Author’s Subtext : The Tiger Woods Affair
Writing this ‘author’s subtext’ didn’t come as easily to me, as it usually does and I have had to ask myself ‘why’?
I never write ‘from planned structure’ but instead I ‘explode a central idea’ that is essential ‘relational’. The ‘exploding’ is guided from the outside-in by certain thoughts that are in my mind at the time which are ‘bigger than’ the ‘idea’ itself; such as ‘why am I writing this particular article’, and a miscellany of thoughts that pertain to the act of writing it, and how it might be interpreted (or not) by the reader etc. etc.
After I have written the article, then I review what all of those ‘outside of the article’ influences were as I was writing. This is kind of like describing the movements of one’s fingers as one fashions a snowball in one’s bare hands. The shape and quality of the ‘content’, the ‘snowball’ is the thing that ‘persists’ but all of those wigglings and bendings of the fingers have disappeared. What were the shaping forces like along the rocky coast where giant arches persist just offshore, their centres having been ‘chewed out’ of them by the violence of the waves? As one regards ‘content’ (the ‘dynamical figure’) and lets the mind move back and away from it into the invisible-because-purely-transient shape-sourcing ‘dynamical ground’, one can only capture a few of the most ‘obvious’ ‘shapers’; e.g, there was the big storm of ’37 or the missing finger or etc.
Out of my early memories I remember my mother (daughter of Italian peasants who emigrated to Canada before she was born) expressing disgust and outrage over the brutal way in which Mussolini and Carla Petacci were ‘taken out’ and while there was no doubt of how firmly she opposed fascism and supported her brothers who had all served in the Canadian military, she could not support such vile vengefulness of those (perhaps all of us) who were in no way ‘innocent’ themselves.
This gave me the ‘idea-to-explode’ of ‘darkness on the loose’ that is determined to ‘go somewhere’ (associated with celebrity worship and celebrity renouncing). This ‘darkness’ being ‘energy’ that is unaccounted for in our standard western ‘mythological’ representations where the entire ‘habitat-dynamic’ must be explained by ‘the dynamics of the inhabitants’ as if they were local, independent entities with their own local internally-sourced agency.
But in the case of the Tiger Woods Affair, self-reflection was built into the actual unfolding news event; i.e. even experienced news journalists were asking themselves out loud, whether they ought to be giving all this coverage to the inside details of an individual just because he was a ‘celebrity’, and whether it was public demand or media copy-selling (profit-seeking) that was determining this.
This was not like writing about Obama’s views on Afghanistan where one could view the same situation ‘out there’ from the point of view aboriginal physics (e.g. ‘the Taliban is the ‘result’ rather than the ‘cause’ of unrest in the region) . There was no ‘self-reflection’ in the Obama ‘pitch’; it starts off talking about ‘what’s out there’ as if there is no need to include the observer (the tools of the inquiry) in the inquiry.
Bringing the tools of inquiry back inside the inquiry is what aboriginal physics is all about. And this is where the author’s subtext comes in, which represents the wriggling of the fingers that shaped the snowball, so that it does not get presented as having an immaculate conception, the enlightenment process of ‘observer-exclusion’ and ‘perspective’ which makes us into ‘parasites of the visible’ (Kunze).
The Tiger Woods Affair is different in that it already gets into this reflection on the nature of the self. The very question that Peter Mansbridge (CBC, ‘The National’) asked his ‘At Issue Panel’, … ‘is this us, the press, that is in control of the depth and persistence of coverage in the personal life of this celebrity or is it the public demand?’
Finally, the observer, the tool of inquiry, is being pulled out of his normal outside voyeur ante-chamber and is being pulled inside of the inquiry.
This Tiger Woods story starts there, and that’s what makes it different. Obama presents his view of Afghanistan as if there is an objective world out there which runs on its own, like a machine, so that intervention is presented in terms comparable to intervening into a car engine that has a problem in it; ‘let’s see, we’ll take the fan belt off and then the ignition module and sparkplug wires, that will give room to inspect the fuel pump.
The engine is ‘out there’ and the (excluded-observer) ‘interveners’ present themselves as ‘mechanics’ who will tinker with a local objective system.
Well, that’s not bloody realistic. What’s more realistic is Wheeler’s U-shaped view of the universe. The observer is the head of the snake whose tail is coiled in the whole nested ball of snakes and even when the snake-head is speaking the snakes in the nesting ball-of-snakes can feel the effect of its wriggling tail. And when the snake-head moves in to ‘bite’, it may be doing injury to itself.
Anyhow, the Tiger Woods Affair is already forcing us to look at the basic issues, how the tools of inquiry cannot be realistically viewed as being excluded from the inquiry. But if things go as they have typically gone in our culture, we won’t dwell very long on this question and we’ll just let ourselves continue to drift towards an intensification of our ‘celebrity-worshipping – flag-sucking’ propensities.
So, I guess I am into the author’s ‘meta-subtext’ here, so let me back up to the ‘subtext’ level; i.e. what it was, insofar as I could ‘read myself’ that was shaping the content of ‘The Tiger Woods Affair’.
There was ‘dark energy on the loose’ and this common theme in these APN newsletters associates with ‘representation’ wherein we lift out the dynamical figure (e.g. the familiar ‘hurricane’ example) from the ‘dynamical ground’ and then proceed to reconstruct dynamics by way of mentally animating the ‘dynamical figures’. In other words, WE TAKE OVER THE ANIMATION JOB that is in reality done by the ‘dynamical ground’.
The words ‘Katrina is heading northwest towards the Louisiana coast’ sound very authoritative, do they not? ‘Hey, this NBC meteorologist really knows what he is talking about!’. The articulation does the animating. The articulator is in control of the dynamic, thanks to our having lifted the dynamical forms out of the dynamical ground.
Something weird is going on here because no-one but the dark energy (the invisible potential energies, pressure differentials etc.) in the flow of the atmosphere and oceans which are continually inventing the storm-cell, the result of turbulence in their ‘dynamical ground’ KNOW where the invention gathers. But, strangely, there is an authority in the weather-man’s voice that makes it seem as if ‘he knows’, but then, he is no longer talking about ‘the dynamical ground’; i.e. it is as if the ‘dynamical ground’, the ‘dark energy’, no longer exists. He is talking about the ‘dynamical figure’ as if it were a ‘thing-in-its-own-right’, as if it were a ‘local, independently-existing system with its own local energy-agency’. That’s the ‘dynamics’ that the newscast meteorologist is talking about, and it is no longer ‘the real dynamics’ of his/our experience. He has created a ‘myth’, the ‘myth of the birth and life of Katrina, the dynamical figure, who his somehow inherited ‘a mind of her own’ that has allowed her to separate from her ‘invisible aspect’, her dark-energy dynamical ground.
Well, we all know better. We don’t have to go to university for years and years to understand that the flow of the atmosphere and the oceans are inextricably unified in their dynamic (as is all of nature) and that it is a simplification of convenience (to us) wherein we synthetically ‘lift out’ the dynamical forms from the unity of the dynamical ground and RE-PRESENT them as local systems with their own local agency, giving them an apparent ‘mind-of-their-own’.
In other words we invent the notion of ‘mind’, … we force us selves to invent it, … when we split apart the dynamical figure from the dynamical ground. The ‘mind’ becomes the local inboard ‘animator’ of the now (artificially) liberated ‘dynamical figure’.
Dialogue between aliens from the planet Nrutas;
Sunaru: Did you overhear those earthlings? They claim that they get up in the morning because ‘they’ve a mind to’. Do you think that they really believe that ‘they are organising themselves’ and that it is not the celestial light show that is orchestrating their individual and collective behaviours in this ‘rising in the morning’ way?
Sunev: I’m afraid that they actually believe that it is ‘this thing they call ‘their mind’’ that directs all of their behaviours. In order to make this belief that their behaviour is fully invented inside of them and directed outwards ‘hang together’, they invent notions like ‘instinct’ and ‘purpose’ as kind of arm-waving catch-alls to explain some of their dynamics that are more difficult to explain than with the basic notion of a ‘mind’ as an internal processing unit that receives incoming sensory information, processes and interprets it, formulates alternative responses to it, decides on which of the alternatives it is going to choose, and then mobilizes itself in the implementation of the chosen response.
Sunaru: Wow, isn’t that bizarre. All of this complexity in exchange for their ‘simplification’ of splitting apart the dynamical figure from the dynamical ground. But still, why doesn’t their ‘science’ that they are so proud of, reveal to them the artificiality of inventing this notion of ‘mind’ which serves the ploy of reducing the conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation’ to a ‘local inhabitant’ that is now separate from the ‘habitat’ and which interacts with it ‘sequentially’ forcing another abstract invention, ‘time’.
Sunev: Well, it is amazing, but very interesting too, how the self-deception is managed. The do not have just one ‘science’ but what they do is invent a number of different ‘sciences’ that hide the ‘reality’ in the cracks between them. For example, instead of conceding that the spatial dynamics they are included in, such as the changing illumination is the source of organisation of their individual and collective behaviour, they break everything down to local agencies that act and interact in sequence or in ‘time’. By doing this the remove the inherent spatial-relational nature of their experience.
Sunaru: Now that you mention it, I did notice this curious explanation being given of the ‘morning riser’. One scientist ‘froze’ the fluid cell of the sun and imputed it to be a local object that generated something call ‘rays’ of light. The sun, being one of these earthling notions of a local source of dynamics, is said to generate a ‘ray’ and to send it down to earth so that, after bouncing off a few trees or whatever, it proceeds through holes in the earthling’s house called ‘windows’ and after bouncing around a bit more passes through the thin fleshy eyelid of the earthling, at which point the one scientist, the ‘physicist’, having done his job, passes the baton to a couple of others, the ‘biophysicist’ and the ‘biochemist’ and they continue to spin the tale, saying that the ‘light ray’, through some biophysical processes, stimulates the production of biochemicals that are then circulated through the body, arousing the earthling to the point that he becomes ‘aware’ that it is morning, and thus invoking his stored memory of experiences, he recalls that it is a lot easier to do many of the things he needs to do, find food, build shelters etc. in the illuminated space.
Sunev: Yes, and such fragmented complexity being embraced in spite of their experience of the all-in-phase chirping of the birds, re-opening of closed flower buds, dissipating of the condensation/mist, the stirring of the wind all of these in-phase arousals across the entire interdependent web of life that the earthling is just one strand in, arousing together, … yet he and his science choose to insist that he is the local driver of his own behaviour, and of course they teach this to their children so generation after generation of earthlings continue to buy into this ‘representation-based mythology’.
Sunaru: But wait a minute. I did hear some of their physicists say that the notion of a ‘ray’ and thus ‘radiation’ is simplifying abstraction and that there is a wave structure to space and matter, so that they have the wherewithal to understand the world dynamic in terms of spatial-relations that are continually transforming rather than in this mythology of local things with ‘minds of their own’, dynamical figures that are absurdly divorced from the dynamical ground, as results from using ‘representations’ as imputed ‘reliable’ substitutes for the visual.
Sunev: Well, you’re right. They have the wherewithal to sort out this mess which really went ballistic during the Enlightenment period with the use of ‘representation’ as an imputed ‘reliable’ substitute for the visible/real, and there are small pockets of earthlings that have been working on raising awareness to this inversion that puts the ‘dynamical figure’ before the ‘dynamical ground’ so that the ‘dark energy’ has to be accounted for in the mythological model of the world dynamic in terms ‘local figures with their own local agency’. The problem is that their sense of ‘self’, of ‘who they are’ has been ‘taken over’ by this mythological model, so it is no mean task to back themselves out of this popular illusion of ‘who they are’.
Sunarev: Hmmm, … now I can see how their religious beliefs are tied up in this, as well. This question of the sun as radiant source seems to epitomize the problem of inversion. Some religious beliefs assume that the source of what happens is local so that the ‘saviour’ is ‘represented’ as energy that is exuding from a radiant figure, much as the physicist who breaks ‘rays’ out of ‘waves’ does so for convenience, of course the notion of a ‘ray’, of something going from A to B in a straight line, forces what kind of notion one shall use for space; i.e. it forces the notion of an absolute fixed containing space.
Sunev: Indeed. Though the understanding in the aboriginal tradition and in their Buddhist and Vedanta traditions is that ‘dark energy’ is the source of all dynamics, which means ‘dynamical figures’ as well as the perceived antics of the dynamical figures, much as in the fluid-dynamical world view of the more ancient western Greek philosophers, an understanding that was overtaken as ‘representations’ of those ‘dynamical figures’ were notionally ‘split out’ from the dark (invisible) energy of the dynamical ground. What has to be overcome in the current earthling society, is the ‘fear of darkness’. The dark energy or ‘potential energy’ is continually releasing and transformation of dynamical figures is conjugate to this release,… so the current western thinkers have the impossible job of ‘blaming some dynamical figure or other’ for being the source of emergent dynamics, when the source of all dynamics is the ‘dark energy’ that has been lost from the accounting by the use of ‘representations’ as imputedly ‘reliable’ substitutes for the visible/real.
Sunarev: So, what is in effect happening is that they are notionally ‘harnessing’ the dark energies, purporting these energies to be coming from the internal centre of themselves, and fashioning their notion of the ‘self’ in this manner, this being an inversion of the aboriginal understanding of the self in terms of a ‘strand’ in the interdependent web of life, like the dynamical figure of a storm-cell in the atmospheric flow or ‘dynamical ground’, a relation wherein it is impossible to separate the dynamical figure from the dynamical, dark-energy ground.
Sunev: Yes, to go back to ‘ray’ or ‘radiant energy’ versus the ‘wave’ or ‘spatial energy’, the former is a view wherein the sourcing energy of dynamics comes from a notional local point and moves out from that ‘point’ in ‘time’, and the latter is an understanding wherein the individual and all things are included in an energy-flow, a dynamical ground that is continually gathering energy into ‘dynamical figures’ and re-gathering the energy into new ‘dynamical figures’.
Sunarev: So, what has to change for them, to liberate themselves from all of this finger-pointing that creates the notion of ‘doers of good’ and ‘doers of evil’ is a reassessment of ‘who they are’. It seems that it will be difficult for them to ‘back out’ of this representational mythology because, based on this view, the masses of the people are giving themselves up to be led by ‘celebrities’, those who they impute to have exceptional internally sourced powers of ‘doing good’.
Sunev: This is true. It is easier to fall into the trap of being mesmerized by a world view based on representational mythology, where one starts out from the humility of seeing the ‘self’ as a strand in an interdependent web or a convecting cell within a ground-flow, and acquires the hubris of believing that their ‘self’ is the absolute local first cause source of creative/productive dynamics. Given that masses of people ‘believe’ that they must attribute ‘what happens’ to the actions of notional ‘local organisms/systems, notionally with their own local ‘mind’ that directs their own local agency’, their first thought (given that they are in this culturally conditioned belief mode) will be to run like hell from the idea that ‘dark energy rules’ because their view of ‘self’ made them feel as if they were ‘in control’, even though all hell was breaking loose in the society at large due to the ‘dark energy’ not being accounted for within their mythological world view based on ‘representations’ of dynamical figures, which, having been abstractly broken out of their dynamical ground are now seen as running around loose and free as ‘local, independent causal agents with their own local internal ‘minds’ directing their own local internally originating power’.
Sunarev: OUCH! They’ve got themselves into a hole that its going to be difficult to climb back out of. Good luck to all those earthlings working the issue, and those being worked by it.
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Ok, I can and cannot call the above ‘author’s subtext’. I can because it was this outside-inward dark energy sourcing that was on my mind as I was writing the Tiger Woods Affair, but I cannot, in the sense that what I have written about in the form of a dialogue between two aliens is an ‘explosion’ of the basic idea I was thinking about.
Tiger Woods himself gets lost in this whole song and dance, and perhaps that is rightfully so, because in talking about Tiger Woods, we are really talking about, and questioning, our own sense of self.
But I will go back to the initial thought as a very young child in sensing ‘sorrow’ in my mother over the violent ending of Carlo Petacci and Mussolini since the people (all of us, really) who are bound up in the emergent darkness of war, are to blame. We are to blame most of all, for continuing to believe in this acculturated mythology wherein we say that we are each ‘local organisms with our own local agency’ and thus we are each fully and solely responsible for our own behaviours. By this belief we impute to the ‘celebrity’ such as Mussolini, God-like powers of local internal first-cause creative energy, … God-like powers (properly reserved for ‘dynamical ground’ instead of to ‘representations’ of dynamical figures) which, by imputing them to ourselves and others, we become at the same time submissive to. This ‘local mind’ thing we have invented to make our models hang together, becomes the master and the slave at the same time. To repeat what Thomas Mann observed;
“The capacity for self-surrender, he said, for becoming a tool, for the most unconditional and utter self-abnegation, was but the reverse side of that other power to will and to command. Commanding and obeying formed together one single principle, one indissoluble unity; he who knew how to obey knew also how to command, and conversely; the one idea was comprehended in the other, as people and leader were comprehended in one another.”
It seems to me that this is the ‘schizophrenic normality’ of western Enlightenment society that builds dependently from our using ‘representations’ of ‘dynamical figures’ as imputedly ‘reliable’ substitutes for the real thing.
It’s no wonder that aboriginal physics (not to mention the understandings in Buddhism and Vendanta) asks us to ‘get headless’ and to transcend this abstract notion of ‘local presence’ and ‘local creative agency’. This is the idealised stuff that we confuse for reality. It is the stuff by which we make God-like power-possessing ‘celebrities’ of ourselves and others, while the dark energy of space that we have denied plays havoc in our western mythology wherein representations of dynamical figures, disembodied from their dynamical ground (which we equip with a notional mind to compensate) are expected to be accountable for all of the world dynamic in this peculiar ‘inside-outward’ ‘radiant’ manner.
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