Montreal, May 7, 1999
Zeus: What is it, Emile, that constitutes one's 'identity'? ... that give's one this feeling of gender, ethnic and national 'belonging'?
Emile: Whatever it is, it would seem that it must evolve through our processes of sensing and perception, interpretation and conceptualization, and memory.
Zeus: Thanks a lot, Emile, ... why didn't I think of that!
Emile: Come on Zeus, ... there's a zillion ways to approach that question unless one wants to get serious and go back to the basics of space-time. Even if you go back to Descartes' 'I think therefore I am', ... you've already blown it, because he's speaking about static existence which Heraclitus says is non-existent, ... there is nothing which simply 'is', ... the river of space-time is flowing and you can't step into it twice because both it and you will differ from moment to moment. So you've got alternatives ways to look at this question which tie back down into the deep roots of our conception of motion, ... i.e. space-time.
Zeus: I take your point. If Heraclitus and Descartes are split on the issue of whether 'being' and 'becoming', provides the foundation for identity, one would have to dig even deeper still, to get to a view which juxtaposed the two, to understand the pro's and con's of building on either or both of those foundations.
Emile: Exactly, and if you want to go to the limit of the basis for identity, ... the limit is simply 'difference'; ... 'identity' springs out of difference. And if we could not perceive difference, there would be nothing, ... nothing to talk about, and no (differentiated) perspective from which we could talk. In order to look at the world, we have to recognize, at a minimum, two differentiated things, 'ourself' and 'the rest of the world'.
Zeus: Sounds rather imperial, like an english cricket match, but anyhow, .... if we recognize more than one version of the 'rest of the world', I suppose we could then say that the world has moved or changed, and call the movement implied by that change 'time'.
Emile: Yes and no. This issue is at the cusp of our social dysfunction. If we recognize two versions of the world, maybe there was two versions of ourself doing the recognizing. We must acknowledge that there are two alternative ways to reconcile our perception of multiple versions of the world, one being 'exclusionary' and one being 'inclusionary'. For example, if you think back to a version of the world you saw as a child and reconcile that with the version of the world you see right now, ... would you say that those are two mutually exclusive worlds?
Zeus: Well, they are certainly 'different' worlds, but that child's world, and that child, are still part of me, .... that is, I wouldn't be who I am right now if I hadn't have had those experiences, ... I carry them around with me, and it's that mutually enfolding experiential ensemble which continues to evolve, ... the ensemble of interplay between those evolving worlds and my evolving self, ... and that mutually enfolding ensemble is the mother of my perception of both self and world.
Emile: Let me get this straight, if 'straight' is an acceptable geometrical term to use here, which I know its not, .... you perceive the world but your perception is based on what you perceive since 'you' is a product of your experience, or 'perception' in the broad meaning of the word. Ok, I can see this recursive process working, but how do you get it started; ... if your perceiving is based on your experience, how can it get started from the point where it has no experience?
Zeus: Good question, Emile. ... hmmmm. Maybe we bootstrap our perception. They say when a child is born, he is not aware that he is not 'the whole world' so that if you pinch him, ... he feels the pain of the pinch but the notion of 'someone or something' pinching him is not yet available to him, because he does not yet differentiate himself from the whole. But at the same time, he can recognize patterns, and he has the capacity for memory and imagination, ... so that if he brings into connection in his mind, the multitude of times that this pattern-shape, his mother perhaps, comes towards his center of perception, ... and each time he feels the warm nipple penetrate and tickle his lips and his mouth fill with good tasting milk, he will sense an 'ordering principle' which reconciles these coherent space-time experiences, ... and this ordering principle will imply, that patterns of the world can be differentiated and behave in an independent and somewhat characteristic manner. So one can bootstrap the notion of an independent self from pattern recognition and intuition.
Emile: Yes, and what's interesting here is that this is a wholly relativistic means of evolving a sense of self or 'identity' which satisfies the inclusionary 'identity' principle you started with, that perception is based on what is perceived, aka 'experience'. It seems as if, ... if we did not possess intuition and the ability to recognize and remember patterns, there would be no way to get the 'identity' process started, since it is clear from experimental studies, that the infant does not discriminate between himself and the whole, ... so 'he' does not exist and therefore 'he' is 'not there' to receive instruction from the 'outside' which does not exist either, since all is one.
Zeus: Indeed, without a point of view, how can one's point of view be changed, as is the basis of learning.
Emile: So it seems that not only do we possess a bootstrapping means of evolving the self in which perception and experience are in an inclusionary relationship, kind of like spheres contained within spheres, but that this means of identity-development is the essential foundation of our identity, since we could not get beyond our initial state of undifferentiated wholeness without it. And it seems important to note, that we have not spoken of any need to separate space from time in this recursive approach. The bootstrapping child will have a sense of evolving 'self' due to his memory of 'earlier versions' of himself relative to his present version and this will imply a sense of sequence, but not the linear passage of time. Since he does not know about the liner social conventions of calendars etc., ... he will not, by any innately natural process, 'calibrate' his compound, inclusionary experience, against some linear time reference. His experience will of course incorporate circular forms of sequencing such as seasons, and days and nights, giving him a sense of the 'wave' aspect of nature and the interference patterns which emerge from it.
Zeus: Since we are so acculturated to thinking in terms of Euclidian space and linear time, it is hard to rid ourselves of these artificially imposed concepts to think back as to how the child may experience the sequence in his evolution, but, yes, ... I agree with you, ... the sequencing will not be perceived in terms of linear time intervals, because his evolution is nonlinear, and his perception of changes in spatial pattern are what gives him the sense of sequence or time, so that the sense of space-evolution, ... the sense of his ontogeny, 'IS' the sense of time. Perhaps we should call this 'ontogenetic time'.
Emile: A wise choice, my friend, and a term which I quite fancy, as well. But, in addition to the ontogenetic time based or inclusionary space-time means of developing our identity, we are both aware of another, competing methodology, right?
Zeus: ... indeed, ... just as soon as our little selves start to form and evolve a point of view, everyone starts to stuff their preferred concepts into it, ... we become like a goose being cultivated for the foie gras market, ... you know, .. where they shove that thing down the gooses throat and force feed them so that their livers become fatty. A very unhealthy process and all for the purpose of satisfying the consumer market.
Emile: The analogy is doubly good, since it is obvious that much of what parents force-feed into their children in the realm of 'identity' is designed to make them successful or more 'sellable' for a consumer market in which people are consumed as the 'means' of economic production in producing wealth, the 'ends'. The alternative in child development, of course, is to make available to the child, the smorgasbord of knowledge and experience which has accrued to the parents and teachers, so that the child's own natural ontogeny, can continue to bootstrap his identity and understanding of the world, rather than being structurally 'programmed'.
Zeus: This is the point made so clearly by Vygotsky, who was post-humously declared the 'father of Russian psychology' after being eschewed by the professionals and high priests of the psychology discipline during his lifetime, for having branched in from the arts, ... from being a literary critic, no less.
Emile: Yes, Vygotsky could see what was happening so clearly that he took Piaget's own experimental datasets and re-interpreted them in a much more meaningful and self-consistent way. Vygotsky pointed out that, at the very base of conceptualization, as we can see from the ontogeny of a child, are pattern chains and complexes of chains. The child may see a duck-pattern in a pond and associate the duck with liquid, and then see milk in his bottle and have the duck come to mind, or see a bird on a coin and connect the coin with water, ... and all of these 'chain complexes' become the bootstrapping base of our conceptualization. In 'Thought and Language', in the chapter on 'An Experimental Study of the Development of Concepts', Vygotsky says;
"In the chain complex, the structural center of the formation may be absent all together. Two objects included in the complex may have nothing in common, and yet remain as parts of one and the same chain on the strengths of sharing an attribute with still another of its elements. Therefore, the chain complex may be considered the purest form of thinking in complexes. Unlike the associative complex, where elements are, after all, interconnected through one element --- the nucleus of the complex --- the chain complex has no nucleus. The 'end' of the chain may have nothing in common with its 'beginning'. It is sufficient to have intermediate elements for 'gluing' one element of the chain to another. A complex does not rise about its elements as does a concept. The elements of a complex enter it as perceptually concrete wholes with all their attributes and connections. The complex merges with concrete objects that compose it. This fusion of the general and particular, of the complex and its elements, this psychic amalgam, as Heinz Werner called it, is a distinctive feature of all complex thinking and of the chain complex in particular."
Zeus: I see what Vygotsky is saying. At this level, we have not 'generalized' in the sense of throwing away what is particular and unique. If I say Marsha is a woman, ... this conceptual level thought may lead me to throw away all that is unique about Marsha and re-render her in terms of the acculturated generalizations of what a women is. Whereas, I have the option of retaining my pre-conceptual, bootstrapped view of Marsha which is based on, and preserves the particulars of Marsha irrespective of any 'logic' or 'logical structure', .... where Marsha is constituted in my thought by whole-and-part patterns which have no logical nucleus etc. And what's more, Emile, there can be no sense of 'judgement' or 'better' or 'worse' at this level, since it is the pure assembly of perceptual data which is not amenable to being mucked about with by conceptualization and logical manipulation.
Emile: ... and obviously the same thing is possible for one's sense of 'self' or one's 'identity', ... that is, we can develop it non-judgementally, non-logically from our pre-conceptual perceptions. That is, we could, if we didn't get that damn social goose-feeder stuffed down our throats, and instead had our teachers take us by the hand and lead us through the art gallery of human experience, ... the wardrobe of civilization, ... wherein we could try things on and feel the fit, ... allowing us take home copies of those works which resonated with our natural selves. This was, of course, not only Vygotsky's recommended approach to education and acculturation but also that of Maria Montessori, and A.S. Neill. In fact, it is this 'ontogenetic development' approach which is used by aboriginal traditionalists within a circular sharing/teaching/learning process overseen by the elders.
Zeus: My sense is, however, that many people today think of 'who they are' in the superficial sense of goose-feeder attributes, ... particularly if they are in the process of 'selling themselves' into the consumer market where people are bought, sold and traded as the means of production. .... i am a geologist, ... i am british, ... i am christian, ... i am male, ... i am white, ... i come from the scilly isles, ... i graduated from oxford, ... i am married, ... i have three children, ... i have a mother who was a lawyer, ... i have a dad who is a judge, ... i am dumb, ... i am unworthy, ... i am unfeeling, ... i am beautifull, ...
Emile: ... this goose-feeder version is the 'exclusionary logic' or post-conceptualizing version of 'identity', as distinct from the bootstrapped version. It is this version that people seem to accept as 'identity' for a good part of their life, ... then they start to wonder, ... whatever happened to my pre-conceptual sense of self? ... who am I really? ... and then they try to look beneath the goose-fed trappings, .. beneath the flag of citizenship, ... beneath the politically correct or stylized behavior rules which 'come' with their gender, ... beneath the behaviors which society ascribes to, and expects from them, and the behaviors their ethnic brothers expect from them.
Zeus: But there is a huge emotional attachment to the goose-fed identity attributes, ... how do you explain that?
Emile: In a word, 'love'. If your parents and teachers visibly overflow with love and praise when you wave your little flag, and when you get an 'A' in regurgitating your history lesson, which looks nothing like the history lesson that little boy holding that other little flag is getting, and when you roughneck and dominate the girls as little boys 'should', and so on. And if, when you hold up someone else's flag which seems to symbolize some important resonances inside of you, and you convert to buddhism from catholicism, or you like cologne a bit too much, and treat girls with the same respect you give to guys, ... and fail an exam so you can cultivate your friendship with someone who doesn't do well in exams, .... and in the process see your parents and teachers and friends smiles turn to frowns, and the twinkle in their eyes transform into mini-replicas of witch-burnings, ... then a guiding gradient is clearly provided to you, so that you might be better informed as to how to 'stay on course'.
Zeus: What you're saying is, that the goose-fed identity is really a 'not-identity', which puts you into a potential energy well, which may require enormous energy and emotional risk to escape from, once you're in it.
Emile: 'Not-identity' is a good term for it, and that indeed is the way of the western culture, since to base your world view on exclusionary logic is a 'purification' orientation wherein you are always seeking 'what's right' and eschewing 'what's wrong' which is a judgement based means of guiding your response to your environment. In following this path, your identity is fixed by the goose-fed attributes, and you judge the world around you from your goose-grid, ... acting so as to purify the world 'out there' on the basis of the unquestioned precepts you have assimilated under the threat of the love-hate sword. This type of identity, seems to be studied by mainstream psychology as if it were the only one, ... out of the context of the alternative 'bootstrap' identity which keeps you in harmony with the evolving whole instead of putting you in a hole that everyone helps you to dig yourself into, ... and if you 'don't get' what's going on at an early age, ... you find yourself in an identity hole so deep that it's almost impossible to get out of, ... it's like the 'boiled frog syndrome', ... at first it feels comfortable to get all this warmth and love in exchange for waving a flag, getting A's and abusing females, ... but after a while you start to get the alarming feeling that this compliance is leading you to some place where you'd rather not go to, ... some place where even those who enticed you into joining this flow don't want to go either, ... and then you realize that you have been enticing others as well, ... your own children and their friends, ... to get on the same bus to hell, ... and now, ... how do you get out? ... the hole is deep and the first one who jumps is going to get shot at.
Zeus: ... pheeeuuuwwww! .... that's what I call an identity crisis, ... it makes me wonder what I would have done were brought up in Germany in the twenties and thirties, prior to the second war, ... I am happy enough not to be able to check that one out, ... I see visions of a tired me, leaping interminably only to slip back into the hole, and on my best jumps, the bullets are creasing the top of my scalp, ... now I am at Nuernberg, ... telling those that weren't there that I was only following the path of love, ... and they are calling me a sick pervert, ... and now, ... now I can see the fires in Salem, ... and in the Campo dei Fiori and the proud flesh of Giordano Bruno, as it is blackened by the flames, and his soul beginning the flight from his body, first in screams, and then in a kind of eery tranquillity as his body reduces to ashes as the crowd looks on.
Emile: Zeus, .. I never knew your aetherial self could get into incarnate stuff as well as that, I'll bet you have some great dreams.
Zeus: We've been through that before Emile, ....
Emile: I understand perfectly, ... its one of those small holes which you can jump out of to share a part of yourself that can then openly rejoin and contribute to the harmony of your whole self, but which you know may initially bring frowns rather than smiles.
Zeus: ... and I'm afraid that it's by denying little pieces of ourselves like this, that the little jumps evolve into a big and possibly insurmountable jump.
Emile: The youthful rebel pays his dues in small payments as he goes along, and by so doing earns the right to live in a smaller goose-fed 'identity hole'.
Zeus: So that its no problem for him to leap out and get shot at, ... in fact, he will always be looked at when the culture has need of target practice.
Emile: As they say, ... it's the pioneers that get arrows up the ass.
Zeus: Yes, but in some cultures, they originate from inside the circled wagons.
Emile: As Laborit says, ... emotions without imagination lead to the exclusionary choice between 'fight and flight' and this builds dominance-oriented hierarchical organization. This is where western culture, which puts Aristotelian exclusionary logic and judgement of 'good' and 'bad' into the primacy, ... is taking us. It builds our identity using concepts born of this abstract and unnatural way of thinking, ... and since our unquestioned subjectivity emanates from our identity, ... and our subjectivity tailors our perception, ... we build for ourselves an 'autistic' reality in which the reality has been shaped to our emotional needs. And since many 'identity' variants emerge from this exclusionary logic approach, we build an 'autistic collective' wherein one perceives a scenario as 'good' which another perceives as bad.
Zeus: ... and all this goes back to our failure to look at our perceptual process in the context of our 'nervous system' as Laborit says.
Emile: ... that's how it goes, ... as they say, ... and the highest jumping frogs who go against this, risk getting shot if they are not ignored.
Zeus: But what about psychologists, ... are they not truly committed to understanding human behavior and psychical processes?
Emile: Most psychologists, like most disciplinarians, ... have already passed over certain basic processes effecting human behavior without questioning them, by virtue of the fact that they consider themselves a 'member of a discipline'. That was why Laborit was consciously an 'outsider' and also 'Vygotsky'. If you consider yourself a disciplinary psychologist, then you accept the standards of the profession, and that means that you submit yourself to the 'judgement' of the high priests of the profession. The whole process, from training and licencing on is all about digging an identity hole for yourself, ... and you do this in exchange for the appreciation and privileges accorded to you by the discipline. Not that the pressures to do this are not real, ... try and find a job if you are not licenced, or if you fail the exams because your answers to the questions are good, but not what they are looking for.
In addition, the reasoning level we are talking about, where the choice between exclusionary and inclusionary identity is missed, deals with basic issues of space-time and relativity, ... this is the domain of physics moreso than psychology (an inclusionary requirement), and there is often a marked animosity between psychology and science. Relationships like those of Carl Jung with Wolfgang Pauli, which led to their co-authoring of 'Naturerklaerung und Psyche', that contains Pauli's study on Kepler and the influence of archetypes on Kepler's theories, have been the exception. Instead, disciplinarians tend to reify the work of the 'great ones', making high priests of them whether they like it or not, and using these reified works as foundations instead of as knowledge for the smorgasbord or minestrone from which new foundations may be bootstrapped. The same thing tends to happen in philosophy.
Zeus: What you are saying is that goose-feeding is the 'way' of the disciplines in preparing their disciples to seek answers to questions, thus their questions are never formulated large enough to transcend their own basis for formulation, .. the goose-feeders become trapped within their own feeding circle, ... like geese feeding on their own droppings, ... and then being hobbled by the common thread which runs beak-to-tail to beak-to-tail through all of them.
Emile: That's the point that Laborit was making when he opted out of the biology discipline. ... the disciplinary hierarchy, to Laborit, was itself the result of not understanding the way the human being works, so if your professional life and mode of research in themselves presupposed an innately constraining perspective, ... how could you ever 'see' beyond the limits of such presupposition? Is a fish the one who can best answer questions on the nature of water? ... when they take it for granted that what they look out upon 'out there' gives them a sufficient dataset for all problem-solving, ... even as someone in the unseen world of atmosphere is about to dump a load of earth on their fishpond and fill it in for a housing development?
This was the point of my last letter to *Complexity*, ... the disciplinary scientist typically does not question his own subjective base for perceiving, ... does not question his own vantage point, ... and thus does not honour 'relativity'. Exclusionary logic is not 'big enough', ... that is, it is not 'high dimensional enough' to be able to receive notions involving inclusionary logic. The reality is that his problem world is at the same time included in other overlapping problem worlds, his solutions become someone else's problems simply because of the way he limits and approximates his problem-model and intervenes with a sense of exclusionary impunity. For example, different groups have different theories with how to deal with Milosevic's and teen sociocidal acts etc., starting from the judgement that Milosevic is 'bad' and the teens who enact violence are 'bad' and that those who would do such things must be detected and suppressed or eliminated, ... and what disciplinary science tries to do is to find 'the best theory' to deal with such assumed models.
Zeus: You mean they will continually select the theory which best fits the assumed problem model and by progressively revising the theory so that it better fits the model, advance the frontiers of science?
Emile: Exactly, ... and this is where the folly is, ... because this is a linear, exclusionary process, which many have recognized and complained about, but which no-one can hear or see with 'exclusionary ears and eyes', and thus they must revert to their natural 'inclusionary ears and eyes', ... their 'child's ears and eyes' in order to get the message and see the folly of it.
Zeus: If I get your meaning, you are saying that they have already assumed and extracted a problem model which they then proceed to solve without questioning their exclusionary model formulation assumptions, instead of using the bootstrapping technique which makes no exclusionary approximations to the problem, ... and works instead by bringing all of our real and imagined experiences into connection in our minds so as to understand the ordering principles and be guided accordingly in the 'complexity navigation' oriented approach of a Mandela etc.. You are saying that they are looking for an explicit answer to an approximated problem instead of a tacit answer to the actual problem.
Emile: Yes, and those two are not equivalent, ... as Ian Stewart says in his book 'Does God Play Dice?', ... "No, Virginia, they are not the same, ... mathematical modelling has no Santa Claus", ... because it would be nice if it were as simple as removing a Milosevic, but where did he draw his power from? .... does the problem of Iraq vanish with Sadam Hussein's vanishing? ... is all the trouble brewed up from the mind and force of individuals, or are they simply the focal icon riding on a tide of trouble? And to what extent can an inclusionary system, the natural case, be approximated in exclusionary terms, and still have solutions delivered on this basis be effective?
What is happening is that we are being goose-fed approximated problems by the high priests of politics, and by the high priests of science, out of consideration of the gap between explicit solutions to approximate problems versus tacit solutions to the actual problem. And this is not our natural way, ... our basic and natural way of learning and responding is inclusionary 'bootstrapping'. Goose-feeding is what has convinced us, in our western culture, to go along with the unnatural supremacy of exclusionary logic or 'rationality' over intuition. In other words, the 'cultural medium is the message', ... the medium is exclusionary logic over inclusionary logic, otherwise stated, 'rationality over intuition', the stuff that goose-feeding is made of, so like water to the fish, it becomes transparent to us while we are immersed in the culture, .. except for the fact that is becoming bloody obvious that solutions are superficial and not sustainable.
Zeus: So what is the answer of how to approach science and the theory of dealing with Milosevic 'naturally'?
Emile: Competing and overlapping theories may all contain some truths, so we must look at the process by which we determine 'which is best', ... and of course, we must look at the notion of 'better and worse' in itself because it is not a basic notion in nature. Nature does not 'judge' what is better and deserves to 'live', .. nature rewards 'harmony' wherein one process can fit in in an inclusionary manner or else be starved out , and this is how the overall system evolves, ... by inclusion rather than by exclusion, a process wherein new ordering principles can emerge as the differences between competing and overlapping theories are resolved by a 'bigger idea' or 'more complex pattern', ... by a sphere which 'englobes' the prior sphere.
For example, in the advancement of projectile weapons, ... as the projectiles increased in their range as cannon barrels became longer and the gunpowder better, ... the theory for calculating their trajectory became inadequate. And in pre-Columbus navigation, there were also limits to the navigational accuracy. In both cases, we could assess the terrestrial theories of navigation and aerial projectile trajectories relative to the accuracy of our predictive models, and judge this the 'best' theory on the basis of which delivered the most quantitatively accurate results, right?
Zeus: .... makes sense to me.
Emile: ... but Zeus, if you do that, if you fit things to your approximated model, ... in these cases, a stationary sphere and a flat earth, respectively, you artificially eliminate the discrepancies, usually by removing the naturalness of the model and adding some 'epicycles' or artificial abstractions which will get you the answers. And once you are free of the discrepancies, you won't be bothered to look any deeper into the problem, and it crops up somewhere else again because you never really solved it.
But what actually happened historically in providing breakthrough solutions in those cases I just mentioned was that someone started looking at the 'sphere which immersed the problem-sphere, and the problem inquirer as well, and this is a fundamental investigative step here, one which Laborit points out follows the way that our natural reality is structured, in terms of spheres within 'englobing' spheres each informating the other. This is a 'quantum physics compliant' view since quantum physics says there is no outside to the system and the observer must be considered together with, and in relation to, the problem.
So anyhow, the projectile and navigation researchers said, ... let's go back to the natural solutions, without the fancy abstract problem reformulations, .... the solutions which seem NOT to work very well, and instead of refining them and making them more abstract in the process, we'll look at the sphere which contains the problem sphere AS WELL AS US, THE OBSERVER to see if we see any other way to preserve the naturalness and yet explain the discrepancies. ... and of course, when they adopted this 'immersed perspective', they came up with Coriolis force, the rotational acceleration effect associating with a revolving sphere, which explained the projectile trajectory error, and they came up with the flattened spheroidal shape of the earth as explaining navigational discrepancies. It was the fixed subjectivity or 'voyeur perspective' of the observing researchers which held them back for a long time, prior to these 'higher dimensional' inclusionary solutions, ... it was the voyeur view which led them to the formulation of refined theories which were more abstract but deemed quantitatively 'better' in particular instances, and which served to remove the motivation for further, deeper reflections and research.
Zeus: So you're suggesting that the psychologists in the case of identity, and we in the case of the western culture, are persisting to look at things from a 'voyeur perspective' and that we must shift to an 'immersed view' of the problem which includes the observer, that is the researcher himself, in the viewfield.
Emile: Well stated, Zeus, ... and in other words, we need to let our subjectivity 'float' relativistically, rather than having it fixed by a goose-feeding discipline, and that allows us to comprehend and to evolve in harmony with our immersing environment. That was what Jean Morel's uncle was teaching him by giving him the mental exercises of imagining himself to be a sandgrain immersed in the dynamics of nature, and to imagine himself as lying on the skin of a sphere containing the problem which is troubling him, and to crawl around on the skin without looking directly at the problem but at other things, and eventually finding a new way of looking at the old problem which 'felt' better, ... reformulating it within a higher dimensional containing space in which there was more room to move, ... to flip from mogular space to intermogular space.
Disciplinarians find it next to impossible to let their subjectivity float, because it is fixed by the discipline and it has become part of their goose-fed identity, the hole that they have dug themselves into which would require enormous effort and risk to escape from. Einstein's theories enlarged the sphere of the discipline, but if you look at his life story, ... he couldn't even get a job in his discipline when he got out of school though he applied everywhere, then finally got a job outside of the physics discipline in the Swiss Patent Office in Zurich. He was a rebel, he paid his dues, didn't go to his classes, failed courses and had to go back and make them up,... so he refused being goose-fed and didn't dig himself into the disciplinarian identity hole.
Zeus: My vision of all of this is definitely 'resolving' as we speak, but what about Milosevic, .... how does he fit in here?
Emile: Well what the world is struggling for is a theory for DEALING WITH MILOSEVIC AND KOSOVO, right? ... and it talks variously about assassination and embargos and all kinds of things. Now, clearly, the question has already been formulated which means that the problem has already been approximated based on the exclusionary voyeur view. Now if we back off and look at ourselves while in the process of looking at Milosevic, .... look at the sphere which contains us, the observer-researcher as well as the problem of Kosovo, what do you see.
Zeus: ... well, I see that the observer has a great many other problems as well, ... rising youth suicides and sociocidal action, ... depression, drugs, ... an uncertain global economy, .. environmental concerns, ... yes, ... the observer seems to be tending to quite a number of things at the same time, which are not fully excludable from the Kosovo problem. What is coming into my mind is that the perception and judgement of any observer who management of all those things is coming up so short, must be held suspect, that is, his problem-modelling abilities must be held suspect. Certainly if he is trying to return the 'abnormal' back to his 'normal', ... this must be questioned, ... the issue of 'normality' and therefore his 'subjectivity' must be questioned.
Emile: In other words, the observer's problem-solving approach is to start from his fixed subjectivity and approximate the problem relative to this, rather than include himself and the problems that he is simultaneously immersed in, in the overall problem-solving effort. It sounds as if the world around him is evolving but he is not allowing himself and his subjectivity to evolve, that he is depending on his ability to recognize 'absolute good' and 'absolute bad' without taking into consideration his own influence on the world he is looking out at.
Zeus: If he owned up to how bad he really is at solving problems, .. social, ecological, economical, and the fact that these problems often impact others even more than him, ...as he goes out to interface politically with the world, he would lose face and be unable to wield the fist of righteousness with the proud and uncompromising panache he does now. He would have to suspend a lot of his judgements, to consider his own persisting and inequitable perturbations on the world, whether or not unintended, ... and he would have to look for more 'in toto' solutions which were less rigid and fragmentized and more inclusionary and approximate, ... solutions which could lead to a greater level of evolutionary harmony. But the leaders of the western powers, the high priests of the political discipline whom other western politicians bow down to, like Clinton, don't seem capability of that level of suspension of judgement, that characterizes a Mandela, for example.
Emile: Would you say that they might be hurting from having cultivated an identity which has dug them into a deep hole via the cultural goose-feeding process.
Zeus: ... well I definitely would NOT say that 'deep throat' imagery was entirely out of place in this instance. The cultural pursuit of admiration and favors in exchange for the goose-feeding which makes us marketable commodies, ... which gives us our hole-based identities which deepen in proportion to our elevation in the control-oriented hierarchy, seems to be a fractal geometry in operation at multiple system levels.
Emile: ... and as many have said, the control-oriented social hierarchy seems to have outlived it's credibility as a viable approach for complex problem solving, or at least it has reached the point where the trouble it makes exceeds the problem-solving it fakes.
Zeus: I am reminded of your '78 goldwing, whose tendency to go into a power-wobble if you attempt to over-control the steering, rises progressively with speed and the number of bumps in the road, unless you slack off on your grip and your demands on the precision of its trajectory.
Emile: And in a similar vein, I am reminded of Henri Laborit's introduction to 'Eloge de la Fuite' where he says; "When our sailboat is no longer able to battle against the wind and sea and stick to the desired heading, there are still two devices to pull us through: The steering ---the jib and the rudder --- is loosed so as to be determined by wind and sea, and the boat takes flight before the storm with rudder now on deck and minimal sail deployed. 'La fuite' ---running before the wind and current --- far from the coast, is often the only way to save the boat and crew, and it opens the way to discovery of unknown shores, shores which will grace the horizon as calm waters are regained. Shores unknown to those considering the obvious cargo and tanker routes, and uncontemplated in the imposed fairway travels of maritime transport companies. You are familiar, no doubt, with a sailboat named 'purpose'. "
Zeus: ... while my flair for the poetic may lag, ... I'm with Laborit, ... control hierarchies and identity-holes suck!, ... bring on the bootstrapping Madibas who know how to run before the wind and current, ... and bring them on soon.
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