The Geometry/Topology of Taoism, Liberalism, and Fascism/Conservatism as Divides Society
ABSTRACT: the dynamic we understand as ‘reality’ seems to ‘come to us’ in three basic forms or ‘levels’ which nest within one another (e.g. as in the systems sciences work of Erich Jantsch [‘Design for Evolution’]). These three ‘reality options’ accord with my own relational experience, and with my understanding of Nietzsche’s views, so I will proceed directly with a description of these three nested levels of reality, and tie them to popular divisions within human society. Evidently, the key point for we Western culture adherents is that we have embraced belief in the ‘name-instantiated existence of things-in-themselves with their own powers of ‘sorcery’ [i.e. by ‘sorcery’ I mean the power of the name-instantiated thing-in-itself to source actions and developments’. This abstract concept of ‘sorcery’ derives NOT FROM OUR ACTUAL RELATIONAL EXPERIENCE, but derives instead from Western language and grammar. The abstract intellectual concept of ‘sorcery’ gives rise to two ‘versions of reality’ that we refer to as ‘conservative’ reality and ‘liberal’ reality.
The conservative form of ‘sorcery’ is where the sourcing comes through a vertical alignment of sourcing energies. This is sometimes related to fascism, as in Thomas Mann’s writing on political currents in Europe leading to WWII;
“The capacity for self-surrender, he said, for becoming a tool, for the most unconditional and utter self-abnegation, was but the reverse side of that other power to will and to command. Commanding and obeying formed together one single principle, one indissoluble unity; he who knew how to obey knew also how to command, and conversely; the one idea was comprehended in the other, as people and leader were comprehended in one another.” –Mario and the Magician, — Thomas Mann
We recognize in this the ‘military’ form of organization that we do not usually associate with civil society or ‘democracy’ but ‘democracy’ is seen by some as the freedom to elect a leader with a mandate to ‘lead’ in a ‘top-down’ fashion.
The liberal form of ‘sorcery’ is where the sourcing of actions and developments comes through the relations of a cooperating collective, as suggested by Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno, ‘all for one and one for all’. This form of ‘socercy’ is employed NOT by people intent on aggression, but by people faced with oppression; e.g. it has become the motto of Switzerland and ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Dumas.
My point in mentioning these two types of ‘sorcery’ is as a reminder of how Western culture adherents continue to create politically opposing camps, on the basis of whether they see ‘sorcery’ (the sourcing of actions and developments) as having its origin in a single entity or in a social collective [does the boil source flow or does the flow source the boil?] The reality is that there is no such thing as ‘sorcery’, there is only relational transformation wherein the ‘boil’ and the ‘flow’ are NOT two separate, mutually sourcing phenomena but are instead ‘appearances’.
The point is that society is divided against itself on the basis of an illusion that both of the mutually opposing camps are falling prey to. The illusion is the assumption that people have the powers of ‘sourcing’ actions and developments (Nietzsche has pointed out that this is a ‘double error’ where we use language and grammar to (1) use naming to invent things-in-themselves, and (2) use grammar to impute powers of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself).
What is being ‘missed’ is that there is no such thing as ‘sorcery’; i.e. it is an intellectual abstraction conjured up by language and grammar. There is only the transforming relational continuum which means that the GROUNDS for the division between political conservatives and political liberals are the abstract artifacts of language and grammar, both of which (conservatism and liberalism) owe their meaning to the concept of ‘sorcery’ which itself is pure abstraction unsupported by our real-life relational experience.
Only by ‘letting go’ of belief in ‘sorcery’ (which figures largely in Western culture egotism, nationalism,and corporatism) is it possible for our natural (pre-lingual, relational experience-grounded) understanding of reality in terms of relational transformation to ‘re-surface’ from its deep burial by Western culture’s elevating of rational intellection into an unnatural primacy over relational experience. … END OF ABSTRACT
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COMMENTARY: The Geometry/Topology of Taoism, Liberalism, and Conservatism; Three ‘Ralities’ that Divide the Social Collective
The point made by F. David Peat (colleague of David Bohm in exploring implicit order) is that our infancy is where our understanding is most deeply informed on ‘reality’ because as infants we understand reality prior to the Western culture (language and grammar based) imposition of self-other splitting. There is no self-other split in the modern physics understanding of reality, nor in the infant’s understanding, and this ‘infant’s understanding’ never ‘leaves us’ even as we move through adulthood; i.e. it is simply buried and covered over by the REDUCED intellectual conceptualizing of reality in ‘double error’ terms that underlies our language-based understanding. Recall that it is impossible to capture in language, the reality of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum since everything is in continual flux (i.e. ‘the Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’). Meanwhile, we who are inclusions in the Tao are intrinsically equipped for understanding it thus;
To the infant’s developing mind, topology comes before geometry. In general, deeper and more fundamental logical operations are developed earlier than more specific rules and applications. The history of mathematics, which is generally taken as a process of moving towards deeper and more general levels of thought, could also be thought of as a process of excavation which attempts to uncover the earliest operations of thought in infancy. According to this argument, the very first operations exist at a pre-conscious level [i.e. ‘pre-intellectualizing’ level in the conscious and intuitive infant] so that the more fundamental a logical operation happens to be, the earlier it was developed by the infant and the deeper it has become buried in the mind.” – F. David Peat,
Our natural experience as relational forms in the flow cannot be captured in language by name-designated entities since naming imputes the abstract intellectual notion of persisting being which is incompatible with the physics of ‘field’ aka ‘transforming relational continuum. That is; the transforming relational continuum in which we are included relational forms cannot be ‘told’ by ‘language’ (as pointed out by Lao Tzu and by modern physic).
As naturally emerging infant ‘flow-forms’, we are one-with-everything and this topological relational understanding (which does not yet incorporate any binary self-other split) is the infant’s early OPERATIVE (inherently relational) REALITY and such ‘inclusional’ awareness never does leave us, though it becomes ‘buried’ beneath two layers of intellectual REDUCTIONISM. This opens up three different ‘levels of reality’, as follows;
-1- RTRC REALITY AS TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM: (reality of our experience as infants, the reality of modern physics and indigenous aboriginal cultures; — reality as relationally experienced inclusion in all-inclusive transforming relational continuum. There is no discrete self-other split in this level 1 RTRC immanent-in-nature reality which we never lose but which gets ‘covered over’ and obscured by intellectual language and grammar-based overburden. Note that this reality implies the ‘quantum logic’ of the included middle; i.e. resonance and dissonance are flip sides of the same coin, there is not two binary options as in the common logic of the excluded middle. That is, the ‘boil’ in the ‘flow’ is how relational transformation ‘appears’ and there are not two separate entities, ‘boil’ and ‘flow’ as language implies in the case of ‘content’ and ‘container’ and ‘inhabitant and habitat’. All is ‘flow’ (the Tao of Taoism and ‘forms’ are ‘appearances’ aka ‘apparitions’.
By reducing the modern physics logic of the included middle to the common pre-modern (Newtonian physics) logic of the excluded middle we reduce relational transformation to abstract terms of local (name-instantiated) things-in-themselves with powers of sourcing actions and developments (the ‘double error’ identified by Nietzsche). The result in Western culture is that our innate inborn experiential understanding of unseparated inclusion in the transforming relational continuum is, by way of the ‘double error’ of language and grammar eclipsed and occluded (‘wallpapered over’) by the following two REDUCTIONISM MAKE-OVERS.
-2- RCS THE REDUCTIONIST REALITY OF COLLECTIVE SORCERY (the political liberal REDUCTION of relational reality based on intellectually-linguistically instantiating-as things-in-themselves, local collectives as with a cluster of boils in the flow) (by ‘naming’); e.g. collectives such as nations, corporations, organizations, … and thus ‘anointing’ or ‘baptising’ such collectives as notional things-in-themselves with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments. [this is a language-and-grammar based ‘double-error’ identified by Nietzsche [see footnote (a)]]
-3- RIS REDUCTIONIST REALITY OF INVIDUAL SORCERY (the political conservative REDUCTION of relational reality based on intellectually-linguistically instantiating as things-in-themselves, local individuals as with a boil in the flow (by ‘naming’); e.g. individual particles, individual organisms, individual humans, and thus ‘anointing’ or ‘baptising’ them as notional things-in-themselves with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments. [This, once again is a language-and-grammar based ‘double error’ identified by Nietzsche ]
Western culture, having moved on through the poetic cultural phase which preserved the innate [thingless-connectedness based] ambiguity of reality understood as relational transformation, and then entered into the Newtonian scientific phase, has been obsessed with INVENTING REALITY in the REDUCTIONIST terms of either collective sorcery or individual sorcery (commonly known, respectively, as the ‘liberal reality’ and the ‘conservative reality’).
The political division into TWO OPPOSING REDUCTIONIST (SORCERY-BASED) INVENTED REALITIES divides the social collective into opposing factions. ‘Sorcery-based’ refers to Nietzsche’s ‘double error’ observation where we use language and grammar to [first error] employ ‘naming’ to impute thing-in-itself existence, and conflate this [second error] by imputing to the name-instantiated ‘thing-in-itself’ powers of sourcing actions and developments (powers of ‘sorcery’).
Those identifying with one or other of these oppositely polarized reductionist ‘sorcery’ factions [loosely termed ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’] capture the majority of the Western culture populace. This leaves little potential for support of the NON-SORCERY-BASED REALITY – the undivided self-other relational-transformation reality which is innate in our pre-lingual experiencing of the world. The modern physics-based reality (the transforming relational continuum) comprehends natural forms (animals, plants, volcanos, hurricanes) as ‘appearances’ in the transforming relational continuum rather than as ‘independently-existing things-in-themselves’. The undivided self of infancy is the archetype for the relational form-in-the-flow that Western culture language and grammar REDUCES by way of the ‘double error’ to a notional thing-in-itself with powers of sourcing actions and developments.
NOTA BENE: liberalism and conservatism are two forms of LANGUAGE-BASED REDUCTION of our natural pre-lingual relational experiencing of reality, both of which employ the abstract concept of ‘local jumpstart SOURCING OF ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS. These two sorcery-based understandings of reality predominate in shaping the Western culture operative reality. It is double error based self-deception to say that humans construct highways and cities and/or ‘bees construct hexagonal cells’ [see footnote]. What is wrong with these linguistic allusions to humans’ and ‘bees’ powers of sorcery?
The only ‘real’ dynamic is the transforming relational continuum in which humans are included and this relational reality is beyond explicit language-based capture/articulation (‘The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’ – Lao Tzu). As Bohm pointed out, we Western culture adherents can, and do, capture events such as Lincoln’s death in simple causal (forensic science) terms of John Wilkes Booth having shot and killed Lincoln, but reality is more complex than simple language and grammar fabricated producer-product/cause-effect constructions; i.e.
“In the book ‘Causality and Chance in Modern Physics’ Bohm argued that the way science viewed causality was also much too limited. Most effects were thought of as having only one or several causes. However, Bohm felt that an effect could have an infinite number of causes. For example, if you asked someone what caused Abraham Lincoln’s death, they might answer that it was the bullet in John Wilkes Booth’s gun. But a complete list of all the causes that contributed to Lincoln’s death would have to include all of the events that led to the development of the gun, all of the factors that caused Booth to want to kill Lincoln, all of the steps in the evolution of the human race that allowed for the development of a hand capable of holding a gun, and so on, and so on. Bohm conceded that most of the time one could ignore the vast cascade of causes that had led to any given effect, but he still felt it was important for scientists to remember that no single cause-and-effect relationship was ever really separate from the universe as a whole.” –The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality: Michael Talbot:
Our topological understanding which is with us from infancy and which, although ‘buried beneath’ double error based (sorcery-based) INVENTED REALITIES, comprehends our inclusion in the transforming relational continuum without any ‘self-other’ splitting. It is an understanding that is more basic and natural than the reductionist pseudo-realities supported by ‘sorcery’ [the double error].
FOOTNOTE:j The double error
[a] “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
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