This ‘Cheatsheet’ has some tips that may make it easier to bring back to mind the Aboriginal physics ‘way of seeing’ as contrasted with the Enlightenment physics ‘way of seeing’

It can get pretty confusing putting on one’s ‘Enlightenment glasses’, then taking them off and putting on one’s ‘Aboriginal glasses’, and flipping back and forth between the two, as one is required to do in navigating the content in these Aboriginal Physics Newsletter pages.

The following are a few rules of thumb that can help you keep track of which mode you are in and how to flip modes.

  1. Objects are ‘local entities’ in Enlightenment physics space and ‘nonlocal spatial-relations’ in Aboriginal physics space.

Whatever is being discussed, people, genes, DNA, a continent, a country, it can be ‘seen’ in these two different ways, as ‘local content’ (the ‘Enlightenment’ ‘representation’ based view), … or, as an inherently ‘nonlocal spatial-context’ view (the ‘Aboriginal’ ‘flow’ based view).

For any item of ‘local content’ that is under discussion, there is always the alternative ‘nonlocal spatial context’ (Aboriginal) view.

While the ‘local content’ view is a static view, like looking at a skin cell under a microscope, the ‘nonlocal spatial context’ view is inherently dynamic; i.e. one now sees the ‘local content’ as a pattern in the larger flow-dynamic in which it is included.

To see the general ‘archetype’ of the relationship between the Enlightenment physics way of seeing and the Aboriginal physics way of seeing, click on the following and you will see the two different views of a ‘cell’;

local content.                                 nonlocal spatial context

It is worth reminding ourselves here, that in real-life, every ‘form’ is a dynamic form as on the right.  Everything is in motion, in flux, bodies, cells, everything.  It is either emerging/sprouting, developing/maturing or degenerating (being re-gathered in the flow).  The only thing that persists is change.

Its also worth reminding ourselves that the cell-dynamics are not causing the overall flow-dynamic, they are the result of the flow-dynamic.  In the mpeg video clip on the right (Benard [convection] cells), the thermal-dynamical imbalances in the flowing fluid tend towards restoring balance (hotter fluid rises at the same time as cooler fluid descends, giving rise to convection cells).  The formation of the cells and the animating of cell behaviour is in the service of restoring dynamical balance.  Similarly, storm-cells in the atmosphere are the result rather than  the cause of turbulence/imbalance in the flow of the atmosphere.

The static ‘representation’ of the same cells on the left artificially ‘removes’ what we are looking at from the dynamic spatial context in which it is ‘really’ inextricably included in.     But it is convenient to capture these static ‘representations’ and to define and name them.   That is, once we start looking at a particular ‘local’ cells and investigating ‘what is inside of it etc., we forget that it is the ‘result’ of nonlocal dynamical activity rather than a ‘local source’ of dynamical activity.

A problem arises when we impute to these static representations their own local agency.  That is, when we re-create ‘their’ behaviour as if it was THEIRS; i.e. as if it were locally originating, locally powered and directed from within.

Our Enlightenment way of seeing allows us, without a problem to picture a man walking.  That’s all, just a man walking.  He doesn’t have to ‘be anywhere’.  The man is seen as ‘local content’, locally powered and directed from within.   In this way of seeing (it is our common Enlightenment way of seeing), the nonlocal spatial context which acknowledges that he is a dynamical form within the flow of nature is gone.  While we don’t go to the bother to think about what we do when we see things as local content, the implication is that we implicitly situate the man in a notional absolute space and time reference frame, so that his movements become his own ‘absolute motion’ thanks to the absolute space and time reference frame he is included in.

Fixed reference frames facilitate this illusion that we are ‘local content’ and that we have ‘local agency’.  Imagine that we are in a cocktail party in the ballroom of deck 3 of the Titanic.  We have free will that allows us to walk about, get a drink, invite someone to dance, and so on.   All of this action is based on ‘representations’ of people and things and it ‘works’ thanks to the fixed frame (these movements are relative to the fixed frame).

But the reality is that we are not ‘local content’ with our own ‘local agency’ but ‘nonlocal spatial context’.  We are included in the flow, in the flow of the ocean and atmosphere and in the flow of the universe.   If the earth melts, we melt with it.  Like the cell in the picture on the right, we are not a ‘local thing’ but much more than that.  We are instead a dynamical form within a dynamical flow.  We are what we might call a ‘a ‘conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation’; – that’s a mouthful and the reader can search for their own words that will allude to how we understand the cell on the right which is pure spatial-relational dynamics (energy-flow).   The cell on the left, meanwhile, is pure ‘representation’ and associates with the notion of ‘local’ ‘matter’ or the notion of the  ‘local material body’.   As Erwin Schrödinger (formulator of quantum wave theory) observes;

“What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances).

[Note: if you are wondering why physics seem to continue to impute ‘reality’ to ‘matter’ and/or ‘particles’ in light of Schrödinger’s above comment, the reason is that the majority of physicists didn’t agree with Schrödinger and decided to present quantum physics in terms of ‘probabilities’ of where matter, an elusive if not ‘illusive’ ‘substance’ was located.

“Let me say at the outset, that in this discourse, I am opposing not a few special statements of quantum physics held today (1950s), I am opposing as it were the whole of it, I am opposing its basic views that have been shaped 25 years ago, when Max Born put forward his probability interpretation, which was accepted by almost everybody. (Schrödinger E, ‘The Interpretation of Quantum Physics’).]  — source:

‘Representation’ which reduces the view of the cell on the right from that of ‘relative existence’ by way of dynamic spatial-relations to absolute local existence on the left leaves ‘reality’ behind in the process.   There is a problem when we confuse ‘representations’ or ‘schaumkommen’ with reality.  But this has been our Enlightenment habit and it has been getting us into trouble.

Ok, these two views are what lies at the heart of the matter.  Enlightenment physics continues to regard the ‘cell’ on the left as ‘real’.  Aboriginal physics, and we might call Schrödinger, the father of ‘Modern Aboriginal physics’, regards the cell on the left as merely a ‘representation’ which is an ‘illusion’.  Relativity would agree with Schrödinger and say that ‘there can be no local entities with their own local agency’.  It doesn’t make sense in the relativity of a fluid-dynamical world (i.e. in an energy-field-flow world) where, as Ernst Mach’ principle puts it; ‘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’.

Cheatsheet Exercises.

Bearing in mind the difference between the two views of a cell (or basic building element) above, one can test oneself as to the implications that may crop up when one is coming from the Aboriginal physics way of seeing where the cell is nonlocal spatial context or conjugate habitat-inhabitant dynamic relation.

1. What is the origin of species?.

Answer: Species are representations or ‘appearances’ in the flow that we define and name as if they were local content.  ‘Every definition implies an axiom, that in which we affirm the existence of the object defined’ (John Stuart Mill).   The species are not local, independently existing things with their own local agency, they are dynamical forms in an interdependent ecological flow.

Darwin’s theory confuses representation (appearances) for reality.  The question ‘What is the origin of species? is a non-starter.  The dynamical unity of nature is continuously evolving as manifests by the gathering and re-gathering of dynamical forms in the flow.

When we start off with the notion of organisms as ‘local entities’ with ‘their own local agency’, this constrains our view of dynamics in that we ignore all of those dynamic relationships that derive from nonlocal spatial context such as interdependent ecosystems wherein the ‘local strand’ shakes and is shaken, at the same time, by all of the other ‘local strands’.  The dynamics are in this view inherently nonlocal and are given by Mach’s principle of relativity of the motion of space and matter; “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.’

However, if we ignore the ‘relativity of motion’ and start with the absolute motion of notional ‘local organisms’ we constrain the dynamics to ‘interactions’ amongst notional local, independent agents, such as war and competition.  This is captured in Douglas  Caldwell et al’s ‘Word Count Analysis from Darwin’s Origin of Species’

Term # Term #
Destroy/destroyed/destruction 77 Cooperate 0
Individual 298 Cooperation 0
Perfect/perfection 274 Symbiosis 0
Beat/beats 17 Association 0
Kill/killed/killing 21 Collaboration 0
Exterminate/extermination 58 Collaborate 0
Death/dying 16 Interaction 0
Race/races 132 Synergy 0
Victorious/victory/war 19 Synergistic 0
Select/selection/selects 540 Synergism 0
Species/descent 1884 Affiliate 0
Community (monospecies) 34 Community (multispecies) 0
Coadapt/coadaptation 4 Associate 0

Source; Cultivation of Microbial Consortia and Communities In preparation for the Manual of Environmental Microbiology 2nd EditionAmerican Society of Microbiology (Section II, General Methodology. Chapter 6, Cultivation of Microbial Consortia and Communities). Douglas E. Caldwell, Gidoen M. Wolfaardt, Darren R. Korber, Subramanian Karthikeyan, John R. Lawrence, and Daniel K. Brannan.

2. Where is ‘instinct’ stored in the newborn baby? Have scientists found the location and the process by which it is passed on over generations of humans?

Answer: ‘Instinct’ is a concept that is needed to reconstruct dynamics after we have committed to imputing ‘reality’ to ‘local content’.  That is, if an organism is seen to be a local, independently existing entity with its own locally originating behaviour’ (i.e. if we want to confuse representation for reality), then we are obliged to explain where the inboard power and direction comes from to animate this local object in an absolute motion of its own sense, since we no longer have its conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation to explain it in a relative motion sense.

‘Purpose’ also falls into this category of concepts that are required once we make representations, the ‘cells’ or objects seen as ‘local content’ foundational to our view (since if we say that they have their own inboard drive and direction, we have to describe them and how they work).  ‘Morals’, ‘ethics’ and ‘altruism’ are further included in this category.

3. Why do people (animals) behave the way they do?

Answer: This question is ‘Enlightenment physics theory-loaded’ with the same hidden assumptions as the prior ones.   If naturalists like Darwin had started from ‘dynamic context’ or ‘the interdependent web of life’ then the dynamics of the interdependent ecosystem would be primary and would give contextual sense to the dynamics of the included forms, but when we treat representations of those forms as ‘real’, then we have the impossible task of trying to explain the dynamics of the group as if it results from the dynamics of the individuals, seen as local organisms with their own locally originating behaviour which is internally driven and directed by their ‘instinct’, ‘purpose’, ‘altruism’, ‘morals’, ‘ethics’ and so on.   The reality is, what happens ‘happens’ (the cultivating of harmonies is intrinsic in nature) and then we set about trying to model it, and ‘what happens’ happens first at the level of spatial relational context, and from that we extract representations of local content and notionally ‘what local content does’.  The Enlightenment physics view is then the ‘re-construction’ starting from notional ‘local content with local agency’  treating these re-constructed-from-representations dynamics as if they were real.

For example, ‘weather happens’ and it happens in a spatial-relational context.  If we had a zillion observers out there all around the world what they would be telling us about the atmospheric conditions, wherever they were, would be relevant to the weather since weather is a spatial-relational dynamic.  Regard the following picture from the NASA website.

4. What are Dolly, Nana, Gustav and Hanna doing these days?


storm-cell 'tracks' in the north atlantic (nasa)

Answer: Ask not how local systems with local agency are acting and interacting but how dynamic spatial context is gathering dynamical forms and animating their behaviours.

What is happening here is that dynamical forms in the flow, corresponding to the righthand picture of the cell in our earlier ‘archetypeal’ comparison (of ‘local content’ versus ‘nonlocal spatial context’) are seen in terms of ‘local content’, defined and name-labelled and and imputed to have absolute motion of their own.  By using the ‘representations’ of these dynamical forms as if they were ‘real’ local entities with their own local agency, we begin talking about dolly, nana, gustav and hanna, as if they were ‘real things’ IN A LOCAL SYSTEM WITH THEIR OWN LOCAL AGENCY sense.  We do the same thing when we are talking about people.  We talk about ‘where they go’ and ‘what they do’ as if their representations as local entities captures ‘who they really are’.

It does not capture ‘who they really are’.  The understanding of ‘who they are’ has to start from the dynamic spatial context they are included in.   If a baby is born in a flood and floats off in the deluge or is carried off down the Nile, we can’t remove him from the dynamical spatial context that he is included in.  We need a fixed frame to do that, like the ballroom on deck 3 on the Titanic, which allows us ‘re-frame’ our view and make the flowing spatial context we are included in ‘go away’; i.e. we reframe our view of ‘dynamics’ STARTING from the notional ‘local existence’ and ‘local agency’ of these ‘representations’ .   The reality is that the storm-cell is the result of the dynamic spatial context it is included in (‘what is going on’), rather than the ’cause’ of it.

The ‘problem’ here is that we have “accepted representations as reliable substitutes for the visible.’, as was the radical shift in Enlightenment society.   If we look at the following picture of hurricane francis, what we are looking at is a swirling form that is interdependent with every current in the atmosphere and in the oceans around the world.  The swirl is the RESULT of the nonlocal spatial context it is included in, rather than the CAUSE, and so it is for all of those objects, organisms, systems, nations etc. that we like to ‘represent’ as ‘local entities with their own local agency notionally driven and directed out of the centre-of-their-local-selves.   Each successive point long the storm-cell track constitutes a newly defined ‘self’ for the storm-cell given by the nonlocal spatial context that is parenting it.  You can say that you are a vacuum-tube saleman because you are a local organism with your own local agency acting/interacting from your own free-will and purpose, but if soon thereafter everyone is using semiconductors, the spatial context you are included in is going to redefine you whether you keep your business cards and yellow pages ads or not.   Representations iin the form of ‘local entities with their own local agency’ are ‘appearances’ rather than ‘reality’ and our problem is that Enlightenment society tends to confuse representations or ‘appearances’ for reality.

florida approaching hurricane francis (nasa)

florida approaching hurricane francis (nasa)

In the picture caption, I put ”florida approaching  hurricane francis rather than vice versa since movement is relative and it is only thanks to the observer imposing his preferred frame that we decide which is moving and which is fixed (there is no such thing as stasis in nature, so nothing is fixed).  The astronaut in a space-station orbiting the earth may sit ‘motionless’ in a chair at his desk and be confident that he hasn’t moved, but every time he looks out his ‘portal’, he can ‘see’ that the earth has been continuing to ‘rotate’ and present a different portion of its surface to him.  On the other hand, he could ‘see it’ in terms that (b) he was moving around the earth and/or , that both the space station and the earth are moving relative to one another.

There is always a ‘framing’ that associates with ‘representation’ , and that is our choice of ‘framing’ that allows us to attribute movement to the representation of the object, person, organism, system (as if it were a ‘locally existing entity with its own local agency).    If we had a particularly stormy season, it might be impossible to distinguish the end of one storm from the beginning of another.  Otherwise said, it might be impossible to distinguish the outer edge of one storm from the start of the interior of another, and it wouldn’t much matter anyhow, because in such a circumstance, people would shift to talking about ‘the (turbulent) quality of the space we all share inclusion in; i.e. we would revert back from the Enlightenment physics view to the Aboriginal physics view.  (It is impossible to distinguish between storm-cells since what they are derives from the entirety of the flow, which includes all other storm-cells; we can only distinguish between our representations of them.)

Nature doesn’t like to see large differences between the ‘have’ regions of thermal energy and the ‘have-not’ regions of thermal energy; i.e. there is an inbuilt ‘ethic’ the balance things out, as manifests in the ocean currents which bring warm water to the thermal energy poor polar regions and cold water to the thermal energy rich equatorial regions.  That is the source of convection cells in general, such as the tropical storm-cells/hurricanes.

So, this ‘cheatsheet’ is a kind of Cliff’s notes reminder of how the Enlightenment physics way of seeing (by way of ‘representations’ of ‘local content’) differs from the Aboriginal physics way of seeing (acknowledging that the dynamic spatial context gives rise to ‘dynamical forms’ which we can freeze-frame and capture as; “‘representations’, ‘local content’ that “[Enlightenment society] accepts as reliable substitutes for the visible.” (Donald Kunze).    The ‘representation-based’ world view is convenient and useful, but it is just ‘appearances’ and to confuse these ‘appearances’ for reality is a chronic Enlightenment society problem which sources incoherence and dysfunction.

So, in dialogues where there is mention of ‘what Dolly, Nana, Gustav and Hanna are doing, whether these names are referring to glaciers, whales, humans or hurricanes, it is worth remembering that there are alternative ways of ‘seeing’ these word-stand-ins for dynamical forms; – the Enlightenment physics way which portrays them by way of local content representation and shows their movements relative to a fixed frame, and; – the Aboriginal physics way which shows them as included in dynamic spatial-relational context.

local content.                                 nonlocal spatial context

Finally, for the poetry-oriented, Ralph Waldo Emerson captured the Aboriginal physics way of seeing in ‘The Method of Nature’ as follows;

“The method of nature: who could ever analyze it? That rushing stream will not stop to be observed. We can never surprise nature in a corner; never find the end of a thread; never tell where to set the first stone. The bird hastens to lay her egg: the egg hastens to be a bird. The wholeness we admire in the order of the world, is the result of infinite distribution. Its smoothness is the smoothness of the pitch of the cataract. Its permanence is a perpetual inchoation. Every natural fact is an emanation, and that from which it emanates is an emanation also, and from every emanation is a new emanation. If anything could stand still, it would be crushed and dissipated by the torrent it resisted, and if it were a mind, would be crazed; as insane persons are those who hold fast to one thought, and do not flow with the course of nature. Not the cause, but an ever novel effect, nature descends always from above. It is unbroken obedience. The beauty of these fair objects is imported into them from a metaphysical and eternal spring. In all animal and vegetable forms, the physiologist concedes that no chemistry, no mechanics, can account for the facts, but a mysterious principle of life must be assumed, which not only inhabits the organ, but makes the organ. “

That is, it is the nonlocal spatial-relational context that sources the creation and shapes the behaviour of the visible dynamical forms we (Enlightenment society) tend to reduce to ‘representations’ in terms of local content.

The hurricane is not the cause of turbulence in the atmosphere, it is the result of turbulence in the atmosphere.

The Colorado river (or any river) is not the cause of the irregularities in the terrain (e.g. the Grand Canyon), it is the result of irregularities in the terrain.

The organism is not the cause of dynamics in the habitat, it is the result of dynamics in the habitat.

The rebellious men in the streets of Paris in the summer of 1789 were not the cause of unbalancing/dissonance in the social dynamic, they were the result of unbalancing/dissonance in the social dynamic.

The proliferation of microbes is not the cause of unbalancing in the terrain of the body, it is the result of unbalancing in the terrain of the body.

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