Three Ways of ‘Understanding’


There are three ways of understanding self and world, only one of which corresponds to a modern physics based understanding of the world.  These three ways can be visualized by contemplating a whirlpool or ‘whorl’ such as a ‘hurricane’ and its relationship with ‘flow’.  The three levels are as follows;

Level 3 understanding:-the most abstract or purely intellectual (non-experience-grounded) level of cognitive understanding):

This level is commonly referred to as the ‘nature’ component of the ‘nature’ – ‘nurture’ dichotomy which can be visualized by a ‘whorl’ that is authoring the ‘flow’.   In this understanding, which is supported in the intellect by ‘naming’ (so as to impute ‘being’ to) a relational form that appears in the transforming relational continuum, …  we see the ‘whorl’ as as a ‘thing-in-itself’ equipped with the power of authoring its own behaviour and actions (deeds and accomplishments).  This is pure intellectual abstraction cognitively stimulated by language/grammar constructs; e.g. ‘Katrina’ (the whorl or hurricane) ‘is growing larger and stronger’, … ‘Katrina is ravaging New Orleans’, … ‘Katrina is weakening and dissipating’.   This imputing of ‘being’ (by language-based naming) along with ‘authoring power’ (by language-based grammatical construction), is pure intellectual abstraction.

So, level 3 cognition builds on the abstract concept of ‘being’  (the notional ‘persisting existence’ of a relational form construed as a material entity or ‘thing-in-itself’, which we can cognitively impute (with the help of language) to have the power of ‘authoring’ as in ‘the whorl is sourcing the flow’.

This suggests an alternative (level 2) ‘sourcery’ wherein, instead, the flow ‘sources’ the whorl.  This is the basis of the nature-nurture dichotomy which induces innately un-resolvable psychological ambiguity and cognitive division within the social dynamic in regard to whether an ‘individual’s or ‘collective’s’ authorship of action and result is inside-outwardly (constituent) asserted or outside-inward (container/environment) induced.


Level 2 understanding: This is (the next-most abstract level of cognitive understanding).

This level is commonly referred to as ‘nurture’ in the ‘nature-nurture’ dichotomy and can be visualized as the flow, … NOT the flow in an overall continuum sense, but the flow as in a thing-in-itself sense that we linguistically and cognitively impute to have the power of authoring the whorls in the flow.   Language allows us to employ ‘naming’ to impute persisting ‘being’ to named entities and, language allows us to employ ‘grammatical constructions’ to impute the power of ‘authorship’ to the named relational forms in the flow that we cognitively impute ‘being’ to.  While ‘nature’ is used to conjecture assertive authoring power, ‘nurture’ is used to conjecture inductive authoring power.  (Note that the dynamic of ‘being’-sourced ‘authoring’ is pure abstraction that has no place in the transforming relational continuum in which we are included relational forms.)

Do the brutal, murderous actions of the child-soldier derive from ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’?  Does it ‘take a whole community to induce such violent behaviour in a child soldier (nurture) or does this nastiness derive from the interior of the child-soldier understood as an independently-existing thing-in-himself aka a human ‘being’.  The Western culture dispute over whether a person’s behaviour derives predominantly from ‘nature’ or predominantly from ‘nurture’ is the same sort of nonsense dispute as satirized in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, that divided the people of Lilliput into opposing camps;

The novel [Gulliver’s Travels] further describes an intra-Lilliputian quarrel over the practice of breaking eggs. Traditionally, Lilliputians broke boiled eggs on the larger end; a few generations ago, an Emperor of Lilliput, the Present Emperor’s great-grandfather, had decreed that all eggs be broken on the smaller end after his son cut himself breaking the egg on the larger end. The differences between Big-Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and Little-Endians had given rise to “six rebellions… wherein one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown”. The Lilliputian religion says an egg should be broken on the convenient end, which is now interpreted by the Lilliputians as the smaller end. The Big-Endians gained favour in Blefuscu.

The point is that ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’ derives from first abstractly dividing the world into two parts; ‘content’ and ‘container’  or ‘whorl-and-flow’, giving rise to the innate ambiguity as to whether the dynamics of the contents (things-that-be) are shaping the dynamics of the container (environment) or whether the dynamics of the container are shaping the dynamics of the contents.  Does the flow give rise to whorls or do the whorls give rise to flow?  What is being obscured by language here is that the whorl and flow are not two different things; … the whorl is not a ‘thing-in-itself’ as in language-triggered cognition, the whorl is ‘appearances’ or ‘apparition’, therefore, the nature-nurture dichotomy makes no physical sense, whether we are talking about the development of whorls/hurricanes or the development of humans, since the ‘whorl’ or ‘form-in-the-flow’ is ‘appearances’ or ‘apparition’ and is not something that ‘is’ (a ‘being’) that arises from some ‘authoring’ phenomenon.

“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

One might assume from the cognitive picture coming from language and grammar that the ‘whorl’ authors ‘flow’ or that ‘flow’ authors ‘whorls’, but the physical reality is that the ‘whorl’ is ‘appearance’ or ‘apparition’ [Schroedinger, Nietzsche].  That is, the whorl is not the author of flow and neither is flow the author of whorls; i.e. the whorl is not a ‘thing-in-itself’ as language imputes it to me, but relational ‘appearance’ or ‘apparition’.  This is just as true for the relational forms we call ‘humans’ as it is for relational forms we call ‘whorls’, and in the case of humans, we do not have to struggle over how much of the behaviour of a human being derives from ‘nature’ and how much from ‘nurture’ since there is no such thing in the real relational world of our experience as ‘being’ and/or ‘authoring’ which are language-triggered psychological foundations for nature-nurture enigma.


Level 1 understanding: –relational cognition is more comprehensive than the ‘being’ and ‘authoring’ based cognitive notions of ‘nature’ and ‘nature.


A higher (more comprehensive) level of cognition is that which is grounded in relational experience.  In this level of understanding, there is no cognitive partitioning into ‘content’ and ‘container’; i.e. the whorl in the flow is purely relational and there are not two separate things involved [the separation into two separate things  (the ‘content’ and ‘container’ dichotomy is cognitively triggered by language and grammar).  The whorl in the flow is ‘appearances’ based; i.e. the whorl is an ‘apparition’ and not a ‘thing-in-itself’ that is separate from the flow ‘it is included in’.   Thus the question of whether the whorl authors the flow or whether the flow authors the whorl makes no sense; it is abstraction kindled by the linguistic abstractions that connote ‘being’ and ‘authoring’.  These unrealistic (unsupportable by experience) abstractions of ‘being’ and ‘authoring’, meanwhile, have become the accepted foundations of Western language-based understanding as manifest in ‘Western culture’.

Western culture-inbuilt failure to acknowledge the inherent relational nature of the world of our actual experience, and the associated psychological ‘covering over’ of relational understanding with the language-based rational-intellectual concept of ‘being’ as notionally divides ‘self’ and ‘other’, is the source of an effective ‘schizophrenia’ that is foundational to Western culture. There is no ‘self’ – ‘other’ split in the transforming relational continuum of our actual experience, and no such ‘self-other’ split is cognitively assumed in level 1 understanding.  The difference between the whorl and the flow is ‘appearances’; i.e. the whorl and flow do not have separate existence, except in language and grammar.  The ‘whorl’ is ‘appearance’ or ‘apparition’.   Modern physics, wherein ‘field’ is in natural precedence over ‘matter’, underscores the relational continuity of the reality of our actual experience, and reminds us that ‘forms’ such as ‘whorls’ or ‘humans’ are ‘appearances’ or ‘apparitions’ (relational forms in the continually transforming relational flow).




Schizophrenia is inbuilt into the cognitive foundations of Western culture by way of language that imputes ‘independent existence’ to ‘named forms’ which are, in the reality of our actual relational experience, relational features in the transforming relational continuum.  It is not the abstract language-based splitting apart of ‘content’ and ‘container’ or ‘whorl’ and ‘flow’ or ‘human’ and ‘environment’ that ‘presents’ as the problem’, but rather the ‘downstream’ cognitive ‘effects’ of having made the erroneous abstract assumption of the ‘independent existence’ of ‘named’ forms.  That is, the Western human ‘ego’ accepts the language supported imputing of ‘independent existence’ by ‘naming’ the whorls in the flow.  That is, relational forms in the flow, whether humans or hurricanes, are ‘appearances’ or ‘apparitions’ and NOT things-in-themselves as naming cognitively imputes them to be.  The intellectually constructed pseudo-reality that is in terms of notional ‘things-in-themselves’ (conjured up by ‘naming’ relational forms) that grammar invests with jumpstart authoring powers, is not an equivalent to the reality of our actual relational experience.  The language-induced splitting apart of ‘inhabitant’ and ‘habitat’ that ‘cognitively/intellectually over-writes’ our experience-based relational whorl-in-flow physical reality gives Western culture a ‘schizophrenic’ cognitive foundation.

That is, Western culture constructs pseudo-realities based on naming relational forms whereby such ‘naming’ induces cognitive impressions of the ‘independent being’ of the relational-forms-in-the-flow.  ‘Grammar’ contributes further to this illusion of a thing-in-itself-based reality, by imputing the power of ‘authorship’ to the abstract ‘thing-in-itself’ created by ‘naming’ the relational form in the flow.  This basic cognitive ‘schizophrenia’ that derives from cognitively splitting apart ‘content’ and ‘container’ (‘organism’ and ‘environment’, ‘inhabitant’ and ‘habitat’) plays a foundational role in Western culture cognitive dynamics (intellectualizing).  As modern physics informs us, as well as understandings grounded in relational experience (which is retained as the primary reality) of indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism, Advaita Vedanta, there is no splitting apart of ‘contents’ and ‘container’ since the contents are relational forms in the transforming relational continuum aka ‘appearances’ or ‘apparitions’.  The ‘splitting apart’ of environment and inhabitant is a language-and-grammar induced cognitive splitting-apart that is NOT supported by our relational experience.

‘Hearing voices’ telling us what to do is an intellectual-cognitive process that is no substitute for experiential-relational engaging.  Nevertheless, Western culture, by putting ‘intellectual cognition’ into an unnatural primacy over relational experience, does indeed put in place this unnatural inversion wherein ‘voices telling us what to do’ (whether our own or ‘trusted others’) is abstraction-based cognition that, in Western culture, is given precedence over relational experience.  We might call this mode of ‘schizophrenia’; i.e. the language-and-grammar based cognitive splitting out of the individual from the environment and the imputing of ‘independent being’ by ‘naming’ and the further imputing of notional ‘authoring’ power to the ‘being’ by way of  ‘grammar’, … the culturally normalized form of schizophrenia, since it serves as the basic ‘reality’ in Western culture, even though it is inherently ‘schizophrenic’ (it conjures up a cognitive/intellectual pseudo-reality that notionally splits apart inhabitant and habitat, in contradiction to our relational experience and thus sets up cognitive ‘incoherence’ [Bohm]).

Again, the whorl and the flow [inhabitant and habitat] are NOT two separate phenomena, the whorl is ‘appearance’ or ‘apparition’ that we ‘observe’ in the flow.  It is only the abstracting power of language (‘naming’) that converts the relational form in the flow into a notional (in the intellectualizing mind) ‘thing-in-itself’ and notionally gives it ‘being’.  The relational form in the flow, whether we name it a ‘hurricane’ or ‘human’, takes on an abstract ‘thing-in-itself’ quality in the intellect by the ‘magic’ of ‘naming’ (a ‘name’ persists while a whorl in the flow just gives the ‘appearance’ of persistence which is ‘intellectually concretized’ by ‘naming’ (language). As the Western culture riddle of Rumpelstiltskin signals, the ‘source-ry’ in ‘naming’ can ‘spin straw into gold’ or transform a pauper into a Prince (in Western culture).  This is superstition yet it is foundational in Western culture cognition (it recalls the magic processes of ‘crowning’ of a ‘king’ and/or ‘knighting’ a person in a magic ceremony making use of a magic sword (Excalibur) and incantation.

What is commonly called ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘bipolar disorder’ in Western culture is not the initial culturally-inbuilt schizophrenia (the abstract splitting apart of inhabitant and habitat) but the complications that ensue in some individuals as they seek to ‘heal’ the unnatural (and spiritually troubling) splitting apart of self-and-other that is packaged into the ‘standard’ Western culture social dynamic, a ‘standard’ mode of understanding and behaving that is schizophrenia-based.

Those who Western culture labels as ‘schizophrenic’ or ‘bipolar’ are those who attempt to ‘heal’ the self-other splitting that defines quote-unquote ‘normality’ in Western culture, but who do so by attempting to unify ‘the divided self’. This is an error in the sense that the ‘self’ was never divided and thus it does not have to be ‘put back together’ by some kind of fusion of ego and alter-ego (self masquerading as a loved imaginary other).  The person undergoing a ‘bipolar episode’ may invest their own love in the image of another (e.g. a former lover or admired other) so that they feel a strong desire for ‘union’ with the loved other that is, in reality, a ‘loving receptacle’ of their own making that serves as the recipient of their own internally incipient love.

This ‘solution’ to the unnatural Western culture splitting into ‘self’ and ‘other’ exemplifies the ‘double error’ spoken of by Nietzsche;

“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

One may equally employ the concept of ‘flow’ wherein “If I say “the whorl whirls”, I have posited the whorl 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”.


Schizophrenia can be thus understood as follows;

1. Western culture endorses schizophrenia (the splitting apart of self and other) as ‘normality’.  This sources the ‘divided self’.

2. People who seek to heal their ‘divided self’ condition  generate an imaginary, loved ‘alter-self’ perhaps based on an admired friend or celebrity.

3. The pursued ‘union’ with the imaginary alter-self disguised as an attractive other puts the person into a dreamlike state in which she anticipates union with the imaginary lover (which, although it is another aspect of herself, seems like a ‘real other’ to her).

4. The ‘psychosis’ that develops (3.) is then treated within Western culture with the aim of restoring the person to (Western dysfunctional) ‘normality’.  Meanwhile, Western ‘normality’ is inherently ‘schizophrenic’ in that it splits apart ‘self’ and ‘other’, … a split that is pure abstraction that conflicts with experience-based reality wherein the individual is a relational form (apparition) in a transforming relational continuum.

5. The individual that persists in seeking the restoring of her natural self-other unity (a unity that is natural in indigenous aboriginal culture as in Taoism and Advaita Vedanta and as supported by modern physics) may find herself caught in a revolving door if she remains captive within Western culture because of Western culture’s ‘belief’ in schizophrenia (self-other splitting) as the foundation of Western reality.  Of course, the attempted ‘solution’ to this culturally supported (seen and supported as the healthy ‘norm’) schizophrenia is itself dysfunctional since it induces the synthetic ‘creation’ of a loved ‘alter-self’ as the means of ‘putting the divided self’ back together again.

6. If the individual could break out of the Western culture, she could potentially break out of this revolving door situation without having to take anti-psychotic drugs aimed at desensitizing her to the acceptance of Western culture’s ‘schizophrenic normality’.  But how does one ‘break out of a culture’ that one has grown up in, wherein one has been, and continues to be surrounded by friends and family that are imploring her to trust in the Western medical systems which are trying to help her by re-grounding her in the culturally accepted norm of schizophrenia?

This is the dilemma that the ‘bipolars’ and the ‘schizophrenics’ in Western society are trapped in.  Their attempts to escape the Western culture supported ‘norm’ of schizophrenia (self-other splitting), while they are based on a legitimate and natural desire to ‘heal the divided self’, while fully valid in their motivation, employ an aberrant means of seeking reunion of their divided self; i.e. the ‘whorl in the flow’ were never two separate things, that notion derives purely and solely from language and grammar.  The whorl in the flow is ‘appearances’ or ‘apparition’, and as modern physics also affirms, the human in the transforming relational continuum is ‘appearances’ or ‘apparition’.  The natural ‘treatment’ for ‘bipolar disorder’ and ‘schizophrenia’ would be to remove the individual from Western culture and help them cognitively ‘reground’ in a culture such as the indigenous aboriginal culture or the Buddhist culture.  Of course, such a move would involve a complex of social-relational readjustments, not to mention stressing all of the lifelong cultivated social relations that support the sustaining of social/emotional balance and harmony.

This essay, only goes so far, at this point, to identify the source of culture-cultivated confusion associated with the diagnoses of ‘bipolar disorder’ and ‘schizophrenia’, in light of ‘the three ways of knowing’.


* * *



How can it happen that, in the flow of the avalanche, the smaller rocks, pebbles and sand fall to the bottom to become a slippery base upon which the coarser rocks and boulders ‘ride’ so that the entire moving mixture travels much farther than it would have if the coarser rocks remained on the bottom.  This is an ‘enigma’ in physics that falls in the category of ‘nonlinear dynamics’.

The enigma ‘disappears’ if we understand what is going on as ‘relational transformation’.  That is, the enigma derives from thinking in the ‘schizophrenic’ terms wherein the ‘contents’ and ‘container’ are linguistically (and therefore cognitively) construed as separate entities.  In the reality of our actual relational experience, the only possible dynamic is relational transformation.  The ‘avalanche’ that inspires cognition via language and grammar couched in terms of ‘things-in-themselves’ that notionally ‘author’ action and results is an ‘intellectual pseudo-reality’ that covers over and obscures the purely relational dynamics of the deeper ‘experiential reality’.

There are many more such ‘enigmas’ that arise from Western culture’s schizophrenic splitting apart of ‘container’ and ‘content’ (‘habitat’ and ‘inhabitant’), the primary example being the ‘inhabitant’ known as the ‘human’ that Western language and grammar split out, recasting the ‘inhabitant’ as an ‘independent being’ notionally equipped with the ‘power of jumpstart authoring’.  The Western human cognitively engineers this ‘splitting’ in regard to himself, making himself out to be an ‘independently-existing being’ notionally animated by his own behaviour ‘authoring power’.  This culturally foundational ‘schizophrenia’ is described by Nietzsche, as follows (using the flow-based metaphor of a ‘whorl’ in place of ‘lightning’);

“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 “whorl whirls” I have posited the whorling 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

This is a description of how schizophrenia as Western culture’s cognitively operative (pseudo-) reality-foundation arises.  It is the imputing of an ‘author’ to dynamics wherein there is no author’; i.e. ‘relational transformation does not involve any ‘local authoring source’.

Using language and grammar to split the relational continuum into two separate entities; ‘content’ and ‘container’ (‘inhabitant’ and ‘habitat’) is the source of a ‘schizophrenic’ worldview that is the Western culture ‘norm’ that has been ‘built into’ Western science by Newton, who first derived this schizophrenic view of ‘reality’ from his Christian religion; e.g; the schizophrenic splitting out of ‘man’ as an item of content within a separate container, notionally equipping ‘man’ (the notional independent human being) with the power of authoring his own actions;

“Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.

1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.” – Vatican Archives, The Catholic Catechism


The ‘splitting apart’ of container (space) and content (matter) is the foundation of schizophrenia-as-Western-culture ‘normality’.  Western language and grammar that employs the abstract symbolic representations of ‘being’ (nouns) and equips the ‘beings’ with ‘authoring power’ (noun-and-verb grammatical constructs), cognitively ‘paves over’ the relational understanding of our natural experience of inclusion as relational forms in a transforming relational continuum.  In the relational understanding per modern physics (Bohm), philosophy (Nietzsche, Wittgenstein), indigenous aboriginal tradition, Zen Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, there is no splitting apart of ‘container’ and ‘content’; i.e. relational forms are ‘appearances’ in the relational flow aka ‘apparitions’.  There are no ‘beings’ with ‘authoring powers’ in the real world of relational transformation.  The intellectual splitting apart of ‘apparition’ and ‘flow’ is what might be called ‘phase I schizophrenia’.

What Western society popularly calls ‘schizophrenia’ (and bipolar disorder etc.) is in fact, ‘phase 2’ schizophrenia wherein some of those who are in psychological/existential distress over the Western culture-normalized and institutionalized (phase 1) form of schizophrenia (i.e. the abstract language-stimulated cognitive splitting apart of ‘habitat’ and ‘inhabitant’) attempt to cognitively ‘unify their divided self’.  Because this comes from language-based cognition, it generally involves ‘hearing voices’ in one’s head (mind); i.e. a voice that seems to come from what seems to be a ‘separate other person) which could be in the form of a ‘real’ ‘known’ other person’ with endearing and/or threatening qualities, or a new and imagined person.

This attempt to ‘reunify’ the culturally split-apart self is dysfunctional since the ‘splitting’ is illusion set up and maintained by Western culture language and cognition.  The solution is to extract oneself, or to ‘shield one’s mind’ from the dysfunctional phase-1 schizophrenia that is endemic in Western culture.  While indigenous aboriginals may be able to do this if they are able to stay within their non-schizophrenic aboriginal culture mode of cognition, the person who succumbs to schizophrenia within Western mainstream culture where it is seen as the ‘healthy norm’ will be encouraged (if not strongly pressured by friends, family and medical support teams) to undergo a drug-assisted return to the culturally endorsed condition of schizophrenia, that one was trying to escape from.

This is a Catch-22 situation wherein the schizophrenic who is in the phase 2 schizophrenic mode and ‘certified’ (put in the lock-up) can only extract herself by demonstrating that her thoughts have been re-grounded in Western culture ‘normality’ which is the type 1 schizophrenia that she was trying to escape from.  This Catch 22 predicament is generally imposed by her family, friends and Western culture-at-large.  It is therefore impractical for her to seek refuge in an indigenous aboriginal or Buddhist culture, after the fact of her incarceration within a Western mental health institution.  Getting out of this ‘Catch-22’ predicament would instead require a long-term plan involving re-acculturation within a non-Western cultural/social milieu, as the long term antidote.  Since this may involve some ‘distancing’ from friends and family, it is a difficult path to choose, which is alluded to by the difference between a ‘Mahavit’ and ‘Atmavit’ in Hindu philosophy.

Much has been written on these topics, however, what persists within the Western culture as the ‘operative truth’ that shapes the social dynamic is the ‘truth of the majority’.  As Giordano Bruno said, not long before he was burned at the stake for the heresy of ‘relativity’ in the Campo del Fiori in the Vatican, … “The majority has no monopoly on the truth’.  Perhaps the majority has no monopoly on discerning what is more true, but the majority does have a monopoly on promulgating what will be the ‘operative truth’ within a cultural collective, whether it is abstraction, superstition or just plain silly but fashionable ‘new age’ belief.

The above essay expands on what Nietzsche calls ‘the double error’ which is essentially the source of ‘schizophrenia’ and which is the foundation of Western culture cognitive ‘normalcy’.    This culturally accepted-as-normal schizophrenia lies in the splitting apart of space and matter, container and content that is foundational to Western language and grammar; i.e. ‘schizophrenia’, the cognitive impression that the world is split into ‘space’ and ‘matter’ is ‘built in’ to Western language and grammar, and this splitting into space and matter is what gives rise to the abstract concepts of ‘being’ and ‘local authoring’.  There is neither ‘being’ nor ‘local authoring’ in the (modern physics) reality of a transforming relational continuum, and neither is there ‘being’ nor ‘local authoring’ in the indigenous aboriginal culture world of ‘all my relations’ (mitakuye oyasin), nor again, in Taoism, and Advaita Vedanta.

The ‘double error’ can be understood via the dynamic of flow as in Heraclitus’ philosophy, echoed by Wittgenstein and Nietzsche; i.e. we see a flow in which there are ‘whorls’.  In a relational understanding, the whorl is simply ‘appearances’ or ‘an apparition’ and not something separate from the flow, but the Western cognitive error, concretized by language and grammar, does a ‘make-over’ here, and NOTIONALLY SPLITS the one-flow into two separate entities with a CONTAINER-CONTENT relationship.  Following Nietzsche’s discussion;

“If I say “the whorl whirls”, I have posited the whorl 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”.”

This is a completely general observation so we can apply it to any relational forms; e.g. a ‘human’ which is a relational form within the transforming relational continuum; i.e. there is no division or SPLITTING into ‘human’ and ‘environment’ in the transforming relational continuum that is the real world of our experience as affirmed in modern physics.

In the indigenous aboriginal culture, one develops this inclusional understanding wherein the ‘relational form’ is ‘appearances’ aka ‘an apparition’ so that we do not SPLIT THE FORM APART FROM THE FLOW, by giving it a name (signifying persisting existence) and think of it as a ‘thing-in-itself’.  This abstention from reifying relational forms in flow accords with the understanding of modern physics and is captured in the concept of ‘bootstrapping’ (modern physics concept explained by physicists Geoffrey Chew and John Wheeler in terms of the ‘surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’).  The point is that the physical reality of our actual experience is purely relational and the COGNITIVE SPLITTING APART OF RELATIONAL REALITY INTO CONTAINER AND CONTENT (habitat and inhabitants) is language-based abstraction that conflicts with our experience-based relational understanding.

The ‘error’ in our culturally conditioned ‘splitting’ of the world into ‘content’ and ‘container’ which sets up the false concept of ‘local authorship’ is something that leads to two forms of ‘schizophrenia’

Schizophrenia form A (traditional Western culture form of schizophrenia endorsed as ‘normality’) ;

This ‘older’ form of splitting into ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ wherein ‘God’ is the authoring source and ‘the material realm’ that is animated by God who has meanwhile created ‘beings’ such as ‘man’ and endowed ‘man’ with ‘free will’ [“Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts'” — see expanded citation above]

Schizophrenia form B (‘New Age’ Western culture form of schizophrenia endorsed as ‘normality’);

This ‘more recent’ ‘New Age’ form of splitting the individual out of the world removes the container-content split by inflating the human as content so as to blow up the ego until it fills the entire cognitive realm, redefining man as God, thus getting rid of the container-content splitting that characterizes the more common form of schizophrenia. The ‘splitting’ nevertheless persists as an implicit presence, as a disembodied spirit in search of a body, a splitting that does not arise, for example, in indigenous aboriginal culture where the human is understood as a relational feature within the transforming relational continuum.

 ‘Forgiveness’ is the salient feature of New Age belief. “As you reach across the wall of separateness—and there is no wall thicker than the wall of judgment—then the wall comes down. That is the miracle of forgiveness.” — Marianne WIlliamson

This new age thinking inverts the precedence of container and content as it is employed in traditional Western culture thinking, but does not do away with its binary foundation as is done away with in the relational understanding of modern physics and indigenous aboriginal cultures where the whorl and flow are one and the whorl is ‘appearance’ or ‘apparition’.  For example, in the understanding of the individual as a relational form in the transforming relational continuum, there is no sense of the relational form as having the ‘power of local authoring of actions and developments.

Without the imputing of local authoring power to the individual, there is no judgement of the individual as being the causal author of either desirable or undesirable actions and results.  There is thus no need for the concept of ‘forgiveness’.  In a relational worldview, there is no causal authorship whatsoever; i.e. people as relational forms in a transforming relational continuum contribute to the evolving of the relational dynamic in a relational manner rather than in the ‘being’-that-authors actions and results’ cognitive conceptualizing manner of Western culture.

Epilogue — Concluding Impressions

It is possible to understand the ‘new age purificationist spin’ on ‘understanding’ (and ‘navigating’ within) ‘reality’, relative to the Western traditional ‘reward good-and-punish evil’ purificationist understanding (and navigating’ within) ‘reality’, in terms of the three level model of understanding of Erich Jantsch (‘Design for Evolution’).  The early age Western ‘reward good-and punish evil’ approach to life and the ‘New-Age ‘forgiveness’ oriented approach correpond to levels 3 and 2, respectively, in the Jantsch three level model (the highest level of understanding, which implicitly includes the lower levels 3 and 2 (commonly referred to as ‘nature’ (3) and ‘nurture’ (2)); i.e. level 1, corresponds to the purely relational view of modern physics wherein there are no ‘beings’ and there is no local authoring of actions.

In terms of the ‘whorl-in-flow’ relational symmetry, ‘nature’ (cognitive level 3) is where we conceive of the  whorl as authoring the flow, ‘nurture’ (cognitive level 2) is where we conceive of the flow as authoring the whorl.  Both of these lower cognitive levels assume the ‘reality’ of the abstractions of ‘being’ and ‘authoring’. Is the child soldier that goes on a murderous rampage ‘responsible’ for his actions (is his behaviour coming from ‘the core of his being’?), or is his violent behaviour inductively shaped by dynamics of the habitat that the ‘inhabitant’ is situationally included in. Furthermore, how does our being ‘evolve’; i.e. by way of its inside-outward asserting or by way of outside-inward induction?   In the latter inverted topology, the impression emerges of darkness pulling forth light.  Thus, the ‘wayward elements’ in society must be ‘forgiven’ for they embody the darkness that is the ‘deeper source of light’.

‘Old age reality’ and ‘new age reality’ have a topology that recapitulates ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’, both of which are based on the assumptions of ‘being’ and ‘local author sourcing’.  In the case of ‘old age’ Western understanding, using the metaphor of ‘whorl-in-flow’, … understanding the world dynamic in the manner termed ‘nature’ assumes that the whorl ‘authors’ the flow.  In the case of ‘new age’ Western understanding, using the metaphor of whorl-in-flow, … understanding the world dynamic in the manner termed ‘nurture’ assumes that the flow ‘authors’ the whorl.

This ‘false dichotomy’ illustrated be ‘whorl and flow’ shows up in the ‘expression’ ‘Does the man make the times or do the times make the man’.  An example is Hitler.  The harsh terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles induced newspaper cartoonists on that occasion to portray another war in 21 years as the German children born in 1919 and subjected to the harsh treaty conditions would rise up to take revenge as they reached adulthood (21 years later).  At the centre of the violent whorl was Hitler, but was he the author of the whorling he was centred in, or did the social-dynamical flow in Europe inductively author the whorl so that he was sucked into the middle of it?   Can we even break out ‘one war’ from the next in a transforming relational continuum other than by ‘naming the war’ and ascribing an ‘author’ to it?  It it all a ‘being’ and ‘author’ based ‘language game’ as some have suggested?

Modern physics and indigenous aboriginal and Taoist understanding, meanwhile, correspond to Jatsch’s level 1 understanding THAT DOES NOT ASSUME EITHER ‘BEING’ OR ‘LOCAL AUTHORING’ AS ARE FOUNDATIONAL ASSUMPTIONS IN ‘NATURE’ AND ‘NATURE’.  In this level 1 understanding the whorl in the flow is ‘appearances’ or ‘apparition’.   The word ‘human’ and/or the world ‘whorl’ or ‘hurricane’ delivers a cognitive impression of something ‘that is’ and that enjoys ‘persisting existence’ even though, in modern physics, the ‘human’ or ‘whorl’ or ‘hurricane’ is an apparition; i.e. a relational form in the transforming relational continuum.

These differing understandings of ‘reality’ source differing ‘cultures’ based on which of the three ‘realities’ one chooses to employ as one’s ‘operative reality’.  Thus we have reality 3, the ‘old age’ culture that believes the human is a real thing-in-itself that authors its own behaviour and is therefore fully and solely responsible for its own actions, … and then again, … we have reality 2, the ‘new age culture’ that believes that the human is a real thing-in-itself that is a ‘work-in-progress’ whose behaviour is inductively sourced by the evolutionary flow it is included in.  In this new age level 2 cognition, ‘forgiveness’ replaces ‘purificationism’ of level 3 cognition.

Level 1 cognition supported by modern physics and the indigenous aboriginal understanding tradition, does not fall into the trap of assuming ‘being’ and ‘local authoring power’ as fabricated with language and grammar and given a foundational role in level 3 (‘nature’) and level 2 (‘nurture’).  In the level one relational view, ‘whorl’ and ‘flow’ are not separately existing entities; i.e. the whorl is a purely relational form aka an ‘apparition’.

Level 3 (old age culture) and level 2 (new age culture) both lead to aberrant pseudo-realities the cognitive employing of which shapes the relational social dynamic.  level 1 relations based culture (which makes no assumptions of beings with authoring powers) supports social dynamics that orient to the sustaining of overall relational harmony.

Conclusion: Both ‘Old Age’ and ‘New Age’ conceptions of reality are inherently flawed in that they are based on the abstractions of ‘being’ and ‘authoring’ as manipulated by language and grammar.  Relational experience (level 1 cognition) transcends being and authoring dependencies.

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