and simple.
Whether we’re talking about a laboratory experiment, a criminal investigation or an ordinary day at school or work, the fundamental question always is, “What happened?”
So, events are the actual entities that make up the world. (Note: British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead used ‘event’ and ‘actual entity’ interchangeably depending on context. I will adopt that same convention here.)
Every event is singular: one. Events are holistic. Sure, an event has phases and elements; but those phases and elements are the superstructure of the event, not the event itself. Every event is distinct from its phases and elements; and that distinctness (novelty) is the event.
An event can, and usually does, encompass other events; but those encompassed events, neither individually nor collectively, constitute the event itself. Again, an event’s distinction from its elements is its essence and that distinction is holistic: it cannot be analyzed or sub-divided.
Therefore, events are local and instantaneous. Time and space are constructs we use to classify or describe relationships between events. They are principles we rely on when we order events, but they derive their meaning solely from the events they order.
Absent events, time and space do not exist; in fact, they have meaning only in the context of multiple events. They have no meaning, for example, inside an event. If the world consisted of one and only one event, time and space would not exist; the concept itself would be meaningless.
Likewise, if there was a single event that encompassed all other events, time and space would exist for those other events but not for the all-encompassing event itself. Like all events, an all-encompassing event would be local and instantaneous; it would be a-temporal and therefore eternal.
So, events are here and now. The process by which an event comes to be is its ‘concrescence’. The concrescence of an event is a process but that process is a-temporal. Therefore, events happen only in the present. Each event defines its own present. In fact, ‘happening’ and ‘being present’ are synonymous.
An event may be (and usually is) enriched by material from the so-called ‘past and future’, but past and future exist for an event only to the extent that they are present in the event itself.
Consider, for example, the human faculties of memory and imagination. We associate memory with the past and imagination with the future, but memory and imagination do not exist in the past or in the future. They exist in the present. They are elements of an experience and experience only happens in the present.
Consider also the present impact of cosmological events that occurred in the distant past. Our present experience includes information from those events, information that originated “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”; but the key phrase here is “present experience”.
Events are like quanta. They have extension (e.g. duration) but they are not divisible into units of smaller extension. If you think of time (and/or space) as linear, then an event (a quantum of experience) is a ‘hole’ in that line.
Events are also like atoms. They have ‘sub-atomic parts’, but none of these parts, on its own, has any of the qualities of the atom itself.
Compare an event to a work of art whose elements include paint and cavass. Something is projected onto those elements that is neither present in any of them singularly nor in all of them collectively: an image. If the painting is original, the image will be unique and inject novelty into the world.
Of course, the analogy of an event to a painting is not perfect. In most cases, an artist forms the painting’s image and, arguably at least, the artist is distinct from the painting itself.
Every event, on the other hand, creates its own image, its own ‘superject’, i.e. its own contribution to the world. In fact, an event is its own subject and its own superject. In that sense, every event is sui generis. It can only be explained in terms of itself.
The concept of ‘trinity’ appears in many ontological models:
- Father, Son, Spirit in Christianity
- Thesis, antithesis, synthesis in Hegel, Marx, et al.
- One, many, creativity in Whitehead, etc.
Likewise, in our model, every event has three aspects:
- The Ideal – a nexus of values
- The Actual – a nexus of events
- Freedom – the substance of ‘event’ per se.
When we talk about the Ideal, we are talking about the Good; but ‘good’ is a generic term. What do we mean when we say something is good? That depends on the context. We may mean that it is beautiful, or that it is true, or that it is just…or potentially many other things.
The English poet John Keats famously wrote: “Beauty is truth and truth beauty; that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.” Keats was right. Beauty and truth are both manifestations of the Good. They are denotatively synonymous, even if connotatively distinct.
Of course, Keats meant something more: what is true is beautiful because it is true and what is beautiful is true because it is beautiful. He was proposing an epistemology grounded in aesthetics…but that takes us way beyond the scope of this essay.
So, the Ideal is the Good but the Good manifests differently in different contexts. These manifestations are the ‘values’ that motivate the coming to be of events.
Motivate? Events are ‘motivated’? You bet! Of course, when we talk about motivation in this context, we are not necessarily talking about conscious motivation in the human sense.
Every event happens either ex nihilo or in the context of a world composed of other events; and every event makes a novel contribution to that world. Therefore, every event alters the status quo. Each event must somehow overcome the inertia of what-is (or is-not) to bring about what might-be but isn’t. Everything needs a raison d’etre, a reason to be.
Some cosmologies attribute the emergence of novelty to a fundamental restlessness at the heart of nature (e.g. vacuum pressure). This essay seeks to unpack this rather vague notion of restlessness (Heraclitus’ flow, Whitehead’s creativity). In our model, novelty emerges from the interplay of the Ideal, the Actual and the Free.
Consider the words of Robert Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not.” In its own way, every actual entity ‘dreams’ of things that never were, asks why not, and acts on the answer.
Motivating values (the Ideal) transcend the physical world…any physical world. They are a pre-condition for the being of a physical world.
These values are ubiquitous and eternal. They are impervious to change. They apply in every possible world at every point and at every moment of that world’s history. Therefore, we call them ‘universal’.
Not all values are universal; in fact, most are not. Redness, for example, is a value but it certainly does not apply to every possible event in every possible world (e.g. it would not apply at all in a world without color).
Furthermore, redness is neither ‘good’ nor ‘not-good’ per se. Beauty, truth and justice, however much we may struggle to define and apply these notions, are good per se and do apply in every possible world and in every possible circumstance.
The less beautiful is never better than the more beautiful, the less true is never better than the more true, the less just is never better than the more just. Of course, it is possible to argue, rightly or wrongly, that a small sacrifice of value today may result in a larger increase in value tomorrow (Machiavelli). Yet even then, value (now ‘net value’) remains the sole criterion.
The Ideal is one component in the concrescence of an event; the second component is the Actual. The Ideal manifests itself as a nexus of universal values specific to a nexus of actual entities (i.e. an ‘actual world’). Events emerge in the gap between what is ideal and what is actual. (Think about the role of the ‘Ginnungagap’ – or just plain ‘gap’ – in Norse Mythology.)
Every event aims for the Ideal…but always in the context of the Actual. The actual world of any event is the nexus of actual entities it inherits, i.e. the unique constellation of events in response to which the novel event occurs.
Every event seeks to transform (i.e. improve) the actual world it inherits. In fact, the transformation of an actual world is what an event is; and since the world consists entirely of events, the world is nothing other than the process of its own transformation. In that sense, Heraclitus was right: everything flows. So was Whitehead: being is process.
An event may transform its actual world in two ways. We call these the ‘modes’ of its concrescence.
In the first mode, it passes judgment on its actual world and finds it wanting; then it selectively redeems specific elements from the actual entities that form that world and harmonizes them according to a pattern it derives from the Ideal. We call this ‘the mode of exclusion’ because the event forms its own ‘image’ by paring away useless or conflicting material from its actual world.
In the second mode, an event, often the same event, also passes judgment on its actual world; but this time the event focuses on the incipient harmonies that bind selected actual entities together to form a nexus. We call this ‘the mode of inclusion’ because the event amplifies those harmonies by transmuting conflicts into contrasts.
But process in either mode is dialectic. Each event, inspired by universal values, seeks to transform its actual world…but in the process the event itself is informed…and potentially deformed…by that actual world. Elements from the actual world may become values in their own right and compete with the universal values inherited from the Ideal.
This is the origin of the concept of idolatry. When a temporal element from an actual world is treated as if it were a universal value, it functions as an idol.
So far, we have referred to two components of a novel event: the Ideal and the Actual; now we introduce the third component: Freedom.
Without existential freedom, no novel event would ever emerge in the ‘gap’. The Ideal would be ideal and the Actual would be actual and never the twain would meet. It is Freedom that makes possible the ‘bridging’ of that gap. The Ideal motivates an actual entity to transform its actual world; but Freedom empowers the entity to do so. In our model, freedom plays the role that physis plays in ancient Greek cosmology.
The Ideal has no power to compel or even propel; it can only attract. It is ‘existential freedom’ that enables an actual entity to ‘say’, “I know who I am and I know that I can be whatever I want to be.” This is the fundamental mantra, the baseline meme, of every novel event.
Interestingly, this is exactly what Yahweh says in Exodus 3:14: “I am what am.” God, as we shall see later, is an actual entity and therefore, like every other actual entity, existentially free. If we are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26 & 5:1), then freedom is that image and that likeness.
Freedom is the Ideal in actu. It is freedom that turns the lure of the Ideal into action. Values constitute the essence of an actual entity but freedom constitutes its substance. In the vocabulary of Heidegger, values are the wasein of an actual entity (what it is), but freedom is its dasein (that it is).
Events are motivated by value so no actual entity would ever freely choose ‘less value’ over ‘more value’. Therefore, every actual entity, to the extent that it is free, pursues the Ideal. That is why we may call freedom ‘the Ideal in action’.
The universal preference for value is not a restraint on freedom, it is an expression of that freedom. It is freedom that powers the transformation of the Actual toward the Ideal. It is freedom that allows an actual entity to ‘be itself’.
Absent some external constraint, hot air rises, water seeks its own level, etc. Likewise, actual entities seek value. That’s what an actual entity is! When an entity is unable to pursue what it considers ‘good’, we call that ‘slavery’.
Slavery is the antithesis of freedom and it comes in many forms: the plantation economy, ‘wage slavery’ (Marx), bondage to a hostile government, imprisonment, mental illness, personal addiction, etc. As we shall soon see, selfishness, the fetish of the self, is also slavery.
It is commonplace today to say that a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We go farther. We say that a whole is also greater than the product of its parts, i.e. its parts and all their mutual interactions. And we go farther still: the whole is not a function of its parts at all; those parts are a function of the whole!
The actual entity (the whole) selects elements and acts on them based on its freely chosen identity: its purpose, its meaning, its superject. The whole does not evolve from its elements; it projects itself, one might even say ‘imposes itself’, on those elements.
But freedom is a double-edged sword. Social historians argue that plantation owners’ freedom was compromised by the institution of slavery, Marxists hold that capitalism enslaves the bourgeoisie along with the proletariat, the occupation of a foreign land exacts an enormous toll on the occupiers, etc.
To defend one’s own freedom while ignoring another’s slavery is gross hypocrisy, ‘bad faith’ in the language of existentialism; but it’s much worse even than that. The slaver’s freedom is mere illusion! My freedom is a function of your freedom and your freedom is a function of mine. In this sense, Trotsky was right: no one is completely free unless everyone is free.
Anaximander, the father of Western philosophy, understood this more than 2500 years ago. He reasoned that actual entities come to be only when “they give each other reck”.
Giving ‘reck’ entails two things:
- The recognition of an ‘other’ as an independent entity with the same ontological status and value as yourself. (This is precisely the proposition that all forms of slavery deny.)
- The willingness to sublimate one’s own self-interest so that this ‘other’ may actualize its self-interest, i.e. may be itself.
Therefore, ontogenesis can never occur in a vacuum; it can only happen in a relationship. Actual entities are singular entities (above) but they only occur in pairs (or communities). That is what 20th century existentialist, Martin Buber, meant when he wrote in I and Thou, “In the beginning is the relation.”
Anaximander’s insight has flickered uncertainly across the intellectual history of the West but it is closely aligned with the Jewish concept of shalom, the Bible’s Great Commandment (Luke 10: 25-28, et al.) and 20th century existentialism.
To recap, freedom is the substance of all actual entities; but an entity actualizes only in conjunction with another entity’s actualization. Therefore, all actualization is mutual. Paraphrasing Buber, there is no I without a Thou. This mutual actualization of entities may account for phenomena as diverse as human love and particle entanglement.
In this sense, Marxists and Christians are both right. Political history and salvation history both boil down to the pursuit of freedom…not one’s own freedom but the freedom of ‘the other’. To steal a formula from the incomparable Danny DeVito, “I love freedom, other peoples’ freedom!”
As we noted above, novel events interact with their actual worlds in two modes: the mode of exclusion and in the mode of inclusion.
Powered by freedom, a novel entity emerges in the ‘gap’ between what is actual and what is ideal. In the mode of exclusion, an emergent entity, guided by the Ideal, judges its actual world…and finds it wanting:
- Most of the actual entities that make up a given world fail to instantiate completely the universal values;
- There are incompletely resolved conflicts within most actual entities; and
- There are unresolved conflicts between most actual entities.
Unresolved conflicts? How so? Earlier, we said that no entity can actualize without giving reck to another actualizing entity. So, where does conflict fit in?
Here, we must distinguish between an entity as ‘subject’ (its concrescence) and that same entity as ‘superject’ (its objective contribution to the world). As emerging subjects, each actual entity must sublimate its own interests to the interests of a co-actualizing entity.
But as ultimate matters of fact, as superjects, actual entities will usually conflict with one another. While they evolve collectively, each makes a unique contribution to the world. Each actual entity reflects a unique strategy for instantiating the Ideal.
The superject of each actual entity is a projection of that entity’s unique strategy into the world. These strategies offer conflicting models to other entities as they develop. Therefore, the superject of any entity is likely to conflict with the superjects of other entities, even entities that co-actualized with it.
Think of siblings. They ‘evolve’ together in a symbiotic environment; but as adults they are often very different from one another and their contributions to the world are often in conflict. So, it is with all actual entities.
In the mode of exclusion, a novel entity rejects (‘negates’) its actual world, but in the process that novel entity selectively redeems certain specific elements from the entities that form that world. Selection is based on the potential adaptability of these elements to the novel entity’s ‘subjective aim’.
This well-intentioned process of negation and redemption creates the impression of progress. After all, every entity seeks to improve on the actual world it inherits. In the iconic words of The Beatles, “It’s getting better all the time!” But this impression, sadly, is an illusion.
Novel entities exhibit hyper-order relative to the entities in their actual worlds but the order that a novel entity exhibits is localized; the nexus of events that constitutes its actual world is much broader. Counter intuitively, the concrescence of a novel entity in the mode of exclusion exhibits less order than the totality of order in its actual world.
But we knew this already! We know from the Second Law of Thermodynamics that every event reduces the total quantity of order in the world.
We learned this, probably without realizing it, in 9th grade Science. Useful work creates heat and heat is a manifestation of disorder. Work creates order locally but destroys order globally. The quantity of heat generated by work always exceeds the quantity of order created by that work. No wonder I prefer to sip mai tais by the pool!
We measure disorder in units of ‘entropy’ and in our world entropy increases over time. In fact, according to Stephen Hawking, entropy is time…and time entropy. (We are now very far from John Keats: “Beauty is truth and truth beauty.”)
Finally, we know from modern cosmology that the universe will end in ‘heat death’, a state of minimal order, maximal entropy. At this point, whatever order remains is too rarified to constitute a nexus or to support the concrescence of a novel event.
Time, then, is the great eraser. In the words of Whitehead, it is ‘perpetual perishing’. In the end, everything that is, was or will be amounts to nothing: nihil est.
(Long pause here for reflection)
But wait! The Ideal is ubiquitous and eternal; there is no place or time in any cosmos where the Ideal is not present. According to Anaximander’s student, Parmenides, the Ideal (aletheia – truth) is unchangeable and therefore indestructible. Everything that is incorporates at least some element(s) of the Ideal. So how can process ever lead to a total absence of being?
Fortunately, there is another side to our story! Emergent events interact with their actual worlds in the mode of inclusion as well as in the mode of exclusion. The mode of exclusion gives us time, entropy and heat death…as well as lollipops and roller coasters; but the mode of inclusion leads us elsewhere.
So, let’s tell our story again, but this time from a different perspective:
A novel entity emerges in the ‘gap’ between what is actual and what is ideal. An emergent entity constitutes a multiplicity of other entities into the nexus that is its actual world. The existence of a multiplicity of actual entities is prima facie evidence of mutuality (above): id est (‘something is’).
If there is a multiplicity of actual entities, then we should expect to find incipient harmonies between such entities. (Harmony is the fruit of mutuality.) The fact that a novel entity can constitute a multiplicity of entities into a nexus, an actual world, is further evidence for the existence of those incipient harmonies.
In the mode of inclusion, an actual entity incorporates, conserves and amplifies incipient harmonies between entities in its actual world. In the process, novel events transmute conflicts, which erode those harmonies, into contrasts, which enrich them.
But harmony does not exist in the absence of what is being harmonized. As we shall soon see, harmony originates in the Ideal but instantiates in the Actual, i.e. in the relationships between actual entities. Therefore, in order to incorporate harmonies between actual entities, novel events must also incorporate those actual entities themselves.
Just as reck actualizes multiple entities, so the resultant harmonies between entities eternalizes them. Harmony is the fruit of Anaximander’s ‘reck’; the mutuality required for the existence of actual entities. Like Parmenides’ aletheia (truth), harmony is indestructible. So, to be is to be eternally. “To be or not to be?” – that is not the question! In fact, it is not a question at all. One either is or is not.
The process of creative advance in the mode of exclusion is an entropic process. The relationships between events in this mode are temporal; they give rise to the ordering principle of time (and space) that we referred to earlier.
The process of creative advance in the mode of inclusion is ‘a-temporal’ and ‘negentropic’. Each novel event constitutes a ‘present’. In the mode of inclusion, each event incorporates other events, each of which constitutes its own ‘present’. Therefore, each novel event effectively expands the scope of the present.
Since actual entities in the mode of inclusion conserve the entities they incorporate, there is no destruction of order. On the contrary, because each novel event makes a unique contribution to the world, over and above the sum of the contributions made by the entities that it incorporates, each novel event increases the quantity of order in the world.
(Hypothesis: the increase of order in the a-temporal mode of inclusion ultimately offsets the decrease of order in the temporal mode of exclusion. At the ‘Omega Point’, when the temporal world is in a state of maximal entropy, the a-temporal world is in a state of maximal order.)
This model is not as strange as it appears at first. Imagine, for example, distance (space) as a horizontal line. Now at any point along that line, imagine another line, perpendicular to the first. According to Stephen Hawking, that second, perpendicular line is the proper graphical representation of duration (time).
When ‘the real number line’ is rotated 90 degrees (as above), mathematicians refer to it as ‘the imaginary number line’. According to Hawking, time can be treated just like space so long as you measure time in ‘imaginary’ units and space in ‘real’ units.
Our model simply takes this idea one step further. Imagine spacetime as a horizontal line. At any point along that line, imagine another line, perpendicular to the first. That line is the a-temporal (or ‘eternal’) line; units along this line measure the expansion of the Present.
“Love is a many-splendored thing” (1955 film title). It comes in all flavors. Ancient Greek, for instance, uses many different words to express the various aspects and contexts of love.
Ultimately, though, love is just another word for ‘reck’, the mutuality that is a pre-condition of all being. Any so-called ‘love’ that does not recognize the value of ‘the other’ as an independent and co-equal entity and does not respect that other’s right to self-actualization is not love.
In the Gospel of John we read, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (15:13) This is the ultimate expression of Anaximander’s doctrine of reck.
The Decalogue (Ten Commandments) mandates certain behaviors that express love and prohibits other behaviors that are inconsistent with love. Arguably at least, the same could be said for all 613 precepts of the Torah. No wonder then that later Old and New Testament books equate ‘law’ with ‘love’!
Jesus of Nazareth: “I give you a new commandment: love one another.” (Jn 13:34)
Love presupposes freedom. Love is reck and reck is only possible – and meaningful – if actual entities are able to sublimate their own interests to the interests of another.
“God so loved the world that he sent his only son.” (Jn 3:16) Only a free being could willingly make such a sacrifice.
The denotative synonyms are piling up. As we have seen, the Ideal (beauty, truth, justice, et al.) is synonymous with freedom, freedom is synonymous with mutuality, mutuality is synonymous with reck, and reck is synonymous with love. Is there a unifying concept that can tie all these concepts together?
We know that every event emerges out of the contrast, the ‘gap’, between the Ideal and the Actual. It is a precondition of being that the universal values are directly available to every actual entity at its inception; likewise, every potential entity must incorporate at least some element(s) of the Ideal in order to actualize.
We also know that the world consists of events and only events. Therefore, the Ideal can be available to events at their inception only if the Ideal itself constitutes an event.
Following the nomenclature of Alfred North Whitehead, we may call the concrescence of universal values the ‘Primordial Actual Entity’ (PAE) – primordial because it is directly available and uniformly present to every other entity. It is a basis for all concrescence.
Now the Primordial Actual Entity is not merely a multiplicity, or even a nexus, of qualities (values). Its essence includes the way in which these values relate to one another and to the whole. Like all actual entities, PAE introduces novelty and that novelty is ‘harmony’, i.e. the way in which universal values relate to one another in constituting the whole.
So, to reiterate, the novel contribution of the Primordial Actual Entity to its elements (values) is harmony. The harmony we discussed earlier originates in the Ideal and is incorporated by other actual entities through the agency of the Primordial Actual Entity.
The Primordial Actual Entity’s superject is not just the universal values per se; it is also the harmonic pattern those values form in concrescence. This pattern is the blueprint for Being.
Once again, we turn to the Gospel of John (1: 1-3): “In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He (Logos) was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him (Logos), and without him (Logos) nothing came to be.”
Logos has a wide range of meanings in Ancient Greek. It is most often translated as ‘word’ and it certainly does have that meaning. But such a translation in this context is a bit perplexing. Because Logos also means ‘pattern’, ‘syntax’ might be a better choice. But its roots also include ‘weir’ and ‘net’; a truly modern translation might be ‘network’.
Because every actual entity includes the Primordial Actual Entity as an element in its own concrescence, each entity includes PAE’s harmonic pattern, which is the Logos. Therefore, every actual entity has the potential to harmonize elements from its actual world, i.e. to be. “…And without him (Logos) nothing came to be.”
In the mode of exclusion, an actual entity selectively redeems elements from the entities that constitute its actual world and weaves those elements together according to the harmonic pattern inherited from the Primordial Actual Entity.
In the mode of inclusion, an actual entity incorporates and amplifies the incipient harmonies that naturally and necessarily exist between the entities in its actual world; in that process, it incorporates the actual entities themselves.
Universal values stimulate concrescence, freedom empowers it, harmony actualizes it. Harmony transforms an inherited actual world into a novel superject. It is the engine that drives the world, both in its temporal and in its eternal aspects.
Recall that we said earlier that the world is nothing other than the process of its own transformation. Now we can give that generic term, ‘transformation’, a more descriptive name: ‘harmonization’. Being, then, is harmony!
Temporally, the process of harmonization gradually increases entropy; ultimately, the world unravels, time ends and all process ceases. In that light, it is difficult to avoid metaphysical nihilism and personal despair.
Eternally, however, harmonization incorporates actual entities into more inclusive entities and, ultimately, into a single actual entity, a universal present, that embraces all other entities. Following Whitehead, we may call this actual entity the Consequent Actual Entity (CAE).
Now, the Consequent Actual Entity is an event just like the Primordial Actual Entity. Because it incorporates all other actual entities, it is necessarily a-temporal and therefore directly available and uniformly present to all other entities. Like PAE, CAE is a necessary element in the concrescence of every actual entity.
While the Primordial Actual Entity provides the motivation, the goal, without which no actual entity could emerge, the Consequent Actual Entity provides the direction without which no subjective aim could achieve satisfaction (superject). PAE is the destination (street address) for all process, CAE is its GPS (‘road map’ for folks from my generation).
So, how do the Primordial Actual Entity and the Consequent Actual Entity relate? PAE empowers entities to harmonize elements from their actual worlds to form novel actual entities. CAE amplifies the harmonies that exist between entities to form broader, more inclusive actual entities. As noted above, CAE transmutes harmony-inhibiting conflicts into harmony-enriching contrasts. Diversity is conserved, conflict is not.
Therefore, harmony is the novel contribution of both the Primordial Actual Entity and the Consequent Actual Entity to their actual worlds. But every actual entity makes a unique contribution to its world. PAE and CAE both make the same contribution (harmony). Therefore, the Primordial Actual Entity and the Consequent Actual Entity must be one entity!
We may call this entity the Ultimate Actual Entity (UAE). It turns out that PAE and CAE are merely aspects of UAE. The Ultimate Actual Entity incorporates all values and all events; there are no events or values outside it. There is nothing beside it.
Therefore, from the perspective of the Ultimate Actual Entity, there is no space or time. (Recall that earlier we said: If there was a single event that encompassed all other events, then time and space would exist for those other events but not for the all-encompassing event itself.)
However, we know from Anaximander (and Buber) that actual entities only come to be mutually. How does this work for the Ultimate Actual Entity? PAE and CAE give each other reck and so co-actualize; but because they each make the same novel contribution to their elements (harmony), they are in fact one, single actual entity: UAE, the Omega point.
UAE is not an actual entity distinct from PAE and CAE; it is the realization that PAE and CAE, following distinct pathways, ‘ultimately’ come to be one and the same actual entity. Denotatively, UAE = PAE = CAE.
Like all actual entities, the Ultimate Actual Entity is sui generis. But unlike other actual entities, UAE does not ‘bridge the gap’ between the Ideal and the Actual – it is the ‘gap’ and the bridging of that gap. It is both the potentiality for being and actuality of being. UAE is its own Ideal, its own actuality and its own existential freedom, “so that God may be all in all.” (I Cor. 15:28b)
Then is the Ultimate Actual Entity ‘God’? Yes…and no. The harmonized universal values are not God per se, though they do constitute God’s essence. The harmonized, encompassed actual entities are not God per se, though they do constitute the Kingdom of Heaven. Like all actual entities, UAE makes a novel contribution to its elements (harmony). The fruit of harmony is peace. That is God!