Living Dual Lives and Dual Identities

Montréal, February 6, 2000

Do you admit to having two simultaneous identities and to living two simultaneous lives? If not, YOU may be a potential breeder or candidate for schizophrenia.

If this sounds like a contradiction in terms, ... the point is that there is no fundamental 'problem' in being 'polyphrenous' (having more than one personality), as the actor is trained to do, ... and we are all actors to some extent, having to conform to the pressures coming from our containing environment, for us to be different when in loving embrace, as opposed to when we are on a military or business assignment. No problems emerge from our polyphrenia as long as our 'personality management' system or 'management sphere' is in a containing primacy over the 'personality spheres'.

In other words, there is no problem if we can simultaneously see ourselves as personality 'A' and personality 'B'. But there is a problem if we 'get stuck' in one or the other, and get into 'sequential', 'either/or' ping-ponging mode without the oversight of a unifying management sphere. Visualizing dual worlds simultaneously, ... standing on our own shoulders and looking down on ourselves in a particular role and world, ... requires imagination and inclusionary logic. This is the domain of 'complex information' which provides for both a real and imaginary viewing component, as shown by Denis Gabor in his quantum physics compliant 'Theory of Communications'.

If you have a dual identity and a dual life, yet you insist on purging imagination and restricting yourself to an 'explicit' (real component only) view, watch out! And as it turns out, this is the dilemma our society seems to find itself in today.

But let's talk a bit more about this outward-in and inward-out 'duality' which shows up everywhere in life, in psychology in terms of 'implicit' versus 'explicit' perception, in architecture and representation in terms of immersed sensation versus voyeur perspective, in biology in terms of 'internal sensations' versus 'external actions', in the theory of relativity in terms of 'field' versus 'matter', in quantum physics in terms of 'possibility space' versus 'actuality space', and in literature in terms of the protagonist as (a) child of the containing environment versus (b) causal agent.

In all of these duality instances, the latter member of the duo, while structurally certain and discrete, is informationally 'incomplete' with respect to the former 'relational interference' based member. For each of these dualities, there is also a process which takes one down from the larger containing sphere of the possible to the subsidiary constituent sphere of the actual. In the case of psychology, researchers say [1] that it is 'attitude' which takes you from 'implicit' to 'explicit' perception, ... often accompanied by a declaration such as 'I know what this is'.

In the case of architecture, the example given by Architecture professor Donald Kunze, is of Albrecht Duerer's painting 'Artist and Model in the Studio' [2]. In this painting, we are treated to a sideways view of the artist drawing the model and the artist is using a 'Lucinda' or viewing grid, ... "as a means of recording and regulating the scene. The bodies of the artist [observer] and model [observed] are held motionless. This illustration depicts a certain 'logic' that is characteristic of all Western visuality, a logic that makes the viewer a VOYEUR or parasite of the visible."

In biology, Henri Laborit observes that it is the implicit internal sensations (processes) which drive the external explicit processes so as to re-establish an equilibrium between the inner and the outer, ... when we are hungry, ... an implicit, gnawing kind of need which doesn't specify the explicit requirement, ... we are moved to go on the hunt where we convert our implicit need into an explicit result (e.g. we shoot a deer).

In the theory of relativity, Einstein points out that 'matter' is simply the explicit precipitate of implicit, relational 'field'; "What impresses our senses as matter is really a great concentration of energy into a comparatively small space. We could regard matter as the regions in space where the field is extremely strong. . . . A thrown stone is, from this point of view, a changing field, where the states of greatest field intensity travel through space with the velocity of the stone."

In quantum physics, the transformation from possibility space to actuality space is achieved by a measurement intervention, which 'collapses the wave function' (destroys the relational interference effects) [3].

And in literature, the 'story voice' is normally from the protagonist whose properties and behaviors we come to know in the classic explicit sense. But sometimes, the 'story voice' comes from the imagination of the protagonist who presents himself by means of relativistic 'reciprocal disposition', ... by means of where he is situated in the containing 'topography of opportunity'. This is equivalent to describing a billiard ball in terms of 'what it sees' as it looks out at its opportunity from within the configuration of balls; i.e. it is a view which, rather than being based on 'what is done' (causality) is based on 'what is not done' (possibility). The realm of containing-environment bestowed opportunity in which we are immersed, brings a sense of immenseness which is trivialized by the explicit causal view where we see things in terms of 'having to get to work by 8:00 a.m.' for example. As the Ojibway saying goes, ...'as we focus in exclusively on explicit problems in front of us, ... we are being blown across the heavens by a great wind'.

Scott Momaday, a Kiowa writer in the native american tradition, captures this 'story voice' coming from 'the container', ... i.e. from the imagination of the protagonist rather than coming exclusively from his rational-causal thought, .... from the topography of opportunity he is centrally immersed within, rather than from his directed actions;

"... and you just looked around at all the new and beautiful things. And after a while, the trader put some things out on the counter, sacks of flour and sugar, a slab of salt pork, some canned goods, and a little bag full of the hard red candy. And your grandfather took off one of his rings and gave it to the trader. It was a small green stone, set carelessly in thin silver. It was new and it wasn't worth very much, not all the trader gave for it, anyway. And the trader opened one of the cans, a big can of whole tomatoes, and your grandfather sprinkled sugar on the tomatoes and the two of you ate them right there and drank bottles of sweet red soda pop. And it was getting late and you rode home in the sunset and the whole land was cold and white. And that night your grandfather hammered the strips of silver and told you stories in the firelight. And you were little and right there in the center of everything, the sacred mountains, the snow-covered mountains and the hills, the gullies and the flats, the sundown and the night, everything --- where you were little, where you were and had to be."

By now, it should be clear that the central focus of this essay is on understanding the dual identities of things and the dual worlds associated with these dual identities and how these effect our 'composite' lives, both as individuals and as community.

One of the most general observations we can make about this duality is, that from an informational point of view, ... our implicit identity is invisible to others, but is very 'real' to us, as the above excerpt from Momaday's 'House Made of Dawn' underscores. This type of information is clearly relevant to our behavior and thus to 'system behavior' (community behavior). Meanwhile our behavior is assessed by others in the standard terms of 'causality', ... of 'what we do' rather than 'what we don't do', the 'opportunity landscape superset' from which we select the informational subset of 'what we do'. We could also say, therefore, that this informational gap (to the external observer) is a relevant influence on system behavior.

This 'informational gap' brings us to an important corollary about our duality; i.e. we have the choice of 'navigating' (perceiving, inquiring or responding) within our containing environment on the basis of the informational superset, ... 'opportunity space' or 'possibility space' (the native american tradition), or, ... on the basis of the causal space subset (the western tradition). While the former contains the latter as a special case, the latter is fundamentally incomplete in that it shows actuality space out-of-the-context of its superset possibility space.

Not only is understanding greatly enriched by accessing opportunity space, but it is apparent that it is opportunity space which is the entity undergoing 'evolution' rather than its derivative 'actuality space'. Since opportunity space includes its own constituency, this is equivalent to saying that container and constituent 'coevolve', while it is inappropriate to apply the notion of evolution to 'things' in their own right. Thus in understanding evolution, one has to look 'upstream' from explicit 'things' and 'explicit causal transactions' into the realm of the implicit. This is the analogue of accepting the primacy of 'field' over 'matter'.

Now the problem arises from the individual observer's point of view, that while 'actuality space', the space of causal transactions, is openly visibly to him with respect to the 'goings on' of all causal agents, ... opportunity space, apart from his own limited perspective, is hidden from him since it resides in the imagination of others (whether these be people, animals, plants or minerals). This is where the 'story telling' and sharing circles of the native traditions come into play, where each person shares the information in their 'opportunity space' and thus each individual who participates in the circle gains access to a view of 'collective opportunity space'. Native stories such as 'And Who Shall Speak for Wolf' underscore the view that this collective opportunity space must not be limited to the imagination of humans, but must extend to animals and nature in general. For example, developers who do not have a view of the opportunity space for natural water cycles may introduce serious discord into their containing environment.

In typical western discussion groups, an awareness of these two informational realms and their ramifications is missing. Thus the discussion tends to turn to the joint establishing of 'the explicit way it is' in actuality space, ... bypassing the rich informational superset constituted by opportunity space. Members of the group will cling to particularly 'favoured' causal interpretations, because of their favorable 'opportunity' associations. Since individuals have limited perspective of the overall opportunity space (it is limited by the particulars of their experience) which gives contextual meaning to actuality configurations, this incompleteness in view leads to confusion and argument. The solution as has evolved within the native traditions, ... is to share with each other what we see in our opportunity space and simply listen to each other as we bring the diverse experiential views and imaginings into connection in our minds, to form an implicit view of the collective opportunity space.

The individual now has the opportunity to live in two worlds at the same time, ... the imaginary and previously invisible world of collective opportunity (collective possibility) and the tangible and visible world of collective causal transactions, and to be guided by both simultaneously as he navigates the complexity of community and life in general.

There are numerous qualitative dimensions in the world of the implicit and explicit which are transformed in the manner discussed above, as we reduce the larger containing world of the implicit to the smaller contained world of the explicit. The following table gives some examples. On the left hand side are the implicit 'perceptual lenses' and on the right, their 'reduced' explicit counterparts;

Opportunity Space. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Actuality Space
Implicit, Relational, Involved. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Explicit, Causal, Voyeur

Harmonizing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Value Judgement

Spherical Space-Time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Euclidian Space and Linear Time

Simultaneous. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sequential
(Whole and Plurality). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Whole and Plurality)

Inclusionary Logic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Exclusionary Logic

Spheres within Spheres. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linear Relationships

Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Material Constituents (Things)

Opportunity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Causal Transaction

Understanding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codified Knowledge

Rotating Vector. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Oscillating Vector

Interpenetration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Up-and-Down or Back-and-Forth

Complex Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Binary Information (on/off bits)

Phase Interference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Material Conflict (Real Interference)

In each case, the implicit domain entity on the left must be 'reduced' in informational content in order to be explicitly expressed in 'actuality space' on the right. This reduction corresponds to discarding the imaginary component and reducing the information to its real component only. For example, 'phase interference' in its implicit form can be imagined by three pilots who are executing interlacing 'loop-the-loops', ... this is a notion which cannot be explicitly conveyed without external measurement which places them all within a common coordinate system and referenced to a common clock. But the implicit information is what the pilots actually respond to, and in a seasoned team, ... each member has access to the opportunity space the others are imagining via subtle informational signals associated with their behaviors, thus they can respond from an intuited view of collective opportunity space.

This type of imagination-sharing to build a collective consciousness as the reference ground for responding from is evident in ballet troupes and ice hockey and rugby teams and games of billiards, ... and it is also evident in indigenous people's ability to 'tune-in' to the consciousness of the earth, as the following excerpt from 'A Consciousness of Mother Earth' by José Barreiro of the Native Americas Journal indicates;

"For years Native traditionalists have pointed to the growing convergence of scientific prediction and Native prophecy. The intuitive, observational acumen of Native cultural practitioners, particularly when informed by the values and stories that detail prophetic tradition, have upheld certain basic truths. One is that everything in the living world is related. Another is that everything must be in balance; harmony as a positive factor. It has not been lost on elders that new currents of thinking in the academy-ecological, multi-disciplinary, inter-relational-are increasingly working from these premises. At a conference held in Albuquerque on October 28 to November 1, 1998, scientists from various institutions, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), met with dozens of Native elders. Signalling what might become a trend, these scientists from the hard branches were requesting to hear from Native people their opinions, stories and observations on the effects and possible causes of climate change, ..."

One does not have to resort to mysticism in explaining subtle understandings which often appear extrasensory in nature, ... but instead to attribute them to the subtle space-time-correlative signals from inanimate entities, which convey 'their' views of opportunity space. The leaves of plants droop noticeably and there are changes in coloration when an aquifer is disturbed many miles away, and small creatures begin to migrate when subtle cycles of the ecology they depend upon fall out of balance. There are many subtle shifts in a destabilized ecology which signal the opportunity space views of the constituents.

Thus, the option is presented to us to sense the collective opportunity space and tune our response to it at the same time as we observe actuality space, accounting for it within our response as well.

Western literature is replete with stories of conflict and discord arising from the inverted primacy of actuality space, ... and this is indeed the story as we go into the new millenium elevating the explicit knowledge of genetic structures into an unnatural primacy over our implicit understanding of genetic opportunity space. There can be little doubt that this government-supported 'mad scientist' undertaking, seized upon and amplified by commercial enterprise, will lead to untold scenes of discord in the form of biogenetic pollution which will in turn infuse discord into higher level eco-cycles.

In a way, our explicit lives, which we interpret and shape according to culturally defined 'properties and behaviors' have a kinship with genetically modified life. We are induced to develop this trait and that trait as deemed appealing in the culture we are immersed in, ... we tend to accept the culture, religion and politics we are raised in, ... we tend to 'become our positions' at work, defending the policies of our organizations while vilifying those of others, depending on where our paycheck is currently coming from. But unlike the genetically modified product, we are far more than a hodge-podge of trendy, exploitable components whose sole purpose in life is to spread its legs and abandon itself to the whims of culture, ...within and around us is the misty memory of a coherent ancestry, ...the drumbeats and harmonies of where we're coming from and where we're going to, as authentic strands in the web of life.

Meanwhile, it's not unusual for any of us, in the synthetic frenetics of our lives as 'culturally modified products', to lose phaselock with our ancestral dance rhythms, and to proceed 'by rote', according to the explicit dictates of our culture, ... though the echoes of vintage harmonies may stalk our memories, mocking the triviality and destructiveness of our mechanical behaviors. Our literature includes numerous works along this theme, examples of which include;

Les Miserables, ... the story of Jean Valjean who puts 'opportunity management' needs into the primacy in his environmental response, the feeding and care of less fortunate others, which puts him on the wrong side of an actuality space-referenced justice system and the coldly logical inspector Javert who suppresses and redirects his emotions so that they do not get in the way of the clockworks ordering of society until they can be contained no longer, and rise up to have the final word.

Miss Saigon, ... the story of a Vietnamese girl whose opportunity space is so limited by war that she is forced into prostitution. A US marine who falls in love with her as she falls in love with him 'moves in' and she becomes pregnant by him. After he has been repatriated without her in the fall of Saigon, she has his baby but must again return to prostitution to feed, clothe and care for their child. He loses track of her in the postwar confusion, remarries in the US and has a new family but searches for her whereabouts.

This story's juxtaposition of vastly different 'opportunity spaces' shows the futility of 'managing' by fixed values. Fixed values, as predicted by Goedel's theorem, are exposed to come into contradiction with themselves; i.e. the values of 'you shall feed clothe and care for your children' and 'you shall not commit adultery'. Not only does the fixed value system punish those whose opportunity spaces force them towards non-compliance, but management on an actuality space basis is not 'big enough' to lead to a restoration of balance in opportunity space (since it is 'what is not done' which continues to deprive the young Vietnamese mother and child of needed opportunity).

This system dysfunction does not arise when in 'opportunity management' mode, where explicit rules are only used as 'Wittgenstein ladders' rather than foundational constructs to be built upon. In the west, since values-based management (actuality management) is in a primacy over opportunity management, those who get 'snookered' often have great difficulty in getting 'unsnookered'. In the case of the native americans, ... unsnookering has not yet occurred after 400 years of attempts.

We all have our own stories which bring out the conflict which can arise in the tension between our dual worlds and our dual identities. Conflicts arise where we 'forget' about how they are really a simultaneous unity with a natural implicit-over-explicit primacy, and that we must use our imagination in order to get in touch with this dipolar unity. We must remember that while we may be focused intently on 'what we are doing', ... if we stop and look out around us, the signals in the 'eyes' of our brother constituents of the cosmos will tell us that we are at the same time being blown across the heavens by a great wind, .. that we are participating in evolution, that we have another, bigger life, ... a reciprocal life and identity which is not about 'our' individual explicit properties and behaviors, ... but instead, about the harmonies (or discord) we implicitly induce through our unconscious participation in the collective actions and development of our containing environment.

Too often it seems, in western society, this 'bigger life', ... which takes its meaning from the whole-and-part harmony we are immersed in, is something which 'just happens to us while we are busy making other plans' (to paraphrase John Lennon). As dysfunction grows in our society, ... we continue to search, with increased vigour, for explicit 'cause' and explicit 'solutions', ... the very recipe for compounding the dysfunction. Our children 'model' after this behavior and so are perpetuating this schizophrenic tendency into our following generations. In this manner, we appear to be suffering from an Acquired Systems Inquiry Deficiency Syndrome (ASIDS) rooted in our most basic concepts of space and time. ASIDS is inducing us to purge the imaginary from our perceptions, and thus deprive ourselves of access to a view of collective opportunity space, the imagination-based informational space which is the wellspring and homeground or 'prima materia' of evolution. Without access to this view, we foster our own schizophrenia and, as Kepler said, ' by embracing that which is most easy [the explicit] rather than that which is most true [the implicit] we come into contradiction with our own opinion.'

Like an addict, we continue to seek that which induces an emptiness in us which we must refill and refill again. Seeking to eliminate explicit cause with more explicit cause is the intoxicating chemistry of our dysfunction. As Einstein observed, and native traditionalists live by; "Imagination is more important than knowledge". Responding out of implicit understanding is far more powerful in re-cultivating harmony than responding out of explicit knowledge. Yet, as our communications technology gives us the basis for harmonious global community, ... we eschew using it for sharing what's in our imaginations and giving ourselves a global view of collective opportunity space so that we can more harmoniously navigate within our complexifying environment, ... instead, we embrace its use as a tool to organize large scale explicit structures which will supposedly 'act on our behalf'. That is, we precipitate our implicit understanding into explicit codified knowledge structures, putting the implicit into the service of the explicit, ... the possible into the service of the actual, ... an unnaturally inverted response to our containing environment which has no 'real time' capability for 'tuning in' to and 'dancing' with the ongoing evolution of the whole. The implicit understanding of the skilled pool player is wasted if its simply 'dumbed down' to explicit shot-making instructions. It is not a question of selecting from options and probabilities. As Bart Kosko observes ('Fuzzy Thinking'), the notion of 'probability' is simply a 'patch' to cover up for the inadequacy of a discrete euclidian view of the world. Each transaction is not simply a stand-alone item, ... not in a relativistic, self-referential environment, ... it is at the same time a transformer of opportunity space, ... and this is the implicit understanding we squander when we allow imaginationless logical machinery to act on our behalf.

It seems as if we no longer want to think and act for ourselves, and instead want to proxy our minds over to commercial corporations, ... to opt out of our 'strand-in-the-web-of-life' role within a conscious mother nature, and let global commerce take over, ... a complex of explicit/implicit systems which is being progressively devoided of the imagination needed to see its own dual life in the scheme of things, .... what it does - life in actuality space, ... and how what it does transforms opportunity - life in possibility space. This destructive tack is taking us towards systems which are blind to their own reciprocal impact on our implicit containing environment, ... systems standing in for us, ... 'genetically altered deputies', if you like, whose explicit actions no longer understand how to dance with their implicit meaning-giving surroundings because they lack the requisite imagination.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see the need to restore the implicit to its natural primacy, ... and it's a good thing it doesn't because there's a continuing bear market on imagination in our western culture dominated world. But as long as there's a glimmer left, ... its still possible to rekindle it, until we can see beyond our culturally modified productizing of ourselves to our bigger life as a cosmic dancer in rhythmic embrace with our living container, ...

"It was dawn, The first light had been deep and vague in the mist, and then the sun flashed and a great yellow glare fell under the cloud. The road verged upon clusters of juniper and mesquite, and he could see the black angles and twists of wood beneath the hard white crust; there was a shine and glitter on the ice. He was running, running. He could see the horses in the fields and the crooked line of the river below. .... For a time the sun was whole beneath the cloud; then it rose into eclipse, and a dark and certain shadow came upon the land. And Abel was running. He was naked to the waste, and his arms and shoulders had been marked with burnt wood and ashes. The cold rain slanted down upon him and left his skin mottled and streaked. The road curved out and lay into the bank of rain beyond, and Abel was running. Against the winter sky and the long, light landscape of the valley at dawn, he seemed almost to be standing still, very little and alone."

* * *

[1] Dienes & Perner, 'A Theory of Implicit and Explicit Knowledge',

[2] Kunze, Donald, 'Representation', an illustrated essay at

[3] From: Revue de la Pensee D'aujourd'hui, vol. 24, no. 11, 276-291 (1996) [in

Japanese translation]. Also appeared in English in Brain & Consciousness,

Proc. ECPD Workship, ed. by Lj. Rakic, G. Kostopoulos D. Rakovic, and Dj.

Koruga, pp. 157-169 (1997)].

Principle of Philosophical Relativity

Michael Conrad

Department of Computer Science

Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan 48202 USA

Abstract. The internalist and externalist points of view are distinguished by different attitudes about the relationship between what is given in experience, including the feeling of control, and the description of experience in terms of constructs assumed to refer to properties that have an objective existence outside the self. The principle of philosophical relativity asserts that scientific theories should be open to different interpretations on such antinomic issues. Today's major physical theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity, are examined from the point of view of philosophical relativity. A model that incorporates the main but conflicting features of these theories (quantum superposition and gravitational nonlinearity) is briefly outlined, and its significance for understanding the biological life process considered. The analysis supports the idea that the universe as a whole, and biological life in particular, are always chasing an unattainable self-consistency.

".... In short, the quantum jumps that occur when the measurement process collapses the wave function from possibility space to actuality correspond to the quantum jumps that occur when a system undergoes time evolution. But the former are described by a probabilistic process, whereas the latter are not.

This is the source of the paradoxes of quantum measurement, and of the great controversies over the interpretation of quantum mechanics. No choice is allowed by the equations of motion. But when we make a measurement we make a choice, first as to what measurement is to be made, therefore what aspect of the system is to be made classical, and second as to when to make the measurement. Furthermore, this choice strongly affects the future development of the system, since if we make one aspect (say position of an electron) precise than a conjugate aspect (momentum) must become imprecise. The quantum mechanical model of acceleration allows no choice when it comes to the possible quantum jumps whose occurrence is retrospectively buried in the time evolution equations (the so-called sum over histories), but requires choice whenever a quantum jump is made explicit. The theory thus satisfies philosophical relativity so far as the possibility of choice is concerned, but not in a consistent way. "

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