Why Western Culture is So ‘Successful’ and ‘So Troubled’


Pre-amble: Why Western Culture is So ‘Successful’ and ‘So Troubled’.

‘Success’ in the culture of the WEST is measured in ‘producer-product’ terms where ego swells the head (we see ourselves as name-instantiated things-in-ourselves who we impute to be LOCAL, INDEPENDENT authors of actions and developments.   This language and grammar intellectual ‘double error’ eclipses the RELATIONAL reality of our sensory experience of inclusion in NONLOCALITY; i.e. inclusion in the transforming relational continuum (‘the Tao’) wherein inspiration fills the heart.

In understanding ourselves as belonging to NONLOCAL relational transformation (the Tao), there is no need to INVENT the concept of LOCAL BEING and LOCAL SOURCING of ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS as is done in language and grammar by inventing the PRODUCER-PRODUCT concept.

Because the WEST makes mental models of reality in terms of ABSTRACT LOCAL individual and collective (name-instantiated) producer-product agents that deliver SUCCESS in the abstract intellectual PRODUCER-PRODUCT sense, the relational transformation that is the NATURAL NONLOCAL reality of our sensual experience, submerges beneath our active intellectual awareness (we drop from consciousness the inherently NONLOCAL nature of the Tao dynamic.


REMEMBRANCE in Hygiean and Aesculapian Terms



WAR is a symptom of Western Allopathic Psychological Orientation


There has always been the Hygiean – Aesculapian Division in how we understand the dynamics of nature.  The Hygiean approach is the cultivating and sustaining of balance and harmony while the Aesculapian approach is to root out and eliminate ‘pathogens’ or ‘trouble-makers’.   If we first orient to the cultivating of balance and harmony, we can use the ‘elimination of pathogens’ as a ‘back-up’ last resort, as in indigenous aboriginal cultures, … but if we move the anti-pathogen (Aesculapian) approach into primacy, it becomes our first course of action.  The Robin Hoods and Jean Valjean’s of the world with their Hygiean ethical orientation INSPIRE us while the brute force anti-pathogen approach associates with the ego of those who consider themselves on the side of ‘good’ with respect to their ability to ‘eliminate that which is bad’.


Once we elevate the allopathic Aesculapian approach into primacy over the Hygiean and make it the first course of action, we give no mercy to the Robin Hoods and Jean Valjeans but follow the anti-pathogen course of removing all that disturb the current equilibrium even if that current equilibrium preserves gross imbalance as with rich and poor.  In other words, there is no longer any room for Hygiean recultivating of balance and harmony once the anti-pathogen orientation is given precedence.


WAR is the social-dynamic that corresponds to the anti-pathogen approach, which was recognized as problematic by indigenous aboriginal peoples as recorded in the GREAT PEACE of the Iroquois as also in the indigenous aboriginal folklore generally, which is why such folklore accords with modern physics understanding of the way that Nature works.


Pathogen elimination has become the first course of action of Western society, rather than the back-up.  Philosophically and scientifically, there is no such thing as a pathogen, but there is relational polarization that can give rise to a ‘short-circuit’ where someone or something ‘gets zapped’.  The natural remedy is as found in the ‘healing circles’ of indigenous aboriginal cultures where the root source of relational imbalance (polarization) is addressed and dealt with.


Western culture has largely opted for elevating the allopathic approach to the first course of action, in both the management of relational dynamics within the individual and within the dynamics of the social collective.  This is problematic particularly where the influences giving rise to polarization continue undiminished or are even amplified by the anti-pathogen actions.  The anti-pathogen approach has become the single tool for addressing conflict, and as with the man whose only tool is a hammer, everything is looking like a nail.


REMEMBRANCE, for Hygieans, is something we want to be recorded in a picture of the reconciled ‘sides’ shaking hands.  This is the way of the PEACEMAKER, as in the indigenous aboriginal (e.g. Iroquois) legend of the peacemaker, Dekanawideh, does not seek to overthrow or exterminate the evil  (pathogen) Adodarho, but to meet and find re-conciliatory harmony through mutual participation in relational transformation that subsumes polarized tensions.


We know, from natural experience, this kind of ’Hygiean’  REMEMBRANCE and how natural and harmonious it feels because it is very often our natural ethic in resolving interpersonal strife, and it has the same topological relational form as in the stories of Robin Hood and Jean Valjean, where ‘rebalancing’ is the first-sought remedy for antithetical polarization, rather than taking the imbalance to the abstract extreme of division into the binary opposites of ‘good’ versus ‘evil’.  As Heraclitus pointed out; in nature, such extreme opposites are the ingredients of harmony as in the pulled string of the Lyre, … the point is not to persist in opposition until EITHER one OR the other prevails, but to move forward so as to transcend the polarization to a new understanding where BOTH the one AND the other are mutually accommodating.  This is referred to as QUANTUM LOGIC OF THE INCLUDED MEDIUM, in modern physics wherein ‘figure’ and ‘ground’ are NOT TWO mutually exclusive things-in-themselves, but only appear so, as with the duning and desert floor, where language and naming is what imputes ontological thing-in-itself TWONESS where there is UNITY that merely gives the appearance of TWONESS, as with figure-and-ground in a fluid dynamic.


REMEMBRANCE can thus also come in our acknowledgement of ‘mitakuye oyasin’, ‘we are all related’ by our common inclusion within the transforming relational continuum aka ‘the Tao’ aka ‘the Great Mystery’ aka the Logos’ aka ‘the wavefield’.


MEANWHILE, WESTERN CULTURE ‘REMEMBRANCE’ can harden and entrench our Aesculapian EITHER GOOD OR BAD, EITHER WINNER OR LOSER way of thinking by celebrating the ‘defeat of an enemy’ and thus stopping short of celebrating the reunification of brothers who had become polarized against one another.   Do we want to understand the achievement of our fallen-in-battle friends and relatives as their contribution to WINNING THE WAR, … or to the re-establishment of peace and harmony?  Do we want to continue to walk the proud walk of winners and spit on the defeated, or do we want to embrace our war-alienated brothers and rejoice in the healing of a bitter division?  What of these understandings do we want to associate with the REMEMBRANCE of the sacrifice of our fallen brothers, … the Hygiean or the Aesculapian understanding?


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Soldiers tend to be faithful followers of political leaders that represent the ‘sovereignty’ of their nation, and many nations demand of their citizens the solemn oath of allegiance that includes the commitment to ‘bear arms’ in support of their nation, which means, in support of the leader of their nation, whatever sort of individual that may be.


Western culture has this penchant for binary thinking in terms of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and the exalting of ‘winners’ and the demeaning of ‘losers’, although political leaders appeal to the noble and heroic spirit of those in their armed services to throw themselves body and soul into the fray in support of their nation and their national leader.  In fact, such encouragement is common to all nations, and citizens swear oaths that they will support their nation’s leader, and that is seen in Western culture as an ‘honourable’ thing.


Deciphering Our Use of Local and Nonlocal


Who, What, When, Where, Why are the five W’s of ‘reporting’ on ‘what is going on’, as if ‘what is going on is NOT the nonlocal unfolding of the Tao, but is instead ‘local’ origination.


My answer would be ‘NOT!’.    Who says that ‘reality’ should be LOCALLY emergent?

Reflection will show that reality as in the relational (wave-field) understanding of reality of modern physics, indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta is inherently NONLOCAL.

NONLOCALITY IS INEFFABLE, and this is not a problem for that aspect of ourselves that wants to give ourselves up to cultivating and sustaining harmony in the world; i.e. in the transforming relational continuum or ‘Tao’ of Lao Tzu or Logos of Heraclitus.

How does this Bodhisattva ‘way’ of participating in the world that is very unlike the stilted and mechanical ‘walk-the-intellectual-talk’ way of Western culture, … the way of the Tao wherein we ‘let the soft animal of our body love what it wants to love’, fit into place, … for example, could we DISCOVER the Tao with our Western culture ‘five W’s of reporting?.  If we have to use ‘naming’ to ‘nail down’ the ‘who or what’ and thus establish ‘thing-in-itself’ being, and then use ‘where’ and ‘when’, are we not simply DEFINING the EXISTENCE OF MATTER, SPACE AND TIME?


Reflection will show that nonlocality and ‘ineffable’ go together, as do ‘local’ and ‘effable’, so that the reduction of nonlocal to local is the reduction of ineffable to effable, thus the ‘five w’s’ are a kind of ‘reduction engine’ for reducing the ineffable to effable.


Western Medicine: A Deeper look into the Hygiean – Aesculapian Schism



Western culture imposes the concept of 3-dimensions into the intellectual, language and grammar reality modeling of its Western culture adherents.  This is a CRAZY-MAKER!   Three-dimensional reality’ is NOT REALITY, it is abstraction.  There is no way to reduce the Tao to 3-dimensions without losing the basic ineffable essentials of the wave-field; i.e. the transforming relational continuum.


We can explore this via The Western Crippled Cuckoo of Immunization.


How Language-turbocharged Shareability Divides East and West


Language-Turbocharged Shareability vis-à-vis the EAST – WEST Divide

In order to glimpse into how the psyche’s of EAST and WEST have ‘parted ways’, it is elucidating to use one’s imagination to ‘rewind’ and review the story of the dizzying ride of man’s language-supercharged development of intellection.

Can we imagine, … starting from the era when man was mainly grunting and gesturing and not much farther along in communicating his ineffable sensory experience than diverse other of nature’s forms, …. the kickoff of the amazing accelerated learning curve of language-enabled ‘shareability’ (of ideas, experiences, knowledge) that has come with the developments of common languages?

We are still, today, experiencing the rocketing acceleration of intellectual ‘shareability’ via ‘internet’ based technologies.  HOWEVER, if the floodgates of sharing are ‘grilled’ so that what is being shared is other than our sensory experiencing of inclusion in the Tao (which is ineffable) but language based ‘reduction’ thereof, … to what extent is our intellectual understanding in the language-informed ‘commons’ being weaned from sensory experience?

This essay is not simply to gaze in awe at the rocketing advances in knowledge-sharing that have come with humans’ symbol-based (visual image-informing) linguistic communications, but to critically scrutinize the impact of the rapid growth in synthetically liberated, language-based intellectual understanding, from our ‘included-in-the-Tao’ sensory-experiential understanding, … spotlighting the nature of the EAST – WEST split in this regard.


Copy of Dr. Robert Herwick’s ‘The Limitations of Medical Science in the Solution of Social Problems


I have reproduced this essay by Dr. Robert Herwick, posting it here on the Goodshare.org website, … for its concise and informative comparison of the historical development of two contrasting ways of conceiving of medicine; i.e. the Hygiean view of medicine with its orientation to the cultivating the sustaining of balance and harmony, and the Aesculapian view of medicine with its orientation to the eliminating of ‘attacking pathogens’.

To a large degree, these two approaches parallel the split in physics with the Hygiean view corresponding to modern physics and the Aesculapian view corresponding to Newtonian physics.  While the ‘field’ view of modern physics invokes a 4+ dimensional reality, the ‘material’ view of Newtonian physics invokes a reality constrained to 3 dimensions.

While the Aesculapian approach has become dominant in Western culture (along with Newtonian physics) because of its rapid action results (killing evil agents aka ‘pathogens’ can sometimes be done much more expeditiously than re-establishing balance and harmony ‘relationally’).  If the system being ‘healed’ is NOT fully ‘independent’ of ‘other systems’ (if the system is in reality a web of relational interdependences, healing the (perceived as) individual system will constitute ‘suboptimization’.  In this case, ‘health’ will only have meaning in regard to the overall suprasystem which is in reality NOT A THING-IN-ITSELF but a web of relational interdependencies, and the notion of ‘the correct/healthy functioning of an ‘independent system’ will not be meaningful.  In other words, if humans are innately relational ‘humanings’ within the transforming relational continuum, optimizing the health of humans cannot be achieved out of the context of the health of the transforming relational continuum (e.g. the ecosystem) the humaning is included in.   What is at play here is our ability to conceive of reality in a dimensionality that is greater than that of 3 dimensional objects in 3 dimensional space.

[Note: The use of the verb ‘humaning’ in place of the noun ‘human’ is, as with the use of ‘duning’ in place of ‘dune’, for consistency with modern physics (and Taoism) wherein nature’s forms are understood NOT as in intellectual-grammatical abstraction as ‘independently-existing things-in-themselves’, but as in our sensory experience, as relational forms in the transforming relational continuum aka wave-field.  Herwick might have also made reference to the Peacemaker myth of the Iroquois where the peacemaker, Dekanawideh, does not seek to overthrow or exterminate the evil  (pathogen) Adodarho, but to meet and find re-conciliatory harmony through mutually influencing relational transformation (through dimensional augmentation of the microbiome) that subsumes polarized tensions).  Finding the hidden harmony in opposites is also Heraclitus’ theme (the mystery of the bow and the lyre wherein tensions are resolved through harmony; i.e. a melting and transcending of 3 dimensional figure and ground separation).  That is, 3 D object based imagery of Western culture’s Aesculapian orientation that seeks to ‘identify and eliminate the pathogen’ is not the only metaphor available for addressing ‘dis-ease’ and certainly not an apt one where reality is the transforming relational continuum rather than the ‘injured and needing-to-be-healed’ ‘independent organism-in-itself’.  An alternative is the 4 dimensional understanding as in duning where figure and ground are in a BOTH/AND rather than EITHER/OR relationship.

Allopathic social justice may seek to eliminate a Jean Valjean and/or a Robin Hood on the basis of their ‘pathogenic actions’ even though such actions will be seen, in the more comprehensive relational sense, as balance-restoring actions. When one is driving if a heavy traffic flow, avoiding developing congestive and conflict prone relational configurations can source one’s movements, such a source (where one puts one’s movement in the service of cultivating relational harmony) is external to the acting agent.  If the re balancing attempt fails and a collision ensues, an individual that has put his movements in the service of trying to re cultivate harmony may be inappropriately identified as the source of a collision.  It is ‘natural’ for people’s actions to be induced in the service of dissolving or nulling out a conflict-in-the-making.  Such ‘selfless’ acts are ‘real’ and contribute to sustaining harmonious relational dynamics, however, since they do not associate with any explicit locally sourced ‘events’ they do not ‘go on record’.   Relational dynamics can not only nonlocally dissolve imminent conflict, relational dynamics can nonlocally precipitate conflict (e.g. the dog that darts across the busy freeway and induces a long wave of braking and swerving that finally triggers a collision far from the incident, a nonlocal dynamic that will be reduced to ‘local’ terms of an identified perpetrator and victim.

Similarly, the perceived ‘vicious pathogen’ (e.g. clostridium difficile) may in Western medical science induce the bringing on of all manner of (anti-pathogen/anti-biotic) resources in pursuit of its elimination, but the single-minded focus on pathogen elimination may distract from the deeper reality that these so-called ‘pathogens’ are called into action by the ‘need’ to resolve relational imbalance.  The real root source of the malady; i.e. relational imbalance, may ‘drop off the radar screen’ as ‘pathogen elimination’ takes over centre stage, as in the case of Jean Valjean, Robin Hood and c. difficile, all of which are acting only in the service of filling in for something that has gone missing.  (i.e. the ‘excluded medium’ in EITHER/OR logic that is missing the ‘included medium’ of BOTH/AND logic).  ‘Producer-product logic’ of ‘identifying the perpetrator’ will be hung like an Albatross around the neck of the first driver that is unsuccessful in avoiding the long chain of chaos triggered by a stray dog darting across the freeway.  David Bohm’s example of ambiguity as to the source of the death of Lincoln also comes to mind.

The EITHER/OR reality of Western culture also has us thinking in such terms as ‘the birth of a new island’ (Surtsey).

The relation between BOTH/AND and EITHER/OR logic corresponds with the relationship between transformation and ‘Creation’; e.g; for the Western mind, ‘Surtsey’ is conceived in the intellect as the ‘birth’ of a new island entity rather than as our sensory experience would inform us is the manifesting of relational transformation;

Surtsey, a volcanic island approximately 32 km from the south coast of Iceland, is a new island formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. It is all the more outstanding for having been protected since its birth, providing the world with a pristine natural laboratory. Free from human interference, Surtsey has been producing unique long-term information on the colonisation process of new land by plant and animal life. Since they began studying the island in 1964, scientists have observed the arrival of seeds carried by ocean currents, the appearance of moulds, bacteria and fungi, followed in 1965 by the first vascular plant, of which there were 10 species by the end of the first decade. By 2004, they numbered 60 together with 75 bryophytes, 71 lichens and 24 fungi. Eighty-nine species of birds have been recorded on Surtsey, 57 of which breed elsewhere in Iceland. The 141 ha. island is also home to 335 species of invertebrates.

This way of thinking; i.e. thinking in terms of the ‘birth’ of something has a simple inverse which, rather than something ‘coming into existence’ is something ‘passing out of existence’.  These two abstract concepts expose the limitations of 3-D reality.  Meanwhile our sensory experiencing of inclusion in the Tao is not limited by 3-dimensional geometry as Mach and others have pointed out.  Therefore, there is no need to ‘dumb down’ relational transformation and speak of ‘the birth of a new entity called ‘Surtsey”, … we can instead acknowledge that the relational space we are included in (aka ‘the Tao’) is a relational space that is itself continually transforming.  IT IS NOT A 3-DIMENSIONAL SPACE THAT IS GIVING BIRTH TO NEW ONTOLOGICAL 3-DIMENSIONAL ENTITIES AND EXPERIENCING THE EXTINCTION OF EXISTING 3-DIMENSIONAL ENTITIES.  THERE IS ONLY A TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM.  The abstract concepts of ‘the birth of Surtsey and/or the ‘death’ of Atlantis are to do with the intellectual impact of our 3-D space name-labelling administration and NOT to do with the relational transformation of our actual sensual experience.  In effect, there is no such thing as ‘Surtsey’-the-birth-of-an-island, there is only relational transformation.

In the essay, Herwick seems to capitulate to the excellent results of the pathogen elimination approach of Aesculapian medicine.  However, such ‘apparently excellent results’ as measured in terms of ‘the eliminating of pathogens’, may show up very differently where one backs out of the language and grammar based ‘double error’ reality and understands reality, instead, in terms of the transforming relational continuum where there is no such thing as a ‘pathogen’ or ‘pathogen elimination’, these being the abstract artifacts of the ‘double error’ of language and grammar.  Constructing reality with 3-D objects in 3-D space forces us to explain change in terms of the ‘birth’ and ‘death’ of 3D objects which has been intellectually/psychologically ‘concretized’ by language and grammar, holding at bey the sensory-experience affirmed reality of wave-field (resonance) based relational transformation.

Western medicine and Western politics are a major bastion of support for the 3-D figure-and-ground ‘dumb-down’ which rewards the perceived ‘sorcerers’ of good actions and developments and punishes the perceived ‘sorcerers’ of bad actions and developments whether microbes or men.  Meanwhile, there is no ‘sorcery’ in a transforming relational continuum.


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Conference sponsored by The Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology (ITEST) in cooperation with The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) March 12, 1977 The Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio)


Dr. Robert Herwick, M.D. is presently in private practice in San Francisco. He is also on the clinical faculty at the University of California, Childrens Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in San Francisco. Dr. Herwick received his BA in German Literature at Cornell University and was enrolled in Phi Beta Kappa, 1964. He interned at Childrens Hospital in San Francisco in 1969, after receiving his M.D. at the Cornell Medical School in New York City. He completed his Residency in Dermatology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco in 1972. From 1972 – 74, Dr. Herwick served as Major in the United States Air Force Medical Corps and Chief of Medicine at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska.

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In seeking to examine the capabilities and the limitations of medical science in solving problems of social significance, one must begin by tracing the history of medicine as it recedes from its enlightened present into the darkness of ancient times. As with other historical inquiries, it is not surprising to find that perhaps fundamentally little is new … that recurrent themes and patterns are discerned which may at the same time provide a basis for optimism or disillusionment, depending upon one’s interpretation.

One of the most ancient concepts of health was that personified by Hygiea, the Greek goddess of health who watched over the corporeal welfare of the residents of Athens. Health was then based upon a unity with nature, a temperate lifestyle and the belief that good health was a natural attribute. Rather than treating the sick, Hygiea embodied the ideal of the preservation of natural health through living in harmony with nature. Slowly this ancient concept was replaced after the fifth century B.C. by the cult of Aesculapius, the son of Apollo and the god of medicine. Aesculapian temples were erected to which the sick were brought for mysterious healing rituals as well as for mineral baths, exercises (an early precursor of today’s physical therapy) and various unctions. The therapeutic ceremony, performed by the temple priest during a nocturnal trance in which a healing dream was interpreted, was not entirely dissimilar to “modern” Freudian or Jungian psychoanalytic practices. The salient point about the cult of Aesculapius is that it was a therapy of intervention, of combating a disease and seeking its expulsion from the body. The restoration of health was based to a large extent upon superstition: and at times almost charlatan mysticism which effected a magical cure together with an increase in the temple coffers. It is parenthetically somewhat disturbing that the staff of Aesculapius with its single snake has become the symbol of today’s medical profession. This becomes less objectionable, however, when one considers the often inappropriately used caduceus (that winged staff with two entwined snakes). This of course was the symbol of Mercury, the god of commerce and of thieves!


From the Reducing of Both/And to Either/Or and Back



The real world of our sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao aka the ‘wave-field’ aka the transforming relational continuum IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE REDUCED TO THE THREE DIMENSIONAL WORLD based on what Nietzsche has exposed as ‘the double error of language and grammar.

The ‘double error’ is where we intellectualize and discretize our innatel relational sensory experience using language and grammar, and we do this by [first error]‘naming’ to impute abstract ‘thing-in-itself being’ to relational forms in the Tao, and then conflating this first error with the second error of imputing powers of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself [first error].

WHO SAYS THAT THE WORLD OF SENSORY EXPERIENCE CAN BE CAPTURED IN THREE DIMENSIONS?   A language and grammar that reduces everything to three dimensions says so.

The following discussion uses  the example of ‘puckering’ to illustrate how our language based expressing of real world dynamics demands more than the usual reduction to three dimensional ‘figures’ in a three dimensional ‘ground’.

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From Lao Tzu to Modern Physics


N.B. It is impossible to capture in words, the transforming relational continuum (the Tao), but one can use word-based (metaphorical) inference to stimulate an intuitive understanding. –“A man’s reach must exceed his grasp or what’s a meta phor?” (-McLuhan et al)

We use language and grammar to reduce the inherently nonlocal , relational) Tao to local and explicit abstraction, to render the ineffable Tao (a reduced version thereof) ‘effable’.  For example we employ language and grammar to re-cast nonlocal resonance as in ‘duning’ to local material mechanics as in …  ‘dunes with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments.  This effable-izing is made possible thanks to the ‘double error’ of language and grammar identified by Nietzsche (i.e. using ‘naming’ to impute ‘local existence’ and conflating this with grammar to notionally endow the ‘naming-instantiated local things-in-themselves the powers of sourcing actions and developments.  While the EAST employs such abstract reductive tools only as an insight-triggering go-by to enable language-based  (effable) sharing of (ineffable) experiencing of inclusion in the Tao, .. the WEST has allowed this reductionist tool and its constructions to be employed as the ‘operative reality’ ;  thus, as Emerson observes; the tool runs away with the workman, the human with the divine’.

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Once upon a time there was Chinese philosopher who intuited that the universe was a great ball of fluid energy that was in continuous transformation.  He called it the Tao.

While there were many features within this Tao, there were no features that had a distinguishable ‘beginning’ or ‘ending’ nor even a persisting separate thing-in-itselfness, and everything; that is, all visible forms that were included in the Tao, were without beginning and ending and separate existence.  They were ‘relational forms’ like boils in a boiling fluid, nonlocal formings emerging locally (because our viewing of them localized them by their emerging into our awareness), forming and enlarging and spreading outwards and becoming one with the flow. Even though our vision distinguished between forms, our experience was of inclusion in a fluid continuum.

Lao Tzu’s understanding was that because all forms were continually transforming features within the Tao, … it did not make sense to give them names since names did not change and all forms were relational forms undergoing continual transformation in the Tao.

But naming the forms was very useful for sharing observations and for discussing the transformation that was going on in the common living space.   It was more important to say; ‘watch out, there is big waterspout heading in your direction’, … than to be stopped from speaking by the understanding that ‘the Tao that can be told is not the True Tao’.   That is, there is a certain practicality, the practicality of sharing our impressions, in naming ‘formings’ that are purely relational and without ‘being’.


Navigating Our Psyches of East and West


We all have at our disposal, the psyches of East and West and modern physics has elucidated the conjugate contributions of the twain to our understanding of;…  the reality of our sensory experience, and; …the reality of our intellectual rationalizations.

Most recently, modern physics has given support to the Eastern understanding of reality as the Tao, the all including wave-field wherein all ‘forms’ including the human form, are understood as fluid ‘features’ within the Tao (wave-field) wherein ‘everything is in flux’ (as Heraclitus also noted).  The Western (pre-modern physics) conceptualizing of reality has used language and grammar to objectify the innately fluid forms in nature, and has used the intellect to construct an ‘invented reality’ wherein the objectified froms are understood as ‘things-in-themselves’ locally inhabiting an absolute space.

The psycho-linguistic localizing and discretizing of relational flow-forms is what allows us to effable-ize the ineffable Tao, which opens the way to discursive sharing of (a reduced semblance of) our sensory experiencing within the ineffable Tao.  Language and grammar give us the intellectual tools for effable-izing the ineffable.  While the understanding that language and grammar allows us to share is a reduction of the spiritual (ineffable) experiencing of inclusion in the Tao-that-cannot-be-told; … i.e. a reduction to the effable-intellectualization that-can-be-told, such sharing expands the horizons of our understanding well beyond the limited scope of our personal experiential reach.  With language-based sharing of experience, the self can better understand the experiences of the other, … the male, the female, … the child, the adult, … the white, the black.   Of course, only the ‘self’ ‘s understanding is of inclusion in the ineffable Tao while the linguistically shared understanding can only be in the reduced terms of the ‘effable’.

The individual thus has an exposure to switching her understanding of herself through her own ineffable experience, to an understanding of herself as mirrored back to her through the effable reductions of herself as seen by others.  Will the real, ineffable ‘she’ make herself known?   Or will the ‘real ineffable she’ be ‘replaced’ even in her own understanding by the effable voyeur view of her as reported by to her by others and by her rational scrutinizing of herself as in a mirror?  There is an exposure here to her trading out of her ineffable self coming directly from her sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao, for an effable voyeur view of herself as mirrored back to her through the articulated voyeur views of others views of her, and even through her own voyeur viewing of herself reflected back to her in mirrors, photographs, videos, written mentions of her, and from the facial expressions of others during her social encounters.   The availability of all this ‘mirrored’ viewing of oneself gives rise to an exposure wherein one bypasses/eclipses one’s own ineffable ‘sense experiencing self’ and instead opens the way for ‘the tool  (of language based mirroring) running away with the workman, the effable-human with the ineffable/divine.’

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Understanding things in terms of the flowing wave-field worldview (the Tao) clarifies so many misconceptions that come from the ‘thing-in-itself’ producer-product world view that is the popular and ‘officially’ dominating Western world view.

In the wave-field worldview, everything is in flux and there is no explicit distinction between forms and flow.





INTRODUCTION: In considering how; …. ‘EAST IS EAST’ and ‘WEST IS WEST’  … it is useful to recall that, just as indigenous aboriginals (‘the EAST’) have no choice (if they wish to survive while living within the WEST), but to ‘do as the WESTERNERS do’, so it is for all of us when in such a situation, creating a schism between our being informed by our intuitive sensory motor rhythms (SMR brainwaves) and/or being informed by our rational intellection (Beta brainwaves).  That is, as WESTERNERS, we split off our intellect-directed calculations of what our actions should be in our current situation, and give these actions priority over how we are being informed by sensory motor rhythms (as associate with our inclusion in the transforming relational continuum).  WESTERN culture adherence (or enslavement, as is the case for EASTERN culture adherents living in a WESTERN culture dominated social collective), may be necessary for survival .  Thus the physical dynamics of a social collective, while they may be superficially WESTERN, may conceal a spirit that is EASTERN as in the case of indigenous aboriginals who are living and working ‘off the reservation’.

“The science of psychology is auxiliary to physics.  The two mutually support one another, and it is only when they are united that a complete science is formed.  From our standpoint, the antithesis of subject and object, in the ordinary sense, does not exist.” — Ernst Mach, The Analysis of Sensations and the Relation of the Physical to the Psychical.

The physical behaviour of EASTERN peoples working within a WESTERN social dynamic appears coherent but something else is going on wherein the psychical is not working in concert/harmony with the physical.  This is an aspect of reality that transcends a purely mechanical understanding.

In other words, THE EAST-WEST SPLIT IS NOT SOMETHING WHICH IS OVERTLY MANIFEST; i.e. the split lives in the social dynamic but beneath the visual surface level of the social dynamic.  The degree to which the visible social dynamic derives from putting experiential sensorimotor rhythms in primacy over intellectual Beta-wave rationalizations (EAST) versus putting intellectual Beta-wave rationalizations over experiential sensorimotor rhythms (WEST) is not manifestly obvious from observing the WESTERN operative social dynamic but we can be sure that such an invisible division exists where Western culture dominates within a social collective that is a mixture of EAST and WEST understandings of reality.

Outbreaks of violence can come both from those demanding less imposition of WESTERN EITHER/OR logic of the excluded medium relative to EASTERN BOTH/AND (modern physics) logic of the included medium, or more of the former relative to the latter. This is NOT to be confused for the WESTERN ‘conservative’ – ‘liberal’ polar split, both poles of which are based on belief in the double error of ‘thing-in-itself based sourcing of actions and developments’, the conservatives believing that ‘sorcery’ is ‘one-to-many’ and the liberals believing that ‘sorcery’ is ‘many-to-one’.

THAT IS, THERE IS NO SUCH BELIEF IN ‘SORCERY’ IN THE EAST, since there the understanding of reality is in terms of inclusion in the Tao, the transforming relational continuum, an understanding that is without need for the WESTERN double-error abstraction of invoking name-instantiated ‘things-in-themselves’, notionally with powers of sourcing actions and developments.

This INTRODUCTION  has been to point out that the EAST-WEST split has not simply ‘weakened’ with the WESTERN way of understanding having ‘gained ground’ on the EASTERN way of understanding.  While this may seem true, to think in this manner would imply that EAST and WEST are competitors in one and the same field, as if they are ‘birds of a feather’.  THEY ARE NOT!

The WEST sees producer-product developments based on EITHER/OR logic of the excluded medium; e.g. ‘the dune can EITHER grow larger OR  shrink in size, … move EITHER forward OR back etc.”  (note the independence of figure-and-ground and the implied male-female active-passive dichotomy)… while the EAST sees transformation based on the BOTH/AND logic of the included medium; e.g. ‘duning’ can BOTH incorporate manure AND discharge gold coins  (note the non-independent [androgynous] topology of figure and ground in this case.).  Evidently, the WEST uses language in such a manner as to fabricate the abstraction of binary certainty, while the EAST uses language so as to leave in the uncertainty characteristic of nature (the Tao) as suggested in the Tai-chi symbol and captures in the following Zen story;

The Farmer’s Horse

There is a story of a farmer whose horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, “May be.”

The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, “May be.”

And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, “May be.”

The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected. When the neighbors came to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, “May be.”

The yin-yang view of the world is serenely cyclic. Fortune and misfortune, life and death, whether on small scale or vast, come and go everlastingly without beginning or end, and the whole system is protected from monotony by the fact that, in just the same way, remembering alternates with forgetting. This is the Good of good-and-bad.

Alan Watts
Tao: The Watercourse Way

It is clear that the EASTERN way of understanding  is not simply a peer competitor with the WESTERN way of understanding which has ‘lost out’ in a fair and square competition.  Instead, the EASTERN way of understanding has ‘gone underground’ in a modern world that is dominated by WESTERN ‘double error’ based ‘visualization’, forcing those with EASTERN understandings of reality to ‘hold this understanding quietly in their heart’ while participating in the dominating WESTERN ‘sing our WESTERN song or get no supper‘ social dynamic.

In spite of complying with those physical actions and behaviours necessary for surviving within the WESTERN culture dominated social dynamic, the EASTERN ‘spirit’ burns brightly in many, even if beneath the mantle of Western culture.  While there have been WESTERN campaigns to fully eliminate EASTERN understanding, such as the WESTERN culture’s North American attempt to ‘kill the Indian in the child’ , the culture of the EAST (indigenous aboriginal, Taoist/Buddhist, Advaita Vedanta) persists in the spirit of the social collective, even as the binary logic fuelled physical power of WESTERN CULTURE has risen to dominance.

One has to wonder, therefore, whether it makes sense to try to understand reality in purely physical terms, as appears to be the approach of the WEST, with its double-error based language and grammar, … while the EAST accepts the ineffable nature of the Tao, the all-including, transforming relational continuum aka wave-field.  This question recalls Mach’s earlier-cited point that understanding in physics must address the artificial separating of physics and psychology.

Did we WESTERN culture adherents ‘really’ physically construct cities and highways over the surface of the globe, or has our Western culture conditioned psyche bought in so deeply to ego-inflating voyeur viewing of ‘our works’, that we are forgetting that we are included in the transforming relational continuum (the Tao) that is innately greater than ourselves and our ‘double error’ based pseudo-powers of sourcing actions and developments?


This EAST – WEST split in how reality is conceived represents a schizophrenic ‘malaise’ that society is not addressing or attempting to ‘heal’, but which is left alone to cultivate ferment and eruptions of violence whether by those whose EAST based actions depart from the binary values of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ or by those whose WEST based actions aim to enforce the binary values of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.  A splitting of the social collective into opposing camps of Jean Valjeans, and Inspector Javerts.


The human social collectives that are part of our planetary experience [I am intentionally avoiding the figure-ground splitting phraseology ‘that live on our planet’] are a curious mix of things.  The particular curiosity that I am discussing in this note, and sharing (for your possible interest) is the division of ways of understanding ‘reality’ into what we popularly refer to as the cultures of EAST and WEST.

My philosophical/psychological researches point to the EAST being the ‘sane’ culture and to the WEST as being a ‘crazy-making’ culture.  I realize and naturally accept that a great many people may not be interested in, or open to this type of philosophical investigation that could have the potential to ‘unsettle one’s psychological-apple-cart’.  My interest in sharing these ideas of Nietzsche et al comes with my belief that they carry important potentials for deepening our understanding of our complex social dynamics and, and thus help resolve some endemic aberrance-based conflicts.

The basics of the EAST – WEST psychological split have been identified as follows;

The EAST understands reality on the basis of the BOTH/AND logic of the included medium.  This form of logic can be understood by way of the ‘Gestalt’ understanding of ‘figure-and-ground’, where this is understood NOT AS TWO but as ONE wherein the distinguishing of ‘figure’ and ‘ground’ is by ‘appearance’ and NOT by intellectually assuming an ontological splitting into two.  By this I mean that the familiar ‘whorl’ in the ‘flow’ (e.g. as with a a ‘swirl’ in a river flow, it does not have to be understood as something ‘apart from the flow’, because if we do considerate it as something separate, we run into the question as to whether the ‘whorl’ is sourcing ‘the flow’ or whether the ‘flow’ is sourcing the ‘whorl’.   This is the same ambiguity as in the Zen parable (koan) of wind and flag, which moves?

In the EAST, the answer is that neither the whorl sources the flow nor does the flow source the whorl because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘THE SOURCING OF ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS’ AKA ‘SORCERY’.  It is only the WEST that believes in sorcery, and this is where ego comes from and ‘the ‘hero’ and ‘the villain’.  Meanwhile, in the EAST, there is no such thing as binary opposites, there is only relations that can be harmonious and dissonant.


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