EAST-and-WEST: When FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE becomes FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO
PROLOGUE: “Reason” is the MALE-ASSERTIVE aspect of the coniunctio oppositorum of TRANSFORMATION. The butterfly emerges in conjugate relation to the decline of the worm. To speak of the GROWTH of the butterfly would be a psychological error that we foist on ourselves with the error of GRAMMAR which selectively isolates the male-assertive component of dynamics and simply ignores the female-accommodating component. The bulldozers arrive to support the GROWTH of the TOWN because what is REALLY going on is TRANSFORMATION with its MALE-FEMALE conjugate aspects of GENERATIVE GROWTH and DEGENERATIVE ACCOMMODATION.
WESTERN CULTURE has designed its languages so as to SPLIT TRANSFORMATION INTO TWO SEPARATE (Male and Female) PARTS and IGNORE THE FEMALE, thus TRANSFORMATION is reduced to GROWTH and all of the crumbling and collapse of the old to make possible the emergence of the new is IGNORED. That is, in WESTERN CULTURE language based REPRESENTATION, we design into our language, representation that SUBSTITUTES GROWTH FOR TRANSFORMATION. There is an ‘economy’ in this REDUCTION of TRANSFORMATION (which is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT/RELATIONAL) to GROWTH which is LOCAL and EXPLICIT, in that by orienting to LOCAL GROWTH instead of NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION, we can fabricate a SUBSTITUTE REALITY on a LOCAL PARTS-wise basis, as in the example of ‘the TOWN that is GROWING’. This one-sided male-assertive construct LOCALIZES our representation of reality, or more accurately, INTRODUCES A LOCALIZED SUBSTITUTE REALITY where we NOW need address ONLY the actions and development of a notional LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF, ignoring the REAL REALITY of overall TRANSFORMATION.
WESTERN CULTURE languages have a DOUBLE ERROR based architecture which supports the construction of SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein GROWTH takes the place of TRANSFORMATION, a SUBSTITUTION that allows us to FRAGMENT ‘REALITY’ (in which case it is no longer ‘reality’ but instead a ‘substitute reality’) into LOCAL PIECES such as ‘the TOWN’. This opens the way to use of the abstract concept, GROWTH, based on a LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF. The GROWTH of a THING is RATIO based and self-referential; i.e. the notion is that whatever is initially present is increasing in size. This RATIO-ing up of ‘what is already there’, creates a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein we are no longer obligated to address the conjugate impact on the overall containing space as is the REALITY in our sense experience of inclusion in TRANSFORMATION.
THERE is no such thing as GROWTH of a LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF in our sense-experience reality since (a) there is not such thing as a ‘thing-in-itself’, and (b) there is no such thing as an empty space of infinite extent that would be necessary for a form to GROW IN ITS OWN (male assertive) RIGHT without CONJUGATE (female accommodating) of the common GROUND it is situationally included in.
GROWTH is only possible in an abstract SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein, so we say, FIGURE and GROUND are TWO separate and independent ontological entities. In sense-experience REALITY, FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE and the only possible dynamic is NONLOCAL, RELATIONAL, TRANSFORMATION.
One-sided (male-assertive) abstractions such as GROWTH and PRODUCTION allow the construction of a SUBSTITUTE REALITY that is notionally LOCAL and BOUNDED in SPACE and TIME, … as far as our SUBSTITUTE REALITY ‘story-telling’ is concerned, a ‘story-telling’ which can be of great utility since it ‘gets around’ (substitutes for) the INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT (purely relational) SENSE EXPERIENCE REALITY.
With our WESTERN CULTURE languages, we can construct this SUBSTITUTE REALITY based on BREAKING OUT A FRAGMENT of the transforming relational continuum (the reality of our sense-experience). Thanks to this breaking out of a FRAGMENT of reality, such as ‘the TOWN’ (in reality, the TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM), we move our psyche inside a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein the SEPARATE FRAGMENTS are now understood as our OPERATIVE REALITY.
THUS, TRANSFORMATION, which is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT (relational) is REDUCED, within the SUBSTITUTE REALITY, to GROWTH which is LOCAL and EXPLICIT allowing us to break off PIECES OF REALITY and setting them up as new LOCAL SUBSTITUTE REALITIES that we can ‘get a handle on’ because they are now LOCAL and EXPLICIT as in the example of the TOWN that is GROWING that we have SUBSTITUTED for the TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM,
Having created the convenient language-based tool that allows us to construct a SUBSTITUTE REALITY which is a local FRAGMENT of sense-experience reality that we can GO INTO, such as ‘the TOWN’ and manipulate the contents IN DETAIL, as if the CONTENTS were local things-in-themselves (thanks to the power of language in constructing substitute realities). So, are the houses under construction in our SUBSTITUTE REALITY of ‘THE TOWN’ … NOT REAL? ARE THE DOORS AND WINDOWS and the CONCRETE FOUNDATION and the WALLS AND ROOFING or the HOUSES WE HAVE CONSTRUCTED,… NOT REAL?
How about we acknowledge that these things are MATERIAL and TANGIBLE but also acknowledge that there is a GREATER, ALL-INCLUDING REALITY wherein EVERYTHING IS IN FLUX. This takes us back to where we have used language to SPLIT APART the MALE-ASSERTIVE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TOWN and the FEMALE-ACCOMMODATING of the Wilderness. Our language DROPS OUT the FEMALE ACCOMMODATING ASPECT of REALITY (it becomes IMPLICIT). EVERY NEW HOUSE WE CONSTRUCT implies a CONJUGATE SHRINKING of the Wilderness and the CONSUMPTION of FOREST for BUILDING SUPPLIES etc. etc. meaning that what is REALLY going on is TRANSFORMATION of the LANDSCAPE.
In a more comprehensive language architecture that didn’t have SO MUCH DROP OUT AS ENGLISH (the SAE languages in Whorf’s classification), we would NOT LEAVE OUT the CONJUGATE FEMALE ACCOMMODATING component of TRANSFORMATION, as leads to a reduction in our language representations to CONSTRUCTION and GROWTH and if these were REAL and sense-experience affirmable. CONSTRUCTION and GROWTH are NOT REAL, they are one-sided male-assertive only ABSTRACTIONS. They are A WAY OF TALKING ABOUT TRANSFORMATION which avoids the NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT nature of TRANSFORMATION by fabricating a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein the LOCAL and EXPLICIT can play the FOUNDATIONAL ROLE in the REPRESENTATION. Such REPRESENTATION is of a SUBSTITUTE REALITY and no longer a representation of REALITY since the transforming relational continuum is in continual flux.
Indigenous aboriginal languages form representations of the LOCAL and EXPLICIT, not by CRUDELY CHOPPING THEM OUT OF THE TRANSFORMING CONTINUUM AND PRESENTING THEM AS CONCRETE THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES, but by using relational inference (e.g. ‘dances with wolves’)
In the writings of Heraclitus, to a larger degree than ever before, the images do not impose their burden of concreteness but are entirely subservient to the achievement of clarity and precision.” — Frankfort et al, ‘The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man’
“English compared to Hopi is like a bludgeon compared to a rapier.” – Benjamin Whorf [i.e. Whorf is speaking of ‘English’ employed rationally rather than relationally (poetically), delivering content in terms of the absolute, local and explicit]
NOTA BENE: The message in this PROLOGUE is that while our sense-experience reality is of INCLUSION IN TRANSFORMATION which is INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT (relational), we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have developed a language architecture that CIRCUMVENTS this ‘complexity’ by creating a SIMPLER SUBSTITUTE REALITY based on the ABSTRACTIONS of “GROWTH” and ‘PRODUCTION”, male assertive concepts IMPUTE the SPLITTING APART of FIGURE and GROUND INTO TWO ONTOLOGICAL ENTITIES and then constructing a SUBSTITUTE REALITY based on the FIGURE… AS IF THE FIGURE WERE RE-SITUATED WITHIN AN ABSOLUTE EMPTY SPACE OF INFINITE EXTENT, … thus avoiding the complexity in sense-experience reality (inclusion in the transforming relational continuum) that renders it INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT (purely relatoinal). WHAT WE WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS FORGET, IN USING LANGUAGE THAT CONSTRUCTS SUBSTITUTE REALITIES THAT ARE EFFABLE AT THE EXPENSE OF NO LONGER CAPTURING SENSE-EXPERIENCE REALITY, IS THAT OUR SUBSTITUTE REALITY CONSTRUCTING LANGUAGE IS ONLY GOOD FOR “INFERENCE” OF THE SENSE-EXPERIENCE REALITY THAT IS INEFFABLE BECAUSE NONLOCAL AND IMPLICIT.
WESTERN CULTURE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONFUSION IS ARISING FROM OUR USE OF THIS “SUBSTITUTE REALITY” AS OUR “OPERATIVE REALITY” hence Emerson’s ‘the tool runs away with the workman, the human with the divine’. When we hear talk of GROWTH and PRODUCTION, we must remember that these are abstractions of convenience. These SUBSTITUTE REALITY based terms; GROWTH and PRODUCTION are convenient because they are LOCAL and EXPLICIT, MEANWHILE, the SUBSTITUTE REALITY obscures (eclipses by substituting for) the REAL (sense-experience affirmable) reality of TRANSFORMATION which is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT.
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This essay entitled When FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE becomes FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO explores the basic SPLIT in our way of understanding reality that divides us and can polarize us against each other, based on our different ways of ‘linguistically representing sense-experience reality’. The “EAST” is the designation given to those of us who understand FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE, which is reaffirmed by Modern physics and has been the understanding of indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. The “WEST” is the designation given to those of us who understand FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO, which is confirmed by the BINARY LOGIC based understanding of Newtonian physics which, as Benjamin Whorf has shown, derives from the early WESTERN CULTURE language architectures of Europe.
Whorf’s point is that IT IS LANGUAGE that shapes our representations of reality, rather than sense-experience reality shaping our language-based representations. Nietzsche reaffirms Whorf’s principle in pointing out the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR which liberates the FIGURE from the GROUND and allows us to construct FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO based representations such as ‘the TOWN is GROWING’, … giving us this SUBSTITUTE REALITY which totally occludes our FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE sense-experience grounded understanding of reality. FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO propositions such as ‘The TOWN is GROWING’ is INTELLECTUAL ABSTRACTION that distracts our psyche from our FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE sense-experience reality (wherein our sense-experience informs us of our inclusion in the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field aka the Tao).
This essay shares understanding that reconfirms Whorf’s hypothesis that language shapes worldview.
The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, the Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, is a principle suggesting that the structure of a language affects its speakers’ worldview or cognition, and thus people’s perceptions are relative to their spoken language.
In particular, this essay reviews how our WESTERN CULTURE languages (Whorf’s SAE language architecture variant) reduces the QUANTUM logic based (FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE based) understanding of reality to the BINARY LOGIC based (FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-TWO based) understanding of reality. The problematic result is that we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS habitually FRAGMENT reality, breaking it down into NOTIONAL separate pieces and then using GRAMMAR to impute the ‘liberated fragment’ its own powers of action, growth and development. Our WESTERN CULTURE language representations, as a result, are constructions of SUBSTITUTE REALITIES that seem to exist and function ‘on their own’ as separate fragments or ‘islands’ within an absolute empty and infinite containing space. These WESTERN CULTURE SUBSTITUTE REALITIES are being employed as OPERATIVE REALITIES and this, as Bohm, Nietzsche and others have pointed out, is breeding SHIZOPHRENIA in our WESTERN CULTURE as manifests in the social collective in the Conservative-Liberal polarized opposition.
The indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, since they embrace sense experience reality consistent FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE language structure, are not smitten by the psychological FRAGMENTATION that comes with the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO based SUBSTITUTE REALITY of WESTERN CULTURE language architectures.
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Our understanding of reality is influenced by language and the languages of EAST and WEST have built-in-‘topologies’ that shape our understanding of reality differently;
THE EAST: Here, the understanding of reality is in terms of TRANSFORMING which can be understood in QUANTUM LOGIC terms wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE, as in the Modern physics relation between the electromagnetic field and matter wherein ‘matter’ is a ‘condensation of the electromagnetic field. The continuing circle of re-congealing into tangible matter and redissolving into Wave-field as in the case of EARTHING or PLANETING in the all-pervading electromagnetic field manifests as TRANSFORMATION of the contents of the containing space. wherein CONTAINER-and-CONTENT-are-ONE and are continually undergoing TRANSFORMATION. That is the basic nature of the ‘field-matter’ relation as discerned by Modern physics.
Since according to our present conceptions the elementary particles of matter are also, in their essence, nothing else than condensations of the electromagnetic field— Einstein, ‘Ether and the Theory of Relativity’
TRANSFORMATIOJN is symbolically represented by the Tai-Chi symbol which suggests the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE relation.
THE WEST: Here, the understanding of reality is in terms of CREATION and DESTRUCTION which can be understood in BINARY LOGIC terms wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-TWO, and in the relation between material being that “IS” and emptiness that “IS NOT”, setting up the two opposing conditions of EITHER “IS” OR “IS NOT”. This BINARY LOGIC, when incorporated into language-and-thought based representation, requires the concepts of CREATION/BIRTH and DESTRUCTION/DEATH. Reality based on the BINARY LOGIC couple of CREATION and DESTRUCTION give rise to a SUBSTITUTE REALITY which bypasses all references to TRANSFORMATION and “insists” that something EITHER “IS” OR “IS NOT”. Newtonian physics encapsulates this WESTERN concept of reality based on the BINARY LOGIC whereby something EITHER “IS” OR “IS NOT”, removing all possibility of envisaging ‘reality’ in terms of TRANSFORMATION and thus introducing a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein basic change can only come through CREATION/BIRTH and/or DESTRUCTION/DEATH.
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DIFFERENT EAST and WEST LANGUAGE-CONDITIONED MINDSETS: i.e. different ways of employing LANGUAGE to conceptualize the ‘reality’ of sensory experience of inclusion in the world.
While the EAST understands the world in relational terms; e.g. TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE, the WEST understands the world in explicit ontological terms; e.g. the TOWN that is growing larger and more populous and productive.
In the above example, we see how the two different types of logic manifest; i.e.
EAST: the EAST’s language capture of sense-experience reality is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT (capturing TRANSFORMATION)
WEST: the WEST’s language capture of sense-experience reality is LOCAL and EXPLICIT (SUBSTITUTING GROWTH and DECLINE)
The EAST’s sense of reality accords with the Modern physics understanding of physical reality in terms of TRANSFORMATION via condensations and evaporations in the magnetic field wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE which associates with QUANTUM LOGIC, the BOTH/AND logic of the INCLUDED medium. (where there is HUMANING in the TRANSFORMING).
The WEST’s sense of reality accords with the Newtonian physics understanding of physical reality in terms of CONSTRUCTION and DESTRUCTION wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-TWO which associates with BINARY LOGIC, the EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED medium (where there is the CREATING of HUMANS in an ABSOLUTE EMPTY and INFINITE (Euclidian) SPACE).
BACKGROUND ON THIS EAST AND WEST SPLIT IN CONCEIVING OF REALITY
The EAST’s association of reality with TRANSFORMATION is reflected in such concepts as Samsara and Nirvana
Saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pali; also samsara) in Buddhism is the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again. … Samsara ends if a person attains nirvana, the “blowing out” of the desires and the gaining of true insight into impermanence and non-self reality.
Without ‘bogging down in details’, there is the general agreement here with TRANSFORMATION as in Modern physics, and the distinguishing of this EASTERN understanding of reality from the CREATION and DESTRUCTION based ‘reality’ of the WEST is clear.
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While there is no law of Nature that says that participants in the world such as ourselves should have access to understanding of what we are included in, there is a natural desire to TRY to understand ‘what is going on’.
It is POPULAR to try to guess at a story that could explain ‘what is going on’ in this reality and it seems straight forward to think in terms of EITHER “CREATION-and-DESTRUCTION” (and the ancillary concepts of GROWTH and DECLINE) on the one hand, versus “TRANSFORMATION”. While the former invents a local base of LOCAL, EXPLICIT things-in-themselves, the latter preserves the WHOLENESS and the NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT ORDER within relational TRANSFORMATION.
One might GUESS that the CREATION story would arise together with NAME based language development. If our language employs NAMES then this suggests separate FORMS or ‘things-in-themselves’ with their own powers of authoring actions and developments. I know this is assuming a lot but it does seem as if we have these two choices of (a) a world of local things, and (b) a world of nonlocal/relational forms, … and these choices associate with the two topologies of (a) BINARY LOGIC based figure and ground as two, and (b) QUANTUM LOGIC based figure and ground as one.
That seems to be about as basic as we can go; i.e. there are these two basic choices of how we can think of ‘self’ and ‘other’ (inhabitant and habitat) and their relationship. The ‘left brain’ and ‘right brain’ concepts come later as we begin to analyze our own ‘make-up’ and ‘reverse-engineer’ explanations of ‘our own internal equipment’, thus inserting a thing-in-itself stake-in-the-ground bias .
What would persuade people to (originally) opt for one or the other (figure-and-ground-as-one, or figure-and-ground-as-two)? Could it be the structure of sounds? Vibrations and harmony are very basic to nature and ancient man was certainly ‘tuned in’ to the ‘harmonies in nature’ from the winds whistling in the trees to the waves and tides and even the cycles of day and night and winter and summer and hot and cold, all invoking that wave-like impression rather than a ‘flip of the binary switch’. On the other hand, there would appear to be some strong support for binary as in the sudden flip from ‘alive’ to ‘dead’, but it is hard to ‘get into an innocent (prelingual) state of mind’ in trying to think about this. Night and Day could be source of BINARY logic, and Heraclitus includes this and Hot and Cold etc. in his list of ‘opposites’, but in his interpretation these are not BINARY LOGICAL opposites but relational opposites and he gives the example of the lyre (music) in this regard;
Hodos ano kato (ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω), “the upward-downward path.” are simultaneous opposites, the source of “hidden harmony”. There is a harmony in the bending back (παλίντροπος palintropos) as in the case of the bow and the lyre.
– from Heraclitus
The figure-and-ground-as-one relation comes very early to us (as infants) and in WESTERN CULTURE at least, is ‘trained out of us’ as we are taught to ‘count’ and thus think in terms of the experience of discrete local things-in-themselves.
The topology of the Tai-chi symbol is where FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE and as psychologists have discovered, this understanding comes to us early on as infants and, in WESTERN CULTURE, is something we BURY beneath all the focus we put on fragmentation as with numbers and names;
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,
MAKE NO MISTAKE, we don’t get to choose whether to put the implicit in primacy over the explicit or to put the explicit in primacy over the implicit, that choice is made for us by the CULTURE we are born into (e.g. CULTURE AGAINST MAN by anthropologist Jules Henry).
So, it is evident that both options (BINARY LOGIC as in matter and emptiness, … and HARMONY as in relational accord and discord) were available as candidates for us to work with in coming up with our conceptualizing of ‘reality’ as informed by our sense-experience.
REVIEW OF THE MAJOR SCHISM IN OPTIONAL WAYS OF CONCEPTUALIZING REALITY
It has been of interest to me that very early on, people in the WEST were split on whether to use language to represent reality in relational (implicit) or thing-in-itself (explicit) terms. The FRAGMENTING of the ‘WEST’ that developed in regard to conceptualizing reality is known;
“In the writing of Heraclitus, to a larger degree than ever before, the images do not impose their burden of concreteness but are entirely subservient to the achievement of clarity and precision
“Heraclitus had declared ‘being’ a perpetual ‘becoming’ and had correlated the two concepts with his ‘hidden attunement.’ Now Parmenides declared the two to be mutually exclusive, and only ‘being’ to be real.” — ‘The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man’, — ‘Henri Frankfort, H. A. Frankfort, John A. Wilson, Thorkild Jacobsen, and William A. Irwin.
So, the writings of Heraclitus suggest that people were flipping back and forth between relational sense-reality and rational-intellectual SUBSTITUTE REALITY and were ‘confused’ as to which to ‘lean on’ or understand as ‘most true’.
In mathematical terms, what is being deliberated over here is a ‘time-domain’ representation of reality and a ‘frequency-domain’ representation.
Heraclitus points out how people are prone to flip-flopping between the two;
Of the logos [aka the Tao, the Wave-field], which is as I describe it, people always prove to be uncomprehending both before they have heard it and once they have heard it. For, although all things happen according to the logos, people are like those of no experience, even when they do experience such words and deeds as I explain when I distinguish each thing according to its phusis (nature / constitution) and declare how it is; but others are as ignorant of what they do when awake as they are forgetful of what they do when asleep.
Those who hear and do not understand are like the deaf. Of them the proverb says: “Present, they are absent.”
For example, Heraclitus was stressing the natural primacy of the fluid-relational reality of the Logos (the Tao, the Wave-field, the fluid reality of the NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT) while alphabet based language (arriving not long before the 500 B.C. era of Heraclitus) was serving up language based on the LOCAL and EXPLICIT. What would we modern WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS say about the choice between fragmenting of reality as in ‘The TOWN IS GROWING’ versus the flow-conserving ‘THERE IS TOWNING IN THE TRANSFORMATION RELATIONAL CONTINUUM)? Language architectures can make a difference to how we form language-stimulated mental conceptualizations of our sense-experience reality. I think that even if we speak the words; ‘the TOWN is GROWING’, we can at the same time understand that ‘there is TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE’, but what if our children or grandchildren become so accustomed to the ‘dumbing down’ that WESTERN CULTURE LANGUAGE BASED REPRESENTATIONS OF SENSE-EXPERIENCE REALITY DELIVER, that they commence to treating the SUBSTITUTE REALITY featuring the abstractions of GROWTH and PRODUCTION as the OPERATIVE REALITY?
In other words, what do we do if we all start to ‘operate’ (behave) as if GROWTH and PRODUCTION WERE REAL! NOTA BENE: GROWTH AND PRODUCTION ARE “NOT REAL”, they are the abstract products of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR as Nietzsche has pointed out. REALITY is TRANSFORMATION wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE. But the WESTERN CULTURE ECONOMY is based on assuming GROWTH and PRODUCTION to be REAL, thus leaving the real reality of TRANSFORMATION flapping around like a loose sheet in a gale.
As far as the Greek mainstream goes, it seems as if there was a popular tendency, in the 500 B.C.E era, to BYPASS THE frequency-domain representation and to instead opt for the time-domain representation, and thus to overlook the advantages (or greater reality representation capture) of the frequency domain representation;
“Plato clearly distinguished between Heraclitus’ SIMULTANEOUS unity and plurality of the cosmos and Empedocles’ SEPARATE PERIODS of Love and Strife. At the same time, they are mentioned together as both alike in believing in the unity and plurality of the cosmos; and Aristotle’s coupling of the two might conceivably have been motivated by the Platonic comparison, the important distinction between them being overlooked.” – Kirk, Raven et al, The Presocratic Philosophers
My impression is that TODAY, in 2021, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS continue to confuse ourselves by using both representations of reality (figure-and-ground-as-ONE and figure-and-ground-as-TWO) so that some folks are understanding things one way and others, the other way. This split in understanding finds its way into the formal study of mathematics, and Poincaré finds it to be a very basic division in how different people ‘think differently’. I include the following discussion on how people FRAGMENT into two disagreeing camps on the nature of mathematical entities. This may shine some light on where FRAGMENTATION is coming from. The proponents of the two different way of ‘fragmenting’ termed ‘Cantorian realists and ‘pragmatist-idealists’ are discussed as follows (I personally fall into the pragmatist-idealist ‘camp’ as does Poincaré).
—“But the Cantorians are realists even where mathematical entities are concerned. These entities seem to them to have an independent existence; the geometer does not create them, he discovers them. These objects therefore exist so to speak without existing, since they can be reduced to pure essences. But since, by nature, these objects are infinite in number, the partisans of mathematical realism are much more infinitist than the idealists. Infinity to them is no longer a becoming since it exists before the mind which discovers it. Whether they admit or deny it, they must therefore believe in actual infinity.”
— “At all times, there have been opposite tendencies in philosophy and it does not seem that these tendencies are on the verge of being reconciled. It is no doubt because there are different souls and that we cannot change anything in these souls. There is therefore no hope of seeing harmony established between the pragmatists and the Cantorians. Men do not agree because they do not speak the same language, and there are, Languages which cannot be learned.
And yet in mathematics men ordinarily understand one another; but it is due precisely to what I have called proofs. These proofs pass judgment without appeal and before them the entire world bows. But wherever these proofs are lacking, mathematicians are no better off than simple philosophers. When it is necessary to know if a theorem can have meaning without being capable of proof, who can judge, since by definition we forbid ourselves to prove it ?
There would be no other resource but to corner one’s adversary with a contradiction. But the experiment has been attempted and it has not succeeded. Many antinomies have been pointed out, and the discord has remained; no one has been convinced. It is always possible to extricate oneself from a contradiction by a change of arguments ; I mean by a distinguo.”
—” Let us attempt therefore to study the psychology of the two opposing schools [‘Cantorian realists’, ‘pragmatist-idealists’] from a purely objective point of view just as if we ourselves were not a member of these schools, as if we were describing a war between two ants’ nests. We shall first of all observe that there are two opposite tendencies among mathematicians in their manner of considering infinity. For some, infinity is derived from the finite; infinity exists because there is an infinity of possible finite things. For others, infinity exists before the finite; the finite is obtained by cutting out a small piece from infinity.” — Henri Poincaré
What comes to my mind here is the difference between ‘THERE IS TOWNING IN THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE’ and ‘THE TOWN IS GROWING’
In the first case, the TOWNING is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT and derives from something that already exists (the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE) while in the second case, the TOWN is presumed to exist as a LOCAL and EXPLICIT thing-in-itself before it begins its growth (this is the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR pointed out by Nietzsche).
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
This is the invoking of RATIO and RATIONALITY where the increasing extension of the thing bass-ackwardly presupposes the existence of the thing. The TOWN is thus like a LOCAL, EXPLICIT phantom thing that lives in a phantom SUBSTITUTE REALITY where it can ‘grow’ unimpeded in its own right (without being a participant in the NONLOCAL, IMPLICIT TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE.
The DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR not only forces the inventing of absolute space as a needed abstract ‘theatre of operations’, it invokes a LOCAL SUBSTITUTE REALITY that ‘gets rid of’ TRANSFORMATION so that it simply TAKES OVER THE PSYCHE as far as REALITY REPRESENTATION goes. When we focus on ‘the TOWN that is GROWING and PRODUCING goods’, the sense experience reality of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum, the REAL REALITY, drops out of our conscious awareness and is REPLACED by the SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein LOCAL EXPLICIT EXISTENCE, GROWTH and PRODUCTION take over as the OPERATIVE REALITY.
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TEST YOURSELF BY ASKING: DO I BELIEVE THAT GROWTH IS REAL? DO I BELIEVE THAT PRODUCTION IS REAL? WOULD I “INVEST IN” or OTHERWISE PROMOTE “GROWTH” and “PRODUCTION”? IF THE ANSWER TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS IS “YES”, then are we not going to cultivate SCHIZOPHRENIA as Bohm suggests, since TRANSFORMATION is the real sense-experience reality while GROWTH and PRODUCTIOIN are DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR based SUBSTITUTE REALITY artifacts. THERE IS NO SUCH THING IN SENSE-EXPERIENCE REALITY AS GROWTH or PRODUCTION. These are one-sided male-assertive abstract concepts that CONFLICT with our SENSE-EXPERIENCE REALITY of inclusion in TRANSFORMATION wherein ‘everything is in flux’.
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The support that Modern physics gives to EASTERN CULTURE reality as inclusion in TRANSFORMATION is worth reflecting on, as is the warning of Bohm that the FRAGMENTING that comes with the WESTERN CULTURE ‘SUBSTITUTE REALITY’ is inducing schizophrenia in us WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS.