Archive for year 2018

Understanding Psychosis in Western Culture Adherents





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.


PSI 23: Post Stroke Impressions No. 23


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


PSI-22: Post-Stroke Impressions No. 22


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.


PSI 21: Post Stroke Impressions No. 21


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…)

PSI-20: Post Stroke Impressions No. 20


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’).


PSI-19: Post Stroke Impressions No. 19



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;


‘Spicy’ Special Edition! PSI-SE


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; ‘Politically Incorrect Humanism’: The Work of  Martine Dodds-Taljaard.



Brief Summary of PSI-SE Philosophical Research Findings  (Wordcount 236)



  1. Incoherence (formulating one’s actions based on an erroneous understanding of ‘reality’) pervades the Western social dynamic.


  1. Incoherence starts from Western language-based intellection that delivers abstractions which conflict with relational experience.


  1. The Western practice of putting intellection into an unnatural primacy over relational experience sources social dysfunction.


  1. Indigenous aboriginal culture, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta support the natural primacy of relational experience over abstraction.


  1. Western intellectually constructed “_reality_“ errs in the linguistic-cognitive imputing of reality to ‘beings’, ‘authors’ and ‘acts’.


  1. The reality of our natural experience is of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum without ‘beings’, ‘authors’ and ‘acts’.


  1. ‘Beings’, ‘authors’ and ‘acts’ are abstractions of ‘appearances’ aka ‘apparitions’ that are relational experience based.


  1. Language and grammar are used to construct cognitive “realities” based on name-reified ‘apparitions’ [humans, hurricanes etc.]


  1. When behaviour is informed and shaped by such abstract reality constructions, the result is incoherence in the social dynamic.


  1. The reality of indigenous aboriginal cultures, Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and modern physics is ‘apparition’, NOT ‘being’ based.


  1.  Modern physics affirms the physical reality of ‘apparitions’ (relational forms in the transforming relational continuum).


  1. 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.


PSI-17: Post Stroke Impressions No. 17



Understanding the Deception Whereby ‘Western Culture’ Appears More ‘Advanced and Competent’ than Indigenous Aboriginal and Buddhist Cultures.


Introduction: How can it be that David Bohm, Erwin Schroedinger and others have endorsed the indigenous aboriginal and Buddhist cultures as embodying a deeper and more true-to-experience understanding of the world that is validated by modern physics while the popular and dominant ‘Western culture’ seems so much more ‘advanced’ than indigenous aboriginal and Buddhist cultures?

Experiencing a ‘Stroke of Insight’ opens up one’s ‘understanding’ to the answer to this question through it’s effect of ‘attenuating’ ‘being-based cognition’ which, in modern Western culture, has established a ‘locked-in’ dysfunctional precedence over ‘relational’ cognition.

The cognitive deception of ‘being’ comes to us through ‘language and grammar’, undermining our naturally evolved ‘animal’ capacity for ‘non-being’ relational cognition as in ‘the Tao’ of Buddhist understanding which parallels the ‘everything is related’ “Mitakuye Oyasin’) of indigenous aboriginal culture.

The source of the deceptive ‘superiority’ of Western ‘being’-based culture can be seen by considering the systems sciences ‘attack’ on ‘suboptimization’

(e.g. ‘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

That is, Western society, in orienting to improving the living conditions of humans seen as ‘independent beings’ is ‘suboptimizing’ the health of humans understood as relational forms in the transforming relational continuum as is the understanding of modern physics.  That is, in indigenous aboriginal culture, the human is understood NOT AS AN INDEPENDENTLY-EXISTING BEING’, but as a complex of relations within the relational continuum, hence ‘mitakuye oyasin’, (‘all my relations’ or ‘everything is related’).


PSI-16: Post Stroke Impressions No. 16





I feel like I’m at another ‘milestone’ point in my researches and I wanted to share it with you and get your feedback, if possible.


My guess is that you, all of you, are fully able to ‘free-think’ and explore without having to endorse or reject.


Basically where I’m now at (the understanding associated with my research seems to evolve and deepen as in a fractal view of the earth).  I don’t think there is an ‘end point’ but I can tell you briefly where I’m at, which I’d like to ‘capture’ as in the film business where they shoot a scene and say ‘that’s a wrap’.



PSI-15: Post Stroke Impressions No. 15


The Owl and the Human engage on the topic of the Foundations of Western Cognitive Understanding


One day, the owl and the man struck up a conversation in which the man was going on about all the improvements that he and his fellow villagers had made to the land.  The owl replied; ‘oh yes, I have heard you humans speak of this concept of ‘improvements’ to the land which becomes the basis for taxing yourselves.  It is a curious thought that you could improve on Nature even though we are all included in nature, … kind of like biting and chewing on one’s own teeth.

The man then spoke proudly of his long tradition of applying his intelligence to the challenge of design and construction to ‘improve’ the land as exemplified by his present village that he and his friends had constructed that was replete with ‘mod cons’ that ‘made their lives a lot easier’.

The owl could not resist reminding the man of his earlier statement in which he spoke of how this verdant valley with its babbling fish-filled brooks, its game-filled forest and grain-filled fields had induced the men and their families to settle and ‘develop’ the land; saying;

“while you speak of your village as something you have constructed, as if fully from your own will and volition or ‘productive nature’, … you also speak of being ‘attracted’ by the beauty and fertility of this valley, which you described as a ‘teat’ that nourishes you, and/or a cornucopia, that in your softer moments you refer to as ‘mother earth’, … a ‘horn of plenty’ that you and your fellow villagers draw nourishment from.  So, were your actions in constructing your village driven by your inside-outward asserting will and intention, … or were they inductively actualized by the outside-inward orchestrating pull of this richly resourced valley environment?”


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