The Source of ‘Hollowness’ in Rational Thought
The global warming debate is opening up a portal for us to examine the source of the seeming ‘hollowness’ of rational thought, and it is a ‘crack’ in the rational defence system that we cannot afford to allow to re-seal before we get our investigative crowbars in there.
It is not that difficult to explain what is happening. The difficulty is in believing the explanation, because what we have come to accept as our ‘standard reality’ (a somehow stark and cold ‘rational’ reality) is over-simplified in a manner similar to the way in which Ptolemy’s geo-centric reality was over-simplified relative to Copernicus’ helio-centric reality; i.e. both views give answers that are consistent within their respective frameworks, but which differ in the comprehensiveness in which they ‘model’ our observations and experiences.
We all know that something is wrong with our rational world view; i.e. it always ‘hangs together’ but it ‘feels’ ‘incomplete’. As researchers such as Joseph Chilton Pearce have observed, the heart plays a role that is absent/denied in our rational world view. Our real-world observations/experiencing of human, animal and natural behaviour in general suggests that there is a ‘compassionate mind’ at work at the same time as the rational mind, but science (rational model based science) is not willing to concede this point.
The global warming debate is ‘different’ from most because it is addressing the system of the earth-and-beyond in which we are included and the relationship between our own ‘inhabitant-dynamics’ and the ‘habitat-dynamics’ we are included in. While we, and the science we have developed, can make what ever approximations we choose to make, the system of the world is not ‘out there in front of us in this case, inviting us to explain how IT works in a way that has nothing to do with us (e.g. the body cell that is ‘out there’ under the microscope barrel and the solar system dynamic that which we tend to ‘see’ ‘out there’ beyond the end of the telescope barrel is not truly understandable by the excluded-observer view of mainstream science. The global warming debate, by its focus on the relationship between the dynamic of sentient, experiencing inhabitant, ‘man’ and the dynamic of the habitat in which he is inherently included, is asking much more of our methods of inquiry that we typically ask of them.
What we are experiencing at the present time is a dramatic split in views that has arisen between scientist-led factions in the global warming debate on the issues of (a) whether-or-not greenhouse gases cause ‘global warming’, (b) whether-or-not man-made emissions of greenhouse gases cause ‘global warming’, and (c) whether-or-not ‘global warming’ is a meaningful term (the term ‘climate change’ suspends the imputing of the ‘direction’ of the change which implies knowledge of a base-case or ‘normal’ state.
There is a lot going on here ‘psychologically’ in regard to how we frame problems and the source of the ‘hollowness’ in the rational view can be found herein if we take a closer look.
We need two words to distinguish between two ways of ‘modeling’ the world we live in, for the purpose of this discussion. We already have the word ‘rational’ which describes scientific models wherein activity is examined for its immediate ’cause-and-effect’ ‘kinetic’ result. This is also known as the ‘causal’ model. For convenience, the alternative model will simply be termed the ‘non-rational’ model. For example, while the rational/causal model will explain how rocks roll down the mountain side, crash into one another and come to rest in piles, it does not speak to how tensions can build up in space (that by-and-by lead to earthquakes and avalanches etc.). This ‘complexity’ is ignored in rational models because it is essentially ‘non-rational’; i.e. it exceeds the ‘design capability’ of the rational model. We are familiar with this same inadequacy of the model in our modeling of social dynamics as well as in general in nature. The aphorism ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ describes it. While our models focus on visible foreground activity, something invisible is going on in the spatial background (the habitat); i.e. it is spring-loading with energy (compressional or extensional) that inevitably ‘unloads’ at a later date, often suddenly and violently, as in earthquakes, avalanches and hurricanes, but often more subtly (as with deposits of ice which are like smoldering time-bombs that carry in direct influence from millenia-old events into the present (the melting of ice reduces the kinetic energy in the habitat [‘temperature’ is a measure of average kinetic energy] below the level that it would otherwise have been without the presence of melting ice).
As we have learned from the investigations of modern physics, ‘space’ is not a void but is instead an ‘energy-plenum, loaded with energy, the concentrating of which results in ‘matter’ (E=mc^2, as in ‘matter-energy equivalence’) and space is also a ‘participating’ medium wherein spatial-relational tensions associated with distributions of matter continually load and unload in ‘background’ mode.
However, in order to get to our exposing of the source of ‘hollowness’ in the ‘rational’ model, there is no need for any ‘dependency’ on relativity and quantum theory. All that is needed here is our basic observations, not only of the dynamic phenomena of nature but also of the investigative dynamics of science and scientists.
That is, mainstream science avoids and ignores ‘nonlinear dynamic’ phenomena involving the spatial ‘loading-and-unloading’ of ‘energy of position/place’ (aka ‘potential energy’) which can carry direct influence of the remote past into the continuing present, except in those cases that cannot easily be ignored, such as where there is a sudden and violent release as in an earthquake or avalanche. There is a name for these phenomena, ‘self-organised criticality’ wherein the spatial tensions that have been building, that science ignores, reaches a threshold where it is suddenly and violently released. While science cannot ignore the huge power of a tsunami, the sudden unloading of spring-loaded space, it does not have a general theory to deal with this otherwise invisible ‘background’ phenomenon, and simply ‘makes a special case’ for the ‘nonlinear dynamics’ associated with the sudden violent unloading of energy.
For scientists, and for the scientific thinking ‘man-on-the-street’, the modeling of, for example, of the dynamics of riverflow on the terrain, would proceed by applying the ‘rational model’ which assumes that the present depends only on the immediate past, and thus consider the river flow as the ‘causal agent’ that is responsible for the dredging of the channel and the carving of the canyon. However, the terrain itself may be ‘unloading’ the compression from the earlier weight of a massive ice-age glaciation, so that it is ‘rebounding’, and rising in the manner of leavened bread, offering a wriggling ‘belly’ to the riverflow so that the re-shaping of the terrain in the present is not simply due to the immediate past (the erosional effect of the waterflow) but also, at the same time, to the direct influence on the present of events from the remote past.
As mentioned, this effect, involving relativity between the dynamic of the inhabitant and the dynamic of the habitat [when we suspend the rational modeling practice of imposing an absolute space frame] is general and it must be addressed in the development of new and more comprehensive theories in physics. As Carlo Rovelli says in ‘Quantum Gravity’;
“In Newtonian and special relativistic physics, if we take away the dynamical entities – particles and fields – what remains is space and time. In general relativistic physics, if we take away the dynamical entities, nothing remains. The space and time of Newton and Minkowski are reinterpreted as a configuration of one of the fields, the gravitational field. This implies that physical entities – particles and fields – are not all immersed in space, and moving in time. They do not live on spacetime. They live, so to say, on one another. It is as if we had observed in the ocean many animals living on an island: animals ‘on’ the island. Then we discover that the island itself is in fact a great whale. Not anymore animals on the island, just animals on animals. Similarly, the universe is not made by fields on spacetime; it is made by fields on fields.”
This general aspect of natural dynamics, where the dynamics of the inhabitants are relative to the dynamics of the habitat is avoided because it doesn’t fit the standard ‘rational’ model assumption.
While we only have predictive theory for the ‘rational model’, we find that two models are in use ‘psychologically’ which can be characterized as follows;
Rational model; A way of modeling nature’s dynamics in which the present depends only on the immediate past (and not on direct influences of a more distant past).
Non-rational model: A way of modeling nature’s dynamics in which the present depends not only on the immediate past but also (more generally) on a more distant past.
We are very familiar with the fact that a man may be unfaithful to his partner once or twice, perhaps, but tensions can continue to build in the relationship and there is likely to be a point at which ‘all hell breaks loose’. The same is true of snowfalls on mountain slopes, pressure differences in the atmosphere (spawning hurricanes, tornadoes), in the combustion of tinder-dry forests and in many other phenomena.
The point here is simply to say, that the models of science are typically ‘rational/causal’ and commonly ignore the ‘nonlinear’ effects which are the general case, and to deal with them only in those cases where the unloading of previously loaded energy-of-place is too dramatic to ignore. The ‘time-bomb’ that slowly unloads such as the melting paleo-ice deposit (the ‘extended spring-loading’ which continually consumes kinetic energy to satisfy its energy deficit) is erroneously captured as part of the dynamics of the present in the ‘rational’ model; i.e. the present measure of ‘temperature’ is incorrectly assumed to represent what is going on right now, rather than being an integration of events from the remote past that are having direct influence on the present.
Again, the problem with nonlinear dynamics is that in order to model them, one has to accept that the present depends not only on the immediate past but on the more distant past, as in the river and ‘rebounding’ terrain dynamic. This basic shortfall [inadequacy] in the ‘rational’ modeling paradigm also comes into play in the case of millenia-old ice and permafrost deposits that are directly influencing the present.
Marina Leibman, chief scientist at the Cryosphere Institute in Russia, has the ‘non-rational’ model in mind when she says;
“The warmer weather is part of millenia-old fluctuations. … There is no global warming caused by human activity, first because greenhouse gases do not affect climate – Do not affect climate [the repetition is Leibman’s emphasis]. This is a physical theory, it is an invented horror – it does not exist.” Leibman dismisses reports of increased thaw of permafrost as invented reports made by scientists in need of money. “– Marina Leibman, Chief Scientist, Earth Cryosphere Institute, Russia (source – NTD News)
[[N.B. Marina [not ‘Maria’ as erroneously captured in the news report] was speaking primarily of permafrost and geological events lasting thousands [and millions] of year. She points out that such a viewpoint takes a lot of imagination in addition to knowledge, and that an understanding of geological systems is not so effectively conveyed as “something Global and Hazardous, we call it in Russian “Strashilka” (a scarecrow).”]]
Before the reader interprets this as a difference of view between Leibman and what seems to be the majority of scientists who support the notion of ‘global warming’, it is important to note the implication in her comment of today being directly influenced by a more distant past; i.e. her non-rational modeling assumption. That is, the relative slowness of visible change in the terrestrial ground of the habitat over a human lifetime allows us to approximate our natural living space as an absolute fixed and empty (Euclidian) space populated by notional locally existing objects/organisms, notionally equipped with their own local causal agency (as in religious ‘Creationism’), whose changing we impute to be relative to absolute space and absolute time (= the ‘rational’ model). However, seen on a geological time scale, the changing of the inhabitant is relative to the changing habitat [i.e. the logical grounds for imputing absolute space and absolute time to the spatial reference frame experienced by the organismic inhabitant no longer prevails]. In other words, it is no longer possible (logically) to split apart the development of the habitat and the development of the inhabitants. As Mach’s principle of relativity would say; ‘The dynamics of the habitat condition the dynamics of the inhabitants AT THE SAME TIME as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat”, … as in the fluid-dynamic relationship between a storm-cell and its parenting flow.
Suspending our habit of imposing of an absolute space and time frame as a reference for changes going on inside that reference frame, as associates with our acknowledging of the ‘fluidity’ of our terrestrial habitat over geologic time, suspends the applicability of the ‘rational’ model and opens the door to the ‘non-rational’ model wherein things change relative to other things and we get a kind of ‘quantum entanglement’ wherein the past is stirred into the present like Bohm’s drop of ink into clear treacle as is also the implication of relativity as in the above citation from Rovelli;
“This implies that physical entities – particles and fields – are not all immersed in space, and moving in time. They do not live on spacetime. They live, so to say, on one another. It is as if we had observed in the ocean many animals living on an island: animals ‘on’ the island. Then we discover that the island itself is in fact a great whale. Not anymore animals on the island, just animals on animals. Similarly, the universe is not made by fields on spacetime; it is made by fields on fields.”
[[Technical Note: What may confound the ‘rational-model-habituated-mind’ here is the suspension of ‘identity’ of locally existing ‘objects’ or ‘organisms’. Persisting ‘identity’ is another approximation we make (it is a very useful and convenient approximation) that depends upon an absolute space and absolute time reference frame. An example of how we go about this is ‘the hurricane’. The ‘dynamic ground’ of the hurricane (convection-cell) is the flow of the atmosphere and the ‘dynamic figure’ (the radial-armed pinwheel appearance) is continuously being reinvented by the flow, much as a cataract holds its shape although ‘it’ is not a local object but mere ‘appearance’ (as Erwin Schroedinger would say all material objects are). When we define and name-label the hurricane, it is ‘we’ who are endowing the dynamic form with local existence and local agency. As John Stuart Mill observed; “Every definition implies an axiom, that in which we affirm the local existence of the object defined.”. Without the support of an absolute space and absolute time reference frame, everything becomes ‘fluid’ and the notion that dynamical forms enjoy persisting identity has to give way. As Vladimir Tasic observes, geometry supplies us with the notion of locally existing objects;
“So “objects” are implicitly assumed to be invariable bodies. Therefore the axioms of geometry already contain an irreducible assumption which does not follow from the axioms themselves. Axiomatic systems provide us with “faulty definitions” of objects, definitions that are grounded not in formal logic but in a hypothesis — a “prejudice” as Hans-Georg Gadamer might say — that is prior to logic. As a corollary, our logic of identity cannot be said to be necessary and universally valid. “Such axioms,” says Poincaré, “would be utterly meaningless to a being living in a world in which there are only fluids.””
In geologic time, what we call ‘continents’ are very much like the cataracts; i.e. they are the persisting patterns that arise from the intersecting of convecting cells in the lithosphere (which is acknowledged to be fluid in geologic time) with the earth’s surface. Thus geologists decided that the early label for plate tectonics, ‘continental drift’, is a misnomer (where the flow in adjacent lithosphere convection cells ascend together, the moving material, as seen on the surface, pulls apart and where the flow in adjacent cells descends together, the moving material, as seen on the surface, pushes together). As with the case of the hurricane (dynamic figure) relative to the atmospheric flow (dynamic ground), the term ‘continental drift’ erroneously imputes ‘local identity’ and ‘local agency’ to the continents which encourages a rendering of the dynamic in the rational model terms wherein the present depends only on the immediate past (e.g. on the changing configuration of the continents-as-local-objects-with-persisting-identity), failing to take into account the parenting role of the ‘dynamic ground’ which not only animates the movements of the continents (dynamic figures) but which gives dynamic form to the continents.”
Without persisting identity of local objects, there is no way to separate ‘what is old’ from ‘what is young’, the two being ‘stirred together’ in the over all fluid-dynamic. In this case, what we mean when we speak of ‘past’ and ‘present’, refers to our own observations of those dynamic figures that we have synthetically endowed with persisting existence by defining and name-labelling them. Addressing the change in strength and position of hurricane Katrina is, as Poincaré has suggested, a ‘language game’ that depends upon our imposing of an absolute space frame and associated axiomatic object ‘identities’. It is superficial and over-simplified (it doesn’t go deep enough to address the dynamic ground that is parenting the dynamic figure) but nevertheless, the simplified concepts or ‘conventions’ (Poincaré) provide an effective communications tool that is important to those of us currently included in the often turbulent fluid-dynamic of Nature. The pitfall is to confuse this ‘idealisation’ for ‘reality’; i.e. this is ‘where scarecrows like ‘global warming’ come from’.]]
The point is that TWO VERY DIFFERENT MODELING FRAMEWORKS ARE AT PLAY IN THE MODERN SCIENCE WORLD, THE RATIONAL MODEL AND THE NON-RATIONAL MODEL.
The ‘rational model’, thanks to our imposing of an idealised absolute space and absolute time reference frame, compares the present (state of affairs within the reference frame) with the immediate past and seeks to understand ‘the difference’. It performs exactly as in taking a ‘derivative’ with respect to ‘time’ in Newtonian calculus.
The ‘non-rational model’ understands the present as a synthesis of events that have been transpiring in the distant past. In this sense the ‘hockey-stick’ curve of recent TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS will not be interpreted as a response to activities in the immediate past, as would result from the ‘time derivative’ operation.
[[N.B. The notion of ‘warming’ derives from the rational model assumption simply as the sign of the derivative; i.e. ∂( temppresent – tempimmediate-past)/∂t ]]
The ‘differentiation’ that associates with the ‘rational model’ obliterates the sense of the past being enfolded in the present (stirred into the present as a drop of ink is stirred into clear viscous liquid in David Bohm’s description of (holo-dynamics).
This is where the ‘hollowness’ or ‘heartlessness’ comes into the rational model; i.e. by differentiating, it removes the holistic (space-time-as-unum) aspect of the present and re-renders it in terms that would suggest that it arises as a result of the immediate past without direct influence from a more distant past.
The rational model is the psychological equivalent for comprehending ‘change’, of Newton’s ‘fluxions’ (mathematical derivatives-with-respect-to-time) which the philosopher George Berkeley termed ‘the ghosts of departed quantities’ and of which he complained ‘men would hardly admit such a reasoning as this, which in mathematics is accepted for demonstration.’ This critique of seeing ‘change’ in over-simplistic RATIONAL terms, ‘mathematical’ terms wherein the present depends only on the immediate past, brings to mind Einstein’s observation;
“So far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. And so far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
This ‘rational’ view of change is a quasi-mathematical/logical view which implies that what we know about today and yesterday is all we need to know to capture the present world dynamic and that we can discard intuitive understanding which suggests that events of a more distant past continue to have direct influence on the present.
The ‘rational’ and ‘non-rational’ ways of viewing the world dynamic crop up everywhere in the social dynamic. For example, it was a shocker to modern day employees when corporations began to say; ‘at the end of the day, when you have done the work asked of you and you have received your pay packet, there is nothing owing in either direction, by company or employee. This starkly ‘rational’ view is very different from the view of the relationship between worker-and-enterprise in the naturally evolving dynamics of community, where the work dynamic is in the service of sustaining the health of the community, and where there was appreciation that the present depended not only on the immediate past but on the more distant past, the pioneering efforts, the lifetimes of service which continued to directly influence in the present, in the same sort of way that blocks of ice cut from millennia old icefields continue to cool us today, or blocks of peat cut from millenia old peat-bogs continue to warm us today.
Another example of the ‘rational’ – ‘non-rational’ worldview split came to my attention in ‘well-spring’ sessions with retired senior managers, where they shared the three or four major ‘heartfelt’ experiences that they felt most changed their understanding and behaviour; i.e. their common view was that many of the top graduates from the top universities that they were hiring had begun behaving like ‘humilityless twits’ (this was their term which they emphatically stuck to, even in the knowledge that that these comments would be published together with attribution). The rational model, by accepting that the present depends only on the immediate past, implies that ‘the new present’ takes over from the previous ‘present’ so that the former ceases to contribute. Thus these new highly rational employees could not see any value being brought into the present from the remote past via the ‘old-timers’ in the organisation. The ‘old-timers’ in the wellspring interview, meanwhile, had a humility in regard to their contributions in the present relating to their WWII service where the sacrifices of their fellows in that era, were influencing the present from the remote past by the fact that they, themselves, would otherwise not have survived into the present. The ‘rational model’ based ‘psychology’ of the new ‘humilityless twits’ had a ‘hollowness’ or ‘heartlessness’ about it in that it denied that what was transpiring in the present was being directly influenced from a more distant past (as with cream stirred into coffee), and it was thus a disrespectful and offensive view, to the ‘old-timers’.
So, how does the rational model ‘lose’ the holodynamic (past stirred into the present) experience?
The rational model assumes a model ‘out there’ in front of the observer. The rational modeler ‘outfits’ the model with the necessary entities and processes he feels it needs (e.g. greenhouse gases, water vapour, solar irradiance etc.). These are termed the ‘initial conditions’ and he assumes that these processes are generating, … IN THE PRESENT AS IF DEPENDING ONLY ON THE IMMEDIATE PAST, the changes that have been measured in the global temperatures. For example, he can run his model over any time period he likes, because he does not have to account for direct influences on the present from a more distant past. All he needs to establish are the ‘initial conditions’ in the immediate past.
To give an analogy in politics, consider the following commentary on the Middle East from an article in the Christian Science Monitor;
“The memory of colonization by Western powers is still fresh in the minds of many Arabs. From Algeria, Lebanon, and Syria, to Egypt and Iraq, the legacy of foreign military presence led not to economic and political growth on par with the foreign power, but rather its opposite. The people were subjugated to foreign rule and puppet rulers. Nationalistic leaders were silenced or exiled. Territory was divided and new and seemingly arbitrary boundaries created. Natural resources were exploited and markets were cultivated to foster dependency rather than development.”
Since the rational model does not take account of invisible ‘tensions’ which, like springs loaded long ago, discharge in the present. Therefore the rational model will assume that an outbreak of trouble in the Middle East will depend only on the immediate past; e.g. by the actions of a Saddam Hussein or an Osama bin Laden.
Most politicians employ the ‘rational model’ and they tend to get very angry at those ‘who would make excuses for the identified ‘causal agents’’ by trying to accept that the present depends not only on the immediate past but also on a more distant past; i.e. those who intuit the ‘non-rational model’.
When Canadian Prime-Mister Jean Chrétien gave a speech on the first anniversary of 9/11, saying that we (the US and the military and economically powerful nations) had, through ego and insensitivity, used our power to humiliate others in the world (loaded space with tensions) and had to take part of the blame for the violent unloading, many people came out in vocal support of his ‘non-rational’ modeling, such as Senator Douglas Roche who captured what many were feeling when he said;
“This was a very perceptive comment [Jean Chrétien’s]. It was waiting to be said–needed to be said. It was something that many of us have been saying for a long time. Any anti-terrorism policy has to be seen within the totality of economic and social conditions that are the obvious spawning ground of this desperate activity.”
But this implicit non-rational model, which did not accept the simple rational-causal view that the present depended only on the immediate past (that the 9/11 ‘result’ started and stopped with the ‘evil intent’ and ‘evil actions’ of the perpetrators), was in the minority, just as Marina Leibman’s model of the present depending on a more distant past, is in the minority.
This is partly because the ‘rational’ model is the simplest of all possible models (Poincaré) in the manner that a polynomial of degree one is simpler than a polynomial of degree two.
But it is, as well, because the causal model bolsters the ego by attributing causal responsibility for ‘results’ to individuals as in the case of the ‘humilityless twits’ (all of us, when we buy into the over-simple rational model). That is, the rational model implies that the individual is a local agent with his own locally originating (internal purpose and choice driven) behaviour; i.e. he is the equivalent, but opposite, of the ‘evil agent’, that we impute to be where the buck starts and stops for the production of (good or evil) results. The rational model thus ignores all of the direct influences on the present deriving from the remote past, the charging of space with potentials by others coming before us, the release of which we can ‘trigger’, making it appear as if we are the ’cause’ of what results, whether it was grandpa who chopped and put the firewood in the shed to dry, that we are now heating the home with, or whether it was organic life in the Jurassic era that contributed ‘their bodies’ to what is now petroleum that modern man can trigger energy release from in combustion engines etc., attributing to himself ‘causal agency’ that is not truly ‘his’. Again, the non-rational model would acknowledge that the present depends not only on the immediate past but, in a far more general way, on the remote past.
The rational modeler frames his model ‘in front of him’ as if it were ‘machinery’ that is going to operate on its own, visualizing it as if it were ‘contained’ within an absolute space frame, and he observes the rational model as an excluded voyeur observer;
In this case, he can specify the initial conditions and start the model from any ‘time’ that he chooses since he assumes that the present depends only on the immediate past.
The non-rational modeler, on the other hand, assumes that he is included in the dynamic that he is investigating and that what he is modeling is an ongoing process that cannot be started from any arbitrary ‘time’ since the present measurements are directly influenced from the remote past, and not just from the immediate past.
Since nature has dynamic cycles which spring-load and unspring-load space with different latencies and different periods, the observed temperature curve is acknowledged to be directly influenced from the remote past. For example, if one piled blocks of ice up in the barn and covered them with hay, the ice might continue to melt for years, directly influencing the temperature (lowering it from what it would otherwise have been). Therefore, one could not come up with a specification of initial conditions and model the dynamic as if the present depended only on the immediate past since the ‘base curve’ would be varying from direct influence from events in the remote past. In other words, the present measurements (temperature etc.) do not signify the ‘immediate past state of the world’; i.e. there is no way to ‘deconvolve’ the enfolding of influences from the remote past (spatial spring-loading and unloading), thus the measurements of temperature in the present imply influences from the remote past. This makes ‘climate change’ a more appropriate term for variations in the temperature curve than ‘global warming’.
The ‘remote past’ which has been stirring itself into the present like cream into coffee has no limit to it. What is ‘presenting itself’ for modeling is the ‘spacetime continuum’ of nature, and it would appear to have a cyclic or wave-like energy dynamic. This view conflicts with the view of the present as a continually changing state wherein the present, notionally, depends only on the immediate past. A more appropriate model might be one in which the current temperature could be ‘decomposed’ into many different cycles of spatial spring-loading-and-unloading, as in the following diagram, where what we observe is the ‘composite’ curve at the very bottom;
The rational model, meanwhile, functions as a ‘derivative’ operator which mathematically removes the direct influence of the remote past on the present, even though our experience-derived intuition resists. We know, intuitively, that tensions from a more distant past can unleash energies in the immediate past that we can ‘blame’ for the unfolding events in the present, although, for example, our rational models of justice fail to accept this ‘complexity’. The assumption that human organisms are locally existing organisms with their own locally originating (internal purpose and choice directed) behaviours, we allow to over-ride our intuition, perhaps because the intuitive understanding seems too complex and impossible to control.
While it may be impossible to control, so it is with nature’s dynamic as well. What we see in nature is the relentless tendency towards the cyclic balancing of opposites (the ‘harmonies of the world’ as Johannes Kepler put it), the spring-loading-and-unloading of space with potential energy tensions-and-ex-tensions. Or, paraphrasing Ernst Mach’s relativity principle; ‘The dynamics of the habitat [energy of place dynamics] condition the dynamics of the inhabitants [kinetic energy dynamics] at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat.’
But those who are powerful have a tendency to cling to the ‘rational’ model whose logical approach to sustaining order and organisation is ‘control’. Because the rational model assumes that the present depends only on the immediate past, when tensions built in Europe over decades and became like a tinder-dry forest so that a small triggering event could release its tension-based ‘energy-of-place’, when a pyromaniac like Hitler came along, we tended to attribute the power of the conflagration to him, because the rational model accepts only the influence of the immediate past and not those influences on the present that derive from a more distant past. Of course, the post WWII Marshall Plan implicitly acknowledged that tensions in the habitat should not be permitted to rise to the point that Europe would once again be a bomb waiting to go off.
Similarly, the implicit needs of a ‘market’ may develop over a long time so that, once again, we have the tinder-dry forest ready to be ignited by some entrepreneur or enterprise with a mind to put a match to it. When the release of the accrued energy manifests, we erroneously attribute this ‘power’ to the ‘triggerer’ since the rational model insists that the present depends only on the immediate past, and thus we get ‘mere triggerers of accumulated energy-of-place deriving from the distant past’ who exalt themselves as ‘causal agents’ who are responsible for what is unfolding in the present. The fact that Al Gore pushed for Congress to authorize expenditures that ‘show up’ in the evolutionary lineage of internet development, does not mean that the internet is due to Al Gore. The accumulating tensions in the habitat were like an extended spring wanting to pull things into place; i.e. wanting to pull such peer-to-peer networking into existence, but the rational model, by being constrained to explaining the present in terms of the immediate past, can only make attributions to the apparent ‘causal agents’ holding the ‘smoking guns’. Those who are ‘holding the smoking guns’ have a tendency to delude themselves into believing that the ‘power’ is theirs.
We live in a world today, where a rational initiative such as the ‘war on terrorism’ is understood by many as a mission to deal with the rising incidence of ‘causal agents of terror’ using such techniques (e.g. ‘racial profiling’) as may continue to build the tensions (energy-of-place) that are the ultimate source of the periodic violent releases of (terrorist) energy. To ‘make sense’, the primary mission needs to be to reduce the tensions, direct influences on the present from a more distant past, that are parenting the periodic violent releases of energy.
Until we can acknowledge, intellectually and in our social behaviour, the natural primacy of the ‘non-rational’ viewpoint, wherein the present depends not only on the immediate past but is directly influenced by a more distant past, we are likely to continue to suffer from anthropocentric ‘delusions of grandeur’ in which we falsely attribute to human agency, powers that more truthfully belong to the space we are included in. It is not that the actions of Hitler or Al Gore mean nothing; their actions are like pushing rocks that are ‘ready to roll’ and what unfolds in that ‘rolling’ is determined more by the shape of the tensions in the terrain (like the pulling of spatially-extended springs) than by the specifics of the pushing.
Everything that happens in the world in the present is directly influenced by events of the distant past. Men with rational viewpoints do not, as theytend often to believe they do, have an immediate causal influence on what unfolds in the present (man is not ‘in control’). The extended-spring like tensions in space, evolved over the long term, will determine which rocks a man pushes will roll, how they will roll, and where they will roll to. Men may take ‘causal credit’ (attribution for determining results) for all manner of things, like raising foodcrops, to ‘global warming’, but such beliefs are the ego-artefacts of the rational view.
The ‘silver lining’ in the current ‘global warming debate’ is that it is poised to expose the gross inadequacy of the rational view, and the natural primacy of the intuitive non-rational view, in a very public way.
In conclusion, the source of the ‘hollowness’ of rational models lies in their ‘differential operator’ framing of our observations/experience, that would have us believe that the present depends only on the immediate past, excluding from our rational understanding, but not from our non-rational intuition, the enfolded influence of a more distant past;
“We recognise at the outset that the efforts of scientists have always tended to resolve the complex phenomenon given directly by our experience into a large number of elementary phenomena. And to do this in three different ways : first, with respect to time. Instead of taking into account the progressive development of a phenomenon as a whole, we simply seek to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding. We assert that the present state of the world depends only on the immediate past, without being directly influenced, so to speak, by the memory of a more distant past. Thanks to this postulate, instead of studying directly the whole succession of phenomena, we may confine ourselves to writing down “its differential equation” ; for the laws of Kepler, we substitute the laws of Newton.” — Henri Poincaré, ‘Science and Hypothesis’
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