Introduction to: “A Concise Account of how Western Culture Breeds Psychosis”
WHAT THIS IS ABOUT: (i.e. ‘A Concise Account of how Western Culture Breeds Psychosis‘)
The world dynamic is characterized by many tensions arising from political, religious and philosophical differences. This note is to introduce a philosophical discussion entitled; “A concise account of how Western culture breeds psychosis”
The viewpoint aligns with modern physics and is thus very different from the viewpoint that evidently dominates in shaping current Western culture social dynamics. For example this viewpoint conforms with the understanding of reality found in indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. The language and grammar stimulated source of this difference in the understanding of reality is explored in the article.
The following is a brief introduction/overview of the article;
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According to modern physics, reality is a dynamic relational field (‘the Tao’), a transforming relational continuum including everything, ourselves included. This field may be thought of in terms of ‘resonances within resonances’ and we, ourselves, may think of ourselves as resonance within ‘the Resonance’ (the Tao).
Reality, as thus understood, is in continual flux and is ‘ineffable’ i.e.
“The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao” – Lao Tzu
“Of that which we cannot speak, we must pass over in silence”. – Wittgenstein
This ‘reality’ is ineffable; i.e. it is relational transformation wherein ‘everything is in continuing flux’ (Heraclitus). Because language makes use of explicit terms (‘names’) that signify things-in-themselves with persisting existence (forms that are NOT in flux, or ‘structures’ rather than ‘processes’), such linguistic utterances, being explicit, cannot directly refer to ‘reality’. Words signifying ‘things-in-themselves’ (abstractions in a world of flow) can only serve as expedients which can, with the help of grammar’, indirectly allude to ‘flow’ and thus to the basic reality as understood in modern physics.
Modern physics articulations make expedient use of the explicit (ontic) to infer the implicit (relational) in such expedient constructs as; ‘The surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’. Similarly, indigenous aboriginal cultures whose ‘reality’ is likewise flow-based employ the ‘sharing circle’ where the ‘talking stick’ is passed as heartfelt experiences are shared around the circle, bringing these experiences into connective confluence so that the circle participants’ ‘take-away’ is understanding in terms of the ineffable relational coherencies that form within the connective confluence; e.g. in the relational interference patterns that manifest, that could be compared to ‘sand duning’.
‘Duning’ is a relational process while ‘dune’ is just a word that associates with a ‘snapshot picture’ of a form or forming (an apparent ‘structure’) within the relational process that is NOT a separate entity other than by ‘appearance’ (and appearances can be captured in words that psychologically ‘subjectify’ a process that is innately relational). That is; ‘duning’ is process that an observer can psychologically reduce to a ‘structure’.
Since ‘everything is in flux’, ‘structure’ is just a word, an absolutizing abstraction that associates with our ability to visually ‘snapshot’ and synthetically ‘freeze’ voyeur views into the flow-continuum. Stasis is an abstract psychological impression supported by a ‘picture’
A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably. –-Wittgenstein
Stasis is not ‘reality’, however, it is the basis of fixed image structure that allows us to (psychologically) reduce relational process to ‘structure’ as in ‘duning’ to ‘a dune’, … facilitating what Nietzsche points out is ‘a double error’ (first error) the naming instantiating of a notional thing-in-itself conflated by (second error) imputing to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself the power of sourcing actions and developments. ‘Duning’, the process, thus becomes (with the double error of language and grammar)… ‘dunes’ that ‘grow’ and ‘move’ and ‘shrink’ and ‘disperse’. An evident anthropomorphizing that Western culture teaches us, using the notional of our own ‘animate self’ as the psychological archetype.
This option to shape shift back and forth between the relational forms of process (e.g. ‘duning’) and the explicit forms of ‘structure’ in our ‘constructions’ or ‘impressions’ of reality evidently gives rise to a major cultural divide in the world today separates; (1) from (2) as follows;
-1- Explicit reality in precedence; Western culture language and grammar based reality, where ‘reality’ is in the explicit terms of ‘name-instantiated, independently-existing-things-in-themselves’ (explicit structures) notionally endowed with powers of sourcing actions and developments’ (the ‘double error’ cited by Nietzsche). This ‘Ghost-in-the-Machine’ psychological impression allows us to speak in terms of ‘dunes’ as ‘structures that ‘grow’ and ‘shift’ rather than ‘duning’ as a relational process.
-2- Implicit reality in precedence; Modern physics culture, indigenous aboriginal, Taoist/Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta cultures wherein relational processes are in a natural primacy over (notional/abstract) structures and structure-‘sourced’ actions and developments. In the modern physics conformant ‘relational’ reality, there are no ‘fixed structures’ and there is no ‘sorcery’ in implicit reality since it is purely ‘relational’ (‘mitakuye oyasin’ – ‘all my relations’). The ‘Ghost in the Machine’ is not necessary to balance the books of the psyche where ‘process’ is NOT reduced to ‘structure’ (where duning is not reduced to ‘dunes’).
Mind-matter dualism starts with language and grammar where we dumb-down relational process to structure and are forced to employ a ‘double error’ aka ‘sorcery’ to sustain balance in our psychological book-keeping. This is ‘burden of concreteness’ that historians of philosophy noted came with the shift from the Heraclitean to the Parmenidean understanding of reality.
In the world today, Western culture ‘explicit’ (Parmenidean) reality is the popular ‘operative reality’ while the ineffable (Heraclitean) reality of indigenous aboriginals, modern physics, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta is ‘occluded’ or ‘blocked’ from light of day by a technology-mediated social dynamic that has the power to selectively include and exclude and thus shape what is popularly expressed.
Should we opt for understanding reality as in the ‘process’ sense as in ‘duning’ or in the sense of ‘dunes’ as structures. In the latter case, we inherit the overheads of ‘the burden of concreteness’, which can be ‘psychologically understood’ as ‘the double error’ (Nietzsche). That is, the reduction of ‘duning’ as a process to ‘dune’ as a structure, forces us to ‘put a ghost in the machine’ to get it moving again. That ‘ghost in the machine’ is Nietzsche’s ‘double error’.
This is where ‘mind-matter dualism’ comes into play; i.e. it is the ‘burden of concreteness’ and it is, in Western culture, remediated (erroneously in the psyche) with the ‘double error’. The dune ‘does not move’, the dune does not even exist. ‘Duning is a process that does not depend on ‘structure’. Structure is language-enabled intellectual abstraction that comes with mind-matter dualism.
The language and grammar based reduction of relational process to thing-in-itself structure (duning to dune) applies generally and thus to ourselves (humaning to human being).
So what if we do understand ourselves in terms of humaning’ (forms in a fluid process). Even if that would be my and your ‘personal’ understanding of ‘reality’, there would be little chance of it becoming the ‘common operative reality’ since, in Western culture;
(a) La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure’ (the reasoning/reality of the most powerful is always ‘the best’ as Lafontaine sarcastically observes, and;
(b) There is no reason to presuppose that there is a single reality since everyone’s personal experience is unique, yet also ‘real’. Nevertheless, modern communications technology tends to ride roughshod over unique personal reality and promotes a ‘common reality’, as described by Ivan Illich in ‘Silence is a Commons’;
“Few people there had ever heard of such a thing [microphone and loudspeaker]. 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.” – Ivan Illich, ‘Silence is a Commons’
The technology-amplified assertions of individual voices may ‘saturate’ the commons but my experience in ‘sharing circles’ has been that participants therein have found the circle-sharing hugely rewarding and inspirational, in their capacity for deepening individual and collective understanding. That is, these sharing circle cultivated understandings are relational coherency based (holographic/interferential) and beyond explicit capture in words and snapshots (ineffable).
‘Vision’ is innately limited; e.g. we can catch John Valjean on surveillance cameras ‘’appropriating’ a loaf of bread’ or Robin Hood ‘appropriating’ grain from the King’s granaries, but ‘vision’ is innately limited and these vision-affirmed actions do not show the starving children that inspired these ‘relational rebalancing’ acts. As Bohm points out, John Wilkes Booth was not ‘the source’ of Lincoln’s death, the relational roots of transformation (including the invention of gunpowder and guns) are explanatory contributors that figure in the more comprehensive understanding of ‘reality’. In fact, the concept of local sourcing (sorcery) is an artifact of a ‘double error’ of language and grammar as described by Nietzsche.
Beyond this exposure of ‘sorcery’ as stemming from a ‘double error’ of grammar, we have the issue of the limited experience of the single viewer in his assigning of meaning to what he is viewing;
“The more eyes, different eyes, we know how to bring to bear on one and the same matter, that much more complete will our ‘concept’ of this matter, our ‘objectivity’ be.” — Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality
Single visual observations (snapshots) can be interpreted ‘structurally’ and captured in language in terms of what these fixed images ‘say’ to us as speaks to our psyche as if it were testimony to; “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”
A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably. –-Wittgenstein
The CCTV cameras will show a Jean Valjean taking the loaf of bread and a Robin Hood taking grain from the King’s granary (i.e. ‘grain’ that was taken as ‘taxes’ from the people) and serve as backup for ‘eye-witness’ accounts, but as in the case of John Wilkes Booth and the shooting of Lincoln, … these data are not sufficient for delivering ‘understanding’ [“The knowledge of many things does not teach understanding” – Heraclitus].
What visual data can affirm in the psyche is producer-product logic but producer-product logic is double-error logic that delivers the psychological impression of ‘sorcery’. The name-instantiated imputing of an independently-existing thing-in-itself (first error) conflated with grammar (second error) endows the name-instantiated thing-in-itself with notional powers of sourcing actions and developments. ‘Sorcery’ arises with the ‘double error’ of language and grammar and it also serves as the basis of Western culture producer-product logic.
To further understand this psychological double error and how it corrupts Western culture operative reality, one can tap our own experience to affirm that there is only relational transformation and no ‘material structure’. ‘Continents and ‘continental drift’ are language and grammar concepts that serve the psyche in reducing process to structure in the same manner as dunes and dune drift are structures that serve the reduction of ‘duning’, the latter being relational process devoid of ‘thing-in-itself structure while the former are structure-dependent and thus dependent on abstract name-instantiated psychological ontology.
There is only ‘duning’ (a relational process) in our actual experiencing of inclusion within the transforming relational continuum; i.e. there is no such thing in the reality of our actual experience as ‘a dune’. As Nietzsche points out, language and grammar facilitate the ‘double error’ where the ‘naming’ of a relational form imputes persisting independent thing-in-itself existence to it, that grammar conflates by imputing powers of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself.
The ‘burden of concreteness’ comes in the form of the ‘double error’ whereby ‘sorcery’ is needed for the psychological re-animating of structure that grammar has reduced process to; i.e. ‘duning’ is the primary process and does NOT come from a ‘Ghost in the Machine’ of an explicit structure called a ‘dune’. The structure implied by the word ‘dune’ is abstraction that is not capable of authoring a ‘duning’ process, just as the structure implied by the word ‘human’ is not capable of authoring a ‘humaning’ process that is included within the transforming relational continuum.
Examples of the ‘double error’ include ‘the dune is growing larger and longer’, … ‘the dune is shifting in its orientation’, … ‘the dune is eroding and dissipating’.
The ‘double error’ of language and grammar re-orients the psyche to intellectual manipulation of abstractions so that we lose access to our sensing of relational resonance that is the physical process, so that our psyche is left holding this bag of ‘double error’ based structure which is supposed to substitute for relational sensory process [See Mach’s ‘The Analysis of Sensations, And The Relation of the Physical to the Psychical’].
‘Duning’ is a relational resonance phenomenon (‘transformation’) without any mind/matter split. That is, there is no observer-perceived thing-in-itself structure out there, ‘dune’, that ‘undergoes transformation’, … ‘duning’ IS the relational process otherwise experienced as ‘transformation’.
To repeat for clarity, … there is no ‘dune’ in the sense of a stand-alone structure with the power of ‘growing’ or ‘shrinking’ or ‘shifting’ etc., .. that is the ‘double error’ of language and grammar which, while it may figure in the intellectual construction of an INVENTED REALITY, does not figure at all in the reality of our relational experience.
However, Western culture reality is an INVENTED REALITY based on ‘the double error’, and the use of INVENTED REALITY as ‘operative reality’ characterizes the ‘normal behaviour’ in Western culture social collectives.
What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience.” – R. D. Laing, author of ‘The Divided Self’
In other words, the ineffable reality of our actual relational experience is something that we Western culture adherents have ‘wallpapered over’ with visualizable (effable) language and grammar depictions of an explicit ‘INVENTED REALITY’ made possible by ‘the double error’ (ego-based belief in ‘sorcery’).
The ego-based belief in ‘sorcery’ embodied in the double error of grammar makes it possible for the Western culture language user to accept that ‘the word dune’ establishes the basis for ‘duning’, bypassing our understanding of ‘duning’ as a purely relational resonance process, and instead psychologically inserting a ‘Ghost in the Machine’
“I am afraid we are not rid of God because we continue to believe in grammar” — Nietzsche
That is, in the case of ‘duning’, grammar can ‘wash away’ our understanding of ‘duning’ in terms of relational resonance by (a) reducing the ‘appearance’ of a purely relational resonance process (a non-being-based understanding of ‘duning’) to ‘structure’ a ‘being-based or ‘structure’-based understanding, which introduces the ‘burden of concreteness’ wherein we, the authors of this reduction from process to structure, are obliged to come up with a grammar to psychologically re-animate the process we reduced to structure; i.e. to put a ‘God (Ghost) in the Machine’. That ‘God (Ghost) is ‘grammar’ as employed in ‘the double error’.
The process of relational resonance as in ‘duning’ DOES NOT HAVE TO BE REDUCED TO the double combination of ‘structure’ called a ‘dune’ and an ‘animating force’ or ‘Ghost in the Machine’ that we know as ‘grammar’ since we are able to experience ‘resonance’ directly without having to reduce it to intellectual abstraction by way of language and grammar. Meanwhile, love, has been compared to ‘experiencing resonance’ and inclusion in a relational dynamic is beyond the capability of voyeur visualization based language.;
“Of that which we cannot speak, we must pass over in silence” (“Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen”), — Wittgenstein
The INVENTED REALITY that we construct and share in terms of language-instantiated explicit structural imagery tends to be employed by the intellectualizing psyche as our ‘operative reality’, an aberrance inducing practice that currently defines ‘normality’ in Western culture social dynamics. This ‘normality’ is the source of aberrance since it is in radical conflict with the ineffable reality of our actual experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum (i.e. a relational resonance-informed experience). That is, the Western culture DOUBLE-ERROR based INVENTED REALITY is the source of the DIVIDED SELF aka the MIND-MATTER SPLIT.
That is, ‘resonance’ is basic to nature. Resonance just ‘is’ and is neither the source of resonance in structures nor the result of structural resonance (i.e. resonance is structure-independent, it is the wave-reality experience aka ‘the Tao’).
Our resonance inspired understanding as in our topological awareness of pre-lingual infancy remains our deepest form of understanding even though its natural primacy has been hijacked by the intellectual abstractions of language and grammar, a hijacking that has become the Western culture accepted ‘norm’ which is why ‘Western Culture Breeds Psychosis’.
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