How EAST is EAST and WEST is WEST
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.
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?
END OF INTRODUCTION:
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.
END OF INTRODUCTION:
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.
If dissonance erupts in a community and there is rape and murder, it is understood as dissonance which is relational and while locally manifest, dissonance is not locally instantiated.
As when a stray dog runs across a busy freeway, the screeching and swerving may go spread across and along the flow of traffic and ultimately a collision may ensue far from where the swerving commenced. In the WEST, the understanding will be BINARY; i.e. that someone has smashed into someone else so that we have a binary pair of ‘guilty perpetrator’ and a ‘innocent victim’ based on EITHER/OR logic of the excluded medium (we don’t have to consider the relational dynamics that things are included in, simply analyze situations in terms of EITHER ‘did it’ OR ‘did not do it’. Of course, that reduction to abstract binary logic is far from the complex relational ‘reality’ of our sensory experience, but such ‘reduction’ is neat and tidy as binary logic is designed to be.
Modern physics, as also in the EAST would have us understand that incident in a non-binary manner according to the BOTH/AND logic of the included medium. David Bohm explains modern physics using the example of the shooting of Abraham Lincoln, where the WEST would explain this in terms that ‘John Wilkes Booth’ caused the death of Lincoln. As Bohm explains, this is a language and grammar-based simplification which reduces how we capture the complex developments in the real world of our actual sensory experience (of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum). That is, ‘in reality’ (in the reality of our actual sensory experience rather than in the reduced pseudo-reality we construct with language and grammar), … things are more complex.
For example, would you agree that ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God’ by an eye witness correctly established that Jean Valjean stole a loaf of bread? CSI would convict him on the basis of finding his fingerprints on the bakery counter, or else by playing back the CCTV monitor footage. However, if we called in Robin Hood as a character witness, he would explain that the full story goes on forever, like the Zen stories and one can’s label as ‘truth’ some local snippet of an event. Our experience of inclusion in the relational world dynamic does not break down neatly into little self-standing snippets aka ‘local-in-space-and-time events’. That is language and grammar that chops things up into supposedly meaningful ‘stand-alone’ episodes.
Have you ever filled out a résumé of work experience? How many times did a friend or colleague save your ass? How many times did you save a friend or colleague’s ass? How much of the gets recorded in our résumé writing?
What exactly is ‘reality’ to you? We just admitted, if you answered those last two questions honestly, that the truth NEVER GETS TOLD, not just because we are dishonest, but because there is no such thing, as Bohm was implying and as Nietzsche is more forthright about;
“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.” — Nietzsche, –Über Wahrheit und Lüge im aussermoralischen Sinne, (On Truth and Lies in an extra-moral sense).
In other words, we speak a load of bullshit and it gets passed around and we have to sift our way through it. Our first hand sensory experience is the basic authenticator but most of what we say that we ‘know’ comes from other sources like radio, tv, internet, and depending on what country one lives in and what subcollective one hangs out with, that which we call ‘reality’ or ‘the truth’ is clearly not something we hold ‘in common’.
The other point, in regard to what is circulated to us as the truth, is raised by Ivan Illich in ‘Silence is a Commons’. Since the invention of the loudspeaker, the ‘facts’ that shape our ‘reality’ are no longer coming to us through a maze of conversations in the natural ‘commons’, … they are coming to us through the ‘loudspeakers’ of media where access is not exactly free and open as it was in ‘the commons’. For example, the voices of people like myself whose understanding is that anthropogenic global warming is an insane belief (man is included in nature, he is not the master of it). Chief Seattle’s speech on European man’s craziness (How can you buy and sell the sky?) was on target and is still on target.
The modern WEST believes in the ‘producer-product’ dynamic and rewards name-instantiated things-in-themselves such as ‘people’ and ‘nations’ and ‘corporations’ on this bogus basis of deeming them ‘producers of products’. There is only relational transformation, there is no producer-product dynamic; it is, as Nietzsche observes ‘an error of grammar’.
The WEST’s aberrant belief in the Newtonian producer product dynamic derives from the belief in alchemy and sorcery. There is only relational transformation. The degenerating ‘environment’ is coming from the WEST’s ‘ego’ which comes from belief in the producer-product dynamic. Wherever Western initiatives orient to producer-product ventures, the reality is instead relational transformation. We don’t know what we are doing, we are included in a transforming relational continuum, so it is impossible to know what we are doing. See that amazing skyscraper we built over there?
Those words are just abstraction. What is over there is also over here; i.e. it is a ‘transformed landscape’. The producer-product sense of construction of a skyscraper or city is language and grammar-based abstraction that ‘wallpaper over’ the reality of our actual sensory experience, which is of inclusion in relational transformation.
Modern physics, indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoists/Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta cultures, are not understanding ‘reality’ in the same way that the WEST is. The WEST believes the WEST is ahead of the rest because of its amazing track record in terms of producer-product development. THERE IS NO SUCH FUCKING THING AS ‘PRODUCER-PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT’, THERE IS ONLY RELATIONAL TRANSFORMATION.
Greta Thunberg (and many others of the WEST) believes that the ‘producer-product dynamic’ is REAL! It is NOT REAL, it is language and grammar-based abstraction, of the same type Chief Seattle called bullshit on, and modern physics reaffirms that the producer-product dynamic is bullshit. It is the double error of language and grammar.
The second mistake is where the WEST holds humanity responsible for global warming.
The first mistake is where the WEST imputes to humanity the producer-product power of the double error of language and grammar; first error is ‘naming’ to impute thing-in-itself being to some or other relational form in the Tao aka the wave-field of modern physics, and the second error is the error of grammar in imputing the power of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself (Nietzsche).
Ok, one hears the leading thinkers and movers of the WEST supporting the producer-product reality. Of course, that’s what makes the WEST the WEST.
As Nietzsche points out, the WEST is basing what everyone takes to be ‘reality’ on basic errors such as the ‘double error’ just mentioned, but there is more, … lots more.
‘Reason’ is phony, as Nietzsche points out, and History is phony, yet both are employed in the WEST as trusted foundations for understanding ‘reality’
“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.” George Santayana
“In Reason’ in language! ……..(Note how Nietzsche points to ‘being’ as the underpinning of ‘reason‘; i.e. … “Being is thought into and insinuated into everything as ‘cause’; from the concept ‘ego,’ alone, can the concept ‘Being’ proceed.”……….– oh what a deceptive old witch it (reason) has been! I fear we shall never be rid of God, so long as we still believe in grammar.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’
‘Astronomy’ is also bullshit. As Kepler pointed out, astronomy only exists because, in his model, the earth is not stuck in the middle like the sun and forced to intuit what it is included in. The earth gets to roam around and get a voyeur view of the system it is included in, supposedly. Kepler ‘got it right’ in his identifying of the two views (ratiocinative/rational and noetic/intuitive), however, he for some reason (fear of charges of heresy for ‘decentralizing the Earth?) declares ‘rational’ intellection to be “the most excellent and absolute” (… what? … ‘most excellent’ and absolute’? Sounds like ‘a hedge’, which he immediately contradicts.)
… throughout the remaining globes, which follow after from place to place, there have been disseminated discursive or ratiocinative faculties, whereof that one ought assuredly to be judged the most excellent and absolute which is in the middle position among those globes, viz., in man’s earth, while there dwells in the sun simple intellect, πῦρ νοερὸν, or νοῦς, the source, whatsoever it may be, of every harmony.” – Johannes Kepler, ‘Harmonies of the World’
The issue with astronomy is the same issue as with the Tao, generally; i.e. the primary dynamic is ‘the source of every harmony’, … it is ineffable. Therefore, ‘astronomy’ is the reduction of the ineffable to something effable, as also in the case of ‘history’ and ‘reason’, the latter can perhaps be more readily seen through as ‘bullshit’. How many indigenous aboriginals ‘play along with’ or ‘humour’ believers in the ‘existence’ of imaginary line-bounded ‘parcels of land’ that ‘producer products’? What else can they do in the WEST where social custom will treat people who ‘don’t go along with such bullshit’ very harshly. As psychiatrist R. D. Laing satirizes this craziness of the WEST in ‘Knots’;
They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.” – R.D. Laing
I guess I fall into that category of ‘playing the game of not seeing I see the game’, but it isn’t exactly voluntary, and so I am not out in the street celebrating the coming of Greta Thunberg, who doubtless supports the humans on this planet in their producer-product belief (which at the same time denies that we are included in a transforming relational continuum) since that is the very same producer-product concept we use to attribute global warming to humans. THERE IS NO FUCKING PRODUCER-PRODUCT DYNAMIC, THAT IS THE ABSTRACT ARTIFACT OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR, THERE IS ONLY RELATIONAL TRANSFORMATION, AS AFFIRMED BY MODERN PHYSICS and long supported by indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta.
The popular game of the WEST is the producer-product game. People who make their living in the oilfields of Alberta believe in the producer-product game from when it was only seen in a positive light, when the product’ was highly esteemed. It is hard to make an adjustment now when people are saying the product is a net negative, like when it becomes evident that the ‘environment’ is being ‘transformed’ by the producing and consumption of the product.
Production and construction are such one-sidedly positive words. The construction of an office tower makes no mention of the deep hole in the ground where limestone was quarried for the construction (which may now be filled with rusted hulks of old cars and bed-springs, and stagnant waters serving up mosquitoes. And then there’s the gravel pits for the concrete and the roads used for transporting materials that extinguish snakes and other ecological participants. All of this and much more coming together to suggest that what is going on here is NOT ‘production’ but ‘transformation’. The WEST is always telling just one side of the story. We say that the rock rolled down the mountain, we don’t mention how the mountain got smaller; i.e. that there was a hole added to the mountain slope commensurate with the departure of the rock. It was not that the mountain was producing a lot of rock slides, but that transformation is underway.
So, ‘history’, ‘reason’ and ‘astronomy’ are all reductionist bullshit that are for one reason, to reduce the ineffable Tao to something effable. Ok, we have been making a lot of use of these reductionist concepts precisely for that purpose; i.e. to render the ineffable Tao effable. The difference is that unlike the EAST where the ineffable remains the primary understanding of reality, … the WEST has allowed the tool of language and grammar (used to reduce the ineffable to effable) to ‘run away with the workman, the human with the divine’ — Emerson
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Footnote: Comment Informed by Ivan Illich’ ‘Silence is a Commons’
Illich relates a story about the first loudspeaker arriving on the Island of Brac, off the coast of Croatia, in 1926:
Few people there had ever heard of such a thing. Up to that day, all men and women had spoken with more or less equally powerful voices. Henceforth this would change. Henceforth the access to the microphone would determine whose voice shall be magnified. Silence now ceased to be in the commons; it became a resource for which loudspeakers compete. Language itself was transformed thereby from a local commons into a national resource for communication… The encroachment of the loudspeaker has destroyed that silence which so far had given each man and woman his or her proper and equal voice. Unless you have access to a loudspeaker, you are now silenced.
Today, (2019), we marvel at the ability of the internet to open up for us instant access to all manner of information. That’s on the ‘access’ side of things. On the distribution side, some stories go ballistic while others go nowhere. Illich’s point is therefore well made since prior to electronic communications, individuals could make themselves heard even if what they had to say was unpopular and very much a minority view. It was like living on a boat together where you couldn’t help but keep bumping into the same people or meeting others who had met them and were sharing their stories and ideas.
The social impact of modern electronic communications is very much subject to the ‘control of the loudspeaker’ effect of which Illich speaks. Current concerns over possible Russian media-based influence over the U.S. presidential election result (Donald Trump) point to the reality of the Silence is a Commons effect; i.e. a silence that can be filled in a disproportionate manner since the advent of electronic communications. Giordano Bruno’s observation that ‘a majority has no monopoly on the truth’ (expressed in 1600 just before he was burned at the stake for heresy) did not anticipate how quickly a majority supported ‘truth’ can be ‘arranged’ since the arrival of the era of electronic media communications.
Most of what we ‘know’ about the world no longer comes from our direct experience, but from language and grammar-based reports sometimes supported by visual displays. This has led to a highly ‘cantilevered’ situation whereby ‘what we know for a fact’ is less and less supported by our own direct sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao. Our virgin daughter can have more extensive ‘knowledge’ of sexual intercourse than her well-experienced mother who ‘just does it’ (participates in the sensory experiencing of sexual relations).
‘Knowledge’ in the sense of ‘intellectual knowing’ is something innately ‘less’ that ‘knowledge’ deriving from sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao. Those who we call ‘experts’ because of their extensive ‘knowledge’ of a subject may have knowledge that is primarily ‘intellectual’. Those that we say ‘know far less’ because they cannot intellectually articulate it, but who have a rich sensory experience based knowledge, may never be considered ‘experts’.
We would not say that mountain-goats are ‘expert’ climbers just as we would not say of those who are sensitive and seductive lovers are ‘experts’ in sexual relations because ‘expert’ pertains to intellectual acuity (having the intellectual know-how and well-developed capability for talking about it), but not necessarily gifted in the physical SMR (sensori-motor-rhythm) participation. (One of the prominent uses of neurofeedback is to assist individuals in rediscovering (finding the handle on) their SMR capacities which have been suppressed by an over-dominant Alpha-wave (intellectual) brain function. The mountain goat in us keeps its SMR activity in precedence while using alpha wave intellectual in a support role. The culture of the WEST encourages an inversion of this natural priority which puts alpha wave (intellectual) activity in an unnatural precedence over SMR activity. See “On the Marionette Theatre” by Heinrich von Kleist, where the sentient form shifts from alpha-wave intellectual focus to SMR open-sensing-of-relational-inclusion.
“Now, my excellent friend,” said my companion, “you are in possession of all you need to follow my argument. We see that in the organic world, as thought grows dimmer and weaker, grace emerges more brilliantly and decisively. But just as a section drawn through two lines suddenly reappears on the other side after passing through infinity, or as the image in a concave mirror turns up again right in front of us after dwindling into the distance, so grace itself returns when knowledge has as it were gone through an infinity. Grace appears most purely in that human form which either has no consciousness or an infinite consciousness. That is, in the puppet or in the god.”
We know that the egotistical confidence brought on by intellectual knowledge can put a person into the ‘humilityless twit’ state as the grace in him is evacuated in order to ‘open up space’ for his swelling intellect.
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