February 29th REFLECTIONS on the CONCEPT of BIRTHDAYS and AGING
PREFACE: This note is not what it may appear to be since I am posting it in a venue where the reader may expect to find the ‘normal’ WESTERN CULTURE assumptions on reality’ built into the rhetoric. In this case, however, where the author (moi) is coming from is the EASTERN or modern physics assumptions on reality; i.e. where reality is understood as inclusion, as relational forms, in the transforming relational continuum. In this latter understanding, we are NOT assuming ourselves to be name-instantiated LOCAL THINGS-IN-OURSELVES notionally equipped with EGO-based POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS. Those assumptions are the DOUBLE ERROR of language and grammar, as pointed out by Nietzsche. It is those errors that ‘take us out’ (psychologically) of the Tao (the transforming relational continuum aka the ‘Wave-field’ and drop us into a world of empty space populated by notional LOCAL things-in-themselves with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments (the double error).
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS continually reinforce this double error based illusion (delusion) through our continual use of language which repeats these abstract representations such as BIRTH and GROWTH and AGING and DEATH to us over and over again, so that we lose our grasp of the reality of our sensory experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum aka ‘the Tao’ aka the ‘Wave-field’.
We do this ‘dumbing down’ of reality for a good reason; i.e. because the Tao is ineffable and is beyond expression in language and grammar. Language and grammar can only be used to INFER the Tao which lies innately beyond reach of language and grammar. The ‘EAST’ accepts that language is only capable of INFERENCE of the true Tao that lies innately beyond capture in language and grammar (as Lao Tzu says; ‘the Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’). Meanwhile, the WEST, by which I mean us WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS, accepts the reductive representations of the Tao, of language and grammar, as the ‘operative reality’, so that for example, DUNING which is a Wavefield resonance phenomenon, is reduced with language and grammar to the ‘double error’ based terms of a NAMING instantiated thing” in itself with GRAMMAR given (notional) powers of SOURCING actions and developments (as Alan Watts points out, we do the same with ‘humaning’ as we do with ‘duning’). This reduction of purely relational resonance formings to intellectual local objects overcomes the ineffability that is innate in the transforming relational continuum (the Tao, the Wave-field) by abstractly establishing a LOCAL presence that can be used as the SOURCING POINT of actions and developments, thus ‘breaking into’ the seamless flowing continuum of the Tao (which makes it ineffable) and impute a LOCAL source of actions and development (the ‘double error’) WHICH “IS” EFFABLE.
This ‘effable-izing’ of the ineffable, for the practical purpose of being able to discuss and share and learn from a ‘crude reductive representation’ of the ineffable fluid reality (the Tao), is very useful as an INFERENCE of the Tao that lies innately beyond it. It is like a ladder that gives as an intuitive glimpse of that which cannot be explicitly articulated, … inference that WIttgenstein describes as a kind of intellectual approximation of the reality that, being in continual flux, is only accessible through intuitive inference. In this sense, it is like an intellectual ladder that can take us to where we can ‘glimpse’ an understanding that is beyond capture in the explicit representations of language and grammar;
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.
–Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico Philosophicus
So, this following NOTE on BIRTHDAYS and AGING, … which are backhanded ways of implying LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF BEINGS, notionally with POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS (the ‘double error’ of language and grammar as pointed out by Nietzsche), is intended to open up a view into the greater reality of the transforming relational continuum in which we, and everything is included, wherein there is no such thing as BIRTH and GROWTH and AGING and DEATH, … all of these abstract concepts are coming from the ‘double error’ constructs of language and grammar. They are commonly used for constructing effable representations of the ineffable, but only in the WEST are such effable representations accepted as the OPERATIVE REALITY, … while in the EAST, as in modern physics, … these double error based representations are employed as ‘ladders of inference’ that allow our intelligence to make a leap of inference to the ineffable insight that lies innately beyond the reach of effable representation.
The reason why modern physics and EASTERN CULTURE understanding of ‘reality’ coincide is because they are both understanding that the physical reality of our sensory experience cannot be reduced to explicit representation but is only accessible through relational inference; (e.g. as in ‘the Surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’ of modern physics philosophers such as Geoffrey Chew, that allows us to approximate that which is purely relational and without a basis in LOCAL BEING, as is the general case in the Wave-field reality that we experience inclusion in. Bootstrapping is means of ‘effable-izing’ the ineffable (because purely relational).
“When you formulate a question, you have to have some basic concepts that you are accepting in order to formulate the question. But in the bootstrap approach, where the whole system represents a network of relationships without any firm foundation, the description of our subject can be begun at a great variety of different places. There isn’t any clear starting point. And the way our theory has developed in the last few years, we quite typically don’t know what questions to ask. We use consistency as the guide, and each increase in the consistency suggests something that is incomplete, but it rarely takes the form of a wel-ldefined question. We are going beyond the whole questionandanswer framework.”
Birthdays and GROWTH and AGING are abstractions that help to support the house of cards abstraction of the DOUBLE ERROR based pseudo-reality which is our WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT operative reality;
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February 29th REFLECTIONS on the CONCEPT of BIRTHDAYS and AGING
This is just to share an explanation of ambivalent feelings on celebrating the ‘anniversary’ of a ‘birth-day’, and its connection with the EAST-WEST split.
To come straight to the point, and this is not hard to understand as evidenced by the fact that a large part of the world understands it implicitly (e.g. indigenous aboriginals, Taoists/Buddhists and Advaita Vedanta adherents, not to mention modern physicists such as Bohm, Schroedinger and also Nietzsche who got his modern physics preview from Roger Boscovich), … there is no such thing as ‘birth’ in the transforming relational continuum aka the Tao aka the Wavefield. ‘BIRTH’ is a binary logic-based concept wherein there is suddenly SOMETHING where there was up to that BIRTHING moment NOTHING. This binarization of relational transformation is ABSTRACTION that is given language and grammar-based representation in the WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT belief system..
Far more ‘real’ in terms of sentient experience is the understanding of reality in terms of RELATIONAL TRANSFORMATION wherein novelty is continually emerging in reciprocal relation to familiarity that is submerging. The continual outwelling of novelty and inwelling of familiarity are conjugate aspects of the one dynamic we call ‘flow’ or ‘transformation’.
While the EAST understands reality in terms of TRANSFORMATION, the WEST understands reality in terms of GROWTH which is the LOCAL BIRTH of the NEW. This is also the difference in the reality captured by Newtonian Physics (where GROWTH is deemed to be ‘real’) and modern physics (where TRANSFORMATION is deemed to be ‘real’). Whereas GROWTH depends on first defining-by-naming a LOCAL thing-in-itself, by way of a ‘double error’ of language and grammar, TRANSFORMATION is a NONLOCAL relational phenomenon that has no dependency on the ‘double error’ of language and grammar. The ‘double error’ consists of NAMING to impute LOCAL thing-in-itself existence (first error), and GRAMMAR to impute the power of SOURCING actions and development (second error) to the LOCAL name-instantiated thing-in-itself (first error).
One might say that this ‘double error’ is what allows language and grammar to ‘break into the Tao’ and reduce it to LOCAL SOURCES of action and development; i.e. to ‘effable-ize’ the ‘ineffable’.
The ‘double error’ based LOCALIZING of ACTIONS, GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT may succeed in ‘effable-izing’ the ‘ineffable’ Tao (at the price of reducing the NONLOCAL to the LOCAL) but WEST and EAST are split on what use can be made of such effable-ized representation of reality.
While the EAST (modern physics, indigenous aboriginal culture, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta) employ the effable-ized representations of reality as INFERENCE of the Tao that lies innately beyond such inference (e.g. as a ‘Wittgenstein ladder’), the WEST( the globally predominating business and intellectual mainstream) employs the effable-ized representations of reality as the OPERATIVE REALITY and this is problematic.
An example may be useful to show how the WEST gets into trouble (logical contradiction) through the use of the abstract concept of LOCAL GROWTH (local sourcing of actions and development imputed by the double error of language and grammar).
In the WEST, we speak of the GROWTH of a farm. For example, the farmer may increase the land he has under cultivation from 10 acres to 160 acres. The ‘farm’ as a ‘name-instantiated thing-in-itself’ … ‘has grown’.
In the EAST, there is no such thing as GROWTH, there is only TRANSFORMATION. For example, where a portion of the overall space is cultivated and is ‘no longer WILDERNESS’, while we can speak in terms of the GROWTH of that cultivated portion,… if follows that the WILDERNESS area is SHRINKING, reciprocally to such GROWTH. In other words, what is going on is TRANSFORMATION of the overall space that includes both the GROWING cultivated area and the SHRINKING wilderness are.
While our language and grammar allows us to speak in the one-sided terms of the GROWTH of the CULTIVATED area, the REALITY is that the WILDERNESS area is reciprocally SHRINKING.
In terms of FIGURE and GROUND, the ‘GROWTH’ of the FIGURE (cultivated area) is reciprocally offset by the SHRINKAGE of the GROUND (wilderness area), insofar as we think of FIGURE and GROUND as being separate things-in-themselves as in binary logic (the EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED medium. But the land is still the land in spite of how cultivated land APPEARS different from wilderness land, thus the talk of GROWTH of cultivated area is APPEARANCE based, just as the SHRINKAGE of wilderness area is APPEARANCE based.
In a TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM, the CULTIVATED FIGURE and UNCULTIVATED GROUND distinction can only be APPEARANCE; i.e. the GROWTH of a FIGURE such as an area of cultivation can only be APPEARANCE based, as it is reciprocated by the SHRINKAGE of the GROUND within the FIGURE and GROUND duality. Of course, there may be ambiguity in how we are understanding this FIGURE-GROUND duality (or non-duality) as in the Tai-Chi symbol.
As far as the farmer is concerned, the GROWTH of the cultivated area is REAL, but as far as modern physics is concerned, GROWTH is APPEARANCE and only relational TRANSFORMATION is real. Therefore, if we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS ‘PUSH GROWTH’ as if it ‘were real’, we are ignoring that what is really going on is TRANSFORMATION of the space we all share inclusion in.
GROWTH is thus not merely an ILLUSION, … in WESTERN CULTURE social dynamics, it is a dangerous DELUSION that distracts us from the greater reality of TRANSFORMATION that we are helping to cultivate.
The WESTERN CULTURE delusional belief in GROWTH and the denial of TRANSFORMATION is leading to rising dysfunction; i.e. it is a CRAZY-MAKER.
The celebrating of ourselves in the double error terms of LOCAL INDEPENDENT THINGS-IN-OURSELVES, NOTIONALLY WITH OUR OWN POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS is at the bottom of this CRAZY-MAKING belief in GROWTH.
The celebrating of ‘birthdays’ gives us the sense of ourselves in the above described ‘double error’ terms. This serves as a psychological-cultural ‘lock-in’ that blocks us from understanding ourselves in terms of ‘mitakuye oyasin’ wherein everything is related and we are included in the overall relational web aka the GREAT HARMONY.
So long as we continue to believe in GROWTH, we shall be confined to the CRAZY MAKING belief in ourselves as NAMING-INSTANTIATED THINGS-IN-OURSELVES with our own (ego-pumped) POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS.
This is the CRAZY MAKING MIS-UNDERSTANDING pervading WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS.
The CONCEPT of BIRTHDAYS and AGING contributes directly to this MIS-UNDERSTANDING.
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