How things 'hang together' is even more puzzling in view of the fact that science asserts that the world is a collection of 'independent causal agents'. If our molecules are independent, how do they cooperate so as to sustain the continuing FORM of things?
Form follows from the 'laws of nature', you say?
But the laws of nature which science has come up with are 'descriptive laws' which do not speak to the codynamical FORM of things. We have laws which tell us of the 'behaviour of matter', ... laws of gravity and laws of force and motion which fairly accurately describe how the solar system works; e.g. they tell us why the planetary orbitals are elliptical, but they don't tell us how this overall resonant system came to have the form it does, nor how it sustains it.
In fact, the orbitals of the planets are not true ellipses and the planets slowly spiral as the orbit as if to spin a multi-ovalled nest of cocoons around the sun. Relativity is the only theory to explain the form of these orbits, and relativity is all about 'relations' rather than 'absolute stuff' such as 'matter' and laws of material motion.
Pure relational geometry, regardless of issues of content is what FORM is.
Perhaps FORM come before CONTENT?
If that were true, then CONTENTS would have to be 'pulled into place' to give substance to FORM.
This sounds like 'field theory' where the inductive tendency in the 'ether' takes precedence over the material contents. It also sounds like music and poetry where the artist 'hears' or 'feels' some kind of whole-and-part FORM in their head, and then tries to render it in their particular 'medium'. They don't render it 'structurally', by 'building up from the detail of contents', ... but they do it 'relationally', ... by trying out some relational assemblages and asking themselves, ... 'does this give me back the 'feeling' or the 'music' which is in my head?'.
When we see nests of vortices in a fast-flowing river, or the spiral clouds of a hurricane, or a dust-devil or tornado on the prairies, ... we can see that these vortices seem to start from their vortical FORM and pull material in to give them visible form. That is, they don't appear to be constructed from their content, but they appear to be invisible pre-developing relationships which suck visible materials in to give CONTENT or substance to their implicit relational form.
Meteorologists tell us that this view is essentially correct, that a system of relationships develop between hot and cold air currents (gravity pulled), and changes of state (humid air to precipitated water) and the coriolis acceleration of the rotation of the earth (a kind of concentrically nested vortical pull) and it is the relational codynamics or 'relational interference' amongst these tendencies or 'fields' which gives rise to hurricanes and tornados.
That is, a hurricane or tornado is, first of all, an inductive tendency with a particular FORM, ... and the flow of CONTENT which fills in the form is a secondary thing.
So, how do we get from a worldview which sees the world as a collective of 'independent causal agents' to these situations where FORM is manifestly in the primacy over CONTENT?
Does it follow from the 'laws of physics?'
Not according to Newton, who puzzled over this very question, and gave it prominence in the 'Author's Preface' to his 1686 master work, 'Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica'.
"I wish we could derive the rest of the phaenomena of nature by the same kind of reasoning from physical principles; for I am induced by many reasons to suspect that they all may depend upon certain forces by which the particles of bodies, by some causes hitherto unknown, are either mutually impelled towards each other, and cohere in regular figures, or are repelled and recede from each other; which forces being unknown, philosophers have hitherto attempted the search of nature in vain; but I hope the principles laid down will afford some light either to this or some truer method of philosophy."
For science and scientists, as in today's mainstream science, wher the assumption is that everything is built up from 'independent causal agents' ('corpuscles and force' in Newton's terms), there is no need to investigate whether or not anything fundamentally new which transcends the causal agent theory, comes out of the interfering relationships amongst 'things' or 'tendencies' indicated by 'flow' and 'transformation'.
In fact, today, such studies of complex relational behaviour are split off into different subject areas such as 'nonlinear dynamics', 'complexity', 'chaos theory', 'self-organized criticality' etc. In most cases, the base assumption continues to be one of 'independent causal agents', ... but seen within a new theoretical base such as quantum theory, which seems by some to accommodate a retention of the primacy of CONTENT over FORM. Relativity is, meanwhile, is lost in the shuffle as most people resist the shift from the 'solid' base of matter and 'causal agents' with its constructive flavour of determinism to the interference based codynamical equilibria of relativity.
So, an explanation for pre-contentual FORM is not available from the laws of a science founded on 'independent causal agents'. And if this science were to concede that the interference of multiple causal agents gave rise to informational entities which were innately more complex than could be explained in terms of the properties and behaviours of causal agents, then the theory would no longer be a theory of 'causal agents' but would be a theory of 'relativity'.
We seem to take comfort in knowing that our rational cognitive process can always 'work its way through' theoretical explanation based on causal agents, but to understand relational interference of multiple bodies, ... that is quite another matter. Newton, after looking at this problem in Propositions 65 and 66 in the 'Principia', is quoted as saying; "... an exact solution for three bodies exceeds, if I am not mistaken, the force of any human mind."
So there is a troublesome 'wall' which science encounters in developing the CONTENT-over-FORM theory of 'independent causal agents' so that it might also explain the complex effects of multi-body interference. Modern science has split off such issues and put them in the 'parking lot' under the above mentioned titles ('complexity', 'chaos theory' etc.) so that 'causal agent' based science and technology can 'get on with the job', a job which seems to be infusing dissonance and dysfunction into our containing environment through neglect of relational interference aspects (in the manner of a poor pool player who focuses on 'making shots' and fails to account for how the shots are interfering with the 'shape' of his opportunity space, ... which modulates his forward (evolving) possibility for 'making shots'.)
Newton, bundled what was lacking in the 'causal agent' theory into the 'divine blueprints' as Descartes had also done, ... thus the 'responsibility' for infusing dysfunction by the failure of the causal agent theory and its practioners to account for the relational interference effects was avoided. Newton says, in his summarizing 'Scholium' to the Principia;
"... and the planets and comets will constantly pursue their revolutions in orbits given in kind and position, according to the laws above explained ; but though these bodies may, indeed, persevere in their orbits by the mere laws of gravity, yet they could by no means have at first derived the regular position of the orbits themselves from those laws. The six primary planets are revolved about the sun in circles concentric with the sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. Ten moons are revolved about the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those planets ; but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions, since the comets range over all parts of the heavens in very eccentric orbits ; for by that kind of motion they pass easily through the orbs of the planets, and with great rapidity ; and in their aphelions, where they move the slowest, and are detained the longest, they recede to the greatest distances from each other, and thence suffer the least disturbance from their mutual attractions. This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."
The message is clear. God is responsible for the relational interference effects (the harmonies and the dissonances) and scientific man with his incomplete, relational information-ignoring CONTENT-over-FORM causal agent theories, is not, ... i.e. bring on the DDT and the biotechnology, ... God will take care of the rest.
In Newton's mind (Newton was a deeply religious Puritan), it was God who made our molecules sustain our FORM, at least until a better theory could be found, as he alluded to in his Author's Preface to Principia. Since the belief that God was responsible for the FORM of things was the 'politically correct' view at that time, one could say that our molecules and all other complex relational phenomena in our society were determined by the 'force of political correctness'. The FORM of things is the way it is because it is simply 'supposed to be that way'.
Modern mainstream science has not progressed significantly beyond this point. We are still embracing a CONTENT-over-FORM 'independent causal agent' based scientific theory which cannot speak to FORM which transcends a bottom up constructive 'from-CONTENT' raison d'etre. Since we are individual interpreters of the 'divine', and since our scientific theory cannot explain relational interference based FORM, our overall scientific philosophy is a composite which has a hard dependency on 'political correctness' and our subjective view of 'how the FORM of things should be'.
According to the information theory we use today, and which underpins our efforts at understanding, ... the basic units of information are 'absolute'; i.e. they are the binary 'true' or 'false' of excluded middle logic. Thus, our notion of information and knowledge is also underpinned by a CONTENT-over-FORM view of reality and this means that binary information and knowledge is innately incapable of dealing with issues of FORM. We already know this from our experience with art, music and poetry, ... these FORMS of 'information' do not lend themselves to binary logical analysis, ... since the feelings they INDUCE in us are induced by the whole-and-part harmony of their relational FORM.
But our information theory doesn't have to stop at the purely rational and 'unfeeling' as we have made it.
Denis Gabor, author of a quantum physics compliant 'Theory of Communications' (1945) was interested in how sound brought us the feeling of 'immersion' through the space-time phase (relational) information associated with the objects the sound bounced off on its way to our ears. This information informs us at to the 'shape of space' including the shape of objects (the shape of bounded objects is a secondary informational subset which is reciprocal to the 'shape of unbounded inter-object space'). Clearly, the unbounded shape of space is a purely relational FORM since it cannot be 'constructed' from the shape of the CONTENTS of space, but depends upon their spatial relationships, and the general case of a dynamic world, ... FORM, in the context of inductive tendency of space or a metamorphosing potential field configuration, depends upon space-time phase relationships.
TO SEPARATE SPACE AND TIME IS TO IMPOSE A FRAMING IN WHICH CONTENT-OVER-FORM IS THE ONLY POSSIBILITY.
In Gabor's 'Theory of Communications', he redeveloped the notion of 'information' to comply with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, noting that the practical or experiencial implications, in Wolfgang Pauli's formulation of it, were that 'time' and 'frequency' could not be treated as if they were independent, ... that there was a basic relational interdependence between them; i.e. if one played a tune on the piano, and then played the same tune an octave higher (at double the frequency) but at half the pace, ... the two renderings sounded nothing like each other, as the standard information theory, which regards frequency and time as independent, predicted they should. This was not due to the imperfections of the instrument, but to a fundamental interrelationship between oscillation and time, suggesting that the basis of oscillatory motion, rather thann being discrete constituents, is space-time phase relational FORM, ... relational inductive tendency having relational interference based 'shape', as in the vortex.
In Gabor's information theory, the elemental 'signal' is pure relational interference or 'INDUCTIVE FORM'. In explaining the imaginary component of this complex elemental signal, in the terms of our common experiencing of natural phenomena, Gabor says (paraphrasing); "If an oscillatory signal is applied to two opposite poles of a four-pole armature and an imaginary signal formed from its quadrature applied to the other pair, a field is set up which induces resonant motion within itself"
One cannot 'get to' pure relational FORM by building up from discrete CONTENT because pure relational form is 'unbounded' shape. One cannot say where the spiralling vortex of a hurricane 'ends', since it is its own containing substance; i.e. it has inductive 'shape' which is at the same time, its containing substance.
So, FORM, being purely relational, is 'non-computable' in the sense of computing based on discrete information bits per the current information theory.
Gabor's mathematical formulations of the complex informational signal, effectively convert the theory from a Euclidian space framing to a non-Euclidian, spherical space framing, by associating spherical integration of space-time phase relationships with every 'point' in Euclidian space. His theory of holography, for which he won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics, shows how the interference patterns of space-time phase information can 'image', at the same time, the dynamical FORM of container-content-codynamics, ... thus including information on the 'shape of objects', the shape of 'interobject space', the relationships between the objects and their containing space, and the 'timing' or 'phasing' relationships between the object shapes and inter-object space shapes as they move relative to each other.
Such 'holograms' have no CONTENT-over-FORM dependencies; i.e. the container-content-codynamical FORM which they convey are imaged directly from pure relational geometry (space-time phase information) without any theoretical dependency on the explicit geometry of CONTENT.
We can conclude, then, that not only is there FORM in nature which transcends explicit, material CONTENT (which is not only apparent to our senses, but which is also philosophically demanded for the need to ascribe FORM to the smallest element of CONTENT in any schema which sees FORM as being CONTENT-based), ... but that informational theory made compliant with quantum theory, is capable of dealing with CONTENT-TRANSCENDING-FORM as is found, for example, in the electromagnetic field which induces rotation in a dynamo.
It may not have yet become apparent, how the splitting apart of space and time goes hand-in-hand with the CONTENT-over-FORM 'independent causal agent' scientific base and how that plays out in our western manner of thinking and managing.
In order to make sense of 'independent causal agents', we must have a means of 'framing' them which enables us to measure their velocity and trajectory. Yet we, the observer, are also caught up in the continuing relational transformation of the FORM of space-time. Einstein and Infeld's 'two frightening ghosts', the 'inertial frame' and 'absolute time', ... which 'disappear with relativity theory', are the necessary means which open the door to a practical theory of 'independent causal agents'. Since the observer is excluded in this theory, the information on his container-content-codynamic is also excluded, ... his 'space-time phase information'.
So the scientific observer who studies 'independent causal agents' 'out there', in the context of their explicit properties, shapes and kinetic trajectories, in excluding himself and discarding his space-time phase information, has discarded essential information relative to the overall space-time codynamic. He has, in effect, discarded his 'reference signal' (by analogy to the reference signal in holography which happens to be 'coherent light' in that case) which is needed to reconstruct the volume-relational imagery of the phenomena without any dependencies upon CONTENT and the explicit shape of CONTENT. By excluding the observer, he has imposed an innate dependence on CONTENT in getting to FORM. This is why the theoretical understanding is now seen as being 'out there' in a book, on the wall or on a screen, and it is no longer theory which one can 'envelope' the listener and in which he can be immersed in, as in the case of our common experience.
By contrast, this immersed understanding is what the 'sharing circle' of the autochtone provides, the recovery of the space-time phase information which can be correlated with our own so as to image the understanding in terms of volumetric relational FORM. The sharing circle approach gives, at the same time, a view of the containing FORM of the 'opportunity space' which includes the content-oriented 'independent causal agent' view as an informational subset. That is, the sharing circle recovers the space-time phase relationships to deliver a view of the 'independent causal agents' IN THE ACTUAL CONTEXT OF THEIR CONTAINING POSSIBILITY SPACE WHICH GATES AND MODULATES THEIR KINETICS.
Intuitively, we can 'get to' this space-time phase information by bringing into connection in our minds, how we imagine others to see things, or more generally, how things look from other vantage points. For example, Kepler went through the process of visualizing how the system of sun and planets looked to the sun-based observer which is very different from how it looks to the earth-based observer, and it is this 'immersed view' of the solar system which includes 'us earth-based' observers in our visualization (and thus preserves the space-time phase information) which leads to the FORM- over- CONTENT view which is no longer dependent on explicit 'independent causal agents'.
It comes as a shocking fact, to someone who has not realized yet it (99% of our scientific culture, by all accounts), that the system of sun and planets cannot be understood or explained in terms of the CONTENT-over-FORM scientific formulations of Newton, as Newton himself made clear in his above cited reflection on the elusive beauty of the codynamical FORM in nature. The shock is that one cannot bring the scientific 'independent causal agent' or 'rationality' based CONTENT-over-FORM observations of different observers (e.g. geocentric and heliocentric observers) into reconciliation, and this is a general principle of the FORM-over-CONTENT co-dynamics in nature which our mainstream scientific culture denies on a routine basis. The autochtone tradition is to accept each of the 'rational observer views' as valid (this requires honesty and trust), assuming that the relational FORM of the observed reality transcends the CONTENT in each of the views, and that it can be visualized by 'bringing these multiple rational views into connection in the mind'. The sharing circle procedure thus amounts to a recovery of the space-time phase information and a holographic imaging of the purely relational, content-transcending FORM of the common immersing reality.
Again, what is shocking to those scientific minds which see the 'little story' of an 'independent causal agent' based reality as 'the whole story' is that the different observer views of the same reality ARE DIFFERENT AND NON-RECONCILABLE. This difference is normally removed in scientific experimentation because care is taken make the experiment environment-free and thus to give each scientific experimenter the same constrained view of the phenomena.
The difference in multiple 'rational' observer views of the same phenomenon goes hand in hand with the notion that FORM transcends CONTENT and that these different views therefore implicitly contain the space-time phase information needed to 'image' the content-transcending relational FORM of the phenomena. Thus the pretzel-shaped orbit of Mars as it is seen by the geocentric observer is different because it implicitly contains information on the space-time codynamic of the geocentric observer relative to the other vantage points within the system (e.g. relative to the heliocentric vantage point). This principle appears not to be understood in current 'shock' and discussion over the irreconcilability of the geocentric and heliocentric observer views, as discussed in the context of 'Tycho's Illusion' at the following URL; http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/cgi/psyc/newpsy?9.32
A view of this observational geometry and the 'autochtone connection' can be seen by considering the following thought experiment;
A surfer heads out from the beach to get to a position beyond the breakers where he will then turn around, move towards shore and attempt to 'catch a breaker' and ride it in. On the way out, he sees the waves as the come towards him, ... after he gets beyond the breakers and starts on his way in, he sees the waves as if passing him by, and when he catches and mounts a wave, he sees it as a ridge upon the the skin of the sea. All of these views are 'rational' 'independent causal agent' based views or CONTENT-over-FORM views which exclude him, the observer. His visualization, coming from his 'material center' or 'ego-center' as it were, drops out the space-time phase information and lets him see things as if they are 'out there' on a flatspace screen (i.e. without the space-time phase information, the 'immersed mode' of perception or 'the FORM-over-CONTENT mode of perception' is no longer possible) letting him see things in terms of temporal sequence, kinetic velocity and trajectory etc. which are important to his 'action management' mode.
There are two ways to get to recover the space-time phase information and re-image the FORM-over-CONTENT. On an individual basis, he can get to the space-time phase information if he relaxes in the swells and 'feels' how he is being lifted and dropped by the waves. In this view, he is an included participant in his perceiving of reality, and what he implicitly did to 'get there' was to 'look through the eyes of a sky observer' (i.e. to bring another imaginary experience into connection in his mind; a practice which is cultivated to a fine art by the native hunter.). He now seems himself immersed within a process wherein the lateral kinetic trajectory aspect subordinates itself to the impression of immersion within a 'nested inner-outer' process (i.e. our basic mode of perception as described by Henri Poincaré in 'The Relativity of Space'), and he implicitly knows that the nesting extends outward and inward, ... outward to the nesting of hydrosphere within atmosphere and beyond, and inward to the nesting of his stomach within his abdominal cavity (which he can feel undergoing relative oscillatory displacement in tune with the waves but with a phase lag).
If he did not take the time to enjoy being lifted and dropped in the waves, he can also recover the space-time phase information by forming a sharing circle with his surfing friends when they all return to shore. One may say to him; 'as you were going out, I surfed right over the top of your head'. And he may think to himself; 'When I was surfing in, I also passed right over the head of another surfer on his way out'. All of them will agree that they had a great view of the topography of the sea skin when they were up on the wave. As they bring all of the various perspectives into connection in their mind, they will no longer think in the non-volumetric CONTENT-over-FORM terms of the kinetic trajectories of things, but will visualize their immersion, along with others, in an codynamical, rhythmically transforming volume. In this view, they see actual volumentric codynamical space-time relationships between anything they may care to call an object. That is, they have an implicit impression of the volume they were immersed in which allows them to explore the relationships of whatever features or objects with whatever other features or objects; i.e. they are no longer dealing with the reduced informational dataset which captured 'things and trajectories' out of the context of their space-time phase relationships.
In other words, the inclusion of space-time phase information, by imagining how things look from other vantage points or by sharing different points of view and bringing them into connection in the mind, enables a FORM-over-CONTENT visualization of reality (a visualization which does not depend on explicit material contentual-FORMS) which not only shows the 'little story' view of 'independent causal agent kinetics' but gives the 'big story view' by including, in context, the reciprocal relationship between the causal agents and their containing space (the potential field configuration), which changes simultaneously with their motion (by the 'constant of motion' and 'conservation of energy' principles).
Nonlinear phenomena, such as the FORM-over-CONTENT purely relational inductive vortices within vortices of turbulent flow, cannot be excluded from our characterization of natural phenomena and our theoretical formulation. Such phenomena, by being more APPARENTLY complex than most, give us an opportunity to see the GENERAL CASE in nature, rather than special cases where we visualize things in 'linear' approximative terms. The fact that the physical phenomena we are interested in commonly lend themselves to linear approximations such as the CONTENT- over- FORM 'independent causal agent' approximation, as being the determining source for physical phenomena.
But, as discussed earlier, what we are INTERESTED IN, has by our acculturation, excluded the content-transcending FORM of things which scientists such as Newton have taken to be the domain of 'God's blueprints', ... simply 'the way things are supposed to be' and not an area for us to 'meddle with'.
It's perhaps for this reason, ... 'political correctness' ... within our scientific culture which accepts the nonlinear resonances or simultaneous harmonies of the solar system, and the vortices within vortices of turbulent flow simply as 'the way things are supposed to be', that relativity theory and Gabor's theory of information with their FORM- over- CONTENT implications, continue to lie fallow. Another reason may be that we do not want the mental overhead of being conscious of our simultaneous transforming of the FORM of our common, containing opportunity space as we move. Certainly our technologies, technologists and the economic systems which implement technology would have a very different outlook if this overhead were 'included' in our science.
Clearly, when we look out upon the world from our material center or 'ego-center', we invoke an inertial frame reference based on our own sense of stasis (being unaccelerated) and this is what makes Newton's laws valid for what we are looking out at, ... a view which is necessarily going to be distorted in a particular way by our failing to take into consideration the space-time phase information associated with the container-content-codynamic (including acceleration in the general case) of our vantage point. Our 'rational' 'independent causal agent' based view is structured along a temporal axis which is now built into the 'kinetics' of the observations. For example, the exceptionally large wave which knocked the breath out of us on our way out, was seen by others in the context of a different temporal sequence; i.e. by the person who was trying to get up on it, or the person who was riding it etc. In order for us to 'image' the FORM-over-CONTENT immersed view of reality, we must 'let go' of the temporal context which we unilaterally (ego-centrically) incorporated into the observational data as we reduced it to the ego-centric CONTENT-over-FORM informational subform or 'little story' form.
The strong role of temporal sequence in our lives, is thus in conflict with our ability to perceive the FORM-over-CONTENT imagery of the reality we are immersed in. Like the autochtone hunter, we must be able to relocate our center of observation to non-ego-centric vantage points (e.g .coincident with the prey) within the reality volume, and this ability requires the volumetric view complete with space-time phase information. If we are 'stuck' in our own ego-centric temporal context, then we will be unable to 'get to' the immersed view and we will have difficulty in 'associating' with another person's equally valid perspective.
The temporal context which we impose on the reality out there to reduce it to a rational view of 'independent causal agents' and their interactions, can thus reverse engineer the observer out of existence (permanently exclude him from participation in the reality he is observing).
This self-destructive aspect of the rational scientific 'independent causal agent' view of reality which puts CONTENT into a primacy over FORM and which stems from the imposition of the notion of 'temporal sequence' (a linear connecting of 'history', 'present' and 'future') explains the title of this essay 'The Killer Eye of Time'. The 'big story' view of reality is that we are participants in a nested inner-outer codynamic whose metamorphosing FORM transcends material CONTENT and TIME. "TIME" is a personal abstraction which we make use of in reducing our relational view of the world to a rational view. Midnight on December 31st, 1999 doesn't mean anything in itself, ... it is an abstract convention. Some might say that it represents a calibration mark on the 'timeline' of history, ... as if it is time which forces history to keep moving along. But the aforementioned 'time' means little to someone who is using the Islamic calendar. And if there were a bright flash in the heavens at this time, it would be recorded as occurring at 24 different times and two different dates, one for each time zone around the globe. Apparently, 'time' is the derived abstraction of cultural context. Certainly, 'something is changing', but in terms of our basic volumetric perception and in terms of the volumetric configuration of the potential field in which we are immersed constituents, ... the 'big story' is that it is the FORM of space-time within which we 'nest' as an included feature, which is changing and it is in fact 'metamorphosing', ... a simultaneous unity and plurality form of motion. TIME is the artifact of the reduced 'little story' which sees reality in terms of 'independent causal agents' and their trajectories. TIME is useful for coordinating our actions, but it is not 'the whole story', and if we come to believe it is 'the whole story' as our culture is tending to do, ... then we will end up as the poor pool player who puts 'action management' into the primacy over 'opportunity management' and infuses dissonance and dysfunction into the shape of our containing space.
In order that we not let TIME run away with us and drive us right out of existence, ... exclude us from our own perception of reality, ... we need to 'take the TIME' to feel and enjoy our immersed participation within our containing reality, as the surfer did when he relaxed and felt himself lifted and dropped by the ocean swells. To 'take time' in this context means to put it back into the box of abstractions we call 'rationality', ... a cognitive subprocess which is fine and dandy but one which excludes us from our own experience. The 'killer eye of time' makes dead objects out of the living features of reality and since the observer is, at the same time, that living reality, it kills him as well.
TIME can be hazardous to your health in more ways than one. TIME is not fussy, while you are fending it off for the sake of your material self, it is all the time feeding on your psyche. But by 'taking TIME' and putting it in its proper place, as a non-fundamental invented 'tool', we not only liberate our psyche, but resume our rightful place within the space-time whole and thus become internal.
* * *
John L. Casti,
Executive Editor Complexity,
1399 Hyde Park Road,
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
September 22, 2000
Limits to Content-over-Form Oriented Mathematics and Physics
The essays in *Complexity's* 'Special Issue: Limits in Mathematics and Physics' (vol. 5, No. 5, May/June 2000) seem, for the most part, to pass by a key point, noted by Henri Poincaré in 'Science and Hypothesis', that most mathematical tools of physics have been developed for the particular and limited model of nature wherein FORM is innately dependent on CONTENT, a limitation bundled into the Euclidian space and absolute time framing. This popular framing is one which "we impose on our science but cannot impose on Nature" (Poincare), and is referred to by Einstein and Infeld in 'The Evolution of Physics' as; "two frightening ghosts which disappear with relativity theory".
E. Atlee Jackson, makes reference to this critical point on our self-imposed 'limits' and 'constraints' in his essay 'The Unbounded Vistas of Science: Evolutionary Limitations';
"It should not be overlooked that the information that is generated both in mathematics and by computer algorithms is based on a strict set of logical rules, whereas there is no compelling rational reason to believe that all of the categorical information we obtain from nature is subject to these particular rules."
The 'CONTENT in the primacy over FORM' geometry is innately inadequate for dealing with pure field geometries wherein the 'form' of the relational potential field configuration, the 'shape' of the inductive tendency of space, has no hard dependencies on euclidian geometry based 'independent material causal agents'. The vortices nested within vortices of fluid flow, wherein the 'agent' influencing the transFORMation of the system is not an 'independent causal agent' but a 'relational inductive agent' which 'IS' its containing environment at the same time as it is an apparently independent CONsTituENT roaming around and inducing change in the system behaviour. That is, in unapproximated nature, FORM is in the primacy over CONTENT even though our strict logic ('excluded middle logic') and the space and time framing we IMPOSE on our science is innately incapable of dealing with this reciprocal way of viewing reality.
Stephen Weinberg pointed out in 'Dreams of a Final Theory', that when we are speaking about how far we can or cannot go in physics, it is implicitly in terms of physics as applied to this limited CONTENT in the primacy over FORM model; i.e. "The discovery of a final theory in physics will not necessarily even help very much in making progress in understanding these phenomena '[wonderful phenomena from turbulence to thought'] . . . a final theory will be final in one sense --- it will bring to an end a certain sort of science, the ancient search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles."
While nature abounds in manifestations of the 'FORM in the primacy over CONTENT' geometry, and relativity insists that this is the general case in nature, physics and the mathematics of physics, for the most part, has its ladder up the wall of the simplified view we impose on our science; i.e. 'CONTENT in the primacy over FORM'.
Seen in terms of the relationship between form and content, characterizing natural phenomena in Euclidian space gives us back the same paradox as in Goedel's theorem; i.e. "the content which gives form to those contents which cannot give form to themselves, cannot give form to itself". That is, if the form of natural structure is innately dependent upon the constituents which comprise it, what determines the form of the smallest constituent? Dealing with this paradox mathematically is the domain of those who would use very different space-time framings, such as practitioners of 'transfigurational mathematics' as described by Lere Shakunle of the Matran School of Mathematics, Berlin, in 'Odd-Balancing Autosymmetries and their Zeroids'
That the Goedel's theorem logical paradox re-emerges in the domain of space-time in the 'form-and-content' paradox is in no way fortuitous, since both systems are constrained to absolute components in their own right and immersed in an inert and non-participating 'ether' (the 'excluded middle' or the 'empty space' of Euclidian geometry). Meanwhile, as Einstein made clear, 'space is a participant' in physical phenomena, as is evident in the case of vortices within vortices wherein the relational inductive agents of the turbulent fluid flow system are in the primacy over the 'independent causal agents'. In fact, the former can be seen as the relational medium containing the kinetic flow patterns of the causal agents. In the limit of pure field theory, as Faraday and Einstein pointed out, one seeks to avoid having theory depend upon the non-relativistic notion of 'things in their own right' such as 'independent causal agents', which are incapable of the reciprocal codynamics of being, at the same time, their own containing space (as in vortices within vortices within fieldflow).
How many ways the 'CONTENT in the primacy over FORM' precepts of strict logic and binary information bits  can go wrong appears to be a self-indulgent study of the weaknesses in the arbitrary reference framing we have imposed on ourselves, rather than in the limits of mathematics and physics as regards scientific reasoning. That is, the many ways that logical systems can break down seems to fascinate mathematicians in the same manner as finding a proof to Fermat's last theorem; i.e. a proof to the claim;
"It is impossible for a cube to be written as a sum of two cubes or a fourth power to be written as a sum of two fourth powers or, in general, for any number which is a power greater than the second to be written as a sum of two like powers.".
Many mathematicians spent lives and careers in trying to re-discover Fermat's "truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain", and many continue on in spite of Andrew Wiles 'not so marvelous' 130 page proof which was judged sufficient to capture the $50,000 Wolfskehl prize on June 27, 1997.
This is not to suggest that the mathematics developed along the way is of no utility, but it is to suggest that the mathematical motivation to prove that 'certain mathematical formulations 'don't work'' does NOT have to be in any way related to probing the limits of our mathematically supported 'understanding of the way the world works'. Goedel's theorem points out a problem with 'excluded middle logic' in the same way that relativity and field theory point out a problem with the 'rational' view of reality as a collection of 'independent causal agents'; views which put 'content' in the primacy over 'form'; i.e. the type of problem inherent in the statements; 'this statement is and is not true" and 'this vortex is and is not an independent causal agent', ... statements which are both examples of 'geometric form' which cannot be described in terms of 'content' due to the fact that the constituent agent or precept is, at the same time, its containing context and involves, in the case of logic, a geometry of the 'included middle' (Lupasco, Kosko, Zadeh) and, in the case of space-time framings, a geometry in which space, rather than being 'empty', participates in physical phenomena (Kepler, Faraday, Einstein).
In terms of the informational categories manifest in our experiencing of nature, we are well aware of the existence of two types of 'agents' responsible for changing systems behaviors, ... 'independent causal agents' and 'relational inductive agents'; i.e. 'agents which cause change directly (kinetic change) and 'meta-agents which modulate the relational patterns of causal kinetics' (i.e. potential field configuration change). For example, the log in the stream can be regarded as an 'independent causal agent' but vortices within vortices in fluid flow (e.g. spiraling currents in the stream or in the atmosphere) must be regarded as 'relational inductive agents'. or 'meta-agents' which geometrically orchestrate causal agents. While the 'causal agent' is seen to exist 'in its own right', the 'inductive agent' is seen, at the same time, as 'itself' and its 'containing environment'. In fact, the relational inductive agent 'reduces to' the 'independent causal agent' when the non-relativistic Euclidian space and absolute time framing is IMPOSED on the perceptual data.
As mentioned, Euclidian space is innately incapable of dealing with geometries wherein 'FORM is in the primacy over CONTENT' since Euclidian space is 'formless' in itself and structures which are depicted in it must take their form from their constituent components or 'contents', ... except for the embarassing 'loose end flapping in the breeze' that the smallest constituents are undefinable this side of the infinitesimal.
The difference between these dual 'agent views' is not just an abstract artifact of the mathematics, but has important practical relevance, the geometry of which can be seen in, for example, management approaches as in the game of pool, where playing 'shape over shots' (the 'form-over-content' approach of the skilled player) rather than 'shots over shape' (the 'content-over-form decoherence of the novice player) is a winning approach. This same 'management' implication emerges in the team approach where 'managing action over opportunity' is the common practice of the 'normal' (read 'dysfunctional') team while 'managing opportunity over action' is the hallmark of the exceptional team. The difference is also recognized in evolutionary biology where the lesser view of organisms as 'independent causal agents' is giving way to the larger view of organismic collectives as 'relational inductive agents', meta-agents in the form of nested multi-species communities, themselves capable of evolution.
Since the relational inductive agent is, at the same time its containing environment (e.g. A = not.A as in vortices within vortices), 'excluded middle logic' is not applicable, so we are in a domain beyond Goedel's Theorem, yet there are applicable scientific principles in purely relational or 'meta-logical' form which can be used to 'navigate' in this 'beyond rationality' relational domain (e.g. relativity and curved space-time). Skilled pool players and members of exceptional teams use this metalogic implicitly and effectively. They understand that the RELATIONAL SPACE-TIME CONFIGURATION of the 'independent causal agents' can have an overriding influence on system evolution, and, rather than putting 'making things happen' in the primacy, as in the traditional causal agent approach, they collectively let themselves 'go with the flow' in such a manner that they co-cultivate an opening up of 'opportunity space' for themselves and their fellows (or fellow balls, in the case of pool) on a first priority basis, using their causal agent capacities in a secondary, supportive manner. The skilled pool player and the member of the exceptional team, recognize that they are, at the same time as they are causal agents, their own environment (their movements simultaneously codefine the evolving shape of opportunity for themselves and their fellows).
Similarly, current research in evolutionary biology indicates that nested multi-species microbial communities exist as evolvable units of proliferation and adaptation, ... experimentally supported results which leads researchers to propose that the Darwinian notion of 'selection' is an 'incomplete' and 'information excluding' metaphor. That is, 'selection theory' corresponds to seeing the game in the informationally constrained terms exemplified by 'shots-over-shape' in pool, or 'action management over opportunity management' in the domain of teams. However, it is not the action of organisms seen as 'independent causal agents' which has the overriding influence on evolution, but instead, the organisms seen as 'relational inductive agents' which 'manage 'shape-over-shots''.
The suggestion that 'the organism is its environment' (Maturana, Caldwell et al) gives back this 'bigger story' vortex- within- vortex, 'A = not.A' view of simultaneous unity and plurality wherein 'habitant' and 'habitat' co-define each other in the relativistic geometric manner of vortices nested within vortices.
So whether we look at microbial communities or at spiralling hurricane vortices on satellite images of the earth, this information on nature resists categorization in 'independent causal agent' terms, since it concerns meta-agents or 'relational inductive agents' or 'independent causal agent collectives' which are, at the same time, their containing space, and as they move, they simultaneously induce transformation in the geometric configuration of their containing potential field (as in the space-matter reciprocity of relativity theory).
Since the 'constant of motion' or 'law of conservation of energy' says that the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy must be conserved in motion, at first glance, something seems to be wrong with the notion of the 'primacy' of the form of the potential field configuration over the kinetics of the constituents.
But reflection shows that there is no problem, and the perceived is not to do with 'energy' but with 'information' in that the configuration of the potential field is based in volumetric geometry (inner-outer codynamical geometry) while the kinetics of 'independent causal agents' involves trajectories in Euclidian space (i.e. there is a difference in the respective dimensionality of the information).
If one starts with no hard dependencies on discrete matter in a relativity and 'field theory' view of phenomena, as Einstein recommends, there is no reason NOT to think in terms of the shape of the potential field configuration 'metamorphosing'; i.e. the inductive tendencies which relationally constitute its form can transform simultaneously, as in nested vortices within vortices or nested 'inhabitants' within 'habitats' phenomena. Informationally, this is a 'bigger story' view than can be accommodated by the kinetics of independent causal agents.
Vortices evolve but they cannot be 'selected' because they are purely 'relational' even though they have the attributes of apparent 'independent kinetic mobility' and 'causal' potency and can be seen as influencers of system behavior.. But since they are 'purely geometric relationships', the 'buck does not stop with them' with respect to the 'cause' they are responsible for (i.e. 'they' do not exist 'in their own right') but the responsibility is instead emanating from the containing space. In any case, vortical features or 'relational inductive agents' operate on the FORM of the material kinetic flow rather than on the CONsTituENTS themselves, and they evolve through patterns of codynamical energy exchange with their environment (their fellow vortices) and ultimately by being re-assimilated into their environment (into the containing geometry of evolutionary flow). Their transFORMative behaviour is 'too big a story' informationally, to be explainable in terms of the kinetic behaviors of their CONsTituENTs; i.e. the transformation induced by community on its constituents and its containing environment cannot be explained in terms of the kinetic behaviour of the inhabitants. Nested, multi-species communities are, in effect, 'complex systems' which can be visualized in terms of 'relational inductive agents' emerging, evolving and re-assimilating into the evolutionary flow in the manner of nested vortices in fluids.
In summary, much of the discussion in scientific circles and in the special issue of *Complexity* on 'Limits in Mathematics and Physics' pertains to the limits of the 'convenient' (but arbitrary) imposed-on-science non-relativistic 'euclidian space' and 'absolute time' model wherein CONTENT is in the primacy over FORM (in contradiction to the more basic relativistic, inclusionally nested geometry which manifests in weather, fluid flow, animal and plant ontogeny etc.). In other words, we are often studying the limits of our own limiting mathematical constructs.
Our common experience presents us with two 'depths' of perceiving 'agents' which influence system behaviour; (a) relational inductive agents or 'meta-causal agents' and (b) independent causal agents. Since relational inductive agents are simultaneously themselves and their container (i.e. agents which satisfy A = not.A), they violate the 'law of the excluded middle' and cannot be handled with simplified logic and euclidian space- absolute time assumptions which are adequate for the shallower 'independent causal agent' view. Geometrically, relational inductive agents relate to independent causal agents in the same way that spherical space relates to euclidian space (i.e. the latter is an included, limited special case of the former wherein information on reciprocity between containing space and included agent is destroyed or excluded.).
How we perceive and utilize these two nested 'depths' of modeling the source of transformation in systems behaviours has important implications since "our culture and technology is part of Nature" (as Jackson reminds us.).
For example, putting 'opportunity management' into the primacy over 'action management' requires the fuzzy logic of simultaneously 'being' (i.e. 'having the perceptive capabilities of') 'an individual member of a community' and 'the community'. In the native american tradition, where the traditions embrace this 'form-over-content' view, this is accommodated by 'sharing circles' wherein each person, in turn, delivers his subjective view of an apparent objective reality and, after experiencing the circle, comes away with an implicit relational view of the community. When he subsequently 'acts' (moves), he has the option of putting into the primacy, this implicit relational view of the collective, to guide or modulate his movement (as in the case of the skilled pool player). He (and the skilled pool player) does this according to the 'curved space' logic described by Einstein; i.e. by 'bringing a multitude of real and imaginary experiences into connection in his mind.' This is very different from the 'content-over-form' approach of the western scientific tradition which pursues 'optimum actions' via Darwinian 'selection' of 'more performant' independent causal agents and the exclusion of 'less performant' agents.
In the same vein, evolutionary biologists , with their hard data on the evolution of nested, multi-species microbial communities, have shown that viewing the world as a collective of 'independent causal agents' which are 'selected' by their environment on the basis of 'fitness', ... is too small a view, ... and that micro-organisms have the capacity to put efficacious relational patterns of collective action into the primacy over their actions as 'independent causal agents'. The nested multi-species community, by allowing its actions to play forth so as to codynamically transform or 'collectively evolve' its kinetic activity patterns, can arrange to propitiously open up opportunity for itself. This nested 'form-over-content' geometry is an informational property written into the space-time motional geometry of community which essentially has 'a life of its own'.
The key attribute of the 'relational inductive agent' is to maintain a 'form-over-content' consciousness of how his container-constituent-codynamic simultaneously transforms the shape of his containing space. A short reflection will show that nature as a whole exhibits such consciousness, and we refer to it as 'evolution', ... a consciousness which is over-ridden in linear control hierarchies and other 'content-over-form' or 'action-over-opportunity' management geometries.
Since the form-over-content framing keeps space-time intact, the 'cognitive' processes which deal with it are 'non-computable' whether on the part of a 'vortex nested within vortex within fluid flow' geometry or, a 'human nested within community within environment' geometry. That is, the movement on the part of the 'relational inductive agent' is not deducible from constituent-based action computed sequentially (along the temporal axis) from strict rules of logic (vortices don't have the time and equipment for all that), but instead, the movement of the inductive agent is a 'co-mediation' of the agent's motion in its codynamic with its immersing collective (when one thing moves, relativistically, everything moves and the 'shape' of opportunity space changes simultaneously and uniquely for each constituent).
While computers do well at chess because its design is based on content-over-form (rule based movements of independent causal agents) which does not require observer immersion, games such as pool require the immersed observer view of the shape of the opportunity landscape (the shape of finite and unbounded space-time) as seen from multiple constituent vantage points. As Kepler pointed out, this view (a view such as the sun-observer based view), is purely relational and volumetric, coming from the relations amongst inner-outer azimuths passing through the observer's center. It cannot be delivered in explicit form, since it is informationally based in space-time phase relationship information, and must be 'brought into connection in the mind', as in Gabor's information (and holography) theory. That is, it requires immersed 'first person consciousness' (as brain researcher Susan Greenfield says, 'you can download a lot of 'results' from a computer but you can't download a headache' (i.e. you can't download first person consciousness).
Finally, perhaps we tend to confine our discussions to 'content-over-form' models because, as a culture, we do not like the fuzzy feeling of putting relational form into the primacy over structural content. At least not in the 'action management packed' middle phase of our lives, unless we are musicians or artists. But in the latter phase, when faced with the nasty property of content-over-form systems that all 'independent causal agents' must finally 'die' back into the strange void or empty space from whence they somehow suddenly emerged, ... the vortex within the flow model rises back up into favour, as implied by the increasingly popular use of the following poem (reflecting native american philosophy) in western (including Christian and Jewish) bereavement ceremonies.
The Circle Again: Birth and Death
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glimpse in the snow;
I am the gentle autumn rain;
I am the sunripe golden grain.
And when you wake in the morning, hush.
I am the swift uplifting rush
of circling birds and circling flight;
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
The relativistic, relational-over-rational, form-over-content models seems to have been ignored in most of the discussion in *Complexity* on 'Limits in Mathematics and Physics', as they are typically ignored in today's mainstream culture of science, ... even though the 'form-over-content' model INCLUDES the rational 'content-over-form' model as a special, limited case and does not suffer from the embarassing temporal 'truncation' suffered by the 'independent causal agent' ('where did it come from?, .... where did it go?'). The 'relational inductive agent' emerges naturally and continuously from codynamics amongst the nested 'vortices' constituting the containing flow and is re-assimilated into this flow without informational loss (information is inclusively enfolded). The operative principle seems much as has been stated by the Beatles; "And in the end, the love we take, ... is equal to the love we make."
* * *
 Gabor's elementary informational signals or 'logons' in his 'Theory of Communication' (1945) , rather than being absolute and non-relativistic, correspond to 'FORM in the primacy over CONTENT' and are pure relational field based; i.e. they are, at the same time, both containing listening space and contained transmitter.
 Douglas E. Caldwell, Gideon M. Wolfaardt, Darren R. Korber, John R. Lawrence, 'Do Bacterial Communities Transcend Darwinism?'
Dallas, October 6, 2000
The kinetics of the individual CONsTituENT immersed in and responding simultaneously to, for example, two layers of inductive geometry, such as 'the vortices of' family and community, cannot then be understood in terms of mainstream scientific theory based on 'independent causal agents' (based on inertial reference frames and temporal sequence). In fact, the constituent whose kinetics are responding simultaneously to multi-layered inductive field form may well appear to be manifesting 'altruistic behaviour' which is not beneficial to and may even be harmful to itself but which benefits the survival of its containing 'vortices' of family and community. Such altruism CAN NEITHER BE UNDERSTOOD NOR 'MANAGED' in terms of 'independent causal agents' and their kinetics, and as Caldwell et al suggest in 'Do Bacterial Communities Transcend Darwinism?', "Consideration of communities as units of proliferation (and hence as units of evolution) [i.e. pure relational geometry or 'inductive tendency' or 'field-form' as units of evolution] requires a more generalized theory of life, amenable to the formulation of community-level hypotheses and tests."
This epilogue, then, aims to elaborate on the counter-intuitive notion that 'altruistic action management' can be the source of incoherence (and that 'opportunity management' must be in the primacy over 'action management'). Many people in our western culture dominated society feel that 'doing good' in an unselfish way is beyond reproach, and while the 'intent' and 'feeling' involved is beyond critique, in the same manner that the intent of the pre-Pasteur surgeon who failed to wash his hands was 'beyond reproach', putting 'action management' (CONTENT-over-FORM) in the primacy over 'opportunity management' (FORM-over-CONTENT), whether from altruistic or other motivation, inevitably leads to incoherence.
Returning to the 'nested vortical geometry' involved, .... because the sphere-within sphere composition of the atmosphere involves mutually accelerated reference frames (Coriolis acceleration is a continuously changing function of the radius of the sphere), Newton's laws, which assume a 'discretist' 'independent causal agent' base to physical phenomena (which equates to the imposing of an inertial-sequential reference frame), do not deliver exact solutions. Not only is Coriolis acceleration a kind of 'add-on' correction, it leads to nonlinear phenomena entirely beyond the predictive capacity of the discretist theory of 'independent causal agents', ... nonlinear phenomena such as vortical turbulence which, because they do not 'fit' mainstream scientific theory, are set aside in the 'parking lot' of science or are the subject of special branches of science such as 'complexity' or 'nonlinear dynamics'.
[As an interesting sidepoint, Coriolis, in the same year he published his theory on curved space acceleration (1834) came out with the book; "Theorie mathematique des effets du jeu de billard" ("Mathematical theory of the effects of the game of billiards"). As the competent pool player is aware, FORM transcends CONTENT in the game of pool in the sense that there is a simultaneous reciprocity between the kinetics of the CONsTituENT balls and the FORM of the possibility space 'interference patterns' which have an overriding effect in determining the evolution of the kinetic play which determines the flow of 'the game'. In pool, this transcendence of FORM over CONTENT is termed 'SHAPE-over-SHOTS'.
The question comes to mind, ... did Coriolis play 'SHAPE-over-SHOTS'?, ... rather than 'SHOTS-over-SHAPE' as follows from our mainstream scientific philosophy which views all natural phenomena in the discretist terms of 'independent causal agents'? In fact, the rector of l'Ecole Polytechnique was an 'ace' billiards player who invited Coriolis to play with him so that they could validate the theory in practice, at the time that Coriolis, then a student, was in the process of developing it. Coriolis' theory of billiards goes deeper than the trajectory of ball centers and Newtonian collisions by dealing with how 'spin' can induce curved trajectories and increase the player's ability to transform the SHAPE of the configuration.]
Such 'inclusionary' FORM-over-CONTENT inductive behaviours in Nature, which reside 'outside' of mainstream scientific theory framing, are also evident in social systems. Meanwhile, the discretist theory of mainstream science, based on the kinetics of 'independent causal agents', excludes the reciprocating role of the modulatory SHAPE of the container-constituent configuration in determining the evolution of the kinetics of the CONsTituENTS. The term 'inclusionality' refers to the fact that in nested sphere-within-sphere geometries, an inner sphere references, simultaneously to the 'outer-adjacent' sphere and so on, in a continuously 'inclusively nested' sense. Of course, this nesting is continuous rather than discrete, in mathematical terms. An example, as was given in the above essay, is that a local vortex off Cape Cod 'knows' about the Gulf Stream vortex which it is 'included in', since it 'references to' the Gulf Stream. But how does it know? ... The only reasonable answer appears to be that the whole system is based on the FORM of inductive fields.
While Kepler pointed out this volumetric 'outside-inward' primacy of motion (the only way to explain the simultaneous harmony of the planets and sun, an obviously 'volumetrically resonant' situation), using the analogy of 'magnetic rivers' as a thought-prop, ... science from Newton to this day, has resisted abandoning the embrace of an assumed 'bottom-up' 'independent causal agent' underpinning of physical phenomena. But the notion of an 'independent causal agent' is in basic conflict with the overriding influence of a continuously nested sphere-within-sphere mutually accelerated reference framing, as in vortical motion in fluids. The simultaneous mutual accelerated reference frames means that one must go to relativity theory for answers, theory which has no dependencies on what Einstein terms 'the frightening ghosts' of 'inertial reference frame' and 'absolute time'.
Meanwhile, it is useful everyday practice for us, when seeking to understand local phenomena such as a vortex off Cape Cod, to consider the local phenomena 'in its own right' and this means to exclude the information associated with its referencing to an 'outer' inclusionary frame (i.e. the Gulf Stream). Not only do we exclude information pertaining to the outer inclusionary reference frame, we exclude the geometrically similar information in the make-up of the local vortex and deal with the simplified view of it as if it were a 'torqueing' force acting out of its own center. And like the weatherman mapping tropical storms on television, we will reduce our view to that of 'things' (e.g. 'storm' or 'hurricane') and their kinetic trajectories.
What starts off as a complex volumetric, inner-outer physical phenomena is thus reduced, by discretist simplification, to the linear effecst of 'independent causal agents' and their 'kinetic trajectories'.
It can be seen that these same 'geometrical alternatives' of 'inner-outer volumetric effects' versus 'independent causal agent kinetics' apply generally, in the domain of 'reasoning'. In order to reason in terms of our basic, natural 'inner-outer' ('curved space') experience, we must, as Einstein says in 'Geometry and Experience', "bring a multitude of real and imaginary experiences into connection in our mind". This type of thinking can be described as 'inclusionality' as opposed to 'rationality'. Rationality corresponds to dealing with 'explicit' 'facts', and building 'sense-giving' logical structures 'bottom-up' from a collection of 'explicit' 'facts'. Of course, we now know that all such logical structures; i.e. 'rationality', are innately 'incomplete', as has been formally proven by Goedel's theorem.
We can visualize this 'incompleteness' by analogy to the example of 'inclusionary geometry', as in the local vortex contained within the Gulfstream. For example, we know that we are, at the same time (simultaneously), an individual, a constituent of a family, a constituent of a community and a constituent of global society, and a constituent of nature. Rational thought can only 'make rational sense' of this (i.e. 'explicit sense of this) by starting from the basic explicit local facts and building a logical structure from the bottom up. However, as mathematicians and physicists have recognized, there is a major mathematical challenge in dealing with 'three bodies' or more which are under each other's mutual influence. As Newton put it (as cited in the above essay); "... an exact solution for three bodies exceeds, if I am not mistaken, the force of any human mind."
Kepler maintained that the outer volume (e.g. the revolutionary sphere of Mars) was the reference for the inner volumes (e.g. the revolutionary sphere of the Earth). Was he correct? Because if he was, then applying this basic geometry in the case of 'community as complex system', instead of being able to understand society in the bottom-up terms of the individual as 'independent causal agent', ... we would have to revert to seeing the individual's behaviour as being (uniquely) induced by the inclusionarily nested FORM of its space-time container. The relationship between Nature and community would then correspond to the relationship between the Gulf Stream and the Cape Cod vortex. Thus, community would reference to Nature and family to community and the individual to family.
Relativity and 'field' theory says that this inclusionality view, which includes the rational view as a limited special case subset, is far more consistent with our experiential observations of nature, than is the 'rational' view.
'Wait a minute', you say. 'My rationality tells me that I, as an individual, have 'free will' and I can reject the influence of my family and my community and nature and do what I choose to do.'
And the response is that this appears to be a 'cognitive illusion' which comes from thinking in terms of local events in split-apart space and time, like deferring one's payment of taxes. That is, we can consider the local vortex 'in its own right' and what it is doing as being uniquely attributable to it (cause and effect) but all the time that it is changing things kinetically, it is having a reciprocal effect on its container.
Just as the vortex eventually subducts into its containing flow, the individual will subduct into nature. Just as a new little vortex may form within an existing vortex and supercede and/or evolve its FORM by relational interference, an individual may try to do the same with respect to community and/or family, ... to 'march to a different drummer' (spin to a different suite of influences). Hitler transformed the inductive flowfields of his community and global society, and so did Jesus and Ghandi.
The individual can also 'excercise his free will' by 'destroying himself' but this notion, seen as 'absolute' and 'binary', is a cognitive illusion because where he falls, the daisies will grow more vibrantly and he will be 'included' in that transformation of life, and those around him will be emotionally transformed by his act of self-destruction and seeing the sorrow and heartache it caused, his act may transform their lives and influence them to be more positive and caring for others. The same examples can be seen in terms of his opting out of community and/or family; i.e. as in the general case of relativity, there is a simultaneous reciprocal transformation of containing space associated the kinetics of the individual constituent. In fact, the transFORMation of the containing space would seem to be in a primacy over the kinetics of the CONsTituENT.
The problem with rational thought is that it DOES NOT ADD UP, ... or rather, 'it does not add up to give back a consistency with our experiential observations of the individual nested within the family nested within the community nested within global society nested within nature.'
The evidence from our experiential observations is overwhelmingly in support of outer-inner nested 'inclusionality' wherein the inductive FORM of nature induces FORM in global society which induces FORM in community which induces FORM in family which ALL TOGETHER AND SIMULTANEOUSLY (the general case) induce FORM in the kinetics (the 'behavioural actions') of the individual.
What is suggested here, in line with our experiential observations, is that, to improve the harmony (reduce the incoherence) between our worldview and kinetic response and our containing world's commensurate kinetic response, we must 'invert' our perception and inquiry to put the simultaneous inductive influence of outer-inner nestings of CONTAINING FORM into the primacy over the kinetics of INCLUDED CONTENT. In other words, we must consider ourselves firstly a constituent of nature, secondly a constituent of global society, thirdly a constituent of community, fourthly a constituent of family and finally, an 'individual constituent'.
However, this 'hierarchy' is not a 'linear hierarchy' but rather, it is a nonlinear, simultaneous hierarchy. What does this mean? It means that if 'I' am the local vortex off Cape Cod, ... I can 'do what I want' locally, but I can never forget that 'I am', at the same time, the Gulf Stream. Thus, there must be an aspect of polyphrenia or 'schizophrenia' (multiple personality) in my thinking. This takes us away from 'rationality', which is innately inadequate to deal with polyphrenia, and moves us into 'inclusionality' mode. That is, I am SIMULTANEOUSLY an individual, a constituent of family, a constituent of community, a constituent of global society, a constituent of nature, ... and I cannot deal with the issues of being simultaneously included in these 'inductive fields' SEQUENTIALLY (the only way that 'rationality' can proceed). The answer is instead to 'bring this polyphrenous multitude of experiences into connection in my mind', and allow myself to be continuously 'transFORMed' by the coherent and harmonious patterns which emerge from the confluence of these multiple simultaneous inductive influences.
Polyphrenia is part of our life experience. Nature is characterized by 'ecologies' which involve outer-inner inclusionary nestings which simultaneously reference from inner-to outer ('outer' is in the primacy over 'inner' or 'container' is in the primacy over 'constituent'). As the late French evolutionary biologist Henri Laborit ('The Biological Basis of Social Behaviours') affirmed; 'the molecules in our body reference to the cells and the cells to the organs and systems and organs and systems to the individual and the individual to the family and the family to the community and the community to nature etc.' That is, we are multiphrenous consituents within the inductive evolutionary flowfield which is Nature. Nothing which is being said here conflicts with relativity and field theory and quantum theory, in its Heisenbergian interpretation, the most complete and 'inclusionary' theories of nature that science has come up with.
The message is, that to be consistent with our experiential observations of nature, we must put 'inclusionality' into the primacy over 'rationality'.
Now, what is particularly counter-intuitive for those of us brought up in the west where we have put 'rationality' into an unnatural primacy over 'inclusionality', is that to avoid 'incoherence' (acting in a manner which produces a different result than was desired, as in the case of using DDT to save the lives of plants, or artificially bolstering the population of a particular endangered species such as 'seals', both of which lead to unexpected dissonance within their complex containing ecologies), ... we must subordinate all 'action management' orientations (CONTENT orientations) to 'opportunity management' orientations (FORM orientations) even if the action management orientation is 'altruistic'.
In the domain of 'FORM over CONTENT' we are in a realm which 'transcends good and evil' (binary judgement) and which deals instead with 'harmony of whole and part' (nested container - constituencies).
What this means is that, to avoid incoherence, we must not regard such things as 'altruistic charitable initiatives' and 'altruistic environmental 'protection' initiatives' as being 'good' 'in their own right', and we must instead subordinate them to the inducing of nested container-constituent harmonies. Container-constituent harmonies can only be understood implicitly, by the process of 'bringing a multitude of real and imaginary experiences into connection in the mind' and there are no rational rule structures or sequential logical programs for achieving such implicit understanding.
This does not mean that we should banish all rational structures and rational initiatives, it simply means that rational structures should be like subordinate 'supporting skeletons' for our conscious actions. Where we are exposed to 'incoherence' is where we subordinate our consciousness to rational structures, ... and our 'rationality-deifying' culture is taking us ever more swiftly down this path of incoherency.
As is being discovered in evolutionary biology, 'altruism' in the behaviour of animals is a cognitive illusion stemming from the assumption of the individual as an 'independent causal agent'.
'Altruism', which stems from 'autrui' (french for 'others'), is given in Websters dictionary as "1. unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others. 2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits the survival of its species."
There are lots of problems with these definitions. In the first definition, there is a decided anthropocentrism; i.e. if I shoot a buffalo and give it to a starving family of humans, keeping none for myself, this would presumably be an 'altruistic' act, though the buffalos might not see it that way. In other words, the 'devotion to others' refers to the devotion to 'other humans' and thus I have an immediate dependence on 'defined categories' of things. This is underscored by the complaint of Amerindians that the Papal Bull 'Inter Caetera' of 1493 which determined that the 'savages' in North America were 'not human' and that western european 'humans' were thus 'given dispensation' to take their lives and their lands, has never been formally repealed. This determination of category shows that this same implicit categorial context associates with the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill'. Clearly, this commandment does not apply to ants and roaches, ... but is implicitly anthropocentric and more than this, applies only to 'the faithful'.
The modern times issuing of a 'bounty' on the head of Salman Rushdie, by the head of the Islamic church, Ayatollah Khomeini, for Rushdie's 'blasphemy' in writing 'Satanic Verses', highlights the dependency of rules (such as 'thou shalt not kill') on the categorization of entities. Heretics are not human, thus its 'open season' on them in the eyes of 'the faithful'.
Altruism, in the second definition has even greater categorizational dependencies; i.e. the altruistic act must be devoted to one's species. If I notice that the flowers in my garden are not doing well, and I shoot myself in the garden so that my decomposing body will give them nurture, ... this would be considered 'madness' rather than altruism. The pinnacle of altruism in human society is when one gives one's life so that others of one's species may live, as in Charles Dicken's classic 'A Tale of Two Cities'.
But what about the 'altruism' of humans who give their money so that endangered species can live or so that rainforests will be preserved, ... so that their grandchildren will be able to enjoy the wonders of nature as they have known them?
The problem here, while the intent is harmonious, is that this type of altruistic approach is 'bottom-up' and CONTENT-focused rather than outer-inner inductive FORM oriented, and may engender incoherence in the same manner that 'killing infidels' may engender incoherence. Both are based on "unselfish regard for the welfare of others", but when you come right down to it, ... we are not exactly unbiased in our selection of 'which others' we are going to commit our unselfish acts to. For example, 'seal pups' attract more altruistic contributions than do fish, because we are partial to those who are most 'like us'. The more we altruistically commit our efforts to the saving of seal pups, the more the fish 'get it in the neck' [e.g. seals often kill salmon by taking one bite, the tastiest bite, from the nape of the 'neck' and since seals have a large appetite, the seal population can have a major impact on the salmon population].
From a 'community as complex system' view of society, the shortfalls in the notion of 'altruism' are many. Altruism is based on rational 'binary judgement' of 'good' versus 'bad'. Rationality, being based on absolute or 'explicit' 'facts' is innately underpinned by 'judgement', such as 'what is a human?'. In an 'inclusionary' reality, container-constituent-codynamical harmony is a transcendent 'objective function' or 'purpose' which is 'outer-inner' oriented and which will deliver apparently 'altruistic' behaviours in a more natural and harmonious way. As Kepler said in 'Harmonies of the World', it is ludicrous to think that all the constituents of nature go through the astronomical calculations in order to dance with the various phases and cyclicities imposed by the movements of planets and moons; i.e. they sense and respond directly to the 'inductive fields' (magnetic rivers) and are informed by the information in light and heat from the sun.
Meanwhile, most of science seems to prefer the similarly ludicrous belief, fostered by Richard Dawkins, that the categorical entity which our rational thought creates, called 'the gene' has the ability to 'be selfish' and to make all these bottom up calculations as to how to benefit itself and that it succeeds in manipulating the geometrical configurations called 'species' which are there, apparently, for the purpose of its (genetic) propagation. In this bottom-up mode of thinking, an 'independent causal agent' geometry as advocated by Spencer, 'a chicken exists for the purpose of making more eggs'. Clearly, this type of 'selfish gene' reasoning suffers from the Goedel's theorem type of incompleteness which characterizes Euclidian space: i.e. 'the genetic entity which describes the form of those genetic entities which cannot describe their own form, cannot describe its own form'.
'Altruistic behaviour' is a 'behavioural pattern' which cannot be explained 'rationally' (without a Goedel's theorem incompleteness) since 'rationality' is a 'bottom-up' reasoning approach based on 'independent causal agents', ... an underpinning born of particular space-time assumptions, ... the assumption that our experiential observations can be made explicit by framing them in the context of an 'inertial reference frame' and 'absolute time' (temporal kinetic sequence).
Because of the difficulty in rationally explaining 'altruistic behaviour' but because it 'feels good', altruism is often referenced to 'the will of God'. In the views of the Amerindians, however, man and all constituents of nature are simultaneously 'part of the containing whole', ... part of the Creator who gives and who 'is' the containing space of Nature. This 'inclusionality' view is consistent with the 'outer-inner' inductive space-time field FORM over CONTENT framing of relativity and quantum theory; i.e. the nonlinear theory of vortices within vortices where the outer vortex is the reference frame for vortice nested inclusionarily within the containing vortex.
The 'blurriness' of the definitions for 'altruism' suggests that it is 'trying to get at' something larger and more general. For example, is the altruistic act for the welfare of one's own species, or for other species, or for some future relational geometry as in the case of the preservation of the rainforests? In all cases, the general pattern seems to be that the behavioural action is not coming from self-centred 'bottom-upness', but it being 'induced' by some geometrically larger, containing consideration, such as 'community'.
This is reminiscent of the Celtic myth of 'Camelot' and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In the popular film 'First Knight' with Sean Connery, the dialogue between Arthur and Lancelot on 'altruism' included the following;
* * *
King Arthur (to Lancelot as he shows him around Camelot) ...if you must die, die serving something greater than yourself... ... (Regarding the round table and his style of politics Arthur says) ...No head, no foot. Everyone equal. Even the King.
Lancelot: (reading the words around the center of the Round Table) IN SERVING EACH OTHER WE BECOME FREE.
Arthur: That is the very heart of Camelot. Not these stones, timber, towers, palaces, burn them all! and Camelot lives on because it lives in us. It is a belief that we hold in our hearts.
* * *
'Altruism' in this context, transcends 'unselfish regard for the welfare of others' in the explicit sense of 'others', to regard for the continuing geometry of the containing environment from which all 'others' implicitly emerge. The sense of divinity thus goes beyond the explicit to the implicit, continuously evolving 'relational geometry of community'.
In the same vein, Johannes Kepler noted that the behaviour of the 'community of planets' was 'altruistic' in that they pledged an overriding allegiance to the simultaneous whole-and-part harmony of the 'system of sun and planets'. The notion of 'divinity' in this type of altruism was clearly 'outer-inner relational geometry'.
As Arthur Koestler notes in 'The Sleepwalkers';
"The contemporary physicist grappling with the paradoxa of relativity and quantum mechanics will find here an echo of his perplexities. In the end, Kepler managed to get to terms ith his 'moving force' by visualizing it as a vortex, 'a raging current which tears all the planets, and perhaps all the celestial ether, from West to East.' But he was nevertheless compelled to ascribe to each planet a kind of mind which enables it to recognize its position in space, and to adjust its reactions accordingly. To careless readers of the 'Astronomia Nova' this looked as if the animal spirits had gained admission into the model which he intended to be a purely mechanical clockwork [Koestler gets it wrong here, as his own following text and citations indicate: i.e. it was not clockworks but the curved space of relativistic physics which Kepler was modeling ] --- like ghosts who cannot resign themselves to their final banishment from the world of the living. But Kepler's planetary minds bear in fact no resemblance to those medieval planet-moving agnels and spirits. They have no 'souls', only 'minds'; no sense organs, and no will of their own; they are rather like the computing machines in guided missiles; [Again, Koestler misses the point. Kepler is dealing in outer-inner inclusionality]. Koestler continues, quoting Kepler who 'talks to himself' in his writings;
"O Kepler, does't thou wish then to equip each planet with two eyes? Not at all. For it is not necessary, either, to attribute them feet or wings to enable them to move. . . . Our speculations have not yet exhausted all Nature's treasures, to enable us to know, how many senses exist. . . .
. . . The subtle reflections of some people concerning the blessed angels' and spirits' nature, motions, places and activities, do not concern us here. We are discussing natural matters of much lower rank : forces which do not exercise free will when they change their activities, intelligences which are by no means separate from, but attached to, the stellar bodies to be moved, and are one them."
[Koestler, continuing] Thus the function of the planet's mind is confined to responding in a lawful, orderly, and therefore 'intelligent' manner to the various forces tugging at him. It is really a superior kind of electronic brain with an Aristotelian bias. Kepler's ambiguity is, in the last analysis, merely a reflection of the mind-matter dilemma, which becomes particularly acute in periods of transition --- including our own. As his most outstanding German biographer has put it:
"The physical expositions of Kepler have a special message to those who feel the need to inquire into the first beginnings of the mechanistic explanation of nature. He touches, indeed, on the profoundest questions of the philosophy of nature when he confronts in his subtle manner, the concepts of *mens* and *natura*, compares their pragmatic values and delimits their fields of application. Have we outgrown this antithesis in our day? Only those will believe that who who are unaware of the metaphysical nature of our concept of physical force. . . . At any rate, Kepler's explanations may serve as a stimulus to a wholesome contemplation of the axioms and limits of mechanistic philosophy in our time of widespread and disastrous scientific dogmatism." (Max Caspar's Introduction to his German translation of the 'Astronomia Nova', Munich and Berlin, 1929).
Though Kepler was unable to solve the dilemma [Koestler's incomplete view shows through here], he clarified it and polished its horns, as it were. The angels, spirits, and unmoved movers, were banished from cosmology; he sublimated and distilled the problem to a point where only the ultimate mystery remains. Though he was always attracted, with a mixture of disgust and fascination, by theological disputes, he uncompromisingly and indeed vehemently rejected the incursion of the theologians into science. On this point he made his position very clear in a statement --- or rather a battle-cry --- in the introduction to the New Astronomy:
"So much for the authority of the Holy Scripture. Now as regards the opinions of the saints about these matters of nature, I answer in one word, that in theology the weight of Authority, but in philosophy the weight of Reason alone is valid. Therefore a saint was Lanctantius, who denied the earth's rotundity; a saint was Augustine, who admitted the rotundity, but denied that antipodes exist. Sacred is the Holy Office of our day, which admits the smallness of the earth but denies its motion : but to me more sacred than all of these is Truth, when I, with all respect for the doctors of the Church, demonstrate from philosophy that the earth is round, circumhabited by antipodes, of a most insignificant smallness, and a swift wanderer among the stars."
What Koestler seems to miss, which comes from the consistency in Kepler's context, is that the 'relational geometry' of the container is the inductive force for the kinetic behaviours of the planets; i.e. 'circumhabited by antipodes' refers to the fact that every point on the surface of the earth has a reciprocally opposing point. And in the containing ether, Kepler speaks of 'a raging current which tears all the planets, and perhaps all the celestial ether, from West to East.' And it is the ability of the planet, in terms of implicitly having 'a kind of mind which enables it to recognize its position in space, and to adjust its reactions accordingly.'
Here, we are back to the same kind of geometry as in the example of fluid flow and the Cape Cod vortex referencing to the Gulf Stream. This 'nested' outer-inner referencing geometry provides an inductive force which realizes itself through the multi-phrenous personality of the constituents of space-time. Acceptance of this outer-inner inductive ordering force, the force which unifies and harmonizes the whole-and-part (container-constituent nestings) of Nature, is 'intelligence' built into the constituents of nature. There is no need to think in terms of 'consciousness' and 'intelligence' on the part of the material constituents, however, if one puts the containing inductive field into the primacy. In this case, the local matter is like a vortex within its containing flow, ... a purely relational entity, ... a FORM which is not built up from its CONTENT but which is an inductive field-form, transcending its content and pulls it into place, as the human form, continually pulls its molecules into place, replacing its own substance every month or so.
While Koestler states that Kepler fell short of solving the ultimate mystery, this is not the impression one gets when one reads Kepler's Harmonies of the World (his greatest and latest major work). Kepler speaks instead as having 'broken the code' of the ancient Egyptians and in 'Memoir' (also cited by Koestler), he says;
"Why waste words? Geometry existed before the Creation, is co-eternal with the mind of God, IS GOD HIMSELF (what exists in God that is not God himself?); geometry provided God with a model for the Creation and was implanted into man, togehter with God's own likeness -- and not merely conveyed to his mind through the eyes."
The outer-inner relational geometry in the resonant volume of space containing our solar system was ignored by Newton, and has been ignored by mainstream science to the point that 'Tycho's Ilusion', which highlights this outer-inner organizing force, is a shock to us.
'Altruism' then, which we recognize through the behaviours of the constituents of nature to orient themselves to something which transcends 'themselves', can be equated to the inductive relational geometric evolving FORM of our space-time container. This inductive 'container-constituent-codynamical' evolution based on nested outer-inner inclusionality is, in essence, the belief of Amerindian, and it is fully consistent with the curved space framing of relativity theory.
Seen in this context 'altruistic action management' is an oxymoron. One cannot dance the altruistic dance of codynamical harmony with the nested inductive field in which we are immersed multiphrenous participant-constituents if one puts 'action management' in the primacy, .... since 'action management' is a bottom-up approach which ignores the metamorphosing inductive field one is immersed in, by invoking the notion of an 'inertial frame' and 'temporal kinetic sequence'.
This does not mean that we have to 'throw out' altruistic action management efforts, but instead, that we must, if we wish to avoid incoherence, subordinate such initiatives to the inclusionality-based and consciousness-dependent pursuit of multiphrenous (inner-outer nested) harmony
* * *
Return to Index of Essays