Ego is the Belief in Sorcery Vested in the Archetype of the Independent Self
As Nietzsche pointed out, the ‘double error’ provides a psychological foundation for Western culture cognition; the first error uses ‘naming’ to impute the ‘persisting independent existence’ of a notional thing-in-itself, conflating this error with the second error of using grammar to impute powers of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself. The double error basis for ‘inventing reality’, ‘wallpapers over’ and ‘silences’ our understanding of reality in terms of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum. Instead, the double error equips us to psychologically construct reality ‘bottom-up’, laying the foundations simply by using ‘naming’ [first error] to invoke the psychological impression of ‘thing-in-itself existence’ which is then grammatically ‘animated’ as if by its own ‘internal name-instantiated parts [repeat of first error] with their own [second error] grammatically imputed powers of sourcing actions and developments. There has been a slow, creeping ‘take-over’ of this double-error based Invented Reality in Western culture development, as referenced by Charles Dickens in ‘Hard Times’.
In the scene where Sissy Jupe, who has a romantic (relational) notion of a horse, encounters the scientific literalism of her teacher Thomas Gradgrind and his obedient student Bitzer, whereby; it can be established, firmly and rigidly, and every student should know, that a horse is; ‘Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.’
Dickens ‘warning’ of Western culture’s slide into a hard form of ‘double-error reductionism’ which occludes the impression of reality as inherently relational as conveyed by poetic expression has gone unheeded, and we (Western culture adherents) are currently living in a popularly conceived and linguistically articulated reductionist INVENTED REALITY that is serving as our culturally endorsed ‘operative reality’.
The ‘naming’ triggered ‘double error’ of language and grammar allows us to ‘home in’ and ‘focus’ on ‘particular relational forms’ as and grammar allows us to portray the ‘named things’ as if they were self-animated, whether ‘humans’, ‘nations’ or ‘corporations’. This use of language and grammar equips us for psychological suboptimization’ i.e. illusion/abstraction whereby we undertake to ‘optimize’ a notional ‘thing-in-itself’ (person, nation, corporation) that we have psychologically created by ‘naming’. In some cases, the ‘naming’ can be applied to a relational form in the flow such as a ‘hurricane’ (e.g. ‘Katrina’) as the stem for imputing to it, its own powers of sourcing actions and developments; “Katrina is growing larger and stronger”, … “Katrina is ravaging New Orleans”, … “Katrina is weakening and dissipating”. ‘Naming’ has ‘magic’ power that can hold the psyche hostage, by way of the ‘double error’, as ‘sorcery’.
‘Naming’ serves communicating in the manner that ‘wheels’ on a car serve to ‘get us to our destination’ of ‘making our point’ in a ‘direct’ manner since by ‘naming’, we ‘define’ the persisting thing-in-itself existence of the ‘named explicit entity’. Language allows us to formulate the psychological impression that the hurricane named ‘Katrina’ is the source of turbulent flow. In other words, language allows us to employ the abstraction of ‘sorcery’ by way of ‘naming’ and ‘grammar’. Relational transformation is ‘occluded’ by this grammar based inference of name-instantiated things-in-themselves with the powers of ‘sourcing’ actions and developments. This use of ‘naming’ to locally ‘jumpstart’ (source) actions and developments per the ‘double error’ is difficult to extricate ourselves from so as to recover understanding that is in terms of ‘relational transformation’ rather than ‘thing-in-itself based sorcery’. In other words, Western language and grammar usage ‘tricks and traps the psyche’ through the invoking of local ‘name-instantiated, local thing-in-itself jumpstarted ‘sorcery’. Sure, it is a short-cut means of communication, but how do we get from such ‘double-error’ based understanding to understanding in terms of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum?
That ‘double error’ issue is put on display by Nietzsche as a Western culture psychological dysfunction; e.g.
“Our judgement has us conclude that every change must have an author”;–but this conclusion is already mythology: it separates that which effects from the effecting. If I say “lightning flashes,” I have posited the flash once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, “is” and does not “become.”–To regard an event as an “effecting,” and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we are guilty.” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’, 531
What this ‘double error’ does is to occlude or ‘cover up’ with this ‘cheap intellectual double-error wallpaper’, our natural experiencing of dynamics in terms of relational transformation. ‘Naming’ gives us ‘lightning’ as a notional ‘thing-in-itself’ which grammar conflates with powers of sourcing actions and developments. Language gives it form in terms of a picture that is available to voyeur perception that is bereft of experiential-sensational content. We trade out our relational experience for a piece of illustrated intellectual wallpaper. This opens the door to our current Western culture situation wherein a virgin teenager can know far more about sexual intercourse than her uneducated by sexually experienced counterparts. Western culture has had a strong tendency towards embrace of a mode of understanding that puts ‘name’ based intellectual knowledge into an unnatural primacy over our experience of inclusion in a nameless relational continuum where “the Tao that can be told is not the true Tao”.
‘Naming’ is far more direct and ‘to the point’ than relational understanding. This can be seen for example, by way of modern physics; ‘Surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’, and/or by the ‘sharing circle’ of indigenous aboriginal tradition where understanding of ‘reality’ including ‘self’ and ‘other’, is developed from ‘relations’ as in ‘mitakuye oyasin’ (all my relations). On the other hand, the Western culture ‘ego’ that is triggered by the abstract concept of the ‘independent thing-in-itself’ is ‘naming-instantiated’. In indigenous aboriginal cultures, ‘naming’ is used to develop relational understanding that lies intrinsically beyond the psychological powers of ‘naming’; i.e. to imply a floating, relational make-up to the individual, in the same manner as the ‘surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’ of modern physics.
‘Naming’ has a powerful psychological influence on understanding. If we see a ‘stars-and-stripes’ shoulder patch on a person’s garment, or a Texas licence plate on the car someone is driving, the name ‘American’ or ‘Texan’ may hijack the helm of our understanding and shut down understanding that is available to us through the experience of relational interaction. This exposure is only an exposure where intellectual understanding has been put into primacy over relational experience based understanding.
Depending on our own experiential and cultural-intellectual history, we may have very different meanings to assign to the name ‘American’, but the point I wish to make here is that ‘naming’ can hijack how we understand things by aborting our natural process of relational inquiry that allows us to develop understanding through experiential co-immersion in the transforming relational continuum. Language, grammar and ‘naming’ (the ‘double error package’) are a great but deceptive ‘intellectual short cut’ to understanding that, in some cultures, has been given a ‘throw-away’ supporting role, while in Western culture, it ends to be a ‘tool that has run away with the workman’ .
For example, if a person says they are a ‘Christian’, that is just a ‘name’. What does that have to do with the reality of our actual relational experience? Some say that “the only true Christian was Christ”, indicating once more as in ‘Dicken’s warning’, that ‘naming’ opens the door to an unnatural psychological inversion that puts the understanding coming from ‘naming’ and ‘language-and-grammar triggered intellection’ into an unnatural precedence over our real-life grounded relational experience. Sure, it may be expedient to use name-labeling as a means of rapid-fire informing on what we are looking at, as with a stars-and-stripes or ‘union-jack’ shoulder patch, but that ‘convenience’ leads us to into psychological submersion in a shallow double-error based INVENTED REALITY. This point is made by Emerson in ‘The Method of Nature’; i.e. the tools run away with the workman, the human with the divine.
In other words, ‘naming’ is a tool of convenience that puts the spotlight on a relational feature in the flow that is in no way ‘locally knowable’ since, like the boil in the ‘flow’, it is the manifesting of inherently ‘nonlocal’ phenomena. In Western culture, ‘naming’ is commonly used to reduce a relational forms in the transforming relational continuum to notional ‘things-in-itself’ that can be used within double error based constructions to INVENT REALITY, however, this INVENTED REALITY based on the double error abstraction is nothing like the reality of our actual relational experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum, hence Charles Dicken’s ‘complaint’ expressed through Gradgrind and Bitzer in ‘Hard Times’.
In modern physics as in indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, ‘naming’ is an expedient to trigger understanding that is purely relational as in the realty of our actual experience of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum. As Emerson pointed out, the tool of ‘naming’ has tended, in Western culture, to ‘run away with the workman’. In Western culture (in our current era, we are experiencing decline in the perceived value of poetic (relational) expression) by its being displaced by a rising influence of ‘name-dropping’ and its associated ‘double error’ psychological impact (i.e. the psychological impression of being-based sorcery is supported by ‘naming’). As a result, we are cultivating ‘ego’-based ‘lock-in’ with ‘high switching costs’. That is, language and grammar abstraction-based (i.e. naming-instantiated things-in-themselves-with powers of sorcery-based) ‘ego that swells the head’ has been steadily unseating and usurping the natural precedence of purely relational ‘inspiration that fills the heart’.
* * *
Summary: … Termed the ‘double error’ of Western culture by Nietzsche, the first error uses ‘naming’ to impute the ‘persisting independent existence’ of a notional thing-in-itself, conflating this error with the second error of using grammar to impute powers of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself. ‘Ego’ is the psychological ‘embodying’ of the ‘sorcerer’ archetype within forms in the transforming relational continuum which are inherently relational. Examples of psychologically invented ‘sorcerers’ include (a) a name-instantiated ‘human being’, (b) a name-instantiated ‘nation’, (3) a name-instantiated ‘corporation’ or ‘organization’. By way of the double error’, such abstract (language-and-grammar instantiated) entities are understood, psychologically, as ‘independent things-in-themselves with incipient powers of sourcing actions and developments’. This ‘double error’ is the source of Western culture ego and the INVENTED REALITY based on it.
* * *
When we employ language to trigger in our psyche ‘name-instantiated’ impressions of ‘independently-existing things-in-itself’, and then use grammar to conflate such intellectual invention by grammatically endowing the name-instantiated ‘thing-in-itself’ with notional powers of sourcing actions and developments, we are REDUCING (in this psychological-intellectual-language-and-grammar based reductive construction of ‘reality’) the relationally transforming world of our sensory experience (as relational forms in the transforming relational continuum) to an ‘articulable representation’; i.e. an INVENTED REALITY which is articulable. This allows us to ‘make a leap’ over the inherent ineffability of the transforming relational continuum which we ‘know’ through our experience of relational inclusion within the continuum. Since this leap is enabled by the ‘psychological device (trickery)’ of naming (and thus imputing persisting EXPLICIT thing-in-itself being) to relational forms in the flow, it is essential for us, after using this linguistic ‘device’ to trigger understanding that lies inherently beyond it, to let go of its explicit-meaning aspect. That is, a flow-continuum is beyond representation in terms of dynamics of explicit things-in-themselves TAKEN LITERALLY; i.e. as Lao Tzu puts it; the Tao (flow) that can be told is not the true Tao’. Wittgenstein points out that we can nevertheless use the ‘explicit’ (which is basic to language and its device of ‘naming’ that imputes persisting thing-in-itself existence).
6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)
He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.
7.0 Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
‘Ego’, as Nietzsche points out, comes from the double error of ‘naming’ to impute ‘thing-in-itself being’ and using grammar to ‘conflate’ this first error of ‘naming’ by endowing the name-instantiated thing-in-itself with powers of sourcing actions and developments. This is where the ego arises and it ‘swells up’ in proportion to the ‘sorcery’ that grammar imputes to the named ‘thing-in-itself’ within a language and grammar based INVENTED REALITY, which is the psychological impression of ‘reality’ that is triggered in the intellect by language and grammar stimulations.
The first double error invention is the ego (the name-instantiated thing-in-itself-with powers of sorcery, as applied to ‘oneself’). The ego ‘swells’ up into existence when one believes that one is the author of some strikingly wonderful and beneficial action or development. Once the power of authorship is established (bringing the ego into existence), one is then forced to explain the some strikingly terrible and harmful action or development. Since the principle of local jumpstart authorship (sorcery) establishes the ego (based on the authorship of strikingly wonderful and beneficial actions and developments), and since ‘ego’ is anchored in the psyche by the abstract (language-and-grammar-instantiated) belief in ‘independent things-in-themselves’ (persons, nations, corporations) with incipient powers of ‘sorcery’, logical consistency forces the rational intellect to follow the same ‘sorcery’-based understanding of the emergence of strikingly terrible and harmful actions and developments. ‘Ego’ thus serves as the ‘stake-in-the-ground’ that demands a ‘sorcery’ based understanding of terrible and harmful actions and developments. ‘Who is to blame’ is therefore a question that only makes sense in a culture of egotists that have infused the concept of ‘sorcery’ of actions and developments into the foundations of ‘rational intellection’ even though ‘SORCERY’ HAS NO BASIS IN THE REALITY OF OUR SENSORY EXPERIENCE OF INCLUSION IN A TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM.
The language-and-grammar based intellectual/judgemental reality featuring the concepts of evil pathogen and innocent victim (predator and prey) do not even ‘surface’ in the relational view, since the latter understanding of reality is in terms of relational harmony and/or relational dissonance as manifests through relational forms in the transforming relational continuum. Modern physics’ ‘surprise version of the game of Twenty-Questions’ serves as a simplified means of ‘looking right through the -psychologically suggested (by way of language and grammar) dynamics of name-instantiated things-in-themselves’, to restore the intuitive psychical access to purely relational understanding).
SUMMARY: EGO IS THE BELIEF IN SORCERY VESTED IN THE ARCHETYPE OF THE INDEPENDENT SELF
For people as relational forms within a transforming relational continuum, the use of surrogate ‘reality’ based on the ‘double error’ wherein notional name-instantiated things-in-themselves (humans, nations, corporations) are portrayed in the psyche as the sorcerers of an INVENTED REALITY might be a useful ‘go-by’ if it were employed simply as a Wittgenstein ladder’ or ‘throw-away’ tool to nudge the psyche to make a leap from the explicit constructions of language to the implicit realm of a relationally transforming reality.
However, as Emerson observed in ‘The Method of Nature’, Western culture adherents have put ourselves in the situation where; “the tools run away with the workman, the human with the divine.” In other words, our tools include the language and grammar based ‘double error’ that allows us to reinvent reality in terms of ‘being’-based ‘sorcery’ which, as philosophers such as Wittgenstein have pointed out, are good for tickling our psyche to get it to make the leap to grasp a reality which lies intrinsically beyond an ‘explicit read’ of the sorcery-based rhetoric of Newtonian science, to a non-explicitly articulable relational understanding. “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp or what’s a meta phor?”- McLuhan. Why wouldn’t we (any language-speaking collective) invent something like a ‘sharing circle’ to put our individual experiences into an interfering relational matrix to harvest the relational coherencies that form therein? (i.e. the ‘holographic reality’)
The reason ‘WHY NOT’ is ego and its claim to ‘sorcery’. What the holography delivers is a relational understanding that has no dependency on the ‘double error’ concept of sorcery-based ego. Instead of understanding actions and developments are arising from explicitly identifiable sourcing agencies, we understand them instead in terms of the dynamics of the universe as a whole, as relational forms in the transforming relational continuum.
“In the book ‘Causality and Chance in Modern Physics’ Bohm argued that the way science viewed causality was also much too limited. Most effects were thought of as having only one or several causes. However, Bohm felt that an effect could have an infinite number of causes. For example, if you asked someone what caused Abraham Lincoln’s death, they might answer that it was the bullet in John Wilkes Booth’s gun. But a complete list of all the causes that contributed to Lincoln’s death would have to include all of the events that led to the development of the gun, all of the factors that caused Booth to want to kill Lincoln, all of the steps in the evolution of the human race that allowed for the development of a hand capable of holding a gun, and so on, and so on. Bohm conceded that most of the time one could ignore the vast cascade of causes that had led to any given effect, but he still felt it was important for scientists to remember that no single cause-and-effect relationship was ever really separate from the universe as a whole.” –The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality: Michael Talbot:
We Western culture adherents, on the other hand, have ‘locked ourselves in’ by way of ‘ego’ to an understanding of ‘reality’ based on ‘sorcery’, the notional powers of ‘name-instantiated, independently-existing things-in-themselves to jumpstart-source actions and developments.
This whole Western culture ‘house of cards’ pseudo-reality stands or falls on the basis of belief in ‘ego’ where EGO IS THE BELIEF IN SORCERY VESTED IN THE NAME-INSTANTIATED ARCHETYPE OF THE INDEPENDENT SELF.
* * *