and it would be hard to see how we could have survived as anspecies if it were not, for otherwise it would always be wrongnabout the world and thus have led us into extinction — thennthe universe itself must be such a part-whole, top-down/nbottom-up feedback system, too.nBut it is also clear that the wholeness of the universe is annemergent property. As more and more sensitive organismsnevolve to observe it, escaping the relative solipsism of thensubatomic and atomic levels of being, so the universenassumes more and more a coherent unity. On a starry nightnwe can see, in a sketchy and synoptic way, nearly half of it:nbut it takes specially and recently evolved eyes and brains tondo so. If the holistic level of the universe is still onlynemerging, then we must identify the past with part-towhole,nbottom-up causality; and the future with whole-to-n, part, top-down causality. That is, if the universe is somethingnlike a brain, the brain-parts of the universe are its past,nand its mind is its future. We might even define the past andnfuture, and thus time itself, by means of such a distinction.nBut if the process of determining, of causality, goes bothnways in time—bottom-up in the futurewards direction,ntop-down in the pastwards direction — then the universenitself is just such an iterative, spiral feedback system as is thenbrain. It is not just a linear process, and we must abandon alln26/CHRONICLESnThe Cycles of Thingsnby Richard MoorenThe bulldozers have grunted through the spring,nand now, where marsh had long troubled the golfers,nthere is a smooth and almond-shaped lagoon,nwhere through the years thousands of golfballs willncollect, and where flat stones skip splendidly.nBut will our playful pleasures ever equalnthe fun of making it — from the first vaguendesign, to the harsh roar of the mud moved,nand for the final smoothing, soft and green,nItalian gardeners full of subtleties?nStill that’s how the wodd goes. First the adeptnwork that is joy; then the ineptitudenof games grown meaningless, the aimless work,nas huffing duff-er golfers and bored poetsnfill the lagoons and recreate the marsh.nnnmerely linear models of time. As a nonlinear system thenuniverse is one of a class of systems now being investigatednby chaos theory, fractal-mathematics, and the theory ofnnonlinear, dissipative, self-organizing dynamical processes.nEvery event and object in the world has in a sense beennround and round the great circuit of material and final causenan infinite number of times: its origins determining itsnpresent state, its results determining its origins. Thus everynevent in the world is infinitely rich; there is indeed infinity inna grain of sand, eternity in a flower. And this infinity, thisneternity is not the vacuous and otiose thing that we find innclassical metaphysics and set theory, but an active, openended,ntransformative infinity, a generativeness, like Chomskyanngrammar. Every experience we have, if we were to seenit propedy, is infinitely deep, fully involving the creative andnvoluntary energy of the universe as a whole.nHere, of course, we are on the frontiers of theology: andnbefore that prospect, the speculative tongue turns almost tonstone. But there is one step between us and that blindingnlight, one further mediation or ratio of speculative understanding:nthe angels. And even if they do not exist, is not thenvery thought of them an active warrant of their reality asncauses? For are not thoughts causes?n<^n