There Is A Primary Flaw In Fundamentalism,
i.e.: it doesn’t really exist, except as a consequence of flawed thinking …
When we look to/at the world what do we see? The same question applies to what we hear … feel … taste … smell … all of the various and interactive ways we experience the world external to us, as well as that which we perceive to be occurring within ourselves.
Whether it’s the look, feel and smell of a rose blossom … or the sensation of having a full or empty stomach … or the light brush of touch as the hand of a loved one caresses the back of your own … these sensations are what we experience as being what the things we experience are … i.e.: their fundamental nature.
Yet, is that true?
Do we experience fundamental nature? … Ever?
This is a “trick” of thinking that we have been trained into believing … i.e.: that things, events, experiences, perceptions are something.
The Trick of Cartesian Thinking (or “Aristotle’s Gift”)
Anyone trained in Newtonian based science … i.e.: the extension of Hellenistic natural science … has been covertly trained in the Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm. Here are some of the “laws” that operate within that paradigm:
There is such a thing as cause and effect that operates on both a macroscopic as well as microscopic level
There are things that exist as themselves … matter that is self-defined as being what it is fundamentally
That there are some fundamental laws of the Universe that will apply everywhere and at all times in the Universe
That there is some fundamental unit of matter from which all matter arises, i.e.: atoms … now, quarks … or strings
That finding the fundamental unit of matter will lead to the discovery of a fundamental equation explaining the nature of the Universe at it’s most fundamental level … i.e.: A Theory of Everything (TOE)
What fundamental of course is that virtually anyone who has been ‘educated’ in any standard schooling system, e.g.: in the U.S. … the U.K. … Sweden … China … Iran … Brazil … Nicaragua … wherever, has been trained to ‘believe’ in Newtonian science as the basic explanation of the Universe at the macroscopic scale.
Newtonian based thinking goes well beyond ‘science’ and is applied across the board to all aspects of human understanding and endeavor. We begin to look for the cause and fundamental rules/laws of “WHY?” everywhere.
Why do people treat me like they do (there must be a reason, a cause, some fundamental aspect of who I am …)?
Why does the economy work like it does (there must be a fundamental equation we can find to explain it)?
Why do some people achieve success, while other struggle and fail (there has to be a reason, something fundamental that they do … a system they use to create success …)?
However this assumes some kind of “pure logic” exists as well, i.e.: that the Universe operates “logically.”
Yet, there is no proof that the Universe operates based on any kind of linear logic as is typically assumed will be found.
Ludwig Wittgenstein basically unraveled the mystery of formal logic … and then went onto decry it into non-existence as a function of human thinking error … for him it was all language and the puzzles we create therein.
The quantum physicists … and the physics they play with, e.g.: particle physics … so often points to a non-linear, non-logical Universe that you’d think they’d have gotten it by now, but they are still looking for the fundamentals … i.e.: the fundamental particle … the fundamental equation …
It’s not that classical physics (the Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm) breaks down at the quantum level … it’s more that the world they are looking at doesn’t exist … in some ‘fundamental’ way they create it as they are looking for it.
What seems more accurate is kind of Cybernetic paradigm … a recursive loop that creates and recreates what is fed into it … with subtle alterations the build up to perceivable complexities over time as the system evolves and interacts with itself.
This kind of thinking feeds into a consideration of an emergent Universe as opposed to a predetermined one …
Moving Beyond and Before the Newtonian/Cartesian Paradigm
Considered from the point of view of a non-Newtonian/non-Cartesian position, let’s call it a Cybernetic worldview, the idea of absolute linear, cause and effect fundamental determinism becomes absurd.
Here’s a thought experiment for you to consider it for yourself …
Imagine a perfectly clear, still pond … now imagine throwing a small stone into the center of that perfectly still pond and the effect you’d see at the surface … the perfect concentric rings of waves formed by the action of that stone breaking the surface and disturbing the water in the particular way it would.
Now imagine that at some distance from the center of the pond there is a single, small water lily flowering … and imagine what happens when the ripples hit the stalk of the lily … the secondary ripples created … and the way they would interact and create inference patterns in the ripples created by the initial stone dropping into the pond.
Then imagine a small frog on the stalk of the lily that jumps just before the first ripple hits the stalk creating yet another set of ripples … these moving even faster than the now slowing ripples the stone initially created … and again the inference pattern created by the ripples hitting and interacting with ripples … hitting and interacting with ripples … ad infinitum as more and more events build in the pond … small insects flying off the surface as the frog jumps … the movement of the water below the surface from the stalk … the bird flying off the branch of the tree sitting next to the pond startled by the sound of the frog’s splashing …
Now finally imagine instead of an equation defining all of these events, which are in fact both simultaneously discreet and continuous … a pattern which describes what has and is occurring moment by moment and a simultaneous pattern which describes what is occurring through time as well … and a third, inference pattern, describing the relationship between the two patterns describing the events.
The pattern that describes the relationship between the two patterns that describe the events is metaphor.
The key in getting metaphor is remembering that it doesn’t exist, it’s only pointing to something else which is beyond the direct reach of our understanding.
Despite the specificity and precision that metaphor inherently lacks it points more accurately to the approximations that the equations of the Newtwonian/Cartesian paradigm seek to define then they do.
What To Do When Logic Fails …
The vast majority of my clients want strong working definitions, which is fine as long as they recognize the definitions are metaphoric and imprecise … simply pointing to a suggestion of possibilities in an infinite range.
However, many or most people what precise definitions they can count on that are continuous and unchanging, despite the discreet nature of the lives they are living and the events they experience. E.g.: many/most people would like to know what their “life’s purpose” is … what their true destiny holds … who they are supposed to be (when they grow up …) … yet this is at best illusion.
Who/what one is remains purely emergent within a Cybernetic paradigm, constantly open to change and the flux of the emergent events that surround them.
What seems to focus the emergent form that you perceive and experience is a particular property of consciousness we can call “attention” … i.e.: the particular position from which and the unique way you interact with and perceive sensory data.
In the Cybernetic paradigm oscillation replaces logic, linearity, and cause and effect.
In the Cybernetic paradigm things are either “on” or “off” … like the working of a thermostatic control system, e.g.: when it’s hot it’s “off” … when it’s cold it’s “on” … and so the system goes self-regulating, self-adjusting but always in response the effect that “IT” has on the system, never as separate or distinct from the system.
This is fundamental to the Cybernetic paradigm, i.e.: “on/off” operating relative to an emergent, dynamic system in flux.
In a purely Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm we would look to maximize the precision of the system relative to some fixed ideal, e.g.: a set temperature. Within a Cybernetic paradigm we could consider the effect of subjective perception, that remains in flux, as part of the model we design … e.g.: when it is colder we tend to move more creating more internal heat requiring a lower temperature, or visa-versa depending on the individual, subjective experience of cold … non-deterministic based on purely calculatable external data … i.e.: an individual can choose how they feel about the cold/non-cold.
In the MythoSelf Process model the idea of oscillation is central to the process.
There are two primary oscillations that collide forming the emergent quality we refer to as “INTENT” … a massive directionality that is uniquely suited to the individual and relative to the system they operate within that contains them.
The oscillation between the Excitatory State and the Inhibitory State, i.e.: the relative state of the neurological system as open to new information or closed to new information … open or closed neurological loops … a unique, generative position or Generalized Desired State, the G.D.S.
The primary distinction of the Excitatory State is that when you are operating from it you have access to creativity … this in turn creates remarkable resiliency in the system, i.e.: how you perceive and consider the events you encounter and the range of your behavioral responses to them. This is why the Excitatory State is referred to as the “Ready State” within the model, i.e.: because when you are operating with open neurological loops the system can perceive and incorporate new data in/from the environment as it emerges and respond … you are “ready” and capable of responding resourcefully*.
The oscillation between a Generalized Desired State (G.D.S.) and a position relative to that which is Greater Than Self (G.T.S.) – the system that contains the individual and all that represents, e.g.: the Cosmos … G-d …
The G.T.S. organizes the individual transpersonally, i.e.: beyond the limitations of themselves. Because there the awareness of the system-at-large becomes present when you are operating from the G.T.S. you become capable of perceiving the patterns within the system … both those that preceded the emergent form you are responding to as well as the forms that will emerge as a result of the action you take. Operating from the G.T.S. the consequences of actions become apparent and the sense of directionality emerges when an oscillation with the G.D.S. is organized into the individual operating position, i.e.: the way experiences are perceived and limited range of responses that emerge relative to maximizing positive consequences while minimizing negative consequences.
The unique outcome of the emergence of INTENT is that you become more aligned with yourself, i.e.: your perceptions, decisions and actions become a direct manifestation of both who you are and who you desire to become … without the imposition of socially organized, external markers, i.e.: what you have been taught to do, should do or ought to do according to some externally imposed measure or referential index.
The position that is associated with operating from INTENT is the release and realization of your unique creativity … a subjective “creative imperative” directed to the unique outcome you desire and intend to manifest.
When you build in this way of operating you leave behind the fallacy of fundamentalism, i.e.: fundamental rules or laws applied universally despite the discreet unique, individual differences that exist. Operating from INTENT opens you to possibilities that exist beyond the evidence that is currently present, but may become present as a function of the emergent properties released by your creative action.
In The End The Choice (As Always …) Is Yours To Make …
Are you up to it?
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.