‘EAST is EAST and WEST-is-WEST’; the IMPLICIT and EXPLICIT DIVIDE
INTRODUCTION: In the Wave-field reality, everything is in flux and thus reality is the IMPLICIT order in the world while the EXPLICIT comes only by way of REPRESENTATIONS as in language and pictures. The pictures of a child ‘growing up’ is a language based Trojan Horse that fools us into thinking that “GROWTH” is something ‘real’ and that NAMING-instantiated ‘things-in-themselves’ such ‘the child’ are also ‘real’, however, the statement ‘the CHILD GROWS’ is a DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR that imposes a substitute reality in the psyche that we employ IN PLACE OF the sensory experience reality of inclusion in relational TRANSFORMATION. This substitute reality based on the LOCAL and EXPLICIT gives us a means of INFERRING the “real reality” of the NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT. In the EAST, as in modern physics, it is not forgotten that the IMPLICIT-and-NONLOCAL is the natural but INEFFABLE reality while the EXPLICIT-and-LOCAL is the abstract but EFFABLE intellectual surrogate reality.
While the EAST and modern physics employs the EXPLICIT-LOCAL abstract reduction of reality merely as a tool of INFERENCE of the IMPLICIT-NONLOCAL relational reality, the WEST employs the EXPLICIT-LOCAL abstract reduction as the intellectual ‘operative reality’. This article explores how and why our WESTERN ‘reality’, because it INVERTS the natural order by putting the EXPLICIT in an unnatural precedence over the IMPLICIT, is a CRAZY-MAKER.
* * * end of introduction * * * * * * see also FOOTNOTE * * *
As Kipling opined;– EAST is EAST and WEST is WEST and never the twain shall meet.
This is true in a certain sense; e.g. I am now an EAST thinker whereas I was raised as a WEST thinker and this is to share that sense.
It is easy to point to the difference, but not as easy to ‘embody’ the difference within one’s behaviour. It concerns how we understand ‘reality’ and it is easy to intellectually specify the difference; i.e. if we are raised in the EAST’s tradition (modern physics, indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta we will understand FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE (which is the understanding that I have come to embrace’), whereas our WESTERN upbringing has us ‘construct reality’ on the basis of FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO.
FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE is where our distinguishing of form is IMPLICIT whereas FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO is where our distinguishing of form is EXPLICIT. If we, for example, experience inclusion in a windblown sandy landscape AND IF we can suspend the NAMING and GRAMMAR that we have trained ourselves to reduce our experience to, we will experience inclusion in the resonance field of the duning phenomenon wherein TRANSFORMATION is in precedence over ‘things’ and ‘what things do’. That is, TRANSFORMATION is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT and it is the stuff of our prelingual sensory experience and it is only when we invoke intellectual talk in terms of LOCAL and EXPLICIT DUNES and THEIR GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT and MOVEMENT, and cast this as the PRIMARY reality, that we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS part ways with the EAST. The EAST never lets go of the understanding that the NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT (and thus INEFFABLE) is the primary reality.
That’s it in a nutshell! While the EAST preserves the natural primacy of the IMPLICIT and NONLOCAL over the EXPLICIT and LOCAL, the WEST elevates the EXPLICIT and LOCAL into an unnatural primacy over the IMPLICIT and NONLOCAL. Of course, the ramifications of which of those very different understandings of reality serve as the ‘operative reality’ can be many and varied.
For example, in the indigenous aboriginal tradition, as in modern physics, ‘everything is related’ (mitakuye oyasin) so if ‘someone misbehaves’, this is understood as an emergent ‘relational dissonance’ that develops within the web of social and physical relations. The required action is thus the restoring of relational harmony and there is no assumption that the individual through whom the relational dissonance ‘channelled’ is the SOURCE of the dissonance.
But as we well know, our WESTERN CULTURE tradition is to assume LOCAL SOURCING of the ‘relational dissonance’ which means that the action required to attenuate or eliminate the dissonance will ADDRESS the LOCAL SOURCE.
Note that in an indigenous aboriginal culture, even though the person is simply a conduit for the emergence of conflict that derives from relational dissonance, and even though the community may understand the problem in terms of a relational dissonance that is innately NONLOCAL, a person who is a habitual ‘lightning rod’ may be ‘taken out’ NOT because he is assumed to be the SOURCE of the violence/dissonance but as an emergency measure while the community seeks to resolve the deeper, relational source.
There may even be an ‘apology’ to the ‘lightning rod’ by those ‘taking him out’, acknowledging that while he is NOT the SOURCE of the dissonance, he is a persistent channeler of the dissonance. In other words, shutting down the channel is an expedient, short-term solution, pending the addressing of a deeper and more endemic ‘sourcing’.
The EASTERN social collective whether or not they ‘take out’ a Robin Hood’, will do so while realizing that his actions are in the service of rebalancing a have—have-not imbalance that is leading to the death by starvation of the children of ‘have-nots’. The EASTERN social collective will thus acknowledge the deeper issue of relational imbalance and undertake to resolve it. The WESTERN social collective may ‘take out’ a Robin Hood’ on the binary logic basis of the WRONGNESS of his actions so that the deeper issue of relational imbalance is NEITHER acknowledged nor addressed and is in fact exacerbated by the removal of a rebalancing agent such as a Robin Hood. (Relational transformation is the reality but the DOUBLE ERROR reduces it to LOCAL SOURCING).
In the EASTERN case, the community will apologize to the brother they are ‘taking out’, making clear that he is ‘taking the hit’ for the community as a whole. The EASTERN community thus ‘takes out the brother’ in order to stop the ‘blood-letting’ as the community attempts to resolve the relational toots of the dissonance. The key difference here is that there is a recognition of the relational-imbalance origin of the dissonance, so that resolution may come in two parts; i.e. an the removal of the “Robin Hood’ hot-head by-force rebalancing and the transforming of overall relations so as to restore natural balance.
This EASTERN approach MAKES SENSE TO ME, since my life experience has shown me how ridiculous it is to give credit or blame to an individual for ‘their behaviour’ out of the context of the relational dynamics they are included in, their family dynamics, their community dynamics, the dynamics of their era etc.
There is no greater BULLSHIT STORY than the WESTERN BULLSHIT STORY which has us portray ourselves as INDEPENDENT BEINGS with FREE WILL; e.g; the following WESTERN BULLSHIT STORY that has been propagated through WESTERN religious thinking that promotes the abstraction of ‘independent being’ and the power of LOCAL SOURCING;
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
LIFE IN CHRIST
MAN’S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
1730 God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. “God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of his own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him.”26
Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27
- FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.
Such propositions (1730 – 1732), in my view, are a CRAZY-MAKER, if taken literally, and they are radically at odds with ‘mitakuye oyasin’ which points to the basics of why EAST is EAST and WEST is WEST and never the twain shall meet.
The above propositions, insofar as they shape human intellect-based social behaviour, are foundational to an insanity that arises from WESTERN thinking, as noted by Ronald Laing, psychiatrist, author of ‘The Divided Self’ and Jules Henry; anthropologist and author of Culture Against Man.
I am NOT being judgemental here since EASTERN thinking does not do the binary splitting into GOOD and EVIL as we WESTERN culture adherents do (I am still a card-carrying member of the WESTERN CULTURE even though I am no longer a ‘believer’, which makes me a Mahavit in the terms used by Advaita Vedanta). That is, while I no longer believe in the WESTERN CULTURE binary thinking CREDO, I remain a ‘fellow traveller’ member because I want to sustain harmonious relations with my family and friends who are still ‘faithful’ to the WESTERN CULTURE system, CRAZY-though-it is.
HOW DID WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS such as ourselves get into this mess?
As was evident to me in my youthful developing within our WESTERN CULTURE, the social practice was to give me (the individual) PERSONAL credit for stuff that my parents, family, friends and co-workers were essential contributors to. In high school, I found the exercise of ‘résumé writing a JOKE, in being encouraged to pretend that I had, through my own personal efforts, obtained an education, obtained training to develop proficiencies in executing complex tasks etc. But what an EGO-tistical assumption it is to regard these proficiencies as MY OWN SELF-DEVELOPED ATTRIBUTES. It is akin to one who wears the garb of Royalty and, observing the crowd bowing down to him, believing that such transformative power comes from HIMSELF, rather than from the symbolic signification of his ‘Emperor’s new clothes’.
I have become fully aware from my actual relational experience, of ‘mitakuye oyasin’, all things are related, and have gradually learned what Nietzsche had so clearly identified, that the personal claim of ownership of SOURCING actions and developments is abstraction constructed from the “DOUBLE ERROR” of NAMING and GRAMMAR. The DOUBLE ERROR ‘works’ to impute the LOCAL power of SOURCING to any NAMED relational form in the flow, including Hurricane Katrina who we say, “devastated the city of New Orleans”.
The reality is NOT the ‘attack of PATHOGENIC AGENTS’ such as ‘the hurricane’ or the virus called COVID 19, … the reality is relational TRANSFORMATION in which relational forms are appearances in the flow. Modern physics would explain the visual aspect of this in terms of the Wave-field or holographic continuum. This understanding requires a different type of logic, NOT the binary logic we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have been taught to use for our thinking-based understanding. “Quantum logic”, which is the base-case logic of the indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoists/Buddhists and Advaita Vedanta, is inferred by the Tai-Chi symbol (Yin/Yang symbol) is logic wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE (e.g. the hurricane and the atmosphere are ONE such that the hurricane does not ‘move through the atmosphere’, and more generally, the ‘inhabitant’ does not move through the ’habitat’ since FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE).
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are taught to ‘reason’ based on binary logic wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-TWO which gives rise to the notion of INHABITANT and HABITAT as TWO separate and distinct things-in-themselves, so that the INHABITANT is free to ‘run around’ in the HABITAT and ‘explore it’ and ‘mine and harvest it’, as if she is entirely INDEPENDENT of it, and as if it is INDEPENDENT of her. This is abstract poppycock to be sure, but when we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS teach it to our children, generation after generation, it turns out that we preserve the division wherein WEST is WEST and EAST is EAST and never the twain shall meet.
It is evident that EGO (I am the source of this great action and development) “swells the head”while INSPIRATION (my relational situation within the GREAT HARMONY) fills the heart. As an individual in the sense of mitakuye oyasin, I AM ALL MY RELATIONS as I am included in the transforming relational continuum, is an inspirational experience otherwise known as LIFE.
Language and grammar can change this; i.e. NAMING and GRAMMAR construct a DOUBLE ERROR; the FIRST ERROR is NAMING that imputes the existence of a LOCAL thing-in-itself, and the SECOND ERROR, which conflates the FIRST ERROR, is GRAMMAR that imputes to the NAMING-instantiated thing-in-itself the notional power of SOURCING actions and developments.
WHY DID WE DO THIS? And here I want to point out that BOTH EAST and WEST came up with this thing called language that is DOUBLE ERROR based, and this DOUBLE ERROR was necessary in order to render EFFABLE-because-LOCAL, that which is INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL. In other words, the Wave-field which is all-including, is a transforming relational continuum which is INEFFABLE because ‘everything is in flux’ and words that NAME relational forms concretize (in our mental conceptualization) that which is inherently fluid and therefore un-name-able (the Tao that can be told is not the true Tao – Lao Tzu).
Well, wouldn’t you just know it, while both EAST and WEST figured out that we could EFFABLE-IZE a reduced but very useful conceptualization of the INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL by the NAMING and GRAMMAR DOUBLE ERROR ploy, … EAST never forgot that this was a ‘ploy’ to render the INEFFABLE EFFABLE albeit it by way of a REDUCTION while WEST has forgotten.
SO, the point was (and is) that the REDUCTION from NONLOCAL to LOCAL is only good for INFERRING the INEFFABLE reality but the WEST has been using the DOUBLE ERROR reduction as a SUBSTITUTE REALITY. That is, the EAST DOES NOT USE the DOUBLE ERROR reduction as a SUBSTITUTE REALITY, but only as a tool of INFERENCE that can stimulate an INTUITIVE LEAP to the INEFFABLE to which the DOUBLE ERROR can only IMPLY and cannot and does not capture EXPLICITLY.
The EAST follows Wittgenstein’s instructions (cited below) while the WEST does not; that is, we can only infer or IMPLY the INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL by using relations among forms that do not commit us to having to depend upon a foundation of some FIXED, EXPLICIT and LOCAL BEING-thing.
6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)
He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.
7.0 Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
–Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
At this point, I should stop writing this note, because what I am really doing here is using language and grammar that I am claiming ‘can’t go the distance’ (of capturing the INEFFABLE) and can only be used to construct a web of relations that the listener must use as a Wittgenstein ladder’ to BOOTSTRAP or IMPLY un intuitive (purely relational) understanding that lies innately beyond the EXPLICIT language and grammar constructions.
I would like to just add in one more point about the problems of our using language and grammar (the DOUBLE ERROR) LITERALLY aka EXPLICITLY (and actually believing that NAMING-instantiated notional things-in-themselves DO EXIST and DO HAVE THE POWERS OF SOURCING ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS, … in that not only does this establish EGO, the false belief that one is the root SOURCE of an action and development (analogous to our mistake in using hurricane Katrina to impute that ‘she’ is causing destruction when what is really going on is NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION), .. this DOUBLE ERROR sets up a very basic ambiguity that separates WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS into ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’, both of which polar opposites are abstractions based on belief in the abstraction of LOCAL SOURCING (in reality, there is only TRANSFORMATION as in the Wave-field).
Once I talk as if FIGURE and GROUND are TWO, I open the door to ambiguity as to whether it is the FIGURE (inhabitant) that sources actions and developments or whether it is the GROUND (habitat) that sources actions and development. This is where the Conservative – Liberal split comes from, and they are both based on EGO which is where the abstract notion of LOCAL SOURCING is coming from which eclipses the actual, natural reality of Wave-field TRANSFORMATION.
The Conservative believes that the FIGURE (individual) is the source of dynamic that stirs up the dynamics of the GROUND (social collective) while the liberal believes that the GROUND (social collective) is the SOURCE of the dynamic that stirs up the dynamics of the FIGURE (individual).
NEITHER is REAL, … BECAUSE, there is no such thing as SOURCING, there is only relational TRANSFORMATION and the concept of SOURCING originates with the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR; e.g. “Katrina is growing larger and stronger and is devastating the city of New Orleans”. NO! NO! NO! there is only relational TRANSFORMATION wherein Katrina, the figure, … and atmosphere, … the ground, ARE ONLY ONE., and the DOUBLE ERROR breakdown is just to render EFFABLE-because-LOCAL the INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL (Wave-field transformation),
There really is DUNING and it is a nonlocal, relational resonance based phenomenon, but the concept of ‘the DUNE’ and its notional growth and shifting, is exemplary of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR. The DOUBLE ERROR reduction is fine for the purpose of rendering EFFABLE-because-LOCAL the INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL, … but NOT FINE for accepting the EFFABLE as REALITY, because, as the EAST hasn’t forgotten, we were only able to EFFABLE-ize the INEFFABLE by reducing the NONLOCAL to the LOCAL, thus, while the unbounded relational resonance that manifests as DUNING is INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL, we can use NAMING and GRAMMAR to break it down to the notional DUNE and conflate this FIRST ERROR by infusing into our intellect, the GRAMMAR-given notion of its having its own powers of sourcing actions and developments.
There is AN UNAVOIDABLE AMBIGUITY associated with this DOUBLE ERROR abstraction as is popularly illustrated by the Zen koan of wind-and-flag; i.e. does the moving of the air source the flapping of the flag or does the flapping of the flag source the moving of the air?
ANSWER: There is no such thing as “SOURCING”, there is only TRANFORMATION of the all including Wave-field wherein flag and wind (FIGURE-and-GROUND) are ONE.
The conundrum is ubiquitous; Do continents DRIFT? … or does the seafloor SPREAD? If we are thinking of a flat space, then this FIGURE and GROUND as TWO manner of thinking (binary thinking) leaves us with an unresolvable ambiguity. But if we can intuit a spherical space where the whole spherical mass is fluid, THEN WE CAN UNDERSTAND FIGURE AND GROUND AS ONE. On other words, the emergent continent (Surtsey) is where there is inside-outward extrusive flow and that is just one aspect of the circulation wherein there is also subduction or outside-inward intrusive flow, and together these extrusions and intrusions ARE ONE within a spherical flow. Just because a spherical flow cannot be understood IMPLICITLY and cannot be captured EXPLICITLY or VISUALLY, doesn’t mean that it can’t happen; it only means that it can’t be visualized because visualization is limited to a voyeur view of ‘what’s EXPLICITLY out there in front of the viewer’, and in the real world, we are INCLUDED in this fluid spherical TRANSFORMATION wherein forms are continually emerging and subducting or ‘gathering’ and ‘scattering’ as is the translation from Heraclitus, and in this case, the IMPLICIT is the basic REALITY.
While GATHERING-and-SCATTERING is the FIGURE, … and FLOW is the GROUND wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE, when we REDUCE the GATHERING AND SCATTERING by NAMING, to imply a LOCAL thing-in-itself, we ‘wallpaper over’ the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE with a FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO wherein the FIGURE (e.g. ‘hurricane Katrina’) is now the sole SOURCE of the dynamic while the GROUND is reduced to an absolute emptiness (Euclidian reference space) that makes no contribution to the action.
NOTA BENE! Nietzsche points out this DOUBLE ERROR that we use to engineer the intellectual reduction of NONLOCALITY (gathering and scattering) to LOCAL SOURCING by way of NAMING to imply LOCAL thing-in-itself BEING (FIRST ERROR) and conflating this with GRAMMAR to impute to the LOCAL BEING, the power of SOURCING actions and development (SECOND ERROR). This DOUBLE ERROR drops us into a BINARY world of LOCAL self-sourcing FIGURES that operate in a mutually exclusive GROUND.
I know we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS get very serious about our binary split in conceiving of reality in EITHER conservative understanding OR liberal understanding and may not appreciate the mocking treatment given it in Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift) where such binary logic based split into two POLAR opposing camps has no basis for resolution since it is innately ambiguous. In this conservative-liberal BIPOLAR split we are no better and no worse than the people of Liliput and Blefescu that polarize against one and other on the ambiguous issue of whether a boiled egg should be opened from the roundy end or from the pointy end.
I agree with Jonathan Swift on the absurdity of this split, or should I say that I agree with that the IMPLICIT BOTH/AND logic of the INCLUDED medium of modern physics as captured also in the Yin/Yang Tai-chi symbol wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE, is more appropriate for language-based reality reconstructions than is the EXPLICIT EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED medium.
The conservative – liberal polar opposing split is the same ambiguous split as in whether continents drifting sources transformation of the earth or whether seafloor spreading sources transformation of the earth, or whether the flapping of the flag sources the movement of air or whether the movement of air sources the flapping of the flag.
AGAIN, WHY THIS AMBIGUITY?
HINT: Imagine a purely fluid sphere with convection currents (extrusion and intrusion) as associate with thermally induced density variation; i.e. transformation wherein ‘local’ has no meaning.
BECAUSE TRANSFORMATION IS INEFFABLE-BECAUSE-NONLOCAL and because we humans like to understand REALITY (or representations thereof) through language-based discussion, we have to EFFABLE-ize the INEFFABLE reality (an all-including transforming relational continuum aka Wave-field is ineffable). We might alternatively say “we have to EXPLICIT-ize the IMPLICIT reality” in order to come up with language-based REPRESENTATIONS.
The EAST is not screwing up like the WEST is (‘the EAST’ refers to a conceptualizing approach that is consistent with modern physics) because the EAST employs the reduction of the ineffable to effable by way of the DOUBLE ERROR only as a tool of INFERENCE as in the Wittgenstein ladder description, that gives us an IMPLICIT something to trigger a mental leap beyond the trigger words to an intuitive understanding of the ineffable.
If we say; … the DUNE is growing higher and longer and is shifting across the desert floor, we can use this to intuit the INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL resonance phenomenon of DUNING wherein there is no binary separation into DUNE and DESERT FLOOR, there is only purely relational TRANSFORMATION with NO THINGS involved. This relational reality of the EAST is an IMPLICIT language-based representation of reality of that contrasts with the EXPLICIT language-based representation of reality of the WEST wherein the thing called a DUNE is deemed to be EXPLICITLY that, ‘a DUNE’, as also in the case of the HUMANING in the Tao, which is EXPLICITIZED as ‘the HUMAN’.
I realize from my own intellectual experience that it is hard for us WESTERN CULTURE CONDITIONED people to conceive of ourselves as ‘humanings’ in the transforming relational continuum as in mitakuye oyasin, and as in the Wave-field of modern physics, but it is not impossible. What makes it difficult is trying to do it while living within a WESTERN social dynamic wherein everything such as the National infrastructure, the law, the WESTERN religious beliefs (independent being, good-and-evil and other binaries) are given foundational roles in our socially constructed (language and grammar based) reality, a pseudo EXPLICIT reality that we are employing as our OPERATIVE REALITY.
It is hard, but not impossible, to conceive of ourselves in EASTERN mode as ‘humanings’ within the flow, while immersed in the social dynamics of WESTERN CULTURE, and what makes it most hard is that if we are vocal about it, and/or let our behaviour too overtly manifest it, we can put ourselves at odds with our friends, family and social community, all of whom are more or less strongly supporting the binary concepts and binary logic of FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO. This binary belief system is a belief system that thinkers like F. David Peat (Blackfoot Physics) explain is the source of ‘disease’ (a form of relational dissonance that accompanies our reducing to FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO terms of pathogenic and benogenic FIGURES that roam the GROUND of the social/environmental collective as if we are ‘inhabitants’ that EXIST separately from the ‘habitat’, as our DOUBLE ERROR talk implies.
It does seem as if we are moving generally towards acknowledging FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE in post-traditional medicine and other areas, but it is confusing because, for example, WESTERN MEDICINE is focused on improving the lives of HUMANS as if HUMANS were separate and independent from the whole transforming relational continuum. This actually boomerangs back to hurt us, as systems sciences philosopher Martine Dodds-Taljaard points out in her paper; ‘The Name of the Devil is Suboptimization’.
She is saying that its fine and natural if we orient to staying in relational balance with the world we live in, but when we optimize things for humans at the expense of the rest, that is an oxymoron because we can’t split apart ‘ourselves’ (humans) and ‘the rest’ since it is all one interdependent transforming relational continuum. That is why there was an ancient attempt to keep Hygiean medicine (the medicine of Hippocrates) in its natural precedence over Allopathic medicine (the medicine of evil-purging belief tradition of Aesculapian temple goers).
WESTERN MEDICINE and WESTERN social dynamics management in general has become Aesculapian-first (WEST-first), Hygiean-second (EAST-second) which is upside down. This same unnatural inversion can be found wherein indigenous aboriginal justice which gives precedence to seeking to restore implicit relational balance and acting to eliminate a local ‘explicit’ conduit of dissonance only as an emergency measure. This amounts to Hygiean first, Aesculapian as back-up approach, however, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTs are putting Aesculapian first, in which case, Hygiean (relational balance cultivating/restoring) is never employed, so we can become sicker and sicker but have excellent tools for curing those who become sick.
As the WESTERN practice of fighting off perceived pathogens’ (instead of understanding that relational dissonance is us) continues to build, more people are dependent on drugs to protect against and eliminate ‘microbial pathogens’ and more people are dependent on police and military to protect against and eliminate ‘social pathogens’.
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS who give ourselves the biggest EGOs are thus the most convinced of the existence of PATHOGENS. The binary logical substitutes for relational imbalance are steadily contributing to social dysfunction because they embody the notion of LOCAL SOURCING that SUBSTITUTES for the understanding of the relational nature of reality. This SUBSTITUTION of the LOCAL for the NONLOCAL is sustained by EGO (the product of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR).
WESTERN Law enforcement is now in high gear, particularly in the US which has 5 times as many people in jail per capita as other Western countries. This is because of the strong ego-based belief in SOURCING of actions and developments when the reality is that there is no such thing as SOURCING, there is only relationalTRANSFORMATION.
In other words, because we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are sticking with our EGO based belief in personal ‘sourcing’ of actions and developments, logical consistency is demanding that we apply the sourcing logic also to authorship of BAD actions and developments. Thus, the incarceration of “criminals” rises in step with EGO based claims of SOURCING actions and developments. The more INFLATED the EGO claims of the LOCAL SOURCING of GOOD, the correspondingly more INFLATED the claims of LOCAL SOURCING of EVI, such is the legacy of embracing the abstract (DOUBLE ERROR based) concept of LOCAL SOURCING.
Things are changing. The notion of a ‘national economy’ (LOCAL SOURCING OF GOODS and SERVICES) is fast collapsing as we come to acknowledge that we live in an interconnected global relational dynamic which cannot (realistically) be understood by breaking it down into LOCAL PARTs using the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR. I mean, we CAN and DO talk about things in this way and use it to model our reality, but it is all bullshit and what is happening shows that mitakuye oyasin (everything is related) is the nature of the REAL dynamic, and the ‘DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE’ that comes with a ceremony of NAMING is esoteric bullshit, but bullshit that is popular and that many WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTs will give their lives up in support of. (This bullshit arises as tool of inference to trigger intuition of a reality that is INEFFABLE and IMPLICIT that lies beyond the reach of the EFFABLE and EXPLICIT.
We have slowly been coming to see that our DOUBLE ERROR based capture of “reality” in terms of the LOCAL, and EXPLICIT is bullshit and are beginning to acknowledge that we are all related (and interdependent) but there are many, such as Donald Trump who are working on a program to re-instill in us, our own personal and national DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE, which is pure intellectual abstraction that, when we employ it as our operational reality, is really a form of madness.
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FOOTNOTE I: to “East-is-East-and-West-is-West; the Implicit-and-Explicit Divide/
At the time of this writing, we are dealing with COVID 19 which we portray as a ‘PATHOGEN’, thanks the DOUBLE ERROR constructs of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
If we ‘revisit’ this understanding in the manner of the EAST, we see that what we are doing is reducing the IMPLICIT (natural phenomena) to the EXPLICIT (intellectual abstraction) and this is useful because it makes the NONLOCAL/INEFFABLE/IMPLICIT shareable with language and grammar in terms that are LOCAL/EFFABLE/EXPLICIT. The statement; …”it makes the INEFFABLE EFFABLE” … intends to convey the unferstanding that while the inference is that resonance-based tranformation as in DUNING is purely relational and nonlocal, NAMING and GRAMMAR give us the means to visually ‘cartoonize’ this INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION by using NAMING to create notional LOCAL forms-in-themselves and the conflate this FIRST ERROR with the SECOND ERROR of GRAMMAR that imputes the power of SOURCING actions and developments to the NAMING-instantiated LOCAL thing-in-itself. This is the DOUBLE ERROR usage pointed out by Nietzsche with his example ‘LIGHTNING FLASHES’.
What began in our sensory experiencing of relational transformation as ‘nonlocal’, ‘implicit’ or ‘analog’, becomes, in our intellectual reduction to language and grammar, ‘local’, ‘explicit’ or digital’. The seething sea of resonance that we observe as a vast expanse of DUNING is, thanks to the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR reduced to an abstract LOCAL bottom-up reconceptualizing in terms of DUNES-in-themselves and ‘what the DUNES are THEMSELVES DOING, like ‘growing higher and longer’ and ‘shifting across the desert floor. Thanks to this DOUBLE ERROR, we have split the transformative animating into ANIMUS and ANIMA, introducig an innate ambiguity as to whether the DUNE is assertively moving or whether the desert floor is seductively opening (Note that on the surface of a sphere, these two options are conjugate features of the one dynamic of TRANSFORMATION).
Or in other words, only on an abstract flat plane of infinite extent as supports a FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO logic, could we have ‘the GROWTH’ of, and/or the ‘MOVEMENT’ of ‘a DUNE’. Such abstract absolutism is all ‘in the head’ and is not found In the physical world of our sensory experience. On the surface of a sphere, continental drift and seafloor spreading are conjugate aspects of transformation wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE.
Meanwhile, resonance-based transformation is a reality that involves three simultaneous mutually influencing aspects as where FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE, … the THIRD being the ‘field’ in which both FIGURE and GROUND are appearances associated with continuing gathering and scattering and presenting persisting images in the manner of a hologram wherein everything is in flux. The fluidly forming figure itself is the coniunctio oppositorum of extruding/scattering and subducting/gathering wherein this gathering and scattering IS the persisting figure (‘holographic’ image).
As Carlo Rovelli expresses this FIGURE and GROUND coniunctio oppositorum 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.” — Carlo Rovelli, in ‘Quantum Gravity’
The gathering and scattering (as in a hurricane) is what gives rise to a persisting, seemingly “LOCAL” FIGURE as if it were a FIGURE SEPARATE FROM the GROUND, that exists as a thing-in-itself rather than as as a purely fluid gathering and scattering. The notion of separate thing-in-itself-existence, while it is ‘appearance’ where there is gathering and scattering (e.g. as with the hurricane), becomes psychologically reified, with NAMING and GRAMMAR, so that we understand “IT” as a LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF with its own notional power of SOURCING actions and developments.
Rovelli is describing the continual gathering and scattering that IS the Wave-field with its conjugate FIGURE-and-GROUND, source-receiver-as-ONE nonduality.
Though the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO representation is in terms of the LOCAL/EFFABLE/EXPLICIT, and as such is a radical REDUCTION of the NONLOCAL/INEFFABLE/IMPLICIT (modern physics and Lao Tzu’s Tao that cannot be told, ..which is what Heraclitus is referring to in saying ‘Listening not to me but to the Logos (Tao), it is wise to remember that all things are one (i.e. where ‘the ONE’ is the Wave-field, the Tao, the Logos), … the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO representation can deliver language-based INFERENCE of the INEFFABLE that lies beyond EFFABLE capture. For example, while the resonance-based gathering and scattering that ‘shows up’ as a persisting ‘hurricane’ has a seemingly LOCAL aspect to it that ‘catches our eye’, and invites us to bestow LOCAL EXISTENCE to it by NAMING it, imputing to it its own powers of sourcing actions and developments (e.g. “it is growing stronger and ravaging New Orleans”), … it remains a virtual thing, an ‘appearance’ or ‘apparition’ associated with an IMPLICIT gathering-scattering centre, as might similarly associate with the resonant combination of extrusion and subduction within a fluid spherical space.
While we may speak of the ‘gathering-scattering’ “FIGURE” MOVING THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERIC “GROUND”, it is clear in this case, that FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE. This is NOT ‘MOTION’ in the sense of the MOTION of an EXPLICIT THING, but ‘TRANSFORMATION in a FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE sense where “movevement’ is ‘IMPLICIT rather than ‘EXPLICIT’.
The problem is, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are putting things upside down by using the EXPLICIT to convey ‘reality’ rather than the IMPLICIT. that is, the EXPLICIT is only qualified for use as a tool of INFERENCE; i.e. a Wittgenstein Ladder to BOOTSTRAP an understanding of the IMPLICIT. My reduction of transformation to the LOCAL and EXPLICIT; e.g. ‘The Dune is growing higher and longer and is shifting across the desert floor’ is only ‘qualified’ for tickling in me an intuitive leap of understanding in terms of the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field aka ‘the Tao’ aka ‘the Logos’, aka the IMPLICIT reality we and everything rare included in.
The EAST and modern physics employs the EXPLICIT as a tool to engage our intuition which is capable of understanding the IMPLICIT such as the all-including TRANSFORMATION. This means the EXPLICIT propositions of the EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED medium are just a tool that can help us make the intuitive leap to understanding that lies beyond the EXPLICIT/LOCAL/EFFABLE; i.e. understanding that is IMPLICIT/NONLOCAL/INEFFABLE.
If we follow though on this, as David Bohm and F. David Peat have, …. then we come up with the understanding that there are no PATHOGENS such as COVID 19 and that we movers and shapers in this overall ONE-ness (the Wave-field, the Tao, the Logos, the transforming relational continuum, so even if ANTI-PATHOGEN initiatives ‘seem to work’, what we really doing is quelling dissonance over here, to stir up more and different dissonance over there. The U.S. success in Crime Scene Investigations is delivering five times as many convictions of pathogens/criminals per capita as other Western countries. this incarceration of a pathogen PETER liberates another pathogen PAUL. Purificationism could only work if FIGURE and GROUND were TWO, however, FIGURE and GROUND are ONE, so as Pogo says, we have found the enemy and it is us!
Our WESTERN CULTURE ambiguity of conservative and liberal is the same DOUBLE ERROR innate in the binary EITHER/OR logic of the EXCLUDED medium. The EASTERN CULTURE doesn’t buy, but embraces, instead, the BOTH/AND logic of the INCLUDED medium. The EAST does not puzzle, as the WEST does, over whether the flag’s flapping sources the wind or whether the wind sources the flag’s flapping because, there is no such thing as SOURCING in reality understood as the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field aa the Tao aka the Logos.
No more confusing ambiguities as to whether ‘continents drift’ or ‘seafloors spread’ an no more going cross-eyed trying to visualize such FIGURE-and-GROUND NONDUALITY within a fluid sphere, … once one embraces, with the EAST and with modern physics, the understanding that FIGURE and GROUND are ONE is a NON-VISUALIZABLE understanding. But how do we get to such an understanding when we define understanding as something picturable?.
A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably. –-Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations.
The Wave-field dynamic that is IMPLICIT/NONLOCAL/INEFFABLE is not ‘picturable’ but our language reduces everything to pictures, and what is can’t reduce to pictures, it ignores; e.g. TRANSFORMATION as in the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field aka the Tao..
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FOOTNOTE II: to “East-is-East-and-West-is-West; the Implicit-and-Explicit Divide/
NOTES on GATHERING – SCATTERING
The following are citations on the issue of ‘the TWO and the ONE’ as in Eliade’s Mephistopheles et L’Androgyne, a work devoted entirely to the ambiguities surrounding this question of FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE versus FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO.
This, in my view, is brought to elucidation by Nietzsche with his pointing out of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
I would describe what’s going on in our language and grammar stimulated intellection as distinguished from our sensory experience, as follows;
In the modern physics Wave-field dynamic, GATHERING-SCATTERING IS ONE, there are NOT two separate operations wherein GATHERING AND SCATTERING ARE TWO.
GATHERING-SCATTERING as ONE is a description of relational TRANSFORMATION.
There is NO THING-IN-ITSELF that ‘FORMS’ and then, “LATER“, DISSIPATES’. Such binary abstraction demands the INVENTION of TIME.
There are neither THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES, nor TIME in the TRANSFORMING Wave-field aka ‘the Tao’. THINGS and TIME are the abstract inventions of NAMING and GRAMMAR aka ‘the DOUBLE ERROR’ pointed out by Nietzsche with his example of Lightning flashes’ which shows how the DOUBLE ERROR can be used to conjure up the PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPRESSION of LOCAL sourcing.
Heraclitus emphasized the fluid nature of reality wherein there are no LOCAL and EXPLICIT THINGS-in-THEMSELVES. Immersed in a fluid continuum (the ‘Wave-field’) in which we ourselves are included fluid formings, word-names are like fixed lumps for use in constructing a representation that is fluid and without dependency on fixed lumps. We can invent GRAMMAR to impute movement and interaction of the ‘fixed lumps’ but the challenge is to somehow TRANSCEND any and all dependence on ‘fixed lumps’ so as to deliver, with language, a fully fluid representation. As it turns out, we must resort to a bit of ‘psycho-linguistic trickery’ to achieve this. (see Wittgenstein’s 6.54 above in the body of this essay). The ‘we’ who have mastered this is the ‘we’ of the EAST while the ‘we’ of the WEST have been following the approach of Parmenides rather than the approach of Heraclitus, using the DOUBLE ERROR to impose LOCAL BEING on the GATHERING-SCATTERING Wave-field forms.
“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.
The transformational phenomenon of GATHERING-SCATTERING that we stick the name-lable ‘hurricane Katrina’ on, … shifts our psyche into the DOUBLE ERROR pseudo-reality of NAMING and GRAMMAR wherein we wallpaper over the GATHERING-SCATTERING with a NAMING-and-GRAMMAR conceptualization that imputes the power of LOCAL SOURCING to a NAMING-instantiated, abstract, LOCAL THING-in-ITSELF.
Make no mistake, Toto, this takes us on a trip ‘Over the Rainbow’ to an EFFABLE land where we can share half-assed representation of our INEFFABLE experience of inclusion in the Wave-field (the Tao), … but once we collect our stone tablets with their written account of reality chiselled into them, we’d better not forget to make the return journey to the fluid reality of or sensory experience, where we can employ our reduced-to-explicit approximation of reality as a springboard or ‘Wittgenstein ladder’ to trigger an intuitive leap from the LOCAL/EXPLICIT/EFFABLE to the NONLOCAL/IMPLICIT/INEFFABLE.
Getting stuck starry-eyed in ‘OVER-the Rainbow’ land, holding and clenching our explicits firmly in our fist and insisting on employing them LITERALLY, in our conceptualizations of (pseudo) reality, is currently characteristic of we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS. The EAST, meanwhile, has not forgotten to make the return trip back ‘over the rainbow’ after profiting from the shareability of the crudely reduced LOCAL/EXPLICIT/EFFABLE version of the NONLOCAL/IMPLICIT/INEFFABLE.
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* * * THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS ARE EXCERPTED FROM RELATED WRITINGS ON THE EAST/WEST SPLIT IN UNDERSTANDING * * *
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN THAT WE DISINCLUDE OURSELVES FROM THE WORLD THAT WE SPEAK OF AS IF IT WERE ‘THE REAL WORLD’? THAT IS; 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 (intuitive) divine’.
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I have included the following note by Darrell Arnold, not for any ‘answers’ it may give, but as an exemplary investigation of the paradox of ‘the Two and the One’ as induced by the ‘gather-scatter’ ambiguity. Does the hurricane AUTHOR (SOURCE) the gathering and scattering or does the gathering and scattering AUTHOR the hurricane? On this question we find ourselves back in the ambiguous wind and flag dilemma; i.e. does the the flapping of the flag source the wind or does the wind source the flapping of the flag? The deeper understanding is that there is no such thing as SOURCING, there is only TRANSFORMATION which is gathering-scattering without any LOCAL AUTHORSHIP (i.e. without any LOCAL SOURCING).
For my own part, I accept GATHERING-SCATTERING as an expression of a basic NONLOCALITY; i.e. there is no LOCAL SOMETHING that is the author/source of the GATHERING and the SCATTERING, but such an idea comes to us when see the spiraling of a celestial galaxy through a telescope (restricting our view to a ‘part’ of the universe ‘out there in front of us’ and if we can take that part to be ‘real’, we shut out an awareness of the reality of our inclusion in the all-including ineffable Wave-field).
It is NAMING and GRAMMAR (the DOUBLE ERROR) that artificially (by way of cognitive abstraction) reduces the inherently NONLOCAL to the pseudo-LOCAL. While we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS accept GATHERING AND SCATTERING as two separate actions pertaining to a collection of LOCAL things, EASTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS, and modern physics, accept GATHER-SCATTER as the one action of TRANSFORMATION, as if the fish in the oceanic sphere dispersed from one ‘LOCATION’ they would be at the same time concentrating around the ANTIPODAL LOCATION, exposing the reality that GATHERING and SCATTERING are NOT ACTIONS that are independent of one another, as that would imply their situating within an ABSOLUTE SPACE, an abstract conceptualization that, while available to our intellectualizing, is not available to our sensory experience. In other words, GATHER-SCATTER as ONE dynamic aka TRANSFORMATION, is the only possibility in the spherical space of our sensory experience. This is suggested by the Tai-Chi symbol suggestive of yin/yang wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE.
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The FOLLOWING detail exploring the ‘simultaneity of gather-scatter’ is is from; https://darrellarnold.com/writing/
Heraclitus, Fragment 51 (D 91)
[“One cannot step twice into the same river…nor can one twice take hold of mortal substance in a stable condition; for by the quickness and swiftness of its alteration it scatters and gathers–at the same time it endures and dissolves, approaches and departs.”] (Sweet, 91. Cp. Kahn, 51, DK 91)
Compare Robinson, F 91: “(a) [For, according to Heraclitus, it is not possible to step twice into the same river, nor is it possible to touch a mortal substance twice in so far as its state (hexis) is concerned. But, thanks to (the) swiftness and speed of change.] (b) It scatters (things?) and brings (them?) together again. [(or rather, it brings together and lets go neither ‘again’ nor ‘later’ but simultaneously], (it) forms and (it) dissolves, and (it) approaches and departs.”
You can’t step in the same river twice. This is the line for which Heraclitus is most famous. Yet, among his fragments, we nowhere find it as a stand alone statement. It is expressed here, from Plutarch, but as part of longer body of text that contextualize the views about change as part of a general metaphysics. Robinson, like many historical commentators such as Reinhart, have serious questions about whether that first part of this can even rightly be attributed to Heraclitus.
The first statement has been used to read Heraclitus as a proponent of radical change and non-identity. Edward Hussey has argued that Cratylus was likely the first person to formulate the sentence in the well-known form in which it comes down to us, and that, having done this, he formulated his own retort: “You can’t step in the same river once.” For neither you nor the river remain the same. Hussey suggests that this version would have misled Plato and Aristotle, who read Heraclitus more as a philosopher of radical flux than an examination of his entire fragments justify (See Kahn, fn. 198).
The first statement does align with some other fragments (not included in Kahn). Take Robinson’s 49a “We do and do not step in the same rivers: we are and are not.” But questions also surround the authenticity especially of the second half of this fragment (See Robinson pp. 112ff.). And of course, this fragment speaks of a sense in which the river and we are the same.
Plutarch’s comments in the second part of Fragment 51, especially when taken with other statements of Heraclitus about flux, in any case lead to an understanding of the initial statement in ways different from the proponents of the most radical views of flux. At the very least some kind of world whole (a Western sort of rational Tao) appears to have identity. “It scatters and gathers–at the same time it endures and dissolves.” This indicates change wherein something endures. We see here a notion like Hegelian Aufhebung or “sublation.” The focus on at least the identity of a greater whole can be underlined in reference to F 124: “…from all things one and from one all things.”
The second part of Fragment 51 also underlines the regularity of the change. This is of course highlighted when reading this together with other statements on change, already examined. The cold becomes warm, as we saw in the last Fragment (49); the moist, dry. And such change is not arbitrary or without limits. Fragments 44 and 46, as we have seen, also underline the regularity of change in the cosmos. “The sun will not transgress his measure” (F 44). It will move in its daily course with regularity and in it seasonal course from furthest point (of Winter Solstice) to nearest point (Summer Solstice). Other heavenly bodies also follow a regular course of movement (see F 45). There will be continuous change in the movement of the sun and the stars, but this change occurs in accordance with the law of cosmic justice. Fragment 48 states this in a quite law-like form that aligns with the view of the early Stoa: ” There is a certain order and fixed time for the change of the cosmos in accordance with some fated necessity.”
A similar change with regularity is noted in various of Heraclitus’ passages on the transformation of the elements. Fragment 41 makes the point especially well: “Fire lives the death of earth and earth the death of fire; water lives the death of air, earth that of water.” The change of the cosmos occurs as elements undergo change from one into another. The comments on Fragments 39 through 41 highlight this.
Yet, to be sure, there is ample ambiguity in the Fragments that have come down to us about the permanence of the identity especially of particular objects. Might a reading be justified that concludes that the identity of only one substance is really permanent and that change in that occurs with law lawlike regularity?
To be sure, Heraclitus is emphasizing the importance of process over substance. Yet in denying particular identities, one would find oneself in a situation parallel to that of the readings of identity in Buddhism, where while no-self and impermanence of specific individuals are affirmed, the question then arises about whether the skandhas or aggregates remain with identity as substrates, as change occurs at a foundational level among (a) form, (b) sensation, (c) perception, (d) mental activity, and (e) consciousness. In the case of Heraclitus, such a reading would have to maintain the permanence of the elements: fire, water, earth, air, probably also the secondary qualities, coldness, warmth, dryness, moisture.
This most famous passage of Heraclitus involves us in some of the greatest interpretive difficulties regarding his philosophy. The most consistent reading of Heraclitus, however, views him largely as a philosophical precursor to Hegel. We are to understand reality as a diverse yet unified whole in process. Flux occurs within a whole that is rational and law-like and that preserves diversity in unity. Substance generally, as stated in this fragment, “endures and dissolves, approaches and departs,” involved in a rational process of change.