The title for this post “existence is subsistence” is an idea that was highlighted by the scientist Emanuel Swedenborg. We can find observable evidence for this “law” in all biological systems in which every living cell (and every part of every cell) cooperates in sustaining the integrity of the whole system.
What was unusual for Swedenborg was that he applied this law of “shared functioning” to all systems and organizations found in the manifest universe. Nothing new could come into existence unless previous things could coexist. This is why the universe and all its unfolding processes are profoundly unified.
All scientists know that organization and systems require individual parts and processes to be arranged in both sequential and simultaneous order. In other words, all coherent systems require prior elements to be coordinated and subordinated (orchestrated). This principle of cooperation and sharing eludes scientific comprehension yet is, as mentioned above, quite detectable to everyone’s observations.
Swedenborg later discovered that all human concepts and thoughts are sustained by information that supports some value (contemporary scientists exclude values from their models of reality). Hold that thought! Human understanding represents the degree to which we can organize our memory-data into coherent forms called belief systems. (Swedenborg took complexity theory to include psychical phenomena.)
Mental ideas as well as physical forms all represent information and ratios—and therefore their increased complexity followed the same rules. The more coherent one’s mind becomes, the more coherent the outer universe and its laws become recognizable to the human mind. The human mind works like the universe works!
What could such an unexpected insight possibly reveal to us?
If we each contemplate what our individual belief systems are comprised of, we will come to the conclusion that it consists of information and ideas that we favor and find the most value in. It is these personal values that arrange the data in our memory into more complex ideas and concepts. Our personal belief systems exist from the information that can lawfully coexist and sustain that worldview—but what we favor and value does the actual organizing.
What possible principle of cooperation and cosmic sharing would provide us with a key to describing such a ubiquitous and bio-friendly dynamic?
Swedenborg identified this creative unifying primal principle as LOVE! He literally described love as the most fundamental substance in the universe.
It is for this reason that Swedenborg was able to eventually harmonize his scientific discoveries with his theological discoveries in quite rational ways. I have written about this most important topic for the 21st century in my book Proving God.