FRAGMENTATION of the WESTERN CULTURE PSYCHE
What is considered NORMAL in WESTERN CULTURE is innately FRAGMENTING, as finds expression in R. D. Laing’s assertion;
What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience.”
— R.D. Laing
The Wave-field reality of our sense experience has a conjugate ‘wave-based’ structure which, in mathematical terms is composed of both REAL and IMAGINARY components, which can be imagined in terms of the MALE-ASSERTING and FEMALE-ACCOMMODING relation where the former is locally asserting and the latter is locally accommodating. The problem with WESTERN CULTURE NORMAL is that while we live in a WAVE-FIELD REALITY, we have designed our language for representations which are ONE-SIDEDLY MALE-ASSERTING. For example, we say ‘the TOWN is GROWING’ rather than, as indigenous aboriginal languages, ‘there is TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE.
This DROP OUT of the IMAGINARY COMPONENT (FEMALE COMPONENT), the case of the ‘DEA INCOGNITA’, in our WESTERN CULTURE LANGUAGE COMMUNICATIONS is serving up FRAGMENTATION which manifests in our social relational dynamics. This has been showing up as psychological dysfunction as psychiatrist Ronald Laing is pointing out in the above quote. It is also showing up in the large and growing ANTI-PSYCHIATRY movement and in the systems sciences attack on the dysfunctional employment of SUBOPTIMIZATION as reviewed in the essay ‘the Name of the Devil is Suboptimization’ by Martine Dodds Taljaard and György Jaros.
What is going on here is examined in the Taoist tale of the old farmer and the horse where the old farmer is greeting each new development (the horse runs away (maybe bad maybe good) but returns with six fine wild horses (maybe good maybe bad). When the farmer’s son breaks his leg training the new horses (maybe bad maybe good) he is passed over by the War-lord’s recruiting of all able-bodied men to go War, wherein his army is defeated and all his men killed. The broken leg was evidently good.
One might summarize this in the terms that REALITY IS COMPLEX in the sense of having both MALE ASSERTIVE and FEMALE ACCOMMODATING components. Thus, we cannot speak in terms of ‘the TOWN is GROWING because this fails to capture the conjugate SHRINKING of the WILDERNESS as comes with living in a spherical space (it would only be legitimate to assert that ‘the TOWN is GROWING. Since we live in a spherical space, it makes NO SENSE to say ‘the TOWN is GROWING’ without at the same time incorporating the reality that the WILDERNESS is SHRINKING.
BUT this DROP OUT leads directly to FRAGMENTATION where ‘the TOWN’ is conceived of as if it had issued a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE so that it could manage its affairs on the one-sided basis of whatever felt appropriate within its own (perceived as) INDEPENDENT LOCAL REALM.
FRAGMENTATION in the physical world thus proceeds from our WESTERN CULTURE LANGUAGE ARCHITECTURE’s built in FRAGMENTATION which as Nietzsche points out, is implanted by the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR, an example of which is ‘the TOWN is GROWING larger and more populous and productive’. Such language based FRAGMENTATION results in the mental construction of a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein, in our language-conditioned thoughts, where we split apart relational forms in the flow by NAMING them and animating them with GRAMMAR as in the example, the TOWN is GROWING, obliging our psyche to an imaginary ‘containing space’ or ‘operating theatre’ which is absolute empty and of infinite extent. This is our SUBSTITUTE for the DEA ABSCONDITA, the female conjugate aspect of the DOUBLE ERROR based MALE-ASSERTING in our ‘half-baked’ linguistic representation.
YES, we ARE ABLE to construct representations of “a reality” with this half-baked MALE-ASSERTIVE ONLY schema, but these are representations of a SUBSTITUTE REALITY featuring INDEPENDENT FRAGMENTS with GRAMMAR-based movement and development as in the example ‘the TOWN is growing larger and more populous and productive. In sense experience reality, THERE IS TOWINNG IN THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE. That is, TOWNING is a DEVELOPING WITHIN THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE (the transforming relational CONTINUUM). To use language that REPRESENTS TOWNING, which is a relational feature within the TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM, AS IF IT WERE A LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF with GRAMMAR-GIVEN POWERS of GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT and PRODUCTION is to construct a new, SUBSTITUTE REALITY which, however useful for communications purposes, should not be confused with the TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE of sense experience reality.
BUT WE ARE CONFUSING THIS LANGUAGE BASED FRAGMENTED SUBSTITUTE REALITY FOR “SENSE-EXPERIENCE REALITY” AND THIS IS WHAT BOHM IS REFERRING TO in the following excerpt from ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’;
1 FRAGMENTATION AND WHOLENESS (from Wholeness and the Implicate Order by David Bohm)
The title of this chapter is ‘Fragmentation and wholeness’. It is especially important to consider this question today, for fragmentation is now very widespread, not only throughout society, but also in each individual; and this is leading to a kind of general confusion of the mind, which creates an endless series of problems and interferes with our clarity of perception so seriously as to prevent us from being able to solve most of them.
Thus art, science, technology, and human work in general, are divided up into specialities, each considered to be separate in essence from the others. Becoming dissatisfied with this state of affairs, men have set up further interdisciplinary subjects, which were intended to unite these specialities, but these new subjects have ultimately served mainly to add further separate fragments. Then, society as a whole has developed in such a way that it is broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic, racial groups, etc. Man’s natural environment has correspondingly been seen as an aggregate of separately existent parts, to be exploited by different groups of people. Similarly, each individual human being has been fragmented into a large number of separate and conflicting compartments, according to his different desires, aims, ambitions, loyalties, psychological characteristics, etc., to such an extent that it is generally accepted that some degree of neurosis is inevitable, while many individuals going beyond the ‘normal’ limits of fragmentation are classified as paranoid, schizoid, psychotic, etc
To say that ‘the TOWN is GROWING’ is exemplary of this synthetic FRAGMENTATION that is the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR..
To say that ‘I am the AUTHOR of this work is exemplary of this synthetic FRAGMENTATION that is the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR..
In sense-experience reality, we are included in the TRANSFORMING RELATIONAL CONTINUUM aka the Wave-field aka the Tao.
In all cases, the FIGURE and GROUND are ONE and it is only the abstraction of BINARY LOGIC that enables a SPLITTING into FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO, this BINARY LOGIC having been built into WESTERN CULTURE LANGUAGE ARCHITECTURES as in such statements as ‘the TOWN is GROWING’, the word ‘GROWING’ implying the INDEPENDENT EXISTENCE of the THING-THAT-IS-GROWING, and in the same fell stroke, creating an INTELLECTUAL SUBSTITUTE REALITY that REPLACES our sense-experience reality wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE (TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE),
If we ‘back off the camera so that visual field is broad, we see the evolving LANDSCAPE and the gathering-scattering centres reminiscent of ants coming to a drop of honey to load up and carry the goods away creating a continuing gathering-scattering pattern, the crowded centre of which expands and contracts with the gathering and scattering, and while crowd LOOKS LIKE a THING (cluster) that is GROWING and SHRINKING, it has no ONTOLOGY of its own, but is a RESONANCE FEATURE made of GATHERING SCATTERING associated with a dynamic that is NONLOCAL and IMPLICIT. To employ the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR so as to RECAST this resonance feature as a LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF as if with its own powers of AUTHORING GROWTH and ACTION is something that LANGUAGE ENABLES, but without signalling the departure from sense-experience reality into ABSTRACTION that this implies.
THIS IS THE “FORMULA” for deploying LANGUAGE so as to notionally (psychologically) RE-CAST resonance features as LOCAL THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES, notionally with THEIR OWN POWERS of AUTHORING actions and development. In this manner, TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE is recast in the SUBSTITUTE REALITY terms of ‘the TOWN that is GROWING larger and more populous and productive’.
THIS IS THE “FORMULA” for WESTERN CULTURE LANGUAGE-based FRAGMENTATION of reality that serves up a SUBSTITUTE REALITY that is grounded in INTELLECTUAL ABSTRACTION and no longer grounded in sense-experience reality. This is what is going on when we substitute ‘the TOWN that is GROWING’ for ‘TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE’, and instead of the ‘container’ being the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE, we substitute ABSOLUTE EMPTY AND INFINITE SPACE (mathematical abstraction that is the enabler of this SUBSTITUTE REALITY).
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have language that FRAGMENTS our sense-experience reality. This FRAGMENTATION is pointed out by both Nietzsche and Bohm although they have different ways of describing it, as follows;
As NIETZSCHE DESCRIBES IT, … by breaking the sense-experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum down with the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR. This DOUBLE ERROR allows the construction of a FRAGMENT-based SUBSTITUTE REALITY featuring NAMING-instantiated (notional) LOCAL THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES with GRAMMAR-GIVEN (notional) powers of AUTHORING actions and developments. For example, TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE (of our sense-experience awareness) is RECAST in the abstract terms of ‘the TOWN that is GROWING larger and more populous and productive’. The TOWN is an abstract concept that has been notionally LIBERATED from inclusion in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE and is now RE-presented as if it were a LOCAL TOWN THING-IN-ITSELF that lives within an ABSOLUTE EMPTY SPACE OF INFINITE EXTENT. FOR NIETXSCHE, the FRAGMENTING is IN OUR MINDS.
As BOHM DESCRIBES IT, … the FRAGMENTING IS SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS as can be seen in Bohm’s following remarks from Wholeness and the Implicate Order;
“society as a whole has developed in such a way that it is broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic, racial groups, etc.”
This is a bit tricky but it is important to point out that Nietzsche did NOT ground his remarks by acknowledging that FRAGMENTATION EXISTS, while BOHM is doing precisely that as in his above statement. Nietzsche would not utter such a statement because IT IS NOT TRUE THAT SOCIETY IS BROKEN UP INTO SEPARATE NATIONS ETC., … that only happens in an IMAGINED SUBSTITUTE REALITY that we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are employing as OUR OPERATIVE REALITY. Indigenous aboriginals living in our SOCIETY and who are part of OUR SOCIETY are no buying in to the FRAGMENTATION.
So, why does BOHM say that “society as a whole has developed in such a way that it is broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic, racial groups, etc.”?
My point is that, as an indigenous aboriginal or as someone like Nietzsche who IS NOT BUYING IN TO THE FRAGMENTATION, one would NOT ACCEPT that SOCIETY IS BROKEN UP INTO SEPARATE NATIONS. That is only happening in the MIND of WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS and it is NOT HAPPENING in the MIND of NIETZSCHE nor in the MIND of indigenous aboriginals, Taoists/Buddhists and Advaita Vedanta Adherents.
WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE LANGUAGE WE ARE NOW USING IN THAT IT LACKS THE CAPABILITY OF ARTICULATING UNDIVIDED WHOLENESS, so that AFTER HUMPTY DUMPTY HAS BEEN FRAGMENTED, REASSEMBLING THE UNDIVIDED WHOLENESS OF FIGURE-AND-GROUND AS ONE, IS BEYOND THE CAPABILITY OF THIS COMMON AVERAGE EUROPEAN LANGUAGE THAT WE ARE HEREWITH USING TO FASHION REPRESENTATIONS OF OUR UNDERSTANDING, UNDERSTANDING WHICH IS CAPABLE OF FIGUJRE-AND-GROUND-AS-ONE STRUCTURES.
Bohm might have spoken in aphorisms as Nietzsche has done, to INFER what we can’t explicitly state. That is, WHAT HAS BROKEN UP INTO SEPARATE NATIONS is not “SOCIETY” since society is an inclusive term and indigenous aboriginals and NIETZSCHE TYPE THINKERS are not buying into this popular FRAGMENTED conceptualization of reality. The indigenous aboriginal negotiated treaties that originally allowed them to understand TURTLE ISLAND as a natural unbounded space that WAS NOT FRAGMENTED just because WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS circulated intellectual propositions proclaiming that such FRAGMENTATION must be accepted as REAL and DENIERS would be subject to PUNISHMENT. Birds and animals would be give special privileges of uninhibited passage across the BOUNDARY LINES defining the FRAGMENTATION.
The point here is that FRAGMENTATION is abstraction that occurs in the psyche and becomes manifest through the behaviours of psychologically conditioned people. If BOHM had said “WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT society has developed in such a way that it is broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic and racial groups”, this would avoid the inference that we are ALL INFECTED WITH this ZOMBIE-ISM while the reality is that there are many ‘fellow travelers’ who march in step because it is expedient to do so and very problematic to OVERTLY RESIST.
So, while Bohm says; “society as a whole has developed in such a way that it is broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic, racial groups, etc.”?
Nietzsche would say something like; “the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR gives rise to SUBSTITUTE REALITY based on the FRAGMENTING of sense-experience reality into a diverse multiplicity of LOCAL FALSE IDOLS that we purport have their own powers of AUTHORING their own actions and developments.
SOCIETY HAS NOT “BROKEN UP”, but the WESTERN CULTURE CONDITIONED PSYCHE HAS BROKEN UP which is what is manifesting within our SOCIAL DYNAMIC aka SOCIETY.
Just as the native animals of TURTLE ISLAND are not believers in such abstract FRAGMENTATION, they may be trained with electric fences and other punitive technologies to behave as if the FRAGMENTATION into separate regions were REAL. No INDIGENOUS ABORIGINAL is going to accept the “AVERAGING” in Bohm’s “SOCIETY AS A WHOLE” comment which is immediately referred to as “IT” (a notional local thing-in-itself) that “IS BROKEN UP INTO SEPARATE NATIONS” because SOCIETY is ultimately the whole thing, the all-including GREAT HARMONY of the transforming relational continuum..
In NIETZSCHE’S TERMS, what persists after we have SMASHED ALL THE IDOLS is left UNDEFINED in his Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer (Götzen-Dämmerung, oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer philosophiert).
What I want to DISTINGUISH here is that while BOHM speaks as if society REALLY IS broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic, racial groups etc…. i.e. as if FRAGMENTATION IS REAL … NIETZSCHE does NOT open the door and acknowledge ‘the REALITY’ of such ALLEGED FRAGMENTATION THAT EXISTS ONLY IN THE MIND. Nietzsche’s alternative stance is to speak from a base which has not yet accepted FRAGMENTATION, which recommends SMASHING THESE IDOLS (BOHM’s separate nations and different religious, political, economic and racial groups).
So, while BOHM opens the door and lets all of these IDOLS in by saying “society IS broken up’, … Nietzsche does NOT accept that “society IS broken up” (i.e. it is OUR MIND THAT IS MANUFACTURING THIS FRAGMENTATION) acknowledging that our language-based REPRESENTATIONS (i.e. the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR representation) creates abstract IDOLS, that roam our psyche and become the basis of an IDOL-based SUBSTITUTE REALITY).
BOHM’s perspective grounds in a FRAGMENTED WORLD (fragmented society or social collective) wherein our social relational dynamics are screwed up by our fragmenting reality into separate nations etc.
NIETZSCHE’s perspective grounds in our mental representation of reality which is FRAGMENTED by our language-and-grammar casting of it in terms of FALSE IDOLS so that the problem is our PSYCHE based belief in FALSE IDOLS, rhe remedy for which is that we must SMASH THE FALSE IDOLS IN OUR PSYCHE (e.g the FALSE IDOL of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR based INDEPENDENT NATION.
BOHM’s FRAGMENTED WORLD has a FIGURE and GROUND as TWO topology (a BINARY LOGIC based topology).
NIETZSCHE’s WORLD OF FALSE IDOLS has an UNDERLYING FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE topology which is waiting to manifest as soon as we remove the THING-IN-ITSELF aspect of the FIGURE which is supporting the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO topology. We can do this by SMASHING the IDOL aspect of the FIGURE to allow the FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE (QUANTUM LOGIC) aspect to become manifest.
One can understand this in the following manner; consider the phrase ‘the TOWN is GROWING’. This implies BINARY LOGIC since the TOWN could not GROW in its own right if it were understood to be in CONJUGATE RELATION with the LANDSCAPE as requires FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE QUANTUM LOGIC. The TOWN is an example of the FALSE IDOL and we will be UNABLE TO SEE THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE while our psyche is preoccupied with the SUBSTITUTE REALITY based on the FALSE IDOL of the TOWN as a LOCAL THING-IN-ITSELF with its own (notional) powers of GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT.
The REAL REALITY of our sense-experience is FLUID as with TOWNING IN THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE and we will be unable to perceive this so long as were have in our visual field, snapshots of the TOWN in ITS progressive states of development. Such a visual conceptualizing BLOTS OUT the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE by committing the psychological capture of movement to a focus on the notional development of the TOWN. That is, the IDOL aka the FIGURE has, on its own hook, hijacked the psyche’s sole allocation of motion and used it up on the notional GROWTH of the IDOL aka the FIGURE as INDEPENDENT of the GROUND. This is not VISION, this BINARY LOGIC based abstract MENTAL PICTURE REPRESENTATION that serves up a SUBSTITUTE REALITY wherein the IDOL is now an INDEPENDENT FIGURE that is free to grow and move about INDEPENDENT of its FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE reality.
Thus we have the BOHM and NIETZSCHE alternatives to dealing with SAME PROBLEM, the problem of WESTERN CULTURE LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR that FRAGMENTS REALITY, creating notional LOCAL AUTHORS of actions and developments by way of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
NIETZSCHE’s approach to overcoming FRAGMENTATION is in his advice to SMASH THE IDOLS, … that’s FIGURATIVE and not LITERAL, because the IDOLS are what concretize the BINARY LOGIC based SPLITTING of FIGURE and GROUND into TWO. In SMASHING the IDOLS, we open our eyes and mind to the reality of FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE.
WHICH DO WE OPEN? OUR EYES OR OUR MIND? What do we have to ‘shut down’ when we are watching the TOWN GROW in or order to see the LANDSCAPE TRANSFORMING? We don’t have to SHUT DOWN ANYTHING because the problem is that seeing the TOWN GROW is only possible by SHUTTING DOWN our vision of TOWNING in the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE. This view is the MALE-ASSERTIVE view which is MISSING the FEMALE ACCOMMODATING view which then becomes the DEA INCOGNITA that ‘haunts’ the psyche as we go with the MALE ASSERTIVE vision of the GROWING TOWN.
The REALITY of TRANSFORMATION is NONLOCAL AND IMPLICIT so it is not something VISIBLE that is LOCAL and EXPLICIT. Our above question may thus be answered; WE MUST OPEN OUR MIND, NOT JUST OPEN UP THE SCOPE OF OUR VISUALIZING to include the TOWN within the context of the LANDSCAPE. OUR MIND MUST OPEN UP TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF EVERYTHING IN FLUX whereupon the FIGURE OF THE TOWNING in the GROUND OF THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE BECOME ONE. For this to happen, we must SMASH THE FIGURE-AS-LOCAL-IDOL as perpetuated by its DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR based REPRESENTATION.
While BOHM has captured THE PROBLEM of FRAGMENTATION very well, his SOLUTION of CHOICELESS AWARENESS “JUMPS OVER” the issue of our mesmerizing by language-and grammar-based IDOLS that we use in our LANGUAGE-BASED REPRESENTATION of reality. NIETZSCHE is more direct with IDOL-SMASHING advice. So, the next time we see a PICTURE of a TOWN, we need to let that FIXED IMAGE and its RATIO-based GROWTH CRUMBLE AND IMAGINE INSTEAD, THE TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE WHEREIN TOWNING IS INCLUDED IN THE MANNER of a WHORL in RIVER FLOW.
CAN WE GET TO ‘CHOICELESS AWARENESS’ without SMASHING THE IDOL’? How difficult is it to open our mind to the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE while the picture of the TOWN is sitting there inviting our focus?
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.
Being taught the language we have been taught seems to have dumbed us down in a way that is challenging to overcome. Meanwhile, the FRAGMENTING CONTINUES! Will we SMASH the IDOL before it FRAGMENTS US. Tune in for the next edition.
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