Who, What, When, Where, Why are the five W’s of ‘reporting’ on ‘what is going on’, as if ‘what is going on is NOT the nonlocal unfolding of the Tao, but is instead ‘local’ origination.


My answer would be ‘NOT!’.    Who says that ‘reality’ should be LOCALLY emergent?

Reflection will show that reality as in the relational (wave-field) understanding of reality of modern physics, indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta is inherently NONLOCAL.

NONLOCALITY IS INEFFABLE, and this is not a problem for that aspect of ourselves that wants to give ourselves up to cultivating and sustaining harmony in the world; i.e. in the transforming relational continuum or ‘Tao’ of Lao Tzu or Logos of Heraclitus.

How does this Bodhisattva ‘way’ of participating in the world that is very unlike the stilted and mechanical ‘walk-the-intellectual-talk’ way of Western culture, … the way of the Tao wherein we ‘let the soft animal of our body love what it wants to love’, fit into place, … for example, could we DISCOVER the Tao with our Western culture ‘five W’s of reporting?.  If we have to use ‘naming’ to ‘nail down’ the ‘who or what’ and thus establish ‘thing-in-itself’ being, and then use ‘where’ and ‘when’, are we not simply DEFINING the EXISTENCE OF MATTER, SPACE AND TIME?


Reflection will show that nonlocality and ‘ineffable’ go together, as do ‘local’ and ‘effable’, so that the reduction of nonlocal to local is the reduction of ineffable to effable, thus the ‘five w’s’ are a kind of ‘reduction engine’ for reducing the ineffable to effable.

With the 5 w questions, we are not REPORTING on what is going on, we are REDUCING the nonlocal (wave-field) reality (the ineffable Tao) to an abstract something other, that is ‘local’ and ‘effable’.  If we employ the 5 w reduction to inherently NONLOCAL wave-dynamic phenomena such as ‘resonance’ as in ‘duning’, we are going to come out of it (our psychologically sense-making arrangements) with a phenomenological understanding that is intrinsically LOCAL, in its ‘being’, its ‘location’ and its ‘power of sourcing actions and developments’.

Would we, as deployers of the 5-w reduction technique ‘throw up our hands in despair’ when faced with the innately nonlocal resonance (wave-dynamical) phenomena such as ‘duning’?  No, there is nothing stopping us from ‘butchering’ the Tao with the 5-w dissection, and we do end up with something ‘local’ and ‘effable’ as a result of the 5-w butchering, although the ‘nonlocality’ that is the very essence of the Tao ‘goes missing’ in this 5-w process of ‘localizing’ the inherently nonlocal wavefield dynamic.

The danger here, then, is that the chopped up result of this 5-w butchering tool, ‘runs away with the butcherer, the effable human, with the ineffable humaning that is inextricable from the Tao.

Of course, we can use this tool of language and grammar that reduces the nonlocal to the local as a crude expedient to deliver what we have been looking for, a means of rendering ‘effable’ the ineffable-nonlocal, which is equivalent to ‘reducing the nonlocal to local’. Of course, this can’t be done with losing the very basic essence of the Tao or ‘wave-field’ as a transforming relational continuum wherein ‘LOCAL’ HAS NO MEANING.

If we reflect on this contradiction, where we reduce the ineffable meaning of the Tao to effable meaning (articulable meaning), we come to the understanding that the reduction of the nonlocal to the local involves a loss of the innate connectiveness that makes the Tao ineffable (what else can we expect, as the price to be paid for using language to render the ineffable effable?).  Anthropologist Mircea Eliade captures this reduction ‘from the ONE’ (figure and ground are ONE) to the ‘TWO’ (figure and ground are TWO) in the title of his book on this one core philosophical-cultural issue ‘Mephistopheles et l’Androgyne’ (translated in the English language version as ‘The Two and the One’).

Ok, so long as figure and ground are ONE, our understanding is that the phenomena of our natural experience of inclusion in the Tao (the wave-field) are nonlocal and therefore ineffable, as is the finding in modern physics.  The wave-field is purely relational and continually in flux, as is the understanding in Taoism (the Tao) and in Heraclitus (the Logos) so that as in a swirling flow, there is nothing ‘LOCAL’ other than by ‘appearance’ (standing wave whorls etc.) and the nonlocality of the all-including flow or ‘Tao’ or ‘wave-field’ makes it ‘ineffable’ since, as Heraclitus pointed out, EVERYTHING IS IN FLUX.

YES, FINE, BUT THE VALUE OF SHARING EXPERIENCE, WHETHER BY GESTURES OR CRIES WITH VARIED EMOTIVE CONTENT, OR SOME OTHER SIGNALLING SYSTEM, SEEMS EVIDENT IN SENTIENT FORMS IN NATURE.  The sunflower is aware of being informed by insolation that is felt by its asymmetrical ‘head’ whereby it is ‘conscious’ at some level, of the advantage of turning its head to ‘face’ the sun’.  Of course, one does not have to use language in the manner I have just used it, to impart to the sunflower (a) its own ‘intelligence’ and (b) its own will to turn and face the sun, and (c) its own capacity for energy-infused actions and development.

Such intellectual, language-based reduction to parts-wise actions and developments is, as Nietzsche points out, the ‘double error’ of language and grammar.  The first error is where we use ‘naming’ to imputing persisting thing-in-itself being to a relational form in the Tao, and the second error conflates the first by using grammar to impute the power of sourcing actions and developments to the name-instantiated thing-in-itself (first error).  This is the familiar ‘producer-product’ ABSTRACT REDUCTION  that we use to ‘LOCALIZE’ the INHERENTLY NONLOCAL  dynamics of the Tao (wave-field) that we share inclusion in.

Of course, modern physics has been reminding us that our language has been developed for the very purpose of ‘dumbing-down’ the ineffable-because-nonlocal, so as to give a local and therefore effable rendering of the Tao, … NOT THE TRUE NONLOCAL TAO, but a LOCALIZING REDUCTION OF THE TAO.  The synthetic localizing of the Tao, thanks to language and grammar and abstract concept such as ‘cause-and-effect’ aka the ‘producer-product’ dynamic, opens the door to ‘sharing’ a reduced abstraction’ of our sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao,  that enables us to ‘share’ a facsimile of our experience that is of huge benefit in a social collective that facilitates the avoidance of painful experiences and long sequences of trial and error optimizing of behaviours, taking us directly to ‘best practices’ discovered within the broad social collective without having re-discover them through a massive amount of trial and error, ourselves.

NOTA BENE!  In order to share, the nonlocal phenomena of the Tao are reduced by abstraction to ‘seemingly local phenomena’ by way of the ‘double error’ of language and grammar.  THIS MEANS THE REALITY CONSTRUCTED BY LANGUAGE IS ONLY GOOD FOR INFERENCE OF THE TAO THAT LIES INNATELY BEYOND THE SCOPE OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR CAPTURE.  In other words, language and grammar based REDUCTION of our sensory experience to ‘producer product’ aka ‘cause-and-effect’ abstraction, while a HIGHLY USEFUL-BECAUSE-SHAREABLE TOOL OF INFERENCE,  does not qualify as a SUBSTITUTE for the reality of our sensual experience of inclusion in the NONLOCALITY known as the Tao wherein there is no such thing as ‘cause-and-effect’ aka ‘producer-product’ dynamics;

“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:

But, Talbot may be misinterpreting Bohm’s view as a near-dismissal of the practical impact of the reduction of innate ‘nonlocality’ of dynamics as in the wave-field (the Tao) to local ‘producer-product’ dynamics.  What is important here is that the cause-and-effect (producer-product) REDUCTION OF NONLOCAL TO LOCAL simplifying of the Tao (wave-field dynamic) IS A REDUCTION-BASED SIMPLIFICATION.   As already mentioned, such simplification, while it suffers from the reality that ‘The Tao that can be told is not the truth Tao’, …  overcomes the barrier of ineffability and delivers the huge benefits of ‘effability’ deriving from INTELLECTUAL SHARING (a reduced version of) our INEFFABLE EXPERIENCE OF INCLUSION IN THE TAO.

This language and grammar-based means of INTELLECTUAL SHARING with word pictures and animated word-picture stories CANTILEVERS our intellectual knowledge and understanding far beyond our DIRECT, FIRST-HAND SENSORY (carnal) EXPERIENCE based understanding.  The virgin Ph.D. in sexual intercourse may know far more about that topic without ever having ‘been there, done that’, than her experienced parents.  This is the ‘cantilevering’ of knowledge that has led to experience seasoned old-times calling Ph.D. graduate youngsters ‘humilityless twits’, because of the reality that, as Heraclitus observed; ‘The knowledge of many things does not teach understanding’.    Just as the virgin child knows far more, intellectually, about sexual relations than those who are older and more experienced, … so it is also with the ‘advanced’ knowledge of the virgin would-be soldiers of the military academy relative to battle-seasoned troops.  It bears repeating that  ‘The knowledge of many things does not teach understanding’.

Today, with modern electronic communications such as the Internet, the ‘cantilevering’ of ‘knowledge’ far beyond our experience-grounding in reality, continues on and fills our everyday discourse with visual pictures that go far beyond our sensory experience grounded understanding.  Yet we ‘mix and match’ experience-grounded intellectualizing with non-experience-grounded intellectual inputs (the latter becoming increasingly cantilevered by advancing electronic information systems over the relatively shrinking base of real-life sensory experience based understanding, increasing the uncertainty as to ‘what constitutes truth’ in our language based reconstructions of ‘reality’;

The chimpanzees and the story of the ‘red tap’ that they police one another not to touch (because somewhere back in the foggy past, in an experiential unfolding that they never had language for sharing, some chimps experienced being sprayed with ice-water whenever any of them turned that red tap, and after time passed and the ice-water spraying apparatus was (without the chimps knowing it) removed and new chimps came and old chimps departed while the firmly established routine of policing against the turning of the red tap persisted.  Evidently, ‘how to behave so as to avoid trouble’ has to be passed on in such a manner, in lieu of having a language that spells out why this behaviour should be encouraged and that behaviour should be discouraged.  That is, behaviours can simply be encouraged or discouraged by physical responses cultivated within the dynamic of the social collective without any intellectual reasoning-based backup.


How do we ‘get down to the bottom of WHAT WE TRULY WANT TO DO’ as if on the farm, after we’ve seen Paree?  What the hell IS the truth, YOUR TRUTH, MY TRUTH, ANYONE’S TRUTH?

“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”  — Nietzsche, –Über Wahrheit und Lüge im aussermoralischen Sinne, (On Truth and Lies in an extra-moral sense).

For the chimps, the truth was that turning the red tap would bring on misfortune akin to how humans feel about breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder or voting the wrong politician into power.  This is the sort of illusion that we get from the double error based (producer-product based) understanding of reality where ‘that which transpires’ derives from local ‘sorcery’.


 In Reason’ in language! .– oh what a deceptive old witch it has been!  I fear we shall never be rid of God, so long as we still believe in grammar.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

How many more ‘breakdowns’ in ‘reason’ do we need to convince us?  We have ‘Goedel’s theorem of incompleteness of all finite systems of logic.  Then we have ‘The Butterfly Effect’ (sensitive dependence on initial conditions).  We have Ivan Illich’s ‘Silence is a Commons’ warning us that whoever gets control of the best ‘loudspeaker’ is going to determine what sort of understanding gets popularized.

No wonder that non-Western cultures such as indigenous aboriginal cultures have used the ‘sharing circles’ to cultivate understanding at the intersection of many differing views and experiences as implicitly defines ‘holography’.  No wonder that modern physics comes up with ‘The surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’ as a means of getting to the Tao type reality that is purely relational as in continuing flux.

No wonder that Wittgenstein describes the reality captured by explicit language as a kind of a trampoline to bounce us up to glimpse something that cannot be viewed by observing with our feet flat on the ground.

‘The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’ is an observation that underscores the intrinsic shortfall or incompleteness’ of explicit language and logic.

ALL IS NOT LOST!  WE STILL HAVE INTUITION and ‘intuition’ can work with the ‘nonlocal’ as is characteristic of ‘resonance’ aka ‘the wave-field dynamic’.  The Surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’ aims at recovering the NONLOCAL that is the basic aspect of the Tao that we lose in explicitizing our articulation of sensory experience; i.e. in reducing it to producer-product (double error) terms.

As ‘reporters’ of producer-product dynamics, we may employ the 5-w questions whereby we are NOT REPORTING on what is going on as included experients, but are using a ‘crows-eye’ view in REDUCING the nonlocal (wave-field) reality (the ineffable Tao) to an abstract something other, that is ‘local’ and ‘effable’.  As mentioned earlier, if we apply the 5 w (Who, What, When, Where, Why) reduction to inherently NONLOCAL wave-dynamic phenomena such as ‘resonance’ as in ‘duning’, we are going to come out of it (our psychologically sense-making arrangements) with a phenomenological understanding that is intrinsically LOCAL, in its ‘local thing-in-itself being’, its ‘local spatial situation aka ‘location’, and its ‘locally incipient power of sourcing actions and developments’.

By way of this language based reducing of the Tao of our experience, we construct a reality that is ‘outside of ourselves’, that disincludes us.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN THAT WE DISINCLUDE OURSELVES FROM THE WORLD THAT WE SPEAK OF AS IF IT WERE ‘THE REAL WORLD’?  HOW CAN WE REGARD AS ‘REALITY’ THAT WHICH IS OUT THERE IN FRONT OF US?  If we are an included member of a relational dynamic it is impossible to understand the movements of ‘those out there’ without accounting for the influence of our own inclusional participation.  As Kepler pointed out, by being ‘offset’ from the perceived centre of movements, we get a ‘voyeur view’ of things, and thus the chance to understand the movement of the individual (in his example, individual planet) as if it were the individual defining the movement and not as movement that is defining the individual (ratiocination as contrasted with intuition).   Kepler made this distinction between the ‘voyeur view’ and the ‘intuitive (included in the movement) view in his ‘Harmonies of the World’;

Under these circumstances, it will not have been surprising if anyone who has been thoroughly warmed by taking a fairly liberal draft from that bowl of Pythagoras which Proclus gives to drink from in the very first verse of the hymn, and who has been made drowsy by the very sweet harmony of the dance of the planets begins to dream (by telling a story he may imitate Plato’s Atlantis and, by dreaming, Cicero’s Scipio): throughout the remaining globes, which follow after from place to place, there have been disseminated discursive or ratiocinative faculties, whereof that one ought assuredly to be judged the most excellent and absolute which is in the middle position among those globes, viz., in man’s earth, while there dwells in the sun simple intellect, πῦρ νοερὸν, or νοῦς, the source, whatsoever it may be, of every harmony.” – Johannes Kepler, ‘Harmonies of the World’  [ διανοὶα or ‘dianoia’ = discursive intellection],  νοῦς or ‘nous’ = intuitive intellection],


WHILE THE VOYEUR VIEW AKA ‘RATIONAL’ VIEW MAY BE ‘The most excellent and absolute’, … it is necessarily a REDUCTION of the intuitive ‘INCLUSIONAL’ view.

This REDUCTION to the voyeur view has the same ‘double error’ foundation as Nietzsche has pointed out; i.e. we generate language-and-grammar based ‘spin’ that reduces the nonlocal dynamics of our sensory experience to locally incipient double-error based dynamics which ‘wallpaper over’ the nonlocal dynamics of our sensory experiencing (e.g. reducing nonlocal ‘duning’ to local ‘dunes’ that grammar imputes to exist independently with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments).

“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

Kepler may have declared rational intellection ‘the most excellent and absolute’ dynamic but he didn’t mince his praise for intuitive intellection as an awareness of inclusion in ‘the source of every harmony’.  This has not been forgotten in the EAST, but in Western mainstream culture, the tool of rational reduction has ‘run away with the workman, the (rational) human with the divine’.


I started off with an interrogation into how we ‘see things’ and ‘report’ on ‘what is going on out there’.  This is the ‘VOYEUR REPORTER VIEW OF THE WORLD’ which Western culture adherents hold in high esteem, placing value on the Who, What, When, Where, Why investigating of ‘what is going on out there’, as if ‘what is going on is NOT the nonlocal unfolding of the Tao, but is instead ‘local’ origination that is available to the external voyeur observer

ONCE WE ARE PAST SWALLOWING THE CULTURALLY ENDORSED LEGITIMACY OF THE VOYEUR VIEW AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ‘REALITY’, THE CANDIDACY OF THE TAO AS REALITY DROPS OFF THE RADAR SCREEN.  “The tool of language and grammar-based reduction runs away with the workman, the human with the divine”.   The wave-field forms of ‘duning’ and ‘humaning’ (resonances with the nonlocal mother resonance or ‘wave-field’ of the Tao) drop out of our cognitive focus as we flesh out ‘reality’ in terms of ‘dunes’ and ‘humans’ that ‘grow’ and ‘move about’ thanks to language and grammar.

Psychologically, language and grammar bring forth a NEW REALITY which is in terms of ‘dunes’ and ‘humans’, notionally with powers of sourcing actions and developments.  This is the ‘double error’ based psychological impression that is our psychological ‘operative reality’.  Ask yourself whether you have ever seen a ‘sand dune’ and whether you have seen it ‘shift’ in strong winds, across the ‘desert floor’.  Chances are, you may have seen something which may bring forth an affirmative answer to this question since we do not normally scrutinize linguistic exchanges with philosophical skepticism.  If we did, we could object to the reduction of our experience of inclusion in the resonant wave dynamic which brought on the rhythmic flapping of our garments along with an inductive gathering compliant matter such as sandgrains, twigs, dried grass and organic particles within the wave dynamic, … to terms that imputed the being of a dune-thing-in-itself with ITS POWERS OF SOURCING ITS OWN ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT.

If it was NOT the dune that ‘grew higher and longer and shifted to the south’… WHAT WAS IT?

Evidently, the ‘duning’ was included in something larger, … a ‘relational transformation’ within which the ‘duning’ caught our eye so that our ability to capture dynamics visually, coupled with our capability of reducing visual observations to language and grammar based articulations, led to the above cited articulation wherein we used a double error to portray the ‘dune’ as the author of the visible actions and developments.  NOTE THAT THIS LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR RE-PRESENTATION OVERCOMES THE ‘NONLOCALITY’ AND ESTABLISHES A NEW REALITY WHEREIN A LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF; I.E. ‘THE DUNE’ IS NOW THE LOCAL AUTHOR OF THE ACTION AND DEVELOPMENT.

The answer to the above question of WHAT WAS IT is clear, if we care to reflect on it; i.e. THERE WAS NO ‘THING’ THAT GREW HIGHER AND LONGER AND SHIFTED TO THE SOUTH, … there was only relational transformation, NO THINGS WITH THEIR OWN POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT, … that being a ‘double error’ of language and grammar’ that we do not need to fabricate and present as if IT WERE THE REALITY, … other than for ONE REASON AND ONE REASON ONLY, … TO RENDER THE INEFFABLE (NONLOCAL) EFFABLE (LOCAL).

Of course the effable reality is not ‘really reality’ (theTao that can be told is not the true Tao).  What do we do about this shortfall?   This is where EAST and WEST divide.  In the EAST, and if you like we can define our use of ‘THE EAST’ on this basis, … the nonlocal reduced to local by way of the double error is regarded as no more than inference of a ‘reality’ (the Tao) that lies innately beyond the double error reduction.  Similarly, modern physics uses the analogy of; ‘The surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions’ which alludes to a reality that is purely relational.  In the same vein, indigenous aboriginal language expressions such as ‘Dances with Wolves’ employs names, not so as to impute ‘thing-in-itself existence’ and conflate this with grammar to give the notional ‘things-in-themselves’ their own powers of sourcing actions and developments, but to infer a purely relational reality wherein the forms are the result of the dynamics they are included in, and NOT the source of those dynamics.

Thus, it neither the case that ‘the times sources the man’, nor ‘the man sources the man’ but that there is no such thing as that sourcing of actions and developments (THAT IS THE DOUBLE ERROR OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR), there is only relational transformation which includes the ‘man’.

At the risk possibly irritating the focused reader, I will say again that the double error based pseudo-reality that the EAST recognizes as ‘inference’ that one must use as a springboard to leap beyond to understand the Tao, and the WEST accepts at face value as the ‘legitimate reality’, IS A NECESSITY TO RENDER THE INEFFABLE (NONLOCAL) EFFABLE (LOCAL).    E.g. ‘duning’ is nonlocal (a resonance aka wavefield phenomenon) while ‘dunes’ that grow larger and longer and shift across the desert RENDER THE NONLOCAL, INEFFABLE, LOCAL AND EFFABLE.

Test yourself on this distinction when you are seated at the dining table in a ship that vibrates a lot by pouring salt on the hard surface of a table and observe it ‘duning’.  ‘What you see’ can accurately be described as ‘salt dunes’ that form and grow larger and shift across the table surface.   You don’t have to even mention ‘vibrations’ in this description, which you can measure and stopwatch and get the sign off from your companions as to the accuracy of your description of the ‘salt dunes’ and ‘their movements and development’.

As the solar eclipse reaches its maximum, the skies darken, the wind picks up and the intensity of the resonances from the ships hull pounding into the waves becomes more severe, while the salt dunes increase in size and in their rate of shifting.

Using ‘dune’ as the subject reduces the nonlocal dynamic to a local dynamic and thus reduces the ineffable to the effable, since, as Bohm points out in his ‘death of Lincoln’ example, the nonlocal influences extend back in spacetime without limit.  The ‘double error’ gives us a synthetic (grammatical abstraction based) LOCAL IN SPACE AND TIME STARTING POINT that renders the ineffable effable; i.e. renders the nonlocal local.

While the EAST sees this reduction of the ineffable to the effable as a useful tool of inference that allows us to share a reduced inference of our ineffable experience, the WEST lets the tool redefine ‘reality’ and accepts the redefined local, effable ‘reality’ is ‘the true reality’.  This is a crazy-maker.

* * *