Do We Want to Liberate Ourselves from the ‘Deception’ of ‘New Year’?
Ok, one can understand the Chinese ‘Spring Festival’ that celebrates cyclic renewal, but ‘cyclic renewal’ does NOT connote an ‘ending’ to something and the subsequent ‘new beginning’ to something else. Of course, if we decide to name an ‘epoch’ and at some point decide that ‘that epoch’ has run its course and name a ‘new epoch’, we can make it ‘sound’ (in linguistic discourse) as if the continuing relational transformation is being ‘pre-empted’ by the ‘death’ of one period of time and the ‘birth’ of a new period of time.
Is an ‘epoch’ ‘real’? Epoch: … An extended period of time usually characterized by a distinctive development or by a memorable series of events.
Western culture seems to embrace the notion that the various ‘epochs’ are ‘real’, but surely they can only be Invented Realities’ since what is ‘really real’ (as validated by our actual relational experience and by modern physics) is the transforming relational continuum we share inclusion in, which does not ‘break down into separate parts’.
Our ‘experiential reality’ is the ‘more comprehensive ‘relational reality’, and it is unlike our abstract language-based ‘Invented Reality’ . There is cause for concern here since Western culture employs ‘Invented Reality’ as its ‘operative reality’. (more…)
My story is this. I have been undertaking philosophical investigations since my ‘retiring’ from working as a geophysicist’ on my 55th birthday (feb. 28, 1996). I was ‘champing at the bit’ to refocus my ‘philosophical physics’ investigations on understanding natural complexity (‘the way things work in a relative or relational reality). This was partly inspired by my sense that Western culture based ‘organization’ is dysfunctional, and by studies of ‘exceptionally performing teams’ that I had undertaken on behalf of the organization I was working for, and which I was charged with putting into a ‘course’ for ‘managers’ (this was completed and received good reviews but was soon washed away by reorganization as the company was acquired and absorbed into a larger company.
What I was investigating in parallel was the link between Western culture and psychological distress of the type labelled ”bipolar disorder’ and/or ‘schizophrenia’, both of which involve struggles with a ‘split sense of self’.
I have continued these investigations over the past 22 years, and the findings along the way have continued to come into ‘connective confluence’ which, for me, provides a more comprehensive ‘relational coherence based’ understanding; i.e. the relational mode of understanding of modern physics, indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism and Advaita Vedanta. This relational understanding is as described in modern physics (Geoffrey Chew, and John Wheeler) in terms of ‘The surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’. That is, this relational understanding has no dependency on abstract notions of ‘beings’ with notional powers of ‘sourcing’ actions and developments (aka ‘sorcery’).
I have looked for ‘consistency’, in the relational confluence of these ideas, with and ‘across’ the understandings of Nietzsche, Bohm, Wittgenstein, Lao Tzu (Taoism) and Advaita Vedanta. An additional phenomenon that I felt had to be included in ‘solving for reality’ consistent with the relational confluence of these understandings was the notion of R. D. Laing that Western culture’s ‘normal’ is psychopathology in its adherents; i.e.;
“What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience.” – R. D. Laing, author of ‘The Divided Self’
NAMING: The Psychosis-Brewing Sorcery of Western Culture
What is evidently missing, for the ‘miner’s canary’ in Western society, is a social environment that is already onboard in supporting the natural primacy of relational experience with its ‘full heart of inspiration’ over a ‘normal’ Western social environment that puts swollen-head ego-based intellection into an unnatural primacy. An environment permeated by the prevalence of ‘the full heart of inspiration’ tends to form in the psychiatric hospitalization phase in the empathic relational dynamic co-cultivated among ‘miner’s canaries’.
However, this revitalizing environment is abruptly removed when the ‘canary’ is seen as having ‘recovered’ [i.e. Western medicine sees the source of psychosis as developing within the ‘miner’s canary’ (‘within the boil’/’inhabitant’) and not within the ‘flow’/’habitat’ as if ‘boil’/’inhabitant’ and ‘flow’ /’habitat’ were a duality). The occluded ‘third’ option (Jantsch level 1 reality) gives an understanding of the problem of chronic psychosis in Western culture as arising from the Western culture ‘splitting’ apart of ‘boil’ and ‘flow’; i.e. suggesting two ambiguously reversible modes of ‘beings’ with the powers of ‘sourcing’ actions and developments, … commonly termed ‘nature’ (reality level 3) and ‘nurture’ (reality level 2). While the individual is seen as the ‘sorceror’ in level 3 (nature), the collective is seen as the ‘sorceror’ in level 2 (nurture).
This Western social polarization (conservative versus liberal) over the question of ‘which (level 3 reality or level 2 reality) is in a natural primacy over which?’ obscures the level 1 option wherein the ‘boil’ is not separate from the ”flow’ but is ‘appearance’ (i.e. there is no ‘sorcery’ in level 1 reality.). Thus there is a psychological split between (a) ego-based belief where one sees oneself (named singular entities such as one’s nation, corporation or other name-anointed ‘thing-in-itself) as the ”boil’ that has the power of sourcing the flow of actions and developments, and (b) ego-based belief that sees one’s collective (family, nation, corporation) as having the power of inductively sourcing the actions and developments of one’s individual self. This schizophrenic division of ‘reality’ seen as either level 3 (nature) or level 2 (nurture) obscures (‘eclipses’) level 1 reality and this ‘eclipsing’ of level 1 reality is the source of Western culture psychopathology.
In other words, the ‘miner’s canary’ is on the right track in seeking to heal the split, but it can’t ‘heal the split’ within itself since ‘the self’ is not a ‘thing-in-itself’ that is split; i.e. the relational form in the flow is an ‘appearance’ and not a ‘thing-in-itself’ so the ‘healing’ must occur in the collective wherein the collective understands that there is no habitat-inhabitant split. In other words, psychosis derives from the ego based belief in the ‘self’ as an ‘independent thing-in-itself’ with its own powers of sourcing actions and developments and the associated confusing of whether (a) the sourcing is by way of the inside-outward asserting of individuals to ‘source’ the dynamic of the collective, or whether it is by way of (b), outside-inward inductive sourcing from the collective that shapes the dynamic of the individual. [This innately ‘un-resolvable, self-dividing’ (schizophrenia inducing) ambiguity derives from the abstract language-concocted abstraction of ‘sorcery’].
Healing of the ‘divided self’ is therefore NOT the healing of a ‘sick self’, as Western culture would have it, but the healing of the ego’s notion of the self as a ‘thing-in-itself’ hence ‘a divided self’. ‘Healing’ is therefore to be found by way of ‘putting the divided self back together’, but by ‘letting go’ of the impression of the ‘divided self’, as in ‘mitakuye oyasin’ (all my relations) and as in ‘The surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’ and as in ‘the indigenous aboriginal learning circle’ where the participants can come to understand themselves as inclusions in something greater than themselves that they can come to know and embrace by way of inspiration that fills the heart, … rather than by the ‘divided self’ way of … ego that swells the head.
Meanwhile, we continue to navigate within a Western culture that promotes ‘sorcery’ based ‘psychosis’ as ‘normality’.
He who blames the sorcery of harmful actions on others and credits himself with the sorcery of helpful actions has a long way to go on his journey.
He who blames the sorcery of harmful actions on both himself and others and credits both himself and others with sorcery of helpful actions is halfway there.
He who blames or credits no-one with the sorcery of actions, harmful or helpful (i.e. he who sees through the ego-based illusion of sorcery) has arrived. —
NAMING: The Psychosis-Brewing Sorcery of Western Culture
We live in a world that is strongly influenced by ‘Western culture’, and Western culture, as this essay suggests, is the brewer of psychosis through its unnatural promotion of belief that the individual relational form is a ‘being’, with notional ‘independent thing-in-itself’ existence, which ‘leads in’ to the construction of an intellectually ‘Invented Reality’ conjured up by ‘naming’ wherein ‘the being’ is deemed (by the intellect) to be the SOURCE of ‘its own’ actions and developments.
The impression that comes with this belief in ‘sorcery’ is ‘ego‘; i.e. – the (language and intellect supported) impression of ‘thing-in-itself being’ that is the full and sole source of ‘one’s own’ actions and accomplishments. The ‘ego’ is this misguided (psychosis inducing) conceptualizing of oneself as a ‘sorcerer’. Western culture cultivates this psychosis-en-masse by collectively honoring and rewarding the (notional) ‘sorcerers’ of ‘good acts and developments’ and by collectively defiling and punishing the (notional) ‘sorcerors’ of ‘bad acts and developments’. The relational essence of ‘reality’ is eclipsed and ‘locked out’ by this Western culture induced mass psychosis.
This essay is dedicated to the ‘miner’s canaries’ who intuitively sense ‘something amiss’ in the ambient Western culture social dynamic. By excitedly signalling, with strange behaviour, a warning of dysfunction in the social dynamic, these miner’s canaries succeed only in rallying public response to ‘resolve the problem’, NOT as if it were environmentally induced, but INSTEAD, as if it were internally incipient in the ‘canary’. Some who ‘speak for the canaries’, like Franca Ongaro-Basaglia of Psychologia Democratica, argue that the ‘assistance’ given them is not so much for ‘them’ per se as for (a) the ‘peace of mind’ of the ‘normals’ (subscribers of the ‘aberrant normality’) who are disturbed by the ‘miner’s canaries’’ behaviour, and (b), to limit the miner’s canaries’ disrupting of ‘normal social functioning’ by such ‘wild and unruly’ behaviours.
As Giordano Bruno said, before they took him to be burned at the stake for ‘heresy’ in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, in 1600, … ‘The majority has no monopoly on the truth’. But as it turns out, the majority does have a monopoly on ‘how we do things around here’, and what the majority establishes is not easy to change, as underscored by expressions such as ‘pioneers are those who ‘get arrows up the arse.”
Changing established patterns, even those that may breed dysfunction, tend to be held off indefinitely because of ‘lock-in’ and ‘high switching costs’. For example, the people ‘we put in charge of change’ may benefit from keeping things as they are. This is a familiar ‘systems anomaly’ termed ‘suboptimization’ as friend and former ‘systems sciences’ colleague Martine Dodds-Taljaard describes in a paper (authored jointly with György Jaros) entitled The Name of the Devil is Suboptimization’.
The point is that Western culture’s manner of ‘optimizing living conditions’ (for some) tends to be ‘cannibalistic’, benefitting some at the expense of others, hence the derogatory implication of the term ‘suboptimization’ (it is necessarily derogatory if the ‘system’ for which the optimization is performed is a relational feature in the transforming relational continuum. Of course, change can be undertaken in a manner that comprehends ‘interdependencies’).
The Name of the Devil is Suboptimization’
“The above aphorism, attributed to Kenneth Boulding, points to the inherent weakness characterizing the mindset and socio‐economic, political, educational and managerial practices of Western Industrial society as it developed over the past 300 years. It has its basis in the analytic‐reductionistic scientific paradigm, which, despite the remarkable technological applications it spawned, is inappropriate, conflict‐generating and dysfunctional in a world characterized by global interconnectedness and mutual interdependence …” — György Jaros and Martine Dodds-Taljaard
In other words, in the ‘real world’ of our actual experience of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum, ‘everything is related’ (or, as the indigenous aboriginals have expressed this; ‘mitakuye oyasin’). Western culture has incorporated the habit of ignoring this connectedness and it is literally ‘driving people crazy’. If a person ‘intuits’ what is going on with this suboptimization, and starts emotionally resisting, like the ‘miner’s canary’, things get even ‘crazier’ because that person will be considered ‘crazy’. The pressure is thus upon everyone to ‘keep their mouth shut’ and go along with the inherently dysfunctional (psychosis inducing) Western culture modus operandi.
“They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.” – R.D. Laing
In other words, Western culture is using language and grammar to psychologically cultivate an ‘Invented Reality’ that eclipses the innately relational reality of our actual experience. We are doing this by intellectually/linguistically ‘wallpapering over’ the reality of our relational experience, with the abstract concept of ‘independently-existing-things-in-themselves (‘beings’), notionally equipped with powers of ‘sourcing actions and developments’.
This language-and-grammar based ‘Invented Reality’ has become the ‘operative reality’ of Western society which is continually cultivating a psychotic ‘normal’ wherein those ‘miner’s canaries’ that attempt to break out of it, are classified as ‘psychotic’ and given chemically lobotomizing ‘medications’ to restore them to the Western culture ‘aberrant normality’. That which qualifies as ‘normal’ in Western society may be anything but ‘natural’.
Since Western culture ‘lock-in’ has been firmly established and its gatekeepers have been elevated into positions of power over what gets changed, switching costs continue to rise. As Henri Laborit, author of ‘La Nouvelle Grille’ (the new ‘philosophical framework waiting in the wings’) observes;
‘We’ who explore such topics, cannot easily share them because … the humanism implicit in trying to share them is not seen as “a humanism of real worth” since it undermines, besmirches or topples the esteemed icons, pillars of society, founding fathers, and celebrities of the culture-in-place. — Henri Laborit
Nevertheless, Western culture employs the means necessary to sustain ‘lock-in’ to that which (however aberrant) is defined as ‘normal’ behaviour in Western society. This lock-in to Western aberrant normality persists even as we are experiencing a rising tide of psychosis in spite of the increased incidence of employing medications to stave it off. The Western culture ‘normal’ is looking more and more like a ‘collective psychosis’, as psycho-social investigators are finding;
“What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience.” – R. D. Laing
This essay explores the psychosis-inducing workings of ‘Western culture’ and its ‘Invented Reality’.
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My personal experience grounded ‘ philosophical investigations’ inform me that ‘bipolar disorders’ are manifestations of ‘lock-in’ to psychosis-prone modes of cognition that involve ‘high switching costs’ to withdraw from, as would be required for one to ‘re-ground’ in more competent, non-psychosis-prone modes of cognition. The most globally prevalent psychosis-inducing mode of cognition is otherwise known as ‘Western culture’. (i.e. certain ‘salient features’ of Western culture as discussed herein).
The level 3 (‘nature’) and level 2 (‘nurture’) modes of cognition [as classified in Erich Jantsch’s ‘Design for Evolution’] are both ‘psychosis prone’. Both of these modes of cognition are based on ‘sorcery’. By this I mean; — to impute the powers of ‘sourcing’ actions and developments to notional ‘independently-existing ‘things-in-themselves’ (‘beings’); i.e. abstractions such as ‘human beings’, … is to prepare and pave the path to psychosis. Western culture’s endemic psychosis is rooted in a belief in ‘sorcery’. There is no such dynamic as ‘sourcing’ in modern physics ‘reality’, there is only ‘relational transformation’. This modern physics understanding of ‘reality’ as a transforming relational continuum is also the indigenous aboriginal ‘reality’, Taoist ‘reality’ and Advaita Vedanta ‘reality’.
The notional ‘independently-existing-things-in-themselves’ that are notionally equipped (by grammar and language) with the ‘powers of sourcing actions and developments (the ‘producer-product’ concept) are the makings of ‘INVENTED REALITY’ . What one experiences [whether human, wolf, eagle, etc.] begins with the sensory-experiencing of ‘relational forms’ in the transforming relational continuum. When the Western human uses his intellect to ‘capture the essentials’ of his relational experiencing with language and grammar, he reduces his relational experiencing in the continually unfolding present to the abstract language and grammar terms of ‘things-in-themselves’ [abstractions ‘invented’ by ‘naming’ relational forms in the flow] which he linguistically (and thus cognitively) ‘animates’ by abstractly ‘inventing’ movements with grammatical language’, cognitively setting the invented ‘things-in-themselves’ in motion.
Relational Versus Rational Understanding: Pathway to Dimensionlessness
“English compared to Hopi is like a bludgeon compared to a rapier.” – Benjamin Whorf
There is a way of ‘homing in on understanding’ that recalls modern physics and “the surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’, … that is very different from the Western ‘rational’ approach to understanding.
One might call it the ‘holographic’ approach to understanding.
In the ‘sharing circle’ approach to understanding that is characteristic of the indigenous aboriginal tradition, there is never a point where there can be an explicit articulation of the ‘sharing circle understanding’. Nietzsche points to this same mode of understanding in ‘A genealogy of Morality’;
There is only a perspectival seeing, only a perspectival ‘knowing’; the more affects we are able to put into words about a thing, the more eyes, various eyes we are able to use for the same thing, the more complete will be our ‘concept’ of the thing, our ‘objectivity’.– Nietzsche
Two Types of ‘Sorcery’ That Underlie Western ‘Invented Reality’
Western culture serves up Invented Realities of two types, both of which are ‘sorceror’-based ‘invented realities’ commonly termed ‘nature’ and ‘nature’, which are obscuring the relational reality of our actual experience. While the ‘real’ reality of our relational experience is still the primary reality in the cultures of indigenous aboriginals, Taoists and Advaita Vedanta, … this ‘real reality’ is being ‘eclipsed’ by the intellectual ‘Invented Realities’ of Western culture [‘nature’ and ‘nurture’] which have become the two competing ‘operative realities’ of the globally dominant Western culture.
There is much psychosis and cognitive incoherency that stems from this misplaced popular ascendance to primacy, as ‘operative reality’, of the two ‘invented realities’ commonly referred to as (3) ‘nature’: — (based on a notional ‘sorcery’ (locally incipient authoring power) that is inside-outward asserting as can be depicted by a ‘whorl’ that is ‘sourcing’ ‘flow’, and (2) ‘nurture’: — based on a notional ‘sorcery’ (authoring power) that is outside-inward inducing as can be depicted by a flow that induces a whorl. [*N.B. In Erich Jantsch’s three levels of reality as defined in ‘Design for Evolution’, these levels of ‘cognitive precedence’ in perceiving reality are numbered from lowest (3, ‘nature’ and 2, ‘nurture’) to highest (1, relational ‘appearance’)]
The question of whether (the ‘invented’) reality derives from bright and distinct explicit ‘sources’ with inside-outward asserting powers of originating actions and developments (as in ‘nature’), or whether (the ‘invented’) reality derives from dark and obscure implicit ‘sources’ with outside-inward inductive powers of originating actions and developments (as in ‘nature’) has divided the reality conceptualizing babits of Western culture adherents. This division that arises from such language based abstractions has been parodied by Jonathan Swift in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ in multiple ways, including the story of a people who divide into opposing factions over disagreement on whether a boiled egg should by opened from the more rounded end or from the more pointed end.
Western Society Nuttiness ‘In a Nutshell’
The basics of understanding the nuttiness in Western culture based ‘social dynamics’ can be captured in point form as follows;
-1- The world of our natural experience is of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum; i.e. a ‘flow’ (Tao) inhabited by relational forms.
-2- There is no such thing as ‘being’. It is pure intellectual abstraction signaled by a ‘name’ or ‘noun’ in language
-3- There are no such things as ‘beings with action-authoring powers’. This is pure intellectual abstraction contrived by conjoining a ‘verb’ and a ‘noun’.
-4- ‘Ego’ derives from attributing ‘authoring powers’ to ‘oneself’ perceived abstractly as an ‘independent being’ defined [given imputed persisting stand-alone existence] by a ‘name’.]
-5- ‘Lock-in’ due to ‘high switching costs’ is a phenomenon affecting the social relational dynamic; e.g. once one has attributed ‘authoring powers’ to beings’ (as in the Western culture psychology), the inflating of the ego (sense of being-based self-authorship), gives rise to notional ‘high achievers and low achievers’. ‘High achiever’ and ‘low achiever’ are abstract concepts depending on the abstract concept of ‘being-based-authoring’ that have no ‘reality’ in the relational world of our actual experience (since there is no such thing in relational-experiential reality as being-based authorship).
The above 5 points capture the basic psychologically aberrant underpinnings of Western culture. (more…)
Western society seen as a society that ‘intellectually constructs its own reality’ (i.e. its own intellectual pseudo-reality)
This ‘reality inventing view’ can be understood by juxtaposing the Newtonian concept of nature with the modern physics understanding of the ‘real world of our actual relational experience’ as relational forms in a transforming relational continuum. The latter understanding comes to us through our inclusional relational experience, as in Taoism (inclusion in the ‘Tao’) and as in the Heraclitean worldview wherein ‘everything is in flux’ (every form is a relational form within the flow; aka an ‘apparition’).
In the world understood as ‘transformation’ —i.e. as a purely relational dynamic,— the cognitive traction based on notional locally existing things-in-themselves and their action-authoring dynamics is not available. What is ‘missing’ in the relational understanding coming directly from our experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum is the abstract concepts of ‘being’ (things-in-themselves) and ‘authoring’ (locally instantiated creative ‘sourcing’ or ‘sorcery’).
Three Ways of ‘Understanding’
There are three ways of understanding self and world, only one of which corresponds to a modern physics based understanding of the world. These three ways can be visualized by contemplating a whirlpool or ‘whorl’ such as a ‘hurricane’ and its relationship with ‘flow’. The three levels are as follows;
This PSI-SE (‘Spicy’) ‘Special Edition’ (#18) is in memory of feisty Martine Dodds-Taljaard, Stellenbosch University Systems Scientist and Apparition who recycled within the transforming relational continuum on June 4th, 2001. See also; http://www.goodshare.org/taljaard.htm ‘Politically Incorrect Humanism’: The Work of Martine Dodds-Taljaard.
Brief Summary of PSI-SE Philosophical Research Findings (Wordcount 236)
- Incoherence (formulating one’s actions based on an erroneous understanding of ‘reality’) pervades the Western social dynamic.
- Incoherence starts from Western language-based intellection that delivers abstractions which conflict with relational experience.
- The Western practice of putting intellection into an unnatural primacy over relational experience sources social dysfunction.
- Indigenous aboriginal culture, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta support the natural primacy of relational experience over abstraction.
- Western intellectually constructed “_reality_“ errs in the linguistic-cognitive imputing of reality to ‘beings’, ‘authors’ and ‘acts’.
- The reality of our natural experience is of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum without ‘beings’, ‘authors’ and ‘acts’.
- ‘Beings’, ‘authors’ and ‘acts’ are abstractions of ‘appearances’ aka ‘apparitions’ that are relational experience based.
- Language and grammar are used to construct cognitive “realities” based on name-reified ‘apparitions’ [humans, hurricanes etc.]
- When behaviour is informed and shaped by such abstract reality constructions, the result is incoherence in the social dynamic.
- The reality of indigenous aboriginal cultures, Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and modern physics is ‘apparition’, NOT ‘being’ based.
- Modern physics affirms the physical reality of ‘apparitions’ (relational forms in the transforming relational continuum).
- A whorl in the flow (hurricane), a human, a material form, are ‘apparitions’ (field flow-forms) that have no independent material existence. Language based ‘naming’ of such ‘apparitions’ imputes ‘thing-in-itself being’ to the ‘apparitions’, literal belief in which is the source of ‘incoherence’ in the relational social dynamic.
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What follows below is supportive ‘elaboration’; i.e. the essential points are covered in the 12 point 236 word preceding summary.