“The fact of the matter is that the ‘real world’ is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group . . . We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.” – Edward Sapir
Since what Sapir is calling ‘the real world’ differs depending on the language we are using to construct it, it might better be termed ‘semantic reality’ to distinguish it from the physical reality of our actual experience which is independent of which language we are using to construct our ‘semantic reality’ that we use to share our observations and experiences.
Right now I am using words to share views [my own and citations of others] and I want to go into why my words, and words in general, are inherently inadequate for sharing physical experience. In other words, I want to take the reader on a guided tour of why our ‘semantic realities’ must necessarily fall short of the physical reality of our actual experience. (more…)
There is a major ‘obfuscation’ issue with the use of noun-and-verb Indo-European/scientific languages in that they are commonly used to construct ‘semantic realities’ in the dualist terms of ‘independent things’ [nouns, subjects] and ‘what independent things do’ [subject-verb-predicate grammatical constructs]. In other words, noun and verb languages have a built-in-prejudice that has us assume the local independent existence of material forms and the local authorial sourcing of the development and behaviour of those independent material forms [objects, organisms, systems]. (more…)
There are two themes in this series of essays in the Aboriginal Physics Newsletter; one addresses the flaw in the foundational philosophical/ethical premises of Western colonial society, and the other is that there are longstanding, inherent difficulties in sharing a view of the flaw that have not yet been popularly overcome.
The flaw is that while the physical reality of our actual, natural experience is non-dualist, … the semantic reality of Western culture is dualist. The essence of the communications challenge is that while observers in a non-dualist reality can look in on the inherently less complex dualist reality and see its shortfalls relative to the non-dualist reality, observers in a dualist reality cannot ‘share in a viewing of this view’ without ‘lifting themselves up’ from the dualist reality to the non-dualist reality. The challenge is therefore, that the message delivered from non-dualist to dualist realms must include within the message, the wherewithal to lift the dualist recipient up into the non-dualist reality so that he will be ‘enabled’ for ‘hearing’ the message. (more…)
As Emerson says, we humans are ‘vents’ that transmit influences from the vast and universal to the point on which our genius can act.
Indigenous aboriginals describe terrorists in the same way. As tensions build in the relational social dynamics between Euro-American colonizers and the colonized peoples of the Middle East, there is a violent ‘venting’ of pent-up energies. The people we call ‘terrorists’ are the vents through which relational tensions are dispersed, but they are not the jumpstart source of the violence; i.e. “it takes a whole community to raise a terrorist”.
The politician is like a sailboater who may initially, and at various times, be ‘becalmed’ for his power derives from having his sails filled with the influence of others. He, too, is a vent that transmits influences from the relational continuum to the points on which these influences may act.
In general, people are vents that can focus and direct influence that derives from elsewhere; i.e. from a transforming relational continuum. (more…)
Pender Island, January 2, 2016
“I want us to be very clear. You will not defeat us.”
The following is a commentary by a national political leader manifesting the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. That person is David Cameron, Prime Minister of the U.K. who says, in his January 1, 2016 New Year’s address to the nation;
“And we will take on another social problem too. When our national security is threatened by a seething hatred of the West, …one that turns people against their country and can even turn them into murderous extremists. I want us to be very clear. You will not defeat us. And we will not just confront the violence and the terror, we will take on the underlying poisonous narrative of grievance and resentment. We will come down hard on those who create the conditions for that narrative to flourish. And we will have greater confidence in, … indeed we will revel in, our way of life because if you walk our streets, learn in our schools, benefit from our society, you sign up to our values; freedom, tolerance, responsibility, loyalty. These are the big challenges of our age; some of the biggest our nation ever faced. And this year is a test of our metal.” – David Cameron
David Cameron is speaking to others with a grievance against the actions of the colonial powers, as if they were an independent body of people, an independent body of ‘evil people’ who had divided themselves from the relational social collective, and were on the attack against another independent body of people, the independent body of ‘good people’ that he represents. He is confused as to the physical reality of the world dynamic wherein ‘relations are all there is’, where conflict is a coincidence of opposites rather than two separate, independent factions. Where the world is only given once, as a transforming relational continuum. (more…)
An open letter to members of ISIS, Al Qaida, the Taliban, and those wanting to join or to become local cells of violent action against the dominant world order.0
It seems evident that the circumstances of one’s life, the web of relations one is born into or falls into, shapes one’s behaviour so that there can be no understanding of violent conflict by confining one’s analysis to ‘acts’ as if they derived fully and solely from those through whom relational social tensions channel and manifest. It also seems evident that if one is brought up with a strong belief in morally judging behaviours as ‘good’ and ‘evil’, that this will shape one’s responses to perceived abusive treatment by those ‘in power’. (more…)
Western society is a scape-goating societyΨ. Using the ‘bewitchment of language’, binary logic and intellectually idealized ‘absolute space and time reference frames’, it persuades the interdependent human forms of their absolute ‘independent being’ and self-authorship of development and behaviour, so that the ‘individual’ that makes a disturbance, is held fully and solely responsible for such disturbance. One person is held to be ‘guilty’ and all others ‘innocent’.
Instead of community balance and harmony being understood in terms of equilibrium in an interdependent relational matrix as is found in nature;
“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” — Ernst Mach
… Western civilization has seen community harmony in the light of an absence of disturbance-makers. The ‘disturbance-maker’ concept is based on the assumption that humans are ‘independent beings’ with free will who are masters of their own acts, so that actions that clash with and disturb the dominant social dynamic, however dysfunctional that may be, are considered fully and solely responsible for the disruption. (more…)
I feel inclined to summarize what is precipitating out of the mist, … for my own philosophical inquiry ‘notebook’. The sharply resolved impressions that are arising from exchanges with another, … which is bringing into coherent confluence his many exchanges with others with my own many exchanges with others, not to mention their many exchanges with others and those others many exchanges with others.
* * * START OF SUMMARY * * *
I see two options for the makeup of the world; (more…)
To write on the topic ‘The Decline/Transformation of Western Civilization’ gets difficult quickly, when the point is brought up that our ‘operative reality’ derives from the architecture of our language, and that our noun-and-verb Indo-European/scientific language, like the language I am writing this essay in, falls radically short in its ability to capture the physical reality of our natural experience. (more…)
160 million people have died in wars in the 20th century of which nearly 100,000 were Canadian (0.0625%). Many more were injured or crippled and suffered continuing emotional distress. In a New York Times article ‘What Every Person Should Know About War’, one can find the grim statistics.
Lest we forget, war is an insane approach to resolving conflict that the remembrance of casualties does not always bring us back to.
In Canada, as in other countries, young men, and increasingly, young women, sign up out of loyalty to their country, respect for its military that stands on guard for it, and their trust in the judgement of its political leaders. Many have given their lives in the service of their country.
Others who we have called ‘the enemy’ have done the same and in general, the Canadian military has been a far safer place to be than in the opposing forces. (more…)