November 20, 2014



Potentialism Theory’s Cosmic Goal: E+

Cosmologist David Birnbaum’s Cosmic Multi-Tasker

Potentialism Theory is the metaphysics crafted by David Birnbaum of Manhattan (see via his iconic 3-volume Summa Metaphysica series (1988, 2005, 2014). See

One of the theory’s core components is E+, or Extraordinariation. E+, as discerned/hypothesized by Birnbaum, is the end- goal/horizon of the cosmic order. It is the theoretical quite-extraordinary ‘world to come’ – but in theory it potentially ‘manifests’ in this world.

Per the Summa Metaphysica website, basically, E+ is a turbo-charged version of ‘the extraordinary’:
“Extraordinariation would include, but not be limited to, ultimate –
grandeur…elegance…beauty…symmetry…fulfillment....consciousness…harmony…artistry… symphony…spirituality...perfection…humanitarianism…romancing… love…parenting...meaning...altruism…mercy…”

E+ would, as well, represent ultimate super-complexity; that is, ever-increased complexity/sophistication/richness/integration/variety/wondrousness
– plus possibilities and potentials as yet not conceptualized by us. Thus, to put it mildly, E+ is a ‘tall order.’

Thus, in combination, the possible outermost-limit realization of the myriad potentials noted above – both the known and unknown – would define the extraordinaration goal. In parallel to the concept of infinity, extraordnariation is a goal to be approached - ever-nearer - but conceptually not ever quite-fully realized.

Many religions hyopothesize an idyllic ‘world to come’ post-death; in parallel, Potentialism Theory hypothesizes an idyllic theoretical ‘world to come’, but in this reality, this world (albeit eons outward in time). Thus, the general concept (of an extraordinary future in one dimension or another) is perhaps embedded in the human genome.

As noted, Harvard-educated and yeshiva-educated independent scholar David Birnbaum proposes that the core inherent underlying/overarching cosmic drive of the universe is - Infinite Quest for Potential∞. This hypothesized dynamic is an innate directive of the universe as a whole to seek-after its own Potential – to optimize/maximize what it is possible. That is, eternal and infinite Quest for Potential∞ (iterating infinitely forward) seeks-after Extraordionariation (E+). This last sentence is the guts of Potentialism Theory.

As the E+ name sounds, the Birnbaum-coined term and hypothesized dynamic Extraordinariation - is the collective grouping of extraordinary potentialities down-the-road. See

Birnbaum observes that an examination of the course of cosmic history to-date, will back up his proposition that E+ is indeed the cosmic end goal/horizon. A cursory check would show that, indeed, it seems to work. And as we heard in the notorious O.J. Simpson trial, “if the glove fits, you must convict.” Seriously, al the empirical data fits this observation, i.e. that the universe vectors towards the increasingly-extraordinary. See also

Summarizing the key terms of Potentialism Theory:


Infinite Quest for Potential∞ : the (eternal and overarching) cosmic driver. Expressions of Q4P∞ occur endlessly all around us on an everyday basis. Q4P∞ itself is the continual striving of everything thing in the universe to increase its complexity - enroute to Extraordinariation (E+).

We witness Q4P∞, for example, in the formations of molecules – when a pair of hydrogen atoms bond to an oxygen atom to make water, or when a tree releases a seed and the seedling takes root. It can even be you, personally, perhaps reading a new book to expand your breadth of knowledge; it can be a married couple building a family. Q4P∞ forges-ahead. And as long as this happens on an ongoing basis, Q4P∞ → E+ steams ahead doing its everyday job.


Complexification: The intermediate drive towards increasing complexity/sophistication/richness/integration/variety/wondrousness


Extraordinariation: That is, via C+, Q4P∞ strives towards a destination E+, with E+ being more of a horizon – to be approached but never quite realized – than an actual reality-point. E+ is not something ever to actually be witnessed first-hand in the cosmos. Rather it is the idealized potential-perfection-point where the universe inexorably is headed.

The SuperLaw

E+ is a core tenant of Birnbaum’s proposed Superlaw of the cosmic order: Q4P∞ > C+ > E+.
That is, Quest for Potential∞ (Q4P) > Complexification (C+) > Extraordinariation (E+).

Push – Pull

The SuperLaw identifies Q4P∞ as a causal factor and E+ as an (eventual) cosmic result. To rephrase, Q4P∞ is often seen as the Push of the universe; E+, on the other hand, is the Pull. Q4P∞ drives us forward in the direction, while E+ pulls us/beckons us forward.

Effect or Cause – or Both?

However, PUSH and PULL. Q4P∞ (Quest for Potential) exerted the PUSH; E+ exerted the PULL. The PUSH is more readily understandable; but how was this PULL effected?

Birnbaum (audaciously) hypothesizes that the possibility of the myriad extraordinary potentials down-the-road exerted a PULL on ‘the present’ helping to instigate the ‘genesis point’. Birnbaum parallels his hypothesis with a financing technique in contemporary finance, the Leveraged Buyout (also known as an LBO).

In an LBO, typically a very senior and key management group of a particular company is able to arrange funding to buy their own company based on future earnings of the same company – which they will then manage. Thus the company is bought with its own anticipated earnings down-the-road. That is, the strong earnings potentials down-the-road is deployed as leverage to launch the deal in the present.

So too the cosmic order. Birnbaum proposes that a very key aspect in ‘the genesis point,’ was that the ‘energy’ of the myriad extraordinary potentials down the road, was (somehow) marshaled to ignite the present.

Extraordinariation beckons-forth

That is to say, Extraordinariation exists beckoning Q4P∞ forward; therefore E+ is fully-linked with the Quest for Infinite Potential.

It seems antithetical to say that the result is a product of the cause. But the universe is an incredible place, even more-so given its (potentially) closed loop nature.

Thus we find in a closed causal system such as Potentialism Theory, an instigator can also be an end-goal. The SuperLaw Q4P∞ > E+ is truly an infinite loop of cause and effect governing our incredible universe. See

The Summa series:

Summa Metaphysica I: Religious Man: God and Evil (Ktav, 1988); Summa Metaphysica II: Spiritual Man: God and Good (New Paradigm Matrix, 2005); and Summa Metaphysica III: Secular Man: The Transcendent Dynamic (New Paradigm Matrix, 2014). See


Summa Metaphysica has been –
# the prime focus of a major international academic conference (see
# a Course Text at over a dozen colleges (see SummaCourseText )
# the focus of over 150 articles/reviews and of over eighty feature articles in 2013-2014 alone (see

Recent hi-level academic works dovetailing with Birnbaum's Theory of Potential (see include the following:

Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006) by Professor of Quantum Mechanics Seth Lloyd of MIT;
Mind & Cosmos (Oxford Press, 2012) by Professor of Philosophy & Law Thomas Nagel of NYU;
Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014) by Professor of Physics Max Tegmark of MIT.




The fatal challenge to hard-line atheism: 21st Century Cosmology, Metaphysics, Philosophy:
Summa Metaphysica develops the David Birnbaum philosophy and its attendant teleology
of an iterative universe inexorably seeking-after its maximum potential.

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