THE EAST-WEST SPLIT: REALITY IN TERMS OF TRANSFORMATION (EAST) VS GROWTH (WEST)
THE EAST-WEST SPLIT: REALITY IN TERMS OF TRANSFORMATION (EAST) VS GROWTH (WEST)
This comment on belief in GROWTH versus TRANSFORMATION points directly to the CRAZY-MAKER in WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENCE.
-1- Consider the ‘double error’ when we use the abstract concept of GROWTH in our language and grammar representations of ‘reality’.
We speak of the GROWTH of the land we have ‘under cultivation’ and what comes into the mind’s eye is a small field of grain, that is, from year to year, getting much larger, perhaps starting from a few acres in size and growing to over 100 acres in size.
What we don’t speak about is the chopping down of trees and removal of stumps and rocks and chasing out of gophers and foxes that is associated with our GROWING the size of the field of grain. It’s not that our proposition concerning the GROWTH of the field is NOT TRUE, it’s more like the surprise finding of Goedel’s theorem that all systems of logic are fundamentally INCOMPLETE. In other words, while our talk of the GROWTH of the farm is logically TRUE, such TRUTH is evidently an INCOMPLETE TRUTH because what is also involved in the same action is a SHRINKING of the WILDERNESS, the living space of wild animals and birds.
The talk of GROWTH of cultivated land evidently FAILS TO MENTION THIS OTHER ASPECT OF THE SAME REALITY, … which is the SHRINKAGE of ‘wilderness’ (uncultivated land).
IN REALITY, what is going on is TRANSFORMATION and there is no such thing as GROWTH. GROWTH is logical abstraction that is innately INCOMPLETE. This issue raises questions as to how our use of language and grammar captures SPACE and CONTENT (HABITAT and INHABITANT, FIGURE AND GROUND), or if there are such things. For example, the boil and flow distinction in the river bend may ‘appear’ to be separate things (the boil seems to enjoy persisting LOCAL PERSISTING BEING’ while the flow is purely relational transience).
There are questions here in regard to how we capture and reduce our voyeur visual observations to language and grammar. In particular, we are prone to the ‘double error’ as Nietzsche points out, where we are faced with capturing CHANGE as in TRANSFORMATION, in language and grammar; NOTE THAT TRANSFORMATION HAS NO LOCAL AUTHOR.
“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
The double error of language and grammar allows us to capture TRANSFORMATION (in reduced form) in language. Why the double error reduction? Because TRANSFORMATION is the Wave-field dynamic which is EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME, or in other words NONLOCAL and NONLOCAL DYNAMICS ARE INEFFABLE even though these ineffable-because-nonlocal dynamics are the reality of our actual sensory experience of inclusion in the Tao (Wave-field).
OK, … HERE’S WHERE EAST AND WEST SPLIT; i.e. on the approach to effable-izing the ineffable or in other words ‘LOCALIZING the NONLOCAL’.
While the EAST uses language based on the reduction of the NONLOCAL to the LOCAL just as the WEST does, … the EAST regards such language and grammar-based articulation of a LOCAL reality as ‘throw-away inference’ or ‘Wittgenstein ladders’
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. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” (“Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen”), — Wittgenstein
MEANWHILE, the WEST REGARDS THE LOGICAL “DOUBLE ERROR” BASED ‘LOCAL REALITY’ AS THE ACTUAL OR OPERATIVE “REAL REALITY” (i.e. the language and grammar constructed intellectual reality that we then use to guide our actions and developments).
This DOUBLE ERROR (pseudo-) reality features ‘name-instantiated things-in-themselves, notionally with their own powers of sourcing actions and developments; e.g. ‘The dune is growing higher and longer and is shifting across the desert floor”. This double error-based phraseology delivers a visual pictorial in terms of LOCAL dynamics; i.e. in terms of notional (NAME-instantiated) ‘local things-in-themselves’, notionally with their own (GRAMMAR-instantiated) powers of sourcing actions and developments. The REALITY of our actual sensory experience remains, in spite of such intellectual LOCAL reality construction, NONLOCAL.
DUNING is relational RESONANCE based or in other words ‘Wave-field based’ and is thus a NONLOCAL phenomenon and that which is NONLOCAL is ineffable. The ‘double error’ is our means of using language and grammar to reduce the ineffable to effable, i.e. to reduce DUNING (nonlocal resonance phenomena) to local ‘DUNES’, notional ‘things-in-themselves’ notionally with powers of SOURCING their own ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS. This language and grammar based DOUBLE ERROR REDUCTION delivers an EFFABLE LOCAL REDUCTION of the INEFFABLE NONLOCAL, allowing us to speak about and share our impressions of our ineffable experience of inclusion in the Tao (Wave-field), in effable LOCAL terms.
THE EAST USES THIS (double error) TOOL that enables us to SHARE A CRUDE REDUCTION TO LOCAL/EFFABLE REPRESENTATION of our INEFFABLE EXPERIENCE of inclusion in the NONLOCAL TAO
as “INFERENCE” of the INEFFABLE REALITY; i.e. as a throw-away ‘Wittgenstein ladder’ that triggers intuitive understanding of that which lies innately beyond explicit language and grammar-based representation.
THE WEST MIS-USES THIS (double error) TOOL that enables us TO SHARE A CRUDE EFFABLE INTELLECTUAL REDUCTION of our INEFFABLE EXPERIENCE…. AS IF IT WERE THE ACTUAL ‘PHYSICAL OPERATIVE REALITY’. Our employing of this crude effable intellectual reduction of our ineffable experience as if it were the actual physical operative reduction is a CRAZY-MAKER. It is one thing to employ, as the EAST does as well as the WEST, statements such as … “the DUNE is growing taller and longer and is shifting to the South” and “the FARM has GROWN from a small 2 acre plot to 160 acres with a corresponding massive GROWTH in production, but it is quite another to regards such intellectual conceptualizations of GROWTH as REALITY, as characterizes our WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT practice, in contrast to EASTERN CULTURE practice and modern physics where there is only TRANSFORMATION and no such thing as GROWTH.
The growth of the cultivated area is NOT REAL since it says nothing of the reciprocal shrinking of wilderness area. The combination of the two are EXPERIENCED by those included as TRANSFORMATION that we included in. The WESTERN CULTURE belief in GROWTH is in direct competition with understanding reality in terms of TRANSFORMATION that we are included in.
The ‘flat-earth’ view of GROWTH of cities etc. of European colonizers preoccupied WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT minds to the point that the ‘real reality’ of TRANSFORMATION was obscured. Meanwhile, in the indigenous aboriginal mind, REALITY as TRANSFORMATION remained clear; eg;
“You must teach the children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. … This we know, the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”— “Chief Seattle”
For those who believe that GROWTH (e.g. the GROWTH of the farm or the town of the ‘figure’) IS REAL, such belief in GROWTH effectively shuts out the understanding of TRANSFORMATION wherein FIGURE AND GROUND ARE ONE (the ‘growth’ of the figure is accommodated by the ‘shrinkage’ of the ground; e.g. the growth the cultivated ground is reciprocated by the shrinkage of the wilderness so that what is REALLY going on is TRANSFORMATION).
MEANWHILE, the BELIEF in the REALITY of GROWTH persists among WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS even though THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GROWTH i.e. “GROWTH” is abstraction that derives from the ‘double error’ of language and grammar; i.e. the first error is NAMING to impute thing-in-itself being, conflated with the second error of GRAMMAR that imputes the power of sourcing actions and developments to the NAMING-instantiated thing-in-itself.
The confusing of GROWTH and TRANSFORMATION is the confusing of FLAT space Euclidian geometry and SPHERICAL space geometry. In fact, we are talking about “EAST is EAST and WEST is WEST and never the twain shall meet”.
For those who believe that GROWTH is real, the cognitive door is shut to accessing the understanding of reality as TRANSFORMATION. If we believe that it is possible for towns or farms to ‘grow larger’, then we are shutting out the understanding of change in terms of relational TRANSFORMATION.
The only way that a CITY or FARM could GROW larger is if it were situated within an absolute space of infinite extent; i.e. an abstract EUCLIDIAN space. We do not live within an abstract EUCLIDIAN space, we live within a TRANSFORMING relational continuum aka ‘the Tao’ aka ‘the Wave-field. The reality of our sensory experience as understood in modern physics, indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, is a reality wherein we (and everything) are included in a TRANSFORMING relational continuum.
This split in how we see reality; (a) in terms of GROWTH, or (b) in terms of TRANSFORMATION divides WEST from EAST. In the WEST, we talk about the increasing number of trees that have died from Dutch Elm disease as the climate warms. The concept of the GROWTH of the number of disease-stricken trees is abstraction. What is real is the ecosystem is which those trees are included and our ability to treat of them separately thanks to NAMING and GRAMMAR (the double error) DOES NOT EXTEND TO REALITY. In other words, while we can talk about ‘the Dutch Elm population’ and its GROWTH and/or DECLINE, there is no such thing as ‘the Dutch Elm Population’.
Likewise, while we can talk about the GROWTH of a farm or city, there are no such ‘things-in-themselves’. The distinction between the farm and the wilderness is RELATIVE and as the farm GROWS, the wilderness reciprocally SHRINKS. What is physically going on is relational TRANSFORMATION. “GROWTH’ is an abstract intellectual concept born of the double error of language and grammar; i.e. first we use NAMING to impute LOCAL thing-in-itself being to a relational form, and second, we use GRAMMAR to impute to the LOCAL thing-in-itself being, powers of SOURCING actions and developments.
If you have read this comment to this point, you may be tuning in to a possible reason why we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have been so oblivious to our inclusion in the “transforming relational continuum” aka ‘the Tao’ aka ‘the Wavefield”, as was a shocker to the indigenous peoples upon the arrival of us colonizers; i.e. the indigenous peoples were amazed that the European colonizers did not understand themselves as being included in the transforming relational continuum (“Nature”): “Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.”
Our WESTERN CULTURE ‘subject’-‘object’ split, wherein human ‘inhabitants’ are seen as existing separately from the ‘habitat’ was puzzling to the indigenous aboriginal peoples and while it remains the popular WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT belief, is not supported by modern physics;
“The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.” – Erwin Schroedinger
Our WESTERN CULTURE BELIEF in “GROWTH” implies the INHABITANT-HABITAT SPLIT (the FIGURE and GROUND SPLIT figuratively ‘breaks out the FIGURE so that it can GROW independently of the GROUND). TRANSFORMATION is the physical REALITY while the abstraction of GROWTH is based on the ‘double error’ of NAMING to impute thing-in-itself existence conflated with GRAMMAR to impute the power of SOURCING actions and development to the NAMING instantiated thing-in-itself.
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The following introduction from Edwin A. Abbott’s 1884 work ‘FLATLAND’ explores the problem of the INEFFABLE nature of reality, in ‘geometric’ terms which show that solid state geometry is not ‘sufficiently comprehensive’ to capture our experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum aka ‘the Tao’ aka ‘the Wave-field’.
This title of ‘FLATLAND’ and the implication that we are FLATLANDERS takes on more meaning in light of modern physics wherein reality as the transforming relational continuum is perceived in the manner of our inclusion in a holodynamic or ‘holographic universe’ (Talbot). This comes to us through SENSORY EXERPIENCE but is not reducible to intellectual abstraction based language and grammar constructs.
Abbott was clearly concerned with the public attitude in his era, wherein one would only accept a reality that could be ‘drawn’ as a geometric construction, a form of representation that is expressible in language and grammar, although such expression resorts to such abstract devices as ‘lines’ of infinitesimal thickness which are nevertheless ‘assumed to exist’ and support our language based constructions of ‘reality’.
For me, Abbott’s ‘FLATLAND’ is an interesting intellectual struggle with the LIMITATIONS OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR in capturing our experience of inclusion in TRANSFORMATION (i.e. our inclusion in the transforming relational continum aka the Tao aka the Wave-field).
Here is Abbott’s Intro to his 1884 publication of FLATLAND;
PREFACE TO THE SECOND AND REVISED EDITION, 1884. BY THE EDITOR If my poor Flatland friend retained the vigour of mind which he enjoyed when he began to compose these Memoirs, I should not now need to represent him in this preface, in which he desires, firstly, to return his thanks to his readers and critics in Spaceland, whose appreciation has, with unexpected celerity, required a second edition of his work; secondly, to apologize forcertain errors and misprints (for which, however, he is not entirely responsible); and, thirdly, to explain one or two misconceptions. But he is not the Square he once was. Years of imprisonment, and the still heavier burden of general incredulity and mockery, have combined with the natural decay of old age to erase from his mind many of the thoughts and notions, and much also of the terminology, which he acquired during his short stay in Spaceland. He has, therefore, requested me to reply in his behalf to two special objections, one of an intellectual, the other of a moral nature.
The first objection is, that a Flatlander, seeing a Line, sees something that must be thick to the eye as well as long to the eye (otherwise it would not be visible, if it had not some thickness); and consequently he ought (it is argued) to acknowledge that his countrymen are not only long and broad, but also (though doubtless in a very slight degree) thick or high. His objection is plausible, and, to Spacelanders, almost irresistible, so that, I confess, when I first heard it, I knew not what to reply. But my poor old friend’s answer appears to me completely to meet it.
“I admit,” said he – when I mentioned to him this objection – “I admit the truth of your critic’s facts, but I deny his conclusions. It is true that we have really in Flatland a Third unrecognized Dimension called `height,’ just as it is also true that you have really in Spaceland a Fourth unrecognized Dimension, called by no name at present, but which I will call `extra-height’. But we can no more take cognizance of our `height’ then you can of your `extra-height’. Even I – who have been in Spaceland, and have had the privilege of understanding for twenty-four hours the meaning of `height’ – even I cannot now comprehend it, nor realize it by the sense of sight or by any process of reason; I can but apprehend it by faith.
“The reason is obvious. Dimension implies direction, implies measurement, implies the more and the less. Now, all our lines are equally and infinitesimally thick (or high, whichever you like); consequently, there is nothing in them to lead our minds to the conception of that Dimension. No `delicate micrometer’ – as has been suggested by one too hasty Spaceland critic – would in the least avail us; for we should not know what to measure, nor in what direction. When we see a Line, we see something that is long and bright; brightness, as well as length, is necessary to the existence of a Line; if the brightness vanishes, the Line is extinguished. Hence, all my Flatland friends – when I talk to them about the unrecognized Dimension which is somehow visible in a Line – say, `Ah, you mean brightness’: and when I reply, `No, I mean a real Dimension,’ they at once retort `Then measure it, or tell us in what direction it extends’; and this silences me, for I can do neither. Only yesterday, when the Chief Circle (in other words our High Priest) came to inspect the State Prison and paid me his seventh annual visit, and when for the seventh time he put me the question, `Was I any better?’ I tried to prove to him that he was `high,’ as well as long and broad, although he did not know it. But what was his reply? `You say I am “high”; measure my “highness” and I will believe you.’ What could I do? How could I meet his challenge? I was crushed; and he left the room triumphant.
“Does this still seem strange to you? Then put yourself in a similar position. Suppose a person of the Fourth Dimension, condescending to visit you, were to say, `Whenever you open your eyes, you see a Plane (which is of Two Dimensions) and you infer a Solid (which is of Three); but in reality you also see (though you do not recognize) a Fourth Dimension, which is not colour nor brightness nor anything of the kind, but a true Dimension, although I cannot point out to you its direction, nor can you possibly measure it.’ What would you say to such a visitor? Would not you have him locked up? Well, that is my fate: and it is as natural for us Flatlanders to lock up a Square for preaching the Third Dimension, as it is for you Spacelanders to lock up a Cube for preaching the Fourth. Alas, how strong a family likeness runs through blind and persecuting humanity in all Dimensions! Points, Lines, Squares, Cubes, Extra- Cubes – we are all liable to the same errors, all alike the Slaves of our respective Dimensional prejudices, as one of your Spaceland poets has said –
`One touch of Nature makes all worlds akin’.”1
On this, point the defence of the Square seems to me to be impregnable. I wish I could say that his answer to the second (or moral) objection was equally clear and cogent. lt has been objected that he is a woman-hater; and as this objection has been vehemently urged by those whom Nature’s decree has constituted the somewhat larger half of the Spaceland race, I should like to remove it, so far as I can honestly do so. But the Square is so unaccustomed to the use of the moral terminology of Spaceland that I should be doing him an injustice if I were literally to transcribe his defence against this charge. Acting, therefore, as his interpreter and summarizer, I gather that in the course of an imprisonment of seven years he has himself modified his own personal views, both as regards Women and as regards the Isosceles or Lower Classes. Personally, he now inclines to the opinion of the Sphere that the Straight Lines are in many important respects superior to the Circles. But, writing as a Historian, he has identified himself (perhaps too closely) with the views generally adopted by Flatland, and (as he has been informed) even Spaceland, Historians; in whose pages (until very recent times) the destinies of Women and of the masses of mankind have seldom been deemed worthy of mention and never of careful consideration.
In a still more obscure passage he now desires to disavow the Circular or aristocratic tendencies with which some critics have naturally credited him. While doing justice to the intellectual power with which a few Circles for many generations maintained their supremacy over immense multitudes of their countrymen, he believes that the facts of Flatland, speaking for themselves without comment On his part, declare that Revolutions cannot always be suppressed by slaughter; and that Nature, in sentencing the Circles to infecundity, has condemned them to ultimate failure – “and herein,” he says, “I see a fulfillment of the great Law of all worlds, that while the wisdom of Man thinks it is working one thing, the wisdom of Nature constrains it to work another, and quite a different and far better thing.” For the rest, he begs his readers not to suppose that every minute detail in the daily life of Flatland must needs correspond to some other detail in Spaceland; and yet he hopes that, taken as a whole, his work may prove suggestive as well as amusing, to those Spacelanders of moderate and modest minds who – speaking of that which is of the highest importance, but lies beyond experience – decline to say on the one hand, “This can never be,” and on the other hand, “It must needs be precisely thus, and we know all about it.”
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I would describe this FLATLAND work of Abbott as addressing the ‘ineffability problem’ that is innate in our experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum aka ‘the Tao’ aka ‘the Wave-field’.
The ineffability problem leads to the EAST – WEST split wherein the EAST regards that which can be explicitly articulated as the a mere WITTGENSTEIN LADDER or launching pad for an intuitive leap to the INFERRED REALITY that lies innately beyond the explicit reference that can only go so far as as an intellectual launchpad for the intuitive leap to the ineffable reality of the Wave-field (transforming relational continuum). In modern physics, Geoffrey Chew and John Wheeler… refer to this technique of using linguistically articulable concepts as a springboard to trigger beyond-linguistically articulable (intuitive) understanding, as BOOTSTRAPPING.
Edwin A. Abbott is, in FLATLAND, describing this shortfall in the explicit concepts of geometry and language for conveying experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum. That is, the reality of our experience of inclusion in a continually transforming (fluid) Wavefield cannot be explicitly ‘told’; e.g. ‘The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao’. Since we have to ‘dumb down’ the ‘telling’, we put the onus on the listener to make the intuitive leap from the reduced articulation that can only INFER our experience of inclusion in the transforming relational continuum, to his own impression of how that experience might have enlivened his own sensory experiencing.
This combination of ‘dumbing down’ the ineffable experience in order to linguistically represent and share it clearly has some options, as are discussed in FLATLAND. In our own everyday discussions (i.e. language based reductions of ineffable sensory experience) we have choices as presented in this article, and the choice that divides us into EAST and WEST is the choice of using GROWTH or TRANSFORMATION as the animator of the unfolding world of our included experience.
For the WEST, we have fallen into the habit of employing GROWTH as in “the farm grew from a small 2 acre plot to a 160 acre plot. In using the INTELLECTUAL ABSTRACTION OF GROWTH, we block from entry into our intellectualizing mind, our natural experience informed sense of relational transformation.
Though it hasn’t happened in the EAST, … in the WEST, GROWTH has HIJACKED TRANSFORMATION in our linguistic capture of what is going on in the world. This is aided and betted by the ‘double error’ of language and grammar which uses NAMING to impute local BEING and conflates this with GRAMMAR to impute the power of SOURCING actions and development tot he NAMING-instantiated thing-in-itself. This is how nature’s NONLOCAL dynamics of relational TRANSFORMATION are, in our intellectual conceptualizing of them, reduced to the LOCAL double-error based pseudo-dynamics of GROWTH.
When we speak of the ‘GROWTH’ of a farm, this is abstraction. The reality is TRANSFORMATION of the relational space that included the farming activity. THERE IS NO “FARM” THAT “GROWS LARGER”, THERE IS ONLY RELATIONAL TRANSFORMATION.
Our psychological CONFUSION coming from our language based geometrical constructions is what Edwin Abbott is exploring in FlATLAND. The CRAZY-MAKING that can come from this is alive and well in modern WESTERN CULTURE discourse and behaviour.
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