Author’s Preface to PSI-2; Post-Stroke Impressions: No. 2.
In his preface to ‘La Nouvelle Grille’ (the new framework)… French Author and physician Henri Laborit, who was also an early explorer of the effects of the anti-psychotic, chlorpromazine [his patents funded his further researches and writing], points out the problems associated with attempts to ‘break out’ of the existing cultural-psychological social framework. The following intro is from an earlier essay ‘Exploring a Double Bind’; http://goodshare.org/wp/exploring-a-double-bind/
Henri Laborit (La Nouvelle Grille), whose research was also ‘outside of the scientific orthodoxy’ captured what it feels like to be in this double bind by saying that ‘we’ who explore such topics, cannot easily share them because; (a) they do not fit into the typical dinner conversation format of our present culture, since to express them takes a lot of relational connections that can’t fit into a rapid-fire repartee, and; (b) because the humanism implicit in trying to share them is not seen as “a humanism of real worth” since it undermines, besmirches or topples the esteemed icons, pillars of society, founding fathers, and celebrities of the culture-in-place.
What I am suggesting in this preface to ‘Post-Stroke Impressions: No. 2’, … is that comments such as Laborit’s ‘feel’ very relevant to the problems in communicating one’s post-stroke experience, and for the same reasons as Laborit stated. For example, in my post-stroke understanding, ‘the relational’ is in a natural precedence over ‘the discrete/rational’.
When David Suzuki was gathering material to make films on (North American) aboriginal culture which included interviews with aboriginal elders, he could not use them ‘as is’ since the comments of the elders were too long and seemingly indirect (rambling) for standard Western viewer tastes (as is the nature of raw relational experience prior to its reduction, Western style, to analytical-rhetorical terms of ‘what things-in-themselves’ are doing’). Suzuki was saddened by the fact that a lot of great footage he had obtained in his interviews of indigenous aboriginal chiefs and elders had to be discarded or left out of the final film presentation.
For me, it is clear that ‘the new framework’ or ‘La Nouvelle Grille’ is the same thing that Jill Bolte Taylor intends in ‘My Stroke of Insight’; i.e. it is the restoring to its natural precedence of relational understanding [as occurs in a stroke where notional ‘named things-in-themselves’ ‘drop out’ while relational forms of recall persist’ and rise to the surface to resume their natural precedence]. That is, while names like ‘Jack’ imply the existence of a thing-in-itself which noun-and-verb grammar credits with being a local thing-in-itself source of ‘their own’ ‘actions and deeds’, giving them a ‘thing-in-itself’ identity fleshed out by ‘what they say and do’, … by contrast, ‘Dances with Wolves’ is a relations-based identifying approach. Relations-based identities do not depend on isolating individuals and understanding them ‘in their own right’ as ‘things-in-themselves’ with inside-outward asserting behaviour; i.e. there is an implicit acknowledgement in relational representation that things do not exist ‘in their own right’. That is an abstraction manufactured by noun-and-verb language-and-grammar that, in Western culture, has come to equated with ‘reality’.
Among the many forms of linguistic communication, noun-and-verb languages such as English stand out in that their mode of communicating ‘breaks down’ relational understanding into abstract terms of ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘what things-in-themselves do’. Meanwhile, this type of communication is what modern Western society has come to officially (socially) endorse as a legitimate conveyor of ‘reality’. It is the ‘scientific’ reality of Thomas Gradgrind in Dickens’ ‘Hard Times’ (and Western rational thinking in general). This contrasts with the ‘poetic’ or ‘romantic’ reality of Sissy Jupe that is decidedly ‘relational’, and like indigenous aboriginal reality, considered by the mainstream of modern Western society, to “convey a humanism that is not of real worth” (Laborit).
Experiencing a stroke can put one ‘back in touch’ with relational values/understanding which Western noun-and-verb language influenced culture has obscured. That is, the ‘loss’ associated with a stroke, at the same time, removes superficial clutter, unveiling relational experience-based insight that has been unnaturally ‘buried’ beneath simplified thing-in-itself based (‘scientific’) rhetoric. Since ‘stroke therapy’ aims to restore one’s cognitive functioning to its Western cultural standard condition, the challenge for a post-stroke experient such as myself, is to retain access to the mindspace wherein relational understanding prevails, while redeveloping facility with the abstract worldview fostered by ‘literal’ interpretation of Western noun-and-verb languages, which, for convenience, puts into an unnatural primacy, a worldview based on ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘what things-in-themselves do’.
One’s post-stroke ‘stroke of insight’ can be understood in terms of restoring ‘level 1’ cognition to its natural primacy [see Erich Jantsch’s ‘Design for Evolution’, a discussion of which can be found at http://goodshare.org/wp/inclusionality-update-june-14-2013/ ]. That is, our manner of perceiving is capable of three levels, as follows; (level 3) ‘objectively’ (Gradgrind’s view) as things-in-themselves or ‘independently existing objects’ ‘out there in front of us that move about separately’; … (level 2) ‘relatively’ as in a dual self-other relational sense (two people swimming in a common flow); and; (level 1) ‘inclusionally’ where we understand ourselves as inclusions within a transforming relational continuum. Level 1 cognition implicitly includes level 2 cognition which implicitly includes level 3 cognition. The ‘stroke of insight’ ‘re-grounds’ one in level 1 cognition while at the same time de-emphasizing level 3 cognition which is abstract and dependent on language-based ‘thing-in-itself’ definitions and labels along with verbs and grammar to fabricate synthetic cognitive animations. Because level 1 ‘understanding of reality’ ‘includes’ levels 2 and 3, there is no fundamental loss of ‘understanding’ of self and world in ‘retreating to level 1’, but there is ‘loss’ in one’s ability to articulate, in common language-and-grammar based terms, what one is experiencing, since the common (Western) means of sharing experience is to use noun-and-verb language constructs based on the abstract notion of ‘things-in-themselves’ and ‘what things-in-themselves do’ (level 3).
Stroke recovery, viewed not as a ‘stroke of insight’ but as a net ‘loss’ of cognitive capability, involves re-learning how to use language to reduce one’s relational experience so as to express oneself in level 2 and 3 terms, level 3 being the Gradgrind-like scientific view/portrayal that has become the common [and legal standard] communications mode of Western society which, while it is efficient at constructing and articulating visual imagery in terms of notional ‘things-in-themselves-and-what-things-in-themselves do’, … garners its efficiency by dropping out the primary level 1 relational context of ‘real life experience’. The ‘stroke of insight’ connotes the recovery of access to level 1 cognition that has been, in Western culture, buried by the cultural elevating of level 3 to an unnatural primacy via noun-and-verb language constructs.
* * * End of Author’s Preface * * *
April 2, 2018
PSI-1 March 29, 2018
I began this note on March 29th but here I am finishing it on Easter Sunday which is at the same time, ‘April Fools Day’. Is that a coincidence or is there some hidden meaning in it?
Here is the elusive ‘understanding’ that I am trying to bring ‘down to earth’ at this time. That is to say, it is not yet an ‘understanding’ that I have brought down to earth as an explicit finding; i.e. it continues to flirt with me and yet elude me, in a manner that calls to mind a phrase that stuck with me from earlier philosophical readings;
“For Kepler, ‘geometria’ was the source of nature’s mystery and divinity (Kepler once asserted; “Why waste words, geometry existed before the creation, is co-eternal with the mind of God, ‘is God himself’) and the uncertainty associated with its multivalent harmonies and self-referentiality was an innate source of beauty in nature. Kepler quoted Virgil in regard to the elusive absence of finality in astronomical space-time relationships; “Galatea seeks me mischievously, the lusty wench; she flees to the willows, but hopes I’ll see her first.”” — The Sleepwalkers, Arthur Koestler
This observation was something I made note of in an essay written 20 years ago which I introduced with the following quote from Lao Tzu;
Geometry and Culture: ‘Burying The Hatchet’
May 15, 1998
“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.”
— Lao Tsu, “Tao Te Ching”
As the title of this essay is meant to suggest, the physical world of our actual experience is ‘relational’ but the relational view is obfuscated by semantic constructions depicting the world as a world of independent things-in-themselves that are the imputed authors of the world dynamic, among which; ‘Western humans’, Western nations and Western corporations. This essay exposes the deception in this Western scientific-materialist, thing-based world view and shows how individual and collective ‘ego’ continues to block the restoring of ‘relations’ to their natural primacy over scientific materialism/dualism.
[1.] Everything is in continuous relational flux.
“The real facts bear witness that humans are not at the top of some self-conceived food chain that we ourselves dominate because we have imagined it as such, but that we exist in what is referred to as a food web, wherein all forms of life are interconnected and thus subject to a variety of codependencies which are necessary for the possibility of life on earth as we know it.” — JJD77, UPEI
Relations are all there is, … relational forms are relational activities within the transforming relational continuum. (more…)
SUMMARY: All my investigations continue to confirm the findings of Nietzsche in the following respect; Western civilization has put ‘reason’ (science) into an unnatural primacy over ‘intuition’, sourcing chronic dysfunction and incoherence in the Western social dynamic. ‘Science’, and by this I mean popular, mainstream science that is based on a belief in ‘objective truths’ APPEARS to work well on simple problems but only because ‘science’ is ‘marking its own exam papers’ within its own synthetic dualist, being-base paradigm. Because we are using scientific thinking on complex relational problems that are far beyond the competency of science, where the ‘error’ due to the inadequacy of science is much larger than on simple mechanical problems, we are engendering unanticipated, unmanaged (unmanageable) ‘externalities’ that are continuing to accumulate and infuse dissonance into the ongoing evolution of the transforming relational continuum we are all included in. The ‘transvaluation of values’ that Nietzsche has claimed is needed to get us out of this predicament, and which my own inquiry affirms, involves a culture shift that would move us much closer to the indigenous aboriginal culture and to Buddhist, Taoist. and Vedic (Advaita Vedanta) cultures. That is, we would shift from a split-apart dualist understanding of inhabitant and habitat [e.g. man and nature] to an inhabitant-habitat nondualist understanding, affirmed by modern physics.
How can I say this in a simple way? How about; -science and reason, which are dualist and being-based, are always wrong because they simplify the reality of our experience in order to get concise answers. Yet we make ‘scientific reality’ (SCSR) our ‘operative reality’ that guides our actions and plans. Our scientifically conceived actions and plans, while successful ‘by their own measure’, engender unanticipated and unmanaged ‘externalities’ that continue to mount. (more…)
Nietzsche’s view is that there is no objective truth or objective reality ‘out there’. The physical reality of our actual experience is the sole source of truth, and that is why we need to share our experiences with one another, as is the indigenous aboriginal tradition of the ‘learning circle’, in order to holistically ‘image’ the world dynamic [in which everything is in flux (panta rhei) as in a transforming relational continuum] that we all share inclusion in.
In general, field and matter are a nonduality wherein epigenetic influence inductively actualizes genetic expression. This is our ‘physically experienced intuitive reality’ (PEIR).
In order to get some talking traction, we use noun-and-verb language to synthetically break this relational continuum down into pieces based on observed relational forms. This gives us a ‘semantically constructed scientific reality’ (SCSR).
Because it was a ‘being’-based (noun-and-verb) language that was popularized in Western culture, this put the Apollonian cart before the Dionysian horse and made us a scientific, reasoning culture that put emotions and intuition second. (more…)
What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances). – Erwin Schroedinger
Intuition is in a natural primacy over reason . This is the way things are understood in both indigenous aboriginal belief traditions and in the relational interpretation of modern physics.
Our experience-based intuition informs us that the storm-cell and the turbulence [a purely relational dynamic] that is epigenetically engendering it, are a nonduality. Our experience-based intuition further informs us that the social storms of ‘rebellion’ and the relational turbulence of the community they are included in, are a nonduality wherein the ‘inhabitant’ and the ‘habitat’ are NOT two separate things but one inhabitant-habitat nonduality. Yet ‘reason’ [science and rationality] would have us re-formulate such nonduality in the simplified dualist terms of independent ‘things-in-themselves’ in a notionally empty, non-participating space.
Noun-and-verb language is used to ‘dress up’ storms and rebels as ‘causal agents’, notionally equipped with their own internal ‘genetic agency’ that are seen as being fully and solely responsible for their own’ self-development, actions and results. Our intuition meanwhile screams out to us that, as with the nonduality of storm-cell and turbulence, that these purported ‘independent causal agents’, the storm-cell and the rebel, are NOT self-actualizing but, like sailboats, derive their ‘apparent self-actualizing’ from the ‘turbulence’ aka ‘relational dynamics’ they are situationally included in.
In the physical reality of our actual experience as informs our intuition, “epigenetic influence inductively actualizes genetic expression” [turbulence engenders storms]. However, our semantically contrived ‘reason’ obfuscates the physically real sourcing of epigenetic influence by ‘dressing up’ the ‘shapes and variations in the relational structure of space [e.g. Katrina, Harvey], as ‘independent systems-in-themselves’, imputing to them, their own internal ‘genetic agency’ so that the primal role of ‘turbulence’ [epigenetic inductive influence] vanishes from view, leaving the impression that the foreground ‘systems’ [shapes and variations in the relational structure of turbulence] are jumpstart sources of their own development, actions and ‘accomplishments’. As Nietzsche points out, this hijacking of genetic sourcing by ‘independent beings’ derives from the ‘ego’ of humans who see themselves/ourselves as such. (more…)
According to Nietzsche, there is no such thing as ‘truth’, or rather, ‘truth is when people lie together in a herd-like fashion’.
In this ‘post-truth’ era, the emphasis is, as in television advertising, on repeating the same statements so as to induce an ‘emotional connection’ and with it, herd behaviour. (more…)
“The function of education has never been to free the mind and the spirit of man, but to bind them…acquiescence, not originality. …Schools are the central conserving force of the culture. … In order not to fail, most people are willing to believe anything and to care not whether what they are told is true or false. Only by remaining absurd can one feel free from fear of failure.” – Jules Henry, cultural anthropologist, in ‘Culture Against Man’
“It is Henry’s contention that in practice education has never been an instrument to free the mind and the spirit of man, but to bind them. … Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiousity, dreaminess easily. You have to love them to get them to do that. Love is the path through permissiveness to discipline; and through discipline, only too often, to betrayal of self.” – R. D. Laing, psychiatrist and philosopher
I live in a double bind. It can be depressing. It is the culture vs authenticity double bind explored by R. D. Laing which arises when you see the world differently from your culture-supporting family and friends but to be too overt about what you are thinking/feeling would be a downer because it ‘undermines’ many of the popular upbeat beliefs and social structures of our times.
But to say nothing would be to betray oneself, and to betray one’s culture/society as well, as it continues to believe in and employ over-simplistic rational/scientific assumptions so that well-intended actions end up having us ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’. On the other hand, to overtly critique ‘common thinking and common practice’ that may not only be ‘accepted thinking and practice’, but ‘thinking and practice’ deemed meritorious, which is rewarded and respected in our society and is encouraged in our children through our educational processes, can invite ‘backlash’ wherein others close to us, equally (but inversely) convinced, of the positive value of the ‘accepted thinking and practice’ which we are critiquing, may identify us as a misinformed ‘trouble-maker’. (more…)
Why I am switching from ‘distribution lists’ to ‘invitation-pending-interest-lists and concealing email addresses.
In composing ‘distribution lists’ [I have never had any fixed distribution lists], I start with a particular piece of content and go through my contacts list asking myself the question; ‘might so-and-so be interested in this piece?’ and being perhaps overly generous with the ‘yes’ nods, compose my ‘distribution list’. I leave the email addresses there in the spirit of openness/trust.
The distribution list was never intended as a “discussion forum” list, although it has on occasion been employed as such, not by myself but by one or more recipients on the list. This led to a situation where I was expected to be ‘the manager’ of discussions that used the distribution list as a discussion forum list and to impose my judgement on what ‘went too far’ or was ‘in error’ and to otherwise ‘set the record straight’. Since my research [into peacemaking circles etc.] has made me into an advocate of ‘restorative justice’ whereby one does not impose moral judgement but simply promotes and assists in the restoring of balance and harmony where conflict arises, I was not inclined to put myself into the position of ‘moderator’ of a debating forum. Having served as a circle keeper, I prefer to use to the ‘power of the circle’ as the mediating influence; i.e. to let each person holding the talking stick speak their piece ‘from their heart’ and not exploit their ‘access to the microphone’ to impose judgements. Circles are more easily accomplished on a face-to-face basis.
This is why; as well as the background given below, that I decided to switch from distribution lists to invitation-pending-interest lists, where the emails sent out include only a link to writing on a particular subject that may be of interest, with a brief description of the subject matter [since the subject matter is only a ‘click’ away]. The invitation lists use Bcc’s that suppress email addresses.
My apologies if the distribution list traffic was in any way bothersome to you, and please advise if you would rather not be on any invitation lists.
Here is my ‘main story’ that you are invited, pending interest, to read;
The picture is meant to illustrate the physical reality that we are included in something greater than ourselves; … a relational suprasystem or ‘epigenetic influence’ that inductively actualizes, orchestrates and shapes ‘genetic expression’. Western scientific thinking culture tends to create semantic realities out of ‘systems’ stoked by humans, making it appear as if humans are ‘improving on nature’. This continually ‘talked up’ semantic reality has become a de facto ‘operative reality’ and confused with the physical reality of our actual experience.
The Blacksmith is ‘being obsoleted’ by epigenetic influences which are inductively actualizing genetic expression in the form of newly emerging ‘systems’. The epigenetic ‘change field’ that the Blacksmith is included in is like water to fish. His focus is to stoke the system he is working in so as to sustain its healthy functioning.
* * *
I am trying to articulate and share the whys and how’s of my being at odds with the culture I have grown up in. (more…)
My feeling is that the popular habit in Western society, the society I grew up in, is to confuse ‘appearances’ for reality and in using this ‘pseudo-reality’ to guide our individual and collective actions, to make a real mess of things. David Bohm calls this ‘incoherence’. (more…)