The Algorithm of Creation Review by Geoff Ward

The ‘algorithm of Creation’ that heralds a Theory of Everything | by Geoff Ward | Dec, 2023 | Medium

‘The origin and creation of the universe and the entire life of Nature, animals and humankind, can be seen as permutations of +A + A = 0.’ Nicholas Hagger

During his time as a Professor of English Literature at Tokyo’s Keio University, the cultural historian and philosopher Nicholas Hagger met the Japanese poet Junzaburo Nishiwaki and asked him: ‘What is the wisdom of the East?’

By way of reply, Nishiwaki wrote on a business card: +A + –A = 0.

Nishiwaki (1894–1982) said that this algebraic formula was known to the Arab mathematician Mus al-Khwarizmi (c780–850), the founder of algebra and algorithms, and that it contained a set of rules about all the opposites in the universe: for example, +A + –A can stand for day and night, life and death, time and eternity, the finite and the Absolute.

Based on ancient Chinese thinking, yin (dark) + yang (light) = the Tao, the formula can reveal all opposites reconciled in the underlying unity of the One Void whose emptiness is also a fullness. The Absolute (= 0) is where there is no difference as opposites cease to be opposites and are part of the Ultimate Reality, which is the Tao.

That fateful meeting with Nishiwaki in 1965 opened up Hagger’s ‘Mystic Way’ which drew him on over nearly thirty years and involved a centre-shift from his rational, social ego to a deeper self enabling him to see cosmic unity symbolised by +A + –A = 0. It was an ‘awakening’, and Hagger sensed instinctively that a wide-ranging writing career was ahead of him and that it would be fulfilled by his ‘new powers’.

Nishiwaki’s words ‘resonated in my soul,’ Hagger recalls: ‘They came as a revelation. In a flash I saw the unity in all opposites. I grasped that the wisdom of the East set out a progression, via the reconciliation of opposites, to perceiving the unity of the universe.’

And now we have the completion of an epoch-making quartet of books from Hagger about the unity of all things: The Algorithm of Creation: Universalism’s Algorithm of the Infinite and Space-Time, and a Theory of Everything (O-Books, October, 2023). An additional sub-title of the work is The Oneness of the Universe and the Harmony of the Unitive Vision.

Astonishing in its scope and detail, profoundly cogitative and intriguingly autobiographical, it’s really two indispensable books in one with Hagger’s essential recapitulation of his The New Philosophy of Universalism: The Infinite and the Law of Order (2009), on which it’s largely founded. Hagger draws on this book, and others of his museful works, to explain how his omnifarious ‘algorithm of Creation’ works out in many variations, depicted by a hundred mathematical symbols, which have determined the beginning (and end) of the universe, evolution, the course of human history, religion and science.

For anyone who’s interested in inquiring into the mysteries of the cosmos, of life and of existence, indeed into our very reasons for being and the structures and strictures of human civilisation, I can’t recommend Nicholas Hagger’s works highly enough.

An algorithm is defined as a finite set of instructions carried out in a specific order to perform a particular task; a set of commands that must be followed for a computer to perform calculations or other problem-solving operations. The many variations of +A + –A = 0, Hagger states, have acted as rules that have controlled the creation and development of the expanding universe, its evolution and the rise of human history, religion and science, and its ultimate fate.

Place of humans in the universe

Universalism focuses on the place of humans in the universe and the ‘universal being within the self’, and therefore the oneness of humankind, as well as the universe itself and the ‘universal order principle’.

Introducing it in The New Philosophy of Universalism, Hagger restated the order of the universe, the oneness of humanity and an infinite reality perceived as light. Referring to ‘the Light’, Hagger means the metaphysical reality perceived in all cultures as ‘the secret Light of infinite Reality’, to which the universal being, or self, behind the rational, social ego, opens.

He calls for a new discipline to focus on the universe, nature, science, evolution and the rise of intellectual consciousness, and to seek evidence of the universal order as opposed to randomness; essentially, a unification of philosophy and science to engender a holistic world-view to counter that of the materialist.

‘Universalism’s aim is not to reject or refute but to bring out the one-sidedness of different approaches by integrating them into a more encompassing frame,’ he writes.

A truly universal algorithm, +A + –A = 0 moves behind many of Hagger’s works, and his application of it to all human knowledge of the universe and all disciplines led him to his Theory of Everything. The formula was discoverable only through his cross-disciplinary universalist approach to the universe, he maintains.

At a conference of leading scientists at Jesus College, Cambridge, in September 1992, watched by Nobel physics prize-winner Roger Penrose, Hagger reversed the formula to 0 = +A + –A when he wrote down the maths for his view of the origin and creation of the universe.

He showed the first two particles emerging from the Void’s singularity, influenced by the 1992 discovery of ripples in the cosmic microwave background radiation, an ‘echo’ from the Big Bang — illustrated by the 2018 European Space Agency image on the front cover of The Algorithm of Creation — and the Presocratic ‘natural philosopher’ Anaximander of Miletus, of the fifth century BCE, whose monistic cosmology was based on the self-transformations of ‘the Infinite’.

Instructions for the Creation and the development and end of the universe, which Hagger presents in his new book, amount to a consistent Theory of Everything, he says; the algorithm of Creation provides a set of instructions and rules to help solve a problem: how did the universe rise and develop, and what will be its fate?

Nicholas Hagger

A theory of everything, or a unified field theory, an encompassing, theoretical framework of physics that explains completely and connects all aspects of the universe, has eluded science so far and remains one of its major unsolved problems.

Two theoretical frameworks, on which all physics stands, have been arrived at: general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity focuses only on gravity for understanding the universe, the macrocosm with its galaxies, stars and planets, while quantum mechanics, in its Standard Model, deals with the three non-gravitational forces — the strong and weak nuclear forces and the electromagnetic force — in the microcosm: molecules, atoms and sub-atomic and elementary particles. For a Theory of Everything to be achieved, these four forces would somehow need to be united.

Physicists will confirm a Theory of Everything, Hagger believes, but it must include the infinite from which the pre-Big Bang point emerged: ‘I am convinced that the most likely path to a Theory of Everything is … by revisiting the idea Newton worked on: that there is an expanding force in light which counteracts the contracting force of gravity. In other words, gravity is weak because of the push of light against it.’

The question of Ultimate Reality

Hagger considers the progress of Creation since the Big Bang — the widely accepted theory for the expansion of the universe and the creation of matter — in terms of the instructions that will help find an answer to the question of Ultimate Reality, the emergence, development and future prospects of the universe, and in particular to the question of whether the universe is an accident or has a purpose.

The entire process of Creation from the atoms of matter to the self-replicating cells of Nature and the systems of homeostasis in all bodies, brains and consciousness is driven by a self-organising order principle which works in atomic coordination and the DNA of living creatures to make Nature work as one system, and logically, Hagger asserts, if the universe is ordered it is purposive.

His ‘system of general ideas’ is a non-duality: ‘There is unity at the metaphysical, infinite level and diversity at the finite level. My system of coherent general ideas explains how unity became diversity by manifestation into matter, light, consciousness and the vegetative world of plants, how the One manifested into many.’

He points out that rational analysis sees differences and makes distinctions and reduces a whole to its parts, while what the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) called ‘the esemplastic power of the imagination’ (the adjective from the Greek for ‘shaping into one), restores the fragments to a whole, and sees the One behind the many.

Because the dualistic worldview is rooted in human thought, it seems to me that this has led to an impasse in philosophy, but that a holistic approach embracing the principle of complementarity offers a way out; indeed, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885–1962) tackled the ‘duality paradox’ with a complementarity principle.

Hagger seeks to return science to its metaphysical foundations and looks to a ‘Metaphysical Revolution’ to reconcile certain contradictions: metaphysical and scientific traditions, infinite Reality and the scientific view of the universe, rational and intuitional philosophies within metaphysics, and linguistic and phenomenological philosophies.

‘In short,’ he writes, ‘for the last thirty years I have received all my works from a deep source that is a higher consciousness, and always conveys truth. It is never wrong, and I am its amanuensis. I am scrupulously evidential and follow the scientifically established facts, but my source shapes the clarity of what I recount in a blend, a working partnership, between the metaphysical and scientific approaches, a +A + –A = 0.’

Taken from Nicholas Hagger’s ‘The Algorithm of Creation’.

Nicholas Hagger, having written sixty books, is a prolific man of letters, a cultural historian and philosopher, and a poet. The first two titles in his quartet of books on the unity of the universe are The Universe and the Light (1993) and The One and the Many (1999).

He has lectured at universities in Iraq, Libya and in Japan where he was a professor of English literature. He has authored innovatory works on literature, history, philosophy and international politics, and his substantial literary output includes 2,000 poems, two poetic epics, five verse plays, three masques, two travelogues and 1,200 short stories. He has studied Islamic and Oriental philosophy, and has led a group of universalist philosophers.

His archive of papers and manuscripts is held as a special collection in the Albert Sloman Library at the University of Essex. In 2016, he was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for Literature, and in 2019 the BRICS silver medal for ‘Vision for Future’.

Nicholas Hagger