A Philosophical Investigation of the abstract concept of COMPETITION.
Introduction: Should Emergency Action Pre-empt Philosophical Inquiry?
Some would say that WE WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are long on ‘let’s get the job done’ capability and short on philosophical inquiry into what is actually going on. This can boomerang since as complex problem phenomena unfold, aggressive actions based on overly simplistic models may be having effects that go far beyond the resolving of the issues identified. In fact, the issues identified in an overly simplistic model will not be ‘real’ issues.
What comes to mind is land mines that do not explode until the detonator has been depressed a half dozen or more times, so that advancing troops will only find out they have gone into a minefield after they are well into the mine-field and unable to safely retreat.
Hopefully, our COVID 19 response will not be a severe case in this respect but it has the markings of having this type of exposure which ‘systems’ theorists refer to as ‘putting our ladder up against the wrong wall’ (so that as we climb the ladder to get to what needs repairing, it is actually taking us farther away from being able to address it.
If our understanding of the complex reality we are included in could be improved, it seems likely that our success in dealing with such unfolding complexities such as COVID 19 could be improved.
In any case, this essay explores how we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have come to accept the concept of COMPETITION as a ‘real’ and ‘sensible’ social dynamic, though there is no such thing as ‘competition’ in the reality of our actual natural experience. The basic dynamic is relational flow which is ‘gathering and scattering’ in the sense of BOTH/AND logic of the INCLUDED medium (quantum physics logic).
Nietzsche’s ‘anti-Darwin’ comments, together with his pointing out our WESTERN CULTURE chronic DOUBLE ERROR reality-reducing habit, is a critique of the suggestion that people are ‘things-in-themselves’ driven inside-outwardly by an internal ‘will’. Meanwhile a ‘person’ understood as a LOCAL ‘thing-in-himself’ does not exist because ‘things-in-themselves’ do not exist. However, once we use language and grammar to impose the DOUBLE ERROR, and once people start believing that we, ourselves, are NAMING-instantiated local independently-existing things-in-themselves with GRAMMAR-instantiated powers of sourcing actions and developments, the abstract groundwork is laid down and the concept and practice of ‘competition’ follows. (Note that ‘competition’ IS a DOUBLE ERROR based LOCALIZING of the SOURCING of actions and developments). In the reality of our sensory experience, there is only relational transformation and there are no LOCALLY incipient SOURCES of actions and developments, as play a foundational role in the abstract concept of ‘competition’.
So, yes, we have this TOOL of the DOUBLE ERROR that allows us to break through the barrier of INEFFABILITY, and if we employ this DOUBLE ERROR tool as in the EAST, as INFERENCE of the INEFFABLE Wave-field (the Tao) that, ITSELF, lies innately beyond the reach of capture in language and grammar, we are in good shapre, but the issue is that we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are treating this tool of INFERENCE of the ineffable, as if it were capable of delivering a direct and explicit understanding of REALITY.
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are so accustomed to using the DOUBLE ERROR as if it pointed to something ‘real’ that we rarely question it. For example, we say things like; ‘The raging fire swept through the forested valley incinerating the Jones’ farm, along with farmer Jones and his cow Bessie, and went on to destroy most of Evansville’. This is the DOUBLE ERROR construction of ‘reality’, but IN REALITY, … there is no such thing as “a fire” vested with the powers of sourcing actions and developments such as ‘sweeping through the valley and incinerating the Jones’ farm’. What is REALLY going on here is TRANSFORMATION but we don’t put TRANSFORMATION into our language and grammar narratives because it has no beginning and no ending (it is ‘the transforming relational continuum aka the Tao aka the Wavefield) and it has no beginning and ending that we are privy to. Since TRANSFORMATION is not LOCALIZABLE in space/time; i.e. it is the ineffable, all-including ‘Tao’ (Wave-field), we pass over it in silence and shift gears to a reduced but effable representation in DOUBLE ERROR terms. The FIRST ERROR is to use NAMING (‘the fire’) to impute LOCAL thing-in-itself BEING to a relational form in the (transformative) flow, and the SECOND ERROR conflates the first using GRAMMAR to impute to the NAMING-instantiated thing-in-itself (‘the fire’) the power of SOURCING actions and developments; “swept through the forested valley incinerating the Jones’ farm along with framer Jones and his cow Bessie.”
What we ‘dropped out’ of our intellectual consideration here is REALITY by inserting the FIRE based DOUBLE ERROR. That is, we chopped out the REALITY of relational TRANSFORMATION which is the real dynamic, because it is ineffable. It is ineffable because it is THE TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM. ‘The fire’ is not a real thing-in-itself that can do stuff, it is HOW TRANSFORMATION MANIFESTS and TRANSFORMATION cannot be tied down to something LOCAL.
This ceaseless process of deferral is best summed up by Nishitani … For Nishitani, `fire does not burn fire’ nor does `water wash water’. The essence of fire is to burn, yet fire cannot burn itself. It cannot exist in self-enclosure or possess a simple identity.
We have the same problem with ‘fever’ as with ‘fire’ in that it does not appear to have a LOCAL SOURCE yet we speak about it as if it did, which, of course, removes from our awareness an understanding of FIRE or FEVER as NONLOCAL relational TRANSFORMATION. The green grassy plains of the prairie may transform into brown tinder dry dessicant ready to be tickled into combustion and as this TRANSFORMATION continues to unfold, we FLIP TO DOUBLE ERROR mode where we speak of “A FIRE’ that IS GROWING IN SIZE and FEROCITY as if it had ‘its own LOCAL IDENTITY’ which is abstraction since everything is included within the transformation relational continuum aka Wave-field.
WE SAY … “THE FIRE IS GROWING LARGER AND IS DESTROYING THE TOWN OF EVANSVILLE” … ALTHOUGH AS NISHITANI POINTS OUT, THERE IS NO ‘FIRE’ IN THE SENSE OF ‘A LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF’ WITH ITS OWN POWERS OF ACTION, GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT, and what we are experiencing is NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION in which we are included. And as with FIRE, so also with FEVER; i.e. what is going on is TRANSFORMATION of FIGURE-AND-GROUND AS ONE. Only in a FLATSPACE pseudo-reality can we speak of the GROWTH of the burned-out area. In spherical space, there is a reciprocal REDUCTION of the green area or in other words, an overall TRANSFORMATION. The DOUBLE ERROR MISREPRESENTS the REALITY.
By using the DOUBLE ERROR of language and grammar we focus in on the LOCAL and lay it in our minds like a Cuckoo’s egg that hatches out as an artificial effable LOCALITY that distracts us from the ineffable NONLOCAL phenomenon of TRANSFORMATION. The TRANSFORMING of LANDSCAPE manifests through flood and fire and alluvial erosion etc. The ‘fire’ is NOT a thing-in-itself, it is one of the ways in which TRANSFORMATION manifests; i.e. TRANSFORMATION is real, not ‘the fire’.
“COMPETITION” is similarly exemplary of our confusion-infusing use of DOUBLE ERROR based pseudo-reality as our ‘operative reality’; i.e. as the pseudo-reality that shapes our relational social dynamics (a very different reality from that of those who intuit themselves to be relational forms in the transforming relational continuum aka ‘the Tao’ aka the Wavefield).
“COMPETITION” is one of these backhanded-inference terms like ‘FORGIVENESS” that implies binary abstraction; i.e. ‘FORGIVENESS’ legitimizes the binary poles of RIGHT and WRONG and ‘COMPETITION’ legitimizes the binary poles of WINNER and LOSER. The terms WINNER and LOSER are backhanded-inference that establishes the existence of something that can be ‘won’ or ‘lost’, namely something (an ‘event’) that is LOCAL in space and time like ‘A FIRE’. Speaking in these reduced DOUBLE ERROR based LOCALIZING terms has us LOSE SIGHT of the primary reality of NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION.
These language and grammar categorizations like FIRE and FEVER are what we need to EXPLICITIZE relational phenomena so that we can representationally extricate and ‘effable-ize’ relational formings in the inffable transforming relational continuum. ‘FIRE’ does not ‘burn’; i.e. ‘FIRE’ IS THE BURNING aka ‘THE TRANSFORMING’.
If we recall that the Wave-field (the Tao) is ineffable, and that we are forced to use shortcuts, in language and grammar, in order to allude to the ineffable, so that what we speak about is only inference of what lies beyond the effable, we will not accept anything ‘explicit’ or ‘literal’ other than as a springboard to tickle an intuitive leap to the ineffable that lies beyond the language and grammar based springboard. The ineffable relational medium is the message, not the effable explicit content. While the EAST remembers not to forget this, the WEST forgets what we were supposed to remember, and thus ‘the tool runs away with workman, the human with the Divine.
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A Philosophical Investigation of the abstract concept of COMPETITION.
The concept of ‘competition’ has been given, by us WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS, a foundational role in our intellectual construction of REALITY. This note explores the misconception of reality that follows from our acceptance of COMPETITION as something ‘basic in Nature’.
This note discusses the problematic concept of COMPETITION, with respect to how it shapes our intellectual impression of our SENSORY EXPERIENCE REALITY (our sensory experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum aka the ‘Wave-field’ aka ‘the Tao).
Competition is abstraction based on the DOUBLE ERROR of language and grammar which employs NAMING to impute the existence of LOCAL BEINGS, conflating this first error with a second error of GRAMMAR as used to impute powers of sourcing of actions and developments to the NAMING instantiated thing-in-itself.
There is no ‘competition’ where subject and object are only one (Schroedinger) and everything included in a fluid-dynamical One-ness. Sure, the lizards will home in on a fly when it lands, like iron filings home in on a magnet, but it does not follow that the impetus for such convergent movement derives from the interior of the individual participants. In other words, we must question on what basis we impute the forms in nature to be ‘independent individuals’? Reflection shows that such invention derives from our own EGO-given impression of ourselves; i.e. by way of EGO based ANTHROPOMORPHISM.
Could the lizards not be included in the Wave-field dynamic, as relational forms in the transforming relational continuum? Modern physics says yes to this; i.e. as Schroedinger points out, when it comes to fluid dynamics as in the Wave-field, SUBJECT AND OBJECT ARE ONE (i.e. FIGURE AND GROUND ARE ONE). The lizards and other forms are developments withing the all-encompassing ‘field’.
WESTERN INTELLECTUAL CONCEPTUALIZING of REALITY is DOUBLE ERROR based, as Nietzsche points out; the FIRST ERROR is NAMING to impute thing-in-itself-being to a relational form, while the SECOND ERROR of GRAMMAR conflates the first by imputing the power of SOURCING actions and developments to the NAMING-instantiated (notional) ‘thing-in-itself’.
THIS IS HOW WE EMPLOY LANGUAGE with its intellectual concept based representations, to seemingly BREAK INTO THE NONLOCAL RELATIONAL CONTINUUM, and notionally INVENT and IMPLANT A LOCAL JUMPSTART SOURCING AGENCY as a notional originating FOUNT of actions and developments.
If we didn’t do this, we would be left with our raw experience of inclusion in the NONLOCAL which is ineffable. And when we do ‘do this’ DOUBLE ERROR reduction, we split into two groups; EAST and WEST where ‘EAST’ uses this DOUBLE ERROR based reduction as a Wittgenstein ladder or BOOTSTRAPPING TOOL; – an effable TRIGGER of intuitive understanding of the INEFFABLE; – inclusion in the transforming relational continuum. WEST, meanwhile, has the habit of employing the DOUBLE ERROR REDUCTION NOT AS A BOOTSTRAPPING TOOL, but as the OPERATIVE REALITY. This is where the notion of the PATHOGEN, in WESTERN CULTURE supersedes the understanding of the same phenomena as relational dissonance.
Relational imbalance-based dissonance gives rise to Robin Hood and Jean Valjean, who we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS REDUCE TO DOUBLE ERROR BASED LOCAL ‘things-in-themselves with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments. In modern physics as in the EAST, where the understanding is ‘mitakuye oyasin’ (everything is related), there is no LOCAL jumpstarting of actions and developments, THEREFORE, there are neither PATHOGENS nor BENOGENS (i.e. there are neither VILLAINS nor HEROES, only RELATIONS that may be harmonious or dissonant).
EXAMPLE: C. DIFFICILE
The proliferation of c. difficile associates with colitis which is a side-effect of administering anti-biotics (which destroy balance in the naturally balancing microbial assemblage. That is, a c.difficile proliferation derives from the natural tendency to balance (as in fleshing out and balancing the microbial assemblage). The c. difficile microbes are inductively ‘sucked into being’ by the relational assemblage they are emerging into. Such inductive influence is NONLOCAL (as in a purely relational Wave-field dynamic) and thus INEFFABLE.
‘COMPETITION’, meanwhile, is reductive abstraction based on the DOUBLE ERROR of language and grammar which imputes INTENTION to the notional LOCAL thing-in-itself, hence the abstract concept of THE PATHOGEN. Increasingly in WESTERN CULTURE thinking, relational imbalance giving rise to rebalancing ‘rebellion’ is being recast as ‘terrorism’ which removes the inductive relational aspect and inserts, instead, LOCAL INCIPIENT AGGRESSION as in the abstract concept of PATHOGEN.
Meanwhile, c. difficile proliferation can be understood as a relational imbalance phenomenon so that the ‘antidote’ is the restoration of relational balance in the microbial assemblage, for example by the Fecal Matter Transplant technique (FMT);
How does FMT work?
Though the mechanism has yet to be determined, it is believed that FMT works by repopulating the patient’s microbiome with diverse microorganisms that competitively exclude C. difficile.
In a healthy gut community, C. difficile is out-competed by many different bacterial species. However, receiving antibiotic treatment disrupts this ecosystem by killing those protective bacteria. C. difficile forms spores that are resistant to antibiotics. No longer outcompeted, this pathogen establishes itself in the gut and produces toxins that leave patients suffering from severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and, often, fever. With an infusion of bacteria from a healthy donor’s stool, the C. difficile is again out-competed.
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We can use language as inference of the ineffable, and ‘competition’ is inference of relational dynamics such as iron filings competing to get in the ‘center’ of the field of attraction which may be in the space overhead or below or etc. (e.g. a magnet on a lower level beneath the surface of a sheet of paper will induce iron filings on the paper to come together on the plane of the paper like lizards attracted by the landing of a fly.
The lizards converging on the fly that just landed are NOT ‘competing’. That is an anthropomorphism. Competing builds from the DOUBLE ERROR of language and grammar as does SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. Survival of the fittest ASSUMES THAT COMPETITION IS BASIC TO NATURE when it is, in fact, AN ANTHROPOCENTRIC CONCEPT BASED ON THE DOUBLE ERROR; — The first error is using NAMING to impute LOCAL thing-in-itself BEING, and we conflate this with the second error of GRAMMAR which imputes the power of SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS to the NAMING-instantiated (notional) thing-in-itself.
Who says the lizards are COMPETING for a tasty meal of fresh fly? Do rivulets compete get into a hole in the ground or is such CONVERGENCE natural, relational and ‘involuntary’? (the word “involuntary” implies NON-WILL-DRIVEN).
The DOUBLE ERROR of language and grammar is always there to impute DELIBERATE INTENTION aka WILL (Nietzsche calls bullshit on ‘WILL’) and COMPETITION. These anthropomorphisms are INTELLECTUAL BELIEFS.
HERE COMES THE DOUBLE ERROR! Watch for it!
“Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.
1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.” – Vatican Archives, The Catholic Catechism
Once we use language to create MAN as an ‘independent thing-in-itself’ we have to follow through and develop GRAMMAR within language to mobilize our creation WITHIN OUR INTELLECTUALLY FASHIONED REPRESENTATIONS. This we do with the DOUBLE ERROR. This gives us a means of intellectually fabricating a way to sidestep NONLOCALITY which is where THE INEFFABILITY of our experiential reality is coming from. In other words, the DOUBLE ERROR is a language-and-grammar based EXPEDIENT DEVICE to REDUCE the INEFFABLE-BECAUSE-NONLOCAL to EFFABLE-BECAUSE-LOCAL. This LOCALIZING in DOUBLE ERROR terms makes binary-logic based REASON possible; i.e. we can reduce relational forms in the flow, by NAMING, to impute the persisting LOCAL things-in-themselves and conflate this with GRAMMAR to give them, notionally, THEIR OWN POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS. We can thus break into the NONLOCAL and thus INEFFABLE relational continuum, and pivot from something LOCAL to launch our EFFABLE REASONING based constructions/representations.
What does Niezsche say about this contrivance of using language and grammar to break into the relational flow-continuum, using NAMING to IMPLANT notional LOCAL THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES as stubs for using GRAMMAR to impute LOCAL SOURCING OF ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS?
Nietzsche CRITIQUES how we put together a whole package of abstractions to construct an EFFABLE fabrication of our INEFFABLE experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum, as follows.
—Against this let us set the different manner in which we (—you observe that I am courteous enough to say “we”) conceive the problem of the error and deceptiveness of things. Formerly people regarded change and evolution in general as the proof of appearance, as a sign of the fact that something must be there that leads us astray. To-day, on the other hand, we realise that precisely as far as the rational bias forces us to postulate unity, identity, permanence, substance, cause, materiality and being, we are in a measure involved in error, driven necessarily to error; however certain we may feel, as the result of a strict examination of the matter, that the error lies here. It is just the same here as with the motion of the sun: In its case it was our eyes that were wrong; in the matter of the concepts above mentioned it is our language itself that pleads most constantly in their favour. In its origin language belongs to an age of the most rudimentary forms of psychology: if we try to conceive of the first conditions of the metaphysics of language, i.e. in plain English, of reason, we immediately find ourselves in the midst of a system of fetichism. For here, the doer and his deed are seen in all circumstances, will is believed in as a cause in general; the ego is taken for granted, the ego as Being, and as substance, and the faith in the ego as substance is projected into all things—in this way, alone, the concept “thing” is created. Being is thought into and insinuated into everything as cause; from the concept “ego,” alone, can the concept “Being” proceed. At the beginning stands the tremendously fatal error of supposing the will to be something that actuates,—a faculty. Now we know that it is only a word. Very much later, in a world a thousand times more enlightened, the assurance, the subjective certitude, in the handling of the categories of reason came into the minds of philosophers as a surprise. They concluded that these categories could not be derived from experience,—on the contrary, the whole of experience rather contradicts them. Whence do they come therefore? In India, as in Greece, the same mistake was made: “we must already once have lived in a higher world (—instead of in a much lower one, which would have been the truth!), we must have been divine, for we possess reason!” … Nothing indeed has exercised a more simple power of persuasion hitherto than the error of Being, as it was formulated by the Eleatics for instance: in its favour are every word and every sentence that we utter!—Even the opponents of the Eleatics succumbed to the seductive powers of their concept of Being. Among others there was Democritus in his discovery of the atom. “Reason” in language!—oh what a deceptive old witch it has been! I fear we shall never be rid of God, so long as we still believe in grammar. –
— Nietzsche Twilight of the Idols
(NOTE: Nietzsche is pointing out that the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR invents THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES and imputes to them notional powers of SOURCING ACTIONS and GROWTH).
That is; “Reason” in language is based on the DOUBLE ERROR, and while it abstractly renders a REDUCED to EFFABLE re-presentation of the INEFFABLE transforming relational continuum (the Tao, the Wave-field), which can be used as INFERENCE or as a Wittgenstein Ladder, or BOOTSTRAPPING “tool” to INFER the ineffable that lies innately beyond EFFABLE expression. But there is a pitfall here, and as Emerson points out, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are allowing ‘the tool to run away with the workman, the human with the Divine’.
“COMPETITION” IS AN ABSTRACTION NECESSITATED BY FIRST INVENTING NAMES TO BREAK DOWN THE INEFFABLE WAVE-FIELD INTO ‘LOCAL PARTS’ AND THEN INVENTING GRAMMAR TO IMPUTE THE POWER OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS TO THE NAMING-INSTANTIATED THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES.
In a relational world, relational forms are included in the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field. As modern physics has discovered, this world is beyond description in the EITHER/OR LOGIC of the EXCLUDED MEDIUM. That is, the MEDIUM is the TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM wherein FIGURE and GROUND are ONE, or as Schroedinger expresses this; SUBJECT and OBJECT are ONE.
The lizards (like ourselves) are INCLUDED in the transforming relational continuum and ARE NOT DRIVEN IN A JUMPSTART LOCAL INCIPIENT FASHION BY THEIR OWN NOTIONAL, INTERNAL ‘WILL’. Even if that is so, the DOUBLE ERROR lets us build representations in which forms are ‘split up’ and notionally equipped with their own internal jumpstart powers of sourcing actions and developments, which gives us a means of REPRESENTING [reduced abstractions of] relational forms in the ineffable transforming relational continuum (the Wave-field aka Tao).
[the wave-field basis of reality invites us to understand reality in terms of all relational context and not content; e.g. see http://goodshare.org/wp/the-world-as-all-context-no-content/
CLOSING OBSERVATION: to this “Philosophical Investigation of the abstract concept of COMPETITION”.
The abstract concept of ‘competition’ makes it appear as if the lizards which rush in and surround a fly that has just landed are COMPETING for access to food. If there is one lizard that is consistently getting in there before the others, we might argue that its well-bring (we can see it growing fatter and healthier than the rest) is secured through its persistent WINNING of such COMPETITIONS, but as Nietzsche points out in his critique of Darwinism, this image of scarcity may have come from observations of what goes on in crowded conditions as in London, which is not representative of nature generally.
The abstraction of ‘competition’ builds from the DOUBLE ERROR that imposes on relational flow and its forms, NAMING to impute LOCAL BEING and GRAMMAR to impute powers of SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT to the NAMING instantiated thing-in-itself.
The lizard’s empty belly may be a region of deficit that needs to be connected to a region of surplus in the service of cultivating relational balance. There is no ONE-SIDED INTERNALLY JUMPSTARTED SOURCING of actions and developments, but instead, an outside-inward swallowing that is dynamic balance with and inside-outward excreting; i.e. that IS THE ORGANISM, not THE ORGANISM AS A LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF THAT INGESTS AND EXCRETES’.
“In developing this aspect of the will to power, Nietzsche drew heavily on the ideas of an obscure Anglo-German zoologist, William Rolph (‘Biologische Probleme’). … Rolph denies the existence of an instinct for self-preservation – or at the very least rejects the notion that such a drive represents the principle motivation of animal behaviour. Rather, life seeks primarily to expand itself. This elementary proposition is expressed as a law of assimilation, a law operative in both the organic and inorganic world. Growth, Rolph argues, is determined by a process of diffusion, in which endosmosis predominates over exosmosis. All organic functions, from nutrition and reproduction right up to evolution, can be explained by, and reduced to, this fundamental activity; they are not, as most contemporary biologists assumed, a manifestation of the instinct of self-preservation.” – Gregory Moore, ‘Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor’.
Of course, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have grown up with EGO which encourages us to believe in Darwinism wherein COMPETITION is seen as a Natural ‘built-in’ animating influence that is used to explain the ‘evolutionary’ dynamics of ‘living organisms’. Darwinism embodies the DOUBLE ERROR and COMPETITION is intellectual abstraction to explain ‘evolution’ of independent ‘forms” (but not relational transformation of the overall continuum). Meanwhile, the ‘evolution’ of forms is based on the DOUBLE ERROR).
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