An EASTERN-Minded View of the Popular WESTERN Model of REALITY
FORWARD: Both the EAST and Modern physics understand ‘health’ in the body and ‘health’ in the social collective in terms of NONLOCAL relational resonance, while understanding illness in terms of NONLOCAL relational dissonance. This understanding employs the ‘quantum’ BOTH/AND logic of the INCLUDED medium wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE (“inhabitant” and “habitat” are ONE). Illness is understood as the falling out of relational resonance and remediation is the restoring of resonance.
Conversely, both the WEST and Newtonian physics understand ‘health’ in the body and ‘health’ in the social collective in terms of LOCAL production of beneficial outputs and conditions, and illness in terms of the production of pathological outputs and conditions. This understanding employs the EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED MEDIUM wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-TWO. Illness is the attack of pathogens and remediation is the neutralizing of pathogens.
While the EAST view accords with the modern physics supported reality, the WEST mistakes NONLOCAL phenomena for LOCAL phenomena, both in the case of beneficial outputs and pathological outputs. In the WEST, dissonance arising from imbalance (e.g. in race relations) although NONLOCAL in essence, is misinterpreted as a LOCAL ‘attack of pathogens’. NONLOCAL dissonance is not resolved (and may be exacerbated) by attempts to eliminate “LOCAL” pathogens while short term superficial relief may be gained at the expense of long term deepening of the problem.
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(This note was formerly titled “A Cynic’s view of Popular Models of Reality”)
The masculine assertive model of ‘reality’ is very popular in our WESTERN CULTURE. It makes it appear as if we are ‘in control of our own destiny’. I am pondering this as my nephew, who was due to fly to England today to join his girl friend was bitten by a dog while on a morning jog. Will he still make his flight? We’ll see. As Robbie Burns allowed, The best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley’.
My university’s motto is Tuum Est, ‘It’s up to you’. I never did like that motto. For me, it gives out too much of a born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-one’s-mouth allusion. Why not, instead, ‘It’s up to us’.
WESTERN CULTURE ARCHETYPE IN THE MIST OF INFERENCE: Whazzamatta ghetto-boy, don’t have what it takes? Just read MY biography while I play the Frank Sinatra favourite ‘I did it my way’.
The Tuum Est model of reality works especially well for ego-inflation-prone WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS like many if not most of us WCAs, but there are other models of reality. There is the Sophie’s choice model of reality where’s its ‘up to you’ to determine whether your first born or second born child will be ‘taken’.
There is also the Paleface choice when you find yourself in a desperate situation and your buddy Tonto says to you, ‘what you mean ‘we’, white man?
As Newton complained, there are no solutions to dynamic situations involving more than two bodies. “An exact solution for three bodies, exceeds, if I am not mistaken, the force of any human mind” – Isaac Newton
Trouble is, … life’s full of such interferential relational complexities where three or more bodies are simultaneously influencing the unfolding reality.
When one is being chased by a bear, survival is not determined simply by how fast you can run, but by how fast the others you are with can run.
But language still allows us to say; ‘I am a survivor because I set my mind to it and escaped from the attacking bear’ (left unsaid; ‘the others weren’t so fortunate’) One statement may be logically true but it simply brings forth recall of Goedel’s theorem which proves the INCOMPLETENESS of all finite systems of logical propositions. Keep your eye on the trickery in the simple masculine assertive propositions we employ all the time, like those which employ the word GROWTH, which obscures the reality of TRANSFORMATION. Nietzsche pointed out the DOUBLE ERROR problem in this regard, where we say stuff like ‘the TOWN is growing larger and more populous and productive’ which makes NO MENTION OF THE REALITY of the conjugate SHRINKAGE of Wilderness and its diversity.
It was the indigenous aboriginals, who have a relational language, who accused the ‘Paleface’ of ‘speaking with forked tongue’, and this is a valuable understanding of the screw-up pitfalls in our WESTERN CULTURE language architectures where we use the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR to make it appear as if actions are locally sourced… ACTIONS ARE NOT LOCALLY SOURCED.
But if actions were locally sourced, they would be easier to put into an easily understandable language-based construction. So it is, also, (for the drunk or the confused) that searching under a streetlamp for one’s wristwatch lost on a dark stretch, offers far better searching conditions. Why not construct a “SUBSTITUTE REALITY” is it is more easily communicated/shared?
In the circus game of ‘bumper cars’, one’s own movement is embedded within the long chain of being bumped around by others so that the snapshot of you as you smash into another with your brakes on captures only the fact that you have smashed into another. Similarly, when you are on the balcony in the crowded football stadium and get pressed against the pregnant lady situated right on the low railing on the upper level, and the press of the crowd transmitted through you pushes her over he rail, what the snapshot catches is that same ‘bumper car like dynamic’. The dynamic is LOCAL but its origin is NONLOCAL.
David Bohm observes that this is REALITY as understood in modern physics; i.e. that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS LOCAL SOURCING, there is only relational movement, which is INNATELY NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT (relational) as characterizes the Wave-field aka the Tao. Just because we have ‘language’ where we can impose DOUBLE ERROR NAMING and GRAMMAR based reduction to say that Fred was the one who was pressing against Mary and made her fall over the balcony railing, .. this does not mean that that is the FULL STORY. As Geodel’s theorem says, all finite propositions of logic are innately incomplete.
But if you are in the freeway traffic when the rabbit darts across the freeway and there is braking and swerving and speeding up that continues for miles down through the long queue of vehicles until someone crashes into someone else and then the police and the justice system goes in search of a perpetrator-victim combination, because NONLOCALITY, while it is the REALITY, is far too obstruse and complicated for setting up a damage control management scheme. The complexity of NONLOCAL REALITY is cast aside so as to exploit the simplicity of LOCAL REALITY. So, if you have to go looking for something in the obscurity, like the watch you lost on a dark stretch, why not shift your exploration to some place were things are more easily seen?
After all, Robin Hood stole grain from the King’s granary, did he not? And Jean Valjean stole bread from the bakery, did he not? And what’s with all these shaggy dog stories about starving children in a land of plenty where there seems to be a distribution problem that needs fixing? Is it NOT TRUE that Robin Hood removed grain from the King’s granary, the grain being rightfully and legally deposited there as payment for the exorbitant but fully legal taxes imposed by the King on the ‘commoners’. The logic that convicted Robin Hood of theft is explicit and determinant.
Of course, as Goedel’s theorem points out, all systems of logic are innately incomplete, yet they are so exquisitely explicit and certain the shorter and more succinct they are, … and those are great attributes for constructing a clean and certain system of regulating the social dynamic. Tuum Est, … it is up to us to regulate our social dynamic in a manner that is clear and predictable and fair, insofar, as a system based on extracting a perpetrator and victim from an unbounded relational network of interfering dynamics can be clear and predictable and fair. No time for shaggy dog stories backed by sweet sounding violins as a background for ghetto children crying from starvation, in their abodes on the ‘wrong’ side of the tracks, across from those bloating form conspicuous consumption of over-abundance. No doubt the latter were deserving of that excess due to their own SOURCING of productive actions and developments, a SOURCING which a small minority ‘at the top’ contribute to in a ratio that is currently said to be ONE THOUSAND TIMES greater than the contributions of ‘average working person’. This ratio has recently been upped from about 17:1 to 1000:1 based on careful inquiry supervised by ‘those in the know’; i.e. the top contributors.
Evidently, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS, in as much as we ‘go along with’ such assessment of SOURCING ACCREDITATION, set aside the ‘BUMPER CAR’ theory of advancement that BLURS, innately, the question of the ‘beginning’ of the chain of events leading to prosperity here or there. If AIDS made the condom manufacturer richer than ever before, we must credit the condom producer for being in the right place at the right time. That is how the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR works to cut through all the relational complexity in what is always a bumper car reality; One simply starts from an EVENT and identifies a receiver (victim or beneficiary) and a transmitter (author or sourcerer). This is the recipe for the cause-and-effect principle of Newtonian physics, which, as Benjamin Whorf points out, derives from the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
QUESTION: Now, how many ways can we construct REALITY? ANSWER: LOTS!
But which REALITY shall we employ as our OPERATIVE REALITY?
The WESTERN CULTURE answer to that one is as follows;
« La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure’ » Lafontaine
That’s why the WESTERN CULTURE rewards for ‘SOURCING’ actions and developments have been hiked to 1000 times more for the ‘person at the top’ than the person on the ‘shop floor’.
The indigenous aboriginal’s celebration of arrival of plenty with a Potlatch comprehends the individual’s role in ‘making deliveries from Nature’ as a kind of NONLOCAL social collective based midwifery, as is also the understanding of modern physics. The WESTERN CULTURE habit of imputing LOCAL SORCERY to an ‘INDIVIDUAL SOURCEROR’ is a tradition based on RATIO aka REASON which is summarily determined and based on, as just mentioned;
« La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure’ »
“ Le plus fort” is also where the orders came from to increase the TOP SORCERERS’ compensation from 17:1 compared with the ‘shop floor average’, as in the 1950’s, .. to the 1000:1 that is current in our WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENCY.
The drunk searching under the streetlight for what she lost on the darkened portion of the road is directly analogous to the RATIO based (reason based) approach to reality construction that we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are generally using. That is, there is no such thing as RATIO in our real life experience. It is pure abstraction, as Bohm points out, that we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS substitute for the complex relational REALITY wherein ‘everything is in flux’ so that THERE IS NO “LOCAL” SOURCING of actions and developments.
Here comes the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR to the ‘RESCUE’ where we can overcome the NONLOCALITY of the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE by uttering the words ‘The TOWN is GROWING’. With these words, not only have we constructed a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein LOCAL GROWTH is possible, we have marketed a general schema for side-stepping the INEFFABLITY of NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION.
In this SUBSTITUTE REALITY, … which is just for us WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS, which makes us look like CRAZIES to indigenous aboriginals, Taoists/Buddhists and Advaita Vedanta adherents (as also from a modern physics perspective), we say that dynamics are LOCALLY SOURCED!
So, … it’s GOODBYE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE, … and HELLO Euclidian space frame populated LOCALLY by NAMING-instantiated THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES with GRAMMAR-given powers of SOURCING actions and developments. Welcome to the TOWN “ON” the PRAIRIE which is the SOURCE of ITS OWN GROWTH. Nietzsche’s example of Lightning Flashes highlights the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR we are making with such constructs that we use to impute LOCAL SOURCING of actions and development. The TOWN is GROWING brews up this same DOUBLE ERROR.
But, we get our wish, that is to find a way to avoid the unending NONLOCALITY of our reality of inclusion in the Wave-field aka the Tao where the ambiguity as to ‘sourcing’ of the BUMPER CAR dynamic is the actual OPERATIVE REALITY, as corresponds with David Bohm’s example of ‘the death of Lincoln’ which the ‘bumper-car’ investigation of which implicates the inventors of gunpowder and more. So, don’t let us tell ourselves, that we can start from where two bumper cars collide and explain what transpired by identifying a LOCAL perpetrator-victim combination, as NAMING and GRAMMAR (the DOUBLE ERROR combination) allows us to do.
There are evidently a number of ways of conceiving and giving language based representation to ‘reality’. The above discussion reviews several options;
-1- Tuum Est, the University of British Columbia motto translates as ‘It’s up to you’. This can be interpreted as if we each have the power to assert and create reality, or co-create reality. This logic does not escape Goedel’s theorem of the incompleteness of all finite logical propositions. What about Newton’s “I have stood on the shoulders of Giants”, so which Giants should we mount? And if we choose the wrong giants for foundations for our contributions, does Tuum Est still hold?
-2- Newton also pointed out that; ““An exact solution for three bodies, exceeds, if I am not mistaken, the force of any human mind”. This reminds us that (a) there are dynamics involving many mutually influencing participants like a swarm of gnats or a school of dolphins who’s composite behavour is capable of more than ‘the sum of the parts’ of its component behaviours, a well-known to physics phenomenon called NONLINEAR DYNAMICS.
Instead of ‘solving these problems’ which is impossible, we solve a substitute version of them which is finite and explicit. This is what ‘ratio’ and ‘rationalizing’ (‘reasoning’) is for. If I say that my plot of cultivated land is GROWING larger, I am using RATIO which refers back to the notional LOCAL SOURCE so that we don’t have to deal with the conjugate REDUCTION OF THE Wilderness and the whole problem of NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION. If we stick with just TWO THINGS, as with the EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED medium, we can employ the before and after concept of RATIO which delivers the notion of GROWTH which is LOCAL and avoids having to address TRANSFORMATION with its complex conjugate REAL and PHANTOM aspects.
-3- The THREE body problem reality can also involve situations like being pursed by a lion where one may claim to have been able to outrun the lion and gain refuge, but one can make that claim without the necessity of mentioning the third person who was a slower runner than oneself causing the lion to stop to make a meal of the other, allowing more getaway time. So while it would be true to say that one escaped from the lion, as if it were a two-body issue, … the reality is that the three body structure of the dynamic gives a more complete understanding. One can see how two-body logic expresses truths that are LESS COMPLETE than three body truths.
Similarly, we can speak of the GROWTH and DECLINE of the tent town on the flanks of Everest as climbers make the ascent to the summit. We may assume that the GROWTH of the tent-town is LOCAL, however, inclement weather at the summit serves the same role as the GRID in the vacuum tube of an amplifier in that it constitutes a THIRD influence that encourages (amplifies) or discourages (attenuates) flow and thus allows ‘overhead’ conditions to serve as a NONLOCAL source of the GROWTH or DECLINE of the base-camp population. If we simply speak in terms of the GROWTH of the basecamp, it comes across as if the GROWTH is LOCAL (locally instantiated), however, the phenomenon is innately NONLOCAL and it is not about GROWTH which is something that happens to a LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF, but is instead about TRANSFORMATION which is NONLOCAL and purely relational. TRANSFORMATION is purely relational and CAN’T REALLY be reduced to the BINARY RATIO-based concept of GROWTH (i.e. there is no LOCAL ONTOLOGICAL THING-IN-ITSELF involved in TRANSFORMATION).
-4- The behaviour of the DRUNK who searches under the streetlight for her watch that she lost on a dark stretch of the road, “because the search conditions are far better there”, is not as foreign to our own behaviour as we may reflexively think it is. In the ‘bumper car’ example, REASON is an approach to understanding based on RATIO which is where we impute LOCAL SOURCING of actions and development to avoid the unending complexity of NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION. If we impose RATIO in constructing a simplified representation of more complex transformational phenomena, we can LOCALIZE that which is inherently NONLOCAL. But, of course, our bumper car collision is NOT THE LOCAL JUMPSTART BEGINNING of an action and development, as we popularly make it out to be, it is the manifest outwelling of a relational web of dynamics which, if traced back, disappears into a maze of interfering influences that are reminiscent of complexity theory’s ‘butterfly effect’ where the backwards-seeking quest to identify the original “SOURCE” of the storm seems to point to ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’ that are themselves numerous and miniscule, kind of like the disparate-but-dancing-together points making up the body of a ‘wave’ in the ocean.
POST-SUMMARY PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE:
Both Modern Physics and the EASTERN cultures, including the indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, choose to conceive of reality in NONLOCAL terms which is consistent with the ‘Wave-field’ view. In this view, the concept of LOCAL SOURCING and GROWTH based on FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO is no longer cogent and the reality-dynamic is understood as TRANSFORMATION; a NONLOCAL dynamic wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE.
The concept of PATHOGEN, which implies LOCAL SOURCING and which is based on FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO is no longer viable in the Modern Physics and EASTERN culture conceptualizations of reality. In its place is relational dissonance and relational harmony, which are NONLOCAL aspects of ongoing TRANSFORMATION. That is, the basic ‘reality dynamic’ is NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION which merely MANIFESTS LOCALLY as in the LOCAL COLLISION in the ‘bumper-car’ example, and at this point of LOCAL MANIFESTING a ‘perpetrator’ and ‘victim’ can be ‘identified’ EVEN THOUGH the origin of the action is, as in the ‘butterfly effect’, NONLOCAL. That is, the location of the STORM in no way marks the location of the STORM’s origination. As in the ‘bumper car’ analogy, there is no LOCAL and EXPLICIT SOURCE of the dissonance, thus the designating of a LOCAL ATTACK OF A PATHOGEN/PERPETRATOR and VICTIM is ABSTRACTION designed to bring LOCAL CLOSURE to phenomena that is inherently NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT and part of the ongoing TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM.
WESTERN CULTURE use of LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR in the DOUBLE ERROR construction scheme reduces NONLOCAL REALITY to a LOCAL SOURCING based SUBSTITUTE REALITY. This has led to the approach in WESTERN MEDICINE and WESTERN CRIMINAL JUSTICE where the goal is to ‘eliminate the alleged “SOURCES” of PATHOLOGY (CRIMINAL ACTIONS). This superficial approach fails to address the “REAL” NONLOCAL origins of relational dissonance.
EASTERN CULTURE responses to relational dissonance as in the indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, seeks to move so as to continually restore relational balance and harmony. In the ‘bumper car’ example, this entails, steering, braking and/or accelerating so as cancel out emerging dissonance rather than attempt to, as in WESTERN CULTURE, ELIMINATE PERPETRATORS of conflict since those identified as PERPETRATORS of conflict by way of the LOCAL PERPETRATOR-VICTIM BIPOLAR CONFLICT are in no way the ROOT SOURCE of the dissonance.
The problem in that WESTERN CULTURE stems from the EGO-based belief in LOCAL SOURCING. This leads to the MISINTERPRETATION of LOCAL SOURCING and the identification and REMOVAL of the notional LOCAL SOURCING AGENT. In the BUMPER CAR analogy, a collision, even though it is included within NONLOCAL dissonance, may be deemed a LOCAL EVENT which lends itself to BINARY deconstruction in LOCAL PERPETRATOR-VICTIM terms. Such ABSTRACT interpretation SUBSTITUTES for the more relevant action which involves ALL PARTICIPANTS in adjusting their movements so as to ‘SWALLOW’ or ‘ABSORB’ immanent dissonance so that harmony will prevail.
HARMONY and DISSONANCE are relational dynamics that are INHERENTLY NONLOCAL and constitute the PRIMARY REALITY.
WESTERN CULTURE meanwhile sees Conflict as something that not only manifests LOCALLY but ORIGINATES LOCALLY, and thus develops programs aimed at ELIMINATING the LOCAL PATHOGEN. Thus WESTERN CULTURE FAILS to acknowledge and encourage the understanding that is in terms of the relational origins of dissonance and the value of adjusting one’s movements RELATIVELY in the service of STARVING OUT DISSONANCE and FEEDING HARMONY.
Note that this latter EASTERN approach embodies the implication that FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE as characterizes the TRANSFORMING relational continuum aka the Wave-field aka the Tao.
WESTERN CULTURE EGO, being rooted in belief in LOCAL SOURCING of actions and developments, is DEADLY to the needed approach of moving so as to STARVE OUT DISSONANCE and FEED HARMONY since such an approach implies ‘matakuye oyasin’ (everything is related) which is incompatible with a belief in ‘INDEPENDENT THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES’ with notional LOCAL powers of SOURCING actions and developments (abstraction deriving from the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR).
BUMPER CAR LANGUAGE appears to be the RHEOMODE that Bohm was aiming to develop which he discovered had already developed as ALGONQUIN and other indigenous aboriginal languages.
The NARRATOR no longer has the option of speaking as if he were the LOCAL SOURCE of his own actions and develoments (the DOUBLE ERROR mode of speaking pointed out by Nietzsche). The NARRATOR can speak of his actions only in terms of his secondary influence on the dynamic relational continuum he is situationally included in. Just as the TOWN CANNOT GROW since it is NOT a LOCAL thing-in-itself but a relational TOWING that is included in the TRANSFORMING, we, as NARRATORS, cannot claim authorship of our own actions and developments. Our motion is like ‘Brownian motion’ which is like BUMPER CAR motion which is NONLOCAL rather than LOCALLY SOURCED. LOCAL SOURCING of actions and development is an ILLUSION as becomes evident to those on the dance-floor of the Titanic.
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS designed our language with a DOUBLE ERROR foundation, the FIRST ERROR where NAMING imputed LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF BEING and the SECOND, CONFLATING ERROR of GRAMMAR imputing the power of LOCAL SOURCING of actions and development of the NAMING-instantiated THING-IN-ITSELF. This is the LOCAL foundation of EGO.
In the EASTERN ‘BUMPER CAR’ language, NONLOCALITY prevails and we have only relative motive contribution, which means that we are INCLUDED IN TRANSFORMATION. BUT WHERE that TRANSFORMATION is ‘coming from’ and WHERE it is headed, is not something knowable since we are included within it and cannot get outside of it to make judgements in regard to “ITS” development. In other words, we are not capable of engineering a SUBJECT-OBJECT SPLITTING as in the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
The BUMPER CAR REALITY opens up for us a sense of inclusion in something greater than ourselves, something which is continually TRANSFORMING We are not ‘IN CONTROL OF IT’ yet our relative actions contribute in its TRANSFORMING and we have the intuitive sense of our contributory influence in this TRANSFORMING even tough it is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT.
Even though the BUMPER CAR does not have ITS OWN MOVEMENTS, we have the sense of being able to move so as to cultivate harmony or dissonance within the transforming relational continuum. We cannot capture this in LOCAL and EXPLICIT terms but we can INTUIT whether our dynamic influence within the transforming relational continuum is cultivating harmony or dissonance.
What Nietzsche has done is to expose the radical distortion in our RATIONAL language based constructions of ‘reality’; i.e. he has exposed the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR that gives rise to the EGO-inflating abstraction of LOCAL SOURCING.
What Bohm has done is to similarly point out the shortfall in RATIO based reality constructions and stressed the need for a flow-based language such as Algonquin. Bohm also affirmed the REALITY of NONLOCALITY.
But his affirmation of the Algonquin language as having an architecture that accommodates NONLOCALITY suggests that it allows the BUMPER-CAR impression of inclusion in TRANSFORMATION where the speaker can know that his actions are RELATIVE to the relational dynamics he is situationally included in.
Intuitively we know how confidently we can construct a SUBSTITUTE REALITY like that in the ballroom of the Titanic,where we cast ourselves as the LOCAL SOURCE of our own LOCAL movements and in so doing, forget that we are included in something greater than ourselves.
‘Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky.’ — Ojibwa sayin
The BUMPER CAR exercise is a reminder that we can be (and in fact ARE) included in a NONLOCAL dynamic greater than ourselves.
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