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.
It is important to reflect on the ‘exposures’ that come with the use of language as well as the benefits. ‘Shareability’ of experiences has ‘gone through the roof’, but what we are sharing is NOT REALLY ‘experience’ since language is only capable of transmitting intellectual REDUCTIONS of our sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao (aka the ‘wave-field’ aka the transforming relational continuum of modern physics). Most notable is that language trades in understanding that is ‘visually picturable’ and stops short of conveying understanding of sensory experience that is innately non-picturable. For example, our movements when driving within heavy traffic may be inductively shaped in a Bodhisattva-like ethic of cultivating and sustaining harmony in the relational dynamic of the collective.
Language based articulating of such pictures is meanwhile, in Western culture, in the ‘double error’ based terms of notional name-instantiated things-in-themselves, notionally with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments. This sort of language-based reporting scheme is incapable of capturing the Bodhisattva ethic, blanking out the deeper ineffable understanding than lies beneath the effable double error based (ego-based) reduction that serves as the common Western culture adherents’ intellectualized version of ‘reality’.
No amount of detailed analysis of the individual and ‘his actions’, whether by direct analysis of visual data, or by psycho-analysis of the driver, … will deliver an understanding of ‘what is really going’ on since ‘the Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’. Yes, of course, if we are ‘in the Tao’, we can give ourselves up in the service of cultivating and sustaining harmony in the relational dynamics we share inclusion in, however, there is no way of reducing and articulating such dynamics in terms wherein we are the source of ‘our actions and developments’. Such sorcery can comes only from the ‘double error’ of language and grammar, abstract ‘trickery’ that feigns to overcome the impasse of trying to deal with the ineffable nonlocality that characterizes the Tao (wave-field). Language and grammar based imputing of the ‘existence’ of local beings with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments, does overcome (in our linguistic-abstraction-stimulated psyches) the nonlocality of wave-field dynamics, opening the floodgates for the otherwise impossible articulating of a reduced version of the Tao. The tool, as Emerson notes, that has ‘run away with the (Western culture) workman.’
There are problems with substituting double error based reductions (intellectual ego-driven actions) for ‘selfless’ Bodhisattva actions wherein, instead of ‘coming from a source within us, we give ourselves up to the filling of a gap which transforms impending dissonance into harmony. The person who could not resist the inductive pull to dive into the rapids to rescue the floundering child who had slipped and fallen in, rejects the suggestion that ‘he is a hero’ for ‘his courageous action’, because he understands that the impetus originated from ‘without’, NONLOCALLY, from the relational dynamics in which he is included, and NOT from (ego-based) local genesis as the intellectual ‘double error’ of language and grammar will inevitably portray it.
One’s virgin teen-age daughter may ‘know’, in intellectual terms, far more about sexual intercourse than her well-experienced parents will ever know, but as Heraclitus observed; ‘The knowledge of many things does not teach understanding”.
So, language has been amazing and it is crazy-amazing in today’s Mcluhanesque ‘global village’ but, as just noted, the knowledge that language brings us is superficial, being based on intellectual content without (in most cases) being grounded in sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao. That is the ‘sacrifice’ that has to be made in using language to render the ‘ineffable Tao’ effable, … i.e. the reduction of the inherently nonlocal and thus ineffable Tao to the local and thus effable, thanks to the double error.
Language allows ‘shareability’ of (a reduced-to-effable version of our ineffable-experience of inclusion in the Tao) to ‘go through the roof’, but there is, of course, ‘something missing’ in a purely intellectual sharing…. WHAT IS IT THAT GOES MISSING?
This ‘drop-out’ in shifting to purely intellectual sharing can be understood in terms of the brainwave activity involved in intellectual sharing vis a vis the brainwave activity in fullblown sensory experience based sharing. The sensory-motor-rhythm (SMR wave) aspect of experience has had to be jettisoned in order to exploit reason-based (BETA wave) shareability.
This is why (and it makes very good sense) there is an increasing use of neurofeedback as a therapeutic technique to resuscitate our atrophied natural powers of SMR (sensory-motor rhythm) experience based learning which have been ‘short-circuited’ by intellectual (BETA wave) based learning, so that much of what we now feel we ‘know for sure’ has come to us through intellectual transfer and NOT through our own actual sensory experience, an exposure that is amplified by modern communications technologies as warned of in Ivan Illich’s ‘Silence is a Commons’ (whoever has access to the microphone-and-loudspeaker wields most influence in what gets propagated as ‘reality’, that is not grounded in our own sensory experience, … and what is ‘not grounded in our sensory experience’ has been growing disproportionately thanks to the growth of intellectual-content-only communications technology. That is why war-experience-grounded old-timers have referred to top young PhD graduates as ‘humilityless twits’ because, as Heraclitus observed, ‘The knowledge of many things does not teach understanding’.
The amazing technology supported amplification of the ‘shareability’ of knowledge has cantilevered the propagation of knowledge far beyond the propagation of first-hand sensory experience, so that well-educated virgins can ‘out-reason’ salty-dog sexual experients in intellectual debates, bringing home Nietzsche’s point that ‘reason’ is a concept that smuggles in ‘ego’, the crazy-making psychological impression of oneself as a ‘sorcerer’ of actions and developments.
“In its origin language belongs in the age of the most rudimentary form of psychology. We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language, in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere it sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things–only thereby does it first create the concept of “thing.” Everywhere “being” is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a capacity. Today we know that it is only a word.” – Nietzsche, Chapter 5 (Reason in Philosophy) of Twilight of the Idols.
It is the radically greater ‘shareability’ of language-based intellectual-conceptual reductions of sensory experience that has cantilevered intellectual understanding out well beyond the disseminating of sensory experience based (carnal) knowledge to the point that, as Emerson observes; ‘the tool runs away with the workman, the human with the divine’. Are we ‘really’ as our Western culture upbringing would have us believe, ‘name-instantiated independent beings with powers of sourcing actions and developments’ (the ‘double error’), or are we instead ‘relational forms in the transforming relational continuum, as the Tao and modern physics would have it. Since the former is the persisting choice of Western culture adherency, locked in by ‘high switching costs’, … we continue to trap ourselves in a ‘crazy-maker’.
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[NOTE: In brainwave wave-field terms, the associations are as follows; SMR or sensorimotor rhythms (12.5-15.5 Hz.) refers to that portion of the brainwave wave-spectrum that associates with spontaneous relational dynamics, as contrasted with BETA brainwave frequencies (12-31 Hz.) as associate with analytical-logical reasoning].
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The rocketing increase in shareability of understanding facilitated by language comes by ‘dropping out’ the sensorimotor rhythm components of experience and sharing the frequency-limited BETA wave component. There is a kind of ‘hollowness’ or ‘tinniness’ of the extracted intellectual (BETA wave) component of what is being shared as can be ‘sensed’ in the case of the virgin that knows far more about sexual intercourse through their BETA brainwave intellectual activity than those who have abundant ‘carnal knowledge’ which comes with SMR brainwave stimulation.
The sharing enabled by electronic communications and the World-Wide-Web escalates the splitting off of BETA wave content from SMR wave content. In other words, the shareability based acceleration of human learning is facilitated by language that accommodates passage of BETA wave content but without the SMR.
THE EAST ACCEPTS THIS SHAREABILITY BENEFIT (WHICH APPLIES ONLY FOR BETA WAVE DATA) IN THE CONTEXT OF A SUPPORT TOOL WHERE GROUNDING IN SMR REMAINS ESSENTIAL, WHILE THE WEST EMPLOYS THIS SUPER-SHAREABILITY OF BETA-WITHOUT-SMR AS A REPLACEMENT FOR EXPERIENCE (EXPERIENCE IS WHERE BETA IS GROUNDED WITH SMR). This difference between BETA-without-SMR versus BETA-with-SMR is illustrated in the case of the virgin who is more expert on sexual intercourse than the person highly experienced in actual ‘carnal knowledge’ (sexual experience).
The colossal ‘shareability’ of a REDUCED version of the Tao as in BETA-without-SMR is what distinguishes man-the-soft-fuzzy-sensation-attuning-animal, from man-the-intellectual-machine. While the SMR can’t be shared, the BETA can be shared and so one might say, as Emerson did, that here is an exposure to the ‘tool of language running away with the workman’ in the sense that understanding based on BETA-without-SMR is highly shareable via language and grammar while BETA-with-SMR is not shareable with language and grammar; i.e. ‘The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’ -Lao Tzu
Language-Turbocharged Shareability of experience (the stripped-down BETA-without-SMR knowledge of experience) characterizes and distinguishes humans from other natural forms in the transforming relational continuum.
While the EAST does not abandon the fullblown SMR + BETA experience as the primary reality (i.e. this is our unique and unshareable sensory experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum), the WEST SUBSTITUTES the stripped down, shareable BETA-without-SMR experience as the ‘operative reality’. That is where the confusion comes from that would have us accept the virgin expert on sexual relations, or the ‘humilityless twit’ fresh-out-of-school Ph.D. graduate who ‘knows better’ than the first-hand operations-experienced old-timer.
The ‘ineffable’ nature of the Tao is thus ‘overcome’, or rather ‘avoided’ by an ‘end-run’ wherein BETA is SUBSTITUTED for SMR+BETA. One may thing of SMR as wavefield that one sensorily experience through immersion and inclusion within it, … while BETA is wavefield that is transmitted and received.
In other words, SMR is what makes our experience ineffable since it informs us of our inclusion within the wavefield, not ‘inclusion’-as-something-inside-of-something-else, but ‘inclusion’ that is that something (the field aka the Tao) and is distinguishable by appearance that does not imply ontological explicitness and separation.
The ‘shareability’ of the reduced form of understanding (BETA without SMR) is what is comprised by language. The WEST employs this reduced language-based ‘effable’ form of understanding as the ‘operative reality’ while the EAST employs the reduced language-based ‘effable’ form of understanding as a supportive tool, while retaining the ineffable Tao as the primary reality.
There are obvious problems with using the reduced-to-effable reality as the ‘operative reality’ as implied by the references to the war-veteran termed ‘humilityless twit’ Ph.D. graduate and the virgin-expert on sexual relations. These are problems in the WEST because the reduced-to-effable reality is employed as the primary reality. In the EAST, it still holds that ‘The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’, so that ‘what can be told’ is used IN THE EAST only as a rough guide (‘Wittgenstein ladder’) or as in the ‘surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions), and NOT AS A SUBSTITUTE REALITY as it is used IN THE WEST.
In the WEST, the ‘double error’ of language and grammar, rather than being understood as a rough guide, is ‘taken literally’. The double error is, to repeat for emphasis, … where we use naming to impute thing-in-itself existence to a relation form in the Tao, and conflate this first error with a second error wherein we use grammar to impute powers of sourcing actions and development to the naming-instantiated thing-in-itself (the first error). By this double error, the nonlocal relational dynamics of our sensory experiencing of nature are ‘blocked out’ and replaced by the reduced ‘double error’ abstract, delivering an ‘effable’ but reduced version of the ineffable Tao.
This is the source of the WEST’s belief in quote/unquote “reality” based on the abstractions of ‘being’ and ‘ego’. As Nietzsche observes;
“And in India, as in Greece, the same mistake was made: “We must once have been at home in a higher world (instead of a very much lower one, which would have been the truth); we must have been divine, for we have reason!” Indeed, nothing has yet possessed a more naive power of persuasion than the error concerning being, as it has been formulated by the Eleatics, for example. After all, every word and every sentence we say speak in its favor. Even the opponents of the Eleatics still succumbed to the seduction of their concept of being: Democritus, among others, when he invented his atom. “Reason” in language–oh, what an old deceptive female she is! I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” –Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols.
If you have difficulty holding on to what is being suggested here ‘in context’ long enough to test it by reflecting on your own experiences to see if you can support it, … that should not be a surprise because we Western culture adherents have trained ourselves to break everything down into logical bits as we go along. So, here is what has been said above, repeated so as to facilitate ready grasp;
-1- Humans- discovered that our experiencing of the ineffable Tao can’t be shared because of the uniqueness of our inclusion within it, BUT… if we were to come up with a ‘reduced’ ‘effable’ version of the Tao, we would be able to at least share the reduced effable reduction. Note that while the effable reduction is ‘visualizable’, the ineffable understanding is nonlocal and thus non-visualizable.
The understanding that is gleaned from participation in a ‘sharing circle’ is not visualizable understanding and thus not language-conveyable understanding. It is understanding that derives from coherency in the connective confluence of a diverse multiplicity of sensual experiences. This understanding comes to us in the manner that a hologram forms, from the coherence that arises in the confluence of a diverse multiplicity of relationally interfering sources. Because the hologram is an ‘interference pattern’, it never graduates to ‘thing-in-itself’ status but like the Bodhisattva, is continually emergent as the confluence of something greater than itself.
What we are trying to ‘overcome’ with a reduction of the Tao is the ‘nonlocality’ of the Tao; i.e. it has no beginning or ending in spacetime. We have developed language and grammar that enables a reduction from nonlocality to locality in space (being) and locality in time (beginning and ending aka ‘life’ and ‘death’) which recasts, for example, ‘duning’ (resonance forms) as ‘dunes’ that are born, grow longer and taller, shift and disperse.
This is a ‘double error’ reduction (Nietzsche); the first error is ‘naming’ to impute ‘independent-thing-in-itself-being to a flow-form in the resonance field (wave-field) and we conflate this with the second error of imputing the power of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself (the first error). In this manner we overcome the Tao’s ‘nonlocality’ in space (we localize by naming) and in time (we localize temporal variations with grammar; “it is growing larger and shifting to the south”). Meanwhile, there is only, in reality, wavefield transformation.
THIS REDUCTION EQUATES, IN THE WAVE DOMAIN, TO SPLITTING OUT THE BETA BRAINWAVES FROM THEIR ASSOCIATION WITH THE SENSORIMOTOR RHYTHM (SMR) BRAINWAVES. This opens the way to sharing (BETA without the SMR) and such sharing, even though it is constrained to logical intellection sharing WITHOUT sensory experience sharing, can have huge benefits; i.e. we can read or hear intellectualized accounts of valuable actions and techniques, the best among millions of trials, without having to go through a long trial and error experimental (experiential) process ourselves. THIS language based shareability has, of course, been available to both WEST and EAST but there is a very basic difference in how EAST and WEST have managed this shareability.
-2- THE WEST has employed the shareable BETA (logical) language constructions without the (sensory) SMR in the constructing of an ‘operative reality’ (see earlier ‘humilityless twits’ etc. comment). For example, we Western culture adherents know a lot about the experiences of others conveyed through language (e.g. pygmy tribes in Africa), that go well beyond our own sensory experience. Our overall ‘knowledge’ has, thanks to language, been radically cantilevered by language-based extensions that go far beyond our actual sensory experience ‘carnal knowledge’ base. In other words, language can give us a non-experience-grounded understanding whereby we can use our intellect to precipitate actions based solely on intellect and without grounding in personal sensory experience.
This exposure extends also to forms without language such as illustrated by the story of the chimpanzees and the tap that surprises them by showering them with ice-cold water (they quickly teach one another NOT to turn that tap, a discipline that prevails well beyond the removal of the cold water spraying equipment and beyond the replacement of the chimps with others who have never experienced the cold water spraying but nevertheless ‘police’ against any chimp that attempts to touch that tap.
-3- THE EAST has