North Whitehead, Alfred – 01 Actual entities
Type of Spiritual Experience
Atoms form themselves into aggregates and thereby become a new named entity via the forces/function of attraction. Attraction is thus both a creative force binding new atoms together, but, depending of the ‘tightness’ of the binding – a strong attraction or a weak attraction – then the density will differ and the mass’ or weight will differ. Whenever an aggregate is formed the bonds between the atoms are arranged to ensure stronger attractive forces between the atoms in the aggregate than repulsive forces. In essence, all atoms are suspended in a 3D web like structure whose silken threads are immaterial – forces only.
Whitehead viewed the matrix from a different perspective. He called both aggregates and atoms Entities and made the distinction between classes of entities which he called eternal and entity occurrences – instances of a class which he called actual entities.
Thus there may be a class called Dog and a particular instance or actual entity called Fifi.
One can actually classify occurrences multiple ways according to the functions/attributes they have or in which they participate. Thus Fifi may be a dog, but she may also be female, a poodle, white, and fluffy. All these attributes are being continually broadcast by functions executing and advertising to a certain extent what that actual entity is, but at the same time maintaining the existence of Fifi. She exists because the ‘programs’ of her aggregate are constantly working.
A description of the experience
Process and Reality - Part I The Speculative Scheme
Part I The Speculative Scheme
Chapter II The Categoreal Scheme
'Actual entities'- also termed 'actual occasions'— are the final real things - of which the world is made up. There is no going behind actual entities to find anything more real. They differ among themselves: God is an actual entity, and so is the most trivial puff of existence in far-off empty space.
But, though there are gradations of importance, and diversities of function, yet in the principles which actuality exemplifies all are on the same level. The final facts are, all alike, actual entities; and these actual entities are drops of experience, coi iplex [sic] and interdependent.